Who Could Imagine: The CIA as good guys

Trump’s bizarre presidency has hurled us into a world in which we on the left can find ourselves hoping that typically right wing institutions like the CIA, FBI, DIA and the military in general will save us by bringing Trump down. This feels morally uncomfortable, to put it mildly, but is not cowardice nor is It necessarily naivete. We must bring down the republican juggernaut with mobilization and with resounding victories in the 2018 elections. In the meantime documents may well be found proving that Trump has blatantly sold off national security assets to foreign powers, and plots to run the world in a ruthless partnership with Vladimir Putin. What should the national security state do if that happens? What should we do if they then move to disarm Trump?

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Visit the Friends of Betsy Devos up for re-election next year:
Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona has staff Office Hours this week:
on Wednesday, February 8 at 1:30 PM at 13815 Camino Del Sol in Sun City West
and on Thursday, February 9 9:30 AM at the Gila County Board of Supervisors, 1400 E Ash St, in Globe
and on Thursday, February 9 1:30 PM at the Apache Junction Library, 1177 N Idaho Rd in Apache Junction

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The Dopamine of Things

The claim to bring you the internet of things
but they’re only in it for the dopamine

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Listen to the other children singing.

They’re singing. Listen to them.

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Anti Trump Resources

Ongoing Bay Area Resistance

Women’s March Bay Area
Guide to Resistance

Explains how tea party conquered house of representatives,
exhorts us to learn those tactics and use them.


Let’s Relearn and use well civil disobedience

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Aclu Help Page

who to call if attacked by Trump people

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Twenty Suggestions to Fight Trump and Tyranny

What you can do to save America from tyranny
by Timothy Snyder

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.

Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.

Timothy Snyder, a Yale history professor and historian of Eastern Europe, originally published this on Facebook. He is the author of “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.” Twitter:

Timothy D. Snyder

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Creating a Practical and Powerful Coalition to Fight Trump

How can we move from a hundred thousand outrages, and ten thousand
outraged progressive organizations, into something organized and
powerful? I believe we need anti-trump coordinating committees, at
several levels, most urgently at the national and bay area levels.
We need leaders with movement-leading experience and enough
popular visibility to create momentum. Who’s ready to do that?

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Internet & Social Media Responsible for Trump’s Ascendancy

How could someone as ignorant, as blatantly narcissistic and thoughtless,
as full of meanness and a racism that is both hateful and casual,
how could such a person be a serious contender for president?

The answer must be some combination of powerfully irrational forces. It
can’t be that half the American people are racist and cruel and unthinking
to this extent; in fact, it is remarkable how many likely Trump voters say
that they don’t believe that Trump will do the things he’s threatening. They
don’t take his declarations seriously. They like the performance – the
outrageousness of it is the appeal. The magnetic charm that people felt
when they watched The Apprentice is what they continue to love now, even
though the context is picking a president, not watching a preposterous
comical TV show.

Nothing Trump says or does rebounds against him. Asking the
Russians to spy on his opponents, saying he’ll break treaties if he feels
like it, that he thinks about shagging his daughter, locking up Moslems, building
a 500 mile wall to stop the “Mexican rapists” who are flooding in, and all the
rest, it’s no big deal. It’s the thoughtlessness, the ruthlessness that
counts. Because the obligation to care about what your words might do –
like encouraging white supremacists and racist cops to shoot black people –
Trump denies any such obligation and asserts his right to ignore the
well being of, much less the rights of, anyone else. Shut up with that crap,
he says. And he shows us that in American in 2016 you can get away with that.
So many people want to hear this message – they are so tired of being asked
to care about other people, about what’s right. They love him for giving them
the right to act out their anti-social impulses. Look, he’s saying what
we feel.

The way people communicate with each other now – and therefore the way that
we think about things, especially about other people and politics and culture-
are the hyper-fast, hyper-shallow ways of internet & ‘social’ media: email, texting,
twitter, facebook and the like. All encourage fast shoot-from-the-hip
rat-a-tat-tat responses. We find on the internet – surrounding whatever valuable
information or cool entertainment and social connection we desire –
that we are awash in thoughtless, abrasive, self-aggrandizing expressions of loud,
obnoxious, profane outrageous sentiments. “I’m great, me and my friends think
that you suck” is the most common text or subtext. Hyperbole meets hyperbole,
generating the infinite varieties of interminable morphing shitstreams of
cybertude. In such a world, in such a universe of discourse, Donald Trump’s
politically hideous violations of decency seem tame by comparison. No biggie,
no worries, it’s all good.

All of us think within the world of our social communications. The fact that
people can be vicious and thoughtless in public and be proud of it and get
away with it has poisoned the rivers in which expression, thought, and
human connection must swim. Donald Trump is the president from Twitter.
Intelligent and humble analysis of why the world is the way it is and
what to do about it rarely fits into 140 characters. It’s so yesterday.

There’s a phrase from Joseph Conrad often used in literary criticism:
“The fascination of the abomination”. We can’t take our eyes off someone
who behaves like Donald Trump – the more outrageous, the more dishonest
and slanderous, the more rude and mean he is, the better. The tabloid media –
and what medium is not tabloid now – egg him on. We’ve grown accustomed to
our fellow citizens being vile in public, and getting rewarded for it.
Donald is a mutant fascist celebrity politician bred in and adapted to
our grievously polluted skin deep sorry ass society.

This story does not have a happy ending.

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One Hundred and Thirteen Days To Fascism

One Hundred and Thirteen Days To Fascism

Nearly half of the voters in this country
seem to believe, or pretend to believe
that the Real Estate Tycoon and
Reality TV Star Donald Trump
should be president of the united states.
Enough to possibly actually elect him.

Irresponsible, thoughtless, ignorant, irrational
attitudes, unthinkable intentions are wildly
at play. We are at risk of massive race-based
detention, race wars, and nuclear warfare.

What can be done?

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