Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Electors' Duties

Well, as it is getting closer to the time when the Electoral College will, in overwhelming likelihood, put its seal of approval on the travesty of Trump's accession to the White House, I thought it would do well to see what the founding fathers really thought about this institution.  For that purpose, I'll turn to Federalist Paper no. 68, where the musical man of the hour, Alexander Hamilton, explains on behalf of himself and his fellow authors of the Constitution, what it actually means, as opposed to the ludicrous nonsense that is peddled far and wide, in largely successful attempts to bend the Constitution to whatever suits the right's purpose at the moment.

I want to say before getting to the point, that I continue to be surprised at the contortions that people will engage in to justify finding whatever they want in the intent of the founding fathers (as if that were so important anyway) while their actual words lay close at hand, and are available instantaneously online these days in any event.

Anyway,on we go.  First, a word about the general purpose of the Electoral College:

"It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations."

Note that this speaks about analyzing the qualities of the candidates, and about "complicated investigations."  This is absolutely contrary to the notion that the electors are required to cast their ballots one way or another.  It is their job to make distinctions. As for what those distinctions involve, we now enter an area where the founding fathers were dead wrong about things:

"The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue."

"Talents for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity..."  Remind you of anyone you can think of?  Well, the electoral college may have worked for the purpose of preventing people like that from reaching the White House in earlier times, but it has failed us this time around.  In fact, the electoral college is about to put just such a person in the White House, even though he lost the popular vote by a wide margin, in a classic example of the supposed letter of the law destroying any hope of fulfilling its intent.  In fact, it is actually the duty of the Electoral College, using its responsibility to analyze the candidates' "qualities adapted to the station," to keep people like Trump out of the White House.  And let's have one more excerpt from this document:

"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils."

"the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils."  Well there you go.  Add that to  the comment about low intrigue, and you have, in Donald Trump, an absolutely classic example of exactly what the Electoral College was created to prevent.  It is as I stated above,the clear duty of the electors to refuse to allow Trump to be President, but of course, they won't dare carry out their duty, and so there we are.


By the way, if you want to read the text of this Federalist Paper, here it is.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Another Sovereign Citizen Acts as Expected

From the Tampa Bay Times, this edifying story:

"A man was arrested in Pasco County on charges he held a woman against her will for more than three months after she came from Texas to study a group he founded that purports to help reunite children with their parents...

Davis, 48, is a sovereign citizen"

But of course he is.  In case you were wondering, here he is:
 As you know, I like to keep an eye on Sovereign Citizens, as their many acts of violence in the last couple of decades marks them as a pool of very dangerous right wing maniacs.  Well, I've kept my eye on this one long enough.  Judging from his picture, he is just about as short of a functional brain as most of these people are.  Well, at least this one will be in prison for the duration of the Trump administration.

A spokesman for the group had this to say:  "(Group member Thomas) Nelson said members of the group don't call themselves sovereign citizens because they disagree with the term, believing a person can't be both sovereign and a citizen at the same time.

"What we reject are statutes, codes and ordinances," Nelson said."

Statutes, codes and ordinances.  That's all they reject.  You got a problem with that?  After all, they are still fine with orders given at the point of a gun- as long as they have the guns and are giving the orders.

And a Good Time Will Be Had by All

This news in the New York Times this morning:

"A federal judge ruled on Monday that Dylann S. Roof, who was charged in the massacre of nine black worshipers at a Charleston, S.C., church in 2015, can represent himself in his federal death-penalty trial.

The judge, Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court in Charleston, called the request by Mr. Roof, 22, “strategically unwise,” but allowed him to have a lawyer present as backup.

“I do find defendant has the personal capacity to self-representation,” Judge Gergel said, according to The Post & Courier. He added, “It is a decision you have the right to make.

In other news, a judge has ruled that it is perfectly legal to perform brain surgery on yourself, probably citing the excellent results of such conduct in the case of one Dr. Ben Carson.

Anyway, we are going to be looking for any sort of entertainment in the coming year or two, and this holds the potential to provide plenty.  I mean, who wouldn't want a 22 year old ignorant racist with no legal training defending them when their life was on the line?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

You stupid sons of bitches:

"President-elect Donald Trump's proposals would modestly cut income taxes for most middle-class Americans. But for nearly 8 million families — including a majority of single-parent households — the opposite would occur: They'd pay more.

Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they'd be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America's richest 1 percent."

You will be lucky to get $200 a year out of that two percent cut.  A wonderful reward for selling the country out to a Russian spy.  I hope you will be happy with the results of giving into your hatred and greed.

Election? Not What I Would Call It

Let me bring your attention to this piece in the Washington Post, outlining the massive effect that lyinog propaganda, channeled through Russia, and willingly circulated by both the Trump campaign, and (far more dangerously) the mainstream press in our country, and abetted by openly subversive behavior by the head of the FBI, were responsible for Donald Trump's victory.  Please take a moment to read it.

Republicans, after Obama's election, have refused to recognize him as their President, despite the fact that there was not a single reason to say that, except that he was black and they were racists.  Now, however, it is being portrayed as a sin to fail to capitulate and accept Trump as our leader, despite the clear fact that he would have never have been elected without his collaboration with the spy service and propaganda apparatus of a hostile, dictator-led foreign country; i.e. his treason.  There is no reason why any decent American should recognize Trump as President, and every reason not to, if we care about living in a democratic country.

Not my President; never will be.  The evil tool of a foreign government that has stolen our electoral process, and who is okay with their project to destroy us.  No decent American will ever willingly accept that.

And let me just add that the Washington Post, for decades one of the worst practitioners of what has been little more than enabling the Republican party to do its worst, has, since its acquisition by Jeff Bezos, become the major media outlet most likely to allow the truth to sneak through onto its pages.  I suggest you keep an eye on its coverage.  After years of being horrified at what it has perpetrated in the name of journalism, my wife and I just purchased an online subscription.  The Post, and Bezos personally, are already being savaged for what they are doing.  I hope they are able to stand up to the pressure.

And I hope none of us will ever weaken and allow ourselves to forget exactly why it is that Donald Trump is about to move into the White House.

A Brief Comment on the Transistion

I'm still bored to death with Donald Trump and his crooked circus, but I do want to comment on one thing that I am sort of half watching:  Does it turn out that Trump really is the crazy neo-Nazi right wing hater that he appeared during the campaign, or will it turn out that he is just one more Republican tool of the rich, who succeeded once again into conning the rubes into putting him in a position where he could savage their lives once again?

Look at his appointments:  an EPA administrator who is a tool of the Kochs who has consistently denied the existence of global warming; a Secretary of Education who has made it her lifelong task to destroy public education and turn schools into profit centers for large corporations, a National Security Advisor who hates Muslims with every fiber of his being and is constantly agitating for wars against them, and on and on.  And look what signature campaign issues he is backing away from: the wall, prosecuting Hillary, mass deportation.  Or look at his proposals for (surprise) less taxes and regulations on the really rich people.

Right now, I'd say that is the sign of a Paul Ryan in a clown costume; i.e. just one more rich crook bent on robbing the country into a state of total economic collapse.  It's too early to tell for sure, but I'm betting we've just seen the biggest con played on the American people since Ronald Reagan pulled the same trick in 1980.

And they never learn, do they?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Minor Story

It is a very minor, negligible story in the news today, that the President Elect of the United States agreed to pay $25 million dollars to "settle" fraud charges against himself, thereby admitting their truth, since no one can be stupid enough to come to any other conclusion in this case.

Hillary having done something with her e-mails, which eluded millions of dollars of Republican "investigations" designed to find anything wrong that she did, on the other hand, was subjected to literally thousands of stories in the mainstream press about this utterly bogus issue.  Take a look at this little chart, from Media Matters:

Those other columns in the bar graphs, includes any consideration of Trump's long record of criminality, and his connections with a foreign spy agency.  But no, all of that was of nearly no importance compared to what every single member of the press knew was an utterly meaningless fake scandal.

This is why we now must face a would-be dictator in the White House.  Essentially, this is the only reason.  And let us remember that reporting like this is one hundred percent the result of actions by Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich to allow essentially our entire mainstream press to be bought by a minuscule number or rich Republican sociopaths.  That too, by the way, is of course a story not worth covering.

People who voted for President this year voted for either fake malignant Hillary or a fake whitewashed Trump.  This is not anyone's idea of a fair election; it is a carefully paved steppingstone from democracy to totalitarian rule.  Until this sort of "free" press is crushed, the United States that has existed since the eighteenth century is dead.  And let me make myself clear, that the term "free" as applied to our current media only means the freedom of hyper-rich criminals to own the press and use it for their own purpose, which is to enrich themselves further at the expense of everyone else, and use the government to crush anyone that stands in their way.

Unfortunately, I see exactly zero way to change what we now have in the way of a free press, so I predict that if democracy ever rises again in this country, it is going to be after a period of dictatorship, followed by a vicious rebellion of some sort, because the Trumps and McConnells and Paul Ryans of this world are never going to give it to them voluntarily.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ape in Heels?

I'm pretty sure she's wrong about the ape in heels thing, but at least these photos prove that you can put lipstick on a pig.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Modest Suggestion for the Electoral College

U. S. Constitution, article II, section 1:

"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress..."


We are never going to do away with the Electoral College, because it benefits Republicans too much for them ever to allow that.  In fact, we are never going to see it change, for the same reason, but here is a sample of how unfair things are now:  Wyoming, a terminally Republican State, gets one elector for every 195,000 people.  Alaska gets one elector for every 246,000 people; North Dakota gets one for every 252,000.

At the other end of the spectrum, California, a strongly blue State, gets one elector for every 711,000 people; New York one for every 683,000.

I know that most of you are aware that the electoral college system favors small States that are largely Republican, but I bet you are surprised at how extreme this favoritism is.  In small, largely Republican States, a voter counts for three times what one does in large States.

The result of this is that the last two Republican Presidents have been placed into office despite having received a minority of the nation's votes.  I don't count the rigged re-election of Bush II, so there has not been a legitimately elected Republican President in this country since 1988.  This is an intolerably situation, which could be corrected simply by amending the Constitution to make the apportioning of electors proportional to the States' populations.  This would require expanding the number of electors, at present to about 1600; otherwise, Wyoming would get no votes at all.  In fact, as things currently stand, it would require a population of close to 600,000 for a State to earn even one electoral vote.  An alternative might be to combine some States of small population into single electoral units.  The three States listed above, Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota, would under this system get one electoral vote among them, instead of the nine they now get.

Well, like so many fair things, it ain't going to happen, but I'm just saying...




Saturday, November 12, 2016

Vortex

From the New York Post:

"The universe is set to be destroyed in a “big rip” that will suck the whole of reality into a dreadful nightmarish vortex of nothingness."

See- the United States is just a step ahead of the pack.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Modernism and the Death of the Victorian Dream

When I was at Cambridge, I had the opportunity to attend a course of lectures by the eminent architectural and cultural historian, Dalibor Vesely, described on Wikipedia as "one of the most outstanding architectural teachers of the late twentieth century."  These lectures, which attracted a large audience outside the Architecture department, had a tremendous effect on my thinking about intellectual history in the Victorian and modern periods, and I want to try to replicate here a small part of his thinking about that period, which came to be dominant in Cambridge intellectual life from the early eighties on.

It is important, as Veseley suggested, to understand the immense optimism of the Victorian era.  The nineteenth century saw the industrial revolution, which massively increased the output of goods and food, making famine a distant thing for many.  We saw the development of vaccines, which offered the very real prospect of seeing many of the maladies which had plagued mankind eliminated.  And equally important was the development of our understanding in a systematic way.  Progress in genetics, the mapping out of the periodic table of the elements and other such developments led to a faith that mankind was on the verge of moving past all of its previous horrors, to a new golden age.  This led to such heroic quests as Freud's attempt to reduce all human behavior to something as clearly delineated as the periodic table, or the long dead belief among modern architects that all design could be properly derived from an understanding of material function.

Well, most all of this, as we know, came to a devastating crash with World War I, where the world learned to its horror that progress can go the wrong way as easily as the right way, depending on who directs that progress.  And yet, through all of this, there remained a vestige of this heroic dream; and that was that morally, the world was moving into a new age, where abundant food and resources would allow the ages-old hatred and greed that had always plagued mankind to wither and die; where one by one, the world's people were learning to live in tolerance, and have a concern for the welfare of others.

I think we can now safely abandon that conceit, as, if anything, more delusional than the other Victorian dreams.  Evil; hatred, greed, the lust for cruelty for its own sake, the intense desire to punish others just for being different; these are an inseparable part of humanity.  We don't all suffer from these maladies; in fact the majority of people at any given time may be perfectly decent.  But it is seemingly beyond our capacity to eliminate this evil entirely from the human race, and those who are evil enough can succeed in blinding large parts of the populace to what it is that they are really supporting, so that endless horrors can be unleashed on us in their name.  Our country alone, supposedly the shining light of the earth, has slaughtered between two and four million civilians in Vietnam, and another million in Iraq, without a shred of justification, and without most Americans giving a damn.

People of good will have let their guard down again in this country, and assumed that their good will was contagious, and that it would be stronger than the lust for degradation that exists buried in so many.  Well, it wasn't, and now we are faced with the result.

"The right" has now shown itself, over and over again, for a century and a half, to be not the other side of some long-winded political or cultural debate; it is the face of evil, the face of greed, the face of hatred, the face of violence, alive today as it has been throughout the existence of mankind.  We must never, ever again delude ourselves into thinking that it is merely a political opponent.  Our attitude from this day forth must be to crush it like the diseased creature that it is.  There is no compromise with it.

The great failing of Obama was to push out of his consciousness this fact, as the right betrayed him, and lied to him, and suckered him over and over again.  Had he really fought the good fight against these people, instead of portraying them as reasonable opponents, we might have been in a different place today.  We must never make this mistake again.  I want to make it clear that, I fear, it is too late for this resolve to save the United States, which may have just made an irreversible move toward the scrap heap of history,  but next time, next country, maybe the populace will have the sense not to let false patriots casually extinguish the "shining light on the hill" about which they like to pontificate so insistently.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Constructive Activity

Think I will be spending the next little while on some more constructive activity than writing blog posts:
Seriously, I have always tried to devote my writing to saying something that not everyone else is saying, and there is nothing like that to say about what happened yesterday.

As I have stated, I am not as upset by this as a lot of people.  It has been my firm belief, as stated here before, that the Republican party was determined to give oligarchic dictatorship a try, and whether or not they won this time, they would have kept at it, with the vast resources of money and evil which they have to muster.  If it hadn't happened this time, it would have happened in four or eight years, and probably with someone with the self-control to bring about their fascist golden age far more efficiently than Trump ever could.  Honestly, I'm not so young any more, and I'm sort of glad that it happened when I still have the energy to do whatever I can about it.

And one final thing.  I remember Bertrand Russell once being asked what he thought about people who predicted the future by measuring the Pyramids.  Russell said that the interesting thing about all of those predictions was that they were perfectly accurate at delineating world history up to the time that the prediction was made, and utterly useless after that.  So I make a reservation about the following comment:

I have a decades-long, almost unbroken record of accurately predicting what was about to happen in this country, something for which I take very little credit, as any person willing to be honest with themselves could see what I did.  I want to predict the following:  this is going to end up with a first strike use of nuclear weapons by the United States, against whatever innocent victim is most convenient at the time, just to prove that we are the biggest, toughest guy on the block.

Call me crazy; I've been called that so many times, but in the end I have always been right.   Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fascism

Well, I am not going to moan about what happened today, but I want to place some blame.

The main blame for this belongs to the Democrats.

The Democrats who let Ronald Reagan commit treason by cutting a deal with the Iranian Mullahs to hold on to the hostages until after his election, at which point the Democrats just shut their mouths and took it.

The Ronald Reagan who committed treason again, when he gave 2,000 missiles to those same Iranian Mullahs, for which the Democrats allowed him and all of his people to escape any consequences at all.

George W. Bush, who was not elected, but placed in the White House by corruption in the Supreme Court, and by the criminal acts of his own brother, and who was accepted as the legitimate President by the Democrats, leading to a near depression, and a three trillion dollar war.

George Bush and Dick Cheney, who committed one of the worst war crimes since World War II, by invading an innocent country and killing a million civilians, who again were not held accountable in any way by the Democrats.

And all of the rest of the Republican party, who have bred an ignorant, violent base of racist bastards who have no right to call themselves Americans, while the Democrats spent a quarter century pretending that what the Republicans were doing was just politics as usual.

The Democrats that just stood there while the Republican smear machine wrecked the reputation of every decent Democrat who tried to stand up to them.

The Democrats that said next to nothing while a tool of Russia ran for President, and now seems to have won.

The Democrats that didn't care about Social Security, the 40 hour work week, Medical care for all, civil rights, or any other damned thing that Democrats accomplished over the years.

It was just too partisan, too mean, to speak the truth, while the Republicans lived on lies.  It was just too partisan to talk about decency, while the Republicans bred a maggot's nest of haters.  And here we are.



I have said this so many times:  There is only one thing the Democrats need to do to win, and that is to tell the truth about what is going on in this country, loudly and every chance they get.

But I guess that was just too much to ask for.

The American experiment is now over.

Even the Germans and the Italians did not voluntarily elect dictators to be their leaders, but the stupid, vicious Americans have done so.  We don't deserve a decent country any more, and believe me, it will be a very short time until we don't have a scrap of one left.

_________________________________________________________________

And to those who are looking to the future, I have this suggestion.  The first action we should take is to destroy the current leadership of the Democratic party- all the Bidens and Hillarys and Schumers and Pelosis-all the cowards who let this happen, and all of their miserable consultants and their pathetic, cowering campaign advisors, and start over again.  Maybe we should let Bernie run the party for the next few years; and we can keep a few characters like Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren.  The rest of them are too afraid of losing their own power to speak the truth, and they are less than worthless to us.  On the scrap heap with all of them, and let's have a party worthy of the heritage of FDR.  Because that sure is not what we have now.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mosul

The battle against ISIS to capture Mosul seems to have vanished from the news lately, probably because portraying it as a gigantic humiliation for Obama required more lying than even Donald Trump is capable of, but let's not forget that the world continues to exist outside of Hillary's E-mails.

Here is a Google Earth image of Mosul:
It is easy to see on this image the urbanized area of Mosul in the bottom left quarter of the photo.  I have marked in pink the three areas where fighting appears to be going on at the moment, Ba'ashiqua, Bazwaia and Khazna Tappa.  As you can see, these represent the main built up areas to the east of Mosul.  Fighting is particularly strong right now in Ba'ashiqua, where ISIS is resorting to various forms of poison gas, car bombs and other disgusting tactics to put off their inevitable defeat.  There are thought to be no more than 100 ISIS soldiers left in Ba'ashiquah, but they must be eliminated there and in the other built up areas, and control of territory established, before the assault on the main urbanized area of Mosul can begin.

This is a long and painful process, against fanatics without the slightest sense of human decency, but it is being won step by step, in a performance by the Iraqi army and its allies that appears to be vastly better than we have seen in the past.  It is, so far, a success story, not the humiliating failure that Trump and his traitorous cohort have been rooting for all along.

May I add that a look at this map reveals the idiocy and dishonesty of Trump's claim that Obama was an incompetent fool for not keeping the attack on Mosul a secret.  Controlling the territory around Mosul is taking weeks, as all the real experts said it would, and is there a sentient person in the world that cannot figure out that this offensive could not be kept a secret from the ISIS commanders in Mosul during that period?  Do you think that, maybe, they would have not noticed that they were losing battles for territory just a couple of miles from their city?

Once again, the staggering dishonesty of Trump and the Republicans is revealed.  Of course, no big deal, since they reveal that almost every time they open their mouths; but it is refreshing once in a while to step outside their polluted fantasy and see what is really happening in the world.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

I Told You So

Yeah, yeah, I know, not nice to gloat, but here is something I wrote in June, at a period when the press was pretending to cover the Presidential race fairly:

"I must warn people of a phenomenon that I have observed for numerous elections now, but which I have never seen mentioned by a single other person, left or right.  It has been customary for the press to have a brief period before the conventions when they make a feint of presenting some kind of modestly honest coverage of the candidates, before shifting back to their unrelenting support of the Republican, no matter what an incompetent, lying con man he clearly is.  This is done so that, in later years, this can be cited as some sort of proof that the press was even-handed.  In fact, this period represents the point at which committed, politically involved people have virtually all made their choices, and politically uninvolved, low information voters are still tuned out.  It is a safe time to pretend to be fair, before getting back to their flacking for the party of the rich; do not delude yourself into thinking that anything different is going to happen this time around, no matter how horrible a Trump Presidency would be for the country."

And in fact, far from having learned a lesson from the damage they have done with their lying, the mainstream press has set a world's record this year in corrupt disingenuousness.

My advice, if you ever, ever start to think that the press in this country is capable of fair reporting, smash your head into the wall a few times, like Dobby the House Elf, and then get back to reality.

Just For the Record

I guess it is completely inconsequential compared to, say, the fact that Hillary once sent some e-mails, but we learned this weekend that the woman who was suing Donald Trump for having raped her when she was thirteen years old, has dropped her case because of the death threats she has received.

Welcome to the Greatest Country On Earth!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Call It What It Really Is

Rudy Giuliani, a few days ago:

"there’s a revolution going on inside the FBI and it’s now at a boiling point.”

That would be, in more honest terms, a coup, or treason.  Either would apply.  Funny how so many people that are nearly having strokes every day of the year over Hillary e-mails, not one of which they can cite, don't seem to care about this- the FBI working in concert with a foreign enemy to install a would be dictator who is under their thumb, an will sell the country out in a second.

This is so preposterous that nobody would ever think of trying to sell a movie script based on it.  But it's real, and hardly anyone thinks it isn't okay to run the country this way.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I Can't Believe I'm Reading This In The Washington Post

I insist that you take the time to read an article by Paul Waldman in the Washington Post, which you can find here.

The Washington Post has always been the epicenter of both-siderism, and long gave employment to its grand emperor, David Broder.  I guess things are changing since Jeff Bezos bought the paper a few years ago, but I never thought I would read truth like this in the mainstream press.  Honestly, it sounds like something Driftglass, Infidel or I would have written.  I'm so stunned to see things spelled out this honestly that I just don't know what to say.  PLEASE read this article- it is virtually the most important thing I have seen in the mainstream press in years.  I don't even want to quote excerpts from it; you need to see the whole thing.  Please take my advice- you will be so glad you did.

Danger Day

That would be tomorrow, when I believe it is very likely that the Republicans will release one last blast of fake Wikileaks/FBI lies.  This represents perfect timing- long enough for the mainstream press to collaborate in spreading their garbage far and wide, and not anywhere near enough time for the Democrats to respond with the truth.

We may very well be about to see an election that should not even be close, stolen by a cabal composed of the treasonous Republican party, the FBI, the mainstream press, and the Russian dictatorship.  I never thought it could be this bad, but then I really, stupidly believed that the danger of Trump as President would make at least part of the press temper their perpetual promotion of the party of their owners.  Well, I was wrong.  The Press has been worse than ever this time around, the FBI has been revealed as full of treacherous criminals, Russia has openly worked to manipulate stupid American voters who were primed with hatred by the Russian tool Trump, and the whole thing is coming together right in front of the eyes of anyone who cares to look: and utterly degraded, totally shameless crushing of democracy.

And there is not one thing we can do about it.  The Fascists may well have won.

The Most Pathetic Take on the FBI

From Chris Cilizza at the Washington Post.  No, I won't link to this garbage, but I will link to the Daily Kos story where I saw this:

"The FBI has long been an iconic institution in American life. From Elliot Ness to Clarice Starling, the image of the FBI — unflappable, smart and relentlessly fair — has been sterling."

Eliot Ness was never an agent of the FBI.  He worked for the prohibition branch of the Treasury Department, and later for the States of Illinois and Ohio.

And do you remember Clarice Starling?  Yeah, here she is:
Clarice Starling, AKA Jodie Foster.  She's the "FBI agent" in Silence of the Lambs.

Well, that's what Chris came up with to illustrate the sterling qualities of the FBI:  A guy who was never in the FBI, and a character in a movie.

You might as well cite Chewbacca to prove how noble Wookies are.  And for this sort of writing, Chris gets a platform at one of the nation's most important newspapers, and one hell of a salary.

And that is why Donald Trump is polling above five percent.

By the way, I recommend that you click on the link and read the Daily Kos story, which has a day by day account of the actions that the FBI has taken the last week or so, to undermine democracy in this country and put a tool of a foreign country in the White House.  This is nothing but a record of deliberate subversion, and should be treated as such.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Time to Take the Gloves Off

Time to stop letting the Republicans lie, smear, and corrupt the top levels of the American government to get their way, in a country that is overwhelmingly against what they really propose to do.

Nobody ever listens to people like me, but if I were running Hillary's campaign, this is what I would spend every penny I have left on:
I mean, it's true, isn't it?  It's just that gutless Democrats are just so afraid of having Republicans scream at them, that they go along with the lies, instead.  This is, in fact, what the entire campaign should have been about, because what could be a bigger issue than the fact that a candidate backed with billions of dollars of corrupt campaign money is a total tool of a foreign dictator, favoring his desires at every step, regardless of how colossally destructive they would be to our own country.

Oh well, it's probably too late to tell the truth now, as if they even would.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

An Expert's Take on Trump and his Followers

I know someone named Jim Savage.  Jim has run programs for addicts and others in recovery for many years, and he has taken the time to write down what he sees going on with Trump and his people.  I guess we all have wondered how presumably sane people can get on board this hateful train, but for the rest of us it is just the speculation of amateurs.

I just want to say that this is the first time in the over 4300 posts here at Green Eagle that I have posted something written by someone else, but when we have a chance to hear from someone who knows what the rest of us are just guessing about, I think it is certainly likely to be more valuable than one more rant from Green Eagle.

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Election 2016: The Elephant In The Room
Jim Savage, Dallas Texas
October 31, 2016

I’m becoming painfully aware of the fact that every time I turn on the radio or TV and hear Donald Trump’s voice I am in a sense—I know my friends on the right are going to have trouble with this one—being abused.

Therapist friends of mine who understand family systems theory know that any time there’s a dysfunctional behavior in a system, everyone in the system is impacted. This extends to the “secrets” no one acknowledges: Dad might be a drunk or abusive, but no one talks about it, and the behavior is allowed to continue. It becomes the proverbial “elephant in the living room”, and everyone is negatively impacted. Part of the harm comes from being in the position of having to covertly support the behavior because of the underlying dynamics at play in the system. A more extreme example of this is summed up in the principle of “a witness to abuse is a victim of abuse.”

As a result of our democratic process, Donald Trump has managed to hijack the American public. We have become a “system” on one of the largest scales possible. The “secret in the system” is that Donald Trump spews anger and hate every time he speaks, which is reflective of the type of person he is. His support has resulted from tearing a scab off the underbelly of a particular faction of society that shares these characteristics and giving voice to it. Sorry to say it, but we’re talking about racism, bigotry and misogyny. These are verifiable characteristics that Donald Trump currently displays.

Hillary Clinton, as far as I know, has been investigated, but never convicted of any wrongdoing. Regardless of past history, I have not seen Hillary Clinton do anything illegal or even shady during the time she has been running for president. If we disregard Trump’s past history and look only at his actions during this election it can’t be denied that he has demonstrated the following:

Degrading attitude towards women:
·         “She wouldn’t be my first choice” with regard to whether he would have forced himself on someone sexually;
·         tweeting about Miss Universe becoming fat which was “a disaster”,
·         the comment about Carly Fiorina’s face,
·         “Like she hasn’t been grabbed before” in reference to the porn star accuser;

Religious degradation:
·         Implying the Khan mother was perhaps not allowed to speak because of her religion.

Racial bigotry:
·         “Blacks aren’t educated, they live in hell, they’re killed if they just go out in the street. They’ve got nothing to lose.”
·         Claiming the Indiana born judge couldn’t do his job impartially because he was of Mexican heritage (first referring to him as a Mexican)

His attempts to reach out to African-Americans and the evangelicals have been recognized by most as pathetic and insulting examples of the fact that he in no way understands or really cares about these issues.

The mere fact that we have to explain what’s wrong with these attitudes and actions is an example of being unwillingly drawn into, and becoming part of the dysfunctional system.

When someone brings up the fact that dad’s behavior is dysfunctional (alcoholic, abusive, for example) and is shot down by other family members, it makes the one who is willing to speak up feel crazy for trying to bring something to light that is readily apparent.  When I hear Trump growl statements like “We’re going to round them all up and get them the hell out of here”, I feel crazy when I think about how many are not calling this for what it is, rather are fueled by the underlying attitude in his statement. For those who don’t get it:
·         Of course we should deport criminals that don’t have a right to be here in the first place.
·         Of course we need to figure out how to make sure ISIS members don’t get in to our country.

But it’s in how you say this. And the way he says it belies an attitude that goes beyond a reasonable way of addressing these issues. The reality is that the underlying message is one of hate and bullying. And there is a certain demographic in our country that eats this up.

With regard to Trump supporters, I believe there are three categories. The first is the demographic that hold the same attitudes of bigotry, racism, anger and hate. They will always be there and Trump can profit from them through his Trump TV or Facebook Live or whatever he ends up doing. This is not a majority of the American public, therefore he will more than likely continue to simply be a gnat on the ass of the more reasonable society.

Another faction supports him solely as a result of their hate for Hillary Clinton. I believe that you, perhaps through a similar dysfunctional pattern of denial, have been drawn in to a dynamic of compromising your values because of the “binary choice” for this election. I believe many are overlooking traditional values you hold because of the unfortunate position you have found yourself in. Would you really tolerate his attitudes and behaviors with your children? Would you pretend an insincere apology from your child is sufficient and move on, ignoring the glaring fact that he or she did not really learn anything from the opportunity for a lesson? It’s mind-boggling that this has to even be discussed. But this is simply another example of the dysfunctional system we find ourselves in. I think many of you would not support Trump if you had another choice.

A third faction that supports him are those that are in reality doing it for their own gain. These would be the politicians (and others in some position of power) who are disgracing themselves by defending and justifying what are obvious unacceptable attributes for a presidential candidate. I can only surmise that these folks are compromising their values for the sake of their political future—which ultimately translates to personal and/or financial gain.

Mike Pence is at the top of this list. He waves his Christian values like a blazing cross. When asked how he can condone Trump’s statements, behaviors, etc., he responds by saying, “he apologized.” And it is left at that. Here’s another example of the insanity in the dysfunctional system. Everyone knows his “apology” was insincere, which in reality only sheds more light on how dysfunctional the apologizer is. The inherent dynamic of “we will just move on” is a prime example of how the dysfunctional system works.

Perhaps an interesting parallel can be drawn between politicians who overlook their personal values in lieu of supporting Trump and the very thing people vilify Hillary Clinton for. The overall allegation with her would fall under the category of “corruption.” Corruption would be defined as engaging in behavior that ranges from dishonesty or breaking rules to criminal acts for the specific purpose of personal gain. This exists on a spectrum; on one end of the spectrum we have to ask ourselves “do I ever consider my own personal gain when making certain decisions?” I’d be lying if I said that I never consider how a decision might affect me positively when I should be coming from a place of total impartiality. I admit it. I happen to work a program that forces me to keep that type of attitude or behavior in check. If this behavior falls to the extreme end of the spectrum and involves illegal behavior, of course the perpetrator should be prosecuted and held accountable—Hillary Clinton included.

My hunch is that all sorts of in between behavior occurs in politics as well as any other business. Hillary detractors have latched on to the Wikileak item where she said she maintains a personal profile and a public profile. That can easily be made to sound nefarious, but the reality is—who doesn’t do this? Do you think Mike Pence would want the public to hear the discussion he had when making the decision to publicly declare Trump’s apology as sincere? Of course there’s a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff in any politician’s email or private meetings and conversations that the general public would tear apart to serve their side’s agenda.

That said, is it not fair to say that politicians compromising their own values by not calling Trump out for what he really is constitutes another form of dishonest behavior for personal gain? In other words: corruption. Granted, it’s way down at the “mild” end of the spectrum, but it is, nevertheless, dishonest behavior for the purpose of personal gain. And they’re all “guilty” of it.

To put this in perspective, I would refer to differences I saw between the Democratic and Republican conventions. If an alien came down from another planet and watched these events:

One was negative, one was positive.
One was divisive, one was unifying.
One was angry, one was happy.
One was hateful, one was loving.

One painted America as a third world country where it’s unsafe to go outside, but we’re going to get rid of everyone who doesn’t belong

One brought persons with disabilities on stage to point out how we work together to help others and make sure everyone gets a fair chance.  

As I write this, I have the TV on in front of me. Trump just came on, and once again I am immediately reminded of the fact that he is non-stop hate and fear mongering, and his invasion into my living room exposes me to this. It’s unhealthy, and the feeling that resonates from my inner core is, “this is wrong. “ It’s wrong that the news folks have to dignify this dysfunction by covering it. So many feel crazy; they know how wrong this is, but because of the nature of the hijacking, we are powerless to do anything about it.

Hillary may be corrupt; if she has broken laws, sure, “lock her up.” (And for those who don’t get it: That was a cynical, sarcastic jab at the fact that expressing it that way is a prime example of the underlying attitude of misogyny and bullying. There is an appropriate way to express concern that she may have broken the law and should be investigated.) On the other hand, if we shouldn’t vote for anyone who has ever engaged in dishonest behavior for personal gain (corruption), who are you going to vote for?

Trump continues to display character unacceptable for a presidential candidate. His attitude towards women is just one aspect of what’s wrong with him, yet it’s not hyperbole to say that the dignity of women and young girls is literally on this ballot. That alone is enough to call this out. I believe many of you want to overlook this, but deep inside you know this is correct.

Trump is a narcissistic, misogynistic, angry, bigot only interested in personal gain. The irony of this all is that he rides on the mantle of being an extraordinary business leader.  A good leader doesn’t have all the problems his campaign has suffered. A good leader doesn’t have Billy Bush videos surfacing. A good leader doesn’t continually sabotage his campaign directors’ efforts to run an effective campaign by keeping negative issues alive because he can’t control his mouth and his twitter feed.
And finally, a good leader understands the most important principal in business from an organizational perspective: Shit rolls downhill. If you don’t believe me, see: Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones era.

Heaven help us were he to actually be elected.

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Well, I hope you found that interesting.  It sure beats what Green Eagle has to say about Trump.

Comey Abandons Even the Pretext of Honesty

Today's FBI news:

First of all, ten or twelve years after the fact, and a week before the election, Comey today decided that it was vital to release right now, a massive number of FBI documents about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, which, incidentally found nothing wrong in anything they did.

And on the other hand,in the face of a very well sourced article from David Korn at Mother Jones, revealing highly disturbing connections between Donald Trump and the Russians, the FBI has declared that it would be just too unfair to release what it knows about that.

So: we just have to have irrelevant information about a dead pseudo-scandal crammed down our throats, but the very real possibility that Donald Trump is a tool of the Russians is just too unimportant to be discussed now, and can wait for some future generation or something.

It would take deep stupidity at this point for anyone to continue believing that Comey is just an honest person caught between bad choices.  He is a subversive criminal, and the Democratic party needs to treat him as such.

I have often pointed out that a major benefit of Republicans' endless lying smear campaigns against their opponents, is that this behavior discredits all claims that either party makes against the other.  So, the Democrats' very correct claims that Trump is a crooked con man without a shred of morality, who seems to have made a devil's deal with our greatest strategic opponent, gets treated as exactly equivalent to Republican claims that Hillary is actually Satan, that Michelle Obama is really a former football player who had a sex change operation, that...well, you know.  As a result, the weak Democratic leaders are intimidated into collaborating in hiding the sickening truth about Republican leaders.  How about telling the truth for once, with all that is riding on it?  Comey is at this point essentially an agent of a hostile foreign nation, doing everything he can to place that nation's puppet in the White House.  The notion that there is a shred of decency behind his actions is ludicrous.