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

  1. #541

    Default Not many House Members are willing to be arrested at DHS.

    NERMEEN SHAIKH: In Chicago, federal police handcuffed Democratic Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez along with activists and lawyers Monday after they held a sit-in protest at a federal immigration office. Gutiérrez says the group refused to leave the Chicago office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, after the agency’s regional director refused to answer his questions about the Trump administration’s plans for immigration sweeps and mass deportation. Gutiérrez spoke out on Monday after he was handcuffed.
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: We’ve accomplished our goal today. We stood up to the Department of Homeland Security and to Donald Trump’s hatred, bigotry today against refugees, against Muslims, against our immigrant community. And we stood up and said, "Your policies are morally bankrupt."
    AMY GOODMAN: Monday’s meeting was Gutiérrez’s first with ICE officials since President Trump’s inauguration. Last month, Congressman Gutiérrez and fellow Congressional Hispanic Caucus member Norma Torres of California said Republican lawmakers had them thrown out of a meeting with a top ICE official.
    For more, we are staying with Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez, who’s now back in Washington, D.C. He’s a member of the House Judiciary Committee and is co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
    Congressman Gutiérrez, describe what happened on Monday.
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Well, we had a meeting with ICE officials, as you reported. There were many community organizations, legal defense funds there. A group of us insisted that we receive answers to specific questions.
    Much has been reported on the case of Francisca Lino. She’s a Mexican national. For 12 years, she has reported dutifully to ICE and to Homeland Security, and each year they said, "Come back next year." She is a mother of four American citizens, and an American citizen husband. And they have been showing discretion in terms of their enforcement action towards her—until this last meeting. And they won’t reverse their decision. We asked them. We demanded they reverse that decision. They keep saying to us, in a very—in this contradiction of terms, they keep saying to the American public, "We’re going after the criminals. We’re going after the bad people, the people that are out there to do harm." Well, they’re not. Francisca Lino, she’s a mom. She’s a—and she’s reported for 12 consecutive years. What changed? The only thing that changed was that Donald Trump got sworn in as president of the United States, and you have—you have Bannon and Miller, and you have the new attorney general of the United States, Sessions, who have all been talking. They didn’t start—they didn’t all come together during this administration. They have been cooperating with one another for many years, waiting to institute this kind of xenophobic, anti-immigrant policies.
    Second—and I think this is very, very crucial—last Friday, through a series of tweets—imagine—the Department of Homeland Security, through a series of tweets, said, A, "Oh, those DREAMers, those that have got DACA, we’ve picked up 1,500 of them. They’re criminals and gang bangers." And then they went on to say in another tweet, "Oh, we’re going to go after them if they violate the law. DACA doesn’t give them protection against being criminals." Again, 750,000 wonderful young people—they’re doctors, they’re lawyers, they’re nurses, they’re school teachers in the Chicago public school system, they’re workers, they’re students—criminalizing them once again and saying they no longer have the protection against deportation. I thought it was important that we ask a fundamental question: Are you going after DACA recipients? Because we know you’ve done it in Washington state, we know you’ve done it in Mississippi, and we have other cases in which you have done it.
    So, look, somebody’s got to stand up. If I tell people it’s right to give your government information—to give your information over to the government, go through a background check, that you’re going to be right with the law, and you are right with the law, and you have done absolutely nothing wrong, other than another president got elected, you’ve got to stand up for those people that have stood up for themselves. That’s what we were doing that day. And we said to them, "Until we have answers, we will not leave." Look, it shows you what happens with a system which is run by bullies. And what did they do? They handcuffed us. And as soon as they handcuffed us and they saw that we weren’t—didn’t have any fear, they released us. I’ve never seen such a situation before.
    But the most important thing is, we raised the issue to the American public. And we’re going to continue to do that. And I’m really excited about the fact that, come this May 1st, across this country, we’re going to fill dozens of cities in a International Day of Workers in which immigrants are going to be the primary showcase of American workers.
    NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I want to ask you about Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., a Mexican-born legal permanent resident of the U.S., an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He arrived in the U.S. at the age of eight and now faces deportation.
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Yes.
    NERMEEN SHAIKH: This is his father, Miguel Perez Sr., speaking through a translator to the Chicago Tribune.
    MIGUEL PEREZ SR.: [translated] He was in special forces in the Army. And they sent him to Afghanistan. So, he was there from 2001 to 2003 in the first one. He came really proud, very happy. And I was very proud of him, as well, because he defended the Constitution, he defended the system, defended this land, defended the flag. And like my son says, "I was there. I was confronting there. I was in front of the battle. I should—I deserve an opportunity. I don’t know why I have to be deported."
    NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, that was Miguel Perez Sr., the father of Miguel Perez. Now, he is a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Yes, yes.
    NERMEEN SHAIKH: How is it possible to deport him?
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Well, because the Trump administration can and will. And he is under an order of deportation. He has recently lost his case. And I think—I’m so happy you’re highlighting. We have—he’s not the only veteran. There are literally hundreds of veterans that have served in the armed forces of the United States and, like Mr. Perez, are decorated veterans. Mr. Perez wasn’t—has never been a U.S. citizen. He’s a legal permanent resident, a green card holder. His mom is a citizen. His dad is a citizen. All of his family are citizens, with his exception. Under the Bush administration, he was supposed to be facilitated the process of American citizenship when he joined the armed forces. That did not happen. But he went on to serve not one tour of duty, but two. And I find it just so reprehensible that an administration led by a president of the United States that on multiple occasions refused to bear arms for this nation when he was called upon, said he had a bone spur—a bone spur that hasn’t stopped him from playing on every golf course in every continent of the world—would deport someone who did take up arms and wasn’t even a citizen of the United States—not one tour, but two tours.
    So, look, we’re going to continue to fight for Mr. Perez. We are asking senators to look at this case and to file a private bill. And what is that? A private bill is when a senator says, "Here is my bill. Because of these extraordinary circumstances, I want to file this bill to make this individual a citizen of the United States, because that seems to be the one road." And you’re going to be hearing, Amy, more and more about them. They are along the border, by the hundreds, destitute.
    Now, I want the American public to know one thing: Mr. Perez gets to come back after he’s deported. You know when he gets to come back? When he’s dead. He gets to come back in a coffin and buried in a military cemetery for his service to this country. But while he’s alive, he cannot live here.
    NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Representative Gutiérrez, could you explain what the argument is that the Trump administration is using to justify his deportation?
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Well, that he committed a crime. And he did. He was convicted of a felony. And look, I think you need to take everything into account. Yes, he’s suffering greatly from PTSD. He has wounds, head wounds, that have caused him great debilitation. That’s going to have an impact. That has an impact on a lot of our men and women who return and have a great difficulty. But look, you have to take that and balance that out with what? With the fact that this is the only country that he knows. They should have facilitated his American citizenship, because had he been an American citizenship, he would have simply been—gone to trial, paid his time and then be reintegrated into society.
    We think this is an exceptional case in which the government should—and just so that we’re clear, I called the prosecutors, and I said, "This begs for you to show discretion. You do not have to deport Mr. Perez. You can show discretion and withdraw the charges. He’s already paid his—he went to jail for five years. The sentence of the judge, he fulfilled it completely. Don’t add an additional—how would I say?—burden to this man. Let him reintegrate, where he needs his family more than ever before." But we have hundreds of veterans like this that are on the other side of the border who have served in the armed forces of the United States faithfully and dutifully.
    AMY GOODMAN: Last month, President Trump called his deportation plans a "military operation" during his meeting with CEOs.
    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You see what’s happening at the border. All of a sudden, for the first time, we’re getting gang members out. We’re getting drug lords out. We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country, and at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation, because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you’ve read about like never before, and all of the things, much of that is people that are here illegally. And they’re rough, and they’re tough, but they’re not tough like our people. So we’re getting them out.
    AMY GOODMAN: If you could respond to that, Congressman Gutiérrez—
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Sure.
    AMY GOODMAN: —what he’s saying? Also the fact that the budget’s just been released and, you know, massively upping the Pentagon budget, Homeland Security budget, including paying for the wall, that President Trump said he would never do?
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: Sure. Look, again, what they are doing is this new act of criminalizing all immigrants, right? So, every time—and they only talk about one border. They don’t talk about the border at JFK or the one at LAX or Miami or the one in O’Hare, where literally hundreds of thousands of immigrants come on a monthly basis, and millions of immigrants that have overstayed their visa arrived in the United States. They want to focus on brown people. They want to focus on that border with Mexico. And they want to make it appear that you have everything to fear from these bad hombres, because the criminal cartel that impacts your life is only the one that comes through that border. Nonsense.
    Look, the fact is that border—entries through the border are at a record low and continuing to be reduced. You know who’s showing up at that border? Refugees. Yes, refugees from Guatemala, from El Salvador, that are coming from Honduras. Why? Because there are criminal cartels that are there. And let me just suggest to the American public this: Those criminal cartels are there because of the insatiable demand that exists in the United States for the drugs that they run into the United States, number one.
    NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Representative Gutiérrez—
    REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ: It’s an American dollars, it’s American guns, that are using and fortifying those cartels.
    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

  2. #542

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    I agree Pete. Brilliant and very ominous too. Allow me to be boring but everything he says speaks of the Collective Shadow that has become bloated to the point of disaster.

    I think his solutions are very sensible. However, as with the days of the Third Reich fear immobilises people. MY fear is that the great bulk of people will simply turn away from messages such as this and watch their entertainment and sports and burrow into these distractions rather than face these realities. That's what's been happening for the past four decades.
    Well, needless to say I hope you are wrong, but there certainly is that risk, as the tendency over the last decades has been the zombification of the Plebs. Time to roll up our sleeves and try to wake them from their near-brain-dead existences. I'm not overly optimistic, but think there is a slim chance if people will only awake and see what is [and has been] going on! Just 9/11 or 7/7 alone [and one could name hundreds or thousands of others equally disinformation and evil] should be enough to get people off of their TV couches, their thumbs endlessly off of their facebook page - unless they want to make it political, not always going to/watching gladiator sports games, and all the other brain numbing escapist activities.
    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

  3. #543

    Default Ralph Nader At His Best - Attacking Trumphalism and the Dumbocraps too.

    To get response to President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal to Congress, which calls for an unprecedented $54 billion increase in military spending while slashing scores of other programs and eliminating whole agencies, we go to Ralph Nader, four-time presidential candidate, longtime consumer advocate and corporate critic. Ralph, your response?
    RALPH NADER: Well, so much for Donald Trump’s campaign promises to the forgotten men and women of America. They’re the ones who are the big losers, as you pointed out with your many examples of these budget cuts. Overall, this is a budget that reflects corporatism, militarism and racism. The mask is off Donald Trump, his braggadocio, his lurid promises, his assurances that everything will be safe, and people will have—all people will have health insurance, and there will be plenty of jobs. The mask is off. The fangs are now out. And he is collaborating with what is, on the record, the most vicious, ignorant Republican Party in its history, since 1854. Senator Robert Taft, a conservative in the Senate in the 1950s, would have been astonished at the viciousness, the corporatism, the militarism, the racism of these Republicans, with few exceptions.
    Now, when you go into this 50-page-or-so budget—the details will all come out, Amy, in May, in a bigger budget. When you go into it, you see that Sean Spicer’s daily assurances, that they want to go after what he calls inefficiency, waste and government duplicity, leaves out hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate fraud on the taxpayer. For example, they talk about the need to cut healthcare in this way and that way and push 14 million people off the health insurance rolls in a year, and 24 million by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office, or thereabouts. Just look at this. He says he doesn’t—he doesn’t want to fund programs that don’t work. OK. Almost $10 billion a year, since Reagan—a year—is spent on a total boondoggle project in the Pentagon called ballistic missile defense. It doesn’t work. It won’t work. We’re talking about the intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Society of Physicists, which includes physicists who consult with the Pentagon, have said that it won’t work, it’s too easily decoyed by balloons. There are a lot of other easier ways to get nuclear weapons in a country than this way. And yet, as a corporate welfare program for Raytheon, Boeing and others, it goes on every day. Now, this is a budget inside the Pentagon that’s bigger than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. So, you see they’re not going after the corporate crime, the corporate waste, the corporate fraud, that lathers itself throughout the federal budget.
    Imagine. They talk about health insurance programs. OK, so they’re going to squeeze Medicaid. They’re going to threaten to corporatize Medicare. They’re cutting taxes on the drug companies, which was going to pay for Obamacare, on the health insurance companies, on the medical device companies, a few little taxes on the rich—getting rid of all of those in the pursuit of efficiency. Now look what they don’t talk about. They don’t talk about what the Government Accounting Office of the U.S. Congress said years ago, that 10 percent of all healthcare expenditures in this country goes down the drain because of computerized billing fraud and abuse. And that is considered a conservative figure by the expert on this, professor Malcolm Sparrow at Harvard University. Now, that means $340 billion—that’s with a B—this year down the drain. So if they’re interested in efficiency, why don’t you go after corporate crime? Just go to CorporateCrimeReporter.[com], and you’ll see more of this.
    The second thing that’s fascinating and very tragic is that when they talk about healthcare and efficiency, they’re not talking about the huge numbers of people who die because they cannot afford health insurance to get diagnosed and treated in time. And now it’s about 35,000 a year. That’s based on an extrapolation from a Harvard Medical School peer-reviewed study that appeared in the Journal of Public Health in 2009. They never talk about that. They never talk about 60,000 people losing their lives every year due to air pollution—EPA figures. They never talk about 58,000 people losing their lives due to workplace-related diseases and trauma—OSHA figures.
    So we know what their game is. So this whole corporatism, militarism, racism is a huge opportunity for just 1 percent of people becoming active and focusing on the one branch of government that can have beneficial consequences for the 2018 election, as well as stop the Trumpsters in their tracks, and that’s the U.S. Congress. So, you had less than a couple hundred thousand people in the last few weeks, Amy, apart from the demonstrations in Washington on January 21st, go to congressional town meetings. And the Republicans who were there came back to the Congress, and they were shuddering. They said, "What’s going on here? I mean, something’s changing. The seats are no longer empty." They used to have town meetings where sometimes the staff was more numerous than the attendees. Now, there are three major recesses in Congress, two coming up before the one-month August recess. Fill those seats. If the congresspeople do not have town meetings—they’re already considering canceling them or having telephone town meetings—so much for meeting the people—then you have your own town meetings. You announce your own town meetings, and you have a formal summons to your senators and representatives on a set date in a convenient public location, where they have to address your agenda. That’s why I wrote this book, Breaking Through Power, a little paperback, 140 pages. And it shows the way, how very few people have changed our country throughout the history. And it never takes more than 1 percent, often far less than 1 percent, to do so. So this is a great opportunity. By being so cruel, vicious and blatantly apparent in trying to further transform our government into the pits of militarism, corporatism and racism, it can become like a boomerang, if people take advantage of it.
    AMY GOODMAN: Well, you certainly—
    RALPH NADER: And the summons—the summons itself, Amy, is in this book, the formal summons by the people back home to the senators and representatives.
    AMY GOODMAN: Well, you certainly see the effect of this, for example, on Senator Tom Cotton, and the massive anger and response when he held a town hall meeting, with thousands there. You see Darrell Issa in California, perhaps for the first time we’ve seen him changing as a result of the huge town hall meeting, after he refused to—as we see all over the country, people putting up "wanted" signs for their congressmembers and actually take out ads in the papers, saying "wanted" or "have you seen?"
    RALPH NADER: Yes, and not only that, but one of the worst members of Congress now, the head of the Oversight Committee in the House, Jason Chaffetz from Utah, found a thousand people at his town meeting, with 200, 300 outside. They couldn’t get in. They’re trying to say, you know, these are just professional organizers, and they’re paid. There was a 60-year-old couple in western New York that came in with a sign and said, "We’re not paid, Congressman Reed, but you are," which raises the question: Once people back home say to their members of Congress, "Don’t you dare pass any cuts for the vulnerable, the poor, the middle class, unless you have to share the same one"—so if they had a terrible health insurance bill, that the members of Congress have to be under it. Now they have taxpayer-paid nice health insurance bill, they have nice life insurance—health insurance, rather, plan, a nice life insurance plan. They even have housing assistance. They get almost $200,000 a year, and they have housing assistance, and they have huge pensions. So, if you force them to basically say, "What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You want to do it to us, you, our representatives, so-called? Then you’re going to have to adhere to the same standards." You’ve got to have face-to-face interaction with members of Congress, not just massive rallies where the energy often goes into the ether on a weekend. You’ve got to get them into these public auditoriums or town halls back home, where you confront them face to face. Here’s another problem.
    AMY GOODMAN: Wait. Let me—let me go to—
    RALPH NADER: Yeah.
    AMY GOODMAN: —the clip of Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who was confronted, to say the least, by an absolutely packed auditorium, with perhaps as many people outside, as well, or more.
    SEN. TOM COTTON: But that’s one reason why so many people come to the United States to get healthcare, because our healthcare system is the best in the world.
    ARKANSAS CONSTITUENT: So, my question is: If we’re so concerned about the deficit, why are we building a wall that costs $20 billion?
    AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who was fierce in taking on President Obama. But he came back from this town hall meeting, and he said, talking about the Affordable Care Act, "You have to do this slowly. You have to start again. There is no rush." Ralph Nader, talk about what’s happening, specifically around the Affordable Care Act.
    RALPH NADER: What’s happening is, you have left-right opposition to what the Republicans and Trump are doing. That’s the big opportunity now. I think Senator Cotton was shaken, because he looked at that auditorium, and he said, you know, "Some of these people are my supporters." And when you get a left-right alliance back home on the senators, representatives, it’s politically unstoppable. So you have this health—so-called health insurance system—it’s not healthcare, often it’s confused—a health insurance system proposal that is going to throw millions of people off the rolls. It’s soliciting corporate support by getting rid of these taxes I mentioned on the health insurance industry and the medical device. But the hospital lobby is upset with Trump on this proposal. They see real problems down the road, and they’re already putting ads in papers. And they’re going to be a—they’re going to be joining with a lot of citizens in opposing this.
    Now, there is an argument, Amy, that these crazy proposals—they are so nutty. I mean, they’re cutting further the IRS budget so it can’t collect any of the $430 billion that is uncollected taxes in this country. How are they going to pay for all this stuff, this infrastructure and so on? A lot of this stuff is really nutty. They’re increasing the Department of Homeland Security budget, but the indications are they want to cut the Coast Guard budget. So they can use money to build the wall, they’re going to further debilitate the hard-pressed Coast Guard, which is providing security and rescue on the coastlines of America. But what I think is going on here is these are trial balloons. Trump has this idea, throughout his business career and bankruptcies, where he says outrageous things, and then he backs down a little, and people say, "Oh, he’s really much more reasonable." So I think we’re seeing here a trial balloon situation to get the response. And in May, they’ll probably moderate these cuts.
    But make no mistake about it: When you have Steve Bannon in the White House, when you have the Roy Cohn in the White House—name is Steve Miller—basically, influencing or pushing the more extreme attributes of Donald Trump in terms of militarism, corporatism and racism, there is going to be a lot of tension with some of the heads of the Cabinet. And that’s going to be in the news shortly. There’s going to be a lot of tension, for example, between the secretary of the interior, who does not want to sell off the public lands, who’s looking at a budget which is going to facilitate the selling off of some of the public lands. So—
    AMY GOODMAN: Before we get to public lands, I want to ask you about Meals on Wheels.
    RALPH NADER: Yes.
    AMY GOODMAN: During Thursday’s news conference, the OMB head, Mick Mulvaney, described the budget as "compassionate" when he was asked about cuts being made.
    JIM ACOSTA: Just to follow up on that, you were talking about the steelworker in Ohio and the coal miner in Pennsylvania and so on, but those workers may have an elderly mother who depends on the Meals on Wheels program, who may have kids in Head Start. And yesterday or the day before, you described this as a "hard-power budget," but is it also a hard-hearted budget?
    MICK MULVANEY: No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s—I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do to actually—you’re—
    JIM ACOSTA: Cut programs that help the elderly and kids?
    MICK MULVANEY: You’re only focusing on half of the equation, right? You’re focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place.
    AMY GOODMAN: So, he’s saying the reporter is only focusing on the person who will lose Meals on Wheels, an elderly, perhaps disabled, veteran, Ralph Nader.
    RALPH NADER: Yeah, look at the asymmetry, the cruel asymmetry. He’s a very glib guy—you’re going to get used to him—Mick Mulvaney, extremely radical, extreme in terms of cutting budgets that deal with vulnerable, sick, powerless people. He’s a bully, pure and simple. But there are other budgets that are going to be cut. Law enforcement on nursing homes are going to be cut. Public transit support is going to be cut, like Amtrak, that affect lower-income people.
    So, we’re looking here—we should also pay some attention to the Democratic Party, Amy. Can they rise to the occasion? I mean, look at the wonkish talk of—that you just showed a clip of, of Nancy Pelosi: "deconstruction of the federal government." Boy, that really excites people to get out on the streets, doesn’t it? They’ve got to talk in common language. People are going to lose their lives because of this budget, here and abroad. They’re cutting support for international famines. They don’t want our country to be a humanitarian power, just a military brute force power. We’ve got a situation where you have a regime that’s going to be very soft on corporate crime. After all, you’ve got a former businessman, Donald Trump, who shafted his consumers, his workers, his creditors; used bankruptcy, in his terms, as a competitive advantage; tried to avoid all possible taxes. He’s shut down casinos, unemployed workers. Atlantic City is increasingly desolate economically, in part due to his bad business acumen.
    So, what you have is—what is the Democratic Party going to do? You have this group, Indivisible.org, which tells you, by the way, when there are town meetings with members of Congress back home. But what is the Democratic Party going to do? Are they going to field candidates in all 50 states who are viable? Are they going to spend their time dialing for corporate dollars? Or are they going to go the Bernie Sanders way, in small contributions in big volume? Are they going to really push for single payer? There are 64 members of the House, Democrats, who have signed on to John Conyers’ single payer. It’s HR 676, the gold standard. And they’re keeping quiet about it. They’re not pushing it, because Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are telling them, "Keep quiet about single payer," supported by 60 percent of the American people already—
    AMY GOODMAN: So, Ralph—
    RALPH NADER: —according to a Pew poll.
    AMY GOODMAN: Ralph, let me take that for one example. How would you see that playing out if at this point, when there’s major questioning of Obamacare, but clearly the Republican Party is crumbling over the repeal and replace, of whatever Ryan has put forward—clearly, it’s not going to be in the form he wants it. If you see this is the moment for single payer, for Medicare for all, how would you see it working? How would you see them strategizing to introduce it now?
    RALPH NADER: Well, it’s a good idea for some of the progressive press to start talking about it, instead of getting mired in what’s being done to Obamacare. You almost never see the questions—Chuck Todd and others on Sunday TV programs—so they get it into the public dialogue.
    But here’s what I see. Check out The Wall Street Journal recently. There was a lead editorial on what’s going on with Obamacare and the Republicans, etc. And at the end, they said, if the Republicans lose this battle to get rid of Obamacare, they might as well get on board with single payer, because that’s going to be the future of politics. And that was reaffirmed by a columnist in The Wall Street Journal very recently, this week, Henninger, who basically said the same thing. So here you have these right-wing corporatists basically saying, if the Republicans fall on this attempt to create this cockamamie system that deprives people of health insurance and gets rid of the ways to fund it by all these tax cuts on these corporations and so on, if they fail, then the only alternative left—that’s the way they talk in The Wall Street Journal—is full Medicare for all, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital, none of these narrow networks like in West Virginia, and which is called single payer.
    So, the opportunity for the Democrats is classic. This is the time to move. And what do you see? The chief issue of Senator Bernie Sanders, when he’s running for president last year, was full Medicare for all, single payer. Has he introduced a bill yet? He hasn’t even introduced a bill yet in the Senate. Here’s the leader of the single-payer movement, being told by Chuck Schumer and others, "Stay low. Keep quiet, Bernie. We’ve got to deal with the Republicans trying to dismantle Obamacare."
    AMY GOODMAN: Let me go to—
    RALPH NADER: So the—yeah, so—
    AMY GOODMAN: Let me go to foreign policy, very quickly.
    RALPH NADER: Yeah.
    AMY GOODMAN: You have the secretary of state, former head of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, now in Asia. In Korea, in South Korea, he goes to the Demilitarized Zone. He says that the U.S. is going to take a different approach, may well take a military approach. At the same time, on the same trip, he endorses the massive cuts to the State Department. And we know the defense secretary, James Mattis, once famously said, while serving as the commander of U.S. Central Command, "If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition." Is this budget, in itself, leading to war?
    RALPH NADER: Well, it certainly diminishes the diplomatic capability and the Foreign Service capability of the State Department. And what do you think is going to take the—fill the vacuum? But the State Department itself, under both Republicans and Democrats, and Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Ms. Rice, they’re all—they’re all militarists. And you began to wonder. The militarist language coming out of the State Department was often more militant than coming out of the Department of Defense. So, even though the budget is going to be cut, the question is: Is the culture of the State Department going to be true to their ancient charter, which was not just dealing with customs, but being the harbinger of diplomacy, the harbinger of soft impact on the world, the harbinger of negotiations?
    For example, all this talk on cyberwarfare and cybersecurity, there isn’t a single move by our federal government in the last 20 years to bring all these nations together for an international treaty on cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, like was done in nuclear arms control with the Soviet Union and the chemical and biological warfare treaties. Rex Tillerson is sort of a dilemma wrapped into a conundrum. We don’t know what’s going on with him, other than he’s very, very low-key. But I was just looking at some—
    AMY GOODMAN: Not just low-key, secretive, not allowing any reporters on the plane, but a reporter with a—
    RALPH NADER: Yes.
    AMY GOODMAN: —a news organization most people don’t know the name of, that was set up by two Republican consultants, who has not covered the State Department in any regular way before. But, Ralph, before we end, the whole issue of Donald Trump saying that President Obama wiretapped him? We just have less than a minute right now before we move on to our next segment.
    RALPH NADER: Well, first of all, it’s been repudiated by his Republican allies in the House Intelligence Committee. That’s a pretty severe thing. Second, he’s in control of all the classified information. He’s now president. He can say to the NSA, the CIA, he can say, "The FISA court decisions, bring them to me and prove my point," which was charging Obama, absurdly, with wiretapping Trump Tower in New York. And he hasn’t done that. And they say he hasn’t done it, because he doesn’t want to see that he’s interfering in the investigation. He wants Congress to do so. OK, already, his own Republicans on the Intelligence Committee are repudiating him. I think there should be a national petition demanding that Donald Trump do what he’s never done in his life, and that is publicly apologize to President Obama. It’s not that President Obama didn’t start six undeclared wars in six countries abroad, in the Middle East and elsewhere, which Donald Trump is pursuing. But on this one point, he’s got to show some humility and remorse.
    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’s War on Dangerous Memory and Critical Thought

    Posted on Mar 16, 2017

    By Henry A. Giroux / Tikkun

    People living in the United States have entered into one of the most dangerous periods of the 21st century. President Donald Trump is not only a twisted caricature of every variation of economic, political, educational, and social fundamentalism, he is the apogee of an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian culture committed to destroying free speech, civil rights, women’s reproductive freedoms, and all vestiges of economic justice and democracy.
    Trump is the fascist shadow that has been lurking in the dark since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Authoritarianism has now become viral in America, pursuing new avenues to spread its toxic ideology of bigotry, cruelty, and greed into every facet of society. Its legions of “alt-right” racists, misogynists, and xenophobic hate-mongers now expose themselves publicly, without apology, knowing full well that they no longer have to use code for their hatred of all those who do not fit into their white-supremacist and ultra-nationalist script.
    Trump’s victory makes clear that the economic crisis and the misery it has spurred has not been matched by an ideological crisis– a crisis of ideas, education, and values. Critical analysis and historical memory have given way to a culture of spectacles, sensationalism, and immediacy. Dangerous memories are now buried in a mass bombardment of advertisements, state sanctioned lies, and a political theater of endless spectacles. The mainstream media is now largely an adjunct of the entertainment industries and big corporations. Within the last 40 years training has taken the place of critical education, and the call for job skills has largely replaced critical thinking. Without an informed public, there is no resistance in the name of democracy and justice; nor is there a model of individual and collective agency rising to such an occasion. Of course, power is never entirely on the side of domination, and in this coming era of acute repression, we will have to redefine politics, reclaim the struggle to produce meaningful educational visions and practices, find new ways to change individual and collective consciousness, take seriously the need to engage in meaningful dialogue with people left out of the political landscape, and overcome the factionalism of single-issue movements in order to build broad based social movements.
    Manufactured ignorance erases histories of repression, exploitation, and revolts. What is left is a space of fabricated absences that makes it easy, if not convenient, to forget that Trump is not some eccentric clown offered up to the American polity through the deadening influence of celebrity and consumer culture. State and corporate sponsored ignorance produced primarily through the disimagination machines of the mainstream media and public relations industries in diverse forms now function chiefly to erase selected elements of history, disdain critical thought, reduce dissent to a species of fake news, and undermine the social imagination. How else to explain the recent Arkansas legislator who is pushing legislation to ban the works of the late historian Howard Zinn? How else to explain a culture awash in game shows and Realty TV programs? How else to explain the aggressive attack by extremists in both political parties on public and higher education? Whitewashing history is an urgent matter, especially for the Trump administration, which has brought a number of white supremaciststo the center of power in the United States.
    The great novelist, Javiar Marias, captures in a recent interviewwhy memory matters, especially as a resource for understand the present through the lens of the past. He writes:
    I do not know what I might say to an American young person after Trump’s election. Probably that, according to my experience with a dictatorship – I was 24 when Franco died – you can always survive bad times more than you think you can when they start, when “thus bad begins.” Though the predictions are terrible, I suppose we must all wait and see what Trump does, once he is in office. It looks ominous, indeed. And [Vice President Mike] Pence does not seem better, perhaps even worse. It is hard to understand that voters in the United States have gone against their own interests and have decided to believe unbelievable things. One of the most ludicrous interpretations of Trump’s victory is that he represents the poor, the oppressed, the people “left behind.” A multimillionaire, and a very ostentatious one to boot? A man who surrounds himself with gilded stuff? A guy whose favorite sentence is, “You’re fired!”? A bloke who has scorned blacks, Mexicans, women, and of course, Muslims in general? He is the elite that he is supposed to fight. Indeed, it is a big problem that nowadays too many people (not only Americans, I’m afraid) don’t know anything about history, and therefore cannot recognize dangers that are obvious for the elder ones (those with some knowledge of history, of course, be it first- or second-hand).
    As Marias suggest, historical legacies of racist oppression and dangerous memories can be troublesome for the neo-fascist now governing American society. This was made clear in the backlash toBen Carson’s claim that slaves were immigrants, Trump’s insistence that all black communities are crime-ridden, impoverished hellholes, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s assertion that historically black colleges and universities were “pioneers of school choice.” Memories become dangerous when exposing this type of ideological ignorance aimed at rewriting history so as to eliminate its fascist and poisonous legacies. This is particularly true of the genocidal brutality waged against Native Americans and Black slaves in the United States and its connection to the memory of Nazi genocide in Europe and the disappearance of critics of fascism in Argentina and Chile in the 1970s.
    Dangerous memories are eliminated by political reactionariesin order to erase the ugliness of the past and to legitimate America’s shop worn legacy of exceptionalism with its deadening ideology of habitual optimism, one that substitutes a cheery, empty Disney-like dreamscape for any viable notion of utopian possibility. The Disney dreamscape evacuates hope of any meaning while attempting to undercut a radical utopian element in the conceptual apparatus of hope that speaks to the possibility of a democratic future very different from the authoritarian present. Jelani Cobb is right in insisting that “The habitual tendency to excise the most tragic elements of history creates a void in our collective understanding of what has happened in the past and, therefore, our understanding of the potential for tragedian in the present.” The revival of historical memory as a central political strategy is crucial today given that Trump’s white supremacist policies not only echo elements of a fascist past, they also point to the need to recognize as Paul Gilroy has observed “how elements of fascism appear in new forms,” especially as “the living memory of the fascist period fades.” What historical memory makes clear is that subjectivity and agency are the material of politics and offer the possibility of creating spaces in which “the domestic machinery of inscriptions and invisibility” can be challenged. Catherine Clement is right in arguing that “Somewhere every culture has an imaginary zone for what it excludes and it is that zone we must try to remember today.” Historical and dangerous memories inhabit that zone in today’s neo-fascist social order.
    While it would be irresponsible to underestimate Trump’s embrace of neo-fascist ideology and policies, he is not solely answerable for the long legacy of authoritarianism that took on a frontal assault with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. This neoliberal attack was later embraced in the Third Way politics of the Democratic Party, its expansion of the mass incarceration state, and solidified under the anti-democratic, war on terror, permanent war policies of the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations. During this period, democracy was sold to the bankers and big corporations. Whistleblowers were sent to prison. The financial elite and the CIA tortures were given the green light by the Obama administration that they could commit the gravest of crimes and act with impunity. This surge of repression was made possible mostly through the emergence of a savage neoliberalism, a ruthless concentration of power by the ruling classes, and an aggressive ideological and cultural war aimed at undoing the social contract and the democratic, political and personal freedoms gained in the New Deal and culminating in the civil rights and educational struggles of the 1960s.
    Trump’s unapologetic authoritarianism has prompted Democratic Party members and the liberal elite to position themselves as the only model of organized resistance in such dark times. It is difficult not to see such moral outrage and faux pas resistance as both comedic and hypocritical in light of these centrist liberals have played in the last forty years–subverting democracy and throwing minorities of class and color under the bus. As Jeffrey St. Clair observes, “Trump’s nominal opponents,” the Democrats Party are “encased in the fatal amber of their neoliberalism” and they are part of the problem and not the solution. Rather than face up to their sordid history of ignoring the needs of workers, young people, and minorities of class and color, the Democratic Party acts as if their embrace of a variety of neoliberal political and economic policies along with their support of a perpetual war machine had nothing to do with paving the way for the election of Donald Trump. Trump represents the transformation of politics into a Reality TV show and the belief that the worth of a candidate can only by judged in terms of a blend of value as an entertainer and an advertisement for casino capitalism. Chris Hedges gets it right in revealing such hypocrisy for what it is worth – a carnival act. He writes:
    Where was this moral outrage when our privacy was taken from us by the security and surveillance state, the criminals on Wall Street were bailed out, we were stripped of our civil liberties and 2.3 million men and women were packed into our prisons, most of them poor people of color? Why did they not thunder with indignation as money replaced the vote and elected officials and corporate lobbyists instituted our system of legalized bribery? Where were the impassioned critiques of the absurd idea of allowing a nation to be governed by the dictates of corporations, banks and hedge fund managers? Why did they cater to the foibles and utterings of fellow elites, all the while blacklisting critics of the corporate state and ignoring the misery of the poor and the working class? Where was their moral righteousness when the United States committed war crimes in the Middle East and our militarized police carried out murderous rampages? What the liberal elites do now is not moral. It is self-exaltation disguised as piety. It is part of the carnival act.
    The production of dangerous memories and critical knowledge and the democratic formative cultures they enable must become central to resisting the armed ignorance of the Trump disimagination machine. While such knowledge is the precondition for militant resistance, it is not enough. A critical consciousness is the precondition of struggle but is only the starting point for resistance. What is also needed is a bold strategy and social movement capable of shutting down this neo-fascist political machine at all levels of government through general strikes, constant occupation of the political spaces and public spheres under the control of the new authoritarians, and the creation of an endless wave of educational strategies and demonstrations that make clear and hold accountable the different ideological, material, psychological, and economic registers of fascism at work in American society. This is a time to study, engage in critical dialogues, develop new educational sites, support and expand the alternative media, and fight back collectively. It will not be easy to turn the tide, but it can happen, and there are historical precedents.

    The main strategies of change and political agency, in part, have to focus on both the young and those most vulnerable to the dictates of neo-fascism. Young people, workers, and those now considered disposable, especially, are the driving force of the future and we have to both learn from them, support them, contribute where possible, and join in their struggles. At the same time, as Robin D.G. Kelley argues in his Boston Review article, “After Trump,” “we cannot build a sustainable movement without a paradigm shift. Stopgap, utilitarian alliances to stop Trump aren’t enough. … So where do we go from here? If we really care about the world, our country, and our future, we have no choice but to resist.”[xiv] This would also suggest building up unions again and putting their control in the hands of workers; working to build sanctuary cities and institutions that would protect those considered the enemies of white supremacy – immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, and those others considered disposable. Politics has to be revived at the local and state levels, especially given the control of 56 percent of state legislatures by right-wing Republicans. There is also a need to make education central to the formation and expansion of study groups throughout the country and to further a public pedagogy of justice and democracy through the alternative media and when possible in the mainstream media. Central to the latter task is expanding both the range of dialogue regarding how oppression works focusing not merely on economic structures but also the ways it functions ideologically, psychologically (as Wilhelm Reich once argued), and spiritually as Michael Lerner has pointed out in his book, The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right.
    It is not enough for progressives and others to examine the objective forces and underlying conditions that have pushed so many people to give up on politics, undercut acts of solidarity, and dismantle any viable notion of hope in the future. It is also crucial to understand the crippling emotional forces and psychological narratives that cripple them from the inside out.
    It is worth repeating that at the core of any strategy to resist the further descent of the United States into authoritarianism, progressives must recognize that stopping Trump without destroying the economic, political, educational and social conditions which produced him will fail. In part a successful resistance struggle must be both comprehensive and at the same time embrace a vision that is as unified as it is democratic. Instead of reacting to the horrors and misery produced by capitalism, it is crucial to call for its end while supporting a notion of democratic socialism that speaks to the needs of those who have been left out of the discourse of democracy under the financial elite. At stake here is the need for both a language of critique and possibility, a rigorous analysis of the diverse forces of oppression and a discourse of educated hope.Such a task is both political and pedagogical. Not only do existing relations of power have to be called into question, but notions of neoliberal commonsense learning have to be disconnected from any democratic sense of political agency and notion of civic literacy. As Michael Lerner insightfully observes, rather than engaging in a politics of shaming, progressives have to produce a discourse in which people can recognize their problems and the actual conditions that produce them. This is not just a political but a pedagogical challenge in which education becomes central to any viable notion of resistance. Making education central to politics means the left will have to remove itself from the discourse of meritocracy that often is used to dismiss and write off those who hold conservative, if not reactionary, views. Not doing so only results in a discourse of shaming and a self-indulgent congratulatory stance on the part of those who occupy progressive political positions. The hard political and pedagogical work of changing consciousness, producing new modes of identity, desires, and values conducive to a democracy doesn’t stop with the moral high ground often taken by liberals and other progressives. The right-wing knows how to address matters of self-blame and anger whereas the left and progressives dispense with the pedagogical challenges posed by those vulnerable groups caught in the magical thinking of reactionary ideologies.
    While it is crucial to address the dramatic shifts economically and politically that have produced enormous anger and frustration in American society, it is also important to address the accompanying existential crisis that has destroyed the self-esteem, identity, and hopes of those considered disposable and those whom Hillary Clinton shamelessly called a “basket of deplorables.” The ideological mix of untrammeled individualism, self-reliance, a culture of fear, and a war against all ethic has produced both a profound sense of precarity and hopelessness among not only immigrants, poor people of color, but also among working class whites who feel crushed by the economy and threatened by those deemed other as well as demeaned by so called elites.
    Resistance will not be easy and has to take place on multiple fronts while at the same time enabling a view of politics that understands how a new class of financial scavengers operates in the free flow of a global space that has no national allegiances, no respect for the social contract, and exhibit a degree of power that is unparalleled in its ability to exploit, produce massive inequality, destroy the planet, and accelerate human suffering across and within national boundaries. Resistance is no longer an option, it is now a matter of life or death. The lights are going out on democracy across the globe and the time to wake up from this nightmare is now. There are no guarantees in politics, but there is no politics that matters without hope, that is, educated hope. This is not merely a call for a third political party, progressives need to create a new politics and new social and political formations. For instance, instead of mounting resistance through a range of single issue movements, it is important to bring such movements together as part of a broad-based political formation.
    Any vision for this movement must reject the false notion that capitalism and democracy are synonymous. The crisis of democracy has reached its tipping point, and once again the possibilities for reclaiming the ideals and practices of democratic socialism seem capable of moving a generation of young people and others to act. Under the reign of Trump, the words of Frederick Douglass ring especially true:
    If there is no struggle, there is no progress. …This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
    Trump’s election is surely a tragedy for democracy and a triumph for neo-fascism and it must be challenged and stopped on a variety of levels. Yet, making clear Trump’s anti-democratic ideology and practices will not put an end to the current stage of neo-fascism in the United States, especially when memory no longer makes a claim on our understanding of the past. Trump’s election has unleashed a brand of savage capitalism that not only has and will continue to have horrible consequences, but is deeply rooted in a mode of historical and social amnesia that eliminates its relationship to an authoritarian past. Memory loses its role as a vehicle of liberation when policies that produce savage modes of austerity, inequality, racism, and contempt for public goods become frozen in historical time and consciousness and as such become normalized. Under such circumstances, organized structures of misrecognition define and legitimate memory as a threat.
    Memory, reason and thoughtfulness have to awake from the narcotizing effects of a culture of spectacle, consumerism, militarism, and the celebration of unchecked self-interests. A society that enshrines the war of all against all, elevates self-interest as its highest ideal, reduces responsibility to a solely individual undertaking, makes distrust a virtue, and turns love and compassion into a pathology points to a social order that has lost its memory of self-worth, dignity, justice, and compassion. Evil in politics is no longer a figment of the past but a present day reality enshrined in the ethos of neoliberalism. The body of democracy is on life support and the wounds now being inflicted upon it are too alarming to either ignore or normalize.
    A shorter version of this article was published in CounterPunch.
    Henry A. Giroux is a contributing editor for Tikkun magazine and the McMaster University Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest and The Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books include “The Violence of Organized Forgetting” (City Lights, 2014), “Dangerous Thinking in the Age of the New Authoritarianism” (Routledge, 2015), coauthored with Brad Evans, “Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle” (City Lights, 2015), and “America at War with Itself” (City Lights, 2016). His website iswww.henryagiroux.com.

    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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    Henry A. Giroux's article was excellent until he got to this:

    solidified under the anti-democratic, war on terror, permanent war policies of the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations. During this period, democracy was sold to the bankers and big corporations. Whistleblowers were sent to prison. The financial elite and the CIA tortures were given the green light by the Obama administration that they could commit the gravest of crimes and act with impunity.


    Bush-Cheney opened CIA torture black sites and okayed waterboarding.

    How is that the same as Obama closing CIA black sites and outlawing waterboarding?

    How was the Obama-Putin negotiated removal of chemical weapons from Syria the same as Bush-Cheney invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

    How was the Obama-led negotiated removal of nuclear weapon technology from Iran part of a strategy of permanent war?

    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his Drone Terror Campaign, which creates more jihadism than it takes off the battlefield, but let's not indulge the false equivalency that Obama's policies were identical to Bush's.

    A million dead Iraqis by the hand of Bush tell otherwise.

    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his crackdowns on whistle-blowers and undocumented aliens, but let's not forget that Trump's proposals in these areas are far worse.

    The passage of Obamacare was the first top-to-bottom wealth transfer since the New Deal, so let's not forget Trumpcare's $1 trillion bottom-to-top wealth transfer proposal.

    Obama made the internet a utility, preserving net neutrality -- let's not forget Trump's denunciation of net neutrality and vow to kill it.

    Same sex marriage, trans-folks rights, the $11 billion returned to victims of credit card abuse, the opening to Cuba.

    Let's critique the Obama years with clear eyes, but let's quit pretending he was just like Clinton/Bush.

    Where the hell is Giroux's near-term "memory"?

    Last edited by Cliff Varnell; 03-18-2017 at 06:04 PM.

  6. #546

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    "Let's critique the Obama years with clear eyes"?
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  7. #547

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post

    How is that the same as Obama closing CIA black sites and outlawing waterboarding?




    Hey he outlawed all the black sites? And nothing bad ever happened in them again... and they lived happily ever after.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post


    How was the Obama-Putin negotiated removal of chemical weapons from Syria the same as Bush-Cheney invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?


    Obama and Putin? Not even Putin and Obama? I am sure Obama resupplied the 'rebels' with more to make up for their losses.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post


    How was the Obama-led negotiated removal of nuclear weapon technology from Iran part of a strategy of permanent war?
    Yep Obama sure put an end to all that permanent war business didn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post
    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his Drone Terror Campaign, which creates more jihadism than it takes off the battlefield, but let's not indulge the false equivalency that Obama's policies were identical to Bush's.

    A million dead Iraqis by the hand of Bush tell otherwise.


    Yeah, the millions of Syrians and Libyans who are dead and lost and destroyed just hate false equivalences too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post

    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his crackdowns on whistle-blowers and undocumented aliens, but let's not forget that Trump's proposals in these areas are far worse.
    And the apparatus was kindly set up and reinforced by Obama. And he used it extensively. But don't mention that. Proposals versus deeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post


    The passage of Obamacare was the first top-to-bottom wealth transfer since the New Deal, so let's not forget Trumpcare's $1 trillion bottom-to-top wealth transfer proposal.





    Wow. Obamacare transferring wealth to for profit insurance companies is now top to bottom wealth distribution?
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

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    My comments in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magda Hassan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post

    How is that the same as Obama closing CIA black sites and outlawing waterboarding?




    Hey he outlawed all the black sites? And nothing bad ever happened in them again... and they lived happily ever after.


    Excuse me?

    Are you claiming that Obama didn't close CIA black sites?



    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post


    How was the Obama-Putin negotiated removal of chemical weapons from Syria the same as Bush-Cheney invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?


    Obama and Putin? Not even Putin and Obama? I am sure Obama resupplied the 'rebels' with more to make up for their losses.

    Okay. Putin and Obama. Feel better?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post


    How was the Obama-led negotiated removal of nuclear weapon technology from Iran part of a strategy of permanent war?
    Yep Obama sure put an end to all that permanent war business didn't he?

    I never made that claim. Are you denying that the Iran nuke deal didn't fit the permanent-war program?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post
    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his Drone Terror Campaign, which creates more jihadism than it takes off the battlefield, but let's not indulge the false equivalency that Obama's policies were identical to Bush's.

    A million dead Iraqis by the hand of Bush tell otherwise.


    Yeah, the millions of Syrians and Libyans who are dead and lost and destroyed just hate false equivalences too.

    Millions of Libyans?

    I suppose Assad was an innocent by-stander in the death of Syrians?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post

    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his crackdowns on whistle-blowers and undocumented aliens, but let's not forget that Trump's proposals in these areas are far worse.
    And the apparatus was kindly set up and reinforced by Obama. And he used it extensively. But don't mention that.

    What part of "Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his crackdowns on whistle-blowers and undocumented aliens" didn't you understand?

    Proposals versus deeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post


    The passage of Obamacare was the first top-to-bottom wealth transfer since the New Deal, so let's not forget Trumpcare's $1 trillion bottom-to-top wealth transfer proposal.





    Wow. Obamacare transferring wealth to for profit insurance companies is now top to bottom wealth distribution?

    No, the nearly $1 trillion tax on the wealthy to fund the medicaid expansion was top to bottom wealth distribution.

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    March 19, 2017 | DonkeyHotey and Klaus Marre The Abdication of Morality

    To Love or Deport Thy Neighbor


    “Illegal aliens” or “undocumented immigrants” — what to call the people currently living in the United States without valid documents? How about José and Maria, Wang and Xiang, “mommy” and “daddy?”
    As families are being torn apart by immigration raids every day, the nation’s leaders should not lose sight of the reality that their decisions will affect millions of human beings — and the moral standing of their country.
    While President Donald Trump would have Americans believe that only “bad hombres” are being deported, the facts on the ground look different. In fact, the rate of non-criminals affected is about 50%, which is much higher than in previous years.
    But numbers don’t tell the entire story. This column intentionally does not delve into the economic consequences of mass deportations, because these deportations have far more than economic consequences, and create harms that cannot be captured by dollars and cents. In many cases, the only thing these immigrants did “wrong” was to walk across a desert from Mexico to the United States in search for a better life.
    Millions of them found it. They worked, paid taxes, became respected members of their communities, got married and had American kids. Coming to the US with nothing, they are the embodiment of the American Dream.
    Deporting these moms and dads and breaking up their families is a much bigger crime than crossing a border without papers could ever be.
    Equally scandalous is a proposed plan of separating mothers from their children if they are caught crossing the border together without the proper documents. It would be an example of government-mandated cruelty.
    At stake is not just the fate of these families, but also a part of the American soul. The US has a long history of atrocities and injustices committed against minorities and adversaries — from the near-eradication of the indigenous North American population to the enslavement of Africans, the internment of Japanese Americans and, most recently, the torture of prisoners.
    Immigration, however, has been one of the bright spots in the country’s history and the narrative surrounding it has generally matched reality. At a time when the United States’ standing as the “leader of the free world” is in great jeopardy, the Trump administration and GOP leaders in Congress should think long and hard before they continue pursuing a strategy that will tarnish one of the few areas in which the US has been truly exceptional.
    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. #550

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Varnell View Post
    Henry A. Giroux's article was excellent until he got to this:

    solidified under the anti-democratic, war on terror, permanent war policies of the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations. During this period, democracy was sold to the bankers and big corporations. Whistleblowers were sent to prison. The financial elite and the CIA tortures were given the green light by the Obama administration that they could commit the gravest of crimes and act with impunity.


    Bush-Cheney opened CIA torture black sites and okayed waterboarding.

    How is that the same as Obama closing CIA black sites and outlawing waterboarding?

    How was the Obama-Putin negotiated removal of chemical weapons from Syria the same as Bush-Cheney invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

    How was the Obama-led negotiated removal of nuclear weapon technology from Iran part of a strategy of permanent war?

    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his Drone Terror Campaign, which creates more jihadism than it takes off the battlefield, but let's not indulge the false equivalency that Obama's policies were identical to Bush's.

    A million dead Iraqis by the hand of Bush tell otherwise.

    Obama deserves plenty of criticism for his crackdowns on whistle-blowers and undocumented aliens, but let's not forget that Trump's proposals in these areas are far worse.

    The passage of Obamacare was the first top-to-bottom wealth transfer since the New Deal, so let's not forget Trumpcare's $1 trillion bottom-to-top wealth transfer proposal.

    Obama made the internet a utility, preserving net neutrality -- let's not forget Trump's denunciation of net neutrality and vow to kill it.

    Same sex marriage, trans-folks rights, the $11 billion returned to victims of credit card abuse, the opening to Cuba.

    Let's critique the Obama years with clear eyes, but let's quit pretending he was just like Clinton/Bush.

    Where the hell is Giroux's near-term "memory"?

    Cliff, On some things the Obama Administration were better [or less bad] than what came before or after. On others, there was little change. On a few, such as drone strikes, NDAA, going after whistleblowers, bank bail-outs with none going to jail or even charged [and others], Obama may well have been even worse. If I had to choose, I'd choose Obama over Bush or Trump for sure - but that is not the real issue - nor choice. The 'pluses' were not ever going to change the system to be a fair and democratic one. Now, we have one that will make such a change even more difficult. Obama was infinitely more intelligent and savvy than Trump and cared a little [little is the operative word] for those at the bottom - on some things domestic; not on others that really displeased his 'masters'. Trump cares about no one but himself and his rich oligarch cronies. All that said, and I could detail more on the plus and minus side for Obama, in the end he carried out the 'usual' foreign policies and kept the trickle up going on, with the wars and the National Security State et al. We need none of the above - we need a total change. I miss having an African-American in the White House, especially when replaced by a White bigot and worse. As for the majority of Obama's important policies, they were the same old, same old [in part due to the Congress - but in part due to his agenda or that of those who pulled his strings]. Yes, on a few things he was more humane, but given Bush and Trump that was easy as pie. He did however mislead his flock. Hope and Change was his big theme and that hope and change never, IMO, came to pass - he really misled his followers. This endless hope for the lesser of evils will get us nowhere but with an 'evil', by definition. We can and must do better.
    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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