Friday, April 28, 2023

Recognizing Amerikkan Fascists Is Not So Easy As Too Many Believe

                                     1930s fascists Mussolini (L) and Adolf Hitler - right                       

                                  Timothy Cusanelli - avid Hitler fanboy & Trumper
                         New Reep Fascists Think Nazis, Reb Traitors Are 'Cool'

 The failure to hold fascists responsible for our democracy's downfall may well be because it's not always easy to recognize them.  This difficulty has been amplified as misinformation and propaganda from the likes of FOX News has become endemic, as well as twaddle from the Wall Street Journal op-ed stable, like Lance Morrow, e.g.

WSJ Hack Lance Morrow Gets Fascism 'Backwards' 

Morrow, as I noted, tried to portray the left as the true fascists in his WSJ piece (Sept. 6, p. A17, 'The Left Gets Fascism Backward'claiming.    

"Mr. Trump and his followers, believe it or not, are essentially antifascists: They want the state to stand aside, to impose the least possible interference and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom isn’t fascism."

But this is deranged dreck given the "freedom" which Morrow proclaimed was the counterfeit freedom to conduct such misbegotten events as The Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist 'Unite the Right' March in Charlottesville in August, 2017:  

Wherein  Trump declared the existence of "some very fine people."  But no one with an IQ over room temperature is buying because we know real fascism is always and invariably of the Right.  This is given the "very fine people" include the likes of Timothy Cusanelli, a die-hard fan boy of both Hitler and Trump - cheering the latter at his rallies- and now confined to a prison cell, e.g.

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison for Actions Related to Capitol Breach | USAO-DC | Department of Justice

But this is the one of the faces of the new MAGA fascists (see top image) whose virulent freedom Morrow tried to defend. Or the face of another Trumper fan boy - the Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes,  who also co-founded VICE media.  These are the faces of the angry, "persecuted" white males who make up the modern fascist movement - most of whom move to either the beat of Trump or the new Mussolini - Ron Desantis.   

My point is that's it's not always a 'gimme' to recognize these freaks. Worst of all, these latter-day fascists (who are often misogynists like Hitler) find fascism "cool" and present it as such to underlings or younger, impressionable kids with whom they network on social media - like 4chan.    Indeed, these miscreants and misfits now include thousands of far right "influencers" who have also won over legions of followers on  YouTube and other platforms.  Amassing hundreds of millions of views by tapping into an inherently aggrieved, fragile male psyche that can no longer hold its own against black or brown people or an advancing phalanx of (white) female success. 

But what is important to note is that the modern incarnation of this warped political ideology mirrors and echoes its emergence more than 80 years ago in Italy and Germany. In each case - then as now- we behold the same glorification of the hyper masculine - which extols the right to exact violence and calls for the seizure of government to achieve authoritarian rule.  And like the fascists of old this current lot are unified by the love of violence, their hatred of progress and sense of entitlement. 

Benito Mussolini, for example, was enchanted by ancient Roman symbols and desired a strong masculine society reminiscent of the Roman Empire.  In the very first pages of his    he noted "Fascism is a spiritual attitude, not merely a political doctrine."  Hitler was no different, being all in on the use of occult symbols to spread his "Aryan" super race baloney, and occultism in general, i.e.

Occult History Of The 3rd Reich - Adolf Hitler - Full Documentary - YouTube

This is what one gets with fascism. Another aspect, which one has also seen with Trump's 2020 election rallies, is the fanfare and performance art.  No surprise then that the Fascist parties of the 1930s won increasing shares of the vote and bamboozled millions with their  marches,  parades, carnivals, fairs and blustering speeches.  Hitler himself preferred night marches with majestic banners and torches because they added an ominous, otherwordly aura to his movement.  Thereby the pageantry and symbols became a powerful means of advancing the ideology.

For those bedazzled by it all, it appeared fascism was fun - not like the regular boring sounding notes attendant on democracy. Where you had to heed all kinds of boring rules, like giving the opposition equal time for speeches - and voting!  Why not just clobber them? (Like Trump often encouraged his campaign crowds to do to any protesters in the audience).  As Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels put it by giving some urgent advice  to state broadcasters:  "The first rule is don't be boring!"  

So how has fascism succeeded in the U.S. of A.? Well by using all those techniques as defined by the 1930s reprobates and also understanding that fascism feeds on culture wars, psychological insecurities (which exploded during the pandemic) and fueling and feeding simmering resentments. Especially among those who believe a part of society has taken away goodies they are entitled to, like a college education or a job promotion.  In addition, the fascists then and now put a heavy emphasis on propaganda in order to gut the brains of the susceptible and impressionable.  

Fascism especially becomes influential when a state or other (commercial) service features a talented personality who exudes charisma and is able to cleverly blend his lies with entertainment.  Thus, using timed eye rolls, eyebrow twitches, smirks and such while spinning lies in giving the "news" - he (or she) can gain control of millions of minds by projecting an "entertainment" dynamic- thereby making propaganda "fun".  This is what explains, I believe, the hold that FOX News has on so many Americans.  

But let's keep in mind that above all, today's fascists are malleable, diverse and assume many forms and guises. Some are more misogynist than racist, others the converse. It all hinges on the nature of the grievances built up and tuned - by specific propaganda- in the individual.  But the commonality is these minions - o like Timothy Cusanelli (who loved Hitler so much he adopted his look) - is that they are all drawn to symbols of racial, social and sexual brutality. And for many white men today, especially in the Republican Trump cult, fascism starts as a cultivated cultural identity which then morphs gradually into a political ideology. 

Germany, perhaps more than other modern democracies, is fully cognizant of its own history whereby a fascist and his party gained power via the democratic process. Thus, as reported earlier this week in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ( that nation has now taken steps to neutralize radical Right parties such as the  Alternative for Germany (AfD) . This is in addition to already having adjusted the German penal code such that:

'The German penal code prohibits publicly denying the Holocaust and disseminating Nazi propaganda, both off- and online. This includes sharing images such as swastikas, wearing an SS uniform and making statements in support of Hitler.'

It also places strict rules on how social media companies must moderate and report hate speech and threats. These hate-speech laws were tightened last year, after three far-right terror attacks in 2019 and early 2020 prompted German authorities to warn of increasing extremism.'


Germany’s Laws on Antisemitic Hate Speech and Holocaust Denial (

So we actually have a template to follow, if we choose. The Germans, unlike the U.S. - still with too many millions enchanted by a Trumpist form of fascism -  knew from the get go that lies cannot be "free speech". Germans grasp now that their radical Right parties are merely vehicles to try to seize power via democratic machinery. The U.S. needs to learn that lesson too, especially as some polls last week (e.g. Real Clear Politics) .showed Trump beating Biden by a few points if the election were held today.  This is utter fucking madness.  As NY Times columnist David Brooks wrote yesterday;

"You may disagree with Biden on many issues. You may think he is too old. But that’s not the primary issue in this election. The presidency, as Franklin D. Roosevelt put it, “is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership.” One of the hardest, soul-wearying parts of living through the Trump presidency was that we had to endure a steady downpour of lies, transgressions and demoralizing behavior. We were all corroded by it."

We can't afford to let that happen again given Trump will be "unchained" next time. This monster must be put away once and for all, if not by the law - which seems to have too many loopholes for escape, as Germany's did in the 1i930s - then by the vote.

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by Thom Hartmann | May 6, 2023 - 6:16am | permalink

— from The Hartmann Report


People watch with their mouths agape, trying to understand the scandal of Donald Trump leading a criminal insurrection to hold onto power even though he’d lost the election; of Supreme Court justices on the take; of political figures putting into law religious doctrine about the role of women in society.

They’re astonished by a media industry that seems to be a captive of the billionaire neofascist class.

They can’t figure out why extraordinarily wealthy people spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year stirring people up to hate each other.

They don’t understand why the morbidly rich are leading a campaign to destroy public schools, end Social Security, and prevent people from voting.



by Henry Giroux | April 11, 2023 - 6:22am | permalink

"Liberal Fascism" ? It's An Oxymoron. Trump Is The Real Fascist - Along With His Cult Of Thugs 



by Robert Reich | April 20, 2023 - 6:55am | permalink

Looking Again At Kurt Densel's Amazing p-adics

First uncovered by Kurt Densel in the late 1800s, the p-adics are a specialized class of number whose key aspect is their absolute value. This depends on the prime number for which any given p-adic is based. The p then means the particular prime. 

Given primes of 2, 3, 5, 7 - for example, one can find 2-adic, 3-adic, 5-adic and 7-adic absolute values which are always computed by taking the reciprocal of the highest multiple of p which divides into any given natural number, N.

If N has no multiples of p, then the absolute value (ê)  is simply 1. If we are looking at a p-adic absolute value of zero, the result is always zero. (E.g. [0]p =êêp = 0)

Let's look at some examples before examining more elaborate applications. Consider the 3-adic versions of: 7, 5 and 1/3. What will the 3-adic absolute values be? Compute each in turn:

[7]3 = 1  

(since there are no multiples of 3 to form the number N = 7)

[5]3 = 1 (for the same reason, thus: [7]3 = [5]3 )

[1/3]3 = [1]3/ [3]3  = 1/ (1/3) = 3

since the reciprocal of 3 is 1/3 which we then divide into the numerator 1.

How about obtaining the p-adic absolute values for each of these: 

[4]2  , [1/6]2 [1/8]3 , and [24/25]2

The first is pretty easy, since: [4]2 = [2 x 2]2 = 1/4

The next isn't too terribly difficult either:  

[1/6]2 = [1]2/ [3 x 2]1/(1/2) = 2


 [1/8]3  = [1]3/ [8]3 = 1/1 = 1

In this case, since the denominator (8) has no 3-factors, it must follow that [8]3 = 1.

Lastly: [24/25]2  = [3 x 2 x 2 x 2]2/ [25]2 =  (1/8)/ 1 = 1/8

(Again, 25 has no multiples of 2 which can compose it, so [25]= 1)

Even more intriguing are the spatial relations and differences, divergences between normal space and "p-adic" space. Consider the triangle (scalene) shown in Fig. 1 below:

And the linear dimensions (absolute values) of its respective sides. We find: A = 4 ([4 - 0]); B = 6 ([10 - 4]); and C = 10 ([0 - 10]). Now compute the sides using 2-adic absolute values (I will assume the reader can obtain the end computations based on the previous examples):

for A: [0 - 4]2 = 1/4
for B: [4 - 10]2 = [1/4 - 1/2] = 1/4
for C: [0 - 10]2 = [10]2 = 1/2

Amazingly, in the p-adic context we find the counter-intuitive result that side A equals side B (= ¼). In other words, in this context, the triangle is found to be isosceles! A general rubric is that for any such computations of the p-adic absolute values contingent on a given triangle's sides - there will always be found an isosceles triangle - irrespective of how the triangle appears in normal space.

Even more bizarre results await when we examine apparently infinite series in the p-adic context. Thus, a series that first appears to go on to an infinitely large extent may be found much more different when p-adics enter. Consider the series given by the sum:

S = 1 + 5 + (5)2 + (5)3 + (5)4 + (5)5 + (5)6 + .........

To treat S p-adically, multiply both sides by 5, then place the result under the original S and subtract, e.g.:

S = 1 + 5 + (5)2 + (5)3 + (5)4 + (5)5 + (5)6 + .........

5S = 5 +   (5)2 + (5)3 + (5)4 + (5)5 + (5)6 + .........

Subtract term by term to get: S - 5S = 1 (all other terms above and below cancel out!)

So: -4S = 1 and S = -  ¼

In other words, the sum S is less than 1 in the p-adic venue,  totally counter-intuitive! We see that evidently the notion or concept of "closeness" emerges quite differently - certainly if we can turn an "infinite" (apparently) sum into one yielding a result less than one!

Suggested Problems:

1. For the triangle shown in Fig. 2 below:

Use 7-adic absolute values applied to the sides of the triangle, thereby compute: A, B and C and show it is isosceles.

2. Find the value of the sum S for: 

S = 1 + 7 + (7)2 + (7)3 + (7)4 + (7)5 + ....

3.  Using the series in (2) as written, "invent" a new irrational number based on the p-adic form.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

GOP 'Limit Spend & Grow Act'- A Recipe For Unlimited Indentured Servitude To Get Food Stamps, Medicaid


Is anyone really surprised that last week the House Republicans released their debt limit response in the Limit Spend & Grow Act?  And that the Wall Street Journal was cheering? ('Is Work For Welfare Whacko?', p. A18, April 21)   

The WSJ editors cheered the Reeps' "solution" to the lack of workers in the country because it will also slow government spending's rate of growth to barely 1 percent per year (less than factoring in the existing population growth) for a decade.  

They then went after the Dems for trying to "demagogue" the issue and proposal, simply because the GOP House demands "able bodied adults work in exchange for welfare as well as Medicaid."  Thus attacking Joe Biden for saying the GOOPs want to "cut benefits for folks they don't much care about".  

Of course the Journal carefully omits noting the states (e.g. Iowa, Arkansas, Ohio) which are already putting laws on the books including enabling child labor - as noted on ALL In Friday night.  That includes working in industrial freezers, laundries and meat packing plants. But Arkansas cornpone guv Sara Huckabee-Sanders takes the top award.  As noted in columnist Jim Hightower's  latest piece ('The GOP's Big New Idea - Child Labor') she and her cornpone cohort just "eliminated a bothersome state law requiring employers to get a special permit to put any child under 16 to work."  Now that protection is gone, and as Hightower notes, Huckabee-Sanders the bellowed;  

"The meddling hand of big government creeping down from Washington DC will be stopped cold...We will get the over-regulating, micromanaging, bureaucratic tyrants off our backs."

Oh, I am sure you will, and also the WSJ will applaud your move as a needed "cure" for the labor shortage.  (Imagine a 14 year old kid work for his food stamps!) Never realizing it could be solved with higher - livable- wages for the adults in your forlorn state.

The Journal, of course, has a stout justification for this return to austerity-mindedness and downright cruelty. That is:

"Voters may think food stamps and Medicaid are temporary backstops for Americans who fall on tough times, but that is no longer true. Both programs have become large and permanent entitlements reminiscent of the European dole."  

But the Journal doesn't ask why these programs have become large and permanent backdrops? Failing once again to process or address the hidden parameters.  Including the fact that during the pandemic and the program that delivered cash to parents via the child tax credit, child poverty actually diminished from its decades long high, i.e.

"The 2021 expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) led to a historic reduction in poverty in the United States, particularly for children. Research showed that child poverty fell immediately and substantially. On an annual basis, according to the US Census Bureau, child poverty fell to its lowest level on record in 2021: 5.2%."

See e.g.  Brookings Institution

The antipoverty effects of the expanded Child Tax Credit 

So true, some 40 million Americans are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at a cost of $100 billion a year because the other choice would be tolerating unacceptable child malnutrition.  Can that be acceptable in a country that spends nearly eight times as much yearly on defense?  The WSJ thinks so, but I do not.    

The editorial also misfires on the extent of food insecurity in the military but which was covered in s weekend WSJ (normal news section) piece (p. A3), noting:

"Hunger, a pervasive problem in the U.S., is worse in the military than it is among the population at large. Nearly a quarter of active-duty troops report some level of food insecurity, according to a 2022 Defense Department report, compared with about 10% of the general population,"

So yeah, the Medicaid enrollment -  according to the WSJ editors - has also soared, to 85 million, but again why?  The WSJ's beef is because it has been "expanded by Obamacare to prime age men above the poverty line".  The truth is that it has been expanded to cover not just men but whole families (including vets) who otherwise would have no little or no health care in their respective states - because he Medicaid enrollment or access criteria are too severe. (And as for men, see first link at bottom to see how their health issues have shortened life spans. So does the WSJ wish to shorten them even more?)

 And yes, both SNAP and Medicaid were "turbocharged during the pandemic" because they needed to be.  Because otherwise we'd be looking at likely over 2 million deaths instead of 1.2 million.  Now, the GOP House intends to change all that using its debt ceiling hostage taking gambit. That is, either go their way or take the "highway" to credit default.  And in the first instance their demand means no food stamps, and no Medicaid access, for any "able-bodied" adult (now up to age 55) who doesn't work at least 20 hours a week. Clean porto-potties in parks for 20 hours a weeks?  Yeppers, if you want that dialysis for your partner!

Oh, I ought to add that the GOP House in their generosity and compassion -  actually a concession to party moderates without whom they'd not have the votes - has allowed an exemption for parents. (Also they won't make any kids work for their food stamps at this stage).  But as we are informed by the Journal:

"Republicans will get no political credit from Democrats for these concessions, even though the GOP is surrendering an important argument that a working parent who can support a family is good for child welfare."

You got that right! And why should the Reeps get any political credit, having now passed their economic atrocity when they were already warned that raising the debt ceiling must be "clean", i.e.  done without demands or hostage taking?  This despite the Journal's claim that "pairing work with welfare is popular" - citing a Wisconsin poll as an example. But that poll issued from a Reepo polling outfit so I take it with a grain of salt, like similar polls that forecast a GOP "red wave" in last year's midterms. 

 The good news is that the GOP House bill is effectively dead on arrival, because Biden already has his veto pen ready. Will the Reep cult stop shooting itself in the ass  - as with the abortion issue - before next year?  I doubt it because it's made up of one track mind ideologues.  They can't change their nature, and theoretically that should translate into a rout in the general election next year- unless voters swallow the Reep lies and deranged efforts at misinformation.

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by Sonali Kolhatkar | May 9, 2023 - 6:21am | permalink

Two recent exposés about child labor in the United States highlight how prevalent the once-outlawed practice has become. In February, the New York Times published an extensive investigative report by Hannah Dreier about scores of undocumented Central American children who were found to be working in food processing plants, construction projects, big farms, garment factories, and other job sites in 20 states around the country. Some were working 12 hours a day and many were not attending school.

A second story, revealed in a press release in early May by the U.S. Department of Labor, found more than 300 children working for three McDonald’s franchises operating dozens of restaurants in Kentucky. The children were working longer hours than legally permitted and tasked with jobs that were prohibited. Some were as young as 10 years old.





“We used to think women were overutilizing health care, and men were doing it correctly. What we realized was that women were doing it better, mostly for preventive care, and men were actually underutilizing health care.”-  Prof. Derek Griffith, Georgetown Univ. Center for Men's Health Equity


by Thom Hartmann | April 21, 2023 - 6:46am | permalink

— from The Hartmann Report

Kevin McCarthy has a keen new idea about what he thinks he can get out of Democrats in Congress in exchange for Republicans authorizing the government to pay the trillions in debt that Donald Trump racked up in his four years in office.

In exchange for lifting the so-called debt ceiling, McCarthy wants Biden and congressional Democrats to throw millions of families off food stamps (SNAP) and end even the possibility of any help to low-income young people unable to pay off student loans.


by Joan McCarter | April 21, 2023 - 7:22am | permalink

— from Daily Kos

Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced in a floor speech Wednesday afternoon that the long-promised House Republican debt ceiling/budget cuts bill was finally ready, a plan he knows will be rejected by the White House and Senate even if he does manage to cobble together 218 votes within his own fractious caucus to pass it. McCarthy also set a deadline to have a vote on that bill by the end of next week, which is just six work days away.