Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Your Fascist Government At Work

Let's get down to business with a great article by our resident historian who sees chilling parallels between current events and a certain 20th century regime known for its racist ideology...

An original meme created by Coast Watcher. Please  share.
The Take-Over of Power
by Coast Watcher 

We live in strange times. Following the presidential election of 2016 the government of the United States took a dramatic shift to the right. In the months since, that movement has accelerated to the point where open and blatant fascistic behavior from official bodies has become the norm.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in President Trump’s so-called Zero Tolerance policy. Trump is on record as calling illegal immigrants "animals." He claims that if the US government shows any "weakness" immigrants will "come by their millions." On Friday June 22, he signed photos of people allegedly murdered by immigrants, taking the opportunity to call for "strength and security at the border" and stressing that immigrants cannot be allowed to "invade our country."

Witness the mass arrest of illegal immigrants and the seizure and incarceration of immigrant children from parents. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is headed by Jeff Beauregard Sessions, the US Attorney General. (Note his middle name is that of a Civil War  rebel general. Is this an indication that his and his family’s loyalties and general outlook lies with forlorn memories of their glory days in the slave-owning South?) Sessions and his henchwoman, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, are falling into line with Trump’s psychopathic blackmailing attempt to force Congress to pay for his infamous border wall. If Congress will do his bidding, the children will be released.

The justifiable firestorm this policy generated in public opinion is being ignored by the White House. Trump’s executive order mitigating the mass arrests of immigrants appeared to be a sop to the voting public, but in fact is far from it. Trump seems to think he has the power to modify law at will, turning a misdemeanor into a felony at the stroke of his expensive fountain pen. His order also only works for twenty days after signing then the practice of separating children from parents will continue.

There is money to be made out of human misery. Each child currently incarcerated costs the public over $700 per day. Most of this money goes to private companies – often headed by family members of Trump’s cabinet, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.  DeVos stands to make yet another fortune out of a foster agency she has financial ties to that is set to accept immigrant children.

ICE is also boarding buses and requiring passengers – even citizens – to identify themselves. The official’s demand of "Papers!" is one all too familiar to those living under authoritarian regimes. ICE has jurisdiction within a hundred miles of an international border, but reports state they are operating farther and farther outside that limit. Witnesses say Greyhound buses have been boarded well outside the hundred mile limit. The agents are only turned away by people standing up for their Fourth Amendment rights by saying they cannot be searched without due cause.

The racist behavior of the authorities isn’t confined to the border regions. The airports too are seeing an upswing in mistreatment of people of color. This from Marcy Valle of Nevada:

My dad flew back in from Mexico Friday night. Yesterday he came over for dinner and told me what happened at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. As he deplaned and reached the checkpoint for U.S. Citizens, he was separated into a line of Hispanic/Latino looking people, let's call that line A; while white (Caucasian) people were sent to another line, let's call that Line B. The agent that was at the desk for Line A, left his desk as the line began forming and was gone for close to an hour while the line only got longer from more planes arriving. Line B continued to move fluidly. A guard was pacing his line chest out, smile wide. My father, irritated with the wait and the unfairness, asked why they were separated (segregated if you ask me) the agent told him "because you're a second class citizen." They also searched all his luggage and there was no courtesy note.

That people, is the boldness of this racist movement. Feel free to share. This can not go on in silence.
 So, which examples of similar governmental policies can we draw from history? As always, there are parallels with Germany in the 1930s. Hitler demonized the Jews by referring to them as "animals." He also claimed Jews were responsible for murdering law abiding Germans. All this was done in partnership with Heinrich Himmler as part of their Machtübernahme – the Nazi Party’s planned "take-over of power."
Himmler is most remembered for organizing the SS, Hitler's secret state police, as well as for his nickname, "Hitler's Executioner." His counterpart, Ernst Röhm, ran the Sturmabteilung (SA) “Storm Battalion,” or the Nazi Party’s militia which was employed to kill and otherwise terrorize any who would oppose the party’s rise to power. Reading the headlines one can see ICE's parallels with Himmler's Gestapo and other Nazi organizations  becoming more obvious by the day.

Immigrants already fear a knock at the door the same as Jews did in Hitler's Germany. Rumors have it that Trump is set to send ICE after naturalized American citizens--immigrants who have been sworn in as citizens. If citizens have no rights, how can we expect asylum-seekers to have any?

Buchenwald Children's Block 66
As events unfold showing President Trump’s fascistic behavior in ever clearer detail, it seems certain the Republican Party will suffer a serious loss of seats in November’s elections. The incarceration of immigrant children has touched a nerve with the American public that will not be forgotten come election day. We've all seen photographs of children behind barbwire before-- alongside bodies piled like cord wood in Nazi concentration camps.
Occupy ICE Detroit protesters. Photo by Stuart Bertsch.

But let’s move further forward to 2020 and the next presidential election. Will Trump go quietly into the night and oblivion, or is he already planning to nail his colors to the mast and stage a coup d’état? We forget that Adolf Hitler was actually elected to office. It was only after his election that he shut down the German parliament or Reichstag. Given Trump's attention span is that of a mayfly and his attitude toward the Constitution is "It’s a nuisance," it’s anybody’s guess which way he’ll go when 2020 rolls around.

In conclusion, we trade away some of our liberty in exchange for a guarantee of security. This social contract is the basis of all modern political thought, but it is open to the worst abuse. The events of 9/11 brought about the iniquitous Patriot Act and generated a siege mentality in many Americans that resonates to this day. Under ICE,  "defending the borders" against illegal immigrants has entered a sinister new phase.

It remains to be seen if these fascistic acts can be rescinded and rolled back into the darkness from whence they came or if the flame of democracy will be extinguished for years or decades to come.

More background:

The Story Behind Hitler's Rise to Power

Trump Autographed Photos of Murder Victims at an Anti-Immigration Event

The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

Border Patrol Agents Are Stopping People in New England to Check Their Citizenship

US Navy Planning to Build Military Camps to Jail 120,000 Immigrants

The Billion Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/migrant-shelters-border-crossing.html

Himmler, Peter Padfield. MJF Press, NYC, 1990.

BIO: Coast Watcher is an armchair historian who has closely studied the second World War, a war his family suffered though living in England. The uncanny parallels between Hitler's rise to power and Trump's power grabs keep him awake at nights. The world can't afford to let another fascist rise to power again. Fight back. Abolish ICE.
Related Articles/Videos:

Parents Split From Children Tell of Anguish

Undocumented Children "Should Be SENT BACK!" 
(Jimmy Dore interview w/Abby Martin) https://youtu.be/yFC3rXN0J1s

How Failed US Economic Policy Lead to People Seeking Asylum

Thirty Years of Data Shows Asylum Seekers Are Not an Economic Burden


The Green Party US has made a statement condemning child separations in immigration cases: 

And the Ohio Green Party had this to say on the matter:

From the desk of Ohio Green Party co-chairs
Anita Rios and Nathan Lane

 June 21st, 2018

The Ohio Green Party is appalled by the treatment of immigrant children at Health and Human Services (HHS) centers across the country. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Justice (DOJ), has forcibly taken thousands of children from their parents in the last several months. It is worth noting that the present laws surrounding US immigration policy is the result of decades of failed policies from both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In response to the failed policies of the existing duopoly, the Green Party platform calls for a complete overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. Immigration raids are terrorizing the immigrant community across Ohio and the nation. The practice of family separation has seen well-deserved condemnation from across the political spectrum and from non-partisan organizations.

The Ohio Green Party joins these organizations in denouncing the US Federal Government’s practice of separating immigrant children from their families and is also demanding the dismantling of ICE. The Green Party Platform on Immigration stands firmly for social justice for all, regardless of their immigration status. We call for a humane policy and for laws that are consistent with Green Values, and the nation’s values.

The Ohio Green Party candidate for Governor, Constance Gadell-Newton has publicly committed to ending all such inhumane policies against immigrants. We call on Governor Kasich to ensure that no Ohioans, whether military or civilian, will be involved in the enforcement of this inhumane and cruel policy.

We further demand the immediate reunification of immigrant families. In the long-term we call on Congress to provide an easy and direct pathway to citizenship for every immigrant. We also oppose the proposed creation of an indefinite detention period for immigrant families. President Trumps executive order has extremely troubling provisions. Internment camps are an affront to human decency and a crime against humanity.

Until elected officials begin to take steps toward a more humane and welcoming immigration policy, and until the inhumane family separations cease, we call on Greens from across Ohio and the nation to participate in marches and actions. We strongly endorse such protests, including the June 30 March planned for Washington DC and other cities across the nation. Make sure to contact your representative and demand a stop to these inhumane practices by our government.


Excellent coverage of the Poor People's Campaign March in Washington DC:



Win Without War

Tell Congress: Migrant kids belong with their families — not generating war profits for bigots >>
Trump’s anti-immigrant policies just got even more vile. Yesterday, he signed an executive order that would replace separating families at the border with imprisoning whole families indefinitely.
Meanwhile, thousands of migrant kids are still locked up in wire cages or flown thousands of miles away from their parents. And defense contractor MVM, Inc, is raking in the profits. [1]
Right now, we have a huge opportunity to turn our outrage and heartbreak into action. Massive pressure from activists nationwide got key members of Congress to demand Trump stop separating migrant families. Now, we need to make sure Congress knows the war machine is STILL profiting off caging kids.

If we act fast on the heels of Trump’s awful executive order, we have a real shot to expose MVM and get Congress to demand an end to Trump’s anti-immigrant policies for good.

Add your voice and demand Congress take action: Stop the war machine terrorizing families for profit.

It’s despicable enough that the war machine is cashing in on Trump’s inhumane immigration policies. But MVM, who runs detention camps locking up migrant kids, isn’t just any defense contractor. They’ve been fired by the CIA for incompetence; accused of retaliating against a whistleblower who exposed corruption; and sued by the government for anti-Muslim bigotry.

It’s no accident that an anti-Muslim defense contractor is profiting off terrorizing migrant families. The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, anti-Muslim agenda, and violence-first foreign policy go hand in hand.

Exposing MVM is only the beginning. If we can get Congress on the record against war profits from anti-immigrant policies, we can fight the militarization of our border. We can demand true safety and security for migrant families. And we’ve got to start by raising our voices immediately.

Tell Congress: Demand the Trump administration stop locking up migrant families for war profits.

Keeping migrant children in wire cages, sending troops to further militarize our border, and pouring billions into new nuclear weapons all terrorize our communities under a false definition of security.

Seeking asylum is a human right. What’s more, many of these migrants are fleeing violence and natural disasters directly caused by decades of disastrous American interventionist policies and American-fueled climate change. We must stand together to stop Trump’s racist immigration agenda and violence-first foreign policy.

Thank you for working for peace,
Cassandra, Mariam, Tara, and the Win Without War team
[1] Daily Beast, “Defense Contractors Cashing In on Immigrant Kids’ Detention

Jobs With Justice

Cruel. Unjust. Immoral. 
Donald Trump and his administration have separating thousands of immigrant children from their families at the border. We refuse to be scammed by yesterday’s executive order -  which will now just throw parents and children together in jail indefinitely. The Trump administration has NO plan to reunify the children they tore away from their parents to house them in cages.

Help put an end to this human rights crisis –pledge to join a #FamiliesBelongTogether action on Saturday, June 30.
Trump cowed to the chorus of pressure yesterday, but his plan offers no solace to the countless families who have been unable to find each other, speak to one another, or reunite, and some may get deported without one other.

The situation is heartbreaking. But it’s not out of our hands to fix. Jobs With Justice is part of a broad, nationwide coalition rallying around the country to put an end to wrongful family separation.We need to stick our necks out, make our voices heard, and show up. Let's continue escalating the pressure to achieve a humane outcome and stop them from criminalizing immigrants fleeing from domestic and gang violence, poverty, and repression to seek a better life here. Can we count on you to join a rally near you?
Day by day the outrage over the Administration’s callous policies of imprisoning children. We’re on the verge of a tipping point in confronting the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.  If enough of us come together, our peaceful and powerful protests can send a clear message to Donald Trump and his allies in Congress: Families belong together.

Pledge to take action on June 30!
Natalie Patrick-Knox
Jobs With Justice


The report on widespread water contamination that the EPA tried to hide has been released.1 It shows that the health effects from toxic chemicals including PFOA are dangerous at much lower levels than the EPA has previously called safe.

Everyone deserves clean water. We must protect our communities by investing in our water systems and preventing this type of contamination.

They released this study because YOU took action. 25,415 Food & Water Action supporters demanded the release of this study on the dangers of PFAS — toxic chemicals that have contaminated the water in communities nationwide.

Thank you for standing up to Scott Pruitt, who didn't want this study to see the light of day.

The report shows that these toxic chemicals are dangerous at much lower levels than the EPA's recommended exposure level. While the report may be a "public relations nightmare" for people like Scott Pruitt, the new findings are far worse for people in communities with poisoned water supplies.

We'll keep working with communities impacted by these toxic chemicals to make sure the EPA protects them, and all communities, from toxic chemicals in our water. But PFAS chemicals aren't the only threat to our water systems. Protecting people's right to clean water is going to take national action.

The WATER Act, recently reintroduced in Congress, would provide crucial investment in our water systems. It would give our communities the resources they need to provide clean water to millions of people, and the power to hold accountable the corporations that have exploited our communities.2

Stand with Food & Water Action: tell the House to support the WATER Act.

Thank you again for taking action and forcing the release of this water contamination report. It proves that these toxic chemicals are even more dangerous than the EPA was willing to acknowledge, and it's thanks to you that it was released.

Sarah Spooner
National Online Organizer
Food & Water Watch


  1. It feels as if we're under a barrage of injustices and outrages each and every day under this regime. Perhaps that's T-rump's strategy, to keep everyone hopping so he can sneak yet more legislation through Congress, like the recent raid on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    1. It is hard to keep up. Everyday there's a new crisis, manufactured by the Cheeto-in-Chief. We've got to focus on the important ones, the ones that concern human rights and life and health first. If we're all locked up or dead, we won't be here to fight for the rest. We've got to take it one day at a time and chip at the rock face until the mountain is gone. Only then can we relax. Power to the people!

  2. Now a piece in the Texas Tribune recounts how toddlers are being put up by themselves in immigration courts. Every day this regime comes up with something so awful the mind balks at contemplating it. If this kind of thing doesn't make you incandescent with rage against 45 and his fascist gang then there's no hope for you.

  3. They're going to "sell" these "orphans" I'm sure to "well-meaning white families" who want a healthy baby who isn't African-American or hooked on drugs at birth. You can imagine how much money Betsy DeVos and her kind can make out of selling these kids like that. It's sickening. Slavery has never died in the good ol' USA--it just changes its name and we change where we get its victims. This time it's Central America instead of Africa, but we have the same type of slave traders selling human beings at a profit. Time to shut the whole corrupt system down!

    1. Amen to that! Shut the corrupt system down--now! I hope to see you on June 30 at the Families Belong Together rally in your city and at ICE facilities nationwide.


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