Saturday, March 30, 2019

Origins of Con-servatism



I’ve often discussed the human characteristic described as the authoritarian personality. And I have also described modern American conservatism as a very authoritarian Cult of Right-wing Authoritarian Personalities. Today’s con-servative C.R.A.P. has descended, in more ways than one, from a long history of authoritarian, reactionary elements of society.

Conservatism cannot hold power without a total lock on the authoritarian minority of a population in service to the ideology. Because the established political powers are guaranteed support from only the authoritarian quarter of a population, the forces of conservatism will always be directed at dominating discourse, suppressing democracy, and overruling consent by the majority of the governed. Only that special minority are deemed worthy of rule by authoritarian leaders and their true believer authoritarian followers.

The overlap of “conservative” and “authoritarian” is almost total. Not all conservatives are Right-wing Authoritarian Personalities, but all authoritarians are conservatives. And they are true believers in their leaders.

In 2017 psychology professor John Ehrenreich wrote an article for Slate titled, “Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?”

He found, “Conservatives’ greater acceptance of hierarchy and trust in authority may lead to greater faith that what the president says must be true, even when the “facts” would seem to indicate otherwise.”

This willful blindness is not good for humanity’s prospects for survival and prosperity.

So who are these conservatives and where did they come from?

Along with an understanding of the nature and history of the Right-wing Authoritarian Personality, knowledge of the history of conservatism itself is important. As we know, authoritarian personalities have been among us since our cave dwelling ancestors needed a rapid fight-or-flight response for survival. As monarchies rose, authoritarians would almost universally side with the leaders and their military/police guardians. This pattern of behavior would develop into modern conservatism.

Freelance writer and video essayist Ian Danskin brought us the illuminating youtube series exploring such topics as “The Alt-Right Playbook: Always A Bigger Fish” and “White Fascism” 

I can’t recommend these video essays on conservatism enough. (He just needs to apply the term "con-servatism" for our new nexus of white nationalism and corporatism.)

Danskin presents an excellent overview of the history of conservatism, going back to Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, Joseph DeMaistre. They reached common agreement in finding democracy “repulsive” in their defense of monarchy.  He traces the lineage from these men through modern pillars of conservatism like Hayek and the Austrians to the Goddess of Greed, Ayn Rand.

Let’s have a look at some thoughts and quotes from “The Origin of Conservatism” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4CI2vk3ugk

According to conservatives, conservatism is all about “fiscal responsibility”, “limited government”, and “Rights of the individual”. It doesn’t take a journalist or historian to know how flexible these principles become when applied by conservatives and authoritarians.

Danskin observes the reality of their policies and finds conservatism is much more about, “maintaining social hierarchies”, asserting the idea that “people are fundamentally unequal”, and  “capitalism good, democracy bad”.

These are the tightly held “principles” of con-servatism.

He frames Royalist Edmund Burke’s message as, “Your labor is only as valuable as the degree to which it satisfies the desires of the moneyed classes.” This stands against Adam Smith’s “Labor Theory of Value” that places value on the labor done by workers. We see where this is going, don’t we? Labor becomes the dirty word here, as in value of, as well as in organization and representation of labor rights. Conservatism never tires of telling us labor rights should be unequal to owners’ rights and privileges. Never mind labor produces the value by which the owners profit.

He illustrates how conservatism promotes the idea that, “Humans are innately unequal and society flourishes when power is doled out to the deserving”, and “Conservatism upholds the status quo and defends the powerful.” It’s always been this way with American conservatism, since the colonial monarchists.

And throughout American history, from defending slavery, to opposing the civil rights movement, and to suppressing minority voting, the pattern has been consistent. Danskin makes it clear,  “The alt-Right ARE of the conservative tradition, only more.”

I wish I could say there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today authoritarianism speaks louder than democracy. Ignorant, frightened, racist and brainwashed Americans have chosen the path of darkness and authoritarianism, and they have shown they don’t need a majority to take us there.

American democracy died in 2000. The American soul died in 2004 when it reelected the men who lied us into a war of aggression. Trump has only zombie-fied the rotting corpse into a white nationalist corporate state.

The late, great George Carlin told us back in 2007:

You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations, and they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State Houses, and the City Halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They’ve got you by the balls.

And that is how it will always be...As long as enough of the majority are apathetic or ill-informed, the authoritarians will preserve the power of their elite rulers. 

Democracy is the direct threat to their rule. By having the louder voices and financial support from the ruling class, they easily dominate political discourse. They have been wildly successful in demonizing journalism and education. This has always been the way of darkness and evil.

Only a volitional evolution of conscience and consciousness, along with the willingness and ability of the majority to vote and become active, can illuminate the darkness wrought by ignorance, hate, and a cult-like faith in authoritarian con-servatism.

Until then, democracy loses and con-servatism wins.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

It's NOT OK





The undeniable truth is this: The Party of Trump are the enemies of democracy. Identify the enemy and their goals. If we get that straight, first and foremost, we can proceed with a strategy to save our republic.

Until the public figures that out, the authoritarian far Right's mortal threat to our democratic republic will prevail. They have proven they don't need a majority in our flawed and delicate democratic institutions.



We’ve seen nothing from the  Mueller Report. All we have is what Trump’s loyal henchman Barr says about the Mueller Report. Barr was always opposed to the investigation. It has been clear since this unctuous toady’s job application letter to Trump showed he wants to cleanse his boss of the stench of corruption and collusion with Russia. 

Most of us don’t buy it. The Party of Trump reeks of authoritarian corruption, and show only scorn for not only the rule of law, but for basic human decency.

Now the Tangerine Tyrant, like all totalitarian thugs, wants vengeance.

Putin’s Puppet tweeted to his authoritarian followers: “Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!”

Every Republican dutifully followed their authoritarian leader and called for Schiff to step down. 

And the Mueller Report has not even been released yet.

Shiff's eloquent response to the Party of Trump after they demanded he resign from the House Intelligence Committee should be the lead story in the news until the election. 

He has shown the entire party is corrupt, by aiding and abetting a criminal, and waging open war on decency, truth, justice, and democracy.

Let these words reach every voter in every corner of the Republic. 
~~~~

"My colleagues might think it’s OK that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign. My colleagues might think it’s OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help — no, instead that son said he would ‘love’ the help with the Russians.

You might think it was OK that he took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that they concealed it from the public. You might think it’s OK that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think it’s OK. I don’t.

You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility. I don’t think that’s OK. You might think it’s OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks. You might think it’s OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say, in terms of dirt on his opponent.

You might think it’s OK that the national security adviser-designate secretly conferred with a Russian ambassador about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s OK he lied about it to the FBI. You might say that’s all OK, that that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic and, yes, I think it’s corrupt, and evidence of collusion.

I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. The day we do think that’s OK is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.”
~~~~

Schiff’s “You Might Think It’s OK” speech should be remembered by history as the line in the sand, drawn by defenders of truth, justice, decency, and democracy.

It is nothing less than taking a moral and resolute stand for our Constitution, rule of law, and what remains of our nation’s dignity.



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?