nation capitals

Capitalism is the system by which capital uses the nation for its own purposes. Fascism is the system by which the nation uses capital for its own purposes.
—  Oswald Mosley
Listen up Punks

If you think Punk is just an aesthetic, get out.
If you think punk is all ripped jeans, rock and roll, and wild hair, please leave.
If you claim to be a punk but make no effort to change society’s standards and challenge the norm outside of your fashion choices, I have a problem with you.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not some elitist asshole who wants to tell you what you can and can’t be, but I will implore you to go look up the history of punk. True punks fight for the oppressed. Punk isn’t just about patches and pins, and it’s certainly not this “I don’t give a fuck” shit I’ve been seeing from some self-proclaimed “punks”.

To be punk is to care enough to say “fuck society for hurting you” to minorities.

Right now, we need the you to really prove how punk you are. If you truly are punk, show some antifascist action.

Sincerely, a frustrated queer punk.

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.

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Fallout V/S reality, pictures collected but not taken by me. 

Our elders have been warning us about this for generations now—they saw the unsustainability of settler society immediately. Societies based on conquest cannot be sustained, so yes, I do think we’re getting closer to that breaking point for sure. We’re running out of time. We’re losing the opportunity to turn this thing around. We don’t have time for this massive slow transformation into something that’s sustainable and alternative. I do feel like I’m getting pushed up against the wall. Maybe my ancestors felt that 200 years ago or 400 years ago. But I don’t think it matters. I think that the impetus to act and to change and to transform, for me, exists whether or not this is the end of the world. If a river is threatened, it’s the end of the world for those fish. It’s been the end of the world for somebody all along. And I think the sadness and the trauma of that is reason enough for me to act.
—  Leanne Simpson, Nishnaabeg writer and theorist
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The National Mall has flooded with pink, as demonstrators descend on the nation’s capital Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington. Just one day after President Trump’s inauguration, marchers from across the country have gathered in the city to protest his agenda and support for women’s rights.

A three-hour rally is opening the event. The march proper is planned for the mid-afternoon, with a path that’s set to extend from a starting position near the U.S. Capitol to its endpoint near the Washington Monument.

The city’s metro system reported 275,000 rides as of 11 a.m. According to metro officials that’s eight times more than a normal Saturday. Reuters adds that the number is als “82,000 more than the 193,000 rides reported at the same point on Friday,” the day of Trump’s inauguration.

LISTEN LIVE: Women’s March Floods Washington, Sparking Rallies Nationwide

Photos: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images (2); Sarah McCammon/NPR; Becky Harlan/NPR; Polly Irungu/NPR (5)

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Organizer plans LGBTQ march in Washington, DC, during June’s pride celebration

  • The historic Women’s March on Washington has already inspired more people to lace up their shoes and hit the streets of our nation’s capital.
  • After news broke that scientists have decided to storm Washington, D.C., in the name of science, the Washington Blade reported gay activist David Bruinooge has put plans in motion to have members of the LGBTQ community storm D.C. during the city’s pride celebration in June.
  • Coined the “National Pride March,” the Facebook page for the event already has around 13,000 “going” responses on Facebook with over 50,000 interested — after less than a week. Read more

I love this city!

My Visit to Trump’s Washington

I spent much of this past week in Washington – talking with friends still in government, former colleagues, high-ranking Democrats, a few Republican pundits, and some members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. It was my first visit to our nation’s capital since Trump became president.

My verdict:

1. Washington is more divided, angry, bewildered, and fearful – than I’ve ever seen it.

2. The angry divisions aren’t just Democrats versus Republicans. Rancor is also exploding inside the Republican Party.

3. Republicans (and their patrons in big business) no longer believe Trump will give them cover to do what they want to do. They’re becoming afraid Trump is genuinely nuts, and he’ll pull the party down with him.

4. Many Republicans are also angry at Paul Ryan, whose replacement bill for Obamacare is considered by almost everyone on Capitol Hill to be incredibly dumb.

5. I didn’t talk with anyone inside the White House, but several who have had dealings with it called it a cesspool of intrigue and fear. Apparently everyone working there hates and distrusts everyone else.

6. The Washington foreign policy establishment – both Republican and Democrat – is deeply worried about what’s happening to American foreign policy, and the worldwide perception of America being loony and rudderless. They think Trump is legitimizing far-right movements around the world.

7. Long-time civil servants are getting ready to bail. If they’re close to retirement they’re already halfway out the door. Many in their 30s and 40s are in panic mode.

8. Republican pundits think Bannon is even more unhinged than Trump, seeking to destroy democracy as we’ve known it.

9. Despite all this, no one I talked with thought a Trump impeachment likely, at least not any time soon – unless there’s a smoking gun showing Trump’s involvement in Russia’s intrusion into the election.

10. Many people asked, bewilderedly, “how did this [Trump] happen?” When I suggest it had a lot to do with the 35-year-long decline of incomes of the bottom 60 percent; the growing sense, ever since the Wall Street bailout, that the game is rigged; and the utter failure of both Republicans and Democrats to reverse these trends – they gave me blank stares.