American Fascism

‘Tonks’, Guats’ & ‘Subhuman Shit’: Texts Of Border Patrol Agent On Trail Reveal Agency’s Toxic Culture

“Tonk” is defined by agents as “the sound heard when a ‘wetback’ is hit over the head with a flashlight.”  By Tim Dickinson Rolling Stone (6/13/19) In the days before he allegedly struck a 23-year-old undocumented Guatemalan man with a government-issued Ford F-150, Border Patrol agent Matthew Bowen sent a text to a fellow agent. In the exchange, which federal prosecutors now claim offers “insight into his view of the aliens he apprehends,” Bowen railed against unauthorized migrants who’d thrown rocks at a colleague as “mindless murdering savages” and “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire.” The…

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Murdering The Language: When Assassination Is Called Something Other Than Assassination

“Over the decades, killing a leader or prominent person under the rubric of covert action has been called many things by those who plan and oversee operations but never assassination, because assassination is illegal. Killing a leader or prominent person at the behest of the president is legal under Title 50 of the U.S. Code. “President Dwight Eisenhower’s advisors discussed “eliminating’ foreign leaders, and they set up a Health Alteration Committee to “neutralize” or “disable” certain people. They spoke in riddles to uphold the construct of plausible deniability. Congress later found President John F. Kennedy’s advisors formalized killing and called it…


At A Time Of Fascist Governmental Cruelty The Humanitarians Are Targeted

‘Sea Rescues Have Been Criminalized’ As Heroic German Boat Captain Faces 20 Years In Prison For Saving Refugees “That she faces 20 years in jail in 2019 for saving refugees lost at sea, indicts the EU for hypocrisy and abetting crimes against humanity for allowing Italy to conduct a show trial.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (6/11/19) A German boat captain faces a long and costly trial in Italy for charges targeting her humanitarian efforts on behalf of refugees. Captain Pia Klemp, 35, told Basler Zeitung on June 7 that her upcoming trial in Italy for years of efforts with the civilian lifeboat “Iuventa”…


One Nation Under The Microscope: How ICE & Other DHS Agencies Mine Social Media In The Name Of National Security

By Rachel Levinson-Waldman The Hill (5/29/19) In June 2018, more than 400,000 people protested the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border. The following month saw a host of demonstrations in New York City on issues including racism and xenophobia, the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the National Rifle Association. Given the ease of connecting online, it is unsurprising that many of these events got an organizing boost on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. A recent spate of articles did bring a surprise, however: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been watching online too. Congress should demand…


Trump’s Accusations Of The ‘Lying Press’ Has Roots Going Right Back To Hitler’s Technique Of The “Big Lie”

Donald Trump’s attacks on “the enemy of the people” aren’t random outbursts. By Richard E. Frankel Salon (6/9/19) At an election rally in Cleveland in October 2016, two supporters of Donald Trump were captured on video shouting, “Lügenpresse!” What was going on? Why would people who are looking to Trump to “Make America Great Again,” be shouting a German word at one of his events? And what did it mean? The “lying press” — an idea at the heart not only of Trump’s campaign and presidency, but of his entire worldview. The news media, Trump complains, treats him unfairly. It does not report…


Law & Disorder: Why Corporatism Will Dominate US Policy For Decades To Come

Democracy in jeopardy By John Atcheson Common Dreams (5/26/19) Remember when Republicans ran on a law and order platform?  Well, nowadays, we’ve got a President – in fact an entire Party — at war with the idea of the rule of law in general, and any constraints on corporations in particular.  Democrats console themselves with the idea that this can all be righted in the next election.  Vote Trump out, retain the majority in the House, and win the Senate.  Problem solved. Except it isn’t.  McConnell and Trump are doing everything they can to hand over the Judiciary — lock, stock and…


Coming To Grips With The Reality Of Who Trump Really Is

New Economic Thinking (10/4/16) The media has failed ask basic questions about the economic thinking — and business record — of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, says Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, author of The Making of Donald Trump. The economic vision that’s being offered on the campaign trail has been crafted with Trump’s peerless salesmanship. Johnston’s book relies on extensive reporting of interviews, public statements, court records and financial statements to build an argument that Trump’s vision is based on what he believes voters want to hear, but has little relationship to his own — or America’s — reality….


Over 200 Allegations Of Abuse Of Migrant Children; Only 1 Case Of Homeland Security Disciplining Someone

Children reported being punched, shocked with Tasers, and denied food and medicine. Many described being bludgeoned with flashlights. By A.C. Thompson ProPublica (5/31/19) From 2009 to 2014, at least 214 complaints were filed against federal agents for abusing or mistreating migrant children. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s records, only one employee was disciplined as a result of a complaint. The department’s records, which have alarmed advocates for migrants given the more aggressive approach to the treatment of minors at the border under the current administration, emerged as part of a federal lawsuit seeking the release of the names…


A Stunning Parallel To The Fall Of Rome: How Our Tottering Republic Could Die In The Age Of Trump

He is our nation’s Augustus Caesar, the killer of a republic and the herald of a corrupt and collapsing empire.   By Thom Hartmann Independent Media Institute (5/20/19) The American republic could die, just like Rome. Wavering for some time on the verge of becoming a complete oligarchy, America is on the verge of flipping from a democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something that’s happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never before here. It’s possible we won’t recover from it. The death of a republic is different from the death…


A ‘Crossroads Moment’ — Why Julian Assange Must Never Be Extradited

“The 18-count indictment is an authoritarian’s dream.” By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (5/31/19) WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today sits in the Belmarsh High Security prison in southeast London. Not just for his sake but for everyone’s, we now have to hope he’s never moved from there to America. The United States filed charges against Assange early last month. The case seemed to have been designed to assuage fears that speech freedoms or the press were being targeted. That specific offense was “computer hacking conspiracy” from back in 2010. The “crime” was absurdly thin, a claim that Assange agreed (but failed, apparently) to try…


‘This Is A Battle To The Death’: Self-Declared Prophet & Christian Author Says Trump Will Soon Execute His Political Enemies

By Kyle Mantyla Right Wing Watch (5/24/19) Dave Hayes, a self-declared prophet, Christian author, and online activist who is better known as the “Praying Medic,” streamed a video on Periscope last night in which he declared that President Trump’s political enemies—including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other supposed members of the “deep state”—will soon be swept up in mass arrests, tried, and executed for treason. Hayes is one of the leading proponents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and his videos promoting and explaining QAnon’s cryptic postings have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. “I’m here to tell you,” he said, “these people are going to face…


Matt Taibbi “Insane Clown President”

“The arc of the sort of failure of our business has really steepened in the last year or so. As news consumers people should pay more and more attention to independent media and alternative media, and worry more and more about the commercial media going forward.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/30/19) Now well into Year III of the deadly serious non-stop, mind and soul-numbing Donald Trump National Freakshow it is hard to recall just how stunning his 2016 victory was. Right up to election eve every one was sure Hillary Clinton would wipe Trump off the map….


‘This Is About Attacking Journalism,’ Warn Press Freedom Defenders As Trump DOJ Hits Assange With New Espionage Charges

The Editor   By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (5/21/19) In an unprecedented move that journalists and press freedom defenders denounced as “the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century,” the Trump Justice Department announced Thursday that a federal grand jury charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 new counts of violating the Espionage Act. “This is about attacking journalism and the public’s right to information about war crimes done in their name with their dollars,” The Intercept‘s Jeremy Scahill said in a series of tweets. “This is about retaliation for publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes and other crimes by…


Read The GOP’s Secret Talking Points Defending Alabama’s Forced Pregnancy Law

The republicans speak! By Daniel Newhauser VICE News (5/23/19) WASHINGTON — In the days since Alabama’s passage of the most restrictive abortion law in the nation, national Republicans have tried to distance themselves from its most controversial provisions that would outlaw abortion even in the case of rape or incest. Now, there are clear signs that is changing. Secret talking points obtained by VICE News show national Republicans are preparing to defend the law, which has not yet taken effect, but will almost certainly be struck down by the courts. The law, which only allows abortions if a pregnancy poses a…


Author Annie Jacobsen: Inside The CIA’s World Of Secret Wars In Our Name

No longer interested in peace. Preparing for the next war. [Editor’s Note: This is an essential interview for all American citizens to watch, to learn what is being done in our name and how the architecture for corporate forever wars is being welded into place. A sobering account of national insecurity. — Mark L. Taylor] Commonwealth Club (5/22/19) Annie Jacobsen is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative journalist whose work revolves around government secrets. She has published books on a range of topics, including what really goes on inside Area 51; Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists to America; and…


Falling Into Line: The Liberal Establishment Embrace Of War

America is incapable of understanding or respecting foreigners’ instinct for self-rule.   By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (5/16/19) The United States has just suspended flights to Venezuela. Per the New York Times: CARACAS — The United States banned all air transport with Venezuela on Wednesday over security concerns, further isolating the troubled South American nation… A disinterested historian — Herodotus raised from the dead — would see this as just the latest volley in a siege tale. America has been trying for ages to topple the regime of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying for years to do the same to his…


Think It Can’t It Happen Here? It Already Is

  By Laura Flanders Common Dreams (5/20/19) Can it happen here? Absolutely it can. Even in a liberal bastion. A few weeks ago, a handful of white supremacists marched into a bookstore in Washington D.C., temporarily disrupting a talk by Jonathan Metzl, the author of Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland. To put this in context, this was in Politics and Prose, in hip DuPont Circle, during an Antiracist Book Festival, on the same day that a 19-year-old white supremacist shot up a California synagogue, killing one person and injuring three others. Around…


How Much Longer Will We Tolerate A Government By And For The Wealthy Few?

It is utterly farcical to call the United States government democratic. By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (5/20/19) The core democratic principle is that people should have a meaningful say in political decisions that affect their lives. In Alabama, we’ve just seen what the opposite of democracy looks like: 25 white male Republicans in the state senate were able to ban almost all abortion in the state. The consequences of that decision fall exclusively on women, who will be forced to carry all pregnancies to term if the law comes into effect. And, as has happened in other countries with abortion bans, poor women will…


Whistleblower & Investigation Reveals Widespread Use Of Abusive Solitary Confinement In Refugee Detentions

“This is a practice that exposes detainees to real psychological and physiological harm.” By Spencer Woodman, Maryam Saleh, Hannah Rappleye & Karrie Kehoe International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (5/20/19) DULCE RIVERA LIVED for the one hour a day she was allowed outside, to pace alone on a patch of concrete encased in metal fencing. They called it “the yard,” but it was really a metal cage. Still, it was far better than the misery she endured the other 23 hours a day, locked alone in a cell with no one to talk to and nothing to distract her from her increasingly dark thoughts. Rivera, a 36-year-old transgender…


What Does A Post-Roe America Look Like? As Anti-Choice Laws Multiply, Many Already Are Living In It

Democracy Now! (5/17/19) Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer issued what many considered a dire warning from the bench this week, implying that Roe v. Wade — the landmark ruling that recognizes the constitutional right to an abortion — is in danger. He wrote the comments in a dissent for an unrelated case in which the court voted to overturn a 40 year-old precedent. Breyer wrote “Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.” We speak to journalist Robin Marty about what a post-Roe America would look like, and how many people are already…


The GOP Is On The Road To Mass Lockups Of Women Who Have Miscarriages

The Republican Party’s attack on women’s reproductive rights has put the nation on a terrifying path. By Thom Hartman Independent Media Institute (5/17/19) The GOP’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is on its way. During Mike Pence’s first year as governor of Indiana, his state put a young woman in prison for having a miscarriage, alleging that she’d taken an abortion-causing drug. Purvi Patel didn’t have a trace of such a drug in her system, but Pence’s state sentenced her to 20 years in prison anyway. Just a few years earlier, Indiana had also held Bei Bei Shuai for 435…


‘Unfathomable Evil Recognizing Unfathomable Evil’ — Trump’s Possible Pardons Of American War Criminals Provoke Outrage

  “Who pardons war criminals? DICTATORS. What is the signal you give by doing this? No amount of violence whether at home or abroad will be punished; no one will be held accountable.” — Jodi Jacobson, New York Times [Editor’s Note: Make special note of the words “whether at home or abroad” in the above quote. Make no mistake, Trump is paving the ground for violent suppression of political opponents here at home. The fascists are elegraphing their plans openly. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (5/18/19) Progressives, human rights advocates, and journalists responded with outrage on…


Chris Hedges “Fascism in the Age of Trump”

Empires in decay embrace an almost willful suicide blinded by their hubris and, unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. Media Sanctuary (12/1/17) Journalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges spoke at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on November 10, 2017 on fascism and empire in the age of Trump. Link to 1-Hour and 14-Minute Video


George Orwell & Why The Time To Stop Trump Is NOW!

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” — George Orwell By David Goldfischer History News Network (5/21/19) As evidence of Hitler’s intentions crystalized in the 1930’s, many politicians who recognized the danger continued to vote against vital defense expenditures. George Orwell, reflecting on that and other cases of “ignoring facts which are obvious and unalterable,” concluded: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” Until Germany invaded Poland in 1939, there was room for wishful thinking regarding Hitler’s plans. Current defenders of the American Republic, by contrast, confront the “obvious and…


Just Another Now Routine Story About A Good Samaritan Getting Arrested For Aiding A Sick Migrant

  Truly, in Trump’s nasty America, no good deed goes unpunished.    By Samantha Grasso Splinter (5/10/19) The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to hurt immigrants, both citizens and undocumented, leaving even the most well-intentioned of volunteers at risk for retribution. One of those Good Samaritans, Teresa Todd, was arrested in February when she attempted to aid a Salvadoran family fleeing gang violence, the New York Times reported on Friday. Todd, the city attorney of Marfa, TX, and the county attorney of Jeff Davis County, was driving home when a young man flagged her down off the side of the highway to…


Life, Fate & Active Collaborators

“And it was not merely tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but hundreds of millions of people who were the obedient witnesses of this slaughter of the innocent. Nor were they merely obedient witnesses: when ordered to, they gave their support to this slaughter, voting in favour of it amid a hubbub of voices. There was something unexpected in their degree of obedience… The extreme violence of the totalitarian social systems proved able to paralyse the human spirit throughout whole continents.”  — Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate (1960)


Arsonists Torched Highlander’s Main Office. But You Can’t Burn Down An Idea

(Facebook photo) By Gary Stevensn In These Times (5/6/19) The main office building of the historic Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tenn., burned to the ground March 29. Later that day, white supremacist graffiti was found in the parking lot. Thankfully, no one was harmed in the fire. But as one of countless organizers and activists who have passed through this center for popular education, I felt its loss deeply. Founded in 1932, Highlander (originally called the Highlander Folk School) connected democratic education with labor, community organizing and civic engagement. It was a meeting place and training grounds for generations of labor,…


American Gauntlet: Trumputin’s Real 2020 Running Mates Are Racism & WAR!

Most likely we are entering the most terrifying and trying time in our nation’s history. We need politicians and activists ready to withstand the whirlwind. The stakes could not be higher. [Editor’s Note: If you read nothing else from this article check out the last seven paragraphs of this story to learn how Trump could well win 2020. Would the dems be up to handling such developments? Beware and forewarned. — Mark L. Taylor] By Harvey Wasserman Reader Supported News (4/25/19) So the Mueller Report confirms that the Russians intervened to elect their money launderer of choice. What else is…


‘Presidential Endorsement Of Murder’: Trump Pardon Of US Soldier Who Tortured, Killed Iraqi Prisoner Spurs Outrage

President Trump has granted former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna a full pardon for his charge of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone. Behanna is pictured in Iraq in 2008, shortly before he murdered an Iraqi prisoner. (Image: Facebook) ***** [Editor’s Note: Trump is telegraphing a clear message of what to expect here at home should he lose the 2020 election and decides not to leave office. The growth of right wing militias is a clear and growing danger. The tactics and cruelty empires exercise to subjugate foreign populations is eventually always exercised at home to quel dissent. — Mark…


Outside The Law: American Election System In Hands Of Secretive Corporations

Weak state or federal guidance leaves many cybersecurity companies doing whatever they want. The Guardian (4/23/19) Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin is a newcomer to the cause of reforming America’s vote-counting machines, welcomed through baptism by fire. In 2015, Maryland’s main election system vendor was bought by a parent company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The state’s election officials did not know about the purchase until July 2018, when the FBI notified them of the potential conflict. The FBI investigated and did not find any evidence of tampering or sharing of voter data. But the incident was a giant red flag as to the…


Chris Hedges: Coming Down To Corporate Totalitarianism’s Brutal End Game

  “I’m calling for the overthrow of the corporate state.” [Editor’s Note: This powerful, prescient talk by author Chris Hedges has been posted in the Commoner Call  before. What we have seen with the recent Barr hearing and suppression of the Mueller report is the gathering storm drawing near. Hedges’ assessment of the corporate state’s rush to totalitarianism is moving fast. His comments about resistance and hope are a lesson for all. — Mark L. Taylor] By Ed Mays Pirate TV (10/9/18) Pirate TV welcomes back Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges for the 6th time. In his current book, America:…


Erik Prince Reportedly Wants His Piece Of The Action From The Venezuelan Corporate Coup

For Prince, the unlikely gambit represents the latest effort in a long campaign to privatize warfare. By Aram Roston & Matt Spetalnick Reuters (4/30/19) WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Erik Prince – the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump – has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, four sources with knowledge of the effort told Reuters. Over the last several months, the sources said, Prince has sought investment and political support for such an operation from influential Trump supporters and wealthy…


Europe’s Right Wing Populist Curtain

  By Yascha Mounk BBC (5/1/19) In 1946, Winston Churchill coined a memorable phrase: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the continent,” he said. Today the Soviet Union has gone, but populist parties are in government in every country along the route of the Iron Curtain, as defined by Churchill. In this series, political scientist Yascha Mounk travels that route, and finds out what is changing under these new governments in smaller cities, far away from the capitals. He speaks to supporters and opponents of the populist parties and builds up…


Constitutional Crisis: In Shutting Off All Oversight, Trump Is Ratcheting Up His Dictatorial Power Grab

From three noble branches to one rotten little stump. ***** Let’s be clear: this is a dictatorial move. By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/28/19) “We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says the person who is supposed to be chief executive of the United States government. In other words, there is to be no congressional oversight of this administration: no questioning officials who played a role in putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census. No questioning a former White House counsel about the Mueller report. No questioning a Trump adviser about immigration policy. No questioning a former White House security director…


Mob Mentality: Mail Bomb Suspect Describes Trump Rallies As ‘new found drug’

    [Editor’s Note: It’s called ‘mob mentality’ for a reason. — Mark L. Taylor] By Faith Karimi CNN (4/24/19) The Florida man who pleaded guilty to mailing explosive devices said in a letter to a federal judge that attending a rally for President Donald Trump “became like a new found drug.” Cesar Sayoc has admitted to sending pipe bombs to CNN, and various Democratic officials and donors. He pleaded guilty last month to 65 felony counts, including using weapons of mass destruction in an attempted domestic terrorist attack. In the handwritten letter filed Tuesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York,…



The Long, Bloody History Of Racist Border Militias Collaboration With Feds

Downplaying the dangers militias pose carries significant risk — risk that will be borne by vulnerable migrants in remote places in the desert.  By Ryan Devereaux The Intercept (4/23/19) LAST WEEK, American vigilantes captured hundreds of migrants — including women and small children — along a darkened stretch of the border in New Mexico. The group, calling itself the United Constitutional Patriots, or UCP, uploaded video of its score to Facebook. Illuminated by the fluorescent glow of flashlights, the shaky footage showed weary mothers, fathers, and toddlers kneeling in the dirt, heads bowed, as the armed men circled around them. The migrants’ captors summoned…


Crazy Uncle Joe & The Futile Quest Of The Corporate Can’t-We-All-Just-Get-Along Democrats

“Look, it’s very simple — we go for the head wound and your side has pillow fights. The head wound will always win over the pillow fight.”  — Steve Bannon, Trump adviser and right wing provocateur By Geoff Beckman Counterpunch (4/22/19) I have a suggestion for PPMB, the right-wing consulting firm whose CEO is running for president–and also Crazy Uncle Joe, who is apparently going to announce his run next week. You nitwits think you can run on the “I’ll bring everyone together. We’re not blue states or red states– we’re the UNITED states” message? Good luck with that. The…


The U.S.-Mexico Border Isn’t Protected By Militias, It’s Patrolled By Outlaws & Domestic Terrorists

The United Constitutional Patriots are just one in a long line of anti-immigrant groups who try to terrorize the border areas. By Raul A. Reyes NBC News (4/22/19) It speaks volumes about today’s political climate that anti-immigrant domestic terrorists have begun calling themselves border militias, holding unarmed people at gunpoint and feeling so emboldened that they post videos of their activities on social media, including Facebook and YouTube. Luckily, the hubris of at least one group didn’t impress law enforcement: On Saturday, the New Mexico attorney general’s office announced that Larry Hopkins, the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (which had been detaining migrants…


Inciting Hatred Is Trump’s 2020 Game Plan

  By John Nichols The Nation (4/19/19) Donald Trump is not an electoral mastermind. He is something far more dangerous: a persistent political grifter who is desperately, shamelessly determined to maintain his grip on the presidency that he assumed after losing the 2016 popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Trump’s desperation will intensify as the 2020 election approaches. He will turn with increasing frequency to the playbook of racism and xenophobia that he has employed from the moment four years ago when he crept from reality TV onto the Republican debate stage. Trump confirmed his intentions in mid-April, when he began…