Monday, September 28, 2020

Who Are They?


Who Are They?


Who are they, who we hear say?

“Liberal Media! Fake news! The press is the enemy of the people!”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“Imprison the opposition! Lock her up!”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“Global warming is a hoax! Corporations are people.”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“We don’t want everybody to vote.”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“Screw the poor! Tax cuts for the rich!”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“You have no right to public education and healthcare!”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“We have the pandemic under control!”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

“It’s the common cold, maybe the flu.”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are they, who we hear say?

I don’t take responsibility. Make America great again.”

Enemies of Democracy, Enemies of Equality


Who are They?...Who Are They?...

Friday, September 25, 2020

It FEELS So Good!

“Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening.” 

Remember when the president of the United States said that?

This is an important rule dictated by every fascist despot and every cult leader. Free speech and a free press are not to be trusted.

Only Big Brother, the Fuhrer, Dear Leader, or Big Daddy’s going to tell you the truth. All you have to do is believe.

This is now a core doctrine of Trump era conservatism. It is Trumpism.

 It feels so good to have a Big Daddy or a Dear Leader watching out for you and protecting you.

It feels secure and righteous to be the Real Americans, with a real leader to tell you who to blame.

Conservative Trumpists feel comfort and assurance in believing doctors like Fauci and the “liberal media” are wrong. They feel deceived and angry that science and journalism are fake news. They feel those journalists and scientists are a liberal conspiracy aligned against them. Can you blame them for feeling resentment, anger and fear?

So why feel threatened by all that mostly verifiable information?

No need for those phonies. Trumpism, née conservatism, has all the answers.

Science and journalism tell us large crowds are unsafe in a pandemic.

Trump holds rallies. Herman Cain felt he would be safe there.

Trumpist conservatism tells us shutdowns and masks are for libs and sheep, and it feels really good to go to Trump rallies.

It feels good to hear Trump attack the mainstream news media.

It feels good to chant and cheer loudly at their two-minute hates for Hillary, Obama, and Pelosi.

It feels good to hear Trump bellow, “Law and order!”

It feels good when Trump orders the gassing and assault on Americans legally protesting, just for a photo op. The vicarious thrill of exercising violent power against people protesting police brutality feels great. Like the press who were shot with rubber bullets or slammed and jabbed with shield edges, people who protest police brutality are the enemy.

And it feels mighty good to hate the enemy.

Indeed. Rallies, flags, and the angry hateful rhetoric of victimhood feel good.

Trumpism FEELS good. 

Well, Trumpism FEELS good, until it doesn't. See Herman Cain and the Trump supporting politician who said coronavirus was a "socialist" hoax, until they were killed by the disease.

But rallies, flags, and the angry hateful rhetoric of victimhood are what make white nationalism and fascism feel so good.

Authoritarians in particular are drawn to the emotion-filled rhetoric of resentment and anger. It’s never about rational discourse and consideration of facts and evidence. It is gut level.

Or more precisely, it is centered in the emotion generating, fight or flight, reactionary responses of the amygdala. It's that pesky science again. The fear and loathing rhetoric of authoritarian leaders appeals to the primitive emotion part of the brain. When these emotions are channeled through far Right ideology, it comforts the frightened authoritarian followers. It soothes and assures them of their place in the world. It feels good to belong to the “good guys” and be a part of a greatness beyond their abilities.

Resentment, anger and fear become the bonding emotions of the far Right. A bracing sense of righteousness and belonging balances the fear and loathing. Their emotions are now on the roller coaster of far Right ideology. Blame, and feel good about blaming. Hate, and feel good about hating. Be great by scorning others. It feels so good.

Yes. I have to admit I can be a stubborn fool, especially by engaging in dialogue with Trump-supporting conservatives.

While there may not be a brilliant method to my madness, the many rounds of words with them have revealed certain tactics and patterns utilized by the far Right. We’ve all been inundated with the projection, dismissal of facts and evidence, and their whataboutism to deflect and distract from any message they wish to reject. Besides the usual tactics, there is another consistent pattern of far Right political discourse, with progressive or other positions outside their ideological cult bubble.

A recent exchange at a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing between Dr. Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul illustrates this pattern.

“To those who argue that the lockdown flattened the curve in New York and New Jersey, the evidence argues otherwise,” Paul said.

“No, you misconstrued that senator, and you’ve done that repeatedly in the past,” Fauci responded.

Paul claimed that New York has achieved herd immunity, saying around 22% of New York’s residents have likely been exposed to the coronavirus.

“You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said,” Dr. Fauci told Paul. “If you believe that 22% is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.” 

And there it is.

“I don’t have to listen to you. I know more about what you think than you do, and I know it is bad. I know all I need to know. I don’t care about your journalists, educators, scientists, doctors, logic, facts and evidence. And I don’t answer questions. Now, why don’t you listen to me? I’ll tell you Trump and Republicans and conservatism and capitalism and militarism and nationalism and MY religion have ALL the right answers to everything. And that makes you wrong about everything."

Yup. Trumpism FEELS so good. And this is exactly how Fascism feels so good.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

One More Round

Maybe I’m a fool. Or maybe I’m just a stubborn SOB. Or both, more likely. 

At Unabashedly American, our old conservative buddy Darrell found some of my points to be annoying under his post on how mentally unfit and dishonest “pathological liar” Joe Biden is. He is still obsessed with the fictitious Biden crime spree in Ukraine and the ensuing treacherous impeachment. I asked what crime was committed by the Bidens. As with Hillary, no actual crime was disclosed. 

Naturally I asked him for a similarly fair and balanced assessment of the president’s honesty and fitness for office. He had once agreed with me that Trump was morally unfit for office.

Turns out, someone changed. Now Trump is merely “bombastic” and “simplistic in his speech”. There was grudging admission that he “lies a lot, but frankly despite your inflated leftist claim of 2 quadrillion documented lies by Trump, they are just that: inflated propaganda.” 

Yes, I think I see. Citing facts to call out lies is "inflated propaganda". Or are Trump's lies the "inflated propaganda? Since Darrell isn't fond of answering questions, let's just assume he's offering us "Darrell's inflated propaganda". Anyway, we learn Biden is the real "pathological liar", with his legion of loyal lying journalists who don’t work for FOX(R).

I understand it isn’t pleasant to have one’s beliefs questioned, especially for conservatives. Discussion has been strained over at Darrell’s blog, so I thought I’d publish my last response to his remarks here.



Thank you for responding. I beg your patience one more time. Instead of dismissing what I say, or summarily accusing me of lies, accusations, and name calling, you could show me facts that prove your accusations and claims. You have never supported your accusations with evidence, and your other “evidence” is always from biased Right wing sources. 

I’m going to present you a reasoned, fact based response. Delete if you must, but please read it.

The demands for justice and protests against racism and police brutality this past summer have been broad and enduring. Social unrest, vandalism, beatings, gassing, and shootings have been occurring, but not every day, and certainly not in most cases. You have rejected the evidence (93% of racial justice protests have been peaceful)I linked to, and embraced FOX(R) propaganda, showing the same old footage of burning buildings every day. You also can’t accept the fact Democrats and progressives, and yes, even the BLM organization, are aligned with most Americans in condemning the destruction and violence as well as the racism and police brutality. Now Trump is fanning fears of “low income housing” in suburbs. We know what the code words mean.

“Michael Brown tried to take the gun away from an officer in Missouri, got himself shot, and thus provoked the unrighteous anger of the BLM movement to destroy Ferguson, Missouri.” Ferguson is still there. Yes, Brown was aggressive, and was then unnecessarily killed while unarmed. Unfortunately the “Hands up, don’t shoot” meme got ahead of the facts.

The deeper problem was the systemic racism in the Ferguson Police Department.

The abuses of the Ferguson Police Department were investigated by the Dept. of Justice:

“The City’s emphasis on revenue generation has a profound effect on FPD’s approach to law enforcement... This culture within FPD influences officer activities in all areas of policing, beyond just ticketing. Officers expect and demand compliance even when they lack legal authority. They are inclined to interpret the exercise of free-speech rights as unlawful disobedience, innocent movements as physical threats, indications of mental or physical illness as belligerence. Police supervisors and leadership do too little to ensure that officers act in accordance with law and policy, and rarely respond meaningfully to civilian complaints of officer misconduct. The result is a pattern of stops without reasonable suspicion and arrests without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment; infringement on free expression, as well as retaliation for protected 3 expression, in violation of the First Amendment; and excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Ferguson’s approach to law enforcement both reflects and reinforces racial bias, including stereotyping. The harms of Ferguson’s police and court practices are borne disproportionately by African Americans, and there is evidence that this is due in part to intentional discrimination on the basis of race.”

It has become abundantly clear that many more law enforcement agencies share this shameful racist and abusive pattern. There are far too many unqualified racist cops. Period.

“The antifa-fascists...” No, they are anti-fascist... “have long been looking for an excuse to riot.” NO. They are not an organized group with an agenda. They do confront white nationalists like Proud Boys. Yes, some have vandalized. Right wing groups also called for vandalism and agitation. Numbers of them were arrested. Vigilante militia nuts brought weapons to kill and escalate threats and violence.

“You have also claimed the violence is not done by the saintly antifa crowd or the pure BLM participants.” NO. I have said violence was done by thugs on both sides. You assign guilt by association, or deny the reality of peaceful protesters. I have shown they are the majority.

“It is always the fault of racist and abusive cops.” NO, I never said that. But they lit the fuse and continue their abuses.

“I don’t excuse the illegal actions on either side and think any violator of the laws should be held accountable.” I’ve agreed with this all along, yet you still misrepresent me.

“You, however, do support the Marxist and often racist BLM organization.” I have told you I support their protesting racism and police brutality. YOU imagine that means supporting Marxism and racism. The US supported Stalin, not Stalinism, to defeat Hitler.

“I guess your racism is okay because it is politically correct and approved, right?” Here we go again.  And what racism would that be? (Why does the far Right insist that opposing racism is “racism”, and opposing fascism is “fascism”? And you wonder why I say racism isn’t racism to racists...)

In case you missed my point, “Prager U” is a joke, saying Black Lives Matter is "the most racist organization in the country outside of the Ku Klux Klan".

It is the same indoctrination that the Right projects on higher education. It has gotten to the point the Right denies science.

“If they (QAnon) are bad people, then I will agree with you.” Trump refused to denounce them. Short version. Pizzagate. Hillary’s “pedophile ring”. Right wing nut with a gun threatens pizza place. Convicted criminal and Trump crony Flynn swears oath to QAnon. Got it? Perhaps this is why you still won’t acknowledge convicted criminal and Trump crony Roger Stone flashing the white power sign with Proud Boys?

“Sadly the US has its share of authoritarian terrorists who kill out of bigotry and extremism.” ~ Dubya

“Yep, including a lot of anarchists, antifa-pajama boys, and BLM organization types.” You have not given any numbers of victims killed by “anarchists, antifa-pajama boys, and BLM organization types”. Your numbers will probably not even match the Charleston church massacre, let alone the El Paso massacre and OK City bombing. Not to mention the long history of Klan and other racist massacres like Greenwood in Tulsa.

I give you the two officers shot for no reason in L.A. this weekend by such a terroristic ass.” Killing cops is murder, not terrorism.

“Damn you’re batting average is horrific.”  Maybe according to a near-sighted umpire, but not according to the facts. On the other hand, you are batting zero as far as providing facts to show my errors. My wait continues.

“The House had the obligation and duty to call witnesses and subpoena evidence...”  Yes, but you offered zero facts and only opinion from “ their politically motivated articles of impeachment...”  to ......."the vast majority of the journalists that fall into that category are enemies of freedom, democracy, and the people.” 

No wonder you are as ill-informed on the charges and evidence against Trump as you are with the Mueller Report. Trump abused power and obstructed congress. He acted to obstruct Mueller’s investigation. Any fair trial would prove these cases. Who knows what insurance and bank fraud he’s committed. What is he hiding in his tax returns? What about Trump Tower Moscow and loans from Russia? Your unquestioning faith in Dear Leader is remarkably cultish.

“…authoritarian Republican state legislators have imposed numerous impediments to discourage voting.” ~ Dubya

Evidence was cited, and obviously ignored. Voter ID is only one front in the Right’s war on democracy by voter suppression.

“But you really don’t care about facts.” Obvious projection, sir. You rarely, if ever, cite evidence. When I do so, you dismiss it.

“You want illegals and felons to vote...”  NO, it is yet another of your false accusations totally unsupported by evidence. See the pattern here? Probably not.

“...since they will expand the leftist big-government Democrats power. That is the real truth.”  NO, it is not. The real truth is I want government of, by and for the people, with fair elections and fair representation. I want equal justice under law. I want my Constitutional rights. I want Constitutional taxation, Constitutional regulation of commerce, and Constitutional provision for the general welfare. I want public education and public healthcare for the general welfare.

You certainly have a real problem with that, and have been indoctrinated to believe that is Marxism.

“You cannot win an honest election so you hope to manipulate it to cheat. THAT is the leftist legacy.”

That’s both dishonest and ludicrous projection. Trump cheated by paying off a porn star. He BROKE THE LAW! And not for the last time.

I’ve seen the Heritage Foundation list. It is mostly election fraud, and committed by both parties. NONE of the Republican voter suppression tactics reduce election fraud.

It disenfranchises tens of thousands of previously registered voters, and prevents only a few dozen acts of voter impersonations. Voter impersonation remains rare and negligible.

Why is it you and Trump call Hillary a criminal, yet NEVER reveal what her “crime” is? Trump’s crimes are clear. He illegally paid off a porn star to cheat in the election. He attempted to obstruct every investigation into his crimes and deals with Russia. He openly solicited a foreign leader’s help in smearing his election opponent. His administration is rampant with corruption. How would a cult ever know about these facts when they believe everything news media say about Trump is “fake news”? He literally can do no wrong, because they reject all information that doesn’t come from the cult leaders and their fawning media.

Hillary did say Biden should be ready to fight if the results come back too close to call. "Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don't give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is."

Democrats are rightfully sick of losing after getting more votes than Republicans. The slave states’ Electoral College has become an insult and threat to democracy. There’s good reason no other democracy embraces such voter inequality.

In contrast, Trump said that the only way he would lose in November is if the election were rigged. “If Biden Wins, the rioters, anarchists, and arsonists win.”

This is exactly how a fascist would inflate racial fears to undermine democracy.

It is heartening to see many Republicans and former Republicans come out against that man. They also see a tyrant and his cult.

”It is ironic that the man that has done more to help Americans of color is decried as the racist, while Biden who didn’t want desegregation of his kids’ schools to create a “jungle” and has patronized people of color for decades is the left’s champion.”

Bernie, not Biden, is the Left’s champion. Biden is a flawed, moderate, and corporate-friendly politician. And he says stupid stuff. No argument on that.

It is absurdly inaccurate to regurgitate Trump’s boast that he has “done more to help Americans of color”. His party continues to disenfranchise eligible Black voters. This is a proven fact upheld by courts. Just because you choose to ignore the evidence doesn’t mean it’s not so.

You have also ignored the facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about Black unemployment rates and job growth in general: 8.1 million jobs were created in the last three years of the Obama administration. 6.6 million jobs were created in the first three years of Trump.

Aug. 2011 the Bush Recession produced a Black unemployment rate 16.7%. January 2017, the black unemployment rate was at 7.8 percent. Under Obama the black unemployment rate dropped 8.9%. Trump crows about a 3.4% drop. The Black president did the heavy lifting and got no credit from the racist Birther or his cult.

“He should have done been better”, is the only response given as the facts are dismissed.

Trump has yet to condemn police brutality. He encouraged it. “Please, don’t be so nice” were his words. He calls Black athletes “sons of bitches” for protesting police brutality. You know I could list many more cases of his racism.

These Republicans are able to see what you cannot:

”Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them. The president’s failure to defend the United States intelligence community’s unanimous conclusions of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and condemn Russian covert counterinfluence campaigns and his standing idle on the world stage while a Russian dictator spouted lies confused many but should concern all Americans. By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad.” -  Will Hurd, Republican congressman from Texas after Trump’s Helsinki Betrayal

"We're in a strange place. It's becoming a cultish thing, isn't it? It's not a good place for any party to have a cult-like situation as it relates to a President that happens to be purportedly of the same party." - Former Republican Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker

The Trump Cult is blind to facts and reason, as you seem to be with everything I’ve said, and to all evidence presented. I am forced to conclude this is done to maintain hate and animosity toward those who disagree. The Right needs to embrace self-righteousness and frame dissent as evil. It is why the Right must spew lies and false accusations to fuel anger, resentment, blame, and hatred. The Right needs to demonize and smear the opposition, dictate terms, and define their own reality. It is why dialogue gets shut down by the Right. They must resort to name calling and false accusations every time. “Snowflake Marxist Pajama Boy”.

This hate and demonization are the reasons why the body count from Right wing terrorism is competing with Jihadist terrorism in our country.

Why can’t you accept that reality? I can’t hate people who fall into a cult. But I WILL call out their indoctrinated delusions, lies, false accusations and blame. I WILL oppose them, and defend truth, decency and democracy. Those are my values they are attacking.

If you are impervious to all of this, and see only lies, false accusations and name calling, then I give up. You will have succeeded in shutting gown dialogue and I will go away. It just proves to me good faith discussion is impossible with the far Right Trump Cult.

Thank you for your patience. I know it isn’t easy to have your beliefs questioned.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Ask The Experts


Anyone who pays the slightest amount of attention to political discourse these days would quickly learn authoritarian white conservatives have assumed the authority to be the only authorities on almost everything. They alone are the experts. Just ask one. He’ll set you straight.

White conservatives have become the self-appointed experts on a large range of issues, from history, politics, economics, law, journalism, science, and theology. And let’s not forget patriotism. Only white conservatives are true patriots. This is because, as expert historians, they alone know exactly what “the Founders Believed”.

Similarly only white conservatives know journalists are in service to the “liberal media”. This is because they report facts that white conservatives would rather not see, especially facts about consequences ensuing from their politicians and policies. Their game of working the refs is decades old, and it has paid off handsomely.

If journalists are “liberal media”, then they cannot be trusted. Only their conservative politicians and their conservative media are telling the truth.

The same goes for those universities with their “Marxist professors”. You just KNOW they cannot be trusted to teach our young people. They’re filling their heads with radical notions like questioning authority and old social mores and assumptions.

You know their radical agenda. They promote a scientific method of inquiry, research, examination of evidence, hypothesis, experimentation and data analysis.

These are dangerous concepts to the authoritarian mind. Questions have no place in a system of beliefs over facts.

Yes, that’s how a cult works.

They alone assumed authority to define terms. The estate tax for millionaires became the “death tax”. Taking a knee to protest racist police brutality became, “disrespecting the troops”.

Those of us with the inferior understanding of history recall the “Big Lie” propaganda technique of Nazis. Hitler projected the technique on Jews and Marxists, but it became the standard of Nazi propaganda. 

“Liberal media” is the “Big Lie” of our time, of course. There is little evidence of corporate media betraying their corporate advertisers, or their Republican Party, by avidly promoting liberal or socialist policies. Never mind facts and objective reality are what journalists attempt to provide. The fact that any news organization doesn’t parrot the Right’s propaganda is proof enough they are “liberal”.

But as with all authoritarian regimes and ideologies, they needed to expand on the Big Lie. The free press has been further demonized as “fake news” by the radical Right.

This is almost exactly what Hitler’s Nazis did with their term, “Lügenpresse”, or lying press, in their campaign to destroy journalism.

And onward they marched, as stepping geese do. They alone assumed authority to define their opponents. “Tax and spend liberals” became “radical Leftists” and “America-hating commies”. The Democratic Party became a “far-Left socialist party”. How can you argue with those who make up their own definitions?

Working the refs and moving the goal posts has been their game plan for decades. They needed to undermine voter rights and suppress turnout. Democracy itself must be restrained if conservatism is to triumph.

Republicans have been at war with democracy since Heritage Foundation founder and Reagan adviser Paul Weyrich said, “We don’t want everybody to vote. When everybody votes we lose.”

It’s not surprising that those who unilaterally redefine terms are always going to be right, at least in their self-inflated ideological bubble. 

The experts have alerted America to the horrors of the rampant "BLM riots". They scorn any Democrat for suggesting the vast majority of demonstrations against police brutality have been peaceful. 

Pay no attention to the evidence that indicates it is "an overwhelmingly peaceful movement". Just believe white conservatives. After all, they are the experts,

This "expertise" of absurdity inevitably produced a white nationalist Trump Presidency. There’s nothing like a pathological liar and conman to assure a cult’s indoctrinated beliefs and blind loyalty to the leader.

If only there was an acronym for our Nationalist American Zealots for Inequality...

Not to worry. The point is our white nationalists know better than the rest of us.

There’s another example of what many of us who are not white conservatives might be surprised to learn.

Black people know less about racism than white conservatives.

This is surprising only to those us not familiar with the white conservative tribe. I am blessed to have been lectured on “real racism” by a white conservative or two.

For some reason they prefer to enlighten us by only telling us what ISN”T real racism. But, hey, we get what we pay for.

Now we have an Attorney General educating us. You see, it’s not racism when police treat Black people differently than white people.

Last Wednesday Trump’s Attorney General Barr declared, “I think there are some situations where statistics would suggest that they (Blacks) are treated differently, but I don’t think that that’s necessarily racism.”

In July Barr said, “I do think it is a widespread phenomenon that African American males, in particular, are treated with extra suspicion and maybe not given the benefit of the doubt.”

But you see, there is no such thing as systemic racism. Nope. Old Toady Will Barr insists this cannot be true. “No. To me, the word systemic means that it’s built into the institution.”

Did you notice how he deflected to narrowly defining systemic, while ignoring the racism part? Those of us not in the white conservative club understand systemic means “common to the system”, and “fundamental to a predominant social, economic, or political practice”.

Those of us not in the white conservative club also understand racism means treating Black people differently from white people, as in “treated with extra suspicion and maybe not given the benefit of the doubt”.

But only loony libs could think that constitutes systemic racism. The experts tell us otherwise.

After hearing all the white conservatives lecturing us on what is, or more precisely, isn’t racism, I can only conclude one of two statements must be true.

1. Only white conservatives know what “real racism” is.


2. Racism isn’t racism to racists.