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  • May 04, 2022 03:11 PM
    Last: 6mo
    312

    I also bought Adam Schiff's book, but never got a chance to finish it. But yes, Devin Nunes and people like him that are so subservient to Trump, make for interesting case studies by psychologists and other social scientists. That right wing of the Republican Party, Nunes et al, seem to have lost all touch with reality, and what it takes to make a democracy succeed. They throw their efforts and money behind a phony autocrat. I would have thought that these people had some kind of moral compass and appreciation of how fragile democracies are and that continually undermining it by supporting the imposter's big lies sets us up for a future Christian autocracy...or more accurately, Christian fascism. Chris Hedges wrote about Christian fascism in 2008: From the Amazon book review:

    "American Fascists, which includes interviews and coverage of events such as pro-life rallies and weeklong classes on conversion techniques, examines the movement's origins, its driving motivations and its dark ideological underpinnings. Hedges argues that the movement currently resembles the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s, movements that often masked the full extent of their drive for totalitarianism and were willing to make concessions until they achieved unrivaled power.

    "The Christian Right, like these early fascist movements, does not openly call for dictatorship, nor does it use physical violence to suppress opposition. In short, the movement is not yet revolutionary. But the ideological architecture of a Christian fascism is being cemented in place. The movement has roused its followers to a fever pitch of despair and fury. All it will take, Hedges writes, is one more national crisis on the order of September 11 for the Christian Right to make a concerted drive to destroy American democracy. The movement awaits a crisis. At that moment they will reveal themselves for what they truly are -- the American heirs to fascism. Hedges issues a potent, impassioned warning. We face an imminent threat. His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant."

    =====================

    Hedges warned about the threat 14 years ago. The crisis arrived on January 6th and continues to this day as we watch in horror the Republican Party transformation into a Christian fascist cult led by an atheist opportunist (Trump) and nothing much anyone can do about it.

  • Mar 28, 2022 09:11 AM
    Last: 6mo
    1.7k

    I have misgivings about how this war will end. In 2015 I wrote a blog article, Why We Go TO War, and have now reread the article in trying to make sense of how we are being dragged into a proxy war with Russia. Part of the problem is that we are indeed the "world's savior of democracy", so whenever a war comes up, somehow it comes knocking at our gates. In 2017 when we were dragged into World War I, our standing army of soldiers and reserves was only 200,000 compared to Germany's 4,500,000, France's 4,017,000 and Russia's 5,971,000. After that experience we became a world super-power, despite our good intentions to stay out of wars.

    From my article: "The reasons for war are highly varied and include rational and irrational actors, bargaining failures, religious ideology, anger and revenge, ethnic cleansing and other ideological mass killings, lack of commitment to agreements, preemptive and preventive wars, the worldviews of the decision-makers versus the populace, political events such as reelections, and what they term ”endogenous power” that the “probability of war depends on prior investments in arms, and that in turn the incentives to arm depend on how arms affect future incentives to go to war or to bargain.”

    In 2015 when I wrote the article, we were engaged in Obama's "Operation Inherent Resolve" against ISIL, which really was just a continuation of Bush's war against Syria, backed by Russia, and Bush's "shock and awe" war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

    Over the last several decades, we have evolved into a manufacturer and exporter of high-tech weaponry, and with our vast arsenal of weapons and Russia's vast arsenal of weapons, it was only a matter of time before those weapons would be destined to be tested against one another. It is good for corporate America...the military contractors.

    Making the world safe for democracy is a "feel good" philosophy that can always cloud our thinking. Is it that far different from Hermann Goering's “All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”?

    Anyway, in frustration, I understand and agree with Biden's policies supporting Ukraine in what amounts to now a proxy war against Putin's Russia. If we were dealing with a rational actor, diplomacy might have worked. Putin is not a rational actor. He doesn't listen to anyone. So getting involved in the war was inevitable. It was easy.

    "Armies for the preservation of peace do not exist; they exist only for the triumphant exertion of war." -- Adolph Hitler

  • Apr 11, 2022 08:33 AM
    Last: 7mo
    182
    I just read Ann Applebaum's book, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, and she goes at length to address the "lure" of authoritarianism inside America, The United Kingdom, Hungary, Poland and others. She does not cite one single answer. It is complex, but for every authoritarian, there are quite a few authoritarian followers who have grievances and are ready to follow the silver-tongued devil. You can read some of the reviews at the Amazon link above. They are quite good.
  • Mar 28, 2022 09:11 AM
    Last: 6mo
    1.7k

    This article by Shadi Hamid in the Atlantic addresses the Russian people's support for the war. Putin's approval rating inside Russia has risen to 83 percent. Living under an authoritarian regime the Russian people have become "brain washed" to Putin's lies and his nationalistic push for "survival" of Russia. My term, not the author's.

    Why the Russian People Go Along With Putin’s War (msn.com)

  • Mar 28, 2022 09:11 AM
    Last: 6mo
    1.7k

    It looks like a protracted war of many months or perhaps a year. In effect it is turning into a proxy war of Russia's military might and arsenals of war toys against those of the USA and its NATO allies. The longer it is drawn out, it is to Russia's advantage because Putin knows that Americans will tire of the war and lose interest. It is also on Russia's doorstep for easy retrenchment.

  • Apr 05, 2022 11:44 AM
    Last: 8mo
    277
    Yes...barbaric is just one word to describe the uncivilized savages carrying out these war crimes. They have no moral compass and no conscience. That is one of the military advantages they have over the west (in addition to the threat of using nukes and chemical weapons). They have that kind of leverage, and we don't...World War III is a constant threat, but I don't think Putin gives a shit. If he cannot have Ukraine, a scorched earth nuke policy may be his last resort. He's got us between a rock and a hard place.
  • Mar 28, 2022 09:11 AM
    Last: 6mo
    1.7k

    Ali Velshi had another sickening report from Ukraine showing video clips of civilian bodies lying in the streets of the town of Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv. Russian soldiers executed these civilians in cold blooded hate filled crimes. From the Washington Post this morning:

    "Journalists entered the town of Bucha, a suburb northwest of the capital, and saw numerous corpses strewn on the streets. Video posted to social media and verified by The Washington Post showed what appeared to be at least nine dead, including one child.

    "Bucha’s mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk, said in an interview that around 270 local residents had been buried in two mass graves. He estimated that 40 people were lying dead in the streets. Some had been bound and executed — shot in the back of the head, he said."

    These are hate-crimes as well. Putin and his propaganda media have "brain washed" the soldiers to hate the Ukrainians. It's just another example of how hate for the "other" permeates societies around the world including the USA. For what?

    SICK.

  • Mar 28, 2022 09:11 AM
    Last: 6mo
    1.7k

    Dutch -- Ali Velshi led off his program from Ukraine yesterday with an historical record of what Putin did to Chechnya in his rise to power. He was absolutely ruthless in engaging in an endless bombing camping after his inept soldiers could not subdue the Chechnian soldiers or the populace. He basically reduced Chechnya to rubble and then installed one of his strongmen to force the people into total submission. I know you are well aware of all that history

    He did the same thing in Syria. Bomb the shit out of any city or community that resists because his "boots on the ground" are not up to the task. Throw in a little chemical in those bombs for good measure. That allowed the strongman Asad to hold power.

    Now he is doing the same thing in Ukraine. He will obliterate Ukraine's cities and infrastructure to rubble, install another ruthless strongman, and then force the people into total submission...or will certainly try. He is a mass murderer without a conscience. History will not be kind to him.

    Yes, he is crazy by our standards, but not to the authoritarians of his ilk including those "Rootin for Putin" Trump Republicans. It's in their DNA.

    Thanks for correcting my "Freudian slip" when I typed "Trump" instead of "Putin". You know there are so many similarities. I think of Trump as being a Putin if they were both unchained by laws and civil norms. Only one is currently reined in by laws, but what if the attempted coup worked?

  • Oct 01, 2019 07:36 PM
    Last: 8mo
    988

    Trump's continual whining about 2020 is getting old. His new website is a bust. His last rally in Georgia was a bust. Although he still leads in the Republican polls for 2024, I suspect the real establishment of the Republican Party will rise up to stop his nomination going forward.

    However, then there is Desantis. Another authoritarian crook. Why do Republicans like this cast of characters? Where are all the "Nicolle Wallace" type of Republicans of the Bush years? Nicolle calls out the fake news every day as well as political spin, but the Kevin McCarthy's and Mitch McConnell's of Congress remain silent.

  • Mar 31, 2022 05:26 AM
    Last: 8mo
    159

    Trump and other Republicans try to invoke the "guilt by association" against Democrats, and especially Biden, who seemingly has a squeaky-clean image that they would like to soil. On the other hand, Clarence Thomas is given a free pass for his wife's participation in the attempted coup, and his refusal thus far to recuse himself on matters related to that coup.

    Trump is as dirty of a president as we have ever had in presidential history. He surrounds himself with like- minded dirty players always looking for the least bit of dirt that he can elevate into massive mud fights. It is so obvious to me what he was been doing his entire life, but I suppose some "authoritarian followers" in his base like and thrive on that kind of shit show.