Monday, November 28, 2016

Donald Trump's 'Art of the Lie'

Lies are easier and much more effective than truths.

Be Loud, Be Proud
The big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie. ~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
Whisper the truth and people won't believe it. Shout a lie and the world will accept it as gospel. Timid people rely on the truth. As Hitler taught, big lies are more easily believed than little lies because people believe no one would be so bold as to tell such a huge whopper. Be bold and the world will believe anything.

Repeat It
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. ~ Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister
The key to a successful lie is repeating it over and over and over again until your lie are the only words that people can remember.

Facts Are for Wusses
Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect. ~ Jonathan Swift
Truth tellers are handicapped by the desire for facts and evidence. Lies have no such shackles. Facts and evidence are traps that weak people fall for. How many times can you repeat your lie while the truth tellers are researching their facts?

Be Specific In Your Lies
I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. ~ Sen. Joseph McCarthy (1950) starting the McCarthyism witch hunts. It was a blank piece of paper.
As long as you are making shit up, be specific about it. People will believe specific lies before they believe general truths. Odd numbers are more believable than even numbers. If McCarthy had claimed a list of 200 Communists it would have been less believable. Claiming three million illegal votes for Hillary Clinton is more believable than saying there were two million illegal votes for her.

Be big with your specifics. Even now, with no evidence of any illegal votes, you have already accepted the lie of illegal votes and are only wondering if it was three million or only two million.

Make Truth Treason
Truth is treason in an empire of lies. ~ George Orwell
Ideally, you want to create a society where truth is considered an obscenity, an assault to the mind and a burden on the soul. In such a society, telling the truth is a punishable act - an act of libel, an act of sedition, an act of treason.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This Christmas I'm Gifting Liberty

The Statue of Liberty under construction
This Christmas I am not giving stuff to my adult friends and family. Stuff is meaningless. Instead, I am spending Black Friday giving gifts in their name to nine organizations that for the next four years are going to be defending the Constitution, the People, and the Earth.

For Liberty
American Civil Liberty Union - Founded in 1920 initially to defend the free speech rights of people against World War I, its lawyers have over the decades fought against McCartyism, segregation, and police misconduct. The pledge on their website speaks volumes.
Southern Poverty Law Center - Founded in 1971, they have led the fight against the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists. Their work is needed now more than ever.

Project Vote - Their effort is to protect all Americans right to vote against disenfranchisement.

For Our Fellow Americans
NAACP Legal Defense Fund - Founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940, they led the fight against segregation and racial discrimination.

Muslim Legal Fund of America - The threat against American Muslims is more acute than ever.

National Council of La Raza - Mass deportations in America as threatened by Trump have have a history of being cruel, deadly, and indiscriminate, deporting citizens and non-citizens alike.

For the Earth
Sierra Club - The oldest group on this list, founded in 1892 by John Muir, their focus is the protection of public lands.

National Resources Defense Council -  Their focus is global. With Trump's antipathy to green energy and disdain for climate science, their efforts are vital.

Greenpeace -Willing to get their hands dirty defending the planet.

So, no fruitcakes or useless gifts that have to be stored away.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trump's First Amendment

First they came for the satirists and stage performers and I did not speak out because I was not an actor.
Hispanics and Muslims may not be the first targets after Trump is sworn in. Judging from his recent Twitter posts, Trump really hates being laughed at, publicly booed, and publicly lectured.

While it is perfectly possible that Trump will grow out of his Terrible Twos in the next seven weeks, it is far more likely that Trump will put off his southern wall and Muslim registry to focus his energies on stifling public discord.

In Germany during World War II, the wrong joke could result in you facing a firing squad for treason. A woman named Marianne is said to have been executed for telling this joke on the production line of a munitions plant -
Hitler and Göring are standing on top of Berlin’'s radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to cheer up the people of Berlin. “Why don'’t you just jump?” suggests Göring.
Now might be the time to show Trevor Noah's Halloween skit of Trumpistan 2020.
Many totalitarian regimes accept humor as a necessary outlet, better a little laughter than revolution. My guess is Trump won't be so broad-minded.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Is There Any Courage In the Senate?

In 1957, then Senator John F. Kennedy wrote a book entitled Profiles In Courage where he told the stories of eight American politicians who bravely stood up and did what was right when political expediency and professional survival dictated they meekly surrender their principles.

I've been thinking about that book with the prospect of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming Attorney General and his promise to roll back civil rights by a hundred years. Will any Republican senators have the courage to vote the best interests of the country and her citizens and refuse to confirm his selection.

It would only take three Republicans to keep Sessions from gutting 60 years of voting rights progress and spitting on the First Amendment by imposing restrictions on Americans based on their religion. Are they there?

I kind of doubt it. I suspect it is more likely that some future American will write a book titled "Profiles In Cowardice" and he include a chapter on the 2018 class of the United States Senate.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Internment Camps = Concentration Camps

I woke up depressed this morning. Trump acolyte Carl Higbie was on Megyn Kelly's show last night and proposed that the internment of Japanese during World War II was a precedent for how Trump will treat Muslims. The only difference between internment and concentration camps is meaningless semantics. Concentration camps are internment camps.

The first Nazi internment camp was at Dachau and built just two months after Hitler took power. It initially held political prisoners - Social Democrats, Communists, and labor union officials. In time, it was expanded and additional camps were built to house a religious minority, stripped of its citizenship two years after Hitler gained power and deemed dangerous by the ruling party (Jews).

Propaganda films were produced showing how wonderful the camps were. In truth, Dachau did not have gas chambers. There, inmates were just beaten, tortured, starved, and worked to death.

For over half a century, the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II has been held up as a black mark on the American experience, a clear example of the evil that racism and hysteria leads to.

In the New World Order of Trumpism, racism and hysteria are being viewed as ideals to be aspired to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Boycott This!

I am grateful to Shannon Coulter for creating an important database of pro-Trump businesses that people of good conscious will want to avoid. I've noticed a few businesses I've used in the past on that list and that fact makes me feel kind of dirty.

Boycotts have a long and valued history is the struggle against racism. Thank you Shannon. You have done a great public service.
The Montgomery bus boycott in 1956 led to an early victory against segregation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Making a Trumpist List...

Trumpism (noun) - Discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that Donald Trump being President makes such behavior acceptable.

On Veteran's Day in the majority black community of Cedar Hill, TX an African-American veteran accepted the offer of a free meal that the Chili's restaurant chain offered to active duty and retired military.

At the end of the meal the restaurant manager accosted the veteran, accused him of not being a "real" veteran, and confiscated his doggy bag of leftovers.

Chili's has "apologized" and "suspended" the manager. Not fired, just suspended. Which means his racist little white ass will be back on the job as soon as the current kerfuffle dies down.

Not good enough. I will actively boycott any and all businesses that support Trump or engage in Trumpism. And yes, I'm keeping a fucking list.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Do's and Don'ts Facing Ragnarök

I've made some rules for myself going forward.

Do Join the ACLU. ~ I let my membership lapse during the Obama Administration. I'm rejoining with a large, for me, donation. They are going to need it.

Do Have Fun. ~ It maybe like partying aboard the Titanic but the ability to have fun may disappear in coming years. Don't waste the opportunity now.

Do Travel Abroad. ~ Whether it's looking for possible refugee sites or visiting friendly countries before we are at war with them, get some traveling in now.

Do Organize! Fight Back! ~ I'm going to spend the next few weeks deciding where my volunteer efforts can best serve. They can't send us all to concentration camps.

Don't Imagine the Horrors to Come. ~ That way leads to madness. Better to face each outrage as it happens than let your imagination destroy you. Besides, if this election taught me anything it's that my predictive skills are total shit.

Don't Be a Jerk. ~ It's perfectly alright to shun Trumpites and boycott their businesses like they are diseased, but be nice about it.

Don't give Up, Never Surrender. ~ I'd rather be hauled off by jackbooted thugs in red hats than meekly genuflect to our God-King Trump.

Don't Panic. ~ Panic is paralyzing. Fear is paralyzing. Get angry if you must but never panic.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

First They Came For...

It took less than 24 hours for Trump's minions to set the tone of the new administration.

The Republican Jewish Coalition filled the role of Group 13 by threatening the Anti-Defamation League with retaliation for their opposition to Donald Trump's anti-Semitic statements.

Meanwhile, Trump spokesperson Omarosa Manigault promised retaliation against Republicans who failed to enthusiastically support Trump during the election.

What is that curse? May you live in interesting times.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Our Long National Nightmare Has Just Begun

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. ~ H. L. Mencken
I've seen a lot of election defeats in my life. I've been angry, sad, depressed, confused and I'm certainly all that this morning, but I've never before been physically ill at an election result.

One thing I'm not is afraid. Maybe it's because I'm halfway through my seventh decade and there is nothing that Trump and his alt-right minions can do to me that nature won't top soon enough. Maybe it's faith in our Constitution. Then again, maybe it's just the Prozac.

There might be hope. In seventh grade my history teacher had a theory that the office of the presidency elevates a man to be greater than he was. But that teacher backed Barry Goldwater so maybe he was just a fucking idiot.

I've taken a sledgehammer to my crystal ball. That thing's a piece of shit. Right now I don't want to speculate about the future, we'll see it soon in all it's horror.

I've deleted all the links to conservative websites that I have been monitoring. They can gloat their heads off but I don't have to see it. I'm going to tune down my news obsession for a while for the same reason, the news will be full of Republicans being insufferable.

In time I'll either reenter the battlefield to fight the good fight or hunker down hoping to survive holocaust.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Tomorrow Predictions

I've have this kind of nightmare scenario on how Donald Trump wins and what will follow. However, I've been afraid that, like chanting "Bloody Mary" three times in a mirror will call a demon, typing up this scenario might make it come true. Suffice, it's scary.

Election Day
Hillary will win, having just under 50% of the vote. Trump will take 43% with the remainder going to third parties. Democrats will take the Senate narrowly, one or two seats. Republicans will hold the House, losing 15 seats.

Hillary will win Florida and Nevada but lose North Carolina. She'll end up with 308 electoral votes with Ohio and Arizona late toss-ups.

Trump will refuse to concede. A couple days after the election Trump will hold a rally where he will vow to fight the results all the way to the Supreme Court. He will not follow through on that threat.

Hillary will nominate a Supreme Court justice who will be quickly confirmed by the Senate after they end filibusters on nominations. The Senate will fill other empty federal judgeship as rapidly as possible.

Paul Ryan will step down as Speaker of the House of Representatives and be replaced by a radical who promises to form an impeachment committee. Hearings to impeach Hillary will begin in February.

Trump will continue to hold rallies attacking both Clinton and traitorous Republicans but the attendance will dwindle and Trump will quietly stop the rallies by early summer.

Impeachment hearings will heat up for the mid-term elections but still no bill of impeachment sent to the House floor. Democrats will add one more Senate seats but lose a few House seats.

And Sometime In the Next Few Years
--> Television evangelists will declare Hillary Clinton the anti-Christ.
--> NATO will station troops, including US soldiers, in the Baltic states as a tripwire against Russian aggression.
--> ISIS will die out and be replaced by some other terrorist group to fear.
--> Some disastrous event will prove conclusively that global climate change is real and horrible. Republicans will still refuse to believe it.

Friday, November 04, 2016

This Election in a Nutshell

Rogue elements of the FBI are conspiring with Russian spies and the Ku Klux Klan to elect a neo-fascist white nationalist to the American presidency.

As a screenplay you would want Denzel Washington playing the fearless reporter for the New York Times risking his life to uncover this bizarre plot. But this is real life. There are no heroic figures coming to save us.

We have to do this ourselves. At the voting booth. Failure means we can say goodbye to such quaint notions as peace, economic security, equality under the law and say hello to war in Europe as Russia invades the NATO Baltic states, an economic depression that will follow massive import tariffs, and mass deportations unseen in the world since WWII.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Comey Syndrome

Day Four of FBI Director James Comey hiding out in an undisclosed location.

I've seen what Comey's FBI has done in the presidential election before on a local level. A district attorney opposing a candidate for city council opens a extremely public investigation of that candidate. After the election is over, that investigation is very, very quietly dropped.

It is a sleazy and corrupt use of the office for blatantly political purposes but it frequently has the desired effect of defeating the candidate in question.

Say what you will about J. Edgar Hoover, how he used the dossiers he compiled on politicians to blackmail them into doing what he wanted, but Hoover never demeaned the Bureau by obviously and unscrupulous trying to influence the outcome of an election. Hell, even Top Cop Heinrich Himmler never did that.