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America and the Trump Conundrum

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“A Veritable Pox on Both Your Houses!" 

Norman Pollack, the Greanville Post  

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg The Greanville Post Editors' Comment: While Trump is an unqualified disgrace, at times making even a remorseless criminal joke like George W Bush look statesmanlike, those who so righteously pile on the criticism, while supporting Hillary, should look in the mirror. This is where the rule of a filthy plutocracy and its minions in the political class and the media has taken this nation—and the world it keeps torturing toward a final catastrophe. In this essay, Norman Pollack, one of our most eminent public intellectuals, zeroes in on that issue. Trump critics, he says, “do not have clean hands.” And we agree.

August 3, 2016 | Trump is patently semi-fascist. His devouring ethnocentrism (American Greatness) and xenophobia (Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Muslim) confirms a structural-ideological process at work of social Nazification underpinned by his dedication to wealth and amorphous quest for power. In this respect he is the easy target of liberals and progressives, both Democrats as a whole and a moderate segment of Republicans, as well as the “responsible” media like The New York Times.

http://www.greanvillepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/8567813820_32b8aa4810_b_donald-trump.jpgGiven his carelessness with facts, brattish behaviour and pathological narcissism Trump is an easy target. But is he really worse and more dangerous than slippery Hillary? That is indeed the question. Photo by Gage Skidmore

No argument there. If it were possible to stand alone, abstracting all circumstances and reality, the foregoing would hold, true in and of itself, without qualification. Yet I do not detract from this indictment of Trump, an absolute menace to democratic thought and practice, when I say it is only half the story. The other half is America itself, particularly those who portray him as a monster. They do not have clean hands, Obama and Clinton on down, including most of what we commonly think of as the Left.

Norman PollackHarvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism.

Full story … 

 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Evergreene Digest Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S. 

The Media Is Enabling Trump’s Divide-And-Conquer Strategy

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  • So long as the media continues to give airtime to the Trump campaign’s fear-mongering and race-baiting, he stands a real chance to win this election. Because as powerful as Mr. Khan’s impassioned speech was, fear is is all the more powerful, and has helped many a demagogue win many an election across the world.
  • Related: Why Donald Trump Could Be the Next President of the United States

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Huffington Post

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08/02/2016 | There are more than 5,000 Muslims serving in various branches of the military according to the Pentagon, a fact that alone should serve as a foil to those hoping to perpetuate this idea that the War on Terror is somehow a war against Islam, a clash of civilizations, an example that Islam is incompatible with Western values, or as Trump told Anderson Cooper on CNN, “ I think Islam hates us”.

Yet, there I was at 5:45 a.m. on CNN having yet another debate spurred by Trump’s bigoted, arrogant, and belligerent attacks on Muslims, except this time, on a mother and father who immigrated to America with their son, a captain in the Army who was awarded the Purple Heart along with he Bronze Star, in recognition for his bravery when he was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in 2004.

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, VICE Correspondent & Emmy-nominated Journalist

Full story … 

Related:

Why Donald Trump Could Be the Next President of the United States, Alan Minsky, Truthdig

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  • As we move on to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, let’s be clear: The great tragedy of the moment is not rooted in the Republican Party’s self-cannibalization. It’s with a Democratic Party that “successfully” suffocated responsible answers to the crises consuming our world. Indeed, as Hillary Clinton’s selection of the milquetoast Tim Kaine as her vice president shows, the Dems have put forward a candidate who embodies an establishment widely recognized as having betrayed the majority of the American public.
  • All of which leaves us with the very real possibility of President Donald Trump being inaugurated on Jan. 20.
  • Related: Cornel West- Why There Is a Serious Danger of a Right-Wing Revolution in the US

Section(s): 

Garrison Keillor: Praise the Lord, I've seen the dark.

This is scriptural prophecy come to life, the seven-headed beast, the whore of Babylon, the woman with snakes coming out of her head, all of it. It's here. Now.

Garrison Keillor, Washington (DC) Post / Tampa Bay (FL) Times

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At the Republican convention, the darkness became visible. Now we’ve begun fortifying the basement walls with sandbags and laying in barrels of fresh water and K-rations. Times files

Friday, July 22, 2016 | A week ago I felt good about America but no more. Coyotes are running freely in the streets of our big cities, the stock market is teetering on the verge of collapse, the monetary system will soon go belly-up, China and North Korea and Iran have a knife to our throats, our schools are in chaos, politicians corrupt, the media stupefied by political correctness, and everywhere you look you hear foreign accents. We are on the edge of the abyss.

At my house, we've begun fortifying the basement walls with sandbags and laying in barrels of fresh water and K-rations. We refuse to be at the mercy of the government when liberals decide to shut down the water supply.

Garrison Keillor is an author and radio personality.

Full story … 

Amerikkans

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(Credit: Reuters/Richard Rowe)

And there you all are tonight, glued to your TV's and your Computers, your hearts swelled with pride because you belong to the strongest country on earth, cheering on your Murderer President. Ignorant of the entire world's repulsion of you. You kill and you kill and you kill, and still you remain proud. You are fools." --Margaret Kidder

Margaret Kidder

July 29, 2016 | "There is something I am going to try and explain here that will probably get me unfriended by most of my Facebook followers. But the words are gagging my throat and my stomach is twisted and sick and I have to vomit this out. The anti-Americanism in me is about to explode and land god knows where. And I, by heritage, half American in a way that makes me "more" American than almost anyone else in this country except for the true Americans, the American Indians, am in utter denial tonight that I am, as you are, American as well.

I am half Canadian, I was brought up there, with very different values than you Americans hold, and tonight, --after the endless spit ups and boasts and rants about the greatness of American militarism, and praise for American military strength, and boasts about wiping out ISIS, and America being the strongest country on earth, and an utterly inane story from a woman who's son died in Obama's war, about how she got to cry in gratitude on Obama's shoulder,-- tonight I feel deeply Canadian. Every subtle lesson I was ever subliminally given about the bullies across the border and their rudeness and their lack of education and their self-given right to bomb whoever they wanted in the world for no reason other than that they wanted something the people in the other country had, and their greed, came oozing to the surface of my psyche.

I just got back from a rather fierce walk beside the Yellowstone, trying to let the mountains in the distance reconnect me to some place of goodness in my soul but I couldn't find it. The scenery was as exquisite as ever, but it just couldn't touch the rage in my heart. The visions of all the dead children in Syria Ms. Clinton helped kill; the children bombed to bits in Afghanistan and Pakistan from Obama's drones; the grisly chaos of Libya; the utter wasteland of Iraq; the death and destruction everywhere caused by American military intervention. The Ukraine, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatamala, Chile, you name it, your country has bombed it or destroyed its civilian life in some basic way.

When I heard all the Americans cheering for the military and the pronouncements of might coming from the speakers in the Wells Fargo Centre I loathed you. I loathed every single one of you. I knew in my gut that what I was taught as a child was true, which is that YOU are the enemy. YOU are the country to be feared. YOU are the country to be disgusted by. YOU are ignorant. And your greed and self-satisfaction and unearned pride knows no bounds.

I am not an American tonight. I reject my ancestors who landed in this country in 1648, I reject the words I voiced at my citizenship ceremony, I reject every moment of thrilling discovery I ever had in this country.

You people have no idea what it is like for people from other countries to hear you boast and cheer for your guns and your bombs and your soldiers and your murderous military leaders and your war criminals and your murdering and conscience-less commander-in-chief. All those soaring words are received by the rest of us, by us non-Americans, by all the cells in our body, as absolutely repugnant and obscene.

And there you all are tonight, glued to your TV's and your Computers, your hearts swelled with pride because you belong to the strongest country on earth, cheering on your Murderer President. Ignorant of the entire world's repulsion of you .You kill and you kill and you kill, and still you remain proud. You are fools." --Margaret Kidder

 

Welcome to the Chaos Stage of our Decline

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  • Societal breakdown, insecurity, and the rise of the police state.
  • Related: How American Politics Went Insane

Devin Foley, Intellectual Takeout

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/black_suv.jpgJuly 26, 2016 | Oddly enough, and despite the wretched news of another mass shooting right on the heels of several others, the latest reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that gun violence is actually down. 

Statistically, we’re safer now than we were in the 1990s. Here are a couple highlights:

  • Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
  • Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.

Meanwhile, the quantity of guns has increased dramatically.

Devin Foley is co-founder and president of Intellectual Takeout. In his role, he oversees content development and marketing, works with academics and experts to assure quality, and publicly promotes the site.

Full story … 

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Related:

How American Politics Went Insane, Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic

  • It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.
  • Related: From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

 

The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support

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Class in America is a complicated concept, and it may be that Trump supporters see themselves as having been left behind in other respects. Since almost all of Trump’s voters so far in the primaries have been non-Hispanic whites, we can ask whether they make lower incomes than other white Americans, for instance. The answer is “no.” (This article appeared during the primaries this Spring. It is still relevant today as we analyze who are the Trump supporters.)

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

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https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/trumpclass-1.jpg?itok=HosT0GSD Donald Trump T-shirts were for sale before a rally for the candidate in Carmel, Indiana. Michael Conroy / AP  

May 3, 2016 | It’s been extremely common for news accounts to portray Donald Trump’s candidacy as a “working-class” rebellion against Republican elites. There are elements of truth in this perspective: Republican voters, especially Trump supporters, are unhappy about the direction of the economy. Trump voters have lower incomes than supporters of John Kasich or Marco Rubio. And things have gone so badly for the Republican “establishment” that the party may be facing an existential crisis.

But the definition of “working class” and similar terms is fuzzy, and narratives like these risk obscuring an important and perhaps counterintuitive fact about Trump’s voters: As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor-in-chief of  FiveThirtyEight, a website that uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about elections, politics, sports, science & health, economics and culture.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

Video Shows How British Police React to a Teen with a Toy Gun — Putting US Cops to Shame

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  • For the naysayers who think that this case is an isolated act of heroism, think again. The lack of deadly force is so common by police in European countries that it’s not only been documented multiple times, but it’s been caught on film multiple times.
  • It is high time this country looks closely at the way it trains its police force.
  • Related: How do police handle violence in countries where officers don’t carry guns?

Matt Agorist, Free Thought Project

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Teen%20Almost%20Shot%20Over%20Toy%20Gun.jpgJuly 25, 2016 | In the United States police kill people on average, every 8 hours. Very few of these deaths are ever ruled unjustified, even when police are caught on video killing unarmed people who pose absolutely no threat. 

The escalation of deadly force by American police is unprecedented when compared to the rest of the first world.

So far this month, American police have killed 66 people.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. 

Full story … 

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https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/rtr2ml9x.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=1600 Police don't need guns to be effective. (Reuters/ David Moir)

How do police handle violence in countries where officers don’t carry guns? Olivia Goldhill, Quartz 

  • It doesn’t help that the law in the United States gives fairly wide scope for police violence. Under the European Convention of Human Rights, police can only shoot if it’s “absolutely necessary” in order to achieve a legitimate law enforcement purpose. Meanwhile, in the US, police officers can shoot if there’s “reasonable” perception of a grave and imminent threat, which is a far more subjective standard.
  • Related: Good Cops Turn In Their Own Officer After He’s Caught on Dashcam Beating Handcuffed Man

 

Free Thought Project / 'Murica look here / scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net

Related: While We Obsessed over Melania, US Airstrikes Massacre Scores of Civilians in Syria

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