There are weird times, unsettling times, and then times that make you wonder if the entire universe hadn’t slipped into the grasp of some gibbering Chaos god content to cause widespread destruction and upheaval for the simple pleasure of moving things around.
What does that moment feel like, that first sign that perhaps everything has gone off the rails, when normal slowly starts to drift away and a new reality rips through spacetime, shattering all former probability clouds like a burst from an orgone cannon?
Judging from the recent actions of Il Duce Trump I’ve begun seriously wondering if it’s time to set up an altar to Lord Tzneetch, Changer of Ways. We are in the shit folks, and what we’ve seen is only the first rumbles of a much darker future ahead of us…
“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” – Richard M. Nixon
Where can one begin? Here from the faraway peninsula of Florida, Trump’s executive actions had rung out like sniper fire: He’s frozen scientific research spending, ripped the teeth out of the EPA with a claw hammer, instituted a federal hiring freeze, opened up all pipelines, begun to kill Obamacare, and put a ban on Muslim immigrants from select countries.
Horrible, horrible things, yet no doubt expected. Trump is doing exactly what he said he would, a fact seemingly alien to the vast amounts of liberals who only weeks ago were smugly predicting Trump would get into office and use the same rulebook they’d perfected.
“Sure Trump talked a good game,” said a woman who assured me her sights were already on 2020, “but once he gets into office he’ll be no different than anybody else. Obama said a lot, Hillary did, it’s all part of the game. He’s not going to start rounding people up.”
“Plainclothes agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, wearing jeans and t-shirts, have raided the Multnomah County Courthouse in the last two weeks, seizing at least three undocumented immigrants, according to reports gathered by the ACLU of Oregon.
On Friday, five agents arrived at a diversion program for people who had been charged with driving under the influence, according to Mat dos Santos, ACLU of Oregon’s legal director, who has been collecting accounts from defense attorneys, in effort to monitor President Donald Trump’s policies.
Dos Santos says the number of people arrested remains unconfirmed. Defense lawyers tell WW the number is at least three people over the past two weeks, but is likely higher.”
Nothing quite says fascism like plainclothes agents snatching up immigrants unawares, leading them to uncertain futures at federal detention facilities nobody ever seems to see. Luckily this is a nation of Law and Order, and Multomah County Courthouse officials soon condemned the act. Even Trump’s Muslim ban was quickly challenged in the courts and supposedly frozen until lawyers could argue about what an Imperial president could do.
I say supposedly for a reason. Southerners with a long memory easily recall the case of Worcester v. Georgia, where the Supreme Court reversed the decision of Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and held that Indian nations were sovereign and had natural rights to land. Andrew Jackson, known shitlord and wanton hellbeast with a thirst for native blood, famously delivered a line that would echo across the centuries and meet us firmly in the present day:
“[Judge] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”
The gist? Something like this:
US Customs and Border Protection agents are ignoring a federal judge’s stay on President Trump’s immigration blacklist against seven majority Muslim countries and deporting people legally traveling to the states, according to attorneys representing those detained at airports across the country.
…Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, told reporters on Sunday, according to the Guardian. “A lot of people have been handcuffed, a lot of people who don’t speak English are being coerced into taking involuntary departures.”…
The Department of Homeland Security promised to comply with the federal court orders while hinting that little had actually changed.
“The president’s executive orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” the statement said.
Attorney Christine Brandt has confirmed that under this scenario, the court would send Federal Marshals to arrest the Border Patrol agents.
Meanwhile U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, who is also an attorney and a law professor, attempted to gain access to the Dulles detainees less than an hour ago, but was turned away by Border Patrol agents. That means the agents are refusing to allow the detainees access to an attorney seeking to represent them, and turning away a Congressman who was attempting to act upon a federal court ruling. And his fellow Congressman Gerry Connolly was spotted moments ago at the airport, yelling at the Border Patrol headquarters over the phone and demanding that they comply with the federal court order.
A lot of demands from people who don’t have the power to enforce them, and even the most die-hard believer in the “fairness” of the police had a hard time picturing federal agents literally putting each other in handcuffs.
“The difference between the student radicals and the Hell’s Angels is that the students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future…”
Politics, like many things, doubles as stimulant in the right hands, and the weeks after the inauguration were the purest form of the drug I had ever tasted in 27 years. Nothing sort of unfiltered madness and brazen authoritarianism seemed to be pouring out of every news article and every press release. Media outlets ran coverage that seemed totally at odds with one another and nobody seemed to have a clue as to what would happen next; like a small child falling into a pit of vipers you simultaneously held hope that everything would be okay yet knew that everything was entirely fucked.
Trump was not just “any politician” but the walking embodiment of everything we’d ever feared an American politician might do. He had been given a mandate to run the country as he pleased and nobody was going to tell him what to do.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Steve Bannon said during a rare interview with The New York Times on Wednesday.
“I want you to quote this,” Bannon told the Times. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”…
“That’s why you have no power,” Bannon said. “You were humiliated.”
A strain of politics much purer and more jagged than anything to limp or stutter out of past presidencies, only the most brain-dead hippy could take Bannon’s comments as anything other than a full declaration of war: the people, the media, hell the whole country was to be treated as a conquered people.
We were entering a new era and it would demand a new kind of rebellion.
My idea was simple: A group of political radicals organized along the lines of the Hell’s Angels, a club where each member could count on one another and attacks against the State could be launched. The group would have a magical bent, monthly meetings loaded with ritual, and slowly plant the seeds for a riotous tribe of Anarchist wizards who shot guns, grew organic food, and used magic and might to protect those now at the mercy of Trump.
“No no,” one shaman that doubled as a merchant marine told me. “Things aren’t that bad yet. We need to be much more general and benign to attract the right people. I was thinking more along the lines of Temple of high sorcery. You know the kind of the place where we turn our backs on humanity and Society in general and only intervene at specific pressure points when we feel it’s necessary?”
Meanwhile Giuliani was telling anybody that would listen that this was indeed a Muslim ban while “journalists” in Washington quibbled over the “tone” of press releases…
“After a while, it got to be all normal. None of it seemed like crime. It was more like Henry was enterprising…”
President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and demoting the director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Let me repeat that for you: Steve Bannon, living vessel of the Alt-Right, the same guy whose website described the Black Lives Matter movement as “nothing more than sacrifices to the cause of empowering the elite few who control the levers of Central Government,” will now be a highly valued voice in any discussion involving everything from drone strikes to targeted assassinations.
“There appears to be a very tight “inner circle,” containing at least Trump, Bannon, Miller, Priebus, Kushner, and possibly Flynn, which is making all of the decisions. Other departments and appointees have been deliberately hobbled, with key orders announced to them only after the fact, staff gutted, and so on…
Last Sunday, Kellyanne Conway (likely another member of the inner circle) said that “It’s really time for [Trump] to put in his own security and intelligence community,” and this seems likely to be the case…
Especially if combined with the DHS and the FBI, which appear to have remained loyal to the President throughout the recent transition, this creates the armature of a shadow government: intelligence and police services which are not accountable through any of the normal means, answerable only to the President.”
This should be cause for alarm, perhaps even widespread panic, and indeed I thought it was when I attended a meeting to “plan the apocalypse” with what I assumed were fellow radicals.
The clothing should’ve been a hint I was drastically out of my element: my blue air-force windbreaker, emblazoned with a dancing grim reaper patch that said “Life’s A Joke,” was a stark contrast to the natural dyes, dreadlocks, and earth tones I began to swim in. The “plan,” revealed in a haze of cigarette smoke, was apparently to buy land in the Philippines, hire a bunch of natives, and live in treehouses off the grid.
In short, colonize an island and tame it with our own pocket proletariat.
Questions of whether I would be allowed to fire high-caliber revolvers within village limits were met with disdain; I was as equally put-off by discussions of “forming a corporation” and paying locals “more than they’d usually make, but not too much” for domestic servitude.
While I puzzled over what madness might inspire someone to found a tree-top ayuhasca compound in a country who’s president compares his slaughter of drug users to the likes of Hitler the Trump Train kept on rolling.
Sean Spicer defended Bannon’s appointment, noting it was perfectly normal to have one’s Chief Political Führungsoffizier on the Reich Cabinet, plans were being drafted to scrap what little regulations existed on big banks and overtime pay, and a little farther down the line legislation would be introduced that would effectively kill Unions once and for all.
But the big shock came on the night of January 30th, when Trump fired his acting Attorney General and acting head of Immigration Enforcement for not being loyal to him and having the audacity to question the legality of his actions.
My head practically exploded when I heard the news.
Abject terror and shock filled the room. This was it. This was the moment when everything went wild and nobody knew what to do. Power had been seized and its limits being tested. He was popular with the police, the military. If Trump went further who would stop him?
My mind thrust into my body, assaulted by images. A swirl of implications and possibilities swirled before me. Maybe there was something to this Russia business, some kind of grand deal. Putin sits at a large oak table, casually showing Trump how China harvests organs from prisoners on several televisions around the room. He talks quietly over the screams of agony. “You know China wants to be number one,” he says, “We don’t want that, neither do you. Join us and you’ll be rewarded.”
Hell of a play, simply stunning. A new alliance: Russia and the US, now both authoritarian, standing against “communist” China. My gods, it made sense didn’t it? Why else had China just put nuclear missiles on its border with Russia? Why would the supposed leaker of a supposedly fake dossier suddenly wind up dead? Why would 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company and the very same company mentioned in the infamous Pissing Dossier, be sold to parties unknown in an array of shell companies at almost exactly the same amount supposedly offered to Trump?
By the gods, how deep did this thing go? How large was the plan here? “You’ll be strong, you’ll have religion,” Putin continues, “free to do as you want. Do you know how China treats its people? Do you want that for the world? Only together can we keep them at bay.” Trump nods, authoritarian rule the only way to go, too much to risk to put it in the little people’s hands. Look how well it worked for Russia, he’d think, they were doing what needed to be done, what had to happen for survival. Besides the people had chosen him….
“Look buddy, my job here is to keep the peace, and if I have to break a few heads to do it, then a few people are going to be hurting…”
Wild, unhinged speculation, though here in the South we call it “circumstantial evidence” and it’s enough to get you killed. Would we ever know the truth? Gary Webb found the truth, told it to a world that promptly ignored him and ended up “committing suicide” with two rounds to the head.
That’s where Trump and his minions have always had the upper hand: people are so focused on the obvious they are failing to see the spectral hands moving behind the scene. Even amid the intentional murkiness of whatever the hell is actually happening on this godforsaken rock outlines can be observed, small hints that signal potentialities brimming with energy and rushing towards manifestation. Trump’s presidency then is perhaps best looked at with a Sorcerer’s Eye or at least a Gambler’s Gut.
Quiz time: if you were working a spell to fundamentally change the structure of a country, what exactly would you make of an omen like this:
“I’m a Leninist…Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
As of this writing the US Court of Appeals has decided to suspend all enforcement of the Muslim Ban. Good. Great. That doesn’t change the fact that while radicals are still counting their pennies Trump is cashing in big.
Here’s his real victory: ICE agents were told to disobey a lawful order and obey the president. They did. Those that disagreed or questioned the policies of the president were fired. In one fell swoop this administration established who is loyal to it, what they can get away with, and where any resistance might come from. A tone has been set, a precedent established. What we are witnessing is a vast realignment towards full-blown authoritarianism happening right in front of our faces and by god whole sections of the federal government strongly support it.
Trump is not a normal politician. Bannon is not a normal adviser. This administration does not want to “return” to anything. They see themselves as the last hope for a “decadent” and “weak” people unprepared for the nightmare realm looming before them and predicted by the pentagon:
This isn’t power for power’s sake, which is something well-meaning Democrats and many radicals fail to understand. This isn’t about returning to a “simpler time” or a more “conservative” style of governance. Bannon has made this clear. The events of January 30th, and the ones that will follow, will be about forging a new America, one capable of destroying anything in its path on a planet where more than a million of Earth’s land-dwelling plants and animals are on the way to extinction and Europe is set to ban all financial transactions they can’t monitor.
Bannon has said he predicts open war with China in 10 to 15 years, the kind of conflict that requires the entire marshaling of American economic and political output to be successful. Nothing is more dangerous than a man who believes he’s the last hope for anything, and if that anything happens to be an entire country nothing is off the table.
During the 1990s, two amateur historians, Neil Howe and the late William Strauss, developed a new theory of American history in two books, Generations: the History of America’s Future (1991), and The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy (1997).…Bannon focused on the key aspect of their theory, the idea that every 80 years American history has been marked by a crisis, or “fourth turning,” that destroyed an old order and created a new one…
Bannon had clearly thought a long time both about the domestic potential and the foreign policy implications of Strauss and Howe. More than once during our interview, he pointed out that each of the three preceding crises had involved a great war, and those conflicts had increased in scope from the American Revolution through the Civil War to the Second World War. He expected a new and even bigger war as part of the current crisis, and he did not seem at all fazed by the prospect.
How often do you think your “rights” will factor in shaping those policies? How much leeway do you think “civil disobedience” will be given? You thinking the fucking LAWS are going to stop these people? By Jupiter’s beard, Reuters is talking about bringing the skills they learned in “China, Zimbabwe, and Russia” home and you want to talk to me about running for city council?
Times ain’t what they used to be and unless we can confront the grim and brutal reality manifesting in front of us our protests and anger will be for naught. You want a roadmap for the future of politics? Inscribe these phrases deep into your mind: might makes right, the only crime is getting caught, and the devil will indeed take the hindmost. Lonesome moons now rise over a nation where the rule of law is merely a stick to be stepped over or a cudgel to kill and this is only the beginning; the stars are right for an era that will change everything and determine the future course of the entire continent for years to come.
We have but one question to answer: TO WHOM WILL IT BELONG?
Dr. Bones is a conjurer, card-reader and egoist-communist who believes “true individuality can only flourish when the means of existence are shared by all.” A Florida native and Hoodoo practitioner, he summons pure vitriol, straight narrative, and sorcerous wisdom into a potent blend of poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.