The Real Ayn Rand

Of all the articles I’ve read about Ayn Rand, this one seems the most well documented and the most damning. Her fascination with infamous sociopath Hickman is truly frightening. If anyone thinks there is any compatibility between Rand’s work and Christianity, show them this.

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Trump and the ‘F’ word

We’ve had two and one-half years of Trump’s prevarications, his blatant racism, white supremacy, nationalism, militarism, concentration camps, and cult of personality, and yet the mainstream media is still demure about using the ‘F’ word. I’m talking about fascism. His recent cult rally in Greenville, NC was so blatantly fascist, one wonders what the media is waiting for. Perhaps a goosestep? Arm-bands? Are they afraid of alienating their readership? I don’t think we should be too concerned about offending racists and fascists.

The media as a whole have done such a piss-poor job at educating and protecting the American people, one marvels at just how deeply complicit they are. Perhaps the ‘F’ word has been so over-used by both sides of the political spectrum that it no longer has any meaning. It’s a pity, because it does have a clear definition.

Those who attended Trump’s rally seem so obsessed with Sharia law’s being incompatible with our Constitution, they don’t seem to realize that fascism is too. Straining out a gnat, they’ve swallowed a camel. The rally had some striking parallels to the 1938 American Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden. Or would today’s media simply call that one “far-right”?

Scholar Henry Giroux has written an important article on the topic, and it’s well worth the read.

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A Cat among the Pigeons

Last month Microsoft unveiled new software that promises to make our elections “safe” from hacking (AP, May 6, “Microsoft unveils software tools to secure elections”). The tech giant’s partner in this project is none other than Galois, whose sole investor is our own Department of Defense. Three of the major voting machine vendors are now poised to use the software.

Wait a minute. Is anyone else uncomfortable with turning over our election security to what Ike called the Military Industrial Complex? Few media outlets have questioned the partnership. So that means Microsoft and the DOD have no stake in the outcome of our national elections? While I don’t trust the Russians to cease trying to hack into our electoral system, neither do I trust that the MIC’s interest in this project stems from pure patriotism. If you think this partnership is a bad idea, please call or write your Senators and representatives. 2020 political candidates should also weigh in.

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Another Lee Descendant Speaks Out

Another descendant of Robert E. Lee is speaking out about his struggle to come to terms with his family’s Confederate past. Journalist James Gannon has put together a moving video about his personal journey and his exploration of the legacy of slavery in America. Check it out.

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June Radio Broadcast

Just interviewed Jared A. Brock, Christian author of Road to Dawn, the story of Josiah Henson, the real-life inspiration for the character of Uncle Tom in Harriett Beecher Stowe’s 1851 novel. If you’ve read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, you know that the title character has nothing to do with the racist label “Uncle Tom.” Henson’s sufferings as a slave and his eventual escape read better than a novel, and Brock has done a superb job of painting the 19th-century slave system in all its cruel manipulation and inhuman brutality.

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American-style Fascism

As quoted in an earlier blog post, in 1944 Henry Wallace, Vice-President under FDR, defined American-style fascism in this way:

“…(T)hey can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups. … (They) are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity. … They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective … is to capture political power so that using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Regarding the Trump administration, I am grateful for one thing: that its audacious greed and lack of subtlety have stripped the mask off the corporate fascism that is bent on looting and strangling our republic. But if the recent midterm elections seemed to be a setback for its program, recall that the corporate coup of our democracy has occurred under the watch of both parties. Neoliberal leaders like Macron, Trudeau, the Clintons, and President Obama have been merely the smiling face of the same corporate fascism. Their kowtowing to corporate power and their failure to address real economic inequalities helped set the stage for a Trump. Ralph Nader has written an important article about this in Common Dreams.

The only remedy is to get corporate money out of politics and to elect leaders who are not beholden to corporate interests– radical, systemic change that’s not going to be easy. Yet the difference between a corporate Democrat and a corporate Republican is the difference between ketchup and catsup. At the end of the day, they both spell the end of our republic. Throw in the urgency of climate change, and what we face as the voting public is a choice between radical change or the certain death of our democracy and civilization. Even if the majority of Americans prefer the latter, the rest of us must at least go down fighting.

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New Radio Broadcast

Just started a monthly broadcast, called, not surprisingly, “Majoring in the Majors,” on Artist First Radio. On this show we discuss, among other things, issues of social justice and how they relate to the church. My first guest was Zohra Sarwari, a Muslim American author and lecturer. We talked about the recent spate of terrorist attacks and what the vast majority of Muslims feel about them. Check out the podcast here.

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