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This is how tyranny begins
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inkpot



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Turkey’s lurch towards dictatorship Reply with quote

[See post on previous page]

Int’l Observer Group: Turkey’s Referendum Vote Wasn’t Fair

A respected European body of international election observers declared Monday that Turkey’s controversial Sunday referendum was held on an “uneven playing field,” calling into question the fairness of the vote that narrowly handed sweeping new executive powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In a statement, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe said impartial information about what the reforms would do was not made available to voters and the arrests of journalists and news outlet closures had a “negative effect” on the process. While he cited no specific problems at polling places, delegate Cezar Florin Preda said the referendum did not live up to Council of Europe standards. “The legal framework was inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic process,” he said in the statement. Civil-society groups have put the number of reporters arrested since last summer’s attempted coup against Erdoğan at nearly 160. Separately, the head of Turkey’s electoral body declared the results valid, showing Erdoğan with 51 percent of the vote. The main opponents to the reforms, the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, have cited irregularities in the referendum and demanded a recount of 60 percent of the votes. Demonstrations took place all over the country to protest the vote.

http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/turkey/311726
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Xuân Phong



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:01 pm    Post subject: Lurch towards dictatorship all right! Reply with quote

Turkey Arrests Dozens Over Referendum Protests

Officials fanned out in dawn raids across Turkey on Wednesday to arrest political opponents of last weekend’s controversial referendum that expanded the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At least 38 people who are accused of protesting online and on the streets were reported rounded up or issued an arrest warrant, relatives and lawyers representing detainees said. Erdogan won the vote in a 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent victory, and demostrators—who have taken to the streets every night since the referendum—say they believe the election was rigged. The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, independent electoral watchdog, declared Tuesday that the referendum was unfair and conducted against democratic standards. “These people are mainly those who attended the protests after the referendum and raised their voice against the result on social media,” said Deniz Demirdogen, a lawyer for detainee Mesut Gecgel. “The police told the detainees that they were accused of trying to agitate people against the ‘yes’ vote.” Tens of thousands of Turkish people have been detained by the Erdogan government since last summer’s failed coup against the increasingly authoritarian leader.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/world/europe/turkey-erdogan-arrests.html
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inkpot



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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 12:56 am    Post subject: You can be arrested for laughing at Jeff Sessions Reply with quote

Jury Convicts Woman Who Laughed At Jeff Sessions During Senate Hearing
Ryan J. Reilly

WASHINGTON ― A jury convicted a woman on Wednesday who was arrested during a congressional hearing in January after laughing at the claim that now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a record of treating Americans equally.

WASHINGTON ― A jury convicted a woman on Wednesday who was arrested during a congressional hearing in January after laughing at the claim that now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a record of treating Americans equally.

Desiree Fairooz, an activist associated with the organization Code Pink, was found guilty on two counts: one for engaging in “disorderly or disruptive conduct” with the intent to disrupt congressional proceedings and a separate count for parading, demonstrating or picketing.

Several jurors who spoke with HuffPost after the verdict emphasized that they were focused on Fairooz’s actions after a rookie Capitol Police officer approached Fairooz when she laughed at Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) claim that Sessions had a clear, well-documented and “extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law.” A group of jurors spoke to HuffPost on the condition of anonymity.

“She did not get convicted for laughing. It was her actions as she was being asked to leave,” the jury foreperson said.

Several of the jurors indicated they disagreed with the decision of Capitol Police Officer Katherine Coronado to take her into custody because of the laugh.

“We did not agree that she should have been removed for laughing,” the jury foreperson stated. Some jurors indicated they believed Coronado made a mistake.

“The officer, she was a rookie officer, and I think it was her first time involved in an arrest,” another juror stated. “Make of that what you will.”

The jurors indicated they felt they had to convict Fairooz because of the way the laws are written, with yet another juror describing them as “so broad.”

At least three jurors said it was fair to say they felt forced into convicting her. “There’s almost no way that you can find them not guilty,” one said.

“There’s not a lot of wiggle room,” said the jury foreperson.

Justice Department attorneys claimed during the trial that laughter was enough to merit a criminal charge against Fairooz, asserting that “heads turned around” when Fairooz let out what they characterized as a “scoff,” “outburst” or “burst” of laughter. But they mostly focused on how Fairooz acted after she was confronted by the police officers.

[...]

https://www.yahoo.com/news/jury-convicts-woman-laughed-jeff-180839836.html
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vu



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
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Location: L.A., California

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: American Fascism, in 1944 and Today Reply with quote

American Fascism, in 1944 and Today

[The 1944 op-ed by Henry A. Wallace is below his grandson’s op-ed]

Forwarded by a friend, who comments (in part):

...Any attempt to connect this [1944] essay to anything that might
conceivably exist today is, of course, fake, a hoax.


The New York Times
American Fascism, in 1944 and Today
By Henry Scott Wallace
May 12, 2017

Seventy-three years ago, The New York Times asked the sitting vice
president to write an article about whether there are fascists in America,
and what they’re up to.

It was an alarming question. And the vice president took it quite
seriously. His article, “The Danger of American Fascism,” described a
breed of super-nationalist who pursues political power by deceiving
Americans and playing to their fears, but is really interested only in
protecting his own wealth and privilege.

That vice president was my grandfather, Henry A. Wallace. And in my view,
he predicted President Trump.

[clip, clip]
===========

The Danger of American Fascism
Henry A. Wallace
An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.

From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by
Russell Lord, p. 259.

On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request
from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following
questions:

What is a fascist?
How many fascists have we?
How dangerous are they?

A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an
intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes,
religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use
of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to
which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a
class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a
culture, religion, or a political party.

The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the
Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such
allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to
engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture
and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least
a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every
Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been
desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger
cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in
the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous
as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other
people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American
fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the
Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is
the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what
Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer
not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public
information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the
truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public
into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money
and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several
million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred
thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their
search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American
fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing
this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections
with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time
of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they
follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful
coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public
information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

Long article, go to:
URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/opinion/american-fascism-trump.html
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inkpot



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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: The Constitution Is Different Under Trump Reply with quote

You didn't know, did you? super grin

Republican Congressman Clarifies That the Constitution Is Different Under Trump

In case you're wondering why no Republican has stood up to be counted, you should know that installing a vulgar talking yam in the White House has changed the job description of Being A Congressman. Isn't that right, Barry Loudermilk? Luckily, the House veterans are there to set rookies like Loudermilk straight. MacArthur: "We don't oversee the executive…. Congress is not the board of directors of the White House." — Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) May 11, 2017 That's Tom MacArthur, the New Jersey representative and the primary architect of the most recent iteration of the Republican healthcare farce, and someone who had a rather bad night back home on Wednesday evening. This is so confusing.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55026/republican-congress-constitution/
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ZeroG



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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:00 am    Post subject: Trump thinks he can get away with anything Reply with quote

Trump thinks he can get away with anything
By Julian Zelizer, CNN Political Analyst

This week's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey has greatly intensified the fears that our commander in chief sees absolutely no boundaries to his power.

By axing the director of an agency investigating whether there was collusion between members of his campaign and Russians, Trump risked being seen as obstructing a criminal investigation. He then piled on by tweeting out a threat to Comey should he leak information to the media. If Trump obstructed justice, it would be fair to say this scandal could be worse than Watergate.

In retrospect, the most revealing moment in the 2016 campaign occurred when Trump said at a campaign rally in January, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters." The statement perfectly captures the mentality of the leader who holds the keys to power in the United States.

Besides his own sense of self, Trump's arrogance about what is possible comes from his counting on many aspects of our political system to protect him from political or legal punishment. There are some important differences between American politics in 2017 and 1974 that could insulate him from the fallout that President Richard Nixon faced.

Partisanship much stronger
Trump has always depended on the fact that partisanship is the most powerful force in the electorate. When he ran against Hillary Clinton, he anticipated that, in the end, Republicans would back him over any Democrat regardless of what he did or said. His dependence on partisanship remains a pillar of his political strategy. And there is reason for him to feel this way. It was notable that hours after the news of Comey's departure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would not support the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The level of partisanship is much stronger than it was in final days of Nixon's presidency, when a group of Republicans, including Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater and House Minority Leader John Rhodes, finally approached the President to say that the time had come to step down. They told him he had lost his support in Congress.

Today there are real questions about whether Republican leaders would ever do the same thing. If most party leaders in the House and Senate hold firm in defense of the President, Trump understands that -- at least until the 2018 midterm elections -- party discipline would curtail the scale and scope of any congressional investigation.

Friends in the media
The news media is also very different than it was in the early 1970s. President Trump counts on the existence of powerful conservative news outlets that have the capacity and the will to counteract damaging news stories about what he has done.

In recent days, Fox News has been working hard to blame the media, saying it is blowing this story out of proportion. Their web site is also running a headline that the new FBI Chief could reopen the case about Hillary Clinton's emails, throwing their readers some red meat as the President struggles.

While conservative news shows feed the electorate with alternative narratives about what is going wrong in Washington, social media now floods voters with fake news that confuses many people about what they should believe. With so much disinformation circulating in the political ecosystem, President Trump will count on his opponents having trouble building sustained support for an investigation, and possibly impeachment.

Trump knows he can find support in the conservative media to counteract the 2017 version of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the reporters whose work helped lead to Nixon's resignation.

Changing the subject
Trump no doubt depends on the idea that the short attention span of the country helps him survive this crisis. We move at a much faster pace today than in the early 1970s.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/13/opinions/trump-thinks-he-can-get-away-with-anything-opinion-zelizer/index.html
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ZeroG



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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:06 am    Post subject: Views of Comey's firing Reply with quote

Trump puts his interests before national interest
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/opinions/comey-firing-trump-first-opinion-dantonio/index.html

How close was Comey to the truth?
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/opinions/how-close-was-comey-getting-to-the-truth-naftali/index.html

Callan: The first step to impeachment
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/opinions/trump-comey-huge-trouble-opinion-callan/index.html

Zelizer: Trump's nuclear option on Russia probe
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/opinions/comeys-firing-a-stunning-blow-to-russia-probe-zelizer/index.html

How Republicans in Congress can win on Comey
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/10/opinions/republicans-break-with-trump-comey-bardella-opinion/index.html
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:59 pm    Post subject: Sanders: 'American democracy is under attack' Reply with quote

‘American democracy is under attack’: Sanders urges vigilance against Trump’s ‘authoritarianism’
Michael Walsh Reporter, Yahoo News

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said the United States has been slipping toward authoritarianism under President Trump and that citizens have an “enormous obligation” to protect American freedom.

The runner-up for the Democratic presidential nomination last year delivered his scathing critique of the administration in a speech Thursday morning discussing the threat of authoritarianism in both the U.S. and other countries.

“Under President Trump, our country is moving in an authoritarian direction and the very nature of American democracy is under attack,” Sanders said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Before outlining why he thinks Trump is leading the U.S. toward authoritarianism, Sanders criticized the new health care bill unveiled by Senate Republicans Thursday morning. The draft bill they plan to bring to a vote as early as next week is the latest move in Republicans’ seven-year effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and remove the taxes it imposes on high-income individuals.

“I am unalterably opposed to the Trump-Republican health care plans. The plan has passed in the House, as you know, and was just released a few minutes ago in the Senate. I’m going to do everything that I can to defeat the Trump-Ryan health care proposal, but that should not be a shock to anybody,” Sanders said.

Sanders, who supports universal health care, acknowledged that his Republican counterparts have significant policy disagreements on these serious issues, but said there is one fundamental issue upon which there should be no debate.

“And that is, no matter what our political view — whether we are progressives, conservatives or moderates — we must do everything that we can to preserve American democracy and oppose the current drift toward authoritarianism that I believe President Trump represents.”

Read more:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/american-democracy-attack-sanders-urges-vigilance-trumps-authoritarianism-180536908.html
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Sanders on the GOP Health Care Plan Reply with quote

Sanders on the GOP Health Care Plan

https://youtu.be/GdYNMA5UTlA


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:44 am    Post subject: Trump Gets Dictator-y with the Justice Department Reply with quote

Trump Gets Dictator-y with the Justice Department
President Trump slams Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not protecting him in the Russia probe, and the Justice Department announces more Hillary Clinton investigations.

https://youtu.be/RlX0q4IaGA0


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