Posted tagged ‘Austria’

01.29.17 Watch your words

January 29, 2017

What we call things makes a difference (note the Tea Party use of “Death Panels” — this was no accident). Here are two vocabulary changes I am now adopting:

  • I will not refer to the cabal that temporarily rules our country as an “administration” or “government.” Rather it will always be “Trump regime,” “GOP regime,” and (when I think even that is too gentle), “fascist regime.” Regime conveys the illegitimacy of the racist authoritarians in power and their contempt for the norms of democracy and rule of law.
  • I will make few, if any, further references to Great Britain or the United Kingdom. It is the racists of England who produced Brexit, just as the racists of the United States brought us our regime. The other nations that make up the UK had nothing to do with it. And as England carries this noxious policy through (led by PM Theresa May, who has appointed herself Trump’s lapdog, making even the ever- docile Tony Blair’s relationship with W look well adjusted), Scotland will certainly leave. So, “Little England” will be left (perhaps with its own lapdog, Wales, and perhaps with Northern Ireland in order to keep the Troubles from erupting again). Little England is a contemptuous moniker for a once-great nation that will deserve the international isolation it ends up with.

I maintain a “boycott list”: countries I will never set foot in because their people have chosen a path of racism, authoritarianism, and/or aggression. I am hereby adding Little England to that list, which now includes Austria, Hungary, Israel, Poland, and Russia. (Elections in Russia are hardly free and fair, but with Putin’s astronomical approval ratings, we know where the Russian people stand.) If I weren’t a US citizen, this country would certainly be on my boycott list, at least until the current regime were replaced.

©2017 Keith Berner


04.01.15 Thank you, Indiana. Thank you Arkansas.

April 1, 2015

I just love it when places where I would have no interest in going to under any circumstances manage to convince the rest of the world to stay away. Really, why would anyone ever want to go to Indiana or Arkansas? What is so gratifying is to observe the enormous backlash against those two centers of fundamentalism and bigotry. It’s a big deal when Apple’s Tim Cook opines in the in the Washington Post:

This isn’t a political issue. It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous.”

Heck, even Walmart – a corporation every liberal loves to hate – has put out forceful statements against discrimination in recent days.

Of course the dozen or so GOP presidential hopefuls deliciously don’t get it. Even the supposedly moderate Jeb Bush showed his love to Indiana bigots. Why is this delicious? As Dana Milbank pointed out yesterday, the GOP is back to fighting the Culture War. But, this ain’t 2002 anymore. The more the party of know-nothings continues to focus on a return to the Dark Ages, the more they alienate needed voters (as if their utter inability to put forth a positive agenda or conduct the basic fundamentals of governing weren’t damaging enough).

But, wait: the schadenfreude isn’t done! In coming days or weeks, Indiana and Arkansas are going to walk this back. You see, the party of preachers loves the Almighty Dollar more than they love their hard-right God Almighty. Though I find the views of religious zealots offensive, there is something respectable about having the courage of one’s convictions. What we are now going to witness is a spectacle of people who truly loathe homosexuals pretending they don’t. Why? Because their wallets are threatened by the commitment of cities, businesses, and individuals across the country to just say no. For shame: if you’re going to hate, a few bucks shouldn’t be enough to buy your love.

Now, I won’t care when the hypocrites rescind or amend these hateful laws. I’m in it for life: Not only will I never set foot in either of those states (exception: I’d be willing to drive through Indiana if I were on my way to Chicago), but I will stay the fuck out of most of Red America. Not this week. Not this month. Forever.

The key for me in deciding what places to boycott is when the popular will in those places chooses fascism or bigotry. Examples of places I’ll never set foot include Austria (which elected the infamous Kurt Waldheim president after his association with the Nazis came to light), Hungary (where the hard-right, anti-Semitic regime of Viktor Orban controls about 2/3 of parliament), and Israel (which just gave the racist Benyamin Netanyahu yet another term of office).

©2015 Keith Berner