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

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    In the biggest display of athletic defiance for decades, football teams across the nation protested President Donald Trump after he attacked the NFL, NBA and some of their most popular athletes for daring to draw attention to racism and police violence by taking the knee during the national anthem. At a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday evening, Trump lashed out at players who have joined this growing protest movement, that, well, in its latest incarnation was started by the former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, against racial injustice, kneeling during the national anthem. Trump made the comments while stumping for Senator Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions in a close Republican primary in Alabama.
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFLowners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!"? Wouldn’t you love it?
    AUDIENCE: U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, "That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired." And that owner—they don’t know it. They don’t know. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know. They’ll be the most popular person for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country, because that’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for, OK?
    AMY GOODMAN: Trump’s speech took place in the city of Huntsville, a couple hours from where Alabama’s Governor George Wallace openly embraced segregation in his 1963 inaugural address. During his remarks, Trump urged football fans to turn off their TVs when athletes protest during the national anthem.
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem.
    AUDIENCE: Boo!
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee, things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave.
    AMY GOODMAN: Trump’s comments come immediately—well, Trump’s comments immediately drew outrage and criticism. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, quote, "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect." The NFL Players Association President Eric Winston said Trump’s comments were, quote, "a slap in the face to the civil rights heroes of the past and present." Former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin told ABC News he and other athletes are concerned about Trump’s "hate speech."
    ANQUAN BOLDIN: I think the president’s words are real divisive. I don’t like the hate speech that is coming out of his mouth. Neither do the players in the locker room. So, I think, as a league, we need to stand together and show that we’re all about uniting one another and not the divisive rhetoric that’s coming out of the mouth of the president.
    AMY GOODMAN: Ahead of a series of NFL games Sunday, Trump again urged football fans to boycott NFL games unless clubs punish players who protest during the national anthem. He tweeted, "If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend! NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S."
    Trump’s comments sparked nationwide protests, with players on most teams participating in some form of protest ahead of Sunday games. NFL players who kneeled and locked arms during the national anthem included members of the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants. Super Bowl champions New England Patriots also protested, with white quarterback Tom Brady interlocking arms with teammates of color as others kneeled. Several players and staff from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens also knelt in defiance [ahead] of a game in London. Journalist Shaun King noted 27 players and staff from both teams participated in the protest, making it the "most ever in one game," he wrote. And nearly the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team sat out the national anthem in the locker room ahead of their game against the Chicago Bears, who stood on the sidelines with their arms locked in solidarity.
    Meanwhile, during game one of the WNBA Finals, the Lynx linked arms during the national anthem, while the Sparks stayed in their locker room.
    The protests spread to baseball teams, as well, with the Oakland Athletics’ Bruce Maxwell becoming the first Major League player to kneel during the national anthem, on Saturday night. Maxwell was born on an Army base; his father is in the military. He told reporters he was, quote, "kneeling for people that don’t have a voice."
    And on Saturday, legendary musician Stevie Wonder joined protesting athletes by kneeling on stage before his performance at the Global Citizen Festival.
    Meanwhile, Trump also took aim at the NBA, rescinding an invitation to basketball champions the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, after the team’s star player, Steph Curry, said he would not attend. Curry told reporters he and some of his teammates disagree with Trump and, quote, "the things that he’s said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right times." In response, Trump tweeted, quote, "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" This is Curry responding to Trump’s Twitter attack.
    STEPHEN CURRY: It’s kind of, I mean, surreal, to be honest. I mean, just I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals, you know, rather than others. I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of—it’s just kind of beneath, I think, a leader of a country to go that route. It’s not what leaders do. So, like I said, we have amazing people in this league that have spoken up on both sides of the conversation. The amount of support and encouragement I saw this morning around the league was unbelievable, from all types of players.
    AMY GOODMAN: The Golden State Warriors say they’ll visit Washington, D.C., but skip the White House and instead, quote, "celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion," unquote. Trump’s tweet also drew a sharp rebuke from NBA superstar LeBron James, one of the nation’s best-known athletes. He tweeted at Trump, quote, "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!" James posted this video on his Instagram account on Saturday. As of Sunday evening, it had been viewed over 2 million times.
    LEBRON JAMES: You look at him kind of asking, you know, the NFL owners to get rid of players off the field because they’re exercising their rights, and that’s not right. And then, you know, when I wake up, I see that a colleague of mine has been uninvited—of something that he said he didn’t even want to go to in the first place—you know, to the White House. You know, that’s just something I can’t stand for, man. And we’ve got, you know, Jemele Hill and Colin Kaepernick, and, you know, all these people are speaking up, and it’s for the greater cause. It’s for us to all come together. It’s not about a division. It’s not about dividing. We, as American people, need to actually just come together even more stronger, man, because this is a very critical time. And me being in the position I am, I had to voice this to y’all. So, love y’all, man.
    AMY GOODMAN: Basketball star LeBron James. Meanwhile, Sunday, even some of the anthem singers participated in the protests during the NFL games. In Motown, before the Lions game at Ford Field, singer Rico Lavelle performed "The Star-Spangled Banner," pausing between "home of the" and "brave" to drop to his right knee and raise his left hand in a fist, a move that recalled the Black Power salute of U.S. Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
    RICO LAVELLE: [singing] For the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    AMY GOODMAN: When we come back from break, we’ll be joined by three guests: Dr. Harry Edwards, professor emeritus of sociology, University of California, Berkeley, adviser to Colin Kaepernick; we’ll also be speaking with sportswriter Dave Zirin; and we’ll be speaking with former NFL star Donté Stallworth. This is Democracy Now!Back in a minute.
    [break]
    AMY GOODMAN: That’s Stevie Wonder performing Saturday night at the Global Citizen concert in Central Park. That was after he took both knees, as he said it, for America and for the world. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.
    In the biggest display of athletic defiance in years, sports teams across the nation—football, baseball and basketball—protested President Donald Trump after he attacked the NFL, the NBA and some of their most popular athletes for daring to draw attention to racism and police violence.
    We go now to get response. We’re joined by three people. In Palo Alto, California, we’re joined by Dr. Harry Edwards, professor emeritus of sociology at University of California, Berkeley, author of a number of books, including The Revolt of the Black Athlete, reissued this year for its 50th anniversary edition. He was the architect of the 1968 Olympic Project for Human Rights, longtime staff consultant with the San Francisco 49ers, where he worked with Colin Kaepernick. In Washington, D.C., we’re joined by Donté Stallworth, a sports commentator, former NFL player who spent 10 years in the league. And also with us, Dave Zirin, a sports editor for The Nationmagazine. His latest piece, "For the NFL, It was 'Choose Your Side Sunday.'"
    We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Harry Edwards, let’s begin with you. Have you seen anything like this, in one day, yesterday, what happened across this country and beyond?
    HARRY EDWARDS: Oh, absolutely not. I mean, in the 1960s, you had pockets of athletes who were engaged in political activities, some of the greatest sports personalities in the history of this country, but there was nothing on this scale. Mr. Trump has managed to precipitate something that all of us, activists and intellectuals and media types, would never have been able to achieve, through his ignorance, impulsiveness and vindictiveness. And so, what he has done—if anybody is leading this movement, it’s Mr. Trump. He has done more to put it on track and to move it forward than any other individual in history.
    AMY GOODMAN: I mean, President Trump has managed to do something that hasn’t happened in quite a while, like Roger Goodell, the head of the NFL, being united with players? Talk about the response of the predominantly almost all-white coaches, the staff and the players. Describe what we saw yesterday, from game to game, whether the players stayed back in the locker room for the anthem or went down on knee or locked arms, like Tom Brady, not usually seen in solidarity in this way, who talked about President Trump as being disrespectful.
    HARRY EDWARDS: Well, Mr. Trump, first of all, threw the owners under the bus. The owners, who had been supporting him, all of a sudden had to choose between him—and the alt-right and that cheap applause that he got in Alabama—and their own players. And they knew, from the moment that he made those statements, if they didn’t stand up on the right side of these issues and join their players, they’ve signed their last free agent, they probably would have a great deal of difficulty signing their draft choices, and they would have tremendous problems in their locker room because of the perception of what the owner stood for who took Mr. Trump’s advice.
    Again, this demonstrates Mr. Trump’s utter ignorance of the dynamics of athletics in this country, particularly at the elite levels, what holds teams together, what motivates them and what they consider to be important and critical in terms of their own involvement in this great American sports institution. So, again, like in almost every other area that he has entered, he shows an abysmal ignorance of what is important, what’s going on, and he doesn’t hesitate to throw even his closest associates and supporters under the bus.
    And I will say something else: We haven’t heard the last of him in the sports arena. And so, we had better prepare ourselves to respond objectively, collectively, in unity, because, going forward, he’s going to continue this vindictive tirade that he’s been on.
    AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to the former NFL head coach, like head of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan, well-known Trump supporter. Speaking Sunday on ESPN, Ryan blasted Trump for his criticism of NFL players, saying he’s appalled by Trump’s comments.
    REX RYAN: Like I’m [bleep] off. I’ll be honest with you, you know, because I supported Donald Trump. You know, I sat back, and when he asked me to introduce him at a rally, you know, in Buffalo, I did that. But I’m reading these comments, and it’s appalling to me. And I’m sure it’s appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be. I mean, you know, calling our players SOBs and all that kind of stuff? That’s not the—that’s not the men that I know. The men that I know in the locker room, I’m proud of. I’m proud to be associated with those people. And it’s just so—you know, I apologize for being [bleep] off, but guess what. That’s it. Because, right away, I’m associated with what Donald Trump stands for and all that, because, you know, I introduced him. I never signed up for that. I never wanted that.
    AMY GOODMAN: Dave Zirin, you’ve been covering sports and protest for a long time. Describe everything that we saw yesterday. I mean, we’re not only talking about the NFL—NBA, cheerleaders, the actual anthem singers themselves, WNBA, as well, women’s basketball.
    DAVE ZIRIN: Yeah. And first and foremost, Amy, I just want to say what an honor it is to do this show with Dr. Harry Edwards. It’s impossible—he said it’s impossible to think about this moment happening without Donald Trump. I think it’s impossible to see this moment happening without the work of Dr. Harry Edwards over the last five decades.
    I will say this. Donald Trump thought he knew what he was doing in Huntsville, Alabama. He has a tremendous ability to speak to the worst instincts of his audience. And I’m sure, in his lizard brain, he looked at that audience of senior—white senior citizens’ council in Alabama and said to himself, "You know what? I think that going after young black men will be a big win." And that’s what he does. He goes after people of color. He goes after women. He goes after people that his base will celebrate their destruction.
    And yet, what he did not understand, maybe because he never played the game of football, he did not understand that in football locker rooms they have what Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett calls a brotherhood. And "brotherhood" could be seen as another word for solidarity. And it’s kind of like a Spartacus thing, like "an injury to one is an injury to all" kind of thing.
    And so, you think about what Donald Trump said at that rally and what NFL players and owners heard. You’ve got to take in the whole thing of what he said. First and foremost, he called the players SOBs, and he used the B-word. And that’s going after players’ mothers, and you just do not do that. Second, he went after their livelihoods, saying that they should be fired. Third of all, he went after their freedoms, their right to dissent.
    And it also has to be said that Donald Trump, because he doesn’t know the game, did not understand that the players who have been dissenting—and I’m talking about people like Malcolm Jenkins, Michael Bennett—they’re not just individuals, they’re not just people who are sitting during the anthem, they are people who are considered leaders in locker rooms, the most respected people in the National Football League. So he’s going after people who a lot of these coaches love. They love having these guys in their locker room, because they’re some of the most thoughtful people that they have.
    And so, what Donald Trump spurred is remarkable. And I’d be remiss, Amy, if I did not read for your audience, just so people know how deep the politics of what we saw Sunday was, the statement made by the Seattle Seahawks in their refusal to come out for the national anthem. It’s brief, and it’s worth reading. This is what they said. They said, "We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all." We have reached a point where protesting the anthem is an act that actually demands more unity than whatever it is that Donald Trump is saying from his bully pulpit.
    AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to Michael Bennett himself, a Seattle Seahawk, NFLstar, appeared on Democracy Now! a few months ago, and I asked him about NFLquarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest against racial oppression and police brutality by taking the knee during the pregame national anthem.
    MICHAEL BENNETT: When he took that knee, it just—it just made me realize that, you know, when he did that and the way that he touched—made people speak around the world about this, it was like, "Wow! Athletes really do have this platform that a lot of people just want to hear." And when he made that decision to do that, I think it changed a lot of lives. I think it brought out some ugliness in people, but it also brought out some beauty in some people. And I think, for us, for me personally, it just challenged me to be—to even, you know, join him and try to make it—try to make everything in his message more—make it where people understand and they want to be a part of it, where young kids are speaking about it, too.
    AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett speaking to us in February. Now, Dave Zirin, I wanted to ask you about the history of the playing of the national anthem. It wasn’t always like this, was it? Weren’t the teams usually in their locker rooms? Did this have to do with payment that the Pentagon made to the NFLto start recruiting more people, because young people watch football?
    DAVE ZIRIN: Oh, Amy, playing the national anthem and having the teams line up before games, it has a long and hallowed history that goes back to the days of Jersey Shore and Justin Bieber. I mean, we’re talking 2009. I mean, Fast & Furious 4came out in 2009. That’s how long players have lined up for the anthem. And, yes, it comes out of a partnership between the Department of Defense and the National Football League. Everything you see at games, for years, until it was uncovered by Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, everything you saw for years, like—
    AMY GOODMAN: And John McCain, right?
    DAVE ZIRIN: And John McCain, yes. And showing it in like—showing like the salute to the troop moment and all of these spectacles, they really were about recruitment for the armed forces, and they pay tens of millions of dollars to the National Football League to do these kinds of events, which speaks to, I think, this partnership that exists and how patriotism exists in these events. This is not some long tradition. I mean, this is something that’s a very short tradition and one that was absolutely geared with post-9/11 war-on-terror concern about the recruitment levels for the armed forces and seeing the NFL as a way to shore up those numbers, and paying billionaires money to make this a reality. And, yes, this was only—this was something also that was hidden. It was discovered by the investigation of those Arizona senators. And I think that sort of gives the game away as far as what all this is about. I mean, Trump speaks about it as if it is this kind of long, hallowed tradition of players standing at attention for the anthem, when it’s actually something very recent and very, I think, just monetary, in terms of the NFL’s perspective.
    HARRY EDWARDS: But—
    AMY GOODMAN: Was that Harry Edwards?
    HARRY EDWARDS: But, you know, the—uh-huh.
    AMY GOODMAN: Go ahead.
    HARRY EDWARDS: But, you know, it’s not about the anthem.
    DAVE ZIRIN: Yes.
    HARRY EDWARDS: This is the part that we don’t want to get hung up on. What Colin did was not an attack on the anthem. It was not an attack on the military. It was not even an attack on police. It was an attack on injustice. And he was no more against the anthem than he was against the soldiers who are in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And so, we don’t want to get too tied up on the anthem and its place in sports and so forth. We want to look at the issues. Anything else is a red herring. That is what Colin was about. It’s not even about Colin getting a quarterback job again. That’s like saying that we should—that Montgomery—the Montgomery bus boycott movement should have been about Rosa Parks getting her seat back. It has to be about things much broader than that. And so, we want to understand the history and dynamics of the politics of the national anthem and how they’re being played by people such as Trump, but we don’t want to lose sight about what this struggle is about. It’s about injustice in American society.
    DAVE ZIRIN: Absolutely.
    AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Harry Edwards, you are certainly speaking from personal experience. You’re an adviser to Colin Kaepernick. And for people who haven’t been following the whole controversy around him, after he first took the knee as a 49ers star, now not being able to get a job—I mean, I’m talking to you from New York, where a thousand people came out protesting outside of NFL headquarters. Talk about Colin’s response right now to what we’re seeing, the mass protests across the country.
    HARRY EDWARDS: Colin Kaepernick is getting ready to play football. I think that that has been his commitment. All of this discussion about whether he wants to play—"Geez, is he willing to offer an apology?" An apology for what? He plays football. He is an activist in the struggle for human rights and justice in American society. Those two things are not contradictory. And so, this notion that perhaps he doesn’t want to play anymore, perhaps he wants to be a civil rights leader instead, I mean, those two things are not contradictory.
    So, a lot of that is simply rationalization for a reactionary culture, where owners, for whatever reason, are reluctant to give Colin Kaepernick the opportunity to play. The very idea that there are 96 quarterbacks in this league, including 32 clipboard holders, who are so much better than Colin Kaepernick, who took his team to three conference championships and a Super Bowl, that they are so much better than Colin Kaepernick, that he does not even deserve a chance for a tryout, is ludicrous. This is something that the league, along with siding with their players, within the very near future, is going to have to correct. Colin Kaepernick belongs at least on the field holding a clipboard. You can’t make any other argument, especially given some of the performances that have shown up in the first three weeks by quarterbacks in this league. So, that’s a challenge that the league is still confronted with. But what Colin Kaepernick is doing is preparing to play football, because that’s one of the things that he does.


    AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring in our third guest, who has been waiting patiently, Donté Stallworth, former NFL star. Oh, you’ve played with the Philadelphia Eagles, the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and beyond. A lot of those teams took action yesterday. Your thoughts and feelings as you saw them on the field and also those that just stayed back in the locker room for the playing of the national anthem?
    DONTÉ STALLWORTH: First, I wanted to say that I totally agree with and share Dave’s sentiments on Dr. Edwards and appreciate everything that he has done and everything that he is continuing to do in staying engaged in this political debate and in this environment.
    HARRY EDWARDS: You guys are going to make me cry. I appreciate it.
    DONTÉ STALLWORTH: And yeah, so we just wanted to say, definitely, definitely appreciate you, Dr. Edwards.
    HARRY EDWARDS: Thank you.
    DONTÉ STALLWORTH: Amy, I believe that when you look at the players—and we all kind of use the word "solidarity," and that’s exactly what it is. It’s brotherhood amongst people that are in the locker room. We see each other every day. We are essentially like family, and we treat each other like brothers. And so when I see guys that have—long before today or long before the last couple weeks, guys have been engaged in this political discourse, not just by talking about it, but they’ve been engaged, where the president himself has been absent or has been in opposition to these reforms, and helping to make this country a more perfect union.
    And by that, I’ll say this. You get a guy like Chris Long from the Philadelphia Eagles. He has donated or he is donating his first six game checks—his first six out of 16 total game checks, he is donating to his hometown in Charlottesville, where, obviously, they had the white supremacists and the Nazis marching openly and freely. He is donating money to, as he called it, promote equality through education. Donald Trump and his administration has worked to defund groups that counter white supremacists, extremists. The DHS and the FBI came out with a joint intelligence briefing back in May, and they warned heavily about the—they warned heavily about the dangers of these white supremacists using violence. And you see that the players have worked much more than the president has on these reform issues. You go to Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks, who met with the Seattle police chief and met with police officers from the police department. He also spoke and had a meeting with the Washington state’s attorney general. Malcolm—excuse me, Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin have been to the Capitol to speak to members of Congress. I was able to—they invited me out on one trip where, three straight days, we spoke to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to move the needle forward about these issues, in criminal justice reform and beyond. The players have taken the initiative where the president has been absent and where he has been in opposition towards these reforms.
    So the players themselves now have even seen, now so more than ever, that the president is in complete and total opposition to allowing players, number one, their First Amendment rights. That’s the first thing. And I think the other thing, too, that we have to be conscious of is to not allow Mr. Trump to hijack this conversation, to hijack the narrative. You know, obviously, it’s going to be in the media. We’re going to talk about it for a day or so. But after that, let’s make sure that we’re keeping our eye on the prize. And I think Dr. Edwards and, both, Dave alluded to that earlier. That’s the main focus where we need to keep this. We can’t allow the president to hijack this conversation and make it all about him, because, as we all know, he does love attention.
    AMY GOODMAN: Donté Stallworth, you mentioned Charlottesville. President Trump has spent more time now attacking black athletes and calling for them to be fired than he has spent in any way criticizing the torch-carrying protesters, the white supremacists in Charlottesville. Can you talk about what we saw this weekend in—and, of course, it wasn’t lost on people—in Alabama? I mean, in the mainstream media, you’ll often hear a question: Did—he didn’t realize the blowback that he would have. Isn’t it exactly why he did it? Of course he understands what kind of response. I mean, whether he’s doing it to divert attention from perhaps losing the healthcare bill this week, not clear, but he has a very clear, consistent pattern of taking on these issues of white supremacy through his campaign. Talk about Charlottesville and who he’s attacking today and who he didn’t attack and criticize.
    DONTÉ STALLWORTH: You always look at the president and when he speaks, and you listen to him, his initial reaction, his natural reaction, not a scripted tweet or not a scripted speech, you listen to him off the cuff, you listen to him at his rallies, you listen to him at 6:00 in the morning when he’s—God knows what he’s doing at 6:00 in the morning, but you listen to him when he’s tweeting at 6:00 in the morning, you look at what he is naturally inclined to say about these issues, again, not from a scripted tweet or a scripted speech, and time and time again what he has shown is an adversarial tone to professional athletes, to people who are in opposition to his ideology, to his politics.
    And he has shown somewhat of an affinity for people that are dictatorial figures. And I say that he has obviously—has said things about Russian President Vladimir Putin. He’s said favorable things about the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, and we all know about him and his mass killings with his, quote-unquote, "war on drugs." And he’s even said it would be an honor to meet Kim Jong-un. He aspires to be a dictator. He’s like the little dictator that could. He aspires to be a full-blown dictator.
    And he’s fighting against people that are in opposition of white supremacists and Nazis. He doesn’t defend NFL players’ or American citizens’ first right—or, First Amendment right, but he will defend and even embolden white supremacists, as he does not, again, call them out within the first 48 hours. And we have to—you get the media that has to come down on him and condemn—or get him to condemn these white supremacists and Nazis that are marching in the street, when it should should be a natural reaction. To me, that’s very telling. Don’t give us a scripted speech or a tweet. We need to hear what you think, you know, when it happens, naturally, in the heat of the moment. And he’s shown time and time again where his ideologies lie.
    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

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    Trump loves stirring the multicultural pot. He's getting his mojo back. It keeps the subject off of what he is all about: transferring wealth to the elite, war profiteering, and transferring wealth to the elite. Take all the knees you want -- please.

    There’s a lot to complain about in this deranged republic — if it even still is one — but the burdens of being a multimillionaire football player would not be at the top of my list. Personally, I find it a little peculiar that we have to play the national anthem before any sporting event. All it really shows is how insecure we are as a nation that we have to display our love of country in this obsessive manner. Same with congressmen and their stupid flag lapel pins, or the flag in front of Denny’s chain restaurants. Are eaters of the “lumberjack slam” so disoriented when they leave the place that they need to be reminded what country they’re in? “Oh, look hon, were in the USA after all….”

    What burns my ass is seeing baseball players in camo uniforms, as if they were an extension of the US military. What’s up with that? Is San Diego suddenly a theater of war? And why do US soldiers need to wear camo uniforms when shopping for eyeglasses? There used to be a distinction between battle dress and what you wore the rest of the time, even during a world war. And why on earth is it necessary to fly Air Force fighter jets over the stadium before the Super Bowl? Who authorizes the spend for that? Who are we trying to scare?

    Of course, this new gale of ill-feeling stirred up by our intemperate president, the Golden Golem of Greatness, is driven by the oceanic currents of racial animus that are drowning the country more ruinously than the recent spate of hurricanes. The #Take the Knee campaign was already there, and getting hotter, even before Mr. Trump chimed in. At least he didn’t issue the usual sort of vapid nostrum about “diversity” and all of us getting along. In his blunt, blundering way, he may force the nation to clarify exactly what the beef is.

    Surely it’s not about the woes of professional athletes. They are representing the grievances of a different realm in black America, perhaps the places they came from, the city ghettos or the rural backwaters of Dixieland, or maybe even boring black suburbs like Prince George County, Maryland. And the lingering question, to be equally blunt, is: how much is non-black America keeping black America down?

    I say non-black because there are plenty of other ethnic groups in the mix besides the dwindling majority of “white folks.” I daresay there is as much, perhaps more real animus between Asian-Americans and black Americans than between white and black. But Asian-Americans did not enslave black Africans, so they’re off-the-hook for that original sin.
    Mostly what Asian newcomers do is demonstrate that it’s possible to succeed economically and educationally in this country even if you start out with a culture and language completely alien to American ways. This is especially noticeable in places of exacting achievement like Silicon Valley. If anything, Asians complain that they do so well in school that the universities have to tamp down their admission numbers to give other ethnic groups a chance.

    There seems to be so much psychological displacement in the feelings between black and white America that it is next to impossible to sort out what to do next. White Dem-Progs (formerly “liberals”) appear to be so consumed with anxious consternation over the outcome of the long civil rights struggle that they are ready to commit a sort of hara-kiri to atone for their unforgivable cis-whiteness. To some extent, they have attempted to compensate by campaigning for an ever-growing list of other “marginalized” groups in the hopes of showing some positive results for social change — it’s just easier to get significant numbers of homosexuals into the corporate executive suites than to get blacks in there — but the Dem-Progs are still left with the grinding reality of a large, dysfunctional black underclass. They certainly can’t admit that their own contrived “remedies,” such as subsidizing out-of-wedlock births, has anything to do with it, or the devastating effect of “Multiculturalism” on some sort of unifying common culture based on values that everybody can agree on.

    Similarly, black America displaces their oppositionality to whatever remains of a national common culture into the memes of “systemic racism and injustice.” It has evolved insidiously in their own culture since the 1960s, probably (I believe) as a reaction to the anxiety provoked by the civil rights legislation of 1964-65. It’s really about behavior, especially in school. Are you interested in speaking English? Believe me, that would help a lot in this society. Consider this: Ella Fitzgerald was not singing black or white back in the day. She was just singing.
    Source
    "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. #813

    Default

    Why Did Protesters Block Traffic on the 101 This Week?

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 AT 7:42 A.M.

    EXPAND
    Anti-Trump protesters blocked the four northbound lanes of the 101 Freeway during rush hour on Sept. 26.
    Peter Switzer







    The news cycle these days is starting to seem a lot like that eating machine that force-feeds Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times. Let's start with the soup.
    If you haven't heard, Los Angeles is — in the Strangelovian jargon of military experts — the most "lucrative" target for a nuclear missile launch from North Korea, according to a think piece published last month in Forbes. Reportedly the payload of a 500-kiloton bomb detonating above the L.A. Civic Center would annihilate everything within a half-mile radius — including City Hall, the Federal Building, the L.A. County Courthouse and the police headquarters in and around the Civic Center.

    It would also include all of the city's tallest commercial buildings in the adjacent financial district and Bunker Hill neighborhood, including such iconic structures as the Wilshire Grand, U.S. Bank Tower and Aon Center. All gone within a few minutes.
    North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, said President Trump's threat against North Korea in his Sept. 19 UN speech amounted to a declaration of war and that under international law his country can legally shoot down U.S. military planes — even if they're not in North Korea's airspace. (Of course, Pyongyang once threatened "a decisive and merciless countermeasure” as revenge for a Hollywood film about an assassination plot against Kim Jong-un by James Franco and Seth Rogen.)
    For his part, Trump kept fanning the flames on Twitter:


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    5:08 AM - Sep 24, 2017


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    On this and so many other fronts, the White House is coming at you fast. On Sept. 18, Homeland Security published a notice in the Federal Register that next month it will start collecting data from the Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts and "search results" accounts of all immigrants living in the country — including green-card holders and naturalized citizens. (The fate of DACA was all but sealed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sept. 5.)
    How does anyone deal with all this?
    Asked why he took to the streets on Sept. 26 and joined a protest that blocked traffic on the 101 Freeway, USC film professor Perry Hoberman took a moment to recall.
    Was it the result of the president's threat to "totally destroy" nuclear-armed North Korea?

    Was it in response to Trump's speech in Alabama in which he advocated firing any NFL football player (aka "son of a bitch") who took a knee during the national anthem?
    Was it because Trump compared hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico unfavorably to Florida and Texas, criticizing the island where millions remain without power for its "broken infrastructure & massive debts to Wall Street"?

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    2:45 AM - Sep 26, 2017


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    Actually, it was before all of those things.
    Hoberman, 62, an associate research professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, says he made the decision to walk into traffic after Hurricane Harvey prompted Scott Pruitt, the climate-change denier tapped by Trump to head the Environmental Protection Agency, to tell CNN that it was "insensitive" to discuss man-made climate change's role in strengthening the hurricanes.

    Hoberman says by the time Harvey hit, he was still reeling from Charlottesville and from leaked information that Trump's ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort was peddling influence to a Russian billionaire with close Kremlin ties.

    "This is basically how fascism works," Hoberman says. "It's shock and awe. It's the big lie. It's doing things so absurd that no one knows how to react. It's impossible to keep track of what they're doing and how they're driving us all crazy."
    Fascism is a go-to word for Hoberman, who is a member of the national steering committee of an ad hoc group called RefuseFascism.org. A few weeks ago he and seven other members of that group started planning to block northbound traffic on the 101 at rush hour because, he says, "They're playing with utter destruction and it's completely unconscionable to let it go on."
    Hoberman's group formed after the election, and it has patronized its share of lost causes, including a last-minute appeal to members of the Electoral College to withhold their votes from Trump and full-page ads in The New York Times and Washington Postcalling for a protest to prevent the inauguration.

    The longer Trump pushes the envelope (and threatens to push the button), the more of a hearing a group like RefuseFascism.org is getting from the public. As Hoberman says, "We're seeing success as things get worse and worse."
    The eight protesters — ranging in age, Hoberman says, from their early 20s to early 70s — parked downtown on Tuesday and rushed down the on-ramp at Alameda Street with placards, crossing into the four northbound lanes of traffic.
    When they made their move, at around 8:30 a.m., the cars already were at a standstill there — something the protesters were counting on for their own safety, he says.
    "I was the first guy in line and had to walk out into the middle of the freeway," he says. "The only other time I've been out of a car on the highway was with a flat tire. It's scary."
    Their placards bore letters that spelled out "NOV 4 IT BEGINS." But they couldn't get enough volunteers to hold all 12 letters, so the tallest among them, the ones with the broadest wingspans, held up two letters each. The eight people weren't enough to block the on-ramp, so some motorists were able to swerve around.
    Hoberman says the protest was conceived in part to get the word out about a Nov. 4 demonstration the group is planning. He says it's being modeled on the Women's March held in January at Pershing Square and that organizers hope the action will include an encampment in a public place, à la Occupy Wall Street, or at least a prolonged series of protests over several days.
    At one point on Tuesday they knelt on the freeway, which organizer Michelle Xai says was to acknowledge "black and Latino people who have been and continue to be murdered by police."
    A video of the protest uploaded to the group's Facebook page has more than 700,000 views. Many of the 24,000-plus commenters ask for more information about Nov. 4. Plenty of others object to the group's inconveniencing motorists, and some appear to endorse running them over.
    Traffic on the 101 was stopped for about 20 minutes, says Roberto Gomez, public information officer for California Highway Patrol. CHP officers eventually removed the protesters and arrested them for misdemeanor trespassing.
    Hoberman says he and others were held in police custody for more than 12 hours. "They told us the system was down."
    "We felt like this was a necessary risk," he continues. "Calls to impeach and take back the House and Senate are fine, and we support all that. But ultimately we don't think anything will fix this but mass action by huge amounts of people gumming things up.
    "This is just too serious to continue with business as usual."
    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. #814

    Default The shooting in Las Vegas

    With at least 60 dead and 550 injured - the final death toll will likely stand at near 75+; in any case the highest death toll for a single shooter in the USA ever. I guarantee that Trump will not call it terrorism [because the shooter was not Muslim nor non-white], nor talk/tweet much about it [and certainly NOT mention that it was connected to guns and military grade guns at that] to not upset his 'base' which includes the gun lobby and gun-lovers of the we-love-military-grade-assault-weapons-for-personal-use types. His motive is not known and might not ever be known. He was a 64 year old white gun-loving man who lived in Las Vegas. It was dark and he couldn't see much of anything except a crowd of thousands at which he shot several hundred to a thousand high caliber military-grade bullets at the crowd below his hotel room, apparently without any special targets except to kill as many as possible. We'll hear the little compassion and stupidity from Trump; nothing will be done about assault weapon mania in the hands of right-wing yahoos; no legislation or even debate on gun or ammunition control. Between the police and such 'all-American' terrorists how many have to die before the Country screams 'ENOUGH'! Here in Europe most countries have about 1/10 - 1/50 or less the rate of gun deaths. Wake up America - your mistaken reading of the Second Amendment [meant for Militias and totally out of date; irrelevant now] is killing us. I thing the Police should also be less armed, along with the Military in the USA and the citizens. Guns kill; Military grade guns kill many more and much faster. Sick nation - this being only one of the many symptoms. There are now even 'open carry' into stores, malls, schools, universities, public buildings, etc. No other developed nation on Earth has such - nor do they have the rate of gun related deaths. American is a culture of death - from the Military and the Government on down to the citizenry. Again, insanity. Disarm them all! Reinstate the Posse Comitatus law, stop NORTHCOM, stop DHS, disarm the overarmed police forces and disarm America. The field of psychology has more to say on the perceived need to have weapons and guns, but I'll not go into it. The fact that a debate and votes on guns are for the most part not even allowed now in the USA shows the sickness. It is the desire for power and the power to kill that so many crave - nothing to do with 'protection' - all to do with offensive thanatos.

    Little known is that only 20% of Americans own guns; 30% of households; and that 3% of US Citizens own 50% of all guns in private hands!

    This L.V. killer was able to get off 800 rounds per minute with his FULLY-automatic machinegun, and the shooting lasted for ten minutes - you do the math! The NRA and affiliates are just the lobbying wing of the arms manufacturers. Like the tobacco industry, GMO and many other industries before they have propagandized that their dangerous/deadly products are not only safe, but good for you.

    Whoever is doing the shootings - the named people or false flaggers - doesn't matter on this point - too many gun murders in the USA.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Peter Lemkin; 10-04-2017 at 07:31 PM.
    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. #815

    Default

    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

  6. #816

    Default New Book On TRump's Mental Health vis-a-vis its Danger To The Nation & World

    https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Cas.../dp/1250179459

    The consensus view of two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the nation and our own mental health.
    This is not normal.
    Since the start of Donald Trump’s presidential run, one question has quietly but urgently permeated the observations of concerned citizens: What is wrong with him? Constrained by the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater rule,” which inhibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures they have not personally examined, many of those qualified to answer this question have shied away from discussing the issue at all. The public has thus been left to wonder whether he is mad, bad, or both.
    In THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP, twenty-seven psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health experts argue that, in Mr. Trump’s case, their moral and civic “duty to warn” America supersedes professional neutrality. They then explore Trump’s symptoms and potentially relevant diagnoses to find a complex, if also dangerously mad, man.
    Philip Zimbardo and Rosemary Sword, for instance, explain Trump’s impulsivity in terms of “unbridled and extreme present hedonism.” Craig Malkin writes on pathological narcissism and politics as a lethal mix. Gail Sheehy, on a lack of trust that exceeds paranoia. Lance Dodes, on sociopathy. Robert Jay Lifton, on the “malignant normality” that can set in everyday life if psychiatrists do not speak up.
    His madness is catching, too. From the trauma people have experienced under the Trump administration to the cult-like characteristics of his followers, he has created unprecedented mental health consequences across our nation and beyond.
    It’s not all in our heads. It’s in his.


    Review

    "There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump...profound, illuminating and discomforting" ―Bill Moyers
    "The stand these psychiatrists are taking takes courage, and their conclusions are compelling." ―The Washington Post
    "This insightful collection is grounded in historical consciousness of the ways professionals have responded to fascist leaders and unstable politicians in the past. It is a valuable primary source documenting the critical turning point when American psychiatry reassessed the ethics of restraining commentary on the mental health of public officials in light of the “duty to warn” of imminent danger. Medical and legal experts thoughtfully assess diagnoses of Trump’s behavior and astutely explore how to scrutinize political candidates, address client fears, and assess the 'Trump Effect' on our social fabric." ―Estelle Freedman, the Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University


    About the Author

    Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., is Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. She earned her degrees at Yale, interned at Bellevue, was Chief Resident at Mass General, and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She was also a Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health. She worked in several maximum-security prisons, cofounded Yale’s Violence and Health Study Group, and leads a violence prevention collaborators group for the World Health Organization. She’s written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, edited nine academic books, and is author of the textbook Violence.








    Product details

    • Hardcover: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 3, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1250179459
    • ISBN-13: 978-1250179456
    • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches




    Attached Images Attached Images
    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

  7. #817

    Default

    Donald Trump's Passion for Cruelty

    Thursday, October 05, 2017By Henry A. Giroux







    Donald Trump speaks at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference on February 24, 2017, in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)



    Donald Trump seems addicted to violence.
    It shapes his language, politics and policies.
    He revels in a public discourse that threatens, humiliates and bullies.
    He has used language as a weapon to humiliate women, a reporter with a disability, Pope Francis and any political opponent who criticizes him. He has publicly humiliated members of his own cabinet and party, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a terminally ill John McCain, not to mention the insults and lies he perpetrated against former FBI Director James Comey after firing him.
    Trump has humiliated world leaders with insulting and belittling language. He not only insulted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with the war-like moniker "Rocket Man," he appeared before the United Nations and blithely threatened to address the nuclear standoff with North Korea by wiping out its 25 million inhabitants.
    He has attacked the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico for pleading for help in the aftermath of a hurricane that has devastated the island and left many Puerto Ricans without homes or drinking water.

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    ...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They....
    1:26 PM - Sep 30, 2017


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    ...want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.
    1:29 PM - Sep 30, 2017


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    He has emboldened and tacitly supported the violent actions of white supremacists, and during the presidential campaign encouraged right-wing thugs to attack dissenters -- especially people of colour. He stated that he would pay the legal costs of a supporter who attacked a black protester.
    During his presidential campaign, he endorsed state torture and pandered to the spectacle of violence that his adoring crowds treated like theatre as they shouted and screamed for more.
    Violence for Trump became performative, used to draw attention to himself as the ultimate tough guy. He acted as a mafia figure willing to engage in violence as an act of vengeance and retribution aimed at those who refused to buy into his retrograde nationalism, regressive militarism and nihilistic sadism.
    "Lock Her Up"

    The endless call at his rallies to "lock her up" was more than an attack on Hillary Clinton; he endorsed the manufacture of a police state where the call to law and order become the foundation for Trump's descent into authoritarianism.
    On a policy level, he has instituted directives to remilitarize the police by providing them with all manner of Army surplus weapons -- especially those local police forces dealing with issues of racism and poverty. He actually endorsed and condoned police brutality while addressing a crowd of police officers in Long Island, New York, this summer.
    These are just a few examples of the many ways in which Trump repeatedly gives licence to his base and others to commit acts of violence.
    What's more, he also appears to relish representations of violence, suggesting on one occasion that it's a good way to deal with the "fake news" media. He tweeted an edited video showing him body-slamming and punching a man with the CNN logo superimposed on his head during a wrestling match.
    And recently, he retweeted an edited video from an anti-Semite's account that showed Trump driving a golf ball into the back of Hillary Clinton's head.
    Trump's Domestic Policies Instill Fear

    The violence has found its way into Trump's domestic policies, which bear the weight of a form of domestic terrorism -- policies that instill in specific populations fear through intimidation and coercion.
    Trump's call to deport 800,000 individuals brought to the United States as illegal immigrants through no intention of their own -- and who know no other country than the US -- reflects more than a savage act of a white nationalism. This cruel and inhumane policy also suggests the underlying state violence inherent in embracing the politics of disappearance and disposability.
    There's also Trump's pardon of the vile Joe Arpaio, the disgraced former Arizona sheriff and notorious racist who was renowned by white supremacists and bigots for his hatred of undocumented immigrants and his abuse and mistreatment of prisoners.
    This growing culture of cruelty offers support for a society of violence in the United States. Before Trump's election, that society resided on the margins of power. Now it's at the centre.
    Trump's disregard for human life is evident in a range of policies. They include withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change, slashing jobs at the Environmental Protection Agency, gutting teen pregnancy prevention programs and ending funds to fight white supremacy and other hate groups.
    Budget Punishes Poor Children

    At the same time, Trump has called for a US $52 billion increase in the military budget while arguing for months in favour of doing away with Obamacare and leaving tens of millions of Americans without health coverage.
    Many young, old and vulnerable populations will pay with their lives for Trump's embrace of this form of domestic terrorism.
    He's added a new dimension of cruelty to the policies that affect children, especially the poor. His proposed 2018 budget features draconian cuts in programs that benefit poor children.
    Trump supports cutting food stamp programs (SNAP) to the tune of US $193 billion; slashing US $610 billion over 10 years from Medicaid, which aids 37 million children; chopping US $5.8 billion from the budget of the Children's Health Insurance Program which serves nine million kids; defunding public schools by US $9.2 billion; and eliminating a number of community-assisted programs for the poor and young people.
    These cruel cuts merge with the ruthlessness of a punishing state that under Trump and Attorney General Sessions is poised to implement a law-and-order campaignthat criminalizes the behaviour of the poor, especially Blacks.
    It gets worse. At the same time, Trump also supports policies that pollute the planet and increase health risks to the most vulnerable and powerless.
    Violence an American Hallmark

    Violence, sadly, runs through the United States like an electric current as terrible events in Las Vegas have proven once again. And it's become the primary tool both for entertaining people and addressing social problems. It also works to destroy the civic institutions that make a democracy possible.
    Needless to say, Trump is not the sole reason for this more visible expression of extreme violence on the domestic and foreign fronts.
    On the contrary. He's the endpoint of a series of anti-democratic practices, policies and values that have been gaining ground since the emergence of the political and economic counterrevolution that gained full force with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, along with the rule of financial capital and the embrace of a culture of precarity.
    Trump is the unbridled legitimator-in-chief of gun culture, police brutality, a war machine, violent hypermasculinity and a political and social order that expands the boundaries of social abandonment and the politics of disposability -- especially for those marginalized by race and class.
    He's emboldened the idea that violence is the only viable political response to social problems, and in doing so normalizes violence.
    Violence that once seemed unthinkable has become central to Trump's understanding of how American society now defines itself.
    Language in the service of violence has a long history in the United States, and in this current historical moment, we now have the violence of organized forgetting.
    Violence as a Source of Pleasure

    As memory recedes, violence as a toxin morphs into entertainment, policy and world views.
    What's different about Trump is that he revels in the use of violence and war-mongering brutality to inflict humiliation and pain on people. He pulls the curtains away from a systemic culture of cruelty and a racially inflected mass- incarceration state. He publicly celebrates his own sadistic investment in violence as a source of pleasure.
    At the moment, it may seem impossible to offer any resistance to this emerging authoritarianism without talking about violence, how it works, who benefits from it, whom it affects and why it's become so normalized.
    But this doesn't have to be the case once we understand that the scourge of American violence is as much an educational issue as it is a political concern.
    The challenge is to address how to educate people about violence through rigorous and accessible historical, social, relational analyses and narratives that provide a comprehensive understanding of how the different registers of violence are connected to new forms of American authoritarianism.
    This means making power and its connection to violence visible through the exposure of larger structural and systemic economic forces such as the toxic influence of the National Rifle Association, US arms exports, and lax gun laws.
    "Dead Zones" of Imagination

    It means illustrating with great care and detail how violence is reproduced and legitimized through mass illiteracy and the dead zones of the imagination.
    It means moving away from analyzing violence as an abstraction by showing how it actually manifests itself in everyday life to inflict massive human suffering and despair.
    The American public needs a new understanding of how civic institutions collapse under the force of state violence, how language coarsens in the service of carnage, how a culture hardens in a market society so as to foster contempt for compassion while exalting a culture of cruelty.
    How does neoliberal capitalism work to spread the celebration of violence through its commanding cultural apparatuses and social media?
    How does war culture come to dominate civic life and become the most honoured ideal in American society?
    Unless Americans can begin to address these issues as part of a broader discourse committed to resisting the growing authoritarianism in the United States, the plague of mass violence will continue -- and the once-shining promise of American democracy will become nothing more than a relic of history.

    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

  8. #818

    Default



    LAST NIGHT, THE United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. At least 58 people are dead and over 500 more wounded. No, that’s not a typo: More than 500 people were injured in one single incident.
    As tens of thousands enjoyed a music festival on the streets of Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, was perched 32 floors above them in his Mandalay Bay hotel room. Paddock had 19 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammo — supplies that are plentiful in a nation that has more guns than people. A few minutes after 10 p.m., Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd. They were sitting ducks.
    No expensive wall along the Mexican border would’ve prevented this. No Muslim ban stopping immigrants and refugees from a few randomly selected countries from reaching our shores would’ve slowed this down.




    Paddock, like the majority of mass shooters in this country, was a white American. And that simple fact changes absolutely everything about the way this horrible moment gets discussed in the media and the national discourse: Whiteness, somehow, protects men from being labeled terrorists.
    The privilege here is that the ultimate conclusion about shootings committed by people from commonly nonwhite groups often leads to determinations about the corrosive or destructive nature of the group itself. When an individual claiming to be Muslim commits a horrible act, many on the right will tell us Islam is the problem. For centuries, when an act of violence has been committed by an African-American, racist tropes follow — and eventually, the criminalization and dehumanization of an entire ethnic group.
    A bloodied victim lies on the ground during a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.
    Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

    PRIVILEGE ALWAYS STANDS in contrast to how others are treated, and it’s true in this case, too: White men who resort to mass violence are consistently characterized primarily as isolated “lone wolves” — in no way connected to one another — while the most problematic aspects of being white in America are given a pass that nobody else receives.
    Stephen Paddock’s whiteness has already afforded him many outrageous protections in the media.
    While the blood was still congealing on the streets of Las Vegas, USA Today declared in a headline that Paddock was a “lone wolf.” And yet an investigation into his motivations and background had only just started. Police were only beginning to move to search his home and computers. His travel history had not yet been evaluated. No one had yet thoroughly scrutinized his family, friends, and social networks.
    Paddock was declared a “lone wolf” before analysts even started their day, not because an exhaustive investigation produced such a conclusion, but because it is the only available conclusion for a white man in America who commits a mass shooting.
    “Lone wolf” is how Americans designate many white suspects in mass shootings. James Holmes was called a “lone wolf” when he shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. And Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed the pastor and eight other parishioners, was quickly declared a “lone wolf.”
    For people of color, and especially for Muslims, the treatment is often different. Muslims often get labeled as “terrorists” before all the facts have come out.
    Just consider President Donald Trump. This morning, Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” That’s fine, but Trump doesn’t even seem angry. It’s peculiar that he didn’t call the shooter a “son of a bitch,” like he did the NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem. He didn’t create an insulting nickname for Paddock or make an immediate push for a policy proposal.
    Compare that to how Trump treats incidents where he believes the assailants are Muslims. After a bomb exploded in the London subway, Trump tweeted that the attackers were “loser terrorists” — before British authorities had even named a suspect. He went on to immediately use the attack to push his Muslim ban.
    We must ask ourselves: Why do certain acts of violence absolutely incense Trump and his base while others only elicit warm thoughts and prayers? This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history! Where is the outrage? Where are the policy proposals?
    What we are witnessing is the blatant fact that white privilege protects even Stephen Paddock, an alleged mass murderer, not just from being called a terrorist, but from the anger, rage, hellfire, and fury that would surely rain down if he were almost anyone other than a white man. His skin protects him. It also prevents our nation from having an honest conversation about why so many white men do what he did, and why this nation seems absolutely determined to do next to nothing about it.
    I spoke to two people this morning, one black and the other Muslim. Both of them said that, when they heard about this awful shooting in Las Vegas, they immediately began hoping that the shooter was not black or Muslim. Why? Because they knew that the blowback on all African-Americans or Muslims would be fierce if the shooter hailed from one of those communities.
    Something is deeply wrong when people feel a sense of relief that the shooter is white because they know that means they won’t suffer as a result. White people, on the other hand, had no such feeling this morning, because 400 years of American history tells them that no such consequences will exist for them today as a result of Paddock’s actions.
    It is an exemplar of white privilege: not just being given a headstart in society, but also the freedom from certain consequences of individual and group actions.





    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

  9. #819

    Default

    How to Survive the End of the World


    Survivors try to flee during Hurricane Harvey.
    )

    Amid natural disasters fueled by climate change, President Trump’s flippant comments on nuclear war and overhaul of national nuclear weapons policy, some writers and politicians are speaking out about their concern over possible global disaster and for practical survival measures people can prepare to take.
    The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, said in an interview Sunday that Trump is treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.” The New York Times continues:
    In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”
    “He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”



    Mr. Corker’s comments capped a remarkable day of sulfurous insults between the president and the Tennessee senator — a powerful, if lame-duck, lawmaker, whose support will be critical to the president on tax reform and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.
    The Times also reported that Corker felt Trump had “repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers,” a claim that bears even more significance after the president’s cryptic tweet Saturday that “only one thing will work” to stop North Korea’s nuclear program.

    Follow

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump


    ...hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!
    9:45 PM - Oct 7, 2017










    Trump and Corker feuded on Twitter Sunday morning, with Trump saying. Corker decided not to run for re-election because he “didn’t have the guts.” Mr. Corker said in his own tweet: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
    “I know he has hurt, in several instances, he’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Mr. Corker said to the New York Times.
    On the environmental front, Matthew Stein, author of “When Disaster Strikes,” a comprehensive guide for emergency planning and crisis survival, spoke with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar about practical survival measures people should take at home.
    “Given the new normal, I’d say everybody and their brother should be prepared for emergencies,” he said. “Between climate change, we saw massive hurricanes, we saw earthquakes. A lot of people say, ‘I don’t live in a hurricane area’ or ‘I don’t live in an earthquake area,’ but the fact of the matter is, we live in the electronic age, and when the grid goes down, as we see in Puerto Rico, people are totally messed up. They have no water, no sewage, no smartphones, no access to cash, gasoline pumps. Nothing works when the grid goes down.”
    Stein says practical survival measures are “like car insurance,” in that no one plans to be in a wreck but should be prepared in case disaster does occur. Stein says that one of the most important things people should have on hand is a water purification system, so water from disastrous floods like that in Puerto Rico can be made drinkable.
    Stein’s advice is particularly potent in light of the Trump administration’s ceaseless attempts to undo Obama-era climate protections, including killing a flood safety plan just 10 days before Hurricane Harvey struck, and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement that the agency plans to repeal a major carbon-emissions rule, the Clean Power Plan. ABC News continues:
    The Clean Power Plan caps the amount of greenhouse gases that may be emitted from power plants and was a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s plan to slow the effects of global warming.
    But at [last] Monday’s announcement, Pruitt said the regulation picked “winners and losers,” echoing comments from Trump and other officials that environmental regulations eliminated jobs in businesses like the coal industry.
    “When you think about the Clean Power Plan, it wasn’t about regulating to make things regular,” Pruitt said. “It was truly about regulating to pick winners and losers, and they interpreted the best system of emission reduction is generating electricity not using fossil fuels.”
    The Trump administration’s efforts to undo any and all Obama-era climate protections has been met with resistance from judges, who claim that these efforts violate federal law. The New York Times reported Friday:
    The latest such ruling came late Wednesday, when a federal magistrate judge in Northern California vacated a move by the Department of Interior to delay compliance with rules curbing so-called flaring, a technique oil and gas companies use to burn off leaking methane. Flaring is blamed for contributing to climate change as well as lost tax revenues because the drilling is being done on federal land.
    It was the third time since July that the Environmental Protection Agency or the Interior Department has been found to have acted illegally in their rush to roll back environmental rules. And in three other environmental cases, the Trump administration reversed course on its own after lawsuits accusing it of illegal actions were filed by environmental groups and Democratic state attorneys general.
    The legal reversals reflect how aggressively Mr. Trump’s critics are challenging the administration’s efforts to rescind regulations enacted during the Obama administration, not only related to the environment, but to immigration, to consumer protection and to other areas.
    Trump’s is not the first administration to have environmental decisions overturned as a result of court challenges. Environmentalists who challenged George W. Bush’s loosening of air pollution laws won 27 court rulings during his eight-year presidency.
    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

  10. #820

    Default

    Trump challenges Tillerson to 'compare IQ tests' after reported 'moron' dig


    • Trump suggests IQ battle with Tillerson: ‘I can tell you who is going to win’
    • President also claims of unprecedented legislative success in first nine months



    Martin Pengelly in New York, Sabrina Siddiqui and David Smith in Washington, and agencies
    Tuesday 10 October 2017 18.15 BSTFirst published on Tuesday 10 October 2017 13.22 BST

    Donald Trump has challenged his secretary of state to “compare IQ tests”, if Rex Tillerson did call the president a “moron” as reported.
    Trump told Forbes magazine: “I think it’s fake news. But if he did [say] that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

    Bob Corker: White House is 'adult day care center' and Trump may start WWIII

    The president spoke to the magazine on Friday and the interview was published online on Tuesday. Last week, an NBC story claimed Mike Pence, the vice-president, had to talk Tillerson out of resigning this summer, and that Tillerson had called Trump a “moron”. Some reports said he called the president “a fucking moron”.
    Tillerson said he never considered resigning but did not deny calling Trump a moron. His spokeswoman said he never used such language.
    In brief comments to reporters in the Oval Office hours after Trump’s comments to Forbes were published and ahead of a meeting with Henry Kissinger, the president was asked if he had undercut Tillerson by questioning his IQ.
    “No, I didn’t undercut anybody,” he said. “I don’t believe in undercutting people.”
    Later, at the daily White House briefing, the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, insisted: “The president never implied the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke – nothing more than that. He has full confidence in the secretary of state … They’re working hand in hand to move the president’s agenda forward.”
    She chided reporters: “Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it some time … He’s got 100% confidence in the secretary of state. We’re trying to move forward and talk about the agenda whereas you guys are trying to talk about who likes who.”
    Speaking to Forbes, Trump also claimed to have had “just about the most legislation passed of any president, in a nine-month period, that’s ever served. We had over 50 bills passed. I’m not talking about executive orders only, which are very important. I’m talking about bills.”
    Trump has made such claims of unprecedented legislative success before – and had them debunked. He added: “I also have another bill … an economic development bill, which I think will be fantastic. Which nobody knows about. Which you are hearing about for the first time.”
    Under that bill, he said, companies that kept jobs in America would be rewarded while those sending operations offshore would “get penalized severely”.

    Rex Tillerson says he won't quit but doesn't deny calling Trump a 'moron'

    “It’s both a carrot and a stick,” Trump said. “It is an incentive to stay. But it is perhaps even more so – if you leave, it’s going to be very tough for you to think that you’re going to be able to sell your product back into our country.”
    In a volley of four tweets issued on Tuesday morning, meanwhile, Trump seemed to say he was about to issue an executive action on healthcare. “Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare,” he wrote, “I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people – FAST.”
    Republican attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have repeatedly failed in the Senate amid widespread opposition to plans that, nonpartisan analysis has said, would take access to health insurance away from millions of Americans.
    Trump’s threat of executive action – he has said he may sign an order to allow people to buy insurance across state lines – stood at odds with what he told Forbes. “The Democrats want to make a deal,” he said. “At the same time, I think I have a deal with the Republicans. So I have the best of both worlds. That’s business to a certain extent. I’m very able to make deals with Democrats if I have to.”
    Members of the president’s own party have voted down the ACA replacement plans and one deficit hawk, Bob Corker of Tennessee, has emerged as an establishment voice against planned tax reform. Over the weekend, Trump and Corker engaged in a bizarre exchange of insults on Twitter and, in Corker’s case, through the pages of the New York Times.
    “The failing New York Times set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, coining a new nickname based on Corker’s height (5ft 7in) and accusing the newspaper of malpractice. “[Corker] was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!”
    On Sunday one of the Times reporters, Jonathan Martin, tweeted that Corker had planned his attack. “He had two aides on line, one taping us,” Martin wrote. “Corker is effectively staging a slow-rolling public intervention with Trump.”
    Sanders joined the fray on Tuesday, telling reporters: “Senator Corker is entitled to his own opinion but he’s certainly not entitled to his own facts.”
    She also elaborated on Trump’s claim that Corker is responsible for the Iran nuclear deal, which the president has fiercely criticised. “Senator Corker worked with Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration to pave the way for that legislation and basically rolled out the red carpet for the Iran deal,” she said.
    Sanders was challenged over the claim as reporters noted that Corker had opposed the deal. But she dug in, saying: “He worked with them on the legislation that rolled that out. That’s what helped I think put things in motion. He may have voted against the deal ultimately, but he not only allowed the deal to happen, he gave it credibility. I stand by my statement.”
    Asked if Corker should resign, as Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has demanded, Sanders replied: “I think that’s a decision for Senator Corker and the people of Tennessee, not for us to decide.”

    Trump demands Congress fund border wall as price for keeping Dreamers

    Also on Twitter on Tuesday, Trump turned his fire on Democrats over the possibility of a deal to protect Dreamers, young undocumented migrants brought to the country as children and previously protected by the Obama administration.
    Democratic leaders expressed strong opposition to a list of hardline demands the White House issued on Sunday. Among other measures, the White House said funding for a border wall with Mexico would be part of any accord. Democrats and Dreamers reacted with horror; the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said no deal could proceed if a wall was included.
    “The problem with agreeing to a policy on immigration is that the Democrats don’t want secure borders,” Trump wrote on Tuesday. “They don’t care about safety for USA.”
    Trump also complained again about the NFL, in which player protests during the anthem continue. “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our anthem, flag and country?” he wrote. “Change tax law!”
    The NFL gave up its federal tax-exempt status a few years ago and files tax returns as a taxable entity.
    The final tweet of the early morning sequence took aim at ESPN and an anchor suspended over the anthem controversy. The tweet also returned to one of Trump’s main preoccupations: ratings.
    “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked’. In fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!”
    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

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