Friday, December 22, 2023

Democratic Socialism


We hear it all the time from Trump and his fanatical cult followers.

Democrats and any others who oppose him or seek to hold him accountable to the rule of law are smeared as “Communist/socialist/fascist/racists”. The racist accusation is for any Black prosecutor or Attorney General who would apply just punishment for his crimes.

Clearly, all these derogatory terms are cast without regard to their actual definitions.  They are simply words meant to convey their rabid indoctrinated hate for anyone who dares oppose their cult leader.

One phrase we NEVER hear from them is Democratic Socialism.

This is the term Bernie Sanders uses to identify his political positions.

Democratic Socialism is the idea of a government of, by and for the people in service to the public interests and general welfare of its population. It is defined by the ideal and application of a democratic republic based on fair elections and fair representation for its citizens.

It is NOT “Marxism, communism or fascism”.

We hear the radical Right howl, “Hitler was a socialist! The Nazi party has socialist in it name!”

That is how they will dismiss any further discussion of the matter.

Hitler joined a small party that used "socialism" in its name. Hitler was a fascist, and nothing like a democratic socialist. Nazis didn't gain power by promoting ideals of representative democracy, and public services like healthcare and education. They HATED labor unions. It was about power, retribution, antisemitism, racism, militarism and a police state.

They outlawed reproductive freedom for women and homosexuality. Then their Holocaust proved to be the OPPOSITE of socialism. It's called GENOCIDE.

Communists call themselves socialists because it sounds less dictatorial. Dictatorship is not social democracy. Is dictatorial communist North Korea a Democratic Republic because they say it is? No.

And that is key.

Dictators run dictatorships, NOT democratic socialistic societies.

Democracy is what defines democratic socialism. Public healthcare and public education and public utilities along with other public services that support what we believe should be RIGHTS of the people to fair elections and representation, to the public good, to the general welfare.

In fact, the US Constitution is democratic socialist in nature. It calls for democratic elections of leaders and peaceful transfer of power, with limits placed on govt. power in our Bill of Rights.

The US Constitution calls for taxes, regulation of commerce, and provision for the general welfare. ALL of this is called socialism or even communism by the American radical Right. They don't want to admit what is in our foundation of law.

Sweden, Denmark, Finland and other western European countries have such elements of democratic socialism. The right will try to deny this or say they are “failing” despite the level of happiness in those countries are far above what is in the US. They are healthier and better educated. Having the RIGHT to healthcare and education helps assure this.

When Americans speak of democratic socialism, we mean the ideals in our Declaration of Independence and foundation of law in the Constitution. The right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", (including healthcare and education), equality under law, and a "more perfect union" were, and are, the goals.  A path toward those ideals was made by allowing a process to amend the Constitution.

So the Right will evade any discussion of the actual meaning of democratic socialism. They need to redefine or completely fabricate the meanings of words.

A refusal to agree on definitions of words is a large part of the problem. 

Communication and compromise break down when one side demonizes and defines the other to its propaganda message. It is always the authoritarian side that benefits from the twisting of terms.

Orwell covered this in "1984" with "newspeak" and the destruction of language. It was a warning, not a guidebook.

But the American radical Right seems to regard the book more as an operating manual for their political agenda.

And Orwell was a socialist. 

If you want to annoy a pontificating white Trumpist who tries to show he's "not racist" by quoting Martin Luther King's words, tell him what he doesn't want to know.

He was a democratic socialist.

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.”

– Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961

“Capitalism forgets that life is social. And the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but in a higher synthesis.”

–Speech to Southern Christian Leadership Conference Atlanta, Georgia, August 16, 1967


It would seem "democratic socialism" is too complex and scary as a concept for Americans.

Maybe it should be called "Liberalism", or "progressivism". Oh, but those terms have been demonized out of political discourse by the radical Right too.

I got it! "Universal Socially Applied Capitalism" or "USA Capitalism". How does that sound?

Sunday, November 12, 2023

MAGA "Mein Kampf"


I don't care if someone thinks I'm overreacting. I don't care if anyone says I'm redundant or obsessed. Anyone who doesn't recognize the rising existential threat to our republic has their own issues of burying their heads in the sand, or up Trump's ass.

With every passing day our indicted racketeering serial criminal and former president goes farther down the path towards white nationalist fascism.

Trump turned a national holiday greeting into a virtual neo-Nazi assault against fellow Americans who don’t support him.

He marked Veterans Day with a screed that echoes Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. 

Replace "fascists" with "Jews" and "America" with "Germany", and we see the disturbingly identical rhetoric of Hitler's Nuremberg rally. 

In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American Dream. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave, than the threat from within. Despite the hatred and anger of the Radical Left Lunatics who want to destroy our Country, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

The draft dodging coward desecrates the honor and sacrifices made by real American patriots. He called them “losers” and “suckers” as he refused to go to a military cemetery on a rainy day because it would get his hair wet.  

He didn’t want any wounded veterans near him because it didn’t “look good” for him.

Instead, he praises his insurrectionist thugs and admires cruel dictators like Putin, Kim, Xi and Orban.

Trump is a tyrant.

Like every autocrat before him, he promises, "If I happen to be president, and I see somebody who is doing well and beating me very badly, I'll say, 'go down and indict them.'"

Indict them for what? The “crime” of being supported by more voters? By falsely claiming that Biden is abusing his powers to weaponize the Justice Department, Trump is laying the groundwork to weaponize it himself.

As revealed in the nefarious “Project 2025”, he intends to purge the US Government of everyone who won’t swear loyalty to HIM. He wants the Justice Department to be his political enforcement police. His own private Gestapo.

He echoes Hiter in more ways than most Americans will comprehend.

In "Mein Kampf" Chapter 11 titled, "Nations and Race," Hitler wrote the following:

"All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out from blood poisoning."

And "Adolf" Trump echoes the Fuhrer's racist white nationalism all the way with:

“Nobody has any idea where these people are coming from, and we know they come from prisons. We know they come from mental institutions and insane asylums. We know they’re terrorists. Nobody has ever seen anything like we’re witnessing right now. It is a very sad thing for our country. It’s poisoning the blood of our country.”

He sounds like someone with a "final solution" for people he hates.

Hitler and Trump both HATED a free press. Journalism has always been seen as a threat by tyrants.

The German Nazis used the term “Lügenpresse”, or lying press, in their campaign to destroy journalism. Now American fascists cry “liberal media”, “fake news” and “enemy of the people” when their lies are exposed, and the truth threatens their agenda.

Hitler said, “What good fortune for those in power that people do not think”. 

Trump said, "I love the poorly educated".

Hitler and Trump were/are both ultra-nationalist white supremacists.

Hitler and Trump used these ultra-nationalist slogans:

Hitler: "Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Fuhrer!" (One people. One Realm. One Leader.)

Trump: "One people. One family. One glorious nation."

Hitler and Trump pretended to be victimized by minorities and stoked racist hate.

Hitler and Trump gained support by demonizing and scapegoating minorities.

Hitler and Trump loved large rallies of racist loyal fanatics to lie, demonize, blame, and falsely accuse those they hated.

Every German Nazi pledged loyalty to the Fuhrer. Every American neo-Nazi is a Trump supporter.

Hitler imprisoned all political opponents. If not for our Constitutional rule of law, Trump would imprison his political opponents. He openly threatened to jail Hillary Clinton

Hitler and Trump would accuse anyone standing in his way of being a communist or Marxist, Jews in Hitler’s case, and Democrats, Black prosecutors, and judges in Trump’s. He calls every Black DA and prosecutor who holds him accountable for crimes “racists”.

Hitler and Trump were/are insurrectionist criminals. They each incited a violent political insurrection to seize power. 

Hitler's Putsch was in 1923 and Trump's Putsch was January 2021.

Hitler had brown shirts and his SS thugs. Trump has his Proud Boys and Oath Keepers thugs.

Hitler had Goebbels. Trump has OAN, FOX(R), Newsmax, etc.

Hitler hated democracy. Trump tried to overturn our election.

Hitler and Trump encouraged police brutality.

Hitler and Trump admired Russian tyrants.

Hitler and Trump demanded loyalty over competence.

Hitler and Trump smeared educators and liberals who disagreed with them as “Communists”.

Hitler and Trump were/are anti-union.

On May 2, 1933, just three months after Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany, the SA and police occupied the offices of German Trade Unions, seizing control of them.

The NLRB members Trump appointed made it more difficult for unions to win representation at nonunion workplaces. He issued three Executive Orders aimed at degrading the rights of federal sector employees.

On the day Biden stood with the UAW union strikers, Trump held a rally at an anti-union company with FAKE union supporters. One individual in the crowd who held a sign that said "union members for Trump," acknowledged that she wasn't a union member when approached by a Detroit News reporter after the event. Another person with a sign that read "auto workers for Trump" said he wasn't an auto worker when asked for an interview. Both people didn't provide their names.

Hitler and Trump pandered to Christians.

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolf Hitler "My New World Order" - Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933

Trump brandished a Bible for a photo op after GASSING non-violent protesters objecting to police brutality. After lying about the Bible being his “favorite book”, he couldn’t even cite a single passage.

Hitler and Trump were/are bigots who demonized homosexuals and denied women reproductive freedom.

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.

Trump appointed unqualified theocrats to the Supreme Court to appease anti-abortion right-wing Christians.

When neo-Nazi fascists tell you who they are, believe them the first time.

Trump declared: “Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

When enemies of the Constitution tell you what they are, believe them the first time.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Political Purity


We recall when Senator Al Franken was forced to resign over a gag photo, a far less transgression of decency than what every damn insurrectionist Republican has said and done.

And here they go again. Twenty-two “Political Purity Police” Democratic House representatives have emulated their Senate counterparts in joining Republicans in censuring their fellow party members.

First let’s examine the “politically correct” rhetoric Democrats didn’t censure. 

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene:

"I am not going to mince words with you all. Democrats want Republicans dead and they have already started the killings."

On Trump’s January 6, 2021 coup:

“You can’t allow it to just transfer power ‘peacefully’ like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our president.”

"I want to tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, we would've been armed."

All politically correct with no censure.

Republican Lauren Boebert:

“No more diversity, equity, or inclusion! We must stand up America, and end equality now!!”

“The church is supposed to direct the government…I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.”

Boebert on Trump’s January 6, 2021 coup:

“Today is 1776!”

"The Speaker has been removed from the chambers."

All politically correct with no censure.

Republican Rep. Brian Mast:

“I think when we look at this, as a whole, I would encourage the other side to not so lightly throw around the idea of innocent Palestinian civilians. I don't think we would so lightly throw around the term innocent Nazi civilians.”

This was also deemed politically correct when Democrats pulled their own censure resolution against this bigot. Instead twenty-two of them chose to censure the innocent Palestinian civilian in congress the Republican bigot equated with being a Nazi.

The outrage is in reaction to Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib saying, “From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate. My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.”

Outraged politically correct Democrats joined fellow politically correct Republicans like Boebert and Greene to censure Tlaib’s politically incorrect words.

Tlaib’s sin was she failed to utter the politically correct version.

Netanyahu's far Right political party Likud declared in its original party platform. "Between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty," reads the document, which also argued that a Palestinian state "endangers the existence of the State of Israel."

So Tlaib was censured by the “Political Purity Police” Democratic House representatives for far less than what every damn insurrectionist, pardon-seeking House Republican has said and done.

To those Trumpists howling and accusing others of being antisemitic, why can’t you see the beam in YOUR  eye?

Trump welcomed outspoken antisemites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes to dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk accuses Jews of supporting Marxism. He wants to end teaching Holocaust history as well as the history of American slavery and racism:

“Jews have been some of the largest funders of cultural Marxist ideas and supporters of those ideas over the last 30 or 40 years. Stop supporting causes that hate you. Now, you might say, well, how is one thing applied to the other? If you train a generation, if you do everything through an oppressor, oppressed lens, they will apply that lens to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The same way that they apply it to the police issue, the gender issue, good guy, bad guy, somebody on top, somebody on bottom.

Until you cleanse that ideology from the hierarchy in the academic elite of the west, there will not be a safe future. I'm not going to say Israel won't exist, but Israel will be in jeopardy as long as the western children, children of the west, are being taught, with primarily Jewish dollars, subsidizing it, to view everything through oppressor oppressed dynamic. Until you shed that ideology, you will not be able to build the case for Israel, because they view Israel as an oppressor.

The One Rule of American politics stands. It’s OK if you are a Republican. Even antisemitism. 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Not Neo-Nazis

After venting my frustration and anger over our American radical Right’s war on truth, decency, and democracy, I’ve decided on a kinder gentler term for addressing this authoritarian, insurrectionist, Trumpist, white nationalist Christian movement. I want to clarify my position. They are NOT all neo-Nazis.

I’ve elaborated for several years on their similarities to the original Nazis of Hitler’s Third Reich. Their shared extremist sentiments are easily found in any list of the characteristics of fascism. Intolerance of diversity, blatant racism, authoritarian nationalism, amplified anger, and resentment towards those they need to scapegoat to frame their manufactured sense of victimhood, white Christian identity, a blind loyalty to strongman leader who appeals to their bigotry and tells them who to blame and hate, etc.

I distinguished them from Hitler’s National Socialist fascism by referring to them as American neo-Nazis, since they share the same type of bigotry and authoritarian personality. These are the Americans who would have been ardent Nazis had they lived in 1930’s Germany.

Holocaust survivors have expressed their disturbing realization, witnessing the growth of this same kind of white nationalism festering under Trump as it’s beloved Fuhrer. A friend’s elderly mother who was a German war bride reacted to Trump with exasperation, “I should have STAYED in Germany”.

I have reconsidered how much I have used the term “neo-Nazi” for Trump’s loyal supporters. Some truly are. It’s not for lack of similarities, but technically speaking, most are not neo-Nazis.

In 2017 we all saw the real tiki torch neo-Nazis at Charlottesville chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” They are Trump supporters. So were all the others who attended the deadly “Unite the Right” rally. Marchers included members of the alt-right, neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and far-right militias. All of them are Trump supporters.

Notable attendees were neo-Nazi Daily Stormer writers Robert "Azzmador" Ray and Gabriel "Zeiger" Sohier-Chaput, white supremacists Richard Spencer and David Duke, and Daily Caller contributor and rally organizer Jason Kessler.

Again, not all Trump voters are white nationalists or bigots. Many are mis-uninformed, incurious,  or just gullible. And while not all of the bigoted Trump loyalists are neo-Nazis, they ARE radical right American white nationalist “Christians”. And they will insist they are conservatives and Christians.

Just ask them. It’s not the first time fascists presented themselves as such.

“It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolf Hitler, Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933

By their fruits we will know them.

Henceforth in consideration of their delicate sensitivities I’ll refer to Nationalist Conservatives as “Nat-Cs”.  

The Urban Dictionary even defines Nat-C: “A Nationalist Conservative who doesn't believe they are racist, xenophobic, homophobic, religious zealots, in a cult even though they are.”

Close enough.

And I’ll add a note to any white Nationalist Conservative who might take umbrage and strongly disagree with my words. I get it. They have strong opinions, albeit usually groundless. My opinion on opinions is here.

I sincerely welcome their corrective facts, evidence, and information if I am in error.

Usually, their dissenting opinions are limited to “But the Biden Crime Family™” and name-calling.

To assist our fellow Americans in forming a cogent rebuttal to my points, I offer this easy-to-use template.

“Dave, I have to say you are stating falsehoods by claiming (_____) and (_______). These facts and evidence (_____) and (____) suggest you are quite mistaken.”


Sounds simple, right?

Alas, not as simple as regurgitating indoctrination and flinging personal insults.

Perhaps the "F" and "E" words derail them?

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Trump's Traitors


MAGAt slimeball loyalist Mike Johnson has been elevated to Speaker of the House under direct orders from their criminal party leader. This is how democracy falls to fascism. 

Here are his "qualifications":

Johnson was one of the organizers behind an amicus brief signed by more than 100 Republican members of Congress urging the Supreme Court to consider invalidating the results of the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

His betrayal of our democracy was clearly echoing Trump:

“In every election in American history, there’s some small element of fraud, irregularity, error. We just know that. You just accept that that’s the case.

But when you have it on a broad scale, when you have, you know a software system that is used all around the country that is suspect because it came from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. When you have, you know, testimonials of people like this but in large numbers, it begs to be litigated and investigated. And the problem is, it’s exceedingly difficult to do that in a 45-day time window. You know, and that’s the problem that we’re up against. And that’s why the president is so frustrated and that’s why so many, so many 71, 73 million Americans around the country feel like the election was stolen from them.

The allegations about these voting machines, some of them being rigged with this software by Dominion. Look, there’s a lot of merit to that. And when the president says the election is rigged, that’s what he’s talking about.”

Johnson revealed that he believes Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are “absolutely” a threat to our American way of life and “our whole form of government.”

It isn't enough for the fascist traitors to gut our Constitutional provision for the general welfare. They are actively working to overturn the next election for their Malevolent Mendacious Messiah. House Republicans are in locked goosestep following their Furious Fuhrer’s demand for an insurrectionist Speaker of the House. (Watch Mike Johnson attempt to steal the 2024 presidential election, as he tried in 2020.)

America’s neo-fascist party of Trump share the same fanatic loyalty to their Fuhrer as Hitler’s Nazis had for theirs in the last century. American authoritarians are no different from German authoritarians. They just haven’t faced the destruction their ideology can wreak. The gaggle of House Republicans supporting Johnson booed and told a reporter to “Shut up” after asking about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

"Shut up" is the universal fascist message to journalism.

Like Hitler and his Nazis, American neo-Nazis demonize and scapegoat the press, educators, liberals, unions, equal justice under law, elections, and every defender of democracy.

They are a party of racists and bigots who relentlessly attack minorities and LGBTQ people. This is MAGA. This is hate. This is evil.

They delight in lying about, and punishing, people they detest. Look no further than how Georgia election workers who happened to be Black were treated. Trump and Giuliani viciously smeared and slandered Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, accusing them of cheating for Biden. Their lives were threatened by a number of Republican thugs, emulating the tactics of Nazi Brown Shirts.

The same kind of threats were leveled against FELLOW REPUBLICANS who wouldn’t support Jim Jordan for House Speaker.

But they spew their most vile bile and blame towards President Biden. Remember the “Biden did this” stickers on gas pumps, as if HE personally jacked up the prices?

It should come as no surprise that these as well as all their accusations are really confessions. It’s always projection from the fascist party of Trump. 

On 4-2-2020 Trump tweeted: “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil and gas industry!”

Shell raked in $9.45 billion in profits last quarter of 2022 and has announced $4 billion in stock buybacks, but American consumers are supposed to blame government spending for inflation?

ExxonMobil currently benefits from very generous federal tax subsidies, ranging from the tax exemption on Foreign Oil & Gas Extraction Income (FOGEI) & Last-In First-Out (LIFO) accounting method. Every year these tax subsidies cost the American taxpayers an average of $19billion.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse adds:

“While you were robbed blind at the pump this year (and GOP blamed Biden), Exxon made $55,700,000,000 in profits.

Over $1 billion per week.

$152,600,000 per day.

$1,766.24 per *second.*

Congress should heed POTUS’s call and pass my bill to claw back Big Oil’s excess profits.”

The real reason for high gas prices is Big Oil greed and price gouging…and Trump.

Surprise! It isn't Biden.

Remember “Biden’s supply chain” crisis and “Biden’s inflation”? 

Guess what. That’s right, none of it was Biden’s fault.

There WAS radical Right obstruction of supply during rising demand.

On November 21, 2021 the Wall St. Journal reported:

“Supply-Chain Problems Show Signs of Easing. Asian output is coming back and some bottlenecks are clearing.”

Well, that wouldn’t fit the radical Right narrative of lies, would it? So they did something about it.

Reporter Ron Filipkowski tweeted: 

At Michael Flynn & Eric Trump’s event today, (1-21-23) Leigh Dundas says she coordinated behind the scenes with Flynn & others to secretly organize a mass sick-out of supply chain & transportation workers before the Christmas season in 2021 to create havoc & try to shut down the country.

The MAGA QAnon Scientologist and lawyer gloated, “We were running a back-channel to the judges, AND THEIR WIVES”. (She’s in THREE CULTS! Count ‘em.)

Thank Flynn and his fellow Q-anon MAGAt traitors for the “Biden Supply Chain Crisis.”

Washington Press, January 21, 2023:

SUPPLYCHAIN SABOTAGE: Far-right conspiracy theorist confesses to blocking flow of goods”

Far-right conspiracy theorist Leigh Dundas admitted to organizing major supply chain disruptions nationwide in 2021 during a speech at Eric Trump and Michael Flynn’s Re-Awaken American event on Saturday… Dundas bragged to the crowd about staging a “sick out” by transportation workers unhappy with vaccine mandates. Dundas went on to say that she talked with General Flynn, former Trump attorney Lin Wood and convicted insurrectionist, Dr. Simone Gold, about her plans to organize a coast-to-coast walkout, which the QAnon associate claims spread worldwide.

“How much of a backlog is created when you guys are sick for a day?” Dundas allegedly asked a worker, who reportedly told the anti-vaccination activist that one day causes a month-long backup.

“You’re not gonna get the Fauci Flu for 24 hours,” Dundas said. “You’re not gonna get it for 48 hours – you’re gonna have it for a week. You’re gonna have it November 8, 9, 10, and 11th – two weeks before Black Friday and the start of the Christmas season.”

And catch the flu they did…Leigh Dundas says she coordinated behind the scenes with Flynn & others to secretly organize a mass sick-out of supply chain & transportation workers before the Christmas season in 2021 to create havoc & try to shut down the country.

They are traitors. Every last one of them. Republicans are domestic enemies of our Constitution and democracy. Not even Nazi Germany posed such a grave threat to our republic. Hitler would have been proud of these American neo-Nazis.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

One More Wish


Wouldn't you know after all the wishes I wished last week, I have one more to add.

As the Mar-a-Lago kitchen orders more table linen, porcelain plates, and cases of ketchup, I'd love to see someone ask, "Mr. Trump, what about that crazy Sidney Powell and snitch Ken Chesebro flipping on you?"

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

I Wish...


I hate terrorism and condemn Hamas. I also hate fascism and condemn the Netanyahu regime.

I wish there were no Hitlers, Putins, Kims, Ayatollahs, Mohammed bin Salmans, Dick Cheneys, or Trumps.

I wish there was no such thing as radical Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim fundamentalism and nationalism.

I wish there were no such terror organizations like Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS. I wish there were no such thing as Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, the KKK, and other American neo-Nazi groups. But they are emboldened by the party of Trump, as we witness open insurrection against our democracy, and Blacks, American Jews and Mexican Americans gunned down.

I wish it were true that Palestinians are not being forced from their homes, and there were no illegal Israeli settlements. I wish it were true that Palestinian citizens who have the right to vote are free from discriminatory policies and actions.

The fact is not all Palestinians ARE Israeli citizens. 

I wish people would try to understand why Jimmy Carter sees apartheid policies in Israel.

I wish there was no systemic racism in the US. I wish we didn't have the party of Trump that sees CRT and "anti-white racism" as the real threat, instead of poverty and racism against minorities.

I also wish it were true that African Americans, who have the right to vote, are never subjected to "driving while Black" police stops and harassment.

I wish having "equal rights" means equal treatment and equal justice under law.

I wish it were true that Native Americans were not slaughtered and forced onto reservations only to see their homelands stolen and children taken from them and forced into white indoctrination schools.

By today's standards Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were the "terrorists" of their time, weren't they?

I wish I knew how to tell Native Americans why Israeli Jews have the right to evict others to reclaim ancestral lands but they do not.

I wish the human race would stop blaming victims instead of the authoritarian rulers who abuse their power.

I wish the human species would evolve beyond authoritarianism into expanding and into developing education, tolerance, understanding, consciousness and conscience instead of regressing into ignorance, fear and bigotry.

I wish I had more answers than wishes...

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Why I Do It


Our friend Les made this remark that set me off on this rather rambling rant.


“It's comical for a while but spending too much time reading and responding to the sheer idiocy of these fascist loving tRump worshippers can be dangerous for one’s sanity.”


I understand how trying to reason with people trapped in a cult is almost always utterly futile. I engage with them out of curiosity and to express MY thoughts and reasoning. I do it to examine and refresh all the facts and evidence needed to support my thoughts and reasoning.


My sanity has survived far worse dangers than the mere words of the deluded or insane. I learned long ago my best tools for maintaining sanity are to have a moderately sick sense of humor, and to NEVER take personally anything anyone says.


Humans are often moody creatures operating on emotional reactions to unpleasant or unfamiliar events, or to other people's behavior or opinions, and to circumstances or information they don't want to accept.


All humans experience a degree of emotional response to the world around them. It's natural and good. And like everything natural and good, too much can be harmful.


The emotional fight/flight signals from the amygdala can be more dominant in conservatives and authoritarian personalities. MRI scans have confirmed the amygdala is more active and larger in people who identify themselves as conservative than in those who identify as liberal. They tend to be more distrustful of the unfamiliar. They are generally suspicious of something new rather than curious about it.


This fight/flight response was important for early humans to survive the dangers of the prehistoric tropical savannah. We all still have this survival mechanism to various degrees, and it can override our other mental faculties. Today it can be largely manifested in conservative people who feel threatened by change or by others they don’t understand. It is manifested in the police officers who are quick to shoot an unarmed person because they “felt threatened”. The overactive amygdala is found in bigots and racists, in hate groups, in cults, and all the way up to dictators who start wars.


Right-wing Political propaganda has always been about stirring resentment and anger wrapped in an appeal to patriotism. The subject's amygdala gets activated. FOX(R) and hate radio like Limbaugh have been working this gold mine of emotional reaction for decades.


We know our fellow Americans have long been conditioned by right-wing propaganda. And, yes, it IS a vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. It's a media empire, supported by the most ruthless and greedy ultra rich and angry white nationalists. See the wealthy "sponsors" of Clarence Thomas and the enraged people at a Trump rally for who they are. So, it's obvious Trump is a master at triggering the amygdalas in his cult. He's skilled in ramping up resentments, anger, fear, and hate. He wants them to fear and hate the people HE fears and hates. And they swarm to him because he fears and hates who THEY fear and hate.


He twists their sense of patriotism into blind loyalty for him. Their emotional response fuels his drive to power. ‘Twas ever thus with tyrants and autocrats. Such authoritarian leaders are sociopaths. We have to accept the fact there will always be irredeemable authoritarian sociopath followers behind those leaders. It truly is pointless and futile to try to appeal to their conscience because they never had one.


But most Trump followers are not sociopaths. They are simple people or conservatives who really don’t put much thought into public policy, politics, or the nature of politicians. They are easily duped and malleable once they fall under the charm and charisma that sociopaths can wield over them. Sociopaths and con artists can be very charming and are skilled at manipulating emotions in their targets and marks.


I dearly love my niece and nephew who have fallen into Trumpism. I will be as kind and loving to them as to my other nieces and nephews. I don’t want to hate anyone for their religion or political beliefs, but I strongly dislike the arrogant hypocrites and authoritarians who want to impose their beliefs on others.


Hate is both self-destructive and destructive to friends, family, community, and country. I choose not to hate. But that doesn’t stop me from getting quite pissed off at times.


When I see these sad souls raging and frothing their hearts out, I hope they have someone like me who can still love them. If they can emerge from under Trump’s spell, they'll need support from family and friends.


It can happen. A friend of mine finally saw Trump for what he is after voting for him both times. He's conservative but told me he hates religious hypocrites. The other ray of light came to him when Trump's pal Putin invaded Ukraine and started killing his relatives.


So why do I allow the Trump Cult to comment here?


I confess my sick sense of humor finds these exchanges entertaining. I can even learn something when I gather information to convey or support my points.


I also acknowledge my tolerance and patience for hate and willful ignorance has its limits. We all have defense mechanisms that eventually arise. I’m no saint and might resort to mockery and insult in retaliation. At that point it just becomes a sport of verbal jousting, and a sick sense of humor is my armor. And yes, it does come across as tilting against windmills.


Still, I believe discourse is better than discord and reason is better than fear. An open mind is better than a closed mind.  And appealing to the humanity in others is better than demonizing them.


I keep in mind that discourse, reason and appeals to humanity will not reach some people. Those authoritarian personalities do not want to learn what they don’t want to know. The best we can hope is an idea or fact might slip into a closed mind.


But I also do this out of love. I believe love grows and hate destroys.


I love learning, and I love seeking and sharing truth.


I love the fact we can all learn from people who are different from us.I love the world of nature and the bounty of life on Earth.


I love living on Earth, breathing clean air, and drinking clean water.


I love my country and homeland.


I love our founders’ ideal of consent of the governed.


I love the Constitution, despite its seriously antiquated flaws on militias, presidential elections, and the Senate.


I love the Constitution's clear language on separation of powers, taxes, regulation of commerce, and provision for the general welfare.


I love equal justice under law.


I love freedom OF and freedom FROM religion.


I love our remaining vestiges of democracy and representation.


I love a nation with a government of, by, and for the people.


I love freedom.


I love family and friends.


I love my teachers and elders for their knowledge and wisdom.


And I love children, and want a safer, kinder, and more peaceful society for their future.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Pleading The 14th

14th Amendment

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.


Remember when Republicans would praise the Constitution? Well, mostly the Militia Amendment and the parts that gave them an edge over democracy in the Electoral College and undemocratic Senate. All those Constitutional powers for taxes, regulation of commerce and providing for the general welfare are just “Marxism”.


Remember when pompous Republicans would self-righteously boast they were the “Law and order Party”? Apparently, law and order to them is allowing police to pin Black men with a knee to the neck, or shooting them in the back because they “felt threatened”.


Gone are the days.


Now the radical Right Party of Trump are good with their Dear Leader’s desire to eliminate the Constitution and any law enforcement agencies that get in the way of their messiah’s megalomania. When the law seeks accountability for attempted theft of an election and the theft of nuclear and military secrets, then it’s “weaponization of the justice system”. Yes, the patented neo-Nazi/white nationalist “victim card”. After years of “cruel oppression” under Blacks, “Globalists” (Jews), Muslims, Mexicans, journalists and educators, the delicate white snowflakes are melting down over the rule of law itself.


Of course, they have no problem with Trump telling his Department of Justice to interfere with an election on his behalf ordering them to, “Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen”. Former Assistant Attorney General and criminal defendant Jeffry Clark proceeded to do just that before several true law and order DOJ officials said they would resign en mass if that happened.


And of course, these “Constitutional conservatives” have no problem with their Tangerine Tyrant insisting his Big Lie claim of a stolen election “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution”.


As we’ve suspected all along, Republicans want “law and order for me and not for thee”. Yeah, that’s exactly how we get a dictatorship and police state. And that is what they really want. This is why they follow the fascist playbook to seize minority rule, even by force.


Many of them stormed our Capitol to overturn our democracy by violent insurrection for Trump’s Big Lie. (Historic parallels: Both Hitler and Trump are famous for scapegoating minorities, a Big Lie, AND an insurrectionist Putsch.)


Another favorite lie from the American radical Right is, “Hitler was a socialist! It’s in the party name!” Right…and North Korea is a “democratic republic”. Every honest and sane person knows Nazis are fascists.


I’ll submit Hitler’s own words for the historical record.


After the allied invasion of Italy, Mussolini was deposed and jailed. Hitler needed to send in his SS “fire brigade” to Italy. There were no socialists or Marxists among them. They were loyal Nazis sworn by oath to the Fuhrer.


From Hitler Directs His War” by Felix Gilbert (1950, New York) pp.55ff.

“I have to take politically reliable units. I can only accomplish something with elite formations that are politically close to fascism.”


To quote the beloved anti-Nazi American patriot Stan Lee, “‘Nuff said”.


There are more of Hitler's slogans and polices that would draw cheers from the MAGA crowd, including their classic “Commie card” for the opposition and demonization of journalism, the arts and education by “culture war”.


"We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press-in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during recent years."

Hitler (a Radio Broadcast July 22, 1933; from My New Order, cited in The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1. pp. 871-872, Oxford University Press,London, 1942)


“The German state is gravely attacked by Marxism."


"The Marxists will march with democracy until they succeed in indirectly obtaining for their criminal aims the support of even the national intellectual world, destined by them for extinction."


Note the conflation of Marxism and democracy and contempt for intellectuals. Today’s neo-Nazis howl about “Marxist CRT” as they dictate or shut down studies of African American history.


Republicans and Nazis share the same disdain for women’s reproductive freedom and desire to keep women in their place as unwilling breeders.


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.


It’s quite clear neither Hitler nor Trump would respect the law when it stood between them and power.


Following the footsteps of Hitler’s 1923 Putsch, Trump launched his violent insurrection on January 6, 2021. We all saw it. We all saw how he waited for hours in hopes they would succeed in overturning the election. Then we saw him PRAISE his mob of thugs saying, “We love you. You’re very special”.


On January 6, 2021, Republican Senator Mitt Romney said, "What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States."


Also on January 6, 2021, Mitch McConnell said, “We’re debating a step that has never been taken in American history, whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election...

Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth, and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate reality, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share....The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance. It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise the voters and overrule courts and the states in this extraordinarily thin basis.”


(How long until he forgets that part about “a separate set of facts and separate reality”?)


On January 12, 2021, ten Republicans join all House Democrats to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection" by a vote of 232 to 197.


Trump’s boot-licker Kevin McCarthy was moved to admit the facts on January 13, 2021. "President Trump bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have IMMEDIATELY denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump to accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”


On February 13, 2021 the Senate voted 57–43 with 7 Republicans to convict Trump of inciting insurrection.


On June 23, 2023, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that he supported an effort to hold a vote "expunging" both impeachments of Trump. This is not a thing, but they really do try to expunge facts and history.


During the first Republican presidential debate on August 23, 2023, all but Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson raised their hands in support of reelecting Donald Trump, even if he is convicted of crimes.


Here a Putsch, there a Putsch. “Law and order”, Republican style. “Law and order”, Nazi style.


Our Constitution is all that stands between freedom and tyranny, and between democracy and dictatorship. Trump IS an enemy of democracy and domestic enemy of our Constitution.


Let’s recall Section 3 of the 14th Amendment: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”


The consensus of Congress and the country is Trump “engaged in insurrection”. He gave “aid or comfort” to his thugs by praising them after they terrorized Congress and beat police officers bloody in their violent attempt to overturn the 2020 election. He defended them and said he would pardon them.

 Professor Laurance Tribe and former conservative judge Michael Luttig wrote in the Atlantic: "The disqualification clause operates independently of any such criminal proceedings, also indeed, independently of any impeachment proceedings and of congressional legislation".

Two members of the very conservative Federalist Society released a law review article making the argument that this section disqualifies Trump from all federal offices.

Law professors William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen wrote for the University of Pennsylvania Law Review:

“In our view, on the basis of the public record, former President Donald J. Trump is constitutionally disqualified from again being President (or holding any other covered office) because of his role in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 election and the events leading to the January 6 attack. The case for disqualification is strong.”



Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids holding office by former office holders who then participate in insurrection or rebellion. Because of a range of misperceptions and mistaken assumptions, Section Three’s full legal consequences have not been appreciated or enforced. This article corrects those mistakes by setting forth the full sweep and force of Section Three.


First, Section Three remains an enforceable part of the Constitution, not limited to the Civil War, and not effectively repealed by nineteenth century amnesty legislation. Second, Section Three is self-executing, operating as an immediate disqualification from office, without the need for additional action by Congress. It can and should be enforced by every official, state or federal, who judges qualifications. Third, to the extent of any conflict with prior constitutional rules, Section Three repeals, supersedes, or simply satisfies them. This includes the rules against bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, the Due Process Clause, and even the free speech principles of the First Amendment. Fourth, Section Three covers a broad range of conduct against the authority of the constitutional order, including many instances of indirect participation or support as “aid or comfort.” It covers a broad range of former offices, including the Presidency. And in particular, it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Opinions: Belief v Fact


Opinions. Everyone has them, from religion and politics to sports and the weather.

Some opinions impact society more than others. These would be the former type of opinions.

Terms like Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative, progressive/regressive, etc. denote the framing, spectrum, and dynamics of politics.

Opinions within these frames can be based on experience, ideas, parental/cultural conditioning, peers, prejudice, judgement of what is just and fair, and which is better for the poor, rich, or general population.

Some extreme opinions say, “Taxes, welfare, and regulations are theft of my hard-earned money”. Other opinions say, “Eat the rich”. These are examples of opinions based on emotion.

A reasoned, evidence-based opinion would be, “Taxes, regulation of commerce and provision for the general welfare are in our Constitutional foundation of law”.

A reasoned, evidence-based opinion would be, “Eating the rich is cannibalistic and absurd”.

Everyone’s opinion is susceptible to being influenced by emotions. Not all of us can, or care to, examine how our opinions are influenced.

People engulfed in emotion-based opinions don’t want to hear, let alone understand, other opinions.  Generally, those who base opinions on reason and evidence are open to hearing other opinions. They also understand once an individual’s opinion is based solely on emotional reaction and disregard of evidence, there’s no more basis for rational discourse. Then it’s simply a clash between reason and emotion.

Some of us can notice this clash within.

I understand my opinion of Trump and his fanatic supporters is partially formed by my revulsion to their hate, lies, and racism. I know they hate me. They say so, and it’s difficult to not have an emotional response to that.

But I also have a rational, fact-based response that tells me not to reciprocate their hate. I understand hate is double edged and can consume the hater. I cling to a mostly futile hope that some of them will eventually see how they are manipulated. I have a friend who voted for Trump twice, but now says he will do whatever he can to keep him out of the White House.

A majority of those who base opinions largely on emotional responses also hold opinions that conform to the words of religious and political leaders they revere and trust. Their opinions will echo the religious dogma or the propagandists who work for their leader.

Now we enter the closed mentality where rigid conformity of opinion is mandatory in the bubble. No one dares question the Leader. This results in a cult when the words and actions of the Leader are infallibly honest and good, and all who disagree are malevolent forces of evil.

As evidence by Trump’s 1/6/21 coup, the fanatic true believer can be willing to kill and die in devotion to their Leader.

Let’s admit that opinions founded simply on one’s faith and fealty to the infallible words of the Leader is fanatic political indoctrination.

Let’s define these terms before further discussion.


Fanatic: a person exhibiting excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion toward some controversial matter (as in religion or politics), marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion


Indoctrinate: to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

Cambridge Dictionary:

Indoctrination: the process of repeating an idea or belief to someone until they accept it without criticism or question: As religious/political/ideological indoctrination

Chances are, those whose opinions are emotion-based will object to these definitions. They don’t FEEL they are indoctrinated fanatics. After all they hold a sense of moral certainty because they see themselves as good people who cannot do bad or think falsely. They could never be duped by a greedy church leader or narcissistic political conman. This is the nature of emotionally grounded religious beliefs and political ideology throughout the spectrums.

Emotionally grounded belief systems often tend to reject scientific consensus, evidence of facts, dissent, and reason itself.

Look at Florida. The authoritarian governor wants to whitewash slavery, ban references to LGBTQ issues, and even “slit throats” of people who disagree if allowed to gain more power. All of this is authoritarian emotional manipulation. We can’t have history lessons that make children “uncomfortable” or “feel guilty.”

Authoritarian leaders must appeal to the fight/flight emotional response center of the brain. They will always tell their followers who to blame and who to hate. The authoritarian former president will tell his fanatic followers he “made America great”, but now it is in ruins because he lost an election that was “stolen”. He will instill anger and rage as responses to the people the leader declares as threats to them. The Holocaust is history’s lesson on how this can result in the most cruelty and brutality humans can inflict.

These emotionally manipulative tactics are projected at their targets of political indoctrination. Fanatic true believers cannot imagine for a moment that their Leader is dishonest.

Let’s compare the difference between rational and belief-based opinion.

Religious beliefs can be built on negative emotional responses. Muslim fanatics believe in killing infidels. Christian fanatics believe they should have power to dictate our education, and deny all women the right to reproductive freedom, even contraception.

Reason-based religious beliefs are formed from the idea that a creation must have a creator, that hatred, cruelty, and greed are destructive, that love is better than hate, kindness is better than cruelty, and sharing is better than greed. And loving your neighbor, even your enemies, feeding the poor, and caring for the sick is the rational, productive, and humane way to live in a society.

Political opinions track along the same emotion v. reason continuum.

My opinion tells me to vote for Biden again, because he’s not a threat to our elections, judiciary, and rule of law. I can disagree with him. I understand the guy doesn’t always tell the truth. Nobody does. I also have the intellectual curiosity to examine evidence regarding his statements.

One example is Hunter Biden and money from China.

During the 2020 presidential debates Biden told moderator Kristen Welker his son had earned no money through business dealings in China.

Biden’s assertions have been rebutted by Hunter himself, acknowledging in court testimony that he had been paid substantial sums related to his business in China.

Hunter is not in the administration, so this is irrelevant to my vote. We must ask when Trump’s own family members Jared and Ivanka will be under equal scrutiny, as they were part of his administration.

Just as it doesn’t occur to them that they depend on double standards, they can’t admit Trump defines reality itself for them.

Loyal Trump supporters will always hold their Leader’s words as gospel truth. He is the epitome of what makes America great. He’s defending and protecting them from all the fabricated threats from demons, monsters, and commies woven into their indoctrination.

They cannot imagine Trump can lie to them. They don’t care that every count, recount, court case, Republican governors and secretaries of state tell us Trump lost a fair election. They FEEL they are right, and the vast conspiracy of all Trump’s White House counsel, Homeland Security, Cabinet, Attorney General, DOJ, and state electors are in conspiracy against him. The “deep state” is out to get Dear Leader, and by extension, them as well.

This fearful state of delusion and paranoia is exactly what benefits Trump. They cannot imagine he commits crimes, or if so, he’s above the vast “conspiratorial, crooked, democrat/communist legal system” and “corrupt elections”.

They will never examine their beliefs because they have been imbued with the FEELING of their moral certainty and righteous anger.

And this readily feeds into a mob mentality when they are assembled by the narcissistic, hateful, and pathological liar they practically worship.

After all, a cult isn’t a cult to the cult.

And of course, this is all just my opinion.