It’s been obvious for a long time that the best way to stop the rise of right-wing extremism in America that everyone’s so worried about today is not to pass a bunch of authoritarian laws, but to reverse the policies of soul-crushing neoliberalism and domestic austerity which led to Donald Trump. Instead of doing this, the next president is already pushing a Patriot Act sequel and reducing the stimulus checks he’d promised the public before he’s even been sworn in.

President-elect Biden promised unambiguously that if voters gave the Democratic Party control of the Senate by electing Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia earlier this month, checks of $2,000 would “go out the door immediately”. Warnock blatantly campaigned on the promise of $2000 checks if elected, literally using pictures of checks with “$2000” written on them to do so. This was not an unclear promise by any stretch of the imagination, yet when Biden unveiled the “American Rescue Plan” on Thursday, the number 1400 was written where the number 2000 should have been.

The argument being pushed out at the moment is that when Democrats were blatantly promising stimulus checks of $2000 what they really meant was that Americans would receive $1400 on top of the $600 checks they’d received earlier, and everyone should have just known this somehow (perhaps via some sort of psychic precognition or sorcery). Which of course makes as much sense as someone hiring you to do a job for a given amount of money and then paying you the amount promised minus the amount you’d made at your last job.

It’s just so emblematic of US austerity policies, which are so normalized they don’t even use that word. Keep people stretched so thin that even a paltry $2000 after months and months of nothing can be spun as an excessively exorbitant indulgence which must be scaled back to keep it reasonable. In reality a grand total of $2600 in the richest nation on earth after all this time would still be a huge slap in the face, but generations of media spin have gone into keeping Americans from attaining that level of rightful entitlement.

So as of this writing the internet is full of angry Americans actually typing the words “$1400 is not $2000”, which is totally bananas. People should not have to say that the number 1400 is not the same as the number 2000. It feels like if my Twitter feed was full of people saying “Cars are not birds”, or “Pogs are not iPhones”, or “Mimes are not salad”. People should not have to make such self-evident clarifications.

But they apparently do need to make such clarifications, because scumbags like Adam Schiff are looking them right in the eye, sharing information that says “$1,400 checks” on it, and telling them that it says “$2000 relief checks”.

2 + 2 = 5.


So again, it’s pretty clear that America isn’t going to attempt to reverse the conditions which created Trump and all the extremist factions that everyone’s been freaking out about since the Capitol riot. Obama led to Trump, and the strategy going forward is to just keep tightening the neoliberal screws like both Obama and Trump did throughout their entire administrations. And, of course, to advance new “domestic terrorism” laws.

As we discussed previously, Biden has often boasted of being the original author of the Patriot Act years before it was rapidly rolled out amid the fear and blind obsequiousness of the aftermath of 9/11. Now in the aftermath of the Capitol riot we are seeing a push to roll out new authoritarian laws around terrorism, this time taking aim at “domestic terror”, which were also in preparation prior to the event used to manufacture support for them.

In a new article for Washington Monthly titled “It’s Time for a Domestic Terrorism Law“, Bill Scher argues against left-wing critics of the coming laws like Glenn Greenwald and Jacobin‘s Luke Savage saying such “knee-jerk reactions” against potential authoritarian abuses fail to address the growing problem. He opens with the acknowledgement that “Joe Biden’s transition team was already working on a domestic terrorism law before the insurrection,” and then he just keeps on writing as though that’s not weird or suspicious in any way.

Scher lists among the growing threat of domestic terror not just white supremacists and right-wing extremists but “extremist left-wing domestic terrorism” as well. He approvingly cites Adam Schiff’s Confronting The Threat of Terrorism Act, which “creates a definition of domestic terrorism broadly encompassing plots that carry a ‘substantial risk of serious bodily injury’ along with an ‘intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population’ or ‘influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.’” The ACLU has unequivocally denounced Schiff’s bill, saying it “would unnecessarily expand law enforcement authorities to target and discriminate against the very communities Congress is seeking to protect.”

Known CIA asset Ken Dilanian has also been trotted out to make the case that Americans have too many rights for their own good, co-authoring an NBC article titled “Worried about free speech, FBI never issued intelligence bulletin about possible Capitol violence“.

“FBI intelligence analysts gathered information about possible violence involving the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6., but the FBI never distributed a formal intelligence bulletin, in part because of concerns that doing so might have run afoul of free speech protections, a current and two former senior FBI officials familiar with the matter told NBC News,” the article warns, making sure to inform readers that “experts say the lack of a domestic terrorism statute constrains the FBI from treating far-right and far-left groups the same as Americans who are radicalized to violence by Al Qaeda or ISIS ideology.”

We can expect to see more such articles going forward.

The only way to sincerely believe more Patriot Act-like laws will benefit Americans is to believe that the US will only have wise and beneficent leaders going forward, and the only way to sincerely believe the US will only have wise and beneficent leaders going forward is to be completely shit-eating stupid. The trajectory has already been chosen, and that trajectory is the one that has already given rise to Trump. Continuing along that same trajectory can only give rise to something far uglier, and that something far uglier will have whatever new authoritarian powers are added by Joe Biden.

They’re not actually worried about “domestic terror”, they’re worried about any movement which threatens to topple the status quo. They want to make sure they can adequately spy, infiltrate, agitate and incarcerate into impotence any movement which provides a threat to America’s rulers and the system which funnels them wealth and power at the expense of everyone else. The movements which most threaten this are not rightists, who are generally more or less aligned with the interests of the oligarchic empire, but the left.

This is who they’ll end up targeting going forward, and whatever Biden and Company wind up rolling out to fight “domestic terrorism” will help them do so.


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32 responses to “Consent-Manufacturing For Patriot Act II Continues”

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  3. Biden is pure garbage. America once again got taken in by his bullsheit !

    First dose was the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act a.k.a. via John Ashcroft The Patriot Act.

    That is all one needs to know to cognize who this man really is.
    He cares nothing about freedom and rights.
    He pisses on the Constitution standing right next to Trump and ALL other politicians we have in elected power.

    Next act will be The Patriot Act 2.0

    When will this planet wake up !

    When will people cease placing their trust in these criminals made politicians !

    Wake the F UP

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    exiled off mainstreet

    I refer to it all as the Reichstag riot, since the regime propagandists are following the Goebbels Nazi regime precedent of using a propaganda initiative based on attacks on a parliamentary building to enact decrees consolidating fascism and proscribing opponets as terrorists. Kudos for the discussion of austerity and the $1400 checks replacing the $2000 ones, revealing the phony propaganda which enabled them to get enough votes in Georgia to follow the same modus operandi of ballot stuffing to make up for the remaining margin.

  6. I tend to agree with you, Ms Johnstone, and found this, link follows, which I think you’ll find interesting. If I may suggest, Rod Steiger and Bill Murray are worth the trips down the internet rabbit hole…link:

  7. To be serious about so-called White Supremacy you have to talk about *INSTITUTIONS* not ordinary White voters and folk. Who are the Supremacists but those who reign Supreme: The New York Times, Twitter, Facebook, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, the heads and Boards of academic institutions and major corporations. And token people of color near the top for Photo-Ops can’t change the fact that these are the real wielders of Power in the United States, the 1%, and it is pathetic to see Progressives fall for their pretending to be on their side.

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  8. When the media shows the same clips of violence at the Capitol over and over and over and tells us again and again, these are the people you have to be afraid of, your fellow citizens, not us, no, not us, we’re here to protect you from ‘them’ – I mean, is this your first day in America, or what?

    This “reporting” reminds me of the antiwar demonstrations of my youth, when the media would always focus on the looniest nutjobs in the crowd, and if twenty people got violent in a rally of a hundred thousand, that’s all you would see on the evening news. The contrast to the fawning coverage BLM was grabned last year could not be greater.

    “The mob” has always been hated and feared by the elite. John Adams’ administration is the textbook example of the Federalist assault on “the rabble” they used to fight for independence on their behalf. Adams criminalized all criticism of his regime, and his Congress passed a new Stamp Act that levied taxes far more onerous than King George’s. And only 66,841 men out of an American population of over four million were able to vote in the presidential election Adams won in 1796. Look up the editorials in the leading Republican journal, Harper’s Weekly, online, for their scathing rage at armed citizen resistance to the 1863 military draft. Or consider the resistance to the Great War and the all but forgotten war resisters of World War II, which was a wholly avoidable catastrophe.

    I don’t care for Trump one little bit but it is showmen like him who are often the greatest catalysts for change, in spite of themselves. I have no reason to fear his supporters: they are my countrymen, not the bogeyman slithering out from under the bed. I grew up in a working class home in a working class neighborhood (an integrated one, so I tend not get hysterics at the sight of a black man). I have friends among Trump fans, while others I know of that persuasion aren’t worth a pisshole in the snow as far as I can see. Some of the most decent people I’ve known have politics I can’t stomach, while all too many I tend to agree with politically are such pretentious intellectual snobs that I can’t stand them socially.

    1. Wow, a lucid and sane comment, rare as hens teeth in these parts.
      I come from a working class background and moved to USA 5 years ago and have the same conclusion. I feel my job is to convince the working class here that they are actually socialists despite what they’ve been taught. We build homes, we work hard, with pride and we help each other purely in solidatiry. The liberals whom I’m surrounded by in this rural chic enclave, speak of morality and decency but are lazy, selfish, backstabbing psychos with only transactional relationships and virtue signalling through hollow yard signs that say meaningless pleasantries like ‘love is love’. Repubs are massively ill informed but usually their hearts are in the right place and they are open to debate. Dems literally will never speak to you again if you question anything they think. They come from a place of narcisissm and belief in their superiority.

      1. Try looking around more; I am progressive RN, in the Democratic Party to try to get more progressives in office, work my butt off on activism for better healthcare, Medicare for All, and I urge all to solidarity and unionize, the Republicans I know are blatant racists, working to increase wealth income inequality.

    2. Historicvs wrote:
      > When the media shows the same clips . . .
      > This “reporting” reminds me of the antiwar demonstrations of my youth, when the media would always focus on the looniest nutjobs in the crowd . . .
      > I don’t care for Trump one little bit but it is showmen like him who are often the greatest catalysts for change, in spite of themselves.
      “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
      — Luke 8:17
      Well, there is indeed a dark and a bright side to Trump, but at least — unfortunately for the establishment — people could see through things when this atypical politician — or rather showman/businessman — was often… unusually revealing in his dealings with mass media. Now people know a bit more what is going on.
      Maestro Trump vs CNN

  9. Terrorism –
    The use of terror for to influence policy.

    Conspiracy Theory –
    A hypothesis which is counter to policy.

    Reality –

    Lies –
    Statements which contradict policy.

  10. And, last but not least (at all), is that this is yet another example, that lying is an accepted policy in the US government.

    It is time for the whole world to start speaking out and boycotting this criminal enterprise, called the US of A.

    We, as in people of the world, have some powers which are hard to remove. One of these is the manner in which we handle and spend our money.

    So maybe keep some simple things in mind, when you go out to purchase something.

    Many, many articles on the shelves of your supermarket, convenience stores and what have you, are from USA controlled companies. Leave them be. Buy locally produced articles or articles from a country which has less or no dreams of total hegemony over the globe and the universe and which does not maintain almost 1000 military bases in countries where the really have no business.

    And when you listen to the narratives that “horrible” regimes aspire world domination, look at facts and at who really has all sorts of military bases all over the world and which power it is which creates coups all over the world.

    WAKE UP!

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Suggested many times in the past to BDS the US. Put the relationship with the US on ice. Focus on economic and military ties with Russia and China. Wish my own country would exit NATO and become a neutral country like Switzerland. Sadly, my own country is one of the most enthusiastic US bootlickers.

  11. KISS IT GOODBYE (your ass also)

  12. $600, $1200, $1400, $2000, its all the same. A bribe to keep you from noticing that “pick a number” is pennies on the dollars being handed to the bank cartel , Wall Street, and corporations. Some of which the Psychopaths In Charge will get back in “campaign contributions”, yet another bribe. Power has always been for sale, it’s just lately become an open market, with no attempt to conceal it. Just more bribes to get you to ignore it.
    The only one of the Bill of Rights not already disposed of is the third amendment. Troops are not allowed to be quartered in private homes. Lately we get images of troops sleeping on the floor in DC. So you are unpatriotic if you deny them such quartering?
    It becomes ever more obvious the 0.1% intends to enslave the 99.9%. Likely soon to follow will be the disposal of any surplus slaves. Such is the decree of Saint Gates.
    Ain’t government grand?

  13. “The Threat of Terrorism Act, which “creates a definition of domestic terrorism broadly encompassing plots that carry a ‘substantial risk of serious bodily injury’ along with an ‘intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population’ or ‘influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.’”

    Aren’t even peaceful demonstrations meant to “intimidate” the government to get it to acknowledge popular support for change and to get it to change course? Since they already control the MSM, once they make demonstrations illegal the US population will become even more isolated and brainwashed.

    1. Ues, but we will not have jobs, be on guaranteed basic income, no longer eating meat, no longer owning anything and will be happy. Also we will be properly vaccinated, tagged and properly masked. Sort of sounds like cows.

  14. Maybe that lowlife liar Biden is testing the water to see what he can get away with? Time to object strenuously!

  15. “So again, it’s pretty clear that America isn’t going to attempt to reverse the conditions which created Trump and all the extremist factions that everyone’s been freaking out about since the Capitol riot.” Much more fatalism here than I’m used to from Caitlin. Given the constantly unfolding and intensifying socioeconomic pressures of the pandemic, and the proclivity of the virus to return in waves and mutate, it’s not at all clear that the American people will not rise up, even in the short term, and reverse the conditions which created Trump & Co. Hey Caitlin, read the post you put up yesterday and those with similar spunk and spirit you’ve written in recent months. We’re in a war, and pessimism, fatalism, and defeatism–even when bundled together under the more respectable moniker of realism–will never help to win it. You know this better than I do.

  16. Impressions:
    Peons, can’t live with them, can’t kill ‘em… Oh wait! – Deepstate elite.
    “Smelly Walmart people” – Deepstate elite
    “Deplorables” – Deepstate elite
    “Don’t worry, they’re OUR pigs now” – New American royals AKA Deepstate elite
    “Whose airplane and private island do we use this week?” – Deepstate elite royal class bloody priests and priestesses of Moloch slaughterers of “chickens” apparently purchased at pizza parlors.
    “There’s not evidence of that” – Smirking Media Henchwoman narrative controlling bloody Moloch priestess spinmeister.
    “Impeach immediately before he pushes the real reset button!” – Actual madwoman Neo-Nazi pin wearing fascist bloody lizard priestess of (Yep, that again).currently third in line of ascension/succession to control the (presumably red) real reset button.
    Too long to list collection of dark side timeless non-human immortal entities merging to form a vortex straight through Hell non-stop into the Abyss… priceless.

  17. Thanks Caitlin you keep hitting the nail on the head of the coffins and cages that they keep constructing to keep their power over us strong and intact, if you will forgive a sloppily mixed metaphor. I wish you were accessible to a far wider public. And though you rarely comment on my remarks, I can forgive that, since what we are doing as activists really doesn’t depend on you in anyway.

  18. I wonder what a safe place to put those weirdos would look like.
    You know, until we can figure out what to do with them, and figure out what horrors they have been committing.
    It would be unneighborly and impolite to let them keep hurting themselves and others merely because they are just too damned dumb not to.
    I mean, they aren’t mysterious magical beings, right?
    They are a bunch of nutjob criminals hiding in a building (buildings), or hiding in their little tunnels, once you delete all of their splainin’.

  19. The whole point of manufacturing the new ‘Domestic Terrorist’ is to remove the 1st Amendment which stands in the way of the incoming Technocracy. If that can be removed then the Technocratic Revolution can go ahead unchallenged. There will be no stopping the UN implementing its technocratic Sustainable Development Goals, SMART cities, full surveillance etc. The 1st amendment stands in the way. It really is that simple.

  20. Caitlin, don’t get hung up about the $2.000 cheque the Americans will get. In the US, over 40 million people are impoverished. Instead of sending $23 Billion taxpayer money to Israel every year, the US government should give every poor American citizen $ 500 million. The Billion so-called corona relief bill grants US citizens $ 2.000; what Israel gets equals $5.600 per Israeli citizen. What about the billions, the Bezos’, the Bloombergs, the Zuckerbergs, the big tech giants, not to speak of the kleptocratic plutocrats made during the ongoing pandemic, they could hand out 1 million to every American; it would just be peanuts, and they wouldn’t realize it on their bank accounts.

    That the Harris/Biden team will use the so-called insurrection as a pretext for passing draconic anti-democratic laws is according to their ideology. The US will become a politically correct Fascists totalitarian society.

  21. 2,000 must equal 1,400 when [imaginary] money is in short supply for the human cattle people. The truth is becoming clearer by the moment. Spaceship Earth really does look like a ship of carefully grown fools.

  22. YES AGAIN. THANK YOU. 1st it should be 2,000 a month…since about april fools day.
    paid now in retro. so 2,000 X 10 months = 20,000…to continue for everyone over 17 for life. take it from DOD AND CIA and the FED, of course.
    then, we can become de-stressed and think more clearly. Denmark does this and Finland. Oslo outlaws Internal combustion engines.
    they have time to think.
    they also have FREE health care not MEDICARE FOR ALL which can still bust ya.
    mine charges me 145 a month + 20% +190 a year for starting to use it each year. OR…call it 150 X 12= 1800 + 190 or nearly 2,000 per year, anyway.
    in denmark all cops have to have a degree in policing designed by expert academics.
    sort of eliminating stupid cops like the ones taking selfies with the barbarians…
    hard to take a selfie with someone you just killed.
    white rioters attack the cops who hug them for it. while black freedom marchers get attacked by cops who turn off their cameras to murder them.
    ps~~also shout out to black Capitol cop who did a Brer Fox on the marauding hordes of Visagoths, leading then away from the cowering Reps. nice work there since no one got hurt chasing him around.

  23. Ms Johnstone, you continue to ” hit the nail on the head “! Keeping us ” peons ” corralled in a stockade as our pockets are picked is all that matters to the owners and the masters. ” Our Rights ” are just a handy illusion to keep us ” pacified and content “!

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