Noam Chomsky: The Trump Monster, Covid protests, and the greatest achievements of humanity


My interview with Professor Chomsky tackled a wide variety of topics. Here are a couple of highlights.

CHOMSKY: The Trump Monster happens to be unique. We have never had anything like this is American history. It’s hard to find examples in world history, if there are any. But there’s a background, of course. It hasn’t been a completely monstrous country, by any means. So, for example, the period from FDR into the 70s had many positive aspects. The country overcame many of the really serious, ugly, brutal aspects of its past, and there were many achievements in that period that were not gifts from above. They were the result of popular, dedicated activism— from the labor movement, activism in the 1930s lead to the New Deal, to the activism of the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movement, the women’s movement, and so on. It made a big difference in the country. Now, if you look back at the total history, it’s not a pretty story.

CHOMSKY: Trump is a monstrous figure, but a very effective confidence man— he’s kind of like the old story in American life— The PT Barnum type— the guy who can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. If you read Huckleberry Finn, one of the main characters is the King who pretends to be the legitimate King of France. Trump is the epitome of this, and he’s perfected the style of confidence man. What that means is you serve your primary constituency. Give the wealthy and the corporations everything they could possibly want so they’ll tolerate your antics— meanwhile shaft everyone else— but to pretend to be working for them— “their man”, “their savior” and so on. And he’s carried it off very effectively.

Noam speaks about the nexus between Trump and the suffering of others:

CHOMSKY: Cut back anything that might be beneficial to people— including health care right in the middle of an epidemic- pandemic. And subsidize the fossil fuel industry. What more do we want to know? Of course this happens all the time. Take a look at the so called stimulus bill. Its a good thing. Have to have something after this— in the current conditions. Who’s the money going to? 50 billion dollars are going to the airlines.

CHOMSKY: Fifty billion dollars are going to the airlines— why did he need fifty billion dollars? Since because like the rest of the corporate sector they’ve been gorging since the near recession. They spent nearly fifty billion dollars that they’re asking for just in buy backs to inflate the value of their stock and enrich their corporate managers and CEOs. Now they’re saying we’re sorry and wanna get fifty billion dollars back. How about instead of that, taking over the airlines, socializing. Say obviously you guys can’t run it. Society will run it.

CHOMSKY: The fossil fuel industry is collapsing. If you look at today’s news, they have to pay you to take their oil. Instead of subsidizing them, how about taking them over? Take ‘em over and put ‘em out of business. That’s the only way to save society. It can be done. It’s not even that expensive right now. So, let’s do that instead of subsidizing.

CHOMSKY: Suppose that the worst case takes place— the Trump version on the virus. A lot of people will be killed— maybe millions. But there will be recovery, just as there was a century ago from what’s called the Spanish Flu. Tens of millions killed. There’s not going to be recovery from the melting of the polar ice caps. There’s not going to be recovery from the other harmful consequences of the destruction of the environment— one of Trump’s prime commitments. No recovery from that. Once that happens, we’re toast.

CHOMSKY: The greatest achievements of humanity are gaining freedom and justice over a very broad range, through constant struggle. The world is much better than it was even earlier in my lifetime. Those are really great achievements of popular struggle, which should never be stopped. And that can not only prevent the worst outcome, but can lead to much better ones. A much better world is within our grasp with a realistic look at what’s happening. No descending into illusions and pretenses. Take a look at the real world, the opportunities available— pursue them. You can get a better world.


Here is the full video.

Many thanks to Noam Chomsky, and to Greyson Welch for his technical assistance in producing these videos, which will be part of a large film project coming soon!

Follow Noam on twitter: @NoamChomskyT


The look in Bernie’s eye told me he didn’t have it in him.

a bernNow that Bernie has endorsed Biden— here’s that thing I had to wait to say…

I know many of you were behind the ideas and policies of Bernie Sanders. But there is one conversation I had with Bernie, and a subsequent interaction I had with him in 2015 that informed me that he’d never be president.

It was a couple of days after Trump staffers went WWE on my ass, throwing me over a table at a non-Trump event. Their justification was that I had raised my hand at a Q&A and asked a question to Trump about being assaulted at a previous event the week before. Remember that Trump was no more than a game-show host at the time, yet Trump had the power and influence to get these assholes to work under “color of law,” collaborating with uniformed law-enforcement to violate my civil rights. This is the incident at the center of the lawsuit I am currently fighting, and which the Judge has granted a total of 15 counts to proceed, (mostly against the shell company which acts as a buffer between the Campaign and his thugs). Those counts include assault, battery, false imprisonment and several civil rights violations.

When I saw Bernie soon after, I told him about it. This was when the rallies were small enough that such a conversation was not uncommon. Bernie said he’d watch the video and look into my claim. At the time, I lacked my current cynicism, and thought there was a sliver of a chance that he’d do what was right and say something about it.

Days passed without Bernie saying or doing anything publicly regarding this matter. After about a week, I had a chance to speak to him again. I asked him if he had watched the video. Bernie froze. In his eyes, I saw recognition. He knew who I was, and that look told me he had watched my video. But, instead of engaging me, Bernie literally said nothing, then turned around and walked away.

It’s easy now to say that Bernie had a huge campaign to run, and was busy with other things. But in 2015, his campaign was not what it became by 2016 or 2020. It was small enough that he had the time to talk to me, and I appreciate that he did.

Bernie legitimately fought in the Civil Rights movement, and stood up for LGBTQ rights long before the Democratic establishment came around. He was the guy promoting himself as the one willing to fight for the little guy. Logically, he would be concerned with the escalation of violence at Trump events. Trumpers attacking people was not a regular occurrence. Had he spoken up at that early stage, maybe it would’ve made a difference.

But, Bernie was no longer Civil Rights movement Bernie, even in 2015. Whatever, his reasoning, he didn’t have the courage to stand up against what was so obviously wrong. I can’t even see how it would’ve been a detriment to his campaign.

Certainly, I could get into all the political hurdles Bernie would’ve had to traverse, such as a corrupt DNC, and a system that was rigged against him. This is true. I’ve told this story many times to my Bernie-supporting friends. They have always rejected it saying maybe he had other things going on, or it was this– or it was that– and not everything is about you. This is all true. I can’t even prove he saw the video, but in a moment of crisis, the look in Bernie’s eye told me he didn’t have it in him.

**PS… Just for a laugh, watch me sing at Joe Biden, “Joe Biden wrote the Patriot Act.”


I ask Bernie about peace.

Warrant regarding Jeffrey Epstein Estate addressed by Palm Beach PD


On March 5th, Ryan Burgoon of Palm Beach Police sent me an email reading,

“I checked with the State Attorney’s office and they did grant a warrant for your arrest with a the charge of Criminal Mischief (Less Than $200) F.S.S 806.13 1A B1.  This warrant is for Palm Beach County pick-up only and you can turn yourself in at Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, located at 3228 Gun Club Rd, West Palm Beach FL, 33406.  You can also contact PBSO warrants division at 561-688-3930 to obtain additional information. Email me if you have any questions.”

Finally, after a month, and a number of inquiries, I received a phone call from Mr. Burgoon. However, as I have told him before, we need to communicate by email so our correspondence is recorded.

This is my reply:

Hi Ryan–
I saw that you called today. But, as I have said in the past, I am innocent of the accusations the Epstein Estate has made, and we need to communicate by writing so that there is a record of these correspondences for any legal actions going forward. The Epstein Estate can make all the accusations they like, but that doesn’t make them true. As you have said, someone at the Epstein Estate, (likely Calruz Toylo) has destroyed evidence, which makes whoever painted the gate guilty of tampering with a “crime-scene.” It is clear to me that Miami Beach Police were simply flexing their muscle to intimidate me, but those accusations were without merit, and the charges were dropped. Now it appears that the Epstein Estate and Palm Beach Police are also using their power and influence to push Florida Law Enforcement to take action against me.
So, if you could relieve my concerns, I would be grateful if you could obtain a copy of the warrant which has been filed against me.
I would also like you to open an investigation into Calruz Toylo and the destroyed evidence at the Epstein property located at 358 El Brillo Way.
If you could respond to me via email rather than by phone, I would be appreciative.
That’s all for now.


Trump Campaign blames Covid-19 in false imprisonment lawsuit.

a deck trump

On Friday, attorneys for the Trump Campaign sent me an extraordinary email regarding a lawsuit I have been engaged in since 2018, stemming from a 2015 attack by Trump Campaign staff at a non-Trump rally. In January, Judge Landya McCafferty ruled that there was sufficient evidence to proceed on all 15 counts brought upon XMark, the shell-company serving as a legal buffer between the Trump Campaign and Trump security staff.

Judge McCafferty opined, “Of Webber’s eighteen claims asserted in his second amended complaint, fifteen of them are brought against XMark. They include several state law claims, such as: Assault (Count I), Battery (Count II), Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (Count III), Negligence (Count IV), Negligent Hiring (Count V), Fraud (Count VI), and False Imprisonment (Count VII). Webber also asserts eight federal claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including Unreasonable Seizure (Count VIII), Excessive Force (Count IX), two counts of Violation of the First Amendment (Counts X and XI), Negligent Hiring and Retention (Count XII), Negligent Supervision (Count XIII), False Imprisonment (Count XV), and False Arrest (Count XVI)… XMark’s motion to dismiss (doc. no. 96) is denied.”

A variety of counts were allowed to proceed against the Campaign and Campaign staffers such as NH State Rep Fred Doucette, such as Counts of assault, battery and false imprisonment, as well as several civil rights claims.

On March 27th, The Trump Campaign’s attorneys failed to file an “Answer” (a final response) in response to a Judge’s order. The deadline for that Answer was over a week late. Attorney Bryan Gould (for the Trump Campaign) blamed Covid-19 for the failure.

Attorney Gould wrote:

Defendants Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Edward Deck, XMark, LLC, and Rep. Fred Doucette (collectively the “Campaign Defendants”), hereby move the court to extend the deadline to respond to the Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint to April 8, 2020. The Plaintiff has not assented to or expressed an objection to the relief sought in this motion, which rests on the following grounds.

1. Following the Court’s orders on multiple defendants’ motions to dismiss, the Campaign Defendants are required to file an answer to the remaining claims in Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 75).

2. Due to a significant disruption in the Campaign Defendants’ counsel’s law firm operations because of the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant delays as the firm and its attorneys have transitioned to a remote workplace, the Campaign Defendants require additional time to finalize their answer to the Plaintiff’s extremely detailed complaint.

3. The Campaign Defendants submit that due to the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, good cause exists to extend their answer deadline. Moreover, the requested extension will not prejudice the parties or otherwise affect the trial schedule, as the Court has not yet issued a discovery plan or set a trial date and other case deadlines.

4. Accordingly, the Campaign Defendants respectfully request that their deadline to file an answer to Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint be extended to Wednesday, April 8, 2020.


In response, I filed a request for entry of default, writing:

To the Clerk of the United States District Court for the New Hampshire District of New Hampshire.

Plaintiff, Rod Webber hereby requests pursuant to Rule 55a of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that the Clerk enter the default of Campaign Defendants, The Trump Campaign, Edward Deck, Fred Doucette and XMark for failure to answer or otherwise defend against this action in a timely manner. The applicable time limit to answer or otherwise respond under Rule 12(a)1C of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure expired on March 27th, 2020, (ten days ago).

In H. F. Livermore Corp. v. Aktiengesellschaft Gebruder Loepfe, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit explained the rationale for default judgments as such: “the diligent party must be protected lest he be faced with interminable delay and continued uncertainty as to his rights… the possibility of a default is a deterrent to those parties who choose delay as part of their litigative strategy.”

“The court may enter default judgment when a defendant fails to respond to a complaint and court orders and fails to participate in the litigation or cooperate in good faith with the plaintiff. Tara Prods., Inc. v. Hollywood Gadgets, Inc., 449 F. App’x 908, 910-12 (11th Cir. 2011).

Attorney Gould argues that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the attendant delays as the firm and its attorneys have transitioned to a remote workplace, the Campaign Defendants require additional time to finalize their answer to the Plaintiff’s extremely detailed complaint.” However, the court has been open for electronic filing, and New Hampshire Governor Sununu did not even suggest a stay-at-home order to begin until March 27th, 2020 at midnight, (coincidentally, the deadline to answer or otherwise respond to the court.) In fact, on March 26th, at a press conference, Governor Sununu stated, “This is not a shelter in place. We are not closing down transportation. I am not closing our borders, and no one will be prevented from leaving their home.”

Moreover, no reasonable person would believe that the switch from Mr. Gould writing briefs in his New Hampshire office to writing briefs on a laptop in his New Hampshire home would cause an attorney of Mr. Gould’s competence, experience and caliper, (hired by the campaign for the President of the United States of America) to simply forget to file such an important brief for over a week. Surely, this is a strategic move. Further, the COVID-19 outbreak assuredly would have been avoided if Donald J. Trump, (the head of The Trump Campaign), had not behaved with abject negligence, ignoring health officials, and claiming on multiple occasions that it was a “hoax” that would just go away, stating, “it’s like a miracle.” Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony S. Fauci, MD, warned Mr. Trump of a coming pandemic in 2017, and was ignored. The head of the Trump Campaign is liable for the outbreak that Gould cites as the reason for missing the deadline. Mr. Gould has no reason for the delay, since there was no shelter-in-place order, and was not prevented from going to the office in any way.

Accordingly, Defendants have not shown good cause for not filing an answer, and their argument for the delay does not hold water. Defendant is ten days late, this is not the initial stage of litigation, and default should be entered.

Pro Se Plaintiff, Roderick Webber

I understand that a request for default at this stage might be frowned upon by the court, but I filed this case on principle. That is how I will continue to operate. Frankly, the Trump Campaign and the others involved should be ashamed of themselves.

All 171 motions of the lawsuit as a whole can be viewed here: