"Science is not a set of facts or even techniques and procedures," says the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society. "Science is a process for understanding the nature of the world. Scientists begin from the assumption that there is an objective reality, independent of our hopes and desires. We try to understand the nature of that reality through observations and experiments. . .
"There was, during the course of the 2016 campaign, a small but vocal group of antiwar libertarians and conservatives who had convinced themselves that Donald Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton because he, Trump, had made his (fictitious) opposition to the Iraq War a cornerstone of his candidacy," wrote James W Carden for Consortiumnews.com. "Trump, it turns out, seems every bit as captive to the bipartisan foreign policy consensus as was his predecessor."
The President has been lavished with praise from leading Congressional Democrats for targeting Syria, notes The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald. (Hillary Clinton offered her categorical support hours before the missiles fell.) Those who fall in line behind Trump's bombings are ensuring that he will keep it up.
"Although Obama was the first president to spend his entire tenure in office at war, he almost certainly won't be the last," concludes John Knefel, Truthout.
One had to search the NY Times for today's lead story (World News section, subcategory Asia Pacific), U.S. Drops 'Mother of All Bombs' on Afghanistan; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the action in his daily briefing:
"The U.S. has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan."
President Donald Trump says he is very proud of the U.S. military after what he called a "very, very successful mission." Whether the political establishment elects to bestow gushing praise on the first-time use of the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, as they did for the airstrikes on a town in Syria last week, is as yet unknown. But it is imperative that today's strike on Afghanistan be contested, not "normalized" as just another (albeit bigger) bombing-as-usual in America's war on the world.
The LA Times hopes to rein in the worst aspects of fascism in America. "[Trump's] contempt for the rule of law and the norms of government are palpable," said the paper.
We say Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime! One thing's for sure: The Trump Regime Won't Collapse Of Its Own Accord. It's up to us, people living in the United States, to stop the horrific crimes of our government and drive perpetrators from power. Sooner than later.
It's up to us, people living in the United States, to stop the horrific crimes of a fascistic state and drive perpetrators from power.
"This administration is less than a month old and is steeped in scandal, incompetence, conflict of interest and internal disarray," tweeted Saturday Night Live Trump double Alec Baldwin. Continuing questions about Russian influence in Washington added to turmoil in the White House this week with the forced resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The U.S. ruling class is deeply divided about whether an alliance with Russia would serve American interests, but parties to that debate share a common goal: the global advancement of a rotten system of exploitation. "This is not just a matter of palace intrigue," notes Revolution newspaper, "what is happening poses potentially grave dangers for humanity."
Despite a growing list of impeachable offenses, from fraud and racketeering to treason and bribery, Trump loyalists stand by their man, sucking up 'alternative facts' like hard candy. "Trump's inflammatory campaign rhetoric continues to define him," concludes Los Angeles Times reporter Cathleen Decker. But what sold well to Trump voters, the ugliness, ignorance and fear of white nationalism, will serve to popularize his undoing.
"Only everything," answered artist and activist Harry Belafonte. "With his simple, mean, boy's heart, Mr. Trump wants us to follow him blind into a restoration [of 'American Greatness'] that is not possible and could not be endured if it were."
"Perhaps more than any other person, [newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff] Sessions stands at the nexus of many of the potential plot lines that we should fear most about the Donald Trump presidency," writes Greg Sargent at The Washington Post. Voter suppression, weakened civil rights, immigrant deportation: "Trump's well-documented authoritarian impulses could conceivably tip him into genuine authoritarian rule."
Before Alabama Senator Sessions could even sit down at his desk to bask in illegitimate glory, Usurper-in-Chief Donald Trump outlined his mandate to protect law enforcement officers from the public, in an ass-backwards assignment of blame for violent crimes. Investigation of outstanding murders by police is likely to be curtailed, and commitment to police reform forgotten, if we don't act decisively.
Despite a pattern of excessive force against Chicago residents, police officers are held in higher repute than their victims. The false narrative of "crime on the rise" (violent crime in the United States has actually decreased significantly over several decades) gives rise to the "new era of justice" platitudes of a president in denial.
Donald Trump's wall against reality defends what Dr. Brian Moench calls "a Mad Hatter's tea party of scientific absurdity," contradicted by real news and real science. "We're living in a new era, where an unverified report about possible, unsubstantiated rumors of alleged, unconfirmed evidence hacked from an undisclosed source competes on an equal footing with real information," he adds. "But 'Making America Great Again' goes even further, and is apparently code for 'Making America Ignorant'."
"Donald Trump represents the dark side of human nature: ugliness, ignorance and fear," says Jesse Berney, writer for Rolling Stone. "He wants to build a giant wall, an act contrary to the idea of art. He won on the promise of banning a religion, a rejection not just of an entire culture but of the idea of culture itself."
What do we have to lose? Our humanity, if Trump has his way. We must drive out this fascistic regime. Sooner than later.
A federal appeals court in San Francisco will hear arguments February 7 at 3 PM on whether to restore President Donald Trump's controversial immigration order, reports Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post:
"Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril," Trump wrote. "If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!"Opposition [to Trump's travel order] has been successful so far, and it is growing. On Monday, ten former high-ranking diplomatic and national security officials; nearly 100 Silicon Valley tech companies; more than 280 law professors; a coalition of 16 state or district attorneys general, including those from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia; and a host of civil liberties and other organizations formally lent their support to the legal bid to block Trump's order...Trump and his supporters have continued to press the case that the short-term stoppage on refugees and immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen is necessary for national security reasons. Trump went so far as to suggest on Twitter that if an attack were to happen, the judiciary would be to blame.
The President called opposition to his executive order "fake news." Polls reflect a different reality: thousands of people in the streets, on a regular basis, across the U.S.
Some of us remember that refrain from supporters of the Vietnam War. The rationale for endless wars of U.S. imperialism devolves from administration to administration, from allegations of communist conspiracy to supposed threats against Christianity, but the core motivation of Empire endures: exploitation of world resources, including human labor, to maximize assets of a ruling class.
Lawmakers held up candles in front of the Supreme Court tonight, in opposition to President Trump's illegitimate sanctions against Muslim air travelers over the weekend. House Democrats were scheduled to vote on a series of natural resources bills Monday, Senators on confirmation of Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, former Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson. It's not clear yet how, or if, they voted. What is clear is that the crowd wanted their representatives to do more.
"Do your job! Do your job! Do your job!" shouted hundreds of demonstrators. But it's up to us, with millions of people in the streets to create a political crises that forces Trump from office. Take part.
This afternoon White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the ban imposed by Trump has been "blown way out of proportion" and dismissed those challenging it, including any State Department officials who might back a draft dissent cable initiated by State Departments employees. "I think they should either get with the program or they can go," Spicer responded when asked if the administration was aware of the cable and its message.
In other news, President Trump is expected to announce his Supreme Court pick Tuesday night.
And no, he's not referring to a move to Canada. "I'm gonna make [the American dream] bigger and better and stronger than ever before," says the President. Foreigners need not apply.
Eleven days into the Trump imperium, the Pentagon is determining exemptions to the Muslim ban. Navy spokesman Captain Jeff Davis says the list will include Iraqis who have tangibly demonstrated their commitment to supporting U.S. forces.
- U.S. judge issues an emergency order barring deportations under Trump's immigration ban
- Trump authorizes his first military action, a ground raid in Yemen that kills between 14 and 30
- After legal actions and protests nationwide, the Trump administration walks back part of the immigration ban, saying green card holders from the 7 countries will be allowed to return to the U.S.
"We call on each and every one who opposes what this regime stands for... to take part in and actively build, resistance and refusal," reads the New York Times ad. It's up to us, who refuse to accept the outrageous treatment of targeted travelers at airports across the country today, to tune into and join calls to action, or initiate your own (Refuse Fascism offers Tips On Organizing A Protest here). Release all detainees to legal counsel NOW!
In San Francisco, Sunday January 29, SFO Bay Resistance is on-going; sign up for a rapid response text alert system at http://bayresistance.org/. The Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) is a good source of on-the-ground reports for SFO action, with video. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) provides updates on the "Muslim Ban," here.
Detainees get reprieve from immediate expulsion, but their futures are uncertain.
Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled that sending plaintiffs home could cause them "irreparable harm."
While none of the detainees will be sent back immediately, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case expressed concern that all those at the airports would now be put in detention, pending a resolution of the case. Inviting the lawyers to return to court if the travelers were detained, Judge Donnelly said, "If someone is not being released, I guess I'll just hear from you." -- NYTimes
The ruling affects 100 to 200 people trapped at airports Saturday. Hostages are beginning to speak out. Share your story with World Can't Wait, including and especially arriving passengers who joined the protest on the ground,
"The following are the protests I'm aware of at this time," posts Karoli Kuns to Raw Story Saturday night:
At JFK Airport, hundreds of people are jamming the international terminal with signs of welcome. I have also heard reports that lawyers are on their way to these airports to assist anyone detained by DHS under this new order.
Newark, NJ will be underway shortly.
SFO (San Francisco) [continues to grow; last estimate 1,500].
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Georgia:
In Philadelphia, protesters are planning to be there at 2PM tomorrow, too.
Chicago International Airport is planned for 6PM.
Two events are planned for LAX: One tonight at 5PM and another tomorrow at 1PM.
Seattle International Airport at 5PM.
Boston International at 7PM.
Denver at 5PM.
I am also hearing about possible protests at Miami, Dallas/Fort-Worth, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Houston, Minneapolis, and Detroit this weekend, but haven't yet gotten any details on those. I will update the post as necessary.
The cancellation of Donald Trump's illegal, immoral, outrageous order to ban Muslims -- more than 134 million people from Muslim-majority countries -- and suspend entry of all refugees can't wait. Within hours that legislation was interpreted to include even green card holders; permanent residents are being forced out of the U.S. upon landing. Protests at airports across the country erupted soon after, including now San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where the crowd is growing reports Priya Anand.
"We don't want them here," said the President. His January 27 executive order bars permanent immigration from Syria and Iraq, indefinitely, reports the NY Times. "But the order is illegal. More than 50 years ago, Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin."
"The use of coercion, including the inflicting of pain and extreme discomfort, to extract information has been attractive to those charged with protecting the public - as well as to criminals, psychopaths, warlords, dictators and sadists, for as long as any have existed," writes Jason Burke at The Guardian. But anything said under duress is inherently unreliable. Even "tactically, let alone morally, this is a problem." If torture 'worked' would it be OK?
Tortured prisoners will say anything to make the pain stop. "You can always make someone talk ... The problem is what they say," said one of Saddam Hussein's former torturers in an interview.
A commenter at The Northern Echo suggests "He [the torturer] might also have been talking about Mr. Trump who continues to dominate the international news agenda by stirring up fear, hatred and small-mindedness. The President appears hell bent on creating a world where all nations stoop to the most base behavior, where nothing is off limits, where no one upholds decency, human rights and the rule of law."
The argument over efficacy of torture to extract information peaked with the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, says the author (Burke) of The New Threat. U.S. Senate investigation of CIA torture policy found no evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques'. But President Trump has re-ignited debate with unsubstantiated rebuttal to the conclusion of that report, threatening to bring back waterboarding, "and worse." His pick to head the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo says he is open to revival of torture practice, contradicting his "absolutely not" testimony during confirmation hearings.
What Kind of A Country Tortures People? "The torture story is not just the individually criminal acts over days and months and years, against many individuals, whose names the American people are not even supposed to know," says World Can't Wait's Stephanie Tang. "The U.S. uses torture to terrorize whole peoples... to say to the world: American can do anything it wants, to anybody anywhere."
We say NO! to Torture and NO! to Trump Supporters who Advocate Its Use. We refuse to accept the dictates of an illegitimate government!
Falling in line behind George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton plan to attend Donald Trump's inauguration, reports the Associated Press. Former President Jimmy Carter was the first to RSVP for the event.
Carter praised Trump's 'malleability'. "I don't think he has any fixed (positions) he'd go [to?] the White House and fight for." The Nobel Peace Prize recipient also took part in the peaceful transition of power to Ronald Reagan.
"It's going to be an elegant event," said a source close to Trump. Celebrity performers are not impressed. Dixie Chicks manager Simon Renshaw commented, "If anyone does do it, I hope that the check that they get is in the nine figures. Because it's probably the last check they're ever going to get...No one is prepared to normalize what is going on in the country right now."
"Rightist governments in Hungary and Poland are already cheering Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric" warns Washington Post editor Jackson Diehl; "the more moderate of the two leading candidates to become France's next president, François Fillon, authored a book titled Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism. Even Germany's Angela Merkel, the most prominent remaining defender of liberal democratic values, felt obliged to strike an anti-Islamic pose last week, proposing a crackdown on the minuscule number of German women who wear a burqa."
President-elect Donald Trump's national security adviser appointee, retired General Flynn, calls Islam a political movement masquerading as a religion and the product of an inferior culture: "I don't believe that all cultures are morally equivalent, and I think the West, and especially America, is far more civilized, far more ethical and moral." Chief strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon suggests that people living in the U.S. "all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya' around capitalism."
Diehl expects Trump's crusade-against-Islam team to continue ongoing offensives against the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and Libya. But the immediate consequence of an American war of terror will be experienced by average citizens across the Muslim world. "They will see it in the 'extreme vetting', if not an outright ban, they will be subjected to in seeking to enter the United States. And they will feel it in the ramping up of U.S. support for dictators and monarchs who are judged by Trump to be tactical allies in the civilizational war."
"'Deus Vult' -- or 'God wills it' or 'it is the will of God' -- has become a kind of far-right code word," writes reporter Ishaan Tharoor of the hashtags proliferating around fascist social media. "Whatever his own beliefs, Trump will arrive in the White House with the backing of myriad people crying out for a holy war."
We don't have to accept this. Cultural critic Edward Wadie Said rebuked political scientist Samuel P. Huntington's hypothesis on the 'clash of civilizations' in a 2001 article, calling the theory an example of "the purest invidious racism, a sort of parody of Hitlerian science directed today against Arabs and Muslims." Massive mobilization can create political conditions which stop a Trump regime in its tracks.
Answer the Call to Refuse Fascism: On MLK weekend, there needs to be massive demonstrations of many thousands in key cities, including Washington, D.C., that grow to millions over the next week, protests that don't stop . . . where people refuse to leave and more and more people stand up with conviction and courage demanding:
NO! We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!
The nightmare election of 2016 demands that we buck up to reality. No one - no personage, no governmental institution, no constituency of partisan politics - will stop the horrors of a Trump presidency save ourselves.
Whether you support a winner-take-all system of government, or not, Donald Trump is not our president - yet. Capitalist democracy is contingent on citizen approval, or the perception of such, for legitimacy. There is still a real chance to prevent Trump-Pence from coming to power.
The current crisis of leadership is about more than a misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution. The foundational meanness of white supremacy is as immoral today as it was in 1789. While Black individuals are no longer counted 3/5 of a person, children born in the United States are still citizens, and the Electoral College is recognized for pro-slavery bias that has out-lived its purpose, the threat of resurgent racism is all too real and gaining momentum.
A vehicle for the massive mobilization required to prevent the reality of a Trump regime exists. RefuseFascism.org has a plan and a Call to Action. There has never been a better time to rise and shine. Be the example your children, your friends, your neighbors crave. Display the courage to inspire others:
Saturday December 31 - New Years Eve: political demonstrations and manifestations at Trump's 555 California Street property and Justin Herman Plaza in particular, of such a character that they seize the news that day, announcing to the world the presence of the NO! movement. Share the event on your Facebook page.
Saturday - Monday January 14-15-16: Martin Luther King Weekend actions around which to highlight & raise determined opposition to the white supremacist, American chauvinist, religiously bigoted character of this fascist movement and regime which draw forward everything thus far built and build further. People begin coming to DC.
Tuesday - Thursday January 17-18-19: fill the streets of DC with millions; millions more demonstrate in every major city and small town all over the US and the world, demanding that Trump-Pence be prevented from taking office before January 20.
In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!