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Monday, 28 November 2016 08:08

Understanding This New Age of Fascism

BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Nationalism 1128wrp opt(Photo: Maerz1848)Anyone attempting to understand the roots of what is now being called the “alt-right” should run out to your favorite independent bookstore and grab hold of a copy of Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. Published in 2009, and written by Leonard Zeskind, it remains a seminal history of the white supremacist movement, now being reimagined as the “alt-right.”

"While the white nationalist movement has splintered organizationally over the last few years, it is best to think of this phenomenon as something akin to a broken thermometer, where the mercury continually reconfigures itself into silver beads smaller and larger," Zeskind has written.

Drew S. Days III, Professor of Law, Yale University, and former U.S. Solicitor General called Blood and Politics “not only a brilliant account of the origins, modes of operation, collaborations, and internecine disputes of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust-denier, and anti-Semitic groups in America, but alerts us to the fact that despite—or perhaps because of—significant improvements in race relations and changing demographic patterns, we are likely to witness a resurgence of their activities.”

Monday, 28 November 2016 06:56

Donald Trump Shatters the Arc of Justice

ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

TrumpPence 1128wrp opt(Photo: Ali Shaker/VOA)Maybe this much is true. Donald Trump, pseudo-president-elect, loser of the real election, charismatic stump-speech populist whose actual ability to govern may well be non-existent, has inflicted significant damage on America’s political infrastructure.

This is scary, of course, but not necessarily a bad thing. I say this even, or especially, if he manages to assemble a far right, white-nationalist-friendly cabinet and inner circle and start attempting to implement some of the promises he made on the campaign trail. If the Trump pseudo-presidency is “normalized” and we-the-people and the media shrug our shoulders at the rebuilding of Jim Crow Nation — the Wall, the Muslim registry and God knows what happens next — then yes, this is a disaster and moving to Canada is a viable option. But if Trump, instead, is the reincarnation of Bull Connor, someone who makes a dark, hidden ugliness suddenly clear to the public at large, then his rise to power may be the harbinger of profound, positive change.

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe,” abolitionist Theodore Parker wrote more than 150 years ago, prefiguring the words of Martin Luther King. “The arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

But the arc doesn’t bend by itself.

2016.22.11 BF Berkowitz(Photo: Elvert Barnes)BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

If you've ever wondered what you would do had you been around in 1930s Germany, I'm awfully afraid that you're gonna get a chance to find out. – Dr. Harry Edwards, Edge of Sports, November 2016

The incidents are starting to pile up: From chants by white students of "Build that Wall," at a high school volleyball tournament in Snyder, Tex., where Archer City High was facing off with Fort Hancock, to middle school students in Michigan chanting "build the wall" during lunch the day after the election; from women wearing head-scarfs getting harassed, to young Muslim men yelled at menacingly from passing cars; from a Latina women told to "go back to where you came from" to gay men harassed on the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina, the election of Donald Trump has ushered in a harvest of hate.

In this post-election period where white supremacists, white nationalists, Islamophobes, and anti-Semites seem to feel empowered to do and say just about anything, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is reporting that more than 700 incidents of "hateful intimidation and harassment" have already occurred.

2016.22.11 BF Cohen(Photo: Joe Brusky)ELLIOT D. COHEN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

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The infrastructure for mass warrantless surveillance is now in place for cyber racial profiling by a government administration with the will to carry it out. The latter is the systematic use of a spy technology network for purposes of targeting a specific race/s. As disclosed in the National Security Agency (NSA) slides leaked in 2013 by Edward Snowden, the present system of surveillance technology is of global proportions with the capacity to capture, store, and inspect virtually every electronic message (email, phone conversation, internet search, chat, etc.) sent and received by millions of U.S. citizens each day. The selection of racially motivated cabinet members at the highest level of the Trump administration is a clear warning sign that we may be about to witness a firestorm of cyber racial oppression that could end the experiment in democracy our forefathers began more than two hundred years ago.

The NSA presently conducts warrantless searches that have captured and stored millions of communications of U.S. citizens. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FIS) Court has allowed this activity to continue unabated rather than to insist that the technology be equipped with content filtering technologies that block government access to personal information of U.S. Citizens. While, pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, federal agencies conducting terrorism investigations need a court warrant to target U.S. citizens, they do not need such a warrant when their target is a non-U.S. citizen. However, the 2008 amendments to the 1978 FISA law now allow the feds to gather information containing the personal information of U.S. persons when this information is collected tangential to collecting foreign intelligence that targets non-U.S. persons. All that is necessary is that a "significant purpose" of the search is to gather foreign intelligence. Previous FISA law required that "the [only] purpose" of the investigation be to gather foreign intelligence. So, if the feds are conducting a terrorist investigation and they "just happen" to gather information about a U.S. citizen who is engaged in an allegedly illegal activity, this information is admissible for purposes of charging the person with a crime.

JUDY WICKS OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

Protectors 1121wrp opt(Photo: EcoWatch)This Thanksgiving, I'm going to Standing Rock with a delegation of more than 50 people from across the U.S. to cook and serve dinner for 500 Water Protectors, as a small way to give back to Native Americans on our national day of thanks.

Looking back on history, Native Americans saved the lives of newly arrived Europeans in what is now Massachusetts by sharing their harvest in the winter of 1620. The Wampanoag, who had lived in the region for some 12,000 years, taught the settlers to grow native crops. The Wampanoag were not the only tribe to be generous. In the earliest days, many tribes throughout the Americas helped new settlers survive.

The foods the natives shared with settlers were not just growing wild. They were cultivated over many generations by native people who had a deep connection to the land. Today, many vegetables and fruits in our diet were first cultivated by Native Americans, including foods found on the Thanksgiving table—potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, pumpkin and cranberry. The turkey many enjoy on Thanksgiving Day was first domesticated by Native Americans.

Monday, 21 November 2016 08:17

The Terrorism Targeting Our Grandchildren

PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

Children 1121wrp opt(Photo: Saveoursmile)Four decades of American narcissism and greed and exceptionalism have allowed the super-rich to dictate the future path of our nation. We're paying the price now, with environmental disasters, nonexistent savings for half of our families, Americans dying because of expensive health care, and a growing fear of blowback from desperate victims of our foreign wars.

Environment Be Damned

Almost all reputable sources agree that human-caused climate change is killing people, with up to 400,000 annual deaths "due to hunger and communicable diseases that affect above all children in developing countries," and up to 7 million deaths -- over a half-million of them children under the age of five -- caused by air pollution.

The richest people in the world create most of the pollution, yet are the least likely to feel guilty about the effects of their behavior, and the least likely to suffer from the impending environmental damage. This could lead to terror-filled years for the generations to follow us. Even the CHANCE of such misery for their grandchildren should motivate the super-rich to address the root causes of global warming. Instead, they have plans to retreat to impregnable "safe rooms" with food and water, oxygen, medical supplies, and all the amenities for a year or more of underground living.

2016.17.11 BF Chow(Photo: Kevin Gill)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is one of the most intelligent individuals on the planet, which is why his assertion that humanity has only 1,000 years left on Earth and must find another place to colonize is incredibly frightening.

"[W]e must ... continue to go into space for the future of humanity," professor Hawking said in a lecture on "The Origins of the Universe" at Britain's Oxford University Union earlier this week.

According to the Daily Express, the 74-year-old scientist warned that humans are using up Earth's ecological resources faster than it can be replenished.

"I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet," Hawking said.

2016.17.11 BF Quigley(Photo: Courtesy Bill Quigley)BILL QUIGLEY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

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Andrea Burton, a 30 year old Ohio criminal defense lawyer, was rocketed onto the national social justice scene this summer after she was handcuffed and jailed for refusing to take off a Black Lives Matter pin while in court. 

Burton's stance received international attention.  "I think that you can't remain silent or you remain a party to oppression," she told The Washington Post. "I am usually a pretty agreeable person. I'm always smiling.  I'm polite. I have manners. But at some point it eats away at you how any time people see you talk about Black Lives Matter, then you're being sensitive, you're the person who's racist."   In interviews with local media Burton insisted "I'm not anti-police, I work with law enforcement and I hold them in the highest regard, and just to say for the record, I do believe all lives matter. But at this point they don't all matter equally."

Thursday, 17 November 2016 06:35

Election Theft and Racist Elitism

2016.17.11 BF Koehler(Photo: Todd Lappin)ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At Truthout and BuzzFlash, we don't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing the forces in power. Don't wait to hold the next president's feet to the fire: Make a donation to independent media today!

"All great changes," said Deepak Chopra, "are preceded by chaos."

That starts to get at it -- how to understand, and start healing, the national wound inflicted on this country, and the world, by the 2016 presidential election. But I need to throw in a little John Oliver as well.

"We are faced," he said on his TV show, "Last WeekTonight," "with the same questions as the guy who wakes up after a Vegas bachelor party deep in the desert, naked, tied to a cactus and a dead clown. Namely, how the fuck did we get here and what do we do now?"

2016.15.11 BF spear(Photo: US Department of State: South and Central Asia)STEFANIE SPEAR OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry, while speaking in New Zealand Nov. 13, vowed to do "everything possible" to prevent president-elect Donald Trump from pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

"I believe the evidence is clear, and the question now that we, this administration, are going to continue to address is how we will implement the Paris Agreement," Kerry said. "And until January 20th when this administration is over, we intend to do everything possible to meet our responsibility to future generations to be able to address this threat to life itself on the planet.

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