Friday, February 17, 2017

Dear Leader Is Right

First they called the media the "opposition party", and told them to "keep their mouth shut".

Today it is the "enemy of the American people."

The White House once again festers with fascism, and the tyranny that sees journalism and a free press as threats to their power and message.

The Right has never forgotten or forgiven  journalism, since Watergate took Nixon down.

"Liberal media" is a term invented by the Right. The phrase is in itself the biased opinion of the Right.

Yes, there is "liberal media" like The Nation and Mother Jones. They do not have a corporate bias. They are reality based. This is why Colbert said reality has a "well known liberal bias". Funny 'cause it's true.

There is Con-servative media from talk radio, to FOX, to Murdoch's print empire, and of course Kommisar Bannon's Breitbart, our White House propaganda ministry. They serve as propagandists for the Alt-Right, white nationalists, and Republican Party. They are not reality based.

The mainstream media is corporate owned. It is not liberal. It is corporate, with a corporate agenda and corporate bias. Sometimes they are reality based. Other times they pander to government or corporate interests. They are capitalists, not socialists.

Low information, or indoctrinated, people cannot understand or accept these facts. To that degree the duplicity is a victory for the Right.

Now a fascist tells us media is the "enemy of the American people". Yes, the same corporate media that made the asshole into a celebrity.


Ironically Dear Leader is right, just not as he sees it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wonderful Idea, Isn't It?

General “Putin Pal” Flynn has been exposed. He resigned, not because of what he did, not because the White House didn’t know, but because someone was patriotic enough to inform the public and report the truth.

And truth is the enemy of our authoritarian leadership. The Trumpists are scrambling, not to expose the Russian interference in our election, but to squash anyone exposing their sordid actions.

It's a good thing we have a few patriots in the FBI and intelligence agencies who understand they serve all Americans, not just the Trumpists. They will be targets. Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for daring to speak truth to his abuse of power.

Our Dear Leader, Putin’s Puppet, had no problem with his campaign illegally negotiating with Russians. He openly invited Russia to hack against Hillary. It was no joke. “I don’t kid” declared Dear Leader recently.

The Great American Tragedy has become a supreme Russian victory. Putin won the election. Comey won the election. What happens when a dictator and a powerful head of law enforcement collude in the acquisition of political power for a narcissistic authoritarian?

Police states happen.

If not for some patriotic civil servants, the Trumpists would be getting away with more underhanded tactics.

The far Right authoritarians of the GOP,(Most Republicans) are in lock-step loyalty to their Dear Leader. They will follow to the bitter end. Their bunker awaits.

Rand Paul has his priorities. “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party...Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

Investigations are for Democrats. We get it.

Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, understands. He was ready for President Hillary Clinton.

“It’s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up.”.

Why bother to investigate the weasel Flynn’s treachery? Chaffetz said the matter “was taking care of itself”

This is the time for John McCain and any other Republican with a basic sense of human decency, to step up and voice their outrage over this ongoing Great American Tragedy.

Having one wacko "pizzagate" conspiracy nut gone is a good thing. Too bad his former emotionally unstable boss is still a follower of Alex Jones.

But fear not, Dear Leader is a "man of the people". His cabinet of Exxon/Mobile, by Goldman Sachs, and for the Kochs is cranking up to speed. And his racist run Justice Department prepares to target minority voting rights, dissent, and any opponent of Dear Leader.

Comey and Putin have decided on our presidency. Their interference and political manipulations, along with the antiquated electoral college have crushed the will of the people. This is how America will be great, right?

The Klan cheers. Authoritarian con-servatives gloat. Formerly reasonable people say, "Let's give him a chance".

Wonderful idea, isn't it? Yes, let's give Putin, Bannon, and Alex Jones a shot at determining the course of our nation.

How can anybody NOT think that a corrupt cartel of authoritarian liars, white nationalists, Putin toadies, and corporate elites will make America great?

Welcome to Trumpistan.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Right's War On Truth

Before linking to articles examining the history of the Right’s war on truth, I offer these introductory remarks.
==
Traditional American conservatism has been transformed into a radical Right "Movement Conservatism" (con-servatism), and has gone from pledging to support and defend the Constitution, to pledging to support and defend the wealth of the elites.

The radical Right MUST LIE, because they represent a powerful and wealthy anti-democracy minority bent on one-party rule. They serve that political power, and their god called the “Free Market”. Their god has no conscience, no morals, and no regard for our air, water and planet.

Slavery and child labor were once in service to their Free Market God, just as science denial, environmental degradation, union busting, and opposition to minimum wage and job safety standards are today.

This is the unspoken truth in both our culture and corporate/government complex.

We who seek and share the truth now find we are out on the "Reality Fringe". It is the place not to be recognized, to be dismissed by the corporate media, ownership class, and extremist political culture.

Con-servatism is based on beliefs focused on self interest, but over-proportionally benefiting the economic elites, all under the banner of their false god.

Progressivism is based on facts and reason, focused on the common good.

While we reject their beliefs, they reject facts and reason. 'Twas ever thus.

==

In “1984” Orwell said, "Ignorance is strength". Electing a man who claims climate change is a Chinese hoax makes the case. We needn't continue down the long list of ignorant statements.

Americans have been long conditioned to revere wealth, and view the wealthy as morally and intellectually superior to the general population.

Remember when "personal responsibility" was the value conservatives claimed as their own? 

That went out their "Overton window" when they embraced alternative facts.

Personal responsibility doesn't apply to our new con-servative authoritarian leader. "When you're a star, they let you get away with it". This boast of sexual assault is from the "law and order" candidate. We know just who "law and order" applies to, don't we?

==

The “Big Lie” wins again.

The voices from the far Right insist newspapers and broadcast media (AKA “Liberal media”) are "cheering sections for the most progressive elements of government".

They will ignore certain facts though. Today's corporate news media are owned by a small number of corporations. A very large share of it is owned by Murdoch’s Right Wing News Corp; Fox News, Wall Street Journal, etc.

"Liberal media" is the far Right's highly misleading propaganda term for corporate media. Unlike in the past, the news divisions are used for profit generation. Much has changed from the public service requirement of airwaves and print news.

Corporate media serve their bottom line, not liberal ideology. Their bias is always in favor of their corporate owners and advertisers.

Always.

They support the status quo because the status quo supports them.

Always.

Corporate media run stories the Right doesn’t like, so it is accused of bias against them. They ignore the fact the same corporate media virtually parroted Bush and Cheney’s Saddam/al-Qaeda ties, “nukular” aluminum tubes, and “biological labs” lies as news.

The radical Right’s war on truth is now getting dangerous for the entire world.

The Pentagon knows climate change is real. Why do Republicans disagree with both the scientific consensus and Pentagon on what is real?

How can that be sane, let alone reasonable?

They are rewarded by Big Oil and the Kochs to reject reason and science, and to deny climate change. Then they project unto science their own obvious “political agenda”.

This corruption is a threat to the nation, humanity and the planet.

Their lack of intellectual honesty clearly disqualifies them to lead any country.

The truth offers no comfort. The lies wrap it up and put them at ease. No more thinking about what they don't want to know.

====

From:

“Secrets of conservatives’ decades-long war on truth

Deep on page 546 of his 1,839-page budget, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker tucked in a crucial idea. He proposed to strip a principle from the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin, a school that attracts students from all over the nation and from 131 foreign countries. From the core philosophy that has driven the university since the turn of the last century Walker wanted to hack out the words: “Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.” Rather than serving the people of the state by developing intellectual, cultural and humane sensitivities, expertise, and “a sense of purpose,” Walker prefers that the state university simply “meet the state’s workforce needs.” In the face of scathing criticism, the governor backtracked and, despite a trail of emails that led to his office, tried to claim the new language was a “drafting error.”

But Walker’s attempt to replace the search for truth with workforce training was no error. Since the earliest days of Movement Conservatism in the 1950s, its leaders have understood that the movement’s success depends on destroying Americans’ faith in the academic search for truth. For two generations, Movement Conservatives have subverted American politics, with increasing success, by explicitly rejecting the principle of open debate based in reasoned argument. They have refused to engage with facts and instead simply demonized anyone who disagrees with their ideology. This is an astonishing position. It is an attack on the Enlightenment principles that gave rise to Western civilization.


Make no mistake: the attack is deliberate.


... After an economic free-for-all of the 1920s that had pitched the nation into the Great Depression, Americans embraced the government regulation that reined in shady business dealings and protected workers. How could businessmen make inroads against such a popular program?


In 1951, a young William F. Buckley, Jr. articulated a strategy for opposing the consensus that supported New Deal policies. Buckley’s “God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom’” was a sophomoric diatribe by the Catholic son of a wealthy oil magnate, published by the small right-wing Henry Regnery Press. In it, Buckley rejected the principles that had enabled social progress for centuries and laid out a mind-boggling premise: The Enlightenment, the intellectual basis of Western Civilization, was wrong.

Rational argument supported by facts did not lead to sound societal decisions, Buckley claimed; it led people astray...

...When Governor Walker replaced “the search for truth” with “meet the state’s workforce needs” in the charge to the University of Wisconsin, he did not make an error. He was articulating the principle that has driven Movement Conservatives since their earliest days: Facts and arguments can only lead Americans toward a government that regulates business and supports working Americans, and they must be squelched.



====

 And more recently we have a piece by conservative talk radio host Charles Sykes, admitting what went wrong.


He recalls Trump’s campaign surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes saying, There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” (Well, besides “alternative facts”.)
====


From “Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying”:

Mr. Trump understands that attacking the media is the reddest of meat for his base, which has been conditioned to reject reporting from news sites outside of the conservative media ecosystem.

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled. 

====


Amen.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Warning Signs

As Dear Leader announced his discriminatory ban against Muslims and avoided mentioning Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we should pause and examine the history of such behavior.  

Let’s have a look at the poster hanging in the US Holocaust Museum listing the early warning signs of fascism:

EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF FASCISM

1. Powerful and continuing nationalism
2. Disdain for human rights
3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
4. Rampant sexism
5. Controlled mass media
6. Obsession with national security
7. Religion and government intertwined
8. Corporate power protected
9. Labor power suppressed
10. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
11. Obsession with crime and punishment
12. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Looks like the agenda of the Bannon/Trump White House.

In other news, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court joked in his yearbook that he founded and led "Fascism Forever Club" to rally against the "left-wing tendencies" of his professors while attending a Jesuit all-boys preparatory high school.

“Left wing” Jesuit teachers? Right. Just like the "liberal media".


If allowed on the stolen seat on the Supreme Court he’ll get to promote Dear Leader's version of the real thing.

Addendum:

 1. Powerful and continuing nationalism

“America first. America first.” "When you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it. Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough. It's time we're going to be a little tough, folks. We're taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It's not going to happen anymore. It's not going to happen anymore." - Trump  "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist," - Commissar Bannon

2. Disdain for human rights

“Torture absolutely works”. Trump calls for 'hell of a lot worse than waterboarding' ... "I would bring back waterboarding," - Trump 

3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause

Mexicans, Muslims, and Media, Oh my.

4. Rampant sexism

"Tic Tac" Donny "The Pussy Grabber" Trump. Commissar Bannon was arrested for grabbing his wife by the throat.  

5. Controlled mass media

“Suing the press for libel”. Only “Alternative facts” from FOX and Breitbart are to be trusted. “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party.” – Commissar Bannon

6. Obsession with national security

"Our decimated military". "We never win anymore".

7. Religion and government intertwined

Trump vows to “totally destroy” restrictions on churches’ support of candidates

8.Corporate power protected

 In a 52 to 47 vote, the Senate approved a resolution already passed by the House of Representatives that wipes from the books a rule requiring companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp to publicly state the taxes and other fees they pay to foreign governments. Tax cuts to follow. We now have a cabinet of Exxon/Moblie, by Goldman Sachs, and for the Kochs.
 
9. Labor power suppressed

Trump launches war on unions: First, Trump blasted an Indiana union boss personally on Twitter, prompting a blistering response from labor leaders. Then he announced his choice for secretary of the Department of Labor is fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, an outspoken union opponent.

10. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts

Exhibit A: Suppression of climate science. 

Exhibit B: "The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!, The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”

11. Obsession with crime and punishment

“I am the Law and Order candidate”.  “Stop and frisk” and more militarization of police are his agenda. Threatens to “send in the feds”, militarizing law enforcement in Chicago.

12. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Corporate billionaires in the cabinet. Ivanka in meetings with heads of state. Son in law as advisor.

The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet

Sexual-Assault Allegations
The Beauty Pageant Scandals 
Racial Housing Discrimination  
Mafia Ties  
Trump University  
Tenant Intimidation  
The Four Bankruptcies  
The Undocumented Polish Workers  
Alleged Marital Rape  
Breaking Casino Rules  
Antitrust Violations  
Condo Hotel Shenanigans  
Suing Journalist Tim O’Brien for Libel 
Refusing to Pay Workers and Contractors
Undocumented Models
The Trump Foundation

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Freedom And Suppression Of Freedom

Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer hit the ground running, quickly emulating the Orwellian Ministry of Truth in “1984”. 

Not that it’s an issue of importance, just Trump’s ego, that his hands are much smaller... I mean his inauguration crowd was much smaller than Obama’s. 

The Ministry of Truth had to provide “alternative facts”, in Kellyanne Conway’s words, about the inauguration crowd.

They’re jealous and upset that the number of protesters AFTER the inauguration was far larger than the pro-Trump crowd.

The national and global protests were massive. They represent "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

As with minority rights to vote, this freedom is a threat to Trump and his Republican rulers.

Suppressing the truth along with the constitutional right to vote are not the Republicans’ only tactics against the remnants of a free republic.

As I previously noted, dissent will be suppressed and viciously attacked. 

Republicans are leading the assault for their Dear Leader already. Their assault on constitutional free speech is under way.

Our First Amendment rights are in their crosshairs.

Republican Lawmakers in Five States Propose Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest.

They even go so far as to virtually give free license to kill protesters by running them over.

And we thought Bush’s fenced off “Free Speech Zones” were bad.

Of course no fascist regime, and Republican Party tyranny, is complete without suppressing and demonizing a free press.

Channeling his inner Goebbels, Spicer said, “There's been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable.  And I'm here to tell you that it goes two ways.  We're going to hold the press accountable, as well.”

Nein, Herr Reichsminister!

It does NOT go “two ways” in a free country.  It does NOT go “two ways” under our Constitution's First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. A free press is NOT accountable to government.

Journalism is always the enemy of tyranny, and the Republican Trump Cult is no exception.

The far Right’s dogma and demonization of “liberal media” reflects the same scorn for a free press as the Nazi’s term “Lügenpresse” (lying press).

==

The ugly history of ‘Lügenpresse,’ a Nazi slur shouted at a Trump rally

Critics of Adolf Hitler's regime were frequently referred to as members of the “Lügenpresse apparatus.”... “Lügenpresse” (lying press) was an important component under propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

==

We recall the post-Trump-victory celebration by leading ideologue of the alt-right movement Richard B. Spencer, where he said, “Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?”

The audience immediately screamed back, “Lügenpresse,” reviving a Nazi-era word that means “lying press.”

Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests.

==

Dear Leader himself is only too happy to lead the charge against our Constitutional free press.

Even the libertarian Cato Institute understands:

From “Trump’s Dangerous War on Press Freedom”:
By Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff

Trump’s outrageous attacks are only the latest assault in a war on press freedom he has waged throughout his campaign, and which he told a journalist at the press conference he intends to carry on into the White House.

At his rallies, Trump has frequently belittled journalists, whom he keeps restricted to a small fenced pen. He’s called reporters “liars,” low-lifes” and “dishonest scum,” as he singles them out for ridicule before the jeering crowd.

“We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before,” Trump told journalists at one rally, promising to punish the publication of “purposely negative stories.”

“Donald Trump misunderstands — or, more likely, simply opposes — the role a free press plays in a democratic society,” said Thomas Burr, the National Press Club president. “Reporters are supposed to hold public figures accountable. Any American political candidate who attacks the press for doing its job is campaigning in the wrong country. In the United States, under our Constitution, a free press is a check on politicians of all parties.

“If we are to demand that other countries respect the tradition of a free press, we must also practice that here at home.”

But don’t expect any such demands from Trump if he’s elected president.

==

No worries. Trump is eagerly fulfilling his expected role in America’s Last Great Tragedy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Silenced Majority v Extremist Minority

This past election the voice of the clear majority of Americans was politically silenced.

We were silenced by the results of the fatal flaw in our democratic representative republic. The Electoral College proved to be the poison pill in our Constitution that abetted a tyranny of the minority, the Extremist Minority.

Yes there were factors apart from the Electoral College that had some effect. Turnout is always an element. The partisan interference by a crooked FBI director was an unprecedented corruption of his office. An open invitation for Russian hacking from Trump revealed the warped and unpatriotic character of our next president.  Corporate media’s false equivalences and Clinton’s flaws provide many answers to how it happened.

The reasons don’t matter so much anymore. The damage has been done. Something else matters now. 

When the Extremist Minority seizes one-party rule, resistance is the only recourse for the majority. We the people, we the Silenced Majority, must resist.  We resist, or the authoritarian agenda forged by the hate-fueled Extremist Minority will prevail, until the inevitable destructions wrought by such tyranny ensue.

We must understand, even if we resist quickly, we may not be able to prevent or delay those destructions inevitably wrought by tyranny.

We the Silenced Majority must resist by wielding our power, our right of free speech. And we must resist emphatically, while we still have that right.
What is left of our free press will be further muzzled by the Extremist Minority. Far Right propaganda will be intensified. Dissent will be suppressed and viciously attacked.

This is certain.

But we have to remember how the Extremist Minority rose to power. 

Nobody whined louder than the racist and greedy Tea Party fringe when the dreaded Black Man won the White House. FOX(R) sponsored their events and gave them their megaphone. Ever the lapdogs, corporate media followed.

The Tea Party cult was never a majority, but they dominated the political discourse through constant attention from the corporate media. Trump would employ this tactic with a vengeance. His racist and demonizing birtherism fostered hate and ignorance in the most gullible and bigoted of our population. Throughout the election year, no voice was heard more than his in our corporate broadcast media.

Bullies are always the loudest.

We the majority must be louder.  

And we need to learn something else from the Tea Party. We must be more active. We must march. We must speak. We must write, and call our representatives and senators until they listen and respond.

We must attend any forum or town hall meeting that allows us to voice our concerns to House and Senate members.

They will be under great pressure to conform to the dictates of the Extremist Minority Administration and the Republican Party.

They must understand they will be hearing from us until the agenda of the Extremist Minority is defeated. They must know they will be voted out if they fail to defend our cause for freedom, equality and democracy.

We the people, we the Silenced Majority, must demand our rights. We must demand our Constitutional regulation of commerce, and our Constitutional provision for the general welfare. We must demand public ownership and benefit from public resources. We must demand public education and public health.

If we do not, the Extremist Minority will sell it all off, or outright give it to their friends.

We must demand an end to aggressive militarism. We must demand an end to brutal law enforcement and unjust laws. We must demand living wages, safer working conditions, and employee rights.

We must expose the corruptions, and demand accountability from the elites of the Extremist Minority.

The barbarians have crashed the gates and taken power. Civilization and humanity are imperiled by a narcissistic, authoritarian lunatic endorsing another nuclear arms race. He has a cabinet and advisors consisting of billionaires, racists, and paranoid, conspiracy mongering generals. This merging of authoritarian power is how fascism takes hold over democracy.

The struggle for freedom, justice, equality and democracy never ends.

If we do not resist with conviction and passion, we shall certainly surrender in final defeat to the tyranny of the Extremist Minority. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Looming New Order of Trumpistan



Abetted by the electoral college’s betrayal of democracy, White America has spoken. It’s going to be a long dark journey ahead, kids.


"Conflict of interest" will be ignored as Trump and his cronies fleece the nation and violate our Constitution. Kleptocracy will rise to greater heights.


Article 1 Section 9:

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.


There will be a frenzy of deregulation of commerce, and cuts for the general welfare.


People will lose health care.


Massive tax cuts will be given to corporations and the rich. More of our tax dollars, (not Trump's) will be redistributed into corporate pockets.


More tax dollars (ours, not his) for education will go into corporate pockets.


Trump's brats will pay zero inheritance taxes on all the wealth they scoop up when the world is liberated from the endless lies and hate from their father.


His selective protectionism and impulsive actions could trigger a global economic meltdown.


He has threatened torture and other war crimes. He said we should steal Iraqi oil. He will likely provoke war with Iran. Putin may have to try to reign him in.


Fossil fuel polluters will be allowed to further poison our atmosphere and assure catastrophic climate change. Trump will censor and eliminate NASA climate research.


Free speech will be suppressed. Trump wants to punish flag burners. We can count on swift retaliation for all who criticize him.


What's left of the free press will be muzzled, or conform to parroting Republican lies like they did for Bush and Cheney. Corporate media will have a "Trump honeymoon", because after all, we need to give him a chance to fulfill his agenda. Something not allowed for black presidents.


Trump will put a far Right extremist lackey on the Supreme Court.


Hate groups will commit more crimes against minorities.


Yes, this is just an inkling of how Dear Leader Trump and his one-party dictatorship will make America great again.