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This is how tyranny begins
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:53 am    Post subject: This is how tyranny begins - in USA & elsewhere Reply with quote

Reich on shades of the Third Reich: 'This is how tyranny begins'

[Trump's appreciation to his supporters: "...you were going crazy. You
were nasty and mean and vicious"]


Why President Trump Will Continue to Hold Rallies
Robert Reich
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Donald Trump has just finished the last of his nine post-election "thank
you tour" rallies. Why did he do them? And why is he planning further
rallies after he becomes president?

One clue is that Trump conducted them only in the states he won. And most
attendees appeared to have voted for him – overwhelmingly white, and
many wearing Trump hats and T-shirts. When warm-up speakers asked how many
had previously attended a Trump rally, most hands went up.

A second clue is that rather than urge followers to bury the hatchet,
Trump wound them up. "It's a movement," hesaid in Mobile
playfully telling the crowd that in the run-up to the election, "You
people were vicious, violent, screaming, 'Where's the wall?' 'We want the
wall!' Screaming, 'Prison!' 'Prison!' 'Lock her up!' I mean, you were
going crazy. You were nasty and mean and vicious." He called his followers
"wild beasts."

A third clue: Rather than shift from campaigning to governing, Trump's
post-election rallies were almost identical to the rallies he held when he
was a candidate – the same format, identical pledges ("We will build a
great wall!"), and same condemnations of the "dishonest" media. They also
elicited many of the same audience responses, such as "Lock her up! Lock
her up!"

And rather than use the rallies to forgive those who criticized him during
the campaign, he employed them to settle scores — criticizing
politicians who opposed his candidacy, like Ohio Governor John Kasich;
blasting media personalities who predicted he would lose, such as CNN's
John King; and mocking opponents, such as Evan McMullin, the Republican
who campaigned against him as an independent in Utah.

[Clip, clip]

If repeatedly told Muslims are the enemy, the public may support efforts
to monitor them and their places of worship inside America, or even to
confine them. If told that tide of undocumented immigrants is rising (in
fact, it's been falling), the public could get behind draconian policies
to keep them out.

If told to ignore scientific evidence of climate change, the public may
reject efforts to reverse it. If told to disregard CIA reports of Russian
tampering with our elections, the public could become less vigilant about
future tampering.

In short, the rallies and tweets give Trump an unprecedented platform for
telling Big Lies without fear of contradiction
– and therefore for
advancing whatever agenda he wishes.

It's no coincidence that Trump continues to denigrate the media, and
hasn't held a news conference since July.

A president intent on developing a base of enthusiastic supporters who
believe boldface lies poses a clear threat to American democracy. This is
how tyranny begins
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:43 am    Post subject: Hail the Leader! Reply with quote

I like watching this bloke's little daily videos... He makes a lot of sense most of the time and he rightly concerned about tyranny because that is how Hitler started out as leader and Trump admires Hitler it seems having read a copy of his book and having it beside his bedside... Maybe he refers to it just before sending his early hours of the morning tweets and rants against everyone and anyone...... Mark my words already Trump supporters have started saying Hail or Heil and giving the Nazi salute at his rallies and I suspect it will become even more frequent and prevalent as time goes on super grin
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject: Trump and the neo-Nazis Reply with quote

Seeing the pictures of those crowds with their arms raised in the Nazi salute is frightening. Eek

What will the USA be like in 4 years? dead
Music Where have all the flowers gone?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:54 pm    Post subject: NO! We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America! Reply with quote

NO! We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:13 pm    Post subject: What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us... Reply with quote


Long but Excellent reading ...

What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us About The Strange Reaction To Donald Trump
While it’s important to watch the president-elect closely, we also must be mindful of our own response to him.

On election night, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had a revelation. Matthews, with a pained expression, began to piece together the basis for Hillary Clinton’s pending defeat. She had failed to communicate a tough position on illegal immigration. She had supported bad trade deals. She had not renounced all of the “stupid wars.”

Her presidential rival, Donald Trump, on the other hand, had waged what Matthews called a “legitimate” campaign on these issues, a claim that seemed to stretch the bounds of legitimacy, but Matthews was not alone. In the following days and weeks, others would make similar claims implying a victory that, weeks before, had been impossible was actually inevitable ― and liberalism was largely to blame.

People magazine put Trump on its cover in November, a month after one of its journalists, Natasha Stoynoff, accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2005. The magazine’s editor-in-chief reassured readers that they stood by their journalist and her allegations, but Trump had “made history” and thus earned the cover.

In a New York Times op-ed, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” Mark Lilla argued that “moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity” had “distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.” Trump’s popularity, Lilla argued, was not a consequence of a white backlash (whitelash) but rather a reaction to “the omnipresent rhetoric of identity or ‘political correctness.’”

Michael Lerner, in another New York Times op-ed, “Stop Shaming Trump Voters,” argued that “the pain and rage of the Trump voter is legitimate” after decades of this constituency being ignored or attacked by the left for cultural and religious reasons. He added that “we need to reach out to Trump voters in a spirit of empathy and contrition” and reassured us that “the racism, sexism and xenophobia used by Mr. Trump to advance his candidacy does not reveal an inherent malice in the majority of Americans.”

These reactions to Trump and his supporters have a way of separating ideas that usually move in tandem. Facts and truth are suddenly unrelated. Power no longer implies responsibility. Legitimacy and decency are now somehow passengers on separate ships. In this dynamic, People magazine can champion both the perpetrator and the victim and see no contradiction or betrayal. Lilla can use the victory of a campaign steeped in identity politics to highlight the ineffectiveness of identity politics. And Lerner can argue that a campaign “advanced” by sexism, racism and xenophobia can tell us much about the targets of that bigotry, i.e. that they need to behave differently, but little about the supporters of that campaign.

So, why the rush to defend Trump’s supporters? Why the self-recriminations? Why the willingness to stretch the bounds of legitimacy to accommodate Trump’s antics? Much has been written about Trump’s demagoguery and its similarity to totalitarian leaders of the past, but what about Trump’s opponents? Are many of us borrowing a page from totalitarianism without realizing it? Are we empowering him? Are we coordinating?

The word Gleichschaltung is often translated from the German as “coordination” and refers to the process of ― politically speaking ― getting in line. It often appears in books about the Nazi era. German Jewish philologist Victor Klemperer and German journalist Joachim Fest wrote about the personal cost of coordinating in their respective memoirs. German author Sebastian Haffner and Americans including journalist William Shirer wrote about the propaganda and politics of coordination.

German-born Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, in one of her last interviews, explains it best.

“The problem, the personal problem, was not what our enemies did, but what our friends did. Friends ‘coordinated’ or got in line.” And this coordination was not necessarily due to the “pressure of terror,” said Arendt, who escaped Germany in 1933. Intellectuals were particularly vulnerable to this wave of coordination. “The essence of being an intellectual is that one fabricates ideas about everything,” and many intellectuals of her time were “trapped by their own ideas.”

People rejected the uglier aspects of Nazism but gave ground in ways that ultimately made it successful. They conceded premises to faulty arguments. They rejected the “facts” of propaganda, but not the impressions of it. The new paradigm of authoritarianism was so disorienting that they simply could not see it for what it was, let alone confront it.

Outside of Germany people often wonder at the palpable fraudulence of Nazi propaganda, the stupid incredible exaggerations, the ludicrous reticences concerning what is generally known. Who can be convinced by it? They ask. The answer is that it is not meant to convince but to impress. Sebastian Haffner, in 1940’s “Germany: Jekyll and Hyde”

The faulty premise that empowered Hitler and helped place him in the German mainstream was called the Dolchstoss or the legend of the “stab in the back.” It argued that, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Germany was winning World War I only to have politicians surrender prematurely.

Hitler, as a political figure, was the embodiment of this hack theory. While many rejected Hitler’s anti-Semitism and bellicosity, his deep sense of having been wronged by Germany’s surrender in World War I ― a war in which he fought ― gave him authenticity. It also created a hole in the German Republic’s legitimacy that he and his followers barreled through.

Before there were the camps and murders ― and the euphemisms to hide all of the camps and all of the murders ― there was this feel-good lie that should have been dismissed ― along with the people telling it, from the beginning.

In today’s United States, the suggestion that illegal immigration is the cause of the economic struggles of working-class whites is an American Dolchstoss. Mechanization, globalization and the decline of unions have affected working-class whites to a far greater extent than illegal immigration ― or immigration of any kind. And this is not an obscure fact or liberal talking point. Yet many who supposedly reject Trump’s scapegoating of illegal immigrants seem willing to concede it.

The debates about how or what, if anything, workers can do to combat this reality are endless, but the claim that immigrants are to blame is the talking point of the demagogue, not a reflection of economic reality.

When the decline of working-class jobs was perceived as a problem for African-Americans primarily, the neoliberal and conservative positions were much less sympathetic. According to William Julius Wilson’s 1996 book, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, “Between 1967 and 1987 Philadelphia lost 64% of its manufacturing jobs; Chicago lost 60%; Detroit 51%.” This meant hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, disproportionately affecting African-Americans. The solution from conservatives? “Migrate” was black conservative Shelby Steele’s prescription. “Get new skills,” said others. And even more popular was “behave more like Asians.” Yet whites need an entirely new mythology, even if that mythology hurts prospects. According to a recent Politico article by Dana Goldstein, “America: This Is Your Future,” “Rust Belt cities that are attracting immigrants are in better shape than those, like Dayton, Ohio, with fewer foreign-born residents.” Yet, “the people who are upset about immigration live in areas where immigration has had very little impact. A lot of the upset is symbolic.” The symbolism and the propaganda form a kind of feedback loop, each reinforcing the other, regardless of the underlying truths ― or lack thereof.

In his 1940 book, Germany: Jekyll and Hyde, Haffner explains this relationship between impression and propaganda, even for those opposed to the Reich. He writes, “Outside of Germany people often wonder at the palpable fraudulence of Nazi propaganda, the stupid incredible exaggerations, the ludicrous reticences concerning what is generally known. Who can be convinced by it? They ask. The answer is that it is not meant to convince but to impress. It addresses emotion and fantasy. Nazi propaganda seeks to create in our minds tenacious ideas and fantasies.”

In Haffner’s time, the tenacious ideas and fantasies were the subhuman images of the Reich’s enemies. Many Germans rejected the “facts” of this propaganda: that Czechoslovakia or Poland posed existential threats to Germany and the German people, but the impression of the propaganda remained. “The image,” Haffner wrote, “of the Czechs and Poles as a snub-nosed, unpleasant, dwarfish half-ape brandishing a revolver, whip or rubber truncheon at a number of barely clad women, children, and blond men bound to posts.” Who could trust such a person? Why risk it?

Trump’s propaganda about Mexican rapists and Muslim terrorists operates in a similar way. The informed listener knows that most rapes are committed by perpetrators that are known to the victim. They know that most terrorist attacks in the United States are committed by non-Muslims, but the impression that those groups are not to be trusted ― that to trust them is taking an unnecessary risk ― remains.

The impressions born of the propaganda give birth to discussions that worsen the problem. Commentator Van Jones, for example, debated CNN panelists recently about discrimination against Muslims. To support his argument that Muslims are not the enemy, he cataloged many of the positive attributes of the Muslim community as if Americans that are hostile to Muslims are acting in good faith based on bad information rather than cherry-picking incidents to support their underlying prejudices. Jones reminded viewers and other panelists that Muslims have low crime rates, high educational achievement and high rates of entrepreneurship. The fact that it needs to be said demonstrates the relative power of the people asking the questions to those who must answer. It morphs questions about Muslims into a kind of Muslim Question that exists not to seek answers but to emphasize the otherness of the Muslim community and to limit its rights.

While on the campaign trail in February, Trump urged followers to “knock the hell” out of protesters, promising to pay their legal bills if they were arrested and charged. That same February in Fort Worth, he promised a crowd that he would “open up our libel laws” so that news outlets can be sued for writing “false” or “purposely negative” articles. In July, he urged Russia to interfere in the election on his behalf, later saying he was joking. In September, he urged still other supporters to “monitor” polling stations. In October, he promised when victorious to throw his rival, Hillary Clinton, in jail. And just recently he advocated revoking the citizenship of Americans who burn flags.

So, in the last year, Trump has flirted with or, maybe more his style, groped and pawed at totalitarianism, yet the advice from many is to “give him a chance” ― or to coordinate.

In 1949, Harvard psychologists Jerome Bruner and Leo Postman performed a study that helps explain the contradiction. Bruner and Postman recruited two dozen college students to participate in a study of perception and expectations. The experiment involved playing cards. Participants were shown a series of cards. Most of them were standard playing cards, but included in the series were several trick card: a black four of hearts, a red six of spades, a red six of clubs, to name a few. Each card was presented, and the participant was instructed to identify it correctly.

There were four possible reactions to the trick cards. The first was “recognition,” or describing the trick card accurately. The second was “disruption,” or being confused by the card and as a result be unable to describe it. The third option was “compromise,” which mixes the incongruities in the cards: the black four of hearts is reported as “grayish”; the red six of spades is reported as “purple.”

The fourth and most common reaction by far was “dominance.” The participants expected to view a normal series of cards, so when faced with a trick card their minds approximated, and the trick card became the most similar normal card: a red spade was identified as a red heart or diamond; a black heart was identified as a spade.

The report of the study, “On the Perception of Incongruity: A Paradigm,” said, “Our major conclusion is that perceptual organization is powerfully determined by expectations built upon past commerce with the environment. When such expectations are violated by the environment, the perceiver’s behavior can be described as resistance to the unexpected or incongruous.”

The participants could only see what they expected to see. Their minds coordinated. For many Americans, the expectations of the game are divided government, stability and continuity regardless of what the candidate promises. However, if the new regime has embraced authoritarianism, then there will be trick cards in the deck that have to be identified correctly and challenged.

“Patriotism” became a trick card in Klemperer’s memoir and study of Nazi language, The Language of the Third Reich. Klemperer wrote of a Jewish neighbor, Frau K, who continued to speak with pride about Germany and the “Fuhrer,” despite having been deemed subhuman by the regime. Patriotism and deference to leadership ― respect for the office of the president, as we call it ― might have elevated Frau K in the old paradigm, but in the new one it worsened her condition.

“Divided government” became a trick card in Shirer’s 1960 history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, when Hitler pushed through the Enabling Act and, “In five brief paragraphs,” took the power to legislate, approve treaties, and initiate constitutional amendments away from Parliament. A divided government essentially “committed suicide,” according to Shirer, and bequeathed its power to a dictator.

There were many others, but “dominance” made them difficult to recognize. Joachim Fest writes in his memoir Not I, “At first, the countless violations of the law by our new rulers still caused a degree of disquiet. But among the incomprehensible features of those months, my father later recalled, was the fact that soon life went on as if such state crimes were the most natural thing in the world.” Those months would turn to years. Not the thousand years that Hitler had predicted, but enough to cause millions of deaths.

We should not waste our time or imaginations trying to reconfigure Trumpism to explain why all of the “good people” supported him. It is more important to see it for what it is and resist. Hopefully, they will join us. If not, it will not be necessary to call them names, they will have named themselves.

CORRECTION: This article previously misidentified Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner as “James Bruner.”
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Trump and the neo-Nazis Reply with quote

Anémone wrote:
Seeing the pictures of those crowds with their arms raised in the Nazi salute is frightening. Eek

Here are some photos:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: NO! We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America! Reply with quote

murat wrote:
NO! We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America!



All well and good,this "Month of Resistance", but I don't see how it can possibly succeed in stopping the "Trump-Pence" regime from taking power on January 20th, 2017.

We can petition, protest, march, demonstrate all we want, nothing will change. We saw that with the petition to the Electoral College.

In his "The Resistance" show, Keith Olbermann talks good. He believes in what he says. That hasn't helped a bit either.

We're in for four nightmare years. With a little luck, in two years, maybe the tide will turn a little with the mid-term elections. But even that will be of little help. Trump will still be president. God only knows what restrictive laws he will have promulgated by then.

We may "refuse to accept a fascist America", but I don't see how we can, realistically, avoid it. Except move to another country for the next four years. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:53 am    Post subject: Trump posse browbeats Hill Republicans Reply with quote

Lawmakers are loath to say anything remotely critical, fearful they might
set off the president-elect or his horde of enforcers.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:32 am    Post subject: Priebus: Trump is the "new King" Reply with quote

On facebook

Dan Rather:

I am sorry to break the Christmas spirit, but a colleague brought the
issue of GOP Chairman Reince Priebus' Christmas message to my attention
and, even on a holiday - news is news.

The controversial part of the message reads:

"Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who
would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three
wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the
good news of a new King."

Many on social media reacted in outrage to what they read as an equation
of Donald Trump to Jesus. A few hours later CNN reported "RNC spokesman
and incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the reference
had nothing to do with Trump. 'Christ is the King in the Christian

I am just not sure how one would explain the word "new" in the quote.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: How Extreme Partisanship Opens the Authoritarian Door Reply with quote


How Extreme Partisanship Opens the Authoritarian Door
History shows us that extreme polarization opens the door to authoritarianism. It’s not too late—but we’re standing right at that door now.
Evan McMullin
01.10.17 1:00 AM ET

Every so often, the value of liberty must be relearned and such a time may be upon America.

In 1750, my fifth great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Archibald McMullin and Martha Richards, departed Ireland and braved the Atlantic Ocean in search of liberty and opportunity in America. Martha passed away a few years later in Massachusetts, leaving Archibald alone with three sons until he remarried Anna Powell, with whom he had six more children, including Archibald Jr. By 1778, the younger namesake had enlisted in the Continental Army and would serve two nine-month tours in the Revolutionary War.

Their respective struggles forced both McMullin generations and their contemporaries to answer a fundamental question: What is the value of liberty?

Since then, history has required other generations to answer the same question. For some, the Civil War provided the circumstances. For others, it was World War II, the Cold War, or the civil rights movement. For these generations, the value of liberty was intimately felt through threats to its survival. Being an American meant defending it.

The Founders warned of the fragility of liberty and our system of government, but most Americans today have seen little evidence of that. For the past several decades, our basic rights and the integrity of our democratic system that protects them have been relatively secure. For many, they’ve seemed even automatic.

That may explain why only about 30 percent and 40 percent of Americans born in the 1980s and 1970s, respectively, believe it’s essential to live in a democracy, according to research by Harvard lecturer Yascha Mounk; while about 74 percent of those born in the 1930s consider it to be.

Perhaps the value of liberty is a lesson we must learn for ourselves, not just from textbooks or popular political discourse.

In recent decades, we’ve focused almost entirely on less critical, though still important, issues of partisan disagreement. This, along with other factors such as increasingly fragmented and politically targeted media, homogeneous congressional districts, and centralized power in Washington, have created hyper partisanship in American politics, something I also saw in other nations while serving with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Extreme partisanship is more dangerous than most people realize. It leaves nations vulnerable to authoritarianism whether in the Middle East, Asia, or America. Autocrats commonly exploit—even foment—animosity between political groups, races, and religions because it helps them to consolidate power. When groups despise each other, they’re more likely to believe the falsehoods despots disseminate about their perceived enemies.

In these schemes, the authoritarian becomes a trusted source of information for favored groups, even as he undermines their grasp on truth, and increases his control over them. As divisions widen, people become less able to find common ground on their own, leaving it to the authoritarian to make unilateral decisions, often in violation of people’s basic rights.

As we anticipate the presidency of Donald J. Trump, who has demonstrated authoritarian tendencies, and what it might mean for our freedoms, I’ve noticed among my own support base that some Americans from both sides of the traditional political spectrum are finding common ground on core American ideals. These include the truth that we are all created equal and share an inalienable right to liberty, and the importance of protecting our democracy—especially under Russian assault. This is an encouraging development.

Unfortunately, I’ve also observed committed partisans on the right and the left—even those who share concerns about Mr. Trump—attacking their own and the other side for finding common cause. They attack not the merits of substance, but out of pure partisan animus. It’s as though some Americans find intrinsic value in division and learned little from Mr. Trump’s exploitation of fissures in American society.

These are political habits many of us have learned over many years, but rote, extreme partisanship places party before country and leaves our nation vulnerable to authoritarianism.

While healthy policy differences between the traditional right and the left will continue, they should not prevent Americans from uniting in the defense of democracy and our Constitution. There are deep differences and misunderstandings between both sides, each of which have somewhat different definitions for even words like liberty and equality. But on their most basic meaning, I believe there is broad consensus. We should celebrate this; it’s critical that we do.

Mr. Trump’s tenure may provide America an important learning opportunity. Perhaps liberals will be more sympathetic to conservatives’ warnings about the danger of concentrating too much power in the federal government. Similarly, conservatives may now understand progressives’ desires to foster a more inclusive culture in which people of all backgrounds are respected. And, most importantly, we may all learn the value of liberty.

One of the greatest defenses against authoritarianism is a unified people. In the years ahead, let us embrace our common ground for its common defense.

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