Condition Orange: Crisis in Democracy is Immediate Threat

November 14, 2016

As dire as the Climate Crisis is, our immediate problem, and one of the greatest threats the planet has ever faced, is that our Governing apparatus is about to be turned over to straight up, loud and proud white nationalist fascists.

Key message: This is not Normal. This is not politics as usual. This is a 5 alarm fire for Democracy.

IN particular, the media’s overwhelming drive to normalize a Russian intervention in an American Election is the 5 million pound Gorilla in the Room, and anyone with any network or platform should make sure their contacts and networks keep this front and center.

Actions:

Stay calm

Begin conversations about this with people you know and agree with, as well as those who you do not know, but who need to be part of this.

Contribute to organizations that will defend constitutional rights,  ACLU etc, as well as environmental and civil organizations like Environmental Defense Fund,  Planned Parenthood, or other groups of your choice.

NBC News:

Steve Bannon, former president of the incendiary Breitbart News and more recently chief executive of Trump’s campaign, is taking on a role as “chief strategist and senior counselor.” Bannon’s ascension is the clearest sign yet that Trump will maintain his ties to the populist white nationalism that helped propel him to the White House against overwhelming opposition from party leaders and traditional media.

“The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office,” John Weaver, who advised Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign, tweeted in response to the news. “Be very vigilant America.” 

USAToday:

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, released a statement on Twitter congratulating Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ appointment to White House chief of staff, but also denouncing Bannons’ appointment.

“It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premiere website of the ‘alt right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house,'” Greenblatt said in the statement. “We call on President-elect Trump to appoint and nominate Americans committed to the well-being of all our country’s people and who exemplify the values of pluralism and tolerance that make our country great.”

Other organizations, such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the Southern Poverty Law Center, made similar comments.

But on Monday Reince Priebus, who Trump announced would be his chief of staff Sunday, defended Bannon’s hire and called on people not to make judgements.

“I don’t know where [criticism is] coming from that’s not the Steve Bannon that I know,” Priebus said on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday.. “I find him not to be way that’ he’s being accused, I find him to be the opposite.”

“Don’t judge people based off what other people say,” he continued.

Esquire:

Maybe it’s because I grew up at the tail end of the McCarthy Era and in the heart of the Cold War, and maybe because I spent 13 awful days in 1962 waiting for the missiles to fly, and maybe it’s because I believe that, Tsarist or Communist or Kleptocracy, Russia behaves in pretty much the same way, but I honestly believe that this should be the only story dominating the news right now.

At least, I think it warrants as much space in our various media as was devoted to the BREAKING NEWS about what John Podesta had for lunch last year. Per The Washington Post:

The statement came from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team. “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Ryabkov said. “We have just begun to consider ways of building dialogue with the future Donald Trump administration and channels we will be using for those purposes,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying. Ryabkov provided no further details, and his remarks drew a swift denial from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who said the campaign had “no contact with Russian officials” before Tuesday’s election.

Why in Christ’s sweet name isn’t this thundering through the news cycle right now? Why aren’t hundreds of national-security reporters all over it? We have elected a guy who may well have traded what little integrity he has to a vicious autocrat and his thieves-in-law. (Note to anyone who takes exception: This is not “red-baiting” because these crooks are not Red.) We know he can’t get a loan from most American banks, so he has to go overseas for a lot of his financing. What banks is he tied into, and are any of those banks tied into the Russian government? Whom does he owe and how much does he owe them? And how do they plan to collect?

Two pieces that I think are particularly critical to read in understanding the new players are below.

NYTimes:

While Russian leaders consciously work to hollow out the idea of democracy in their own country, they also seek to discredit democracy abroad — including, this year, in the United States. Russia’s interventions in our presidential elections are not only the opportunistic support of a preferred candidate, Donald J. Trump, who backs Russian foreign policy. They are also the logical projection of the new ideology: Democracy is not a means of changing leadership at home, but a means of weakening enemies abroad. If we see politics as Ilyin did, Russia’s ritualization of elections becomes a virtue rather than a vice. Degrading democracy around the world would be a service to mankind.

If democracy is merely an invitation to foreign influence, then hacking a foreign political party’s email is the most natural thing in the world. If civil society is nothing but the decadent opening of a rotting society to foreign influence, then constant trolling of media is obviously appropriate. If, as Ilyin wrote, the “arithmetical understanding of politics” is harmful, then digital meddling in foreign elections would be just the thing.

For a decade, Russia has been sponsoring right-wing extremists as “election observers” — most recently, in the farcical referendums in the Crimea and in the Donbas region of Ukraine — in order to discredit both elections and their observation. Since democracy is a sham, as Ilyin believed, then it is right and good to imitate its language and procedures in order to discredit it. It is noteworthy that the Trump campaign has now imitated this very practice, supplying both its own private “observers” and the advance conclusion about the fraud they will find.

The technique of undermining democracy abroad is to generate doubt where there had been certainty. If democratic procedures start to seem shambolic, then democratic ideas will seem questionable as well. And so America would become more like Russia, which is the general idea. If Mr. Trump wins, Russia wins. But if Mr. Trump loses and people doubt the outcome, Russia also wins.

Huffington Post:

There is, it turns out, a small network of young, educated white nationalists braided into the conservative apparatus in the capital, working at small anti-immigration PACs, right-wing media websites and libertarian think tanks. A number have taken courses at the Leadership Institute, a conservative organization founded by Morton Blackwell to train grass-roots activists (alumni of Blackwell’s earlier programs include Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove.) At Leadership, Heimbach learned how to write press releases, organize events and engage the media through what he called “street theater.” He encourages all his TWP chapter leaders to go through the institute’s youth leadership course. “They trained this entire next generation of white nationalists,” said Heimbach. Blackwell, who is still the Institute’s president, confirmed that Heimbach studied there. He told me that the Institute strongly repudiates Heimbach’s ideology and has an “open-door policy” toward admissions to protect its tax status.

“I never heard of this guy until today. And I don’t know who his associates are but anybody can apply to our schools and we have people from a wide variety of backgrounds and political philosophies.”

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21 Responses to “Condition Orange: Crisis in Democracy is Immediate Threat”

  1. Tom Bates Says:

    Leftists must live in a bizarro world of make believe with trolls all about just ready to seize them and put them in hell. None of the claims in this post are real, the are BS from the left who instead of offering actual different better policies and explain why they are better in real terms offer BS dressed up in doom and gloom.

    In the real world, the USA is growing at around 1 percent propped up by 600 billion in money borrowed from China which will have to be paid back by our kids. The current debt caused by this low growth economy is 19 trillion which works out to 120,000 per kid if you have two kids when they are born. The interest alone when they turn 18 would double that. Is that what you really want to leave to your kids? Destroy their future on the day they are born?

    Carbon fuels the economy, that is why we have cars instead of horses, eat in restaurants instead of starving in our mud hut. Our kids live instead of dieing when they are 1 year old, We can hope for a better future and our girls do not have to worry about being the sex slave of the lord and master.

    We need energy, the world needs energy and right now the energy comes from fossil fuels. It could come more from nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal energy. To pretend that solar and wind will fix our energy needs when we have no way to store it economically is just nuts.

    Is the world in danger from CO2 released by fossil fuels? The short answer is no. NASA measured the increase in warming from CO2, it turned out to be 0.034F. The actual warming of the world is coming from changes in earths tilt and orbit as measured by NASA. That warming is taking us out of the little ice age and back to the warming of say 1000 AD when it was warmer than today. The warming from those changes is 340 times the warming from CO2 as measured by NASA.

    Can we clean up the pollution from fossil fuels without breaking our life style? California LA proves it can be done by simply fixing the emissions from cars. Fixing the emissions from power plants, mostly coal, can also be done and is being done as we sit here typing. China is fixing the problem by building several hundred nuclear plants by 2030 which is the reason they got an exemption from cutting back on CO2 until then, they do not want to wreck their economy. Natural Gas emits both less CO2 and is a lot cleaner and the US is switching to NG as it is also cheaper.

    The world is not ending, the coasts are not going to be under ten feet of water and you will live in a better world as long as you kick the wackos out the door.

    • andrewfez Says:

      =600 billion in money borrowed from China=

      For every $1 in US debt a foreign entity has bought, there is about $0.75 in debt the US has bought from those or other foreign entities.

      40% of S&P earnings are now from overseas. If we repatriated that 2&1/2 trillion in outstanding earnings @35% there is $875B right there and a chance to run a government surplus. If we don’t repatriate it the EU will take it for themselves and build more wind turbines with it.

      What about the 7 Trillion dollar Iraq Oil Liberation (Privatization) War? How much will that cost your kids? What about the $300 – $500B in health and property damage the coal industry does in the US that we end up paying for in taxes and healthcare premiums?

      =California LA proves it can be done by simply fixing the emissions from cars.=

      Los Angeles is #1 on the list of US cities with the worst ozone.

      the USA is growing at around 1 percent

      The US is a mature economy that now has to compete with other big players that have arrived on the scene. That means competing for clean energy technology and manufacturing dominance, so I can buy a USA Midnight Solar Charge Controller for my off grid system, instead of some nex-gen EU or Chinese device that is cheaper and of better value. And whoever can get rid of commodity price driven economic volatility first wins a large market advantage over other competitors. Wind + Hydro or Nat Gas balance actually reduces the price of electricity to end users and reduces the rates of rate hikes. Solar reduces the cost of summer peak load chasing. Even without storage these things play a competitive part in the grid system; but as storage costs come down the market will destroy fossil fuels.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      Everyone who isn’t on your ultra right-wing path is a “leftist” for you, Tom. This can only come from a deluded guy who hasn’t the slightest clue about politics.

      And BTW natural gas. Here one of the umpteen studies that prove you wrong => New research shows natural gas no better than coal for mitigating climate change

      Where is your NASA figure coming from? Right out of your butt?

    • Sir Charles Says:

      Earth tilt?

      Jaysus, you must be already dizzy, Tom.

      • andrewfez Says:

        We hit the interglacial peak 8000 years ago. We should be slipping back down into an ice age now, over the next few thousand years, but we’re not.

    • redskylite Says:

      T.B – You’re the wacko one who lives in bizzarro land because you believe that Mr Sinclair makes a good living from this Blog. Where’s the sponsors, adverts, how much do you think WordPress pay. Where does the gratuitous money come from ? Peter needs to beg & scrape funds each year to get to the Arctic “Dark Snow” project. He does it for you and me, free of charge. Maybe thanks would be in order instead of your insane stats and meaningless prattle.

  2. Tom Bates Says:

    Mr. Sinclair, you have made a good living from this blog and have raised important social and political policy issues on the subject of climate change and how to deal with climate change in the short and long range.

    When you go off the deep end with this junk BS you simply lose all but the fringe wacko readers. Giving a voice to people who are clearly wackos does not strengthen your case it simply makes it weaker. We need policy changes to make OUR country better, the world better. You and I disagree about which policy changes will work and which will not that does not mean I think you are a traitor or insane as the contributors of this piece claim I am for supporting a different approach which has zero to do with Russia or the Nazi.

    In the past I have reference where my information is coming from which is NASA or NOAA and some overseas sources like Denmark’s weather service. So while you may not agree with my take on the data at least I have some data to support my take on the situation.

    The USA just had an election. Since we are a republic, the states have spoken and the country will get a new set of leaders. The USA has survived since 1776 going through elections and we are still here. During that time the public discourse and beliefs have changed a lot and will change a lot in the future. Right now a substantial part of the population wants jobs and security something the left like the people in this article are not holding out, quite the opposite in fact. Why not figure out how to make peoples lives better right now and than you will get elected.

    • otter17 Says:

      “So while you may not agree with my take on the data at least I have some data to support my take on the situation.”

      Nobody should really care about “your take on the data”, including yourself. If you can publish your take on the data to the scientific method and have it withstand scrutiny, then you are on to something. Right now, you just try to influence public opinion with your blog comment opinions on what is a very robust theory, a fact by all decision-making purposes.

      No kidding, people want better lives, eh? Well, maximizing total benefit going forward is an imperative to that. Our values and well-being are not worth much if our means for getting there prevent the next generations from holding the same. Ignoring a problem because you perceive the current livelihood of yourself or your society is at odds with the solutions to that problem is a textbook case of bias… leading to denial of the problem. This isn’t a difficult problem to understand academically, but you would need to take some time on your own to understand it at a personal morality level.

      None of the articles above mention anything about your particular climate solutions being related to the Russians or Nazis. Do cite a quote where you perceive this claim is being made. The Russians have merely claimed that they prefer the current president-elect and have claimed to have had meetings with him during the campaign cycle. We shall see what falls out from this.

    • otter17 Says:

      Bottom line:

      Why is it reducing GHG emissions on the timeline that all the major science groups have agreed upon is seemingly in your view incompatible with better lives?


    • Tom, you write, energy “could come more from nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal energy”.

      So you agree that a transition off fossil fuels onto renewable energy is the way forward if we want to limit our carbon emissions and protect our planet from the worst possible scenarios?

      If so, then you might also agree that moving us “back” toward fossil fuel use is NOT a good thing to do?

      Conservative economists say that pricing carbon is a necessary, positive step toward growing our economy and creating clean energy jobs…..continuing to invest in fossil fuel projects is a “losing” proposition.

      We progressives know that we must protect the people who will be most impacted by the rising cost of energy as we move off fossil fuels onto renewables. That’s why all the revenue should go toward helping them in the form of $$ dividend checks……Like the carbon tax proposal that Citizens Climate Lobby members are lobbying Congress about. It’s very much a bi-partisan approach that has a chance of passing.

      Trump and the Republicans should remove ALL subsidies on fossil fuels AND renewables, put a steadily rising price on carbon and let the market decide if citizens want to power our economy with dirty, fossil fuels or clean, renewable energy.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      AFAIK, Peter has never made a penny with this blog, and he is donating a lot of his time for a better future.

      Raising the democracy question is not only legitimate (Hillary got 2 million more votes than Donald), it is essential! Here in Europe we had such a situation about 80 years ago, and too many people were appeasing that time.


    • We haven’t lost Tommy Poo yet, so clearly we haven’t lost the fringe wacko readers. Too bad.

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    President-elect Donald Trump is considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for withdrawing the United States from a global accord to combat climate change, Reuters reports.

    => Trump looking at fast ways to quit global climate deal

    • otter17 Says:

      Crap, and here I thought the longshot option of convincing other UN powers to impose economic sanctions on the USA would be able to wait for the longshot odds that there is a second Trump term.

      Man, reading the article, they are considering pulling out of the entire framework convention? As in, we wouldn’t even send delegates to further conferences? Oh, this article is infuriating. This must be the Alex Jones voice in Trump talking, or something, fighting the UN for the sake of imagined conspiracies.

      If the administration goes down this road, something has to be done that hurts Trump’s promises to bring better trade deals to America. Sanctions or excluding Trump’s administration from any economics/trade deals would have to be pushed. Maybe that message is one that his voters will understand, or maybe they listen to Alex Jones and advocate declaring war against the bankers/globalists.

  4. Sir Charles Says:

    Seems to be condition red…

    => Trump Plans to Quit Paris Deal, Hires Climate Denier for EPA Transition Team

    Before leaving for Marrakech on Sunday, Sec. of State John Kerry said that the Obama administration would do everything possible to implement the global agreement before Trump takes office.

    In an interview, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Europe should respond with a trade war and institute a carbon tax for U.S. products if Trump backs out.

    • otter17 Says:

      Ah, it sounds like world leaders are already thinking of ideas that could be easy to implement, probably easier than direct UN economic sanctions, and a bit more discreet.

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    Economics and physics… A comment from Australia => Even the new US president can’t Trump clean energy


  6. Enjoyed that…. I haven’t watched a Sunday Talk show since around the time Tim Russert died, a few years after it was confirmed that Saddam had no “weapons of mass destruction”… By the time 2008 rolled around and they (corporate Media) had “blown” their creditably in my book… not deserving of my time…

    Sounds like Bernie and Wolin have been talkin…. lol (Wolin died a year ago but his books are out there…)

  7. Sir Charles Says:

    Bill Maher nailed it in 2009…

    Democrats Have Moved To The Right And The Right Has Moved Into A Mental Hospital

    Democrats are the new Republicans


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