Tuesday 22nd of June 2021

the end of your freedom... in an anti-fascist penalty shoot out.


Stephen Colbert is no stranger to showing emotion as he recaps the news of the day on The Late Show — but he told viewers on Wednesday's monologue that he "[has] rarely been as upset as I am tonight."

In Washington, D.C. earlier yesterday, a large crowd of President Donald Trump's supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol. It's a dark, foreboding day in American history, yet simultaneously unsurprising in light of Trump's consistently inciting rhetoric.

The Senate had convened to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's election win, but was forced to halt proceedings as a mob adorned in MAGA hats descended upon the building. The crowd waved Trump, American, and Confederate flags and chanted "Stop the steal" as they breached the Capitol. Some even got onto the empty Senate floor and into offices, looting and vandalising without the grossly inadequate security or police stopping them.

Lawmakers were fortunately able to evacuate or barricade themselves elsewhere in the complex, the National Guard was called in to expel the crowd, and both houses returned to continue certification and debate into the early hours of Thursday morning. However one person was shot and killedfour others have died, and the security of the U.S. Capitol has now been thoroughly compromised.

And Colbert was not surprised by any of it.

"Today, the US Capitol was overrun for the first time since 1814," he said. "And a woman died. Who could have seen this coming? Everyone, even dummies like me. 

"This is the most shocking, most tragic, least surprising thing I've ever seen," he went on, addressing pro-Trump Republicans directly. "For years now, people have been telling you cowards that if you let the president lie about our democracy over and over, and then join him in that lie and say he's right, when you know for a fact that he is not, there will be a terrible price to pay, but you just never thought you'd have to pay it too. I really do hope you're enjoying those tax cuts."

UPDATE: Jan. 8, 2021, 11:48 a.m. AEDT This article has been updated to reflect that a fifth person has died in connection with the Capitol mob.

UPDATE: Jan. 8, 2021, 12:54 a.m. AEDT Capitol Police have corrected reports of an officer's death, with the force's union chairman telling DC local news that the officer remains on life support. This article has been updated to reflect that the current number of deaths linked with Wednesday's events is four.

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See also: colbert, julian's cat and crabs...



Meanwhile looking at the events from a different perspective — as if a real protest was invited to become a "storming", like a fake tumble inside the penalty box...



The four big lies underpinning this story show it was likely a staged event.


By Kit Knightly



The media are already spinning a narrative around the events in Washington DC. One that bears no resemblance to reality, does not hold up to any kind of scrutiny and will have massive, far-reaching consequences for all of us.


They’re calling it “one of the darkest days in our nations history”, a day that will “live in infamy”. It will likely be memed into a shorthand date – 1/6/21, like 9/11 and 7/7. It will be the day “American democracy was attacked and prevailed”, the day the nation nearly fell to “fascists”.

It will become just one more grand sweeping illusion upon which the teetering structures of US Imperial power are built.

The story we are being told goes as follows:

Yesterday, as congress was preparing to pass the vote endorsing Joe Biden’s election victory, thousands of violent right-wing thugs stormed the Capitol building.

Acting according to Trump’s wishes, and with his endorsement, these domestic terrorists overran the police barricades in an attempt to overthrow the senate and preserve Trump’s presidency.

Fortunately the police were able to secure the situation, drive the violent rioters out and the democratic process was able to continue.

Not one single part of this story is true:

  • There was no “storming”
  • There was no “incitement”
  • There was no “violence”
  • And the riot effectively ended Trump’s presidency.

Let’s tackle them one at a time.

* * *

1. There was no “storming”. Rather videos show police opening barriers to let the “rioters” in.

In the entrance hall, the “violent thugs” respected the velvet ropes and kept in orderly lines, took a few selfies with the copsposed for the press and – when the main events were over – they were quietly allowed to leave.

Compare and contrast the police’s treatment of those people inside the capitol, with their later treatment of protesters breaking curfew on the streets.

2. There was no “incitement”. All of Trump’s social media posts on the subject instructed people to “go home” “with peace and love”.



Is that inciting violence?

(Gus note: Trump was going to be "with you" down Pennsylvania Avenue to protest the "vote", but it seems he did not demand the storming of the Capitol.)


Twitter and facebook took the totally unprecedented step of completely removing those posts, and blocked him posting any further. They claimed to be preventing further violence, but it looks more like they concealed Trump’s denunciations of violence.

3. There was no violence. Indeed whether or not Trump “incited” anything is moot, because there was no violence. Disregard the reports of chemical weapons, pipe bombs or IEDs – none of which ever appeared. None of the “rioters” are as yet shown to have hurt anyone.

The only person reportedly killed or injured was a protester allegedly shot by the police. Compare and contrast the attitude of the media to this “violence”, vs the “fiery but mostly peaceful” protests all last summer.

4. The riot ended Trump’s presidency. Although the Congressional session was widely described in the press as the “confirmation vote” for Joe Biden’s election victory, it was actually rather more than that.

VP Mike Pence was chairing a joint-session which intended to allow full speeches from those opposing the election and maintaining there had been fraud.

The violence brought this session to an end prematurely, totally undermined Trump’s legal and procedural challenges and killed any chance he had of overturning the electrical college vote. No sooner was the “attack” over, than many of the Republicans in both houses who were planning to oppose Biden’s election backed-down

More than that, it seems Trump’s “incitement” of the rioters means he may well be removed from office by enforcement of the 25th amendment, which would end not just this term, but make it illegal for him to run again in the future.

Facebook and Twitter have outright banned him from posting. The press and television pundits are openly accusing him of treason and sedition.

So, who has really benefitted from the “chaos at the Capitol”? Because it surely isn’t Donald Trump.

One should always be wary of any event which “accidentally” achieves the exact opposite of its stated or apparent intent.

* * *

In the title, I refer to this as America’s Reichstag fire, and that’s not just emotive language, the parallels are pretty clear: A staged attack on a political building, deliberately misattributed to political enemies and used to consolidate the power of a freshly installed leader.

Even the media coverage is similar, the Nazi government and their tools in the press talked about it in the same exact terms as the US establishment is describing this farcical “coup attempt”. Aiming to terrify people into thinking they were on the verge of an all-out civil war.

Read this quote, and ask yourself if it couldn’t be lifted almost completely from the front page of the Washington Post or New York Times today:

The burning of the Reichstag was intended to be the signal for a bloody uprising and civil war. Large-scale pillaging in Berlin was planned for as early as four o’clock in the morning on Tuesday. It has been determined that starting today throughout Germany acts of terrorism were to begin against prominent individuals, against private property, against the lives and safety of the peaceful population, and general civil war was to be unleashed…

Within 24 hours of the Reichstag burning, the German President had passed the Reichstag Fire Decree, which declared a state of emergency that totally reversed every civil right the Weimar Republic had guaranteed its citizens:

Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications.

While these freedoms have already been severely undermined in the US by the Patriot Act and its successors, those few rights left to American citizens will definitely be under threat once Trump is finally removed and Biden (or Harris) is put in his place.

Although there is not yet any talk of legislation, it’s certainly true there are whispers of purges and other measures to “protect the constitution”.

Some prominent voices are calling for all lawmakers backing Trump to be expelled from office. The Washington Post claimed “seditious Republicans must be held accountable”.

The anti-social media campaign has begun again in earnest too, with Parler and GAB already being blamed for allowing “violent language” on their platforms. 

As Twitter and Facebook limit discussion, alternative platforms will be shutdown. Enforcing a corporate monopoly the cooperates with the state…the very definition of fascism.

All this in the name of protecting the nation from “neo-nazi thugs” or “white supremacists” or other phantom threats. In the name of “protecting the constitution”, they are tearing it to pieces. In the name of “preventing a coup”, they are carrying one out in front of our eyes.

It puts in mind Huey Long’s famous quote when asked if fascism would ever come to America:

Sure, we’ll have Fascism in this country and we’ll call it anti-Fascism.”

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Gus note: according to the law of rioting certainty, there would have been some "agents provocateurs" (undercover police, FBI agents and CIA operatives) amongsts the protesters.

unhinged amerika...

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the Pentagon’s top general on Thursday and urged him to add extra precautions to stop what she called an “unhinged” President Trump from using the nuclear codes.

In a long statement, Pelosi said she made the drastic call to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley as pressure mounts for Trump to step down or be removed from office via the 25th Amendment after the deadly US Capitol siege.

“This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote.

“The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” she wrote.

Pelosi received assurances from Milley that there were safeguards in place in case Trump wanted to launch a nuclear attack in the final days of his presidency.

Milley, a decorated and respected general, reportedly considered resigning in June over his role in President Trump’s photo op at a historic church outside the White House after protesters were forcibly cleared by police.

The top general apologized, saying it was a “mistake” to appear in his combat fatigues and walk through the park with the president.


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remove him after he's gone?...

The Senate will take no action on House Democrats’ effort to re-impeach President Trump until after he is out of office — making next week’s possible vote on the question moot before it even begins.

Under a timeline issued Friday to Senate colleagues, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said any House resolution on the matter could not be transmitted to the upper chamber until Jan. 19, based on the body’s current calendar.

House impeachment managers could present their case — which would accuse Trump of “inciting an insurrection” at the Capitol on Wednesday — to the assembled Senate that same day, McConnell’s memo noted.

But under existing impeachment rules, debate and votes could not begin until 1 p.m. the next day after — making the earliest possible moment for an impeachment vote one hour after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office at noon on Jan. 20.

“The Senate trial would therefore begin after President Trump’s term has expired,”



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the true danger...

by Slavoj Zizek

In his erratic grasping at power, outgoing US President Donald Trump is doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. The undemocratic electoral system needs to be dismantled, but he doesn’t have the good of his supporters in mind.

When the district judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the US demand to extradite Julian Assange, many Leftist and liberal critics commented on this decision in terms which recall the famous lines from T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral: “The last temptation is the greatest treason / To do the right deed for the wrong reason.” In the play, Becket is afraid that his “right thing” (the decision to resist the king and sacrifice himself) is grounded in a “wrong reason” (his egotist search for the glory of sainthood). Hegel would have answered to this predicament that what matters in our acts is their public content: if I do a heroic sacrifice, this is what counts, independently of the private motives for doing it, which may be pathological.

But the refusal to extradite Assange to the US is a different case: it was obviously the right thing to do, but what is wrong are the publicly stated reasons for doing it. The judge fully endorsed the US authorities’ assertion that Assange’s activities fell outside of the realm of journalism, and justified her decision purely on mental health grounds – she said: “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future.” She added that Assange's high level of intelligence means he would probably succeed in taking his own life.

Evoking mental health is thus an excuse to deliver justice - the implicit but clear public message of the judge is: “I know the accusation is wrong, but I am not ready to admit it, so I prefer to focus on mental health.” (Plus, now that the court also rejected bail for Assange, he will remain in the solitary confinement in prison which brought him to suicidal despair…) Assange’s life is (maybe) saved, but his Cause – the freedom of the press, the struggle for the right to render public any state crimes – remains a crime. This is an indicative example of what the humanitarianism of our courts really amounts to.

But all this is common knowledge – what we should do is apply T.S. Eliot’s lines to two other recent political events. Is the comedy that took place in Washington on January 6 not the final proof – if one were needed – that Assange should not be extradited to the US? It would be like extraditing dissidents who escaped Hong Kong back to China.

The first event: when Trump put pressure on Mike Pence, his vice-president, not to certify electoralvotes, he also asked Pence to do the right thing for the wrong reason: yes, the US electoral system is rigged and corrupted, it is one big fake, organized and controlled by the ‘deep state.’ The implications of Trump’s demand are interesting: he argued that Pence, instead of simply acting in his constitutionally-prescribed proforma role, could delay or obstruct the Electoral College certification in Congress.

After the votes are counted, the vice-president has just to declare the result, whose content is determined in advance – but Trump wanted Pence to act as if he is making an actual decision… What Trump demanded was not a revolution but a desperate attempt to save his day by forcing Pence to act within the institutional order, taking the letter of the law more literally than it was meant.

The second event: when pro-Trump protesters invaded Capitol on January 6, they also did the right thing for the wrong reasons. They were right in protesting the US electoral system, with its complicated mechanisms whose aim is to render impossible a direct expression of popular dissatisfaction (this was clearly stated by the Founding Fathers themselves). But their attempt was not a Fascist coup – prior to taking power, Fascists make a deal with big business, but now “Trump should be removed from office to preserve democracy, business leaders say.”

So did Trump incite the protesters against big business? Not really: recall that Steve Bannon was thrown out of the White House when he not only opposed Trump’s tax plan but openly advocated raising taxes for the rich to 40 per cent, plus he argued that rescuing banks with public money is “socialism for the rich.” 

Trump advocating ordinary people’s interests is like Citizen Kane from Welles’ classic movie – when a rich banker accuses him of speaking for the poor mob, he answers that, yes, his newspaper speaks for the poor ordinary people in order to prevent the true danger which is that the poor ordinary people will speak for themselves.


‘Swamp’ creature with a populist facade

As Yuval Kremnitzer demonstrated, Trump is a populist who remains within the system. Like any populism, his version also distrusts political representation, pretending to speak directly for the people – it complains about how its hands are tied by the ‘deep state’ and financial establishment, so its message is: “if only we didn’t have our hands tied, we would be able to do away with our enemies once and for all.”

However, in contrast to old authoritarian populism (like Fascism) which is ready to abolish formal-representative democracy and really take over and impose a new order, today’s populism doesn’t have a coherent vision of some new order – the positive content of its ideology and politics is an inconsistent bricolage of measures to bribe “our own” poor, to lower the taxes for the rich, to focus the hatred on the immigrants and our own corrupted elite outsourcing jobs, etc. That’s why today’s populists don’t really want to get rid of the established representative democracy and fully take power: “without the ‘fetters’ of the liberal order to struggle against, the new right would actually have to take some real action,” and this would render obvious the vacuity of their program. Today’s populists can only function in the indefinite postponement of achieving their goal since they can only function as opposing the ‘deep state’ of the liberal establishment: “The new right does not, at least not at this stage, seek to establish a supreme value – for instance, the nation, or the leader – that would fully express the will of the people and thereby allow and perhaps even require the abolition of the mechanisms of representation.”


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See also: remembering not to forget a small pair of boots: history re-begins.