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Thread: USA under presidency of a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist, mobbed-up narcissist!!

  1. #931

    Default Trump, Putin, Mueller, etc. etc

    It seems like the Mueller case is going to go into orbit in the next few days. Mueller is apparently going to indict a Russian on the issue of hacking the DNC emails. This obviously drastically raises the stakes in his investigation. Mueller has apparently given up on any other possible connection between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

    The trouble is obviously because of the following:

    (1) If there was alleged hacking between people in Russia and the DNC emails, this would involve classified "sources and methods" on how the intel people made this connection as definitive and provable. Thus, there is a question about how they would charge anyone in Russia in criminal court based on totally classified information IN ABSENTIA.

    (2) Mueller would then try to charge Trump as part of a conspiracy with this Russian hacker regarding the emails. Thus, any guilt of Trump or his associates would be hinged to an alleged guilty Russian hacker, the proof of which would be contingent on secret and un-revealable information to the public.

    (3) The Russian hacker would not be in the US to refute his alleged guilt, yet Trump's guilt would hang on the alleged guilt of someone who would not be able to refute his own guilt: thus, how would Trump refute his own guilt if it hinged on classified information about a Russian who is unavailable and whose incriminating information can't be presented to the public (or Congress) because it is classified.

    (4) Worst of all, of course, is the fact that the "hacking" of the DNC was an inside job committed by Seth Rich. It has been proven that the emails could not have been hacked by someone over in Russia because they were too many megabytes to be transmitted over the phone lines. Seth Rich, of course was murdered by an FBI issued weapon with FBI issued ammunition which was allegedly stolen from an FBI SUV within an hour of the murder and only less than a mile away from the murder.

    Obviously, if Mueller "goes there" he is putting all his marbles and all the marbles of the FBI out on the table. Hard to imagine what kind of pressure could cause him to do that and from where that pressure would be coming.

    James Lateer

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Lateer View Post
    It seems like the Mueller case is going to go into orbit in the next few days. Mueller is apparently going to indict a Russian on the issue of hacking the DNC emails. This obviously drastically raises the stakes in his investigation. Mueller has apparently given up on any other possible connection between the Russians and the Trump campaign.


    (4) Worst of all, of course, is the fact that the "hacking" of the DNC was an inside job committed by Seth Rich. It has been proven that the emails could not have been hacked by someone over in Russia because they were too many megabytes to be transmitted over the phone lines. Seth Rich, of course was murdered by an FBI issued weapon with FBI issued ammunition which was allegedly stolen from an FBI SUV within an hour of the murder and only less than a mile away from the murder.

    Obviously, if Mueller "goes there" he is putting all his marbles and all the marbles of the FBI out on the table. Hard to imagine what kind of pressure could cause him to do that and from where that pressure would be coming.

    James Lateer
    From the Washington Times:

    With the clearly unethical and most likely criminal behavior of the upper management levels of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) exposed by Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, there are two complementary areas that have been conveniently swept under the rug.The first deals with the murder of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, and the second deals with the alleged hacking of the DNC server by Russia. Both should be of prime interest to special counsel Robert Mueller, but do not hold your breath.
    The facts that we know of in the murder of the DNC staffer, Seth Rich, was that he was gunned down blocks from his home on July 10, 2016. Washington Metro police detectives claim that Mr. Rich was a robbery victim, which is strange since after being shot twice in the back, he was still wearing a $2,000 gold necklace and watch. He still had his wallet, key and phone. Clearly, he was not a victim of robbery.
    This has all the earmarks of a targeted hit job. However, strangely no one has been charged with this horrific crime, and what is more intriguing is that no law enforcement agency is even investigating this murder. According to other open sources, Metro police were told by their “higher ups” that if they spoke about the case, they will be immediately terminated. It has been claimed that this order came down from very high up the “food chain,” well beyond the D.C.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

  3. #933

    Default

    FEB 25, 2018From Russia, With Absurdity

    Satan and Jesus arm-wrestling in one of the Russian Facebook ads meant to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential race. (Army of Jesus / Facebook)

    Before I get into the absurdities of “Russiagate” and McCarthyism 2.0, let me point out that I do, in fact, dislike Donald Trump and the Republican Party establishment. I also dislike Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment. Those feelings are not mutually exclusive.
    For some reason, our country’s political discourse is like a single-throw switch. You can only either be Republican or Democrat. Leaving aside the fact that in 2016, Independents accounted for almost 40 percent of registered voters, more than Democrats (32 percent) and Republicans (23 percent), the idea that we can only exist in one extreme or the other is the kind of absurd paradigm that both civil wars and sandbox tiffs are made of.
    It is also what Russiagate is made of. On our two-dimensional political stage, all cameras are focused on a blurry, nebulous mass labeled “Russia did it.” The political theater involved with turning this heap of fallacies and conjecture into something that rivals Pearl Harbor and 9/11 is as impressive as it is terrifying.
    The entire media machine is exhausting itself running anti-Russia stories nonstop, as if the entire world has set aside all its differences, crises and disasters just so we would have nothing else to report on. On four separate occasions at four different airports, I found myself bombarded with televisions blaring, “Russia meddled in our elections and stole the crown from Hillary” on repeat. On my final early morning flight, I looked around for Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, but neither they nor a buck-toothed rodent were anywhere to be found.


    What’s also nowhere to be found is how any of the recent indictments prove that the Russian government dismantled our democracy via Facebook ads. Let’s start with the latter point: What do we know about these ads and their power to disrupt our democracy?
    The key figure in these latest indictments is a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency (IRA). In a 2015 New York Times article, author Adrian Chen speaks with a former employee who had recently released an exposé on the company. The ex-employee, Ludmilla Savchuk, describes an intense and depressing work environment: 12-hour days, shady employment practices and the emotional toll of posting vitriol and lies.
    The IRA clearly doesn’t care about best business practices—or indeed turnaround. Savchuk wasn’t the only one to call it quits. Several of the people listed in Robert Mueller’s indictment don’t even work for the company anymore. Some haven’t worked there since 2014, a solid two years before the election. Other details regarding the company’s practices contrast with the picture painted by Mueller and the establishment.
    As noted by Savchuk, most of the posts she and her colleagues were charged with creating weren’t strictly political. Even CNN concedesthat most of the IRA’s work around election time wasn’t about the U.S. election. Rather, the bulk of IRA’s work focused on making Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin look good, a goal shared by hundreds of trolls, particularly since the anti-government protests in 2011. Seeing the potential for dissent to spread over the internet, Putin’s government came down hard, passing Orwellian laws that ramped up online censorship and surveillance against those trying to express opinions that run counter to Putin’s platform.
    The online wars didn’t stop there, however, and the Internet Research Agency soon shifted some focus to the fact that “the foreign internet was biased four to one against Russia.” Posts and pages started popping up in English. Chen highlights one in particular called Spread Your Wings, a supposed pro-America page that “posted photos of American flags and memes about how great it was to be an American, but the patriotism rang hollow once you tried to parse the frequent criticisms of [Barack] Obama, an incoherent mishmash of liberal and conservative attacks that no actual American would espouse.” Fast-forward to today, and the bewildering, often comical ads attributed to the IRA are just as convincing.
    There’s one that shows Jesus and Satan arm-wrestling as Satan proclaims, “If I win, Clinton wins!” Jesus wittily retorts, “Not if I can help it!” The post urges viewers to “Press Like to help Jesus win!” The post was run on a page called Army of Jesus, with a demure profile pic of the white savior. The post also points out that “Donald Trump isn’t a saint” but that “he cares deeply for this country” and “is an honest man.”
    Another ad, called the Buff Bernie coloring ad, features Bernie Sanders in an Adonis stance, with multicolored limbs and a teal White House in the background. The post claims that the image is part of a coloring book for Berniacs featuring “attractive doodles of Bernie Sanders in muscle poses.” Apparently, it’s also “something that suits for all people.” It’s unclear whether this ad is supposed to attract you to Bernie or scare you. As a bi woman, all I can say is that I’m uncomfortable and will now be more diligent in screening the coloring books I give to my niece. If that was Russia’s goal, well done.
    The idea that ads like these swung an election is, for lack of a better phrase, fucking absurd.
    Last October, Facebook’s newsroom reported that 10 million people in the U.S. saw the ads. The report also states that only 44 percent of the ad impressions occurred before the election, meaning that the majority happened after. Furthermore, roughly 25 percent of the ads were never shown to anyone. Later that month, Facebook told Congress that 126 million Americans had seen “divisive content” posted by “Russian agents.” Ads are not specified, nor do we know what is specifically meant by “divisive.” Still, even on the high side, by Facebook’s own admission, the IRA posts were equivalent to 1 in 23,000 of Facebook’s posts.
    As former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein pointed out in a recent MSNBC interview, the fact that her campaign got a mention or two in these Russian ads “compared to trillions of ads on Facebook” just doesn’t even “pass the laugh test.” The idea that those who did see or click those ads were thereby swayed to vote against Clinton doesn’t pass the laugh test either. Rob Goldman, vice president of ads for Facebook, wrote in a thread on Twitter earlier in February: “I have seen all the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.”
    Furthermore, Facebook’s own algorithm is structured to show you things that you already agree with. Known as “filter bubbles,” Facebook builds an online experience that coddles your bias and keeps you away from opposing perspectives, even if they feature a rather sharp-looking graphic of Satan and Jesus.
    Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that not all of the Russian’s click-baity posts were a success. The Jesus Trump vs. Satan Clinton got a mere 71 impressions and 14 clicks. The creepy and colorful Bernie only garnered 848 impressions and 54 clicks. Meanwhile, a recent post featuring a Noam Chomsky quote on a page that I co-manage has more than 2,000 impressions (even though the page is relatively small). A paint company got more than 100 million impressions for heteronormative posts about paint color names. I never saw the paint ads, and chances are good that you didn’t either.
    Does this mean I think it’s OK to create fake ads of any kind in order to trick people or make money off their gullibility? No. I actually feel the same way about advertising as comedian Bill Hicks did. That said, I don’t think that fake ads aligned to your existing biases should get credit for undermining our shining city upon the hill. For that matter, fake events shouldn’t either.
    According to the Mueller indictments, several rallies and marches were organized and/or co-organized by Russian trolls. The only problem is that, much like the ads, there’s no evidence to suggest that they had any effect on the election. For starters, of the eight marches listed in the indictment, three took place after the election. The first two, “March for Trump” and “Down with Hillary,” may never have taken place. No written or photographic evidence exists of either rally. The third, “Support Hillary, Save American Muslims,” was scheduled for July outside the White House, but if anyone showed up, no evidence exists of that rally either. The fourth, “Florida Goes Trump,” was a series of flash mobs and rallies held in Florida cities on Aug. 20, 2016. But here again, despite a relatively solid interest in the event page on Facebook, turnout was either minimal or not documented. For instance, one video from Pensacola shows eight Trump supporters on a street corner holding flags. Another rally consists of another eight Trump supporters holding signs outside a Bass Pro Shop in Fort Myers. Spring Hill, though, really ramped it up, with 15 supporters across the street from a Walmart.
    Now, if you’re thinking that perhaps there’s still cause for concern, let’s entertain that idea. As Aric Toler from Bellingcat wrote in an article last September, “Russians starting an event page that leads to real Americans holding a political rally is a capability to keep an eye on, but we should also keep our ear on what was actually produced in the Pensacola flash mob: eight people unable to simultaneously yell an anti-Hillary Clinton slogan, with their voices drowned out by the wind and passing traffic.” However, even this thought process is missing the point. As harsh Putin critic Masha Gessen wrote recently in The New Yorker, “Even the fact that Russians put money into organizing rallies and demonstrations across the political spectrum would be absurd: surely they didn’t force people to join these rallies. If sincerely held beliefs brought people to the rallies, then it makes no difference to the broader political life whether someone paid for an actress to take part. …”
    Is it messed up? Absolutely. Does it prove that Russian trolls changed the course of history? Um, no. Nor can it be said that Russia has widened the divisions in our country. In the same thread on Twitter, Goldman says that the real aim of the Russian ads was to divide our nation, saying Americans were “puppeted” into the streets at protests organized by the IRA. While it’s true that a few events were created by the IRA, you can’t credit Russia with dividing us. We are and have been a country divided. Just because we’re only now seeing deep divisions come to light on Twitter and Facebook feeds doesn’t mean that this country hasn’t been deeply divided along race, class and gender lines since, oh, forever. That fascists feel emboldened to take to the streets and loudly proclaim their hatred isn’t Russia’s fault. It’s our fault—the fault of our system, the fault of our apathy, the fault of our silence.
    I’d love it if we could simply blame a troll named I Am Ass for turning brother against brother, but reality doesn’t work that way. And Ass aside, blaming the Russian government isn’t a clear-cut route either.
    Back in 2016, corporate media used a self-proclaimed invalid Washington Post article as the main foundation for their blame of Russian hackers and headlines touting that “all news we hate is Russian.” The Democratic National Committee leaks were supposedly perpetrated by hackers that had expensive digital equipment, were after sensitive and embarrassing information, had anti-American government aims and must therefore be tied to the Russian government.
    Fast-forward to today, and the indictment of 13 Russian trolls smacks of the same forced connections and arrogance. According to Chen’s research for The New York Times, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the IRA is funded by an “oligarch restaurateur” who has very close ties to the Kremlin and Putin. Other outlets echo the uncertainty, with phrases like “linked to the Kremlin” or “believed to be funded by a man with close ties to Putin.” In other words, we don’t know. And it kind of feels like you should be a little bit more sure if you’re threatening World War III.
    After all, we’ve been here before—with Mueller, in fact. As the director of the FBI after 9/11, he did his bit for the fear factory by announcing that suicide bombings in the U.S. were inevitable and Americans should brace themselves. In 2003, he told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “Iraq’s WMD [weapons of mass destruction] program poses a clear threat to our national security.” Mueller’s past disinterest in the facts should be of great interest to us. The frenzy surrounding some failed events and fake ads should raise eyebrows and questions about why we need to care so much. What are we trying to hide? And like the WMD debacle, for what are we trying to manufacture consent?
    If the Russian government had anything to do with these actions, that is disconcerting. Foreign governments should not meddle in the elections of other countries—even if those elections are horrendously corrupt. But beyond disconcerting, it would also be really surprising that a superpower government couldn’t do better than eight people at a rally and some poorly translated Jesus posts. That a massive oligarchical regime known for covert spy missions can’t create a slicker, more cohesive campaign designed to dismantle a flimsy, corrupt voting process like ours—well, that’s just sad.
    And ultimately, unbelievable.
    And while Mueller plays Joseph McCarthy in a shitty remake with a less star-studded cast, our elections are being meddled with—both here and abroad. There is extensive commentary (Greg Palast is a good place to start) on the rigging of our elections, be it through voting machines with proprietary software that can’t be checked by independent observers or endeavors like Interstate Cross Check, which knocks people with typically Hispanic or black last names from the voter rolls. In a too-real-to-be-funny twist, Mueller cites voter suppression as another goal of the Russian trolls. I can only assume he’s just pissed that someone is trying to beat us at our own game.
    Indeed, election rigging has been a home game for decades, and neither major party is a rookie. Gerrymandering is a favorite on both sides. Voting rights laws and the aforementioned voter-roll tampering is popular on the red team, while the blue team prefers keeping its own ranks clear of would-be rising stars with “provisional ballots” (aka placebo ballots). They’re not much for the grass-roots farm teams. Still, foreign influence has been an active player for more than just this past season. And it wasn’t Russian.
    Cambridge Analytica is a British company that prides itself on influencing elections. Using what’s known as psychographic profiling, it collects data points (currently boasting of 5,000 data points on every American) and creates detailed behavioral and personality profiles that include political leanings. It does this by gathering personal data from a wide spectrum of sources, including those little benign-looking quizzes and surveys that pop up on your Facebook feed. Before jumping over to Trump’s campaign, it worked with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and in 2014 alone, it was involved in 44 U.S. political races.
    The Cambridge Analytica website boasts of having more than 25 years of experience influencing elections on five continents. “Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections.” Indeed, in a press release issued after Trump’s victory, the site boasts that “Cambridge Analytica was instrumental in identifying supporters, persuading undecided voters, and driving turnout to the polls.”
    And did I mention that it’s British? Cambridge Analytica’s CEO is Alexander Nix, a British national who looks almost as benign as his online quizzes that built a psychological warfare empire. The company was founded as an offshoot of British parent company SCL Group specifically to deal with American elections. Partly funded by American hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica’s five-continent political psy-ops warfare sees no borders.
    You may recognize Mercer’s name from the sugar daddy list at Breitbart and Citizens United. Citizens United, of course, is the organization that rose to infamy in the 2010 Supreme Court casethat ruled that corporations can funnel as much money as they want into elections, poor proles be damned. Perhaps somewhere in the liner notes of the court’s decision is something about how the British are allowed to play lab rat with the American public during elections. To be fair, Mercer did return the favor a couple of years ago when Cambridge Analytica proudly and loudly proclaimed its influence on the Brexit vote.
    After all these years, the colonies and the British empire are back together again. Sure, it’s a sick, psychologically twisted partnership built on pushing far-right agendas and undercutting what shreds of a democratic process we have left, but it’s clearly one we’re OK with.
    Why else would Mueller be indicting Russians who didn’t even work at the Internet Research Agency during the elections? Why else would he be ignoring evidence suggesting that tampering with our elections wasn’t even their goal? Why else would we be desperately stretching a thin, flimsy story when a mass of information about U.S. election meddling is available at our fingertips?
    And that’s not even to mention our own affinity for meddling in foreign elections—in far more profound ways than online personality tests (i.e., staging coups, propping up dictators, invading countries, etc.). Indeed, when discussing the absurdity of Russian involvement in the DNC leaks, former United Kingdom Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray said, “It is extremely amusing for the CIA to be accusing another country of interfering in domestic elections, when interfering in other [countries’] domestic elections on scores of occasions is what the CIA has done to effect regime change for the last 70 years, so really, this is almost beyond satire.”
    Yet, despite being beyond satire, this is a deeply serious situation. You and I may be able to muster an uncomfortable chuckle when we hear John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, say that there’s no way to prove Russia had any influence on the election “but it seems likely that it did have some impact.” We may shake our heads in disbelief when the MSNBC host’s only retort after Jill Stein rattles off a list of domestic election fraud points is, “But that’s not Russian interference.” We may find it surprising and interesting when Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, founder of Pussy Riot, says that American liberals are scapegoating Putin to distract from the Democratic Party’s problems.
    But it’s deeper than that.
    The Cold War stayed cold, but barely. With war hawks in almost every seat in Congress and an unstable child at the helm backed by fascist sociopaths, we have to take this witch hunt seriously. We have to take our corporate media’s obsession as a warning sign. They have been tapped by the powers that be to manufacture truth from a mountain of lies and conjecture. They have been tapped to manufacture consent.
    Our job, then, is to shut down the fear factory—to disable the vast propaganda war machine by refusing to buy into the bullshit. We know what the American empire is capable of creating in order to destroy. And whatever comes of this Red Scare will rest squarely on our shoulders as American citizens. Not the Russians, not the Brits, but us.


    Eleanor Goldfield

    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  4. #934

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Lateer View Post
    Peter: If I may, I will list your five main ingredients of fascism:
    1) Rule of the wealthy and powerful
    2) Use of heavy state propaganda
    3) Militarism and masculine orientation
    4) Prominence of Intelligence apparatus
    5) Blaming disaffected groups as scapegoats
    I have a problem with this definition. Based on your definition, there is no distinction between monarchism and fascism. Russia under the Czars or England under the Stuarts would qualify under your definition as fascism. It would also include the theocratic government of Iran. The government of Frederick the Great of Prussia and Prussia under Bismarck were essentially military dictatorships but there was no need to invent the word fascism until Mussolini came on the scene. These were either ordinary dictatorships or monarchies. All dictatorships are not fascist, or at least they weren’t prior to the 20th century. Pericles was the dictator of Athens in the 4th century b.c.
    The definition and discussions of fascism that I have seen on various sites says that the use of the term fascism originated in the early twentieth century, mostly under Mussolini. If one recognizes that fact, then it is disingenuous to then retroactively include governments which existed prior to Mussolini. Those governments in their day had a name. Before 1920, the choices were oligarchy (labelled by Aristotlle in 400 b.c), monarchy, republics, tyrannies (dictatorships) and theocracy. All of those were represented in the ancient world. Today, one could also add Communism, although that existed, arguably, in the Book of Acts in the Bible and in early American history at New Harmony, Indiana and in the Paris Commune of 1870.
    The word “fascism” means bundle. One source which I read said that the bundle is the people ( who are bundled). That is patently incorrect. Every government bundles its people. The “bundle” which was originated by Mussolini was the bundle of the military, the state established church and the corporations. The important point here is that fascism was invented as an antidote for communism. And the three major interest groups that stood together in opposition to communism were corporations (and the wealthy), the state established church and the military, which was groomed to serve the interests of the first two.
    The following would be a list of consensus fascist goverments:
    1) Italy under Mussolini
    2) Germany under Hitler
    3) Argentina under Juan Peron
    4) Spain under General Francisco Franco
    5) Portugal under Antonio Salazar
    6) Chile under General Augusto Pinochet
    7) Argentina under the Generals in the 1970’s and 1980’s (and Pope Francis)
    8) Greece under the Colonels in the 1970’s

    Since most people hated and currently hate fascism, then it is easy to borrow the term to label any government you don’t like as fascist. But that takes the meaning out of the word fascism which, in fact, had a very specific meaning.
    All of the above listed fascist governments involved a state established church and in all except Greece, it was the Catholic Church. But what about Hitler?
    Actually, Hitler started out in Munich. And Bavaria where Hitler began was 70% Catholic. It is well-known that Hitler, as a youth, was an alter-boy. The more unique aspect of German fascism is that Germany had an established Church but as a defense, they had also established the Lutheran church under law. But it has always been clear that fascism was invented by the established church(es) to oppose communism.
    There are two legal definitions of religion in American law. The generic definition requires belief in a higher power. But for Constitutional purposes, it only requires a group of people who are bound together by a list of beliefs and principles which govern their life. Ironically, under the Establishment clause, communism should have been protected as a religion under legal precedent just like Buddhism which does not believe in a higher power.
    It seems clear that fascism was invented by the Catholic (and sometimes the Eastern Rites and in Germany Lutheranism) to compete with communism for the same flocks, and also by large corporate interests which also surfaced for the first time around the late 19th and early 20th century.
    It is especially inapplicable to claim that Putin and Trump somehow represent establishment religion. In a biography of Putin that I read recently, he was ruled by seven oligarchs, four of whom were Jewish. America (or probably Russia) do not have legally established religions. I don’t think, also, that you could really define America under Trump as a fascist government. That’s just labelling for its own sake.

    James Lateer
    James, I'm really not up for this discussion/argument - I think it is not that important and depends on perceptions and definitions. You seem to think that only post WWII governments can be fascist. I fully consider that of Caligula as such - as well as many other of the late Roman Emperors and governments. It is a new name, but not a new concept. Then they didn't have corporations per se, but they had the ultra-rich which were the contemporary equivalent. As to whether Trump [or even Bush II or Bush I] were or were not fascist or crypt-fascist or neo-fascist, I could [but will not be drawn into] expound. I think yes to all of them. I think the USA has been on the trajectory toward classical fascism since the end of WWII. It has its periods of faster movement and slower movement - of slight retreats and then advances - but we are IMO now over the line - not because of Trump, but in the time of Trump he puts the icing on the cake Bush II and his team built with the unPatriot act [started under Reagan or before], National Security Police State, permanent war, total propaganda from the government and its MSM puppets, corporate/ultra-rich/financial-State melding, masculine [false ones at that] values, and the denigration of perceived outsiders and others as scapegoats. And I do NOT find the Democrats, especially at the National level to have been anything of a moderating factor. They usually were the periods of slower movement toward a full fascist state - but not in all aspects. They too have become the half of the one US Corporate and Oligarch Party in the U.S. The neo [sic] fascist secret state has compromised and now controls both to varying extents - but too much - far, far too much.
    You are welcome to differ. What we call it matters little. What it IS and what it DOES and how that EFFECTS us even if we call it high tea with the Cheshire Cat matters not. I personally have called myself an anti-facist researcher for decades [while looking at JFK, MLK, RFK, Malcolm-X, other assassinations, government overthrows, dirty tricks, black ops, propaganda, secret government actions, growth of military and police state, 'trickle-up' economics, the BIG LIE of false flags, etc, et al. My great and late friend John Judge first used the term and I adopted it too. If you say you are fighting Oligarchy, or [choose and one or several terms], fine. As long as we analyse and fight these......
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  5. #935

    Default Trump, Fascists, Oligarchs, Democrats, Republicans, Police State

    Peter: I am no fan of fascists. As you know, I have spent four years proving in The Three Barons that JFK was murdered by a fascist alliance involving worldwide escaped Nazis, Nazis in the West German Government and Southern segregationists and New Orleans "Catholic Reformers" like Hale Boggs Leander Perez (although excommunicated) and David W. Ferrie.

    I agree with you that you don't have to have a perfect bridge-hand of fascism all at once to have fascism. As I mentioned before here, after reading the book The The Real Odessa by Uki Goni, I realized that Trump pretty much fit the pattern of Juan Peron. Peron ran a government of which the foundation was oligarchy, but he expanded it into supporting labor unions to widen his base.

    Person was only lukewarm toward the Catholic Church and the Military and fought a continual battle to prevent his support for unions from destruction of his base among the oligarchs and the military. He feared a military coup at every turn. All of this could be analyzed as the Trump-type strategy. And pretty much everybody would call Peron a Fascist (and surely the Patron Saint of the escaped Nazis).

    Last night I listened to Mark Levin on Fox interview Devin Nunez on the "Russia probe." This Mueller situation is apparently heading the United States and our government off of a cliff. I you think that the Democratic Party is showing less of a tendency toward a fascist police state in this Russia-gate situation than is the Trump Administration, then I beg to differ.

    Adam Schiff was a guest on C-Span Washington Journal a year ago. I called in and asked him on-the-air why the JFK files were still classified. He lied to my face and claimed that it was because of inadvertent over-classification. If Schiff is not the scariest face on TV right now, I don't know who else that would be. And, despite the fact he is a Democrat, he is the point-man for the attempted takeover the US by the Fascist anti-democratic, anti-truth, anti-election FBI force that is J EDGAR HOOVER ON STEROIDS.!

    As everyone I have read on this site would agree, then END does not justify the MEANS in democracy. If we have The National Security State openly arrest Trump and take over the U S Government, then we won't be debating about Fascism. We will be living under it!

    James Lateer

  6. #936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Lateer View Post
    Seth Rich, of course was murdered by an FBI issued weapon with FBI issued ammunition which was allegedly stolen from an FBI SUV within an hour of the murder and only less than a mile away from the murder.
    Source for this claim, please?

  7. #937

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Johnson View Post

    From the Washington Times:

    With the clearly unethical and most likely criminal behavior of the upper management levels of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) exposed by Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, there are two complementary areas that have been conveniently swept under the rug.The first deals with the murder of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, and the second deals with the alleged hacking of the DNC server by Russia. Both should be of prime interest to special counsel Robert Mueller, but do not hold your breath.
    The facts that we know of in the murder of the DNC staffer, Seth Rich, was that he was gunned down blocks from his home on July 10, 2016. Washington Metro police detectives claim that Mr. Rich was a robbery victim, which is strange since after being shot twice in the back, he was still wearing a $2,000 gold necklace and watch. He still had his wallet, key and phone. Clearly, he was not a victim of robbery.
    This has all the earmarks of a targeted hit job. However, strangely no one has been charged with this horrific crime, and what is more intriguing is that no law enforcement agency is even investigating this murder. According to other open sources, Metro police were told by their “higher ups” that if they spoke about the case, they will be immediately terminated. It has been claimed that this order came down from very high up the “food chain,” well beyond the D.C.
    Washington Times - Founded on May 17, 1982, by Sun Myung Moon, the Times was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the Unification Church, until 2010, when Moon and a group of former executives purchased the paper. It is currently owned by diversified conglomerate Operations Holdings, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the church.[6][7]

    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #938

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    Nine Notorious Dictators, Nine Shout-Outs From Donald Trump

    The president of the United States continues to heap praise on the world's most reviled rulers.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...tators/554810/


    Thomas Peter / Reuters




    The Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to allow President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely set off harsh criticism in China, as well as international opprobrium. But the power grab appears to have at least one fan: Donald Trump.
    “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Trump said of Xi at a lunch and fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to CNN, which obtained a recording of the remarks. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”
    Context, of course, is everything. Trump may well have been joking (CNN hasn’t yet released the audio of the remarks), but his comments about Xi’s hold on power in China, a Communist dictatorship, add to Trump’s long history of offering support or even outright praise for dictators and strongmen the world over.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin

    What Trump said about him: “If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, ‘Oh, isn’t that a terrible thing’—the man has very strong control over a country. Now, it’s a very different system, and I don’t happen to like the system. But certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”

    When: September 2016
    Context: The remarks weren’t the first time Trump expressed his admiration for the Russian leader. He’d done it well before he announced was running for president, and before interference in the U.S. election system was a glint in Putin’s eye—as well as many times afterward. But praising Putin’s strong leadership in a country where the Russian leader’s political opponents are harassed, jailed, or simply disappear is a bit like praising the punctuality of the railways in a fascist regime. The U.S. State Department, in its most recent human-rights report, described restrictions in Russia on political participation; the suppression of civil society; and allegations of torture. Human Rights Watch said that the government had “tightened control over the already-shrinking space for free expression, association, and assembly and intensified persecution of independent critics.” The Russian presidential elections later this month, which are expected to result in another term for Putin, all but ensures that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

    What Trump said about him: “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem.”
    When: April 2017
    Context: The Philippines president has boasted about killing suspected drug dealers when he was a local mayor. Extrajudicial killings of drugs suspects have risen since Duterte became president in June 2016. Trump reportedly favors the death penalty for drug dealers—presumably ones who have been convicted. The U.S. State Department noted last year that “police and unknown vigilantes have killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers and users as the government pursued a policy aimed at eliminating illegal drug activity in the country by the end of the year.” Human Rights Watch said “Duterte has plunged the Philippines into its worst human rights crisis since the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 1980s.” It added that Duterte’s most prominent critic was detained on “politically motivated drug charges.”


    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    What Trump said about him: “Frankly, he’s getting very high marks. He’s also been working with the United States. We have a great friendship and the countries—I think we’re right now as close as we’ve ever been … a lot of that has to do with a personal relationship.”
    When: September 2017
    Context: The president’s remarks came shortly after Erdogan cracked down on Turkish civil society, the media, and his opponents. Erdogan accused members of democratic institutions of being part of a failed coup attempt against him the previous year. Trump even congratulated Erdogan after last year’s referendum that gave him—and subsequent presidents—more power. The U.S. State Department has cited “inconsistent access to due process” in Erdogan’s Turkey, along with other abuses against civil society. Human Rights Watch called the new presidential system “a setback for human rights and the rule of law.” Trump’s “personal relationship” with Erdogan appears to have its limits, however. Turkish forces are pounding a Kurdish-controlled Syrian town despite pleas from the U.S. to obey a 30-day UN-mandated ceasefire.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    What Trump said about him: “We agree on so many things. I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”

    When: April 2017
    Context: Sisi, who seized power in a coup, has cracked down in Egypt, where a brief flirtation with democracy during the Arab Spring resulted in a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government (which Sisi ousted). The U.S. State Department says the most serious human-rights problems there involve “excessive use of force by security forces, deficiencies in due process, and the suppression of civil liberties.” Human Rights Watch says Sisi’s government “maintained its zero-tolerance policy towards dissent… and [continued] near-absolute impunity for abuses by security forces under the pretext of fighting ‘terrorism.’”

    Trump’s fondness for authoritarians may have more to do with how power is wielded than those who exercise it. It just so happens that Western governments have, for the past seven decades, mostly adhered to a system of the rule of law, which empowers institutions rather than individuals. Trump’s apparent preference is for a system in which one individual, presumably him, wields that power.

    Indeed, his fondness for strongmen and dictators isn’t limited to Xi Jinping or any other individual in power now. He has praised Iraq’s Saddam Hussein (while also criticizing him as “a bad guy”) for killing terrorists. “He did that so good,” Trump said in July 2016. “They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. Over.”
    Trump also said in 2016 that Libya would be better off “if [Moammar] Gaddafi were in charge right now.” He once tweeted a quote from Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist leader, and later defended the tweet, saying: “Mussolini was Mussolini ... It’s a very good quote. It’s a very interesting quote... what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”
    Trump even said China’s brutal crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 “shows you the power of strength,” contrasting the Communist Party’s action with the United States, which he said “is right now perceived as weak.” Trump made those comments in 1990. When asked about the remarks during the presidential debate in 2016, Trump defended himself and appeared to take the Chinese Communist Party’s view of the events at Tiananmen. He dismissed the deadly military response as a “riot.”

  9. #939

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    In today's exciting episode of TRUMP TOWER PANAMA...
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ry?id=53529915

    More than a dozen police wearing bulletproof vests entered the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Panama on Monday morning and evicted the Trump Organization’s staff, a move that comes after weeks of simmering tensions over control of the property.


    The Trump Organization manages the hotel in the 70-story tower overlooking the Punta Pacifica Peninsula and the new majority owner had gone to court in the U.S. and Panama to evict the company run by President Donald Trump’s sons. There were scuffles as police arrived to carry out the eviction, and Panamanian court officials were present.
    “I am the owner,” said Orestes Fintiklis, who last year obtained control over more than 200 units in the tower, as police and Trump employees pushed and shoved one another. “Love and peace!”
    Fintiklis gained access to the tower’s main office late Monday morning. The colorful property owner told reporters he would not be commenting about the morning’s actions at this point. He then played a song on the piano for the gathered onlookers with lyrics that, when translated, said, “Fascism will not prevail.”

    ABC News

    Police entered the lobby of the Trump Hotel in Panama, March 5, 2018.Photos of the office obtained by ABC News building indicate that while the Trump employees left peaceably, they allegedly took some of the building’s computer equipment with them.
    This was the third visit by police to the property in less than a week. Last week, a man identified as a Trump Hotels employee could be seen hurling another man down a narrow hallway in a video obtained by ABC News.
    The ongoing dispute represents an early test for U.S. diplomats navigating international relations in places where the president’s family manages properties or conducts other business ventures, and it comes just days before the scheduled resignation March 9 of the U.S. ambassador to Panama over his personal disagreements with the Trump administration.
    The Trump Organization in court filings called the effort a “design to wrongfully seize control over the hotel property.”
    “Rather than abide by the clear terms of the agreement he had signed, Mr. Fintiklis had been conspiring with others to remove Trump Hotels as manager and fire most, if not all, of its loyal and dedicated employees,” the Trump Organization said in a statement to the press. “Looking back, it is now apparent that Mr. Fintiklis, in flagrant violation of the commitments he had made, never had any intention of keeping his word and had been plotting a takeover and termination of Trump Hotels all along.”

    Arnulfo Franco/AP

    A police officer on a motorcycle leaves the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, Feb. 27, 2018.Fintiklis has argued in documents filed in a U.S. court in Florida that the Trump Organization had mismanaged the property, causing occupancy levels “to collapse” and expenses to “bloat.”
    “Operators gross incompetence and deficient sales organization stands in the way of [the] owner making any profit on its investment, all the while lining the [Trump Organization’s] pockets,” he alleged in a court filing.
    After the Washington Post reported on an earlier fracas in the building on Tuesday, The Trump Organization issued a two-page statement addressing the conflict and accusing Fintiklis of enlisting “a rogue private security team and others” to launch “a coordinated attack to physically take over the management of the Hotel.”
    “When that effort failed,” the Trump Organization statement says the owners “resorted to thug-like, mob style tactics, repeatedly attempting to force their way into Trump Hotels’ offices, infiltrate and disrupt its computer systems and threatening and intimidating any employee of the Hotel that resisted.”

  10. #940

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    Trump picks torture queen to head CIA, after moving Pompeo to State to replace the fired Rexxon Tillerson.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/13/polit...pel/index.html

    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's pick to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, would be the first female director of the intelligence agency if confirmed.

    Haspel, who served as deputy director of the agency under Mike Pompeo, Trump's pick to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, since February 2017, has accepted the new role, saying in a statement that she was "grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in" her.
    Haspel is a career intelligence officer who joined the CIA in 1985.
    In her appointment last year as deputy director, Haspel garnered praise from high-level Obama-era and Bush-era appointees, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

    During her time at the agency, Haspel has held several senior leadership positions, including directorial roles in the National Clandestine Service and in the Counterterrorism Center, as well as several Chief of Station roles, a news release from the CIA said. Haspel has received several awards in her career, including the Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in the federal civil service.
    According to The New York Times, Haspel has spent most of her career undercover.
    While running a CIA prison in Thailand, dubbed a "black site," Haspel oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects and her name was on a cable giving instructions to destroy video evidence documenting their interrogations, according to the Times. One of the suspects was reportedly waterboarded 83 times in one month.
    Haspel, the Times reported in February, played a direct role in the agency's program that gave captured militants to foreign governments and held them at secret sites, where they were tortured by CIA staff.
    Haspel will likely face opposition in her Senate confirmation for her involvement in the Thailand incident.
    In 2013, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein blocked Haspel's promotion within the clandestine service, the Times reported. And in 2017, a handful Senate Democrats called on Trump to withdraw Haspel from consideration for her role as deputy director, according to The Hill.


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