Conservatism to Totalitarianism

From Moyers: “Ultraconservative powwow –> “The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump of the United States,” Alison Smale reports for The New York Times.”

Interesting how the new “conservatives” are increasingly sidling up to the totalitarian regimes, yes?

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” ~~ “Animal Farm.” George Orwell (1945)

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The Sanders Legacy

I probably spend too much time on Facebook. I also put huge blocks of my retirement hours into Perl projects, and yes, I’m still writing my book. Readers rarely respond to posts here, in part because the anti-spam interface makes it a pain. On my Facebook page, a good post will usually get a few “Likes,” sometimes maybe a dozen. I got 53 “Likes” on a New York Times post on another issue. This one on Bernie is well on the way., so I thought I’d get off my butt and share it. The rather snide NYT article is “What Is Sanders’ Endgame?” and you can read it there. My reply follows.

“At the end of the day, is his ethos greater than his ego?” There was no call for this small-minded NYT conclusion. Sanders has been a game-changer from the beginning. He forced [almost] all the other candidates of both parties to either address or pay lip service to important national issues they’d rather ignore. If he cashed in his chips tonight and retired to a remote cabin to contemplate his long decades serving the public, he has already made more of a difference than many presidents-elect. Bernie has raised our expectations.

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“They Are All Targets”

“We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this fatwa” ~~ Osama Bin Laden May 1998, interviewed by ABC reporter John Miller.

“As the long roll call of mass shootings added a prosaic holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., to its list, a wide expanse of America’s populace finds itself engulfed in a collective fear, a fear tinged with confusion and exasperation and a broad brew of emotions. ~~  New York Times N. R. KLeinfield Dec 3, 2015

Let’s make this clear once and for all: the distinguishing characteristic of terrorism is mass murder for the purpose of inciting demoralizing fear and disarray. We should not not differentiate between terrorists who are white, black, Muslim, Christian, left-wing, right-wing, KKK, Neo-Nazi or “other.” They are all targets, not to be feared, but to be identified and neutralized by any means acceptable in free societies.

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The Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

As widely reported, in the Washington Post and elsewhere, a number of Republicans went on record today as saying, in so many words, that we should have kept the five Taliban detainees and let our American sergeant rot in hell, because it was a bad trade. You and I should take careful note of just how much they value young American lives. Your son or daughter, under different circumstances, could have been held hostage there.

Irrespective of partisan politics, any way you cut it, there is no logical way out of the conclusion that they value their five prisoners more than one American life. That’s an inescapable, irrefutable fact, no matter what else they throw at this contrived controversy.

As for the tired old charge that these five Guantanamo detainees, who were never charged with anything, will “come back” to kill Americans, we are leaving Afghanistan anyway. If the Republicans think five more Taliban are going to tilt the balance, their water is runnier than they’re admitting.

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Zimmerman Trial

“Stand your ground” means if someone wets their pants, literally or figuratively, someone else can end up dead. This trial was wrong on so many different levels. “Different mindset down there” is an understatement. This could have political ramifications for a generation, and should.

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Syria, Russia, China

Even the King of Saudi Arabia seemed baffled at the recent United Nations resolution veto by UN members Russia and China.

After all, the Assad regime in Syria is not only killing its own citizens who are engaged in massive protest demonstrations across that country, it is now engaged in the indiscriminate shelling of entire cities, such as Homs, suspected of harboring those unsympathetic to the regime.

The king of Saudi Arabia inserted himself directly into the Syria crisis on Friday, castigating Russia and China for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution over the weekend aimed at ending the Syrian government’s deadly repression of a nearly year-old uprising.” — New York Times

In today’s airing of the Charlie Rose Show, taped last night, Charlie Rose and guest Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, both commiserated over the veto votes but both agreed that China “probably would not have” vetoed the resolution had its ally Russia not done so. Their reasoning: China, casting about for alternative oil sources, has much looser ties to the Syrian regime, whereas Russia is formally allied with the Assad regime and has supplied it with tanks, armaments and ammunition which is being deployed against Syrian citizens.

In Putin’s Russia, we hear reports the state media has begun reminding Russian citizens once again that “protest” equals “terrorism.” Russia is undergoing its own more modest version of civil demonstration, against the Putin cult of power and rigged elections. Putin is anxious to contain any spread of political conflagration and to avoid unfavorable analogies to the “Arab Spring” developments.

In Sichuan Province in China, international news media report that China has completely sealed off entire counties in the region to prevent people or information from flowing in or out. Ethnic Tibetans in the province have renewed protests against repression, and three of them, so far, have set themselves on fire.

Any differences in the perceived bluntness of the two vetoing superpowers notwithstanding, it is a good time to remember that the more totalitarian the regime, the more it must of necessity fear and suppress freedom of expression.

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MSNBC Anchor Goes Ballistic!

And no wonder. He was talking about the incestuous relationship between the banks, financial institutions and Congress. Sounds almost like Ike’s “Military Industrial Complex”, substituting “crony capitalism” for “the military,” doesn’t it?

The surprising YouTube clip has already gone viral on the internet. You can do your own Google search with the search phrase “MSNBC Rant.” I couldn’t find an official MSNBC version. You may need to turn up your sound a bit. The message, however, is very clear! It’s worth hearing no matter WHAT our political orientation.

We’ve got a real problem…this is a mathematical fact. Tens of trillions of dollars are being extracted from the United States of America. Democrats aren’t doing it, Republicans aren’t doing it, an entire integrated system, banking, trade and taxation, created by both parties over a period of two decades is at work on our entire country right now.

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Kids With Special Needs

As a Senior who occasionally uses Facebook, I don’t know what ‘leave it on your status for at least 1 hour’ means, but I do know a great idea spoken from the heart when I see it. Posted by Elisa P:

Kids with special needs aren’t weird or odd. They only want what everyone wants…to be accepted. Can I make a request? Is anyone willing to post this and leave it on your status for at least 1 hour? This is in honor of all children that God made in a unique way. You never understand a situation until you are faced with it.

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