Tidbits - December 10, 2015 - Trump is a Fascist; Chicago Police Crimes; Venezuela Elections; Portside Fund Appeal; Bernie Sanders' Socialism and the Left Critics; Remembering Danny Rubin; and more...

Reader Comments: Trump is a Fascist; Poem written by Pastor Martin Neimoller; They Are Coming Again; Chicago Police Crimes and Mayor Rahm; Venezuela Elections; Portside Fund Appeal; Non-Profits and the 99%; Bernie Sanders' Socialism and the Left Critics; Edward Snowden Meets John Cusack and Arundhati Roy; World's Richest 10 Percent Responsible for Half of CO2; Remembering Danny Rubin
December 10, 2015
Tidbits, Reader Comments and Shorts - December 10, 2015



Trump is a Fascist

More and more Republican political operatives, serious journalists and pundits are beginning to talk about Donald Trump's fascism.  Both Newsweek and the New York Times have posed the question whether Trump is a fascist.  Now even Republicans are beginning to call him a fascist.  John Noonan of the Jeb Bush campaign tweeted, "Forced registration of US citizens, based on religious identity is fascism," referring to one of Trump's favorite policy positions.  In an article in The New Republic, Ryu Spaeth says, "Donald Trump has confirmed he's a scary fascist."
Just this week Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley called Trump a fascist.
Could a major candidate for US President really be a fascist?
Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator and founder of fascism, defined fascism in several ways similar to the American radical rightwing and Trump in particular:"The definition of fascism is the marriage of corporation and state."
"Fascism is opposed to trade unionism."
Hitler in his first act banned all trade unions in 1933.  On May 2 Hitler's police arrested all union leaders and officials and occupied all union offices.
Of course if fascism is the marriage of state and corporation trade unions cannot be allowed.  That sounds a lot like today's US radical right.
Stewart Acuff
New York Daily News - front page - December 9, 2015
increasingly nazi like Fuhrer building on a long tradition of white supremacy, as well as the ground work of authoritarianism and bigotry laid down in the last few decades by Republican "conservative" thought and action. The very scary part of this is that I don't know just how many Americans are more than ready for this. I'm not convinced that Trump's brand of fascism cannot be voted into office, just as Hitler's was more than eighty years ago. 
So, again, it is time, it is time to join together in a broad front of progressive, liberal, left forces acting autonomously, independently, and, at the same time together to directly confront this totalitarian threat. It is time to quit pretending this is just another election, and another bad Republican. It is time to confront this nazi like fascism on the streets and in the voting booth. 
It is time to confront Trump and his kind whenever and wherever they raise their ugly voice. We need to be there. We need to explain to a whole lot of bewildered Americans that First they came for the African Americans, then they came for the Mexican Americans, today they come for the Muslims, and tomorrow, well who knows who they come for tomorrow.
See: Fascism in Donald Trump's United States, by Henry A. Giroux (posted by Truthout)
Randy Gould
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me
Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me -
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
first they took our dental
then collective bargaining gone
pension 401ked
schools privatized
hospitals into condos
mail men STAPLEd
health plan starved
unions right to worked to death
and now the bastards are
weekend hunting,
air and water thieving
they will leave us unnamed
without breeze or scent
Thomas Karlson
He should not be the only one; we need to look at the District Attorney who sat on that compelling video tape for thirteen months before she brought charges against this cop. Some said that she only brought charges because the video was going to be released on orders by the court. She needs to go.
Rudolph Greenidge
Larry Skwarczynski
Add to this the shenanigans in Brazil and the election in Argentina and it would appear to be a wholesale attack on the leftist governments of South America - what the U.S. has been pushing for since Chavez.  Not as blatant as in the 1973 but just as illegal.  The Monroe Doctrine is alive and well.
Lincoln Smith
To the gang at Portside - one of the penalties of old age, for those who lived beyond any savings or pension plan (aside from social security, God bless it) is that even modest checks of support just ain't possible.
But, while you can't deposit this in a bank, it doesn't hurt to say how important I think Portside has become, and how much I appreciate the hard work you all put into it.
Solidarity (and, depending on your politics and personal history), Merry Christmas, Happy
Holidays, and a grand New Year!
David McReynolds
The revolution will not be grant-funded.
James H. Williams
It's very interesting that the major critics of Bernie Sanders are men. I am a feminist supporter of Bernie Sanders. Is he really a socialist? No. He's a social democrat, not a Marxist. But in today's world so what. The real battle is not with the Republicans becoming Fascist party but within the Democrat Party. Hillary does not speak for me. Nor does she speak for most working class people. Give up the purist crap. We need Bernie Sanders now. And we need to bring in other Progressive people to Congress. We cannot afford more years of an Obama sell-out. And we certainly cannot afford even 4 years of Trump/Carson/Cruz. Remember 1933 Germany. And 1936 Spain. History only repeats itself when we're so busy analyzing it that we let it. People all over the place like Bernie. Work with that and let's open the door and save this world we live in.
Claire Carsman
Congratulations to Princeton!!!
Nina Udovicki
What is shocking to me is that since Snowden was given asylum in Russia, no other country has offered to take him. Is this because they fear retaliation from the US? It is interesting that he is not an issue in the election, but of course neither are gun laws, or the role of the security state or the growing gap between rich and poor.
It is not a matter of radicalism; it is a matter of democracy. Is America going to rejuvenate its electoral process? Are the elected representatives going to represent everyone or just the super rich? Mark Zuckerberg said the other day that he has $45 billion in stock alone. How can that be and what a waste. No one can spend that kind of money and it takes away from many people who don't have enough to live on.
Whistle blowers often have a hard time, but this whistle blower has at least informed the public about the state of privacy in our current world and for that he should be rewarded. The fact that the President and others have been so harsh towards him is an indication of how powerful the security state is. As for Bush's war on terror, it has been a disaster and now with ISIS the situation will contribute to the fascist direction the country is going in.  What is needed are honest people running for office but with no ceilings on money, instead you get rich idiots like Trump running. He is an embarrassment and his popularity speaks volumes about current American culture.
Laurel MacDowell
(posting on Portside Labor)
Union used Trump's slogan "Make America great again ', adding "Starting here!"
Alfred Rose
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and spouse Dr Priscilla Chan did not give a dime to charity. They created a tax-free, non-transparent trust that does not pay any taxes, is not required to provide any reports, and which they alone will control without oversight.  In other words, the Zuckerbergs have "tax-sheltered" 99% of their enormous wealth forever.
James E Vann,
Long Term Housing, Community, and Political Activist
Oakland, California
Research for my book on great American women (unfortunately in German) led me to the story of two great American fighters, whom nobody seems to have mentioned in the film discussion. 
Here's what I found: During the Pankhurst-led fights for the vote two active women, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, discovered in a London police station that they were both Americans who had originally gone to Europe to study. Alice Paul had already been jailed three times and broken at least 48 windows, one approved movement method at the time.  The two decided to bring some British militancy to the USA. And that they did! 
They soon organized a parade in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue on the day before Wilson arrived for his inauguration and stole the show, with 5000 women holding out despite massive attacks by tough male opponents of women's votes. The cavalry finally had to be sent in to restore order - but they kept going to the end.  The two, finding the existing suffrage organization too tame, formed a short-lived National Women's Party. When the USA entered World War I, they stood with signs as "Silent Sentinels" near the entrance to the White House. 
In October 1917 over thirty women were arrested and jailed in God-awful dungeons. Alice Paul was committed to an asylum; Lucy Burns was shackled for a whole night to the cell door with her arms above her head.  They went on hunger strike for three days; Lucy was painfully force-fed by five wardens. But the story of their treatment became known and public reaction was strong. The main suffrage organization led by Carrie Chapman Catt now supported them while President Wilson and other politicians were finally forced to join the suffrage drive. In the end, the 18th Amendment was passed in August 1920 in the necessary 36th state, Tennessee, by a cliff-hanger majority of two votes. I don't know whether Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were ever honored by a film; Paul remained active for women's rights - also against the Vietnam War - almost until her death at 92 in 1977. When asked about her persistence she said: "When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row".
Victor Grossman
(posting on Portside Culture)
do we make gangster films? - It's not the subject, it's the treatment that must and will evolve.
Al Bush
Poorest half of the world responsible for only small fraction of carbon emissions yet face severe climate change effects
By Renee Lewis
December 2, 2015
The world's richest 10 percent of people are responsible for producing about half of all carbon dioxide emissions, and the per capita carbon footprint of the richest 1 percent is about 175 times that of the poorest 10 percent, according to a report released Wednesday.
The paper, "Extreme Carbon Inequality," released by the global charity Oxfam, comes as world leaders are gathered in Paris for COP21 - a United Nations conference aimed at coming up with new global climate treaty to mitigate the worst effects of climate change
"While the COP21 in Paris will see a deal negotiated between governments on the basis of the total emissions produced in their territories, the real winners and losers will be their citizens," the report reads. "The litmus test of the deal will be whether it delivers something for the poorest people who are both the least responsible for and the most vulnerable to climate change, wherever they live."
The 3.5 billion people who make up the poorest half of the globe were responsible for just 10 percent of CO2 emissions - yet they live in places that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming, including from catastrophic storms, severe droughts and rising seas and flooding, the report said. Their governments are less likely to have the resources to adapt to and mitigate those effects, the report added.
The reported cited a recent study by the World Bank that found the poorest people in any country are most exposed to disasters such as heat waves, flooding and droughts - especially in countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Read more here
Even when someone has been ill for a long time his death still comes as a shock. So it was with the news that Danny Rubin died. He was the one who put me on the road to a career with the Daily Worker and its subsequent incarnations, now the People's World.
The year was either 1959 or 1960. Danny came to see me in my shack (yes, it was literally a shack in back of a house in Flushing) and asked me if I'd like to be the editor of a monthly newspaper called New Horizons for Youth. I said okay. In 1961 he once again visited me to tell me that The Worker (which had become a weekly since having been compelled during the McCarthyite onslaught to cut back from daily publication) was aiming to become a bi-weekly and was going to hire a few reporters. Would I be interested. I again said okay. It became a 30-year career.
Danny and I were friends and comrades throughout those years, and remained friends after both of us left the Communist Party In 1991. No need to go into why we left; most of you reading this know about the political turmoil in the Party that ensued with the breakup of the Soviet Union. We and many others who left the Party formed the Committees of Correspondence. Eventually, when the Party elected new leadership, Danny rejoined the Party. For personal reasons, not political, I didn't rejoin. But Danny and I kept in touch (especially when he'd give me his annual call to contribute to the People's World).
Despite the illnesses which wreaked havoc on his body, Danny remained active as a brilliant and dedicated Communist till the end of his life. He will be missed by all who knew him and in the movement for a socialist United States.
Seymour Joseph
December 10, 2015