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January 27, 2017


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These are AMAZING! I'm going to steal some. Thank you Carl Muecke for fighting back. Artists and humorists are going to get me through these fucking horrible four years!

I thought the son's names were Uday and Qusay ??

"Reading Trump's mind?"
My parents and grandparents (when they were still alive and actually talking to me) would regale me and my slightly uncomfortable friends with the story of how I taught MYSELF to read when I was 4. I confess that I have no clue (almost 60 years later) how to fulfill the title of this post. I can sorta relate to the "lonely little boy who never got to play with the cool kids" scenario, but I'm stumped by the "revenge" factor. Maybe I grew up and somebody else never did??

Trump represents a backlash against intellectualism and globalism. These appointees actually believe that America can and should rule the world. They believe that if we stomp our feet and hold our breath, nations will fall in line like scared little children. They are about to test their beliefs in the real world. Like all children learn sooner or later, the world teaches you more than you teach it. I am looking forward to their complete humiliation. The problem is, once our ostracism begins it will be irreversible. We are seeing the end of the US post-WW2 empire. Maybe that is a good thing considering how many truly stupid people we have, we are too immature to run the world or anything but an illegal still.  These willful ignoramuses, offspring of the dumb-down-o-sphere, are usually guided by a mistaken belief that "god" is on "their" side--when, in truth, we are on our own because God gives us "free will." They don't have the intellectual or reasoning skills to comprehend that American "exceptionalism" does not "except" the U.S. from international "norms" and law, and they make the hypocritical leap from "exceptionalism" to "superiority."  This arrogance only inspires and energizes our competitors and adversaries--and subtly turns them into enemies. Also, there is a brand of American "machismo," and wanting to be the big "bully" on the block, that has gotten America to spend a vast national treasure, and many lives lost, broken, and wasted, in the service of supposedly "cheap" oil--and being the world's "badass" cop.  Until these pseudo-patriots understand that rest the world is 23 times bigger than America, we'll continue our downward spiral.

Trump represents a willful, and intentional, pulling back from respectful "engagement" with the world community. He has a "bully" mentality that will energize and inspire our competitors (like China) to cut us down to size and teach us a lesson in humility. As a loudmouthed boor who has NO decorum, dignity, or verbal finesse, he will say many things decent Americans will live to regret. His supporters, products of the "dumb-down-o-sphere" of America "uber alles," in their overwrought pseudo-patriotism masquerading in xenophobia, will be over the moon. They will eventually realize their folly, but by then it will be too late, for the damage will have been done--and its effects will be long-lasting. In thinking they can rule the world and tell it what to do, the trumpaholics will have ensured the world will rebuke us and put us in our rightful place. It will be a profound lesson on the truth that arrogance is an ultimate form of stupidity.

The new admin looks like it may also adopt the approach that if it ignores science, it will just go away.

I recently came across two descriptions of Kaiser William II that seem vaguely reminiscent of Mr. Trump:

"His Majesty's autocratic tendencies are not accompanied by any serious scrutiny of the facts; he just talks himself into an opinion. Anyone in favor of it is then quoted as an authority, anyone who differs from it is 'being fooled'."

"The new Kaiser is like a balloon. If you don't keep hold of the string, you never know where he'll be off to."

The Kaiser also called the members of the Reichstag "a troop of monkeys and a collection of blockheads and sleepwalkers".

My guess is that pending conflicts between President Trump and a Republican congressional majority whose leaders are cool at best toward Trump and seek to use his "mandate" to further their own agenda, will elicit similar language.

A couple more oddly familiar descriptions of Kaiser William II, taken from his Wikipedia page:

"...gifted, with a quick understanding, sometimes brilliant, with a taste for the modern,—technology, industry, science—but at the same time superficial, hasty, restless, unable to relax, without any deeper level of seriousness, without any desire for hard work or drive to see things through to the end, without any sense of sobriety, for balance and boundaries, or even for reality and real problems, uncontrollable and scarcely capable of learning from experience, desperate for applause and success,—as Bismarck said early on in his life, he wanted every day to be his birthday—romantic, sentimental and theatrical, unsure and arrogant, with an immeasurably exaggerated self-confidence and desire to show off, a juvenile cadet, who never took the tone of the officers' mess out of his voice, and brashly wanted to play the part of the supreme warlord, full of panicky fear of a monotonous life without any diversions,.."

"Bombastic and impetuous, he sometimes made tactless pronouncements on sensitive topics without consulting his ministers, culminating in a disastrous Daily Telegraph interview in 1908 that cost him most of his influence."

Trump, The Big Lie, History Repeating Itself and Psychopathic Behavior...

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels said this more than 70 years ago.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.

Like the Nietzschean Superman, the psychopath considers himself beyond the norms of good and evil: except, of course, when it comes to double standards, since no psychopath would want others to use, manipulate, deride and hurt him as he does them. The underlying narcissism that leads the psychopath to focus only on his desires, pleasures and needs also blinds him to his faults and protects him from self-blame. He reframes reality to fit with his narcissistic delusions. Sleaziness, violence, stalking and perversion–-sadistic games played at other people’s expense–are framed as “hedonism”,  “childlike innocence and playfulness” or “libertine freedom”. Lies are framed as “creative interpretations of reality” or clever “modes of persuasion”. Manipulativeness, slander and back-stabbing become, in his deranged mind, “Machiavellianism” or “cunning”. As the psychopath’s idiotic grins which often accompany his malicious actions reveal time after time, his behavior and intentions are as far removed from “childlike” or “harmless fun” as possible. “Freedom” too is a meaningless concept, given that his main goal is to trample on the freedom and rights of others. He intends to control and harm others: control by harming them, to be precise. From the book, "Dangerous Liaisons" by Claudia Moscovici

What I find amusing, and telling, is how all the conservative bloggers have suddenly disappeared. I'm wondering, do you have anything to say in defense of Trump and how he's conducted himself? Or are his behavior and actions indefensible? Or is it that Trump's actions represent the greedy, uncaring, avaricious, bullying, and malicious, passive-aggressive, "underbelly" of "ugly Americanism" that you wholeheartedly support in your silence?

Still here, Brad, old boy; I'm enjoying your angst.

Kaiser Bill was Pericles compared with Trump. For one thing, he read books.

ms. dudas, I guess you would, in your mean-spirited and contrarian way, enjoy anyone who would fight for fairness and true justice. Telling as to who you really are--and a window into your dark heart..

But, then, for people in the conservative, tea-party, and alt-right ranks, conscience and true morality have always been of lesser importance than avarice, power, capital gain, and exerting nd maintaining control. And ms. dudas, I still haven't heard any of your kind offering any defense of Trump's actions. Again, telling.

I'm not a Republican, but I play one on the telephone (paid political fundraising on behalf of the Republican party, both at the state and federal level).

During the run-up to the election (after Trump secured the nomination), telephone contacts fell into three major classes, roughly equal in size:

(1) Trump is awful and the Republican party should contrive to replace him at or after the convention.

(2) Trump is better than Hilary so I'll hold my nose and vote for him out of party solidarity.

(3) Trump is the best thing since sliced bread and the Republican establishment is scum.

There were a few overtly racist, even violent types, but they were a minority.

A surprisingly large number of individuals with Hispanic surnames supported Trump, or at least found him unobjectionable enough to support the GOP.

Also a minority (but more of a surprise) were the Democrats, including some union members, who supported Trump apparently because they liked his stated positions on trade (which have more in common with Bernie Sanders than Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan). They seemed to regard Trump as sui generis, politically, rather than a Republican.

Shorn of the shamelessly racist rhetoric Trump employed on occasion, immigration control is fairly popular among both Democrats (usually arguing that illegal immigrants drive down wages) and Republicans (notwithstanding the Chamber of Commerce types who like easily exploitable labor).

His positions on torture in fighting Islamic terrorism are, unfortunately, all too common, as demonstrated by popular television programs in which the "ticking time-bomb" scenario features as a regular plot device).

His misogyny was once all too common and still is among older generations.

His stated trade positions are populist and appeal to large segments of both the left and the right:

To renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw under Article 2205. To withdraw from the TPP. To have Treasury label China a currency manipulator. To have the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative "identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately".

That this is advocated by a billionaire so miserly that he employed illegal Polish immigrants to do construction work, at sub-standard wages, and then failed to pay even those wages (all documented in a court decision he lost) doesn't appear to have registered.

Note that his pledge to "cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs" is accompanied by a pledge to "use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure". (Beyond that, in words, at least, he's promised Obama scale infrastructure spending.)

So far as I can tell (still learning), his win was the result of four major factors:

(1) A large number of late undecided voters clustered in key swing states, who didn't show up in polls comparing support for Trump and Clinton.

(2) The comparatively cool reception of Hilary Clinton among African-American voters.

(3) Higher than usual turnout among White working class voters without a college degree.

(4) Some very bad press during the last week before the election, courtesy of the head of the FBI, who publicly announced the reopening of the emails investigation.

Well, Bradley you brought up liars.

Saw a bumper sticker on the road just a few minutes ago.


By the way Bradley, you haven't been on the blog long enough to earn the right to attack Teri the way you did. You owe her an apology.

There's no time requirement here. But the comments section is enriched when people post with facts, persuasive arguments, good writing, and wit.

Bradley Dranka's Goebbels quote may apply, but politicians have been lying, promising all things to all people, and ignoring inconvenient facts, well before and after Goebbels. I thought Trump ran a very old fashioned campaign that was once typical of American politics, pre-fact check era.

Judging from the thousands of contacts I've personally spoken to, a surprisingly large number of Republicans and independent conservatives aligned with them regard Obama's immigration policy -- despite record numbers of deportations during his tenure -- to be a method of gaming the system for Democrats: lure them in with subsidized healthcare and other welfare, and let them stay illegally, and in return they will vote Democrats into office.

The fact that non-citizens can't vote and that illegal immigrants don't qualify for welfare (school lunch programs notwithstanding) doesn't seem to register. I've talked to many who seem to believe that states like California, which make driver's licenses available regardless of immigration status, allows them to register to vote. It doesn't. Proving residency is only half of the equation; you must also prove U.S. citizenship, which, at least in my personal experience, requires a county certified birth certificate or else naturalization documents. In California, driver's licenses issued to illegal immigrants are stamped with the phrase "federal limits apply". Anyone presenting such a driver's license while attempting to register to vote might as well have a sign around their neck saying "ineligible".

Of course, it's possible I'm overlooking something. I'm open to technical explanations pointing out loopholes.

Donald Trump didn't convince his electorate of these things through his lies; he simply capitalized on already prevalent memes.

I don't think it's coincidence that a number of Breitbart operatives have found key places in Trump's administration.

..Yes, California has automatic voter registration when a driver's license is issued, but not for the restricted licenses available to illegal immigrants. That would be a blatant and systematic violation of federal law.

Mr. Perez,

When someone says they're basically laughing at my very well-reasoned points, I have every right to use that to expose them for who I believe them to be. They put their nose out there and it got bloodied.

With regard to Mr. Atherton's election results comments, many younger voters didn't vote, as well. The apathy among African-American voters, and simply that I believe Ms. Zen-like composure probably made many of those opposing her think she was overconfident from the polls.

I will be holding trump accountable for what he does: I rather doubt a good many of his supporters will simply because, for them, giving Washington the middle finger is more than enough--along with slashing "entitlement programs and going after abortion rights. As to actually accomplishing something, I'll be waiting....

LoL- I warned everyone this would be far different than business as usual.

Paul Ryan's spoon is not long enough, and he is beginning to see the end of the Chamber of Commerce/Koch control of the R party- and how does everyone like Ducey pivoting to "education" in total fear of the wreckage they have made of state government.


And the heartland is going to suffer even more with serious trade wars.

It is just too rich, because Trump is forcing the GOP into serious reform, whether they like it or not.

But first, four years of drastic change.

And Pence kissed the ring, so here it comes.

As for the comments about National Socialism, remember that Germany did significant reform of labor laws and healthcare laws, changes that were continued after the war.

National Socialism can work, that is the dirty secret, and that is what everyone should fear and understand.

But it takes some serious crazy stones to pull it off, and if you buy off enough of the populace, they will vote for you.

And the traditional republicans are terrified, because he will get what he wants from Congress. Or Air Force One will arrive and a giant rally will ensue annointing your successor, picked by the One.

Half a loaf, plus so much change in the flyover that is going to be rolled back.

I have to add three things to Mr. Atherton's list.

Voter suppression. Voter suppression. Voter suppression.

The Republicans have spent at least a decade on it, and, with a big boost from the Supreme Court, they finally got it to a point where it affected a national election.

And it's only going to get worse.

So, three cheers for democracy.

The daily provocations from the new administration spawn more and more resistance and demonstrations.
I fear that we are on the verge of anarchy or revolution that will make the Summer of 1968 look like a walk in the park.

B Franklin, I think voter suppression is a real thing and the GOP is great at it.

I have to imagine most Trump voters know this and approve of it.

I myself go back and forth; I find voting to be quite easy but close to a hundred million people who could vote if they wanted to (both registered voters who don't vote, and unregistered people who are eligible to register but don't register).

How insane is it that our political process involves spending tens of millions of dollars in targeted advertising trying to sway a tiny subset of undecided but active voters in swing states...whilst nearly 100 million Americans can't even be bothered to vote?

I also have to imagine a lot of those 100 million would read this page, or any political blog/article/etc., and say, "This is why I don't vote."

Is there a way to make politics more appealing to those hundred million people? Because I'll be honest, I think a lot of people like myself who DO vote, still hate the way politics are and wish we didn't care so much.

"Trump’s margin of victory in both states was not so tiny that we can assume disenfranchisement was a contributing factor. But it seems possible that the assault on voting rights contributed to his success."


So, I'd like to see voter suppression quantified before I accept it as a major contributing factor.

But, then, for people in the conservative, tea-party, and alt-right ranks, conscience and true morality have always been of lesser importance than avarice, power, capital gain, and exerting and maintaining control. And ms. dudas, I still haven't heard any of your kind offering any defense of Trump's actions. Again, telling.

In addendum to the above, when so many of the conservative, tea party, and alt-right trumpet their (supposedly) Christian values as integral to their political views, I am boggled by their complete hypocrisy. To quote the song, "Signs," from 1971, "If God was here he'd tell you to your face, Man, you're some kinda sinner."

The (self-serving) trumpeting of "religious values" is THE key facet of the anti-abortion movement--and is an overlooked part of trump's appeal.

This (again, supposedly) religious and Christian "values" preaching has been an integral part (God and country) of the Republican (Reptilican) party since they became the alleged "bulwark" against "Goldless communism."

For any trump supporter to somehow say, "Oh he isn't religious," is being disingenuous to the fact that an absolutely hypocritical, and unseemly, self-serving and preachy THEOLOGISM (our religion is better than yours) powers the conservative right.

Sorry, it's Godless--not Goldless.

Bradley, I think you're pretty objectively wrong. The pro-life movement is powered first and foremost by a belief that because abortion ends a life (or potential life if that's how one sees it), it is therefore wrong. How is the defense of unborn life self-serving? By definition, it is a concern for OTHERS, not one's self.

If you see many in the pro-life movement as self-serving or self-righteous, that's your opinion, but I don't think anyone can objectively argue that they aren't motivated by an actual belief that abortion is wrong.

Mark, I think you are misguided.
All MATURE women know that miscarriage is a fact of life. Nearly half of all zygote's are aborted, by nature.

The Pro-Life movement is a religious CONTROL issue.
Pro-Lifers do not want to grant adult women the right of making decisions about their own lives and bodies. In the same way they believe a woman should stand behind a man.

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