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Trump Takes Italy by Storm: the Rise of Matteo Salvini and of the Italian Right

Trump Takes Italy by Storm: the Rise of Matteo Salvini and of the Italian Right

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Italian League and Minister of the Interior since June 2018. During the past few weeks, he has gained political prominence in Italy by adopting Trump’s style and policies. Here, you see him together with the slogan “Italians First.”

During the past few weeks, we have seen a true political revolution in Italy. Matteo Salvini, leader of the Italian League, has successfully exploited his new position of Minister of the Interior to gain personal prominence. The M5s movement had won the elections, this year, but it has been emarginated to a secondary role, while Salvini acts and looks like if he were the real Prime Minister. If new elections were held now in Italy, Salvini and the League would win hands down

All politics is, after all, about blame shifting. So, political success means simply finding someone to blame. Matteo Salvini was successful by adopting the same style and content that made the political fortune of Donald Trump. Both Trump and Salvini found a good target to blame with immigrants and foreigners in general. Both used harsh language, insults, callousness, and plain racism. Both found that the more shrill and violent their utterances were, the more they were approved by the public. It took a remarkably small effort to convince a large majority of Italians that all their troubles are caused by immigrants and, in particular, by the Roma people (less than the 0.2% of the Italian population). Salvini also capitalized on demonizing the Euro and the European Union, although he can’t afford (so far) to exaggerate with insults and threats in that field. In any case, right now, it seems that 72% of Italians approve Salvini’s actions

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Foundation of Anti-Imperialism

Foundation of Anti-Imperialism

The United States has had a policy of imperialism beginning after the Civil War. The US way of war, developed against Indigenous peoples, spread worldwide as the US sought to extend its power through military force, economic dominance and diplomatic hegemony.

Imperialism is driven by what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. identified at the end of his life, the triple evils of racism, capitalism, and militarism. Lenin described imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. Imperialism has justified mass slaughter, resulting in the US killing 20 million people since WW IIThe People of the United States must say ‘no’ to imperialism.

Advocacy against imperialism is needed to prevent confusion around US militarism. The US disguises imperialism by attacking so-called “dictatorial” leaders who “use violence against their own people.” This results in Orwellian-phrased “humanitarian” wars – violence by US surrogates inside a country, massive funding to create opposition against a government or economic sanctions that cause widespread suffering.

The propaganda justifying these abuses hides the real intent — expansion of US domination so US corporations can profit from resources and cheap labor under a US-friendly government. People confused by this rhetoric sometimes repeat the propagandistic claims of US imperialists and help justify US intervention.

Why US Imperialism Must Be Opposed Today

US imperialism is aggressively working on almost every continent through militarism, regime change, corporate trade agreements, economic blockades and creating indebtedness. The destruction of Libya, in an illegal “humanitarian” war, and the destruction of Iraq, in a falsely justified war, where both leaders were brutally assassinated, highlight the necessity of being clearly anti-imperialist.

There are many countries suffering from US imperialism today. Here are just a few:

Syria: Every president since the 1940s has sought to dominate Syria and has had specific plans for regime change.

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Is America a Police State?

Is America a Police State?

The current state of the United States’ criminal justice system, if it can even be called that anymore, is truly appalling.

Recently, in a small town in Pennsylvania, an insurance agent for Nationwide Insurance noticed a certain plant growing in a garden on the property he was inspecting. This insurance agent identified the plant as marijuana and notified the police about this nefarious behavior. An elderly couple lived at that property, and while the husband was out at the time, the wife was dragged from her home, in her underwear, while police proceeded to ransack the home for four hours. They found nothing illegal. And that marijuana plant that started this whole debacle? Actually a hibiscus. This is only one of countless examples of this exact sort of “raid first, ask questions later” mentality that police forces in this country have adopted. But it’s only natural that this sort of bad behavior has evolved because of the huge problem of overcriminalization. And when the difference between “criminal” and “lawbreaker” is more than just splitting semantic hairs, something needs to be done. Special guest Clark Neily of the Cato Institute joins James Harrigan and Antony Davies to talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Numbers.

The public-choice dynamics behind overcriminalization

57-year-old grandfather from India partially paralyzed by a cop while visiting his son in Alabama — cop charged with assault but jury hung; charges dismissed

Philadelphia police captain slugs woman because he mistakenly believed she threw water on him. The officer was terminated by the police chief, but reinstated by an arbitrator with back pay.

Phila. cop who punched woman gets job back
6abc.com

NYPD officer nearly kills bicyclist by pushing him into a curb. The officer was convicted of lying about it in court but not punished.

Ex-Officer Guilty in Critical Mass Confrontation
www.nytimes.com

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Fake and False and Just Plain Nonsense


Paul Cézanne Les (Grandes) Baigneuses 1905 
Two and a half weeks after the inauguration, and yes it’s only been that long, the media still don’t seem to have learned a single thing. They help the Trump campaign on an almost hourly basis by parroting whatever things, invariably judged as crazy, he says. One day it’s that negative polls are all fake news, the next it’s some list of underreported terror events. All of it gets an avalanche of attention provided by the very people who claim to be against Trump, but greatly help his cause by doing so.

Not a single thing learned. If Trump tweets tomorrow that tomatoes are really fruits and he’s going to have someone draw up a law to make them so, or that Lego should be recognized as an official building material in order to have the Danes, too, pay for the wall, it will be on the front page of every paper and the opening item for every TV news show. The crazier he makes them, the more serious they are taken. The echo chamber is so eager to incessantly repeat to itself and all its inhabitants that he’s a crazy dude, it’s beyond embarrassing.

And it takes us ever further away, and rapidly too, from any serious discussion about serious issues, the one very thing that the Trump empire desperately calls for. The press should simply ignore the crazy stuff and focus on what’s real, but they can’t bring themselves to do so for fear of losing ratings and ad revenues. All Trump needs to do, and that’s not a joke, is to fart or burp into their echo chamber and they’ll all be happy and giddy and all excited and self-satisfied. A spectacle to behold if ever there was one.

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The History of Hollywood: Propaganda for White Supremacy at Home and US Militarism Abroad

The History of Hollywood: Propaganda for White Supremacy at Home and US Militarism Abroad

turtix | Shutterstock.com

For more than a century American film has been one of the most important apparatus used for perpetuating American white supremacy and justifying American military adventures.

Racism in film and white supremacy are so intricately interwoven into the fabric of America that they have become virtually undetectable, much like carbon monoxide, until the deadly damage has occurred. Film is a reflection of society and society in turn is influenced by film.

Ever since the Lumiere brothers first developed film in 1896, it has been an astoundingly effective racial propaganda tool. As the first universal mass medium it efficiently utilized high drama through the fixation of emotional sequences. Put simply, effective propaganda starts precisely where critical thinking ends.

To create drama, particularly in action and war movies, Hollywood needs bad guys, and through the consistent use of racial stereotypes these enemies have included the Vietnamese during the Vietnam war, the Russians throughout the Cold War, Muslims during the ongoing War on Terror and the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.

In American film and media, during the “Yellow peril” the widespread image of the Japanese as sub-human created an emotional context which formed a justification for the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that instantly slaughtered 140,000 innocent people, as well as the establishment of concentration camps for Japanese-Americans on US soil.

The first group in Hollywood history to have been depicted as dangerous savages is Native Americans.

The gross misrepresentation of Native Americans has been a longstanding problem for American film makers ever since the rise of 19th-century Western frontier literature, which portrayed pioneers as struggling with restless natives, without acknowledging the genocide committed by white men.

Despite vast evidence of Native American technological advances and complex civilization, Hollywood films depict native culture as a “blanket ethnicity,” thereby pigeonholing the various groups and cultures into one group defined by stereotypical tropes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Resentful Rage: Stage-4 of Cancerous Inequality

Resentful Rage: Stage-4 of Cancerous Inequality

White America’s ugliest, uncompassionate, punitive face came to life in 1994 politics as Bill Clinton signed the incommensurable largest crime bill Congress had ever legislated: the Violent Crime Control Act; now, in retrospect, perhaps the most anti human rights legislation in modern times, not just in the US but throughout the civilized world.

Clinton reasoned signing this bill as remedy to his view that gangs and drugs had taken over the streets of America and undermined its schools.  But more than Clinton’s flawed reasoning; it has been rationalized politics which has cost the nation, and continues to cost, hundreds of billions of dollars by incarcerating a third of the male black population in their prime, productive years; that, while giving police a stronger arm, inviting all too often an aggressive conduct from people in uniform already predisposed to exceed of their own accord the force required in exercising their honorable mission to protect and serve us all.

America’s uniquely irrational behavior among civilized nations, whether or not a product of our diverse multi-racial society, has not served the country well during the past two decades adding the social problems created by racial inequality to an ever-widening economic inequality among Americans that Ronald Reagan legated to us.

And as social inequality merges with economic inequality, a synergy of resentful rage is being created in cities and communities largely populated by people of color.  Enter the city of Baltimore with a two-thirds black population, America’s problem-du-jour.

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U.S. to Start Training Nazi Troops in Ukraine, on April 20th, Hitler’s Birthday

U.S. to Start Training Nazi Troops in Ukraine, on April 20th, Hitler’s Birthday

It has just been announced that, on April 20th (Hitler’s birthday), U.S. troops will start training troops of Ukraine’s nazi Azov Battalion. 

The Azov Battalion was founded and its members were selected by Andrei Biletsky, a Ukrainian nazi (that’s an ideological term, meaning racist fascist — not a term referring specifically to the first political party with that particular ideology, the National Socialist Party of Germany). When Britain’sGuardian interviewed members, the reporter was shocked to find that they’re nazis (“neo-Nazis”).

Biletsky proudly explains his ideology as follows:

“Social Nationalism is based on a number of fundamental principles that clearly distinguish it from other right-wing movements. This triad is: socialism, racism, imperialism. … On the principle of socialism [in the sense that Hitler used it] follows our complete negation of democracy and liberalism. … Instead there is natural selection of the best representatives of the Nation — born-leaders as Ukraine’s leaders. … Racism: All our nationalism is nothing — just a castle in the sand — without reliance on the foundationstone of blood Races. … 

“The historic mission of our Nation, a watershed in this century, is thus to lead the White peoples of the world in the final crusade for their survival. It is to lead the war against Semites and the sub-humans they use.  … Social Nationalism raises to shield all old Ukrainian Aryan values, forgotten in modern society.”

 

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A Cool Interval-James Howard Kunstler

A Cool Interval

For the moment, while the racial grievances of 2014 have chilled on the polar vortex, and no unarmed black teens have been shot by cops for a couple of weeks, it might be a good time to continue that honest discussion about race that the media nabobs — such as Charles Blow and Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times and Don Lemon of CNN — demand when some incendiary event goes down and tensions across the country become unbearable. That demand, of course, is a political booby-trap because any discussion not founded on the presumption of white malice is instantly deemed inadmissible and “racist” — which is just cheap demagogic despotism designed to shut down the very discussion they asked for. So that is exactly what I expect in response to this essay.

I bring these matters up because it seems to me that the long, arduous, costly battle for “civil rights” which began in my childhood a half century ago is beginning to look like a lost cause. The movies and TV are full of black / white buddy stories, and commercial images of a shared American experience as if there really was a common culture that blacks and whites felt an equal investment in. These stories and images are largely wishful, though I believe the dream of a common culture that would nurture all types of people in America stood at the heart of civil rights idealism of the sort represented by Martin Luther King and the white public figures who marched in solidarity with him.

Something went terribly wrong in the early going, and I don’t think there has ever been an honest discussion about it by American social thought leaders of any race, though I have raised the point more than once in passing. It was the paradoxical rise of black separatist politics at the exact historical moment of civil rights triumph when the two landmark civil rights bills were passed: the Public Accommodations Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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