The Rich Vote Republican? Maybe Not This Election. Reply

The left-wing of capitalism, the newly rich, the rising upper middle class, the managerial elite, and the new class are eclipsing the traditional WASP elites and the Sunbelt insurgency of postwar era as the dominant factions of the US state, ruling class, and power elite.

By Robert Frank

New York Times

For the first time in decades, the wealthy are set to deliver a landslide victory for a Democratic presidential candidate.

While polling data on the rich is imprecise given their small population, polls of the top-earning households favor Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump two to one. The July Affluent Barometer survey by Ipsos found that among voters earning more than $100,000 a year — roughly the top 25 percent of households — 45 percent said they planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton, while 28 percent planned to vote for Mr. Trump. The rest were undecided or planned to vote for another candidate.

The spread was even wider among the highest earners. For those earning $250,000 or more — roughly the top 5 percent of households — 53 percent planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton while 25 percent favored Mr. Trump. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus four points.


Keith Preston: Interview with Iranian Television on the Election Reply

Watch here.

The television audience for the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump fell sharply from their first record-breaking debate. It is estimated that some 66.5 million Americans tuned in to the 90-minute debate on October 9 across a number of networks, well below the record 84 million who watched the first debate om September 27.

The vicious attacks that Clinton and Trump aimed at each other, and lack of policy discussion led to the fall in viewers for the second presidential debate. Some debate viewers had mentioned that it was difficult for them to answer their children’s questions regarding the attacks that were made by the candidates.

In the second debate not only did the attacks not decline, rather they became more vicious. Donald Trump brought women in the audience that had accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. He had even invited rape victim Kathy Shelton. When Shelton was 12 years old she was raped by Hillary Clinton’s client. Clinton helped her rapist client get off on a technicality, and was latter seen laughing about it. At the end of this vicious debate maybe the biggest losers were the millions of Americans who watched it.

ACLU Wants 23 Secret Surveillance Laws Made Public Reply

By Alex Emmons

The Intercept

The ACLU has identified 23 legal opinions that contain new or significant interpretations of surveillance law — affecting the government’s use of malware, its attempts to compel technology companies to circumvent encryption, and the CIA’s bulk collection of financial records under the Patriot Act — all of which remain secret to this day, despite an ostensible push for greater transparency following Edward Snowden’s disclosures.

The opinions were written by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. On Wednesday, the ACLU and the Yale Law School Media Freedom Clinic filed a motion with the court requesting that those opinions be released.

“The people of this country can’t hold the government accountable for its surveillance activities unless they know what our laws allow,” said Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “These secret court opinions define the limits of the government’s spying powers. Their disclosure is essential for meaningful public oversight in our democracy.”

Some of the opinions identified by the ACLU offer interpretations of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a controversial provision that allows the government to conduct mass surveillance on American’s transnational communications. The authority is set to expire in December 2017.

Disclosure of the opinions would shed light on how the government understands the boundaries of its spying power. Earlier this month, for example, after Reuters reported that Yahoo is secretly scanning every customer’s incoming email, anonymous officials told the New York Times that that action was based on an individualized order from the secret court. Disclosure of the order would offer insight into why the government thinks that is legal. Yahoo, for its part, on Wednesday urged the Director of National Intelligence to release and explain the court order in question.

The ACLU identified the 23 still-secret opinions by combing through press clippings and publicly released opinions. A report released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice, which was based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, similarly found that the government has kept classified 25 to 30 significant court opinions and orders dating from 2003 to 2013.

Congress established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in 1978 to approve warrants against foreign agents and spies. But after the attacks of September 11, 2001, it took on a dramatically expanded role, secretly interpreting surveillance laws for law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The court meets in secret, and until the recent inclusion of specially designated “friends of the court,” only the government was represented before it. Critics of the FISC argue that its opinions amount to “secret law” that is not approved by Congress, and cannot be appealed.

In 2013, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the FISC had authorized the bulk collection of American’s phone records, despite the fact that the law only allowed the collection of records “relevant to an authorized investigation.”


Trump is Not a “Fascist,” and Hillary is not a “Liberal” Reply

Image result for rainbow fascism

An interesting comment from William Gillis, the director of Center for a Stateless Society.

“There’s a number of folk celebrating the collapse of the legitimacy of US civic institutions, but regrettably it’s not so simple as de-legitimize the state and presto anarchism. Liberal democracy is an incoherent, ultimately unstable and unsustainable system, but there are many more stable configurations of society and a lot of them are far more dystopian.

Our strongest critique against liberalism is not that its founded upon horrific, unnecessary and intolerable violence — although it is — but that it is insecure against slow rolls or sudden descents towards outright authoritarianism and fractious civil war.

When the civic religion of a country withers and the treaty of liberal democracy is revealed as nothing more than paper, smoke and mirrors, what is most often released is the mass of fascistic predators who have grown fat slowly nibbling the democracy’s flesh from within. The collapse of a democracy is most usually a reconfiguration of power, hardly ever its abolition.

That is not remotely to suggest that anarchists stop or show timidity in our efforts to delegitimize the state, but rather that we must stay steely-eyed about the incredibly hard work to prepare for such a collapse and survive it, much less guide it.

When the president of the Second Spanish Republic called his ministers, his assistants and secretaries and found that they had all abandoned their posts — his government de facto dissolved like a silly dream — the people of Spain were already building barricades and raiding the armories. Either for the fascists or for the anarchists.

We lost that war.

In part because we did not get to choose its outset. And were not ready for its vicissitudes.

There are far far far more Trump brownshirts in this country than there are anarchists.”

This body of comments contains some interesting insights, and some ideas that I certainly agree with. However, I think it is also an example of some of the limitations I have seen coming from various anarchist and leftist analyses of the present political situation. It is not uncommon to find commentary portraying Donald Trump as some unique threat to the established system of “liberal democracy” who is hell bent on moving the United States towards some kind of more overt authoritarianism if not outright fascism. This kind of analysis is common not only among the usual left-wing and left-liberal crazies, but also among many level headed people, and even some people on the right (such as the writers at National Review).


Green Party’s Jill Stein on “Donald Trump’s Psychosis and Hillary Clinton’s Distortions” 1

After Wednesday’s debate, Democracy Now! spoke to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee. She and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Green Party: A Party for Working People Reply

Jill Stein is the only candidate in this election that comes close to being an actual radical, or even an actual liberal. The Trump movement is a parallel to France’s National Front. The normal Republicans are even further to the right (more like El Salvador’s ARENA or Israel’s Likud). Hillary is a center-right politician in the vein of Richard Nixon (or the Christian Democratic Parties in Europe or Latin America). Even Bernie ran as a recycled New Deal Democrat (we used to have tons of guys like that in Congress, even representing Southern states like Fritz Hollings from SC or Al Gore when he as a senator from TN). Gary Johnson is just a moderate-liberal Republican like John Anderson or Mark Hatfield. Jill doesn’t even strike me as being that far left. Her politics are similar to 1970s McGovern Democrats, and many of her views would be entirely mainstream in Europe and even Latin America, perhaps even in India.. US politics is like something you would find in the most retrograde Third World countries that still manage to practice formal democracy (like El Salvador or Bangladesh).


Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed Reply

Regardless of who the next President is, I suspect we are going to miss Obama eventually. Whatever his limitations, his performance on foreign policy has probably been as good as any US President’s is going to be.

By Greg Jaffe

Washington Post

There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

It is not unusual for Washington’s establishment to launch major studies in the final months of an administration to correct the perceived mistakes of a president or influence his successor. But the bipartisan nature of the recent recommendations, coming at a time when the country has never been more polarized, reflects a remarkable consensus among the foreign policy elite.

This consensus is driven by a broad-based backlash against a president who has repeatedly stressed the dangers of overreach and the need for restraint, especially in the Middle East. “There’s a widespread perception that not being active enough or recognizing the limits of American power has costs,” said Philip Gordon, a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama until 2015. “So the normal swing is to be more interventionist.”


“Black Lives Matter has a plantation mentality” Reply

So says former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown. Here’s the money quote:

“When it first formed, armed BPP members patrolled Oakland neighbourhoods – in their iconic blue-shirt, leather jacket, black beret combo – to keep an eye on the police. They were caricatured as violent militants, but they were standing up for rights as old as the Constitution itself. Newton, a law student, made himself an expert on gun law. Whenever the cops piped up, he’d blast them with the Second Amendment, Supreme Court judgements, chapter and verse: ‘I will observe you carrying out your duties whether you like it or not!’

By Tom Slater

Spiked Online

“I don’t know what Black Lives Matter does, so I can’t tell you how it compares to what the Black Panther Party was. I know what the BPP was. I know the lives we lost, the struggle we put into place, the efforts we made, the assaults on us by the police and government – I know all that. I don’t know what Black Lives Matter does. So if you can tell me, I’ll give you my thoughts.’

So says Elaine Brown, activist, singer and former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party, talking to me from her home in Oakland, California. She doesn’t like my question. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary, socialist, black-power organisation formed in Oakland by then college students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. And, as journalists scrabble to pen pieces about ‘what’s changed’, cack-handed comparisons abound.

I ask Brown about Black Lives Matter, the movement that erupted in the wake of the shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. This nebulous hashtag-come-protest movement has been compared – both by its supporters and detractors – with the BPP; it’s either hailed as a continuation of the struggle or slammed as a resurgence in ‘divisive’, ‘militant’ black nationalism. Talking to Brown it becomes clear that both sides give BLM too much credit.

‘There is no comparison’, she says. ‘The next wave of young people running out here, who are complaining and protesting about the murders of young black men and women by the police all over the country, they will protest but they will not rise up in an organised fashion, with an agenda, to create revolutionary change… We advocated community self-defence organisations to be formed, so that we would not be assaulted by the police, so that we would bear arms and assume our human rights.’


The last to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it Reply

This is an interesting question to reflection on: What does it mean for the future of anarchist movements given that the center of world power is slowly shifting from the US-NATO-Israeli-Saudi-Sunni axis to the BRICS-Shia-Mercosur axis?

By Jeff Thomas
Ron Paul Liberty Report

Throughout history, political, financial, and military leaders have sought to create empires. Westerners often think of ancient Rome as the first empire. Later, other empires formed for a time. Spain became an empire, courtesy of its Armada, its conquest of the New World, and the gold and silver extracted from the West. Great Britain owned the 19th century but lost its empire due largely to costly wars. The US took over in the 20th century and, like Rome, rose as a republic, with minimal central control, but is now crumbling under its own governmental weight.

Invariably, the last people to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it. As a British subject, I remember my younger years, when, even though the British Empire was well and truly over, many of my fellow Brits were still behaving in a pompous manner as though British “superiority” still existed. Not so, today. (You can only pretend for so long.)

But this does suggest that those who live within the present empire—the US—will be the last to truly understand that the game is all but over. Americans seem to be hopeful that the dramatic decline is a temporary setback from which they will rebound.



The left’s dilemma on Syria and Putin 1

By Joe Gill

Middle East Eye

Owen Jones’ call for the left to oppose Putin did not address the most serious charge that the Russian president is escalating the war in Syria

Owen Jones recently implored the British left to take their fight to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. As a leading voice on the left, his piece was interesting more for what he left out.

Jones points out that Putin has many fans on the right in the US and Europe, including Donald Trump and Ukip’s Nigel Farage. Amongst the reasons he suggests the left should put Putin in its crosshairs are his close ties to the far right in Europe, the dreadful toll among journalists who have opposed his rule, his homophobic policies and his links to oligarchs.

But in the entire critique he did not once mention the Russian president’s war in Syria.

Putin’s current bombing campaign and involvement in ground actions is the biggest military action by Russia outside its borders since Brezhnev sent tanks into Afghanistan. Since 30 September, the bombing in Syria has killed more than 1,000 civilians and twice as many IS and al-Nusra fighters. It has radically improved the survival chances of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which until Russia’s intervention was teetering towards disaster.

The left’s hollow anti-imperialism over Syria Reply

By Joey Ayoub

Middle East Eye

The inability of many leftists to see past outdated narratives on Syria has galvanised the rise of reactionary nativism in the West

Over the last week, some members of the Twitter bubble argued over the left’s response to the ongoing Syrian crisis. I took part in it, if only briefly and hesitantly, knowing in advance that it would most likely not bear any fruit. Here, I will try and explain why I think it’s important that such discussions continue.

The heated exchange was not between anti-imperialists and pro-imperialists but between those who can’t see past one form of imperialism and those who are struggling against all imperialisms (or strive to). Crucially for our purposes, the former typically underestimates, or willingly ignores, Russian and Iranian imperialism in Syria and it does the same with regards to the regime’s daily atrocities. The latter sees it as its mission to remind the former of what countless Syrians have been repeating for nearly four years now, namely that it is utterly meaningless to speak of struggling for equality and justice when a fascist, neoliberal and imperialist-friendly dictatorship is overpowering anyone who wishes to fight against it. As long as this balance of powers remains unchanged, the rest is wishful thinking, with very serious repercussions on the ground.


The Authoritarian Right is Naive About Human Nature 1

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

Have you ever considered the level of irony involved in the fact that so many of the same people who claim to distrust big government (“I love my country but fear my government”) also adamantly support the police against Black Lives Matter? These people, by and large, actually worship the culture of police lawlessness as something necessary to “stop criminals.” I was reminded of this incongruity by Ami Angelwings’ extended Twitter discussion, on October 3, of the television show Law & Order. She suggested that Jack McCoy might be “television’s greatest villain”:

He’s gotten people executed by twisting or even breaking the law, suborning perjury, withholding evidence, and challenging the constitution….  To get one person that McCoy has no evidence against but “knows” is guilty, he regularly tries to flatten broad constitutional protections. To get around parole Jack tried to have a guy committed indefinitely to an institution by arguing criminality itself is a mental illness….

Law & Order seasons 1-5 was basically cop propaganda for liberals, the idea being that the system worked, 5-20 is for conservatives. Later Law & Order made me fear cops and the DA due to how they’re portrayed as completely reckless and corrupt and all laws are in their way.



Hillary Is the Candidate of the War Machine Reply

Hence, the entire spectrum of ruling class/power elite opinion is behind her.

By Jeffrey Sachs

Huffington Post

JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

There’s no doubt that Hillary is the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous, though, is that she is the candidate of the military-industrial complex. The idea that she is bad on the corporate issues but good on national security has it wrong. Her so-called foreign policy “experience” has been to support every war demanded by the US deep security state run by the military and the CIA.

Hillary and Bill Clinton’s close relations with Wall Street helped to stoke two financial bubbles (1999-2000 and 2005-8) and the Great Recession that followed Lehman’s collapse. In the 1990s they pushed financial deregulation for their campaign backers that in turn let loose the worst demons of financial manipulation, toxic assets, financial fraud, and eventually collapse. In the process they won elections and got mighty rich.

Yet Hillary’s connections with the military-industrial complex are also alarming. It is often believed that the Republicans are the neocons and the Democrats act as restraints on the warmongering. This is not correct. Both parties are divided between neocon hawks and cautious realists who don’t want the US in unending war. Hillary is a staunch neocon whose record of favoring American war adventures explains much of our current security danger.

Just as the last Clinton presidency set the stage for financial collapse, it also set the stage for unending war. On October 31, 1998 President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act that made it official US policy to support “regime change” in Iraq.

It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.

Thus were laid the foundations for the Iraq War in 2003.

Of course, by 2003, Hillary was a Senator and a staunch supporter of the Iraq War, which has cost the US trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and done more to create ISIS and Middle East instability than any other single decision of modern foreign policy. In defending her vote, Hillary parroted the phony propaganda of the CIA:

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members… “

After the Iraq Liberation Act came the 1999 Kosovo War, in which Bill Clinton called in NATO to bomb Belgrade, in the heart of Europe, and unleashing another decade of unrest in the Balkans. Hillary, traveling in Africa, called Bill: “I urged him to bomb,” she told reporter Lucinda Frank.

Hillary’s record as Secretary of State is among the most militaristic, and disastrous, of modern US history. Some experience. Hilary was a staunch defender of the military-industrial-intelligence complex at every turn, helping to spread the Iraq mayhem over a swath of violence that now stretches from Mali to Afghanistan. Two disasters loom largest: Libya and Syria.

Hillary has been much attacked for the deaths of US diplomats in Benghazi, but her tireless promotion of the overthrow Muammar Qaddafi by NATO bombing is the far graver disaster. Hillary strongly promoted NATO-led regime change in Libya, not only in violation of international law but counter to the most basic good judgment. After the NATO bombing, Libya descended into civil war while the paramilitaries and unsecured arms stashes in Libya quickly spread west across the African Sahel and east to Syria. The Libyan disaster has spawned war in Mali, fed weapons to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and fueled ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In the meantime, Hillary found it hilarious to declare of Qaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”


Keith Preston: 4 factors that could still make Trump president 1

Press TV. Listen here.

As Donald Trump’s bragging about sexual assault attempts were released, many saw the scandal as a nail in the coffin of his campaign for the US 2016 presidential election.

According to a Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, Trump is trailing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 5.5 points while a poll by the NBC News/Wall Street Journal released on Sunday, showed the former secretary of state leads the real estate mogul by 11 points.

Trump’s drop in polls followed the release of a 2005 recording, in which he is heard bragging about groping women without consent.

Apart from that, there has been a “wide range of reasons” for Clinton’s victory since the beginning of the election process, Keith Preston, the chief editor of, told Press TV in a phone interview on Sunday.

“The most important thing is demographics. It’s currently the case in the United Sates that the population groups that are inclined to vote for the Democratic Party are simply larger in number,” Preston said.

However, there are also those who “consistently” opt for the GOP, including a large portion of people “in the south and the Midwest as well as elderly white people, on a more general level.”

The Virginia-based analyst further suggested that it would be difficult for Trump to tackle such demographic issues, “particularly given that he is such a divisive figure within his own party.”

“As the election is getting closer, it does look like that Hillary Clinton is going to be the winner.”

‘Unpalatable’ Hillary

There are, however, four factors that could possibly change the equation in favor of the New York businessman, Preston noted.

“One would be if lots of Democratic Party voters simply abstain from voting because they find Mrs. Clinton unpalatable as a candidate. There are certainly many Democrats who feel that way,” he said.

The second factor, according to Preston, involves the Trump campaign’s potential “appeal” to the working class, who classically vote for the Democrats.

“Another would be if Trump manages to get a large crossover vote from blue collar and working class Democrats.”

There is also another factor with a “fairly dubious” prospect and that is the US minorities’ votes for Trump.

”Another issue would be if Trump is able to get an unusually high percentage of the votes of the racial and ethnic minorities,” among whom the New York billionaire is currently quite unpopular.

The course of the election could also turn in Trump’s favor if third party presidential candidates, Jill Stein from the Green Party and Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party, gain more power in the run-up to the November 8 vote.

“It’s possible that these two candidates could draw votes from Mrs. Clinton and put Donald Trump on top.”

Preston argued, however, that as the Election Day approaches, Trump’s presidency looks “increasingly unlikely.”

How ISIS Resembles Yesterday’s Anarchists Reply

By Katrina Gulliver

The American Conservative

Then as now, revolutionary violence sparks calls for immigration restrictions.

Today, revolutionary anarchists seem archaic, almost quaint. But for around 50 years, from the 1880s to the 1930s, anarchists carried out terror attacks all over the world. Buildings blew up; world leaders and random civilians alike were killed.

The parallels between then and now, when we face the threat of ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups, are many. During the decades of anarchist terrorism, it seemed like each week we heard of another incident carried out by an immigrant from a politically unstable region of the globe, and some prominent public figures called for banning all immigration from these regions. Anarchists were decentralized and self-defined (“self-radicalized” as the media puts it today). Also like ISIS—and unlike nationalist terror groups—anarchists did not have a clear political goal that could be a starting point for negotiations. This is what makes decentralized terror groups particularly dangerous: they have no demands with which we could comply or offer to discuss, even if we wanted to.


Is Trumpism Fascism? 10

By Wayne Price


What is Fascism?

Donald Trump and those who follow him have shown certain specific traits of a fascist movement. Does that make Trump or the Trumpets into fascists? What is fascism? How is it counterposed to bourgeois democracy? Is there likely to be a fascist movement in the U.S.A.? How do we fight fascism?


Whether Donald J. Trump wins or (more likely) loses the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the movement which he has stirred up will continue in one form or another. A question which is widely asked is, whether this movement—call it Trumpism—is fascist, semi-fascist, or a forerunner of fascism?

Unquestionably, he has been supported by out-and-out fascists, U.S. Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and others of the “alternative right” or “alt right,” as they call themselves. He has repeatedly re-tweeted posts from Nazis and Klanspeople, he has quoted Mussolini, and he adopted the slogan “America First” from the pro-fascist-dominated America First movement of the pre-World War II era. He has expressed admiration for dictators and “strong” rulers of other countries. He appointed a notorious anti-semite and racist as a top official (“C.E.O”) in his campaign (Bannon, formerly the main person of Brietbart News).



Giving consent to compulsory thinking at Cambridge University Reply

By Keir Martland

The Salisbury Review

‘The State Conscience’ Artist Lindsey Dearnley

A few days ago, I was sat down in my College’s Hall at the University of Cambridge with the rest of the first year undergraduates to be, since the Matriculation ceremony was yet to take place, being welcomed by the Master and the Senior Tutor. This was a wonderful moment. After receiving my A-Level results of 2A*s and an A, and another A* in EPQ, I had been accepted by Cambridge in August. Yet it was only then, nearly two months later, when sat in the Hall, that it finally sunk in. “Yes, I’m actually going to read History at the best university in the world,” I thought to myself. I remain grateful to the University and my College for this opportunity which I intend to grasp to the full.


Clinton ‘corrupted,’ but Trump has a ploy, analyst says 3

Press TV. Listen here.

Democratic and Republican nominees at the US 2016 presidential election are both “right” when they accuse one another of “corruption,” an analyst says.

Keith Preston, the chief editor and director at, made the comments in an interview with Press TV, when asked about recent accusations by Donald Trump against his rival, Hillary Clinton.

Speaking at a rally in suburban Detroit on Friday, Trump said that Clinton and “her co-conspirators” were not above the law and should be held accountable for their deeds, further urging US President Barack Obama to “pledge” not to pardon Clinton, his former secretary of state and once Democratic rival.

Clinton’s use of a private email server in the Obama administration has been used by the Trump campaign and the GOP to question her resolve for national security.