Resist!

‘Nice’ People Always Make The Best Nazis

“You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.” By Steadfast Slovak The Daily Kos (6/14/18) The best Nazis. I’ve been thinking a lot about Naomi Shulman’s quote, “Nice people made the best Nazis.”  The people who just wanted to get along, who looked the other way and ignored politics, “[t]hey were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.” And I’ve realized, sadly, reluctantly, that I’ve filled my life with people who would be great Nazis. The people that I love would have been great Nazis. And in this time of Trump, in this ugly period of…

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Forget Trump – A return To True Populism Is The Cure, Not The Disease

By Thomas Frank The Guardian (6/23/18) Why are the traditional parties of the left in the western world being defeated in so many places by outrageous blowhards of the right? The answer most often given is that rightwing politicians have discovered and embraced a diabolical form of super-politics known as “populism”. With its combination of magic words and evil deeds, this populism is breaking rules, beguiling voters and winning elections. Populism is a subject I know something about. In the 1980s I studied the angry American agrarians who, a century before, squared off against railroad monopolists. I became fascinated with the populist culture of the Roosevelt era,…


Trumputin Spins Words Into Weapons As The Press Unwittingly Helps Him Win The Linguistic War

From ‘spygate’ to ‘fake news’, Trump spins language to frame – and win – debates. And the press meekly acts as his marketing agency. By George Lakoff & Gil Duran The Guardian (6/13/18) Donald Trump has been a salesman for nearly half a century. He is now selling himself, his worldview and his self-serving views of the law and the truth. His principal tools are language and the media. By faithfully transmitting Trump’s words and ideas, the press helps him to attack, and thereby control, the press itself. Trump knows the press has a strong instinct to repeat his most outrageous…


How A Ragtag Group Of Socialist Filmmakers Produced One Of The Most Viral Campaign Ads Of 2018

  [Editor’s Note: There has long been a need for a cadre of innovative video and internet tech savvy progressives to counter the big money self-serving campaign consultants that turn so many democratic campaigns into desiccated cookie-cutter hack jobs. This story shows the power of Tech + Passion = Powerful Messaging. — Mark L. Taylor] By Zaid Jilani The Intercept (6/5/18) BRONX ACTIVIST AND community organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is challenging longtime New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in his primary on June 26. By all measures, the former Bernie Sanders organizeris an underdog, going up against the powerful chair of the House Democratic…


WATCH YOUR MOUTH! You May Hate Him, But Here Is How You Help Trump Every Day

  By George Lakoff George Lakoff Blog (12/16/18) Without knowing it, many Democrats, progressives and members of the news media help Donald Trump every day. The way they help him is simple: they spread his message. Think about it: every time Trump issues a mean tweet or utters a shocking statement, millions of people begin to obsess over his words. Reporters make it the top headline. Cable TV panels talk about it for hours. Horrified Democrats and progressives share the stories online, making sure to repeat the nastiest statements in order to refute them. While this response is understandable, it…



A Graduation Message Appropriate To The National Challenge Of This Memorial Day

  By John Whitehead Rutherford Institute (5/21/18) “When the rivers and air are polluted, when families and nations are at war, when homeless wanderers fill the highways, these are the traditional signs of a dark age.” — Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people. They will find themselves overtaxed, burdened with excessive college debt, and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state. They will be the subjects of…


Trump Attack On Kneeling Football Players Echoes 1934 When A German Soccer Team Was Banned For Not Giving Nazi Salute

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/28/18) The NFL football player kneeling protest has from the get-go been cynically manipulated and leveraged by Donald Trump to stir racist animosity and jingoistic faux patriotism among his core supporters. The “taking a knee” by mostly black football players began as a peaceful protest by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a statement against racial injustice and the never-ending epidemic of police shootings and brutality against blacks across the nation. Those who objected to the peaceful protests tried to reduce it to an issue of people doing their jobs and there…


Chris Hedges: The Coming Collapse Will Shatter Our Hallucinations

  By Chris Hedges TruthDig (5/20/18) The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate…


Be Alert! Trump’s Primary Tactic Of Defining Deviancy Downward Is Designed To Leave You Feeling Exhausted, Numb & Inactive

“In 1993, New York’s Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former social scientist, made an incisive observation: Humans have a limited ability to cope with people behaving in ways that depart from shared standards. When unwritten rules are violated over and over, Moynihan observed, societies have a tendency to “define deviancy down” — to shift the standard. What was once seen as abnormal becomes normal. “Moynihan applies this insight, controversially, to America’s growing social tolerance for single-parent families, high murder rates, and mental illness. Today it can be applied to American democracy. Although political deviance — the violation of unwritten…


Teller Of Truths Daniel Ellsberg: Civil Disobedience Against Vietnam War Led Me To Leak Pentagon Papers

  “We have chosen to be powerless criminals in a time of criminal power. We have chosen to be branded as peace criminals by war criminals.” Democracy Now! (5/18/18) Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst in 1971 when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers and played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. We speak with Ellsberg about the recent 50th anniversary of one of the most famous acts of civil disobedience in the United States….


We Camped Out With The Antifa Activists Plotting To Disarm The Alt-Right

VICE News (5/12/18) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The alt right is struggling to hold itself together. It’s dealing with infighting and money problems, and some of its leaders have decided they can’t risk holding events that are open to the public. One reason for that is antifa, the anti-fascist activists best known for punching Nazis but who also engage in digital counterintelligence, infiltrating white nationalist message boards and chat rooms to find out who they are and what they’re doing. Link to 7-Minute Video


A Never Trumper Reveals What It Is Like To Step Outside The Cult & Has A Warning For The Nation

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/10/18) In an interesting in-depth interview on the Young Turks network exiled Republican strategist, commentator and never-Trump republican Cheri Jacobus provides insight on what it is like to be a republican standing in opposition to Donald Trump and the racist, authoritarian rule he represents. Early on in the primary process leading to the 2016 presidential election Jacobus challenged Trump’s candidacy and immediately was black balled not only from Fox News but CNN as well. She had appeared on both networks hundreds of times before and never since. She became the target of…


Folksinging Activist Pete Seeger Was Born 99 Years Ago Today

  “And there’s a wonderful parable in the New Testament: The sower scatters seeds. Some seeds fall in the pathway and get stamped on, and they don’t grow. Some fall on the rocks, and they don’t grow. But some seeds fall on fallow ground, and they grow and multiply a thousandfold. Who knows where some good little thing that you’ve done may bring results years later that you never dreamed of?” — Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014)


Activist Holds Up Sign Saying Police Hate Free Speech, So They Arrest Him To Prove Him Right

  By Matt Agorist Activisst Post (5/2/18) Stamford, CT — Free speech and liberty activist, Michael Picard had harmed no one, had not committed a crime, and was merely expressing his right to free speech by claiming the Stamford PD dislikes free speech. Indeed, within just a few minutes, the chief of police himself came out to prove Picard right. Last Thursday, Picard held a sign that said, “F*ck Free Speech —Stamford PD,” merely attempting to point out the gross violations of the First Amendment committed by the department after they arrested another activist, Michael Friend, for holding up a different sign…


Russian Dissident Garry Kasparov’s Warning About Foreign Dictators Has A Message We Need To Heed Here

“It’s a tragedy that the free world always refuses to learn from past mistakes where dictators and would-be dictators are concerned. “The autocrats, in contrast, are eager students of their predecessors. The make careful study of how to gradually remove rights without allowing rebellion, how to crush dissent and hold sham elections while keeping favorable travel and trade status in the West, and how to talk peace while waging war. The motives of dictators vary, it is true — communism, fascism, conquest, larceny – but the drive for total control never changes and their methods are painfully repetitive. In contrast,…


AUDIO: Parkland Activist Emma Gonzalez & The Future Of #NeverAgain

Illustration by Seth L. Taylor, 2018.   The New Yorker Radio Hour (4/6/18) Emma González is a survivor of the Parkland school shooting and a leader of the #NeverAgain movement. She talks with David Remnick about the ways her life has changed since the attack, and why activism comes naturally to the teen-agers spearheading this new push for gun control. Link to 16-Minute Audio


“What Velveeta Is To Cheese”– Bill Maher Delivers Spot On Critique Of Democrats Lack Of Political Courage

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (3/19/18) One can quibble with some details of Bill Maher’s critique of democratic candidates and the party, and I wish he would stop with the snarky generalizations about Trump supporters, but his central argument is spot on: “Republicans, they’re all claws and sharp teeth and fangs when they fight,” said Maher. “The Democrats? Their weapon of choice is adaptive coloration.” Maher further claimed Democrats were “to political courage what Velveeta is to cheese.” Link to 6-Minute Video ***** The Mall Of Hypocrisy: Kimmel’s Shopping Spree At Trump’s Store Turns Up Potential Violations…


‘The Crisis’ — Thomas Paine’s Call To Rebellion

  “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;” and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.” “Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.” “There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes…


The Student Activists Of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High: They Were Trained For This Critical National Moment

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High activist Emma González. (Portrait by Seth L. Taylor, 2018) They embody the power of a comprehensive education. By Dahlia Lithwick Slate (2/28/18) The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to class Wednesday morning two weeks and moral centuries after a tragic mass shooting ended the lives of 17 classmates and teachers. Sen. Marco Rubio marked their return by scolding them for being “infected” with “arrogance” and “boasting.” The Florida legislature marked their return by enacting a $67 million program to arm school staff, including teachers, over the objections of students and parents. Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill opted to welcome them back by…


Civil Rights Leader Who Desegregated U. Of Georgia On Student-Led Movements Of 1960s And Today

  Democracy Now! (3/3/18) As a student-led movement for gun control sweeps the country, we look back at a key moment in another historic student movement: desegregation. “As I look at these young people I think back on those days and I think their time has come to pick up the baton looking for justice and freedom.” On January 9, 1961, African-American students Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes walked onto the campus of the University of Georgia to register for classes, as a howling mob of white students screamed racial epithets at them. It was a pivotal moment in the…


Up In Smoke: The Myth Of A Normal America

  There are no good old days to return to in U.S. politics. The truth about a post-Trump era. (Editor’s Note: Is the Democratic Party up to the new world we are facing in American politics? Do party leaders really grasp that the old rules of American politics are up in smoke? So far there is scant evidence that the DNC has any grasp how the game board has been redefined. That is bad news for all of us. — Mark L. Taylor) By Kevin Baker The New Republic (2/15/18) The remaining hope for all Americans of good sense, more…


Robert Reich: Morality & The Common Good Must Be At Center Of Fighting Trump’s Economic Agenda

  Democracy Now! (2/20/18) As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump made a promise to the American people: There would be no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Well, the promise has not been kept. Under his new budget, President Trump proposes a massive increase in Pentagon spending while cutting funding for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Trump’s budget would also slash or completely eliminate core anti-poverty programs that form the heart of the U.S. social safety net, from childhood nutrition to care for the elderly and job training. This comes after President Trump and Republican lawmakers pushed through a…


Florida High School Students Acting In The Courageous Tradition Of Their School’s Namesake

    By Peter Dreier The American Prospect (2/20/18) There’s nothing on the Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School website about the woman whose name adorns the school, so its students may not realize that in rising from last week’s tragedy to speak truth to power, they are following in Douglas’s activist footsteps. Douglas would certainly see a bit of herself in Emma Gonzalez, the poised and eloquent young woman whose speech electrified her classmates, teachers, parents, and the whole country at a Fort Lauderdale rally on Saturday, only days after a gunman entered her school and killed 17 people. “If the president wants to come…


A Call For Peace

  By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (2/12/18) The militarization of our country has reached a boiling point. WE must turn down the flame. The propaganda for war overseas has overwhelmed logic and reason. Both sides of the aisle have increased the world’s largest defense budget by $70 billion more, than the $700 billion we had already planned to spend. This is more than the right wing wanna-be dictator asked for, And more than the rest of the world combined. So who’s the most dangerous? We are modernizing the nuclear forces instead of scrapping them. Even our beloved Bernie voted…


Chris Hedges On The Nobility & Sacredness Of Rebellion Against The Dystopian State

“Resistance to radical evil is the pinnacle to human existence.” – Chris Hedges By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/8/18) There is no better guide to the modern corporate state than writer and former New York Times war correspondent and Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges. His various books – including “American Fascists”, “Death of the Liberal Class”  and “Wages of Rebellion” – deftly dissect the condition American society is in and how we got there and where – barring some form of popular uprising he doesn’t see happening any time soon – the country will wind up. Hedges is…


Pushback Against Fascism: Antifa Unmasked & Unafraid

  By Will Carless Center of Investigative Journalism (1/8/8) There was a time when it was hard to find anyone in California who readily embraced the term “antifa.” Leftist activists, even in the uber-liberal San Francisco Bay Area, hemmed and hawed about using the moniker. Branding themselves as antifa – shorthand for anti-fascist – seemed a little too hucksterish. It played into the hands of the enemy, the so-called “alt-right,” who had spent the previous few months trying to paint the antifa as a shadowy terrorist movement. But then in August, a man plowed into a crowd of left-wing protesters…


The Duty To Disobey A Nuclear Launch Order & Other Military War Crimes

“Donald Trump can launch nuclear war as easily as his Twitter account.” (Editor’s Note: It would be lovely to believe that the United States War Department was a vigorous defender of the rules of war, but as we are seeing with it’s logistical support of the Saudia genocide in Yemen, that too often is not the case. There are many good and law abiding members of the military but can they stand up to the criminal commander-in-chief they answer to. Let us hope — and pray — so. If you know someone serving in the military, forward this story to…


The Struggle: It’s Our Time To Bend The Arc Of Justice

“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.” The 2016 elections were the bow wave of change, the harbinger of a revolution to come. This time, voters were given a choice between a faux progressive elitist and a man who at least pretended to represent the people, while simultaneously appealing to hate, fear, greed, and ignorance. If the United States is to avoid the siren song of fascism, we will have to give people a real choice — one that explicitly seeks to overturn the Oligarch’s Coup and restore power to the people. The bottom line…


Time To Wrench The Power & Our Money Back From The Billionaires

  By Bernie Sanders The Guardian (1/14/18) Here is where we are as a planet in 2018: after all of the wars, revolutions and international summits of the past 100 years, we live in a world where a tiny handful of incredibly wealthy individuals exercise disproportionate levels of control over the economic and political life of the global community. Difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact is that the six richest people on Earth now own more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population – 3.7 billion people. Further, the top 1% now have more money than the bottom 99%. Meanwhile,…


CounterSpin Interview With Jeff Cohen On ‘All Governments Lie’ Documentary

    By Janine Jackson CounterSpin / Fairness & Accuracy In Media (12/20/17) Janine Jackson: There’s a moment early on in the new documentary All Governments Lie where we see a clip from The Wizard of Oz: the revelation that the thunderous and awe-inspiring Great Oz is just a regular man with some powerful technology—the man behind the curtain. Unearthing and exposing the actions of the powerful was the driving impulse of the work of journalist I.F. Stone, whose fearless newsletter, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, was published from the early ’50s to the early ’70s. The film explores how Stone’s work and spirit continue to influence…


When I Despair…

M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it — always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


Message For The New Year: This Is How To Be Your Own Light In The Dark Age Of Trump

  (Editor’s Note: This warning was written right after last year’s election. The author, Sarah Kendzior, is an authority on totalitarian regimes. Now, one year into the Trump era, much of what she warned about last November is true and accelerating. Her advice to each of us is central to maintaining our personal integrity and freedom. As tough as 2017 was, 2018 promises to be an even bigger challenge. This is an important read for the New Year and the years to come. – Mark L. Taylor)  By Sarah Kendzior, Flyover Country Correspondent The Correspondent (11/18/16) My fellow Americans, I…


At A Time Of GOP Tax Cut Giveaways & Cushy Taxpayer Benefits To Corporations Here’s A Call To Action From Thomas Jefferson

  “I hope we shall crush…in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” – Thomas Jefferson (1812) ***** As 500 Wealthiest Amass Another $1 Trillion In 2017, Calls For A ‘Strike Back’ Against Oligarchy By Julia Conley Common Dreams (12/27/17) As the gap between the world’s richest and poorest people has widened to an extreme not seen since the Gilded Age, the 500 wealthiest people have gotten $1 trillion richer in 2017, according to Bloomberg‘s Billionaires Index. The richest people in…


In Trump World There Is The Essential Civic Duty For Disobedience

  By Roger Cohen The New York Times (12/13/17) LONDON — Dog lovers tend to find each other in life for the rest of humanity is, after all, suspect. On a long flight recently, I fell into a conversation with a woman about dogs. It turned into a conversation about disobedience, and the world’s current need for it. When immense power is in erratic and belligerent hands, as it is today in the United States, the readiness of subordinates to disobey becomes critical. “Befehl ist befehl” — an order is an order — was the German principle that enabled the…


Time Again To Remember 20 Lessons From The 20th Century On How To Survive In Trump’s America

    (Editor’s Note: Periodically we post Timothy Snyder’s ’20 Lessons’ as a powerful reminder of how to survive the growing fascism of Trump’s America. With the passage of the Republican tax scam for the super wealthy next year we can expect gutting of Medicare, Social Security and other programs Americans depend upon. The need for organizing, action and lighting a fire under the ass of the corporate democrats will be greater than ever. Stay awake. Stay strong. Resist the bastards. – Mark L. Taylor) By Tim Snyder In These Times (10/21/17) This article first appeared as a post on…


Lessons & Healing From The Front Lines Of Anti-Colonial Pipeline Resistance

  By James Rowe and Mike Simpson Nation of Change (10/9/17) The Standing Rock standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline was a reminder that colonization, and resistance to it, both exist in the present tense. Fossil fuel pipelines that despoil indigenous lands and waters have become key flashpoints in long-standing anti-colonial resistance. An important precursor and inspiration for the Standing Rock camp is an indigenous occupation in northern British Columbia, Canada. For the past eight years, the Unist’ot’en clan have reoccupied their traditional territory. When the camp began in 2009, seven pipelines had been proposed to cross their territory, as well as…


TAKE ACTION! Fed Up With The Way Big Money Perverts Our Politics? Then, #GetMoneyOut!

8 Things You Can Do to Help Get Money Out of Politics By Bill Moyer BillMoyers.com (11/21/14) 1) AMEND THE CONSTITUTION The movement for an amendment to overturn Citizens United has quickly gone from pipe dream to mainstream. Take Action At the Move to Amend website, you can follow their barnstorming tours, and latest campaigns. You can also sign onto “Democracy is for People” — Public Citizen’s campaign to pass a constitutional amendment. 2) AMERICAN ANTI-CORRUPTION ACT Represent.us is a left-right coalition working on a broad, new anti-corruption law that would place limits on lobbying, political donations and PACs. The group’s members are a self-described “special sauce…


The Thankless Task Of Being Michael Moore: Liberals Have Completely Misread Trump By Dismissing Him As An Idiot

By Jessica Pressler Vulture (9/6/17) You’d think that by now They would have stopped giving Michael Moore such a hard time. Everything he portended in Roger & Me, his 1989 film about the impact of the closing of General Motors plants on his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and everything he has been banging on about for 30 years since — outsourcing, automation, corporate hegemony, moral and political corruption, elite apathy and greed, the decimation of the middle class, angry white people, the fear and loathing of the far right — all of it has come home to roost, in the form of a very…


Bernie Releases Blueprint For GOP Demise

    By Scott Galindez Reader Supporter News (9/5/17) “If there was ever a time in history for a generation to be bold and to think big, to stand up and to fight back, now is that time.”  – Bernie Sanders   That statement is on the inside cover of Bernie Sanders’ new book, “Guide to a Political Revolution.” Bernie dedicates the book to the younger generation: “You are in many ways the most progressive generation in the history of our country. You have opposed racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and oligarchy. You understand that greed and the grotesque level of…