Friday, Feb 3, 2017

Crisis: Nazis & Trump, Resistance, The "Democrats", What End, Coup d'Etat

Sections                                                                     crisis index

Nazis Once Published List of Jewish Crimes, Trump Now
     Pushing to Do the Same for Immigrant Crimes

2. Trump’s ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign and the Early Resistance
Why Aren't the Democrats Doing More to Support the
     Burgeoning Trump Resistance Movement?

From Resisting Trump To What?
5. Flailing Trumpsters Upset a Hijacked Nation

This is a Nederlog of Fri
day, February 3, 2017.

Summary: This is a crisis log with 5 files and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about a remarkable parallel between Trump's anti-Muslim policies and the Nazis anti-Jewish policies; item 2 is about what is in fact the common them of this and the next three
reviews: What to do about Trump?; item 3 gives some interesting and disappointing facts about the "Democrats" (they have no backbone when this is unstrenghtened by liberal financial donations, or so it seems); item 4 asks a very good question, namely what the anti-Trumpians are for (and I know what I am for, but far fewer of America's leftists and "leftists" have clear and informed ideas about politics - it seems to me); and item 5 is about an article by Ralph Nader that is good (and not optimistic).

As for today (February 3, 2017): I have changed my site on February 1, 2017 to make it easier that it might be read, because it now happened for most of last year that both of my sites are not uploaded properly:

On it may be days, weeks or months behind to show the proper last date and the proper last files (in the last 4 years always on the date it was that day) and of course it was yesterday already not uploading; on it may be shown as December 31, 2015 (and often was!!!) but it was OK yesterday; and I am sick of being systematically made unreadable and therefore changed the site.

For more explanations, see
here - and no: with two different sites in two different countries with two different providers, where this has been happening for a year now I'm absolutely certain that this happens and that it's not due to me.
1. Nazis Once Published List of Jewish Crimes, Trump Now Pushing to Do the Same for Immigrant Crimes

The first item today is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:
The Trump administration has announced plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants living in so-called sanctuary cities, where local officials and law enforcement are refusing to comply with federal immigration authorities’ efforts to speed up deportations. The plans for the weekly list, to be published by the Department of Homeland Security, were included in Trump’s executive orders signed last week. We speak to Andrea Pitzer. Her upcoming book is called "One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps."
How nice! How heartening! The USA does not only have an insane neofascist president: He also tries to turn back to that fine old fascism - and God knows He (The Great Megalomaniac Trump) knows both the Jews and the Muslims are Semites!

I'm sorry, but I happen to know a lot about fascism, and my antifascist father got knighted in Holland for designing and building (with others) an exposition about the dangers of fascism and anti-semitism.

Here is more:

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what President Trump has said he’s going to do: keep a list of, quote, "immigrant crimes"?

ANDREA PITZER: Well, this weekly report that he has called for recalls a number of things from the past that we have seen before, which is this move to isolate and identify and then vilify a vulnerable minority community in order to move against it. When he—I just went back last night and reread his speech from when he declared his candidacy, and the Mexican rapist comment was in from the beginning, and so this has been a theme throughout. And we see back in Nazi Germany there was a paper called—a Nazi paper called Der Stürmer, and they had a department called "Letter Box," and readers were invited to send in stories of supposed Jewish crimes. And Der Stürmer would publish them, and they would include some pretty horrific graphic illustrations of these crimes, as well. And there was even a sort of a lite version of it, if you will, racism lite, in which the Neues Volk, which was more like a Look or a Life magazine, which normally highlighted beautiful Aryan families and their beautiful homes, would run a feature like "The Criminal Jew," and they would show photos of "Jewish-looking," as they called it, people who represented different kinds of crimes that one ought to watch out for from Jews.

Yes indeed: Quite so. And Andrea Pitzer also has a highly correct and extremely frightening remark about the surveillance that the secret services now do for 16 years or more, in which they collect everything on everybody (because everybody might oppose the government [1]):

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you, Andrea Pitzer, about the White House considering a plan to make visitors reveal cellphone, internet data. Describe the role mass surveillance plays in authoritarian societies.

ANDREA PITZER: Well, over time, we’ve seen that it’s very hard to have an authoritarian or a totalitarian society, a state that runs, without a secret police. And you can’t—what you need the secret police for is to gather information secretly. The surveillance techniques and abilities that we have today are really unparalleled in history. And while we can’t yet be sure what the Trump administration’s motives are, what they have at their disposal is far greater than what was had in Soviet Russia, in Nazi Germany. I’m thinking in particular of Himmler complaining that he had trouble keeping track of all the people he needed to, because he needed so many agents. But when you have the kind of technology that we do, you don’t need as many people, if you have the right tools to use.
Precisely - and I have been worried about it since 2004 (and I wrote first about it, in Dutch, in 2005, here - which is still worth reading).

This is also why I am very pessimistic:

The secret police knows everything about everyone [2], and in the USA they already can take out anyone they please, and forbid any publicity about anyor his prosecution by the government (!!!), and keep him locked up forever without any trial whatsoever (!!!): all of that is "legal" already, and it has happened to Muslims and possibly also to others (but we don't know because all publicity is forbidden in the "democratic" USA).

This is a recommended article.

2. Trump’s ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign and the Early Resistance

The second item is by Paul Street on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Listening to liberal acquaintances and other liberal voices in the media during the newly minted presidency of Donald Trump, they seemed shaken and surprised that he was moving ahead forcefully with the terrible and vicious policies he said he would pursue.
Yes. And this is followed by a fairly long list of things Trump already did as president, which I skip (you can read it by clicking the last dotted link).

Here is more on Trump:

Then there were the outrageous statements on and off Trump’s “big beautiful Twitter account” (Trump’s weird words), which remains creepily active in his presidency. The day after his inauguration, Trump went to the Central Intelligence Agency to childishly complain about the media’s supposed underestimation of the size of his inauguration crowd and to say that Islamic State arose because the U.S. failed to “keep the oil” when it invaded Iraq. “Maybe we’ll have another chance” to take Iraq’s oil, Trump added.

Both in not-so-presidential tweets and in a talk with congressional leaders, Trump repeated his false and debunked claim that 3 million to 5 million votes were cast illegally in the election, robbing him of a win in the popular vote. This bizarre charge is meant to amplify his anti-immigrant narrative and to justify future efforts to roll back nonwhites’ voting rights in the 2018 (midterm congressional) and 2020 (presidential year) elections.

Yes - and as to Trump's "bizarre charge": I point out once again that many psychologists and many psychiatrists think and some have publicly argued that Donald Trump is insane, and I agree with them (as an M.A. psychology). You may disagree, but if you do, make sure you read the last link (by three professors of psychiatry, in a letter to Obama).

There is also this:

Call it “Shock and Awe.” The Tyrant is only getting started.

I lift this out to say that - while I like Paul Street, for what I know of him - I don't think this is quite the way to combat Trump.

Here is some more about both Trump and Bannon:

But thin-skinned megalomaniacs and arch-authoritarian sociopaths don’t care about public opinion any more than they worry about the common good. They care about winning at all costs, by any means necessary.

Bannon, who is “positioning himself not just as a Svengali but as the de facto president” (in the words of The New York Times’ editors on Tuesday), does not sweat mass protests by “privileged liberals.” He relishes “the left’s” agitation and looks forward to using it to rally Trump’s white-nationalist “heartland” base against the “bicoastal liberal elite.”

I agree more or less with the first paragraph, although I dislike the term sociopath, mostly because it is a psychiatric diagnosis which calls people mad simply because they disagree with the accepted social norms (which seems Soviet psychiatry to me), while I also much doubt that Paul Street and the vast majority of journalists has any conscious knowledge of trying to deal with truly insane people (which Trump is, in my psycho- logically schooled eyed, which also happens to have a great amount of experience in dealing with truly insane persons [3]).

As to the second paragraph: It seems to me very improbable that Trump will allow Bannon to position himself as "de facto president", which I think not because it may not be true (I simply don't know), but because of Trump's megalomania: He Is The Greatest And The Best In Everything That Counts.

And there is this on "American Democracy":

The third and perhaps most disgusting thing is the assumption that a president atop a purported democracy is beyond accountability to the public once he’s won the only real gauge of popular sentiment that matters: an indirect election through Electoral College decision once every four years. As George W. Bush’s White House spokesperson Dana Perino explained  when asked if the citizenry should have “input” on U.S. foreign policy in March 2008: “You had your input. The American people have input every four years, and that’s the way our system is set up.”

Dana Perino sounds as if she was Hitler's spokesperson, simply because he would very probably have said just the same (and no, American is no democracy anymore).

Then there is this:

Straight Out of Goebbels

And besides, Trump insists, and most of his base seems to agree, he didn’t actually lose the popular vote. Trump’s fraud charge, recited again and again, is straight out of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Third Reich propaganda minister.” Repeat a lie a thousand times,” Goebbels said, “and it becomes the truth.” Goebbels used that principle to run his horrific campaign against Europe’s Jews.

It’s the same idea with Trump’s preposterous claims that the U.S. is being ravaged by wild hordes of illegal-alien criminals or that climate change is not indisputably the result of human activity.
Yes and no. I mostly agree, but I also like to point out that Goebbels was much inspired by Edward Bernays' (<-Wikipedia) "Propaganda" (which is on my site), and that repetition is one the main tools of advertisement and propaganda in general (and propaganda = slanted, biased, prejudiced or partial presentation of something that is meant to produce a state of belief that is not proportional to the evidence, and not at all what Bernays lied it is).

There is this on large demonstrations:
Did Bush, Dick Cheney (Dubya’s “de facto president”) and the rest of the neoconservative cabal that made U.S. foreign policy in Bush Junior’s presidency care about the other “superpower in the streets” in March of 2003? They did not. The “Shock and Awe” bombing show exploded in Baghdad even as millions protested the criminal assault in U.S. streets and around the world.
Yes indeed. And there is this on Trump's and Bannon's neofascism (for I think that is what they are, and this is not quite the same as fascism: They do not want the state to be all-powerful; they want the multi-national American corporations to be all-powerful):
His top political adviser and newly minted NSC boss Bannon is a cryptofascist at best, and a real one at worst. And if Trump walks and quacks like a fascist duck, it may not really matter how conscious he is of how his authoritarian, corporatist, militarist, imperial, sexist, racist, nativist, hyper-masculinist and white-nationalist Venn diagram overlaps with fascist ideology and style past and present. As the left journalist David Talbot notes in his recent collection of interviews with Chris Hedges, “the beast with orange hair … tapped into the long-simmering rage and resentment of these working families and underclass. And along with the electrifying leader, came all the other hallmarks of classic fascism—the over-heated rhetoric, the scapegoating of minorities, the thuggish violence.”
I more or less agree, although I would have formulated it differently. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
So how do you fight American fascism?

In fact, there is considerably more in the article, which is recommended, but I think myself that one of the first things to do is to get it right about "fascism": Fascism is
of the Thirties and Forties, and has many different definitions, some good, some bad (which are reviewed here:
On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions) and neofascism
is defined under the last link, and a bit different (see here).

And indeed I now have heard several use the term "neofascism" correctly (e.g. Allan Nairn (<-Wikipedia), in an interview I listed yesterday).

This article is recommended and may be taken as continued by the next item:

3. Why Aren't the Democrats Doing More to Support the Burgeoning Trump Resistance Movement?

The third item is by Sarah Lazare on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
In the roughly two weeks since Donald Trump took the White House, millions of people across the United States and the world have descended upon streets, parksairports and embassies to protest an administration that is aggressively implementing its fascist, white supremacist campaign platform. Stunning numbers have shown they are willing to risk detention or deportation from local, state and federal law enforcement in order to fight back against the onslaught. And yet the Democratic Party has shown a dispiriting willingness to work with, and even acquiesce to, the Trump administration.
Yes indeed, but there also is a good underlying reason why the "Democratic Party" (the quotes signalize irony) is willing to collaborate with Trump and the Republicans: Both the "Democrats" and the "Republicans" are funded by the big banks and the big corporations, and both parties mainly work to further the interests of the big banks and the big corporations.

Sarah Lazare also knows this. Here is more, and I did not know this:
But the rallying cries of a terrified public have largely gone unanswered. Last month, Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren were among 11 Senate Democrats who cast their votes in favor of Ben Carson’s appointment to secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The former far-right presidential candidate is an open Islamophobe who brings no experience in housing policy.
I say - but Lazare is quite right that Carson is a total incompetent. Here os some more on Elizabeth Warren and the "Democratic Party":
Warren’s complicity is not unique. Thirty-seven Senate Democrats supported the nomination of John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly is a retired Marine general who oversaw and aggressively defended mass torture at Guantánamo Bay. He has also called immigration an “existential threat” to the United States and urges an escalated war on drugs. Among those who voted to approve the confirmation of Kelly was Sen. Patrick Leahy, who has previously been championed as a defender of human rights.
I say again, for I did not know this either. Then again, I know for quite a while that the "Democratic Party" is much better described as the Big Bankers' Party, whereas the "Republican Party" is much better described as the Big Oil Party (as shown also by the nomination of the former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson (<-Wikipedia) as Secretary of State).

Here is the last bit I'll quote from this article:
Democrats overwhelmingly lined up behind James Mattis, who was confirmed as Defence Secretary 98-1. Mattis is a darling of neoconservatives who has directly presided over horrific war crimes. He was the convening authority over the Haditha massacre in Iraq and played a lead role in both U.S. sieges on Fallujah in 2004, killing thousands of civilians. “While reporting from inside Fallujah during that siege, I personally witnessed women, children, elderly people and ambulances being targeted by US snipers under Mattis' command,” journalist Dahr Jamail noted in December. “Needless to say, all of these are war crimes.”
I say, once again, for I did not know this either. Then again, I confess I have never believed in the honesty of politicians, so none of this comes as a big surprise. But it
does seem to me decent evidence to give up all hopes of reforming the Big Bankers' Party (aka the "Democratic Party"), that is, unless you are both willing and capable of laying down more money than they are to realize your political ends.

In brief: You will not be rescued by either "the Democrats" or "the Republicans" if you are not very rich to start with.

This is a recommended article
and may be taken as continued by the next item:

4. From Resisting Trump To What?

The fourth item is by Les Leopold on Common Dreams, and asks a quite fundamental question:
This starts as follows:

Resistance is breaking out all over: the women’s marches, the immigration airport protests and the defiant Sally Yates, the State Department mass dissents, the battle for the Supreme Court, with much more to come.

But where are we going? Are we simply calling for a return to the pre-Trump status quo of runaway inequality, the largest prison population in the world, inadequate and costly health care, unjust immigration policies and accelerating climate change? Or do we have a new vision for America? If so, what is it and how do we fight for it?
Yes indeed: The question of the title and also the last questions in the last quote are quite good and sensible. Here is some more on why they are good and sensible:
Occupy Wall Street grew to 900 encampments around the world and changed the conversation in America from austerity to inequality. But it evaporated within six months. The spirited Arab Spring in Egypt took down the government, but paved the way for the highly organized Muslim Brotherhood and then a military dictatorship. We should know by now that without organizational infrastructure such wondrous uprisings are fragile at best. They require leadership, dues paying members, legislative agendas, and ways for participants to engage in decision making. Such constructions are very hard work that social media can assist but not replace.
Precisely - and I also notice that at least the Occupy movement was mostly driven by a postmodernistic refusal to admit any leaders, any differences in education or experience, and any legislative agenda or paying members, and did that quite consciously. (And that just did not and does not work, indeed.)

Then there is this about Bernie Sanders:
Can the remnants of the Sanders campaign fill this vacuum? The jury is out. Electoral campaigns tend to unravel unless the candidate decides to run again. Campaign operatives go back to their day jobs and young volunteers return to school. Our Revolution, the political extension of the Sanders campaign, has possibilities but so far it has not attracted a mass following.
I like Bernie Sanders (without always agreeing with him) but he is now 75 and it seems quite unlikely that he will compete for the presidency when 79.

And here is the last bit, which is quite important, and show you where the Clintons and Obama did lead "the Democrats" to:
While we were in our silos, pushing our particular issues, the hard right took control of the country ― not just ideologically, but over the real levers of power. Since 2009, when Obama took office, the Democrats have lost 919 state legislative seats. The Republicans now control 68 percent of all state legislative chambers, and control both state chambers and the governorship in 24 states while the Democrats have such tri-partite control in only 6 states.
Yes indeed.

5. Flailing Trumpsters Upset a Hijacked Nation

The fifth item today is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows and outlines why the phrase "coup d'état" is quite justified - and I am not talking about the vast majorities that the Republicans gained that were the subject of the last quote in the previous reviewed article, but about the grossly illegal modes of operation of Trump, his billionaires and his former generals:

The Trump Gang, hardly two weeks in the White House, is giving strong, petulant signals that it is hijacking the checks and balances of our democratic institutions. Coupling the Boss’s easily brusiable ego, marinated in infinite megalomania, with ideologues harboring objectives that would have frightened Nixonites and Reaganites alike, a runaway train is leaving the station.

After unexpectedly winning the Electoral College but decisively losing the popular vote, Trumpsters are wasting no time. They are undermining the efficacies of the civil service, the Congress, the media, organized labor, and soon the federal courts, while already betraying desperate Trump voters (many of whom cast a vote against Hillary Clinton) with their version of the imperial corporate state, led by corporatists and militarists.

Yes indeed. And here is why the Trumpian government is authoritarian:

Looking at the Trump regime clinically, there is a method to their madness. Striving to govern early by a stream of poorly written Executive Orders (dictates), their basic message to all is “get with the program or get out.” Building on past precedents of presidential lawlessness, Trump wants to rule by directives and tweeted dictates against any challengers. Temperamentally, he has little patience for governing in a democracy and thinks he can rely on showmanship, bluster and bullying.

Again yes indeed. And there is this on a rather likely Trumpian future:

One terrorist attack in this country and Trump becomes a bellowing monster throwing rules of law, free speech and other serious protections of health and safety for the people to the winds.

Trump is already "throwing rules of law, free speech and other serious protections of health and safety for the people to the winds" and indeed he would be much helped by either a terrorist attack or "a terrorist attack", which I phrased as I did simply because
I do not accept the official story about 9/11/01. (I do not know what really happened,
but it is not what the official story told.)

There is this on Trump and the media:

Trump is constantly attacking the media, sometimes as a general institution, other times naming reporters in his disfavor. He’s gotten about as much juice out of that regular eruption as he can. The mass media made him with staggering amounts of free airtime and print space. He then turned on them, because for The Donald, “Enough is never Enough.” Bruised, some of the media will cower. But many will assert themselves with penetrating coverage.

He’ll give them plenty of material with his lawless Presidential actions and his conflicts of interest (plus violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause). And his unyielding ownership of business assets in the U.S. and around the world present countless potential conflicts of interest.

I agree (but wait and see how "many will assert themselves with penetrating coverage").

This is the end of the article:

Lunging from one eruption and outrage to the next, it seems that the Trumpsters are grabbing the country and racing together toward the cliff. The question is: Who goes over the cliff first?

I don't quite get the question, but I am willing to answer it: Either the USA succeeds in removing Trump somehow from the presidency or else the most likely outcome I see is a nuclear war that will destroy humankind.

[1] And that is the main reason for surveilling everyone: To know who opposes the goverment, so that the government (in the end: a few tens of persons) can have them taken out somehow. For this is what the secret services do and always did, and this was also behind my (Dutch) article of 2005.

[2] I grant this is an assumption, but since it has been documented by Edward Snowden with very many documents, I think the assumption is entirely fair.

[3] Since it turned out that, after I had fallen deeply in love with her in the beginning of 1986, a friend of her gave her a mixture of cocaine and speed (without me knowing anything about this) that triggered a deep and serious schizophrenic psychosis, indeed also because her parents were crazy (I don't know in what way, but they were crazy) and had given her a crazy education.

I went with her to her G.P., who happened to be very good (which is very rare), but it turned out no one could give decent professional help, and therefore it fell to me (who at the time did know a lot of psychology, although I didn't have an M.A. yet).

The brief of it is that I spent the next two years only working for her; I lived over 5 years with her; I succeeded in getting her into the University and to study psychology; and she eventually got a Ph.D. in that, but meanwhile had dumped me after getting a job in the university, simply because I could not service her further.

I do feel deeply betrayed, in a very sick way also, but the story is complicated. And in any case, I did learn a lot about dealing with a person with a deep psychosis, which she had in 1986 and 1987, and as I said, I did that well (and I am deeply sorry now for doing what I did for her, but not when I did it, which I did only because I loved her).

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