Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dr. Propaganda

Here's how to recognize propaganda.

Stalinist propaganda poster
Unnecessary Superlatives
When you hear words like "excellent," "exceedingly," and "incredible" you need to question the credibility of the statements.

Bizarre Statements
The poster above says Stalin is father to all Russian children.
he might live to be 200 years old. ~ Dr. Ronny Jackson
Propaganda pretends that the leader is godlike, implying he is omnipotent or immortal.

Manipulated Numbers
In 1995, Saddam Hussein claimed he won an election with 99.96% of the vote. Dr. Jackson claims Donald Trump is in excellent health because he is one pound short of being obese and one inch taller than he every was before. When numbers seem rigged, they probably are.

When you recognize propaganda it is best to simply dismiss as a lie everything the source says.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nuclear Missile Warnings

When I was a wee lad my mother would take us to the Oscar's Drive-In for a hamburger treat.
In hindsight, it was a ridiculously long way to drive for a simple burger but it was a primitive time when fast food joints weren't on every street corner.

Anyway, a short distance away was an air raid siren.
If the Russians sent nuclear missiles to destroy the navy base in our city, the siren would wail a warning that in a few minutes everything we knew and loved would be obliterated. The siren would go off periodically to test if the rats living in the speakers had gnawed through the wires.

If I was in school when the test happened, we students would duck-and-cover.

We would duck under our flimsy wooden desks, put our heads between our legs to kiss our butts goodbye while the teacher closed the window blinds so we wouldn't be cut by broken glass. Yeah, like that was the worst that could happen.

Adults were supposed to remember where the too few public fallout shelters were.
They would remember their strategy to ruthlessly stampede over their friends and neighbors to find shelter in a drab, filthy basement bunker with too little food and water and inadequate sanitation before the blinding flash and melting flesh happened.

Hawaii got a taste of that history over the weekend. They learned how utterly useless are such warnings and how totally insane the world is.

Rod Serling's Twilight Zone showed what would really happen in the episode, The Shelter.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Of Course He Said It

Today marks the beginning of Republicans pitching the fallacy that Trump didn't say what the entire world knows with certainty that he did say.
Staffers in the meeting know he said it. That's why their initial reaction was to exalt that Trump's base would embrace his words.

The quarter of the country that worship Trump as a god know he said it. They spent yesterday on the internet thrilling over the phrase.

Everyone who watched Trump through the campaign urging his supporters to beat any black protester knows he said it.

He said it. It fits with everything we have learn about his vile, base, and contemptuous personality. 

And yet today come the denials.
The very same people on Breitbart who were celebrating Trump for "speaking the truth" yesterday are today lockstep that Trump would never say such a thing and it is all a racist Democratic lie. In coming days every Republican, even Mia Love, will embrace the lie that Trump didn't say what he said and didn't mean what he most clearly meant.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Congressmen Who Were Sick Sexual Deviants

Politics attracts a wide variety of people. Some are dedicated and patriotic public servants (a distinct minority these days), some are greedy fucks just in it for what they can steal, while others enter politics to pursue lascivious lifestyles unacceptable elsewhere.

The story of Missouri governor Eric Greitens blackmailing a former lover with compromising pictures got me remembering some of the more disgusting political sex freaks.

Wilbur Mills (D-AR)
One of those pre-Civil Rights Southern Democrats, Mills used his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee to become one of the most powerful men in Washington. In the 1970's he started hanging out with a stripper named Fanne Foxe going so far as to appearing on stage with her while she was preforming and holding a press conference in the stripper's dressing room. After leaving Congress he joined a prestigious law firm.

Donald Lukens (R-OH)
"Buz" Lukens, as he called himself, was a three-fer. In 1989, he was caught have sex with a 16 year-old girl that had started when the girl was just 13. He managed to get it reduced to misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor and ended up spending just nine days in jail for it. The next year, Buz was charged with groping a girl in the Capitol elevator. He resigned ahead of being expelled from Congress. In 1995, he was convicted of taking bribes while a congressman and got 30 months in prison for that one.

Robert Packwood (R-OR)
Sen. Packwood tried to live up to his surname by sexually harassing staffers and lobbyists, keeping score of his conquests in a diary. Nineteen women came forward with charges and certainly dozens of other stayed quiet to avoid further humiliation. Packwood resigned ahead of expulsion and founded an extremely lucrative lobbying firm where he is, probably, still harassing female employees.

Monday, January 08, 2018

What Is 'Executive Time?'

Trump's schedule is mostly filled with something they are calling "executive time." This was a new phrase for me so I went back to see how it was used before the appearance of our toddler-in-chief.

"Executive time" is CEO-speak for free time, those times in a chief executive's schedule where he has nothing planned. No meetings, no important phone calls, and no golf, just nothing specific to do. A truly busy executive has little such free time making what little they have a rare treat.

For many executives, free time is really play time when they browse the internet or schmooze with buddies. Since Trump doesn't read, he is not using his free time productively. Trump is known to spend much of his play time watching television, even watching TV during meetings. He is also known for calling up old friends so they can tell him how wonderful he is.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Roy Cohn and Other Stories

Who Was Roy Cohn?
I was going to write a whole thing about Roy Cohn but this Daily Beast article does a better job of it.

Cohn is most famous as the oily little weasel at Sen. Joseph McCarthy side during the McCarthyite hearings. Devoid of either ethics or common decency, Roy Cohn was a self loathing Jew who associated with anti-Semites. He was a self loathing gay who persecuted other homosexuals. He was a renown mob fixer for the likes of John Gotti and Carmine Galante. He was mentor to Donald Trump, teaching him the virtue of soulless ruthlessness.

'Like, Really Smart'

Truly smart people don't feel the need to call themselves "smart." If they did they'd do so in a simple declarative sentence, "I am smart." Trump habitually inserts "like" into the phrase, a verbal tick associated with tween girls and an unconscious hedge suggesting he knows, instinctively, that he isn't actually smart.

Stay Off the Grass
Republicans have finally found a place to take a courageous stand against Trump's authoritarianism.

They are okay with the neo-Nazis. Constant threats to start a thermonuclear war don't bother them. They love double taxing people living in blue states. They think the only criminal conduct is to expose Trump's criminal conduct. They can accept child molesters and dismiss sexual assault as boys being boys.

But Don't Touch Their Pot.

I guess I should be happy they finally found their balls but, really, is that all the fortitude they have?

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Nazification of the USA

Police State
Acting ICE director Thomas Homan is auditioning to turn the Immigration and Customs office into Trump's Gestapo. Yesterday, Homan announced his desire to arrest opposition (i.e. Democratic) politicians (I said that would happen). ICE agents have already adopted brutal tactics like shooting unarmed people, beating and terrorizing both citizen and non-citizen Hispanics.

Revoke Freedom of Speech, Press
Trump's lawyer has written threatening letters to both Bannon and the publisher of Michael Wolff's book. Trump is seeking to ban the book and stifle any discussions that might disparage Trump, his family, or his business. In the language of the letter, Trump's "business" is the presidency.

Röhming Bannon
In the past I've compared Bannon to the leader of the Nazi Brownshirts, Ernst Röhm. Both led the grassroots rabble of their movement, both were anarchists, they were both reviled by their party establishments, both thought they were better than their Fuhrer and would eventually replace him, in both the vile corruption of their souls was reflected in the disfigurement of their faces.
The difference, and this may turn out to be a big difference, after Hitler turned on him he had Röhm murdered in his prison cell while Bannon is free and still lives.

Assuming Bannon isn't found dead or mysteriously goes missing in the coming weeks, he will be a constant threat to inflame the radical, anarchistic wing of the Republican Party against the leadership now fully subservient to Trump.