American Fascism


Chris Hedges: How Democracies Wither & Die

A Christianized fascism champions Trump as an agent of God while the traditional church refuses to denounce evangelical right-wing extremists as heretics and impostors. By Chris Hedges Truthdig (1/13/20) Leo Tolstoy wrote that happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. So too with failed democracies. There is no one route to the dissolution of the open society, but the patterns are familiar, whether in ancient Athens, the Roman Republic or the collapse of the democracies in Italy and the Weimar Republic in Germany that led to fascism. The ills that beset Germany and Italy…


Former GOP Strategist Rick Wilson Pens New Rules For Republicans Who Have Decided To Worship ‘Sniffles The Clown’ Trump As Their God

By Sarah K. Burris Raw Story (1/8/20) Former Republican Rick Wilson unleashed an epic rant against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Wednesday night. As part of the mockery of the South Carolina Senator, Wilson outlined new rules for Republican officials to follow under the leadership of President Donald Trump, who he called “Sniffles The Clown.” “The assertion by Lindsay Graham that today’s bizarre performance by Sniffles The Clown was on par with ‘Tear Down This Wall’ is part of the Saddamification of the GOP,” said Wilson. “What are the new rules?” he asked. Never be the first guy to stop clapping…


The Dangerous Mental State & Shared Psychosis Of The ‘King Of Everything’

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/13/20) There has been a growing concern among the nation’s mental health professionals about the psychological state and fitness of Donald Trump in his role as president. His endless tweeting, lying, name calling, impulsivity, inconsistent policy statements and, most recently the assassination of an Iranian military leader, which has put the Middle East on edge and set the stage for serious military and diplomatic repercussions all underline the danger Trump’s mental state brings to the world. In the January 4 episode of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Nader does a two-part interview with…


War Is A Racket: If You Know A Young Person Thinking Of Enlisting, Buy Them This Book. It Might Save Their Life & The Lives Of Others

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify…


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‘Literally And Politically Flammable’ — Naomi Klein On Risk Of Eco-Fascism

  By Alexander C. Kaufman HuffPost (1/5/19) California burned. The Amazon burned. Greenland burned. Siberia burned. Indonesia burned. Australia’s ongoing fires look hellish. Now, last year’s global inferno looks to Naomi Klein, the author and intellectual godmother of the Green New Deal movement, like a lit fuse to a fascist future. “We’re in a moment where we are literally flammable,” Klein, whose latest book “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal” was published in September, said on a recent afternoon. “But we are also politically flammable.” In 2019, some factions of the global far-right that gained power in…


US Border Officer Uses Nazi Nuremberg Defense To Explain Involvement In Separating Families: “We were all told to do this.”

“Ah, so he was just doing his job? Where have we heard that defense before?” [Editor’s Note: Just a quick reminder to members of the military and police: as the Nuremberg Trials after WW II made clear, doing something wrong simply because you are ordered to do so is no legal — or moral — defense. There is an understanding and legal requirement that soldiers and police refuse to carry out criminal orders. Don’t be a Nazi — be a good citizen first — listen to your conscience, not corrupt commanders. — Mark L. Taylor] By Julia Conley Common Dreams…


NPR Drops Obediently Into Place With Pro-War Interview

By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (1/6/20) On Friday morning (2/3) in a segment provocatively entitled Expert Warns Iran Likely Will Retaliate For U.S. Killing Of Top General, National Public Radio’s ‘Morning Edition’ host Steve Innskeep interviewed retired general Jack Keane, who the network website described as “a retired Army general who regularly talks to President Trump, about the U.S. strategy on Iran…”. But there is much, much more to the general than that bland, anodyne descriptor. A quick search found some very important information about Keane. Media Matters notes: “Jack Keane is a retired U.S. Army general and a longtime Fox News military…


The Real Risk Of Biden Winning: “Playing it safe is going to get us killed.”

  “If Democrats meet the public’s demand for real change with something fake, the other side is willing to offer the real thing. The real risk of a Joe Biden nomination might not be that he could lose to Trump — though that is certainly plausible — but that he will beat Trump, fail to deliver, and open the door for a fascist who actually knows what he’s doing. Playing it safe is going to get us killed.” — Ryan Grim, last paragraph from the epilogue of “We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria-Cortez, and the End of Big…


Ralph Nader On Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic & Presently Understated

    The American Conservative (7/6/18) The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Link To 32-Minute Video Eisenhower’s Famous Farewell ‘Military Industrial Complex’ Warning — Ike’s warning about the…


DOCUMENTARY — Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media

  At yet another time of deceit and manipulation toward war, it is essential to understand how the corporate owners of the economy & government manufacture the consent of the population to send their children off to die in yet another useless war. Encore (11/16/17) Manufacturing Consent explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a collage of biography, archival material and various graphics and illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick’s 22-award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news….


From Military Brig To Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s ‘Toxic’ Pet War Criminal Cashes In On Newfound Fame

Along with all sorts of items emblazoned with the logo “KILL BAD DUDES,” the site sells a “Waterboarding Instructor” shirt. By Dave Phillips The New York Times (12/31/19) A year ago, Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher was wearing drab prison scrubs at a brig near San Diego, facing murder charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. Now he is modeling his own lifestyle clothing brand, endorsing nutrition supplements and positioning himself as a conservative influencer with close ties to the man who helped clear him — President Trump. Chief Gallagher was…


Guide For The Coming Year: 15-Point Guide To Resisting Authoritarianism

Rule #1: Always think critically and fight ignorance with facts.   Kali Holloway & Martin Mycielski AlterNet (12/15/17) Nearly a year ago, intuitively recognizing the Trump administration’s authoritarian aspirations, Polish journalist and activist Martin Mycielski wrote “Year 1 Under Authoritarianism.” In those early, nerve-racking days following Trump’s inauguration, the piece was shared across social media, an ominous portent of what was to come. The document — helpfully subtitled, “What To Expect?” — offered a list of predictions and warnings about Trump’s first year in office, and exhortations to fight back at every turn. In his introduction, published just days after…


Craziest Op-Ed Of 2019 Arguing Trump Will Inspire A Religious Revival Is Far More Than It Seems

By Mike Lofgren Common Dreams (12/27/19) “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” —Matthew 24:24 Just when you thought the soon-to-expire year had long since reached peak stupidity, Newsweek published a piece that set a record for preposterous ideas, confidently but incoherently argued. At first glance, it also appeared to demonstrate the lengths the supposedly mainstream media will go in giving equal time to fringe points of view—what is pretentiously called the national conversation. But it may actually be the result of a more ambitious agenda than just a…


‘The Afghanistan Papers’: Bipartisan War On Truth Revealed In The Washington Post Series

“The American people have constantly been lied to.” — John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). By Meghna Chakrabarti, Geoffrey Line & Stefano Kotsonis On Point / WBUR (12/23/19) The Washington Post’s massive investigation that U.S. officials misled the public about the Afghanistan War for almost 20 years. We talk with one of those same officials on what they said then, and what they think now. Guests: Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter focusing on national security for the Washington Post. (@CraigMWhitlock) Ryan Crocker, diplomat-in-residence, Princeton University. He has served as U.S. ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007),…


American Christmas Hypocrisy

The nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church, Claremont California. Like families in our federal concentration camps, Jesus, Mary & Joseph portrayed as refugees separated in cages. As folks gather with family and friends this Wednesday for Christmas keep in mind the thousands of immigrant children — including toddlers and infants — separated from their mothers and fathers in the spreading United States concentration camps along the southern border.  The message of the season couldn’t be further removed from the policies of this criminal government. While conservatives love to rail on and on about a fictitious “war on Christmas” and many…


The Phrase ‘White Nationalists’ Cut From Measure To Screen Military Enlistees

25% of American service members reported encountering white nationalists within their ranks. By Christopher Mathias HuffPost (12/19/19) A measure in the National Defense Authorization Act meant to keep white nationalists out of the U.S. military no longer mentions “white nationalists” after Congress quietly altered the text after it initially passed the House. The change, which has not been previously reported, could water down a House-passed amendment meant to address the threat of white nationalists in the military. The House language was specifically drafted to encourage screening for white nationalist beliefs in military enlistees. But after the Republican-controlled Senate passed its own…


Secret History Of The War In Afghanistan Reveals The Bipartisan Betrayal Of American Troops

  “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.” — Gen. Douglas Lute, Afghan War “Czar” adviser to both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Access NPR interview with Lute.) ***** “Truth was rarely welcome. Bad news was often stifled. Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible. Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced everything we were doing was right. And we became a self-licking ice cream cone.” — Col. Bob Crowley, retired Army counter…


‘Democrats Must Do Better’: As Poverty Spreads, Corporate Dems Ignore Progressives & Vote With GOP To Pass Bloated $1.4 Trillion War Budget & Funding Of Trump’s Wall

  “We must fund the government without funding hate.” — Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/17/19) The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus condemned the $1.4 trillion spending package that passed the House Tuesday, calling the legislation a massive giveaway to the Pentagon and a green light for President Donald Trump’s “immoral mass detention policies.” “The bill before us today will not stop the abuse and wrongful detention of people in custody, nor will it prevent the Trump administration from misusing federal funds to advance their horrific mass detention and deportation agenda,” Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.),…


Billionaire Nick Hannauer Reveals The Dirty Secret Of Capitalism — And A New Way Forward

`Modern neoliberal economic policy is built on lies and false assumptions. TED Talk (10/18/19) Rising inequality and growing political instability are the direct result of decades of bad economic theory, says entrepreneur Nick Hanauer. In a visionary talk, he dismantles the mantra that “greed is good” — an idea he describes as not only morally corrosive, but also scientifically wrong — and lays out a new theory of economics powered by reciprocity and cooperation. Link To 17-Minute Video


American Service Members & Vets Are Down Range Of Russian Online Lies & Manipulation

  By Jasper Craven National Review (9/18/19) The post popped up in select Instagram feeds shortly before the election in 2016. Its photo depicted an anonymous black-clad woman on an airport tarmac, crying over a metal casket covered in an American flag. “Killary Clinton will never understand what it feels like to lose the person you love for the sake of your country,” the caption began. “Honoring the high cost paid by so many families to protect our freedom. Buy a T-shirt—help a veteran.” A little money and deviousness goes a long way for foreign actors in propagandizing veterans, who…


For Growing Numbers, America Is Regressing Into A Brutal Developing Nation

The U.S. is no longer one country, but splitting into two separate economic and political worlds. By Lynn Parramore Institute For New Economic Thinking (4/20/17) You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.”  But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place. In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly…


Endless War Without Strategy: Bipartisan History Of Secrecy & Lies About The Afghan War Revealed

“The documents show the American people were lied to.” The Washington Post (12/9/19) For nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, U.S. leaders have sounded a constant refrain: We are making progress. Government interview records obtained by The Washington Post after a three-year legal battle show otherwise. [The Washington Post also produced the excellent video below to go with this story. — Ed.] Read more: At War With The Truth Link To 17-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** ‘Read Every Word Of This’: Washington…


Trump Is ‘A Problem’ But Impeachment Doesn’t Address ‘The Problem’ That Created Him

Impeaching Trump without addressing America’s deeper structural problems, says Hedges, will only make things worse. By Chauncey Devega Salon (12/9/19) The United States is sick with income and other forms of social inequality. It suffers from cruelty, loneliness, greed, gangster capitalism, white supremacy, violence, sexism and a culture of ignorance and distraction. Our broken political system does not encourage critical thinking or nurture a capacity for responsible, engaged citizenship.President Donald Trump is the human embodiment of almost everything wrong with American society. He is both the symptom and the disease. Trump and the Republican Party’s fascist movement and its news…


Trump Trots Out Recently Pardoned War Criminals At Secretive Florida Fundraiser

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” — George Washington, orders to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775 By Tom Boggioni Raw Story (12/7/19) According to a report from the Miami…


Talk About Impeachment? Dick Cheney, George Bush, Barack Obama And The CIA’s Lies & Torture Cover-up

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (12/4/19) NO STORY IN recent U.S. history illustrates the brutal fallacy of American exceptionalism than the CIA torture program and its cover-up. This week on Intercepted: As Washington D.C. remains focused on the Trump impeachment, Daniel Jones, the former top Senate Intelligence Committee investigator into the CIA torture program discusses the years-long battle with the Bush and Obama administrations to make public the findings of his still-classified 7,000 page report. Jones is the subject of the new feature film, The Report, starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening, and the host of its companion podcast, The Report Podcast,…


Shocking! Tasers Often Put Public & Police In Needless Danger, There Are Safer Alternatives

  Reveal / Center For Investigative Reporting (12/7/19) Tasers are on the duty belt of nearly every American police officer. Their manufacturer, Axon Enterprise Inc., has long promoted the device as extremely effective at helping police resolve dangerous situations without using their guns. But a yearlong investigation by APM Reports shows Tasers often are less effective than the company has claimed. And just as Tasers can save lives when they subdue suspects, when they don’t, the outcome can be deadly. In Vermont, we explore what happened when police using Tasers failed to subdue a mentally ill man. We trace the…


Knock, Knock, Knocking On Corrupt Capitalism’s Palace Doors

If you can squint past the smoke from the barricades, the commonalities start to stand out.  By Ben Ehrenreich The Nation (11/25/19) Something—someone—keeps knocking at the door. It’s cold out there and getting colder, but the people inside are cozy on the sofa with the TV on and a blanket on their laps. But there’s that knock again: at the front door now, then the side door, then the back. Maybe it’s the wind. Now there’s knocking at the windows and the roof and the walls of the house—who knew they were so thin? It’s hard to understand: How could so…


The ‘most dangerous politician of my lifetime’ May Not Be Donald Trump

  By Robert Reich Raw Story (12/2/19) He’s maybe the most dangerous politician of my lifetime. He’s helped transform the Republican Party into a cult, worshiping at the altar of authoritarianism. He’s damaged our country in ways that may take a generation to undo. The politician I’m talking about, of course, is Mitch McConnell. Two goals for November 3, 2020: The first and most obvious is to get the worst president in history out of the White House. That’s necessary but not sufficient. We also have to flip the Senate and remove the worst Senate Majority Leader in history. Like…


Media Manipulation: How The Alt-Right Co-opted The ‘OK’ Hand Sign To Play Journalists

At some point, life begins to imitate their art, and what began as a media hoax takes on dangerously radical connotations. By Poppy Noor The Guardian (10/3/19) Another day, another seemingly harmless symbol you can’t use without appearing to be a purveyor of hate. The alt-right’s latest trophy is the OK hand sign, which was officially recognised as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League over the weekend. And on Tuesday, it was reported that a Universal Orlando Resort employee was fired after concerned parents found a photo of him making the hand sign on their six-year-old’s shoulder (their child is biracial and has autism)….


Democracy Incorporated & Inverted Totalitarianism

“The political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media are the basics of the system, not excrescences upon it. The system would remain in place even if the Democratic Party attained a majority; and should that circumstance arise, the system will set tight limits to unwelcome changes, as is foreshadowed in the timidity of current Democratic proposals for reform. In the last analysis the much-lauded stability and conservatism of the…


Historian Timothy Snyder: Here’s How We Escape TrumpWorld, Where There’s “no future and no truth”

By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/23/19) There will come a time when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. The Democrats may defeat Trump in 2020, sending him back to one of his resort hotels to brood and plot further chaos. Trump could be impeached, convicted and forced from office, unlikely as that seems at this moment. A serious medical illness may mean that he is unable to fulfill his duties and is forced to resign. Because of his many scandals and likely illegal behavior, Trump could also choose to resign — if given assurances that Mike Pence, as the new…


‘The Empire Files’ — Chris Hedges & Abby Martin: No Way Out Of Fascism Through Elections

“These people will kill us. And they will, in the end, carry out crimes of humanity that make what the Nazis and Stalinists did look like like child’s play. They are now pushing us toward the complete extinction of the human species.” [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best summaries of the bipartisan crisis and anomie super-charging the death cult of our corporate-serving society. A tough but necessary message for us all. — Mark L. Taylor] The Empire Files (11/27/9) Abby Martin sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges to discuss the ignored reality behind Trump,…


Whiny Boo-Hoo Billionaires: America’s Indulged Super-Wealthy Are Freaking Out About 2020

TURKEY ***** “There is something about the very wealthy, they don’t have enough people telling them that they are full of shit.” By Dominic Rushe The Guardian (11/16/19) The 1996 US election was all about the “soccer mom”; 2004 belonged to the “Nascar dads”; Donald Trump won the White House with a “basket of deplorables”. Every election cycle seems to have a key demographic said to define the race, and 2020 is no different. This is the campaign of the “beleaguered billionaire”. There’s a billionaire in the White House and two of the top Democratic rivals for Trump’s job, senators Bernie…


Revenge Of The Billionaires: How An Oligarchy Of The Morbidly Rich Can Take Down Democracy

This is a crisis point for our nation as real and critical as those we hit in 1776, 1861, and 1932. In each of those three cases—roughly four generations apart—the oligarchs lost the battle. This time they could win. By Thom Hartmann Independent Media Institute (11/22/19) The current issue of the Atlantic magazine founded itself in the years just before the Civil War, is ominously titled, “How to Stop a Civil War.” If we are, indeed, on the brink of a second Civil War, it’s already being waged as a “cold war,” with the occasional armed skirmish being provoked by the so-called…


Trump Biographer David Cay Johnston Issues A Warning And Important Message Of Hope About Engaged Citizenship

“I believe that if the Republicans do not open their eyes and face the reality in front of them, then the voters are going to do real damage to them. This will be the type of political damage the likes of which they’ve never seen before — or we’re going to discover that the United States is fully headed toward fascism.” By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/27/19) You have been closely observing and writing about Donald Trump for more than three decades. With the Ukraine scandal and these weeks of congressional hearings none of this should really be a surprise. Given…


The Secret List Of Convicted Cops

Reveal / Center For Investigative Reporting (11/9/19) When police officers misbehave, why does it often remain a secret? We follow Robert Lewis, a reporter with the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, as he tries to report on a secret list of police officers with criminal convictions. What begins as a simple story becomes a collaboration with dozens of reporters across California, from McClatchy, the USA Today Network, MediaNews Group and Voice of San Diego. Next, Nikka Singh of “Snap Judgment” brings us the story of one officer who has been able to stay employed at a series of police…


Cashing In On Murder, Mayhem & Profit Making: Women CEO’s Of Top Weapons Manufactures Cash In On International Murder & Mayhem

“This is the diversity of the ruling class. This is what the ruling class does to let us think there has been progress.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/21/19) Jimmy Dore (10/23) and his panel of comedians take on a recent Fortune magazine feature celebrating the rise of women executives to lead American war profiteering corporations, beginning with Lockheed Martin’s CEO Maryliyn Hewson, who began her work life as an ambitious teen dishing up ice cream at her hometown Dairy Queen and now markets weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction used to maul, main and murder families around the…


The Collapse Of The American Empire?

    The Agenda (9/12/18) The Agenda welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who over the past decade and a half has made his name as a columnist, activist and author. He’s been a vociferous public critic of presidents on both sides of the American political spectrum, and his latest book, ‘America, the Farewell Tour,’ is nothing short of a full-throated throttling of the political, social, and cultural state of his country. Link to 27-Minute Video


Senate Dems Join GOP To Back ‘Automatic Austerity’ Bill That Will Lead To Gutting Social Programs, Hamstring Needed Reform & Investment

By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/14/19) A handful of Senate Democrats joined forces with Republicans last week to advance sweeping budget legislation that would establish an “automatic deficit-reduction process” that could trigger trillions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs—and potentially hobble the agenda of the next president. The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act (S.2765), authored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), passed out of the Senate Budget Committee on November 6. The legislation is co-sponsored by five members of the Senate Democratic caucus: Whitehouse, Mark Warner (Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chris Coons (Del.),…