Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Donald Trump' is associated with 31 posts.

FTR #946 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon, Part 2

In FTR #718 (recorded on Independence Day weekend of 2010), we noted that the new social medium–Facebook-might very well be the opposite of the liberating, empowering entity many believed it to be.

On the contrary, we said–it received financial backing from the CIA, permits unprecedented gathering and databasing of users’ personal information, and might very well be a “panopticon”–a type of prison in which the interned can never see his or her jailers, but their keepers can see the interned at all times.

In particular, we noted the prominent position of major Facebook investor Peter Thiel in “Mondo Zuckerberg.” Of German (and probable I.G. Farben) origins, we opined that Thiel was Underground Reich. Opposed to democracy because he feels it is inimical to wealth creation and doesn’t believe women should be allowed to vote, Thiel has now emerged as one of the most prominent of Donald Trump’s supporters, transition team creators and influential policy wonks.

Whereas we explored the “virtual panopticon” concept of Facebook with a question mark in 2010, we now feel affirmatively on the issue.

A very important story from New York magazine sets forth Facebook’s role in the just-concluded election. ” . . . . Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and power make it effectively the only one that matters. And, boy, does it matter. At the risk of being hyperbolic, I think there are few events over the last decade more significant than the social network’s wholesale acquisition of the traditional functions of news media (not to mention the political-party apparatus). Trump’s ascendancy is far from the first material consequence of Facebook’s conquering invasion of our social, cultural, and political lives, but it’s still a bracing reminder of the extent to which the social network is able to upend existing structure and transform society — and often not for the better. . . .

” . . . . Facebook’s enormous audience, and the mechanisms of distribution on which the site relies — i.e., the emotionally charged activity of sharing, and the show-me-more-like-this feedback loop of the news feed algorithm — makes it the only site to support a genuinely lucrative market in which shady publishers arbitrage traffic by enticing people off of Facebook and onto ad-festooned websites, using stories that are alternately made up, incorrect, exaggerated beyond all relationship to truth, or all three. . . .

” . . . . And at the heart of the problem, anyway, is not the motivations of the hoaxers but the structure of social media itself. Tens of millions of people, invigorated by insurgent outsider candidates and anger at perceived political enemies, were served up or shared emotionally charged news stories about the candidates, because Facebook’s sorting algorithm understood from experience that they were seeking such stories. Many of those stories were lies, or ‘parodies,’ but their appearance and placement in a news feed were no different from those of any publisher with a commitment to, you know, not lying. As those people and their followers clicked on, shared, or otherwise engaged with those stories — which they did, because Trump drives engagement extremely bigly — they were served up even more of them. The engagement-driving feedback loop reached the heights of Facebook itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occasion after firing the small team of editorial employees tasked with passing news judgment. . . .

” . . . . Something like 170 million people in North America use Facebook every day, a number that’s not only several orders of magnitude larger than even the most optimistic circulation reckonings of major news outlets but also about one-and-a-half times as many people as voted on Tuesday. Forty-four percent of all adults in the United States say they get news from Facebook . . . ”

Symptomatic of Facebook’s filter of what its users see concerns the social medium’s recent non-coverage of the women’s march:

” . . . . We don’t usually post on Pando at the weekend, but this is too topical and too shameful to wait until Monday. As you certainly know, today is the day of the Women’s March on Washington in protest of Donald Trump. The main event is in DC, where something close to 500,000 protesters of all genders and ages have packed the streets — but there are also major protests in Chicago, New York and around the world. Including Antarctica.

You certainly know this because the protest march is the top story on every major news outlet, and because updates and photos from the event are flooding your Twitter and Facebook feeds.

And yet, here’s what Facebook’s trending news feed looked like at the height of the march…

And here’s its trending politics feed…

Notice anything missing?

Like, say, a half million women? . . .

In case you think I’m seeing something different from the rest of the world, be assured I’m not….”

Facebook has changed its algorithm, no longer factoring in “likes” and other personal preferences in determining its news feed.

This, however, does not bode as well as Facebook would like us to believe. Facebook has promoted, among others, Campbell Brown, to an important position in structuring its news feed: ” . . . . Brown has longstanding ties not just to the traditional news media, but also to conservative politics, although she describes herself as a political independent. She is a close personal friend of Betsy DeVos, the Republican megadonor who is Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, and is married to Dan Senor, a former top advisor to Mitt Romney who also served as spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. . . .

. . . . And alongside her mainstream media experience, Brown is familiar with the world of non-traditional news outlets springing up online. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit news site, The 74, which bills itself as nonpartisan but which critics have said functions as advocacy journalism, tilted in favor of charter schools and against teachers’ unions. The site was launched with money from donors including the foundation run by DeVos, Trump’s proposed Education Secretary. When the nomination was announced, Brown said she would recuse herself from The 74’s coverage of DeVos. . .”

Brown is joined by Tucker Bounds, a former John McCain adviser and spokesman for the McCain/Palin campaign.

Exemplifying the terrifying possibilities of the virtual panopticon, we examine the nexus of Cambridge Analytica, its principal investors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer and Steve Bannon, a key member of the firm’s board of directors and a political guru to Rebekah. ” . . . . For several years, a data firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, has been using Facebook as a tool to build psychological profiles that represent some 230 million adult Americans. A spinoff of a British consulting company and sometime-defense contractor known for its counterterrorism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seeding the social network with personality quizzes. Respondents — by now hundreds of thousands of us, mostly female and mostly young but enough male and older for the firm to make inferences about others with similar behaviors and demographics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cambridge Analytica also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Facebook, gains access to their profiles and real names.

“Cambridge Analytica worked on the ‘Leave’ side of the Brexit campaign. In the United States it takes only Republicans as clients: Senator Ted Cruz in the primaries, Mr. Trump in the general election. Cambridge is reportedly backed by Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire and a major Republican donor; a key board member is Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News who became Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman and is set to be his chief strategist in the White House. . .

” . . . . Their [the Mercers] data firm, Cambridge Analytica, was hired by the Cruz campaign. They switched to support Trump shortly after he clinched the nomination, and he eventually hired Cambridge Analytica, as well. Their top political guru is Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and White House chief strategist. They’re close, too, with Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who also has a senior role in the White House. They never speak to the press and hardly ever even release a public statement. Like Trump himself, they’ve flouted the standard playbook for how things are done in politics. . . .”

Bannon’s influence on Rebekah Mercer is particularly strong: ” . . . Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: ‘Svengali.’ Bannon is ‘really, really, really influential’ with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercers, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment about this. . . .”

In turn, the influence of Steve Bannon within the Facebook virtual panopticon is even more sinister considering Bannon’s political outlook: ” . . . . But, said the source, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about Bannon, ‘There are some things he’s only going to share with people who he’s tight with and who he trusts.’

Bannon’s readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apocalyptic tone that at times echoes Bannon’s own public remarks over the years—a sense that humanity is at a hinge point in history. . . .”

One of the influences on Bannon is Curtis Yarvin, aka Mencius Moldbug, who has actually opened a backchannel advisory connection to the White House: ” . . . . Before he emerged on the political scene, an obscure Silicon Valley computer programmer with ties to Trump backer and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was explaining his behavior. Curtis Yarvin, the self-proclaimed ‘neoreactionary’ who blogs under the name ‘Mencius Moldbug,’ attracted a following in 2008 when he published a wordy treatise asserting, among other things, that ‘nonsense is a more effective organizing tool than the truth.’ When the organizer of a computer science conference canceled Yarvin’s appearance following an outcry over his blogging under his nom de web, Bannon took note: Breitbart News decried the act of censorship in an article about the programmer-blogger’s dismissal.

Moldbug’s dense, discursive musings on history—’What’s so bad about the Nazis?’ he asks in one 2008 post that condemns the Holocaust but questions the moral superiority of the Allies—include a belief in the utility of spreading misinformation that now looks like a template for Trump’s approach to truth. ‘To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable [sic] demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform. And if you have a uniform, you have an army,’ he writes in a May 2008 post.’It’s been a while since I posted anything really controversial and offensive here,’ he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explaining why he associates democracy with ‘war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.’

Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. Yarvin said he has never spoken with Bannon. . . .”

After discussing Facebook’s new AI technology being employed to search users’ photos, the program concludes with the shift of Silicon Valley money to the GOP.

Program Highlights Include: review of Steve Bannon’s role on the NSC; review of the martial law contingency plans drawn up by Oliver North during the Reagan administration, involving the deputizing of paramilitary right-wingers; review of Erik Prince’s relationship to the Trump administration and Betsy De Vos, Trump’s education secretary.


“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”: Trump, Hitler and the Clueless

In FTR #33, we examined a German professor’s account of what it was like to experience the rise of Hitler, comparing it to the U.S. A consummately important article in Die Zeit gives us a window on the past and a vantage point of analysis for our times: Just compare how the German population, many of the more established politicians, the German press, the German so-called “progressive sector” (including the Communists and unions), foreign diplomats and last (but certainly not least, the Jews) saw the rise of Hitler.


FTR #944 Fireside Rant: WTF Is Going On? The Caligulization of America and the End of the American Century

This broadcast is a (probably partly unsuccessful) summary attempt at explaining what will be the results of the ascendance of the Trumpenkampfverbande in the U.S. It is to be hoped that this description will go further toward explaining what is going on than the original program. In addition to the excerpts of articles presented in the program, we will summarize some of the central arguments in the broadcast, with links to other programs and lectures, where possible.

In AFA #37, we discussed the Gehlen “Org” and related elements as a Trojan Horse, using anti-communism to infiltrate the United States and, ultimately, destroy it from within. In this program we develop that analysis further, adding the role of the House of Habsburg and associates to the Trojan Horse metaphor. When the U.S. frustrated the de-Nazification of Germany, opted to ally with the remarkable and deadly Bormann capital network and the associated Habsburg royal family, and returned the Japanese and Italian fascists to power (with a civilian facade), this country signed its own death warrant.

America’s entry into two World Wars, after the combat had proceeded for years, decided both conflicts against Germany. The American revolution was the first successful revolt of a European colonial power against its colonial master. Both Germany and the House of Habsburg vowed never again! Never!

In this context, we observe that the Habsburgs (royal house of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) ruled for six hundred years. Six hundred years ago–1417–was three quarters of a century before Columbus sailed. To the Habsburgs, America is a blip. Democracy is a blip. They see things in an entirely different way. Because the U.S. was an unassailable military power and the most powerful economy on earth, the country could only be brought down by subversion from within. We gave the Underground Reich and the Habsburgs the keys to the kingdom, not unlike the Praetorian Guard–Germanic mercenary troops appointed to guard the Roman Emperor. Eventually they controlled the throne and preserved the Roman Empire for as long as it could make lucrative payments to the Germanic tribes who eventually defeated and sacked Rome.

The thrust of the broadcast is that the ascension of Trump–an American Caligula–is indeed the end of what Henry Luce called “The American Century.” The author of our first article is a former editor for Time magazine and a former State Department officer, so his literal take on Luce’s pronouncement is not surprising. What Stengel is talking about is the end of “Brand America,” to coin a phrase–the successful PR marketing of this country as the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc.

That political mythology, which compelled much of Mr. Emory’s initial involvement in this research when he began in the early ’70s, will evaporate. That dissipation, however, will be eclipsed by the devastating economic, environmental, social and political devastation that will surely follow Trump’s policies.

As Mr. Emory forecast in FTR #’s 918 and 919, among other programs in the “Trumpenkampfverbande” series, Trump’s anti-NATO rhetoric and general disparaging of the Atlanticist alliances that have held sway during the better part of “The American Century” are focused on precipitating the Underground Reich goals of: an all-EU army replacing NATO, a German-dominate Europe assuming center stage in world affairs, and the forging of an economic alliance with Russia (following Russian concessions on Ukraine) that will give “Corporate Germany” economic domination over the Earth Island. A trade war with China, coupled with possible military adventurism against that growing giant, will simply enhance its commercial and diplomatic gravitas. Germany/EU will fill the vacuum, enhancing their economic ascension.

Our next article heralds Mr. Emory’s prognostications. We do not feel Trump is necessarily conscious of his role. In the age of mind control, what goes on between a given individual’s ears is impossible to gauge, past a point. Among the various and sundry disastrous outcomes of Trump’s policies may well be a cyber-terrorist incident from a nation-state actor or a lone malefactor, this the result of a federal hiring freeze. ” . . . On his first official day in office after inauguration, President Donald Trump has made good on his plan to institute a federal hiring freeze—part of his effort to slash the federal workforce. Details are sparse: Trump has said there would be exceptions for the military, and a White House memo notes the freeze would be waived ‘when necessary to meet national or public safety responsibilities.’ Some experts fear a temporary hiring freeze could exacerbate a chronic problem in the federal government: a widespread shortage of cybersecurity talent. A hiring freeze could signal to essential cybersecurity talent—especially those who might consider joining the public sector from higher-paying industry jobs—that there’s no need or desire for them in the federal government, Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president of the Professional Services Council, told Nextgov. . . .”

Exemplifying a disconnect that is sure to help bring our economy down, Labor Secretary Puzder lauds the value of machines over humans. While he is correct that machines do not do many things that he sees as counter-productive, he ignores the fact that machines don’t by food at Carl’s Junior or Hardees, the food chains for which he is chief executive. No machine has ever bought anything. ” . . . Fast food executive Andrew Puzder, who President-elect Donald Trump is expected to tap as labor secretary, has advocated replacing some human workers with machines as a way for businesses to reduce costs associated with rising wages and health-care expenses. While machines require regular maintenance and can sometimes malfunction, Puzder said, they are also easier to manage than humans and don’t pose the same legal risks. “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” Puzder told Business Insider in March. Puzder serves as the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the corporate parent behind fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. . . .”

When automation, inflation of the price of consumer goods that are imported and have had tariffs slapped on them by “The Donald,” lack of health care forcing working people to devote increasingly scarce resources toward maintaining their and/or their families’ health, the subversion of minimum wage, overtime and unionization laws and statutes and increasing concentration of economic ownership have brought American consumers to their knees, our consumer-based economy will collapse.

Lastly, we note something that heralds poorly for the response of the American people to the chaos that is sure to envelope this country after the environmental, economic and social chaos that will inevitably result from Trump’s rollback of decades of necessary regulation, enormous budget deficits from the GOP’s tax cuts, neutralization of decades of progress on health care and rollback of the New Deal.

With Betsy De Vos appointed as Secretary of Education, the already dismal, frightening civic awareness of our public school students figures to get worse. In and of itself, that is cause for extreme pessimism. As our society disintegrates from the interplay of various economic, political and military factors, the calls for “someone to do something” to repair our dysfunctional society are likely to increase exponentially.

“. . . . When, 2011, the World Values Survey asked US citizens in their late teens and early 20s whether democracy was a good way to run a country, about a quarter said it was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad,’ an increase of one-third since the late 1990s. Among citizens of all ages, 1 in 6 now say in would be fine for the ‘army to rule,’ up from 1 in 16 in 1995. In a different national survey, about two-thirds of Americans could not name all three branches of the federal government or which party controlled the House of Representatives. In a third study, almost half of the respondents said the government should be permitted to prohibit a peaceful march. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: review of the Habsburg role in Ukraine; review of Karl von Habsburg and his UNPO; review of Karl von Habsburg’s marriage to Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza and, through that, the Bormann capital network; review of the intimate proximity of the House of Habsburg and the House of Liechtenstein; review of House of Liechtenstein cousin Martin Wachter’s stewardship of a Bank al-Taqwa subsidiary; review of the Habsburg proximity to the death of Antonin Scalia, which may have helped to solidify the GOP behind Trump.


Don’t Think Twice, It’s “Alt-right”: Nazi Fellow Traveler Chuck Johnson Helping Trump Transition Team

Notorious troll, blogger and Nazi/white-supremacist fellow traveler Charles “Chuck” Johnson has substantive input in Trump’s cabinet selections–“Chuck” may be operating in tandem with Peter Thiel, whose database named the “Plum List” bears a striking similarity to a website “ThePlumlist.com,” apparently being used by Johnson to help staff Trump’s administration.


FTR #942 Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? (Part 2)

Continuing our analysis of Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, we begin with a lengthy exploration of the racist, fascist, quasi-Hitlerian views of Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna cult and someone who has received the unqualified adulation of Gabbard.

We explore Gabbard in the context of her high-profile role as a supporter of Bernie Sanders and the incoherent nature of her stance on Muslims.

In a nutshell, Gabbard’s idol Prabhupada believed that: “ . . . . rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the ‘non-Aryan’ majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since ‘shudra’ (the designation of the worker-caste) means ‘black,’ which in turn literally refers to blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. . . .”
Prabhupada, not surprisingly, was a believer in eugenics.

Prabhupada also felt that Native Americans exemplified the inferiority of the non-white peoples of the world and their subjugation by white Europeans was proof of their inferiority. This is interesting because Gabbard garnered much publicity with her decampment to Standing Rock in support of the natives of the region. We wonder what the Standing Rock Sioux would feel about Gabbard’s unqualified admiration of Prabhupada?

The program recaps a five minute adulatory address by Gabbard on the subject of Prabhupada, in which she states in so many words that Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa is her personal guru.
The broadcast details the dominant role of the Hare Krishna sect headed by Butler in Gabbard’s parents, husband, in-laws and political milieu.

The broadcast concludes with rumination about the possible role of Gabbard in the high-profile hacks of the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. Former British diplomat Craig Murray alleges that he got the information posted by WikiLeaks on a thumb drive given to him by a DNC insider “disgusted” by Clinton.

Gabbard was the former deputy chairperson of the DNC. Was she the “insider” Murray is referring to? If not, might she have provided information facilitating the hacks mistakenly being attributed to Russia/Putin?

Program Highlights Include: Review of Gabbard’s networking with Narendra Modi, his BJP party and the RSS, for which the BJP is a cat’s paw; review of Gabbard’s criticism of Barak Obama for not being sufficiently anti-Muslim; review of Gabbard’s resonance with the anti-Muslim views of Modi, his BJP and the RSS; review of the fascist RSS’s heritage, including its fundamental role in the assassination of Gandhi; review of Trump’s “Alt-right” advisor and former campaign manager Steve Bannon’s positive views of Modi and Tulsi Gabbard; review of Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position; discussion of the segmenting of the Hare Krishna cult under the supervision of eleven different gurus; the former chief of publicity for the group’s assertion that the organization has a secret agenda and rules its subjects with an iron fist; elements of the Hare Krishna sect’s involvement in gun-running; racketeering and murder.


FTR #941 Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? (Part 1)

The first of two programs highlighting Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic congressional representative from Hawaii, this broadcast notes her high-profile role in promoting Bernie Sanders for President, her incoherent stance on Muslims/Islam, her networking with the Hindu nationalist/fascist government of Narendra Modi, the favorable view of Gabbard held by the Trumpenkampfverbande, and Gabbard’s profound links to a branch of the Hare Krishna cult run by a fellow named Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa.

A major focal point of the program is the occult fascist nature of the views of Hare Krishna sect founder Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whom we shall refer to as Prabuhada. Central to our examination of Gabbard is the question of whether or not she might be a “ringer” inside the Democratic Party and–possibly–a mind-control job?

We begin with discussion of Tulsi Gabbard’s high-profile support for Bernie Sanders. ” . . . . Sanders has been surprisingly low-key in his response to this latest wave of populist delusion. Time is short. He must forcefully tell his supporters to abandon their misguided write-in mission, and soon. Every minute he keeps quiet, spoiler campaigns such as Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com recruit more voters from Facebook and Twitter to write in Sanders. In California, 55 people managed to register as “electors” to get Sanders approved as an official write-in candidate, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as vice president. The Sandernistas spent last week arguing that Clinton is just as “evil” as Trump, based on rumors – whipped up disgracefully by rogue pro-Trump FBI agents, then quashed Sunday with a big “never mind” by FBI Director James Comey – that freshly unearthed emails might yet get her indicted. .[We wonder if “Op Deny 270 and BernieVote.com might be some of the voter suppression operations Trump dirty tricks maven Roger Stone boasted of during the campaign?–D.E.] . .”

Of considerable interest are Gabbard’s incoherent views on Muslims/Islam and how they relate to her support for Sanders:

She has beeen critical of Obama because his stance on ISIS doesn’t label the group as representative of Islam: “ . . . . ‘Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Afraid to Criticize President Obama on ISIS,’ intones a recent ABC News headline. The story describes remarks by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), who has for the past month been all over the media slamming Obama’s refusal to directly associate ISIS and other terrorists with the Islamic faith. She’s particularly a favorite of right-wing media. . . .”

Gabbard’s support for Sanders is ostensibly due to her opposition to wars of regime change (a stance with which we agree, BTW.) This contrasts with her anti-Islam militancy: ” . . . . The newspaper characterized her support as “tempered” and wrote that she reiterated her concerns over the former secretary of State’s Middle East policies. . . . Gabbard, a veteran of two Middle East deployments, resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sanders, a Vermont senator. She said then, in a video, that America could elect ‘a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.’ . . .”

Curiously, Gabbard has joined Sanders in supporting African-American Muslim Keith Ellison for chair of the DNC. We feel that IF that were to happen, it would play right into the hands of Roger Stone/Trump/Steve Bannon et al. Is that the real goal of Gabbard’s stance?

Ellison has networked with Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the U.S., something that will work to the benefit of Roger Stone/Trump/Steve Bannon et al.
gabbardtrumpNext, the program recaps networking between the milieux of Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard and Narendra Modi:

Trump’s Indian partners in his real estate projects overlap the milieu of Modi’s BJP (a cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist and fascist party the RSS.) ” . . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. The Lodha Group has already negotiated with the United States government; it announced a landmark purchase of a property, known as the Washington House, on tony Altamount Road, from the American government for 3.75 billion rupees, almost $70 million. His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. Mr. Mittal, in an interview, has denied having any connection with the real estate company. . . .”

Trump interviewed Gabbard for a cabinet position: “. . . . Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.A ccording to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump’s Cabinet. . . .”

Trump’s “alt-right” advisor Steve Bannon is a fan of Gabbard’s: ” . . . . Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism along with her ability to invoke strong anti-establishment populist sentiment on the left. . . .”

Bannon is also a fan of Narendra Modi and has followed his political rise closely: ” . . . . Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”

Gabbard is also a big fan of Narendra Modi, having been involved with the planning of Modi’s U.S. visit and networking with BJP members: ” . . . . Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She had spoken to Modi after his victory in the Indian general elections and congratulated him and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”

On a trip to India, Gabbard networked with both the BJP and the RSS, the Hindu nationalist/fascist party for which Modi’s BJP is a cat’s paw. (All of Modi’s cabinet appointments were drawn from the RSS. Modeled on the German Nazi Party and Mussolini’s blackshirts, the RSS killed Gandhi.): “. . . . Speaking at a fundraising event for the BJP in August 2014 . . . Gabbard said that Modi’s election victory was only possible because ‘people stood up, one by one by one by one, and said we will demand that this change occurs.’ . . . Gabbard was treated as royalty on her visit to India last year. As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her ‘the Sangh’s mascot’ in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”

Marketed as “the first Hindu in Congress,” Gabbard, her family, her in-laws and political milieu are deeply connected to an offshoot of the Hare Krishna sect in Hawaii led by Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa:

Gabbard’s Washington-based chief of staff, Kainoa Penaroza, is the son of Bill Penaroza, linked to a political front for Butler’s organization. ” . . . . Kainoa Penaroza, who was appointed as Gabbard’s Washington, D.C.-based chief of staff last month despite his relative lack of political experience, is the son of Bill Penaroza, who was among a slate of 14 candidates running for a variety of offices in 1976 under an enigmatic political party called the Independents for Godly Government. The party’s connection to Butler was revealed in a three-part investigative series by the Honolulu Advertiser’s Water Wright in 1977. . . .”

Penaroza’s wife works as Gabbard’s Washington fundraiser. Both lived at a property owned by a group that owned Healthy’s, a store controlled by Butler’s group. ” . . . . Penaroza, 30, and his wife, Alana Leigh Penaroza, who now works as Gabbard’s D.C. fundraiser, at one time lived in a Kailua property owned by Joseph Bismark, a Singapore-based businessman whose company, QI Group, bought Healthy’s in 2007. According to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Healthy’s owns Noni Connection LLC, which lists Kainoa Penaroza as its director and secretary. . . .”

Abaham Williams, Gabbard’s now-husband, is from a family with deep ties to the Butler cult. ” . . . . Abraham Williams, Gabbard’s 26-year-old fiancé, is a freelance cinematographer who also grew up in a family with strong ties to Butler. His mother, Anya Anthony, is listed as a registered agent of Wai Lana Productions LLC, a company named after Butler’s wife, Wai Lan, that runs www.wailana.com, which sells yoga instruction DVDs, clothing and other accessories. . . . .”

Gabbard’s mother-in-law–Anya Anthony–is part of the Butler cult milieu and is the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. ” . . . . Anthony is now the manager of Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. Last month, Gabbard put a post on Facebook introducing Anthony as her soon-to-be mother-in-law. Gabbard noted that she had asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to determine if it was ethical for the congresswoman to employ her future mother-in-law. The committee signed off on Anthony’s continued employment, a committee spokesman confirmed to Civil Beat.

Sunil Khemaney, one Gabbard’s supporters on her trip to India where she networked with Modi, the BJP and the RSS, is tied to the Butler business milieu. ” . . . . Sunil Khemaney, who accompanied Gabbard on her December trip to India, is listed in Wai Lana Productions’ business registration records as its manager. He is also the director of Healthy’s and one of the trustees of Wai Lana Yoga Trust, whose mission is to ‘educate and teach the general public about the philosophy, moral standards and practices of yoga for the benefit of mankind.’ Khemaney is also the vice president of the East West Yoga Foundation, a nonprofit registered in Arizona. Chris Butler is listed in Arizona corporation records as its director, along with his wife, who is the president and director. . . .”

Tulsi’s father Mike is also tied to the Butler cult: ” . . . . Mike Gabbard has long maintained that he’s a Catholic, not Hare Krishna. But, in Honolulu Magazine’s 2004 profile, he acknowledged his ties to Butler: ‘Although I’m not a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, I’m eternally thankful to Chris Butler … whose teachings of karma yoga (selfless service) and bhakti yoga (devotion to God) have brought me back to my Catholic roots and the fundamental teachings of Christ.’ . . . . Mike Gabbard was in the audience at a taping of Chris Butler’s TV show, “Jagad Guru Speaks,” which aired for several years in the 1980s and 1990s. . . .”

Tulsi’s mother Carol is also tied to Butler and both of her parents sat on the board of directors of Buter’s group: ” . . . . . Multiple historical documents show that, at various points in the history of the Science of Identity Foundation, both Mike and Carol Gabbard sat on its board. According to various reports, they were bestowed Sanskrit names, ‘Krishna Katha das’ and ‘Devahuti dasi,’ respectively. . . .”

Gabbard herself denotes Butler as her personal guru at around 3:45 in an embedded video, the autio track of which is contained in the show. Note that the talk Gabbard is giving is an adulatory presentation of Prabuhada.

Prabhupada’s views are noteworthy for our purposes: “. . . . ISKCON founder A C Bhaktivedanta Swami’s views were even more bizarre than I expected: rape victims asked for it, Blacks are inferior and should be enslaved, Aryans are the supreme race, Hitler was right when attacking the Jews, and the “non-Aryan” majority of the human race are useless eaters no better than dogs. The preferred form of government is an absolutist monarchy. Racism is apparently an integral part of the ideal Vedic society, since “shudra” (the designation of the worker-caste) means “black”, which in turn literally refers to Blacks, a category which also includes Dravidians from southern India. . . .”

The program concludes with a longer look at Prabhupada’s fascist/racist views–an examination that will be set forth at greater length in the next program.
Program Highlights Include:

a)An examination of the fragmenting and usurpation that befell the Hare Krishna cult after Prabhupada’s death. This, too, will be set forth at greater length in the next program.
b)Speculation about Gabbard’s possible role in the compromising of the DNC.
c)Review of the allegation by Craig Murray that he gave the information compromising the DNC to WikiLeaks, after having received it from a dissatisfied DNC insider.
d)Gabbard’s curious stance on Trump’s appointment of recently-retired generals to fill key cabinet posts.


FTR #939 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 13: Unsettling In (German Ostpolitik, Part 4)

Continuing discussion of the Trump administration as the transformation of the Underground Reich into an above-ground mass movement, we return to the subject of the supposed Russian “hacks” during the election, German Ostpolitik and an apparent struggle between the American “Deep State” and the Trumpenkampfverbande.

Citing the extensive capabilities of the NSA, a group of veteran intelligence officers has concluded that the “evidence” of Russia having hacked the DNC is not credible: ” . . . The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like ‘our best guess’ or ‘our opinion’ or ‘our estimate’ etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been ‘hacked’ cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC. . . .”

In the context of the high-profile hacks, the program reviews information from previous discussions in FTR #’s 917, 923, 924, 925, 926 dealing with WikiLeaks, Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone, Edward Snowden, the DNC hack and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” and the “painting of Oswald Red,” including:The fact that Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone was in direct contact with Julian Assange prior to, and during, WikiLeaks’ publishing of the e-mails from DNC and John De Podesta;The fact that Stone promised an “October Surprise” from WikiLeaks that would affect the campaign; The fact that available evidence does NOT implicate the Russians in the DNC hack at all; The fact that the Shadow Brokers accessing of NSA hacking technologies was probably not a hack at all, but a leak by an insider using a thumb drive; Edward Snowden’s suspicious and, frankly, damning support for the untenable “the Russians did it” interpretation of the DNC penetration and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” Snowden’s curious tweet issued after the DNC hack and just before the Shadow Brokers surfaced–Snowden said “It’s time,” which has never been explained (we suspect that it may have been a signal to release the ANT/TAO material;) the fact that WikiLeaks associate Jacob Applebaum, who appears to have assisted Snowden’s flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong, is seen as a suspect in the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” Applebaum’s and Snowden’s affiliation with the CIA.

Next, the program highlights the allegation that a DNC insider leaked the e-mails to WikiLeaks: “. . . . And, even though The New York Times and other big news outlets are reporting as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the London Daily Mail that he personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat. [Might that have been Tulsi Gabbard?–D.E.] . . . Murray added that his meeting was with an intermediary for the Democratic leaker, not the leaker directly. [Might that have been Roger Stone?–D.E.]. . .”

In the context of a possible Trump mole inside the DNC, possibly assisting the “hacks,” we highlight Trumenkampfverbande links to the former DNC Deputy Chairperson Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and to Narendra Modi’s BJP, a political front and cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS. The salient points include:

Trump’s business links with members of Modi’s BJP. “. . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. . . . His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. . . .”

a) Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position.
b) Steven K. Bannon’s affinity for Gabbard: ” . . . . Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism . . .”
c) Bannon’s strong affinity for Modi: ” . . . The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”
d) Gabbard’s association with Modi and the BJP: “. . . . Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii. Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”
e) Gabbard’s association with the RSS: ” . . . As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her “the Sangh’s mascot” in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”

The FBI has weighed in on the “hacks,” opining that it was Russia trying to elevate Trump. If so, that would place the FBI and Russia on the same page, as the bureau’s nakedly partisan behavior during the campaign is quite obvious at this point. When the FBI supposedly detected Russia hacking the DNC, it called the IT “Help Desk” and the call was treated by the receptionist as a prank call. ” . . . So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT ‘help desk.’ As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: ‘We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.’ . . . ”

VICE News has filed a lawsuit against the FBI requesting information about a number of subjects which could prove very explosive IF the bureau divulges the full extent of the information it has on the subjects. “ . . . The suit also seeks all FBI emails mentioning Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone and Kellyanne Conway, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, Fox News host Sean Hannity, or Fox News anchor Bret Baier, among others. . . . ”

The latter part of the program highlights a number of topics that will be covered at greater length in FTR #940.

Program Highlights Include:

a) Trump’s appointment of another “Alt-Right” figure (Stephen Miller) as a top adviser.
b) The apparent role of Ukrainian fascists in generating the “Russia did it” disinformation about the DNC hack.
d) The Austrian Freedom Party’s networking with Trump National Security Adviser-designate Michael Flynn and their support for lifting Russian sanctions.
e) Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson’s opposition to sanctions against Russia.
f) The Bormann capital network’s massive holdings in Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon, now Exxon Mobil.)
g) Indications that Ukrainian fascist networks may be involved with the “Russia did it” meme on the high-profile hacks.


FTR #937 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 11: Settling In (The Underground Reich Comes into Plain View, Part 4)

This program continues our analysis of the transformation of the Underground Reich into a triumphant, broad-based movement. Some key features of the analysis include:

“Alt-Right” luminary Richard B. Spencer’s greeting to his followers at a meeting held a few blocks from the White House a couple of weeks after Trump’s victory: ” . . . ‘Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!’ That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as ‘an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.’ . . .”

Spencer’s referencing of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, racial theory and attacks on the media in that same address: “. . . . He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the ‘children of the sun,’ a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were ‘awakening to their own identity.’ . . . Mr. Spencer’s after-dinner speech began with a polemic against the ‘mainstream media,’ before he briefly paused. ‘Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?’ he said. The audience immediately screamed back, ‘Lügenpresse,’ reviving a Nazi-era word that means ‘lying press.’ Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests. . . . ‘One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,’ he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews. . . . Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was ‘the victory of will,’ a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film. [Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will.”–D.E.] . . . .”

Trump’s chief White House advisor, “Alt-Right” publishing kingpin Stephen P. Bannon describing himself as an “economic nationalist” and discussing how exciting the coming period will be: ” . . . I’m an economic nationalist,’ Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. [The term “Nazi” is a contraction of “National Socialist”–D.E.] . . . ‘It will be as exciting as the 1930s . . . conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.’ . . .”

Bannon also referenced elements he thought were good exemplars of “darkness.” “. . . . Bannon, in the [Hollywood Reporter] interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) — and the ‘darkness’ he touts in fighting against them. ‘Darkness is good,’ Bannon said. ‘Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they…get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.’ . . . ”

The fact that New York Times columnist Charles Blow voiced what we feel is an accurate sentiment: ” . . . This may well be the beginning of the end: the early moments of a historical pivot point, when the slide of the republic into something untoward and unrecognizable still feels like a small collection of poor judgments and reversible decisions, rather than the forward edge of an enormous menace inching its way forward and grinding up that which we held dear and foolishly thought, as lovers do, would ever endure. . . .”

Blow’s underscoring of Trump National Security Advisor General (ret.) Michael Flynn’s affinity for “Alt-Right”/white supremacist Mike Cernovich: “. . . . In October, Flynn tweeted: ‘Follow Mike @Cernovich He has a terrific book, Gorilla Mindset. Well worth the read. @realDonaldTrump will win on 8 NOV!!!’ The New Yorker dubbed Mike Cernovich ‘the meme mastermind of the alt-right’ in a lengthy profile. The magazine pointed out: ‘On his blog, Cernovich developed a theory of white-male identity politics: men were oppressed by feminism, and political correctness prevented the discussion of obvious truths, such as the criminal proclivities of certain ethnic groups.’ . . . . ”

Much of the program focuses on the media and communication and the corruption of the very concept of truth and the profession of journalism. The growing, dominant phenomenon of fake news was a major factor in the campaign. The growth of social media, the role of WikiLeaks and the proclivity of Donald Trump and those around him for tweeting disinformation are heralding the transformation of journalism into propaganda.

In addition to National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, his son and advisor Michael Flynn, Jr. is a major advocate of “fake news,” saying that a story should assumed to be true until proven false. We note that Flynn, Sr. disseminated a fake news story about the Clintons alleged involvement with a child-molestation ring. That story tracks back to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, whose sister, Betsy DeVos, has been nominated Education Secretary by Trump. Another of Trump’s advisors, Joseph E. Schmitz, succeeded Prince as the head of Blackwater. With powerful, militarily capable outfits like Blackwater (since renamed) in the Trumpenkampfverbande, the capabilities for violent suppression of dissenting journalism are enormous.

Trump has been extremely vocal in his criticism of dissenting media, lambasting broadcast journalists at a recent meeting and moving to “loosen libel laws.” With Trump poised to appoint several Supreme Court justices and other federal judges, the capabilities for the Trumpenkampfverbande to eliminate free speech will be profound. Trump has also been one of a number of billionaires who have made a point of suing media voices they dislike. This comes at a time when the growth of the internet has made media outlets more financially vulnerable to that sort of pressure.

Other Program Highlights Include: the creation of a “Professor Watchlist” by a right-wing youth group; rumination about how “open-carry laws” (such as one in Texas permitting college students to take handguns to class) might affect the well being of professors on that watch list; the suspension of Frank Navarro, a Mountain View (California) high school teacher and Holocaust expert, for comparing (rightly) Trump’s rise to the rise of Adolf Hitler; The U.S. vote against U.N. resolution condemning the celebration of Nazism and neo-Nazism on the grounds that it would restrict free speech (tell that to Frank Navarro!)


FTR #936 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 5

This fifth and final installment of the series references the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

In the previous program, we opined that we all, in a sense, are enrolled in Trump University. By the same token, we could all be said to be playing the board game Trump: The Game. ” . . . . Then there’s his Monopoly-like board game. When Trump and executives from Milton-Bradley introduced Trump: The Game in 1989, the developer surprised everyone by declaring those royalties would go to charity, too. Milton-Bradley took Trump at his word. It also figured it might improve sales, which were weak, if people realized their purchases would not enrich a presumed billionaire but go to charity. Its television ads told potential buyers: ‘Mr. Trump’s proceeds from Trump: The Game will be donated to charity.’ . . . Trump has said he made $808,000 and that the money was donated to his Donald J. Trump Foundation. . . . At the time, I spent a day calling New York and New Jersey charities trying to find any disclosures of gifts made by Trump. . . . But call after call produced nothing. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 17.)

Trump appeared to have won over a majority of voting military veterans and a poll of active-duty service members indicated that most preferred Trump. Trump himself avoided military service during the Vietnam War. “. . . . Donald turned eighteen in 1964, when the death toll in Vietnam was rising fast. He got four student deferments and one medical deferment, after his doctor wrote that he had a bone spur in his foot. Which foot? a journalist asked years later. Trump said he could not recall. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 131-132.)

In the fall of 2015, Trump boycotted a GOP primary campaign debate because Megyn Kelly was to be the on-air host. Trump instead went to an event on the Battleship Iowa museum to what he misrepresented as a major veterans organization. ” . . . . Trump instead went to the Battleship Iowa, now a museum at anchor in Long Beach, California, to deliver what his campaign said would be a major address on national defense. Trump praised the sponsor of the event, Veterans for a Strong America, and told the audience that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people belonged to the organization. There were evidently two related organizations, both nonprofits, though Trump and his host never made that clear to the audience on the ship or watching on television. One was a charity, the other one of those dark money political groups that have expanded since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, enabling money from undisclosed sources to influence elections. A quick internet check would revealed to the Trump campaign that the IRS had revoked the nonprofit status of Veterans for a Strong America due to their failure to file required disclosure reports. A charity disclosure organization, Guidestar, reported that it had no record of any board of directors, Every indication pointed to Veterans for a Strong America being a one-man enterprise run by a South Dakota lawyer named Joel Arends, whose operation was under investigation for suspected election improprieties in Arizona and Texas. Reporters later learned the organization had thirty dollars in the bank and debts ten times that size. None of this was in line with Trump’s promotion of the group’s immense size, influence, and good works. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 135-136.)

Next, the program highlights how Trump promotes himself and his projects using The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Trump, his daughter Ivanka, his son Donald, Jr., the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization (Donald Calamari) and Trump’s butler Anthony Senecal are major figures in this organization. The main figure in the organization is Joseph Cinque, aka “Joey No Socks” or “The Preppy Don.” ” . . . If those sound like names that might be associated with a figure involved in organized crime, it’s because they are. New York police with a search warrant knocked on the door of Cinque’s Park Avenue South apartment in 1989. Cinque declined to let them in. The police applied a battering ram. Inside the apartment they found a trove of stolen art, including two Marc Chagall prints valued at $40,000. they had been taken in an art gallery heist. Cinque made a deal to plead to a misdemeanor, but prosecutors scrapped the plea bargain after Cinque was seen talking to John Gotti, the ‘dapper don’ who became head of the Gambino crime family by arranging the murder of his predecessor Paul Castellano–one of the secret owners of the company that supplied concrete for many Trump buildings.

“Gotti told Cinque that he would ‘take care of the DA,’ an apparent reference to Anne Heyman, the prosecutor who had offered the plea bargain. . . . Heyman ordered a more thorough investigation of Cinque. She alleged that the investigation showed that Cinque ‘was dealing drugs out of his apartment and fencing stolen art-work.’ Heyman also said that Cinque’s apartment on Central Park South appeared to be a retail outlet for stolen clothing, including Armani suits and silk shirts. In 1990, Cinque pleaded guilty to a felony: receiving stolen property. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 158.)

Another interesting, close associate of Donald Trump was Felix Satter, who changed the spelling of his name, adding an extra “T” to avoid being recognized on internet searches. ” . . . ‘Satter’s’ name appears with just one ‘T’ in a host of places. There’s the deed to his home for example. It is also spelled with only one ‘T’ on New York State court papers from his 1991 felony conviction for stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass. The name Sater with one ‘T’ also appears on federal court papers in a $40 million organized crime stock swindle he confessed to in 1998, a scheme that benefited him as well as the Genovese and Gambino crime families. The stock swindle involved fake stock brokerage firms using high-pressure tactics to get naive people to buy worthless shares from Sater and his mob friends. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 162.)

Trump’s close associate Felix was able to escape serious legal retribution by going to work for the CIA. ” . . . . There is every indication that the extraordinarily lenient treatment resulted from Sater playing a get-out-of-jail free card. Shortly before his secret guilty plea, Sater became a freelance operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his fellow stock swindlers, Salvatore Lauria, wrote a book about it. The Scorpion and the Frog is described on its cover as ‘the true story of one man’s fraudulent rise and fall n the Wall Street of the nineties.’ According to Lauria–and the court files that have been unsealed–Sater helped the CIA buy small missiles before they got to terrorists. He also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 165.)

The last text reading concludes with discussion of Trump’s unsavory real estate deals. Luring unwary buyers in with the prestigious Trump brand name, ‘The Donald” left a great many of them high and dry when the truth emerged about what was really going on. In this sense, too, we are ALL investors in the Trump brand name, and likely to receive the same treatment as his unwary real estate customers.

A Baja California (Mexico) project is typical of Trump’s methodology and operations in this regard. ” . . . . A June 2007 newsletter notified buyers that construction was underway. The next month, the Trump Baja News reported, ‘our new and excited homeowners now are part of an elite group of vacation homeowners who own property developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump.’ Three months later, in October, when Wall Street crashed under the weight of the toxic mortgages and other Baja real estate projects faltered, the same newsletter carried a message ‘From the desk of Ivanka Trump.’ Ivanka assured the buyers that their investment was sound. ‘Though it may be rue that some of Baja’s developments could slow down, these market conditions simply do not apply to Trump Ocean Resort–or any other Trump development,’ she wrote.

“Two months later, in December 2007, the newsletter advised buyers of newly discovered geological problems afflicting the building site. A few months later, in March 2008, anxious buyers received calls or letters. Construction loans had been approved, would be funded shortly, and work would be underway. This was nine months after buyers had been told in writing that construction had already begun. Still, construction did not proceed.

“All of these promotions, sales pitches, and newsletter updates created the impression that Trump was the builder and the developer, words he used. The buyers later said they bought in because Trump was the developer or builder. That understanding then changed abruptly.

“The worst news arrived two before Christmas 2008. What had been described as a partnership between ‘the Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump,’ and the other people and companies involved was described in a new way. Neither Trump nor the Trump Organization were investment partners in the Trump Ocean Resort. They were not the developers, either. They had merely licensed the use of the Trump name. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 169-170.)

It is gruesomely ironic that the bulk of Trump’s scamming revolves around his real estate empire. It was, of course, the collapse of the real estate market that led to the financial collapse of 2008.


FTR #935 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 4

This fourth program in a series excerpting the book “The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston begins by examining Trump University, the fraudulent educational institution that was the focal point of several lawsuits recently settled by Donald Trump. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117-128.)

Mr. Emory feels that, in a sense, the case of Trump University is a microcosm for what America will be under a Trump presidency. ” . . . . The testimony above all comes from a 2012 suit, but two other lawsuits claimed that the whole Trump University enterprise was a fraud–a scam in which the desperate and the gullible paid Trump about $40 million for what turned out to be high-pressure salesmanship. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 120–121.)

In a very real sense, Trump’s pitch in a promotional video embodies Trump as a professional, a person and a politician: ” . . . ‘At Trump University, we teach success . . . . That’s what it’s all about–success. It’s going to happen to you. We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific–terrific people, terrific brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best. These are all people that are handpicked by me.’ . . . . None of those statements were true. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117—118.)

Representative of the operations of this “university” is Trump’s “faculty.” ” . . . . Trump did not even honor his commitment to handpick the faculty. In 2012, when Trump was sued for civil fraud in California, attorney Rachel Jensen read the names of one faculty member after another, displayed photographs of them, and offered video footage of faculty at Trump University ‘live events.’ Trump, who complained that this line of questioning was a waste of time, could not identify a single person. ‘Too many years ago . . . too many years ago . . . it’s ancient history,’ he said. Some of these events had taken place fewer than two years earlier. Again and again and again, Trump testified that he could not remember. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; p. 119.)

An investigation of Trump University in Texas had a revealing political footnote: ” . . . . To the seasoned fraud investigators who compiled the report, the case against Trump seemed ironclad. The investigators concluded with the suggestion that Trump . . . . be named personally in a civil action suit alleging deceptive trade practices. We know all this because John Owens, who retired in 2011 as chief deputy in the Texas attorney general’s consumer protection unit made the internal report public in 2016. The Texas attorney general’s office, Owens’s former employer, responded with a letter citing six laws Owens may have broken in releasing the report and suggesting his law license might be revoked. . . . Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, took no public action. . . . Abbott has since been elected governor. He endorsed Trump in 2016. . . . In 2013, three years after [assistant Texas attorney general Rick] Berlin failed to persuade Abbott to adopt his recommendation to recover money for Texas consumers, Trump donated $35,000 to Abbott’s campaign for governor. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 122-123.)

The Abbott-Trump relationship mirrors the highly suspicious contribution Trump made to the reelection campaign of Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who dropped the investigation into Trump University in exchange for the “favor.”

As reported during the campaign, Trump’s contribution was made from one of Trump’s charities, which are the focal point of Chapter 16 of Johnston’s book. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 129-134.)

Enjoying the support of many veterans, according to polls, and, also according to polls, active duty military personnel, Trump attempted to use veterans as campaign props by donating to them in violation of regulations governing charitable donations. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 135-136.)