Sunday, July 16, 2023

Comparing Florida Fascism To The Third Reich


Florida is modeling itself after the Nazi Third Reich, under Governor and Presidential hopeful DeSantis.  Historians report that Adolf Hitler studied U.S. Jim Crow and segregaton for his discrimination of German Jews.  

Here is a 2023 comparison of DeSantis's Florida policies compared to the Third Reich starting in the 1930's.


Florida-Adoption of authoritarian rule by the State Executive embodied in termination of a duly elected  state prosecutor whose policies DeSantis opposed, incarceration of parolees who legally voted, restriction of voting drop boxes and highly restrictive/punitive voter registration rules, limits on third party activists groups, limits on mail voting and restriction on providing water/food for line-waiting voters. Punish legal rivals through dubious legal action. Attacks on free press critical of DeSantis administration.. Takeover of the Republican Party by the MAGA movement.

Third Reich-Exploited democracy vulnerabilities to make imposition of authoritarian/undemocratic policies appear legal, undermined political norms to advantage fascism, use of emergency powers to advantage rule by their minority party.  Elimination of independent Press and instituted a state propaganda press, creation of a police state.  Takeover of the Conservative Party by the Fascists.


Florida- Ban diversity, equity and Inclusion from curriculum.  Ban  and criminalize "wokeism" among public school teachers.

Third Reich-Taught ethnic superiority of Aryans and Propagandized German Nationalism.


Florida-Selectively banning books written by Black authors and those with anti-racism themes and history of minority U.S.A. persons  and tolerance for LBGTQ persons; proposing using libraries for USA nationalism indoctrination.

Third Reich-held public events burning books written by Jews and objectionable anti-authoritarian themes.


Florida-Condemnation of citizens espousing tolerance and support for those with differing lifestyles and sexual orientation or "wokeism"

Third Reich-Repression of homosexuals, arresting and jailing them and ultimately, murdering them.


Florida- legislation banning abortions after 6 weeks

Third Reich-Support for the Catholic Church's position of banning abortion through agreements with local Catholic bishops and the a fascist neutrality agreement with the Vatican.


Florida-Reduce/eliminate Medicaid services for low income Floridians, ban/criminalize gender affirmimg medical care, reduce budgets for mental health care.  Opposed Covid vaccines based on anti-science ideology.

Third Reich-Instituted forced sterilization of physically/mentally impaired and extermination of them, reduced health services funding to fund the war effort. 


Florida-Transport undocumented immigrants to Blue states.

Third Reich-Banning of immigration of those deemed not Aryan. 


This situation in Florida is clearly not coincidental.  It is a deliberate undermining of democracy in the interest of attaining power for leaders with authoritarian leadership tendencies.  The research is clear.....those tendencies reside primarily with members of the Republican party.  It is ironic that many Florida residents are members of minority groups such as those north Americans of the Jewish faith and Hispanic persons  whose roots or families  immigrated here to escape  from  south and central American countries with highly abusive authoritarian/fascist leadership. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

America Has A Gun To Its Head: Bullies Or Frady Cats?

 Gun To The Head GIFs | TenorAmerica's fascist right is terrorizing us.  Is it because they are abusive bullies or afraid, or both?  

Probably it is a combination of both from my youthful experience with schoolyard bullies.  They enable the gun culture that is mass killing our fellow citizens at a rate the world, outside of declared warfare, has never seen.  It is a way of intimidating us to submit to their will which is largely rejected the the majority of Americans.  But they are not satisfied with intimidating us; they are restricting our right to convenient, fair elections with numerous voter suppression tactics, many of the tactics employing our voting laws and procedures.  

Why?  Because they are unsuccessful in selling their many bad ideas on race, personal rights, religion, economics, governing and many other cultural arenas.  So, rather than employing logic and salesmanship, they find intimidation and fear inducement much easier and apparently more fun. 

The bullying tactics emanate from their innate authoritarian personalities.  The fear comes from their attachment to the status quo where they, the fast disappearing white/anglo majority, foresee their power and dominance reducing in the very near future.  Rather than embracing a society of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds, they somehow believe that life and privilege is a pie; with more of the pie to share with others taking pieces they covet for themselves.  

So, how do we end the bullying and the gun to our heads?  We use the legal system to fight them, the electoral arena to reduce their abuse of power, education to change some hearts and minds and imbue future generations with a love for participatory democracy, fairness and enjoyment of cultural diversity.

It will take time, but we can disarm them.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Most Americans Don't Understand What They Get From Paying Federal Taxes


 Today, 56% of Americans say that the amount they pay in taxes is “more than their fair share,” given what they get from the federal government, up from 49% in 2021. This is research from Pew.


Let me share with you what impact federal taxes have on my daily life.  When I got up, I put on a cotton robe, the cotton having been subsidized to a U.S. farmer to grow it.   I also woke up in a country free from a foreign invader because my tax dollars funded my own military training and salary.  They also funded my foreign ally Ukraine fighting to keep their freedom from being annexed by invading Russia.  

My federal tax dollars are also protecting me and other Americans from the physical assault on our democracy from authoritarian, fascist fellow citizens who are unappreciative of their own democracy.

 I went to the kitchen for my coffee, which had been imported under import rules set by the federal government, made by an agency supported by my taxes to enable me to enjoy its fine quality.  Made with tap water made safe to drink because of federally funded agencies protecting me with quality and safety personnel paid with my tax money.

I put bacon in a pan, produced in a federally inspected meat plant to be sure it was clean and safe to eat.

I took my blood pressure medicine which was produced under federal regulations created by a tax supported federal agency which funded the research to create this medicine funded by my tax money.  It was supplied to me by the VA funded with my tax money,  Put on my VA provided glasses and hearing aids provided by VA employees paid with my tax money.

I hopped into a car to run errands that was made safe for me to drive by federal regulations created by Congress to assure my safety in using it, whose  federally paid legislators were elected by me thanks to voting rights granted to me.  My state had no voting rights laws created by their state tax funded legislators.  My car is fueled with gasoline supplied by federal trade partners negotiated with by trade agency and staff paid with my tax dollars.  My car has reduced toxic emissions regulated by federal agencies staffed by employees who keep me and others healthy.

I entered I95, a federally funded freeway build with my tax money.

I drove over a bridge recently repaired as a result of federal tax money given to Delaware to do the repairs.

I am  retired from  jobs which were working on government contracts or government reimbursement  funded by my taxes and regulated by federal agencies dedicated to protecting employees from unfair treatment and abuse.

I had lunch at a restaurant whose business was saved by a subsidy from the federal agency during the recent Covid crisis.  Others of other races and abilities are there with me as a result of federal funding of programs to assure consumer protection and civil rights.

When I got home from work, I got on the internet, created by the federal government agency funded by my tax money, run  on a broadband system funded by my tax money,. 

My computer was in my home I was able to purchase through a federal VA and FHA backed loan funded through my tax money.  

I paid a bill electronically through my bank, which maintains my account insured by the federal government and regulated to protect my finances with  my tax dollars.  I buy products  and services in interstate commerce via the internet which are regulated with federal agencies to keep be safe, healthy and from being ripped off.

This litany can go on and on but I think the point is over made.  We are almost hourly impacted positively with federal services designed to make our lives better and protect us.  Wake the fuck up,America.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

President Jimmy Carter: A History of Unrecognized Accomplishments


America is soon to say a forever goodby to one of our finest Presidents.  I had the privilege of serving his Texas campaign in several capacities giving me a chance to consider his many fine qualities as one of our great leaders.

Jimmy first served us as a cadet in the U.S. Naval Academy and subsequently as an officer in the various naval assignments, including on a nuclear submarine.  He was extensively educated in nuclear physics.

First, as a Governor of Georgia he instituted many reforms in state government, and as a so called southern moderate, he began the process of awakening Georgia to necessary racial reforms for its black citizens to give them full citizenship, long denied.

As a Presidential candidate, Jimmy ran a brilliant campaign based on restoring honesty and integrity to our Presidency, post Richard Nixon.  His campaign communications, considered one of the best ever undertaken was directed by University of Texas Communications graduate Gerald Rafshoon who managed his own Atlanta based ad agency.  It struck a tone of a populist restoration of our democracy by a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia.  

His Presidency was marked by speeches acknowledging America's loss of confidence in its federal government resulting from Nixon's criminality and the damage to America by the Vietnam war.  His speeches were critically appraised by Republicans as not sufficiently uplifting with the myth of America's greatness.  He chose rhetorical honesty over mythical nonsense.

He acknowledged forthrightly early in his Presidency the need to relieve his OMB director of his duties resulting from revelations of  alleged financial improprieties while a Georgia banker.  Bert Lance was later acquitted of these charges.  And he tamped down the behavior of his erratic brother and distanced himself from his actions undermining Jimmy's credibility.   Sound familiar?

But these reputational setbacks did not dissuade him from pursuing the acclaimed and successful Israel-Egypt peace treaty and for his administration to negotiate a guarantee of the neutrality of the Panama Canal with Panama.  He also negotiated full diplomatic relations with China.  One of his signature accomplishments was a new bilateral strategic arms treaty with the Soviet Union limiting nuclear weapons delivery systems. This agreement was later withdrawn from Senate consideration when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and boycotted our participation in the Moscow summer olympics.

He kept us out of war with Iran, advocated by many hawks in Congress during the Iran hostage crisis.  Many hawks saw this as a U.S.and Carter leadership weakness, while rational people advocated continued negotiations for their release which was undermined through back channel communications with the hostage takers by candidate Ronald Reagan to damage Carter's re-election prospects.  Reagan went on to commit the Iran-Contra scandal.

His early environmental policy, including addressing our dependence on foreign oil and advocacy for alternative, cleaner energy sources was largely responsible for huge oil price increases causing massive inflation, which further damaged his domestic policy agenda.  He basically went to war with our oil industry and they retaliated with lying about the impact of carbon on the environment  and manipulating their pricing to damage Carter.  Carter lost that war and his Presidency.

Undeterred by domestic opposition to undermine his Presidency,  he created the Superfund to clean up toxic waste dumps.

His post presidency Carter Center initiated legendary foreign election oversight, intervened in Nicaragua promoting the return of Miskito Indians to their homeland and worked on solving conflicts in Ethiopia, Haiti and Bosnia.  The Carter Center negotiated to end nuclear weapons in North Korea.

Jimmy Carter's work for Habitat For Humanity is legendary and his break with the Southern Baptist Convention, as a born again Christian for their opposition of equality of women is less legendary but enormously significant.

Jimmy, you are an honorable, brilliant and thoroughly decent person and Americans thank you for your amazing service to humankind and our Nation.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

What Explains America's Pervasive Violence?

  It is all around America, every day.  Sickening violence by our law enforcement officers we commission to protect us.  American on American with firearm violence at an all time high to mass shootings.  Turn on the TV.......and  many of our favorite action/adventure shows depict physical and sexual violence.  Go the the movies.....action adventure films with car crashes and shootouts.   Go to the stadium or sporting event and we are bashing one another on football fields and boxing or wrestling rings.  Go to computer games and more of the same.  It simply is an obsession with us.  


I am wondering if our competition via capitalism and cult of individualism in our politics and economic system are an expression of our need to dominate and win at all cost or a result of some innate need to inflict harm out of resentment, fear or survival impulse?  I don't have the answer and our social scientists and psychologists don't seem to either.  It starts early, such as as bullying among our kids in school.  And expresses itself all through our aging process. 

There is no doubt that the culture of Trumpism, to attack and dominate has either unleashed, released our violent urges or Trumpites have modeled such behavior and many of us want to mimic it for some reason or other. 

It is time for a national reckoning on cause and effect and an examination of solutions, culturally and politically.  This atmosphere in which we live is untenable.  For many life  is unlivable, in too many cases literally due to violence done to them.


Cruelty is a companion of violence, often a precursor to it.  The ideology of our far right in the political sphere exhibits it every day.  Political leaders in Texas (Abbott) and Florida (DeSantis, Scott) embody the worst of it with their repeated abuse of migrants and citizens alike.  Toughness in the far right culture is a key positive attribute to these people and a small cabal of these types now dominate the leadership in our House of Representatives and are cheered on by many.  


I for one find this culture of cruelty oppressive and  intolerable.  But it now dominates our everyday lives.  Ironically the far right espouses the dominance of religion over our politics but the religion they advocate is punitive and fear inducing, not a religion of love and forgiveness.  Our religious leaders have failed us and we cannot depend on them to aid in the humanizing and gentleness of our society.  Our political leaders on the right undermine efforts to create a society that values caring and support for one another.  

I have no answers, but despair is unacceptable.  Hope resolves to perfect the human condition, the goal of liberalism is the answer.  We need to empower more advocates for liberalism in every sphere of our society, political, social, religious and commercial.  Be a liberal.  Support liberals, vote for liberals, worship with liberals and do business with liberals.  That is a beginning. But liberals must remind themselves and be reminded by conscientious conservatives that liberalism can also transition into oppression as world history reminds us.  There is a fine line between freedom, tolerance and oppression.

Let me propose a possible solution to the current environment of violence with which we Americans live.  What is missing from our national culture and governance is the concept of Social Responsibility.  Lawmaking and governance must factor this concept into both lawmaking and administration of government at all levels.  It is sometimes discussed but never has there been an attempt at evaluating government and civic action into the world of commerce/capitalism from the viewpoint of the social impact institutions in those sectors as well as religion.  

So, I'd propose we explore methods of creating oversight of all actions and policies through some sort of Social Responsibility Commission.  Possibly this Commission would have term limited members appointed or elected representing citizens from every State or geographic region of the U.S.A.  It should be non-partisan but consist of representation of both liberal and conservative viewpoints. Cases would be brought much like they are to courts with citizens able to bring cases that are considered to violate the Common Good or the Social Responsibility of the offending institution or organization.  

The Commission should have the authority to either create rewards or sanctions on the acting organizations/institutions whose actions are brought before the commission by citizens.  A clearing house would be needed to screen the issues/actions brought by citizens for their merit for action by the Commission, lest it be overwhelmed by trivia or manipulation.  

What has been missing in our litigation system is this concept of the common good/social responsibility.  This concept, roughed out here would require extensive work to assure fairness and relevance to citizens rights and well being.  The Commission would be a new forum to provide our citizenry the opportunity to have public discussion about issues and actions that impact our daily lives. 

Give it some thought.  I know many of you can greatly improve on this very crude blueprint to save our democracy from self ruin.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

It's Time To Laugh After So Many Covid/Trump Era Tears

 Matt Friend (@themattfriend) / Twitter'Disgusting, like a dog': See the unbelievable Trump-MSNBC segment (Comedian Matt Friend) - YouTube  

Go to MSNBC, Ari Melber to see the most hysterical impressions of Bernie Sanders and Trump you'll likely ever see.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

How Do Americans Feel About Democracy?

 Democratic ideals in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution  (article) | Khan AcademyThis image depicts a partial democracy; all men, all white.  Americans have moved it forward since the founding of our country.  Do we want to continue with this form of governance?

Pew research tracks how Americans and others living in declared democracies feel about their governing system.  On July 4 , 2022 Pew surveyed citizens about their government.  It is interesting to me that  76% of older citizens  age 50+ responded felt that the U.S. either stand above all other countries or is among the greatest countries;  27% of citizens age 18-49 agreed.  So, it would appear that the longer Americans live here the more we appreciate their country and its government.  Most appreciators are Republicans.  More skeptics lean Democrat.  Puzzling that the Jan. 6 attackers  on the Capitol and Democracy were likely not Democrats.

This Pew study reports that about 2/3 of us say our openness to people from around the world is essential to who we are, with younger people leaning toward this view.

Among the 17 self declared democracies, U.S. citizens ranked #13 believing democracy works well with 58% not satisfied. 85% of us feel we need major changes or need to be completely reformed; most say they are not confident the system can change.  Ironically, about 2/3 of us, from both Parties were confident of our future with Democrats being the most confident.

Another Pew survey reported  in December 2022 looked at satisfaction with democracy and political efficacy, studying the attitudes of citizens of 19 democracies.  The U.S. ranked 16th among those feeling not satisfied with the way democracy was working.  Only 38% were satisfied. The top 6 satisfaction levels ranged from 79% to 57%.  In the U.S. 49% of those satisfied were Democrats or leaned Democrat; 25% of Republicans and R leaners were satisfied. 71% of Americans felt that few political systems allow people like them to have influence. 70%  of them are dissatisfied with democracy  The survey was taken prior to the midterms.  This explains a lot to me about the rise of authoritarianism in America.

Another Pew  study reported on Dec. 7 2022 that 85% of Americans feel our system needs to be completely reformed or need major changes.  We were # 4 of 17 democracies surveyed with the strongest negative feeling. 82% of us are economic optimists, 87% economic pessimists.   

A 2017 Pew study  across 38 countries reported that between 78% to 68% of citizens of democracies supported the idea of democracies and 17% to 30% did not.  49% supported rule by experts, 26% rule by a strong leader and 24% rule by the military.  In the U.S. 14% on the left supported the idea of a strong leader without constraints, 23% in the center felt that way and 27% on the right.

An overwhelming majority in the U.S. believe we are not a model democracy to follow.  46% of us believe our country is run for the benefit of all of us.

Probably an overwhelming number of statistics to absorb but the net net is that while there is hope for our democracy, we have lots of work to do to achieve close to our democratic ideals and ideas.  Which of course is the whole challenge of having a democracy.  It takes work from all of us, work that many of us do not want to do.