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People Should be Terrified by the Normalization of Right Wing Hate Groups

It hasn't been since the KKK briefly entered mainstream politics a century ago that violent, extremist, racist hate groups have been supported and accepted like this on a national scale.

These groups cry "free speech" as they try to intimidate others. They claim to be non-violent while enacting the murder of socialists.

Trump and the alt-right support them, pander to them, and make excuses for them.

In a time when right-wing hate violence is on the rise, the Justice Department has removed white-nationalists from their watch list, choosing to focus on "black identity extremists" (a term manufactured to pretend that groups like Black Lives Matter are more dangerious than neo-Nazis).

But those aren't the main reasons to be terrified.

Be terrified because mainstream Republicans and mainstream conservative media no longer speak against these groups. They no longer do a guilty denial that these groups support them. They are bringing these groups into the fold. Like Hitler and Mussolini, they are using these groups as body guards, pulling these groups in to their party, and making excuses for them. They are hosting events for them, like they just hosted the Proud Boys in New York.

Worse, between the alt-right, Fox News, Trump, and now mainstream Republicans, they are twisting the dialog about white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other right-wing hate groups.

Conservative talking points, from right-wing blogs to the Whitehouse to TV news, are selling the false equivalence that liberal protesters and right wing hate groups are the same. They say that fascists (who promote violence, discrimination, and totalitarianism) and anti-fascists (who exist as a group only to fight fascism) are they same.

Now, they are expanding to blame Democrats for right-wing violence.

If you read the comments on any article about the Proud Boys or similar groups, you will see that a lot of moderates have bought into their racist propaganda. You will hear that antifa is the same as the fascists they fight, because they both use "fascist tactics". You will hear that unarmed protesters deserve to be beaten or killed for "inciting" hate groups or "infriging on their free speech".

I am not saying we will turn to a fascist state, but this is not a "potential sign of fascism". This is fascism - pulling hate groups in the mainstream politics to bolster those in power, while intimidating and delegitimizing the opposition.

The fact that average Americans are more upset about those opposing hate groups than the hate groups should terrify everyone.

At best, it will normalize increased violence and reduce people's ability to protest Trump's racist, lawless administration. More innocent people of color will be attacked. More liberal protesters will be attacked. More houses will be burned for having liberal lawn signs. And racists will be handed the microphone by mainstream conservatives.

At worst, it is a bold step on the road towards democracy giving way to tyranny. All to the cheers of Fox New viewers and disaffected internet trolls crying "freedom!"
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John McCain Dies at 81

Let's remember the McCain that was. He was the war hero that despite Trump allies' denials. He was not the political hero that some liberal make him out to be - yes, he spoke out against Trump, but he also voted for many of Trump's policies, such as the giant tax cut for the rich.

McCain had some sins that his on-again-off-again resistance to Trump and party-line politics did not fully atone for. Once an actual maverick of the Republican party, he sold out, joined Bush's cabal, and gave Sarah Palin a national stage. In selling the McCain-Palin ticket with Karl Rove style politics, he furthered the divisiveness that helped give us Trump and the neo-Nazi Alt-Right.

But he was at least a conservative with a conscience, in an era of cultish loyalty to Trump. He was a man who spoke his mind. He was a man who would work across party lines. He was outspoken, a character, and a unique voice in politics.

Flawed though he was, his voice will be missed, and I am sad that he died seeing his country and his party in the state they are.

I expect the next day will be filled with Republicans who have been insulting McCain back-pedaling and praising him. Many Trump fans will cheer has death as they soullessly cheered his illness. And many liberals will deify, just him for being a conservative with a spine and some common decency. He doesn't deserve any of that. He deserves to be remembered for being the flawed and amazing man that he was. Rest in peace, John.
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Dem Rep: Trump team has ‘pattern of forgetting’ about contacts with Russia

Of course. To the corrupt billionaires that are and fund the Trump administration and other major Republicans (and some Democrats), countries no longer matter. Putin and Russian oligarchs are just other members in the corrupt billionaires club, manipulating the world to a new feudalism where the rich are above the laws, and little things like constitutions, rights, and the rule of law are not an issue.

Out of Control on Contraception

An excellent article and a great picture, but it misses a key point: the illogical combination of being anti-abortion and anti-contraception is not merely to domain of religious extremists. It is also part of the broader conservative ideology because it is about controlling female sexuality.

Many of the plans that will now be able to drop birth control from their coverage will cover Viagra. A huge portion of conservatives, while objectifying women and justifying rape, still want to shame and punish women for having sex with partners of their choosing. This is not about protecting babies, it is about attacking women

Battle for the Net

The FCC is trying to kill the Internet again. This time, it’s even worse. Here’s how to stop them...

Philando Castile shooting: Dashcam Video

What's most shocking is how fast it happened. It took just 40 seconds for an ordinary traffic stop to turn deadly -- from a police officer saying, "Hello, sir," to him firing seven shots at Philando Castile.