“It’s a war for us. There are some victories, but the war continues.”

Spoken by Madonna Thunder Hawk – Lakota Peoples’ Law Project Organizer.

Lost in the tumult in Mr. Audience of One’s tax issues at the Supreme Court was another momentous and far reaching decision.

The Supreme Court ruled that the American government must abide by treaties it signed with the Native American population in the 19th century. Nearly half the State of Oklahoma will now be controlled, in large part, by descendents of its original inhabitants and rightful owners.

The Court has sent a strong message.  Treaties, agreements and boundary lines are important and have the force of law.

Excerpted from Washington Post 7.9.2020

The Supreme Court said Thursday that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a decision with potential implications for nearly 2 million residents and one of the most significant victories for tribal rights in years.

The case was brought by Jimcy McGirt, a member of the Creek Nation who was convicted in state court of molesting a child. Because the crime occurred on the land in question, McGirt said that state courts had no jurisdiction and that the federal government would have to prosecute. The court’s ruling tosses McGirt’s state conviction and means he must be tried in federal court.

Attorneys for the Creek Nation and McGirt recalled the country’s broken promises and poor treatment of Native Americans. In the 1830s, members of the Creek Nation and four other tribal groups were forcibly marched by the U.S. Army from Alabama and Georgia to the land in eastern Oklahoma which they were promised in exchange for leaving.

Ian H. Gershengorn, McGirt’s attorney, said in a statement that the court’s ruling reaffirmed that “when the United States makes promises, the courts will keep those promises.”

Oklahoma SC Decision I 7.9.2020.jpg

“Congress persuaded the Creek Nation to walk the Trail of Tears with promises of a reservation — and the Court today correctly recognized that this reservation endures.”

Riyaz A. Kanji, the Creek Nation’s lawyer, said he does not expect the ruling to result in major upheaval because of long-standing cooperation between tribal and state leaders.

 

The land at issue contains much of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city. The question for the court was whether Congress officially eliminated the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation when Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

 

In a 5-to-4 decision invoking the country’s long history of mistreating Native Americans, the court said “we hold the government to its word” and the land Congress promised to the Creek Nation is still Indian land.

“If Congress wishes to withdraw its promises, it must say so. Unlawful acts, performed long enough and with sufficient vigor, are never enough to amend the law,” wrote Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who was joined by the court’s liberal justices.

To hold otherwise would be to elevate the most brazen and longstanding injustices over the law,” Gorsuch said, “both rewarding wrong and failing those in the right.”

The dissent, led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., warned of significant upheaval in the criminal justice system, and in other areas of government such as taxing and zoning. But state and tribal leaders downplayed those concerns and said they are negotiating an agreement to address jurisdictional issues.

 

Most directly, the ruling means that federal officers, not state authorities, have the power to prosecute tribal members for major crimes committed in the defined area. Less certain is how the decision affects the authority of state and city leaders when it comes to imposing taxes, zoning laws and other regulations.

Oklahoma SC Decision III 7.9.2020.jpg

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and leaders of five tribal groups issued a joint statement after the ruling indicating they have made “substantial progress toward an agreement” to submit to Congress and the Justice Department that would put in place a “framework of shared jurisdiction.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-says-much-of-eastern-oklahoma-remains-indian-land/2020/07/09/7bdc42d4-c1e2-11ea-9fdd-b7ac6b051dc8_story.html

Kansas Republican Removes Cartoon Comparing Mask Order to Holocaust

The Pandemic has allowed the Crazies free reign to climb out of the toxic swamp and spew forth their poisonous nonsense.

Most often it has been anti-Asian rants encouraged by the soon to be ex-President.

The bizarre behavior apparently has no bounds as the action of a Kansas Republican sadly proves true.  This reprobate may have withdrawn his Facebook post but his real feelings remain the same.

New York Times 7.4.2020

The cartoon, which showed Gov. Laura Kelly wearing a Star of David mask as people are loaded into a cattle car, was posted Friday on the Facebook page of a newspaper owned by a Republican county chairman.

A Republican county chairman in Kansas has apologized for posting a cartoon on his newspaper’s Facebook page that invoked the Holocaust to criticize the governor’s order requiring Kansans to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The cartoon, which was removed from the Facebook page of The Anderson County Review on Sunday, showed the state’s Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, wearing a mask emblazoned with the Star of David against a backdrop of people being loaded onto a cattle car.

“Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask … and step onto the cattle car,” read a caption on the cartoon, which was posted on Friday, the day an order by Ms. Kelly went into effect requiring Kansans to wear masks in public spaces and in places where social distancing is not possible.

The Anderson County Review is owned by Dane Hicks, the chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party. Mr. Hicks initially defended the cartoon, which he said he had made himself and planned to publish in the newspaper on Tuesday.

 

“Political editorial cartoons are gross over-caricatures designed to provoke debate and response — that’s why newspapers publish them — fodder for the marketplace of ideas,” he wrote in an email. “The topic here is the governmental overreach which has been the hallmark of Governor Kelly’s administration.”

He scoffed at the idea of an apology.

“Apologies: To whom exactly?” he wrote. “The critics on the Facebook page? Facebook is a cesspool and I only participate to develop readership.” He added that he “intended no slight” to Jews or Holocaust survivors.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, however, Mr. Hicks said he had removed the cartoon and offered an apology.

A cartoon posted on the Facebook page of Dane Hicks’s weekly newspaper, The Anderson County Review.
Credit…The Anderson County Review

“After some heartfelt and educational conversations with Jewish leaders in the U.S. and abroad,” Mr. Hicks wrote, “I can acknowledge the imagery in my recent editorial cartoon describing state government overreach in Kansas with images of the Holocaust was deeply hurtful to members of a culture who’ve been dealt plenty of hurt throughout history — people to whom I never desired to be hurtful in the illustration of my point.”

In a statement on Saturday, Ms. Kelly said the cartoon should be taken down.

“Mr. Hicks’s decision to publish anti-Semitic imagery is deeply offensive and he should remove it immediately,” she said. “While it’s disappointing to see, on July Fourth of all days, I know that Mr. Hicks’s views are not shared by the people of Anderson County nor Kansas as a whole.”

The Kansas Democratic Party also denounced the cartoon.

“Mr. Hicks’s recent post is a vile attempt to mislead Kansans and an embarrassment for our entire state,” the party’s executive director, Ben Meers, said in a statement. “It has been extremely disappointing to see Republican leadership in Kansas politicize the current public health crisis to promote their own agenda.”

The Kansas Republican Party and its chairman did not respond on Saturday to messages seeking comment.

Rabbi Moti Rieber, executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, said the cartoon was “an absurdly extreme version of the hyperbolic reaction we’ve seen to measures taken to address the virus.”

“The use of Holocaust imagery to make a political point is almost never acceptable,” he said. “Kelly is taking action to save lives, so to compare it to mass murder is odious.”

Masks have become, for some, a divisive cultural flash point, despite evidence that they are a simple and effective way to help prevent the transmission of the virus. Particularly on the right, the decision not to wear a mask has become a rebellion against what some regard as an incursion on personal liberty.

In May, an emergency proclamation in Stillwater, Okla., requiring face coverings led to so much verbal abuse in its first three hours — and a threat involving a gun — that officials swiftly amended it. Masks there became encouraged, not required.

 

The Anderson County Review’s cartoon was posted as the pandemic continued to rage in many parts of the country, with cases trending upward in 39 states, including Kansas, and regularly reaching new single-day records.

Nationwide, more than 53,000 new daily cases were reported in the United States on Friday, according to a New York Times database. That figure exceeded all previous daily counts aside from the 55,595 new cases on Thursday, the first time the number passed 50,000.

In Kansas, the number of cases has increased over the last two weeks. At least 15,919 cases and 277 deaths have been recorded statewide, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The Anderson County Review calls itself Kansas’ eighth oldest continuously publishing newspaper, serving the communities of Anderson County since 1865. Published weekly, it has a circulation of 2,117, according to the Kansas Press Association.

 

New York woman charged with filing false Police report after calling 911

Innocent citizens are criminalized by individuals who attempt to have people jailed for asserting their rights.

Too often people of color are the targets of these over wrought individuals.

This abuse almost always has disastrous psychological and financial ramifications on those being falsely accused.

The tactic of using cops to settle scores a is now being given a new look as the recently passed law in the State of New York proves.

Talking Points Memo – 7.6.2020

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over walking her dog without a leash in Central Park was charged Monday with filing a false police report.

In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation for frantically calling 911 to claim she was being threatened by “an African-American man,” bird watcher Christian Cooper. On the video he recorded of the woman, he sounds calm and appears to keep a safe distance from her.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement on Monday that his office had charged Amy Cooper with falsely reporting the confrontation, a misdemeanor. She was ordered to appear in court on Oct. 14.

A new law, which Governor Andrew Cuomo  signed last month, holds an individual who makes such 911 calls liable “for injunctive relief, damages, or any other appropriate relief” in a civil lawsuit.

Amy Cooper’s 911 call inspired New York state lawmakers in June to pass a law that makes it easier under civil rights law to sue an individual who calls a police officer on someone “without reason” because of their background, including race and national origin.

Amy Cooper was charged under an existing false-report law that’s been long on the books and doesn’t reference race. There was no immediate answer to a message seeking comment on Monday from her lawyer.

After the backlash, Amy Cooper was fired from her job and released an apology through a public relations service, saying she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions.”

Central Park incident II 7.6.2020

“He had every right to request that I leash my dog in an area where it was required,” she said in the written statement. “I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris.”

The confrontation began early one morning when Christian Cooper said he noticed Amy Cooper had let her cocker spaniel off its leash against the rules in the Ramble, a secluded section of Central Park popular with birdwatchers.

In the video posted on social media, he claimed the dog was “tearing through the plantings” and told her she should go to another part of the park. When she refused, he pulled out dog treats, causing her to scream at him to not come near her dog.

Amy Cooper also warned him she would summon police unless he stopped recording.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video as she pulls down her face mask and struggles to control her dog.

“Please call the cops,” Christian Cooper says.

“There’s an African American man, I’m in Central Park, he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. … Please send the cops immediately!” she says during the call before he stops recording.

Police say by the time they responded, they were both gone.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/amy-cooper-charged-central-park-false-police-report

Appalachian Trail saved. Energy giants quit destructive pipeline project

All the lawyers, lobbying, corporate money and even a boost from the Supreme Court could not save the environmentally disastrous Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Dedicated zealous advocates fighting for the environment battled for six years.  They have prevailed.

The corporate giants were forced to call it quits. Why??? The bottom line was being severely disrupted. The profits were not to be made. 

I ask myself what Duke boss Lynn Good means when she says, “We will continue exploring ways to help our customers and communities…”

WALL STREET JOURNAL – 7.5.2020

Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said the prospects of a natural gas conduit under the Appalachian Trail remained too uncertain

The builders of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are pulling the plug on the project as companies continue to meet mounting environmental opposition to new fossil-fuel conduits.

“While we’re disappointed that we’re not able to move forward with ACP, we will continue exploring ways to help our customers and communities, particularly in eastern North Carolina where the need is great,” Duke Energy Chief Executive Lynn Good said in a statement.

Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy Inc. said Sunday they were abandoning the proposed $8 billion pipeline—which aimed to carry natural gas 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina and underneath the Appalachian Trail—citing continued regulatory delays and uncertainty, even after a favorable Supreme Court ruling last month.

Duke Pipeline III 7.5.2020

Dominion said it was selling the rest of its natural-gas transmission and storage network to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $9.7 billion including debt. The deal includes a 25% stake in the Cove Point liquefied natural gas export facility in Maryland, of which Dominion will remain the largest owner.

“This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States,” Dominion and Duke said in a joint statement. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.”

Utilities and pipeline companies have been trying to expand U.S. pipeline networks for more than a decade to take advantage of the bounty of oil and gas unlocked by the fracking boom. But many of the projects have encountered intense opposition from landowners, Native American groups and environmental activists concerned about climate change who want to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

The Keystone XL pipeline expansion to carry oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast remains unbuilt more than a decade after it was proposed by TC Energy Corp. The operator of the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer LP, completed the conduit to carry oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region to Illinois in 2017 after years of protests and delays.

The Trump administration has sought to make it easier for companies to build pipelines and other energy infrastructure, but the effort has failed to fast-track projects amid continued legal and regulatory challenges by opponents.

Dominion and Duke had first proposed building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in 2014. It repeatedly faced legal challenges from environmentalists, Native American groups and others. Its costs had swelled to $8 billion before the companies decided to abort the plan.

“This is tremendous news for West Virginians, Virginians, and North Carolinians who deserve clean air, safe water and protection from climate change,” said Gillian Giannetti, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The costly and unneeded Atlantic Coast pipeline would have threatened waterways and communities across its 600-mile path.”

Duke Pipeline IV 7.5.2020.jpgDuke Pipeline II 7.5.2020

The companies had scored a significant victory last month when the Supreme Court ruled that it could cut under the historic Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine. The court overturned a lower-court ruling that found the U.S. Forest Service didn’t have the authority to grant a special-use permit that allowed for the development of that segment.

However, Duke and Dominion said Sunday that the ruling wasn’t enough to mitigate an “unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the project. They cited a Montana court ruling last month that threw another roadblock in the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline as an example of the continued challenges such projects face.

That ruling, which related to a federal permit program for oil and gas pipelines, had the potential to also further delay the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the companies said. The companies involved had together invested about $3.4 billion in the pipeline to date.

Duke, based in Charlotte, N.C., provides electric and gas service to more than nine million customers in the Carolinas, the Midwest, Florida and Tennessee.

Dominion, based in Richmond, Va., provides electricity or natural gas to about seven million customers in 20 states. It will almost entirely exit from its gas-transmission business with the sale of its pipeline and storage assets to Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

As part of the deal, Berkshire Hathaway Energy will acquire Dominion Energy Transmission, Questar Pipeline and Carolina Gas Transmission as well as a 50% stake in Iroquois Gas Transmission System.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy will also acquire 25% of Cove Point LNG, one of six liquefied natural gas export facilities in the U.S. Dominion will retain a 50% stake in the project, with Brookfield Asset Management owning the remaining 25%.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy operates a $100 billion portfolio of utility, transmission and generation businesses providing natural gas and electricity to more than 12 million customers. The Dominion acquisition will add 7,700 miles of natural-gas storage and transmission pipelines and about 900 billion cubic feet of gas storage to its holdings.

“Acquiring this portfolio of natural gas assets considerably expands our company’s footprint in several Eastern and Western states as well as globally,” Bill Fehrman, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

The $9.7 billion transaction includes $5.7 billion in debt. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Dominion said the sale will allow it to focus on its state-regulated gas and electric utilities. It expects those businesses, primarily those serving Virginia, Ohio, Utah and the Carolinas will account for as much as 90% of future operating earnings.

Dominion and Duke have each been pushing to slash their carbon emissions in response to state mandates and customer concerns about climate change. Both companies are aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by developing more wind and solar power and investing in other clean technologies.

Duke said that it plans to invest in renewable-energy, battery storage and energy efficiency programs as it works to find cleaner ways to generate power.

 

 

Rogue government investigators terrorize and destroy innocent lives

Lee Heidhues 7.4.2020

On America’s Independence Day this is no time to celebrate.

Hitler’s Nazi Germany was not the only horrific regime which terrorized its citizens using official authority.  It happens in America.

Police are manipulated by unprincipled citizens to settle scores and destroy people. Police investigators neglect fairness and an obligation to behave as impartial government agents.

Police, posing beneath the shield of “investigation,”  destroy average citizens with impunity. It is analogous to what happened in Nazi Germany.

I looked for “The Third Reich of Dreams,” an out of print book, on Amazon.  Its price is nearly $2,000.00

 

Anti-Semitism on Film I DW 3.30.2019

The New Yorker 11.7.2019

When the Nazis came to power, the writer Charlotte Beradt began collecting dreams. What did she learn?

Not long after Hitler came to power, in 1933, a thirty-year-old woman in Berlin had a series of uncanny dreams.

In one, her neighborhood had been stripped of its usual signs, which were replaced with posters that listed twenty verboten words; the first was “Lord” and the last was “I.” In another, the woman found herself surrounded by workers, including a milkman, a gasman, a newsagent, and a plumber. She felt calm, until she spied among them a chimney sweep. (In her family, the German word for “chimney sweep” was code for the S.S., a nod to the trade’s blackened clothing.) The men brandished their bills and performed a Nazi salute. Then they chanted, “Your guilt cannot be doubted.”

These are two of about seventy-five dreams collected in “The Third Reich of Dreams,” a strange, enthralling book by the writer Charlotte Beradt. Neither scientific study nor psychoanalytic text, “The Third Reich of Dreams” is a collective diary, a witness account hauled out of a nation’s shadows and into forensic light.

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The book was released, in Germany, in 1966; an English translation, by Adriane Gottwald, was published two years later but has since fallen out of print. (Despite ongoing interest from publishers, no one has been able to find Beradt’s heir, who holds the rights.) But the book deserves revisiting, not just because we see echoes today of the populism, racism, and taste for surveillance that were part of Beradt’s time but because there’s nothing else like it in the literature of the Holocaust. “These dreams—these diaries of the night—were conceived independently of their authors’ conscious will,” Beradt writes. “They were, so to speak, dictated to them by dictatorship.”

Beradt—who was born Charlotte Aron, in Forst, a town near the German-Polish border—was a Jewish journalist. She was based in Berlin when Hitler became Chancellor, in 1933. That year, she was barred from publishing her work, and she and her husband, Heinz Pol, were arrested during the mass roundups of Communists that followed the passage of the Reichstag Fire Decree. After her release, she began secretly recording the dreams of her fellow-Germans. For six years, as German Jews lost their homes, their jobs, and their rights, Beradt continued making notes. By 1939, she’d gathered three hundred dreams. The project was risky, not least because she was known to the regime. Pol, who once worked for Vossische Zeitung, Germany’s leading liberal newspaper, soon fled to Prague, and Beradt eventually moved in with her future husband, the writer and lawyer Martin Beradt.

The Beradts lived in Charlottenburg—a largely Jewish suburb of Berlin, which was home to figures such as Walter Benjamin and Charlotte Salomon—and the dreams Beradt gathered reflect the area’s secular, middle-class milieu. “Enthusiastic ‘yes men’ or people who drew some advantage from the regime were not readily accessible to me,” Beradt writes. “I asked a dressmaker, neighbor, aunt, milkman, friend—generally without revealing my purpose, for I wanted the most candid and unaffected responses possible.” Her friends included a doctor who “unobtrusively” canvassed patients in his large practice.

To protect herself and those she interviewed, Beradt hid her transcripts inside bookbindings and then shelved them in her private library. She disguised political figures, turning dreams of Hitler, Göring, and Goebbels into “family anecdotes” about Uncles Hans, Gustav, and Gerhard. Once book burnings and home searches became fixtures of state control, Beradt mailed her notes to friends overseas. In 1939, she and Martin left Germany and eventually arrived in New York, as refugees. They settled on West End Avenue, and their apartment became a gathering place for fellow-émigrés, such as Hannah Arendt (for whom Beradt translated five political essays), Heinrich Blücher, and the painter Carl Heidenreich. In 1966, after retrieving her transcripts, Beradt finally published the dreams, in Germany, as “Das Dritte Reich des Traums.”

Intelligence law II 4.13.2020

“The Third Reich of Dreams” unfolds over eleven chapters, arranged by recurring symbols and preoccupations. Epigraphs from Arendt, Himmler, Brecht, and Kafka give ballast to the surreal material that follows, and chapters are titled with emblematic figures—“The Non-Hero,” “Those Who Act”—and gnomic quotes such as “Nothing Gives Me Pleasure Anymore.” These headings reinforce the book’s premise: that the links between waking life and dreams are indisputable, even evidentiary. In an afterword, the Austrian-born psychologist Bruno Bettelheim notes the collection’s many prophetic dreams, in which, as early as 1933, “the dreamer can recognise deep down, what the system is really like.”

Like Svetlana Alexievich’s oral histories of postwar Soviet citizens, Beradt’s work uncovers the effects of authoritarian regimes on the collective unconscious. In 1933, a woman dreams of a mind-reading machine, “a maze of wires” that detects her associating Hitler with the word “devil.” Beradt encountered several dreams about thought control, some of which anticipated the bureaucratic absurdities used by the Nazis to terrorize citizens. In one dream, a twenty-two-year-old woman who believes her curved nose will mark her as Jewish attends the “Bureau of Verification of Aryan Descent”—not a real agency, but close enough to those of the time. In a series of “bureaucratic fairy tales” that evoke the regime’s real-life propaganda, a man dreams of banners, posters, and barracks-yard voices pronouncing a “Regulation Prohibiting Residual Bourgeois Tendencies.” In 1936, a woman dreams of a snowy road strewn with watches and jewelery. Tempted to take a piece, she senses a setup by the “Office for Testing the Honesty of Aliens.”

Intelligence law I 4.13.2020

These dreams reveal how German Jews and non-Jews grappled with collaboration and compliance, paranoia and self-disgust, even as, in waking life, they hid these struggles from others and themselves. The accounts are interwoven with Beradt’s sharp, unembellished commentary, which is deepened by her own experience of Nazism and emigration. By foregrounding dreams, instead of relegating them to colorful secondary material in a more conventional history, Beradt allows the fantastical details to speak louder than any interpretation. Her book recalls the photomontages of Hannah Höch, in which objects, text, and images from the German media are scissored up and juxtaposed, producing unexpected scenarios that feel all the more truthful for their strangeness.

At times, “The Third Reich of Dreams” also echoes Hannah Arendt, who saw totalitarian rule as “truly total the moment it closes the iron vice of terror on its subjects’ private social lives.” Beradt seems to agree with this premise—she understood dreams as continuous with the culture in which they occur—but she also presents dreams as the one realm of free expression that endures when private life falls under state control.

Under such conditions, the dreamer can clarify what might be too risky to describe in waking life. Beradt recounts the dream of a factory owner, Herr S., who is unable to muster a Nazi salute during a visit from Goebbels. After he struggles for half an hour to lift his arm, his backbone breaks. The dream needs little elaboration, Beradt writes; it’s “devastatingly clear and almost vulgar.” In a period during which the individual was reduced either to a parasite or to a member of a faceless mob (“I dreamt I was no longer able to speak except in chorus with my group”), dreams offered a rare opportunity to restore a sense of agency.

Beradt’s book does not include any dreams with religious content, and there are no dreams from the Eastern European Jews who lived across town, on Grenadierstrasse and Wiesenstrasse—that is, the Jews who had already survived pogroms. But these absences do not detract from Beradt’s vivid, indelible details, which deepen our understanding of life during Nazism’s early years—a period still overshadowed in the literature by accounts of mass murder and war. Especially novel is Beradt’s study of the many urban women—Jewish and non-Jewish—who narrate their own (dream) lives. Here is Göring trying to grope a salesgirl at the movies; here is Hitler, in evening clothes, on the Kurfürstendamm, caressing a woman with one hand and distributing propaganda with the other. “There can be no neater description of Hitler’s influence on a large sector of Germany’s female population,” Beradt writes, noting the numbers of women who voted for him and his party’s calculated manipulation of his supposed “erotic” power. But the dreams also depict women—reduced to obedient wives and child-bearers in Nazi propaganda—seeking greater social authority. In one instance, a woman has just been classified by the race laws as one-quarter Jewish. And yet, in a dream, she is led by Hitler down a grand staircase. “There was a throng of people below, and a band was playing, and I was proud and happy,” she told Beradt. “It didn’t bother our Führer at all to be seen in public with me.”

Hitler in Hell I 2.4.2020

 

The final chapter of “The Third Reich of Dreams” is reserved for those who—in their dreams, at least—resisted the regime (“I dreamed that it was forbidden to dream, but I did anyway”) and those who were Jewish. Beradt writes that such dreams “constitute a separate category, just as the Jews themselves were a separate category under the Nazi regime” and were the focus of “direct, not indirect terrorization.”

A Jewish doctor dreams he’s the only physician in the Reich who can cure Hitler. When he offers to donate his services, a blond youth in Hitler’s entourage cries, “What! You crooked Jew—no money?” Later, a Jewish lawyer dreams of travelling through icy Lapland to reach “the last country on earth where Jews are still tolerated”—but a customs official, “rosy as a little marzipan pig,” throws the man’s passport onto the ice. Ahead, unreachable, the promised land shimmers “green in the sun.” It is 1935. Six years later, the mass deportations would begin.

In Germany, “The Third Reich of Dreams” was reviewed as “surprising and gripping evidence” and an “important historical document.” As the psychoanalyst Frances Lang has noted, it’s strange, then, that Beradt’s book has gone “virtually unrecognised” in America. Perhaps it was difficult for such an idiosyncratic history to compete with the more urgent, straightforward accounts that appeared in the nineteen-sixties. (The book is contemporaneous with both Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” and Raul Hilberg’s “The Destruction of the European Jews.”)

And yet there is still time for the collection to enter the canon of Third Reich literature, and perhaps for it to gain wider circulation. Lang, who practices in Boston, learned of Beradt’s work via a footnote in Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” and wrote about it in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. In her own practice, she has noticed a widespread uneasiness following Trump’s election. She has asked her friends and colleagues to begin collecting dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Up against the Wall” facing electoral blow out fading Trump lashes out

Breaking News 4.15.2019.jpg

Taking his cues from Dictators who know the end is near, Trump lashed out at his critics in an incendiary and inflammatory Indpendence Day rant.

The run up to Trump’s electoral demise on November 3 is going to be nasty, vicious and an exercise in scorched earth politics.

Think of the election in Germany in 1932 which culminated in Hitler coming to power on January 31, 1933.

topography-of-terror-9.26.2018.jpg

Photo- Lee Heidhues, Berlin 9.26.2018

Excerpted from New York Times 7.3.2020

Down in the polls and failing to control a raging pandemic, the president cast himself as waging battle against a “new far-left fascism” that imperils American values and seeks to erase history.

WASHINGTON — Standing in a packed amphitheater in front of Mount Rushmore for an Independence Day celebration, President Trump on Friday delivered a dark and divisive speech that cast his struggling effort to win a second term as a battle against a “new far-left fascism” seeking to wipe out the nation’s values and history.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging and his campaign faltering in the polls, his appearance amounted to a fiery reboot of his re-election effort, using the holiday and an official presidential address to mount a full-on culture war against a straw-man version of the left that he portrayed as inciting mayhem and moving the country toward totalitarianism.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Mr. Tump said, addressing a packed crowd of sign-waving supporters, few of whom wore masks. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

Fading Trump II 7.3.2020

Mr. Trump barely mentioned the pandemic, even as the country surpassed 53,000 new cases of the coronavirus and health officials across the country urged Americans to scale back their Fourth of July plans as the pandemic made a frightening resurgence.

Instead, the president leaned into the culture wars that invigorate his base of supporters. Railing against what he described as a dangerous “cancel culture,” Mr. Trump said the left wanted to “unleash a wave of violent crime” in cities across the country. He said they “think the American people are weak and soft and submissive.”

In contrast, he framed himself as the leader who would protect the Second Amendment, law enforcement and the country’s heritage.

His speech came at the end of a day when at least five states — Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina — reported their highest single day of cases yet. Newly reported cases of the virus were rising in all but a handful of states, and many large cities, including Houston, Dallas, Jacksonville and Los Angeles, were seeing alarming growth.

Big Mac attack. People behaving badly at the burger joint

Wear your mask and behave yourself.

What is the matter with people?  Must be the stress of having to forego an easy life to which many Americans have become lazily accustomed to in the past 50 years.

Well, the days of hopping in your car for a quick trip to the nearest fast food junk food outlet, at least for now, can be a treacherous adventure.

Deal with it. Happy Independence Day

San Francisco Chronicle 7.2.2020

A McDonald’s employee in Oakland said she was grabbed, hit and slapped by a customer after she told him he had to wear a face mask in order to receive his order, according to a complaint filed with a state agency.

Maria Resendiz, 19, said she was working Saturday afternoon at the restaurant on San Pablo Avenue when she told a drive-through customer at the pick-up window that masks were required for service and refused to give him the two double hamburgers and one order of french fries he had ordered on the drive-up microphone.

In a four-page complaint filed with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Resendiz said the unidentified customer responded to her request with a string of racial slurs and threats of violence before parking the car, returning on foot to the window, forcing it open and grabbing her.

“The man was able to hit me repeatedly,” Resendiz said in the complaint. “He grabbed my neck and my shirt.”

She said she was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital, treated for neck and finger injuries and that her right hand and arm were placed in a cast.

In a statement, restaurant owner Michael Smith said Resendiz’s supervisor called police and shared security camera footage with officers.

“Safety and security are our top priority,” Smith said.

Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said Resendiz was “assaulted and threatened” and that officers were investigating.

Shortly before the assault occurred, Resendiz said she asked Smith what she was supposed to do if a customer attempted to pick up an order without wearing a mask.

“He told me … to tell the customer to put on the mask (and) if they refuse, we can’t give them service,” Resendiz said in her complaint.

Since the assault, Resendiz said, she can’t sleep.

The pandemic, Resendiz said, is bringing out the worst in many fast-food customers.

“I get it about the situation we’re in with COVID and that people are stressed but that’s not an excuse for workers at fast food restaurants to risk their lives,” she said. “We’re not burgers and fries. We’re humans. Two McDoubles and a small fries, that’s not something that’s worth getting injured over.”

Steve Rubenstein is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: srubenstein@sfchronicle.com. Twitter: @SteveRubeSF

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/No-mask-no-service-McDonald-s-customer-15383603.php

Church in the dock. Covid-19 warning. SF threatens action against Archdiocese

San Francisco’s City Attorney  takes a secular approach to complying with Covid-19 requirements.  

Religious institutions can be no exceptions in a health crisis.  Everyone must be responsible for keeping the Pandemic under control and protecting the well-being of all.

There is always another day for religious services.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 7.1.2020

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office told the Archdiocese of San Francisco this week to stop holding “multiple indoor large gatherings at its facilities,” in violation of the city’s health order prohibiting such assemblies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After multiple rounds of correspondence between the city and the church over the gatherings, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sent a cease-and-desist letter on Monday, ordering the Archdiocese to discontinue the indoor religious services it has held in recent weeks or risk a temporary restraining order from the city.

SF Churches I 7.1.2020

With COVID-19 cases erupting nationally, officials were concerned about the church’s “alarming failure to follow common-sense safety protocols” meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Herrera said in the Monday letter to the archdiocese.

The church responded on Tuesday, saying it would “continue to work cooperatively with the city as it has done for the past three months by complying with the health orders currently in effect” and that “the archbishop has now notified his priests that the order limiting religious services to outdoors with no more than 12 people remains in force.”

Herrera’s letter to the church indicates the city received multiple complaints about Catholic churches opening to the public for indoor services. One complaint suggested St. Francis of Assisi at 610 Vallejo St. posted signs stating mass would resume on June 14.

The city received multiple complaints on June 14 that Saints Peter & Paul Church at 666 Filbert St. “held public mass six times” that day, Herrera’s letter said, with people entering and exiting the church.

The city also received a complaint that the Star of the Sea church at 4420 Geary Blvd. opened for mass on June 14, which Herrera said was confirmed in the church’s bulletin and in a video posted to YouTube “where neither the priest giving the sermon nor the altar boy are wearing face coverings.”

The city, however, recognizes “recognizes the importance of religious services to many for spiritual health especially during these challenging times” Herrera said in the letter, and has encouraged religious groups to hold services over the Internet or outdoors, with proper social distancing and face-covering restrictions.

San Francisco officials are closely monitoring public health data related to the pandemic following a recent spike in cases and hospitalizations. Currently, the city is permitting things like indoor retail with a limited number of customers, as well as most outdoor businesses, where the risk of transmission is lower.

SF Churches III 7.1.2020

After initially planning to accelerate the reopening of certain businesses, including hair salons, museums and outdoor bars, San Francisco officials were forced to pause their plans.

A short cinema history of insidious intrusive surveillance

Lee Heidhues 6.30.2020

America and the world have become a surveillance society. Nations spy upon each other.  People spy upon one another.

As far back as 1996 researchers found that people felt a loss of control when they knew they were being watched.  As surveillance increases so does anxiety.*

Cinematic  examples of surveillance and its destructive impact upon those being spied upon have fascinated me dating back to my teenage years: 

The Hitch-Hiker (1959)

The Conversation (1974)

Red (1994)

Caché (2005)

“The Hitch-Hiker” goes back to 1959.  It is one  episode from the classic television series, “The Twilight Zone.”  I watched “The Hitch-Hiker” as a teenager. It is dystopian, eerie, nightmarish. “The Hitch-Hiker” has been ingrained in my mind for decades.

The Hitch hiker I 6.30.2020

“The Hitch-Hiker,” a 25 minute story, is available on DVD and other media platforms.

It reveals a lot about the creepiness of abusive and unchecked surveillance in human form. It leaves the viewer to ponder the unfathomable.

I will be discussing “The Conversation,” “Red,” and “Caché,”  in future Posts.

Following is a  Wikipedia link to “The Hitch-Hiker.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitch-Hiker_(The_Twilight_Zone)

* Watch Out:  The Psychological Effects of Mass Surveillance 9.16.2013

Trump Is Television in Human Form

The writer is a Nostradmus.

The review of this incredible and disconcerting dissection of Trump and television was published in October 2019.  Check out the opening sentence in which says the book is a good read while “SHELTERING IN PLACE.”

If you are to read one work about Trump, forgot all the weighty political tomes. This is the one.  Audience of One is disturbing, funny and an insightful look at the soon to be ex President.  A total creation and creature of television from the day he was born in June 1946.

America, through television, has become  Trump and nothing else.

Reading this book is the best advertisement for turning off the television FOREVER.

The New Yorker 10.4.2019. – Troy Patterson

The state of things encourages a reviewer to class “Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America,” by James Poniewozik, as recommended reading for hiding under the covers or sheltering in place.

Television trained Trump in his conduct as he pursued money, power, and women, just as it has mediated the desires of its every viewer. The difference, in this book’s persuasive theory, is that Trump and television merged into a symbiotic beast, that Trump is television in human form.

Poniewozik, who is the chief television critic at the Times, has shaped a study of Donald Trump, the multi-platform character played by a talented charlatan, into a fluid narrative of Trump’s evolution, or metastasis, into the forty-fifth President of the United States. This ridiculous journey plays against a history of the medium that made Trump, as the author analyzes the expansion of television’s forms and norms and business plans. This book is a fine guide to the historic horror show, now screening everywhere, courtesy of the White House pool feed.

Audience of One II 6.28.2020

The book proceeds from the incontrovertible insight that Trump raised himself on television and weaponized his persona in accord with its values. As a cultural avatar and atavistic figure, he has absorbed, bloblike, the iconic power of characters including Archie Bunker, Walter White, and Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack.”

The prose, lightly sparkling with argumentation and abundant with choice metaphors, is such that “Audience of One” reads like not just an essential American Studies text but as an epic disaster tale. The surreal catastrophe it describes—of televisions sizzling with mysterious power, of a United States led by what Thomas Pynchon would call a tube addict—is like a Cronenberg take on a doomsday blockbuster, with governmental norms reduced to rubble as if for spectacle sport.

(This reviewer has met Poniewozik and Trump on five or six occasions each, often in the context of television-industry pseudo-events. I have encountered one of them at a party for an exhibition of celebrity photographs, where he made a beeline for a portrait of himself, conveyed his approval of the likeness to Melania, and immediately lost interest in the art. The other once mixed me a drink garnished with a kumquat.)

Television came of age in 1953—the year that Lucy begat Little Ricky, that the Oscars first went on the air, that Edward R. Murrow’s “Person to Person” inaugurated the tradition of celebrity chat, and that the F.C.C. approved color broadcasting. Picture the junior Donald J. Trump, on the cusp of turning seven, watching his mother watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Poniewozik quotes “Trump: The Art of the Deal”: “She was just enthralled by the pomp and circumstance, the whole idea of royalty and glamour.” Learning from the screen in his particular fashion, and developing an eye for gaudy display and gilt self-promotion, young Trump is a pupil in a one-room schoolhouse with a wasteland curriculum.

Gaining fame as a tabloid-savvy real-estate hustler in his thirties, Trump becomes a Barnum of himself, a character available to swell the scene of Gotham in the decade of greed. Poniewozik contrives many memorable aperçus to indicate Trump’s shape-shifting over the decades, in response to his environment. In the nineteen-eighties, having confected an image as playboy businessman, he was a Manhattan “tourist sight, like the lights in Times Square.” In the nineties, as a pop-culture figure whose moneybags façade was a counterpoint to tasteful displays of tech wealth, he was “a kind of human gold chain.” (“His life looked like the last five seconds of a commercial for scratch-off lottery tickets.”)

In the first decade of this century, becoming a parody of himself in the second season of “The Apprentice,” the Trump character, “like a breakout sitcom character,” became exaggerated: “tougher, more insulting, determined to give the crowds twice as much of what they wanted, twice as hard.”

Audience of One III  6.28.2020.jpg

“That about sixty-three million people voted to elect this TV character President fulfilled the auguries of an Old Testament lineage of media prophets,” Poniewozik writes in his introduction.

He’s got a light touch and a knack for apt quotation when synthesizing the media-studies canon into his story. You get Barthes on wrestling, Boorstin on psuedo-events, Baudrillard on simulacra, Eco on hyperreality, Macdonald on mass-cult, Postman on the news, Rushkoff on media viruses, McLuhan on the art of massage, Hofstadter on the paranoid style shaping Fox News, and, for the sake of context, George W. S. Trow on no context—plus Hannah Arendt, of course, because the book is also thinking about how television has serviced fascist aesthetics.

Poniewozik almost wants to rate Trump as a great postmodern thinker, but the problem is that Trump does not think. Nonetheless, Trump is a great postmodern feeler, who intuits and responds to the stimuli of electronic media with the dark brilliance of an idiot savant, in the sure belief that only suckers care about objective truth. Poniewozik calls Trump’s daily performance qua Trump a manifestation of “lizard-brain postmodernism—the salesman’s intuition that the cartoon of a thing was more powerful to people than the thing itself.”

Poniewozik’s writing is funnier than Trow’s in “Within the Context of No Context,” but it employs a comparable style of repetition, of ingemination and litany, to gather many tributaries into its flow of thought. Ideas bob in the current and resurface at opportune moments. “Audience of One” keeps returning, profitably, to Trump’s appearance on “Today,” opposite the host Tom Brokaw, on August 21, 1980. Trump was a mild-mannered thirtysomething hustler playing by the rules of broadcast television when its audience was at its broadest. Brokaw inhabited a set the color of “toast,” Poniewozik writes and repeats. The dot-like depiction of the brown sets and “beige-on-beige” styling of the old morning in America contrasts nicely with the brass and pink marble of the tower that Trump made.

“Consider this a work of applied TV criticism, for a time when all of public life has become TV,” Poniewozik writes. It is a book about morality and about the amorality intrinsic to the medium, as one of the core functions of television is to stimulate shameless desire.

The lesson Trump learned from it, like a bad fan of “Mad Men,” is that his desires should not be constrained. This was the lesson embodied by him, this week, when he seemed to speak felonies into effect live from the South Lawn.

Near the end of “Audience of One,” before leaving the reader queasy with a vision of the animatronic Trump installed at Disneyland’s Hall of Presidents, Poniewozik writes about the screeching feedback that is the ambient noise of contemporary life: “The news was a feedback cycle of Trump being inflammatory, the news becoming inflamed, Trump growing inflamed by the coverage.

The numbing round of feuds and outrages, shock after shock, felt like it had been programmed by a ratings-mad TV executive, because in a way, it was.” The camera, which is never fully sated, only wants more. Trump is its ideal subject, an erratic grotesque with an id like a vacuum of need.

The screech will only escalate in pitch and intensity. The book had me imagining, wishfully, that this Administration would end, simply, with CNN cutting to black, as in the final episode of “The Sopranos,” for the sake of a nation in desperate need of stricter limits on its screen time.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-television/a-new-book-argues-that-trump-is-television-in-human-form