Posts Tagged ‘Kent Manthie’

Hello Everybody!!!                                                                  learylead091815

C’est moi. I’m back!  Sorry, all you great people who read Independent Review and an extra special sorry to those bands whose new albums I’ve been putting off reviewing for much of the last month.

I figured, now that I’m back; tanned, tested and rested, so to speak, I’d better write a little something to possibly puzzled new indie music fans to let you all know that the craziness, the chaos, et cetera, et cetera, now passed, is going to allow me to get back to a better, quicker reviewing system.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           something to help you ‘tune out’

Just to make a note of it: 2016 was a horrible year.  It started off with so many beloved musicians, singers and even an actor or two dying left and right.  For the first couple months of 2016, there seemed to be about three deaths of people whose names many of us would recognize, some more than others, possibly, but I was surprised with the high volume and rapidity with which these people died; all within a month or two of each other. Then, the year ended on a really big downer:  Somehow, that “brash asshole”, the walking, rambling “human” joke actually won the election.  Of course, Russia had a hand in helping trump getting “elected”, the extent of it all is something that isn’t so obvious, but the new admin. is already spreading word around about possibly considering lifting the sanctions put in place on Russia for their interference and military taking (back) of the Crimea and nasty things in other parts of Ukraine.  The evidence of Russia’s involvement include a few things here:  the (undisputed, at least by US admin.) hackings, the disruption and interfering with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, something which makes the whole “Watergate” scandal, from the early 1970s pale by comparison (for those who may be too young to know what “Watergate” means, well, in 1972, an election year for Nixon, the White House “plumbers” unit, put together by such brains as Haldeman, Ehrlichman and John Mitchell, broke into the Democratic Party HQ which was in the Watergate office complex (it’s a hotel today, I’m not sure if it had hotel accomodations back in the day)).   The break-in at the Watergate was a plot related to the upcoming ’72 elections, even though it obviously didn’t work out the way Nixon wanted it to (he still beat George McGovern quite handily).

Anyway, with things the way they are, contemporaneously, I’d give anything to have a Richard Nixon as president over shithead!

Dark times ahead, dark times indeed.  One way to help combat the ugly situation we, as Americans have allowed ourselves to be put in  – someone out there voted for this bag of dogshit!  Most live in states that would’ve had soldiers dressed in gray uniforms during the civil war, 152+ years ago – southerners.  In fact, only 27% of Americans actually voted for the bag of shit with the awful orange wig, far from a majority and definitely not any kind of “mandate” from the “people” – anyway, one way to ameliorate this mess is to GET ORGANIZED and VOTE, dammit, VOTE!  Sure, the Democratic party may not be the panacea that’s going to make everything rosy and perfect, but it’s going to go a long way in keeping the reactionaries in the GOP-controlled congress from being nothing more than a rubber stamp for trump, essentially, going along with every hare-brained scheme he comes up with.  The Democrats have to take back the senate.  Taking back the house would be great, but harder.  As for the senate, all it would take is a shift of just a few seats, e.g., get rid of, say, three or four Republicans and replace them with Democrats or Independents who would caucus with Democrats, thereby giving them the majority again.  Too bad that isn’t so right now; if it were, Jeff Sessions, that asshole from Alabama, would not have been confirmed as Attorney General and neither would Mr. Puzder, the current head of Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr., as labor secretary (ed: since I originally wrote this, Puzder took himself out of the running for running the Labor Dept.; a wise choice).  Then, you have the extremely unlikable little troll from Georgia:  congressman Tom Price, this shameless, demon, straight out of Deliverance territory(!) named to head the dept. of Health and Human Services.  He is the absolute worst possible candidate to head HHS.

I do concede, however, that OK, the Democrats didn’t have the best possible candidate in Hillary.  Sure, she’s well-known, popular and so on, but because assholes like Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor from the worst state in the union:  South Carolina (don’t get me started!) who headed a subcommittee to “investigate” (I use that term loosely) Hillary and her use of a private email account when she was Secretary of State in Obama’s first term, instead of the email account she and all govt. employees use.  Nothing ever came of this long, drawn out “witch-hunt” (because that’s exactly what it was); for one, because there was no there there.  One Republican who sat on that subcommittee even admitted as much, “off the cuff”, when he was heard to say that these hearings and the subcommittee overseeing them, were purely political.  Now, just to hear that, coming from the mouth of a GOP was damning enough, but the fact that nobody else – GOP or otherwise -said or wrote (lol: “wrote”) anything, rebuking that statement.

But we’d just be deluding ourselves if we were to say that trump “won” “only through chicanery and appealing to base instincts like racism, sexism, jingoism/xenophobia; the sort of “My country, right or wrong” crowd; so-called “patriots” who only want white, English-speaking, affluent people to be in America.  With that idiotic travel ban placed on seven “Muslim-majority countries”, trump’s already sown the seeds of more hatred of America and ensured there be more terrorist attacks to come, by giving the disaffected, poverty-stricken, idle young people in the Middle East as well as other “hard-core”, self-styled “Muslims”, giving them a “cause” for which to fight.  Trump is a real asshole, but he can’t really be that stupid, could he?  I mean, well, I just heard that the appeals court has refused to reinstate this idiotic travel ban, but of course, the WH is not going to let it go and will next petition SCOTUS to have an emergency session so they can twist their arms into giving in to their xenophobic way of dealing with immigration (e.g., just shut it down):  trump must know these actions are going to inflame those already with an anti-American bent and that more terrorist attacks are sure to follow:  is trump baiting a terrorist attack in the US?  I wouldn’t be surprised; that way, he’ll have an excuse to exercise all sorts of made-up executive powers and a scared-shitless American public will be willing to go along with all this creeping fascism, just as long as they’re “safe” (from the “terror menace”).  Canada’s looking more and more like a viable option for a place to live.  Vancouver, B.C. is a great city, so is Montreal and Toronto as well as many other towns all over Canada.

Anyway, with that, I want to just say:  “welcome to 2017”.  I hope your year is going well so far.  We’re at the bottom of the barrel, politically speaking, so it can only get better from here (well, that’s not necessarily true, it could get a lot worse, but for the optimistically inclined, we’re, indeed, at our nadir, after really doing nothing about it and letting trump just walk off with the presidency, thanks to help from Putin and his team of criminals).

Also:  going forward, just to let you – that is, both the readers as well as those who are awaiting reviews:  I’m going to start shortening the reviews I write: instead of long, sometimes drawn out articles, I’m going to start writing more concise, shorter reviews.  Reviews that will be around the 400-500 word mark.  Sometimes they might be a little longer than that and other times they’ll be around 300 words.  But, you’ll still get the maximum out of the reviews, you’ll just get the info in a compact yet concise review.  This way, with all I have at the moment, to catch up on as well as the new stuff I continue to receive, I can get, say, three reviews written with the amount of space it’s taken, in the past, to write one review.

OK, so I hope all you who’ve made “New Year’s Resolutions” haven’t yet given up on them.  It’s only February 10. Give it some more time, whatever the goal was.   One of mine is to get going on these reviews and start writing them shorter, so as to get more done as well as write in a new, less wordy style.  Hope you’ll stick around to see how things look over the next month.

Signing off for now…

Kent Manthie

PS- just an FYI: if you’re reading this & that cool pic of Tim Leary isn’t radiating colors when you first see it, just click it and that should start it going.  🙂

 

Owen/Into It (Split EP)    

Over It

Polyvinyl Records, 2015 

Review by Kent Manthie                                                                            

                                                                                                            Owen-Into it Split EP cover

A brand new set of tunes, emerging on this split EP, which is a joint effort between Mike Kinsella (aka Owen) and Into It. The EP is Over It, a collection of four tunes, two of which were written by Kinsella (“Poison Arrows” and “Poor Souls”). The latter two are Into It songs: “Local Language” and “Anchor”.

All four songs fit well together in one way, and that is that none of them are over three minutes long. But, beyond that, it’s quite easy to tell the difference between between the Owen songs and the Into It songs: Owen was his usual, introspective, sometimes melancholy or mournful, other times yearning, a hopeful, positive spin on what is to come in life.

Into It. Over It. is the brainchild of Evan Weiss, he of bands such as The Progress, Stay Ahead of the Game and Pet Symmetry.  For a split EP collaboration like this, these two are a great fit:  Ever since he branched out into solo territory, after being in the band that started it all, Cap’n Jazz, to Owls, American Football and appearing sporadically on some albums of his brother, Tim’s band, Joan of Arc, Mike kicked off a solo “career”, albeit one that gave him plenty of latitude in terms of when he wanted to do it and when he wanted to play with another band or artist.  Thus was born Owen, Mike’s alter ego.  Owen isn’t a band; Mike plays most, if not all the instruments and sings:  he’s got a great skill for both drums and the guitar and, knowing the guitar as well as having a sense of rhythm, playing the bass is not a hard job, either.  Anyway, since the early 2000s, Kinsella has put out a number of albums under the Owen moniker:  There was the “eponymous” (Owen) album, from 2001, then No Good For No One Now a year later.  An EP came out in 2003, The Seaside and then, in late 2004, in my opinion, anyway, Mike-as-Owen put out his best work:  I Do Perceive, a hauntingly melancholic as well as chilling, beautiful and hypnotic sort of collection of journal entries worked into songs.  Beautiful and introspective stuff like “Note to Self”, “Playing Possum for a Peek”, the confessional and also favorite of mine, “Bed Abuse”, which is just a brilliantly beautiful song.  A year or so later Owen was back with, what I think was his last really great album:  At Home With Owen, which even featured a pleasant cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale”.  After that, every year or two, Mike would come back and put another album’s worth of music out, New LeavesGhost Town and L’ami Du Peuple to name a few.  They all had some shining moments of their own, true, but and like I said, it’s just my opinion, but, after the spine-tingling brilliance of I Do Perceive, the later works, good as they were, never surpassed I Do Perceive or At Home With Owen.  Although, they all had aspects of moving forward in life, reflecting Mike’s own changing and forward-looking life; he became a father just around 2005 or so, had a wonderful, soul-mate of a wife with which he shares his life now and isn’t the same, single man, the kind who, when alone, tends to sometimes veer off the tracks, so to speak.  So, following Owen’s career is a bit like following the continuing saga of Mike Kinsella, but in a deftly written, poetic way.

As for Evan Weiss, I know somewhat less about this indie fixture in the Chicago scene.  I do know, though, from what I’ve heard, i.e., he, along with Mike Kinsella and guitarist Michael Frank, made an album under the name Their/They’re/There a couple years ago (look below for my review of their self-titled EP below).   So far, anyway (who’s to say whether they’ll get back together and make more music in the near future?), they’ve put out two EPs, both in 2013, an eponymous one as well as Analog Weekend.  I know that when I first listened to Their/They’re There’s self-titled EP, I was not instantly taken with it, a la I Do Perceive, which, incidentally, happened to be the first Owen album I reviewed, since the album came out in November, 2004, I got the CD itself in early 2005 and, it was on my second listening to I Do Perceive (I was still using a portable CD player -it would be another 8 months or so until I finally got an MP3, something which has really revolutionized the way I’m able to listen to music, at least when I’m out and about, as opposed to a big, bulky (in comparison) portable CD player or, before that, a pocket-busting, cassette playing “Walkman”-style portable stereo; I know “Walkman” is a trademark, a brand name for Sony’s version of their contribution to personal stereos: they were the first ones to come out with a “Walkman”, back in the early 80s, but, the name “Walkman”, not unlike, say, “Kleenex” or “Xerox”, has become such a ubiquitously used term and such a fitting name that after so long using the term “Walkman” to refer to portable tape players, then CD players, I just (and I imagine, many other people did too) got used to referring to any brand of “personal stereos”-which, you gotta admit, just doesn’t have the same descriptive use as the word “Walkman”has.  Anyway, so, as I was getting to: the second time I popped the CD, I Do Perceive into my CD player, during a time while I happened to be out walking, coming back from one errand I had to go to and on my way back to another, I put it on, it started off and, before the first song was over, I was just hooked.  Needless to say, the review I ended up writing gave a warm reception to the album; hell, it was almost as if I was writing an ad for free for this CD, even though, I wouldn’t have stooped to such cheapening prose.  But I did want to tell the whole world how great an album this was and, indeed, wanted to share its beauty, its graceful melancholy with anyone and everyone I could.

So, in that vein, I’ve got mixed emotions about Over It: Owen’s contribution as well as the terrific cover of “Poor Souls” that Into It did make up a great 1st half, but the 2nd half -well, two out of four songs, anyway, but, technically, that is half, nonetheless – just did not greatly impress me or “wow” me. Asked for a one-word description of Into It’s music, I would reply “adequate” – or maybe “sufficient”, not “necessary”, but indeed, sufficient. But, to be honest, I’m just glad that, even though it’s only one song -and one well-done cover of his “Poor Souls”, it’s nice to hear something “new(?)” from Owen. I just hope that, good as it was, the next full-length Owen album will be a more “driving”, or maybe “driven”, set of tunes, for instance, a few that could surpass the ones that weren’t so awesome on L’ami du Peuple”.

Anyway, do the right thing and check it out for yourselves! You’ll be enlightened. -KM.

Chief Fuzzer
Transcendental Road Blues
Saustex Media, 2012
Review by Kent Manthie
Besides my receiving a rarity – an EP of sorts on good old fashioned vinyl – from Austin, TX-based Churchwood I received at the same time, another 7-inch vinyl EP (four songs) from another Texas band, Chief Fuzzer. This one is entitled Transcendental Road Blues. It’s also being released from Austin’s great indie label: Saustex Media. Just as with the Churchwood 7-incher – Just the Two of Us – Chief Fuzzer’s 7-inch EP contains a card inside the package with the URL to go to and a code one puts in that allows one to download the entire 5-song EP onto one’s PC.
This one’s got more of a rock spine to it, as opposed to the bluesy, psychobilly, raw steely emotion. The first two tracks are the main ones that are listed on the back of the vinyl EP: “500 Lb. Badass” and “Bad She Gone Voodoo”. But there are also three other great tracks on here: “Fuzzer Theme”, the title track (“Transcendental Road Blues”) and one called “Whight”. After giving it a couple listens, I’d have to say that the title track is the most rockin’ track. It’s got a somewhat slowed-down tempo, but still a grinding, psychedelic-tinged edge to it. The guitars both chug-chug-chug along as well as, in certain points, climb to higher degrees of altitude, soaring, swinging and then veering off and changing course, finally coming back to its rhythmic duties. At 5:10, it’s the longest cut on the album, but, being so great a song, the time doesn’t really matter, as it just flies by and leaves the listener wanting more, more, MORE! The final cut, “Whight” is a good place to end on as well as the perfect follow-up for the just mentioned title track. It has a little bit of a Black Sabbath vibe to it – a slowed, heavy metal dirge. But they stay consistent throughout and don’t get caught up in a fever pitch, so don’t take the “heavy metal” thing too literally.
Cody Richardson, who both sings and plays guitar, does an excellent job on the axe. He may not have the most operatic voice in the world – but hey, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll, right? He really shines, though, on the guitar and the undertones he lays down as well as the solo piercings and crying sure do shine. Being a trio, Chief Fuzzer rely on just Cody to get the job done on guitar and he comes through with flying colors. But as far as the other two – the rhythm section, you certainly can’t complain – drummer Paul Adams plays a mean set of skins, keeping time with a bombastic, rock-oriented (as opposed to the all-over-the-place jazz styles), seemingly simple fashion but when you see that he’s got to be the anchor then you appreciate his edgy, not flashy way of keeping things glued together. Bassist Shane Herring is also a great leg of this three-legged stool – he complements Cody’s more simmering, hot & spicy solos, by keeping things grounded and when Cody’s just trying to keep a riff flowing, when he’s singing, for example, then Shane is there as a double-threat, a deeper, thundering bass to accompany the taxiing guitar.
You’re going to really want to check this out – whether or not you’re a fan of Texas-style “psychobilly”, psychedelic-tinged rockabilly, or fire & brimstone, liquor-fueled rants that can seem over the top, but have a hell of a fun time doing it, you’ll see that Chief Fuzzer transcends (no pun intended) all those stereotypes, while still managing to stay in the same realm somehow. Listening to Transcendental Road Blues, it’s easy to hear how these guys would be welcomed wherever a crowd that wants to rock is – whether it’s at the Continental Club in Austin, First Avenue in Minneapolis, Café Metro in Chicago or CBGB/OMFUG in NYC, Chief Fuzzer will fit in anywhere. –KM
Churchwood<br /><br /><br />
Just the Two of Us<br /><br /><br />
Saustex Media, 2012<br /><br /><br />
Reviewed by Kent Manthie<br /><br /><br />
    Churchwood are back.  After a much-heralded self-titled debut CD, they’re back with this special edition 7 inch vinyl record.  But, don’t worry if you don’t have a turntable:  when you buy the 7 inch, it comes with a card that you can use to download all four cuts on the vinyl edition to your PC, thereby making it accessible to those who lack a turntable (funny how 30-40 years ago things would be the other way around – everyone would have a turntable and the bonus downloadings would’ve been seen as a real novelty.<br /><br /><br />
    On this release, entitled Just the Two of Us, Churchwood comes at you with their brand of full-tilt punk-rock/psychobilly.  If you want a comparison, well, think of a cross between The Cramps and The Blasters.<br /><br /><br />
    Lone Star Music calls Just the Two of Us “Dangerous, foreboding, in-your-face…” and this Austin, TX-based band is expanding its reach, slowly but surely.  The tracks on this EP are infectious, mutations of Southern white-boy blues; in fact, I’d say that it is even rawer and more savage than their eponymous, full-length debut CD, in that vein, another blurb is worth mentioning:  the Santa Fe, New Mexican writes, in regard to this EP that “[Churchwood] take the essence of primitive blues and mutate[s] it into something new…” and also, Punk Globe calls Churchwood the “Crazy, thinking man’s blues band”.<br /><br /><br />
    Churchwood’s music is an olio of sounds, rich in influences and traits.  You can hear some of their crawling out of the Mississippi Delta blues sounds and infusing it with psychobilly, sludgy rock ‘n’ roll (Melvins, Mudhoney, etc), even Captain Beefheart seems to be an influence as well.<br /><br /><br />
    Lead singer Joe Doerr is not just a crafty songwriter, but is also a published poet!  In Churchwood, Doerr is accompanied by terrific musicians with talent:  the trippy abandon with which twin guitarists Bill Anderson and Billysteve Korpi bend, crunch and make their guitars moan and cry do great justice to the wrought out lyrics of Joe Doerr, swirling around his edgy voice, both paralleling him and complementing his voice.  Of course, Churchwood wouldn’t be Churchwood without the incredible rhythm section:  drummer Julien Peterson and bassist Adam Kahan both lend a booming background that keeps the time alive and also, occasionally riff out on their own.<br /><br /><br />
    20 years ago Bill Anderson and Joe Doerr had played together in a couple legendary Texas bands, Ballad Shambles and Hand of Glory.  So, what’s been going on in between for all these years?  Well, as was mentioned, Doerr got his poetry thing finessed and is now published and takes delight in penning more and more when he can.  As for Bill Anderson, he rambled back and forth, jamming in such diverse-sounding bands as The Horsies, The Meat Purveyors and Cat Scientist.  And – he also sat in on some sessions with the legendary Daniel Johnston.  So, these guys are no youngsters and no Johnny-come-latelies either.<br /><br /><br />
    As for this new EP, it’s got four tracks on it:  four mean, lean raw, bones:  “Message From Firmin Desloge”, “Metanoia”, “Weedeye” and “Rickshaw Rattletrap”.<br /><br /><br />
    From the get-go, Churchwood let loose and play like there’s no tomorrow, with reckless abandon and fueled-up fervor.  But don’t let that belie the fact that these cats are intelligent.  They are not just some dumb hicks from down South, no they’ve got a good handle on the bohemian, hip literary references and the like, e.g., “Rimbaud Didley” and “Ulysses”, both from their debut.  So, let’s hear it for these Austin dudes who not only can bring the house down, but get pleasure from less destructive means as well. –KM</p><br /><br />
<p>Chief Fuzzer<br /><br /><br />
Transcendental Road Blues<br /><br /><br />
Saustex Media, 2012<br /><br /><br />
Review by Kent Manthie<br /><br /><br />
    Besides my receiving a rarity – an EP of sorts on good old fashioned vinyl – from Austin, TX-based Churchwood I received at the same time, another 7-inch vinyl EP (four songs) from another Texas band, Chief Fuzzer.  This one is entitled Transcendental Road Blues. It’s also being released from Austin’s great indie label:  Saustex Media.  Just as with the Churchwood 7-incher – Just the Two of Us – Chief Fuzzer’s 7-inch EP contains a card inside the package with the URL to go to and a code one puts in that allows one to download the entire 5-song EP onto one’s PC.<br /><br /><br />
    This one’s got more of a rock spine to it, as opposed to the bluesy, psychobilly, raw steely emotion.  The first two tracks are the main ones that are listed on the back of the vinyl EP:  “500 Lb. Badass” and “Bad She Gone Voodoo”.  But there are also three other great tracks on here:  “Fuzzer Theme”, the title track (“Transcendental Road Blues”) and one called “Whight”.  After giving it a couple listens, I’d have to say that the title track is the most rockin’ track.  It’s got a somewhat slowed-down tempo, but still a grinding, psychedelic-tinged edge to it.  The guitars both chug-chug-chug along as well as, in certain points, climb to higher degrees of  altitude, soaring, swinging and then veering off and changing course, finally coming back to its rhythmic duties.  At 5:10, it’s the longest cut on the album, but, being so great a song, the time doesn’t really matter, as it just flies by and leaves the listener wanting more, more, MORE!  The final cut, “Whight” is a good place to end on as well as the perfect follow-up for the just mentioned title track.  It has a little bit of a Black Sabbath vibe to it – a slowed, heavy metal dirge.  But they stay consistent throughout and don’t get caught up in a fever pitch, so don’t take the “heavy metal” thing too literally.<br /><br /><br />
    Cody Richardson, who both sings and plays guitar, does an excellent job on the axe. He may not have the most operatic voice in the world – but hey, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll, right?  He really shines, though, on the guitar and the undertones he lays down as well as the solo piercings and crying sure do shine.  Being a trio, Chief Fuzzer rely on just Cody to get the job done on guitar and he comes through with flying colors.  But as far as the other two – the rhythm section, you certainly can’t complain – drummer Paul Adams plays a mean set of skins, keeping time with a bombastic, rock-oriented (as opposed to the all-over-the-place jazz styles), seemingly simple fashion but when you see that he’s got to be the anchor then you appreciate his edgy, not flashy way of keeping things glued together.  Bassist Shane Herring is also a great leg of this three-legged stool – he complements Cody’s more simmering, hot & spicy solos, by keeping things grounded and when Cody’s just trying to keep a riff flowing, when he’s singing, for example, then Shane is there as a double-threat, a deeper, thundering bass to accompany the taxiing guitar.<br /><br /><br />
    You’re going to really want to check this out – whether or not you’re a fan of Texas-style “psychobilly”, psychedelic-tinged rockabilly, or fire & brimstone, liquor-fueled rants that can seem over the top, but have a hell of a fun time doing it, you’ll see that Chief Fuzzer transcends (no pun intended) all those stereotypes, while still managing to stay in the same realm somehow. Listening to Transcendental Road Blues, it’s easy to hear how these guys would be welcomed wherever a crowd that wants to rock is – whether it’s at the Continental Club in Austin, First Avenue in Minneapolis, Café Metro in Chicago or CBGB/OMFUG in NYC, Chief Fuzzer will fit in anywhere.  -KM

Here’s a little something that ought to pique your interest.  This was written by Dr. Lawrence Britt.  It is a list that is intended to clue one in to what the author feels are the 14 most obvious points of a fascist state – anyway – here they are.  And – also – I couldn’t help but notice, when I first read them that all 14 of them applied just as much to the US as to any country run by “dictators” or “despots”, etc.  Read on and judge for yourself… and PLEASE – SEND ME SOME FEEDBACK!!!  I’d love to know what your thoughts on the matters are!  So – send me emails at kmanthie@yahoo.com or else just comment at the bottom of this article.   Thanks – KM.

WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES…

Fourteen Defining
Characteristics of Fascism
by Dr. Lawrence Britt

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

 
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. ….

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. ….

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. ….

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. ….

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. ….

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. ….

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. ….

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions. ….

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. ….

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. ….

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked. ….

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forgo civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. ….

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Sounds a lot like America, circa NOW.  How many of these “points” remind you of life inside Amerika?  The ubiquitous Amerikan flags waving everywhere?  The rampant nationalism (“USA, USA, USA!!!” or “We’re #1. We’re #1” or “Amerika:  love it or leave it” and so on, with the stupid, yet sickly catchy slogans), especially for undereducated masses, victims of a public school system that is not “broken” -according to the government-no, public schools are indoctrinating children exactly the way “they” want – and the high illiteracy and dumbed down electorate?  Think that’s not been purposely set up?)  -KM