Friday, July 21, 2017

Pardons for Everyone

Trump's fear for himself and his family is not the Russia probe, per se, it is all the financial scams they have engaged in during the years, especially the money laundering they have done for Russian mobsters. Hence he is considering a blanket pardon for the entire Trump Klan for all their various crimes. There are problems with this plan, of course.
  1. When Trump pardons himself he is admitting to having committed impeachable offenses, accepting means agreeing to guilt. There can be no pardon without guilt.
  2. A Trump pardon cannot protect him from impeachment.
  3. Pardoning the others means they no longer have any Fifth Amendment rights. They will have to testify in full; the President cannot pardon judicial or congressional contempt citations.
Then there is blowing up a bomb in the whole concept of the rule of law, ripping the blindfold off of Lady Justice, poking her in the eyes, then dragging her out back and raping her.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Is Jared Kushner the Anti-Christ?

This thought came to me when some news show pictured Kushner's New York office tower at 666 Fifth Ave.
666, of course, is the Number of the Beast in the Bible. He has been gifted the portfolio of Mid-East peace negotiator which is exactly where the battlefield of Armageddon is located. Then there is the undeniable fact that Jared looks an awful lot like Damien in the Omen III.
Compared to the number of fundamentalists (nearly all of them) who stated categorically that President Obama was the Anti-Christ, very few are suggesting Jared is the spaw..n of Satan.

I don't believe any of that claptrap, it is enough for me that he is a conspiratorial asshole.

For a good discussion of 666, this video is from one of my favorite YouTube channels, Numberphile.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cult of Personality

Mussolini's Fascist Party Headquarters featured the big, glowering face of Il Duce.
They are not a majority, yet, but a substantial minority of the US population are enthralled in the Cult of Trump. They are bewildering to those of us retaining our sanity.

They bleat out whatever talking point is presented to them by Trump as if it were their own thoughts. For months they chanted "fake news" at any evidence of Trump collusion with Russia yet when presented with Junior's admission of collusion they immediately switch to a "nothing burger" mantra where everybody colludes and collusion with a longtime enemy is a good thing.

Anyone who has read George Orwell's 1984 will recognize the radical yet immediate and seamless shift in mobthought. It is impossible for those of us practiced in critical thinking to imagine how a human brain could operate like that. Don't they remember what they believed last week?

This is a phenomenon I've never seen before in the United States. I see it but I do not understand it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Most Disingenuous Story Ever Told

Winston Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?"
Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... "
Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"
Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!" 
Churchill: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."
The months long denial by Trump of his campaign's collusion with Russian agents has now been proven to be a lie.  The new story is that there was attempted collusion of campaign officials to attack Hillary Clinton, but it turned into baby adoption collusion. Really?

Three top campaign people, Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul Manafort take time out of their busy schedules to hold a meeting with a lawyer with close ties to Putin on the advice of the son of a Russian oligarch with even closer ties to Putin. Junior was hoping for election collusion with Russia while the other two were just ignorantly tagging along. Junior says he left disappointed when the collusion meeting turned to babies.

That's their story! Junior tried to collude but failed, Kushner is an ignorant dope, and Manafort wasn't listening.

In my life I have never heard a more laughably improbable story. I expect better out of the Three Stooges.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jared's Protection Racket


Russian mobsters call it Krysha, in the English speaking world it is known as the "protection racket." During the election and after, Jared Kushner tried to shake down Qatar, strong arming a Qatari billionaire into giving him a $500 million "investment" in his business.

The Qatari eventually refused. Shortly afterwards Trump publicly denounced the tiny nation of Qatar, sending them into a crisis and crashing the Qatari stock market. It was the international equivalent of  throwing bricks through their windows and roughing up a few employees. Like any ruthless New York gangster, Kushner needed to punish Qatar for disrespecting him and also teach a lesson to any other countries that might resist his extortion.

It may be crude, but extortion, as we have seen, is Trump's favorite strategy. Also China, Cuba and, of course, NATO. What Trump says and does makes a lot more sense if you accept as true that the White House is now run by Vincent Gigante.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Trump and Korea

I was ten years old during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I most clearly remember the duck and cover drills we had to do in school
and having existentialist discussions during our elementary school lunches about how silly hiding under a desk would be in the event of a nuclear holocaust. The threat of imminent doom will turn even young children into Sartrean philosophers.

Only very much later did I learn that the Pentagon strongly argued in favor of extensive bombing of Cuba followed by a full scale invasion (OPLAN 316). That would have certainly led to Russian tanks moving into West Berlin and the beginning of World War III.

Pacifists, like Jean-Paul Sartre, argued that the proper course was to do nothing. Even Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara argued that a handful of missiles in Cuba did not change the balance of power and that doing nothing was better than doing something stupid.

President Kennedy wisely chose the aggressively peaceful solution of a total naval blockade of Cuba while negotiating with Russia to withdraw the American nuclear missiles that had been placed in Turkey a year earlier in exchange for Russia removing the Cuban missiles.

Speak Tough and Carry a Limp Rag
As far as anything can be deduced, President Twitter's "plan" for North Korea having missiles able to reach parts of the US is to vaguely threaten a trade war with China. This is an empty threat partly because it is directed towards the wrong country and it will never happen if only because the Trump family has extensive investments in China.

No other country would join a trade war with China meaning it would be a war of the United States against the world. That would lead to the economic destruction of the United States, not China.


Like with the Cuban Missile Crisis, there are no easy solutions to North Korea or they would have been done years ago. A shooting war would lead to millions of deaths on both sides of the 38th parallel. It would take a total mobilization of the US military with extensive conscription of civilians to confront North Korea's seven million man army. And there is not another nation on Earth, perhaps not even South Korea, that would join us in the fight.

This is a subject that requires calm and rational counsel, nuanced negotiations, and probably using concessions instead of more threats.

Who thinks Trump is capable of any of that?