Yes, Virginia, Trump Really is Hitler.


 

In the last week, we’ve seen an almost comically unbelievable series of events, the sum total of which confirms once and for all that, yes, Donald J. Trump really is a fascist supervillain.

Let’s start with Monday. At a campaign rally in Houston for Tex Cruz’s fading Senate bid, Trump proudly and publicly outed himself as a Nationalist, which, everyone had already figured out long ago, but it’s still not something you come out and say. Even Trump himself acknowledged the toxicity when he said “We’re not supposed to use that word.” Yeah, no shit, Sippy Cup Caligula. Because it’s closely tied to leaders and political movements responsible for the most egregious atrocities of the 20th century. It was the nationalism of the Nazis, Mussolini, the Imperial Japanese, Stalinists, and Mao that killed upwards of a hundred million people. The word kinda has a funk around it for a reason.

But naturally, the capacity crowd of his fawning sycophants ate it up, then took it one step further, returning to the 2016 campaign trail chant of “Lock Her Up!” demanding the extrajudicial arrest and imprisonment of Secretary Clinton, a woman who has been investigated countless times by both her congressional colleagues and the FBI without a single charge ever being brought against her. For his part, Trump egged them on, just the latest example in his long history of normalizing violence against his political opponents.

The very next day, his hard work paid off. A package arrived at the home of Democratic mega-donor and frequent target of Trump’s attacks, George Soros. Inside the plain manila envelope was a crudely-made, yet potentially lethal homemade IED. It proved to be only the first of many. Over the next three days, bombs sent C/O Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz either showed up at, or were intercepted en route to the homes and offices of a dozen prominent Democrats, media institutions, and Trump critics, including the Clintons and Obamas, Vice President Biden, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former head of the CIA John Brennan, Representative Maxine Waters, NY Gov Anthony Cuomo, Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, actor Robert Di Nero, and CNN’s studio in NYC.

Every single one of these people or organizations have, at one time or many, been singled out by Trump either on Twitter or in public addresses for attack. Trump’s rhetoric has been pushing people towards violent action from the moment he launched his fraudulent bid for the White House, threatening to punch people, rough them up, and even pay the legal fees of anyone who beat up protestors. And increasingly, his supporters have been taking him at his word. The Charlottesville rally that columnated in the death of Heather Heyer was only the first incident to capture national attention. The brownshirt gang known as the Proud Boys has been caught physically assaulting counter-protestors in recent weeks as their leader Gavin McGuiness calls for more violence. An affiliated group went so far as to place armed snipers on rooftops during protests in Portland.

The attempted serial bombings of basically the entire Democratic leadership, therefore, cannot be viewed in isolation. It is a continuation and escalation of a trend that has been ongoing for over a year now. It also just happens to represent the largest political mass assassination attempt in our nation’s history, no matter how ineptly implemented.

In the midst of the crisis, as bombs were still being discovered and targets identified, while the identity of the bomber remained unknown, Trump took to Twitter to deliver a bomb of his own.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. This tweet isn’t just Trump’s usual gaslighting and victim-blaming. That’s almost passé at this point. This tweet is something far more sinister. First, it again repeats Trump’s Fake News canard, which is just a dumbed-down version of Hitler’s frequently uttered “lugenpresse” (lying press) slur, a connection not lost on his far right and neo-Nazi followers, who brought lugenpresse back into the popular lexicon during the 2016 campaign.

Secondly, and more importantly, this can only be read as a threat. It is Trump saying, explicitly and unequivocally, that if the press doesn’t stop publishing negative (ie true) stories about him, his followers will continue their attempts to kill them. It is an attempt to use a national crisis to silence his critics through intimidation.

Today, the suspected bomber was arrested, and surprising absolutely no one with more than six braincells to rub together, it turns out he’s an enormous Trump supporter. His van is festooned with so many pro-Trump and anti-Dem stickers that it looks like a racist ice cream truck.

Many people in the media and government have taken to calling these attempted bombings domestic terrorism, but that’s not quite right. Terrorism is a form of asymmetrical warfare the weak use against a superior force. That’s not what we’re seeing here. When supporters of the political party in power use violence to silence or intimidate the minority, that’s not terrorism. It’s fascism.

A point Trump was only too happy to confirm today when speaking to a group of young Republicans in the White House.  Days after declaring himself a Nationalist, Trump came out swinging against ‘Globalists,’ which as anyone who’s been following along with the alt-right for the last few years knows is simply a stand-in for Jewish. Trump knows this, and so did his audience, which immediately started chanting “Soros!” the Jewish philanthropist and Dem donor who had been targeted for death by one of Trump’s own supporters only three days prior. We’re long past dog-whistles, here. No one on team Trump is even trying to hide their fascist tendencies anymore.

Yes, Virginia, Trump really is Hitler, circa 1935. Nov 6th may be our last chance to stop him from going full “45.”

 

Update, 10/27/18: Gods, I hate being right all the time, but literally one day after Trump’s transparent attack on Jews, seven people were shot dead by a gunman at their synagogue in Pittsburg. Yes, Trump knows what he’s saying, and yes, so do his brownshirts. They are receiving and carrying out orders.

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Khashoggi and the Assassination of American Moral Authority

(Photo by Johnny Green – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

As most of you know by now, a bomb went off between US and Saudi relations in the last week over the death of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr. Khashoggi was a voice for change in Saudi Arabia, having founded a progressive newspaper to push against the conservative religious orthodoxy. As a reporter for the Washington Post, he was a frequent and fierce critic of the House of Saud and the Kingdom’s abysmal record of human rights abuses.

Khashoggi is alleged to have been lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was brutally tortured, murdered, and dismembered with a bone saw by a squad of at least fifteen Saudi nationals traveling on diplomatic passports, including Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy, the Kingdom’s preeminent forensic autopsy expert. I’ll save you the more sensational details of the murder, but let’s just say it was some Saw franchise level stuff.

The House of Saud has issued any number of conflicting accounts of what actually happened to Khashoggi, from blankets denials, to asserting that his death was the result of an interrogation gone wrong. Although personally, I can’t imaging bringing a bone saw and autopsy expert to an “interrogation” I expected the subject to survive.

International pressure is mounting on Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud to provide an explanation for the disappearance and probable assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, from everyone except notably the regime currently controlling the United States.

In numerous public statements, *President Trump has defended his friends (read financial backers) in Riyadh with ever more paper-thin excuses and conspiracy theories, from repeating Prince MBS’s “strong denials,” to proposing “rogue killers” who just happened to have more than a dozen diplomatic passports and unrestricted access to a Saudi foreign consulate where the rest of the staff was told to go home early on the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

To say this strains credibility is to torture language itself. Especially since it’s been reported from multiple outlets that the NSA had intelligence saying Khashoggi was in danger from Saudi authorities prior to his disappearance. Intel trump would be aware of if he ever read his morning briefings. So why is Trump toeing the Saudi line?

Well, there’s a number of factors at play here. Trump has said that it’s not our concern because Khashoggi was not a US citizen. This is technically true, Khashoggi was Saudi Arabian, and despite his sparring with the royal family and agitation for basic human rights, he never renounced his citizenship and was viewed as a patriot by most everyone who knew him.

However, he was also a legal permanent resident of the United States. He worked for the Washington Post, one of America’s most prestigious newspapers. And his children are American citizens. To pretend that America has no stake in this man, or visa versa, is obscene.

But then, so is Trump. He has made a public spectacle of his loathing for reporters critical of his administration, and the Washington Post in particular, going so far as to repeatedly call for the United States Postal Service to increase shipping rates for Amazon.com, which just happens to have been founded by WaPo owner Jeff Bezos. Trump is openly fawning of brutal dictators with a history of murdering uppity journalists, such as Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, and of others who have openly attacked freedom of the press in their countries, such as Philippine President Duterte.

It’s not hard to imagine, given his intense bromances with authoritarian strongmen, that Trump himself covets the power to silence his media critics, even if it means their murder. Remember, he could shoot someone on 5th Ave and not lose any voters. He frequently refers to the press as the “Enemy of the People” both online and at his propaganda, sorry, campaign rallies, and his base eats it up. He has been trying to normalize the idea of violence against the press almost since the moment he launched his 2016 election bid. Covering for Saudi Arabia’s violence against their own press is a natural expansion of that effort.

It doesn’t end there, though. Let’s circle back for a moment to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Last year, he took bold action to consolidate his position by arresting more than five-hundred prominent Saudi royals, businessmen, and clerics in what was touted as an “anti-corruption” campaign, but which both domestic and international observers called a political purge. But the most interesting thing about the move from an American standpoint is where he got the names to move against from.

Enter Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump, son in law to Donald Trump, and Macy’s menswear department mannequin animated by a cursed amulet. See, ol’ Jughead, excuse me, Jared, cropped up in this story after Prince Mohammad Bin Salman bragged about Kushner providing him with a classified list of “disloyal” Saudis gleaned from CIA and NSA intel. The prince then used this information to go after his own domestic rivals, not all of whom survived. At least one person on the list died in a mysterious helicopter crash.

Remember, at the time, Kushner was operating on a temporary security clearance due in no small part to the fact he lied hundreds of times on his SF-86 disclosure forms. That amounts to hundreds of felonies, for the curious.

But wait, there’s more! Trump himself has taken to Twitter to proclaim that he has no financial ties to the Saudis, just as he did in response to accusations of his conspiracy with Russia to steal his office. And just like then, this claim is transparently, hilariously false. In reality, Trump’s finances are positively swimming in Saudi money. Don’t take my word for it, Trump has bragged before about how much money the Saudis have dumped into his properties, which, by the way, are almost certainly being used as money laundering fronts for international organized crime. Or you could look to the flurry of companies Trump registered in Saudi Arabia ahead of his installation, sorry, there I go again, inauguration.

So in review, not only is Trump ideologically aligned with journalist-slaughtering autocrats, he’s also deeply in bed with them financially, giving not only him reason to support their goals, but giving them leverage over his behavior, which is kinda why the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution is a thing in the first place. Jimmy Carter sold his peanut farm to avoid any appearance of impropriety, for God’s sake.

Oh, incidentally, freak helicopter crashes aren’t the only dangers of living in Saudi Arabia if you find yourself inconvenient for the Crown Prince, as one of the fifteen Saudis IDed by the Turkish government as being part of the hit squad to murder Khashoggi wound up dead in a car accident. Rotten luck, there.

“But Patrick!” you cry, “You write sci-fi. Why do you care? And why should we care that you care?” Excellent question. While most of you reading this know me as a novelist, fewer of you know me as a political pundit. I’ve had screeds like the above published by platforms such as The Hill, and even the New York Times. I’m not a journalist and have never claimed to be, but I’ve played in their sandboxes. Until recently, I was a strident and public voice against the Trump regime on Twitter, which only came to an end for reasons you can explore in detail here. And above all that, I’m a patriot. I’ve read the Constitution, the original, in person, in the National Archives in DC. There’s a reason unequivocal protections for the press were enshrined in the First Amendment, no matter how much I love the Second.

Which is why I feel compelled, in my own small way on this backwater blog followed by dozens of people, to sound the alarm. An attack on one US-based journalist is an attack on all of them, no matter where it happened or who was responsible. We cannot pretend to respect freedom of the press at home if we don’t also fight for it abroad, especially amongst nations we present as our allies. And any *President who doesn’t believe that, and won’t stand against assaults on the 1st at home or abroad, no matter the reason, deserves to be ripped from office as quickly as possible.

 

If you liked that word salad, subscribe to my email list in the box at the top. If you REALLY liked it, consider pre-ordering my next book, STARSHIP REPO, coming from Tor books in May. Or, you know, buy the other four I already have out. Check my homepage for the links.

Marvel Bows to Hydra, Again

 

It’s happening again.

Just a few hours ago, Star Wars author Chuck Wendig was fired by Marvel comics from their upcoming Shadows of Vader five issue series after he’d already written the first three. The reason given, according to Chuck’s twitter thread about it, was the “negativity and vulgarity” his social media presence brings out, particularly his twitter.

Notice what’s missing there. Not that anything Chuck has said was negative or vulgar, but that it brings out vulgarity. So now, it’s Marvel’s official position that if you’re on the receiving end of vulgar troll attacks, you’re unemployable.

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, abject cowardice on Marvel’s part.

For those of you who don’t know Chuck and his history, he’s been writing for Lucasfilm and Star Wars since 2016’s Star Wars: Aftermath, and has since gone on to complete that trilogy, as well as write the comic adaptations of The Last Jedi, and Hyperion for Marvel’s Star Wars line. In Aftermath, Chuck took the bold step of incorporating the fist canonical gay character in the Star Wars universe. This made a lot of rightwing homophobes very angry, and we were off to the races.

Literally minutes after the midnight release of Aftermath, Chuck became the target of exactly the sort of targeted online harassment organized by alt-right trolls who’ve been hounding me for the last month. They conspired to flood the book’s Amazon page with faked 1 Star reviews to tank its rating and sabotage its sales potential. They mobbed him on Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube with homophobic slurs, doxxing, death threats, everything out of the incel troll playbook that I’ve experienced, except in his case it’s gone on for years and at a much higher volume to match his larger public profile.

And like me, they’ve targeted Chuck for false mass reporting attacks trying to get his 150k follower verified Twitter account permanently suspended by lying about his tweets and their intentions. And they weren’t entirely without success there, either, as Chuck was suspended for five hours this week without Twitter even explaining why they were doing it.

I seriously don’t know how Chuck keeps on top of the amount of bullshit that’s shoveled onto him, but he’s been managing it for more than two and a half years now without sacrificing the quality or volume of his creative output. Which is why it’s so utterly depressing to see Marvel, yet again, caving to pressure from the rightwing manufactured-outrage machine, just as they did three months ago when they fired James Gunn from directing Guardians of the Galaxy III after jackboot-licking, Waffen SS washout Mike Cernovich lead a bad-faith campaign to dig up ten-year-old pedo jokes which Gunn had already apologized for long before he directed the first damned Guardians movie, not because he wanted to protect children, but just to troll and get a “win” against progressives in Hollywood. An egregious mistake they still have not corrected.

And yes, I know Marvel Studios is a separate entity from the Marvel comics imprint, but they’re all under the same umbrella and what one division does impacts the public image of the other. For many years now, Marvel both on screen and in print has been trying to position itself publicly as the place for inclusivity in comics, both in the characters shown, and in the people writing them. Beloved characters like Thor being taken over by Jane Foster, Falcon taking up Captain America’s shield, or Iceman coming out as gay have all told readers that diversity is the word of the day at Marvel.

But on multiple occasions now, when presented with real-world examples of heroes standing up to the forces of intolerance, bigotry, and fascism, Marvel has blinked and capitulated to the very people their storylines have been telling readers to oppose since the earliest days of the X-Men.

And what’s worse, especially in the case of Star Wars “fandom,” is now we know objectively that much if not most of the baying of the rightwing noise factory over the recent direction of Star Wars IS COMPLETELY FAKE. Yes, really, recent investigations into the negative backlash over The Last Jedi have concluded that half or more of the social media accounts posting and tweeting vitriol and hate for Episode VIII were in fact Russian bots or paid trolls working to further divide American society along right vs left fault-lines in their quest to sew discord and influence our elections. And if you think that sounds far-fetched, you haven’t been paying attention and really need to read this piece by Molly McKew about the straight line connection between GamerGate and the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight.

And believe me, that effort didn’t start with TLJ. It was there in the boycotts against The Force Awakens, and it was present in the 34% of 1 Star reviews against Chuck’s SW book, Aftermath, and all of the little jackholes who have been polluting his platform ever since, culminating in his firing today.

I should say, for full disclosure, I have no personal reasons to defend Chuck Wendig. He and I are not friends per se. I’ve met him briefly maybe three times at various conventions, and I think I said something boneheaded to him at San Antonio WorldCon because I was a newbie author trying to be too familiar with a bigshot. Politically, there are a lot of things Chuck and I disagree on, in some cases pretty strongly.

But we agree 100% on trolls and Nazis. And for not the first time, Marvel done him dirty to placate exactly the wrong kinds of people. People toxifying social media and working in secret with a nebulous and hostile foreign organization to poison our culture and usurp our democracy.

Sounds an awful lot like Hydra, right?

How to Find Me Now That Twitter’s Gone to the Dark Side


Hello friends, fans, and followers. As many of you know, a tenacious band of alt-right, shitmitten, cyberstalkers has been doing everything they can to crawl up my ass for the last month, because they’re pathetic nobodies with no purpose or direction in life. However, they have succeeded in tricking Twitter’s pig-ignorant reporting algorithms into banning first my original @stealthygeek account, and today my replacement @patrickstomlin1 account.

It’s annoying, I’ll admit, but it’s a temporary setback I’ve been anticipating for a while now and have taken steps to mitigate. You’re probably wondering where to get your fix of my peculiar blend of political commentary, snark, and brutal takedowns, and fear not, I have you covered.

First of all, and most importantly, you can subscribe to my email list in the box right above you. I’ll only be using this list to send out pertinent updates when a new blog post goes up, or when I have big news about a new book, promotion, con appearance, etc. No boner pills, I promise. So stick your email up in my box and I’ll fill up yours. Fair? Fair.

For a couple months now, I’ve been boosting my YouTube Channel with original content, including political commentary, stand-up sets, and random nerdy shit. Hit me up, watch a vid or two, and subscribe. I’ll try to be good about updating it at least weekly.

I also run an Author page on Facebook, where I cut out the politics and stick to just the skinny on my publishing career. Throw it a like, if you like.

I bit the bullet and got on Instagram a while back. I still don’t understand the ecosystem, but I’m doing my best. Follow me there @pstomlinson.

If you’re a particularly bookish type as I am, you probably already have a Goodreads account. Miraculously, so do I! You can friend or follow me at my Goodreads Author Profile to see what I have coming out, what I’m reading, and reviews of whatever I actually manage to finish.

Finally, and maybe most usefully, Amazon actually lets you follow your favorite authors and will email you updates whenever they have a new release coming out. Never get caught off guard and miss a surprise sequel again. My Amazon page is here. Follow me, and while you’re there, it wouldn’t kill you to preorder STARSHIP REPO, coming from Tor Books in May. Trust me, it’s going to kick ass.

Anyway, that’s enough shameless self-promo for one day. Tomorrow I promise to put up a blog post half as self-serving, at a minimum. Thanks for swinging by, and don’t forget to spread the word on the socials.