Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour has been doing a series, 'America at a Crossroads.' She's been interviewing Republican voters in Iowa; these folks are .... I hate to say it but, pathetic. Brainwashed by Fox News and fear-mongering Republican candidates, they just sound so stupid, regurgitating the crap they hear. It's sad; these are nice people but there's no independent thought, no discernment. Just Blah, blah, blah. I blame our lousy education system. We don't teach Civics or how to diagram an argument. NY Times has a great article on guns and how fear-mongering increases gun ownership and guess what? In the neighborhoods where guns are purchased, crime goes up! People start stealing the guns from each other.

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The rich have worked very hard to loot our national wealth the last 60 years or more with the Vietnam war, free trade, buying up both parties, trickle down theory, using immigrants to bust unions legal and illegal, capitalist healthcare, offshore banking, corporate welfare, political obstruction, bank bailouts, interest on the national debt they created and much more. And they sure as hell don't want to give it back! I've got mine and screw you is their motto. It is about what is best for the rich, not for the poor people's common good. Take food away from humans and they will turn into an angry mob. Then you can call them a communist mob! The poor, the old and the disabled will be sorted out and left to die somewhere. So much for being pro-life. The Trump supporters will find out that that includes them as well. Only educating the Republicans to this fact will keep them from voting Republican. We must deprogram and re-educate the non-critical thinkers, real fast, in terms that they understand. The only way to reach them is with television commercials and we better get busy!

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This past Sunday 7/30/2023 I wrote a an article that was published on Daily Kos. The headline read; "Blinded by the truth. Why do people keep voting for Trump and the Trump party. Formally the Republican party. My article included information from two books. Milton Mayer's magnificent "They Thought They Were Free." Mayer interviews ten German men to find out how "Decent men become Nazis." And "The Escape Artist" by Jonathan Freedland. The Escape Artist is a true story of two Jewish prisoners- Rudolf Vrba and Fred Wetzler-who escaped form Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camp. They wanted to tell the world about the horrors within these camps and how the Nazi's were exterminating the Jews of Europe . As I wrote passages from each book, I remembered reading about so many of the horrors that had occurred through out the war.

However; what truly enfolded was the disconcerting fact of how powerful and effective the Fascist propaganda machine had been. That fact I was aware of. I realize how effective that same machine is now working in the U S. What hit me the most was discovering the WHY people keep voting the way they do. Mayer's professor- Heinrich Hildebrandt- and the escapee Rudolf Vrba stories each encapsulate the same meaning and arrive at the same conclusion. People do not believe what is happening. Even when Vrba story was told to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfuter, he said "I do not believe you." Ask to explain; he stated; "I did not say you were lying. I said I do not believe him." "These are different things. My mind and my heart are made in such a way that I cannot except it. NO NO NO." Mayer and Freedland lay it all out in graphic terms. After many years of disappointment, Rudolph came to this conclusion. He understood a more complicated truth: that information is necessary, to be sure, but it is never sufficient. Information must also be BELIEVED, especially when it comes to moral threats...only when information is combined with belief does it become knowledge. and only knowledge leads to action. The French philosopher Raymond Aron would say ,when asked about the Holocaust, "I knew, but I didn't believe it. AND BECAUSE I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT, I DIDN'T KNOW."

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Throughout modern history naming has been used to justify the actions of the European elites and their soldiers. The indigenous people were described as noble until they started to oppose their forced removal from their lands and their enslavement and slaughter at which point they became "savages".

Workers who rebelled against the elites were termed rebels and punished severely. In the 1700's when farmers were forcibly removed from public lands with the various enlosure acts, hey were called vagrants and often enslaved to toil in the work houses. In the 1800's those that organized workers against the factory owners were referred to as anachists and enemies of the state. The communists were notable at forming workers alliances and to organize strikes.

The capitalists for the most part supported the fascist states being created in Italy and Germany as they were "anti-communist" in that they supported the industrialists and banned unions. Small wonder that the likes of Henry Ford and King George VI believed in supporting the Nazi Party in Germany. We have seen this more recently with the United States overthrowing democratically elected leaders in the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chile, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Honduras, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, and Egypt to name but a few places.

Men like the Koch brothers want a simple minded dictator that they can control. For the time being they are happy to own the Congress and the Supreme Court and whichever neoliberal is in the White House, and of course the U.S. military that does their bidding. "It makes no difference who you vote for - the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people." - Gore Vidal

Franklin Roosevelt said it best i 1938:

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” That pretty much sums up post WW II in the United States.

The government serves to control the population and enable the transfer of wealth from the workers to the elites. Everything else is theater.

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Im a little confused.

These un - American edicts from fascist states,

supersede the Federal Governments laws??

Is there no recompense for these criminal fascists.

I admit to some ignorance as to how this can be legal in our country, founded on freedom and right to assembly.

The Lying Fascist Republicans have grabbed the money and used it to eliminate freedoms for anyone who disagrees with their disgraceful actions.

Thanks Thom for being one ‘ whistleblower’ regarding the Republicans plan to destroy America.

Action needs to be taken against these fascists and their lies.

All we have to do is remember who’s funding this and continuing their criminality against Democracy .

Donald Trump is going down and so are his evildoers MTGreene, Jim Jordan , Kevin Lying McCarthy and all the representatives of Congress who lie daily to turn this country from Democracy to Fascism .

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Does the national Republican Party have a formal platform?

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As a matter of fact, the Soviets may have had the "second largest stock" of nuclear weapons, but it was so small as to be nearly non-existent. It's now known from research after the Cold War (before Vlad cut off further contacts) that the USSR had exactly six bombs in 1952, and no effective delivery system other than reverse-engineered B-29s that could have gotten as far as Seattle on one-way "kamaikaze" missions. We on the other hand had 200 bombs and SAC, 250 bombers capable of bombing the whole USSR. But the soviets managed to bullshit the Air Farce into believing they had a massive production line of intercontinental bombers - that each of the limited prototypes they produced in the 50s was in production (they weren't - the "24" Bison bombers seen over Moscow on May Day 1955 were six prototypes that made four passes over the Kremlin) and that there was a "bomber gap" - which led to the U-2 program, which discovered that there were none, but the Chair Farce kept sending them because they knew there was a pony somewhere in the USSR, up to the final mission when Gary Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk. It was Eisenhower's knowledge of the Air Farce's bullshit PR about the "dangerous Russkie air force" that was why he gave the warning about the military-industrial complex in his 1961 farewell speech. Of course, after the "bomber gap" was disproved, the idiots in Shade 84 blue then bought the bullshit about the (non-existent) "missile gap" after Krushchev said he was launching Sputniks with ICBMs. In fact, the USSR had no capability to launch an effective strike against the US until 1969 - it's why Krushchev took the risk of sticking IRBMs in Cuba in 1962. The Russians managed to get us to spend $5 billion in 1950s dollars for the DEW line, the B-47, the B-52, and the "Century Series" of interceptors, to take on a "threat" that didn't exist!

But the Right Wing in America has always lied about everything and bought every Russian lie right up to this morning.

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I agree we need to get the vote out, and help our young voters to know where and how to vote. For example if they are away at college during the election they can decide where best to vote, in their college state, or home state. My daughter will be out of the country, but she will vote. At least I hope I have instilled in her no paper, no exam outweighs the importance of that. Although the fact that we have elections on a school day, whereas in Germany it is on Sunday, so everyone can vote. I can also see that the Repugnicans use a playbook where they are escalating their rhetoric, and trying desperately to tie Hunter Biden to scandal so they can pretend that he and Trump are equal criminals, and by virtue of being his dad then President Biden is too. With MTGs Hunter dick pics escapades the Repugnicans have made it clear that there is no level at which they would not stoop to. All of them are badly raised to believe that it is okay to lie to get your way. They live toiletbowl lives and want the rest of us to join them. Let us flush them down, but keep ourselves and our country out.

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Dearest Thom

Thank you for delving into this massive branding problem.(Rump is a branding Arse) Fascists brand people,and ideas because they are lazy! She's Woke,He's a Commie,They are illegals😞 etc..But I had an epiphany 🤯 Raygun greatly increased military spending in 1981, for his Financial Backers at GE..🤑🤑🤑What it did however was collapse the USSR,who couldn't keep up the spending.Therfore they hatched a cheaper plan to Defeat America,which has worked perfectly..Simply buy the Greedy old GOP Politicians and businessmen dealing with them.Bingo worked like a charm...We are close to collapse 😞 Netflix documentary on Sea power, explained it succinctly..The Navy is super expensive (taxpayers dollars,go mainly to Military) and Trump just sells it all back to Ruskies 👿 Americans are so Dumb😞

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I must point out that as kids, the greatest generation taught us Boomers in school to conflate capitalism with democracy. Thanks to McCarthyism, we were also taught to conflate socialism with communism. That paved the way for GOP politicians to paint Democrats as evil commies who want to take away your house, your church, and your money as a way to rationalize support for repealing the New Deal. By and large, it worked. The GOP continues to promote the equation that Democrat=Liberal=Socialist=Communist vs Republican=Conservative=Free-market Capitalist. Sadly, I find this worldview often subconsciously embedded in the minds of many liberals.

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"Basket case" Don't think so. I visited Russia in IIRC 98 (just before the dissolution). Many private small businesses. No apparent poverty, contrary to what is endemic here. My host, Rita, needed a Doc.; one arrived quickly to the hotel where we were staying in Leningrad. Very friendly people. Again later visited noticed the destruction caused by the Chicago Boys. Course in Deutsch, in Dresden, tho. sacked by Russia again not a basket case, as I found in traveling to Slovakia and Hungary. Worked last six months in Chile, again not a basket case, though not as well off as the Soviet Union. Got out three days before the CIA engineered coup. Stop lying Hartman. Oh I forgot Hitler had a social safety net, but only for the aryans. I hope to live long enough to visit Cuba and see what the US sanctions have done.

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In addition to all of the above, it's worth noting that anti-communist/socialist/leftist rhetoric in the U.S. goes back a lot further than the 1950s, and that it's nearly always served the wealthy and the corporations. It's invariably anti-labor and anti-immigrant, and to no one's surprise it's often violently racist as well. (These came together spectacularly after World War I: think Palmer Raids, the Tulsa massacre, the prosecution and eventual execution of Sacco and Vanzetti . . .)

The most serious damage from all this may have been done to the politically liberal and to labor unions, and much of it was self-inflicted: liberal politicians and union leaders have been bending over backwards at least since the McCarthy era to avoid being called commies -- which of course they were called anyway. No wonder they were sitting ducks for the union-busting and rightward lurch of the Reagan years.

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Trump's communist threat lingo borders on accusing others of what he will most likely do as leader. It is a pathetic accusation. Most of the communist governments , certainly the Russian model , are actually fascist in their style of execution. The twisted personality and behavior of the Supreme leader evolves into becoming the deep state. That deep state will not grow the nation.

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RE: “They don’t actually believe that #DEMs are communists, of course; they’re not that stupid. It’s just a convenient term of demonization.” Respuesta: `Caga del toro`, #Thom! Not a single one of ‘em even know what the word “communist” means, have never read Marx’s tome `Das Kapital` and could NEVER debate an argument between Capitalism and Communism from either side of the fence. Of course ... They ARE stupid. The most stupid, retrograde knuckle-draggers the world has ever known save today’s brain-dead, zombie “Rooskies”!

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An alternative term for a fascist is:

“Anitisocial-ist” (or just Antisocial.)

For those who don’t know, antisocial is another term for criminal, both legally and medically.

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For the same reason that anyone who tries to inject historical context and the history of American imperialism and hegemony into the Russia's invasion of Ukraine is called a communist or Putin bot by Biden liberals. You yourself shouted me off your show for bringing up the same historical reference discussed by Chris Hedges, Normal Solomon and many other authorities in the field of foreign policy in the region (including those who covered the agreement between Secretary of State Baker and Gorbachev. Now Biden liberals can complain that they are labeled as communists for pointing out the truth in the same way I am, just by different groups hunkering down in their own echo chambers. As for me, I look with utter disdain upon leaders who use cluster bombs and cover up their acts of terrorism (see: Nordstream Pipeline among others). That would apply to Putin and Biden.

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