Hawaii judge blocks latest travel ban

A United States federal judge from Hawaii has blocked the latest version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban which was set to effect eight different countries. Judge Derrick Watson said that the ban “plainly discriminates based on nationality”.

Published by Nova News

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Fascism, A Center-out Phenomenon

 


1486328574865Written By: Anthony Bennet

(Edit: There’s something extremely fundamental that I didn’t weave in to this essay. Fascism is also a response to decadence)

  I don’t view fascism as a coherent political ideology. To me, it is more like a trend within populations. If nations were people, I’d call fascism an emotion. (Someone please help me out here getting the wording right). So, I ask that you check your prior thoughts and beliefs at the door. Just listen to me ‘til the end, then collect what you checked and make your own judgement.

  There is no algorithm for defeating fascism. It replicates like a virus, faster than the system it consumes by definition. Fascism preys on the weakness of the system it invades, on the contradictions of the society it infests.

  People themselves acting on their own convictions fight fascism. Then, they win or they lose. Fascism is neither top-down or bottom up. It adopts the form it needs to survive, but it necessarily has both and as such can defeat both top-down and bottom threats. Megalomaniac individuals inspire devotion from a mass of people clamouring for a leader, a human God if you will. The people want a living God to tell them what they need to do, an Übermensch that can connect with the people he’s leading, and a core of disciples to organize the people and project the will of the Über.

  The Über comes from the people–how else can he understand them so well? The connection is direct, intimate, and most of all, passionate. He is the tribal leader. The Fürher . The Duce. [1] Hitler and Mussolini were both middle class as fuck. Once power is seized, there is to only be one Über. Others are threats and will be killed,sent far far away, or otherwise disposed of. But until then, subÜbers like Ernst Röhm can make for very effective disciples!

  The people must generate their own disciples too as the mass grows. These disciples follow the same trend as the Über. They must be of the same mold for they are walking and talking symbols of their Über. They are people trying to live up to the ideals their Über has laid out for them and inspirations to the masses they herd.

  These are the three main cogs I have recognized. Without an enthusiastic populace, an Über and his henchmen are nothing more than a pimple. Without an Über to unify them, subgroups of the people lead by disciples will spend their time fighting each other instead of achieving power. Without an effective disciple, the Über won’t be able to keep his mass together, or grow it beyond a certain level.

  Fascism is a center-out process! It’s mother class is the middle class. The elites try to coopt it. The poor want a part of it. The middle drive it.

  The middle class origins of fascism are what I find so scary about it. It takes self-awareness and self-acceptance together to recognize it (but more on that later for fascism is also an opportunity in the form of an enemy to defeat).

  It’s an often quoted meme that the Nazis achieved power legitimately. This meme doesn’t lend itself to true or false. The Nazis DID exploit legitimate means, use legitimate fronts, and did win votes. They fooled the people in the middle, on the fence into thinking they were democrats, which they were when it suited their interests. They talked like democrats when it suited their interests! But they also rigged votes, beat up the opposition, and then killed them once the legitimate means of power were dominated by people who no longer respected the offices they controlled. They abused the parliamentary process to weaken the Czechoslovak state from the inside and create a fake humanitarian crisis that isolated Czechoslovakia from the UK and France when it became clear that the Czechs would stand up to the Nazis.

  To be clear, I am indeed portraying fascism like a ghost or an invisible boogey man that haunts industrialized nations. Until it is too late, until the cancer has metastisized, fascism usually IS very hard to see, or hides in plain sight as something appealing. I see you Milo and the alt-right. No one in 1933 forsaw the Reich. No one in ‘36 forsaw the Reich. Hell, there was still plenty of faith in “Herr Hitler” even as Panzers rolled into Poland.

  I suppose I am implicitly laying out a strategy for defeating fascism. In plain English it is this: learn the game it is playing and play it better. That game is war. Fascist humans derive personal meaning from war and conflict. On personal meaning I write from personal experience as a former fascist-sympathizer; I write from talking to fascists, befriending fascists, and playing war games with them; most importantly and holding pretty much all the weight here, I am write from reading what fascists of history themselves had to say:

“I sank to my knees and thanked heaven…….that it had given me the good fortune to live at such a time.” –Hitler reflecting on his service in WW1

“There followed terrible days and even worse nights – I knew that all was lost…in these nights hatred grew in me, hatred for those responsible for this deed.” –Hitler on his days immediately following Germany’s defeat in WW1.

“I am still today a soldier and only a soldier.” Ernst Röhm (long after being not-a-soldier)

Let’s borrow from Sun Tzu to learn how to fight this culture war, and win before it’s a shooting war. From the Art of War:

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Policies

The best policy is to attack while the enemy is still planning. The next best is to disrupt alliances. The next best is to attack the opposing army. The worst is to attack the enemy’s cities.

Tactics

If you outnumber the enemy ten to one, surround them.
If you outnumber them five to one, attack them.
If you outnumber them two to one, divide them.
If you are equal, then find an advantageous battle.
If you are fewer, defend against them.
If you are much weaker, evade them.
Small forces are not powerful. However, large forces cannot catch them.

Speed

The value of time, that is of  being a little ahead of your opponent, often provides greater advantage than superior numbers or greater resources.
The essential factor of military success is speed, that is taking advantage of others’ unpreparedness or lack of foresight, their failure to catch up, going by routes they do not expect, attacking where they are not on guard. This you cannot accomplish with hesitation.
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Fascists will not respect your ideals once in power. Care must be taken in, say, applying freedom of speech to fascists. Categorically ruling that fascists have no protections creates a dangerous precedent for political repression and ultimately becoming the very thing you’re swearing to protect against. It’s also a nice tool for fascists to use if they win the political warfare game. Yet extending respect and trust to people swearing not to respect can also be a quick way to fucking lose.

  Realistically, you have to become the enemy you’re swearing to defeat, at least a little. You have to mirror their tactics at least a little or your integrity will be leveraged against you. Fascism preys on weaknesses and contradictions wherever it can find or create them. In fantasy, Paladins carry swords, wear armour, and take orders like soldiers like the orcs they fight. But they are not mindless zombies either like the orcs they fight. They are beings who believe in their moral code and swear to protect it. They think for themselves when necessary. They are people afterall, even clad in armor.  If the king is evil then the Paladins may turn cloak and kill the man they swear to protect.

  Unfortunately, we don’t have the Arcane prowess of Dungeons and Dragons Paladins. We need something else. I’m tempted to go into a spiel about thinking for yourself, taking orders from yourself, being an Übermensch/Überfrau. And that’s part but missing something.

  We need to connect to our own humanity, all of it. All your inner lightness and inner darkness. All our love and hate. Our convictions. We must connect with the things that our ideals are based on. This is the one thing that preys back on the weakness of fascism because the moral contradictions they prey on fall away when we stop relying on the letter of our ideals but the spirit of our ideals.

  Loving your enemy is for after you defeat him. Until then be like Luke. Channel your hate. Love and hate together are what defeat hate. But don’t forget the whole love your enemy thing once you win less a bigger enemy crush you or you become your enemy.
Luke won by first defeating Vader with the love/hate combination, second by flipping him back to who he really was–Anakin–and third by teaming with Anakin Skywalker against Palpy.

  When we accept that we may be labelled a hypocrite, an imposter, even a fascist, or whatever the fascist is trying to impose, their power loses its edge. When Nazis get punched in the street, opinion bloggers may condemn the act but their words ring hollow and forced. The words of people defending the attack might be able to be leveraged against them yet the feeling of sympathy in our guts surprisingly remains squarely with the puncher. The Nazis were defeated not by political rhetoric, integrity, and “trust that things will work out” but by millions of armed men of the USSR and millions of armed machines produced by the Allied Powers. And the associated blood.

  I end this essay with a question and a muse on its answer. What do we call love and hate channelled together in harmony? To me, it matches with the feeling associated with ‘conviction’.

Conviction.

Internet Activists Mysteriously Vanishing In Pakistan

1485594518351Written By: Adam Peach
January 28, 2017   3:40AM  EST

Since the first week of 2017, “digital activists” and bloggers have been mysteriously vanishing in Pakistan. It’s been reported, four “citizen journalists”were abducted from the city of Multan, on January 1. Reports suggest that the journalists were summoned to the FIA’s(Federal Investigation Authority) office but never returned.

  Ahmad Waqass Goraya and Asim Saeed were abducted on January 4. They’re both both human rights activists and co-administrators of both a Facebook page and a group, where they campaigned for human rights and religious freedom. There, they would regularly expose human rights violations by security forces and religious extremists in Pakistan. The page has since been taken down.

   Two days later, January 6, another abduction. Salman Haider – social media activist, renowned poet, University lecturer, and editor of an independent magazine called, Tanqueed – was reportedly abducted in Islamabad. Then, on January 7, Ahmed Raza Naseer was taken from his family’s shop in Punjab province, by unidentified men. Naseer, also a human rights activist, is administrator of a Facebook page – reporting similar events as that of Goraya and Saeed – was also targeted in the sweep.

  MirrorAsia reported that Naseer was sitting with his brother at their shop outside, when a man holding a mobile phone to his ear walked in. After looking at some mobile phones, the man asked their names. The brothers answered, and the man asked them which one used a particular phone number – it was Ahmed’s.

  “The man tells him to take his phone and come and sit in the car outside, where a sahab [important man] is sitting who wants to ask you some questions,” – his younger brother Tahir, who was ordered to stay inside, reported by Al Jazeera.

   Ahmed has not been seen by anyone since.

   The FIA allegedly targeted the citizens for posting a “fake” picture involving Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on December 28, 2016.  Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali complained about the picture, in a letter to the Ministry of Interior. Following this, The FIA traced identities of those who shared the picture. This was done through tracing their IP addresses, followed by a legal notice sent through WhatsApp – Ordering them to appear in court on December 31.

   No one has come forward with the whereabouts of any of these people yet. It is feared by many that they’ve been charged with Blasphemy – a death sentence, in Pakistan. Insulting the Islam prophet is a the death sentence in Pakistan, defiling the Quran carries a life sentence. Rights groups have previously claimed that blasphemy accusations have been previously used to taget minorities, or to settle personal scores.

   Major smear-campaigns against the men abducted have been pushed through Facebook groups with, in some cases, millions of followers, labelling the men as blasphemers. It was reported that one particular group, with almost half a million followers, accused the activists of being funded by the Indian government. It was also reported that conservative groups have lobbied the government to register more cases, such as this, in Pakistan.

   “These [Facebook] pages … are extremely insulting to the Prophet, the Quran, Allah and Islam. They have made a joke out of this,”

Abdullah Cheema, guest on popular television news show on January 12.

  “These blasphemers who they have captured, whoever has captured them, may Allah bless those people,”

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a well-known Muslim leader in a sermon uploaded to YouTube, Jan 13.

    “The group of atheists committing blasphemy on Facebook … have been defeated,”

  Post by Pakistan Defence, pro-military Facebook page with 7.5 million likes.

  Rights groups are worried that the blaspheme charges are being used as a weapon, to silence those who speak out about the state. This, in turn, can silence other activists by instilling fear.

   In August 2016, the government of Pakistan introduced a law used to undermine citizens’ freedom of expression. The law allows the government is able to censor online content, criminalize internet user activity and access internet users’ data without judicial review.

   “Disappearances of people mean the disappearance of voices – and of an alternate, dissenting political dream for what Pakistan can be. They only have to pick up a handful of people, as they’ve done now, to scare and silence us all.”

Mahvish Ahmad, a journalist and founder of the magazine Tanqeed.

It is unknown how many people have been arrested since the “fake” picture was uploaded. It’s also still unknown where any of these people are. Here’s a recent post found on bibleforums.com, posted January 26, 2017:

  “Pastor Judoon, our brother in Pakistan, has not been seen since Sunday and his family fear he’s been kidnapped.

They’re worried because Judoon has been supporting a Christian accused of ‘blasphemy’ – the type of case which causes tensions to run high in Pakistan.”

Post made to bibleforums.com

Sources:

GlobalVoices.Org

FrontlineDefenders.Org

MirrorAsia.Com

AlJazeera.Com

Bibleforums.Org

CANADA: Bill 28 – Fear Mongering From The Far-Right In Ontario

1485594518351Written By: Adam Peach


Canadians, particularly in Ontario may or may not have heard the recent political debate in regards to Bill 28 over the past few months.  The bill was passed on November 29th, 2016 and as of January 1st, 2017 it is in force.  The bill aims to include all types of families into the legal framework of what a family actually is.  This is especially important for same-sex parents, or surrogate parents who currently have to go through a financially-draining legal process of adoption after the child is born.  In more extreme cases, if a surrogate mother dies during birth, the co-parent of the child would have to also go through a financially-draining legal process to adopt the child.  Not only is this traumatizing for the parent, it is extremely traumatizing for the children.

  This bill will now allow up to 4 parents to register as legal parents of the child.  It is important to note that this bill clearly states that parents can still register as “mother” and “father”, OR as “birth parent” and “co-parent” upon registration after birth of the child.

  It allows parents in the LGBT community to be legal parents upon birth, and not have to legally adopt the child afterwards in court.  It aims to include LGBT parents in the legal framework of what a family is.  It is a step in the right direction for human rights in Canada and recognizes that not all families are the same.

  The far-right conservatives, however, are using propaganda and fear mongering to convince the public that this bill aims to destroy the fundamentals of what a family is by destroying the legal terms “mother” and “father”.  They claim the bill will destroy families and makes the child a “commodity” for the government.  The conservatives are aligning themselves with the views of far-right Christian groups like ARPA Canada, who do not recognize LGBT issues and believe that Mother (female) and Father (male) should be the only legal model of what defines parents.  In a nutshell, these are the same people who did not support same-sex marriage, due to religious ideologies.  They believe accepting these “radical views” will destroy families and degrade our society.

  If there is one person we can all remember in recent history when it comes to human rights, it’s Dr. Martin Luther King.  His views about Human rights were also considered “radical” by far-right Christian conservatives at a time before the Human Rights Act was passed in the United States.  These people’s falsified fears echo loud and clear where they stand on human rights issues such as gender equality.

  This bill does not undermine the rights of anyone.  In fact, it is the polar opposite.  Bill 28 actually gives more rights to members of a community still struggling for equality, while still giving male/female parents the right to be “mother” and “father”.  To not allow this bill to pass would be undermining the rights of Canadians.  And those who oppose it are echoing a message that they support the outdated belief that marriage and parenthood should only consist of a man and a woman.

  An Op-Ed published in The Hamilton Spectator, and written by an obvious far-right conservative,  actually went as low as to compare this bill to the legal equivalent of the Aboriginal Residential Schools in which aboriginal children were taken to be schooled far from home, abused, and “enfranchised” to forget their native language and culture and assimilate them into the “dominant Canadian culture”.  The Aboriginal Residential School system was funded, in part, by the Christian Church.

  By referencing the history of residential schools in this conversation, they are proving they have an immense lack of understanding and lack of respect for cultural differences within their own borders.  10 years from now, when this bill is still recognized as an essential move towards human equality in Canada, it is going to be extremely difficult for these people to explain why they were so opposed to a law that finally gives rights to all types of parents in the name of protecting their children.

  In regards to the legal adoption process mentioned above; not only will this bill eliminate that traumatizing process, it also saves a lot of taxpayer dollars currently being dumped into the courts to facilitate that process.  This bill removes that expensive process in the name of protecting the children.

  For anyone interested in hearing what Bill 28 actually stands for, I invite you to see for yourself the reading of this bill by Cheri Dinovo of the NDP party in the links provided below.  I’ve also provided a link to the Clause by Clause debate of this bill.

media references:

The Hamilton Spectator – “Bill 28 Creates New Definitions Of Parentage And Rules For Birth Registration” –
http://m.thespec.com/shopping-story/7047582-legal-matters-bill-28-creates-new-definitions-of-parentage-and-rules-for-birth-registration

The National Post – “Ontario Liberals Opposition On Same Page Over Bill Changing “Mothers” and “Fathers” To Gender Neutral Terms –
https://www.google.ca/amp/news.nationalpost.com/toronto/ontario-liberals-opposition-on-same-page-over-bill-changing-mothers-and-fathers-to-gender-neutral-terms/amp?client=ms-android-bell-ca

Hamilton Spectator – “Residential Schools Experience A Warning For Fallout Of Bill 28”http://m.thespec.com/opinion-story/6954042-residential-schools-experience-a-warning-for-fallout-of-bill-28

The Federalist – “Canadian Law Erasing Moms And Dads From State Documents Reduces Children To Chattel” –
http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/07/canadian-law-erasing-moms-dads-state-documents-reduces-children-chattel/

Toronto sun – “Wynne Government Targets “Mother” And “Father”” –
http://m.torontosun.com/2016/10/16/wynne-government-targets-mother-and-father

Ontario Government Newsroom – “Ontario Passes Law Ensuring Equal Rights For All Parents And Children”https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2016/11/ontario-passes-law-ensuring-equal-rights-for-all-parents-and-children.html