Tag Archives: Nazis

Irony abounds in this political debate

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As I watch and listen to the contemporary political debate, I am struck by the profound irony I see and hear almost daily.

It slaps me in the puss, punches me in the gut, gnaws at my innards.

Here’s what I mean.

I listen to those on the far right fringes of our nation’s political spectrum proclaim their “patriotism,” their “love of country” and their devotion to the Constitution. Then I see the occasional image of these “patriots” standing under a Confederate flag. Or they lambaste the movement known as “Antifa,” which — as you might know — is a sort of short-hand for “anti-fascist.”

The irony? Well, the first ironic notion is obvious, given that the Confederacy stands as the nation’s most profound enemy of the state. The Confederate States of American seceded from the Union and went to war to protect the institution of slavery within those states.

In recent times, of course, many of us has awakened to what the Confederacy really represented: treason against the United States of America. Statues of Confederate soldiers have come down. Americans have rioted to protest their removal. A president of the United States tried to make excuses for their riotous behavior by referring to “fine people … on both sides” of a riot that included Klansmen and Nazis.

That dovetails into the second profound irony of this real-time debate. Antifa has become a four-letter word. It is used in some circles as an epithet meant to demonize those who speak out against police brutality or seek justice for those who have been mistreated by rogue cops.

The root of the term Antifa, though, is what brings this irony into sharp focus for me. Let us never forget that The Greatest Generation of Americans went to war against fascism. The German Nazis who, along with their Italian partners, sought to subjugate Europe under the heavy hand of fascism. They were joined by their tyrants in Japan, who dragged this country into the world’s bloodiest war. My own father was one of those young Americans who left the comforts of their home and went to war against the fascists.

Yes, Dad was an Antifa member.

I simply cannot let this irony go without offering this comment on its hideous nature in this current political debate.

It sickens me.

Fight the home-grown terrorists

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Domestic terrorism has entered the current political debate.

It is about damn time!

For the past four years, we have paid too little attention, or exerted too little emotional capital on the scourge of domestic, home-grown, corn-fed terrorists who hide in plain sight in our midst.

They presented themselves in full force on the Sixth of January when they marched to Capitol Hill, smashed their way into the Capitol Building, killed five human beings and threatened to stop the democratic process of certifying the results of a free and fair election.

President Biden has introduced the term “domestic terrorists” to the current lexicon, reviving it in the face of what the entire world witnessed early this past month.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told congressional committee members in 2019 that domestic terrorists posed an exponentially greater threat to Americans’ security that foreign terrorists working for, say, ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Did the Donald Trump administration act on that statement? Did it call out the proverbial cavalry to answer the call to root out the terrorists? No. It didn’t. Instead, we heard the president of the United States say in 2017 that there were good people on “both sides” of a dispute that erupted in Charlottesville, Va., between counter protesters and — get this — the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Yep. Donald Trump sought to elevate the Klansmen and Nazis to the same moral level of those who fought against them.

That cannot continue. Thank goodness we now have a president, Joe Biden, who knows better than to utter such moronic rhetoric out loud. You see, words have consequences and it is time this nation deal forthrightly with the terrorists who live among us.

The leadership required to commence that fight has just taken office in Washington, D.C. I believe the battle must be fought at least as long and hard as we are fighting the overseas enemies … and we mustn’t back away from calling what they are.

Terrorists.

Anger is palpable

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Has there ever been a presidential campaign — in the past century — that has evoked the kind of visceral anger between devotees of both major-party presidential candidates than this one?

Donald Trump’s minions are accusing Joe Biden’s fans of fomenting socialism. Biden’s side argues that Trump is unfit to serve as president. Trump’s team is suggesting that Biden’s mental acuity is slipping. Biden’s team says Trump has become unhinged.

They sides now are talking to each other. Trumpkins accuse Bidenistas of hating America. Reverse those accusations and we hear the Biden team suggesting that Trump’s side favors Russian interests over American interests.

Who is to blame for this?

Here it comes. I blame Donald John Trump fully, completely and without equivocation.

Trump has fomented this kind of anger with his own fiery rhetoric. His campaign launch in 2015 with a blistering attack on Latin American immigrants and continued with a call to ban all travel into the country from those who live in mostly Muslim countries.

It has hurtled downhill from there.

The nadir of Trump’s presidency might have been when he called Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis “good people.” Hmm. My dear old Dad would have come totally unglued were he around to hear that one, given that he went to war in 1942 to fight those very Nazis.

The litany of divisive rhetoric is too lengthy to recount here. You know what I’m talking about. The consequence has been anger that has filtered into the ranks of those who adore Donald Trump and those who loathe him.

Joe Biden Jr. promises to heal the nation. He wants to restore our national “soul.” I pray that the American soul isn’t permanently damaged by the battering it has received during the tenure of the Donald Trump’s time as president.

No desire to ‘salute’ such horror

Yes, by all means look at this picture.

The message was posted on Facebook I presume by someone who opposes the takedown of Confederate memorials. The text is spot on … until we get to the last line.

Auschwitz stands as a grim reminder of humankind’s cruelty. It doesn’t glorify anything or anyone. Nor do any of the other memorials scattered throughout Europe that take note of the Holocaust and the evil that produced it.

Therefore, I still stand with those who oppose the glorification of the American Civil War and the Confederate States of America’s secession from the Union to fight to preserve slavery.

Those who fly the Confederate flag do so by and large to celebrate what the CSA did, which was to commit treason against the federal government and to bring on the bloodiest conflict in American history.

My wife and I went to Germany in 2016. We stayed with friends in Nuremberg. I had the chance to tour the Documentation Center in the city where Nazi and Japanese leaders were put on trial for crimes against humanity. Our friend in Nuremberg told us that Germans do not fly the swastika to celebrate what the Nazis did; nor do they salute picture of Adolf Hitler. They have erected or preserved these structures to remind the world — and themselves — of the horror that humanity is capable of bringing to itself.

I never will accept the notion that the Confederacy, the Civil War and the reason for fighting it should stand as proud symbol of our nation’s “heritage” and “history.” Sure, keep the statues — but place them in museums and tell the world about the evil they represent.

Wait for the whining about Facebook ‘censorship’

Facebook has done the absolutely correct thing by pulling down a Donald Trump re-election campaign ad that displays a symbol used by Nazis to designate political prisoners.

I cannot wait for the yammering, whining and whimpering to start now from the Trump team, complaining that Facebook is being “politically correct.”

The symbol is a red inverted triangle the Nazis would use to identify individuals bound for, um, death camps and other forms of political imprisonment. Indeed, it is reprehensible in the extreme for such symbols to show up anywhere these days, let alone coming from a campaign for a president of the United States seeking re-election.

As the Washington Post reported: A red inverted triangle was first used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties. The badge forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a yellow triangle overlaid by a red triangle.

What in the name of common decency is the Trump team trying to convey?

They either are ignorant, arrogant or simply stupid.

Hey, I’ll go with all of the above.

Trump has decided to go after antifa, the loosely based collection of protesters often identified with far-left movements. Indeed, the word “antifa” is shorthand for “anti-fascist,” which is precisely the kind of movement that this modern-day group would oppose … and which was the focal point of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany.

Facebook acted correctly.

As for the ad it took down, well, it speaks volumes about Donald John Trump.

National divide might take generations to mend

Oh, how I hate the division that is threatening our national fabric. Really, I believe we are heading for fracturing that might take generations to heal.

Donald Trump got elected president in 2016 promising, among other things, to heal the wounds that divided us during that brutal campaign. How has he done? Not well … not well at all!

Indeed, the president has done next to nothing to even attempt to heal those wounds. The Charlottesville, Va., riot in2017 provides an example of what I mean. Klansmen and Nazis gathered in Charlottesville to protest the taking down of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; counter protesters showed up, one of the counter protesters got run down and killed by one of the Nazis. Trump then said there were “fine people … on both sides!” Oh, no. There weren’t fine folks on both sides, Mr. President.

It has been like during Trump’s term as president.

We are degenerating into a society with intense anger fueled in large part by those who adhere to the president’s scorched-Earth policy regarding his foes.

To be fair, I don’t mean to toss all the blame solely at the president’s feet. There has been a good bit invective hurled at him from the other side. Perhaps the most egregious utterance came from a newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib, who declared at a rally that “we’re going to impeach the motherfu****!”

I don’t remember, though, who started this political pi**ing match. At this point, it doesn’t matter to me.

What matters is that we’re entering a presidential election season shrouded under the clouds of probable impeachment over presidential solicitation of foreign government help in his re-election fight. Donald Trump is going to launch every rhetorical missile in his formidable arsenal at his foes, who are likely to return fire with equal gusto.

I am just a spectator and a chump blogger with plenty to say about all that is unfolding in front of us. I don’t like what I am seeing and hearing.

I want it to end. I’ll get to my proposed solution right here: It will end only when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. He needs to be shown the door.

Memo to AOC: Stop using ‘concentration camp’ reference

Read my lips, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: When you use the words “concentration camps,” it is quite easy for others to equate that terminology with what the Nazis did in Europe prior to and during World War II.

I get that you are a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. You represent a constituency that must believe what you say. However, even though you are a raw rookie congresswoman from New York City, your words have this way of resonating around the country.

Thus, I want to caution you about equating our detention of illegal immigrants on our southern border to “concentration camps.”

I understand your reaction to critics who suggest you are equating those detention camps along our Mexico border with “death camps.” I heard you say that death camps aren’t the same as concentration camps.

However, it is dangerously close to making that death camp equation.

There can be no way in the world that we can attach any moral equivalence to what we’re doing to anything approaching what the Nazis did in committing the 20th century’s worst crimes against humanity.

Now, I say this as someone who wants to support you, Rep AOC. However, your meteoric rise to the top of our public visibility is annoying. I prefer member of Congress earn their spurs before they appear before me every single day.

I also get that your ubiquitous presence on TV and in print isn’t your fault. It’s the fault of the media that are looking for stars. They have found one in you.

But take this bit of unsolicited advice: Just because the media are anxious to quote you doesn’t give you license to say things that your elders find offensive.

I don’t like the detention centers on our border any more than you do. However, I bristle at any notion that we are running “concentration camps” that to my eyes and ears reminds me too much of what the Nazis did during that dark and sinister time.

Be circumspect, Rep. AOC.

Trump vs. Biden: Battle of ‘Both Sides’

Joe Biden has fired a salvo at Donald Trump and Trump has responded by doubling down on arguably his most disgraceful moment as president of the United States.

The former vice president entered the 2020 presidential contest Thursday with a video in which he says the president’s comment on the Charlottesville, Va., riot demonstrates the depths he has taken the country. Trump said in 2017 that there were “fine people on both sides” of the riot; one of those “sides” featured KKK members and Nazis. Biden said the president attached “moral equivalence” between those who spread hate and those who fight them.

Well, Trump responded today by taking Biden’s bait. He said his “both sides” comment was the “perfect response.” Trump said he was referring to those who were protesting the takedown of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who he described as a “great general.”

I’m trying to recall any mention of Gen. Lee in the moment when Trump made that “both sides” remark. I can’t discern any of it. He might have intended to make that reference — except that he didn’t.

Instead, he spoke about the alleged violent intent of those who counter-protested the hate groups’ march against the statue removal.

I believe VP Biden has punched Trump squarely in the biggest hot button he could find.

How do I know that? I don’t, exactly. However, the president’s response to the Charlottesville criticism illustrates how easily he can be rattled into making patently ridiculous assertions.

I must wonder: Will it matter that Donald Trump is a blundering buffoon who cannot be trusted to tell us the truth?

Gohmert goes after Southern Poverty Law Center

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Loony Bin, has stepped in it again.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center has stirred up more “hate” than any other group in America.

Hmm. The East Texas congressman doesn’t mention the Ku Klux Klan. Or the various Nazi organizations. Or the assorted Aryan/white supremacists.

Gohmert is unhinged

Has the Southern Poverty outfit ever, um, lynched anyone? Have they set fire to churches, killing children inside? Have Southern Poverty Law Center zealots ever walked into a church and gunned down African-Americans who are worshiping God? Have these advocates ever bombed anyone?

Rep. Gohmert is a shameful excuse for a political leader. Yet the media keep giving him an avenue to utter his absolute nuttiness.

Only in America . . .

This truly is a great country.

Tough to watch Sen. Dole

The scene was almost too much to bear.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, a World War II hero of the first order, needed help to stand while he saluted the casket carrying his one time political rival, former President (and fellow World War II hero) George H.W. Bush.

Dole is a very old man now. His body is betraying him. He was pushed in a wheelchair toward the 41st president’s casket. To watch this great man struggle to stand — at attention! — while he paid tribute to the president tore hard at my heart.

Oh, I remember the day when Sen. Dole was known as a political pit bull. He ran as vice presidential running mate to President Ford on the 1976 Republican ticket. Do you remember when he referred –during a vice-presidential debate with Sen. Walter Mondale — to World War II, Korea and Vietnam as “Democrat wars”?

Then in 1988, he competed for the GOP presidential nomination against Vice President Bush, the same man he saluted today under the Capitol Dome. On a split TV screen, he said through a scowl that the VP should “stop lying about my record.”

In 1996, Dole became the Republican presidential nominee but lost in a landslide to President Clinton, who won re-election that year.

But before all that, Sen. Dole was a young soldier fighting for his country against the Nazis. In 1945, near the end of World War II, the young soldier was wounded grievously while trying to rescue another Army infantryman. He would lose the use of his right arm as a result of his wound. It didn’t stop him from pursuing a long and distinguished career in politics.

To watch him, then, struggle today and then lift his left hand to salute his former rival, well . . . it broke my heart.

Sen. Dole, too, is part of the Greatest Generation. He is a man to whom we all owe a debt of eternal gratitude for helping turn back the tyrants and for his decades of continued public service for the nation he cherishes.