International Versus Domestic Terror……

We would be interested in hearing Trump’s take on this as well as his reasons for why it is what it is. Not that we expect he really has any knowledge of or any interest in the data. Especiay as his own hateful bigoted rhetoric is no doubt responsiblefor some of the domestic violence.

Most people arrested as the result of FBI terrorism investigations are charged with non-terrorism offenses, and more domestic terror suspects were arrested last year than those allegedly inspired by international terror groups, according to internal FBI figures reviewed by The Washington Post.

As government officials and activists debate the best way to pursue violent extremists, the figures show how much of counterterrorism work goes undeclared and unnoticed. Thousands are investigated each year. Hundreds are charged with crimes. But the public and the media see only dozens.

The debate centers on whether federal law and law enforcement are too focused on Islamic terrorism and not paying enough attention to the rise in far right-wing extremism. In fact, according to the data, more domestic terrorist targets are being charged, and in both categories, law enforcement often leverage simpler crimes, such as violations of gun or drug laws, to prevent violence.

“It’s violence that we key in on,” said a senior law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive federal investigative work. “And sometimes, it’s the violence that motivates someone more than any particular ideology.”

The arrest last month of Coast Guard Lt. Christopher P. Hasson, 49, is the latest example of this pattern. Prosecutors have alleged Hasson is a white nationalist inspired in part by mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who in 2011 unleashed two attacks in Norway that killed 77 people.

SKIP

In the 2017 budget year, FBI investigations led to the arrest of about 150 domestic terrorism suspects, according to law enforcement officials. The following year, the figure was about 120.

But because federal law does not designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations, no corresponding terrorism crimes apply to such suspects. And while the number of such arrests fell last year, the senior law enforcement official emphasized that, overall, more domestic terrorism suspects are being arrested.

Read more BELOW THE FOLD.

Prepare For 2020 and the End of the tRump Era……

After a remarkably successful start for the new Congress, House Democrats got themselves tied up in knots this week. In responding to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who accused Israel supporters of loyalty to a foreign country, Democratic leaders encountered the tribalism and extremism that afflict its far left-wing. A resolution condemning anti-Semitism somehow stirred outrage on the far left; the resolution against anti-Semitism became a resolution condemning all kinds of bigotry. (Dual loyalty did get a mention.) Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) weakly offered that Omar just didn’t understand the weight of her remarks.

To its credit, a new group of pro-Israel progressive Democrats, Democratic Majority for Israel, issued a strong statement: “We know that the vast majority of Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere, support a strong US-Israel relationship and abhor anti-Semitism in any form. . . . Let’s be very clear: the issue at stake here is anti-Semitism, not support for, or opposition to, any policy of the Israeli government. Congresswoman Omar’s remarks did not mention a single policy pursued by the Government of Israel.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote persuasively as well that the party needed to call out anti-Semitism, and this was just such a time.

Then things got really weird. The voting began, and Republicans started voting “no” — on a declaration condemning hate. No, really. Republican dissenters included a member of the House leadership (Rep. Liz Cheney) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who fancies himself a friend of Israel, as well as veteran crackpots such as Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.). Once more, Republicans snatched back the mantle of racial and religious insensitivity, announcing to the world that they couldn’t possibly be against both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Twenty-three Republicans voted no.

Republicans have become intellectually corrupted and morally perverse under a president they have never voted to condemn. There remains a significant batch of Republicans — not one or two — who feel queasy about condemning hate groups, or in this case condemning President Trump’s Charlottesville remarks (which were also referenced).

Pelosi had just been trying to disband the circular firing squad and get back to business (e.g., voting on the Democrats’ massive ethics bill). Maybe she knew Republicans would blow themselves up once again. Maybe she got lucky. However, she wound up demonstrating a point: Democrats are far from perfect. They have a fringe in their party (supported in this case by three presidential candidates), but there are plenty of adults willing to speak out, plenty who have seen the example of the GOP and know that in letting tribalism and extremism run amok they will destroy themselves. It is essential that this recognition guide them in selecting their presidential nominee.

Republicans have learned nothing, it seems. They are incapable of condemning their party’s leader — or heaven forbid, dumping him! — and remain frightened if not in agreement with the xenophobic, white-grievance crowd, which equates condemning bigotry with “political correctness.” (Whites are the victims, gosh darn it!)

Politics is about choices. Democrats did not have a shining moment, but at least they figured out that tolerating anti-Semitism and excuse-mongering for anti-Semitism is reprehensible. Republicans just reminded us of who they are.

 Yup, politics is about chices. As the article effectivey points out republicans have, for far too long, been making the exact wrong choices. With any luck the party supporting Dotard tRump will completely self destruct . From this erson’s erspective t cannpt happen soon enough.

 

Fairness is a Subjective Determination…

President Trump, claiming he would love to talk to Mueller has said the questioning must be “fair” for him to do so. Stating his attorneys have advised him to not speak with Mueller he also said he would override their advise if he could find a way to insure the questioning was “fair”.

REUTERS –  President Donald Trump said on Friday shifted his position over possible talks with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying his lawyers have advised him against any talks but that he would submit to questioning if it was “fair.”

Trump has repeatedly said he wanted to talk to Mueller, a fellow Republican investigating alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.

“I would love to speak. I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me … because we’ve done nothing wrong,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on his way to the NRA Convention in Dallas. “But I have to find a way to be treated fairly.”
“If I thought it was fair, I would override my lawyer,” he added.

Of course Trump’s statement is really saying that he is willing to talk with Mueller if the questions are softball tosses and lead to the conclusion of the investigation with judgment exactly as Trump desires. In other words Trump is not so much concerned with “fairness” as he is with coming out as clean as a whistle. regardless whether it is the truth or not.

Trump also defended Rudy Giuliani, who he recently hired to represent him in the matter. The former federal prosecutor, however, raised a number of questions about Trump’s actions and motivations in a series of media interviews this week.

On Thursday, Giuliani said he wanted limits for any Trump interview with Mueller.

“He started yesterday. He’ll get his facts straight. He’s a great guy,” Trump told reporters. One of Trump’s lawyers announced Giuliani’s addition to the team on April 19.

Ghouliani is a perfect addition to the Trump team. Obviously inept these days with the tendency to shoot from the hip. But he is a loyal Trumpian who will work hard at being Trump’s chump.

The president also repeated his assertion that there was no collusion by his team and that the federal probe led by Mueller was a “witch hunt.” Russia has also denied any interference, despite the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Giuliani’s “learning the subject matter. … He knows this is a witch hunt. That’s what he knows,” Trump added.

Trump continuing to obsessively repeat no collusion and witch-hunt does not make either so. It is the job of Mueller to get to the bottom of all the allegations. As a man of integrity this is what he will do. All Americans, regardless of political affiliation or economic status ought to hope he does. The continuation f our democratic republic depends on it.

 

 

 

The Myth of Cultural Marxism…

In the Untied States of America right wing conservatives have been pitching the myth of Cultural Marxism with increasing intensity. Blaming nearly all current societal ills in the west as the result of  positive and humane social progress they deem to be Marxian in nature.   One of their pet narratives is that Cultural Marxism has taken over the educational system and is destroying western civilization by corrupting and brainwashing the youth.

The myth of Cultural Marxism is being spread not only in the USA, it is being preached by conservatives and white supremacists elsewhere in the western world. The following pictures are taken from The Sydney Morning Herald and they represent the lies the proponents of Cultural Marxism  are using to play on peoples emotions and fears.

The myth of Cultural Marxism is represented in the following pictures:

An alt-right meme referencing 'cultural Marxism', a debunked concept that flourishes online. The wording co-opts fears about demographic change in the world today.

A still image from a YouTube video that falsely claims that concepts such as social justice and feminism, among others, are "cultural Marxism."

As the Alt right sees control of its world slipping from their grasp they are responding by frantically engaging in the game of fear mongering. We see it employed by Trump in his Make America Great Again slogan and his xenophobic pronouncements going back to his announcement that he was going to run for the USA presidency.

With conservatives, I prefer the term reactionaries, throughout the western world hawking the myth of Cultural Marxism the following is a timely reproduction of a 2017 article in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The good news is that “cultural Marxism” isn’t real. The bad news is that people believe it is anyway.

The claim that left-wing intellectuals are trying to destroy the foundations of Western society is gaining traction in Australia.

And the worse news is this: even if the idea is factually untrue, it can still have an impact on politics.

“Cultural Marxism” is a viral falsehood used by far-right figures, conspiracy theorists, and pundits to explain many ills of the modern world.

A search of archives shows right wing columnist Andrew Bolt first mentioned it in his writing in 2002.

More recently, former Labor opposition leader Mark Latham in a column, claimed that it was a “powerful” movement “dominating” about 80 per cent of public life.

University of Melbourne international relations lecturer Daniel R McCarthy says Latham and others “are using the term rhetorically to paint opponents of their political positions in a bad light”.

“They label movements for LGBT rights as ‘Marxist’ in the hopes that this will frighten people into voting against things like gay marriage,” McCarthy says.

“This is a clever rhetorical strategy, if dishonest or, charitably, simply deeply confused.”

McCarthy makes a firm distinction between Marxist theorists originating in the 20th century and today’s concept of “cultural Marxism”.

“There are Marxists or critical social theorists who study culture,” McCarthy says. “What Latham and colleagues are talking about is entirely different.”

“Their arguments, which verge onto the terrain of conspiracy theorising, understand social movements that they do not like as part of a ‘cultural Marxist’ political strategy to first colonise the terrain of public culture prior to taking over society as a whole,” he says.

A 2003 article from the US-based Southern Poverty Law Centre described cultural Marxism as a “conspiracy theory with an anti-Semitic twist” that was then “being pushed by much of the American right”.

“In a nutshell, the theory posits that a tiny group of Jewish philosophers who fled Germany in the 1930s and set up shop at Columbia University in New York City devised an unorthodox form of ‘Marxism’ that took aim at American society’s culture, rather than its economic system,” the report states.

Unfortunately, Google trends indicate a steadily rising interest in the term in Australia.

(Latham was emailed for comment on this article but did not reply.)

CONTINUE READING BELOW THE FOLD.

A more complete understanding of Cultural Marxism and Post Modernism and more right wing argument supporting the myth of Cultural Marxism.

What Will tRump’s Next Act Be?…

A former White House official tells me that online conservative ire (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, etc.). about the spending bill President Trump signed yesterday — after a puzzling tweeted veto feint — “is the hardest I’ve ever seen the base turn on Trump over anything.”

Why it matters: “A big reason why people voted for him was because of his apparent willingness to stand up to the entrenched political class in both parties. Voters wanted a fighter who wouldn’t back down to ‘the swamp’ like a ‘typical politician,” the official told me.

  • “They were attracted to his strength and alpha mentality, but unfortunately yesterday’s fake veto threat did little but make him look weak … and his base took notice.”
  • “Trump’s base is literally begging him to throw McConnell/Ryan under the bus after today. Just search ‘McConnell Trump’ on Tweetdeck and you will see what I mean.”

A White House official replies that a six-month continuing resolution would have led to no better outcome:

  • “The veto advocates hate Ryan and McConnell. Not good enough reason for us to veto.”
  • “Thought one of the reasons DJT was elected was to get things done in a broken D.C.?”
  • Touché: “If there was a shutdown, would Axios headline praise Trump as shrewd negotiator, or ridicule as dealmaker who can’t make a deal to fund the government?”

SOURCE