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Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 70,184

Journal Archives

Chris Hedges: The Cult of Trump

By Chris Hedges

(Truthdig) Cult leaders arise from decayed communities and societies in which people have been shorn of political, social and economic power. The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them.

Donald Trump has transformed the decayed carcass of the Republican Party into a cult. All cults are personality cults. They are extensions of the cult leaders. The cult reflects the leader’s prejudices, worldview, personal style and ideas. Trump did not create the yearning for a cult leader. Huge segments of the population, betrayed by the established elites, were conditioned for a cult leader. They were desperately looking for someone to rescue them and solve their problems. They found their cult leader in the New York real estate developer and reality television show star. Only when we recognize Trump as a cult leader, and many of those who support him as cult followers, will we understand where we are headed and how we must resist. .........(more)


Brazil elects a far-right authoritarian a**hole

(HuffPost) The rise of right-wing movements and parties across the globe took a giant and dangerous leap forward Sunday when far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election.

Bolsonaro, a federal congressman for Rio de Janeiro who formerly served as an Army officer, has praised the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 and has expressed a fondness for authoritarians past and present. He defeated former São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party to win the runoff phase of the election. ......(more)


Whatever happened to the WH hunt for the anonymous NYT op-ed writer?

That story has completely vanished.

The True Toll Of Donald Trump's Words

(HuffPost) Saturday morning, President Donald Trump attacked a Democratic Senate candidate on Twitter, calling her a “Nancy Pelosi Wacko!”

Just a short while later, speaking about the horrific shooting massacre in Pittsburgh that killed at least 11 people, Trump lamented, “It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country… It’s a violent world. You think when you’re over it, it just goes away but then it comes back in the form of a madman, a wacko.”

Within a few hours, the president of the United States applied the term “wacko” to one of the most accomplished public servants in our nation’s history and then used precisely the same term for a deranged murderer.


The events of the past week has revealed the true toll that Trump’s words are having on our society. And I am afraid it is only going to get worse.

The scariest thing isn’t that Trump says what he says, it’s that there are those who cheer him for it. Who believe it when he says the free press is “the enemy of the people.” Who laugh when he mocks a disabled reporter. Who chant “lock her up” after Hillary Clinton was mailed an explosive device. Who look the other way when reports surface revealing how foreign powers are eavesdropping on the president’s cell phone conversations because he refuses to use a secure line. Who applaud when he attacks victims of sexual assault. Who would rather militarize schools and churches than consider any reform to our nation’s gun laws. .............(more)


A Week Of American Hate: Bombs Mailed, Black People Executed, Jews Slaughtered

(HuffPost) A man executed two black people at a grocery store, but didn’t engage a white man outside because “whites don’t shoot whites.” A Donald Trump supporter and apparent anti-Semite who looked up to white supremacists sent bombs in the mail to the president’s opposition. An avowed anti-Semite walked into a synagogue and killed 11 people after screaming, “All Jews must die!”

This was one week in American hate.

Some of the bloodiest and most excruciatingly tense news stories in recent memory felt painfully similar to one another, unified under the same banner of racism, violent rhetoric and anger. The only difference between this week and the last is that a few of the angry, hateful people under that banner decided to go out and act on their hate.

On Monday, packages containing apparent pipe bombs began to arrive at the doorsteps and offices of high-profile Democrats, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former CIA Director John Brennan.

The first showed up at a home owned by George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has been the right’s favorite punching bag, conspiracy catchall and boogeyman for decades. Five days passed, and more packages arrived. The news media pointed out that all of the victims were Trump’s public enemies, and that he’d prodded his followers to commit violence against some of them in the past. Conservatives ― including the president himself ― implied or outright stated that the bombs were a so-called false-flag operation committed by the Democrats.

That, of course, turned out to be untrue. On Friday, police arrested Cesar Sayoc, 56, who was revealed to be a staunch Trump supporter and wild conspiracy theorist. His sticker-covered van suggests he committed his alleged crimes in the president’s name; some of the stickers on his van featured targets on the faces of his victims, while others were loving homages to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump, meanwhile, would go back to making fun of Soros by Friday night. .......(more)


Obama at Detroit rally: "Out of this political darkness, I see a great awakening"

(Detroit Free Press) Standing before a crowd of several thousand people in Detroit Friday night, former President Barack Obama said the biggest threat to the nation’s democracy is indifference.

But a vote on Nov. 6 can neutralize that threat, he told a crowd jammed into the gymnasium at Cass Technical High School.

“I’m hopeful that despite all the noise, all the lies, we’re going to remember who we are, who we’re called to be. Out of this political darkness, I see a great awakening,” he said. “If you vote, things will get better, it will be a start.”

With 10 days left before the Nov. 6 election, the rally was designed to get Democrats fired up and ready to work to both help candidates up and down the ticket as well as get to the polls to cast their ballots. ............(more)


Donald Trump Has 'Stoked A Cold Civil War,' Former McCain Adviser Says

(Newsweek) In the wake of explosive devices being sent to prominent Democratic politicians, a former adviser to Arizona Senator John McCain said President Donald Trump has “stoked a cold civil war” in the United States. Steve Schmidt took to Twitter on Wednesday to rail against Trump and his rhetoric, calling him “the greatest demagogue in American history.”

“Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country,” Schmidt wrote. “His rallies brim with menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people. That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not aberrational but rather inevitable consequence of Trump’s incitement.”

Schmidt’s tweets were an apparent response to the multiple explosive devices sent to prominent Democratic politicians and others on Wednesday. Former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others were targeted.

“The targets are political not coincidental,” he continued. “Trump, the greatest demagogue in American history has celebrated violence over and over again. It looks like someone finally took Trump both literally and seriously. The WH will feign outrage when this obvious point is made.” .............(more)


The Health Department's Christian Crusade

From Rolling Stone:

The Health Department’s Christian Crusade
The religious right has infiltrated the office of Health and Human Services, and reproductive rights are the first target



Conventional wisdom — at least since 2016, when candidate Donald Trump bluntly declared his intention to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade — has held that the gravest threat to reproductive freedom in the United States would come, eventually, from the Supreme Court. But while the focus has been on the judicial branch, officials in the executive have been quietly writing the constitutionally protected right to an abortion out of federal rules and grant guidelines. Today, the ability of low-income women to secure an abortion is poised to disappear even before the next challenge to Roe lands before the court — and for immigrant girls in ORR custody whether it still exists at all is a matter of some debate.

The Department of Health and Human Services is a sprawling agency with a trillion-dollar budget and nearly a dozen operating divisions, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the government-run health programs Medicare and Medicaid. It has a hand in everything from funding preschool programs and regulating vitamins to identifying Superfund sites and monitoring Ebola outbreaks.

During the Obama administration, no area of the federal government was more reviled by the religious right than HHS. Viewed by religious Republicans as the primary staging ground for the administration’s assaults on “faith” and “freedom,” HHS was assailed for implementing rules that expanded hospital visitation rights to same-sex couples, protected transgender patients from discrimination and required employers to offer birth-control coverage.

It was a coup, then, when Trump installed pious orthopedic surgeon Tom Price as secretary, who, with the help of the office of Vice President Mike Pence, began stocking the department with an army of culture-war veterans plucked from the country’s most radical religious organizations — the archconservative Family Research Council, the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, and the National Abstinence Education Association among them. By the time Price was forced to step down over a spending scandal last September, HHS had already been transformed into what the Family Research Council called “a virtual promise-keeping factory” for Christian conservatives. .....(more)



"As long as there are crazed or crafty leaders to play on old fears, a mob will turn cruel."

-- Leigh Brackett

Hello DU !!!

It's been a long time. Just dropping in to say "Hi!"

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