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My entire extended family, (even cousins, etc.) have been drinking that Deep State Kool-Aid. They are out of their heads when it comes to a rational discussion of the Trump legal issues or anything related to that. Am I alone with this problem?

It may not be Deep State Kool-Aid. I'm beginning to think it's Deep State Crack! Is there anything hopeful on the horizon with the Trump scenario? How will all of this end?

James Lateer
James Lateer Wrote:My entire extended family, (even cousins, etc.) have been drinking that Deep State Kool-Aid. They are out of their heads when it comes to a rational discussion of the Trump legal issues or anything related to that. Am I alone with this problem?

It may not be Deep State Kool-Aid. I'm beginning to think it's Deep State Crack! Is there anything hopeful on the horizon with the Trump scenario? How will all of this end?

James Lateer

It'll end with Trump dying of old age in prison.

Which he richly deserves.
Sadly, there are a LOT of VERY dangerous scenarios - such as nuclear war to divert attention from his own problems etc. Things are happening VERY quickly now....and with today's news of the CFO of the Trump Organization being given immunity and already talking to Mueller and others.....I think anything could happen from Trump's end now..... Also, a lot of Trump's 'core' are armed to the teeth and while they can't take over the country, I could see some of them taking things into their own hands to settle scores with those protesting for Trump to resign, be impeached, etc. This is far from over and the chess game will get very messy very quickly. In many ways I think the U.S. polity may never recover from it really is not Trump that is the problem...oh he IS a HUGE problem, but not THE problem - the problem is a system and mindset, propaganda, forces seen and more unseen that manufactured and allowed this to happen. Past Presidents and U.S. politics were horrible, but I'm almost without words to describe this current depravity - but America in many ways got what it deserved for not paying attention to the hidden controls and the march to neo-fascism. I hope I'm wrong, but think not. Pence will be no picnic!....and after....I just don't know what will be. The country has devolved into some primitive and mutually exclusive clans. Not to mention the Deep State which has parts behind Trump and parts ready to destroy him. Not to mention other nations' deep states which have claws into and control over Trump [I can think of several in this category]. What a fucking mess........ it will NOT be so easy to clean up as most think; and Impeachment will not happen. Resignation - maybe. Wars - likely. Other horrors - for sure! A quick end to this - no way!.....The next months and this next election will be total chaos...this might even go on another 2+ years........ Sadly, 'politics as usual' is a horrible thing to want to get to - as then that needs to also be destroyed..... I can only hope that Trump will be a wake-up call - but only if people realize it is not just him, as bad as he is....the entire system is rotten and infiltrated, controlled, propgandized, monitized, oligarchized and long headed to the far Right and a police state...was headed that way without Trump...he is just moving it along a bit faster and in a more corrupt way than usual.
In the words of my musical hero and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan:

"The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind"

James Lateer
Peter Lemkin Wrote:May I suggest a very interesting new book by Craig Unger - House of Trump; House of Putin. It takes things back 30 and more years and shows how Trump has had almost 60 strong connections to the Russian Mafia dons - made his fortune through them and was saved by them when he was billions in debt. He is essentially in debt or owned by them. They, in turn, are connected to the Russian national security apparat. He makes a very convincing case. The only place where the book falls down, IMO, is that he is blind to the fact that the US National security state also has a wing which is and has been Mafia [in the true sense] or Mafia-like in the Valentine sense. With that caveat or blind spot, still, this is a book to read to understand Trump and where he came from and is trying to 'go'. Others have covered much of this material, but this is the most comprehensive and clearest telling of this long and sad history. Someday someone will retell this story with the other half - the USA half and then we'll have a more complete story. There are names and connections here you've not heard of before - documented - and they will be coming out somehow and sometime soon. Trump and his family at best are being used and at worst are totally compromised. This began more than 30 years ago. The US tries and does the same thing in the obverse and that that is not even mentioned is a fault of the book....but here is a look at one side of the fetid waters of international politics and monied power. I hope those familiar with this website know that the same can be easily said of the other half [the US and its Western allies], no less guilty of similar things........ Just read this with a copy of, say, one of Bill Blum's books nearby or Valentine's latest......what is inside this book I think is very accurate and damning, it make the 'West' look better than it is [understatement] and the 'East' look like the only bad hombres on the World stage. In different ways neither side of the old 'cold-war' divide are playing things straight nor for the common good.....

When I wrote the above, I was only part way through the book. Having finished it, I still recommend it - but want to note again it has flaws or blind-spots. For example, it [as far as I know and can tell] correctly tells the story of Manafort's 'doings' with shady characters in the Ukraine, it neglects to paint very similar 'doings' by other named persons in the exact same country. There are other similar lapses, but, still, if one is aware of this it fits many Trump and Co. puzzle pieces into the larger puzzle, even if it ignores some other puzzle pieces of other players Unger is blind to, likely due to political rose-colored glasses/blinders and bias of how similar the Western intelligence 'games' are to those he so vividly paints of Eastern [FSU/Russian] intelligence - and both 'sides' connections to, and actual being, 'Mafia/Mafiya'. Such things go far, far beyond Trump and Putin.....and are institutional. The value of the book perhaps is his connecting the dots of those he 'sees'....but the book looses some points for not see others who are in plain sight doing similar or the same things during the same periods of time. Unger is more than biased against Russia and Putin. While much of what he reports is true, it is slanted in its presentation. The same is true in the 'pass' he gives the Clintons and Democrats, in general. So - here is the dirt on Trump and Russian oligarchs, but has been scrubbed of much of the dirt [not all] on others....
How can anyone justify or excuse all of this totally absurd, secret, criminal behavior of Comey, Mueller and Company? How can anyone think this serves any purpose other than to further the personal criminal interests of Mueller and Comey?

As exposed on the Sean Hannity show, Mueller and Comey alternated working at Lockheed-Martin and double dipping tens of millions of dollars into their pockets as kickbacks for influence in the Federal contracts of this company and others of the military-industrial complex.

So it is not only the wanton criminality of Mueller which dates back to his involvement with the Whitey Bulger murder spree. Not only being apparently sociopathic criminals, Mueller and Comey also cashed in big time as a benefit of their nefarious actions as FBI employees.

As bad as was J Edgar Hoover, JEH never (1) tried to overthrow an elected US Government and never (2) added tens of millions of profits into his pockets by use of his position and his wiretapping and treacherous behavior and compulsions.

So what we have is a situation where we are all in the USA bus, careening down the highway with Mueller having a pistol pointed at the head of the driver. How can anyone think this will end well? You have a criminal gang headed by Comey and Mueller and they have been exposed and put into a corner.

It's never good to have a vicious animal or animals cornered. Even a cornered mouse can take your fingers off. So just contemplate the situation of cornered criminals (who have a history with compliticy in the Whitey Bulger and possibly Seth Rich murders) put into a corner with no way out, except to try and devastate, impair or destroy our elected government.

The Russians are stuck with the situation where the KGB has a stranglehold on their government. And you want that to happen here, to us, to you and me?

Welcome to hell.

James Lateer
Just finished a much better book - providing analysis of the problems in the USA [and World]; the lightning move toward fascism; how the Democrats of today in the USA are NOT the solution to the 'problem'; and yet proposing not only an analysis, but a plan to build a resistance movement - and even some hope... The book is called American Nightmare. It is written by Henry A. Giroux. I suggest it highly with no caveats. Face it. We are in DARK TIMES, with few of the 'tunnels' having any seeming light at their ends....... It will take a complete change - not any small or incremental ones - and this is frightening to most...but the alternative is looming now....out and out state Fascism, authoritarianism, police-state, oligarchy, universal spying, constant war, hate and class/race/gender inequality and division...a return to Feudalism or even earlier forms. Your/our choices are limited, I'm afraid.....

Quote:"Instead of simply reacting to the horrors and misery produced by capitalism, it is crucial
to call for its end, while supporting the formation of a democratic socialism that gives voice to
and unifies the needs and actions of those who have been left out of the discourse of
democracy under the financial elite. The need here is for a language of both critique and
possibility, a rigorous analysis of the diverse forces of oppression and a discourse of educated
hope. Such a task is both political and pedagogical. Not only must existing relations of power be
called into question and their authority to govern society be denied, but notions of neoliberal
"common-sense" learning must be disconnected from democratic forms of political agency and
civic literacy." ... "Resistance is no longer an option: it is now a matter of life or death. The lights are going out
on democracy across the globe, and the time to wake up from this nightmare is now. There are
no guarantees in politics, but this is not a cause for retreat. No politics that matters is without
hopea hope forged in an educated awareness of history and the possibilities for real
intervention and social change. This is not simply a call for a third political party. Progressives
need to create a new politics and new social and political formations. The time for mounting
resistance through a range of single-issue movements is over. Nothing is more important now
than to bring such movements together as part of a broad-based political formation.
Those who believe in a radical democracy must find a way to make this nation ungovernable
by the powers that currently claim governing authority. Small-scale defiance and local actions
are important, but there is a more urgent need to educate and mobilize through a
comprehensive vision and politics that is capable of generating massive teach-ins all over the
United States so as to enable a collective struggle aimed at producing powerful events such as
a nationwide boycott, sit-ins, and a general strike in order to bring the country to a halt. The
promise of such resistance must be rooted in the creation of a new political movement of
democratic socialists, one whose power is grounded in the organization of novel political
formations, unions, educators, workers, young people, religious groups, and others who
constitute a popular progressive base. There will be no resistance without a vision of a new
society and new mechanisms of resistance. In this instance, effective resistance involves
cutting off power to the financial elite, religious fundamentalists, and neoconservative
warmongers. In doing so, it gives birth to a social wakefulness and a politics of ungovernability.
Hopefully, in that wakefulness, a resurgent act of witnessing and moral outrage will grow and
provide the basis for a new kind of politics, a fierce wind of resistance, and a struggle too
powerful to be defeated: democracy in exile. Proto-fascist conditions are with us again. Fortunately,Trump's arrogance as a champion of such forces is not going entirely unchecked as the great
collective power of resistance to his regime deepens. Mass actions are taking place with
renewed urgency every day. Facing the challenge of fascism will not be easy, but Americans
are marching, protesting, and organizing in record-breaking numbers. Hopefully, mass
indignation will evolve into a worldwide movement whose power will be on the side of justice not
impunity, bridges not walls, dignity not disrespect, kindness not cruelty. The American
nightmare is not something happening somewhere else to someone else. It's happening here,
to us. The time to wake up is now. To quote James Baldwin's letter to Angela Davis:
Some of us, white and black, know how great a price has already been paid to bring into
existence a new consciousness, a new people, an unprecedented nation. If we know, and
do nothing, we are worse than the murderers hired in our name. If we know, then we must
fight for your life as though it were our ownwhich it isand render impassable with our
bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be
coming for us that night.
In the end, there is no democracy without informed citizens, no justice without a language
critical of injustice, and no change without a broad-based movement of collective resistance."
I would recommend the following book that I just read on Fascism:

The Origins of Fascist Ideology 1918-1925 by Emilio Gentile

If people are going to use the epithet "Fascism" to try and explain the Trump situation, (or anything else), IMHO they should be speaking or writing in such a way as to indicate a true understanding of the word Fascism.

As I found out after struggling through the Gentile book, the reason why the word Fascism leads to so much confusion, is that (at least in Italy where it was invented) Fascism never actually existed as a unified theory.

There is a huge difference between just using the label Fascism and actually proving and/or explaining what it was or was not. The basic problem is this: under Hitler, Nazism was an actual reality which had its rules, swastika's, its theoriticians. But this state of affairs never took place in Italy under Mussolini or maybe even anywhere else.

According to the Gentile book, Fascism in Italy was more of a movement which was continually trying to figure out what it stood for. It was a collection of monarchists, syndicalists, corporatists, Catholic clericalists and conservatives.

Of course Italy held on to its monarchy until around 1945. So how could it be both Fascist and a Monarchy all at the same time?

In Italy, pure Fascism (as such) was represented by some mostly rural, limited scale right-wing death squads, somewhat like the Central American Contras of the 1980's. These death squads were more like the US KKK which never actually took over the government.

From Wikipedia:

"Mussolini's corporatist view stressed total state power over businesses as much as over individuals, via governing industry bodies ("corporations") controlled by the Fascist party, a model in which businesses retained the responsibilities of property, but few if any of the freedoms".

I'm not really sure whether Hitler considered himself a Fascist. He wanted an alliance with Mussolini and Mussolini was considered a Fascist. But that's not quite the same thing. I don't think that Hitler would have used the word Fascism for himself because he knew it was a fake and artificial diversion and not a real word. Hitler usually did not mince words. And using the word Fascism is mincing words.

There were, of course, anti-Nazi Fascists such as the father of JFK's brother-in-law, Prince Radziwill. But then, they were typically monarchists, militarists or clericalists.

I will stand by my belief that I always repeat--without trying to offend anyone, I will say that both Mussolini and the people of 2018 who parrot the word Fascism are consciously or unconsciously doing the same equivalent thing. That is, they are using and abusing a word that does not, nor ever did describe something that actually existed other than in the form of vague connections.

The people in Italy who called themselves Fascists were actually monarchists, syndicalists, corporatists and reactionary Catholic clericalists. The word Fascism was used and abused, but it was never anything more than a fig-leaf to cover up the much, much less popular concepts like monarchism, clericalism, syndicalism and generic reaction.

Those people who published on the concept of Fascism were just babbling disconnected words in order to cover up their real, questionable agendas. These included absolute monarchism and the wish to turn back the clock to the 16th century (and reverse the French Revolution). And the only unifying major motivation was purely anti-Bolshevism, i.e. anti-Communism.

Nothing about Trump comes close to meeting even the (faulty) dictionary definition which is presented as the definition of Fascism. At the most, Trump believes to some degree in authoritarianism. But in that, he is no different than other billionaire businessmen who surely don't allow their employees to vote on the decisions affecting their businesses. If Trump is a Fascist, then Elon Musk is a Fascist, etc. etc.

The Pope is authoritarian. The US Army is authoritarian. Many other institutions are also authoritarian. But that does not make them Fascists. Fascism may actually be just a word used to label something that, like space aliens, has never really existed in physical reality.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the above lengthy and wordy attack on Trump does exactly what the "theorists" did who worked with Mussolini back in the 1920's. They just put a bunch of buzz words down on a very long page, but hoped no one would notice that the words were not really connected in a logical way.

The Gentile book presents the bottom line criticism that was leveled against people who bandied the word Fascist in their "theoretical" writings, (with regard to those writings):

They were often called "incoherent" writings which fell short of being actual theory.

James Lateer
Sorry, I disagree strongly. There are many 'definitions' and 'uses' of the term Fascism...and I would call Trump a fascist.

Quote:fascism | |faSH|izÉ™ m | (also Fascism)
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in
Italy (192243); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist.
Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt
for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic

Many, not me!, like to keep fascism to the Axis fascists and their political/economic philosophies. I totally reject that - the term has new meaning, new definition, new adherents who would not have fit in with Mussolini nor Hitler et al. Call it neo-fascism if that makes you happier...but fascism it is. It is an ultra-right, authoritarian system of government characterized by the marriage of corporations [the BIG ONES] with the 'State'; it is marked by ultra-nationalism, propaganda, the concept of a privileged group or race, scapegoating, is anti-democratic, obedience to power, demagogic, irrational, war-like, a police-state, controlling the population by propaganda and terror, disdainful of stereotypical non-masculine qualities, women, outsiders (the other who is scapegoated), anti-justice, anti-liberal, anti-enlightenment, against equality and has other characteristics too long to mention here. I'm a student of this kind of fascism. My uncle wrote about it and spent his life fighting it. His name was Raphael Lemkin and he coined the term genocide and wrote the Genocide Convention. He was also a legal expert at Nuremburg. I have red Paxton, I have read Arndt, I have read Gross, I have read Eco. I have read perhaps 20 books on classical and modern fascism. I stand by my points and those of Giroux who knows what he is talking about. Read his book! Mussolini coined the term and made the main point about the blending of corporations and the State - but Caligula was IMO a fascist as was Genghis Khan; just as genocide existed long before my uncle came up with a term for it or defined it precisely. America is moving toward Fascism now. I'll stand by that and not be moved from that position. Play any word games you like, just because few of today's fascists would also have backed Hitler or the Third Reich. The term has changed in the modern meaning from what it was during WW2. Do you and I both see the same color when we point at something 'blue'? I don't know - but we use the term to not have to attach electrodes to our optical nerves and brain optical center.....but words such as fascism are just marker words so we can discuss a political system/structure without having to go through a long description each time. I'm happy and unmovable on Trump being a fascist and America [ totally apart from and before Trump] heading toward fascism.

Quote:While sectors of Trumpist fascism may
re-use imagery from European symbols of the 1930s, its actual roots extend directly from the
absolute white supremacy of the settler-colonial origins of the United States and its subsequent
racialized economic history of destroying and erasing Native American civilizations and
enslaving, breeding, and subordinating Africans and people of color for generations. It will take
great struggle for the American public to come to terms with the voices and narratives of this
history, and even greater struggle to overcome the ways Trumpism is giving new social
legitimacy and political form to these racist legacies today.
The danger signs are not just in the United States. Movements in North America and across
Europe are exhibiting growing support for right-wing extremist politicians and political
movements, though there was one respite with the 2017 presidential election in France with
centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Unemployment, wage
stagnation, vision-less futures, a growing sense of precarity and insecurity for working and
lower middle classes, and an increasing sense of atomization and alienationall of it fueled by
austerity measures, a growing worldwide culture of fear, and a permanent war cultureare
undermining not only the foundations of democracy, but a belief in the value of democracy
itself.4 Many people now find themselves living in societies in which they experience a kind of
social homelessness, detached from and invisible to the policies and language of those in
As Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, and Erich Fromm, among others, have reminded us,
rootlessness creates the conditions for an escape from freedom and social responsibility, and
finds meaning in the foundations of totalitarianism. After reviewing a number of Harvard
University reports analyzing historical and current attitudes on the part of millennials in North
America and Europe, Gwynn Guilford concludes that young people have grown weary of
democracy. Not only have many millennials lost their faith in democracy, but many are less
willing to oppose military coups and no longer view civil rights as absolutely essential; more
than a quarter dismiss the importance of free elections to democracy.5 Roberto Stefan Foa and
Yascha Mounk argue that support for authoritarianism is increasingly apparent. They write:
Citizens in a number of supposedly consolidated democracies in North America and
Western Europe have not only grown more critical of their political leaders. Rather, they
have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less
hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express
support for authoritarian alternatives. The crisis of democratic legitimacy extends across a
much wider set of indicators than previously appreciated.