The Little Führer

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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:45 pm

https://monthlyreview.org/2017/06/01/co ... -you-wont/

Consider these but you won’t

by Marge Piercy


Consider the child with curly brown
hair sleeping with her dog in the back
of an old SUV while her parents doze
in scruffy front seats tilted back.

Consider the child with brown skin
called nigger and told to go back
to Africa, whose great grandparent
built the road running past the school.

Consider the woman pregnant from
rape, the woman who could not take
off work to cross two states for
an abortion, who tries hard to love

her child but he looks more and
more like that nightmare rapist.
Consider men and women who worked
the assembly line till their ears

dimmed out, back, kidneys rotted
wanting a pension to reward them
with sunshine. But the company
no longer has to pay its promises.

Consider the family whose home
will be taken by the bank while they
can no longer pay for the pills
for cancer that cost a month’s wages

every month. So their daughter
dies and they’re still in debt. But
Herr President, you cannot even
see them; they’re just too small.


Marge Piercy is the author of many books of poetry, most recently Made in Detroit.
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:08 am

https://spencersunshine.com/2017/06/10/ ... -trumpism/

“The Growing Alliance Between Neo-Nazis, Right Wing Paramilitaries and Trumpist Republicans”

JUNE 10, 2017 SPENCERSUNSHINE

“I have been following Far Right movements for more than a decade as a researcher and journalist. Over the past few months, I’ve seen an increase in the visibility of a new, violent, right-wing street protest movement that I call “Independent Trumpism.” It unites neo-Nazis, members of the alt-right, Patriot movement paramilitaries and Trumpist Republicans.

Two things set Independent Trumpism apart from usual right-wing politics. First, the group’s rallies are in support of the president, but are organized outside of the Republican Party structure. Second, mainstream Republicans are appearing alongside open White supremacists, especially at events billed as “Free Speech” marches.

Independent Trumpists will hit the streets tomorrow (June 10) for a national March Against Sharia, organized by the large anti-Islam group ACT America. Saturday’s events are expected to draw thousands of people in 28 cities, in 20 states. Here is a six-month chronology of major Independent Trumpist moments that led to this one:

January 20, 2017: Alt-Right Violence at the University of Washington in Seattle
A University of Washington talk by Milo Yiannopoulos—the notorious Twitter troll, ardent Trump supporter and former Breitbart editor credited with mainstreaming the alt-right—draws a large protest. A married couple, Marc and Elizabeth Hokoana, come to the event armed with pepper spray and a handgun to antagonize opponents. After protester Joshua Dukes confronts Marc about using the pepper spray, Elizabeth allegedly fires a single round into his stomach.”


Read the rest at Colorlines
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:23 am

https://oaklandsocialist.com/2017/06/14 ... continues/


Sessions Testifies: The Stonewalling Continues
BY OAKLANDSOCIALIST ON JUNE 14, 2017


Image
Jeff Sessions:
The stonewalling continues


Looking and sounding exactly like one of those old racist crackers from a bygone era (which is what he is), US Attorney General Jeff Sessions collaborated with members of the US Senate to cover up the real issue yesterday. He stumbled and bumbled around, stalling and blowing smoke. “I don’t recall” was his go-to mode. He was aided in this by his questioners, all of whom observed the senate “decorum”. The only senator who even half-way tried to get anything out of him was Kamela Harris (D. CA), and Sessions managed to give such long winded non-answers to anything she asked that her time was very limited. On nine separate occasions Harris asked questions that would have simply required a yes or no answer. Sessions “answered” with a total of 316 words.

The Real Question
But even she avoided the main issue.

“Mr. Sessions, as the chief law enforcement officer of the nation, is it not a matter of concern to you that the president has had a long association with such convicted criminals as Felix Sater and Joseph Weichselbaum and an apparent close relationship with others such as Sheldon and Jay Weinberg, Robert Hopkins, and Vyacheslav ‘Yaponchik’ Ivankov?” (See this story for the facts.) Can you imagine the brouhaha if that had been asked?

So, why is it that even Don Lemon, who goes after Trump every night on CNN, avoids this side of the story like the plague?

The Real Estate Industry
Trump’s corruption has its roots in his financial ties to Russian oligarchs/mafia financiers He had to rely on them for financing after other sources dried up after he had his series of bankruptcies in the ’90s. Much of his real estate activity has been carried out through “Limited Liability Corporations” — LLCs. According to the Wall St. Journal, “Roughly half – at least $304 million – of the revenue Mr. Trump reported in a federal financial disclosure from earlier this year came from assets held in 96 different LLCs, according to the Journal’s analysis. Those assets include a skyscraper at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan and the Mar-a-Logo Club in Palm Beach, Fla. Unlike publicly traded companies, Delaware LLCs don’t have to publish any financial information or even disclose the identity of the owner.”

And there’s the rub! “Don’t have to publish any financial information or even disclose the identity of the owner…” What has happened is that the real estate industry in the US is rampant with money laundering by drug cartels and other criminals. And any serious investigation into Trump’s criminal associations would tend to reveal this. According to Bizjournals.com “In the first half of 2013, 73 percent of condo resales by dollar volume were cash deals, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Nearly 90 percent of condo buyers were foreign in 2012, and that trend continued this year.”

The same article explains the advantage for money launderers. They quote Michael McDonald, a former IRS criminal investigator: “They can form a corporation and bury you so no one ever knows who you are. You have criminal groups outside the U.S. trying to park money here. One of the best ways to do it is to buy real estate because no one asks who you are.” The article quotes another expert in the field: ‘“Most of them aren’t concerned with source of funds,” he said. “It’s so easy to move money that, as soon as you come up with one precautionary measure, there’s just another way to do it. I don’t know that you would ever have enough protections to find the ultimate sources of dollars.”

‘Intriago (another expert) said there’s much less regulation for putting cash into real estate transactions than for opening a deposit or securities account, which makes real estate a go-to target for people with lots of dirty money to move.

‘“The developers don’t know who’s behind it, and I don’t think they care,” he said. “They want to make sales, regulations be damned.”’


In other words, the entire real estate industry is riddled with money launderers linked up with “legitimate” business people like… Donald Trump. The point is that Trump’s criminal connections are only the tip of the iceberg. And if the real estate developers are tied hand-and-glove to drug cartels and others like that, then the banks and other major financial institutions are too. And if they are, then so are the major capitalist politicians.
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:50 pm

No apologies: Being Donald Trump means never having to say you’re sorry — and it works

Trump's refusal to admit wrongdoing is more than a personality defect — it’s also effective political strategy

Image

If there’s one thing we should have learned by now it’s that being Donald Trump means never having to say you’re sorry. Trump never apologizes for anything and does not clarify or correct the record. Sometimes he will simply pretend that he never said what he said and will change direction without explanation, while blaming others for his mistakes.


http://www.salon.com/2017/03/13/no-apol ... -it-works/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:53 am

Salvage Perspectives #5: Contractions


Death Drive Versus Disavowal

In line with his mandate, but against the wishes not only of the US public but also capitalist America – including, notably, fossil-fuel corporations – Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Accords. There are signs that he may reverse the decision if changes are made to the Accords to the advantage of US energy producers, but at present these are only media reports. This followed his early executive order cancelling Obama’s Clean Power Plan, his appointment of former Exxon boss Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State, and his appointment of climate-change deniers Scott Pruit and Jeff Holmstead to head the Environment Protection Agency.

Such actions have been cast as a war on science. There are elements of truth to this: the EPA is having its budget slashed, as is the National Institutes of Health, and official websites detailing climate science have been deleted. But such war is only on representative agencies of the ‘wet’ sciences, those concerned with human and ecological welfare. NASA, traditionally something of a partner of US imperialism, is getting a budget bump despite having backed the scientific consensus on climate change.

Trump channelled the most unreal wing of petty bourgeois reaction in a campaign resembling his Twitter-feed, denouncing the Paris deal as a ‘global warming hoax’, ‘very expensive … bullshit’, designed to benefit only the Chinese at the expense of Americans. ‘Trump Digs Coal’, a famous campaign placard read: in fact, the only thing Trump was digging was bullshit, and that by the imperial tonne.

Why were fossil-fuel companies, not to mention Exxon itself, firmly against Trump’s position, lobbying him to stick with the Paris Agreement? These firms are not interested in reducing their contribution to climate change, nor in meeting the targets set by the Paris Accords. The deal reached in Paris last April nominally committed signatories to keeping global temperatures at or below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. But numerous studies have demonstrated that the specific measures prescribed under the rubric of Paris would still lead to global temperatures rising up to 3.7 degrees, very close to the current projected estimate of 4 degrees by 2050. This, moreover, is an average estimate: at the extreme, global temperatures could go as high as 8 degrees above pre-industrial levels, with incalculable consequences. As the journal Nature Climate Change, among many others, points out, the climate-change-mitigating policies actually introduced under Obama wouldn’t even come close to their supposed, stated goal.

For Vice’s tech website, Motherboard, the environment journalist Sarah Emerson wrote that the oil firms backing Paris are ‘gambling on energy scenarios that climate scientists insist we cannot afford if we want Earth to remain habitable.’ As for the coal industry, a report by Climate Analytics shows that Obama-era plans ‘would lock-in the energy infrastructure on a carbon-intensive pathway for the next forty years’. Evidently, those firms’ hope was that the Paris Accords – though inadequate in terms of averting climate catastrophe, and around any concrete measures of which they considered inconvenient these companies would in any case unhesitatingly swerve – would secure a system of global governmentality that would protect their profit margins until well beyond the point at which they irreparably damaged the habitable planet. It is doubtless an exasperation to Big Energy that Trump’s eco-poujadist bullshit threatens, through its arrogant destructiveness, to re-politicise the whole question.







The Vicissitudes of Empire

How far has Trump broken with Obama’s methods of imperial management, especially in the Middle Eastern theatre? There are clear signs not only that there is a shift, but that that shift – and this must be said without a scintilla of nostalgia or political support for the cynical, death-dealing realpolitik of that earlier approach – appears to be accelerating overt and dangerous conflicts in ominous fashion. Consider the shooting down of a Syrian regime plane in the skies around the Daesh redoubt of Raqqa. ‘This’, intoned one piece on Foreign Policy, ‘is how Great Power wars get started’. Indeed, which is all the more reason to demand that ‘Great’ – or as Salvage prefers to style them, imperialist – powers remove themselves and their influence from the region. The questions remain, what are they doing there, and how are they doing it, in the first place?

So far – in keeping with his mercurial tergiversations in apparently all areas – there appears to be no consistent ‘Trump doctrine’ in the international arena, beyond a generalised enthusiasm for the omnidirectional use of force to assert and maintain American ‘credibility’. This is, in any case, not so great an exaggeration of a perfectly mainstream view in the US imperial establishment. Amid the Trumpian incoherence, however – and mindful not to exaggerate the contradictionlessness of the Obama government’s approach to the region, which always showed the traces of its committee nature, the unresolved competing immediate priorities in the context of a rapidly shifting situation – certain aims appear to be clarifying. These imply increasing conflict with a buoyant Iran and its Russian ally.

For the US, the order of priorities of preferred outcomes seems to be: 1) defeat Daesh (ISIS); 2) contain Iran; 3) avoid deep entanglement in the conflict with Assad. For Russia, they are: 1) support Assad and eradicate his enemies; 2) strengthen Iran; 3) provide a pole of attraction for Turkey, increasingly alienated from NATO due to US support for the Kurdish YPG. Contrary to the fantasies of the pro-Assad Left, clashes between US- and Iranian-backed pro-Assad forces have nothing to do with the denuded and degraded rebellion now left largely helpless in the face of the regime’s foreign-backed counterrevolution. None of the chaotic potential lines of conflict are fundamentally concerned with whether Assad should rule: rather, they are a result of these conflicting priorities over the control of the territory evacuated by Daesh.

The collapse of Daesh’s monstrous self-proclaimed Caliphate has appeared imminent for some time now: indeed with Mosul fallen and Raqqa under unrelenting bombardment, it even seems to be taking longer than expected. The consequent vacuum will be dangerous, and not just because of the increase in number and savagery of the terror attacks Daesh mounts abroad as it retreats from its heartland. In the Iraqi arena, the retaking of Mosul was achieved by the central state, but in Syria two fronts make possible open clashes amongst the victors. In the North, the US’s Kurdish allies the YPG, moulded into a notionally multi-ethnic force known as the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) is thrusting towards Raqqa while Turkey bombs its bases in the rear. The US shooting-down of the Syrian-regime jet came after Syrian regime forces advanced on SDF positions, not on any anti-Assad militias. In the south-east of Syria, where Jordan and the US demobilised the fight against Assad and instead founded an anti-ISIS battalion called the ‘New Syrian Army’ (now known as the ‘Revolutionary Commando Army’), open conflict between the US and Russia-Iran-Syria is an even greater risk. US forces are embedded in Tanf airforce base in the east of the district. In May of 2017 US airstrikes destroyed a convoy of Iranian-led militias and regime troops heading for the base, presumably to demonstrate a geographical red line. As Iran seeks to establish a corridor between Iraq and its allies in the Syrian regime and Lebanese Hizballah, further clashes are likely. Much of the Anglophone Left has been obsessed with an imaginary ‘proxy war’ in Syria for years: now that their favoured outcome, Assad victory, and their preemptively diagnosed Western co-option of the YPG, have come to pass, such a conflict is actually breaking out . The crowing of campists notwithstanding, this does not mean any diminution in the anti-imperialism of those of us who stand and stood in solidarity with the Syrian revolution. Opposing Assad does not imply any softening of our condemnation of Trumpian intervention, nor does that latter necessitate blunting the former.

The carnage of ‘Syraq’ cannot be separated from the unsettling manoeuvres in the Gulf, which likewise reflect the fallout of victorious counterrevolution. The extraordinary bluster against Qatar by its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE represents an act of revenge by one counterrevolutionary axis in the region. The uprisings of 2011–12 sorted out the anciens regimes broadly into three camps; the hard petro-reactionaries, linking Saudi Arabia and the GCC majority with the Egyptian military and at times, the US; a contrary but equally counterrevolutionary entente consisting of Iran, Hizballah and the Assad regime with Russia in the background; and a third camp willing to tack somewhat, to cynically ride the revolutionary wave, at least to elect Islamist politicians, consisting of Qatar, Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood, leavened with infrequent American support. The ultimatum issued to Doha represents the revenge of the first group on the third, having as its precondition a hard swing by Trump behind the Saudi axis.

This is, as Adam Hanieh has pointed out in Jacobin, yet another of the proliferating modern contexts in which – shades of Syria – ‘simplistic readings of the Middle East, especially those based on the notion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” are profoundly unhelpful’ . Qatar finds itself on the wrong side of Saudi Arabia, with the shadow of the US behind it. That does not mean it would not be ‘utterly foolish to consider Qatar, Turkey, or Iran as representative of some progressive realignment’. There is no major player here to support. The hankering on the Left for one is not an itch to be scratched but a condition to be diagnosed.







Trumped up Imperialism and Democrat Dreams

Judging from the dispatches of the histrionic anti-Trump Democrat #theresistance, Trump is constantly one step away from being unmasked as an agent of Russian global intrigue, not to mention a dupe of North Korea, a pawn of Daesh, and a puppet of Assad. All this despite the fact that a few months into his presidency, Trump has escalated the ‘war on terror’, ratcheted up the sabre-rattling against North Korea, and struck a Syrian airfield at least ostensibly in response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Idlib. In fairness, Trump had given some grounds for this paranoia. At various points in his freewheeling monologue, he had suggested that Russia and Assad were allies against Daesh, and hadn’t been particularly enthusiastic about a US presence in the Korean peninsula. (And given the, at best, remarkable stupidity and incompetence of various of his allies in making easily falsifiable and falsified claims about their Russian contacts or lack thereof, it is not beyond possibility that Robert Mueller, in charge of the FBI’s ‘Russia investigation’, might yet find something beyond various predictable fiddlings and jostlings for position of the kind to which the US is hardly a stranger, despite its dogged refusal to manifest so far.)

The major foreign-policy priority vis-à-vis which Trump sounded especially hawkish was the war against Daesh, declaring that he would ‘bomb the shit out of them’, and whose families he declared himself ready to blow up, in a series of war crimes. He claimed to have an ‘absolutely fool-proof plan’ for winning the war on terror. As it transpired, his big idea, apart from attempting to ban Muslims from entering the US, was to go to the Pentagon, and to give them thirty days to come up with a plan. They duly presented to him the outlines for escalation left behind by the previous administration: on these The Donald enthusiastically signed off. What this meant was a 20 per cent tilt toward more violence, changed rules of engagement, the slackening of restrictions on targeting and the opening of new fronts. Trump declared parts of Somalia an ‘area of active hostility’, allowing for more flexibility in targeting, and increased the firepower available for raids. Restrictions on drone strikes, already responsible for mass deaths under Obama, were loosened. The total effect of these actions was to give the CIA and the military a much freer hand in prosecuting the war, relieving it of the micro-managing style of the previous administration.

The changes have resulted in a spate of massacres, in Raqqa, Mosul and rural Yemen. Nearly 60 per cent of the total number of civilian deaths reported by US Central Command (Centcom) from the air war on Daesh and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula come from this year. Centcom admits to 484 such deaths to the end of April: Airwars, the website whose raison d’etre is to keep track, puts the estimate at 3800. These are the people out of whom the shit has been bombed.

The politics of Trump’s shift are also evident in his meet-and-greet tour of various dictatorships. General Sisi of Egypt, for example, he declared just a ‘fantastic guy’. This was not a fundamental breach from the Obama doctrine: it was two years ago, under Obama’s administration, that the US had resumed funding the Egyptian dictatorship at a rate of $1.3 billion per year. There is, though, a difference of emphasis. Obama had foregrounded his government’s criticisms of Sisi’s human-rights record; Trump is very understanding about Sisi’s need to shed blood.

Trump’s next step was to decisively repudiate those who had dismissed him as a Pyongyang pawn. The scaremongering of the liberal press over the necessity for US bases in South Korea, even as President Moon-Jae sought to reverse the US-coddling policy of his corrupt predecessors, had not been in vain. Pyongyang, came the alert, was embarking on a new phase of nuclear proliferation that could see it develop the ability to target Washington DC. Trump, Vice-President Pence, and Secretary of State Tillerson let it be known that the Syria strike was intended as a message to Kim Jong-un. Chairman Trump began issuing stern warnings that the US could have a ‘major, major conflict with North Korea’, and sent a naval fleet toward the northern part of the peninsula: ‘an armada, very powerful’. Alongside such sabre-rattling, Trump has tried to amplify the Obama-era policy of ‘strategic patience’, using sanctions to punish the regime and wait it out. Thus, Trump leans on China, as so many US presidents have done, to use its trade links with the North Korean state to bring it to heel on its nuclear programme.

According to Graham Allison, a defence specialist at Harvard, the US is pushing North Korea toward a ‘Cuban Missile Crisis in slow motion’, while the South Korean leadership is pleading for other interlocutors to help restore the Sunshine Policy of cooperation with the North. This is not, Allison writes, just a product or matter of Trump’s belligerence, but of the slow-burning logic of US strategy since Marines partitioned the island in 1945: this has been to keep the south as a protectorate under a web of US military bases and anti-missile systems. The only thing that could begin to reverse Pyongyang’s policy would be for the US to accept that it has no legitimate claims in the Korean pensinsula and draw down its military presence. Nor would this necessarily alarm the South Korean state, which is becoming an increasingly reluctant partner in US dominance. Its government did not consent to the latest anti-missile system, developed by Lockheed Martin, being brought into the country, and it is anxious to distance itself from Trump. But the very idea of US withdrawal horrifies the US establishment press and political class, and on this point Trump’s conversion – to the extent that any of his whims can be so dignified – has been welcomed.

Predictably, #theresistance has been rather disarmed by Trump’s break with the Bannonite wing of his base. Rarely was this more evident than in the reaction to Trump’s speech at a Joint Session of Congress glorying in a particularly bloody strike in Yemen, when, murmured a visibly moved Van Jones, he ‘became President of the United States in that moment, period’. (The irony is redoubled by the fact that Trump was claiming credit for a strike that had been planned under the previous administration.) The bombing of a Syrian airfield earned praise from liberal paladins, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Justin Trudeau. ‘On Syria attack, Trump’s heart came first’, the New York Times sighed. (China Miéville expands on this in his essay in this issue.) In response to the massacre in Mosul, the same newspaper excoriated Congress for ducking their ‘constitutional responsibility’ to pass laws authorising Trump’s war. On North Korea, the media has tended to vacillate between condemning Trump for a lack of nuance, and for being too soft on China in his efforts to lean on Pyongyang, but the idea of a principled disagreement was moot as soon as the White House began to threaten conflict.

As well as seeing their own victories in these hawkish lurches, in more general terms, in the cravings of the Democrats for ‘relevance’, for the power they believe is a birthright denied them by history’s caprice, in Trump’s very erraticness lies hope. ‘He likes us,’ Chuck Schumer can be heard saying on a C-Span microphone, after the president’s abrupt and unlikely collaboration with Schumer and Pelosi on ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ immigration policy (to his own party’s rage). ‘Oh, it’s going to work out.’ Rarely have the illusions of a bankrupt centrism been so vividly and so pitifully visible.

All of this has produced some head-scratching. ‘What happened to Putin’s puppet?’ asked a Slatecorrespondent with weary sarcasm. What has happened is that state managers have proven less deluded than the intelligentsia. They recognised in Trump a metastasising of the culture of imperialism, its essence and its excrescences, a hypostasis of the original formula, not an antidote. The endless sloganising about ‘winning!’ was not sloganising; it is the essence of Trump’s doctrine. And the Pentagon has successfully harnessed this bombastic product of imperialist victory culture to its own extant objectives. That these are themselves earth-threatening doesn’t burden the Keith Olbermann wing of progressivism: they continue their search for Russian dolls.







The Descent

On the military front, the full political collapse of the centre may have been averted or delayed, but the institutions of neoliberal globalisation are faltering. The Brexit crisis is one aspect of a general politicisation of the global economy and the breakdown of a supposed and once-heralded convergence toward a liberal world order. This is signalled in Trump’s rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – at the cost of some hundreds of billions in future revenue for US corporations. There is a growing general recognition that ‘globalisation’ is not, in Timothy Morton’s terms, a ‘hyperobject’ exceeding the ability of mere mortals to apprehend it in its totality, and manifesting only in its effects: as much as a description or diagnosis it is, and always has been, an ideology, a project, and a set of distinctive institutional relationships through which the impediments to extracting surplus-value, not just trading barriers but above all various non-commodified sectors of national economies, are progressively rolled back.

In its actually-existing form, it is also, crucially, an imperialist project, organising under the tutelage of the US Treasury Department, Wall Street and the IMF, a set of arrangements in which surplus is not just extracted but circulated through the increasingly byzantine mechanisms of ownership known as the world’s major stock markets. Surplus-values flow from labour to capital everywhere, but the major concentrations of capital to benefit from these global flows are located in the ‘advanced’ economies. The fact that this is not uncomplicatedly true, and that the US-led imperium is increasingly modified by the rise of the BRICS, among others, not to mention Putin’s growing assertiveness, and the internal political weaknesses of the US ruling class, does not mean it is not broadly still the case. Currently the problems for US dominance are primarily political, in terms of the ability of its ruling class to maintain a grip on the system’s management. These problems are now feeding through into the rupture in the US geopolitical strategy that has been in place since World War II.

The crisis of US military efficacy, and the effects of the credit crunch, which exposed the dysfunctions of this system, had been managed by the Obama administration reasonably effectively. Having moved to protect the US financial sector with bailouts, it implemented mild regulatory reforms which, in effect, shored up the political power of the banks. It re-pivoted US military commitments to southern Asia, and invested heavily in expanding technologies of ‘risk-transfer’ war, such as those notorious drone strikes. Economically, having caulked the institutions of global economic liberalism, it focused on its trade war with China by preparing a series of trade, property and investors’ rights agreements between south-east Asian, Australian and North American economies – the Trans Pacific Partnership – and a similar set of agreements between the United States and the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Some snafus and crises aside, this was looking broadly successful.

The Trump project, in this context, is worse than a setback for the US ruling class. It is the first major breach within the US with global liberalism. Prior to Trump’s reversion to Pentagon orthodoxy, this breach also included threatened military retrenchments beyond the frontiers of the ‘war on terror’. Notwithstanding his reversals on NAFTA and TTIP, he continues to oppose US involvement in the TPP, and his programme still includes elements of national protectionism in an economy whose leading capitalist sectors have nothing to gain from such policies. Meanwhile, the other TPP signatories are pressing ahead, China has accelerated its plans for a regional trade deal, and the EU has, with much fanfare, signed its own more limited trade pact with Japan. At the G20 summit in Hamburg, Trump found himself isolated as Merkel and allies worked to outflank him on the Paris Agreement and global trade. He was excoriated in print by co-architects of the Washington Consensus like Jeffrey Sachs and Larry Summers. The right-wing Australian journalist Chris Uhlman summed up the mood of those nostalgic for US global dominance when he complained that Trump had ‘no desire and no capacity to lead the world’, and that he was ceding ‘power to Russia and China … Some will cheer the decline of America, but I think we’ll miss it when it’s gone. And that’s the biggest threat to the values of the West’. Of course, the biggest capital will continue to attempt to divert Trump’s agenda, and if it cannot, to make the best of it: this is not the same, however, as claiming (as do some on the left) that Trumpism is a mere continuation of the norm, let alone a ‘corporate coup’.

Trump’s main compensatory offer to the American bourgeoisie, though he is struggling to get most of the programme passed by Congress, is a raid on the public sector — accumulation-by-dispossession. It is strongly supported by small businesses which feel crushed by ‘big government’ and the more adventurist wings of capital, and it is absolutely certain to compound the already grotesque dysfunctions and infrastructure failures in the US economy. This project was greeted with cheers on the part of America’s petty bourgeoisie: the National Federation of Independent Businesses reported soaring ‘optimism’ in the early months of the Trump era, only for demoralisation to ensue as the Senate obstructed Trump’s rollback of Obamacare, a key desideratum of the grifting, low profit-margin employers.

This is a tentative experiment in administering petty-bourgeois reaction within a still bourgeois state, and it is a pathology of unacknowledged imperial decline.


Excerpted from: http://salvage.zone/in-print/salvage-pe ... tractions/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:47 pm

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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:57 pm

Anti-Muslim Protesters Outnumbered In Toronto At Mel Lastman and Nathan Phillips Squares; Islamophobes Possessed Weapons

On January 29, 2017, six men were murdered at a Quebec City mosque. While most decent humans were heartbroken and reached out in support of the Canadian-Muslim community, this blog has provided ample evidence that Alexandre Bissonnette fellow Islamophobes either were thrilled by the attack, attempted to blame Muslims, or denied it took place altogether.

And the ghouls to show their character as the JDL has organized a rally attacking the Canadian-Muslim community on the anniversary of the massacre:

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...I will remind the readers that Lee Down is the Toronto chapter leader of the Northern Guard providing evidence that he brought a concealed and prohibited weapon to an anti-Muslim protest..

In addition to carrying a weapon to the event, Down has encouraged his followers to engage in politically motivated terrorism.

That isn't an exaggeration:

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http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/2 ... ed-in.html
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:50 am

http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/2 ... ot-in.html

Joey Deluca, Leader of the WCAI, Is An Idiot In Two Acts


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Really, I just felt that people would like a reminder.
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:53 pm

The White-Hot Rage at This Year’s CPAC

Anger, paranoia, and gun worship dominated the gathering of conservatives near DC.

By John Knefel FEBRUARY 23, 2018

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President Donald Trump speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), February 23, 2018.
(AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin)


Only a decade after George Wallace stood in a schoolhouse door to prevent black students from entering, some of his supporters participated in the Conservative Political Action Conference. It’s fitting that today, CPAC exists to support President Donald Trump, a genuinely racist president—and one who, when he addressed CPAC on Friday, proposed a militarization of American schools that will disproportionately harm black students.

Trump received thunderous applause and repeated standing ovations. He returned to his greatest hits, including reliving his electoral college victory, promising to build a wall and calling the media “horrible people.” He also read a xenophobic poem that was a staple of his 2016 campaign, in which he refers to immigrants, especially Muslims, as vicious snakes who will inevitably turn on their protector.

Trump’s most significant new proposal, which he has rolled out in the days since a school shooter in Parkland killed 17 people, is to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons and to add surveillance and metal detectors to more schools. “Why do we protect our airports, banks, government buildings, but not our schools?” Trump said. If Parkland had adopted his proposal to arm educators, he continued, “a teacher would’ve shot the hell out him.”

The proposal to arm teachers is almost too outlandish to justify countering with data. But all the available evidence already shows there is widespread racism in school discipline even account for the same offenses. More generally, militarization of the police going back to the 1960s has always been about enforcing punishment on black communities, even when carried out under ostensibly liberal pretexts. There’s no reason to believe militarization of schools would be any different.

Trump’s speech was the climax of a CPAC defined by seething, spastic vitriol from nearly every featured speaker. National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch declared “many in the legacy media love mass shootings.” Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, claimed Democrats were conspiring to “eradicate all individual freedoms.” Ben Shapiro, the right-wing polemicist who recently received a glowing profile in The New York Times, repeated his familiar anti-transgender bigotry, to the delight of the audience. The anger was even more pronounced in the wake of the Parkland shooting, which was referenced regularly over the course of the conference.

Trump repeatedly warned the crowd that if Democrats were elected they would repeal the Second Amendment, and at one point asked the attendees to cheer if they preferred the Second Amendment or tax cuts. It was a bizarre moment, one of many, but suffice to say the Second Amendment received very loud support. That defensive posture in the midst of a seeming sea change in the gun-control debate was not a coincidence, and a clear sign that the CPAC doesn’t see itself as responsible for the prevalence of mass shootings.

What makes the rancor especially absurd is that not only is the Republican Party in charge of the Executive Branch and both chambers of Congress, but, by all honest accounts, the Trump administration is succeeding in implementing a hyperconservative agenda. CPAC favorites Ted Cruz and Shapiro acknowledged that they had no substantive disagreements with Trump. Nevertheless, the entire event was defined primarily by victimhood and paranoia. The enemies are everywhere: Democrats, socialists, college professors, regulators, black athletes, reporters, “fake news,” the FBI. “They try like hell, they can’t stand what we’ve done,” Trump said ominously.

None of that is surprising, of course. CPAC has always been a laboratory for cranks and grifters to test their particular formula of reactionary resentment. In earlier years, the secret sauce often looked like a Sarah Palin–style Evangelicalism. In the age of Trump, the formula is closer to a European-style ethno-nationalism that barely camouflages its nativism. Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham described this Friday morning as a “populist, forward-looking conservatism.”

Nowhere was that trend more obvious than in the attendance of Marion Marechal Le Pen, granddaughter to the founder of the French far-right National Front party , which is currently lead by Marion’s aunt, Marine Le Pen. Marion is more religious than her aunt, who has tried to obscure the party’s fascist goals, and has disavowed some of her grandfather’s most anti-Semitic remarks. Still, she has referred to herself as the “heir” to his political legacy. More troublingly, she has previously claimed she wanted to united the conventional conservatives in France with “Identitarians,” which includes racist white-nationalist groups.

Her speech was modestly attended, which was expected given her low profile in the United States, and consisted of exactly the kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric she’s known for. “Terrorism is only the tip of the iceberg,” she said about the Muslim community in France. “I’m not offended when I hear President Trump say America First. I want America First for the American people. I want Britain First for the British people. I want France First for the French people.”

“All I want is the survival of my nation,” she added.

Her presence was roundly criticized in the media and by observers of increasing levels of right-wing extremism in the United States and Europe. “I think that presenting Le Pen, [Nigel] Farage, and [Sebastian] Gorka as their European familiars betrays the party’s radicalization, as well as unprecedented US support for the European far right, with parallels to the Kremlin’s championing” far-right European parties, including Le Pen’s Front National, said Alexander Reid Ross, author of Against the Fascist Creep. “Even members of the US right seem concerned about Le Pen’s attendance, in light of her presence at a white-nationalist event in Paris last year and stated desire to bring fascists into mainstream French politics.”


Continues: https://www.thenation.com/article/the-w ... ears-cpac/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:48 am

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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:51 am

THE BRASSINGTON FILES

BY DANIEL HOPSICKER · FEBRUARY 27, 2018

Drugs, Russian Oligarchs, & the 9/11 flight school in Venice Florida


Image
FBI Top 10 Most Wanted drug pilot Kevin Frater (left)
with Michael Brassington in the Turks & Caicos


http://www.madcowprod.com/2018/02/27/th ... n-files-2/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:22 pm

Shakespeare in the Age of the Tyrant

JJ Amaworo Wilson

Stephen Greenblatt's new book, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power, is a timely tome. As Greenblatt well knows, we're living in an age of ruthless strongmen. The world's recent and lamentable swing to the right is embodied by all-powerful authoritarians. Here's the cast list:

Nicolás Maduro (Venezuela) - presiding over an avoidable domestic catastrophe, a post-apocalyptic hellscape involving food shortages, street gangs, and a completely collapsed infrastructure. He was supposedly reelected in 2018 with 68% of the vote (pigs were seen flying over Caracas the day the result was announced).

Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) - an old-fashioned caudillo (strong man) bulldozing his way through the edifice of human rights, unleashing dirty wars against his critics, not to mention defenseless farmers and peasant communities.

Vladimir Putin (Russia) - as Time Magazine puts it: "Putin, a 65-year-old man in a country with a male life expectancy of 64, embodies an image of Russian virility and swagger" - making Russia great again by meddling in foreign elections, annexing neighbors, and suppressing dissent at home.

Viktor Orbán (Hungary) - ultra-nationalist and promoter of "illiberal democracy," closing borders to refugees in order to "preserve Hungary's Christian culture." You couldn't make this stuff up. Does he know what Christianity is supposed to stand for?

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey) - once the big hope for democracy in the region, turned authoritarian after a military coup in 2016 failed to oust him. He's now cracking down on dissent by locking up journalists by the dozen.

Donald Trump (USA) - don't know where to start.

Against this list, look at Shakespeare's power-wielders: King Lear, unraveled by pride and the cruelty of his daughters Goneril and Regan. Macbeth, whose pursuit of power destroys him. Richard III, a man-become-murderer-become-monster, a psychotic so cynical and cruel that actor Antony Sher could think of no other way to play him than as a staggering black spider.

Shakespeare, according to Greenblatt, created these characters to illustrate what power does to men. It makes villains of us. It amplifies our faults. (There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, like Macbeth, until you start killing people.) It corrupts our souls and eats away at our humanity. Macbeth sleeps no more after he gains the throne by murdering Duncan. For King Henry, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" (King Henry IV Part 2).

Shakespeare understood power and tyranny better than any writer who's ever lived. Greenblatt illustrates this superbly with vivid discussions of Lear, Coriolanus, Macbeth, Leontes, Richard III, and others. Besides his examination of the kings' flaws, Greenblatt describes the role of "enablers." These are the henchmen and sounding boards, opportunists and court lackeys who are in it for themselves, picking up whatever scraps they can.

The book also discusses the mob - the role of the public in the rise of a tyrant. When Greenblatt alludes to the masses who "take vicarious pleasure in the release of pent-up aggression, in the black humor of it all, in the open speaking of the unspeakable," he may as well have written "the deplorables."

If you want to understand today's tyrants, read this book. Or better still, go back to the source, a 400-year-old vale of tears and soaring language that does not age. In Shakespeare's tragedies, you'll find everything you need to know about tyranny and power, because the bard - the great, mysterious poet of the human soul - knew it all.


http://www.pmpress.org/content/article. ... 5012039860
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:30 am

War, Trade, Law: The Next Stage of Fascism is Beginning

By Ami du Radical

Image

A ONE-PARTY SYSTEM IN A TWO-PARTY NATION
The Trump administration is almost comically corrupt. In addition to his troubles with the FBI, the list of this administration’s conflicts of interest stretched from Rex Tillerson’s oil fortune, to recently-departed Scott Pruitt’s amazing rap sheet of scandals and insider dealing, all the way to Trump’s own children, who have significantly enriched themselves during his presidency [7]. The triangle between Michael Cohen, Sean Hannity, and Donald Trump is a less competent, more sniveling version of Godfather politics, analogous to basically every other legal problem the president has ever had. But now, instead of running chickenwire casinos on shady financing, Trump is running the world’s most powerful and destructive state. Worse, he’s caught the nation during a time of economic decline and waning geopolitical influence, the incubation chamber of authoritarian politics.

His government is, seemingly, comprised of roughly 15 to 30 yes-men who use cloak-and-dagger tactics to enforce his decrees. He has refused to be held accountable in even the smallest matters, and bungles simplistic functions of government on a daily basis. Yet this Hindenburg of an administration remains afloat due to one factor alone: when Trump came to power, the GOP secured control of the House, Senate, and Supreme Court as well. Even the most useless official can achieve broken-clock successes when they have maximal control of the state. Rather than a consensus-builder, Trump is a kneecapper of competitors.

The Trump administration has poured its resources into weakening, dismantling, circumventing, or eliminating the legal barriers which, to however small an extent, have limited the president’s power in past administrations. He has turned the Mueller investigation into an extended attack on the FBI and the Department of Justice, gradually inciting conservatives to view the intelligence community as a den of conspirators – quite a feat in itself. He has delegitimized the media to cast doubt on any information that might damage his image, truthful or not, and stacked every government agency with his cronies so as to smoothen his interactions with state machinery.

It is Trump’s incredible laziness that has compelled him to find ways of eliminating dissent, avoiding discussions and hearings, and skipping over the tediousness of parliamentary procedure. His favorite tool is the executive order; it requires minimal effort and patience, and would require a two-thirds majority to overrule which, in this administration, will never occur. But in his efforts to simplify his job, Trump has accidentally managed something remarkable; he has built a one-party system inside a two-party system.

The epitomization of this concentration of power lies with the Supreme Court. The GOP forestalled the replacement of Justice Scalia long enough to secure power, then altered the Senate rules to quickly cram Gorsuch into the vacancy, all with the blessing of the president; one branch conspired with another branch to fundamentally change the third. Now, the government has scored a second seat, meaning that by the end of July, the conservative bloc will have smothered decades of civil rights gains, and paved the way for a generation of case decisions rubber-stamped to their specifications. This is a crushing level of power to wield, and the GOP did it by following Trump’s lead, abandoning their decades-long masquerade as a party of rigid devotion to constitutional standards. The Democrats, duped and outplayed for the billionth time, have no real power in the Capital. In the span of a short week, the Supreme Court has handed down decisions that codified anti-LGBTQ hatred under the guise of “religious freedom,” upheld the Muslim band, and eviscerated public unions in the aftermath of successful teachers’ strikes. This ticks three more essential boxes on the fascist agenda: the conjoining of religion and law, the legalized scapegoating of minorities, and the demolition of organized labor. In the near future, the GOP is aiming for the elimination of affirmative action, and potentially a reversal of decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage.

This is the kind of behavior Trump has publicly envied in other national leaders. Trump has frequently congratulated, complimented, and lauded the successes of tyrants like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Without the political acumen or cleverness to actually pull it off himself, Trump is left to make pitifully transparent asides about the “respect” and “admiration” shown to these strongmen leaders. However, his commentary on their methods still helps to normalize the idea of authoritarian rule among his supporters, who were already hungry for unilateral destruction of their sociopolitical boogeymen. Just like with his opinions on trade, the media, and alliances with NAFTA or NATO nations, conservatives have shifted their opinions to match their leader’s own; more Republican voters now hold a positive opinion of Putin than in 2016, and fewer consider Russia to be a threat to America – this, from the voter bloc that drooled over Reagan’s Cold War antics [8]. Their thirst for social vengeance leads them to see, in dictators around the world, the kind of iron-fisted rule they envision for America. Some of the most virulent pro-Trump fascists in America are still wearing t-shirts referencing Pinochet, amusing themselves with the idea of forming death squads of their own.

Real autocracy is still out of Trump’s reach, but the GOP’s shell game with the Supreme Court has certainly given him a potent weapon against his enemies. Now, rather than passing bills, Trump can effectively shape the laws of the nation by simply funneling as many civil rights cases as possible up the judicial ladder, feeding them through the conservative-run Supreme Court like pine board through a wood chipper. Decisions can be hammered out to suit rightist ideology, punishing both marginalized people and political radicals alike, potentially cutting off many avenues of resistance currently available to us. Trump can sit back and allow Jeff Sessions to pick up any case that suits their purposes – campus free speech disputes, asylum laws, protections for protesters, anti-suppression laws for voters – and secure a new legal precedent that reflects the GOP’s draconian social views. With no opposition party to struggle against, a government full of obsequious toadies behind him, and this level of autocratic power at his command, even a flaccid dope like Donald Trump could construct a terrifyingly oppressive regime. It will be nothing like the openly despotic and carefully calculated behavior of Putin, but it will nonetheless have devastating consequences for us all.

It’s important to remember that neither Mussolini nor Hitler formed particularly “popular” national parties, nor even won a single popular vote. Rather, in both instances, fascism grew out of a combination of mass cronyism, extreme corruption, support from the capitalist class, and the collaboration of police with far-right vigilante squads. One other element provided the ignition for fascism to arise; a weakened national economy, and capitalist fears of a socialist uprising.


https://itsgoingdown.org/war-trade-law- ... beginning/
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