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niyad's Journal
niyad's Journal
August 23, 2017

The Rise of the Valkyries In the alt-right, women are the future, and the problem

The Rise of the Valkyries In the alt-right, women are the future, and the problem

A month after Donald Trump took office, an activist named Lana Lokteff delivered a speech calling on women to join the political resistance. “Be loud,” Lokteff said in a crisp, assertive voice. “Our enemies have become so arrogant that they count on our silence.” Lokteff, who is in her late thirties, addressed an audience of a few hundred people seated in a room with beige walls, drab lighting, and dark-red curtains. The location, a building in the historic Södermalm neighborhood of Stockholm, Sweden, had been secured only the previous night, after several other venues had refused to host the event, billed as an “ideas” conference. Lokteff wore a white blouse and a crocheted black shawl over her trim figure, with a microphone headset fitted over her long blond hair. In addition to the attendees seated before her, she spoke to viewers watching a livestream. “When women get involved,” she declared, “a movement becomes a serious threat.”

Since Trump’s election in November, that same idea had inspired more than 4,000 women to contact EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female pro-choice candidates across the United States, about running for office. It had compelled women to organize a series of marches that brought millions of anti-Trump protesters into streets around the world.

. . . .

The alt-right is widely considered a movement of young white men, and Lokteff was trying to rally women to the cause. “It was women that got Trump elected,” she said. “And, I guess, to be really edgy, it was women that got Hitler elected.”1 The crowd applauded and cheered. (NOTE:1 Adolf Hitler lost a presidential race, but the Nazis earned enough votes in a parliamentary election in 1932 to become the dominant party in the Reichstag. Hitler was appointed Germany’s chancellor the following year.)

Lokteff was the conference’s only female speaker — perhaps because the alt-right has certain ideas about how women should behave. Another presenter, Matt Forney, a fleshy, goateed blogger in his twenties, once wrote a screed called “The Case Against Female Self-esteem.” In his Stockholm speech, Forney bemoaned social norms telling white men that “your natural masculine instincts, your natural desires to bed and wed women, make you an oppressive misogynist.” Paul Ramsey, who appeared at the event to decry a purported scourge of left-wing violence in America, is better known to his more than 38,000 Twitter followers as RAMZPAUL. Middle-aged with black, thick-rimmed glasses, he doesn’t embrace the alt-right label, but his views align with those of many in the movement: He thinks women shouldn’t vote, and has called gender equality “the mother of all delusions.” Other soldiers in the alt-right’s fractious army regularly insult women on digital platforms such as Twitter, 4chan, and Reddit. The man who claims to have coined the term “alt-right,” Richard Spencer, has said that women shouldn’t make foreign policy because their “vindictiveness knows no bounds.” Andrew Anglin, who runs a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer, once criticized as a traitor any white woman who has mixed-race children. “It’s OUR WOMB,” he wrote. “It belongs to the males in her society.”

. . . .


May 22, 2017

a trumpian and me

The other day, I went into a favourite local boutique just to say hi. A woman was standing at the counter, berating the very young clerk behind the counter. Why? Because, in the window display, was a roll of toilet paper with the orange madman's image on it. The woman was furious. Tha't disrespectful, he's our president. I just came from a meeting learning all about how wonderful he is. He is the president of all of us. Get that thing out of the window. He deserves respect."

Well, we all know what a quiet, gentle, non-confrontational soul I am. . . .

I said, "did you say that every time someone disrespected President Obama? If not, you have no moral ground to stand on" She sputtered, and I repeated the question. She finally said, "I never said anything against him". I replied, "but did you stop, or criticize, those who did?" She did not answer, so I said, "you are answering my question by your silence. So, you are a blatant hypocrite, and, again, you have no moral standing. Now leave the clerk alone"

This very tall, very angry woman, stormed past me to leave. I HATE when people try to bully staff. And, incidentally, the owner of this shop is a very strong progressive.

I LOVE it when I am provided with human scratching posts!!

March 21, 2017

Handy Compilation of Trump's Russian Connections

Compilation of Trump's Russian Connections


We should view all the stories about Russia and Trump as part of a whole. To facilitate that, I made an outline of the (1) evidence and (2) people/businesses linking Trump to Russia. Almost all this information comes from mainstream media sites. Almost every sentence is cited.

Extensive Russian Business Connections: Even before the 2000’s, Trump rented posh apartments to Russians mobsters. [TAI]. But Trump’s Russian connections were limited until he became a bad credit risk. [FT]. From 2004 to 2009, two Trump businesses entered bankruptcy and he was unable to pay off a $40 million bank loan. [Newsweek]. As banks stopped lending to Trump, he was forced to seek capital from billionaire kleptocrats and oligarchs in the former Soviet Union and Russia. [TAI]. These billionaires were eager investors in the Trump Organization, and as Trump’s son asserted in 2008, “a lot of money [was] pouring in from Russia.” [CNN]. Recently, Reuters estimated that Russians have purchased, at the very least, $98 million worth of lots in Trump Towers in Florida alone. In addition, a one Russian oligarch bought a Trump mansion for $95 million in 2008. [FT]. Trump’s business with some of these oligarchs and kleptocrats continued until he ran for president. [see e.g. WaPo (2013 Moscow Beauty Pageant); NYT (Moscow Tower plan for 2015)].
During the Campaign: Putin directed Russian intelligence to help the Trump campaign by hacking Democrats’ emails, leaking these emails via WikiLeaks, and flooding social media with anti-Hillary propaganda. [NYT]. Such influence by a foreign power was unprecedented in a US presidential election. [Reuters]. Perhaps coincidentally, Trump’s campaign regularly communicated with Russian officials and, quite likely, senior Russian intelligence officials. [NYT; CNN]. Moreover, campaign members had suspicious connections with organizations tied to Russia. For example: (1) during the campaign, Roger Stone served as a “back-channel” to WikiLeaks and a Twitter account run likely run by Russian intelligence agencies, [Guardian(WikiLeaks); [WashTimes(Guccifer)]; (2) in 2015, Michael Flynn was paid at least $68,000 by Russian entities, including over $45,000 by RT and $11,250 by a Russian cybersecurity firm, [WaPo]; (3) in October 2016, Trump Jr. was paid at least $50,000 for attending private discussions hosted by a pro-Putin Syrian think tank, [WSJ]; and (4) years earlier, Manafort was paid 12 million dollars in off-the-books cash in exchange for working for a pro-Putin Ukrainian party, [NYT]. Also, during the campaign, a former British spy sent the FBI a dossier claiming Trump colluded with Russia, which allegedly had bribed and blackmailed him. [NYT; Buzzfeed (for dossier)].
Trump’s Transition and Presidency: After Trump won the election, he picked nominees with ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs, such as Rex Tillerson and Wilbur Ross. [CBS; MotherJones]. He also picked Flynn for National Security Advisor, who during the transitions, infamously discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador over five phone calls on the day they were announced by Obama. [Reuters]. Trump shares Flynn’s concern with sanctions, and has persistently advocated removing them and working with Putin. [see e.g. Reuters, Politico]. However, Trump has been preemptively thwarted by Congress. [USAToday (many Republicans have voiced support for sanctions)].
US Intel Agencies and Allies: Officials in US intelligence agencies strongly suspect collusion between Trump and Russia, [Haaretz; WSJ], as do our Western European and Baltic allies, [Newsweek]. They have investigated Trump’s associates and uncovered many suspicious contacts with Russian officials. [Newsweek; NYT; CNN].

. . . . .

February 6, 2017

Facts still matter on US terror threat

Facts still matter on US terror threat

Reza Aslan

(CNN)It's been nearly a week since a self-described fan of Donald Trump walked into a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire, killing six worshipers. The President has, at the time of writing, yet to publicly acknowledge the massacre, let alone offer any public words of condolence.
Thus far, the only mention of the tragedy by the White House has been by Trump's Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, who, in a mind-boggling display of disinformation, called it "a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nation's safety and security." Spicer's statement left the press corps baffled. He seemed to be suggesting that a far-right, ultra-nationalist, white supremacist, radicalized by social media into murdering Muslims, somehow proved Trump's position on the need to focus on the threat of Islamic terrorism. As Philip Bump of the Washington Post put it: "The clear implication was that the incident in Quebec proved that his actions on terrorism and immigration were necessary, though it's not clear how that is the case."

Well, we now have some sense as to why the White House has not only been silent about the Quebec City massacre, but has used it to advance what the New York Times calls a "deeply suspicious view of Islam" indicative of a troubling "strain of anti-Islamic theorizing."
An exclusive report by Reuters suggests the White House is planning to "revamp and rename a US government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism." According to Reuters, the program, "Countering Violent Extremism" will be renamed "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," and will reportedly "no longer target groups such as white supremacists" who have been responsible for the vast majority of terrorist attacks on American soil in the last 15 years. In Trump's world, it seems, the only extremism that matters is Islamic extremism.

But let's pretend, for a moment, that facts actually matter, especially when it comes to the safety of American citizens. Here are the facts about terrorism in the United States:
Americans are almost seven times as likely to be killed by a white extremist than by an Islamic one, according to one study.
Citing a 2013 study, the New York Times notes: "Right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities." (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/opinion/the-other-terror-threat.html?_r=0)
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were 42 militia groups in 2008; today, there are 276. Meanwhile, anti-government groups grew to 998 in 2015 (https://www.splcenter.org/active-antigovernment-groups-united-states), while the number of right-wing hate groups grew from 784 in 2014 to 892 in 2015 (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2016/year-hate-and-extremism).
According to the Anti-Defamation League, "domestic extremist killers" killed more people in 2015 than any other year since Oklahoma City in 1995 (In fact, here is a list of radical right wing terrorist plots, conspiracies and attacks since 1995 https://www.splcenter.org/20100126/terror-right#Terror).

These facts explain why, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, "law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face." Indeed, in a survey the New York Times conducted in 2015, "74% of law enforcement agencies reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction." So, considering the facts, why might the White House choose to stop targeting what is almost unanimously considered to be the gravest domestic terrorist threat to Americans and to focus instead solely on Islamic terrorism? The answer is simple: Trump is playing to an influential part of his constituency. After all, these people form the radical core of his political support. They are the people who helped put him in the White House.

. . . . .


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