Article 43

 

Fascism

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

The Expendable White Male

image auscwitz entrance

Back in 2004 AT&T layed off lots of inside and outside plant technicians, and replaced them with contracted techs. 

A friend who was an AT&T executive at the time called it a transition to a FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE.

THE CWA UNION WAS OK WITH THIS, and encouaged layed off members to apply for jobs with the contracting company - doing the same job they did at AT&T - at considerably less pay and benefits, but still represented by them.

TUCKER TECHNOLOGY, INC is a full service Information Technology firm with special emphasis on providing full-service Telecommunications and Information Technology solutions to our customers for Voice and Data applications

Today, the Tucker Technologies website redirects to TTI-USA that says:

TTI is a women & minority-owned 5G telecommunications installation company that utilizes staffing & supplier aggregation to expand the nation-wide 5G network.

I see so many minority-owned, minority-run, and EVEN THE EEO SELF IDENTIFICATION PAGE for government and contractor jobs lists minorites first.

The days of the white male dominated job market are over.

In 2020 Time Magazine POINTED OUT, one percent of white men are getting all the money, adding to inequality.

White, non-urban, non-college educated men have the slowest wage growth in every demographic category.

That the majority of white men have benefited from almost none of this growth isn’t because they have lost income to women or minorities; its because they’ve lost it to their largely white male counterparts in the top 1 percent who have captured nearly all of the income growth for themselves. According to economist Thomas Piketty, men accounted for 85 percent of the top income centile in the mid-2010s - and while he doesn’t specify, these men are overwhelmingly white…

Thus, by far the single largest driver of rising inequality these past forty years has been the dramatic rise in inequality between white men.

It stinks that the gap between rich white men and all other white men is growing, - but if the point Time is making is that one percent are mostly white men - I agree.  But this isn’t a post about the one percent.  The issue is jobs and white American men.  I see ads whose first bullet item is “must speak the local language.” For a job.  In the United States.

A MAJORITY OF WHITE AMERICANS believe discrimination against white people exists in America today. Many believe its getting worse, even more prevalent than discrimination against black people. According to a Pew Research survey, 14 percent of white folks said being white holds them back from getting ahead.

In 2017 NPR WROTE

More than half of whites - 55 percent - surveyed say that, generally speaking, they believe there is discrimination against white people in America today.

“If you apply for a job, they seem to give the blacks the first crack at it,” said 68-year-old Tim Hershman of Akron, Ohio, “and, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you’re white, you don’t get it. If you’re black, you get it.”

Add that to ageism for white male boomers that don’t have enough to retire, and the situation is as dire as when I ALMOST TOOK MY LIFE ten years ago.

2019

AS MANY AS 25,000 COMPLAINTS CLAIMING AGE DISCRIMINATION have been filed each year since 2008, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission… A work study conducted by AARP in 2017 found that age is the leading reason for negative treatment by an employer.

2021

THERE ARE SOME STARK DISPARITIES in both gender and race when it comes to SUICIDE. Men die by suicide 3.6 times more often than women, and the suicide rate is more than twice as high among Whites compared to African Americans or Asians and Pacific Islanders. The result? White men account for nearly 70% of suicide deaths.

The ENGERS VS AT&T LAWSUIT led to my first retirement kick in the face:

In 1997, AT&T converted its traditional defined benefit pension plan to a cash balance plan. As a result of the conversion, the accounts established for older participants were significantly less than the value of the accumulated annuities they had already earned under the old plan. The workers sued, claiming that the conversion discriminated against older workers and that AT&T executives knew that employees within seven years of retirement eligibility would not earn any additional pension benefits for several years… The bad news for those people who had their AT&T pensions cut from the cash balance transfer years ago - is they lost the 12 year court battle.

Over the years

WE’VE SEEN MANY LARGE CORPORATIONS choose to cut employee benefits whether that be pension, 401(k), or healthcare. Verizon created headlines all the way back in 2005 when they announced they would freeze their pension program.

[AT&T] Employees retiring after 2022 will be hit the hardest, as they will lose all medical coverage typically given to retirees. AT&T will no longer supplement monthly premiums for medical or dental.

Things like this may help explain the violence from so-called right-wing EXTREMIST groups of mostly white men like the ones President Trump coaxed to BREAKING IN to the Senate chambers last January.

THESE ARE GUYS that really think that they don’t matter in the world and have been tossed aside.

Some say it’s a conspiracy theory.

THERE IS A RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY theory called the great replacement, which says that white people are being overtaken by minorities and that this is going to cause a loss of rights for white people. It used to be on the fringe. Its been around a long time, but what’s special now is that that theory is embraced in full-throated fashion by major political leaders and also by major media figures. If you live in an area thats losing white population, you can start yourself to connect the dots to the spinning that’s going around with these narratives.

Not me.  Like I said before - even the SELF-IDENTIFICATION PAGE on job applications I fill out lately defaults to Hispanic or Latino.

I lost a central office tech position because of EEO QUOTAS in 1988, that saved a black guy’s job who had less seniority than me.  But I didn’t wind up hating black people.  It’s hard not to notice most techs were white men, and coming from BROOKLYN where just about everyone black was poorer than me and my mom - they deserve a break.

IN THE BEST OF TIMES, many African American communities are forced to tolerate levels of unemployment unseen in most white communities. The 2001 recession pushed the white annual unemployment rate up from a low of 3.5% in 2000 to a high of 5.2% in 2003. During the same period, the black unemployment rate shot up from 7.6% to 10.8%. National recessions take African Americans from a bad situation to a worse one.

What I object to is the SYSTEM THAT CREATED THIS SEPARATION AND FRICTION, feeding hate and resentment between all workers. 

Today it’s WHITE MALES being shafted in the job market along with THE GIG ECONOMY bringing everyone down.  Before that TWO-TIERED PAY, before that the FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE with CONTRACTORS AND TEMPS, and the big ones going on since NAFTA - OFFSHORING and OUTSOURCING to cheap overseas labor that may have slowed down from COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS, and the RUSSIA/UKRAINE WAR - but after that will probably pick up again.

Let’s remind ourselves again, in 2020 70% of suicides in America were WHITE MEN.

The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men.

White males accounted for 69.68% of suicide deaths in 2020.

In 2020, men died by suicide 3.88x more than women.

Not to mention

SINCE 2000, the suicide rate in the United States has risen 35 percent, primarily because of the significant increase in such deaths among the WHITE population.

[T]he death rate among men tended to rise in cities where jobs were vanishing because of competition from cheap foreign goods.

In 2015

A STUDY released late last year by two Princeton academics, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who won the 2014 Nobel prize for economics, revealed that the DEATH RATE FOR WHITE AMERICANS AGED 45 TO 54 has risen sharply since 1999 after declining for decades. The increase, by 20% over the 14 years to 2013, represents about half a million lives cut short.

What does my crystal ball think?

President Trump may come back STRONGER than ever in 2024 with promises of a new ARYAN world.

Remember these guys?

IN GERMANY, the Nazis promoted this false notion that glorified the German people as members of the “Aryan race,” while denigrating Jews, Black people, and Roma and Sinti (Gypsies) as “non-Aryans.”

But this fat, old white man, who isn’t happy with our system of rule, is not someone they’re looking for.

Nor would I want to be one.

We’re all human beings, and we ALL deserve a good life.

In 2011 OCCUPY WALL STREET was called A MOVEMENT TOO BIG TO FAIL, and I really thought it would be a defining moment in taking back our country from the OLIGARCHS and PLUTOCRATS that have taken over.

It wasn’t.

Then in 2020 we tried to roll out the President’s chair for America’s most loved politician - BERNIE SANDERS - who may have sold us out, and backed PRO CORPORATIST, REPUBLICAN LITE, FASCIST WANNABE Joe Biden - the same Joe Biden who WROTE ME in 2012 asking for a camapign donation after I asked to help the long-term unemployed - whose now our 46th President, throwing us into the WORST SUFFERING we’ve ever experienced.

I’m guessing a food crisis will lead fossils like me (and the poor, and the disabled, and anyone not FITTING the neo-fascist mold) into the gas chambers so the HARD WORKING Aryans have food.

IN MARCH 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of a hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the “global food system” in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine.

Guterres said food, fuel and fertiliser prices were skyrocketing with supply chains being disrupted and added this is hitting the poorest the hardest and planting the seeds for political instability and unrest around the globe.

Rember what the GEORGIA GUIDESTONES said

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual BALANCE WITH NATURE.

Did you know

In many states, laws say that doctors can sterilize disabled people against their will. This is called forced sterilization. MOST STATES ALLOW FORCED STERILIZATION today. Laws allowing forced sterilization exist in 31 states plus Washington, D.C.... Sterilization is an operation that stops someone from ever having babies.

The only reason they may be keeping old people alive is because they’re big dollar signs to the drug and health care industries.

“In 2003, SENIORS IN MEDICARE MANAGED-CARE PLANS will pay an estimated $1,964 in average out-of-pocket expenses for health care, 10 percent more than last year and twice as much as four years ago.” (Marsha Gold and Lori Achman, Average Out-Of-Poket Health Care Costs for Medicare+Choice Enrollees Increase 10 Percent in 2003.” The Commonwealth Fund, August 2003).

Costs are expected to grow because scientists are continually discovering medicines to treat diseases of aging and people are living longer. The elderly population, now 36 million, is expected to reach 70 million by 2030. (Robert Pear, Prescription Drugs Now, Day of Reckoning Later, New York Times, 19 August 2003).

Today more dollar signs are waving at big pharma.

LECANEMAB is the first drug to help improve the symptoms of Alzheimers by slowing the disease. These are very promising results, although the only data we have at the moment is from the drugmaker’s PRESS ELEASE.

When famine is the issue, there may be a big fight between the companies that want to keep pill popping seniors alive, and goverment propaganzing there isn’t enouigh food for everyone - turning into a war between the young and the old.

And the old divide and conquer will go on like it always has.

IT IS AS IF millions of our fellow citizens have fallen asleep, as if they have become hypnotized and brainwashed by the powers-that-bes incessant managing and massaging of reality. These powers simply manipulate an already gullible and highly suggestible public into a game of “divide and conquer.” They get rich off of others blood - they incite conflict, and covertly support both sides, as they themselves reap the benefit of the conflict.

Chris Hedges PREDICTS

The step from dysfunctional democracy to full blown fascism was, and will again be, a small one. The hatred for the ruling class, embodied by the establishment Republican and Democratic parties, which have merged into one ruling party, is nearly universal.

By next spring, following a punishing winter of rolling blackouts and months when families struggle to pay for food and heat, what is left of our anemic western democracy could be largely extinguished.

Posted by Elvis on 10/04/22 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Dying America • Section Fascism • Section Personal
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Monday, September 26, 2022

The Return Of Fascism

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The corporate world and our government are becoming indistinguishable, which is one of the hallmarks of FASCISM, or more accurately - CORPORATISM.
- War On Consciousness, Paul Levy, Awaken In The Dream, July 2007

AUSTERITY is the engine of U.S. capitalism in its late stages. The regime is driven by the unmitigated rule of finance capital over all levers of the state. Everything is looked upon as an opportunity for private profit and investment rather than human need.
- Austerity American Style, Part 18 - Progressive Letdown, 2020

In the popular Left Behind series, the Antichrist begins his plan by subsuming America into the One-World Government. This is based on the Book of Revelation. Orthodox Christians believe that the ultimate reason for the push for a one-world government is rebellion against God leading to the Antichrist. Globalist, Liberals and Socialists believe that their God has no authority over how the Earth is ran, including governments. Some globalists also want to effectively create a unified world religion.
- Biden’s New World Order, 2020

Fascism happens when a society falls into sudden, fresh poverty. In particular, when it holds debts it can’t repay - and the result is widespread economic stagnation. A feeling of discontentment and hopelessness become pervasive. SOCIAL BONDS FRAY. Trust collapses.  A society is hanging together by a thread.  Elites, whose status and prestige will be lost if they admit they’ve mismanaged society, don’t - and so the VICIOUS CYCLE OF POVERTY AND DESPAIR SIMPLY THUNDERS ON.

Soon enough, in the vacuum, a DEMAGOGUE ARISES, who blames the economic woes of the true and the pure on those it’s easiest to scapegoat. Long-hated, powerless minorities. “We will be Great Again!” he cries. “All you must do is annihilate the subhumans.” His flock - long ignored and derided by elites as the cause of their own problems, now have someone else to blame, to demonize. Those who they’ve hated for generations, usually, anyways.  Bang!  The fascist spark is lit. The rest is history.
- Fascist Implosion, 2020

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The Return of Fascism
As in the 1930s, a bankrupt liberalism, grotesque social inequality and declining living standards are empowering fascist movements in Europe and the U.S.

By Chris Hedges
Substack
September 24, 2022

Energy and food bills are soaring. Under the onslaught of inflation and prolonged wage stagnation, wages are in free fall. Billions of dollars are diverted by Western nations at a time of economic crisis and staggering income inequality to fund a proxy war in Ukraine. The LIBERAL CLASS, terrified by the rise of neo-fascism and demagogues such as Donald Trump, have thrown in their lot with discredited and reviled establishment politicians who slavishly do the bidding of the war industry, oligarchs and corporations.

The bankruptcy of the liberal class means that those who decry the folly of permanent war and NATO expansion, mercenary trade deals, exploitation of workers by globalization, AUSTERITY and neoliberalism come increasingly from the far-right. This right-wing rage, DRESSED UP in the United States as Christian fascism, has already made HUGE GAINS in HUNGARY, POLAND, SWEDEN, ITALY, BULGARIA and FRANCE and may TAKE POWER in the Czech Republic, where inflation and RISING ENERGY costs have seen the number of Czechs FALLING BELOW THE POVERTY LINE DOUBLE.

By next spring, following a punishing winter of rolling blackouts and months when families struggle to pay for food and heat, what is left of our anemic western democracy could be largely extinguished.

Extremism is the political cost of pronounced social inequality and political stagnation. Demagogues, who promise moral and economic renewal, vengeance against phantom enemies and a return to lost glory, rise out of the morass. Hatred and violence, already at the boiling point, are legitimized. A reviled ruling class, and the supposed civility and democratic norms it espouses, are ridiculed.

It is not, as the philosopher Gabriel Rockhill POINTS OUT, as if fascism ever went away. “The U.S. did not defeat fascism in WWII,” HE WRITES, “it discretely internationalized it.” After World War II the U.S., U.K. and other Western governments COLLABORATED with hundreds of former Nazis and Japanese war criminals, who they INTEGRATED into western intelligence services, as well as fascist regimes such as those in Spain and Portugal. They SUPPORTED right-wing anti-communist forces in Greece during its civil war in 1946 to 1949, and then BACKED a right-wing MILITARY COUP in 1967. NATO also had a secret policy of OPERATING fascist terrorist groups. Operation Gladio, as the BBC detailed in a now-forgotten investigative series, CREATED “secret armies,” networks of illegal stay-behind soldiers, who would remain behind enemy lines if the Soviet Union made a military move into Europe. In actuality, the “secret armies” carried-out assassinations, bombings, massacres and false flag terror attacks against leftists, trade unionists and others throughout Europe.

See my interview with Stephen Kinzer about the post-war activities of the CIA, including its recruitment of Nazi and Japanese war criminals and its creation of black sites where former Nazis were hired to interrogate, torture and murder suspected leftists, labor leaders and communists, DETAILED in his book Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, HERE.

Fascism, which has always been with us, is again ascendant. The far-right politician GEORGIA MELONI is expected to become Italy’s first female prime minister after elections on Sunday. In a coalition with two other far-right parties, Meloni is FORCAST to win more than 60 percent of the seats in Parliament, though the left-leaning 5-Star Movement may put a dent in those expectations.

MELONI got her start in politics AS A 15-year-old activist for the youth wing of the Italian Social Movement, founded after the World War II by supporters of Benito Mussolini. SHE CALLS EU bureaucrats agents of “nihilistic global elites driven by international finance.” She PEDDLES the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory that non-white immigrants are being permitted to enter Western nations as part of a plot to undermine or “replace” the political power and culture of white people. She has called on the Italian navy to turn back boats with immigrants, which the far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini DID in 2018. Her Fratelli d’Italia, Brothers of Italy, party is a CLOSE ALLY of Hungary’s President, Viktor Orban. A European Parliament resolution recently DECLARED that Hungary can no longer be defined as a democracy.

Meloni and Orban are not alone. Sweden Democrats, which TOOK over 20 percent of the vote in Swedens general election last week to become the country’s second largest political party, was formed in 1988 from a neo-Nazi group called B.S.S., or Keep Sweden Swedish. It has deep fascist roots. Of the party’s 30 founders, 18 had Nazi affiliations, including several who served in the Waffen SS, ACCORDING TO Tony Gustaffson a historian and former Sweden Democrat member. France’s Marine Le Pen TOOK over 41 percent of the vote in April against Emmanuel Macron. In Spain, the hard-right Vox party is the THIRD LARGEST party in Spain’s Parliament. The far-right German AfD or Alternative for Germany party TOOK OVER 12 percent in federal elections in 2017, making it the third largest party, though IT LOST a couple percentage points in the 2021 elections. The U.S. has its own version of fascism embodied in a Republican party that coalesces in cult-like fashion around Donald Trump, embraces the magical thinking, misogyny, homophobia and white supremacy of the Christian Right and actively subverts the election process.

Economic collapse was indispensable to the Nazis’ rise to power. In the 1928 elections in Germany, the Nazi party RECEIVED less than 3 percent of the vote. Then came the global financial crash of 1929. By early 1932, 40 percent of the German insured workforce, six million people, were UNEMPLOYED. That same year, the Nazis became the largest political party in the German parliament. The Weimar government, tone deaf and hostage to the big industrialists, prioritized paying bank loans and austerity rather than feeding and employing a desperate population. It foolishly imposed severe restrictions on who was eligible for UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. Millions of Germans went hungry. Desperation and rage rippled through the population. Mass rallies, led by a collection of buffoonish Nazis in brown uniforms who would have felt at home at Mar-a-Lago, denounced Jews, Communists, intellectuals, artists and the ruling class, as internal enemies. Hate was their main currency. It sold well.

The evisceration of democratic procedures and institutions, however, preceded the Nazis’ ascension to power in 1933. The Reichstag, the German Parliament, was as dysfunctional as the U.S. Congress.  The Socialist leader Friedrich Ebert, president from 1919 until 1925, and later Heinrich Brning, chancellor from 1930 to 1932, RELIED ON Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution to largely rule by decree to bypass the fractious Parliament. Article 48, which granted the president the right in an emergency to issue decrees, was a trapdoor through which Germany could fall into dictatorship,” historian BEJAMIN CARTER HETT writes.

Article 48 was the Weimar equivalent of the executive orders liberally used by Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, to bypass our own legislative impasses. As in 1930s Germany, our courts - especially the Supreme Court - have been seized by extremists. The press has bifurcated into antagonistic tribes where lies and truth are indistinguishable, and opposing sides are demonized. There is little dialogue or compromise, the twin pillars of a democratic system.

The two ruling parties slavishly serve the dictates of the war industry, global corporations and the oligarchy, to which it has given huge tax cuts. It has established the most pervasive and intrusive system of government surveillance in human history. It runs the largest prison system in the world. It has militarized the police.

Democrats are as culpable as Republicans. The Obama administration interpreted the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force as giving the executive branch the right to erase due process and act as judge, jury and executioner in assassinating U.S. citizens, starting with radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Two weeks later, a U.S. drone strike KILLED Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, Anwar’s 16-year-old son, who was never linked to terrorism, along with 9 other teenagers at a cafe in Yemen. It was the Obama administration that SIGNED into law SECTION 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, OVERTURNING the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the military as a domestic police force. It was the Obama administration that bailed out Wall Street and abandoned Wall Streets victims. It was the Obama administration that REPEATEDLY USED the ESPIONAGE ACT to criminalize those, such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, who exposed government lies, crimes and fraud. And it was the Obama administration that massively EXPANDED the use of militarized drones.

The Nazis responded to the February 1933 burning of the Reichstag, which they likely staged, by employing Article 48 to PUSH THROUGH the Decree for the Protection of the People and the State. The fascists instantly snuffed out the pretense of Weimar democracy. They legalized imprisonment without trial for anyone considered a national security threat. They abolished independent labor unions, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press, along with the privacy of postal and telephone communications.

The step from dysfunctional democracy to full blown fascism was, and will again be, a small one. The hatred for the ruling class, embodied by the establishment Republican and Democratic parties, which have merged into one ruling party, is nearly universal. The public, BATTLING INFLATION that is at a 40-year high and cost the average U.S. household AN ADDITIONAL $717 a month in July alone, will increasingly see any political figure or political party willing to attack the traditional ruling elites as an ally. The more crude, irrational or vulgar the attack, the more the disenfranchised rejoice. These sentiments are true here and in EUROPE, where energy costs are expected to rise by as much as 80 percent this winter and an inflation rate of 10 percent is eating away at incomes.

The reconfiguration of society under neoliberalism to exclusively benefit the billionaire class, the slashing and privatization of public services, including schools, hospitals and utilities, along with deindustrialization, the profligate pouring of state funds and resources into the war industry, at the expense of the nation’s infrastructure and social services, and the building of the worlds largest prison system and militarization of police, have predictable results.

At the heart of the problem is a loss of faith in traditional forms of government and democratic solutions. Fascism in the 1930s succeeded, as Peter Drucker observed, not because people believed its conspiracy theories and lies, but in spite of the fact that they saw through them. Fascism thrived in the face of “a hostile press, a hostile radio, a hostile cinema, a hostile church, and a hostile government which untiringly pointed out the Nazi lies, the Nazi inconsistency, the unattainability of their promises, and the dangers and folly of their course.” He added, “nobody would have been a Nazi if rational belief in the Nazi promises had been a prerequisit.”

As in the past, these new fascist parties cater to emotional yearnings. They give vent to feelings of abandonment, worthlessness, despair and alienation. They promise unattainable miracles. They too peddle bizarre conspiracy theories including QAnon. But most of all, they promise vengeance against a ruling class that betrayed the nation.

Hett defines the Nazis as “a nationalist protest movement against globalization. “The rise of the new fascism has its roots in a similar exploitation by global corporations and oligarchs. More than anything else, people want to regain control over their lives, if only to punish those blamed and scapegoated for their misery.

We have seen this movie before.

Posted by Elvis on 09/26/22 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Letting Biden Slide

image: fact checkers

The government thinks that by creating an endless stream of completely unchallenged information and “news” which confirms their claims, then people will eventually be convinced as any contrary information will be deemed “problematic” and erased from memory.
- Fascism, Facebook, Truth and Covid

While listening to President Biden’s SPEECH last week:

We started with the American Rescue Plan.  That’s taken us from economic crisis to economic resurgence.  Jobs are up.  Incomes are up.  People are back to work.

Over in the REAL WORLD:

Desperation is growing by the day for Americans who lost their jobs over the coronavirus pandemic. An estimated 17 million people could now be facing hunger, in addition to those who already battle it every day.

Feeding America, the national organization linking U.S. food banks, estimates it will need an additional $1.4 billion to meet increased needs over the next six months.

I think the guy’s a worse liar that DUBYA, something I didn’t think was possible.

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Why has fact-checking disappeared under Biden?

By Joe Concha
The Hill
September 18, 22

Fact-checking under President Trump was a BUSTLING BUSINESS. Seemingly every day, and sometimes by the hour, the 45th president’s every word was scrutinized, which all comes with the job. 

But under PRESIDENT BIDEN, fact checkers are enjoying what feels like extended vacations or have simply checked out in terms of scrutinizing the many ways that he is MISLEADING THE PUBLIC.

Take CNN fact-checker DANIEL DALE as a prime example of apathy around holding the current president accountable.

From June 2019 until November 2020, Dale appeared or was mentioned on CNN more than once per day, on average, ACCORDING TO MEDIATE. Estimating conservatively,

That’s more than 500 appearances or mentions on a national network in the span of just 16 months.

But Dale has become the fact-checker version of Edward Snowden under Biden. He’s almost impossible to find these days. In fact, Dale has not conducted even one fact-check of the president since June.

Of course, Biden supporters will insist that Dale simply doesn’t have any material to work with. But that’s not true. In August, Biden declared that inflation in July was zero, despite the number being near a 40-year high at 8.3 percent.

Last week, Biden claimed the Inflation Reduction Act, which NUMEROUS STUDIES have CONCLUDED will do almost nothing to reduce inflation, had already “helped reduce inflation at the kitchen table.” In a related story, food prices rose again in August, with the Consumer Price Index up 10.6 percent year-over-year.

There are many other examples from the summer, but you get the point: The most powerful man in the country needs to be held accountable for his words and actions, particularly in an election year, when each side is attempting to shape the narrative through the press. But fact-checkers at mainstream outlets refuse to do it.

The situation is worse when it comes to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She has been fact-checked only once by Politifact since June.

This is the same press secretary who claimed earlier this month that people arent just walking into this country across the U.S. Southern border, when in fact it’s happening daily, per border agents and REPORTING ON THE GROUND.

She also claimed the Biden administration is “doing a lot more [than the Trump administration] to secure the border.”

Yup. She claimed that the administration that halted border wall construction and ended the effective “Remain in Mexico” policy is doing more than the previous administration to secure the border.

In a related story, the numbers don’t lie: MORE THAN TWO MILLION MIGRANTS will come into this country illegally this year, an all-time record. This is the easiest of fact-checks to make, but Politifact doesn’t seem interested. Why?

Overall, since taking over for Jen Psaki on May 13, Jean-Pierre has not been fact-checked at all by FACTCHECK, the Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post or CNN. This is the equivalent of being a toll collector in an E-Z Pass lane, a job that doesn’t require, you know, actually working.

The perception of fact-checkers has taken a big hit as a result, at least among Republicans and independents. PEW RESEARCH SURVEY found that seven in 10 self-identified Republicans say fact-checkers favor one side, while nearly half of independents feel the same way.

The midterm elections are 50 days from now. The balance of power in Washington hangs in the balance. More than ever, words matter.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/18/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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Friday, August 19, 2022

Democracy Hollowed Out Part 43 - Banning The Bible

image: book burning

A Texas school board rejects ‘In God We Trust’ signs in Arabic… The signs had the right message, as required by law. One stated “In God We Trust” over a rainbow background. Another was in Arabic. But the Carroll school district in North Texas rejected the signs, saying it already has enough for its buildings.
- Texas school board rejects “In God We Trust” signs in Arabic

Texas School Bans the Bible
Keller ISD has pulled all versions of the Bible from school shelves in a recent purge to remove LGBTQ books and other ‘controversial’ titles.

By Matthew Gault
Vice
August 17, 2022

A Texas school district has pulled all versions of the Bible and the graphic novel version of Anne Franks Diary from its library shelves ahead of the start of the school year. The ban happened in Keller, Texas - a suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with a population just under 40,000.

On August 16, the day before school started, Jennifer Price, Keller ISDs executive director of curriculum and instruction sent an email to the school district’s principals: Attached is a list of all books that were challenged last year. By the end of today, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms,” Price said. Once this has been completed, please email me a confirmation. We need to ensure this action is taken by the end of the day. I apologize for the late request.”

The list of CURRENTLY CHALLENGED WORKS is 41 books long and includes “The Bible (All Versions),” Anne Frank’s Diary (The Graphic Adaptation), So Youre Being Publicly Shamed, several LGBT touchstones like Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, and classics like Toni Morisson’s The Bluest Eye.

Later that day, Keller ISD released a statement on its website. “Keller ISD’s Board of Trustees approved policies EFA (Local) and EFB (Local) at its August 8, 2022, Special Meeting. These policies relate to the acquisition and review of instructional materials and library books. Right now, Keller ISDҒs administration is asking our campus staff and librarians to review books that were challenged last year to determine if they meet the requirements of the new policy,” the statement said. “All of the books included in Tuesdays email have been included on Keller ISD’s Book Challenge list over the past year. Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to the libraries as soon as it is confirmed they comply with the new policy.”

Essentially, in this case, books were challenged, then reviewed in a closed-door committee vetting process. The books survived that review, but then were further challenged; the district decided to pull all books on the challenged list for the time being.

Bryce Nienman, Keller ISD’s spokesman, told the Dallas Morning News that Keller’s school trustees recently approved a new policy that would reconsider every book that had already survived a ban. The new policy came after Texas state officials launched an official investigation into Keller ISD over sexually explicit books in its library. Parents and teachers met in secret for months, reviewing the books and making decisions about what could stay and what could go. Participants had to sign CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS.

Laney Hawes, a Keller ISD parent who sounded the alarm about the book ban on Twitter, talked about her experience in some of these meetings. “These books went through the official district established challenge committee process, she said. “But because they all passed the committee process, our extreme Christian nationalist school board decided the process was ‘rigged.’ Sound familiar? I served on the committee for The Diary of Anne Frank Graphic Novel. The person who challenged the book didn’t even show up to defend their position. But now the book is pulled.”

Much of the current wave of book banning in the United States is being FUELED BY GROUPS LIKE MOMS FOR LIBERTY that are explicitly Conservative and Christian, so it’s ironic that the district has included The Bible in its list of banned titles. It’s a book for which there is at least a plausible argument for banning, considering the Constitutionally enshrined, but poorly enforced, separation of church and state.

Book bannings in schools and libraries have become increasingly common in America. The targets are typically books that deal with LGBTQ THEMES, books that deal with sex in any way shape or form, and books about the Holocaust. Librarians and administrators have also REPORTED RECEIVING THREATS and discrimination after setting up displays featuring LGBTQ books, and right-wing extremist groups have DISRUPTED multiple Pride-themed events in libraries across the US.

SOURCE

Book Banning Is a Slippery Slope to Fascism

Texas Republicans, having worked up hysteria around so-called critical race theoryӔ being taught in schools (its not), have moved on to the next culture-wars issue: banning books from schools that they claim are pornographic or present history or society in ways that makes them feel uncomfortable. This is nothing new; Americans have been banning books since before there was a United States. But book bans must always be opposed by people who believe in freedom of speech and expression, and support public education.

I first read English author George OrwellҒs 1984 in my public high school, probably in 1981. It absolutely terrified me. More than anything, the notion that an all-powerful State could not only control your actions but even your thoughts, to the point that rebellion was impossible, was terrifying to contemplate. Should I, as a high school student, been permitted to read it? It did make me very uncomfortable. Should 1984 therefore be banned?

Absolutely not. 1984 should be required reading for all high school students. And yet, since its publication by Orwell in 1949, it has been banned many times for social and political themes and for sexual content. It has also been challenged for being “pro-communism,” even though Orwell modeled his State and Big Brother on both fascist and Communist governments of his time.

Along with the typical complaints about “pornographic” books, this latest wave of conservatives banning books is remarkable for their anger towards books by and about people of color, or by and about LGBTQ, especially trans people. Texas State Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, released a list of about 850 books that he wanted to ban from school libraries. He claimed the books make students feel “discomfort” because of their content about race and sexuality.  An analysis of Krauses list by The Dallas Morning News found that of the first 100 titles listed, 97 were written by women, people of color or LGBTQ authors. A common complaint is that these books will make children think about changing themselves, or teaches them ғcritical race theory.

School libraries aren’t the only place where conservatives are seeking to ban books. Some public libraries in cities and counties in Texas are seeing numerous book challenges from local residents, often with the stated goal of trying to protect our children. Late last year, Llano County Community Library was forced to shut down for several days to enable librarians to conduct a thorough review of every childrens book in the library, at the behest of the Llano County Commissioners Court. Local public libraries in Victoria, Irving and Tyler are facing book challenges from local residents seeking to have children’s books removed. And Granbury ISD, in Hood County, removed 125 books from the high school library after Rep. Krause spoke with Hood County Judge Ron Massingill.

Libraries, and especially school libraries, need to be places where students can go and find stories about people who look or feel like them. They need to be places where students can safely explore their world, which for many students is a baffling place full of change, new feelings, and sometimes danger. Our children are actually pretty resilient, and typically wont read books that make them feel too uncomfortable or that present ideas that are too advanced for them.

But if the books that they need to find aren’t available, they will look elsewhere, potentially somewhere less safe than their school or community library. Are all books appropriate for all ages? No, of course not, but we need to trust our librarians to make those choices, not politicians with partisan goals in mind, like Republican Rep. Matt Krause and Hood County Judge Massengill. Parents always have the right to tell their children what not to read, but they do not have the right to decide what is appropriate for all children to read. That path indeed leads to the slippery slope in which more and more books are determined to be “inappropriate” and book bonfires come back into vogue. As a Granbury High School student memorably stated, in comments to the Granbury ISD Board of Trustees, No government - and public school is an extension of government - has ever banned books, and banned information from its public, and been remembered in history as the “good guys.”

SOURCE

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Posted by Elvis on 08/19/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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Saturday, July 02, 2022

Fascists In Our Midst

image: hitler and jesus

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord’s work.
- Adolf Hitler

By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.
- Adolf Hitler

Fascists In Our Midst
Supreme Court rulings, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade, herald the ascendancy of Christian fascism in the United States

By Chris Hedges
Substack
June 26, 2022

The Supreme Court is relentlessly funding and empowering CHRISTIAN FASCISM. It not only overturned Roe v. Wade, ending a constitutional right to an abortion, but ruled on June 21 that Maine may not exclude religious schools from a state tuition program. It has ruled that a Montana state program to support private schools MUST INCLUDE RELIGIOUS schools. It ruled that a 40-foot cross COULD REMAIN ON STATE PROPERTY in suburban Maryland. It upheld the Trump administration regulation allowing employers to DENY BIRTH CONTROL COVERAGE TO FEMALE EMPLOYEES ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS. It ruled that EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAWS DO NOT APPLY to teachers at religious schools. It ruled that a Catholic social services agency in Philadelphia COULD IGNORE CITY RULES and refuse to screen same-sex couples applying to take in foster children. It NEUTERED THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT. It WATERED DOWN laws allowing workers to combat sexual and racial harassment in court. It reversed century-old campaign finance restrictions to permit corporations, private groups and OLIGARCHS to spend unlimͭited funds on elections, a system of legalized bribery, in CITIZEN’S UNITED v FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION. It permitted states to OPT OUT of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. It UNDERCUT the ability of public sector unions to raise funds. It forced workers with legal grievances to submit their complaints to privatized arbitration boards. It ruled that states CANNOT RESTRICT THE RIGHT TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS in public. It ruled that SUSPECTS CANNOT SUE POLICE who neglect to read them their Miranda warnings and use their statements against them in court. Outlawing contraception, same-sex marriage and same-sex consensual relations are probably next. Only 25 PERCENT OF THOSE POLLED SAY THEY HAVE CONFIDENCE IN SUPREME COURT DECISIONS.

I do not use the word fascist lightly. My father was a Presbyterian minister. My mother, a professor, was a seminary graduate. I received my Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. I am an ordained Presbyterian minister. Most importantly, I spent two years reporting from megachurches, creationist seminars, right-to-life retreats, Christian broadcasting networks and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with members and leaders of the Christian right for my book AMERICAN FASCISTS: THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT AND THE WAR ON AMERICA, which is banned at most “Christian” schools and universities. Before the book was published, I met at length with Fritz Stern, the author of THE POLITICS OF CULTURAL DESPAIR: A STUDY IN THE RISE OF GERMAN IDEALOLOGY, and Robert O. Paxton, who wrote THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM, two of the country’s most eminent scholars of fascism, to make sure the word fascist was appropriate.

The book was a warning that an American fascism, wrapped in the flag and clutching the Christian cross, was organizing to extinguish our anemic democracy. This assault is very far advanced. The connecting tissue among the disparate militia groups, QANON CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, anti-abortion activists, right-wing patriot organizations, Second Amendment advocates, neo-Confederates and TRUMP SUPPORTERS that stormed the Capitol on January 6 is this frightening Christian fascism.

Fascists achieve power by creating parallel institutions schools, universities, media platforms and paramilitary forces - and seizing the organs of internal security and the judiciary. They deform the law, including electoral law, to serve their ends. They are rarely in the majority. THE NAZIS NEVER POLLED ABOVE 37 PERCENT in free elections in Germany. Christian fascists constitute LESS THAN A THIRD OF THE U.S. ELECTORATE, about the same percentage of those who consider abortion to be murder.

This flagrant manipulation of law was displayed in two of the most recent Supreme Court decisions, where those who support this ideology have a five to three majority, with the less extremist Chief Justice John Roberts often adding a sixth vote. In overturning Roe v. Wade, the court, in a six to three decision, argued that states have the power to decide whether abortion is legal. The same court conversely came down against “states rights,” in STRIKING DOWN strict restrictions on carrying concealed firearms.

What the ideology demands is law. What the ideology opposes is a crime. Once a legal system is subservient to dogma an open society is impossible. 

Blow by blow autocratic power is being solidified by this monstrous Christian fascism which is bankrolled by the most retrograde forces of corporate capitalism. It looks SET TO TAKE CONTROL of the U.S. Congress in the midterm elections. If Trump, or a Trump-like clone, is elected in 2024, what is left of our democracy will likely be extinguished.

These Christians fascists are clear about the society they intend to create.

In their ideal America, our “secular humanist” society based on science and reason will be destroyed. The Ten Commandments will form the basis of the legal system. Creationism or “Intelligent Design” will be taught in public schools, many of which will be overtly “Christian.” Those branded as social deviants, including the LGBTQ community, immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims, criminals, and those dismissed as “nominal Christians” - meaning Christians who do not embrace this peculiar interpretation of the Bible - will be silenced, imprisoned, or killed. The role of the federal government will be reduced to protecting property rights, “homeland” security and waging war. Most government assistance programs and federal departments, including education, will be terminated. Church organizations will be funded and empowered to run social-welfare agencies and schools. The poor, condemned for sloth, indolence, and sinfulness, will be denied help. The death penalty will be expanded to include “moral crimes,” including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy, and witchcraft, as well as abortion, which will be treated as murder. Women, denied contraception, access to abortion, and equality under the law, will be subordinate to men. Those who practice other faiths will become, at best, second-class citizens. The wars waged by the American empire will be defined as religious crusades. Victims of police violence and those in prison will have no redress. There will be no separation of church and state. The only legitimate voices in public discourse and the media will be “Christian.” America will be sacralized as an agent of God. Those who defy the “Christian” authorities, at home and abroad, will be condemned as agents of Satan.

How did the historians of Weimar Germany and Nazism, the professors of Holocaust studies, the sociologists and the religious scholars manage to miss the rise of our homegrown Christian fascism? Immersed in the writings of Hannah Arendt, Raul Hilberg, Saul Friedlnder, Joachim Fest, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Theodor Adorno, they never connected the dots. Why didn’t church leaders thunder in denunciation at the grotesque perversion of the Gospel by the Christian fascists as they sacralized the get-rich-with-Jesus schemes of the prosperity gospel, imperialism, militarism, capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry? Why didn䒒t reporters see the flashing red lights that lit up decades ago?

Most of those tasked with reporting on and interpreting history, social movements and religious beliefs have failed us. They spoke about the past, vowing “Never again,” but refused to use the lessons of the past to explain the present. It was not ignorance. It was cowardice. To confront the Christian fascists, even in universities, meant career-canceling accusations of religious bigotry and intolerance. It meant CREDIBLE THREATS OF VIOLENCE from conspiracy theorists who believed they were called by God to murder abortion providers, Muslims, and “secular humanists.”

It was easier, as many academics did in Weimar Germany, to believe that the fascists did not mean what they said, that there were strains within the movement that could be reasoned with, that opening channels of dialogue and communication could see the fascists domesticated, that if in power the fascists would not act on their extremist and violent rhetoric.  With few exceptions, German academics DID NOT PROTEST the Nazi assumption of power and the wholesale dismissal of their liberal, socialist, and Jewish colleagues.

Although my book was a New York Times best seller, Harvard told my publisher it was not interested in my appearing at the school. I gave a lecture on the book at Colgate University, where I had earned my undergraduate degree, organized by my mentor COLEMAN BROWN, a professor of ethics. I held a seminar, also organized by Coleman, with the professors of philosophy and religion after the talk. These professors wanted nothing to do with the critique. When we left the room, Coleman muttered, “the problem is they do not believe in heretics.”

I was asked in 2006 to speak at the inauguration of the CENTER at Princeton University when I was the ANSCHUTZ DISTINGUISHED FELLOW IN AMERICAN STUDIES. To my dismay, the faculty facilitators had invited representatives from the right-wing Christian student group who see any deviation from heterosexuality as a psychological and moral abnormality. Christian fascist pastors in Texas and Idaho, who have driven countless young people struggling with their sexual identity to suicide, have called for THE EXECUTION OF GAY PEOPLE as recently as a few days ago.

“There is no dialogue with those who deny your legitimate right to be,” I said, looking pointedly at the LGBTQ students. “At that point it is a fight for survival.”

The faculty member organizing the event leapt from her chair.

“This is a university,” she said to me curtly. “Your talk is over. You can’t say those kinds of things here.”

I sat down. But I had made my point.

All those tasked in our society with interpreting the world around us forgot, as philosopher Karl Popper wrote in THE OPEN SOCIETY AND ITS ENEMIES, that “unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

These scholars, writers, intellectuals, and journalists, like those in Weimar Germany, bear much of the blame. They preferred accommodation over confrontation. They stood by as the working class was stripped of rights and impoverished by the billionaire class, fertilizing the ground for an American fascism. Those who orchestrated the economic, political, and social assault are the major donors to the universities. They control trustee boards, grants, academic prizes, think tanks, promotion, publishing, and tenure. Academics, looking for an exit, ignored the attacks by the ruling oligarchy. They ascribed to the Christian fascists, bankrolled by huge corporations such as Tyson Foods, Purdue, Wal-Mart and Sams Warehouse, attributes that did not exist. They tacitly gave the Christian fascists religious legitimacy. These Christian fascists are an updated version of the so-called German Christian Church, or DEUTSCHE CHRISTEN, which fused the iconography and symbols of the Christian religion with the Nazi party. The theologian Paul Tillich, the first non-Jewish German professor to be blacklisted from German universities by the Nazis, angrily CHASTISED those who refused to fight “the paganism of the swastika and retreated into a myopic preoccupation with personal piety.”

Victor Klemperer, stripped of his position as a professor of Romance languages at the Technical University of Dresden when the Nazis came to power in 1933 because he was Jewish, mused in HIS DIARY in 1936 what he would do in post-Nazi Germany if “the fate of the vanquished lay in my hands.” He wrote that he would “let all the ordinary folk go and even some of the leaders… But I would have all the intellectuals strung up, and the professors three feet higher than the rest; they would be left hanging from the lamp posts for as long as was compatible with hygiene.”

Fascists promise moral renewal, a return to a lost golden age. They use campaigns of moral purity to justify state repression. Adolf Hitler, days after he took power in January 1933, imposed a ban on all homosexual organizations. He ordered raids on homosexual clubs and bars, including the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin, and the permanent exile of its director, Magnus Hirschfeld. Thousands of volumes from the institutes library were tossed into a bonfire. This “moral cleansing” was cheered on by the German public, including German churches. But the tactics, outside the law, swiftly legitimized what would soon be done to others.

I studied at Harvard with theologian JAMES LUTHER ADAMS. Adams was a member of the underground anti-Nazi Confessing Church in Germany led by the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller. Adams was arrested in 1936 by the Gestapo and expelled from the country. He was one of the very few to see the deadly strains of fascism in the nascent Christian right.

“When you are my age,” he told us (he was then 80), “you will all be fighting the Christian fascists.”

And here we are.

The billionaire class, while sometimes socially liberal, dispossessed working men and women through deindustrialization, austerity, a legalized tax boycott, looting the U.S. Treasury and deregulation. It triggered the widespread despair and rage that pushed many of the betrayed into the arms of these con artists and demagogues. It is more than willing to accommodate the Christian fascists, even if it means abandoning the liberal veneer of inclusiveness. It has no intention of supporting social equality, which is why it thwarted the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

In the end, even the liberal class will choose fascism over empowering the left-wing and organized labor. The only thing the ruling oligarchy truly cares about is unfettered exploitation and profit. They, like the industrialists in Nazi Germany, will happily make an alliance with the Christian fascists, no matter how bizarre and buffoonish, and embrace the blood sacrifices of the condemned.

While Standing Rock is an example of imperialism brought home, it pales in comparison to the imperialism abroad that Biden has supported throughout his entire career.  In 1998, Biden CALLED FOR A WAR in Iraq.  In 1999, he coauthored a bill with John McCain that authorized a potential ground assault in Kosovo.  When the opportunity to actually go to war in Iraq came up again, Biden ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORTED IT.  Biden’s PRO-WAR CABINET SELECTIONS have shown that he has not changed his position on imperialism. In recent confirmation hearings, Biden’s choice for secretary of state, ANTHONY BLINKEN, stated that Biden will CONSIDER GUAIDO AS THE LEADER OF VENEZUELA.  This paves the way for more brutal sanctions and potential coup attempts. Biden supports a fascist police state at home and an imperialist military agenda abroad. 

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 07/02/22 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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