My Recipe for Fascist Pie

This just inFascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

That sounds way more familiar than it should.  The question of the day is “How did we get here?”

The following is my own recipe for Fascist Pie

Ingredients…

  • 1 Cup of sifted, unlimited, anonymous, campaign contributions
  • 2 Handfuls of a gullible population
  • 1 tablespoon of greed
  • 1/2 Pound of propaganda machine
  • A dash of racism
  • 1 stick of Russia funded NRA
  • 3 chopped Evangelicals
  • A dash of anti-fact
  • 1 Orange (comb-over is optional)

Mix all of these together and them plop them into an oven set on “FEAR”.  Cook for one decade.

In short…you can’t make a pie with just an orange.  There are a lot of reasons we are becoming a Fascist nation and only one of them is named Trump.

Unlimited campaign contributions are probably the main ingredients here.  However, all this money would have no impact if we didn’t have a political party that willingly takes the bribes and then does the bidding of those that paid them, instead of those that voted for them.  This is a symbiotic relationship.  Citizens United would not exist without the Republican Party and they would not exist without unlimited finances from special interests.

Greed tells the Koch brothers that they need more money.  Greed of Republicans make them willing to take Koch money to pass a tax law that harms our economy. Greed makes Republicans take Russian money, via the NRA, and then not address gun control

Racism, along with Evangelicals are the special spices of this mix.  Both want America to return to some imagined White, Christian nation.  They don’t know it but they are acting as if a White, Christian, Fascist nation is what they prefer.

To keep the population at bay, they must be fed a steady diet of “don’t look behind that curtain in the corner.”  Fox News and the NRA provide this mis-direction.  For example:  If there is a mass shooting by a white guy…”send thoughts and prayers”.  If there is a mass shooting by a non-white then “Terrorism strikes the homeland.”  This sustains the racist and evangelical votes.  Trump tariffs are starting to hurt the economy so, let’s do a show about an ugly dog contest at a county fair.

Gullibility is hard to under-estimate.  Here are 2 examples.  (1)George Bush is president and the gas prices are high.  Fox News reports that the president has no control over gas prices.  Then, Obama is president and gas prices are high.  Now Fox News reports that these high prices are the president’s fault. (2) Obama, the candidate, said he would meet with North Korea without preconditions.  Fox News blasted relentlessly for this.  Trump then says the same thing and Fox News praises him as a man of action.  In both of these instances, the gullible watched Fox News and nodded in agreement.

Note:  If you have not read 1984 in the last 10 years, I recommend you have another go at it.

The orange, Trump, is the cherry on top of the pie.  That pie would exist without him but it would not be nearly as perfect.  Trump is without shame.  He has a complete disregard for any facts that don’t suit him.  For example, right now, his new plan is to act as if Russia did interfere but what they really want is for Democrats to win.  Now, in front of the world, Putin said in Helsinki that he wanted Trump to win.  Today, the White House transcripts and video of Putin saying that have be wiped clean of Putin’s statement.  We all saw it but Trump is acting like it never happened.  Fox News will back him up on this and the gullible will nod in agreement.

The result is a big fat heaping of Fascism Pie.  If you don’t like it and would prefer something else…then change the ingredients.  Vote in November.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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And the simplest answer is…

This just in:  “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

Yes, there are two sides to every story and every coin.  Yes, we have differing opinions and you are certainly welcome to yours.  Yes, they all do it.

However, don’t be fooled into a false equivalency.  Both sides of an issue are not necessarily equal in merit.

For example, if I point at a rock and say, “That is a rock” and you point at the same rock and say, “That is the Eiffel Tower,” one of us is wrong.  Just because we are equal in number and welcome to our own perspectives, we are not necessarily equal in the truth of what we say.

This, and the opening quote, are all intended to set up the following statement…

Congress and the president are offering convoluted explanations to justify their actions; explanations that fall far short of the lowest believability threshold.

My belief is not that they are stupid.  My belief is that they pretend to believe certain things because their “salaries depend on it.”

Let’s take climate change.  The scientific community is in one voice about this.  It is real.  However, Republicans and the President, who are largely funded by the fossil fuel industry, find it hard to believe in it.  Big oil pays then to not believe in it.

How about “trickle down economics” which is the widely disproven idea that if you give tax breaks to the rich, they will create more jobs.  The Republican Party is a huge fan of unlimited campaign contributions from the very rich.  These “very rich” pay the Republicans to believe that tax cuts for the rich actually work.

The Russian funded NRA pays Republicans to believe that gun proliferation has nothing to do with the 35,000 annual gun deaths in the United States.  Republicans believe this because they are paid to believe it.

Now we get to Donald Trump.

Why does Trump have a hard time saying, “I believe Russia is continuing to hack our elections.”?  He has perfect information available to him.  He must have an absolute certainty that this is the case; and yet, he denies it.

Why?

Trump’s job depends on his not believing that Russia is interfering in our elections.

His job depends on it because Putin told him so.  Which, in turn, says that Putin has the ability to end Trump’s presidency.

I absolutely believe this.  However, if you pay me enough money, I might be convinced to believe otherwise. A lot of money…

Up, up and away…

Jim

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“We will do whatever is humanly possible…” – Ted Cruz

This just in:  So, big surprise, there was another shooting at another school, this time in Texas.

Three things happened immediately: (1) Thoughts and prayer were sent out by the politicians, (2) Promises from everyone to fix the problem and (3) Announcing fixes that have nothing to do with gun control.

Ted Cruz even made the title quote above.  He has absolutely no plan to fix anything but this make it look like for the first time…He’s going to get to the bottom of this.  Right?

Let’s start with this: Texas is a “gun state.”  They like their guns and I think they should have all the guns they want.  They don’t need my permission.  The NRA, last year, gave $73,000 to Republican politicians in the state, all of whom got NRA grades of A or A+.  They did give $3,000 to Democrats but nearly all Texas Democrats got a grade of F.

Now, if I was running for political office, I would tattoo the “F” on my forehead.  I would want everyone to know that I think the NRA is a Russian sponsored terrorist organization that only wants your money and the money they get from selling guns (actually, promoting gun ownership so their sponsors can sell guns.)

Texas Lt. Governor was on the news laying out his plan which includes (1) faster background checks  (2) better mental health screening and (3) arm teachers.   So, if we know people have a history of gun violence, we can keep them from getting guns.  A couple of notes on this…it currently takes about 3 minutes to run a background check.  I’m not sure the ability to do this in 2 minutes will make much of a difference.

The “mental health” issue seems to imply that we have more mental health problems that drive people to mass killings than every other industrialized nation.  I find this logic astoundingly flawed.  The only thing more amazing that an educated person would say this is that other educated people believe it.

There is also the argument that laws to control guns will not be followed by people that don’t want to follow them.  What follows from this logic is “Therefore, we should not make gun laws.”  What is interesting to me is that this “Let’s not make laws because they don’t work” is the main argument for no gun control by lawmakers.

That’s right, if the NRA pays you enough money, you, a lawmaker, will stand up and tell people that laws don’t work.

On a completely unrelated note…

Did you know that kids in the United States between the ages of 15 and 18 are 82 times more likely to die from gun violence that kids of the same age in the other industrialized nations?

Here is the bottom line:  Our guns are out of control.  We don’t need to take away everyone’s guns to fix this.  If you are a Republican that takes money from the NRA, you are guilty of murder about 36,000 times a year.  If you vote for Republicans that support the NRA you are just as guilty.

Take a look at the gun control link in my toolbar at the top of this page.  I made up that list with no experience and no deep thought….in about 5 minutes.  Maybe none of those ideas are good.  But it does tell me that there are options besides relying on “Thoughts and Prayers.”

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Killing of Bear #399

This just in:  Last night I was watching 60 Minutes and they had a segment on a nature photographer.  One of his favorite subjects is grizzly bear (tagged as #399).  Recently, the bear population was healthy enough that there is now talk about allowing some people to hunt bears.  The photographer said many hunters have told him they can’t wait and that they hope to be the one to shoot the famous #399.

I don’t get this.  It is so far from what I could consider as a “good idea” that it makes me feel like there are aliens among us; or at least a branch of the human race made up of gun-toting sociopaths.

The NRA recently had a convention in Texas.  The President and V.P. were both there.  In the President’s speech, he managed to anger both the country of France and the country of England.

Here are Trump’s views on gun violence as far as I can tell…

  1. If the violence was perpetrated by a non-white, then it is terrorism.
  2. If the violence happened at a school, then blame video games and arm your gym teachers.
  3. If the violence was by a white supremacist…silence.

Also, while the NRA convention was taking place, a breakfast place in Dallas put a note on receipts that portion of the receipt would go to organizations that support “reasonable and effective gun regulations.”  How did the NRA visitors respond?  With death threats; threatening to “shoot up the place.”  This…is the NRA…our very own, homegrown terrorist organization.

We’ve become a country where we can make stuff up to suit whatever fantasy we like.

For example:

  • Universal Health care is a government takeover of healthcare.  The facts actually tell a different story.  Countries that have universal healthcare pay much less for much better outcomes.
  • Guns are not the reason we kill each other with guns.  The facts say that we have the same rate of mental illness and video game addiction as other countries and yet…we kill each other with guns at a much higher rate.
  • Tax cuts for the rich will spur economic growth and create high-paying jobs.  The facts say that this economic policy (also known as trickle-down economics) is a failure 100% of the time.
  • Unlimited campaign financing is Freedom of Speech.  Actually, you can link the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United to the rapid fall of the Republican Party into a corrupt organization that profits by legislating based on the whims of their billionaire donors.

It’s getting to the point where nothing makes sense anymore.

However, there is hope.  Here is a…something created by the young daughter of a artist friend.

This is so cute I can’t help but have a positive outlook on our future.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The “hardening” of America

This just in:  The NRA and Trump (who received $31 million from Russia via the NRA) think that we need to “harden” our schools against attack.

I disagree.

I think gun control is the answer.  Here is a link to my ideas about gun control.

However, let’s go with the NRA/Trump idea…

Let’s harden our schools.  Let’s spend money on training and arming teachers. Let’s use metal detectors and auto-locking doors and name tags.  Let’s double the current spending on public schools with 100% of that increase going into “hardening” the classrooms of our kids.

Or…and I’m just saying…we could improve gun control.

However….let’s continue with the logical outcome of the Trump/NRA policy; one that basically says, “The only way to keep us safe from guns is to make sure more people have more guns.”

Once our schools are taken care of, let’s look at the next soft target.  I think we need to arm the cashiers at my local market and at the local mall.  Let’s arm all of the people in every public place so that the bad guy knows return fire is guaranteed.

Then we have my neighborhood.  I thought I needed a lock on my door but that is apparently not enough for the gangs of armed thugs.

Yes, we could make sure thugs don’t have guns but that is not in accordance with the Trump/NRA agenda.

So, I apparently need more than a lock and more than a 115 pound dog.  I need a handgun.

The bad guys know this so they get automatic rifles.

Not wanting to be “outgunned”, I now need an automatic rifle.

In short, I am being sucked into the Trump/NRA platform of fighting guns with even more guns.

Or…and I’m still just saying….we could improve gun control

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Connecting a Few Dots…

This just in:  Sometimes completely unrelated things happen in such a way as to appear that there may be a relationship, where there is not.  Here is a website that is dedicated to such things.  This is really interesting and I recommend you check out the link.

Now…

At other times, things that appear related may actually be related.

I want to take a minute to look at a few of these relationships.

Of course…this is all about Trump.

  1. Trump has clearly worked with Russia to get elected
  2. There appears to be a payback to Russia for their help when Trump refuses to implement sanctions against Russia
  3. Russia funnelled money to the NRA who in turn, gave it to Trump
  4. The NRA is one of the major funders of the Republican Party
  5. Only NRA funded Republicans, and NRA funded Trump appear to feel there is no solution to gun violence other than “thoughts and prayers”
  6. Russian bots immediately started posting fake news (gunman was a secret muslim) about the Florida shooter.
  7. Trump, in a message about Florida, didn’t even mention the word “gun”
  8. Fox News supports all things Trump and Republican

So, if I was to make a bed and fill it with members of the same team, that bed would contain: President Trump, Russia, the NRA, Fox News and the entire Republican Party.

It’s nice for them to all be in same place.  I can, at a glance, look at who I want to vote out of office later this year. (Trump in in until 2020 but a Democrat Congress will kick him out sooner).

Vote in 2018 and save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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