Saturday, September 28, 2019


One of the most cognitively dissonant elements of American politics today involves the widespread conservative belief—propped up by sophisticated New Fascist International(e) psyops-disguised-as-conspiracy-theories such as PizzaGate and Q-anon—that the Democratic Party is brimming with Satanic covens of child-molesting, baby-eating witches and warlocks. Gullible members of Cult 45 drive themselves into frenzied, frothing apoplexy over the countless victims of these (non-existent) atrocities, while a significant plurality of this same demographic simultaneously declare that actual victims of real-life massacres either don’t exist, or else they’re “crisis actors” taking part in “false flag” events, made up to make gun nuts and the Far Right look bad.

When you actually dig into the reality behind the rhetoric, however, it starts to seem as though Republicans and other right-wingers aren’t just spreading these vicious, ludicrous lies to eke out a few more victories at the ballot box thanks to low information voters susceptible to the effects of fascist propaganda and Fake News*. Instead, it seems far more likely that they’re engaging in pre-emptive strikes designed to get ahead of the fact that, in truth, it’s actually Republicans who are—by a huge margin, and proven by a truly grotesque collection of undeniable empirical evidence—the party of perverts, sickos, pedophiles and penis crime.

We’re not talking amateurs and pikers here, either. The list of Republican Sex Monsters is as vast as it is terrifying, containing literally hundreds of judges, commissioners, councilmen, party activists, state reps, members of Congress, and even a few Senators, Secretary-level Executive Branch members, and a President or two, all engaging in the worst sorts of transgressions, in the process victimizing a small city’s worth of women, teens, pre-teens, and sometimes even (dear Christ almighty) infants and toddlers. The list even includes such Evil All-Stars as Ted Bundy, the BTK Killer, Lawrence E. King (who organized boysex parties at the White House in the 1980s!), and Philip Giordano—the Mayor of yours truly's hometown of Waterbury, Connecticut—who is currently serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for repeatedly raping two sisters, aged 8 and 10.

Believe it or not, folks, that’s just scratching the surface. The above-linked list hasn’t been updated in far too long. In fact, this week alone, we’ve got two new entries to add to this disgusting parade of perverts.

First up, say hello to Pennsylvania state Senator (and chair of the state government committee) Michael Folmer! Mike was forced to hand in his letter of resignation on Wednesday, after police had conducted an investigation and decided to charge Mike with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, and criminal use of a communication facility, all thanks to a tip from a concerned citizen who grew suspicious of some of Mike's more disturbing content on Tumblr.

Next up we've got Steve Pankey, who ran as a Trumpnik Republican in Idaho’s 2018 gubernatorial primary! Seems Steve has recently been declared a “person of interest” in the 1984 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews in Greeley, Colorado! Stevie claims that he only wants the truth to come out, and that he’s offered to take a polygraph, gave Greeley police his DNA, and is cooperating fully with authorities… but those authorities say different. They claim he’s been avoiding them at every turn, and that they haven’t even got around to asking for his DNA yet. Here's some more information on this bizarre, twisted case.

Meanwhile, it’s been 35 years, and poor Jonelle’s remains have yet to be located. Might I humbly suggest that, if there were any swamps around where Jonelle first went missing, they take a clue from Pankey’s own campaign posters?
*I mean REAL Fake News, and NOT the conservative movement’s bullshit re-branding of that term to mean any journalistic coverage of which they don’t fully approve.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


With all the high crimes and misdemeanors, fiscal improprieties, sex (and sexual assault) scandals, fraudulent business endeavors, the never-ending torrent of lies, the criminal conspiracies both foreign and domestic, and the excursions into ever more radical iterations of fascist rhetoric and legislation that have taken place under Preznit Trump, probably the event that has most disgusted and disturbed me over the past two-plus years was the way in which Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court was handled. This is an opinion I share with Esquire's mandatory political columnist, Charles Pierce.

The degree of vicious, enraged, privileged entitlement with which Kavanaugh and his Trumpnik backers bluffed and bullied past even the barest minimum of oversight, despite his obviously being a deeply damaged and dangerous psychopath—not to mention a wholly bought-and-paid-for agent of the New Fascist International(e), guaranteed to do their bidding regardless of what judicial norms they demand he destroy, or the awful precedents they demand he help set—felt like a historically important moment, wherein the Bad Guys decided to go all in and let their emotions guide their every action, no matter how brazen, bizarre, thuggish or creepy it caused them to come across.

The biggest tell was most definitely their faces, which were frequently twisted into masks of pure, unadulterated hatred, born of the deepest, most seething contempt imaginable... Contempt for Kavanaugh’s accusers, but perhaps more importantly, contempt also for the long-established processes meant to deal with such issues, and keep unqualified, compromised lunatics like Kavanaugh (and Trump!) as far away from the levers of power as humanly possible.

For instance, my gorge still rises at the sight of pretend-tough-guy Lindsay Graham, purple-faced and shrieking his outrage, spitting incoherent venom at any camera or microphone pointed in his general direction. That was instructive, as was the cavalcade of twisted, bizarre expressions forever waxing and waning across Kavanaugh’s crimson countenance, the sheer effort he put into holding himself back from leaping across the table and throttling his interrogators (especially the women) causing him to look for all the world like a man desperately trying not to transform into a werewolf.

And now, this week, just under a year after his shameful confirmation… we're learning even more about the black-out drunken alcoholic, misogynistic frat-boy super-jock “penis prank” and perjury enthusiast with a PTSD wife, quiet, flinchy kids and a bunch of bad credit card debts most likely paid off by Far Right elements around the same time he was nominated by Trump to a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the land… and it’s looking like—SURPRISE!!!—there actually was a bunch of corroborating evidence and contemporary witnesses to all the “nasty things” multiple women were accusing him of. And the FBI “investigation” that cleared him? It never fucking happened.

And so, only one question remains, as far as I’m concerned: America… what are y’all gonna do about this shit?

Saturday, September 14, 2019


Here's the gang at the Majority Report discussing Mayor Rudy's decision to memorialize the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, by tweeting out one of the most disgusting, next-level totalitarian, masturbatory Right Wing fantasy propaganda porn video that I've ever seen. 

It's almost as if the hateful idiocy of the anti-liberal, anti-progressive, anti-First Amendment propaganda being produced by the New Fascist International(e) is growing more hateful, more bloodthirsty, more downright dangerous with every passing day. I think this one is even worse than that crazy NRA ad that arguably kicked off this whole trend. Remember that one?


Let me refresh your memories:

Actually, now that I've re-watched the NRA vid, I'm not so sure if the vid tweeted out by Giuliani--which is literally a commercial for right-wing casual men's ware--is quite as bad.

So, what do you think? Does Giuliani's "Kill a Hippie for 9/11" pluck the crown off Dana's pretty, pointy head? Or does her murder-happy, absolutely bonkers NRA commercial still reign supreme when it comes to the Far Right mediasphere's boundary-bursting and envelope-pushing media?

YOU be the judge! YOU decide! And while you're doing so, please feel free to nominate any other Krazy Konservative Kommercials you might come across, either down in the comments section, or emailed to me directly! Cheers!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


In late June, TIME Magazine published a very succinct and useful report by distinguished legal scholars Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance, outlining Eleven Mueller Report Myths that Won't Go Away. I present for you here, first, their brief introduction, followed by the first-listed myth, and the authors' explanation as to why, exactly, it's so bogus:
When we joined other legal experts earlier this month to testify before the House Judiciary Committee regarding lessons from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, it became apparent from the questioning that a number of misconceptions continue to exist regarding Mueller’s findings. The narrative was shaped by Attorney General William Barr, who issued his description of Mueller’s conclusions three weeks before the public saw the full 448-page report. In a letter to Barr, Mueller complained that Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature and substance” of his team’s work and conclusions, and created “public confusion.” Here is our effort to dispel some of those myths.
Myth: Mueller found “no collusion.”
Response: Mueller spent almost 200 pages describing “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign.” He found that “a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.” He also found that “a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations” against the Clinton campaign and then released stolen documents.
While Mueller was unable to establish a conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians involved in this activity, he made it clear that “[a] statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.” In fact, Mueller also wrote that the “investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.” 
To find conspiracy, a prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the crime: an agreement between at least two people, to commit a criminal offense and an overt act in furtherance of that agreement. One of the underlying criminal offenses that Mueller reviewed for conspiracy was campaign-finance violations. Mueller found that Trump campaign members Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner met with Russian nationals in Trump Tower in New York June 2016 for the purpose of receiving disparaging information about Clinton as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” according to an email message arranging the meeting. This meeting did not amount to a criminal offense, in part, because Mueller was unable to establish “willfulness,” that is, that the participants knew that their conduct was illegal.
Mueller was also unable to conclude that the information was a “thing of value” that exceeded $25,000, the requirement for campaign finance to be a felony, as opposed to a civil violation of law. But the fact that the conduct did not technically amount to conspiracy does not mean that it was acceptable. Trump campaign members welcomed foreign influence into our election and then compromised themselves with the Russian government by covering it up. 
Mueller found other contacts with Russia, such as the sharing of polling data about Midwestern states where Trump later won upset victories, conversations with the Russian ambassador to influence Russia’s response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government in response to election interference, and communications with Wikileaks after it had received emails stolen by Russia. While none of these acts amounted to the crime of conspiracy, all could be described as “collusion.”
Pretty thorough, not to mention disturbing, stuff. There's also great, revealing material on the flawed logic behind all the various Trumpnik preemptive defense strategies, like the "double jeopardy" gambit, all the way down to the Nixonian "it's not illegal if the President does it" argument. Anyhoo, it's well worth reading. Of, if you're lazy, at LEAST watch this video about the same topic.


In a world where the President of the United States of America is capable of tweeting out the above "disinfographic" to his millions upon millions of Social Media followers, despite the information contained therein being totally false, created pretty much exclusively to get "white" people to fear and hate Black people even more than they've already been conditioned to over the last few hundred years, it's a damn good thing there exist organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (increasingly despised and lied about by the Far Right, the Alt-Right, and now, increasingly, "mainstream" conservatives) fighting the good fight and setting the record straight with contributions like their excellent report, entitled "The Biggest Lie in the White Supremacist Propaganda Playbook: Unravelling the Truth About Black on White Crime". The Executive Summary declares, in part:
The idea that black people are wantonly attacking white people in some sort of quiet race war is an untruthful and damaging narrative with a very long history in America.  
On a Wednesday night in June 2015, a 21-year-old white man walked into a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and gunned down nine black parishioners taking part in a weekly Bible study group. Dylann Storm Roof sat quietly with the group for about an hour before taking out his Glock pistol and firing 70 rounds, stopping five times to reload. Court testimony revealed that during the shooting Roof said, “Y’all are raping our white women. Y’all are taking over the world.” 
How this horrific violence came to take place traces back to a particularly destructive idea, one as old as the United States itself and rooted in the country’s white supremacy: that black men are a physical threat to white people. The narrative that black men are inherently violent and prone to rape white women, as Roof said during his rampage, has been prevalent for centuries. This idea has served as the primary justification for the need to oppress black people to protect the common — meaning white — good. 
Roof saw himself as a victim standing up for oppressed whites, not as an aggressor. He had a racist “awakening” spurred by online research he did about the 2012 murder of the black high-school student Trayvon Martin. As he wrote in his manifesto, the Martin killing “prompted me to type in the words ‘black on white crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.” 
Roof’s internet search quickly led him to the website of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that claims to document an ignored war against whites being waged by violent black people. Google led Roof down a rabbit hole of hate, leaping from one hate site to the next, many filled with “evidence” that black people are pillaging, raping and murdering white people. 
“There were pages and pages of these brutal black on White murders,” Roof wrote in his manifesto. “I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored.” 
It’s not surprising that a fragile-minded young man who swallowed hate material whole came to see this so-called problem of black-on-white crime as something he had to personally confront. But the resonance of these ideas goes much deeper, infecting the thinking of many prominent people, including public policymakers to this day.
Take then-Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, who in November 2015 tweeted an image that originated from a neo-Nazi account that made exactly the same point as the hate sites Roof was reading. Filled with bogus crime statistics, the graphic Trump tweeted supposedly showed that black people are uniquely violent. The Washington Post found that the data in Trump’s tweet to be false.  
One of the most exaggerated statistics was about the number of white people killed by other white people. Trump’s tweet claimed the number was 16 percent, while the FBI’s data shows it is 82 percent. The tweet also asserted that 81 percent of whites are killed by black people; the FBI number is 15 percent. As the Post concluded, “Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the exact opposite is true. By overwhelming percentages, whites tend to kill other whites. Similarly, blacks tend to kill other blacks. These trends have been observed for decades.” 
It’s not just Trump. The far-right ecosystem repeats versions of these ideas ad nauseum. Relying on “statistics” found in a white supremacist tract, the paleoconservative one-time presidential candidate Pat Buchanan wrote in 2007: “The real repository of racism in America — manifest in violent interracial assault, rape and murder — is to be found not in the white community, but the African-American community.” Until very recently, Breitbart news used a “black crime” story tag. 
Misrepresented crime statistics are a main propaganda point of America’s hate movement, and a pillar of white supremacist thinking in the United States. Stormfront, the oldest hate site on the internet, has thousands of pages devoted to the “issue” of black-on-white crime. 
The idea that black people are wantonly attacking white people in some sort of quiet race war is an untruthful and damaging narrative with a very long history in America. White Americans’ unsubstantiated views about the potential of violence from black people was the number one excuse they used to justify slavery, lynching, Jim Crow and various forms of mass incarceration. Never was Klan violence or the lynching of black people by white people ascribed to an inherent white trait. Without the ability to claim oppression of black people as a form of self-defense, racial segregation and white supremacy would be seen for what they are: rank oppression of other people for financial or other benefit. 
The maze of online white supremacist propaganda that Roof entered into is largely no more. Google cleaned up its search results after the Southern Poverty Law Center publicly exposed the problem in a January 2017 video. When black on white crime is typed into a Google search now, the results return legitimate sources of information, such as the FBI’s crime statistics, mainstream news and academic research.
Okay, so I know that's a LOT of information to absorb. But give me a break... it's a big fuckin' topic. That's why you should probably download the full report and read it at your leisure. I mean, just in case you missed the court case that basically removed all doubt about how conservatives/right-wingers/Republicans are pretty much all racist sacks of shit, if and when they think they might be able to get away with it, check out the linked to a Washington Post article by Christopher Ingraham.


And, finally for today, the Los Angeles Review of Books has published Tony Fonseca's magnificent career overview of Ramsey Campbell, one of yer old pal Jerky's all-time favorite writers in any genre, who just happens to be an absolute master of the Modern English horror story. After starting off on the wrong foot with a terrible title--"Horror For People Who Don't Like Horror"?! NON-sense!--it quickly gets down to business, starting out with a thorough accounting of Campbell's early ouput:
RAMSEY CAMPBELL IS ONE of the most respected authors of weird and dark fiction in the world. Born in 1946, he began reading Lovecraft at the age of eight and began writing when only 11. As a teen, he submitted Ghostly Tales, a self-illustrated collection of 16 stories and a poem, to a reputable publisher, under the name John R. Campbell. Although the stories were rejected because of their genre, the publisher encouraged Campbell to keep writing (the author’s juvenilia was eventually published in 1987, as a special issue of Crypt of Cthulhu magazine). In 1961, Campbell submitted a story to Arkham House’s iconic author/publisher August Derleth. That story, “The Church in High Street,” appeared in the anthology Dark Mind, Dark Heart (1962), edited by Derleth, under the pseudonym J. Ramsey Campbell. It was Campbell’s first professional publication. 
Campbell’s first published book was the Lovecraft-tinged The Inhabitant of the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants (1964), published by Arkham House when he was 18. His collection Demons by Daylight (1973) brought attention to his distinctive style and thematic concerns, and eventually led to a second Arkham House collection, The Height of the Scream (1976). That same year, he published his first novel, The Doll Who Ate His Mother. His second novel, The Face that Must Die (1979), explored dark psychological themes of madness and alienation — themes he would return to throughout his career. He received his first World Fantasy Award in 1978 for the story “The Chimney,” his second in 1980 for “Mackintosh Willy.” His 1980s novels and novellas — The Parasite (1980), The Nameless (1981), Incarnate (1983), The Claw (1983), Obsession (1985), The Hungry Moon (1986), The Influence (1988), Ancient Images (1989), Midnight Sun (1990), and the semi-comic Needing Ghosts (1990) — displayed a newfound interest in switching between the horror, dark fantasy, thriller, and crime genres. 
Campbell hit his stride in the 1990s, publishing his first dark comedy, The Count of Eleven (1991), followed by The Long Lost (1993) and the three novels Campbell fans line up behind when they want to argue for his mastery: The One Safe Place (1995), The House on Nazareth Hill (1996), and The Last Voice They Hear (1998). Campbell has remained prolific, his more recent output including Silent Children (2000), Pact of the Fathers (2001), The Darkest Part of the Woods (2003), Secret Stories (2005), The Grin of the Dark (2007), Thieving Fear (2008), Creatures of the Pool (2009), The Seven Days of Cain (2010), Ghosts Know (2011), The Kind Folk (2012), Think Yourself Lucky (2014), and Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach (2015). Never one to rest on his laurels, he has recently (and incredibly quickly) completed his Three Births of Daoloth trilogy: The Searching Dead (2016), Born to the Dark (2017), and The Way of the Worm (2018). Word has it that yet another novel, The Wise Friend, is due to be published in autumn 2019. 
One of Campbell’s earliest creations was the fictional city of Brichester (of the fictional Severn Valley), around which he constructed an elaborate mythos. He recently returned to the Brichester Mythos in the novella The Last Revelation of Gla’aki (2013). The Three Births of Daoloth trilogy (a.k.a. The Brichester Trilogy, all three titles released by PS Publishing) further develops the cosmic horrors he invented as a young man in The Inhabitant of the Lake. In a 2016 interview with psychology professor and horror author Gary Fry, Campbell explained his motivation for the trilogy: he wanted not only to update the Brichester mythos but also to perfect it, correcting the small mistakes he had made as a young writer. He conceived of the trilogy as a unit, so the series is tightly knit and the vision consistent, even as the story and characters evolve over 60 years. The trilogy is a nod to some of Campbell’s other early influences, such as Arthur Machen, but it was Lovecraft, according to Campbell, who provided the “crucial focus.” In the trilogy, Campbell aims for cosmic terror, calling it “the highest aspiration of the field” because it results in “a sense of awe that can border on the numinous, or more precisely a dark version of that experience.”
Look, I'll probably have more to say about Campbell at some later date, but for now, I'm falling asleep at the computer due to recent bouts of insomnia. In the meantime, you should definitely check out his work, as it is goddamn magnificent. I'm a particular fan of his short works. The anthologies Cold Print (for his Lovecraft-influenced early work), Demons by Daylight, and Dark Companions are all great places to start!


Sometimes I come across interesting stuff in my online travels, and even though it has nothing to do with politics, or conspiracy theories, or my own personal projects, I still want to share it with y'all. This is one of those times. I've always been fascinated by the concept of infinity, and this audio doc series (all presented in a single YouTube video) is the beek's knees. I hope you get as much out of it as I did! - Yer Old Pal Jerky