Monday, March 25, 2019

Exonerated? Hell, No.

As the Deep State Turns.

Mrs. Betty Bowers understands:

MAGA CULT YESTERDAY: "The Mueller investigation is a corrupt, biased witch hunt that will only produce lies! The FBI is a cabal of criminals."


MAGA CULT TODAY: "The Mueller investigation is a 100% reliable search for the truth. God bless the FBI."

First some facts:

The Mueller investigation resulted in indictments for more than three dozen individuals for a variety of crimes, including top Trump campaign officials and members of Russian intelligence.

Among the indicted and guilty pleas are Trump’s inner circle cronies: former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, former campaign chair Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former personal attorney Michael Cohen, and his longtime adviser Roger Stone. 

All of these crooks and liars helped Trump deceive America about their cozy alliance with Russia, the Trump Tower Moscow deal, and cover-up of Trump’s campaign finance felony. The rot at the core of this corruption and collusion is within their white nationalist, pro-Putin, leader.

American authoritarians and their Russian allies are now cackling with delight that Putin’s Puppet has been "totally exonerated".

Never mind this detail: "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

So, what? Putin's Puppet joins O.J. Simpson in being "totally exonerated", amirite?

Meanwhile the Tangerine Tyrant and his angry mob want to punish Hillary for no crime at all.

There was no obstruction found when Lynch met Bill Clinton.

There were no indictments for Hillary's deleted emails or use of a private server. BTW IOKIYAR for Trump's crew to use private emails for public policy.

Hillary’s email debacle drew no charges, hurt no one, and helped no adversary. Yet Trumpists still chant, "lock her up", don't they?

They remain, and will always be, furious with hate. Over what?

Nothing.

So what doesn’t bother them? Putin’s puppet humiliated our nation in Helsinki by siding with Putin over US Intelligence. He betrayed our country, and allowed Putin more unobstructed interference in our elections.

No problem. That’s just all part of “making America great”.

"But her EMAILS!!!" 

What about them? No secrets were passed on to Russians, like Trump did in the Oval Office after boasting about firing Comey to stop the investigation.

Just more betrayal.

"Russia, if you're listening..." WAS collusion.

The Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents WAS collusion.

Firing Comey to shut down the investigation WAS obstruction. Only Trump loyalist Barr, not Mueller, made the decision it wasn't obstruction.

Speaking of emails...

This is what collusion looks like:

Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Good morning

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

Best,
Don

On Jun 7, 2016, at 4:20 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Don

Hope all is well

Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.

I believe you are aware of the meeting - and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?

I assume it would be at your office.

Best

Rob Goldstone

On Jun 7, 2016, at 18:14, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law and me. 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.

Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

Best,
Don
 

It will be fascinating to hear what Mueller has to tell the House committees, won't it? I mean apart from, "It also does not exonerate him."



Saturday, March 23, 2019

What's The Message?


What’s the message here? I really didn’t want to click CNN’s link worded, “Voter on Ocasio-Cortez: She’s ridiculous”. 

Hmm, I think I see where this is going. I mean, what could possibly give me the notion that corporate media has a corporate bias?

Cynicism and curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked. It was a three minute segment on Erin Burnett’s program.

At the link, CNN posted the headline saying,  “Moderate voters Skeptical of Ocasio-Cortez”. 

OK, we’ve transitioned from just “voter” to “moderate voters” in a rural area of Pennsylvania that Trump won.

Imagine my shock. It seems AOC Derangement Syndrome has spread from FOX(R) to CNN. My suspicion was confirmed.

The so-called moderate “Voters we spoke to” said they would not support ANY Democratic candidate so far. (Turns out they are rural white Trump voters, and “for the border wall”.)

The couple said, “They identify as moderate and have no regrets leaving the Democratic Party.”

Um, because the Party of Trump is more “moderate”? 

Gee, that’s a lot of certainty and conviction in those rural white folks.

Well, “real Americans” must know better than the rest of us. Trump-voting, wall loving, socialism-fearing "moderates" must have their sound reasons for not voting for Democrats.

They declare they have “No interest in going back because they have real issues with its emerging leaders".

Emerging leaders. They must be referring to the declared presidential candidates, amirite?

Nope.  

Turns out AOC, a first term House Representative, is a “leader” already. And she’s a scary Democratic Socialist.

“Too bizarre...ridiculous" Her Green New Deal will “lose jobs, lose wages”. 

Isn’t it odd how those “moderates” seem to be parroting Trump and Republican talking points?

“They’re more liberal, tending to be socialists”, warned another rural white male. Fellow Pennsylvanian Joe Biden might be OK. “People like him”, because he’s “moderate”, just “as long as he doesn’t get to the socialism part of it”.

CNN could have been honest and titled the piece, “Trump Voters Fear Socialism”.

Thank Mammon, our one true sacred god of the free market, we have been alerted to the dangers of democratic socialism by Trump voters and corporate media.

Thank you CNN, for regurgitating the far Right’s fear-mongering socialism phobia. And thanks for spreading that FOX(R) AOC Derangement Syndrome. 

Fellow corporate-owned entities like FOX(R) and the Party of Trump appreciate the help.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Understanding Authoritarian Personalities

"A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth."

Albert Einstein got it. More people should heed his words on authoritarian followers.

Authoritarian personalities. We’re stuck with them, folks.

Fortunately they are not all white supremacists, thugs, gilded hypocritical preachers, and closed-minded narcissists. There are still many decent individuals among them. I’m not here to demonize them. I’m here to observe them. I’m even here to say we need them. They are our fellow human beings and family members. They are a part of every population, of every race, and in all nations.

But I am also here to oppose them when they abuse power, deceive, forsake decency, and spread anger and hate. In this dark times the authoritarian white nationalism of the Trump cult is poisoning our republic with fear, division, sowing rampant indecencies among us, as well as abetting crimes in high office.. The rise of anger, hate, violence and terrorism from white supremacists should be shaking us from our complacency and indifference.

In the interest of better outcomes and for the general progress of humanity, we need to recognize the role of the authoritarian personality in human nature and history. The two subgroups of authoritarian personalities are authoritarian leaders and authoritarian followers.

It would also serve our democratic republic well if more Americans learned to identify and understand Right Wing Authoritarian Personalities. Two books can provide some important insight into that portion of humanity with authoritarian personalities: “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer and “Conservatives Without Conscience” by John Dean.

Dean saw the authoritarian personality in Nixon, who famously said, "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Today’s far Right authoritarian president goes the way of all totalitarians, calling journalists and the free press enemies of the people, demonizing dissent, while blaming and scapegoating minorities.

Like most demagogues, he typically plays the role of the wronged victim, and dismisses his blatant obstruction of justice as “fighting back” against a “witch hunt”. He’s also the white nationalist racist birther who praises authoritarian tyrants and thugs like Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Duterte, while smearing an ailing, and then dead, Senator McCain.

The Tangerine Tyrant is barely held in check by our Constitution and rule of law, both of which are dangerously undermined by his swaggering disregard and contempt for such institutional restraints on abuses of power.

At his website, The Authoritarians, Altemeyer offers a free download of his book, and he shares his thoughts on Trump’s authoritarianism, as well as that of his followers.

“I don’t think you can change the minds of many Trump supporters. Winning fact-driven discussions about the man and the issues will likely make them more defensive. Their connection with their leader is not rational but emotional. It’s based on fear that he fans and anger that he channels.”

As if it has not been made abundantly obvious by the rise of Trump, there are a lot of authoritarian personalities out there. Authoritarian personalities tend to comprise upwards to 25% of a human population. And since they are the most active 25% in politics and voting, they attain the greater share of power. This is when the trouble happens.

While authoritarians are the usual actors to repeat history’s treacheries and tragedies, the rest of us should at least learn from that history.

Authoritarians had, and still have, their place in a society.

Authoritarian personalities were vital to survival back when we were living in caves. Someone had to lead the hunt and protect the family, or small band of early humans. We needed someone capable of a rapid and effective response to threats.

Safety required adhesion to order, group cohesion, compliance, and conformity. These are the social standards of authoritarians, and such standards were important for the group to stay together and survive.

MRI brain scans have shown authoritarian personalities to be unique, and explains how their roles were valuable in more primitive and dangerous times.

Authoritarian personalities are distinguished from most people by their more active, and more readily activated, amygdala. This is the primitive emotion center of the brain associated with the “fight or flight” response. We all have it. It’s just more magnified with authoritarians. Liberals also have their unique MRI readings. We at the other end of the spectrum have thicker anterior cingulates, the region involved in decision making and emotional regulation. Just as we are right or left-handed, we are naturally wired into a sort of “right mind/left mind” mode.

Authoritarians have served our early evolutionary process of survival with their heightened fight or flight, fear or aggression, response.

Associated with that heightened response mechanism, authoritarians prefer to see a world of clear boundaries and lines, of threats and non-threats. They are more uncomfortable with ambiguities than most of us. More advanced and civilized cultures needed to cope through more nuance, compromise, and adaptations to new environments and living conditions.

Eventually humans evolved socially, intellectually and culturally. Fight or flight were no longer the primary default options for the well-being of groups of people. They learned to live together, cooperate, and develop agriculture and build communities. Curiosity and knowledge began to replace some of the more primitive emotional responses of fear or aggression.

The need for authoritarian dominance diminished with expanding agrarian communities. Authoritarians still remained useful participants in societies. They were contributing to the community by enforcement of civil order, security and warrior duties. The less intelligent and more extreme of them simply reverted to bullying, theft and thuggery. And they still do.

As civilization rose the requirement for authoritarians was reduced. While they found themselves no longer in control of the daily function of society at large, many have sought and gained power by political, economic, and military means.

Authoritarians still want to rule. They think they know better or are more worthy. They want to dominate their society and impose their will on the majority who are not authoritarian personalities. They are more prone to seek positions of authority, control, and power in the military, law enforcement and government.  The first two out of three aint bad. All three are very bad and democracy, peace, justice and equality have suffered the consequences of that consolidation of power. 

They tend to love a good tyranny of their minority, and reject the concept of a majority’s right to, and desire for, consent of the governed. Only they know best, remember.

But it’s still good to have them if they are decent cops and good soldiers. They are important to enforce laws and provide safety. Many become good doctors and effective lawyers, especially prosecutors. But they cannot be allowed to make the rules and decide who deserves safety or healthcare.

Authoritarians need to be kept from dominant political power if humanity is to survive and thrive. They should have a voice, but not over the majority.

The most extreme authoritarians are the leaders who start wars of aggression, suppress human rights, and impose tyranny. These leaders and their loyal followers are the far Right authoritarians. White nationalists, racists and other angry bigots are the far fringe of our authoritarian population, and they infect our world with their malevolence.

Many other authoritarian followers are very fine people. Really. They can be very kind and decent among themselves, or in church. Many want to be good Christians and try to love their neighbor. And many decent authoritarian conservatives make efforts to get along civilly with Muslims, liberals, or even members of the LGBTQ community. But it’s just easier if they share their race and culture.

This is not true of their more extreme authoritarians who tend towards deep-seated racism, xenophobia and white nationalism.   

Most authoritarian followers just happen to be more easily influenced by their authoritarian leaders’ appeal to, and manipulation of, negative emotional responses. These may be responses to real, or unreal, threats to their political/ethnic/religious/national identity or beliefs. The negative emotional response is boosted by their leaders by inculcating a sense of victimhood at the hands of others.

Most of them are not hateful racists. But when they are duped, cajoled, or agitated by them, they will vote for one. And that is the problem. They are not evil persons, but by supporting an evil person like Trump they are at minimum tolerating, if not condoning evil. They may not know any better, but the issue is they don’t want to know any better. They embrace their certainty as a form of psychological security.

And of course, they usually won’t see themselves as racists. What they “know” is they are more special than the rest of us, and should be in charge. This would apply to their own race or ethnic group as well as others. It’s often inflated ego and narcissism more than outright racism, but the “superiority complex” mixed with a smattering of xenophobia are enough to nurture bigotry and racist tendencies.

Most of them are in their bubble, believing lies and smears of the “others”, and there is little we can say or do to open their minds. We cannot open the primitive emotional center of their amygdala. As Altemeyer noted, we can’t change their minds through facts and reason. Their grounding is an emotional response, more than a reasoned position, that is telling them who to follow or trust, and who to blame and fear.

As long as they fear equality, they will fear democracy.

No wonder white nationalist extreme Right Wing Authoritarian Personalities want to take back their cave.

So what can the rest of us do about them? As I noted, first society needs to identify who they are and understand how they function.

Aldous Huxley, author of the dystopian “Brave New World”, also wrote of a utopian, sane and spiritually nurturing society in his novel “Island”.

Temperaments of children were studied early on in schools. The immature, narcissistic, or outright bullies were screened for their negative social characteristics and given classes and guidance directed toward a Buddhist-like goal of personal enlightenment, empathy and compassion. It involved redirection of their emotional impulses and energies into more constructive and healthier outlets. Read the book. It’s a beautiful and brilliant vision of human potential and possibility. And it is in no way naïve or over-optimistic.

Of course our culture isn’t as rationally developed or insightful as the people on the island of Pala. But we do have our MRI technology to screen for authoritarians, not that we would require it for determining if someone has an authoritarian personality.

Authoritarianism is rooted in emotion, so the Islanders nurtured positive emotional responses in their young authoritarians.

As a youth, I had authoritarian tendencies. Watching my brother go to Vietnam, and seeing the anguish in my mother’s face, gave me an emotional jolt from my authoritarian views on that war. After the shock of these deep emotions, I began to ask questions about why we were at war. As we know, questioning one's beliefs, seeking information, and questioning authority are antithetical to authoritarianism. 

Humanity’s only hope for survival and prosperity lies in our volitional evolution of consciousness and consciousness. Unless we seek enlightenment through the “better angels of our nature”, the shadow of authoritarianism will darken our path forward. We either evolve, or devolve into dark ages, anarchy, authoritarianism, or even extinction.

Are we up for this ultimate challenge for survival? That depends on our values. So far we are failing spectacularly, and regressing into old patterns of xenophobic nationalism. The con-servative revolution has been won. Now the silver lining to the cloud of Trumpism is revealing itself in a more socially and politically active counter-movement from the non-authoritarian majority.

The time has come for evolution, not revolution.

You can’t say we haven’t been cautioned:

W. B. Yeats understood in the 1930s.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
 Are full of passionate intensity.

And after WWII Bertolt Brecht warned:

Don't yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!
Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
The bitch that bore him is in heat again

Monday, March 18, 2019

"White ISIS"

The sickening murderous brutality of white nationalism has now bloodied New Zealand. Angry racist white men have taken to terrorism with a vengeance. 

Muslim immigrants and the first Black president have driven them to levels of racist rage not seen in Western culture since the middle decades of the last century.

New York Times contributing opinion editor Wajahat Ali told CNN 's Ana Cabrera he likened white supremacists to a “white ISIS”. No doubt that foreign looking guy will be targeted by more hate for daring to suggest good con-servative white people are terrorists.

But he was spot on. For years after 9-11, more Americans in the US were killed by terrorism from white nationalists than from ISIS or al-Qaeda. It wasn’t until the massacre at the Pulse nightclub that closed the gap in the number of deaths.

They really are no different at their ignorant hateful core.

And they tend to be so very religious, because God has chosen only their kind to lead the world. The Nazi’s at Daily Stormer call their thugs who attack antifa protesters “Trumpenkriegers”.

These special “Christians” who happen to be white nationalist killers deliberately target houses of worship. Blacks were slaughtered in a Charleston church, and more recently in a parking lot. Jews were slaughtered in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

And even in the lily white heartland it was open season for the killing a doctor in his church, because he provided legal abortion services. I have little wonder how many of these white authoritarian personalities would have followed Hitler in his brand of white nationalism. I’m sure Hitler’s ban on abortions would have been enough in itself to please them.

Yes, on October 10, 1936 Heinrich Himmler created the Reich Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion, or Special Office (II S), a sub-department of Executive Department II of the Gestapo.

A con-servative white nationalist dream agency. A dictatorship, wanton capital punishment for “others”, and war have never deterred the authoritarian con-servatism of white nationalists. They are united by their ignorance, resentment, anger, fear and hate. They embrace everything that fuels their bigotry and racism.

White nationalist terrorism is killing scores of Americans.  There were 31 right-wing terror attacks in North America in 2017.

VOX notes:

Data released earlier this month by the Anti-Defamation League shows white supremacists’ propaganda efforts increased 182 percent last year, with 1,187 distributions across the US in 2018, up from 421 total incidents reported in 2017.

The number of racist rallies and demonstrations also rose last year: The ADL data released in February shows at least 91 white supremacist rallies or other public events attended by white supremacists were held in 2018, up from 76 the previous year.

Other evidence of the resurgence of white nationalism and related right-wing extremism in America abounds:

Right-wing extremists were linked to at least 50 murders last year, a 35 percent increase over 2017, ADL revealed in January

The number of hate groups operating across the US rose to a record high of 1,020 last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed in February. This made 2018 the fourth-straight year of hate group growth, and revealed a 30 percent increase following three consecutive years of decline near the end of the Obama administration. 

Charlie Pierce wrote in Esquire:

There is now little doubt that white supremacy is an international terrorist threat stretching from Christchurch to Pittsburgh and extending out in every direction. It runs on a parallel track with the rise of a xenophobic rightwing nationalist politics that is conspicuously successful in a number of putatively democratic nations. Liberal democracy is under attack and, like any revolution, this one has both a respectable political front and a violent auxiliary that operates on its own imperatives ... This is the everyday al Qaeda of the angry white soul, and it's growing.

The white nationalist terrorist from down under sees Trump “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure.” 

And like the killer, Trump called immigrants “invaders”, immediately after the slaughter, no less. "People hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is. It's an invasion of drugs, criminals, & people...in some cases, they are killers." 

As would concur all the “very fine people” who marched with Nazis in Charlottesville.

No reason for alarm. The white nationalist president sees white nationalism as no big deal.  “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.” 

Just a guess, mind you.


And just today, the Big MAGAt re-tweeted another white nationalist.

He is called “VB Nationalist”.

“We have to fight back. They have not let up on President Trump, nor his supporters since they lost. They are losers, we are winners! President Trump calls on Fox News to 'bring back' Jeanine Pirro”

“We are Q”, declares the racist pizzagate conspiracy nut. His Twitter page shows an abundance of fondness for the white supremacist Pepe the frog image. He is Don the Con’s brand of very fine people. And a "good Christian", of course.

As if celebrating his own White Nationalist Week, he also re-tweeted another vile alt-right conspiracy nut named Jack Posobiec. 

Who loves ya?


Message received. Neo-Nazis tingle with delight everywhere.

The New Zealand white nationalist terrorist is the latest white nationalist terrorist to reference Trump. The synagogue shooter, the MAGA bomber, and the Coast Guard white supremacist all mentioned the white nationalist Big MAGAt in the White House.

Well then, it's no wonder the racist crook in the Oval Office has not once denounced, or showed any concern for, white nationalist terrorism. He has never come close to connecting those three words. In fact, early in his term he chose the opposite course. His agenda was to shut down and minimize efforts to identify and investigate domestic terrorism.

Not that hypocrisy is even recognized in the con-servative authoritarian Right, but we do recall when they were furious at the Black president for not using their term “radical Islamic terrorism”.

Imagine their fury at the term “radical Christian terrorism”. Never mind how many white nationalists are “Christians”.

There is no need to mention religion, despite its own divisive nature. Religion is their cloak, their flag, and their cover.

Spiritual beliefs have nothing to do with it. It is extremism. Authoritarian con-servatism plagues more than one culture and religion. White nationalists, Trumpists, neo-Nazis, the Klan, hate groups of all ilk, along with ISIS and al-Qaeda, are indeed united by their ignorance, resentment, anger, fear and hate.

And there are your real enemies of the people.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Mr. Insensitive


The Wall Street Journal reports: “AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, raises more than $100 million a year, which it spends on lobbying politicians for U.S. aid and sending members of Congress to Israel”.

Anyone offended? Not yet? Only if facts are offensive to the hypersensitive. I’m OK with that. I suppose that might make me insensitive.

Look! Over there! It’s a Black Muslim woman speaking her mind!  "Pro-Israel" lobbyists and donors use their considerable financial resources to influence US policy - Politicians frequently profess ‘allegiance’ to Israel and expect others to do the same”.

Alert!  Shocking! Offensive! Now is the time for legislative action in the name of morality! 

Even in America, and in the House of Representatives, Black Muslim women must learn their place.

I mean, an unabashed white supremacist like Steve King can be excused. After all, he’s a white male Republican and con-servative. He proved to be politically correct enough to get reelected multiple times.  Never mind him.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. called for “action” against Rep. Ilhan Omar and her fellow Muslim congresswoman, Rep. Rashida Tlaib for criticizing Israeli policies.

On February 10th, Glenn Greenwald, a journalist and Jew, shared an article about McCarthy, adding the comment, “It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

But, look! It’s that Black Muslim woman again on twitter!  Ilhan Omar re-tweeted Greenwald: “It's all about the Benjamins baby”.

Oh, oh. Horrors! Alert! Make that “Terror Alert!!” That’s the last straw!

But wait.

Glenn Greenwald also tweeted on February 10: “Sorry, but you're not going to turn the two first Muslim women to serve in the US Congress into overnight Jew-haters because of their criticisms of Israel. What's actually anti-Semitic is conflating the Government of Israel with Jews, so those of you doing that should stop.”

Greenwald explains: Title 4 of S 1, the very first bill in the new US Senate introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio  would give states a legal blessing to punish companies that choose not to do business with Israel or Israeli-owned enterprises, a key demand of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Twenty-six states have adopted laws that punish companies that choose to boycott Israel. Defenders of the law see them as necessary to protect an ally from hostile activists, while critics argue that the laws are unconstitutional infringements on free speech.

Two progressive senators were particularly outspoken in opposing the Rubio bill: Sens. Bernie Sanders and Dianne Feinstein. Neither of them has outright defended the BDS movement but instead attacked anti-BDS laws on free speech grounds.

“This Israel anti-boycott legislation would give states a free pass to restrict First Amendment protections for millions of Americans,” Feinstein wrote in a press release. “Despite my strong support for Israel, I oppose this legislation because it clearly violates the Constitution.”

It's become more "American" and politically correct to attack free speech than to link AIPAC with political donors and their money.

Now Omar is being smeared by every racist anti-Muslim bigot in the country for noting AIPAC's lobbying power and the Israeli far Right's influence on our government.

Not content to let the white nationalists have their orgy of racist attacks on a Muslim women of color, other corporatist guardians of morality and decency have joined their vitriolic chorus of condemnation.

This is something that the corporate media, the far Right, and the politically correct DC insiders all share. We see numerous Democrats and media elite seized in a pearl-clutching overreaction to a Black Muslim woman’s comments. Media and DC insiders allowed themselves to be aligned with the Right, as they savored their delight in expressing racism and anti-Muslim bigotry openly.

All because AIPAC and the Israeli government must not be questioned or criticized. And in conjunction, money can be invoked regarding any lobby, but one. Special dispensation for a special lobby.

This is a political correctness that allows a Muslim nothing to say about Israel or AIPAC. The same would be true of anyone deemed too critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians, or in dissent of their abusive Right wing policies, or even interference in our politics and laws. That free speech is less tolerated than Steve King’s racism.

Many Jews, other than Greenwald, didn’t take Omar’s words as anti-Semitic.

Katie Halper writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker tweeted,  "Jews like me are tired of @AIPAC claiming to speak for all Jews & conflating Jewish identity w/ unquestioning support of Israel, which is an antiSemitic trope." Me, telling Fox that criticism of Israel isn't anti-semitism & that @IlhanMN's critics are antisemites & Islamophobes”

The FOX(R) crew didn’t get it, of course, and had to “white-splain” how she was wrong. They even invoked the Holocaust, before Katie explained she had lost family back then.

Katie was also challenged by a Jewish woman named Rebecca:

Rebecca: “Jews like me are tired of Jews like you trying to prove you don’t have “double loyalty” by appeasing antisemites, and playing the ‘I’m a good Jew’ card.”

KH: “I'm not trying to appease anti-semites. I actually believe Palestinians are human beings. You should try it some time.”

There’s the problem. American corporate media’s political correctness cannot quite recognize the humanity of Palestinians. That would be called anti-Semitic by the Right. 

This disturbing tendency of corporate media dancing to the tunes called by the Right is also seen in their ready acceptance of Trump's endorsement of an un-elected president, and complicity with the neocon threat of military intervention in Venezuela. This failure of journalism and appeasement to the Right is a sad repeat of their submission to Bush and Cheney's lies about WMD's, "nukular" aluminum tubes, and Saddam's ties to al-Qaeda.

Now "our oil" is in Venezuela. 

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”- John Bolton

“That’s the country we should be going to war with. They have all that oil, and they’re right on our back door.” - Trump, according to McCabe.

Ring any bells?

Meanwhile, Katie wrote in an article for FAIR

“Debate Over Labeling Omar Obscures Vital Debate on Israel/Palestine”

If Congress were sincerely offended by antisemitism and antisemitic tropes, and not just hellbent on silencing a much-needed questioning of US support of Israel, they would have found a way to condemn Trump when he failed to mention Jews in his statement commemorating the Holocaust. They would have written a resolution condemning the use of antisemitic tropes when Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) singled out Jewish billionaires George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer as trying to “buy” the election—or when Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio) referred to Steyer as “$teyer,” and accused Jewish Rep. Jerry Nadler (D.-NY) of being funded by him.


But they didn’t. Because neither Trump, nor McCarthy nor Jordan ever talk about Palestinians. And it’s discussion about the treatment of Palestinians, not antisemitic tropes, that they want to silence.

Bernie Sanders had an equally sane comment as well.

"Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world. We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel. What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That’s wrong."

Israeli-American journalist Mairav Zonszein agrees:

“Read @IlhanMN tweet and honestly did not strike me as An antisemitic trope. Calling out AIPAC and Netanyahu is not calling out Jews, it’s calling out the actions of two entities who hold a lot of power and all those who serve that agenda”

I’ve had my hand slapped for simply wanting to discuss how we can criticize AIPAC and Right wing Israeli policies without being called anti-Semitic. My bad. I didn’t know the question itself was “anti-Semitic”. Again, I must be very insensitive.

At least Nancy Pelosi responded with some perspective to the Republicans demand that Omar be removed from committees. She un-clutched her pearls long enough to say, "No. A newcomer member of Congress has apologized for her remarks. It took them what, 13 years to notice Steve King?" 

Remember when Social Security was the “third rail” in politics? That’s history. George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security, right after he was re-elected by a nation numbed and blinded by a war based on lies. Soon enough it would all come off the wheels.

So can we even condemn a man Israel's attorney general plans to indict? Or is calling the corrupt Netanyahu a crook "anti-Semitic" too?

I’m sure it is, especially to the cult that believes questioning Trump, AIPAC, and the NRA is un-American, and boycotting Israel should be punished by law.

Now, how are the Redskins looking for next season?

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Fake News And Real News



This just in!

Wasn’t that great news we learned from the House Oversight Committee hearing? 

No, not from Cohen. He’s a liar. So what if he lied to protect Trump? After he admitted it, and expressed shame and remorse, the Republicans repeatedly reminded him he was a liar. They were righteously upset about Cohen the rat telling lies. I get angry just thinking about it, don't you?

That's all we needed to hear.

But that’s not the big news.

The big news is "non-racist" Republican Mark Meadows PROVED Birther Trump is not a racist! 

We knew it all along!

That’s right. By producing one silent prop, an unqualified black woman who works for "non-racist" Birther Trump, he proved "non-racist" Birther Trump can’t possibly be a racist.

When his stunt was called out by some nasty woman of color, "non-racist" Meadows got angry. As he should have, because as an angry white Republican, HE was the real victim of racism.

And of course, the nasty woman of color was the real racist. The highly offended "non-racist" Meadows raged, “It’s racist to suggest I asked her to come in here for that reason!”

He should know. "Non-Racist" Birther candidate Mark Meadows told crowds, “We're Going to Send Obama Home to Kenya”.

So there you go. Cohen LIED about "non-racist" Birther Trump being a racist. 

That’s settled. 

Why don’t those racist Democrats get out of the way and let "non-racist" Birther Trump make America great again?

That’s the real news.

Don’t get distracted by all those revelations of election campaign felonies, bank fraud, insurance fraud, charity foundation fraud, Moscow Trump Tower negotiations during the campaign, foreknowledge of wiki email dumps, and foreknowledge of a Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents.

Pay no attention to all that trivial, boring, fake news from the enemy of the people.

There may be even bigger news from the Hanoi meeting between the North Korean dictator and the "non-racist" Tangerine Tyrant.  

A tremendous deal is in the making.

If all goes as planned, we just might have the groundwork in place for a Pyongyang Trump Tower!

Do you feel the love yet?

But that’s not all. "Non-racist" Trump's beloved new friend will be getting a fantastic deal!  In addition to a generous commission for the Pyongyang Trump Tower, Kim will be appointed a special place of honor. 

We are extremely happy to report that Kim Jong Un will be named our new Director of National Intelligence. 

You read it here first. MAGA! MAGA! 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Con-servative Terrorism


There is a truly deadly menace loose upon us, we the people of the United States . 

It has been intentionally spawned and inflamed by the ideologues, politicians, media, and operatives of the far Right. It has become a vast cult of ignorance and evil across our country.

Hate crimes have risen 20% in the past two years. This very real, and very deadly, national emergency is the fetid fruit of con-servatism. 

The sooner we recognize this, the better.

The racism, resentment, anger, and hate is fed constantly by Trump, his party, and their media. Their war on decency, equality, justice, democracy and voter rights is designed to disenfranchise and marginalize minorities first and foremost. All else who oppose their extremist far Right agenda are also targets of lies and demonization. 

And their war is lethal. It has bred homegrown terrorism. Racist white nationalism has become the loyal and brutal arm of modern con-servatism.

The horrible deaths of Americans by Right wing terrorists are becoming routine.  

Unitarians were murdered in a Tennessee church. Blacks were massacred in their church in Charleston. A woman was killed and others were injured in Charlottesville. Jews were slaughtered in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. The MAGA Bomber attempted to kill Trump’s opposition and journalists.

The list of innocent victims is only getting longer. The bloodshed continues.

The latest terrorist, a former Marine and Coast Guard lieutenant, has been apprehended before he could unleash his racist, and far Right political, terrorism. This happened as Trump once again accused the New York Times of being the “enemy of the people”.

This terrorist MAGAt’s hit list includes Democratic politicians Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sens. Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, and Kamala Harris, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke. Other intended targets included CNN journalists Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Ari Melber and Joe Scarborough.

His goal was death for all who publicly criticize the Tangerine Tyrant.

So don’t give me that “mental illness” crap. It is pure evil. And it is not just racism. This is far Right, politically motivated terrorism too. 

This man's beliefs are shared by countless other Americans on the far Right. I'm not saying all Trump voters are evil. Many are duped by the evil. That is how fascism and tyrants seize power.

This is an evil that infects a large percentage of the US population, and it must be called out for what it is.

This facts need to be stated every day.

Trump fuels hate. Trump is a pathological liar. Trump is a racist. Trump is willfully ignorant and indifferent to human suffering. Trump is fond of dictators and extra-judicial killings.

Hate is evil. Pathological lying is evil. Racism is evil. Being willfully ignorant and indifferent to human suffering is evil. Dictators and extra-judicial killings are evil.

Trump is evil.

Those who support Trump wittingly, or unwittingly, support evil.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Trans-National Con-servatism


It's not just here in Trumpistan. Authoritarian far Right Con-servatism is a global pathology, infecting large swaths of humanity with resentment, fear and hate.

For a change, I thought I'd analyze one of the Right's Canadian propagandists who is more clever and articulate, and offers a smoother pitch than the echo chamber of low-brow, hate spewing, white nationalist thuggish Americans like Limbaugh, Breitbart and FOX(R).

Peterson is intelligent, and he presents a calm and rational demeanor. These attributes are perfect for propagandists who target an audience outside the base. As numerous youtube videos indicate, Peterson, like Ben Shapiro, can easily outmaneuver less bright or emotional college students, their favorite prey for indoctrination.

Peterson had to frame conservative limits of intolerance with a Jew denouncing Nazis and William Buckley, "because Buckley, when he put out his conservative magazine, the David Duke types kind of attached themselves to it, and he said, “No, here’s the boundary. You guys are on the wrong side of the boundary. I’m not with you.” And Ben Shapiro recently did this, for example, as well in the aftermath of the Charlottesville incident."

Well Buckley's long gone, and he sure as hell would not have voted for Trump or denied climate science. And for obvious reasons there are not many white nationalist Jews. But like Ben Stein, they love to play their "commie card" against liberals. And they have their share of far Right authoritarian personalities in Israel, like the corrupt Netanyahu and his Likud Party.

Con-servatism isn't necessarily anti-Semitic or white nationalist. Their bigotry extends outward from their particular group. We have Nation of Islam bigots in the US. And I've never seen a European white nationalist, or Canadian such as Peterson, attack universal healthcare as some fatal leap into Stalinism. Those are just manifestations defined by the native culture and geography of the con. They are still authoritarian to the core. They all fear and demonize liberals, progressivism, equality, and multi-culturalism. They all have more difficulty with different cultures, the unknown, nuance, ambiguity, and uncertainty.

It's not just an American disorder. It is global. It is why there is war, and institutionalized bigotry and cruelty. Right wing British amygdalas are just as over-active as Right wing American amygdalas. This has been measured.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Canadian Con-Servatism?


Con-servatism, like white nationalism, is hardly native to only the United States. Other forms of extremist far Right ideology span the globe. 

I’ve spent a lot of time discussing the modern American far Right and its innate anti-democratic, anti-general welfare, anti-regulatory, and anti-tax positions. 

I’ve shown they are against all of these provisions that are embedded into our Constitution, because none of them adhere to their opinions and world-view. 

Yet somehow they deem themselves to be the only “true” Constitutionalists.

Let’s step back and take a broader look at a proponent of conservatism from outside the US, and see how he adheres to, or differs from, his American cousins.

Prominent conservative Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson represents such a respected voice of conservatism, at least to fellow travelers on both sides of the border.

He takes two important positions that conform with the American far Right. He said he would have voted for Trump, but admitted Hillary was more conservative regarding the status quo. This moves him beyond the domain of traditional conservatism. 

His other significant ideological position is denial of global warming. "You can't trust the (global warming) data because too much ideology is involved". 

Interestingly he seems unconcerned with the peer review process of science, and the political ideology of the Republican Party and their polluting corporate owners.

Now we’ve established some similarities in American and Canadian con-servative beliefs.

Next, we’ll examine Peterson’s perspective on other ideological positions.

As I have documented abundantly, the Right loves to define the Left. Often this requires them to unilaterally define terms. Peterson is no exception.

In this case we have Peterson’s discussion of:

The fatal flaw lurking in American leftist politics: What is liberal America's big, and possibly fatal, mistake? Failing to recognize its own extremists.”

He knows just what's wrong with our thinking. True to form he quickly conflates American liberals with Marxist ideologues:

“But the force that’s driving the activism is mostly the Marxism rather than the post-modernism. It’s more like an intellectual gloss to hide the fact that a discredited economic theory is being used to fuel an educational movement and to produce activists.”

In other words, the same old “Commies control higher education” hysteria.

He employs this tunnel vision to reach the conclusion that “the Left” wants to impose a Russian or Chinese style communist dictatorship. In fact, the Left strongly supports voter rights,  democracy, and fair representation. Somehow that is ignored.

He went so far as to invoke French Marxists from the 1960s as counterparts to American progressives. Same old same old. Liberals are just commies or commie wannbes.

There’s so much evidence that had come pouring in from the former Soviet Union, from the Soviet Union at that point, and from Maoist China, of the absolutely devastating consequences of the doctrine that it was impossible to be apologetic for it by that point in time.

So the French intellectuals in particular just pulled off a sleight of hand and transformed Marxism into post-modern identity politics. And we’ve seen the consequence of that. It’s not good. It’s a devolution into a kind of tribalism that will tear us apart on the Left and on the Right.”

It’s interesting how selective he needs be in order to ignore FOX(R) and hate radio’s responsibility in their own identity politics and tribalism that is tearing us apart. 

Damn those French intellectuals!

Let’s go with Mirriam-Webster’s definition of Identity Politics: “politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group.”

Dare I suggest the white nationalism of Trump’s base is “identity politics”? Ignoring this appears to be more selective interpretation. Or is it just simple projection?

Peterson goes on to suggest the Right has boundaries of decency the Left ignores. Um, Trump???

Never mind. He wants to make this point:

On the Right, I think we’ve identified markers for people who have gone too far in their ideological presuppositions. And it looks to me like the marker we’ve identified is racial superiority. I think we’ve known that probably since the end of World War II, but we saw a pretty good example of it in the 1960s with William Buckley, because Buckley, when he put out his conservative magazine, the David Duke types kind of attached themselves to it, and he said, ‘No, here’s the boundary. You guys are on the wrong side of the boundary. I’m not with you.’ And Ben Shapiro recently did this, for example, as well in the aftermath of the Charlottesville incident.

Of course we’d expect a conservative Jew to condemn Nazis.

So what’s interesting is that on the conservative side of the spectrum we’ve figured out how to box-in the radicals and say, “No, you’re outside the domain of acceptable opinion.”

Right. Except the racist birther he would have voted for called those in the Tiki Parade, “very fine people”. Trump denied knowing who David Duke was, and only after public outcry, he reluctantly “disavowed” him. And that man is supported by his party and over a third of the country.

And what about the lack of basic human decency and honesty on the Right? Apparently Trump’s endless stream of lies and threats to lock up his opponent are not “outside the domain of acceptable opinion.”

Let’s look at that projection again:

What is liberal America's big, and possibly fatal, mistake? Failing to recognize its own extremists.

Peterson continues:

Now here’s the issue: We know that things can go too far on the Right and we know that things can go too far on the Left. But we don’t know what the markers are for going too far on the Left.

At least he admits he doesn’t know, so that’s being honest.

How difficult would it be for him to find liberals condemning violent protests? How difficult would it be for him to find liberals condemning Stalinism, Maoism and communist dictators?

Does he think we advocate for that? Is his field of vision that narrow? 

Apparently. “Liberals are commies” is much easier to suggest to the willfully blind ideologues on the Right.

And I would say that it’s ethically incumbent on those who are liberal or Left-leaning to identify the markers of pathological extremism on the Left and to distinguish themselves from the people who hold those pathological viewpoints. And I don’t see that that’s being done. And I think that’s a colossal ethical failure, and it may doom the liberal-Left project.

Perhaps he doesn’t WANT to see it. I would suggest that is a “colossal ethical failure” on his part. And Trump gets a pass...

To his credit, Peterson does want to show us he “gets it”.

The Lefties have their point. They’re driven fundamentally by a horror of inequality and the catastrophes that inequality produces—and fair enough, because inequality is a massive social force and it does produce, it can produce, catastrophic consequences. So to be concerned about that politically is reasonable. But we do know that that concern can go too far... The doctrine of equality of outcome.

And where is this “doctrine” proposed? Apparently demanding equal pay for women doing the same work as men “can go too far”.

You cannot win if you play identity politics. (Trump did just that.) There’s a bunch of reasons like—here’s one: “Let’s push for equality of outcome.” All right, who measures it? “A bureaucracy.” You have to set up a bureaucratic inquisition to ensure that that’s the case...An example of equality of outcome are attempts being made now to implement the legislative necessity to eliminate the gender pay gap. You have to set up a bureaucratic inquisition to ensure that that’s the case.

In the case of the gender pay gap, a paycheck measures it. As with minimum wages, simple legislation would ensure it. Nobody I know is advocating “a bureaucracy” to measure it. In fact it is already measured.

It seems the word “equality” threatens the Right. As it should, They have a long history of enforcing voter inequality, income inequality, economic inequality, and social inequality.

If “equality of outcome” is limited to equal pay for equal work, we are guilty. It’s just basic fairness. But propagandists on the Right have gone so far as to accuse the Left of wanting "equality of outcome" as equal pay across all occupations.

They’re dishonest and/or delusional, of course. And that is the fatal flaw in conservative ideology.