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Sunday, August 20, 2017

The death of 32-year-old anti-racist protester Heather Heyer at the hands of a white supremacist on Saturday was the most recent of at least 65 fatal incidents perpetrated by right-wing extremists in the United States since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The incident in Charlottesville is indicative of how far-right extremist violence has surged in the intervening years, as federal law enforcement efforts have shifted attention toward the threat posed by jihadist terrorism, former counter-terrorism officials and experts say. Conservative media and Republican politicians who oppose federal crackdowns on far-right extremist ideologues encouraged this shift.... This process has only accelerated since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who defended the white nationalist and white supremacist protesters who marched in Virginia, by saying there were some good people among them and equating them with anti-racist counter-protesters. read more


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Samuel Sinyangwe, Vox: This July, I traveled to Barbados to unwind and get away. I didn't know I'd encounter a monument that would help me understand how America processes our history. Heading into town from the airport, we circled a statue situated in one of the most prominent intersections in town. It depicts a black man, Bussa, breaking the chains that bound his hands in slavery. In 1816, Bussa, an enslaved African, organized enslaved black people across every major plantation to stage a nationwide revolt in what is now known as Bussa's Rebellion. His actions were instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies. As someone who grew up in Florida, I had never seen anything like it. For me, a racial justice activist, it communicated viscerally what no study or analysis ever could. It helped me imagine a landscape of liberation. read more


The Pew Research Center published a new report this week on international attitudes towards Vladimir Putin, and not surprisingly, the Russian president is not a popular global figure. The report explained, "Around the world, few people trust Russian President Vladimir Putin to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. A global median of roughly one-in-four (26%) say they have confidence in the Russian leader." Although confidence in Putin's handling of foreign affairs is generally low, in many countries he is more trusted than American President Donald Trump. read more


Powerful forces on the right are now lining up behind President Trump, validating and extending his views. Among them is Rush Limbaugh, the powerful right-wing radio host who boasts a weekly audience of 26 million people. Yesterday, Limbaugh delivered a full-throated and frightening defense of Trump, dismissing white supremacy as a problem and warning listeners that "we are on the cusp of a second civil war." Limbaugh's comments were laced with anti-Semetic tropes, blaming the violence in Charlottesville on "people like George Soros and any other number of international financiers whose objective it is to take the United States out and down as a superpower." Limbaugh built on Trump's efforts to deflect blame for the violence in Charlottesville from white nationalists to the left. "None of this that is happening on the left is random," Limbaugh said. Rather, "[t]hey showed up in Charlottesville to create mayhem and cause hell." read more


A fresh battle for the racial soul of the U.S. is afoot, and it's being waged among white Americans. This isn't a race war as it's typically understood: African Americans and other marginalized peoples taking their fight for civil rights and dignity to the streets against an oppressive and dominating white male-led establishment. To be sure, elements of this historic struggle are present and ongoing as part of our nation's evolution toward a more perfect union, but the current and immediate battle is unique because it's being waged almost exclusively among white Americans. This was exhibited violently in the streets of Charlottesville, where a clear majority of the participants on both sides -- KKK and Nazis versus anti-racism activists -- were white people. All of the dead, including 32-year-old Heather Heyer and the two Virginia State Police pilots, Trooper Berke M.M. Bates, 40, and Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, were white Americans. Literally, this was a white-on-white riot. read more


Comments

This sentence from the Washington Post sums it up: "President Trump, returning to the White House on Sunday night, responded to reporters' questions about the collision by saying: ‘That's too bad.'" (link). That's right. He said that's too bad. What the hell kind of response is that from the guy who's supposed to be in charge of the military? No words of assurance to the loved ones of those serving on the ship that everything possible is being done for them. No understanding that these situations are his responsibility. No nothing.

The average person sitting at home and hearing about the collision on television could come up with a more meaningful response than "That's too bad."

Damn near every single day, Trump manages to amaze for all the wrong reasons.

#4

Why do you lie so blatantly?

"Of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27 percent)." That's a margin of almost three to one.

The report points out that "the total number of fatalities is about the same for far-right wing violent extremists and radical Islamist violent extremists over the approximately 15-year period," with the latter edging out the former by 119 to 106. However, the report also acknowledges that "41 percent of the deaths attributable to radical Islamist violent extremists occurred in a single event -- an attack at an Orlando, Florida night club in 2016."

Islamist terrorists, it seems, are more deadly in terms of the number of people killed in each of their attacks, yet far-right terrorists are far more active in carrying out attacks on U.S. soil. A plethora of reports and studies -- from the New America Foundation to the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point -- have backed the GAO on this point. One group of researchers even found that "compared to Islamist extremists, far-right extremists were significantly more likely to ... have a higher level of commitment to their ideology."

Meanwhile, U.S. law enforcement agencies, according to a survey carried out by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, "consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face."

In the future please put links to your statistical bs because you have little credibility when the metrics you choose don't honestly tell the complete story. Kinda like the white-washing of slavery and the Civil War that you think should be left alone even though they only represent the glorification of the losers without any negative responsibility for their roles in sedition and criminality against the United States and the slaves they abused and owned.

Its 2009 report concluded that the economic collapse and the election of the first African-American president could fuel a surge in recruitment for white supremacist groups and lead to an uptick in violence. The report also warned that right-wing extremist groups sought to recruit returning veterans of the of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But as a result of conservative outrage, DHS gutted Johnson's team, cut the number of people investigating domestic extremism, canceled briefings for state and local law enforcement and blocked the release of more reports on domestic extremist groups. The department "has never reconstituted that effort," Johnson told HuffPost.

"There was nothing in that report that was wrong," Blodgett said. "It was wrong of [the Obama administration] to be cowed by the groups putting pressure on them over that. As a card-carrying Republican conservative I can tell you this, this kind of stuff has got to be drummed out of any coalition that is part of any Republican campaign."

A 2012 report by Arie Perliger for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point came to the similar conclusion that far-right terrorism was on the rise. It too was denounced by conservative media.

In the ensuing years, right-wing extremist violence jumped, just as predicted by Johnson's DHS report. According to the New America Foundation, 10 people were killed by far-right terrorist violence from 2001 through 2008. Since then, right-wing extremists have murdered 55 people in violent attacks in the U.S.

We have identified the enemy and that enemy is us (or at least the violent far right extremists amongst us). Some of the loudest critics on this blog were the very people claiming that America had higher concerns with domestic radical Islamic attacks than ones from highly armed and militarized supremacist groups and their sympathizers. As with our history surrounding slavery and the Civil War, it is time again for the public to simply learn the truth and recognize those that pose the greater threat to the safety and security of American citizens living within this nation's borders. We can counter foreign-borne hatred, but we certainly can't ignore its domestic cousin which has actually been far more deadly.

Your supposition that the method you describe (IC and military taking control to not announce the failure of our democracy) is incorrect as the strongest announcement that our democracy works is if we legally and proudly ousted Trump and Pence, put Ryan in as 3rd in succession and move on.

Nothing screams corrupt as much as secret cabals.

Then we should demand that all of this information be made public immediately. The longer we wait the longer democracy suffers.

This is why I have zero confidence our government can handle this crisis.

While I obviously agree with you on most of your analysis, that last line is likely the most germane. This world goes round and round on faith, and we all act like the unreal is real. Money has no value, wealth is illusory unless people believe the opposite. This type of scandal is just like the bank meltdown, it's too big to fail completely. I don't think we'll ever see a complete and open accounting of Trump's and his associate's utter treachery and criminality both before, during and after the election. Just enough will come out to justify the decision of his removal or resignation, but they have to keep part of the illusion intact lest they lose control of the public for good, to the point civil unrest is all but assured.

Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm certainly not saying that I don't understand what the complete right thing to do is, but you look at Nixon and everybody knows why Ford nuked his own career to spare the nation of a deeper understanding that someone so criminally minded could wind up in the White House. Those type of people aren't supposed to be nominated by our major parties much less become President and head a disorganized crime ring out of the Oval Office. And now we may have someone compromised by one of our state opponents, nominally a criminal organization with nuclear weapons and front companies laundering the money the collective of oligarchs and Putin have stolen from the Russian people.

If there's one thing we know, Trump is a coward and I don't doubt for a second that if the noose is ever fitted for his neck, he'll bail in a New York minute, blaming everyone he sees as an enemy and taking little blame for any or all of the allegations which will have driven him from office. And then I feel the Nixonian treatment will have to be given him to keep his true believers from going ballistic, for they won't believe anything even if he admits what he's done.

Just don't see how a complete truth dump is going to happen because the information itself could be viewed as a national security risk from inside the nation instead of from outside. Just my two cents.

If you haven't I suggest watching the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension if you're really interested in extraterrestrials among us. All-star cast before they were famous: Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow (maybe his tour de force outside of Garp), Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd. Extremely intelligent sci-fi comedy, playing off and tying into Orson Welles War of the Worlds, with the entire plot based on Earth events.

It'll probably take more than one viewing to catch all the subtext built in to an ultimately entertaining story that ends with hope for a sequel that was never made.

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