Thursday, December 3, 2020

Cult Of America

State Of Emerging Emergency

In these days I live in a bubble of self-imposed social isolation: an urban dweller, still occasionally going into hospitals to do my work, I'm stricter about protocols and distancing in the other areas of my life.

I follow the rituals, because I am an acolyte of a cult; the cult of Covid, which coexists inside another -- the cult of America. Both can be comforting if you follow their rules, and both can be damaging, even fatal, if you don't.

The rules of Covid are clear. Risk increases if you disregard them, for yourself and others. America's rules, as they say in corporate life, contain a higher level of ambiguity. For now, anyway.

Years ago, at a holiday party in North Beach, when there was still a Cold War and Ceausescu's regime still in power, I met a Romanian journalist who had managed or been allowed to escape to the West -- and in giving me his impressions of the United States, the man said something I've never forgotten. It seems timely to recall.
In Romania, in the East Bloc -- you become enough of a problem for somebody, they take you out in the woods and put a bullet in your head. In America, you become enough of a problem for the government, and you -- don't get a credit card. They restrict your ability to make money
That's the difference between Reagan, America; and what Ceausescu has made out of Romania. But someday, that difference may disappear. When your government crosses the line. When you start finding people in the woods who have been shot in the back of the head? Then it's too late.
When you attack a man, or a people, you must destroy him entirely: they must have no power left at all, or will take vengeance (Machiavelli).

Trump says the election is a fraud, rigged, stolen. That it is the work of a massive conspiracy by Democrats and the Deep State to deny him his rightful place as Leader. 

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs -- but there is no evidence. At all. Trump's legal team has filed multiple legal actions to delay or overturn the tallied vote counts. All but one, inconsequential action has failed, denied by judges. Multiple recounts in the key states have proven no fraud had occurred, and reaffirmed the election's outcome. 

However, very public Trump supporters have begun saying very publicly that he should go further -- that the Republic is in danger from such a massive, carefully planned conspiracy. In order to preserve America, Trump should declare a State of Emergency and order a "second election" be held under military supervision. 

Among the people saying this are ex-Army General Michael Flynn, recently pardoned, and ex-Air Force General Thomas McInerney, who earlier this week claimed "US soldiers died attacking a CIA facility in Germany tied to fraud in the US election". And, Sidney Powell, tossed from Trump's legal team last week after spouting theories about who was behind the conspiracy that not even Rudy Giuliani could stomach. 

On Twitter late Tuesday, Flynn shared a press release from the nonprofit 'We The People Convention (WTPC)', which had purchased a full-page ad in the right-wing Washington Times. The Ad stated that Trump should declare "limited" martial law and hold a new election. 

(It's worth noting that the Military Times, an official organ of the U.S. Armed Services, reported all of the above in detail, quoting a 'senior defense official' as saying the prospect of a new election run by the military was "insane".)

Also yesterday, Trump released what the Washington Post described as a "bellicose, rambling" 46-minute video address taped at the White House (released on Facebook in full, and a shorter version via Twitter). It was stupefying in it's banality, and frightening in that Trump repeated the same primary lie, over and over -- that the election was rigged, its outcome fraudulent, and Biden has no legitimate claim to the Presidency.
1.  It's not possible to overstate how pathological, how untethered from reality, this is. Trump is the elected head of state. Faced with a complete absence of evidence for his claims (in fact, faced with evidence disproving the lie he is telling), Trump claims it is still true just because he says so. 
2.  Senior White House staff; Giuliani, other lawyers; Congressional Republicans; Murdoch's media / Fox 'personalities'; all support contesting the election as a Leftist conspiracy and Biden as its illegitimate winner  -- even though there is no evidence to support it beyond whatever comes out of Trump's mouth.
All of Trump's toadies have to be aware that the only conspiracy being conducted around the 2020 election is the one they have helped to create and perpetrate. For them, the ends shape the means, and as self-styled Patriots, whatever ends they use are right, proper; even blessed.

By itself, the video is just a curious artifact. But as the result of everything that's happened since election night, Trump's behavior demonstrates an inability to distinguish his fantasy from Reality . It's reason enough to invoke the 25th Amendment.

But it won't happen, of course.

I've seen officers make bad, even crazy, decisions, and issue bad orders. I've watched managers and executives in corporate organizations, who had created environments every bit as toxic as Trump's, do the same. And, most people just execute the orders given -- they don't want to be punished for disobeying. They don't want to lose their jobs, or their 'power', inconsequential as it might be. They go along to get along.

Trump is doing everything possible to overturn the November election. Have no doubts about that. It's helpful that he's an incompetent bully, and has surrounded himself with other self-important incompetents who support his delusions. But there is more he can do.

All of his staff who have spoken out or spoken up have quit or been fired. Those left are True Believers in the Cult Of Trump. All live in fear of his rage and vindictiveness. If he acts on his delusions and issues orders, his staff will carry it out without much hand-wringing. He is Der Chef, and what he says carries the force of a Presidential order.

There may be people around Trump to dissuade him from bombing Iran, but domestic considerations are different; there may not be anyone to place a check on his mad impulses. And, forget the influence of Javanka or the rest of his family -- we were told Trump 'just needed time to adjust' to reality, that Trump would see reason sooner or later. How did that work out?

Staffers, and Congressional Republicans, think he's an asshole, and say so -- in private; particularly since the election. But the GOP's political fortunes are welded to Trump's crazy house of cards. Very few Congressional Republicans have said the election is over; Biden is the winner; time to move on. Others have pulled away, a little, from The Leader -- but in the language of their public statements you can see they're hedging their bets. Trump still controls The Base; he has the majority of the GOP by the short hairs

The federal bureaucracy may have enough persons in it who might slow-walk any truly crazy order Trump might issue. But he is the President, and can still order a state of emergency -- even over a non-existent election crisis -- and it will be a legitimate order from a sitting President.

Interesting that, after the election, Trump fired the Secretary of Defense because, it was reported, Esper refused to agree to order U.S. military personnel into American cities if there was civil unrest. Then, he fired the head of Cybersecurity (because Krebs wouldn't support Trump's false claims of election fraud).  He had already appointed John Ratcliffe as DNI, and was threatening to fire the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Director of the FBI. These agencies and individuals would be affected if Trump declared a state of emergency over a "stolen" election, and order some level of martial law. 

If Trump's 46-minute video rant really is a preface to further Presidential action -- then all the major players in America's power structure will have to make a choice: Back Trump by accepting any order as legitimate because it is issued by the President, or refuse.  

I think Trump actually doing something regarding the election using the power of his Office is quite possible -- don't give it much of a chance, but we're in uncharted territory here. His legal strategy is a failure; he can try to lean on governors in the Key states to appoint their own electors. He can keep trying to place the election question in front of his Supreme Court.

Trump could be dragging all this out just to keep the focus on himself, and the idea of a second election is just a massive head-fake. He's even dangled the possibility of announcing his run for the Presidency in 2024 -- timed to coincide with Biden's inauguration on January 20th. 

One way or another, we will never be rid of Trump until (from natural causes, of course) death comes to claim him. He's a grifter; he and his family had just begun to taste the rich seam of public money. They were the Meth Addict Family with their own reality TV show, and they want their happy ending: the rest of the world prostrate at their feet, enriched beyond the wildest fantasies their BSE-riddled brains could imagine.

Most people aren't following this story any longer. We watch a video clip or two on the news -- always, it's Crazy Rudy and his crazier 'witnesses'; sound bites chosen to highlight Trump's assertion that he won the election looks every bit as crazy as it is, and we have just tuned the entire story line out. This will all be over in January; he's crazy, let him rave on. We do have more pressing realities than to give any more time to that lying, bloated caricature of a man.

It isn't that 'The System Works', so much as it worked this time -- and, a sitting President refusing to concede his loss of office, making every effort to overturn an open election; this has never happened beforeI believe we have dodged a collective bullet over the past month, beginning with Trump's loss at the polls -- but, look: nearly all Congressional Republicans continue to give public support for his batshit-crazy ravings. 

And, Lindsey Graham called the Secretary of State for Georgia, asking whether whole classes of votes could be rejected. Trump reached out to Republican canvassing board members in Michigan. If there had been a serious effort to pressure Republican governors into appointing their own electors, or refusing to certify their state's results... we could be in a much worse situation, now.

In the events of the past four weeks -- like the past four years -- there's a clear warning in how far Trump will go to mutilate America in protecting his personal interests, and how far the political Right will go in making up insane conspiracies, making alliances with proto-nazi militias, in order to push the tyranny of minority rule.

And they're not done with us. And we haven't even spoken about the Democrats.

200,000 new Covid cases, and 2,000+ deaths per day; the coming potential relief of a vaccine: the unimaginable sacrifices being made by Emergency technicians, nurses, physicians, environmental services -- these are the stories we should pay attention to. 

And we should remember who brought us to this, and how we got here.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Wartime: A Long Howl

 The Worst Nightmare You Ever Had

This is wartime. 

Our cities haven't been bombed, with combat in the ruins around us. There is a level of threat in going out in search of food or water, or to jobs in businesses that remain open -- but not from being caught in a crossfire; you don't have to wait in cover and to guess when to make a run across some rubble-strewn intersection. 

There is a body count, and there are people responsible for substantial portions of it. Mostly, it's a state of mind, not a physical manifestation of destruction. But recognize it or not, we are in wartime.

Trump, his family and sycophantic staff, Congressional Republicans and GOP leadership; and the entire travelling grifter roadshow of the political Right have assaulted America without pause. 

For five years, we've watched the United States deteriorate into a chaotic, corrupt, authoritarian state. Trump himself is manifestly corrupt, so the government reflects its Capo. He sees the American Presidency as nothing but an extension of personal greed, an exercise in raw power that he can use to destroy his enemies and gift largess to his toadies. And his corruption is openly mirrored through his administration, and the political Right. 

It all happens right out in the open. The Justice Department is run by Trump crime family Consiglieri Billy Barr, so there will be no investigations or indictments, and everyone knows it. But we have also seen a parade of forced resignations; pardoning of Trump's cronies; politically-motivated prosecutions and retaliations -- and for a while, the threat of the stillborn 'Durham Report'. 

We watched the Impeachment and Trial in the Senate, listened as career members of the government detailed the administration's crimes and misdemeanors, and Trump's complicity. It was said clearly that what Trump and his toadies were doing were counter to the idea of Democracy -- but the fix was in in the Senate.

Trump emerged, the Teflon Don, shrugging it all off with a smirk and a threat: You come at the King, you best not miss. And everyone knew what would come next.

Every morning we've gotten up and checked the news; What has he done now? And always, we had the same unanswered question: How does he get away with this? Why will no one stop him? What is this inexplicable hold he has, getting others to throw their lot in with this crude, greedy, stupid bully?

We lived with it, day after day. And it delegitimized the idea of government -- What good is it? One side as bad as the other; no one cares about us -- which is exactly what people like Bannon, the GOP leaders, the Billionaire backers of Tea Party and PACS, taking money laundered from overseas, intended. 

They want us to see a dog-eat-dog world. They want us to believe in social Darwinism and continuing minority rule. They want us to believe they cannot be defeated.

But, day after day,  it drew a line under the belief that The People have no real power against the political Right, against the Mercers and Mellons and Kochs; the billionaire Bundist money. See? We've packed the Supreme Court! Even the law works for us now! That there are no limits on the rich getting richer and the poor, poorer. Power means you pay no penalty -- and having no power means no protection.

And in our drop by drop exposure to Trump, the media's response boiled down to Ahhh, Trump is Trump; that's just how he is. When he attacked mainstream media as Fake, calling them "enemies of the People", all major outlets (except Murdoch's Fox, of course) bent over backwards to show themselves neutral, "fair", and balanced. They didn't know what to do with Kellyanne Conway's "there are alternate facts". They didn't push back.

Instead of calling Trump a liar, and Conway a malicious loon, they only said the President needed to be 'fact-checked".  Twitter's owners did not dare flag or block Trump's unceasing torrent of lies and slander and veiled threats. 

And Trump would emerge to go golfing, again, or lumbering off to yet another rally in front of screaming, ecstatic crowds, more smirking, and not-so-veiled threats about Very good people, asides to QAnon; dogwhistling to white supremacist groups. And his Base cheered. And cheered. And the GOP defended each and every step down the path he was taking, each new red line crossed. 

Trump isn't very sophisticated -- he simply sees masses cheering, all for him, and his narcissism is sated, for a while. As a grifter, he understands instinctively how to connect with and milk the emotions of his Base. He preys on their fear, and hope -- and offers them hate as the antidote to fear. And they cheer.

Calling up murderous tendencies in the human heart has only one outcome, one destination. But Trump doesn't see further than the moment, the cheering sea of red MAGA hats, the maskless faces, the Proud Boys giving him the Hitler salute. And he does not care.

So we would get up, check the news; with each new outrage Trump committed, and in the absence of criticism saw the media normalize his behavior. Like the Frog in the kettle, we tuned him out -- fuck this garbage -- and got on with our lives. People responded by perceiving the mainstream media as unable to speak obvious truths about what was happening right in front of us -- so, part of the problem; tainted, cowardly.

But it also meant tuning out our broader awareness of what was happening to America. In our inner mindscape, we could see tornado clouds gathering, hear the sirens going off.  We kept waiting, as we had for years, for some adults in the room to do something. We hoped the election season, the Biden candidacy, would tear down Trump's tower of lies. 

And we went into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season of 2019. There was a report about a new respiratory illness in China, but few paid any notice.

We are in the second wave of SARS-CoV2. As of this writing, 245,000 Americans are dead. Biden was elected two weeks ago, but Trump disputes it as Fake, "rigged", "stolen" -- a conspiracy theory he had already prepared well ahead of November 3. 

He claims there is proof of a conspiracy, election fraud on a mass scale. No such evidence has been presented, because it doesn't exist. Dozens of lawsuits pushed by Trump's shrinking legal team, attempting to slow, stop, or interfere with counting of votes in key states, have been dismissed as frivolous. 

Obligatory Cute Small Animal Photo In Middle Of Blog Rant

But Trump continues to lie. His Base believes every word of it. Republican members of Congress and Party leaders, with few exceptions, back Trump's insistence the election has been "stolen". Some of them say, privately, that Trump is having difficulty adjusting to the election results; that we should give him time to "process" losing. That we should humor him.

Meanwhile, Trump will not allow the normal mechanism of transition to a new administration to occur.  He suggests Republican state Governors appoint their own, Trump-True electors to appear in Washington on December 14.

If in that process, either Biden or Trump do not receive 270 electoral votes, then election of the President will result from a vote in the House of Representatives -- where each state has one vote. If that were to happen, Donald J. Trump would likely be 'elected' for a second term -- all legal, and blessed by the Constitution.

Yesterday, approximately 10,000 members of his Base attended a "Stop The Steal" "Million MAGA March" in Washington D.C. Out in force were the openly nazi 'Proud Boys', and other right-wing militia -- 'American Guard'  'Oath Keepers'  'Groypers' -- marching with the other, more mainstream Trump supporters. 

The Leader himself decided to drive past them in his armored SUV, on his way to play golf at his country club in Virginia, giving them a characteristic gesture through the window: two thumbs up, and sticking his tongue out between his teeth. The Base cheered. Later, he broadcast by Twitter: 
"[Biden] only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!"
Later that night, the various fascist militias walked the streets in Washington D.C., assaulting counter-protesters, 'owning the streets'. It was a scene straight out of Berlin in the early 30's, with nazi Brownshirts assaulting whomever they believed were an enemy. The Washington police appeared to focus on containing anti-Trump protestors, allowing the pro-nazis freedom of movement and action. 

Again, Trump Twittered:
"ANTIFA SCUM ran for the hills today when they tried attacking the people at the Trump Rally, because those people aggressively fought back. Antifa waited until tonight, when 99% were gone, to attack innocent #MAGA People. DC Police, get going — do your job and don’t hold back!!!"
This continues a trend that's developed since the summer, as the various fascist militias come together develop and coordinate their tactics; they organize.  And, a continued blurring of boundaries between armed, openly pro-nazi organizations and a the broader 'legitimate' conservative mainstream is very disturbing. 

The day you see a spokesperson from one of the pro-nazi organizations appear on PBS' The News Hour, or MSNBC or CNN, as one half of a 'both-sides' segment -- we will be too far down the road towards very deep trouble.

Millions, including hundreds of thousands of Americans, died to crush nazism
during the Second World War. Now, nazis sell their flags on the National Mall,
not far from the WW2 Memorial, or Arlington. (via Twitter)

On top of that, it was announced yesterday (in Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, of all places) that the Mercer family -- who brought you Cambridge Analytica, among other things -- is funding Parler, a new social media app boosted as 'Twitter for conservatives' . 

Essentially, it's the Murdoch business model of monetizing right-wing users, using the app to broadcast rightist propaganda, lies, and distortions to be shared by The Base. The Mercers will be able to harvest their user's data, sell it to vendors, right-wing organizations, and (as they've done with Facebook) develop strategies for those clients to manipulate the Base -- Rubes and Marks that they are.

And, insanely, an interview with Charles Koch was published two days ago:
After spending decades bankrolling causes and politicians that fueled America’s increasingly ugly and hostile national divide, billionaire mogul Charles Koch [said] he now wants to focus on bridging the gap he helped create.

“Boy, did we screw up. What a mess,” is how the Donald Trump supporter characterizes [it] ... Koch claims he wants to work across party lines to forge solutions to poverty, addiction, gang violence and homelessness...
Koch's interview was also published in Murdoch's WSJ.  Just as Murdoch wants to buy a fig-leaf of credibility by calling Arizona for Biden on election night, Koch wants to others to not hate him and remember him as the kindly philanthropist who only believed in healing. 

Not sure, given his Randian, Social-Darwinist view of human beings, what kinds of solutions to poverty, addiction, gang violence and homelessness he could suggest. It's hard to "save" people you believe are nothing but easily-manipulated, disposable, and ultimately irrelevant.

Meanwhile, America's political Left is fragmented. The Democratic party's leadership appear convinced that appealing to the center, 'normalcy', while singing Kumbaya to the GOP is the way to the future.

The Progressives believe their way is not only best, but the only way to positively affect the environment and achieve racial / economic equality and diversity. They see the mainline DNC's approach as too little, too late, and their distrust of the Democratic leadership's motives is high.

It's worth nothing that competing factions of the political Left in Europe before the Second World War (Italy in the years after WW1; Weimar Germany up to 1933; and Third-Republic France during the 30's) made it a near-certainty that the more cohesive fascist parties would come to power.

[Biden] ran on unifying the country. And it was a smart appeal to people who are sick of the division and the chaos. But it’s not possible for him to deliver that. Obama ran on that and he failed as well. This is because the Republicans will obstruct and refuse to cooperate and then point the finger and say, “See? He didn’t deliver on what he promised!” It works out great for them.
..."Towering before [Biden] is a wall of Republican resistance, starting with Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede, extending to G.O.P. lawmakers’ reluctance to acknowledge his victory, and stretching, perhaps most significantly for American politics in the long term, to ordinary voters who steadfastly deny the election’s outcome."
...Voters want to believe in bipartisan cooperation but it’s a one-way street because Republicans, being a cohesive, radicalized minority party with outsized power, benefit from obstruction. So Democrats have to run as the “unity party” but there’s no way for them to get it. Most people see this and understand it... [but] people in the middle who Dems need to win the electoral college, or in red districts and states, don’t pay close enough attention to sort it all out. It’s a problem.

The chances are that "the process" will work (unless there is another massive conspiracy out there we aren't aware of), and Biden will be inaugurated next January. 

Trump will continue to squeal, and fuel the notion that the election was stolen from him. He will go off into some kind of exile, trying to throw as much sand in the gears of American politics as he can -- but he's in his mid-seventies, a waddling tub of guts with health issues, facing potential prosecution for a variety of fraudster crimes. 

In that, he will become lies and less useful to the Steve Bannons, Nigel Farages and Marie LePens of the world. He may still have some use as an elder figurehead of a rightist movement in the U.S. -- and it will be a symbiotic relationship: Trump will get to monetize his notoriety as long as he can.

As an honest political party, Republicans are effectively done. They are the party of Trump, now; the party of white power, Ayn Randian, corrupt strongman rule.  The Base is the party -- and GOP leaders understand they have to continue dogwhistling to them in order to win elections.

And whether they recognize it or not, the RNC, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican 'leadership' are strapped to the proto-nazi, white-power militias that Trump called forth. I'm not sure they give a damn any longer.

The current Republican leadership can maintain power at the polls for a few cycles, but if they can't deliver on whatever the Base demands, a 'True Trumpist' may appear -- a new Leader, talking about God and Country and a glorious future. One who publicly embraces the militias, forcing GOP leadership to become more radical just to hold on to their personal power. 

America, meanwhile, continues down a road towards open violence, oppression, and civil war -- which is what the militias and their supporters want.

But now, Trump continues to sow doubt about "the process"; he tells his Base that assumptions about our Republic are false -- that without him in the White House, the government itself is illegitimate, run by Antifa, Satanists and pedophiles.

This may seem insane to most people who hear it -- but for roughly 37% of America's adult voting population, it is gospel and settled science. They believe it. They heard it on Fox.

So, we continue in social isolation, in lockdown. We live in an internal landscape where nothing seems certain, and in an external world with very real threats. 

We are in wartime. Biden's election is a bit of grace -- even if all it does is cease the endless focus on one corrupt, deranged bully -- but there will be no Kumbaya with the Right. 

America has never been as divided a country since the last time we took up arms against each other, and that will not vanish overnight, if ever. The Republicans depend on stoking that outrage to maintain power, and at this point the level of public debate can only sink lower.

We are in a wartime of the spirit, and on that ground inside ourselves is where it will be fought. We will either come to recognize, or reject each other. It's likely to last for years -- a decade, if not longer -- and there is no guarantee that America will exist in any way we recognize when it comes to an end. 

But I continue to feel how we pay attention to the moments that will come for us, how we behave towards each other, and the choices we make may be more important than before. 

The Dalai Lama was asked what he felt the central tenet of Tibetan Buddhism to be; he replied, "Just, 'Do your best.' "  I took the Lama's observation to suggest that Existence is too complicated for any person to say why they are, and what the end results of their thoughts and actions will be. Be kind; act with compassion. Do the best you can, moment to moment. That works for me.

But, as a comparative comment on purpose and values (in his case, Resistance), Albert Camus believed the fact of humankind was the justification for right action, of making a demand for Justice -- for a better world. And that works for me, too.
I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. [That] ... it has no justification but man -- hence he must be saved if we want to save the idea we have of life. 
With your scornful smile you will ask me: what do you mean by 'saving man'? And with all my being I shout to you that I mean not mutilating him, and yet giving a chance to the justice that man alone can conceive.  
(Resistance, Rebellion and Death)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Reprint Heaven: In The Beginning Was The Word

 Ten Years Later

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

(It grieves me to give Glamorous Glenny any space in this post, but it can't be helped. Originally offered August 28, 2010.)

Glenn Beck, At Lower Right Surrounded By Private Security Guards, Waits To Begin The Rally behind A Poster Of A Native American (Photo: Brendan Smialowski, New York Times Online, 8/28/10) 

It isn't really important that someone staged a religious rally in Washington, D.C.; that's been done before. The Moral Majority and Christian Coalition have staged them, and the 'Million-Man March' comes to mind. But this is the first religious rally that is overtly political, a demand to link or merge church and state, organized by evangelical christians with the general theme of turning America back to god -- through the general emergence of a new political force, the vaguely-defined 'Tea Party'. And it is happening at a time when the mainstream media continually portrays the state of National politics as confused at best and governing against the will of the People at worst. 

And, this rally is happening at a time when many people are out of work, angry and vulnerable, and ready to listen to a "new message". The Times stated that NBC news estimated 300,000 people lined the Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument; the event's spokespersons said it was half a million. "But," said the Times, "by any measure it was a large turnout," which to me is disturbing.

The Rally (Photo: New York Times / Jacquelyn Martin - AP) 

 It was organized by Glenn Beck -- an eager entertainer who has the backing of Little Rupert's News Corp., the most powerful media conglomerate on the planet. Ten years ago, Glenny was just another drive-time talk jock. Now, he's standing with the Lincoln Memorial at his back, believing he speaks for god and preaching a mixture of biblical interpretation and Rightist garbage.

The Most Something Name In News: Reflecting Beck's Penchant For Truthyness And Factitiousness (Screencapture: CNN)

It's a Meaglomaniac's dream come true. However, the phrase, "Jesus wept," is invoked for a reason. There are a large number of people who see Beck attempting to equate his little monologue with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech in the same place, on the same date -- an address of hope and a demand for equality and justice, that has nothing to do with the ego of a tubby con man enabled by a media oligarch. And they're not happy. 

"For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Beck said to a nearly all-Caucasian crowd in a long, rambling speech that repeated themes from his Fox television program, his Clearchannel radio show, and his Web 'University', all of which push a bizarre amalgam of half-truths and boldfaced lies about American history. "This country has spent far too long worrying about ... and concentrating on scars," Glenny went on. "Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.”

"Under God": Tea Party Attendees Recited The Pledge Of Allegiance; Find A Black Person In This Photo And I'll Pay You 1,000 Quatloos (Photo: Brendan Smialowski, New York Times Online, 8/28/10)

Speaking of something many of the other tubby white men in the crowd would do, Sarah Palin spoke immediately after Beck; "We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want," Palin said. "We must restore America and restore her honor." The themes were consistent: America is on the wrong road; we need to regain our honor; we need to look to our glorious past; we need to turn back to religion as the basis for governing the country; and as Beck has been spouting for several years, the Federal government should be reduced in its power, and get out of the lives of its citizens... and all citizens should accept god, and live by godly principles.

Obligatory Cute Dead Animal Photo In Middle Of Blog Rant 

...the important thing is that all signs are that the next few years will be a combination of economic stagnation and political witch-hunt... This is going to be almost inconceivably ugly. 
-- Paul Krugman, "Failure To Rise"NY Times, August 28, 2010 

 I believe a large number of people will snort out a laugh about Beck's rally, and his performance, today (even David Niewart, who has kept as close an eye on the totalitarian leanings of America's Right as anyone). After all, they'll say, we've heard all his themes before; nothing new there -- and they'll make fun of him. 

 But I also think people are uneasy at what they're seeing; all sniggers aside, the rally had a moderately respectable turnout (Definitely not half a million, and not 300,000; but respectable). And, because Beck wants nothing short of a revolution -- he's as much as said so. His enablers and investors (monkey-gland-fueled oligarchs like Little Rupert, and the Billionaire Boyz Club) think the Tea party will disappear, sooner or later -- but intend to make Progressives spend capital and resources fending it off ...and get something out of it for themselves.


And if it does become something; if the country ends up being ruled by nut jobs like Palin and Bachmann and Paul... well; it's nice to be on the right side of people who believe god speaks to them, isn't it? Because those people usually take a Dairy Queen full of people hostage and then demand money, a fueled jet, and "complete release". 

 Unless revolutions are seriously non-violent (as Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, or Mahatma Gandhi's long effort to win independence for India, were) and truly have justice and history on their side, they end in two ways -- a coup d'etat, because in order to survive, a government has to share power with the revolutionaries (Germany in 1933); or a seizure of power by force, (the French and Russian Revolutions), usually with some involvement by part of a country's professional military officers, even if they stand aside and wait for some 'supreme authority' to win the struggle for control.

Who Wants To Swear Allegiance To Anything We Say,
Or End Up In The Gulag? Soviet Citizens During The Purges Of The 1930's

In either case, the revolutionaries need scapegoats. In moving from the Old Order to the New, there will have to be punishments, a comeuppance. And, since it's a Revolution, the old notions of civility, fairness and justice won't apply. The revolutionaries suddenly in power will do whatever is necessary to keep it -- and to survive, people will have to swear allegiance to whatever those in power want them to. Because in the end, it is all about power; "Where the broom does not sweep," Mao Zedong said, "The dust will not vanish of itself." 

In order to bring about revolutionary change, the new leaders won't ask a society to do what they want -- they have to demand it, and behind that demand is always the barrel of a gun. In a political revolution, that's bad enough; ask the Czechs, the Romanians, the Bulgarians and the Russians; the Spanish and the Germans. 

But in a revolution created by religious True Believers, they will not only want you to agree that two and two make five; you will have to prove to them that you believe it with all your heart. Or else. The only way religious revolutionaries can build consensus is by attacking 'heretics' and 'unbelievers' as defined by their leaders, who claim to speak for god.

Francisco Goya, Inquisition; Prado Museum, Madrid 

 For example: Non-christians, agnostics or atheists may be identified by others in their neighborhoods to the authorities. They may be ostracized, their businesses boycotted. Eventually, they will be marginalized legally -- at first, laws may be passed requiring only recognized christians to hold public office or civil service jobs; then, to hold any job. Then, to own certain kinds of property. 

 And while all this is going on, the media is broadcasting the message that since the new leaders are informed by god, directives of the new government are directed by god as well -- in fact, will be equated with god's will. Those against the government, and certain non-christians, are evil; "in rebellion against god"; agents of Satan.

Nazi Auto-Da-Fe In The Operaplatz, Berlin A.R. Moritz, 1938

And, the things these evil people have made -- art; literature; scientific studies; architecture and design and theater ... all of it will become objects of official ridicule and discarded (even, burned in public) as evidence of moral degeneracy.

Exhibition Of 'Entartete Kunst' (Degenerate Art); Münich, 1937 -- An Exhibition Of Art Declared Against The Principles Of German Culture And Society As Defined By The Government (Wikipedia)

It's inevitable; at some point, witches will have to be be tried. There will be forced confessions (as with the Inquisition, or Soviet Purge trials, or Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge). If the accused don't recant, and accept whatever interpretation of religion the leaders direct as orthodox -- then, it ends in executions and anonymous graves.

Cambodian Teacher, Photographed Before Execution By The Khmer Rouge.

If you think this is science fiction, substitute the word "Jew", or "Homosexual" "Communist" "Monarchist", or "Liberal" for 'non-christian', 'atheist' or 'agnostic', and remember your history (only, recanting an unpopular opinion, or changing religious affiliation did nothing to help the Jews). 

If you spend even an hour listening to 'christian' radio, its broadcasts are long, ranting monologues about fire and sin that build slowly to a frenzy -- and always delivered by men, shouting about seeking out and recognizing the devil and the ungodly, about prophesy as they interpret it, and punishment to come. 

Those who punish others out of a claim to know wickedness are blind to it in themselves. 

I'm a long way from saying we're on the cusp of a Rightist, Dominionist 'christian' takeover of the government. More likely, the Teabaggers can try and ram god down the country's throat, and at some point the society will begin to choke.

Until then, it will look and feel like the McCarthy era, as incompetent evangelicals run the United States onto the rocks and brand everyone who blames them as agents of Teh Satan. However, make no mistake: any change of government in this country from its current, secular democratic Republic would have to end in the repression, imprisonment, and murder of anyone whom the new leaders saw as a threat. That is the nature of revolution; there are no exceptions. There never have been.

If Little Glenn Beck has another rally, and more people show up than there were today -- if this is pushed as a "populist" uprising by Right-wing media like Fox and bankrolled by billionaires with revenge on their minds -- then I would take note, and be afraid, because the days of living in a pluralist, secular and diverse society may be numbered.

All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. 

[-- All Boldface Quotations: Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797); Taste The Irony ]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Absent Friends

 You Know Who They Are

"We have done so much with so little for so long that we could do anything with nothing forever".

Mozart: Concerto For Clarinet and Orchestra; 2nd Movement, Adiago

Monday, November 9, 2020

Reprint Heaven: After You've Gone, Again

 America, Redux: A Long Rant

(This, from July 2016, after the [then] Republican National Convention where The Leader declared he would accept the party's nomination ["Aw shucks; well, if you really want me"]. 

(Looking back through the lens of the election year, of Covid, of Black Lives Matter; America is no less divided. This is not over. Remember: millions of people are praying, fervently, that you and all those you know and love, should die

(And if someone appears with that message [delivered in wink wink language, but a clear message nonetheless], they would cheer and praise and follow. Remember that.)

Cleaning Up After Cleveland (Andreas Kudacki, July 22, 2016;

The Republicans have left Cleveland. There's little doubt that can-do Managers, the Owners and Choosers and Deciders, and the Belivers, were in control at the RNC, as they seem to be in control in so many places in our culture. Because Life is for The Strong, and the Tough, and the Competitive.  And those with The Faith.

You Worker Bees, you "individual contributors" will just have to pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps. We will be Great again, and have Law and Order -- here in Merica -- or, you know, not. Thank everyone for coming! 

Two Tales Of The City

Yesterday, I exited a subway car heading home from work at rush hour, turned right, and walked up a crowded concourse. There was a wall to my immediate left and knots of other exiting passengers to my right. Suddenly, I was face to face with a Caucasian male in his mid-20's, tall -- I'm well over six feet; this guy was at least three inches taller -- thin, hair cut close on the sides and in the middle puffed up in a modified Mohawk strip (as if he had, uh, a Weasel On His Head).

What followed was textbook; each movement was an escalation. First, we looked -- no, we stared --at each other. Neither of us gave way. Even though by then there was plenty of room around us, we each moved forward and slid past each other, equally determined not to make it simple and as if daring the other party to ratchet things up. Our arms inevitably brushed against each other, and we both pulled them away like yanking off a band-aid. 

I had walked a step or two, and turned; he was already walking back. I stood where I was; he stopped inches from me. "You want some?" he said. I was surprised, but not that much; I was aware that ratcheting up the confrontation was my fault as well as his: They fought so fiercely because the stakes were so small. So, here we were and Quo Vadis?

Over the next second or so, I had two trains of thought. The first was something from another job life -- when an altercation turns into a confrontation, and the next step is physical violence, that's not optimal. Keeping public order means, even if you have a disregard for your own well-being, other people, innocent people, can get hurt. Your Macho takes a back seat.

The other consideration was -- this Guy. It was clear he was willing to make a physical threat to a complete stranger, standing on a public transport platform during rush hour and In These Times, when there are transit system police around -- I'd seen a K-9 patrol up ahead a few seconds before. I looked at the Guy, careful not to lean forward or move my hands, and made an Are you fucking kidding me? face. "Really?" I asked him.

"Really," he said -- and leaned forward. Without moving, I said, "Excuse Me."  Leaning forward a bit more, determined to count coup, he said, "Excuse me. Have a nice day." Even without hearing his tone of voice, you can decide whether or not he meant it.

Fast forward to this afternoon: A bus in Kiddietown; another Caucasian guy in his twenties -- this one short and slight, casually dressed, otherwise unremarkable -- drops a few papers as he enters the bus, and begins cursing -- shouting, in fact; and it's quickly clear he's inordinately upset about something which does not involve the bus, or anyone on it.

He stomps toward the back of the bus, drops into a seat, and for the next block or so periodically shouts more curses, slapping the seat beside him. Almost everyone else on the bus goes into You Are A Nutter And We Will Now Ignore You mode -- but, The Guy gets into it verbally with two Black males sitting behind him. Predictably, it escalates quickly.

"Hey!" Says the first man to The Guy, "Leave me alone. Shutthefuck up, man!"  "Fuck you man!!" shouts The Guy. "I'll kick your fuckin' ass!!" The second man, who has a voice like James Earl Jones and is happy to project it, joins in: "Hey; I ain't takin' that fuckin' bullshit off you, so just shut - the - fuck - up!!"

The Guy braces himself in his seat and, with a real sense of timing, waits for a beat and then leans forward, staring at the two men, his face distorted with rage. "Fuck you!!" he shouts, then adds, "You, you -- N_____ !!"

A hush falls over the entire bus, more felt than heard -- because He said the N-word to two Black guys and we live in post Furgeson-Cleveland-Baltimore-Chicago-Mineapolis-et al. America -- and I'm thinking: man, wasn't I just here yesterday?

Meanwhile, the James Earl Jones Soundalike both increases the volume and lowers the pitch of his voice to a growl, another textbook stop on the road to This Is Really Fucked Up. The Guy keeps shouting, a slight hesitancy in his voice now, as if understanding he'd crossed The Fabled Line when using the n-word a block or so back. The two Black guys keep raising their voices in response.

Obligatory Mongo Photo In Middle Of Blog Terror

It's clear the confrontation has reached a binary decision point, and several other passengers call out to the driver, a Latino with a wrestler's build wearing Ray-Bans, to "do something".  He doesn't, right away; I understand -- 1.) Things can happen, all of them unpleasant by degrees; 2.) His Management supervisor and Union Foreman have advised there are liability issues; and  3.) "They don't pay me enough for this shit, dude".

The driver finally comes to an official bus stop, halts the vehicle, then stands up, leans on a nearby pole and looks toward the altercation (all non-threatening, casual). "Hey -- hey; take it outside," he says to no one in particular, then appeals to reason and some generally-accepted social propriety: "Not on the bus, man."

After a few seconds, when things could have gone in any direction, The Guy stands up and exits by the side door, shouting insults at the other men all the way. The men return them -- but it's all textbook now; The Guy has been the one to retreat.

Once he's off and the doors close, the bus begins to pull away. As it does, from the relative safety of Outside, The Guy performs another textbook maneuver: he begins screaming, ratcheting up his invective ("Fuck you! N_____!! You N_____!!") and slaps the side of the bus.  JEJ-2, looking through the bus windows, grins and flips him off; The Guy seems even more enraged and escalates again ("I'll kill you, N_____ motherfucker!!"), but it's all for show, now, and everyone knows it. JEJ-2 grins once more and shouts, "Yeah; talk on, fuckhead"-- counting coup, also textbook.

A woman in her twenties at the front of the bus, holding a Prada purse and wearing a print sun dress, a Rolex and her own Ray-Bans, looked around at the other passengers and said with a giggle, "Well, that was rully intense!" The remainder of the ride, by comparison, was uneventful.

The Brand, As If Anyone Had Forgotten
(Carolyn Kaster / AP; The Atlantic online)

Jocks And Mean Girls Rule

So why mention these things? (Dogs like stories, and are good at the details.)  Because they exemplify a miserable trend in the broader culture; because I can't remember the last time I was in a confrontation (even one I helped create), as a civilian, which had real potential to become physically violent. And some of it mirrors what was on stage in Cleveland.

I'm part of an American demographic that doesn't encounter much real violence or intimidation, or police activity, on a regular basis. Mentioning my experiences to my friends prompted their own stories of confrontation and escalation. The general consensus:  these altercations seem to happen more frequently, now --- and, they've increased over at least the past decade.

Most often, they happen when driving, shopping, and (bingo) commuting on mass transit. However, the most disturbing aspect to my friends is how easily things escalate: people seem more willing to push situations, which could easily be walked away from, right to the brink where real violence is possible.

Official studies show the same trends, nationally, and in the same areas of social interaction. A quick check of the ubiquitous Gogglemachine will show the same observations, the same consensus by multiple observers. It doesn't have to involve complete strangers. My experiences, and those of friends, involving bullying by managers in the workplace has also increased in the past decade.

 Obligatory Cute Small Animal Photo In Middle Of Blog Rant

A few months ago, I'd called a manager of a national group about help in a project; he spent ten profanity-packed minutes accusing me of complaining about him to a vendor, crudely bullying me in any way he could.

This person has a reputation; I wasn't so surprised -- but I hadn't experienced him in that way, and I was knocked off balance. My responses -- interrupted constantly -- were factual; at some point, this person realized he was wrong in his accusations -- and like flipping a light switch, suddenly he sounded friendly, reasonable, behaving as if the previous ten minutes hadn't happened. 

We both knew what he'd done -- and we both knew that even if I were to complain, because this person is labeled an "effective manager"; "he gets results"; there would be no repercussions.  I have a number of similar stories about other managers, and executives; so do my friends who work in corporate businesses, even 'cool' tech companies with "new" working cultures -- and they're all depressingly the same. 

These sorts of person are narcissistic, possibly sociopaths. They're certainly bullies -- and know that they are.  They've found a niche in society which not only tolerates manipulation and mistreatment of other human beings, but rewards and promotes it. For them, it's a point of pride -- after all, they get results. And that's all that matters.

Weeks before he was assassinated, John F. Kennedy observed that one measure of a nation is through the individuals it upholds as heroes, worthy of emulation.  Over the past few decades in America, the people we are told to venerate, our Best, are the Business Leaders. They're supposed to be what we should want our children to grow up to become.

I don't think we'd want to leave our children alone with them for thirty seconds. But the promise of wealth and success through a life spent in corporate business is what our children are being told is the highest expression of our culture, and the behaviors of these 'leaders' are what they need to adopt in order to reach that wealth, success and self-fulfillment. 

A long time ago, a cartoon posed the question, "What was the result of America's experience in Vietnam, and the attendant politics at home?" The correct answer was, "A deterioration of secular and spiritual priorities!" American culture is fraying badly under the weight of too many changes -- just the last ten include mass shootings, terrorism; The Crash; media outlets (Murdoch; Limbaugh, Wiener, Beck; O'Reilly) dumping human waste on our culture, 24-7.  Our 'entertainment' almost universally involves violence.

The real wonder is that people aren't more uncivil to each other, or that overtime parking doesn't invoke the death sentence.

Trump: A Symptom 

This week we watched (some of) the antics at the Republican Convention, the Trump campaign's themes delivered by most of the speakers -- except Grand Turtlebear Greg Stillson, and Herr Doktor Carson, Exorcist and Fearless Vampire Killer, who seemed to have additional messages of hope and faith and eternal punishment in the fire the fire the fire for us all. And, of course, we heard The Donald.

 Additional Obligatory Animal Photo

There was nothing new in what he said Thursday night (though its delivery was less his trademark stream-of-consciousness) -- but I found myself asking How the hell did we come to this? That this stupid bully became their candidate??  It was as if someone had reanimated Fr. Charles Coughlin from the 1930's, George Wallace of the 1960's, or even George Lincoln Rockwell.  Trump appeared no different or better than any of the narcissistic bullies I've worked with or for in my lifetime. One difference between his campaign and Hillary's -- Trump says that he speaks for the angry Americans, the ones who want to "take it all back".

His campaign depends on tapping the kind of inchoate rage that we see or experience on the street, or at work. If Trump were to win, it would mean a period of social and political dislocation in America which no one in memory has experienced. I could make a joke about a similarity with H.P. Lovecraft's return of Chtulu and the Old Ones, but in fact nobody knows where it would all lead.

That said, I still believe Trump can't win. If how a person uses language is a good gauge of how they conceptualize and navigate the world, then Trump is too scattered and impulsive -- my Dog's nose tells me he can't run an effective team, and won't run a good ground game.  And, there aren't enough of his brand of conservative to go to the polls for him on November 8th. He can't win by sheer weight of numbers. He'll lose.

But, this contest will be played in the media as a close race. The assumption of office by President Hillary, The Inevitable One, will seem so very close (until the numbers come in) -- and Her victory will provide the consistency of a certain narrative about our history, a return to normal.

But Hillary is about the values of Business, too. When Hillary trotted out Tim Kane as her Veep, he spoke to a crowd and said, "America has never been about fear... it's been about bravery, and imagination, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done! [applause]." Hillary described him as "a Progressive who believes in getting the job done" (Emphasis in the original delivery).

Additional Obligatory Stimpy Face Photo

It's my expectation Hillary will assist in wiring America into a global system which will free business and banking from being responsible to the laws of individual nations -- environmental regulations; banking laws, trade laws. It will be an advantage capitalism has never had in history, making corporate business the single most important human activity. And it will continue the stratification of society, globally, into corporate Managers -- and everyone else, who will work for them, to earn money to buy products and services.

We'll still continue to be told a comforting narrative -- about America's uniqueness, independence and values, and it's place in the world. Frankly, Hillary's narrative is just a little softer than Trump's story of American greatness; only the wrapper is different. But to global Business, America is just one more place with resources and a population that can be bought, one more market where things can be sold.  We can play our pretend politics, so long as we don't get in the way of the grownups, managing large-scale operations for profit.

Without belaboring the obvious, it isn't surprising that so many people (including myself) are acting like badly-wired rats. The post-WW2 world's politics, ideologies, technologies; its commerce and wealth, all made major shifts in just one generation. 

There had been a Cold War, and the possibility of a hot one, but also stability -- many regional players and ideologies (including those religious) were kept in check by the East-versus-West balance of power. No more. 

It's been decades of pressure; the cycles of change happen more quickly, and the world appears to be changing in unpredictable ways. The trends being presented by these changes appear to indicate that the world is a Box Full Of Bad Crazy, Looking For A Way Out. And that The Fix Is In.

People are frightened about the future, and fear can easily flip into anger. Most people have some unresolved conflicts; others have years of badly-wired resentments and painful memories; still more have PTSD  (thanks for the War, Lil' Boots!). This election season will be something to watch (I'd buy the Good Popcorn, but don't fire it up just yet) but the presidency of Hillary The Inevitable will not provide America what it needs to heal itself. I don't think even Ted Cruz and Benny Carson's jesus™ could do that.

Try not to piss anyone off in public.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Reprint Heaven: Morton's Fork

 Yes It Is Pleasant To Vote Against Fascism But We Are Still At War
(From June, 2012)

Siting on the sofa On a Sunday afternoon / Goin' to the candidates' debate
Laugh about it, shout about it / When you've got to choose
Either way you look at it, you lose
-- Simon and Garfunkel, "Mrs. Robinson" (1968)

(Cartoon: Mr Fish

 When the practice of politics becomes little more than deciding the color of posters advertising candidates, both of whose actual policies benefit a ruling elite, the question in America is not, How did we come to this?, but "Whaddaya talkin' about? Ahhh, go live in France, ya cheese monkey." Right.

Random Barking: They Came To Him In The Dead Of Night And Told Him He Must Choose

Post-Mueller Coherence 

(A portion of a post from May, 2017, that seems relevant today.) 

Last week, I waited in line at O-Dark-Thirty for coffee at a [Redacted] near the Embarcadero Bart station. A half-dozen of us, corporate Sheeple, mildly sleepy, stood to the right of an open-fronted display case holding yogurt, hard-boiled eggs; sandwiches and bottled drinks.

As we waited, one of San Francisco's homeless pushed his way through the line to the cooler. With a badly shaved head and dressed in a long cloth jacket that had once been blue, he reminded me of the escaped convict, Magwitch, in Dicken's Great Expectations. The man bent down towards the display case, reached into it and began stuffing the pockets of his jacket with bottles and packages of food.

Alerted by some of the patrons ("Hey, this guy's stealing stuff"), the early shift manager -- a nice guy, in his late 20's whom I see almost every weekday morning -- came out from behind the counter. The homeless man -- his pantslegs rolled up to reveal badly swollen lower legs and ankles  -- had already hobbled out of the shop.

The manager caught up with him, but wasn't confrontational. "You can't just take stuff, man," the manager said quietly. "That's completely uncool."  With a wild, intense expression on his face, the homeless man took one wavering step backwards, spread his arms, and bellowed something spectacularly incoherent before hobbling away up Market Street into the dark. The manager watched him go, looked over at me, and shrugged.

Talking with the manager about the incident as he rang up my coffee, we agreed: The Man was a figure of pathos, straight out of Hugo: Jean Valjean and the loaf of bread. The man was ill, and hungry, and to make a larger issue out of the theft would be sanctimonious assholery of a particularly low order. Neither of us felt like Inspector Joubert that morning.

We spoke about other things. "Wish that had been Trump," the fellow laughed. "I would have called the cops on his ass."

I laughed back, and mentioned the early-days investigations by the FBI of Trump and his campaign's connections to the Russians. "We could get lucky," I said.

Then, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and, pushed along by a series of Tweets both pathetic and bullying by turns, the antics of his Clown Car government went into screaming, vibrating overdrive. 

Down here in the trenches, everyone likes to try and read the Tea Leaves and divine the future. How does this all play out? There are a few broad categories, and all this is just one Dog's opinion. 


Trump has revealed to us all, on an almost daily basis, the paranoid alt-Right universe which he lives in -- where Trump, like 'forgotten' Americans who voted for him, is an innocent victim of a vast conspiracy. Its tentacles are everywhere. Everyone knows it.  QAnon!

And he must fight that conspiracy, because he is a fighting fighter, who fights, and doesn't give up. He is the only one who can fight it, because he is Trump. Now he is in the White House, sometimes, surrounded by barely competent advisors who constantly disappoint him and must always be watched, Trump fights on and on and on. He does it all for you. He doesn't rest, except when he is in Florida. But he doesn't give up -- because he is Donald Trump.

That said: were Trump faced with incontrovertible evidence ... a few GOP stalwarts would approach him at his More-Lego palace in Florida in the dead of night. They would tell him he should spare the country a wrenching ... spectacle (read: please leave us our Republican party), and strongly recommend he [concede].

Donny waffles; he shouts, he cries like a child. They wait. Then they offer him a one-time deal:  He will stay out of jail; his immediate family will be spared, but they all must go. Now. And like any leader of a Banana Republic where the mob is at the gates of the palace, it will take Trump five seconds to understand: He'll get to keep whatever he's looted from the nation during his time in office.  

In a Kleptocracy, it's still a Win if you are forced away from the table, but get to keep the offshore accounts. You can always claim in your ghosted biography that your downfall was someone else's fault; a forced error. In Trump's mind, Aber Natürlich, his numbers would still be all-time highs.

So, he accepts the offer. After a last, GBCW speech that rivals Nixon's blubbering farewell in its bitterness and surreality, Trump is whisked away to his anti-environment compound in Florida, faithful Melania at his side in a tasteful Victoria Secrets day dress. 


And they came unto him saying, Lord, we are confused greatly in our minds and hearts and there is the sounds of keening and the gnashing of mandibles in the land. And the LORD spaketh saying, I am reminded that Kayfabe is Kayfabe -- and the individual user's inability to discern fake Kayfabe from true-true Kayfabe is like he who stood waiting for that Uber ride which never came, for he was drunk and knew not. Go now, and do not buy into that crap, sayeth the LORD. Or, words to that effect.

(Acts Against The State, 23 : 7.6183)

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Mad King Shared His Madness, And So His Madness Stayed


Transcript of Remarks
President Donald Trump
East Room of the White House
2:20 AM EST November 4, 2020

Well, thank you very much, thank you. Thank you very much. Please sit, thank you. This is, without question, the latest news conference I’ve ever had. [laughter] Thank you. I appreciate it very much, and I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support. 

Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight and... a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won’t stand for it. We will not stand for it.

I want to thank the First Lady, my entire family, and Vice-President Pence, Mrs. Pence, for being with us all through this. And we were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything, and... all of a sudden, it was just called off. 

The results tonight have been phenomenal, and we are getting ready, I mean literally, we were just all set to get outside, and just celebrate something that was just so beautiful, so good. And such a vote, such a success. The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers, this is a record -- there’s never been anything like it, to support our incredible movement.

We won states that we weren’t expected to win. Florida—we didn’t win it, we won it by a lot. And we won the great state of Ohio. We won Texas, we won Texas. We won Texas by 700,000 votes and they don’t even include in the tabulations. It’s also clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by 2.5 per cent or 117,00 votes, with only seven per cent left; they’re never gonna catch us, they can’t catch us. Likewise, we’ve clearly won North Carolina. We were up 1.4 per cent or 77,000 votes with only approximately five per cent left. They can’t catch us.

We also, if you look and you see, Arizona, we have a lot of life in that. And somebody said, somebody declared that it was a victory for -- and maybe it will be; I mean, that’s possible -- but certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get because we’re now just coming into what you call Trump territory, I don’t know what you call it. But these were friendly Trump voters. And that could be overturned. 

The gentleman that called it, I watched tonight, he said, “Well, we think it’s fairly unlikely that he could catch…” Well fairly unlikely? And we don’t even need it, we don’t need that. That was just, a state that if we would have gotten it, it would have been nice. Arizona. But there’s a possibility, maybe even a good possibility… in fact, since I saw that originally it’s been changed and the numbers have substantially come down, just in a small amount of votes. So we want that obviously to stay in play.

But most importantly, we’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount of votes. [cheers] We’re up six hundred -- think of this, think of this, think of this -- we’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 690,000. These aren’t even close, it’s not like, oh, it’s close. With 64 per cent of the vote in, it’s going to be almost impossible to catch and we’re coming into good Pennsylvania areas where they happen to like your president. So we’ll probably expand that. We’re winning Michigan—I’ll tell ya, I looked at the numbers, I said, whoa; I said wow, that’s a lot — by almost 300,000 votes, and 65 percent of the vote is in. 

And we’re winning Wisconsin, we don’t need all of them. We need, because when you add Texas in -- which wasn’t added; I spoke with the really wonderful Governor of Texas just a little while ago, Greg Abbott, and he said congratulations, he called me to congratulate me on winning Texas. We won Texas. I don’t think they’ve finished quite the tabulation but there’s no way, and it was almost complete. But he congratulated me and he said by the way, what’s going on? I’ve never seen anything like this. Can I tell you what? Nobody has.

So we won by 107,000 votes with 81 percent of the vote, that’s Michigan. So when you take those three states in particular and you take all of the others, I mean we have so many, we had such a big night, you just take a look at all of these states that we’ve won tonight. And then you take a look at the kind of margins that we’ve won by and all of a sudden, it’s not like we’re up 12 votes and we have 60 percent left. We won states and all of a sudden I said what happened to the election? It’s off. And we have all these announcers saying what happened, and then they said: oooh. 

Because you know what happened? They knew they couldn’t win so they said let’s go to court. And did I predict this, Newt? Did I say this? I’ve been saying this from the day I heard they were going to send out tens of millions of ballots, I said exactly this. Because either they were going to win, or if they didn’t win, they’ll take us to court. 

So Florida was a tremendous victory, 377,000; Texas as we said. Ohio, think of this. Ohio, a tremendous state, a big state, I love Ohio, we won by 8.1 percent, 461,000, think of it, almost 500,000 votes. North Carolina, big victory with North Carolina. And so we won there, we lead by 76,000 votes with almost nothing left. And all of a sudden everything just stopped. 

This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election -- and frankly, we did win this election. [cheers]  So our goal now is to ensure the integrity, for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on our nation. 

We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list, okay? It’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this. As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it. So I just want to thank you, I want to thank all of our support, I want to thank all of the people that worked with us, and Mr. Vice President, say a few words please.