Showing posts with label Fascism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fascism. Show all posts

Friday, July 28, 2017


“Obi Wan, weak mindedness is strong in this one.”

In the morning edition of our void and vapid tabloid, one letter writer tells us to “stop whining and support the president” (Bill Sances of Vero Beach, Florida). He speaks of “elite, whining, bleeding-heart liberals who seemingly dominate the letters section of this newspaper.”

If POTUS #45 says “jump off a bridge,” would Mr. Sances take his chances? He reminds me of the Jonestown mass suicide cult. For years, we witnessed Donald Trump’s own voice on videotape:

  • The self-worshipping egotist;
  • The deadbeat who failed to pay bills and wages;
  • The charlatan who operated a phony university;
  • The demagogue who fanned the flames of discord;
  • The bully who praises dictators and demands obedience;
  • The hypocrite who fills the swamp of nepotism.
Such soundbites would sink any candidate … unless your followers happen to be the Three Troglodytes of Hear No, See No, and Speak No Evil.

Trump’s secret to success is the motivated reasoning of his followers. They ignore his defects of character, filter only the evidence they want to hear, and willfully deceive themselves. In Jonestown, the diehard lemmings died hard. When a leader gaslights an entire nation, we get fascism.

Yes, Obi Wan. There are Sheeple everywhere who refuse to learn the lessons of history. Sheeple suckered by self-glorifying narcissists … from Il Duce to Pinochet … who brought entire nations to ruin.

Friday, July 21, 2017


When 58,000 mental health experts ignore a self-imposed ethics rule to issue a dire warning, it behooves us to pay attention.

Since 1973, a directive known as the Goldwater Rule has constrained psychiatrists and psychologists from issuing professional opinions about public figures. Character assassination by proxy compromises the integrity of the profession, and the purpose of the Goldwater Rule is prevent psychiatric name-calling. Moreover, totalitarian regimes have a history of abusing psychiatry as a tool of oppression. What motivates these mental health professionals to suddenly break ranks and violate protocol?

‘Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president,” claim 33 mental health experts in a public letter (New York Times, Feb 13, 2017).

“Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States,” reads a petition posted on earlier this year.

For Professor Allen Francis of Duke University Medical College, “the antidote to a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological” (NYT, February 14, 2017). Point taken.

Clinical impressions do not overturn elections. A diagnosis is neither a crime nor a guilty verdict in a court of law. And pop psychology should never stigmatize persons struggling with mental health issues. Nevertheless …

The new ‘normal’ is abnormal. The chaos is ‘unpresidented.’ What is the consensus opinion of these 58,000 mental health professionals? Here are the signature traits of narcissism (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association):

  • A compulsive preoccupation with success and power; 
  • Self-absorption and exaggerated claims of superiority; 
  • Pervasive patterns of arrogant and haughty behavior; 
  • Constant demands for admiration and loyalty; 
  • A grandiose sense of entitlement; 
  • Employs dishonest means to achieve selfish ends; 
  • Ruthlessly exploits people without conscience; 
  • Intolerant of criticism with a tendency to lash out. 
Sound familiar? Years of recorded soundbites and anecdotal accounts reveal the character of the man:

A deadbeat who fails to pay bills and wages. A charlatan who operates a phony university. A demagogue whose appeals to bigotry fan the flames of division and discord. A bully who demands fealty while praising despots. A compulsive liar whose daily mendacities subvert reality. A hypocrite who fills the swamp of cronyism and nepotism to overflow. The leader of a democratic republic who disrespects the protocols of governance and violates the rule of law.

Have we learned nothing from the lessons of history? How self-glorifying narcissists hijack democracies? From Il Duce to Pinochet and beyond?
For all these reasons, 58,000 mental health professionals have signed petitions to inform journalists, the American public, and members of Congress. Despite past misuses and abuses, the consensus opinion can also be instrumental to forestall oppression. The antidote is political. Let the debate begin.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Religious Fascism: The Faith Masquerade

"When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." (generally attributed to Sinclair Lewis)

I grew up in eastern North Carolina. My immediate family converted to Catholicism when I was seven. Some of our relatives were convinced that we were going to hell for worshiping statues, praying to the Virgin Mary, and not being baptized in the name of Jesus only. In other words, I grew up with crazy fundamentalists in my family. However, I never feared their beliefs. They talked a lot but didn't appear to pose a threat to others who did not believe as they did.

But today I came across an organization known as the  The Liberty Counsel and their stated goal is Restoring the Culture by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Family.

Doesn't sound so scary in and of itself, but the Liberty Counsel doesn't literally mean freedom to believe or not believe as you wish. The Counsel believes that it is its mission to advance our freedom to believe in a Christian God. The anchor of the Counsel is its fully accredited law school, Liberty University School of Law, located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Its web site touts its "40 years of training champions for Christ." From its mission statement: "The proficient use of reason informed and animated by faith and a comprehensive Christian worldview is the means to revitalizing what is central to the American legal system--the rule of law." (There are 202 attorneys in the 112th US Congress out of a total of 535 members of Congress. Washington Wire, 1/5/2011).

The web site also features a video with a special message from Newt Gingrich. Presumably Gingrich is comfortable with the law school's blend of law and religion, and its goal of injecting that blend into the rule of law.

The document that lead me to the Counsel was a piece entitled Declaration of American Values, with excerpts posted to Facebook by author Pam Spaulding. (I count on Pam to lead me to interesting material and she never fails to do so.) The Declaration appears to be the Counsel's proposal for a new Declaration of Independence and contains such gems as the following:
  • To secure our national interest in the institution of marriage and family by embracing the union of one man and one woman as the sole form of legitimate marriage and the proper basis of family.
  • To secure the free exercise of religion for all people, including the freedom to acknowledge God through our public institutions and other modes of public expression and the freedom of religious conscience without coercion by penalty or force of law.
  • To secure the moral dignity of each person, acknowledging that obscenity, pornography, and indecency debase our communities, harm our families, and undermine morality and respect. Therefore, we promote enactment and enforcement of laws to protect decency and traditional morality.
  • To secure the individual right to own, possess, and use firearms as central to the preservation of peace and liberty.
There are ten declarations in all, plus a preamble and a closing vow asserting that an unidentified "we" pledge their names, their lives, and their honor to upholding this declaration of American values. 

The Christian fundamentalists of my childhood were goodhearted people for the most part who sincerely believed that it was their duty to try and save the souls of sinners. They were not interested in controlling the government; they sought their guidance from their churches and did their proselytizing via their churches. Today's Christian Right is a different breed. They are not necessarily fundamentalists; they adhere to a literal reading of the Bible only when it suits their purposes.  As a whole, they are better educated than their fundamentalists predecessors, churned out by private religious colleges and universities.  They encompass middle and upper class demographics. They seek power and control, and view religion as a tool to achieve both. They are dangerous. 

It is not enough that they share their beliefs with those who embrace the same values. What they want is to impose their beliefs, their will, on the rest of us. Fanaticism begets a rabid vigilance to convert or destroy all who would dare walk to a different drummer. There is no group more dangerous than those who believe or profess to believe in some mythological anointment of their cause by a supreme being. History is littered with atrocities perpetrated in the name of someone's God.

Please understand that it is not genuinely held personal faith or spiritual belief that I'm speaking of, but a rigid fanaticism in which one group insists upon imposing its views, its beliefs, its will upon others. I'm speaking of groups such as this Liberty Counsel, which adorns itself with the trappings of law, wraps itself in the American flag, and with its Bible clasped in one hand is as dangerous and frightening as any fascist.

Such groups must be revealed, dragged into the light if necessary. Their power lies in their chameleon like ability to blend in, to appear to be simply promoting sensible values that will benefit all of us. We must be vigilant and unafraid in shouting to the rafters that not only does the emperor have no clothes on, the emperor is also a liar and a fraud.

Definition of FASCISM

often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The knock on the door

By Capt. Fogg

We've got a hard core Socialist Radical in the White House if you listen to people like the Koch Brothers -- and make no mistake, we do listen to them whether we want to or not and whether the slander comes from their mouths or the thousand mouths that speak their words. Yet the slide toward the right, the slide toward authoritarianism, the slide toward the business of America being war, continues without much popular resistance. Unless you mean the resistance of the voters of course but the voters don't matter since they're drawn along like hyena puppies following their mother, snarling about Socialism and Taxes.

Can we blame Obama, who hasn't done much to stop the wars, close the torture chambers and offshore prisons, end the DADT charade, temper the growing power of the Executive Branch or give us the kind of transparency in government we were promised? Sure we can, but if every naive campaign promise had been acted upon, we'd still have a long way to go to stop that slide.

Even while the Republicans, including my own Representative Tom Rooney, (R-FL) are howling about Obama exceeding his powers by authorizing a no-fly zone in Libya, his party has proposed giving the president even more war powers. The House Armed Services Committee's National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the United States to use military force anywhere there are terrorism suspects, including within the U.S. itself, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Yes, yes, I know, you hate the ACLU Libtards, but I don't suppose you like the idea of a president sending the marines to your neighborhood or invading any country the president suspects may be harboring "terrorists" either. As it stands there was little opposition in the house save for one member of the House Armed Services Committee: Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) who was the sole dissenter. Now let's all raise our right arms and shout "Libtard."

The President didn't ask for this awesome power boost. He didn't suggest that he needed it. He didn't ask for the extra billions in military spending or another extension of the Afghanistan War. It was the smaller government folks. It was the Republican House hissing with a forked tongue from both sides of their smirking mouths.

Yes, we're sliding and it's not toward Socialism but toward a military/police surveillance state. It's the courts, like the Indiana Supreme Court that has handed us a ruling suggesting that Indiana Police no longer need warrants nor to be in hot pursuit nor need they have probable cause to enter and search your home for any reason - and may beat hell out of you with impunity if you "resist."

“A right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,"reads the decision.

And we're babbling about Planned Parenthood and NPR and the ACLU Commies and against right of the government to flood some fields to save millions of people or take poison of the store shelves in violation of sacred property rights. We're fantasizing about being economic secessionists free or restriction or responsibility. We're oozing lofty proclamations about property rights and the government of no government like medieval monks talking about angels and pinheads and hunting for witches and heretics.

Obama can't fix this and all the Republicans can do is offer people like Tim Pawlenty, Michelle Bachmann. Maybe we can't fix it either and if you want to know who's to blame, you need look no farther than your bathroom mirror.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


When one lives among sharks and barracuda, one acquires a healthy respect for … shall we say … diversity.  To eat or be eaten is not a lifestyle to be taken lightly.  It is the way of the reef. Nothing personal.  In contrast, (O)CT(O)PUS thinks of human beings as rapacious without purpose and fractious beyond reason.  Not unlike cannibals, humans predate their own kind.

The title of this post does not signal my intent to quit The Swash Zone or retreat from Cyberspace.  These are my last words in a comment thread posted yesterday at Conservative Convictions, or as Captain Fogg likes to jest, Conservative Convicts.

It started with this post, “The Call to Dunkirk” Launches Mass Exodus From Public Schools. According to a video, it equates public education and “liberals” with fascism and Nazis. I responded to this post with the following comment:
(O)CT(O)PUS:  Gayle, if you don’t want to send your offspring to public school, that is your business; but to imply that those of us whose support of public education is akin to National Socialism, your attitude is disrespectful of other religious denominations and persons of conscience who hold different views.
A reasonable reply, I thought, but not according to Robert. Having known him for some time, he has … shall we say … a head for illogic thicker than a stone crab.  He obfuscates, perambulates, or simply ignores any point deemed inconvenient.  Here are examples:
ROBERT:  First, the suggestion that the First Amendment bars religion from public schools is absurd and I think it sad [Note Appeal to Emotion fallacy] that people consider this worthy of debate …

The framers had no problems with simply stating that troops quartered in private homes was forbidden, but the left suggests that they "meant" that religion was to be only a private matter [Note Analogical Argument fallacy]

This intenet [sic] is supposed to have come from delegates to the Constitutional Convention where many were required to be a member of a church to be a delegate [Note Non Causa Pro Causa fallacy]

I did not find this offensive at all [Note Subjective Argument fallacy].

Public education, as a general rule, has deteriorated to the point of spending an entire year teaching to pass a single test [Note Projective Identification fallacy that blames liberals for a program authored by conservatives]

I knew more about history, geography, science, and humanities by the 5th grade than my children who are in high school have been taught [Note Questionable Authority fallacy] ….

There is tight local involvement, and because we are a red state and red county, our system is mostly rid of the liberal infestation of Al Gore movies and absurd anti-religious views [Note Appeal to Ridicule fallacy]

Nowhere does it say that we are to humble ourselves before other religions, nor to place them on a level field with Christianity [Note Special Pleading fallacy].
Robert, however, is not the subject of this post.  This is:
GAYLE:  Wow! I didn't realize liberals were so against people deciding how they want their own children to be educated … I'm an American, and we still have freedom of choice in this country whether liberals like it or not. Public school, private school or homeschool [sic]. It's up to the parents, period.
Fine, fine, fine, except that is NOT what I said. If you are reading this, Gayle, please write on the blackboard 100 times:  This is not what 8pus said.  In fact, your faithful 8pus is himself a graduate of the Sargasso Academy, a posh and exclusive preparatory school for snooty cephalopods.

If you are re-reading my first comment, Gayle, I objected to your use of Godwin’s Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy that equates liberals with Nazis:
(O)CT(O)PUS:  Do you mean to imply that Jewish Americans, whose ancestors were killed in the Holocaust, are now consorting with Nazis just because they send their kids to public school?
There is more to Gayle’s post that I found objectionable. I referenced the website,, and found this:
"Christians have already become numb to the moral relativism that is taught in all public schools today. Now children will be told that their sexual orientation and gender are relative, too. No longer will children raised in these schools understand that God made us male and female with different, but complementary roles. Instead, children will be taught that sexual orientation and gender are merely a matter of personal choice … The likely consequences of this for children, the institution of the family, our churches, and our culture are horrendous."
In other words, The Exodus Mandate is not about reading, writing, and arithmetic, or about a better education, or even about a religious education. The hidden message is all too obvious (my paraphrase):  “Since those fascist liberals will not allow discrimination against homosexuals in public, we choose to separate ourselves and practice discrimination in private.” Thus, the covert mission of the Exodus Mandate is DISCRIMINATION and HOMOPHOBIA.  I am just shocked to discover Christians engaging in stealth and guile; I thought this was Satan’s work.

I cannot, will not countenance discrimination in any form whatsoever based on ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.  And I refuse to be associated with any forum that does.  With a heavy heart, I have decided to remove Conservative Convictions from our link list and shall return there no more.

Any objections?