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