All fascist are not the same

Frame from Trump’s MAGA murder video

Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.

Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice, this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.

And of course, Donald Trump — the not-so-friendly fascist — embraces violence as a means of achieving his goals. When Trump said famously during the 2016 presidential campaign that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue without losing his voters, it was both a threat and a promise.

“Friendly fascism” and traditional fascism are more alike than they are different. Writing in his 1980 book “Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America” Bertram Gross explained this:

“In each, a powerful oligarchy operates outside of, as well as through, the state. Each subverts constitutional government. Each suppresses rising demands for wider participation in decision making, the enforcement, and enlargement of human rights, and genuine democracy. Each uses informational control and ideological flimflam to get lower and middle-class support for plans to expand the capital and power of the oligarchy and provide suitable rewards for political, professional, scientific, and cultural supporters.

A major difference is that under friendly fascism Big Government would do less pillaging of, and more pillaging for, Big Business.”

It is true that both Trump and Reagan are TV presidents: products of the worst aspects of American popular culture and its superficiality, the emphasis on the impulsive versus the meditative and contemplative. It is also true that the results of Trump’s and Reagan’s policies for the poor, the working class, the vulnerable and other marginalized groups are very similar. And it is true that Trumpism is like the venerable right-wing lie about “trickle-down economics,” dosed on meth, crack and steroids.

[T]he differences between Reagan and Trump were as important as their similarities. Reagan was an actor; Trump was a reality-TV star. Reagan came from the world of fiction; Trump came from nonfiction-based entertainment. Reagan played characters; Trump played an amplified version of himself. Reagan’s job was acting; Trump’s job was acting out.

Reagan’s preparation for being president, in other words, was years of imagining himself in the heads of other people …. Reality TV did not require you to do that. You needed to understand other people as obstacles, or as creatures who would react to stimuli, but not necessarily as full human beings with the same complexities as you. If anything, too much empathy was a liability. It was noise that kept you from being your fullest you …. This is a frightening attribute for a person who has power and responsibility for others.

Trump’s performance is seductive and beguiling for his audience. They don’t want friendly fascism — it does not satisfy their emotional needs. Trumpists want and need a “strongman,” a bully and political thug who “doesn’t take any crap.” This is projection and wish-fulfillment; Trump is their hero and an imagined cure for their own emotional ailments. In that way, Donald Trump the political cult leader is poison medicine for his followers.

Trump’s supporters are bound to him by violence, both real and imagined. This was shown yet again through the fantasy mass murder video that was shown last weekend at an event hosted by the pro-Trump group American Priority at the president’s resort in Miami. In the video, an edited scene from the 2014 movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” an imaginary Trump guns down numerous symbolic figures: Democratic politicians, the news media, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other perceived enemies. Donald Trump Jr. and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders were featured speakers at the American Priority Conference.

Such fantasies of political violence are a defining feature of fascism and a sign of a failing democracy.

That video was shown at the American Priority conference as part of a presentation on political memes. A meme is a message that circulates rapidly, in an uncontrolled fashion, with the goal of changing how its targets think and behave. As such, the goal of the Trump mass-murder video is to encourage Trump supporters to support violence (literal or otherwise) against the president’s adversaries.

Trump himself has also shared videos and other messages on Twitter that encourage violence against the news media if they do not do his bidding.

Moreover, because violence is a core strategy and tactic of authoritarian leadership, he has suggested that Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and other leading Democrats — as well, again, members of the news media who dare to criticize him — should be executed for treason.

Trump is a racial authoritarian. Racism is a form of violence.

Trump and his allies obsessively direct their violent threats and other attacks against nonwhite people as a group — notably, but not exclusively, nonwhite immigrants and migrants from Latin and South America. Trump has focused many of his most toxic attacks on prominent nonwhite Democratic elected officials such as Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, all duly elected members of Congress.

Donald Trump, the Republican Party, conservatives and their media allies are masters of stochastic terrorism. This has resulted in lethal political violence in the form of mass shootings, white supremacist riots and attacks, bombings, and hundreds of other documented hate crimes and other attacks by Trump’s supporters and those others who share his beliefs, across the United States and the world.

Predictably, Trump and his enablers have officially “condemned” the (most recent) Trump mass murder video. This supposed “condemnation” is a function of the plausible deniability which is a feature of stochastic terrorism. Trump’s defenders, including the hosts of the American Priority event claim that the video is a “parody” and a “joke.” So-called humor has long been a way of encouraging violence against a perceived enemy group, because it dehumanizes the targeted individuals and groups in a supposedly harmless context, lowering the social inhibitions on committing violence against them.

Of course, there is the hypocrisy, which is always at the heart of fascism and authoritarianism.

Comedian Kathy Griffin was pilloried by conservatives when in 2017 she posed with a fake severed head of Donald Trump.

Republicans and other gun obsessives constantly claim that video games and other violent forms of popular culture lead to mass shootings. Yet somehow a video showing the president of the United States slaughtering his “enemies” is harmless fun.

If Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, as president, were featured in such a video at an event hosted by their supporters, at a property either of them owned, the right-wing news media would create an enormous public panic that might well end with their impeachment and removal from office.

Ultimately, the Donald Trump murder video is but another example of how fascism has been normalized in America. In total, Trump’s presidency has unleashed, encouraged, spawned and permitted a long, nasty smear of political scatology across American politics and American life.

It’s true that the Democrats and other decent Americans have finally become mobilized to remove Trump, either through impeachment or the ballot box. But we must not overlook the fact that Trump and his movement’s rise to power is both a problem in itself and also a symptom of a much deeper set of political and social crises.

What we are witnessing in the Age of Trump is a behemoth of broken democracy and governance in a society that has become much too rapidly accustomed to a state of malignant normality and moral inversion.

In his brilliant book “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism,” political theorist Sheldon Wolin signaled to the rise of Trump and how that regime would wield power:

Anti democracy, executive predominance, and elite rule are basic elements of inverted totalitarianism. Anti democracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means encouraging what I have earlier dubbed “civic demobilization,” conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy.

What comes next?

There will be (more) blood.

The Trump murder video is a script. When it is followed (again) will Donald Trump and his movement suffer any consequences? No. Instead, Trump and his mouthpieces will issue their obligatory “thoughts and prayers” and “concerns” about right-wing political violence. Trump’s supporters will understand the real message behind such false proclamations. Trump’s condemnations of violence by his supporters and others acting in his name are really not-so-subtle winks of encouragement toward even more heinous actions.

 

 

Salon by way of Raw Story

Germans know a fascist racist when they see one and they called it in 2017

Stern is Germany’s most popular magazine

 

Trump declared Friday that no one can criticize the United States while he is president, part of his renewed attack on four minority congresswomen whom he has targeted as un-American.

Trump also praised his supporters who chanted at a rally, “Send her back!,” a refrain directed at one of the lawmakers, ­Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Trump called the campaign crowd “incredible patriots” — a day after saying he disagreed with the chant.

Trump said Friday that criticism of the United States is unacceptable and that the four congresswomen “can’t get away with” it.

I can tell you this, you can’t talk that way about our country, not when I’m the president,” he told reporters outside the White House. (Beyond ironic since his whole campaign for the office was about how screwed up the country was because of the not born in this country black president.)

Meanwhile, the White House version of Igor, Stephen Miller, went on FOX on Sunday defended Trump’s racist tweets directed at four women of color and congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

In the interview on Fox News, conservative host Chris Wallace asked Miller to explain Trump’s “go back” remark and the “send her back” chant at a recent campaign rally.

“That is not protecting the American people, that is playing the race card,” Wallace said. “Let’s take the Obama birther — you don’t think that questioning whether the first black president is [a citizen]…”

“That’s not a race question!” Miller interrupted.

“I fundamentally disagree with the view that if you criticize someone and they happen to be a different color skin that that makes it a racial criticism,” Miller complained. “If you want to have a colorblind society, it means you can criticize immigration policy, you can criticize people’s views, you can ask questions about where they’re born and not have it be seen as racial.”

“And can you also say ‘go back’ where you came from?” Wallace wondered.

According to Miller, the audience chanted the racist phrase because they are tired of being “beat up” by liberals?!?

“During his 2016 campaign and even as Trump has been as critical of this country as anything The Squad has said,” Wallace observed. “He said President Obama was the most ignorant president in our history.

And crazy continues: Over at CBS: The completely unhinged racist spawn of the dark lord Cheney accused CBS host Margaret Brennan of unfairly bringing race into a discussion after Trump told four non-white Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to where they came from. Reporter Brennan asked Liz Cheney if it was appropriate for Trump supporters to chant “send her back” at a rally in North Carolina last week. “The news media wants to make this about race — you just did it,” Cheney told Brennan. “It’s not about race, gender, religion…”

That’s exactly what this is about!

 

We’ve seen this before; Don’t forget the lessons of history

EXPERT WITNESS MADELEINE ALBRIGHT:

Albright Knows Fascism When She Sees It. The former secretary of state endured Nazi and Communist regimes as a child, so she doesn’t toss the word ‘fascism’ around lightly. And she thinks America should be worried.

Madeleine Albright can easily spot totalitarian regimes, the former UN ambassador and Secretary of State was only a toddler when Nazi storm troopers invaded her native Czechoslovakia, forcing her family to flee to London. Then, having resettled back home after the war, the family was forced to flee again when the Communists took control of the country.

National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini  “you pluck the chicken one feather at a time and the people don’t really notice”

Albright’s new book, Fascism: A Warning, is the work of a woman who knows authoritarianism when she sees it. And she sees the seeds of it not only in a slew of leaders hell-bent on subverting democratic norms—Turkey’s Erdoğan, Venezuela’s Maduro, Hungary’s Orbán, and others—but also in Donald Trump, whom she calls in the book “the first antidemocratic president in modern U.S. history. On too many days, beginning at dawn, he exhibits his disdain for democratic institutions, the ideals of equality and social justice, civil discourse, civic virtues, and America itself.”

“I do not call Trump a fascist,”(yet) she said in an interview with The Daily Beast. But ever since she wrote the book, Albright says POTUS has gone “beyond what I thought was possible in terms of disrespect for the rule of law and that nobody is above the law.”

Trump may be the reason Albright decided to write Fascism, but the book’s subjects range far beyond the orange-haired one. Essentially a history of 20th-century fascism and authoritarianism, the work opens by discussing the original goose-stepping bad boys, Hitler and Mussolini, and how they came to power, thanks to a combination of rising nationalism, technology-driven angst, and revulsion at governments that appeared corrupt.

Sound a bit familiar? Albright told The Daily Beast that when it comes to similarities between the ’30s and today, “In the United States there are people who are feeling left out economically. Also, there’s the sense that America is better off not being involved in international relations, that people around the world haven’t appreciated America enough.”

Fascism is particularly valuable for its analysis of how democratic regimes can slowly descend into authoritarianism and then fascism. “The tipping point is when there has been a systematic attempt to undermine the rule of law, to have the judiciary be a proponent of one point of view,” she said in the interview. “Also, when freedom of the press is subverted, and there is a sense that all the vehicles of information are identified with the leader and his policies. The absolute tipping point [toward fascism] is violence when the military is being used to control people.”

“The interesting regimes to watch are those who have just had their elections,” said Albright, who pointed to Russia and Hungary as countries where re-elected autocrats might take steps to further subvert democracy.

Here in the U.S., Albright, who describes herself in the book as “an optimist who worries a lot,” describes a whole checklist of Trumpian horrors. He likes strongmen. He speaks with scorn about U.S. institutions. His analysis of events is full of exaggerations unsupported by facts, which are designed to exploit insecurities and stir up resentment (Think: Mexicans as rapists). He threatens to lock up political rivals, denigrates the press, and nurtures bigotry toward Islam.

“Albright admitted that like many people, she is dumbfounded that given his failures, GOP leaders have not denounced Trump.”

Six-star generalissimo Donald J. Trump

Even more frightening, the book draws distinct parallels between Trump and Hitler (the powers-that-be underestimated both men initially, thought they were in over their heads), Trump and Mussolini (a belief in their own infallibility, a poor judge of individuals) and Trump and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (political leaders uncomfortable with their bullying tactics but afraid to call their bluff).

Not that there hasn’t been a little bit of a learning curve since Trump was elected. “As far as North Korea is concerned, he has begun to understand the importance of diplomacy,” said Albright. But with the hollowing out of the State Department under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “we don’t have a lot of diplomats,” she said, “and any meeting like this involves a lot of preparation.”

Plus, when it comes to brand new national security adviser and super-hawk John Bolton, Albright isn’t really all that sanguine about the foreign relations situation. “I am very nervous about Bolton,” she said. “If you look at what he has said in the past, it makes me very nervous. He is a hard-liner and doctrinaire in a job that requires collegiality.”

Albright admitted that like many people, she is dumbfounded that given his failures, GOP leaders have not denounced Trump. “I don’t know why,” she said, “I’ve been surprised they haven’t. When they look at the cliff they are about to go over in the midterms, well, I am fascinated by the number of retirements taking place.”

She also seems perplexed by the total commitment of the president’s supporters. “I try very hard to be careful about not denigrating those who voted for Trump,” she said. “Is it that they are enamored of reality TV? It’s entertaining, it’s something outrageous.”

former FBI Director James Comey said trump reminded him of mobster ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano  former leader of the Gambino crime family

From Daily Beast https://www.thedailybeast.com

 

as the Fascism takes form: “Resist, stand up, fight back”

‘Resist, stand up, fight back’

Let’s be honest said Michael Moore the people that lost have won. Now they’re in power and they have the legal ability to do whatever the —- they want.” How to you stop that? “well let’s be honest we’re not going to be able to stop a lot of it….there’s going to be a political slaughter over the next week or two that’s just fact of it  a lot of people are going to be hurt and I’m talkin’ about groups of people, by laws that they pass and the Executive Orders that he signs.” “But in the end we should be able to form the majority that we are to Resist, stand up and fight back”

Hey suckas I’ll do whatever the F*** I want!! The people don’t care…they voted for me

traitor

The King of fake news calls out CNN as fake news

In today’s “press conference” Trump refused to release tax returns or disclose anything about his business empire. He won’t divest any of his holdings.

ExxonMobil could reap as much as $1 trillion under Trump, a report says. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, released a report Tuesday morning that adds up the many ways in which the incoming Trump administration could enrich the world’s largest oil company.

The report comes a day before Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s former CEO, starts his nomination hearing to be President-elect Trump’s secretary of state.

In that role, Tillerson could do a lot for his former employer. The oil giant has massive holdings in foreign oil reserves and remains one of the biggest investors in the Canadian tar sands, with rights worth around $277 billion at current prices.

As it happens, the State Department is responsible for approving the fossil fuel infrastructure that could bring Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. market. Remember the Keystone XL pipeline? It could come back from the dead and get approved by Tillerson.

Tillerson could also undo sanctions on Russia that have blocked Exxon’s projects there, including a deal with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, worth roughly $500 billion.

And then there are the Trump administration’s domestic plans to lift every restriction on extracting oil from public lands and offshore. The CAP report also figures that Trump’s Department of Justice is unlikely to investigate Exxon’s effort to mislead the public about climate change. Tally all the benefits and you get nearly $1 trillion.

So who was the biggest winner of the November election? According to the CAP report, ExxonMobil.

Finally, on Trump’s Ironic Nazi tweet: “I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake” to get out, Trump says. Just like Nazi Germany, he says.

“As far as Buzzfeed, which is a failing pile of garbage writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences, and they already are.”

Trump also said he will not give CNN a question in the interview. After talking about how he supported the “freedom of the press and all that”, CNN tried to ask a question.  “You (CNN) are fake news!” Trump replied!  He refused to answer their questions, which pretty much fits what we know Trump means by, “Freedom of the press”.

Mary Louise Streep takes on Doofus and tweaks him, oh snap!

Donald Trump has responded on Twitter to Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech, calling her an “overrated actress” and a “Hillary flunky”.

In her acceptance speech for the Golden Globes Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award, Streep said she was “stunned” when Trump appeared to mock a disabled reporter, Serge F Kovaleski, at a press conference.

Trump initially spoke to the New York Times on the phone, deriding Streep as a “Hillary lover” and denying he had mocked Kovaleski. “People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing.”

 

Meanwhile back in the real world this thin skinned doofus has serious shit to deal with………..

dprk

North Korea Claims It Can Test ICBM At Any Time

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called North Korea’s nuclear program a “serious threat” to the United States.

SEOUL, Jan 8 (Reuters) – North Korea said on Sunday it can test launch an intercontinental ballistic missile at any time from any location set by leader Kim Jong Un, saying the United States’ hostile policy was to blame for its arms development.

Kim said on Jan. 1 that his nuclear-capable country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

“The ICBM will be launched anytime and anywhere determined by the supreme headquarters of the DPRK,” an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency, using the acronym for the country’s name.

The North is formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The United States said on Thursday that North Korea had demonstrated a “qualitative” improvement in its nuclear and missile capabilities after an unprecedented level of tests last year.

Experts have said that while North Korea may be close to testing an ICBM, it would likely take years to perfect the weapon.

Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is around 9,000 km (5,500 miles) from the North. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,400 miles), but some are designed to travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles) or further.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump responded on Monday to Kim’s comments on an ICBM test by declaring in a tweet that “It won’t happen!”

A U.S. State Department spokesman said last week that the United States does not believe that North Korea is capable of mounting a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions were tightened last month after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 9.

“The U.S. is wholly to blame for pushing the DPRK to have developed ICBM as it has desperately resorted to anachronistic policy hostile toward the DPRK for decades to encroach upon its sovereignty and vital rights,” KCNA quoted the spokesman as saying.

“Anyone who wants to deal with the DPRK would be well advised to secure a new way of thinking after having clear understanding of it,” the spokesman said, according to KCNA. http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Pakistan Claims To Test Fire First Submarine-Launched Nuclear Capable Missile

pakistan

The military said the missile was fired from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean.

ISLAMABAD, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Pakistan fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile on Monday, the military said, a show of force for a country that sees its missile development as a deterrent against arch-foe India.

The launch of the nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile, which has a range of 450 km (280 miles) and was fired from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean, is likely to heighten long-running tension between India and Pakistan.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. Both nations have been developing missiles of varying ranges since they conducted nuclear tests in May 1998.

“Pakistan eyes this hallmark development as a step towards reinforcing the policy of credible minimum deterrence,” the military’s media wing said in a statement.

A spokesman at the Indian defense ministry was not immediately available to comment on the Pakistani missile test.

India successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched missile in 2008 and tested a submarine-launched cruise missile in 2013.

The Pakistani military said the Babur-3 missile was “capable of delivering various types of payloads and will provide Pakistan with a Credible Second Strike Capability, augmenting deterrence.”

An army spokesman later confirmed the language meant the missile was equipped to carry nuclear warheads.

The Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of the ground-launched Babur-2 missile, which was tested in December. The military said the missile had features such as “underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation.”

Last year, Pakistan said it was “seriously concerned” by India’s test of anti-ballistic missiles which media reports said could intercept incoming nuclear weapons.

According to media reports, on May 15 India tested a locally designed Anti-Ballistic Missile system which could in theory intercept a nuclear-carrying ballistic missile.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com