American Fascism

Impunity: Oversight & Reforms In Many US Police Forces Have Been Rendered Ineffective By Union Contracts

“When the police have the ability to take away liberty, the police should not be policing themselves.” By Tom Perkins The Guardian (6/30/20) A court in 2009 convicted Washington DC police officer Michael Sugg-Edwards of sexually assaulting a teenage woman in his squad car. After conducting its own internal investigation, the department quickly fired the then 35-year-old officer. But, six years later, Sugg-Edwards was back on the force. A provision in the police union’s contract allowed him to appeal the decision to a union-selected arbitrator who reversed the department’s firing and reinstated him – with back pay. Such protections for officers who…


The Growing Rebellion Against Our Brutal System Of Racial Militarized Capitalism

  “Modern policing is rotten at its core.” By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted / The intercept (6/24/20) THE BLACK LIVES MATTER uprisings against police and state violence are continuing across the U.S., as a humiliated Donald Trump threatens a broader crackdown to defend Confederate monuments. This week on Intercepted: History Of Modern Racial Capitalism — Robin D.G. Kelley, a distinguished history professor at UCLA, explains why he believes the current abolitionist movement has the potential to fundamentally change the country and offers a historical analysis of the weaponization of racial capitalism throughout U.S. history. He also tells the story of the Black-led…


The Economic ‘Elite’ Counting On The Police Being Violent To Keep People Down

“It’s not enough to say that the police are too violent, or racist, or detached from society. Powerful people already know this perfectly well. Indeed, they’re counting on it. They’re counting on cops being violent to protect elite interests; nor is racism the worst thing in the world, they believe, as long as it’s not hurting their financial bottom lines. If it divides people, making them all the more exploitable, so much the better. And who cares if cops are detached from the interests of the working and lower middle classes from which they’ve come? Again, all the better, since…


‘Black Lives Matter’ Is About Far More Than The Police

Let’s make sure that Black life matters at every stage and in every facet of society, well before a cop has his knee on a man’s neck. By Patrisse Cullors ACLU (6/23/20) Every time another Black person is murdered by the police, it’s easy to point to a single officer as the culprit. George Floyd was killed under the knee of officer Derek Chauvin — we saw it ourselves. But Chauvin is just one officer in a culture of police violence, and policing is just one of the systems responsible for taking Black lives. COVID-19 exposed a number of the…


Most Dangerous Terrorist Threat In US Is From Far-Right Extremists

Center for Strategic and International Studies analysis of domestic terrorist incidents found majority have come from far right. By Jason Wilson The Guardian (6/27/20) Violence by far-right groups and individuals has emerged as one of the most dangerous terrorist threats faced by US law enforcement and triggered a wave of warnings and arrests of people associated with those extremist movements. The most recent in-depth analysis of far-right terrorism comes from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In a report released last week, the Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States, CSIS analyses 25 years of domestic terrorism incidents and finds…


Columbus OH Police Mace Double Amputee, Take His Legs, Leave Him Writhing In Pain

A level of brutality across the country that fits the deadly definition of “state-sanctioned violence.” [Editor’s Note: Want a defining image of the brutal callousness of the establishment? Well, here it is. This young man was struck, gassed and then had his artificial legs stolen by the police. Demonstrators had to fight the police to get the prosthetics back. Here it is: The image of what our corporate state has come to. They can gas, beat and terrorize their subjects, but they have no legitimacy. — Mark L. Taylor] By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (6/22/20) In a new study from the…


The ‘Warrior Cop’ Is a Toxic Mentality And Money Making Con That Leaves Communities More Vulnerable

Time to ban the police ‘Thin Blue Line” flag desecration. In a three day course last year, instructors certified the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team to parachute from planes. [Editor’s Note: If these police “warriors” want to really get on top of real crime have them parachute into Wall Street. — Mark L. Taylor] By Alain Stephens The Trace (6/19/20) A group of police officers, kitted out for a day of shooting, sit silently in a tin-roofed gun range. A portable CD player plays a recording of the desperate cries of one of their colleagues, fighting for his life….


MSNBC Warns Of Outbreak Of Right-Wing Violence Across America — With Some Hoping For Civil War

  By Matthew Chapman The Raw Story (6/23/20) On MSNBC Tuesday [6/23], reporter Brandy Zadronzny warned that the threat from the far-right “boogaloo” movement is only getting worse. “What do you see as the sort of situation now in terms of particularly Facebook and others in hosting activity for thee kinds of groups?” asked host Chris Hayes. “I talked to someone on the Homeland Security Advisory Council in March, and he said to me, you know, when we have groups of heavily-armed people loudly talking about their plans for insurrection and to kill law enforcement officials, we should probably listen to them,”…


Domination Over Democracy: How Our Bloated Military Strengthens The Police State

The violent U.S. domination of people of color overseas is inextricably linked to the oppression of people of color at home. By Shireen Al-Adeimi & Sarah Lazare In These Times (6/17/20) Nationwide uprisings over the police killing of George Floyd have forced a long overdue discussion about the injustices of U.S. policing—an institution that has consistently harassed and terrorized and, in the words of organizer, writer and educator Mariame Kaba, remains a consistent “force of violence against Black people.” As demands to abolish the police are thrust into mainstream discourse, promising—if uncertain and mixed—political changes are being debated and implemented every day. We are seeing a rigorous…


Wake Up: New Campaign Prepares Mass Mobilization Should Trump Refuse To ‘Leave Willingly’ If Defeated In November

  Be prepared. Our democracy depends upon it. By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (6/12/20) “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election… if I win.” That was then-candidate Donald Trump’s message to his supporters and the nation just a month before his victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Four years later, with less than five months to go until the 2020 presidential election, progressive advocacy groups are preparing to mobilize millions of people should Trump lose to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and refuse to accept the results. On Friday, Stand Up America and Indivisible launched a…


Chris Hedges: Seeing Through Empty Solidarity Performance Stunts Of Police, Politicians & Corporations

act.tv (6/16/20) Julianna welcomes back Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, Chris Hedges, to discuss how as lawmakers and activists are working together to make real changes in policing that are worth celebrating, it is important to name the statements that are opportunistic and performative, like police officers taking a knee with protesters before proceeding to pepper spray them. Chris talks about why these faux actions are so insidious. You may know Chris from reading one of his best-selling books including American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the…


“Light ‘Em Up”: How America’s Forever Wars Came To Our Streets & Neighborhoods

Warrior-Cops Are the Law — And Above the Law — As State Sanctioned Violence Grips America. [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best assessments of what has happened with our now ‘occupying’ police force. Our wars of empire have come home. Think of it as a kind of brutal karmic payback for what the US has been doing to other nations for decades. There is a short introductory comment on the link, so scroll down for the rest of the story. — Mark L. Taylor] By William Astore TomDispatch (6/7/20) From their front porches, regular citizens watched a cordon…


Trump Supporters Are Attacking & Killing BLM Protesters — And Getting Away With It

  By Arun Gupta Raw Story (6/17/20) Imagine the reaction if during the recent far-right reopen rallies supported by Trump that backers of Joe Biden attacked and killed protesters. Not only would right-wing media demand Biden’s execution, Trump’s hatchet man at the Department of Justice, William Barr, would likely have indicted Biden as an accessory to murder. While that scenario is far-fetched, the reverse is not. Since the police killing of George Floyd sparked unprecedented protests against systematic racism, at least four Trump supporters, including some involved in his 2016 campaign, have attacked Black Lives Matter protesters with weapons, leading to at least one…


What Should The Punishment Be For The Crime Of Weaponizing A Virus For Political Purposes?

Putting politics and Trump’s ego above the lives of American citizens. By Thom Hartmann Common Dreams (6/16/20) Trump’s scheduled rally in Tulsa this weekend and his moving the Republican convention to Florida both demonstrate that he is more than willing to take actions that will kill Americans in order to get his ego stroked and increase his chances of reelection. A new book by Trump’s niece tells the story of how Donald Trump cut off payments for his nephew’s medical treatment, who had cerebral palsy, as a negotiating weapon to extract more money from his father‘s estate. Meanwhile, scientists report…


It’s Time To Kick Police Unions Out Of The Labor Movement. They Aren’t Allies

For centuries, the police have in fact been the tool of oppression wielded to crush working people. By Hamlton Nolan The Guardian (6/13/20) The ultimate power of the labor movement lies in solidarity. Together, working people are strong. So what can the movement do in this moment of national struggle against racism and police violence? The obvious answer is to deny the power of solidarity to police unions, which function as barriers to the very reforms that Americans are now fighting for. The time has come to put police unions on a raft and set them adrift. Perhaps they can…


Law n’ Disorder: Confessions Of A Former Bastard Cop

Understand: Police officers are part of the state monopoly on violence and all police training reinforces this monopoly as a cornerstone of police work, a source of honor and pride.  By Officer A. Cab Medium (6/6/20) I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were. This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a…


National Guardsmen Struggle With Their Role In Controlling Protests

‘What I saw was just absolutely wrong’ By Daniel Lippman Politico (6/9/20) Pvt. Si’Kenya Lynch, a member of the D.C. National Guard, was on duty at Lafayette Square near the White House last Monday when U.S. Park Police cleared the area of protesters ahead of President Donald Trump’s now-infamous photo op. Lynch said she supports the protests, and that her brother was among the demonstrators on the other side of the line, adding that “he coughed a lot” due to the tear gas fired into the crowd. “I was happy to see him out there … to walk for me when I couldn’t,”…


The Enemy In Our Backyard: Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation Funneled Millions Into Voter Suppression, Union Busters, Climate Deniers, Right-Wing Media & Hate In 2019

By David Armiak Exposed / Center For Media & Democracy (6/8/20) In 2019, the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gave millions to groups working to suppress the vote, bust unions, and spread climate misinformation, and to right-wing media outlets. The 2019 spending was detailed in an annual review document prepared by Bradley staff and examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Bradley, one of the largest funders of right-wing infrastructure in the United States with $854.2 million in assets as of December 2018, states that it distributed $42.1 million in grants in 2019, a marginal increase over the $40.1 million it gave out in…


Cornel West Offers Hope — And Warns Of ‘neo-fascist’ Backlash

“We have to get ready for the neo-fascist clampdown, because it is coming. It is coming.” “We refuse to get in the gutter, and we’ll go down swinging like Ella Fitzgerald, Muhammad Ali, in the name of love and justice. We do it for Brother Wyatt, we do it for my daughter, we do it for the Asians and for the whole world. Because that is the only hope of the world and that kind of love is always tragedy, comic and crucified with that kind of love. And you need to keep dishing it, generation after generation after generation….


Forward This On To Your Activist Contacts! Your First Amendment Right To Record The Police

By Sophia Cope & Adam Schwartz Electronic Frontier Foundation (6/8/20) Like the rest of the world, we are horrified by the videos of George Floyd’s murder. Once again, police brutality was documented by brave bystanders exercising their First Amendment rights. Their videos forcefully tell a painful truth that has further fueled a movement to demand an end to racism and abuse of power by police officers. Recordings of police officers, whether by witnesses to an incident with officers, individuals who are themselves interacting with officers, or by members of the press, are an invaluable tool in the fight for police accountability. Often,…


Israeli Forces Trained Cops In Sadistic ‘restraint techniques’ At Minneapolis Conference

“…many Israeli soldiers began using this technique of leaning in on our chest and necks when we were protesting in the West Bank sometime in 2006.” By Steve Sweeney Morning Star (6/3/20) Officers from the U.S. police force responsible for the killing of George Floyd received training in restraint techniques and anti-terror tactics from Israeli law enforcement officers. Floyd’s death in custody on Memorial Day, the latest in a succession of police killings of African Americans, has sparked continuing protests in U.S. cities. At least 100 Minnesota police officers attended a 2012 conference hosted by Israel’s Chicago consulate, the second…


Time To Get Real: Donald Trump Is A Nazi

He’s found his bliss, and it’s in remaking this country in his own image: sour, ugly, hateful, and miserable. By Drew Magary Medium (6/2/20) He’s a Nazi. He’s not scarily reminiscent of a Nazi. He doesn’t have alarming Nazi-like qualities. Your president, my president, is a fucking Nazi. That’s not a standard bit of tweeted hyperbole. It’s a truth. It’s bedrock. There’s no sly coding to it. You don’t get to go OH DEAR PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SAYING THE QUIET PART OUT LOUD when there has never been any quiet parts to Donald Trump, nor any disguising his zeal for outright fascism. If the past…


Way Back In 1920, Journalist H.L. Mencken Predicted A Trump

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.” — H.L. Mencken, writing for the Baltimore Evening Sun on 26 July 1920, in an article entitled “Bayard vs. Lionheart” (and reprinted in the book On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe) (Cartoon by Seth L. Taylor, 2020.)


Out Of Bizness: American Freedom Succumbs To Corporate Takeover

  Any smug assumptions that we are somehow immune to the cult of authoritarian manipulation and triumph has disappeared in a fog of pepper spray. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/8/20) For Americans who like to assure themselves that somehow we are exceptional; that our supposedly democratic institutions and principles are a vaccine against the virus of authoritarianism, this past week has revealed we are as vulnerable to tyranny as any poverty-crippled third world nation. Our dank, corrupted institutions have proven to be beyond brittle. Any smug assumptions that we are somehow immune to the cult of authoritarian…


Online Database Has 426 Videos Of Police Attacking & Brutalizing George Floyd Protestors

  By Daniel Villarreal The New Civil Rights Movement (6/6/20) The nationwide protests against police violence have created numerous instances of police violence. As hundreds of thousands have non-violently protested without incident, they’re capturing police attacks against demonstrators on camera, and now there’s a database where you can watch them all. Lawyer T. Greg Doucette and mathematician Jason Miller have placed these clips into a public Google Sheet entitled “GeorgeFloyd Protest – police brutality videos on Twitter.” It contains links to at least 426 videos of police violence committed in cities across the United States. “[The videos] come in from…


If You’re Shocked By Police Violence, You Don’t Understand US History

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in Floyd’s death, Memorial Day, 2020. The image — and especially the entitled expression on Chauvin’s face — encapsulates the war waged by American law enforcement against African American and other minority citizens since the days of slavery and occupation of Native lands. (Screenshot) The billions of dollars that governments spend on increasingly militarized police can be better used to address the underlying socioeconomic conditions that contribute to police encounters. By Malaika Jabali The Guardian (6/5/20) Amid worldwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, activists around…


Pentagon War Game Includes Military Response To Possible Domestic ‘Gen Z’ Rebellion

Plotting war against our children. [Editor’s Note: Here’s a radical idea for all those geniuses planning out warfare against our children: How about addressing the very real issues they are facing that you think could lead to rebellion? If you ever thought the military was for our defense, think again. As we saw in D.C. this past week, it is solely an instrument of the bipartisan corporatocracy. — Mark L. Taylor] By Nick Turse Intercept (6/6/20) IN THE FACE of protests composed largely of young people, the presence of America’s military on the streets of major cities has been a controversial development. But this isn’t…


The Last Words Of George Floyd: Sign Letter Of Protest

These are the last words of George Floyd, the 46-year-old man who died as Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin pinned him down, kneeling on his neck for seven long, agonizing minutes, until he suffocated: “It’s my face man I didn’t do nothing serious man please please please I can’t breathe please man please somebody please man I can’t breathe I can’t breathe please (inaudible) man can’t breathe, my face just get up I can’t breathe please (inaudible) I can’t breathe sh*t I will I can’t move mama mama I can’t my knee my nuts I’m through I’m through I’m claustrophobic…


Now, Who Exactly Is Doing The Looting & Who’s Being Looted Of What?

We live in an Orwellian era, in which working-class people pilfering convenience store goods is called “looting.” Rich people stealing hundreds of billions of dollars, on the other hand, is just well-functioning “public policy.” By David Sirota Jacobin (5/29/20) Headlines this morning are all about looting — specifically, looting in Minneapolis, after the police killing of an unarmed African-American man was caught on video. In the modern vernacular, that word “looting” is loaded — it comes with all sorts of race and class connotations. And we have to understand that terms like “looting” are an example of the way our media often imperceptibly trains…


A Journalist Blinded, A Child Maced & A Congresswoman Pepper-Sprayed: Police Violence Explodes Across The Nation

Targeting the media and innocent citizens. [Editor’s Note: When they use the Owellian term “non-lethal rubber bullets” understand the are using “crippling bullets”, as detailed below. If your intention is to slow, deter or chase somebody away you’d target the larger mass of the trunk of the body. Hitting someone in the face is intentional, and, Mr. Police officer, cowardly. — Mark L. Taylor] By Paul Gottinger Reader Supported News (5/30/20) Authorities in ten states have activated the National Guard and adopted curfews in an effort to crack down on nationwide demonstrations, which have spread to at least 75 cities following the police killing of…


Far-Right, Fascist Extremists Are Hoping To Twist George Floyd Protests Into A New Civil War

  By Tess Owen VICE News (5/30/20) Far-right extremists are showing up, with guns, to the protests against police brutality that have exploded across the country. Others are egging on the violence from behind their computers, urging followers to carry out acts of violence against black protesters with the goal of sparking a “race war.” Their presence makes an uneasy addition to the escalating unrest, which was triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was choked to death by a white Minneapolis police officer earlier this week. But there’s a range of motivations that’s driving far-right…


Our National Portrait

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, casually kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in Floyd’s death, Memorial Day, 2020. (Screenshot) The collapse of empire is a guarantee that official violence will spread outward to batter all groups — except the coddled wealthy few. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/28/20) The above screen shot image is from the now famous Memorial Day video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, literally kneeing the life out of George Floyd, 46, after being taken into custody for possible use of a fake $20 bill. This image summarizes so much about the…


Four Dead In Ohio: What The Kent State Massacre Meant For The Left

Remembrance is one thing, truth another. [Editor’s Note: A treacherous case of state murder, plain and simple. The intentional division and stirring of hate and racism by the Nixon administration is now SOP — Standard Operating Procedure — by the government. Note, one of the lessons of Kent State is to document any protest — now with cell phone video. — Mark L. Taylor] By Michael Goldfarb 1A / NPR (5/21/20) May 4th 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Kent State massacre in Ohio. On the day the shootings occurred, Michael Goldfarb was in his second year at another university…


America Under Donald Trump: A Failed State In Slow Motion Heading Into Chaotic, Rapid Free-Fall

“With heavily armed men in full combat gear occupying the visitors galleries in the Michigan state capitol, we are one trigger-pull away from what happens every day in places like Kabul and Mogadishu and Tripoli. With tens of millions of people out of work, they’re talking about cutting food stamps and canceling the unemployment bonus they just passed. Every day, there is more evidence that nothing is working the way it should in a country gripped by the biggest crisis it has faced in decades.” By Lucian K. Truscott IV Salon (5/23/20) What is a failed state? It’s a country that…


Lockdown Protesters May Have Infected Your Family With Coronavirus

US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests. By Jason Wilson The Guardian (5/18/20) Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests – some of which have been connected with Covid-19 cases – are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states, and even crossing into neighboring ones. The data, provided to the Guardian by the progressive campaign group the Committee to Protect Medicare, raises the prospect that the protests will play a role in spreading the coronavirus epidemic to areas which have, so far, experienced relatively few infections. The anonymized location…


Why Don’t Americans Trust Experts Anymore?

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ― Issac Asimov Amanpour & Company (5/15/20) A tussle between science and politics is defining the pandemic response of the Trump administration. How did this increasing rejection of expertise get started? Professor Tom Nichols wrote a prescient book on the subject in 2017, and joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss. Link…


Think Trump & Republicans Wouldn’t Cancel An Election? Look At What Georgia’s GOP Just Pulled Off

By Julia Conley Common Dreams (5/19/0) Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will be permitted to hand-pick the state’s next Supreme Court Justice after that same high court ruled last week that a special election set for Tuesday could be canceled. Kemp and his Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, moved to cancel voting in the state earlier this year after state Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell announced he would step down after his six-year term expires at the end of 2020. Taking the matter of who should succeed Blackwell into his own hands will allow Kemp, a Republican, to appoint another right-wing judge to serve…


‘This American Life’ Episode On American Refugee Camps Wins First-Ever Pulitzer Prize For Radio Investigative Report

    [Editor’s Note: This amazing episode of ‘This American Life’ profiles the brutal, inhumanity of American asylum policies on the southern border. In the midst of our own struggles these days, we cannot lose our humanity by ignoring the terror inflicted on innocents in our name and on our dime. To do so is to lose our humanity. — Mark L. Taylor] This American Life (5/15/20) Last week, our episode “The Out Crowd“ won the very first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a radio show. This is the episode that won, with some updates on the stories. Hear what the Trump administration’s…


Are Trump & Anti-Lockdown Militias Itching For Actual Violence?

  The implications for the 2020 election are dire. By Mehdi Hasan Deconstructed / The Intercept (5/7/20) PROTESTS HAVE BROKEN out in and around several state capitols, with demonstrators, among them armed right-wing militia members, attempting to pressure their state governments to end the Covid-19 lockdowns. Could this end in violence, and what does it portend for the presidential election? Scholar of right-wing extremism Nicole Hemmer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the protests. Nicole Hemmer: Donald Trump is no stranger to the language of political violence. It’s something that he has encouraged throughout his presidential campaign and throughout his presidency. Link To


‘Screen New Deal’ — How Crisis Will Lead To Every Detail & Action In Your Life To Be Tracked By Google & Other Tech Giants

Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia By Naomi Klein The Intercept (5/8/20) OR A FEW fleeting moments during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. “We are ready, we’re all-in,” the governor gushed. “We are New Yorkers, so we’re aggressive about it, we’re ambitious about it. … We realize that change is not only imminent, but it can actually be a friend if done the right way.” The inspiration for these…