Steve Brannon “Shock Event”

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.”

Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.
When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Last night’s Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one’s interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won’t like.

I don’t know what Bannon is up to– although I have some guesses– but because I know Bannon’s ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle– and my friends range pretty widely– who will benefit from whatever it is.

If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.

But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.

A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.
If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln’s strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.
Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.”

Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College:

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The Public’s Viewpoint: Regulations are Protections

George Lakoff

The American Majority got 2.8 million more votes in the 2016 election than the Loser President. That puts the majority in a position to change American political discourse and how Americans understand and think about politics. As a start, what is needed is a change of viewpoint.

Here is a typical example. Minority President Trump has said that he intends to get rid of 75% of government regulations. What is a “regulation”?

The term “regulation” is framed from the viewpoint of corporations and other businesses. From their viewpoint, “regulations” are limitations on their freedom to do whatever they want no matter who it harms. But from the public’s viewpoint, a regulation is a protection against harm done by unscrupulous corporations seeking to maximize profit at the cost of harm to the public.

Imagine our minority President saying out loud that he intends to get rid of 75% of public protections

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Republicans, Climate Change, and the New Reality – LA Progressive

.Trump Destroying Environment — No amount of disassembling and deflecting will change the fact that the Republican Party made this happen.

Source: Republicans, Climate Change, and the New Reality – LA Progressive

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Putting the Constitution Up for Sale

Forget the Bill of Rights, Abbott is proposing a Bill of Sale, effectively transferring the title of our national government from The People to The Plutocrats.

Source: Putting the Constitution Up for Sale

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Oklahoma Republicrats Still Control Party

Oklahoma Democratic leaders will tell candidates to act Republican if they want to wiggle into office.  They speak about the sharp differences between the two parties in the next breath. They missed something. They missed, as we witnessed with the Bernie Sanders campaign, that those Republicratic ideas were (and are) ridiculous.  Oklahomans will vote for Republicrats but not in enough numbers, as found out in the abysmal November turnout.  That’s a problem for Democrats as they were the losers in a fight that should not have been lost. Soon they must realize that until coalitions are formed—coalitions with Green Partiers, Progressives, Independents, Socialist and other voters with the same goals–they will not see much change in Oklahoma. Until they work to form these coalitions, it will be futile. If, indeed, what they want to see is change.

The State is into multiparties: Republican, Democratic, Libertarian parties, and a whole lot of Independents. The Oklahoma conservative voting block is huge and Democrats alone are not a force big enough to stop that wave. Putting a Democrat in a State office is a surprise, not the expected. Progressives? They’re all haywire ’round here. If one looks at places that have multiple parties like in the Philipines, who have more than three, no one party wins without working with other parties. Here, Oklahoma democrats want to turn everybody Democrat but many Oklahomans who share the same ideology will spit at even the thought of the word Democrat. Back to the Philipines. Sadly, Durante, the Philippine’s Donald Trump, won with the conservative coalition there simply because their conservatives coalitions were stronger. Likewise, Trump won Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State legislature filled up again with Republicans, and the Governor remains, you know, Mary Fallen and another mary Fallin may take her place, simply because here the left has no hope of coming together.

The center and the left must come together.

Think of how differently the 2016 election would have been if the runner-up in the Democratic nomination race had become the VP. The momentum was there. One bunch of Democrats saw Sanders as a false Democrat. Too bad those were the Democratic (No Way, We’re Republicrats and Not Going to Budge) Party leaders. Yet the heart of the nation along with Oklahoma’s heart was somewhere else. Not much went on to retain or bring more of the Sanders voters in after the nomination. In a real way, they were shut out. True, those voters were not traditional Democrat voters but they would have voted for a progressive candidate in a hurry. As it turned out, a large block of voters dropped out. They sure as hell were not going to vote just for the D- Party just because it was the D-Party. In the general election, the Democrats ditched what could have been their 2016 base in order to champion a Reagan Democrat. Without a progressive name on the ballot to check along with it, history wrote a different story for Oklahoma and the rest of the Nation. Democratic Party leaders wanted a candidate that appeared Republican. They lost since that wasn’t what the voters wanted.

Terry Gresham

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The Democrat and The Dictator |

Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler came to power within weeks of each other, faced off in a contest of global warfare, and died in the same month. Bill Moyers traces the childhoods and early careers of both leaders, illustrates the paths by which they rose to their respective pinnacles of power, and shows how each was a master communicator and stylist of ideas, imprinting an entire generation with their actions and ideologies.

Source: The Democrat and The Dictator |

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Interfaith Leaders Pledge to Support American Muslims


Interfaith Leaders Pledge To Stand By American Muslims, No Matter What

Christian, Jewish and Buddhist leaders attended prayers at a Washington, D.C., mosque to emphasize solidarity.

11/19/2016 04:41 pm ET
Catherine Orsborn, campaign director of Shoulder to Shoulder, speaks at The Nation’s Mosque in Washington, D.C.

Christian, Jewish and Buddhist leaders joined their Muslim neighbors for Friday prayers at a Washington, D.C., mosque, sending President-elect Donald Trump a strong statement of interfaith solidarity.

The religious leaders spoke out against Islamophobia and in support of American Muslims, who have been feeling fearful and uncertain about their future in Trump’s America. They also called on Trump to forcefully denounce anti-Muslim hate crimes, which the FBI reports shot up by 67 percent in 2015.

“We must promise that no one will ever make another American afraid ― not the bigots, not the alt-right, not the chief…

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