If It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media | Psychology Today

The success of fear-based news relies on presenting dramatic anecdotes in place of scientific evidence, promoting isolated events as trends, depicting categories of people as dangerous and replacing optimism with fatalistic thinking. News conglomerates who want to achieve this use media logic, by tweaking the rhythm, grammar, and presentation format of news stories to elicit the greatest impact. Did you know that some news stations work with consultants who offer fear-based topics that are pre-scripted, outlined with point-of-view shots, and have experts at-the-ready? This practice is known as stunting or just-add-water reporting. Often, these practices present misleading information and promote anxiety in the viewer. Another pattern in newscasts is that the breaking news story doesn’t go beyond a surface level. The need to get-the-story-to-get-the-ratings often causes reporters to bypass thorough fact-checking.

If It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media | Psychology Today

Opinion: A neuroscientist explains how politicians and the media use fear to make us hate without thinking – MarketWatch

Tribalism has been an inherent part of the human history. There has always been competition between groups of humans in different ways and with different faces, from brutal wartime nationalism to a strong loyalty to a football team. Evidence from cultural neuroscience shows that our brains even respond differently at an unconscious level simply to the view of faces from other races or cultures. At a tribal level, people are more emotional and consequently less logical: Fans of both teams pray for their team to win, hoping God will take sides in a game. On the other hand, we regress to tribalism when afraid. This is an evolutionary advantage that would lead to the group cohesion and help us fight the other tribes to survive. Tribalism is the biological loophole that many politicians have banked on for a long time: tapping into our fears and tribal instincts. Some examples are Nazism, the Ku Klux Klan, religious wars and the Dark Ages.

Opinion: A neuroscientist explains how politicians and the media use fear to make us hate without thinking – MarketWatch

The Biggest Panic-Fueled Derp of the Millennium : A Timeline of the Lockdown

December 2019 – January 2020 : Looking at photographs from December 2019 is like looking at a long-lost world. We see people in crowds, celebrating. Elders smiling and hugging their grandchildren. Enjoying life.

In the Spectator, Matt Ridley wrote an article titled “We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously

Extreme poverty fell below ten percent of the world’s population for the first time. Global inequality plunged as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America. Child mortality fell to record low levels. Famine became almost non-existent. Malaria, polio and heart disease were all in decline. Volunteers around the world were taking the elderly on rickshaw rides around nature. Because everyone knows, being isolated and locked indoors is not healthy.

But by November 2020, the UN was warning of an “Impending Famine With Millions in Danger of Starvation”

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 2020 (IPS) – The numbers are staggering— as reflected in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a new round of food shortages, famine and starvation.

According to the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) 690 million people do not have enough to eat. while130 million additional people risk being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year.

“Hunger is an outrage in a world of plenty. An empty stomach is a gaping hole in the heart of a society,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week pointing out that famine is looming in several countries.

Striking a personal note, Guterres said he could have never imagined that hunger would rise again during his time in office as Secretary-General.

We could blame this on the coronavirus pandemic, but during most of the 20th century, the world weathered numerous pandemics without mass starvation, social upheaval and economic destruction. Back then, we believed that the key to humanity’s survival was our ability to adapt to the various hardships nature threw our way. After all, trillions of viruses fall from the sky everyday, mutating, spreading. You can’t hide from them – trying to do so would be insane.

That was what we thought — before George W. Bush came up with the idea for a Lockdown in 2006, an idea that was condemned by doctors but embraced by politicians; before Xi decided to use this pandemic to distract the world from his actions in Hong Kong.

From Tablet’s “China’s Covid Lockdown Propaganda

Late December in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang warned his friends that a new SARS-like illness had begun spreading rapidly. Li’s message inadvertently went viral on Chinese social media, causing widespread panic and anger at the Chinese Communist Party. On Jan. 7, Xi Jinping informed his inner circle that the situation in Wuhan would require their personal supervision.

Two weeks later, Xi personally authorized the lockdown of Hubei province based on his philosophy of fangkong, the same hybrid of health and security policy that inspired the reeducation and “quarantine” of over 1 million Uighur Muslims “infected with extremism” in Xinjiang. The World Health Organization’s representative in China noted that “trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science … The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made.”

This article, published January 23, 2020 in IFL Science confirms, the WHO believed that a lockdown of millions of people was unprecedented and not recommended.

Three Cities In China Quarantined As Deadly Coronavirus Spreads | IFLScience

“The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made,” the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases, Dr Gauden Galea told Reuters, adding that sealing off Wuhan is “a very important indication of the commitment to contain the epidemic in the place where it is most concentrated”.

At this time, Xi had been dealing with a full year of protests in Hong Kong opposing an extradition treaty that would expose Hong Kong residents and visitors to the legal system of mainland China. Protesters feared that this would infringe on their civil liberties. Xi claimed that he was concerned for the protesters’ health and security. Just like he was concerned for the Uighur Muslims.

Via the Tablet

The CCP confined 57 million Hubei residents to their homes. At the time, human rights observers expressed concerns. As one expert told The New York Times, “the shutdown would almost certainly lead to human rights violations and would be patently unconstitutional in the United States.”

Regardless, on Jan. 29, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom said he was “very impressed and encouraged by the president [Xi Jinping]’s detailed knowledge of the outbreak” and the next day praised China for “setting a new standard for outbreak response.” Yet only six days in, the lockdown—“unprecedented in public health history”—had produced no results, so Tedros was praising human rights abuses with nothing to show for them.

International COVID-19 hysteria began around Jan. 23, when “leaked” videos from Wuhan began flooding international social media sites including FacebookTwitter, and YouTube—all of which are blocked in China—allegedly showing the horrors of Wuhan’s epidemic and the seriousness of its lockdown. 

Hysteria and panic are deadly. A drowning person will often beat and pull potential rescuers down with them. Before COVID-19 hysteria and the lockdown, one of the worst examples of mass panic leading to death was the Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede in Iraq. During a religious ceremony where more than a million people were gathered, rumors of an imminent suicide bomb attack broke out, panicking many pilgrims. One person pointed a finger at a man and said that he was carrying explosives.

The panicked crowd flocked away from the man, towards the Al-Aaimmah bridge, which had been closed. Somehow, the gate opened, and the pilgrims rushed through. Some people fell onto the concrete base and died instantly. The ensuing crush of people caused many to suffocate. The bridge’s iron railings failed dropping hundreds of people into the Tigris river below. People jumped in to rescue the drowning. Some were exhausted by the effort.

953 people died. There were no terrorists or explosives involved.

Pilots, firemen, first responders and other people who are responsible for the safety of others are taught to avoid panic. Lifeguards are trained to approach a drowning person from behind, and to put them in a sort of chokehold to avoid being hurt by the mindlessness of panic.

Politicians and media outlets are also responsible for maintaining public safety. But they don’t try to avoid stirring up panic. In many cases, they actively encourage it.

The Lockdown encouraged worldwide, mindless panic, the Al Aaimmah Bridge Stampede on a worldwide scale. And there were few voices encouraging calm.

And I thought my idea of replacing the 1% with robots was crazy …

Slime molds, Keats says, excel at making decisions that benefit the whole superorganism. Humanity–or the population of the United States–is its own type of superorganism, Keats says, although we don’t often think of ourselves that way. “The implications of our actions ripple through the entire society,” he says, “and the individual interest is connected in a deep and essential way to the collective interest. Under those terms, setting slime molds the task of problem-solving for us makes a strange kind of sense. It’s just a matter of transcribing our issues into terms that slime molds can understand and organize around.

Take the issue of immigration, and Trump’s Mexican border wall proposal. Keats and Dobro laid out two scenarios in different Petri dishes. Each dish was divided in half, with a slime mold on either side, and half was coated with glucose and the other half with protein–two favorite nutrients of slime molds. An impenetrable barrier divided one dish, and the other featured an open border. After several days, the slime molds in the open dish had joined together and begun thriving in the open border zone, benefitting from the diversity of nutrients and shared resources, while the separated molds did not grow as quickly. “Borders are built on the principle that it’s better to protect what you have than allow for the free flow of resources,” Keats says. The slime molds seem to have disproved that theory.

via Let’s Just Replace Our Government With Slime Molds (No, Really)

What I saw at the Women’s March

The atmosphere at the march reminded me of the blackout in NYC, 2003 – lots of people crowded in the streets after some inexplicable disaster, trying to figure out what to do next.

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The Women’s March on Washington was the yuge-est, most bigly protest I’ve ever seen.

The atmosphere at the march reminded me of the blackout in NYC, 2003 – lots of people crowded in the streets after some inexplicable disaster, trying to figure out what to do next. Since the government and the politicians had proven to be useless,  we collectively decided to take care of ourselves.

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Hopefully, Americans can keep this collective-yet-independent spirit going.

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Other observations:

  • There were very few signs for Hillary or Bernie.
  • Participants were definitely opposed to Trump, but they also seemed to be disappointed by politicians in general. The most popular chant was “This is how democracy works.”(as in, rule by the people, not politicians)

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It was a very polite crowd. People were respectful to the cops. I didn’t hear one mention of ‘safe spaces’

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  • One enterprising capitalist was selling leftover Trump flags, saying “you can burn them.”

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  • I didn’t hear any of the speakers, but saw their videos later on.  I liked Scarlett Johansson’s speech best, Ashley Judd’s rant was whacked – wish I’d heard Alicia Keys’ music.

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  • The Washington DC and Baltimore area tried to prepare for the crowd, but there were many, many more people than they expected. Trains were packed, and they had to add more trains to the usual Saturday route.

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My predictions:

1. A Left-leaning group will form, something equivalent to the Tea Party in that it represents one party’s beliefs without supporting that party’s old guard political power.

2. The opposing side will cherry-pick the worst examples of this movement to try to portray them as extremists, but the movement will still gain strength.

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Unfortunately, the Tea Party led to Trump. It would be good for the Left to to figure out why that happened, and to avoid creating yet another demagogue-wannabe. Right now, we already have more of those than we can handle.

Why I support Rudy Giuliani as Secretary of State

rudy_giuliani

(despite the partisan pandering he’s done lately)

My focus for the past decade, foreign policy-wise, has been on our sick and sad relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Anyone who reads the news knew that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the act of war that was 9/11. Now we have proof. We also know that our politicians, Democrats and Republicans, openly take bribes from them.

The Saudi government stones children They also crucify them. They let little girls burn to death for the crime of not being properly ‘covered’. They give women fewer rights than dogs and yet the UN allows them to be on their Human Rights Council.

Why have our institutions decayed to this point? For the same reason Guatemala has been taken over by gangs: the government is allied with the supporters of the gangs/terrorists they’re supposed to be fighting because it benefits them personally. Supporters of our alliance with Saudi will tell us that it keeps our economy going, but that’s not true. Saudi spending on ‘defense’ mostly benefits the 1 percent (and their ‘defense’ is mostly very offensive, targeting noncombatants in Yemen.)

They’ll tell you it’s all about the oil, but we don’t rely on the KSA for our oil. OPEC has lost most of the power it had. With current oil prices, Saudi is looking at the possibility of going bankrupt.

As the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Giuliani did what no other did before him – he weakened Mafia influence in NYC. He knows how the government/gang/terrorist infrastructure works, and he doesn’t like it.

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That was evident in the speech he gave to the Saudi-enablers in the United Nations shortly after 9/11.

Now is the time in the words of your charter, the United Nations Charter, “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.”‘ This is not a time for further study or vague directives. The evidence of terrorism’s brutality and inhumanity, of its contempt for life and the concept of peace is lying beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center, less than two miles from where we meet today. Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life, and then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism: You’re either with civilization or with terrorists.

On one side is democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human life; on the other, it’s tyranny, arbitrary executions, and mass murder. We’re right and they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that. And by that I mean that America and its allies are right about democracy, about religious, political, and economic freedom. And the terrorists are wrong and, in fact, evil in their mass destruction of human life in the name of addressing alleged injustices.

Let those who say that we must understand the reasons for terrorism, come with me to the thousands of funerals we’re having in New York City — thousands — and explain those insane maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all. Instead, I ask each of you to allow me to say at those funerals that your nation stands with America in making a solemn promise and pledge that we will achieve unconditional victory over terrorism and terrorists.

He’s also the only politician in our living history who has turned down money from a Saudi prince.

NEW YORK (CNN) — Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.

“I entirely reject that statement,” Giuliani said. “There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people.”

I don’t know if he knew then about the Saudi tradition of paying blood money (diyya) to escape punishment for a crime, but at that moment, he became the only politician worldwide with a sense of moral courage.

That may have changed. He’s not a perfect person by any means, but his immediate reaction to 9/11 was brave. Standing up to the local Mafia was brave. That kind of courage is unique in our political world. We desperately need it in our foreign policy.

An All-American Dictatorship

itcanthappenhere

My review (on Amazon):

“It Can’t Happen Here” is Sinclair Lewis’ satirical prediction of how an All-American dictatorship, led by personable, patriotic deal-maker Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, could rise.

Most of the story takes place in a small town in Vermont, and it’s told through newsman Doremus Jessup’s eyes. Jessup is an established liberal newspaper editor with a capable, unimaginative wife. His family and friends are a full cast of characters. Lewis wrote this when he’d just returned from Germany in the early thirties, and he saw a number of different reactions to Hitler’s rise. Some people saw the danger, some didn’t, and some enthusiastically cheered the Nazis on. I’d guess that some real-life reactions inspired his characters.

Windrip is an interesting villain. “The one thing that most perplexed [Jessup] was that there could be a dictator seemingly so different from the fervent Hitlers and gesticulating Fascists and the Cæsars with laurels round bald domes; a dictator with something of the earthy American sense of humor of a Mark Twain, a George Ade, a Will Rogers, an Artemus Ward. Windrip could be ever so funny about solemn jaw-drooping opponents, and about the best method of training what he called “a Siamese flea hound.” Did that … make him less or more dangerous?”

As a newsman, Jessup he feels the need to stand up for free speech and human rights, but as a social democrat, he believes that the system is sound. It supported his comfortable lifestyle, it gave him what he needed. It must be capable of repairing itself. He says “The hysteria can’t last; be patient, and wait and see, he counseled his readers. It was not that he was afraid of the authorities. He simply did not believe that this comic tyranny could endure.”

And, of course, he was wrong. Most Americans don’t think it can happen here. We believe our Constitution protects us from demagogue wannabes. That’s the genius of this book. Lewis shows us how a master dealmaker could wrap himself up in the flag, carry a cross for good measure and with the right steps in the proper order, shred the Constitution and our system of checks and balances.

Just in case anyone was looking for warning signs, the 7 steps for becoming an All-American dictator are:

1. Give them what they want. Doremus Jessup describes Windrip’s folksy appeal: “watching Senator Windrip from so humble a Boeotia, could not explain his power of bewitching large audiences. The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his “ideas” almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store.”

2. Attack first amendment rights. Encourage Americans to spy on each other. In the book, the problem started in the colleges where “Any member of the faculty or student body of Isaiah who shall in any way, publicly or privately, in print, writing, or by the spoken word, adversely criticize military training … shall be liable to immediate dismissal from this college, and any student who shall, with full and proper proof, bring to the attention of the President or any Trustee of the college such malign criticism by any person whatever connected in any way with the institution shall receive extra credits in his course in military training, such credits to apply to the number of credits necessary for graduation.”

Jessup recognizes this as “fast exploding Fascism”.

3. Attack the fourth amendment – claim that you’re doing this for security or our ‘own good’

4. Build up an army of goons from an angry downtrodden group. Arm, train and encourage them.

5. Make outrageous, clearly pie-in-the-sky promises. Use goons and fervent followers to threaten anyone who isn’t fooled.

6. After you’re elected, don’t follow through on the promises you’ve made.When people are justifiably angry, call the protests a “Crisis”, declare Martial Law and shut down all dissent. This, of course, is for our ‘security’.

“[Windrip compared] the Crisis to the urgency of a fireman rescuing a pretty girl from a “conflagration,” and carrying her down a ladder, for her own sake, whether she liked it or not, and no matter how appealingly she might kick her pretty ankles.”

7. Sit back, enjoy the spoils, and watch your back.

One Amazon reviewer from Soviet Russia noted that “It Can’t Happen Here” was forbidden in the USSR because Stalin’s censors knew that an imagined fascist hell in America would look too familiar for readers in a “socialist paradise”.

Whenever we’re faced with a boorish racist lout who encourages his followers to beat up dissenters we ask “is this another Hitler?” Maybe he is, or maybe he’s another Mugabe, Erdogan, Assad, Charles Taylor, Papa Doc Duvalier. But although America flirts with the lunatic idea of a ‘benevolent dictator’, it hasn’t come to pass because generally pragmatic and self-reliant Americans would not tolerate it.

That’s the central message behind “It Can’t Happen Here”. We can’t depend on the system to protect us. We have to act to protect ourselves.

Are we still self-reliant and pragmatic, or are we becoming like the characters in Lewis’ dystopia? It’s not clear. That’s why I recommend this book.

Pity Parties

The two political parties have never liked each other, but in the past, politicians had goals, plans to be carried out. They wanted to accomplish something. Now, all Politics are Identity Politics. To play the Identity Politics game, you must be the victim. You can’t be the victim if you actually succeed in doing things.

Politicians and their minions don’t want to be successful, they want to be pitied, they want to cast blame, they want everyone to say, “Poor thing, it’s not your fault, it’s the ‘others’, the opposition, the bad people. You need laws to protect your oh-so-special interests. Let me send you some money to help.”

There’s nothing new about political victimhood and identity politics. It’s tribalism. As Robert Tracinski said in his critique of Trump supporters, Yes, the Alt-Right Are Just A Bunch of Racists:

The central theme of the Western intellectual tradition is about rising above tribalism to arrive at universal values. That’s a common theme that connects both secular and Christian traditions in the West. It was the whole distinctive idea behind the Ancient Greek revolution in thought. Philosophers like Socrates launched the Western tradition by asking probing questions that were meant to sort out which ideas and practices are based merely on historical accident and social convention, versus those that are based on universal laws of human nature.

Tribalism, by contrast, is the default state of every culture and can be found among every people in every corner of the world. There is nothing distinctively Western about it, and it runs against the whole grain of the Western intellectual tradition.

Western Intellectual tradition and Americans are traditionally pragmatic. Tribalism and perpetual victimhood are as far from pragmatic as it gets.

This article American Anger acknowledges that the problem with this election is not American anger about the economy. According to polls, Americans are relatively happy with their lives. The problem is the hatred being generated by our political tribes.

To get a sense of whether these economic factors were affecting the general mood of the nation in a way not captured by consumer sentiment, I examined one of the longest-standing measures of general happiness. Since 1972, the General Social Survey has asked people to “take things all together” and rate their level of happiness. The 40-year trend shows only modest changes — and may actually suggest a small increase in happiness in recent years.

Describing Americans’ mood as distinctively angry in 2015 elides this evidence. Americans were optimistic about the nation’s economy and generally happy — in fact, no less optimistic or happy than they had been historically.

But there was a sense in the fall and winter of 2015 of one change. Using analytic tools provided by Crimson Hexagon, I calculated the average monthly increase in the share of news articles about the 2016 election with the word “angry.” Between November 2015 and March 2016, the share of stories about angry voters increased by 200 percent.

Some evidence suggests that the ire came from politics. When asked by pollsters about trusting the government, the direction of the country, American progress or the president, Americans were gloomier than their economic assessments might have predicted.

It starts with an objective point of view, pointing out some useful and not-generally publicized facts, then quickly devolves into an identity politics-inspired whine (It’s not our fault, it’s those racist Republicans.) This tribalist whine was inspired by a poll indicating that Republicans tend not to favor making “every effort to improve the position of minorities, even if it means preferential treatment.”

Most Americans oppose the idea of making some more equal than others. This is supposed to be the basis of our laws. But this philosophy is in direct opposition to the tribalists.

‘American Anger’ was published by the New York Times, a paper that, by its own admission, leans liberal. The article concludes:

Democrats and Republicans like each other a lot less now than they did 60 years ago, in part because they have sorted into parties based on attitudes on race, religion and ethnicity. These attitudes and emotions have been activated in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Add to this the fact that the country is becoming less white and that nonwhites are disproportionately more likely to be Democrats, and an explanation for the anger emerges.

Bad philosophy generates bad math. Not wanting to give unequal, preferential treatment does not equal racism. Nonwhites do not equal Democrats. One poll that only claims to explain things ‘in part’ does not equal a whole conclusion.

Expect the Republicans to whine back. Expect that nothing will change until Americans start asking “Why are we paying for this?”

Book Review: “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis

trump_it_cant_happen_here-620x412

“It Can’t Happen Here” is Sinclair Lewis’ satirical prediction of how an All-American dictatorship, led by personable, patriotic deal-maker Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, could rise.

Most of the story takes place in a small town in Vermont, and it’s told through newsman Doremus Jessup’s eyes. Jessup is an established liberal newspaper editor with a capable, unimaginative wife. His family and friends are a full cast of characters. Lewis wrote this when he’d just returned from Germany in the early thirties, and he saw a number of different reactions to Hitler’s rise. Some people saw the danger, some didn’t, and some enthusiastically cheered the Nazis on. I’d guess that some real-life reactions inspired his characters.

Windrip is an interesting villain. “The one thing that most perplexed [Jessup] was that there could be a dictator seemingly so different from the fervent Hitlers and gesticulating Fascists and the Cæsars with laurels round bald domes; a dictator with something of the earthy American sense of humor of a Mark Twain, a George Ade, a Will Rogers, an Artemus Ward. Windrip could be ever so funny about solemn jaw-drooping opponents, and about the best method of training what he called “a Siamese flea hound.” Did that … make him less or more dangerous?”

As a newsman, Jessup he feels the need to stand up for free speech and human rights, but as a social democrat, he believes that the system is sound. It supported his comfortable lifestyle, it gave him what he needed. It must be capable of repairing itself. He says “The hysteria can’t last; be patient, and wait and see, he counseled his readers. It was not that he was afraid of the authorities. He simply did not believe that this comic tyranny could endure.”

And, of course, he was wrong. Most Americans don’t think it can happen here. We believe our Constitution protects us from demagogue wannabes. That’s the genius of this book. Lewis shows us how a master dealmaker could wrap himself up in the flag, carry a cross for good measure and with the right steps in the proper order, shred the Constitution and our system of checks and balances.

Just in case anyone was looking for warning signs, those steps are:

1. Give them what they want. Doremus Jessup describes Windrip’s folksy appeal: “watching Senator Windrip from so humble a Boeotia, could not explain his power of bewitching large audiences. The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his “ideas” almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store.”

2. Attack first amendment rights. Encourage Americans to spy on each other. In the book, the problem started in the colleges where “Any member of the faculty or student body of Isaiah who shall in any way, publicly or privately, in print, writing, or by the spoken word, adversely criticize military training … shall be liable to immediate dismissal from this college, and any student who shall, with full and proper proof, bring to the attention of the President or any Trustee of the college such malign criticism by any person whatever connected in any way with the institution shall receive extra credits in his course in military training, such credits to apply to the number of credits necessary for graduation.”

Jessup recognizes this as “fast exploding Fascism”.

3. Attack the fourth amendment – claim that you’re doing this for security or our ‘own good’

4. Build up an army of goons from an angry downtrodden group. Arm, train and encourage them.

5. Make outrageous, clearly pie-in-the-sky promises. Use goons and fervent followers to threaten anyone who isn’t fooled.

6. After you’re elected, don’t follow through on the promises you’ve made. When people are justifiably angry, call the protests a “Crisis”, declare Martial Law and shut down all dissent. This, of course, is for our ‘security’.

“[Windrip compared] the Crisis to the urgency of a fireman rescuing a pretty girl from a “conflagration,” and carrying her down a ladder, for her own sake, whether she liked it or not, and no matter how appealingly she might kick her pretty ankles.”

7. Sit back, enjoy the spoils, and watch your back.

One Amazon reviewer from Soviet Russia noted that “It Can’t Happen Here” was forbidden in the USSR because Stalin’s censors knew that an imagined fascist hell in America would look too familiar for readers in a “socialist paradise”.

Whenever we’re faced with a boorish racist lout who encourages his followers to beat up dissenters we ask “is this another Hitler?” Maybe he is, or maybe he’s another Mugabe, Erdogan, Assad, Charles Taylor, Papa Doc Duvalier. But although America flirts with the lunatic idea of a ‘benevolent dictator’, it hasn’t come to pass yet, mostly because generally pragmatic and self-reliant Americans won’t tolerate it.

That’s the central message behind “It Can’t Happen Here”. We can’t depend on the system to protect us. We have to act to protect ourselves.

Are we still self-reliant and pragmatic? It’s not clear. Which is why I’d definitely recommend this book.

Trump protects his safe space

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Yes, it was planned, and yes, like the ‘clock boy’, she has some hinky connections. But if people didn’t let their fears get the best of them, there wouldn’t have been any ‘incidents’ at all.

They could hardly have predicted how well the night would go. First security at Trump’s rally removed Hough, a convert to Islam and a Charlotte mosque spokesman, when he chanted, “Islam is not the problem!” Then Hamid, 56, was escorted out after she rose to her feet in silent protest—wearing a T-shirt with the message “Salam I come in peace” and a yellow star bearing the word “Muslim” affixed to her chest.

The evening ended with Hamid, a Charlotte flight attendant, on CNN fielding questions from host Don Lemon, a chyron under her image telling the story of her dramatic previous hours: “Muslim woman kicked out of Trump rally.”

via The ‘Silently Protesting Muslim Woman’ at the Trump Rally Wasn’t Alone – The Daily Beast.