American Fascism

Jeremy Scahill On Trump’s Embrace Of Duterte’s Deadly War On Drugs In The Philippines

  Democracy Now! (5/25/17) (Editor’s Note: In the course of commenting on Donald Trump’s conversation with Rodrigo Duterte journalist Jeremy Scahill reveals an amazing national security breach that Trump does every single day. – Mark L. Taylor) In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested he might impose martial law across the country, after declaring it this week in his native island of Mindanao. This comes as a transcript of the call of Trump praising Duterte for his controversial drug war was leaked and published by The Intercept. According to the leaked transcript, Trump said, “I just wanted to congratulate…


Bringing The Wars Home: Pipeline Company Hired Military Contractors To Suppress Native Uprising

By Lauren McCauley Common Dreams (5/27/17) The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation’s attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed with water canons and surrounded by police in tanks and other military-grade equipment were spread widely, fueling global outrage and a fierce protest movement against the oil pipeline. Now that the pipeline is operational and already leaking, internal documents obtained by The Intercept and reported on Saturday reveal the deep collusion between local police forces, the pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed “military-style counterterrorism measures” to suppress the…


How The Alt-Right Is Using Humor And Irony To Disarm Critics & Normalize Fascism

  By Jason Wilson The Guardian (5/23/17) Earlier this month, hundreds of “alt-right” protesters occupied the rotundaat Boston Common in the name of free speech. The protest included far-right grouplets old and new – from the Oath Keepers to the Proud Boys. But there were no swastikas or shaved heads in sight. Instead, the protest imagery was dominated by ostensibly comedic images, mostly cribbed from forums and social media. It looked a little like an animated version of a favorite “alt-right” message board, 4chan. At least one attendee was dressed as the cartoon frog, Pepe (a character co-opted by the…


Melting KKK Hate Through Personal Connection, Kindness & Compassion

It’s pretty tough to see beyond the vitriol and visceral nastiness of KKK racism and hate. This episode of the WNYC public radio Snap Judgment podcast three very personal journeys from hate to acceptance and understanding are profiled. Change is made by individuals taking the risk and the extra step to reach out to hate with genuine curiosity, compassion and acceptance of the wounded individual wrapped beneath all the blind darkness. These stories are reason for hope on at least an individual basis. Hosted by Glynn Washington, Snap Judgment is the smoking-hot show electrifying audiences nationwide. Snap’s “Storytelling, with a…


In 60 Seconds, A ‘Daily Show’ Guest Brilliantly Exposed The Danger Of ‘Post-Truth’

  By Maxwell Strachan The HuffPost (5/17/17) Trevor Noah had historian Timothy Snyder on to “The Daily Show” this week to discuss his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Snyder is a Yale professor who specializes in Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. He has spent a lifetime trying to understand how fascism and authoritarianism transform from an idea into a reality. He has written book after book breaking down the patterns and signs to look for. “What post-truth does is it paves the way for regime change.” So when Snyder had the stage on “The Daily Show” this week,…


Trump’s Generous Gift To America

“Authoritarians are often ungenerous people, but they do give us one gift: they tell us what they are going to do before they do it, both as an intimidation and as a challenge. Trump always follows this rule. “At his weekend rally, he recited the lyrics of a song by Al Wilson about a woman who rescues an ailing snake, only to find that as soon as the snake feels better he bites her. When she protests, he grins and says, “Oh shut up. You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.” – Ruth Ben-Ghiat,…


Sadism: The First Sign Of Emerging Dictatorship Has Made It’s Debut

TheCommonerCall.org By Juan Cole Informed Consent  (5/11/17) One of the classic techniques of dictatorship is humiliation, a manifestation of the sadism of the regime. Most people want to avoid being made the butt of ridicule, and authoritarian personalities calculate that they will even surrender some rights and liberties to avoid it. Even if you didn’t agree with him on many issues, Comey did not have an easy job and he put a lot of years and effort into it. If you’re his boss and you want to fire him, you owe him a face to face meeting to explain to him…


“A Scandal” – After FCC Bent Rules, Right-Wing Sinclair Network Set To Grow Even Bigger Than Fox

TheCommonerCall.org   By Diedre Fulton Common Dreams (5/8/17) Creating the nation’s largest local TV station conglomerate—and raising the frightening prospect of a network that would rival Fox News—conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Monday [5/8] it will buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. Craig Aaron, president of the communications watchdog organization Free Press, called the deal “a scandal,” while former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner and Common Cause adviser Michael Copps said it was both “expected and disappointing.” “Expected because the new FCC majority is foaming at the mouth to rubber stamp more massive media mergers,” Copps explained, “and disappointing because…


AUDIO: Al Letson – Trump Adviser Sebastian Gorka On America

  By Al Letson Reveal (3/9/17) This week, Reveal host Al Letson speaks to Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump. Usually, Gorka is sent out by the White House to discuss threats outside the U.S. In this special podcast, he and Al discuss domestic issues. Gorka talks a lot about the backbone of America, “real Americans” and the people he calls “the chattering classes.” But who are the “chattering classes”? And what is “the real America”? The outspoken Trump adviser lays bare his views on the country. Link to Story and 13-Minute Audio ***** Trump Adviser Gorka’s PhD…


If You Want To Understand What Motivates The Trump Movement & How To Respond, Read And Let This Sink In…

  (Editor’s Note: This is an important article. If you want to understand the madness that has taken root in Washington and how to counter it, please follow the link below and read the whole article.  What is happening stretches way, WAY beyond party politics. – Mark L. Taylor) By Bill Blum HuffPost (5/8/17) I don’t always agree with Bill Maher (witness his views on Islam and the death penalty), but the comedian was at his best on the April 28 installment of “Real Time,” his Friday night HBO talk show. In both his opening interview with Massachusetts Democratic Sen….


Beware, It’s ‘inevitable’ Trump Will Stage His Own ‘Reichstag Fire’ To Salvage his Presidency

The 1933 burning of the German Reichstag was used as the pretext for Hitler suspending civil liberties, cracking down on the Communist Party and other opposition parties and groups which then led to the consolidation of power by the Nazis and the unspooling horrors of WW II. While a mentally troubled Polish communist was convicted and executed for the fire, there is strong evidence that the Nazis were the ones who set the fire. Such emergency situations are part of the blueprint for all authoritarians. (National Archives and records Administration/Wikimedia Commons)   By Sarah K. Burris The Raw Story (5/1/17)…


The Nazi I Knew: Still Spewing His Sewage Of Hate

An old campaign photo of Arthur Jones from his race for Milwaukee mayor. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/1/17) When I was in my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, back in 1970, there was a fiery, oddball upperclassman, named Art Jones. He was a tall, gangly kid with limp dirty blonde hair and a nervous energy that made him fidgety and a fast walker and a faster talker. While looking a bit like Ichabod Crane loping across campus he didn’t particularly stand out from other kids on campus except for one thing: he was…


Edward Bernays: Engineering The Consent & Blind Obedience Needed For Empire

  The Empire Files (6/4/16) With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies…


Chris Hedges: Understanding The Right Wing “Christian” Dominionist Movement

“Radical Christian dominionists have no religious legitimacy. They are manipulating Christianity, and millions of sincere believers, to build a frightening political mass movement with many similarities with other mass movements, from fascism to communism to the ethnic nationalists parties in the former Yugoslavia. It shares with these movements an inability to cope with ambiguity, doubt and uncertainty. It creates its own “truth.” It embraces a world of miracles and signs and removes followers from a rational, reality-based world. It condemns self-criticism and debate as apostasy. It places a premium on action and finds its final aesthetic in war and apocalyptic…


Here’s What Christian Dominionism Looks Like In Our Government

  By Brendan O’Conner Fusion.net (4/20/17) First thing in the morning on April 5, before a meeting chaired by Representative John Shimkus and another with the Solar Energy Industry Association, Energy Secretary Rick Perry headed to the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a copy of Perry’s schedule obtained by Fusion. There, Perry was scheduled to meet for an hour-long “Cabinet Member Bible Study.” The schedule does not list who attended that session, but Ralph Drollinger, a right-wing pastor with a long history of ties to Perry and other Trump Administration officials, claims on his web site to…


AUDIO: A Must-Listen Survivor’s Guide To Tyranny

  By Christopher Lydon Open Source/ WBUR (3/28/17) Yale historian Timothy Snyder has 20 pills he wants us to take, and keep taking, perhaps to save our country. The stark premise that he laid out for us a month ago is that the real project of Donald Trump and Company is “regime change.” When they mock the legal restraints of “so-called judges” and call journalism “the opposition,” we should understand that they’re test-marketing their contempt for the rule of law and the constitutional protection of critical freedom. So Tim Snyder has written out his pocket-size get-real manual, called: On Tyranny,…


Trumpster Brown Shirts Stirring: “You’ve been warned”

By calebfox The Daily Kos (4/14/17) So late this afternoon the phone rang at my office — the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Cincinnati OH.   The caller asks for me by name.  I’m the Executive Director so usually its me answering the phone. He quickly rattles his name off and says he represents the Citizens for Trump Foundation.  He tells me “we have been monitoring your social media accounts and you have been posting many things critical of Donald Trump.”     I say yea.  Do you have any idea who you just called? What I took from that call yesterday is…


‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Futuristic Dystopian Literature & Movies Provide The Story Line For The Present

  By Tom Ashbrook OnPoint (4/3/17) Dystopian fiction is having a heyday. We’ll look at the dystopian plots and perils that publishers love right now. Check out the new fiction coming from publishers these days and it may scare you to pieces. Not horror scare exactly, but dystopia. Dystopian fiction is all over the place now. Books of the future gone horribly wrong. A new civil war in America.  Crazy microbes on the loose. The planet a mess. Democracy done.  Insane inequality. Killer drones all over. Walls and fences and people fleeing Earth if they can. Great. This hour On…


Holocaust Survivor Has Message For ICE Head: “History is not on your side!”

  Young Turks (3/29/17) “During an immigration forum in Sacramento, California Tuesday, a holocaust survivor had some strong words for Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan. According to CBS Sacramento, the man explained to Homan and Jones that as a boy in Poland he was “hauled off” for nothing more than simply being Jewish. “For no other reason, I was picked up and separated from my family, who was exterminated in Auschwitz,” he said. “And I am a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau.” He said that he spent five years in concentration…


Hedges: Our Last Chance For Resistance – One By One The Candles Are Extinguished

  By Chris Hedges TruthDig (3/19/17) The crawl toward despotism within a failed democracy is always incremental. No regime planning to utterly extinguish civil liberties advertises its intentions in advance. It pays lip service to liberty and justice while obliterating the institutions and laws that make them possible. Its opponents, including those within the establishment, make sporadic attempts to resist, but week by week, month by month, the despot and his reactionary allies methodically consolidate power. Those inside the machinery of government and the courts who assert the rule of law are purged. Critics, including the press, are attacked, ridiculed…


What Is Happening & Where We Are Going: Two Essential Videos Of Journalist Chris Hedges

TheCommonerCall.org By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call  (3/23/17) The whirlwind of our time has a lot of metaphorical dust blinding many to what is happening. From the rapid-fire assaults of late-night Trumpian tweets to callously cruel executive orders to one news cycle after another filled with a spiraling collection of unbelievable-but-unfortunately-true stories one can feel caught in some kind of crazy cosmic pinball arcade. Given his long background on reporting from the crispy edges of American empire – from Central America to Bosnia to Iraq – few have the depth of understanding of the well-oiled chaos leaving so many…


A Warning To America: How Hitler Came To Power Has Many Disturbing Similarities To What Trump’s Movement Is Pulling Together

  Reich Wing Watch (11/1/16) The audio in this video is from “On Point with Tom Ashbrook”. Being interviewed is historian Eric Weitz. Discussed is how Hitler rose to power and the “comeback” right-wing populism is making in Europe and in the United States in the form of Donald Trump. What economic and social conditions helped the Nazis come to power? [Editor’s Note: Author Eric Weitz is way too dismissive of the parallels and echoes between Weimar Republic Germany and today’s America. He does an excellent job of laying out the commonalities but then steps back, assuring us that things…


Fascism Will Be On Our Doorstep In One Year If We Don’t Act Immediately!

  By Steven Rosenfeld AlterNet (3/7/17) How close is President Donald Trump to following the path blazed by last century’s tyrants? Could American democracy be replaced with totalitarian rule? There’s enough resemblance that Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who studies fascist and communist regime change and totalitarian rule, has written a book warning about the threat and offering lessons for resistance and survival. The author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century talked to AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld. Steven Rosenfeld: Three weeks ago, you said that the country has perhaps a year ‘to defend American democracy.’ You said what happens in the…


‘A Fascist’s Dream’ – Artificial Intelligence Is Ripe For Abuse, Tech Executive Warns

TheCommonerCall.org   By Olivia Solon The Guardian (3/13/17) AUSTIN, TX – As artificial intelligence becomes more powerful, people need to make sure it’s not used by authoritarian regimes to centralize power and target certain populations, Microsoft Research’s Kate Crawford warned on Sunday. In her SXSW session, titled Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fascism, Crawford, who studies the social impact of machine learning and large-scale data systems, explained ways that automated systems and their encoded biases can be misused, particularly when they fall into the wrong hands. “Just as we are seeing a step function increase in the spread…


Angry white men’: The Sociologist Who Studied Trump’s Base Before Trump

Michael Kimmel, one of the world’s foremost experts on masculinity, examines its role in men’s adherence to – and departure from – far-right movements.   By J. Oliver Conroy The Guardian (2/27/17) During the Obama years, various commentators made wild predictions about the death of the white male as a politically relevant demographic. Then came Trump, propelled to power by a wave of angry white men. The sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. As the director of Stony Brook University’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, he’s a leader in the…


The Clock Is Ticking: At Best, We Have One Year To Save Our Nation & Ourselves

(Editor’s Note: If you do nothing else today, listen to the opening interview with Yale historian Timothy Snyder about the actual degree of risk we are at. When we tell ourselves that a totalitarian regime can never happen here we are, Snyder warns, ignoring history. We are not as exceptional to the reality of history as we like to think. Please, listen to this fascinating interview and then take action. – Mark L. Taylor) Once you concede on abuse of the first group you have lost everything.   Open Source WBUR (2/16/17) Should Donald Trump have spelled it out that…


Let’s Hold On The Cheers For Surveillance Leaks: Power Of The Deep State, Flynn Leaks And the End Of Democracy

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/20/17) It’s hard not to feel some measure of hope at all the news about the deep state surveillance and intelligence agencies leaking news nuggets about Trumpster ties to Russian oligarchs and Putin’s pals in the Kremlin. I mean, hell, it’s Trump. Right? During an interview last week with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, New York Sen. Chuck Shumer stated an ugly truth about Trump’s ranting and raving about the intel community, saying the so-called president was “being really dumb” for taking on the intelligence mafia: “Let me tell you, you take on…


The Forces Behind The Internet’s Growing Authoritarian Anti-Democracy Movement

By Rosie Gray The Atlantic (2/10/17) White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been in contact via intermediaries with Curtis Yarvin, Politico Magazine reported this week. Yarvin, a software engineer and blogger, writes under the name Mencius Moldbug. His anti-egalitarian arguments have formed the basis for a movement called “neoreaction.” The main thrust of Yarvin’s thinking is that democracy is a bust; rule by the people doesn’t work, and doesn’t lead to good governance. He has described it as an “ineffective and destructive” form of government, which he associates with “war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.” Yarvin’s ideas, along with those…


The Five Faces Of Authoritarian Dystopia

By Paul Buchheit Common Dreams (2/13/17) Based on reliable news sources, his biographer, and his own writings, the most powerful man of his era has been referred to as an “egomaniac” and “narcissist,” possessing a “big mouth” with an “impulsive style,” unable to differentiate between truth and falsehood, preferring emotion over facts, focused on national greatness and law & order, fearful of “foreignization,” prone to coarseness and put-downs in speeches, and fond of “mantralike phrases” filled with “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.” The man described above is Adolf Hitler. All of the descriptions were attributed to the Nazi…


When The Government Had Real Reason To Fear A Bowling Green Massacre — From A Homegrown White Supremacist

 FBI agents came to believe Schmidt had been planning his own string of racially motivated attacks on African-American and Jewish community leaders.   By A.C. Thompson ProPublica (2/8/17) The year was 2012. The place was Bowling Green, Ohio. A federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR–15 assault rifles, an AR–10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been…


My Dad Predicted Trump In 1984 – It’s Not Orwell, He Warned, It’s Brave New World

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.” –…


The Orwell Essay That’s Even More Pertinent Than ‘1984’ Right Now

Put down that fantasy sci-fi novel and pick up “Politics and the English Language.”   By Maxell Strachan Huffington Post (1/25/17) In the three days since Kellyanne Conway described White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” people around the country have been searching for ways to deal with the Trump administration’s continued willingness to deceive the American public. One place many have landed is back in 1984. Copies of George Orwell’s dystopian novel have been in high demand since Conway debuted her latest Orwellian turn of phrase. By Tuesday, the book had climbed all the…


Echoes From A Dark Past: The Fascist Overtones In Trumpolini’s Inaugural Address

(The Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) If you were looking for Trump to take the high ground in his Inaugural Address and call on “the better angels of ourselves,” you were kidding yourself.   By Matt Rothschild, Executive Director Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (1/20/17)   It was hard to listen to Trump’s Inaugural Address without hearing some not-so-faint echoes of fascism. The most obvious was his invocation of “America First” as the “new vision” that “will govern our land.” But it’s not a…