It’s time to face up to the scary reality here. Most people now realize, I think, that Donald Trump holds basic American political values in contempt. What we need to realize is that much of his party shares that contempt.

Judas, Tax Cuts and the Great Betrayal

On Pod Save America, Favreau reminded us that the checks and balances and systems that were put into place by the Founding Fathers are still there, and that we are in our current nightmare in large part because the Republican-controlled Congress won’t use them.

Those men and women swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and they are currently breaking that oath. Every single one of them needs to be removed from office.

I’m really wary of imagery like this

because I’m positive that liberals are in the process of leveraging the implied sentiment to oppose anti-establishment leftists too. In other words, Trump is an anti-establishment monster who is tearing down the beautiful values that this nation stands for, and leftists are likewise getting scarier when they declare things like “America was never great”. Liberal nationalism is one of our primary hurdles to overcome, this idea that America is (and always has been) a bastion of equality and progressive values. It’s powerful ideology, stuff that will keep millions locked in ineffective centrism over the next few decades. 

I know an image like this

will absolutely haunt the liberal imagination in the decades to come, the horseshoe ghost hanging over their shoulders – fascists ready to turn ever-progressive America into an unprecedented tyranny for the few, leftists ready to turn lawful America into chaotic mob rule that only works in theory. After all, if you want legitimacy in the capitalist electoral system (as liberals do), you will absolutely condemn grassroots organizers, socialists, and the like in terms that this second image implies, especially in the decades to come.

I saw a lot of this at the recent pro-immigration rally a week ago – people all over the place carrying signs with stuff like the Statue of Liberty weeping, implying that this isn’t what America stands for. One of the core goals of the leftist project ought to be to help people realize that, yes, immigration bans and racism are what America has historically stood for – at least in the sense of the American capitalist/imperialist state, because I do realize there has been beautiful resistance and solidarity among the masses over the centuries. The history is clear: America is built on centuries of genocide and enslavement, inequality and domination coursing through its veins. 

The American exceptionalism is unhelpful at best and super reactionary at worst. Abandon the Lady Liberty imagery and realize that we are already that tyrannical empire to most of the world, not this plucky melting-pot nation of progressive values.


Nearly 60 percent of Americans admit knowing nothing at all about Sikhs. That lack of knowledge comes at a deadly cost. In the wake of recent incidents from the 2012 Oak Creek Massacre to a shooting of a Sikh man in Washington this March, the Sikh community is taking a more vocal stand against hate.

This month, the National Sikh Campaign, an advocacy group led by former political strategists, launched a $1.3 million awareness campaign, “We are Sikhs.” Funded entirely by grass-roots donations, the campaign’s ads will air nationally on CNN and Fox News as well as on TV channels in central California — home to nearly 50 percent of the Sikh American population — and online.

The ad, which aims to tackle misperceptions of Sikhism, shows Sikh men and women speaking about how values of their faith — tolerance, religious freedom and gender equality — align with American values. According to Gurwin Singh Ahuja, the executive director of the National Sikh Campaign, “These are core values of the United States, yet we’re often perceived as anti-American or as religious extremists. Our community is hurt by bigotry and ignorance, which is, in many ways, compounded by our own silence. To change these perceptions, I felt we had an obligation to share our stories with our neighbors.”

Why American Sikhs Think They Need A Publicity Campaign


Muhammad Ali’s family asks Congress to put a stop to Trump’s “insulting” Muslim ban

  • The family of late boxing champion Muhammad Ali headed to Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet with House Democrats and ask them to fight President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
  • In late February, U.S. immigration officers detained Muhammad Ali, Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, for several hours upon their arrival at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from Jamaica.
  • As U.S. citizens, they both provided proper travel documentation, ThinkProgress reported. But according to attorney Chris Mancini, Ali Jr. was repeatedly interrogated on his faith as a devout Muslim.
  • Ali Jr. and Camacho-Ali appeared before House Democrats at a forum on Capitol Hill titled “Ali vs. Trump: The Fight for American Values” to discuss their experience and views on the executive order. 
  • The duo also appeared to show their support for the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017, which would prohibit any law enforcement agency from profiling Americans based on race or religion. Read more (3/10/17 4:02 PM)

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One of the things I loved the most about Steve in Civil War was his line about the U.N. “And they’re just people with agendas, and agendas change.” This is something that drives me insane in American politics, and just politics in general: the idea that government is inherently better at making morally-right decisions than the average person is. To put it as my Irish ancestors likely would, that’s a bunch of malarkey. Governments are made up of people who at the very least are as flawed as the rest of us, if not more. 

This is a recurring theme in the movie, and showcases a difference in Tony and Steve’s personalities and experience. Tony tries to appeal to Steve with those pens that FDR used in an attempt to cash in on nostalgia; because Tony is looking back at World War II through the common modern-day lense of “look at ‘Merica beating back those Nazis and saving the world, it’s a darned good thing the government took action back then, huh?” and assumes that Steve feels the same way. But Steve lived through World War II, and he saw what governments–including the U.S. government–did. You think he was A-okay with A cards, rations, and internment camps? You think he was completely cool with the draft? He probably disagreed with a lot of crap the government did back then. Heck, the government had him selling war bonds and propaganda in a felt outfit. He disobeyed orders constantly back then, because his orders were wrong. That’s who Steve is, and it’s not at all surprising he would behave this way. But again, looking back and not actually being there, Tony (and Coulson, and Fury, and just about everyone) thinks of Steve as Mr. American Values. Which he is, but not necessarily Mr. U.S. Government Values. 

This is the main reason I think Steve was in the right the entire conflict. Most of Tony’s actions in the film seem to be based purely on his emotions. He pushes for the Accords because he is guilty over the people who have gotten killed because of his actions. He tries to keep the team together even though sometimes it’s better to be separate on principle than together in tolerance of wrong (let alone unconstitutional) lawmaking. He attacks Bucky because he’s angry about his parent’s death and Steve keeping it from him–which, yeah, he has a right to be upset, but attacking them both and basically trying to kill Bucky without giving him a chance to explain himself, let alone stand a fair trial?? His actions can be explained, but not justified. 

Proposed four-party system for the US
  • Socialist - Healthcare for all, education for all, housing for all, and if you want to take advantage of our giant consumer market or our talented workforce, you better help pay for it.
  • Centrist - America is mostly okay right now and it would be unwise to shake things up too much, too fast.  Let’s work within the system for gradual progress without damaging the institutions we have.
  • Libertarian - Government is here to build roads, enforce contracts, and provide national defense.  But it’s not suited to micromanage the country.  The free market, individual choice, and local organizations will come up with better-optimized solutions.
  • Traditionalist - Without American culture and values, America is just a place on a map.  This isn’t about race or religion or sexuality per se, but if you’re not a straight white Christian, it’s your responsibility to adapt to traditional American culture, not to try and change it.


  • Actually represents the segments of political belief better than the current parties.
  • Potential for cooperation across current party lines, for example Libertarians and Socialists agreeing to oppose the war on drugs.
  • Hopefully no one party would get 50% of seats in Congress, meaning every decision would require substantive discussion and compromise.
  • Party loyalty would hopefully be less ironclad and less able to divide communities.
  • Government not doing the weird dualism thing where if Democrats believe X, Republicans have to believe not-X, even when it’s absurd.
  • Fewer situations where voting is all about “the lesser evil.”
  • In general, fewer situations where game theory runs things instead of the actual needs and wants of the people.


  • I just invented the Centrist party and I already think they’re a load of lukewarm tilapia filets.
  • Terrifying prospects for what the Traditionalist party will turn into without the Libertarians to hold them back.
  • I didn’t do much reading about real multi-party systems before writing this so there’s probably a lot of fascinating ways it would break in real life.

Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller launched anti-Muslim project while in college

  • Apparently, Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller has been spewing anti-Muslim rhetoric since college.
  • Miller, who is one of the architects of Trump’s Muslim ban, co-launched the controversial “Terrorism Awareness Project” in the spring semester of 2007 during his senior year at Duke University, CNN reported on Wednesday. Miller served as co-founder, president and national campus coordinator of the project. 
  • The initiative’s mission was to inform students about the dangers of “Islamofascism,” which is a term coined in 1933 to draw a comparison between Islamist movements and European fascism.
  • The group was created with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center deemed as an anti-Muslim extremist group. 
  • The right-wing group’s mission is to fight “the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror.” Read more (2/15/17 12:47 PM)

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I’m in the middle of an 800 page biography on Washington right now so this resonates even more with me.

This nation was designed to be a beacon of hope and freedom to the world. Anything done to prevent that, even by the Founding Fathers, is a perversion of American Values.

Not everything done in our history was perfect or just.
Not everything we’re doing now is perfect or just.

But the beauty of America is it’s a government by and for the people. We can always move forward and correct our wrongs.

We just have to take the bull by the horns and not let others steal what’s ours.

anonymous asked:

Hey! What are your thoughts on the new Great Wall movie starring Matt Damon?

I find it a bit of an interesting case because I’m all for supporting an International film, Asian director, and a film with a large Asian cast BUT at the end of the day it’s just another movie that perpetuates the WHITE SAVIOR trope which we all know, hate, and are tired of.

Matt Damon seems oblivious to why his role in the film is controversial but at least he stated that he is willing to listen and is open to understanding why it’s being perceived that way. He’s not denying it like Scarlett Johansson who claims that she would never take a role from a PoC yet does it for ~feminism~

This film is director Zhang Yimou (who stands by his film), this is his first American/English speaking film. I believe that in order to appeal to the Western and Asian market, it was believed that if they cast 3 Western actors in the film (Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Defoe), it would appeal to the Western audience. His interview with Entertainment Weekly makes it clear that he knew that if he was gonna make a Hollywood movie… he was gonna have to make a Hollywood movie… 

“First and foremost, this is an English-language film, and a Hollywood blockbuster. It was already very clear in the script phase. This is a Hollywood monster movie and needs to be made in that style. I don’t want to change that approach, and there’s no need to do that. What I really want is to bring Chinese color and cultural background to the worldwide audience through a film language that they are familiar with.”

So I get it. I get why Matt Damon stars in this film. I don’t understand why he has to play the lead though. Wouldn’t it make sense if he played a secondary character? The other two Western actors in the film play secondary roles in the film. I don’t think Matt Damon’s role should be the lead. Why does the white man have to save China? He’s only the lead because… you know it… I know it… Hollywood is racist. Even though the cast is predominately Asian, do you really think it would’ve gotten made without Matt Damon starring in it? No. 

But it is dope that Zhang Yimou wanted to make a film he believed was authentic to Chinese culture and he gave Asian actors an opportunity to work in the Western market but the problem is that ultimately, he sold out in doing so. 

Also while I’m at it, I’m just gonna rant about how racist the American marketing of this film is! This is the US poster for the film!!! How embarrassing??? Who thought this was a good idea??? Just Matt Damon??? And then it spits a few facts about The Great Wall of China… smh…

It’s like The Sapphires movie poster controversy but they don’t even show a single PoC on the American promo art I’ve seen for this film!!!!

Now look at the Chinese marketing for this film! Even the Western actors got their own individual character posters (not pictured but they did!!!). The American market does not value the Asian actors in the film because they’re “unknown” in America. It’s insulting because these are International stars too! Just because they’re not white or on Game of Thrones doesn’t mean they don’t have name recognition. I mean the film stars Lu Han, a C-Pop/K-Pop star who was apart of one of the biggest boy bands in the world! Andy Lau has made a name for himself in the Chinese film industry and where is his top billing on the American poster?! The American market FAILED to showcase these actors in their promo art and reduce them to unimportant characters regardless of how big or small their roles are in their OWN trailer which is absolutely disappointing. 

Islam is not compatible with the Western civilization or basic human rights

Islam is not compatible with American values or The Constitution  and there will always be altercations between the two. Almost all of Sharia law is a crime here in the U.S. Our govt has and is still setting up the perfect divide and conquer situation. Just look at one aspect of Islam “Sharia law”, as you can see woman are the biggest loser in this twisted system.

Don’t try to tell me that not all people that follow Islam don’t believe everything the Quran says, because they do or they wouldn’t be practicing this faith. “Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death” As a legal system, Sharia law is extraordinarily broad. While other legal codes regulate public behavior, Sharia law regulates public behavior, private behavior and private beliefs. Of all legal systems in the world today, Islam’s Sharia law is the most intrusive and strict, especially against women. 

According to Sharia law:

  • Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand.
  • Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
  • A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
  • A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
  • Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad’s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
  • A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
  • A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
  • A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
  • Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
  • A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
  • A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.
  • A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
  • A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
  • A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
  • Meat to eat must come from animals that have been (inhumanely) sacrificed to Allah - i.e., be “Halal”.
  • Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.

The list goes on.

The further the nation moved from 1965, the more natural it has become to expect American immigration laws to be blind to race and religion, that maybe that was the way it always had been.

It’s tempting to believe that the period from 1882 to 1965 was simply an exception, a deviation from true American values. Progressives as well as conservatives tend to make a god of American nationalism and proclaim themselves defenders of the one true church. This is not American. This is not who we are.

The problem, of course, is that this is precisely who we are: a nation built on white nationalism and democracy, slavery and civil liberties, exclusion and inclusion, sin and grace. A nation that boldly declared a principle of radical equality while steadily constructing an architecture of discrimination.

This matters, because it is another reminder that our constitutional system can bear a tremendous amount of illiberalism. The Constitution, Supreme Court, and checks and balances were all in place when the country slammed shut its doors in the 1880s and again in the 1920s. They were still there three months ago when Trump won the election, and two weeks ago when he was sworn into office, and yesterday — when he did whatever insane thing he did the day before you’re reading this. None of those safeguards are self-executing; none will automatically protect “American values,” because “American values” include both America at its best and America at its very worst.

For now, that means the Muslim ban and the mass protests to stop it are both American. The battle between the two, not its outcome, is who we are.

anonymous asked:

19 Muslim countries have banned Israeli citizens from traveling to their countries and nobody gives a shit, Trump bans 7 Muslim countries for 90 days and suddenly he is worse than Hitler.

America has always claimed to be an open melting pot of different cultures. We claim to be stronger and more beautiful because of our diversity. While we often fail to live up to those values, Lord Dump’s Muslim ban is an open betrayal of American values of inclusion, diversity, and religious freedom that we claim to hold dear. This policy is an enshrinement of bigotry, nativism, and racism as national policy, and the majority of Americans do not support it–especially considering the fact that homegrown white-supremacy and Christian terrorism is a much greater threat to the American public than foreign terrorist organizations that use Islamic beliefs as justification for their violence. This is confirmed both factually and statistically.

As for Israel, many Muslim majority countries believe they have very valid reasons for a travel ban as a protest of continuing Israeli occupation and settlement of Palestinian lands. That’s their choice to make and their concerns are not unfounded.