Monday, September 26, 2016

Macht Amerika groß noch einmal!

This photo popped up in my Facebook feed this morning. A young woman snapped this photo at the Bloomsburg Fair in central Pennsylvania, over the weekend. Just as it was starting to go viral, Facebook deleted the post for "violating community standards." I'm guessing Trumpians filed complaints. The photo is of a vendor at the popular fair-- can't quite make out what they're selling other than flags-- with the delightful juxtaposition of a Trump flag and a Hitler Youth flag (That's what this is. I looked it up). There appears to be a dozen Nazi flags for sale, all bunched up there.

I haven't been able to find anything else about this. It's rural Pennsylvania, so it's not as if there's a lot of media coverage there. It could also be that Fair officials put the kibosh on this pretty quick. The Facebook page of the Bloomsburg Fair is riddled with comments bashing them for the flag vendor. They can't delete the comments fast enough!

Central Pennsylvania has, sadly, become a hotbed of loony rightwing types, most famously Police Chief Mark Kessler, whose insane Youtube rants against "libtards" cost him his job a few years ago, and Eric Frein, a sovereign citizen nutjob who shot two state troopers, killing one of them, before leading authorities on a 48-day manhunt in 2014. The Southern Poverty Law Center finds that Pennsylvania is #5 for most hate groups in the US, and is #1 for anti-government groups.

This is the ugly reality in the rural Midwest, including, sadly, here in Ohio. Since I was born and raised in rural Ohio, and have witnessed firsthand the evolution of smalltown farmers to frothing gun nuts, I know the "Basket of Deplorables" is a very real thing. This county fair display isn't a rare exception. It's a reflection.

ADDENDUM: The fair confiscated the flags and closed down the vendor and has scheduled a board meeting where said vendor will no doubt be permanently banned. No doubt they are expecting a lawsuit from the vendor and his loon backers, so they have to do it by the book.

It also turns out, the vendor, who also is selling all manner of vile bumper stickers and t-shirts (example: Aids Kills Fags) is a registered sex offender perv, having been charged on 20 counts of child pornography in 2007.

“I’ve been doing this shit for 45 years,” says Lawrence Betsinger, the man with the Nazi flags. “I can’t see where it would be some tragic thing just because somebody bitched and moaned about it.” I've no doubt he has indeed been a regular seller at fairs and flea markets and gun shows. I've seen shit like this myself, although not with the delicious Nazi + Trump visual.

And now the libtards and the homos have done cost ol' Lar him some fair money! I'm betting the far-right loons all pitch in to help him out. His business will probably double.