History They Don’t Want You To Know

The Price Of Money: Political & Moral Defeat

“The Democrats have no power to change the system. Yet. So if they want to stay in the game and be competitive they’re going to have to match the Republican’s fundraising juggernaut, otherwise Trump will out-organize, out-advertise and flat out bury us in 2020.” — Facebook post (6/6/19) By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/13/19) So let’s take a look at that siren call of money… Two figures to consider from the 2016 presidential race: $1.2 billion and $217.5 million. The first is the amount of money raised by Hillary Clinton. The second is the amount of money raised…

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Nobody Told Trump, No, The ‘D’ In D-Day Doesn’t Stand For Donald

  He called people names and disrespected the dead for Fox News at Normandy, just like we knew he would. By Lucian K. Truscott IV Salon (6/9/19) How do we adequately commemorate our war dead? The soldiers and sailors and airmen and women who gave their lives in places like Normandy, and Anzio, and Palermo, and Inchon, and Khe Sanh, and Ia Drang, and Fallujah, and Sangin? How do we pay homage to our fellow citizens who were ordered to a foreign land to fight for their country and lost their lives doing it? We have Memorial Day ceremonies every year…


Corporate Interests Have Bullied Wisconsin Family Farmers Straight Into Devastation

Now add President Donald Trump’s tariffs to the problems, and the situation is even more dire. By Dave Zweifel The Cap Times (6/5/19) My first job as a reporter when I joined The Capital Times’ staff back in 1962 was to cover the farm beat. Family farming was a huge deal in those days, fueling the economy of many small Wisconsin communities and well deserving of a newspaper beat all its own, just like the police, the courts, city hall, the UW and, yes, the state Capitol. But the cracks in the farm economy started to appear way back then….


In Just 3 Minutes Robert Reich Explains What Oligarchy Means & Why It Describes Our Current Political System

The typical American has no influence at all. [Editor’s Note: The following is the script for the wonderful 3-minute video linked to below. Words are powerful and it is an act of power and liberation to use the correct word to describe economic and political realities. Pass this on. — Mark L. Taylor] By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Blog (5/2/19) “Oligarchy” means government of and by a few at the top, who exercise power for their own benefit. It comes from the Greek word oligarkhes, meaning “few to rule or command.” Even a system that calls itself a democracy can become…


Robert Mueller’s Statement Challenges House Dems To Do Their Duty, But Are They Up To It?

“I understand what you guys are doing with these bills, and that’s great. But you can’t fix the roof if the house is on fire. So it’s not acceptable that we’re ignoring this.” — The Hill, Democrats Face Voters Clamoring For Impeachment ***** Republicans view Democrats as the political party that’s scared of its own shadow. Republicans aren’t preoccupied with decency or morality, they just want to win. By Kurt Bardella NBC Think (5/29/19) Last November, the American people overwhelmingly elected a new majority in the House of Representatives, giving Democrats the power to impeach President Donald J. Trump — if it was warranted. But…


‘Ask For Jane” — These Courageous Women Provided Illegal Abortions Before Roe v. Wade. Will Activists Have To Go Underground Again?

“Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to Liberty.” — Emma Goldman Democracy Now! (5/31/19) “Ask for Jane.” Those were the magic words that provided thousands of women access to safe abortions before the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. With abortion services outlawed in most of the country, women often had to risk their own lives in order to terminate pregnancy. So, in 1969, a group of women in Chicago decided to take matters into their own hands and set up a hotline, offering counseling and…


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…


Review: Michael Wolff’s ‘Siege’ Is Fire And Fury II

   ‘…just another scumbag’ By Lloyd Green The Guardian (6/2/19) Michael Wolff is back and not with a whimper. The latest installment of his Trump chronicles picks up where Fire and Fury ended. Once again, it leaves the president bruised and readers shaking their heads. Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Don McGahn. None escape unscathed. As Wolff describes it, Donald Trump calls Kushner “a girl”. As for his vice-president, he’s a “religious nut”. “Why does he look at me like that?” Trump asks about Pence’s beatific gaze. As for Pence’s wife, Karen? “She really gives me the creeps.” Steve Bannon supplies a running commentary for which Wolff…


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…


SUCKERED! Study Proves Trump Tax Cuts Led To Virtually No Wage Growth & More Proof They Were ‘Designed To Put A Big Windfall In Oligarch Pockets’

“It’s done nothing to raise wages and flown right into corporate execs’ pockets.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/29/19) Despite lofty promises from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that went into effect last year have done little—if anything—to raise workers’ wages, boost economic growth, or spur business investment. That’s according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which appeared to vindicate warnings from progressive critics that the GOP tax cuts were little more than a scam designed to put more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans. In its 23-page report (pdf), the independent…


Memorial Day Belongs To The Real Patriots — The Foes Of Domestic Fascism.

Memorial Day was born in struggle against the Klan By Art Shields Peoples World (5/24/19) We must not forget that Memorial Day, which we celebrate on Monday, belongs to the foes of racism. The day people place flowers on the graves of fallen veterans was founded by the enemies of the Ku Klux Klan. Memorial Day belongs to the democratic traditions of the American people. It sprang out of the war against the hooded terrorists of the South who sought to re-establish slavery on American soil. American right-wingers and false patriots try to hide the real story of the birth…


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…


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…


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


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)


Looking For Some Hope & Inspiration? Check Out Netflix Film ‘Knock Down The House’

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/16/19) I just finished watching the movie “Knock Down The House” on the 2018 House races of several courageous progressive women, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The movie is on Netflix. It is a great and inspiring movie with wonderful insights on mounting races against corrupt, entitled, entrenched incumbents. While AOC is the main focus of the movie the other women and their supporters are just as inspiring. I strongly encourage you to watch and study what these brave women did. I guarantee you will have tears of joy and inspiration in the last…


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…


Billion Dollar Loser: NYT Report On Trump’s Taxes & Massive Losses May Prompt Fraud Investigation

  “He’s a con artist. A criminal. A fraud.” Democracy Now! (5/8/19) We look at a major exposé from The New York Times, which obtained tax information on Donald Trump that shows his businesses lost $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994. While Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994 show that in multiple years during that stretch, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the country and paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years. “Almost…


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:…


Boeing Might Represent The Greatest Indictment Of Short-Sighted 21st-Century Capitalism

‘symptomatic of a much bigger problem’  [Editor’s Note: the article also traces the corruption that spread through Boeing as they grew closer to the shady shortcut world of US War Department contracting. — Mark L. Taylor] By Marshall Auerback Independent Media Institute (4/26/19) A veteran commercial pilot and software engineer with over three decades of experience has just written the most damning account of the recent Boeing 737 fiasco. At one level, author Gregory Travis has provided us with the most detailed account of why a particular plane model once synonymous with reliability became a techno-death trap. But ultimately, his story is a parable…


America’s Friends: Trump Is Both Cause & Product Of Growing Estrangement With European Allies

BBC (4/24/19) From a US president who is turning the world upside down – with a relish for dismantling global agreements – the message is clear: it’s America first. But where does that leave old European allies? Few expect the transatlantic relationship to go back to where it was before Trump. Europe, says Angela Merkel, now has to shape its own destiny. James Naughtie explores the uncertain future for America’s friends. Link to 28-Minute Audio  


History They Really Don’t Want You To Know: Gore Vidal Gives A Powerful Run-Down On The Origin Of The National Security State

  The United States of Amnesia. Gore Vidal speaks to the National Press Club on March 18, 1998 on the evolution of the brutal American National Security State. It is significant that Wikileaks Julian Assange was clutching a copy of “History Of The National Security State”, a collection of interviews with journalist Paul Jay of the Real News network, as he was roughly hauled out of the Ecudoran embassy in London by a squad of police. He was as insightful — humorous — and as he was prescient. Link to 47-Minute Video


The Story Of The ‘Librarian of Auschwitz’

PRI’s The World (4/15/19) A book by Antonio Iturbe tells the extraordinary story of a 14-year-old girl at Auschwitz who’s given a responsibility by her fellow prisoners there: She’s entrusted to look after a small library of books smuggled into the concentration camp. The girl’s name is Dita Kraus, and she turns 90 this year. The BBC’s Rebecca Jones has the story. Link to 5-minute Audio


Goliath: How Monopolies Came To Be

  BBC (4/9/19) Political economist, academic and journalist Will Hutton traces the history of monopolies and public attitudes towards them. Coming at the subject with an open mind full of strongly held beliefs — some of which are in opposition to each other — he considers the great ironies and tensions at the heart of the modern monopoly. The last 200 years have been dominated by two schools of thought on how the economy functions. One, originating from Adam Smith, focuses on competition. The other, conscious of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth, takes its…


The Story Behind Roberto Duterte: Blood, Brutality & Power In The Philppines

  Narcissistic political power violence & charisma. Frontline Dispatch / PBS (3/21/19) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte makes his own rules. His war on drugs has led to the deaths of thousands of alleged drug users and dealers. His violent rhetoric and rape jokes have shocked people around the world. Yet he’s hugely popular. Reporter Aurora Almendral delves into what made him the leader he is today. Her investigation starts in his hometown in the Philippines. Link to 33-Minute Audio  


How Far-Right Thugs Evade Charges As Domestic Terrorists

The people marching with tiki torches don’t end up being viewed as domestic terrorists.   By Luke Barnes ThinkProgress (3/23/19) Christopher Hasson’s alleged intentions were clear from the start. Hasson, 49, a Coast Guard lieutenant, was arrested by federal agents in late February on gun and drug charges. But the guns alone weren’t the reason prosecutors were concerned. Instead, they were troubled by the fact that Hasson had allegedly amassed an arsenal in preparation for a lone wolf attack inspired by the far right, and had compiled an alleged hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists, which included CNN’s Don Lemon, Sen….


Wall Street LOVES Socialism … For Bankers – But Not For Ordinary Americans

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon decries socialism. Unless of course it’s the banks wanting government bailouts! By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/8/19) In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages…


Stephen Miller’s Uncle: Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Comments Demonize Asylum Seekers & Stir Racist Hatred

  [Editor’s Note: In the German death camps they referred to Jewish collaborators as ‘kapos’. Stephen Miller is made of the same rotted material. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (4/9/19) As his administration intensifies anti-immigrant policies at the border, President Trump has reportedly put adviser Stephen Miller in charge of the administration’s immigration policy. The Wall Street Journal reports Miller has backed the reinstatement of Trump’s family separation policy and has been pushing officials at the Homeland Security and Justice Departments to “get in line” with a more hard-line immigration approach. This news comes as Trump told the Republican…


Not Only Was America Not Christian But Founders Invented A Pagan Goddess Upon Which To Found The Government

Salvation for sale in the Walmart checkout line…   By Thom Hartman (4/4/19) Despite popular misconceptions from right wing media, America, the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. America has roots in the deism of the founding fathers, atheism of the enlightenment. The Founding fathers even went so far as to create an American God (Far before Neil Gaiman). The Goddess Columbia was the creation of the founding fathers who thought the nation should have their own goddess to protect the young nation. This doesn’t sound very christian does it? 8+-Minute Video “Cannons Of Christianity” by Phil…


Trump’s ‘truly bizarre’ Visit To George Washington’s Mount Vernon

The 45th president — no student of history — marveled at the first president’s failure to name his historic compound after himself. By Eliana Johson & Daniel Lippman Politico (4/10/19) President Donald Trump had some advice for George Washington. During a guided tour of Mount Vernon last April with French president Emmanuel Macron, Trump learned that Washington was one of the major real-estate speculators of his era. So, he couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name…


From Nixon To Trump, AG William Barr Has A Long, Shady History Of Covering Up Republican Crimes

  [Editor’s Note: Learn the interesting back story on how nincompoop Dan Quayle became vice president and William Barr’s role in the insurance policy for H.W. Bush. Lots of troubling history here. — Mark L. Taylor] The Thom Hartman Show (4/5/19) William Barr, Donald Trump’s attorney general has recently hidden the Mueller Report resulting in widespread criticism. But it turns out Republican Attorney Generals, like Bill Barr, have a long history of covering up republican crimes, from Nixon to Trump. Historian Lamar Waldron joins the program to expose the history of corrupt Republican politicians, conspiracies and cover-ups. Link to 21-Minute…


Here’s The Real Trump-Russia Hoax

The public record is undeniable: Trump campaign people communicated with Russians during the campaign numerous times.  By David Corn Mother Jones (3/29/19) There has been much crowing from Trumpsters on the right and Russiagate skeptics on the left about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. That is, the three-and-a-half-page letter Attorney General Bill Barr sent to Congress summarizing Mueller’s work. (The report itself remains secret and is reportedly over 300 pages.) Pointing to Barr’s citation of a single, partial sentence from the report (“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government…


Censorship: ‘Courthouse News’ Yanks Article For Its Fair & Accurate Coverage Of 9/11 Lawsuit

A rare deviation from the media’s dogmatic denigration of any person who questions the government account of 9/11. By Ted Walter Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth (3/28/19) If you had to pick one example to best encapsulate the mainstream media bias and censorship that have contributed significantly to suppressing the truth about 9/11 for nearly two decades, it would have to be the extraordinary actions of Courthouse News Service earlier this week. The first extraordinary action came on March 26, 2019, when Courthouse News published the article “FBI Accused of Omitting Evidence From 9/11 Report,” which — to the astonishment of many —…


Max Blumenthal’s “The Management Of Savagery” Explores The American Role In Rise Of Global Extremism

Amazon Review: The Rise Of International Jihad & Western Ultra-nationalism In the Management of Savagery, Max Blumenthal excavates the real story behind America’s dealings with the world and shows how the extremist forces that now threaten peace across the globe are the inevitable flowering of America’s imperial designs. Washington’s secret funding of the mujahedin provoked the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. With guns and money, the United States has ever since sustained the extremists, including Osama Bin Laden, who have become its enemies. The Pentagon has trained and armed jihadist elements in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya; it has launched military interventions…


Here’s Something They Don’t Want You To Know! When Socialism Was Tried In America It Was A Huge Success, Right Here In Wisconsin!

For much of the 20th century, Milwaukee was run by socialists—and Time magazine called it “one of the best-run cities in the U.S.” [Editor’s Note: If you want a good overview introduction to the rich and promising role of socialism in America, check out Nation Columnist John Nichols’ 2015 book “The “S” Word: A Short History Of An American Tradition”. A tradition that goes back to the American Revolution and includes Karl Marx fan boy Abraham Lincoln. As is so often the case, the republicans don’t know their American history from their next dose of Faux News bilge. — Mark L. Taylor]…


Economic Update — Failing Capitalism’s Rescue By Fascism, Brutish Nationalism & Corporate Welfare

Fascism is used by the wealthy to save the corrupt & broken system that made them wealthy and to get rid of the critics. [Editor’s Note: Professor Wolff puts the chaos of  the Trump administration in context, revealing the metastasizing fascist order and strategy at work in the nation. – Mark L. Taylor] Economic Update / Democracy at Work (3/25/19) On this week’s show Prof. Wolff presents an in-depth analysis of fascism as massive government intervention to protect and save a crashing capitalism. We focus on today’s examples, historical parallels (in Germany and Italy), and how “strong men” leaders push…


Wrong Man For The Times: ‘That Guy’ Joe Biden Isn’t The Answer

Biden is the Democrats’ answer to the hunger to “make America great again,” dressed up in liberal clothes. By Rebecca Traister New York Magazine (3/29/19) It’s still three months before the first Democratic debate, nearly a year before Super Tuesday, and he hasn’t even declared yet, but poll after presidential poll continues to show 76-year-old former vice-president Joe Biden leading an enormous, diverse, and talented Democratic field. It’s almost poetically appropriate. Biden carries himself with the confidence of a winner, despite not having won, or even come close to winning, either of the previous presidential primaries he’s entered. He is the…


Has “Cover-Up General” William Barr Struck Again?

History shows that when a Republican president is in serious legal trouble, Bill Barr is the go-to guy. By Thom Hartmann National Memo / Independent Media Institute (3/25/19) Back in 1992, the last time Bill Barr was U.S. attorney general, iconic New York Timeswriter William Safire referred to him as “Coverup-General Barr” because of his role in burying evidence of then-President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in “Iraqgate” and “Iron-Contra.” General Barr has struck again—this time, in similar fashion, burying Mueller’s report and cherry-picking fragments of sentences from it to justify Trump’s behavior. In his letter, he notes that Robert Mueller “leaves it to the…


Manufacturing Consent: Generating Apathy To Preserve The Status Quo

  “Advertisers don’t like the public sphere, where audiences are relatively small, upsetting controversy takes place, and the settings are not ideal for selling goods. Their preference for entertainment underlies the gradual erosion of the public sphere under systems of commercial media, well exemplified in the history of broadcasting in the United States over the past seventy-five years. But entertainment has the merit not only of being better suited to helping sell goods; it is an effective vehicle for hidden ideological messages. Furthermore, in a system of high and growing inequality, entertainment is the contemporary equivalent of the Roman “games…