Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

How The Lie Tells The Truth

September 9, 2020

            During this final stretch of the presidential election campaign, the enthusiasm factor definitely favors Dear Leader. Both the folks who own the boats (and ATV’s, RV’s, in home theatre TV’s, etc.), as well as the folks who make this ownership possible through their low wage labor, wear their hearts on their sleeves (as well as flag poles, truck beds, motorcycle sissy bars, etc.). And Dear Leader feeds off this adulation, offering up whatever sound bytes, dis info or mis info which may get a rise out of his reality show audience. The truth value of all this exchange is now, finally, immediately and continuously being challenged by media fact checkers. This, in turn, is swiftly transferred into sound bytes of actual and factual information by the opposition. The latest front in the battle to secure Mt. Parnassus, the abode of Apollo the god of truth, has been conjoined by the likes of investigative journalists (an endangered species on anyone’s list) writing for The Atlantic, Rolling Stone or Salon, as well as this year’s crop of tell all books from the likes of Bob Woodward, Michael Cohen or Mary L. Trump. The GOP’s official position during the Obama years was pretty much straight forward and embarrassingly honest: top priority was to get rid of Obama. Seemed politically viable enough. Obama’s flaws and untruths were readily enough pointed out and embellished. But that only worked as long as there was an assumed baseline, ground of truth (which could be verified like the great “keep your own doctor” of the ACA). Today’s lies are fast, furious and continuous, at a speed challenging the most adept of fact checkers (over 20,000 in 4 years for Dear Leader alone according to the Washington Post). The truth revealed by all this is that the lie promoted for whatever given decision or policy is preferred by the boat owners and those working for them in their marinas. This, that Dear Leader enthusiasts prefer and seek out the lie intentionally and knowingly, is a particularly hard truth to swallow, let alone digest. But then, Apollo was known to be a particularly cruel god.

What Will Newark Do If Trump Doesn’t Leave?

September 6, 2020

            David Brooks is a writer. He has written several books as well as a weekly op-ed column for the New York Times, part of the Times “both side-ism” approach to covering the news. On a political spectrum he would be somewhere around conservative/centrist/moderate. He also appears as a foil to the liberal Mark Shields on the PBS Friday Newshour commentary (as well as on election coverage, etc.). So it came as a bit of a surprise to read the title of his 9-3-20 Times’ op-ed: What Will You Do If Trump Doesn’t Leave? Sure, Bernie Sanders can broach the same topic eliciting “That’s Bernie” yawns. But Brooks? In his essay, Brooks assumes his paper’s both side-ism coverage of the various street demonstrations around the country and that they are increasingly actively involving both sides (the truth being that the Proud Boys and Prayer Patriots have been actively agitating in Portland for years, not just the past 100 days). White supremacy aside, and the affinity of these groups to side with and be embraced by law enforcement (after all, like the police, they are carrying firearms), none of this will go away with the election of a new president. Brooks’ point is will you choose a side? His response was to point to the outrage and mass street gatherings in Belarus (as well as Ukraine, Chile, etc.). Would you be willing to go to the streets for the sake of democracy, the Constitution and country (and not just one side)? What is striking about Brooks, and Sanders, and so many others recent concern about what will occur if our Dear Leader questions the legitimacy of the outcome (which he has been continuously laying the groundwork for just such a response), relies on his paramilitary (which he has continuously been instigating and affirming), and decides to change the Constitutional interpretation of what is the legitimate transfer of power (which he has been collaborating with his attorney general to reset what was previously assumed as lawful) is that most Americans are totally oblivious of this evolution, this development in American history. It has only been recently, in the last half year, that the media will immediately call out misinformation, disinformation as a lie, untrue, not backed up by facts and actuality. The word “fascist” still elides the lexicon. Speaking of fascism, what will Newark do if Trump doesn’t leave?

Invasives

July 20, 2020

Early 2014 witnessed the Ukrainian Revolution with a change of central government in Kyiv and the subsequent separation of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions by pro Russian paramilitary. This was quickly followed by the Russian occupation of Crimea, and its eventual annexation. Originally Russia denied any involvement in the military activities. Local reports at the time centered on the presence of “little green men”, armed and dressed in military camou without insignias as to rank or allegiance. Americans primarily associate the entire episode with Donald Trump’s “thing” about Ukraine with its desire to undermine Joe Biden and eventual impeachment outcome. But what happened to the “little green men”? Apparently now, after 6 years (the last 4 of which are under the Trump administration), they have migrated to the northwestern part of the continental US. Little green men, armed and dressed in military camou without insignia as to rank or allegiance, have been active and spotted in the cities of Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington. And they’ve brought their unmarked vehicles with them too! Akin to Ukraine 2014, both cities are currently embroiled in ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Analysis wonders when the American people will finally make the real connection of Donald Trump, his “thing” about Ukraine, and what went on there in 2014.

Official Apology From The Ministry Of Information

June 14, 2020

There is a need for context with today’s blog posting. Autocratic governments around the world have historically, as well as currently, maintained official news outlets where the official government interpretation of what is considered official reality is asserted. The rest is dismissed as, officially and literally, fake news. Some of these news outlets are run through official government offices of information, etc. Others are government franchise “autonomous” enterprises whose primary existence is to be the government mouth piece. Most in the US don’t approach news in that manner. Between a mix of freedom of the press and Walter Cronkite, with a dash of radical marginalized outlets, the news is treated as a work in progress of contemporary history, a fact checkable reality. What could be official? The contemporary autocracy in America rearranges that outlook. With its emphasis on privatizing anything and everything official that it can, the current administration eschews an “official” line, preferring instead for a popular origin located and affirmed through private news sources (a Wall Street Cronkite nightly report, of sorts). Many sources have reported what was originally uncovered by the Seattle Times. June 13, 2020, Jesse Drucker headlines for the NY Times that “Fox News Removes a Digitally Altered Image of Seattle Protests Fox News acknowledged that one photo was a combination of several images, and a second was taken in a different city.” Notable in the report of what The Seattle Times had scooped: “On Friday, Fox posted on its site a photo of a man armed with a rifle standing in front of the shattered glass of a storefront. The Seattle Times noted that it was a combination of several different photos from Getty Images taken over nearly two weeks. Also on the website, Fox also posted a nighttime photo of a burning storefront and car, accompanied by the headline “Crazy Town” and a list of articles on the unrest in Seattle. But that image was taken in St. Paul, Minn.” Drucker also gave the official response: “In an editor’s note now accompanying the articles, Fox said the now-deleted image was a “collage” that “did not clearly delineate between these images, and has since been replaced. In addition, a recent slide show depicting scenes from Seattle mistakenly included a picture from St. Paul, Minnesota. Fox News regrets these errors.”” Since 2016 Fox News has been functioning as the de facto ministry of information for the Trump regime; privatized, of course. The protesters may chant “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like.” Well, Fox News is what privatization looks like for an official ministry of information. In the 5-28-20 post entitled “Decision 2020” Analysis referenced Latour’s Iconoclash and “Why do Images Trigger so Much Furor?” The original meaning of collage is given as “a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing.” The origin of the word “propaganda” is given as “Italian, from modern Latin congregatio de propaganda fide ‘congregation for propagation of the faith’” Propaganda? Art? Or both? Fox news: We report, you decide.

Decision 2020

May 28, 2020

5-25-20 AFP headlined: India yogi who claimed to live without food or water dies aged 90. “An Indian yogi [Prahlad Jani] whose claims he spent decades without food or water earned him a band of devotees and the scepticism of doctors died Tuesday, his neighbour told AFP.” “He told AFP in 2003 he got the “elixir of life from the hole in my palate, which enables me to go without food and water”. There was no way of verifying Jani’s claims, but doctors have said a person cannot go for long periods without food or water without organ damage and the body breaking down.” Who would you vote for, Jani or the doctors? Think carefully, decide wisely as this will be the foundations of the 2020 presidential election in 5 months. Back in 2002 European scholar and curator Bruno Latour organized an extensive investigation in what he entitled Iconoclash. It considered topics such as “Why do images Trigger so Much Furor?” and “What is Iconoclash? Or is There a World Beyond the Image Wars?” Etc. One of his prime examples centers on the Reformation, a period when there were wars fought over the appropriateness of statues, paintings, relics and other iconic images within the churches of Christianity specifically as well as within the religion generally. Writing at the time of these actual events Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) offers one description (amongst many): “To speak frankly, there seems to be great self-love and presumption in granting your opinions such esteem that you can justify disrupting the public peace in order to establish them.” Returning to present time, Analysis finds an analogous Iconoclash unfolding before our weary eyes. It may not be a disruption centered on imagery, but it certainly does involve a destruction of the previous regime that values science, research, statistical data, factual analysis and intellectual conclusions. Montaigne seems to speak to the present reformation when “there seems to be great self-love and presumption in granting your opinions such esteem that you can justify disrupting the public peace in order to establish them.” The evidence is overabundant with Dear Leader’s Twitter usurpation, extortion of North Carolina’s pandemic response for mass gatherings by moving the upcoming GOP convention (after promoting individual state response), disdain for following his administration’s own CDC guidelines and recommendations with regard to masks, forcing people to unsafe work in the midst of an “invisible enemy,” championing the ingesting of hydroxychloroquine proactively as well as injecting bleach prescriptively, etc. Analysis finds that in November of 2020 the choice will not be about an economy, or racism, or security (personal, national or international). The choice for America will be between Prahlad Jani or the doctors. Who will you vote for?

MIA

May 22, 2020

In one of the recent Le Show broadcasts Harry Shearer posed a rhetorical question in regard the journalistic/cultural slant on the current Economic Depression. He made the observation that for the last 2+ months all the articles, talking heads, etc. speak of the “economy shutting down.” In actuality, according to Mr. Shearer, only half the economy has shut down. In addition to certain segments of the economy which are booming (i.e. Amazon), the financial sector hasn’t exactly withdrawn into a shell. As of this writing the DOW is only 10% off from its all time high. Shearer has a point. Pre Covid 19 debt obligations have not “shut down” or disappeared. Credit card companies, mortgage servicers, utilities, etc. all still post their bills and collect on them (electronically, so convenient! Save a stamp and all). They, along with the Wall Street financiers, are doing OK, thank you. So it was curious to read the Washington Post article headlined: “U.S. taxpayers might lose money helping companies. Economists say it’s a good thing. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged this week that some of the $500 billion in aid to companies might not be repaid.” As the article pointed out, Obama’s TARP Act, meant to address George W. Bush’s financial meltdown of 2008, lost some taxpayer money “But overall, TARP ultimately made several billion dollars as most companies repaid the loans and some of the stock the government took as collateral turned out to be worth a good bit more when it came time to cash in.” Trump/Mnuchin’s CARES Act isn’t structured around repayment or collateral. Besides, who would report if it failed? We’ve become so inured to Dear Leader’s policies and practices of big business – the firing of those deemed disloyal, the hiring of corporate executives to regulatory positions, the dismissal of regulations, the neglect of institutions, etc. – that we don’t notice their presence (or absence) in our everyday surrounds. Nothing comes from nothing, and what is favored nationally is ditto found locally. In a 5-19-20 article, Newark Advocate’s Kent Mallett headlined “Licking County Chamber announces Facebook grant for local small businesses”. “The Licking County Chamber of Commerce announced it will coordinate a $100,000 grant from Facebook to help support small businesses battling through economic challenges.” In the text Mallett quotes LC Chamber Pres and CEO Jennifer McDonald and Facebook’s Community Development Regional Manager Amber Tillman, and no one else. 5-22-20 Mallett headlines “Downtown Newark survey shows public uneasy about reopening businesses amid coronavirus”. “A Downtown Newark Association survey showed considerable uncertainty and unease about reopening businesses after a two-month shutdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” Again, he presents a stenographic rendition of the survey, quotes DNA President Trish Newcomb, and no one else. What do we elect civic leaders for? Where’s Newark’s Mayor Jeff Hall in all this? What about LC Commissioners Tim Bubb, Duane Flowers and Rick Black? Is there no interest that the Facebook grant money be distributed fairly, equitably and appropriately by those elected to insure such? Is there no want of direction, guidance and leadership on prudent measures for safely interacting within the war footing of a Covid 19 response? Have we become so lock step and attuned with the abdication of leadership and direction on the Federal level by our Dear Leader, as well as the journalists covering him, that we are OK with our own local MIA’s? Analysis finds that Harry Shearer  is right. Only half the economy shut down with the spread of Covid 19. The business half is still running everything. Only now they are doing it so overtly that the corporate news journalists don’t even bother with any other reality.

Invisible And Contagious

May 18, 2020

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio has been advancing an “On Our Sleeves” campaign for juvenile mental health. The gist of the program is that children’s mental illness is indiscernible to most folks, and the individual pediatric sufferer has no way of indicating that they are afflicted. Like Covid 19, mental illness is an invisible pathogen (if one can call it that). And like Covid 19, it can be spread (intentionally or unintentionally) without knowing, capable of infecting entire communities. How? In a recent interview Dr. Bandy X. Lee, forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine and president of the World Mental Health Coalition, had this to say in reply to a query regarding journalistic responsibility: “No one is connecting the dots to the greatest calamity in the nation’s history, which is the president’s mental incapacity. This should be our biggest focus — even more so than the pandemic — since it is making the pandemic much worse, and even greater calamities are likely awaiting as the stress from the pandemic grows. Excluding mental health experts and replacing them with political pundits has been catastrophic, in my view, resulting in the gross underestimation and normalization of severe psychopathology. And, as we have seen, mental symptoms are even more contagious than ordinary infectious disease, since they transmit through emotional bonds alone.” Lee has good cause to make her assessments (along with those of the World Mental Health Coalition). As of April 14, 2020, the Washington Post has noted over 18,000 false or misleading claims originating from our Dear Leader. The embrace of these claims by citizens in the form of conspiracy theories, the maligning of dedicated government service professionals, advocacy for detrimental or non-existent therapies, convoluted rationales for policies that foster death and suffering, etc. definitely exemplify “mental symptoms [that] are even more contagious than ordinary infectious disease”. What is to be done since there is no national “On Our Sleeves” campaign for adults in America? At the end of a different interview Dr. Justin Frank, former clinical professor of psychiatry (40 years) at George Washington University Medical Center and practicing psychoanalyst along with being the author of “Trump on the Couch” (as well as previous “Obama on the Couch”, and “Bush on the Couch”) offered this remedy: “If I were to advise on a political ad campaign, I would show all the times when Donald Trump said that he is doing a “great job” and then follow it up with images of people dying from the coronavirus pandemic. Trump must be shown to be the fool he is, and that all his claims of greatness are hollow and empty. Show Donald Trump to be the fundamentally destructive person he is.”

If That Just Don’t Beat All

May 5, 2020

The front page of the online edition of the New York Times for Tuesday, May 5, 2020 was an accurate barometer of the contemporary situation. On the left hand side the NY Times headlined “Infection Rates Show the Threat of Coronavirus Is Not Fading.” The top story line beneath the headline read “The U.S. is seeing at least 25,000 new cases per day, an increase of 2 to 4 percent. There have been more than 1,000 daily deaths for over a month.” On the right hand side, sharing equal billing was the headline “Wall Street set to gain amid signs of optimism.” The reflection of today was not limited to the NY Times exclusively. The same day The Wall Street Journal headlined an article with “Why Home Prices Are Rising During the Pandemic”. Again same day, different news source, USA Today headlined “Essential worker just means you’re on the death track”. The headlines for today are as polarized as the politics that surrounds them. Ohio’s Governor Dewine’s daily update on the Covid 19 situation in Ohio showed an increase in cases along with an increase in mortalities. As of this writing Licking County increased to 133 from a previous day’s 130, and the previous to that 114. Yet contrary to the Governor’s initial rationale for nixing the Arnold, halting the March primary and closing public institutions, etc., all systems are go for reopening, without the curve ever reaching a peak. It doesn’t matter? Or is something else at play here? During the Arab oil embargo of the 1970’s it was the simplistic “supply and demand” explanation. During the Reagan recession of the 80’s it was “too many dollars chasing too few goods.” In the 90’s it was the dot com bubble with its enterprising entrepreneurs self justifying mega dividends. W’s regime righted itself with a war economy after 9/11. The chickens came home to roost with his end of term meltdown on the bundled, junk sub-prime securities. B Rock rescued everything through compensating the source of the loss with the mantra of “we can’t let the system fail.” And now this. THIS appears to be the complete unbridled, shameless operation of the market with no other considerations. There is no rhyme or reason, no attempt to justify or rationalize any of it (“Supply and demand” or “too many dollars chasing too few goods” etc.). Those accustomed to making money off whatever situation find no difference in the current situation. Those who always had to pay, no matter the situation, find no difference today except that now it also includes paying with their lives. The polarization reveals itself for what it is: the US as an economy versus the US as a society.

Why Mail In Voting Does Not Benefit Democrats

April 28, 2020

Just minutes ago the pretend primary was closed in Ohio. Already the major news networks project Joe Biden as the winner. Not hard to project the GOP winner as Dear Leader ran unopposed. Why bother with a projection? Governor Mike Dewine cancelled the originally scheduled March 17 primary via his Health Director, Amy Acton. This occurred the very night before the scheduled election. By March 16, 2020 the primary contest for the Presidential candidate on the Democrat side was down to 2 viable contenders. Anyone planning to vote already had made up their mind by the night before the primary. There was no New Hampshire experience of deciding in the polling booth. The news behind the spectacle news of projected winner is that voter turnout was historically low for a presidential primary (especially compared with 2016). The Ohio legislature determined the new, April 28 primary date by fiat before the end of March. Democrats could have executed their March 17 choices any time after that. They didn’t. They didn’t bother to vote because with every mailed in bill for utilities, credit card, insurance or cable bill is a reminder on the return envelope to “save the cost of a stamp –pay electronically.” And they do. So bothering to express their choice for the Democrat candidate was, yawn, a bit of a bother. Going to the mall, coffee shop, concert or church is an event, an opportunity to see and be seen. Ditto for in person, going to the voting precinct to cast a ballot. One even gets an Ohio heart voting sticker. But Democrats chose not to vote during the mail in pretend election Ohio just had. In the fall there will once again be only two viable candidates for the office of President. In boxing title fights, you have to beat the champ. Dear Leader will bother his GOP base to bother and turn out no matter what the conditions are. In addition he will bother to eliminate the postal service, as we’ve heretofore known it, by the fall  election. The Democrats’ historic, actual, real response to voting by mail (as evidenced by the just completed Ohio pretend election) — why bother? Save a stamp as the major news networks will project a winner before the actual fall voting takes place (as they did in 2016). Why bother?

Death Cult For Cutie

April 26, 2020

In addition to the over 16,000 lies, fabrications, and misinformation by Dear Leader over the past 3+ years (as witnessed by the Washington Post) there should now be a new category – Gaslighting.  This blog has covered various individual occurrences in the past. With the Covid 19 pandemic playing out historically (as part and parcel of Dear Leader’s regime) the incidence of gaslighting has grown in number and frequency. Dear Leader, who has complete authority, declares something to be, only later to declare it isn’t. There are too many to analyze in any manner adequate to give full investigative insight. The latest incident, originating with the 4-23-20 press briefing (the internalizing of disinfectant and light as therapy for those ensnared by Covid 19), displaced the previous gaslighting of the week (or even day). This displacement of in depth investigation of historic occasions of gaslighting trivializes the practice and its otherwise significant and serious consequences. But then, that is exactly how gaslighting is supposed to work! One historic occurrence of Dear Leader’s ongoing practice of gaslighting was/is his lukewarm embrace of the federal guidelines (to stay at home, maintain social distancing, etc.) as well as the individual states’ authority to mandate and implement them. This was immediately followed by overnight tweets of “liberate” such and so state. This likewise was in coordination and conjunction with various statehouse anti-stay-at-home rallies, funded and/or organized by fundamentalist conservative GOP groups (prompting some pundits to brand this as akin to a kind of astro turf tea party). Analysis finds careful study of the iconic image from the 4-15-20 Lansing Michigan statehouse protest to be revealing of more than just the right of dissent. The protesters appear to all be male, and white. In addition to wearing urban and rural “street” clothes, there is a smattering of camo. They hold various flags and signs, as well as carry assault rifles and prominently displayed side arms (for all the honest world to feel). Some are wearing what appear to be bullet proof vests, what on other nationalities could also be described as bomb (suicide) vests. In short, this is a quite cohesive group. If this were Chechnya, Afghanistan, Syria or Columbia, no debate they would be described as paramilitary. But Lansing Michigan? What does membership in such a group implicate? To be a part of the military is to actively agree that someone must die, preferably not one’s own. Who can forget Arlo Guthrie yelling “I want to kill!” as a parody of Army recruitment in Alice’s Restaurant? Or the scene in Patton of the general saying the soldier’s duty is for the other side to “die for their country.” Or Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick suggesting that some old people need to  die to save the American economy. Or, more recently, that “there are more important things than living”? Or Dear Leader saying that 100,000 Covid 19 deaths would be a good thing. Analysis finds it indubitable that this group, loosely affiliated or not, is certainly paramilitary (Al Quida, Isis, and Al Shabaab are likewise loosely affiliated). Membership in the group implicates that someone must die, preferably not a group member – someone else. This fits right in with Dear Leader’s gaslighting of urging people to wear masks, but “I won’t wear one.” Or the use of hydroxychloroquine as therapy. Or the recent internalizing of disinfectant as a cure (akin to Jim Jones’ kool aid). Or opening up states for economic reasons. Etc. Someone needs to die for there to be membership under Dear Leader’s total authority.

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