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Knowing you can’t run from their jokes, bus drivers will crack a few, so on the endless leg from Washington to Atlanta, the driver intoned, “I don’t believe in Lost and Found, ladies and gentlemen, only eBay. If you forget something on this bus, you can find it on eBay.” Later, he chastised us all because someone had pissed on the toilet’s floor.

As the cheapest means of traveling long distance, MegaBus is bare-boned. Most stops have no shelter, so no bathrooms. Riders may have to wait for their bus, which may be quite late, in withering heat, snow, sleet or hurricane. In Atlanta, however, there’s the amenity of a MegaBus snack truck that also sells pregnancy tests ($3), tasers ($20) and pepper sprays ($7).

What perils could possibly befall these downtrodden or cheapskate travelers? Use your imagination. If Donald Trump sat next to you and grabbed your pussy, wouldn’t you be glad you had bought that pepper spray or taser? If these failed to dissuade our commander-in-chief, you could use your pregnancy test in the bus’ john. Of course, those in the middle class or above would likely shudder at the thought of riding Greyhound, much less MegaBus.

On the bus, there was an actual comedian, Chris Thomas. As “The Mayor,” Thomas had hosted RapCity, a show on Black Entertainment Television. His best loved joke, “I saw this little white girl the other day. She said, ‘You have such big lips! I wish I had lips like yours!’ I said, ‘Bitch, hold still,’” and Thomas bunches his fist. Soft spoken, The Mayor never aimed for humor before getting off in Charlotte.

The MegaBus stop in Atlanta is right outside the CivicCenter subway station, and when it’s very cold, passengers go underground to escape the wind. I saw a ragged, middle-aged black man, likely homeless, dancing quite cheerfully. Laughing, a woman joined him. They jerked and twisted. “I’m dreaming of a black Christmas!” she growled.

There is much to love about the South, and not the least is its food. Soon after arriving in Atlanta, I had some excellent collard greens and mac and cheese with my meatloaf at Metro Deli Soul Food. About half of the merchants inside Sweet Auburn Curb Market were black, but there were also several Korean grocers.

The new South is more diverse than you think. In North Charleston in 2012, I chanced upon Lion’s Den, a bar in a black neighborhood that was owned by an Indian-American. Living there since 1982, the confident, affable man had even run for city council. He boasted of carrying four passports, American, English, Kiwi and Indian, and had visited 53 countries. His bar was decorated with a “WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS” banner and statues of Shiva, Parvati and Buddha.

Of course, two Southern states, Louisiana and South Carolina, gave us our first two Indian-American governors.

In the hills of Tennessee, an old, befuddled lady told me, “My doctor, you know, he’s not black. He’s something.” She meant Indian.

Each time I travel through the South, I’m struck by the waning of its accent. Attending high school in Northern Virginia from 1978-81, I heard Southern accents much more often than I have in recent trips to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. True, I haven’t wandered into rural areas, but it’s sad that natives of Savannah, Raleigh or Charleston, for example, should sound more or less like Yankees.

While television and movies have homogenized American English, the disappearance of the Southern accent can also be attributed to the national media’s relentless shaming of the South. Tired of being depicted as racist morons, many Southerners have neutered and deformed their speech.

The South still knows that Washington is the enemy, but this cognitive advantage is canceled out if you hate yourself. In Durham, I saw a sticker, “GOOD NIGHT WHITE PRIDE,” with one man about to slam a bicycle on another man, sitting on the ground. I had seen the same sticker in Leipzig, Germany.

How bad can the South be if blacks from all parts of the country are moving there? Often referred to as the capital of Black America, Atlanta has many thriving black businesses, including a bank, Citizens Trust, and a car dealer, Wade Ford Inc, that rakes in half a billion bucks yearly.

In Sweet Auburn, I encountered a tiny yet remarkable business owned by one Big Mouth Ben. What attracted me to it was a bicycle that was mostly wrapped in bright yellow tape, with an orange sign above it, “DREAMS AHEAD / PROCEED WITH DETERMINATION.”

There was also a flyer, “I WENT FROM BEING HOMELESS ON AUBURN AVE TO BEING A BUSINESS OWNER ON AUBURN AVE! COME INSIDE TO HEAR THE STORY.”

At six-years-old, Big Mouth Ben saw, at a gas station, a man return a Coke bottle for ten cents, “My eyes got that big!” so he filled his red cart that day with empties and made two bucks.

Though scoring 98 on his ASVAB to join the Air Force, Big Mouth Ben was also accepted by the University of Georgia, so he attended and thrived, but dropped out after three years to become a rap star, for he had made a name for himself in Athens.

Back in Atlanta, Big Mouth Ben floundered as a rapper, so he secured a government office job, but quit to co-found a mail-order business. He wanted to be a millionaire by 30, and a billionaire by 40. After thriving for several years, his cash cow was poleaxed by online shopping.

Destitute, Big Mouth Ben sold drugs and got hooked himself. Still, he managed to find work as a garbage man, and actually “loved it,” until a reckless car crushed his pelvis. “It was excruciating pain. If you offered me billions of dollars to go do that again, I wouldn’t do it,” he told Wesley Shelby Jr., a television host.

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After willing himself through rehabilitation, Big Mouth Ben could swagger again, so used his wheelchair as a cart to peddle soft drinks, water and snacks on the streets. Always a hustler, he also sold add spaces on his modest wheels. “If you want to sell it, let me tell it.”

Wheelchairs can’t fly, however, so Big Mouth Ben switched to a bicycle, and this he wrapped in bright yellow tape, for it represented sunshine. Now, Big Mouth Ben could push refreshment in The Bluff, West End, Kirkwood, College Park and Riverdale, etc. Our hero was everywhere. A recent rap explains:

Man, I love these streets,
But, man, these streets,
They f$$k wit me.
East Point, they f$$k wit me.
Decatur, they f$$k wit me.
[…]
Big Mouth Ben loves the streets.
The streets love Big Mouth Ben.
I show you nothing but love,
And most of them are my friends.
Man, I’m well connected.
Man, I’m well respected.
[…]
Robbing me, you might get jumped
By these bystanders.
[…]
Keep my foot on the pedal.
I hustle so hard,
I deserve a gold medal.
Keep money in my pocket.
I know that’s what you don’t like.
I ain’t worried about you, though.
I got it all on my bike.
[…]
I stayed down and I prayed.
I stayed down and I made.
My dream now a reality,
I got it made in the shade.
[…]
Atlanta is my city,
For all the love they show me.

Big Mouth Ben couldn’t quite shake his drug habit, however, so he ended up homeless and curled up, on cardboard, under an overpass. “What turned everything around was a spiritual awakening.”

God leveled with Big Mouth Ben, “I promised to love you, regardless. If you want to be under the bridge, I’ll love you under the bridge. If you want to go to prison, I’ll love you in prison. But it’s up to you, where you want to be loved.”

Big Mouth Ben got clean, applied himself and the result is a convenience store that also sells hoodies and T-shirts that say, “CAME FROM NOTHING.” Big Mouth Ben raps, “I really want success, so I act like it. I want to see a million, so I act like it […] Determination is my weapon, so I’m acting like it.”

What a pleasure it was to meet this gentle and gregarious man with a crooked mouth. I also caught a glimpse of Tanya, his college sweetheart and wife.

Continuing down the street, I entered EbenezerBaptist Church. Smallish and plain, it has a grand place in American history thanks to its former pastor, Martin Luther King Jr.

There were less than a dozen visitors in the dimly lit church. Settling into a pew, I listened to a recorded sermon which spoke of being fiscally responsible.

King always preached personal responsibility. In a 1957 sermon about “loving your enemies,” King said, “We must face the fact that an individual might dislike us because of something that we’ve done deep down in the past, some personality attribute that we possess [...] and we’ve forgotten about it; but it was that something that aroused the hate response within the individual. That is why I say, begin with yourself. There might be something within you that arouses the tragic hate response in the other individual.” Examine yourself first, King advised. In contrast to our political correctness, King never absolved nor indicted an entire race.

King was a father-figure not just to his flock, but to millions of Americans as he rose in stature. To his critics, though, he was just a sex maniac and plagiarist, just a hypocrite and phony, in short, but what they really object to, I believe, is King’s vision of a colorblind, post-racial America. Not only that, they don’t think it’s possible.

King didn’t just focus on race but class, and he charged that the state robbed its citizens to wage war endlessly, so of course it killed him. Its nemesis silenced, the state then named streets after King, honored him with a national holiday, erected a huge Made-in-China statue of him in DC and, most ironically, deforms his legacy to ensure ongoing racial division and strife. Since identity politics enrages all of us all the time, it’s a most useful tool for the state. Fragment and strangle. Dead, King serves the state.

After eight years of our first black or, rather, biracial president, the country is riven by racial divisions, with the media looking everywhere for evidence of white racism only. Everybody else is a victim, for they’re all penned together, most racistly, as “people of color.”

That evening, I went to Little Five Points to check out its lively cluster of shops and bars. At FinleyPlaza, I encountered half a dozen Black Israelites, preaching. I had seen their brethren in Philly, Washington and Minneapolis. Like Black Muslims, they also believe whites are devils, thus unredeemable. Between strident outbursts, a Black Israelite calmed down, chuckled and explained to another black man, “Of course, I’d like to kill most of them, and keep the rest as slaves, but until then, I can only spread the good words.”

At his feet was a sign, “We Are The True Chosen Nation Of The Bible / The Twelve Tribes of Israel,” with each of them black, Hispanic or Native American. Beware of any “chosen people,” for what could be more suprematist or racist? Such a concept, seriously embraced, allows any man, tribe or nation to enslave, loot or murder with righteousness.

In the mild weather, I strolled among the bar hoppers, heard their laughter and noticed stores named Fearless Weirdos, Criminal Records, Posse Riot and World Piece. At a wig shop, there was a flyer, “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.” Nearby, a young beggar sat in the semi-dark, his cup empty.

After two pints in Brewhouse Cafe, I exited to discover I was gravely underdressed, for the temperature had plummeted. Heading for the train, I passed two gutter punks lying on grass, with only one in a sleeping bag.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Poverty 

Say Ann Arbor and people will think of Michigan football, with the second biggest stadium in the entire world, behind only North Korea’s Rungrado May Day Stadium. The annual marijuana rally, Hash Bash, may also come to mind.

Downtown is filled with hip cafés, trendy shops, comfy brewpubs and sophisticated restaurants. These kids have money, I thought as I roamed around, searching for cheap beer. In-state tuition, in turns out, is $28,776, and out of state is $59,784. Michigan has plenty of international students, most notably Chinese.

At Curtain Call, the 30-something bartender, Chris, was from Hawaii. Her dad owned a Maui bar close enough to the beach for surfers to down a few at dawn before hitting the waves. Sounded like paradise. Chris couldn’t work for her old man, however, because he was so cheap, so she ended slinging beer in Ann Arbor. Chris had originally gone there to study biochemistry at the university.

This was her first Friday night off in eleven years, Chris confessed, “I don’t know what to do with myself.”

“You should go somewhere and drink.”

“It’s been eleven years since I can do that!”

“That’s interesting.”

“For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s one drink or ten drink, I’ll still get a headache in the morning.”

“You should drink ten then!”

We laughed.

Jewish, Chris told me Ann Arbor’s best deli was Zingerman’s.

In my late 20’s, I took a girl to a Philly diner. I ordered chicken liver, a favorite to this day. Maria looked at me in horror, “What the fuck are you eating?! Chicken shit?!”

Did I tell you that Jews have been most instrumental in my life? In college, my three most supportive professors, Boris Putterman, Stephen Berg and Eileen Neff, were Jews, with Berg and Neff practically my surrogate parents, they nurtured me so much. Berg bought a painting of mine to put over his fireplace, and lent me money several times. My fiction publisher, Dan Simon, is Jewish, and Jewish Ron Unz has treated me better than any other webzine editor. Novelist Matthew Sharpe has talked me up in the fiction world. I can go on and on. Hell, my first date was with a Jewish girl, and I even lost my virginity to a Jew! I traveled through remote northwest Vietnam with photographer Mitch Epstein, and with 6-9 Lloyd Luntz, explored the Mekong Delta. Jews swarm me, fill my head, course through my veins. I can go on and on.

My next time at Curtain Call, I chatted with a 28-year-old who wished he was 25. “My last birthday, I said it was the 3rd anniversary of my 25th.”

Overhearing this, a guy down the bar shouted, “I wish I was 50!”

Another old head jumped in, “I wish I was 60!”

With two friends threatening suicide, I brought up the topic to this just-arrived, incipient man who’s already mourning his lost youth. “Don’t do it before you’re 50!” I joked.

Outside the FederalBuilding on Liberty Street, I ran into two people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their signs, “I STAND WITH STANDING ROCK,” “CAN’T DRINK OIL / WATER IS LIFE / #NODAPL” and “BE A TSUNAMI,” among others.

Jeff’s a retired lawyer, and Mary’s a former elementary school teacher who worked at Crazy Wisdom, a tea room and bookstore. This month’s book picks include Mediumship: An Introductory Guide to Developing Spiritual Awareness and Intuition, Magicians of the Gods: Fingerprints of the Gods, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin and The Education of Will: a Mutual Memoir of a Woman and her Dog.

I asked what they were about. Jeff, “If you feel connected to Mother Earth, then you’re going to protect Mother Earth, and you’re going to relate to the Native Americans, and what they stand for. We don’t own any of this. We think we own it, but that’s an illusion.”

Ellen, “People will say I’m not doing it, but we’re all one, so we are all doing it. We live in homes that use electricity and gas. The America first mindset has been going on for a while. Not enough of us realize that we are one with the rest of the world. If they starve, so do we. Our hearts do, even if our bodies are not. I feel responsible for the world.”

“So what are you doing personally to help?” I asked.

“Personally, I am keeping my temperature lower. I’m using less water. I am signing every petition that comes my way that I believe in. I’m contributing money to the bigger organizations that I feel can, perhaps, get their voice heard more than I can.

“So many people don’t know any different, and so they assume that everything they’re doing is fine. Many people don’t know that a lot of people in the world are suffering. They just don’t understand, and if they do know, they don’t care. It’s not their own family.

“My own stepson and his family, they work at home, they love their children, they’re good people, but he says, ‘This is my world.’ It’s his home and his family.”

Jeff, “I think the culture is so isolating. You get in your car and you drive around. You look at your phone all day. We do things that separate us, you know.

“Look where we are, close to Detroit, where they make automobiles. For me, I don’t particularly enjoy driving around in a car all day.”

I brought up the election. Ellen, “What happened is a huge amount of people who felt like they didn’t have a voice, and it was a contemptuous voice, were given it by he who should not be president. And, they feel really good now, but nothing is really going to happen for them, but they were heard. To be heard is going to be enough for them for a while.

“I do yoga with a quite introspective man, and he thinks something went wrong with America this time. It’s been building up, and I’ll admit that Hillary was a part of it too, but this election is proof positive that we are fucked!”

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Jeff, “People need to speak up, and not be afraid to speak up, you know, whatever their conscience is. I’m not a fan of the media at all. People will try to steer you in their direction. You need the courage to stand alone and be a voice, a different voice. It takes courage to do it.”

Ellen, “It does, it does, and courage isn’t something Americans have in huge, ah, commodity.”

College towns proliferate in approved political statements, so in Ann Arbor, I saw a “Black Lives Matter” banner at a church, “Black Lives Matter” signs outside homes, a rainbow flag in front of a church with “God is still speaking” and a “WITH ISRAEL WE STAND” sign at a liquor store, etc. A house displayed a “PEACE” rainbow flag and a bed sheet painted with “WE SUPPORT OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS.”

Nowhere did I see “STOP BOMBING MUSLIMS,” “STOP SUPPORTING THE TERROR STATE OF ISRAEL” or “STOP SLANDERING AND PROVOKING RUSSIA.”

A progressive American is mostly a jerked puppet who’s outraged solely at preselected triggers. At his Deir Yassin Remembered website, lifelong Ann Arbor resident Henry Herskovitz explains:

Jackie Robinson and Jewish Power

Emotions naturally flare at watching the PBS special shown on MLK day of the career of baseball icon Jackie Robinson. Who could not grow emotional when reminded that Jackie and wife Rachel were bumped twice from the planes carrying them to a spring training camp in Florida? What outrage is felt by viewers recognizing that this discrimination they experienced came merely because of the color of their skin and nothing else!

Yes, we get it. And we feel for the Robinsons; their plight was genuine. Racial discrimination still exists in America.

But what about Muhammed Ali, my friend and sandwich shop operator in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Palestine? Muhammed grew up in Haifa, graduated high school there and earned a technical degree before being bumped, not just from an airplane, but from his home town. Yes, he cannot return to Haifa and swim in the Mediterranean the way his family did before him. He cannot even travel to the Haram esh-Sharif/Noble Sanctuary to practice his religion. Like Jackie Robinson, Muhammed is the wrong “color”: neither ethnic Jew, secular Jew, nor religious Jew.

Isn’t there a story here as well, PBS? Perhaps even more compelling than Robinson’s, because Muhammed has yet to break his “color” barrier. Hello, Hollywood, isn’t his story worthy—at least—of a two-hour documentary?

Born Jewish, Herskovitz soured on his tribe after a trip to Israel. He saw firsthand the gross brutality of the illegally founded terror state. Back in Ann Arbor, Herskovitz wanted to give a presentation to his synagogue, Beth Israel, but the rabbi nixed the idea. Outraged, Herskovitz has staged an anti-Israel protest outside Beth Israel each Saturday for 13+ years. Though Herskovitz loves to ride his motorcycle long distance, he always come back in time to stand with his signs. A small band join him.

Last year, I visited Herskovitz at home and saw anti-Israel messages everywhere, including on the salt shaker, the fridge, the car, the garage and even the fireplace’s ember screen. To some neighbors’ dismay, Herskovitz paid to have “STOP US AID TO ISRAEL” and “LIBERATE PALESTINE / END ISRAEL” incised into the sidewalk outside his house.

Herskovitz routinely wears an anti-Israel T-shirt and baseball cap, and on his car are several anti-Israel stickers.

In 2015, Herskovitz and his allies paid for a billboard in Detroit, “AMERICA FIRST NOT ISRAEL.” Herskovitz:

The strategy behind this billboard’s statement, ‘America First, Not Israel’, is to drive a wedge between those who feel American interests are not served by fighting wars for Israel, and the Israel-firsters in this country who manipulate our leaders into the false premise that Israel is the ally of the United States.

Charges of anti-semitism quickly flooded in, and the message was taken down, so it was put up at another, more out of the way spot, until this second billboard company was also pressured to remove it. Henry:

Jewish Power Never Sleeps

Like Michigan rust on vehicles, Jewish Power remains relentless at getting its way. Just when Witness for Peace was to announce the installation of a local billboard—sponsored by sister organization Deir Yassin Remembered and carrying our message “America First, Not Israel”—we get “the call”. The billboard […] was taken down by Adams Outdoor Advertising one week after installation, effectively terminating a three-month contract.

That’s how long it took for Jewish Power to pressure Adams’ executives into seeing things their way. The call came from General Manager Mike Cannon, who admitted to receiving phone calls asking that the billboard be taken down. Mike claimed he was not the one who made the decision, and provided the phone number of Vice President of Human Resources Brian Grant to field my questions.

Brian developed a mantra for the conversation we shared: “the decision to remove the billboard was a collective decision and was made because the message did not meet Adams’ company standards. We removed the billboard and refunded your money. And that’s all I can say.” Brian fell back on this mantra at least a half dozen times during our 20-minute discussion. And reminded me that, since a clause in the contract allowed Adams to terminate at any time, there was no “breach of contract”.

Q: What were the company standards?
A: [Brian was not going to go into that.]
Q: How do you square the fact that the message was initially approved by Adams?
A: It should not have been approved; due diligence was not applied.
Q: Who were the people complaining about the billboard?
A: [Would not answer that.]
Q: What were the organizations calling for the billboard to be taken down?
A: [See above.]
Q: Would the decision to pull the billboard have been the same had the message been simply America First?
A: Well, you’re asking a hypothetical.
Q: You mean Adams would NOT run a billboard saying America First?
A: [No answer.]

And so it goes. By deception shall you make war. DYR and WfP lose the round; Jewish Power wins. We move on.

When Russia Today reported on this billboard controversy, the first commenter said, “Calling Americans to put interest of America ahead of Isreal is branded as anti semitic ? That goes to prove how much the zionist wants the americans to be brain dead!”

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Brainwashed, Americans also cringe at “Jewish power,” but it’s OK so declare and celebrate “black power,” “Latino power,” “gay power” or “women’s power,” etc. Aren’t AIPAC, the flushing of the U.S.S. Liberty down the memory hole, the abject kowtowing of DC politicians to Tel Aviv and our endless war against Israel’s enemy all examples of Jewish power?

But you’re dead wrong, anti-semite! As eternal victims everywhere, Jews are always powerless, so only Jew haters would dare to suggest otherwise.

“Are you a Jew hater?” I asked Herskovitz. His answer:

“Hate” is a term used by my opponents, not by me. “Hate speech” is used by the Hasbara folks as an epithet thrown at their perceived enemies. Like “Holocaust Denier,” the users of these terms do not define them, but merely slime those whose voices they want to silence. I’m a “hater” because Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says I am. Could Mr. Potok be a child molester because I make the claim?

I try not to play defense. My experience in these matters tells me that once I start down the slippery slope of “denial,” or defending my position, this tactic merely fuels opponents’ appetite for further questions. It answers nothing. The best defense is a good offense.

Even if I were to admit a hatred of an ethnic/religious group, an interesting question arises. Assume this group was Irish Protestants, and I said I hated them. Who would care? But admitting to hating Jews is another story altogether. Perhaps the phrase “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” makes sense when used in this context.

And the question becomes rather ludicrous when you consider that I love my sister, her children and grandchildren; ditto for my Virginia cousins, their children and grandchildren. I’m even scheduled to attend a Bat Mitzvah of one of these kids this summer. If you were to tell this group I’m a Jew hater, you would not be believed.

So no, Herskovitz has no beef with ordinary Jews, or he would have to disown his entire family, but haven’t Jewish policy makers, media masters, opinion shapers and bankers used their disproportionate sway over the makeup and direction of this country to harm not just their Muslim enemies, but ordinary Americans?

In putting up the billboard, “AMERICA FIRST / NOT ISRAEL,” Herskovitz merely wants our country to serve its own citizens, and not be distorted, corrupted, discredited and destroyed by a foreign agenda, and I, as an American, can’t help but concur.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 

And so I was back in my friend’s house in this most tranquil, on the surface, country town. Outside was a young cherry tree with three bowling balls at its base, one for each dog buried beneath. A roofer’s ashes had also been scattered over its branches, but nothing remained of the short-lived man. Before my 74-year-old friend, Rudy, reclaimed the house, the roofer lived here.

A drunken fall off a friend’s deck during a July 4th party made the roofer miss a year of work, and got him hooked on painkillers. A second fall from a roof finished the always groggy man. He was but 33.

Behind Rudy’s house was a tiny trailer formerly occupied by a lonely fellow who collected rocks and pebbles. Sworn off alcohol decades ago, he only smoked weed. After living peacefully there for years, the nearly invisible 52-year-old had to move out when a neighbor decided to rat that the trailer had no plumbing, and thus illegal. Now, the rural hermit showed up just once a week to feed his old cat, the trailer’s only resident.

Down the road was a 72-year-old farmer who wouldn’t retire because farming was what he loved best. When a thresher shattered his left leg recently, the old man calmly drove himself to the hospital, and was back to cultivating within a month. He had spent nearly his entire life within a 20 mile radius, with just one trip to Chicago. Ann Arbor was alien enough, with Detroit, another planet. Each long day over, he could barely pay attention to Fox News. He voted Trump.

On the way in, we drove past a homemade sign, “BUILD BRIDGES NOT WALLS.” Other than that, I saw no other political statements during my five-day stay in Dexter.

Rudy’s three children were grown and gone, so the house was mostly empty. I had the entire second floor to myself. Each dawn, I looked out at the paling window to see a grain silo and a red barn. It was good to be away from so much concrete and so many bricks, and to wake up to utter silence. In the corner of my shower homesteaded a spider, and there was also a lady bug on the wall. Winking at me, she smiled.

Rudy’s marriage had been troubled for more than decade, his health was crashing and, each day, he could hear less. Serenely, Rudy spoke often of suicide, so I shouted, “Before you do that, Rudy, come visit me in Philadelphia! I’ll show you around! We’ll have a good time! Then you can commit suicide! You can even do it in Philadelphia if you want!”

Pondering his dwindling options, Rudy chuckled and shook his head.

If I don’t holler, Rudy can’t hear shit. At Dexter Pub on the town’s thriving and wholesome Main Street, there’s a sign warning against cursing, and last year, I accidentally shouted a few bad words while chatting with Rudy.

The obscene is saved for the men’s room, where there’s a poster of a blonde, bikinied babe, “Perfect Woman… Perfect Attitude.” Among the sayings of this ideal woman:

“That was a great fart! Do another one!”
“I’ve decided to stop wearing clothes around the house.”
“Your mother is way better than mine.”
“Shall I drop you and your friends off at the lap dancing club?”
“Why would I need more than three pairs of shoes?”
“Pubic hair! I hate those tight curls, I’m clean shaven.”
“I signed up for yoga so that I can get my ankles behind my head just for you.”
“God… If I don’t blow you soon, I swear I’m going to explode!”
“Listen, I make enough money for the both of us. Why don’t you retire forty years early?”
“Let’s subscribe to Hustler.”
“Honey… our new neighbor’s daughter is sunbathing again, come see.”
“Say, let’s go down to the mall so you can check out women’s asses.”
“Oh come on, not the damn mall again. Let’s go to that new strip joint.”

Though Dexter Pub was a very soothing place to enjoy pints of Two Hearted, Rudy declined to go there with me on this visit. “I’ve seen what the humans do. I don’t care anymore.”

“It’s all futile!” I piled on.

“You’re right.”

“I’m already tired, Rudy! And I’m only 53!”

Our degraded culture and politics disgust Rudy. Jewish power and Israel make him retch. When Rudy was young, chemtrails didn’t seed the sky.

Even the educated could barely write, Rudy rued, “I know a lawyer who writes ‘u,’ the letter, instead of ‘you.’ Soon, we’ll have a post-literate society!”

Unable to read or write, we will still have to obey innumerable rules. At a supermarket, the cashier asked near-death, stooping Rudy for his ID as he bought beer. “It’s the rule,” she lamented.

“They’re getting so intrusive.”

“I know.”

“And prayers aren’t going to help.”

“I agree.”

“Maybe a gun will!”

“I’m with you.”

They both laughed.

Back in the car, Rudy further observed, “Not only do they care what you do, but pretty soon, they will tell you what to do, and observe that you’re not doing it. It’s that bad.”

DexterTownship is 97.5% white, while adjacent DexterCity is 92.7% vanilla. Together, they have just over 10,000 souls. During the first decade of the 21st century, DexterCity grew 73.9%, and one can assume that its whiteness is a prime attraction for newcomers. With no violent crimes, graffiti or loud music from passing cars, the only civic discomfort seems to be the longish wait at the Dairy Queen on summer evenings.

In the middle of town is a handsome, four-sided clock on an iron post, standing on a well-tended flower bed, and on the side of the Riverview Café is painted, white on indigo, “GOD BLESS AMERICA.”

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DexterHigh School’s mascot is the Dreadnaught, and its most famous alumnus in recent years is Mark Koernke, a militia leader. Son of a sheriff’s deputy, Koernke joined the Army Reserve then worked as a janitor at the University of Michigan for 15 years. In the early 90’s, he started to broadcast on shortwave radio, gained a following, then achieved national prominence when he was mistakenly identified as the mastermind behind the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Now broadcasting over the internet five times a day, five days a week, each Koernke show opens with a Thelen Paulk poem solemnly intoned, with slight variations, over ominous drum beats. It’s a state of the union and indictment of our government:

I had a dream the other night that, well, I didn’t understand.
A figure walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand.
His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed,
He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low to me, he said:

“We fought a revolution, to secure our liberty.
We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
For future generations, this legacy we gave,
In this, the land of the free and home of the brave.

“The freedoms we secured for you, we hoped you’d always keep.
But tyrants labored endlessly, while your parents were asleep.
Your freedoms gone, your courage lost, you’re no more than a slave,
In this, the land of the free and home of the brave.

“You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent,
Although you have no voice in saying how the money’s spent.

“Your children must attend a school that doesn’t educate,
And your Christian values can’t be taught, according to the state.
You read about the current news, in a regulated press,
And you pay a tax you do not owe, to please the I.R.S.

“Your money is no longer made of silver nor of gold.
You trade your wealth for paper, so your life can be controlled.
You pay for crimes that make our nation turn from God in shame.
You’ve taken Satan’s number. You’ve traded in your name.

“You’ve given government control to those who do you harm,
So they can burn down churches, and cease the family farm,
And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countrymen, while corrupted courts prevail.

“Your public servants don’t uphold the solemn oaths they’ve sworn,
And your daughters visit doctors so their children won’t be born.
Your leaders send artillery and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people’s wars.

“Can you regain the freedom for which we fought and died?
Or don’t you have the courage or the faith to stand with pride?
And are there no more values for which you’ll fight to save?
Or do you wish your children to live in fear and be a slave?

“O sons of the republic, arise! Take a stand!
Defend the Constitution, the supreme law of the land!
Preserve our great republic and each God-given right,
And pray to God to keep the torch of freedom burning bright!

As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from which he came.
His words were true. We are not free, but we have ourselves to blame!
For even now as tyrants trample each God-given right,
We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight.

If he stood by your bedside, in a dream while you were asleep,
And wondered what remains of the freedoms he fought to keep,
What would be your answer, if he called out from the grave?
Is this still the land of the free and the home of the brave?

God bless you, and God bless this republic!

Though nearly everyone avoids poetry like bad breath, this poem has gained currency among many Americans who are convinced their government has been hijacked by entrenched criminals, with the only solution an armed revolution. Koernke and his listeners believe they’re languishing on occupied land.

Whereas the militia is only concerned with the defense of home and hearth, the professional military, as wielded by Washington, is an instrument for global crimes and, soon enough, also for domestic assault and control, so hammers Koernke, “It’s not the militia that ran Abu Ghraib. It’s not the militia that ran the rendition operations all over the world to torture people by cutting on their private body parts, or disemboweling them, or using electricity on them, or drowning them. That’s all government and regular military.”

The day before I landed in Dexter, I was in Manhattan as a guest on Chris

Hedges’ Russia Today show, On Contact. Among the points I made was that nationalism or nativism will enjoy a resurgence in both the US and Europe, for people need to have control over the constitution of their nations and cities.

The control freaks in DC won’t allow this to happen, however, so this is how it’s going to go down, according to Mark Koernke:

Everyone knew the conflict was at hand, and the open battle for the republic was about to begin. The dagger war has been raging for many, many years, with victories and defeats on both sides. Some had thought that Waco would be the boiling point, but it had not gone as any had foreseen. The 90’s had its skirmishes, and the militias had performed well but restrained themselves in the hope that some other solution would present itself. It had not. With each passing day, the pressure continued to build. The globalist agenda had been based upon lies, and the people knew it. Some were still trying to formulate a peaceful solution, but the system had its own plan, and treachery was the centerpiece of that plan. With the first play drawn, and blood spilt, there would be no turning back. In a time of its own choosing, in a place no one expected, the dance of swords would begin.

[…]

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The bat faggots, combined with whatever Homeland Security bottom feeders, mostly mercenaries, are going to pick somebody […] to use as an example. That action is going to be a face off, and it’s gonna actually, you know, initially be casualties for those who are surprised. It’s going to happen that way. They’re going to get caught off guard a little bit, but not much, because everybody can sense it, feel it, taste it, touch it. What’s going to happen is people are going to call on others, and there’s a lot of people who are going to mobilize. The other side is going to do the same thing. They have all their technology, but, trust me, we’re pulling out all the stops […] At some point, there’s going to be a column of goofs in black uniforms, idiots, mostly pea brains… In fact, 99.9% pea brains in their spiffy, little black uniforms, with all their spiffy, little alphabet letters on them, and that column [will meet] a column of militia, mechanized, or light mechanized, and armed up, already cocked, locked and ready to rock and roll. The bottom feeders in the black uniforms will be screaming their profanities, and they’ll be screaming and screaming and screaming, and the other side won’t be screaming a whole lot. Somebody’s going to pull the trigger, and it’s gonna be one hell of a popcorn exchange. From a distance, it’s going to sound like somebody opened up the popcorn pan from hell.

Sounds like a national suicide or, rather, the climax to the ongoing national suicide.

Until that fireworks, there are plenty of little suicides, all over. As I mellowed in Dexter Pub, a text reached me from Philly. Jason, a 38-year-old acquaintance, had just died after a week-long drug binge. The accompanied video showed him on the floor of his brother’s house. “Just look at him,” the brother spat, “laying there next to the cat litter! Just a moment ago, he was fixing himself something to eat, too. Now, he’s passed out and even peed on himself! See that yellow stuff? That’s piss that I will have to clean up!” Likely high himself, the brother didn’t realize his rudderless sibling was already dead.

A young woman said to me recently, “I want to shoot myself in the face, but have enough consciousness left to arrange my teeth and chunks of my flesh,” so the need to give even the messiest order to one’s predicament is constant, for anything that’s captured is partially redeemed and dignified, while what’s unarticulated is forever lost. In a country driven into the ditch, some compose.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Poverty 

Before its rents became astronomical, I lived in CenterCity, so frequented McGlinchey’s and Dirty Frank’s. Now, I walk into Frank’s and hardly recognize anybody. Uncle Moe, Tommy Hackett and Skinny Dave are long dead, the last from an OD while in his late 30’s. Others have moved away. Last week, though, I ran into Rick, whom I hadn’t seen in 13 years.

Reminiscing, Rick pointed to a booth, “I proposed to my wife right there.” Then, to another booth, “That’s where a woman grabbed my dick. I went home with her, but didn’t cheat. I only ate her out, and she only sucked my dick. We didn’t have intercourse.”

“I don’t know how you could stop at a certain point,” I marveled. Then, “Oral sex is not cheating?”

“No, it’s not.”

“You never cheated on your wife?”

“Another time, I did sleep with a woman. I dated my wife for ten years before we got married, so it’s only twice in 40 years, if you count the blow job and eating pussy. That’s not bad.”

“You’re like a saint, man! Maybe your wife has cheated a little, too. What if she sucked a guy’s dick? Would you consider that cheating?”

“Yeah.”

“But not the other way around?”

“You do have a point.”

“Would you be pissed if she cheated twice in 40 years?”

“Definitely!”

“Shouldn’t it balance out?”

“You do have a point.”

Rick’s two lapses don’t quite constitute a double life, but who knows what he’s hiding? Even the most candid don’t confess everything.

News of high school teachers having sex with students have become blasé. Often, these are married women with children. Sobbing, a 37-year-old explained to the judge that she habitually mounted her charge because of “self-esteem issues,” a perfectly valid reason. It seems like everybody is sneaking some on the side.

If lowly schmucks are already like that, can you imagine all the inconvenient truths crammed into the closets of the super ambitious? The larger the appetite, the greater the propensity for transgressions and lies, and since this applies to entire societies, you should expect the most hubristic to commit the greatest crimes, accompanied by the grossest lies.

The shining city upon a hill is a projection, but with a real basement containing torture chambers, false flags and lots of pizzas. Fumbling through the stinking dark, one steps on corpses or zombies, discussing politics.

Even Christ may be a horny hustler, according to Cigar Tim, a drinking buddy. At Friendly Lounge, Tim said of a celebrity, “He must get more pussy than Jesus!”

Innocently, I replied, “If he gets laid once, that’s one more than Jesus!”

“So the Bible tells you,” Tim snarled. “If you’re God’s son, you’d be at every party, and you’d be, like, ‘You know who my dad is? I’m just saying. This guy’s dad owns a dealership. Guess who my dad is? My dad is God! Yeah, that’s my pop!’”

So even the greatest news may be fake. Me, I just think that behind a lie is usually another lie, is another lie, and tranquility rests on mountains of lies.

Just now, a two-star general, David Haight, is exposed as having an 11-year affair with an American military contractor he first met in Iraq. Into anonymous sex with multiple partners, they visited swingers’ clubs in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia and elsewhere. Though she targeted and pursued the married father of four, 49-year-old Jennifer Armstrong now laments to USA Today, “I gave him the best years of my life.”

This longish preamble leads us to Rose, not her real name, whom I’ve met but twice, both at Friendly. Two years ago, Rose told me she’s from Chicago and had studied acting in college. “Three Sisters” and “The Lower Depths” were her favorites. Though the plays I had seen could be counted on two hands, or maybe just one, I had seen and read the Chekov, and read the Gorky 30 years ago. We also talked about Tennessee Williams.

One afternoon last week, Rose reappeared as a different woman. The bar owner and I heard her long before she barged into the nearly empty joint. Rose was that loud.

Slurring when not raving, Rose talked with me or her lover, Thomas, first on the phone, then in person when he showed up. With his crew cut, trimness and bomber jacket, Thomas came off as ex military, and he’s old enough to have fought in Vietnam. Rose is around 40 and perhaps three quarters white, a quarter black.

Sitting together, she did most of the talking. Awaiting his treat later, he was comically meek. The old man gladly tolerated his lover’s stream of abuses because here, right next to him, was someone of his daughter’s age. Like so many others, Thomas was cheating not just his wife, but time, God’s medium of universal punishment. Whatever guilt he felt from the first was more than drowned out by the deep, calming pleasure of the second.

Where it most mattered, this relatively young woman had accepted, forgiven and salved Thomas, so who cared if she was shooting her mouth off? Though Rose was a horror, frankly, he probably thought I was envious. Adjusting his wedding band, Thomas grinned.

At Friendly, the jukebox periodically plays by itself. Roughly five minutes after Thomas’s appearance, Tina Turner belted out “Private Dancer”:

I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money.
I’ll do what you want me to do.
I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money.
And any old music will do.

Such synchronicities are as good a proof of God’s existence as any, I believe.

For obvious reason, I couldn’t take photos of Rose or Thomas, and though the below is too brief a record of her voice, it’s still a clear enough portrait, I think.

My job? Which one?! It is very, very temporary. Ushering and ticketing. It is what it is. It ain’t no glamorous position. C’est la vie!

Yes, Thomas, how are you? I’m sorry, I don’t speak Mexican. Speak English to me! I ain’t got time for that shit. Fuck, yeah!

The rain has stopped. Here’s when the angels come back, but not at ya!

Silence, si vous plait! I talk to myself. Language is never a nice thing.

Yes, Thomas. I’m inside Friendly. Where are you? I just ordered us food from next door. Can you come inside, please. Thank you. Bye!

I don’t have a PhD, but I have a bachelor’s. I’m dating a married man, right now, the guy that’s coming in. I shouldn’t be talking, see, because I’ll get all cocky, socky.

I do love him, though. We’ve been seeing each for years, and years, and years. Just him and me. Well, apart from his little Mexican wife. Good for her!

My name ain’t Becky Quick. So, figure it out, but don’t ask me what I’m doing with a guy like that.

Next door, the sardine sandwich is the best! Aaaah! If I were to go for pho soup, I either go to 11th and Washington, or I go two doors down, but, sardine sandwich, that bitch got it figured out.

Thomas, where are you? Yes, but driving is the first fuckin’ problem! I’m not moving, from this seat that I’m in. I’ve got you a spot, OK?

Where are you at? Come meet me. I ordered food, and half of that is for you, dumb ass! You little fuckin’ German bitch! You better come to 8th and Washington and pick me up.

Oh, you’re on 8th? All of a sudden, homie is on 8th! 8th and what?! You could be at 8th and Jesus Christ!

You’re at 8th and Montrose? Well, you better keep it shipping! Keep it moving! You’re on your way, boo boo.

This is Thomas. He had a hard time parking, so I’ll act as if that’s the reason for his ignorance.

Isn’t this nice? This is one of the few smoking bars left in town. OK, what do you want? A Yuengling, please!

No, I’m not going to fuckin’ meditate! Ooops, what language! Ha, ha!

I don’t need you talking from 1966. I need you to not talk! That’s what I need you to do. That would be wonderful, if you could indulge me by, like, silence [French pronunciation]!

I’ve known this devil for a year!

I’m worried about Tina Turner chasing some cash right now. I’m not worried about you, Thomas. Shut up, and let it play! How about not talking? Thank you. Shut up!

Don’t talk. Why do you keep talking? Somebody asks you not to talk, don’t talk!

 

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Poverty 

I live a block from the Italian Market, see, and its ecology is more complex than anything I could ever aspire to describe, but better something than nothing, so let me give you a little tour of the Eyetalian Market.

Italian Market, 2014

Italian Market, 2014

There are lots of restaurants on 9th Street, so naturally, there are tons of Mexicans, and since they don’t go for the dark Irish bar ambience, they congregate at the Stab and Grab, not its real name. At this Korean-owned, neon-lit oasis, all these cooks, busboys and dishwashers just sit at brutal, lonely tables to stare at each other’s shell-shocked mug nonstop, so no wonder fights sometimes break out. I’ve witnessed a couple, cholo, and I hardly ever go there.

Lisa at Friendly Lounge, December 2016

Lisa at Friendly Lounge, December 2016

Speaking of grabbing, a white waitress told me she’s been grabbed a couple of times by drunken Mexicans in this neighborhood. We all need love. I witnessed another Mexican tried to chat up a Friendly Lounge bartender. Though his English was good, he wasn’t too charming, as evidenced by these doofus lines, “Are you shy? Do you want me to buy you a shot? A soft drink? Why won’t you shake my hand?” To be fair, I’ve heard much, much worse from the native-born.

In the free ESL classes, flirting lessons should be mandatory. We must catch up with the Germans, for they’ve long offered sex tips to immigrants. “Achtung! This is how you screw the natives!”

Half a century ago, the Stab and Grab wasn’t a semi nuisance bar but butcher shop. Undercutting all competitors, this guy sold three pounds of ground beef for just a buck, but what it was was mostly fat mixed with blood, so when you cooked it up, it shrank to almost nothing. The sly one advertised his bargain with a loud speaker until, one afternoon, another butcher blasted it with a handgun.

Once, there were many hucksters here, but now, you won’t hear anyone shout, “Don’t squeeze the tomatoes, lady! Go home and squeeze your husband’s balls!” It is a crying shame.

Drunken Man on Sidewalk, Italian Market, 2015

Drunken Man on Sidewalk, Italian Market, 2015

Now walk with me, buddy, down Washington Avenue, but don’t make eye contact with that miserable broad, Typhoid Mary, for if you show the least interest, she’ll tail and hound you. I have no idea what Mary’s on, but her eyes are always turbid yet searching. She wants to do somebody, anybody, the same favors.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mary is learning Spanish. “¿Quieres una mamada, señor? Chingar? Why not chingar?! Come back! Come back! Barato chingar!”

The first time I met Typhoid Mary, she was with a bald man who boasted, “We just got married! We spent two days in AC for our honeymoon!” In her late 40’s, with dark hair, dead eyes and mouth ajar, Mary looked as if she had trekked through a lifetime of disasters, with her soul smoldering at the bottom of a trash-strewn gully. Fleeing everything, she’s a permanent refugee. Her “husband,” it turns out, has three kids with another prostitute, this one black and currently in jail.

Now, the cashier at this bakery seems wholesome enough, but she has loosening teeth, worse nightmares, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicides, nothing in her fridge and, don’t ask me how I know this, no menstruation for two years, so do you think she’s on Xanax? Benzos? She can’t afford even a gram of blow a week.

Though she herself dealt coke recently, she’s on nothing but painkillers, actually, thanks to one raging boyfriend, a car accident and a childhood fall from a tree. To make ends meet, the young lady often sells her script. Many among us do this. “I just wanted to die,” she moaned.

When I was failing out of college, you could only sample maybe six drugs, but now there are hundreds to numb or jack up those suffering overwhelming anxiety, fear, stress, despair, pain or just plain emptiness. What are you on?

See that small, dark man contemplating a bag of carrots at Giordano’s? He fought in Cambodia for four years, then escaped Vietnam by boat. While others slept, he baled water, “to save the young ones.” Starving and exhausted, they miraculously reached Bidong. Now, the dude calls himself Jack, drinks Bud and works in a cardboard box factory. Jack married, divorced and has lived with the same white man, rent free, for over twenty years. He says they’re just friends.

A karaoke fiend, Jack can instantly pick up any song in three languages, Vietnamese, Chinese or English, so he claims. “I can sing better than Elvis, ah, what’s his name? Yes, Presley. I can sing better than Elvis Presley.”

Lin, Chinese, weaves in and out of businesses to sell pirated DVDs, including porn titles such as “The Squirt Locker,” “Texas Big Booty Brigade” and “Dr. Ava’s Guide to Prostate Pleasure.”

The middle-aged, pudgy owner of this restaurant used to be married to a handsome Syrian. She found him in Greece. When I met Johnny, not his birth name, he claimed he was just Greek, period. Johnny said he divorced her because she gambled all their money away, but listen, man, even a blind fool could see that that marriage wouldn’t last. After getting his citizenship, Johnny bolted. The frump wasn’t the first one to be dumped. Before her, an Icelander had flown Johnny to her cold, windswept village by the sullen sea. After one endless winter, Johnny belched, “See ya!”

Free, Johnny went to AC, mastered several table games, worked at casinos, bought a condo and, predictably, snatched a stunning, loving girlfriend. The suave, mustachioed playa had to make up for all those repulsive nights in Philly! Just thank God you never had to whore to become an American. After a while, though, Johnny also gave his lover the heave-ho, for it was time to return to Syria to find a traditional, virgin bride half his age.

Lottery Tickets in Italian Market

Lottery Tickets in Italian Market

Now, we come to this metal shack of hope, for all day long, fools will petition, against all odds, to be transposed to a much sweeter arrangement. “Mr. or Mrs. Hindu, please save my ass.” The lottery ticket-dispensing couple are recent immigrants, with the husband also working at Dunkin’ Donuts, and the wife, Subway. Robert, not his birth name, has never drank a drop and only ducks into Friendly to deliver lottery tickets, cigarettes or use the bathroom.

Tilt your head and you’ll see, inside the hope shack, 74-year-old Angelo. No employee, he’s just there for its space heater, for it’s 20 degrees outside. Each night for the last five years, Angelo slept inside a rusty lemon, with the engine running in winter, but last week, the groggy Calabrian crashed his mini home on wheels. Luckily, no one died. After selling the wreck for a 100 bucks, Angelo couldn’t help but head straight for the off-track betting parlor. Till death, he’ll insist that some galloping mare will solve all his problems.

Charlie the Plumber was like that, an old man slowly dying in public. His problem was he couldn’t stop drinking. Drunk, Charlie would sometimes sit at Geno’s and rave on about his killing days as a chopper gunner in Vietnam. Moved, many tourists would buy him cheesesteaks, and Charlie could eat three in a row. Charlie died on a park bench.

Alamo Club in Italian Market

Alamo Club in Italian Market

At 9th and Ernest, there was the Italian American Laborers Social Club. Reacting to Mexicans moving into the neighborhood, it posted two small signs out front, “ALAMO MEMBERS ONLY PRIVATE CLUB,” then it sold itself to, what else, a Mexican business.

Just off 9th Street lives an indolent young man who spends his days half-watching movies or porn. In summer, he sometimes waxes his Porsche, which is practically brand new, for it’s almost never used. There is no place Nick has or wants to go. Though with the same woman for six years, he’s never hinted at marriage, and she lets it slide for fear of being ditched. Petite, Tina suffers in silence and shops for Nick each week. How many times have I seen the still pretty lady carry all those heavy bags up to the second floor by herself? Nick’s father, an immigrant from Sicily, is a 71-year-old doctor who still works each day and owns several houses. Naturally, he hires Mexicans to fix them up.

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Though it wasn’t too long of a walk, it’s very cold out, so let’s stop at George’s for a pork or tripe sandwich. Notice the witticism on the sign, “Don’t divorce your wife because she can’t cook. Eat here and keep her as a pet.” Now, that’s old school.

For over a century, the Italian Market has absorbed waves of immigrants, but there’s a group that’s causing everybody tremendous anxiety. Wealthy Chinese have plans to develop several large plots into condos and upscale shopping centers. Already, most folks who work in the Italian Market can’t afford to live here.

To most people, immigrants imply destitute illegals and desperate refugees, but the super wealthy are also coming. If they target your city, you can quickly be priced out of your home. Just think of London, Sidney, Auckland, Vancouver or the San Francisco Bay Area. Advocating for open borders, the nose-ringed crowd don’t know they’re hankering to be homeless, and not just underpaid.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Poverty 

A bar featuring $2 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon should never be empty. Granted, it’s a crap beer, but I’d guzzle dish water for two bucks, as long as it had some alcohol in it. So I was in The Dive for more than three hours, and during that entire time, only two other losers stumbled in. One, 30-ish, exiled himself to the furthest corner to stroke his laptop. I ended up chatting with Chris, the bar manager, and listening to his extensive playlist.

Ideally, a pub should be free from all electronic molestations, so no TV, jukebox, video games or even cellphones, say I, your next dictator. In 2012, I blundered into the Evening Star in Brighton, England, and it was paradise, I tell you, for all I heard were human voices. Lubricated by heavenly hops, intellects and dumbshits alike were spilling tales, and it was absolutely lovely. What more do you want? Our civilizational unraveling can be pinned on our increasing inability to hear each other. In 2015, I returned to the Evening Star only to discover they had installed a sound system spewing tunes nonstop.

Chris’ music did trigger a few sparks in my pickled brain. Quiz time: What do Cock Sparrer, Die Antwoord and Hank Williams III have in common? Here are some clues. From the Oi! pioneers’ “Take ‘Em All”:

We worked our way up from East End pubs
To gigs and backstage passes,
Ex boxing champs, West End clubs.
Americans in dark glasses,
Driving ten grand cars, they drink in hotel bars.
They’re even making money in bed.
They wouldn’t be no loss. They ain’t worth a toss.
It’s about time they all dropped dead.

Take ‘em all, take ‘em all,
Put ‘em up against a wall and shoot ‘em.
Short and tall, watch ‘em fall.
Come on boys, take ‘em all.

Die Antwoord’s “Rich Bitch”:

I was a victim of a kak situation,
Stuck in the system,
With no fokken assistance.
I know it sounds strange
But I used to count change
On the counter at Pick ‘n Pay
Or Shoprite Checkers.
No butter on my broodjie.
[…]
But then I got my game on.
[…]
Now I’m a rich bitch.

Hank Williams III:

Well, I was raised in a holler.
I grew up eatin’ mud,
And in my baby bottle,
It was filled with beer and blood.

Well, I got relatives here.
Some of them just don’t look quite right.
A couple of ‘em only got one eye,
That I heard that they lost in a fight.

You know why?
You got any idea, boy?
Do you know why?

Whiiiiiite trash!
Whiiiiiite trash!
Whiiiiiite trash!
Whiiiiiite trash!

Though from three different countries, England, South Africa and the U.S., and employing diverse musical styles, these acts are all expressions of the white underclass. How truly white trash are Hank Williams III and Die Antwoord is debatable, however.

With their Walmart fashion, oversized full-bodied hoodies, print boxers, discount bras, mullets, bad tattoos, coexistence with rats and toilet paper shortage, Die Antwood’s celebration of white trash stereotypes constantly verges on parody, but since they’re so defiant and cool with their white trash looks, I don’t think you can equate them with, say, Flavor Flav and his in-your-face nigger ostentation.

Likewise, Hank Williams III makes white trash hip, and I envision a day when black, brown and yellow kids will become white trash wannabes instead of posing as ghetto gangstas. It won’t happen soon, though, not with the way our mainstream media operate.

The term “white trash” started as a black vernacular in the American South. British actress Fanny Kemble explains in an 1833 journal entry, “The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, whom they designate as ‘poor white trash.’” In early America, poor whites had a shorter lifespan than black slaves, and they were often hired to perform tasks deemed too dangerous for slaves, a valuable commodity.

Is there any group so mocked and caricatured as the white underclass? Though disenfranchised for generations, they’re routinely depicted as the very worst of white power. Working three jobs and on food stamps, they’re somehow oppressing the affirmative action college graduated people of colors. Downing Bud after a 12-hour day, they turn on TV to see themselves portrayed as Mama June and Honey Boo Boo. If unemployed, they can watch their similars humiliate each other nonstop on Jerry Springer, with an unctious lecture at the end on how to live.

Entire states, such as West Virginia and Tennessee, for example, are said to be inhabited by nothing but repulsive white trash, though I’ve been to both and encountered only gracious and warm individuals. To many Americans, the entire South is white trash, with some even viewing all flyover states as festering with white trash. For my Postcards book, I crisscrossed this country several times, and I always gravitated towards the cheapest drinking joints, for they suited my budget and taste. Over and over, I was welcomed.

Of course, if you keep carousing with drunks in strange towns, shit may happen, but the only time I nearly had my skull cracked was in Norristown, right outside Philly. My three harassers were two blacks and one white. Not so much trash as paranoid assholes, they thought I was a cop. Perhaps that bar was overrun with guys skipping bail or dodging a warrant, meth and coke were being dealt and the faded lady by the payphone was tricking, but, in the name of hops and barley, man, would any police department be dumb enough to send in a 5-6 Vietnamese undercover with a huge camera bag?!

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Anyway, to Manhattan snobs, white trash nation begins with New Jersey, no doubt, if not Staten Island. To our coastal elites, all but themselves are trash. Further, contempt for white trash is often only thinly disguised hatred of white culture, period. These days, no white man can even whisper “white heritage” without someone nearby screaming that he’s a Nazi! Of course, only a Neo-Nazi would take pride in Erasmus, Rabelais, Rembrandt, Earl Scruggs and Milan Cathedral, etc.

Who needs Luther when you can have Martin Luther King and Luther Vandross? Who cares about Bill when you can groove to Robbie Shakespeare?

Deplored, incorrect whites seethe, but mostly discreetly or anonymously, online. Few can risk venting like the Angry Aryans:

Your Cadillac doesn’t mean a thing to me.
A bloodthirsty savage belongs overseas.

Civilization you cannot comprehend.
You cannot exist in a world of white men.

A white woman by your side,
You’re still a nigger!

A devoted life of crime,
You’re nothing but a nigger!

Uniformed in blue,
You’re still a nigger!

A lackey for the Jew,
You’re nothing but a nigger!

Of course, there are also black musicians with anti-white lyrics, but what’s different is that their race hatred is not just confined to the fringe. Take Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” In the video, a rich white blonde is kidnapped, stripped, hung upside down, forced to drink vodka and inhaled pot, knocked out cold, submerged under water and generally humiliated nonstop by Rihanna and two sidekicks, a Hindu and another white woman, the last inserted to blunt, not too convincingly, the song’s anti-white thrust. An idiotic, leering white cop also appears, and at the video’s end, the kidnapped blonde’s blonde husband is tied up and stabbed to death.

As knife enters flesh, you can clearly hear, twice, sick wet sounds. This murder is apparently so erotic, Rihanna executes it in a see-through top, and when it’s all over, the “sexiest woman alive” is completely naked and covered only in much blood and a few dollar bills.

Some will argue that it’s only about class, but this extremely violent video is primarily an allegory about racial reparations or revenge, I insist.

So, who want this most deplorable of situations? Who benefit?

[If you appreciate these articles, do consider buying a signed copy of my new book. This will help me to roam around and, of course, pay my bills. Thanks!]

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 

An American president has become a cartoon hero or villain. Like Obama, Trump is an inconsequential yet lurid target for worshippers and detractors to unload emotions. As we rejoice or rage at this figurehead, the Military Banking Complex will continue to serve the elites at our expense.

Our economy will keep cratering, and our poor won’t stop killing and dying in foreign lands on phony pretexts. Trumping Trump, Obama promised such a sane and peaceful future, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As he cynically presided over eight years of continuous war on multiple fronts, killing hundreds of thousands, Obama’s fans never flinched. Though no servant of Israel can ever deliver peace, Trump will really stop war, the Trumpians insist.

Trump’s inauguration is merely hours away. Wearing a hoodie to keep warm, I sit at my kitchen table typing this. Should I be finished by dawn, I may reward myself with a trip to Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, just down the street. It opens at 7AM to serve those who have worked all night. Walking in, I may see hospital, restaurant and factory workers, those most likely to have voted for Trump. It’s quite a sick irony that our economic bottom is drawn to a self-aggrandizing billionaire, with his uber rich cabinet.

Since Philly is such a Democratic city, Trump supporters tend to be discreet. Right after he won, however, 56-year-old Maria marched into Friendly Lounge to celebrate, “Of course I voted for Trump. I like a man with cojones! Many of my Dominican friends also voted for Trump.”

Maria’s ideal politician is Rafael Trujillo. Before he was assassinated, Trujillo killed more than 50,000 people over 30 years. Maria also condones torture as punishment. Watching television news in Friendly, she’d sometimes prescribe the most ghastly penalties for criminals. “She should have a red hot poker shoved up her vagina!”

Though John also voted for Trump, he’d rather not talk about our new president. In Friendly, John is always glued to the video blackjack, and practically nothing, not even a woman in heat, can pull the stolid man from his machine.

“How old are you, hon?”

“Fifty-eight. Too old for you.”

John is retired and does not seem short of cash. Sometimes, he’d buy the entire bar a round. I think John stays mum about Trump mostly to avoid aggravating Vernon, the black Vietnam vet. Just hearing the name makes Vern lose his composure. Even Melania is not spared.

“I’m going to hate this First Lady more than shit itself! She’s a bitch! She’s a piece of shit white trash! Supermodel my ass! She ain’t my fuckin’ supermodel! She ain’t my fuckin’ First Lady.”

When not apoplectic over politics, Vern is extremely kind. For example, he regularly brings TV dinners to Angelo, a man who lives out of his car and is always broke.

Peter, très gay, also voted for Trump. At Friendly, he’s always the loudest and most emotional. Sometimes he’d even weep into a paper towel. The hurt in Peter’s voice can erupt into a feeble rage that’s more comic than threatening. Beneath the abrasiveness is a soft, sweet man.

I’ve been with the same food service company for 22 years. I used to make $25 an hour, but now it’s down to 16.10, and they fuck you up the ass too!

I got so sick of it, I applied at just about every restaurant in CenterCity, but who would you hire, me or some 19-year-old?

I was living with this slum lord for seven years. I shared a house with four other people. I paid $400 a month. My room was the size of a napkin.

My housemates were filthy. When I went into the bathroom, I was afraid to step on the floor. The ceiling tiles were falling down. The wall tiles were falling out. It’s gross in there!

The kitchen was gross too. No one ever washed the dishes. I never used the kitchen. I had a little refrigerator in my room.

Last year, my landlord told me I had two days to get out. Luckily, a lady took me in, and the rent was reasonable. I’m so thankful for that.

I was two inches away from sleeping in the gutter. I was scared to death. I’m sixty-years-old. I don’t need this crap.

I knew a woman who lived with her three kids in a jungle gym in a park. Is this America?

I used to live on South Street. That was nice, but it’s gotten way too expensive. I lived next to the sneaker store. One day, I came home late and saw maybe 20 black guys trying to break into the sneaker store. They were really chimping out, you know. They were just black people acting like black people. It was like the Philadelphia Zoo! They were niggers, basically.

Sorry to be using the N word, and my best friend is black too, but these guys were niggers. I didn’t want to open my door and have them fuck me up the ass, so I called 911.

I used to hang out at the Westbury, and the bartender would come out and say, “Don’t stand there!” It’s because people would jump from the Parker Hotel. When I was 21, a guy landed on my boyfriend’s car. “Oh my God, there’s a dead guy on my car!”

When I was 57, I had a buddy who was 24. We did a lot of drugs together, but that’s all. He did more drugs than I did. He was writing a book, At Twenty-Four. I said, “If you keep this shit up, you won’t see 25,” and I was right.

When my dad died, I inherited an old car, but I didn’t need it, so I just parked it on the street. I didn’t even keep it locked because I didn’t want anybody to break into it. I knew people slept in it, though, because I found condoms.

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You’re lucky to have somebody to go home to. I always had a lover, a boyfriend, but I haven’t had anybody in eleven years. And it’s not the, you know, but the support. I can’t just go home and say to somebody, “Bitch, I love you!”

Have you seen The Purge? In this movie, you have twelve hours once a year to do whatever the fuck you want. You can kill or rape anybody you want!

I think people have underestimated Trump. I’m not sure, but I really think something good will come of this. I think he’s going to use his global power to do some good. He might be good for this country. He can’t be any worse than what we’ve got right now. Personally, I’m bothered that I don’t have dental care. I’m being screwed over by Obamacare, and I don’t have any say in the matter. I work hard for a living. I’m doing the best I can to make ends meet. Yeah, I’m pissed off, but who am I going to call? Republican buster? Democrat buster? Nobody cares.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Poverty 

I last saw Vietnam in 2001. Back then, Saigon had no American fast food joints save a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Long-term foreign residents were few, and mostly confined to the Phạm Ngũ Lão area. There were no foreign stars in the just-established professional soccer league.

Now in Saigon, there are 20 KFCs, eight Burger Kings and six McDonald’s, with one across the street from where I used to lived, five miles from downtown.

In December of 2007, an Afro-Brazilian soccer player, Fábio dos Santos, changed his name to Phan Văn Santos and became Vietnamese. This, in a country where millions had risked death or imprisonment trying to get out not too long before. In 2008, Santos was on Vietnam’s national team in a friendly match against, um, Brazil! Santos on his new status:

I am very happy to become Vietnamese. The new citizenship will help me greatly in my career and maybe help the national team as well. I have been living and working in Vietnam for six years. I think my decision was the right one, even though it was very difficult. To my surprise, my parents support my decision. When I return to Brazil in the future, I will be a guest, not a citizen… Sometimes I felt sad because I had to give up my Brazilian citizenship. But my becoming Vietnamese is God’s idea.

Since 2003, the leading scorer in the V.League each year has been foreign, with Nigeria, Argentina, Brazil and the Republic of Congo all represented. Nigeria-born Hoàng Vũ Samson became a naturalized Vietnamese in 2013, the year he won his first scoring title. Samson still has very intimate ties to his homeland, however. In a 2016 article, Thanh Niên [Youth] relates:

A surprising thing about Hoàng Vũ Samson is that he has two wives, one Nigerian and one Vietnamese (living in Ho Chi Minh City). Fortunately, both of his wives get along. Many times, his Nigerian wife has come for a visit, and Samson takes both of his wives, plus his many children, out. They all eat and drink happily to together.

Netherlands-born Danny van Bakel is now Nguyễn Van Bakel. Serendipitously, “Van” is a common middle name in both Vietnam and Holland. The star defender for Thanh Hoá has just one wife, a Vietnamese.

Nigeria-born Maxwell Eyerakpo has become Đinh Hoàng Max, thus instantly heaping sporting glories onto the mostly slow-footed, muscle-deprived and vertical-leap-challenged Đinh clan. Thanks a lot, bro! Max made headlines recently for apparently abandoning his Vietnamese wife and their three children.

Vietnamese-language proficiency is clearly not required for citizenship, for neither Hoàng Vũ Samson nor Đinh Hoàng Max can speak Vietnamese. Palestinian Saleem Hammad, however, can handle the language almost like a native, with a solid Hanoi accent. Arriving in 2011 on a university scholarship, Hammad has become a familiar face on television, having co-hosted several episodes of S ViệtNam, a popular domestic travel show. Viet Nam News quotes Hammad:

Việt Nam was a strange country for me at that time. After my family knew that I would have an opportunity to study here, everybody encouraged me. They told me that it was a country where its inhabitants worked very hard and they were very courageous. They had won against invaders to bring independence to their country. It is also the dream of the people of Palestine.

Handsome and tall, Hammad has also found regular work as a model. Foreign models are huge there. Though white skin and blonde hair are especially in demand, Yeannie Maya Aitkins of Sierra Leone has also landed a few gigs.

On TV and in advertising, then, the foreign has become a regular feature. In 2014, an overweight and listless Kelly Clarkson waddled through “A Moment Like This” to an indifferent audience at the Miss Vietnam pageant. Many Vietnam Idol contestants sing in English. South Korean soap operas and K-Pop have been popular since 2000.

Saigon now has a budding black neighborhood. On December 31st, 2015, Vietnam Express reported that in Gò Vấp, there’s an apartment complex with many Africans, up to ten in a room. A handful of restaurants were frequented by Africans, and there’s a nightclub that had become notorious for loud music late into the night, with fights erupting sporadically. Natives of Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon, etc., many Africans in Saigon were illegals. Most were poor. Vietnam Express quoted a Vietnamese waiter:

I’ve worked here for three months already. They spend very modestly. I’ve never been tipped anything by these foreigners. Even with change of 1,000-2,000 dong [4-8 U.S. cents], they won’t leave it.

Mostly poor, ignorant of the language and without many social contacts, how do non-soccer playing Africans survive in Vietnam? Some buy factory rejected, irregular clothing to sell back home. A few marry locals and open businesses. An allAfrica article from 2009 reveals another mean of survival:

Government of the Eastern Asia Socialist Republic of Vietnam has embarked on a serious crack down of Nigerians resident in the country following a wave of anti-social and criminal activities reportedly being perpetrated by Nigerian immigrants.

This echoes reports from neighboring countries. In 2013, there was this Nigerian Monitor article, “[SHOCKING] 20% of Nigerians in Thailand are in jail,” with most of the 400 locked up for drug offenses. In 2011, the head of the Nigerian Association of Cambodia, Okere Ugochukwu Emmanuel, was busted for drug trafficking. On a more positive note, the head coach of the Cambodian national basketball team is a Nigerian. Despite Austin Abayomi Koledoye’s tireless and patient instructions, however, the double dribblers from the Land of Angkor still rank among the worst in this galaxy. We’re not all born to slam dunk.

With its American fast food joints, foreign models, black star athletes and the beginning of black neighborhoods, Vietnam is looking more multicultural and progressive (in the American sense) by the day.

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This transformation also includes annual gay parades, of course, with the first in 2012. The Atlantic, Guardian, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, NBC, BBC and CNN have all praised Vietnam’s progress on the LGBT front. A Hanoi photographer, Maika Elan (real name Nguyễn Thanh Hải), won a World Press Photo Award for her series depicting gay couples at home, and a Saigon transgender bodybuilder, Kendy, was profiled by Narratively. Hanoi’s Kênh14 now has an annual feature, “Ten Most Beautiful Homosexual Relationships of the Year.”

When I left Saigon in 2001, rap music had no currency, but now there are dozens of prominent rappers, with “Secret Shows” popping up suddenly on the streets, as organized through social media. During those sinister days of hardcore Communism, there was no way the police would have tolerated this.

In Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982, Nguyễn Văn Canh paints an entirely different society:

In the South, soon after the communist victory, the party officials and military commanders on the spot declared open season on the previous regime’s culture. Gangs of young enthusiasts were secretly ordered or incited to destroy as much of this culture as they could. Early in May 1975, Communists burned every book in the libraries of the Saigon University Faculty of Law and Faculty of Letters; the books, they said, came from a “decadent culture.” Circulation of all other books, as well as art works such as music tapes, records, films, and even paintings, was prohibited. Communist youths went from door to door to search out and confiscated books and materials considered antirevolutionary.

Among the banned cultural products was “Golden Music,” love ballads, with lyrics often by well-known poets. Just for listening to this stuff, you could be locked up. Consider the case of Hanoi’s Nguyễn Văn Lộc. After the Communist takeover in 1954, Lộc and a small group of friends would gather in private homes to sing these ballads to each other. In 1968, this ballad-loving ring was finally exposed, with the entire seven-member gang arrested. First kept in The Furnace, better known to Americans as Hanoi Hilton, they were finally put on trial in January of 1971, with three men slammed with sentences of 15, 12 and ten years.

With “clemency,” Lộc served eight. Waiting patiently all this time, his girlfriend married the stigmatized man when he finally got out. After decades of struggle, Lộc now owns a café named Lộc Vàng [Golden Lộc] on the edge of Hanoi’s Western Lake. His friend Toán wasn’t so lucky. Broken and destitute after prison, the man died homeless in 1994. Lộc:

I marvel at how bitter my life has been. For doing nothing but loving music, I ended up in jail. Now, this kind of music is revived, and these songs are sung on TV. When I hear other people sing them, tears gather in my eyes.

Beneath this veneer of sidewalk hip hop shows, gay parades and transsexual bodybuilders, Vietnam is still very much a totalitarian state, however, for many people, priests, monks, journalists and bloggers, etc., are still imprisoned for thought crimes. Influential blogger Điếu Cày, for example, was locked up for 6 ½ years on trumped-up charge of tax evasion. He was kept in filthy, dark, solitary cells and beaten up. In 2003, Phạm Hồng Sơn was slapped with a 13-year-sentence for translating and disseminating “What is Democracy?” an article he found online. Sơn ended up serving 4 ½ years. Last May, dissident Father Nguyễn Văn Lý was finally released after eight years in prison.

Wealth in Vietnam also flows straight to the top, for its fattest cats are senior Communists. Gorging on graft, they own the swankiest nightclubs, send their kids to American universities and jet around at will to splurge on this world’s pleasures. With no free press or independent judiciary, corruption can’t be checked, so cops shake you down, professors sell grades, doctors demand tips before treatment and officials of all ranks sell favors and extort.

But isn’t the United States itself an oligarchy that’s seemingly free and superficially tolerant? Of course! Like China, Vietnam has learned from the U.S. on how to run a 21st century totalitarian society. Instead of banning pop culture, they’ve realized it’s the state’s best ally, for the more sexy, decadent or trivial this pop culture, the more it’ll tranquilize people as the elites rob them blind. Drunk on protean porn, the hip-gyrating plebes won’t even notice they’re being cornholed.

The United States has also been studying the Communist playbook, for it’s now legal to jail or even kill a citizen on the most nebulous charges. American laws are already totalitarian.

Linh Dinh’s novel Love Like Hate covers Vietnam in the 20th century. His Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press. He maintains an active photo blog.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Globalization, Multiculturalism, Vietnam 

John Kerry’s speech of December 28th, 2016 is an eye-opening indictment of Israel. Though prolix and padded with platitudes, its meat is a long overdue j’accuse.

Much of the world has long viewed the Jewish state as a serial landgrabbing killer. Indirectly, Kerry converged with this near consensus, “the settler agenda is defining the future of Israel. And their stated purpose is clear. They believe in one state: greater Israel,” but this settler agenda is the very definition of Israel, for it was founded on stealing other people’s land and killing them.

Unchecked, it will gobble up even more of its neighbors’ territories. Eric Margolis points out, “Israel may look small on the map but it’s a giant of a country, filled with very smart people who know just what they want and how to get it.”

On November 29th, 2012, the United Nations voted to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state.” 139 countries assented, 41 abstained and only 9 said no. The sulkers were Israel, United States, Canada, CzechRepublic, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama. The very next day, Israel announced it would build 3,000 more homes for Jews in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Screw the world, responded Israel.

Kerry quoted Shimon Peres to tell us that the 52% of Palestine given to Jews had ballooned to 78%, as of 2014. Kerry:

I don’t think most people in Israel, and certainly in the world, have any idea how broad and systematic the process has become. But the facts speak for themselves. The number of settlers in the roughly 130 Israeli settlements east of the 1967 lines has steadily grown. The settler population in the West Bank alone, not including East Jerusalem, has increased by nearly 270,000 since Oslo, including 100,000 just since 2009, when President Obama’s term began.

As Kerry said, stealing land from Palestinians is systematic and ongoing, but without systematic, bloody land theft, there would be no Israel at all. Stealing land is Israel’s core and DNA.

To most Americans, however, the Jewish homeland is a sacred, eternal victim that must be defended till the end (time). Jewish scripture is routinely evoked to defend Jewish larceny. Considering this most unnatural nation “God’s outpost,” Pat Robertson believes Jews must own it all. He cites:

I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring as a permanent possession (Genesis 13:15)

O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? (II Chronicles 20:7)

Influential blogger Michael Snyder believes God has punished the US ten times for not kissing Israel’s tush enough. When Bill Clinton met with Bashar al-Assad in 1994 to discuss the possible return of the Golan Heights, Yahweh retaliated within 24 hours by slamming California with the Northridge Earthquake. When Clinton failed to show enough love to Netanyahu at the White House in 1998, the Monica Lewinsky scandal spattered onto newsprint that same day. When Bush fils set August 23rd, 2005 as the deadline for removing Jewish settlers from Gaza, Hurricane Katrina took aim for New Orleans. The fact that it only caused minimal damage to the Bahamas and Cuba shows how excellent of a marksman God is.

Obama must have gotten a kick out of having a Jew, Kerry, shame the Jewish homeland. This affront won’t be shrugged off. What’s in your closet, Barack? The sex-slave island set up by mysteriously-funded Jewish billionaire Jeffrey Epstein ensnared some the world’s most powerful, but Obama never went there, apparently. Did he, however, order pasta and ice cream from Besta [Bestia, Beast] Pizza?

Israel’s defenders have lambasted Kerry’s speech as shameful, reckless and destructive. I asked my Palestinian friend, Tahseen al Khateeb, for a response. He emailed me from Amman, Jordan:

The only good thing about Mr. Kerry’s speech is that this is the first time we hear such blunt words from an American diplomat! Kerry’s rebuke of Israel is warmly welcomed all over the Arab world, but what’s really going on? I don’t believe the American administration’s conscience is suddenly awaken. The Obama Administration did nothing to help the Palestinians build their own free independent state, and nothing to prevent Israel’s war on Gaza. They did nothing to stop the building of settlements. So why now, in their final days in power, are they talking about Palestinian rights?!

In the near future, nothing will change with this US pivot, but symbolically, we’re living in a new world, one where Israel is universally seen as criminal in essence, a fact that’s reinforced each day it refuses to abandon its +130 illegal settlements.

Speaking to leaders of Muslim countries in 2003, Malaysian President Mahathir Mohamad described the founding of Israel as Europeans dumping their “Jewish problem” onto Muslims, a situation they had to swallow due to their weakness. After abusing Jews, Christians made Muslims pay to eternity. Thus:

There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right. They believe that things can only get worse. The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews. They will forever be poor, backward and weak.

Backing Israel has only discredited and immiserated the US and its Christian allies, however, and that’s why they’re starting to wash their hands of this nightmare. Leaving office, Obama can finally afford to pipe up some truth. Coming in, Trump is prostrating himself most abjectly. He’s showing his true colors. To defend this deeply despised nation is to go against the world, truth, justice, common sense and America.

Another apartheid country, South Africa, had to remake itself after becoming delegitimized and universally condemned, so the end of Israel is within sight. Without this endless font of strife and mendacity, the world will be a much better place. Amen.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America will be published by Seven Stories Press in January of 2017. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine 

Few cultural traditions are as charming, beautiful and unifying as the German Christmas Market. For about a month, the center of each German city or town becomes a festival ground, where folks can eat, drink and enjoy each other’s company. The offerings of gluhwein, wursts, flammkuchen, fish stew, handbrot, cinnamon stars, carved figurines and tiered pyramids with propellers, etc., allow one to be surrounded by such a lovely people at their most radiant. I’m blessed to have experienced Christmas Markets in Leipzig, Halle, Munich, Bozen and Berlin. Strolling through one, you feel embraced by life itself.

On December 19th, 2016, a truck plowed through a Berlin Christmas Market, killing 11 innocents and injuring 56 others. Though the driver fled the scene, it’s claimed that he left behind his ID, miraculously. Not only that, his biography was immediately available for broadcast worldwide, then Anis Amri was expediently tracked down in Milan and shot to death, precluding a trial.

Trump and others are calling this an attack on Christians, and I certainly agree, but I don’t blame Muslims, here or in the larger scheme, for they are merely pawns in the systematic deformation of not just Germany, but Europe.

They’re not the ones destroying Muslim countries, insisting that even non-refugees be allowed into Europe, branding white nationalists as racists and spectacularly amplifying, with false flags, Muslim crime. Muslims have made none of the decisions behind this worsening crisis.

My friend in Frankfurt has given us two previous reports from Germany. Here’s his latest:

Welcome to the madhouse, a country suffering from dementia and denial, and therefore poised for big, big trouble…

With Berlin, we just had the first major terror attack in Germany (after several small ones: a guy with an axe tried to chop a Chinese family to pieces on a train near Würzburg; a suicide bomber killed himself and wounded ten people at a concert in Ansbach; in Hamburg, somebody stabbed a teenager to death while ISIS claimed responsibility; at a Munich shopping center, an Iranian shot and killed ten people, but he was aiming for foreigners because he hated them, he said, so perhaps this was a right wing attack? Everything is possible these days…).

Back to the topic: a 16 year old girl rammed a knife into a policeman’s throat, having been inspired by the Islamic state; a guy in Reutlingen stabbed a Polish woman to death with a knife; we had several failed attempts to plant bombs by loony Jihadists, the last a 12-year-old boy who tried to blow one up at the Christmas market in Ludwigshafen. One of the bright future kids of Germany? I doubt it. Now, we had the attack in Berlin, where 12 people were killed.

As for murders or attempted murders of foreigners by these evil Nazi scums we’re constantly warned about: none for 2016!

It doesn’t take a genius to predict that 2017 will be much, much worse… I guess we will see terror attacks with hundreds, maybe even thousands of deaths, but people will do nothing against it, because, as I said, the German psyche is suffering.

Like a patient in a mental asylum, Germany is not able to see and therefore to get things straight. Having been told for decades that foreigners are good and nationalism is bad, Germans can’t come to the conclusion that open borders serve not only trade, but also terrorism.

Caveat: we always need to consider the possibility of the secret services’ involvement when it comes to terrorist acts. We now know that several past attacks were instigated by various secret services. There is a great journalist in Deutschland, Wolfgang Eggert, who is an expert on the topic. For example, he debunked the official story of attacks by the National Socialistic Underground.

NSU was a rightist extremist organization held responsible for the murders of nine Kurds in Germany between 2000 and 2006, and also for the killing of a female police officer in 2007. While we’re constantly told that it was the NSU, and that there is such a great danger from the right, Eggert could show, in several articles and interviews, that the official story just stinks.

Of course, you’ll only find this truth in the alternative media. In a few decades, the mainstream press may reveal it, when it won’t matter anymore. Same with the Red Brigades attacks in Milan in the 60′s. Now, we know that a NATO secret organization named Gladio was responsible.

Thanks to a whistleblower, we also know that the Munich Bomb attack during Oktoberfest in 1980, blamed on Neo-Nazis, was actually instigated by the German Secret Services.

But hey, that was 36 years ago, so it doesn’t really matter anymore, does it?

With the recent terror attacks, we can assume that at least some of them may not have happened quite in the way we are told. For example, the police informed us recently that an identification paper of the Berlin suspect was found inside the truck!

Funny how such documents are often found to identify the suspects. A passport was found in the rubble of 9/11, a passport was found in the truck after the Nice terrorist incident in 2015, and now an identification document is also found in the truck in Berlin. Damn stupid, these whacky terrorists, leaving traces everywhere!

So back to the situation. We have, still, open borders and “refugees” pouring into the country by the thousands. Mostly young men, they come from different cultural backgrounds and have totally different mindsets in regards to women, violence, the state and work, etc.

Reassuring us that all is well, our media keep claiming that events like Berlin cannot be prevented, should not lead to racial hatred and have nothing to do with Islam or massive immigration.

Funny, an Israeli expert on terror said on German TV that Germans should get used to these attacks. The audience and TV host nodded in agreement.

We know that the majority of these refugee men will never contribute to the German labor market (as I laid out in my last report). Slowly, this also dawns on the press.

We have reports about Christian refugees being hassled, beaten and threatened by the Muslim majority in the refugee centers.

We still have thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of refugees who were never registered, who just slipped into the country and disappeared.

We have the police telling us that in the last three years, the number of people who are deemed willing to instigate Islamic terror attacks in Germany has risen from 500 to 8,500.

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We have countless incidents of sexual harassment, violence, theft, rape, etc., involving refugees, but we are still told that the refugees are no more criminal than Germans. As the government dismisses the problem, however, the number of security personnel has increased dramatically, so now you’ll find security guards at supermarkets, Christmas markets, public swimming pools and discotheques, wherever refugees go.

But no, we should not connect dots. We really shouldn’t.

Recently in Austria, the Interior Ministry provided these statistics about rapes, so now we know that although refugees only make up roughly 2% of the population there, they account for 15% of the rape suspects during 2015.

Who should be indignant about this? Our feminists scream bloody murder when a politician says to a female journalist that she “could easily fill a dirndl,” implying she had big boobs. Oh, the outrage! Sexism! Condemn him! But funnily, our feminists are dead silent when it comes to all sexual violence committed by refugees.

Remember Cologne? Real pussygrabbing in the thousands? Shhhh….. better be silent.

I would have really thought that was sexism, but apparently I am wrong.

It seems nobody in Germany knows Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian feminist who has interesting things to say about Arab men and their attitude and behavior towards women.

And nobody remembers studies like the one telling us, in 2013, that 99.3% of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, most commonly unwanted touching.

No, no, no, let’s look the other way. We recently had the rape and murder of a German student in Freiburg by a refugee from Afghanistan. Getting back to the statistic from Austria (unfortunately, there are no German ones available): With 180,000 Germans and 35-40,000 Afghans in Austria, there were 10 German rape suspects and 55 Afghan ones in 2015, but please move on, there’s nothing to see!

Freiburg is a leftist town full of “Refugees Welcome” supporters. Its number of incidents involving refugee violence is growing, and so is the unease. There are groups of young refugee men who are on the streets constantly because they have nothing to do.

But a change of thinking? A questioning of beliefs? Nah, let’s buy pepper spray instead! Boohoo! We know from brain research that the vast majority of humans live in a constant state of cognitive dissonance, so debating or discussing the obvious will not help. People will have to experience the consequences of their actions and decisions, and they will.

In Bochum, an Iraqi refugee raped two Chinese students. The Chinese Consulate gave a travel warning for Chinese visitors. Our authorities told us to not generalize these incidents.

When a German man tells a German woman that she’s a little cutie (süsse Maus), it might be bad! Oh, condemn the sexism! But when a Kurdish man ties his wife to his car and drags her through the streets of Herne, almost killing her, there is just silence. It seems that this behavior is not sexist at all.

Or when an African man pours gasoline on his wife in the street, then lights her on fire, causing her death, there is, again, silence. That’s not sexist either.

Like I said, we have an insane policy of welcoming foreign men who will cling to completely alien mindsets and form ghettos to live apart from Germans. Most will never be integrated into the workforce, and some will do the most horrible things here.

Islam will be integrated and Sharia law will be officially accepted as equal to the Grundgesetz (the German constitution). This is not so farfetched as one would think. We are already constantly told that Islam is a religion of peace, that Sharia law is fine, that child marriage is not so bad as it seems, etc.

When a private Sharia police began patrolling the streets of Wuppertal, talking to people and telling them to stop drinking alcohol, etc., the authorities put an end to this, but the Sharia policemen were NOT found guilty of anything! Quite interesting.

The judge declared that the orange vests of the Sharia Police didn’t have an “intimidating or militant effect,” and since they weren’t similar to real police clothing, there was no violation of the “Uniformverbot,” a German law which prohibits people to wear uniforms as a sign of a political attitude. Charges were dropped and the Sharia policemen left the court as free men.

Funnily enough, in 2008, some Germans had done a similar thing and walked the streets of Dortmund. They wore T-shirts with “Die Rechte Stadtschutz Dortmund” on it. It roughly translates as “The Right’s Urban Guard of Dortmund”. They were from a right wing movement and talked, for example, to homosexuals to warn them against AIDS, etc.

Guess what? In 2014, a court ruled that they had violated the Uniformverbot. I don’t see a difference to the Sharia Police, but maybe I need to learn that two and two equals five, if I’m told that it equals five.

On the eve of the next depression, which should happen next year, this sort of migration policy is completely insane. I suspect there is a deliberate plan to fragment and weaken society so that we will accept all security measures from above. The same people that have put us into this precarious and increasingly dangerous situation will offer to save us!

This is perfect Machiavellianism. Fool the plebs, then make ‘em pay while you stay in power and have your way! Hurrah! Do you want more surveillance? Ja! Total surveillance? Ja! Do you want to eliminate cash to fight terrorism? Ja!

In the end, it all has to do with the collective mindset. Germans (or rather West Germans) have been told for decades that, ABOVE ALL THINGS, a new Third Reich has to be prevented! So all aspects of nationalism or even patriotism are bad, because patriotism can lead to chauvinism, which leads to Fascism, which leads to Auschwitz, and Auschwitz must never happen again! It’s nearly a religious cult we have built around the Third Reich.

ORDER IT NOW

Whenever somebody is to be destroyed (socially), you must only hint that he’s thinking or saying something which was also said in the Third Reich. Very effective! A German writer once called this behavior the Nazi-Keule, the “Nazi bludgeon.” If you criticize Jews, Israel, foreigners, immigration or if you say that German policy should focus on Germans, etc., you will get clubbed with the Nazi bludgeon.

This cult of Nazis, Auschwitz or the Third Reich is NOT to be critically debated! It is a taboo and, funnily enough, just like in a primitive society, everybody knows and fears the taboo while pretending it doesn’t exist. Interesting.

So the feeling of national unity has been erased, and completely absent in younger people. Germans would rather let their society slip into chaos than accused of being Nazis.

Mindfucked, we are submitting completely to avoid trouble, just as Germans submitted to Hitler back then.

Hmmm, maybe Islam really is a part of Germany, as one of our presidents said. Submission here, submission there…

Well, they couldn’t avoid trouble back then, and they won’t avoid trouble now. Even more bizarrely, Germans are so brainwashed and scared that this mindset will harden even more. I see it in discussions with people. With fervor, they cling to their beliefs. We will have multiculturalism at any cost because nationalism is bad!

And we will succeed, meaning that every city in Western Germany will soon have its own ghetto, that many people will be scared all the time because of muggers, rapists, terrorists and drug pushers, etc.

Life will go on but it will be tougher, with some areas resembling Brazil or Nigeria. I once was in Nigeria on a business trip. You can do great business there, if you have money, but life in general is tough. Make these fairly obvious observations and you will be accused of “hate speech,” or maybe “fake news.”

Don’t worry! Help is on the way! Our Minister of the Interior is thinking about a new law to imprison people up to five years for disseminating fake news, but what are fake news? Well, that is for the experts to decide.

And hate speech must be banned! What is hate speech? Well, that is for the experts to decide. And Germans must also integrate! No joke, a journalist demanded that Germans must integrate into a multicultural society.

According to another expert, they should also consider learning Arabic! And be more “culturally sensitive” towards others, as advised by a panel of immigration experts.

What Germans will do is keeping their mouths shut. They will take their children to school by car, or transferring them to other schools, if the percentage of immigrants is getting too high, and their kids get hassled for being German. They will move to another neighborhood, and make their house safe against burglars. They will buy pepper spray and hope that the situation will improve, which it won’t.

We’ll deny that we are in trouble until the very end. We’ll throw our freedom away, hoping that we’ll keep our security, only to lose both.

2017 will be just another year in the process of turning Germany into a perfect prison, a prison of the mind, and a real prison too.

Personally, I think we’ll either have a brutal and dangerous multicultural society in 15-20 years, or civil unrest, even war. Keep in mind that civil wars usually start because of economic troubles, and the economic troubles just ahead are huge. Should the social payments stop one day, all hell will break loose.

Already 70% of the children under five in Frankfurt have an immigration background, so it’ll be either total submission or civil war. I suspect it will be the latter, and that it will start in Eastern Germany, in conjunction with a movement towards secession.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America will be published by Seven Stories Press in January of 2017. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.

 
Linh Dinh
About Linh Dinh

Born in Vietnam in 1963, Linh Dinh came to the US in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). He has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. He is also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. His writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and he has been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US, and has also published widely in Vietnamese.