Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Folly, Vice, and Madness

There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take… The line between reason and madness grows thinner.
-- Rosa Parks

Let's begin here:


Now that Harley-Davidson is moving part of its operation out of the U.S., my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S. Harley customers are not happy with their move - sales are down 7% in 2017. The U.S. is where the Action is!

Did you read that?

Do you see what it says? What it implies?

Trump is working with "other" motorcycle (or "Motor Cycle") companies who want to move to the U.S.

Other motorcycle companies.

Who want to move to the U.S.

Meaning they're not in the U.S. now.

Meaning they're not American.

You see this, right?

Leaving aside the part where he offers up some statistic from 2017, you know, before Harley-Davidson announced their decision to move some of their manufacturing overseas in response to Trump’s 2018 trade war, Donald Trump would rather work with foreign companies, instead of changing the wrong-headed policies that forced an American company into this situation in the first place.

I mean, you do see it, right?


Maybe it's just me.


Just out that the Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians - including to government officials. How big (and bad) is that?

How big and bad is that, asks Trump.

How big?

How bad?

Well, I don't know.

How could I?

You see, it's impossible to say one way or the other, because Trump deliberately offers no proof and no context.

How bad? Well, what if those Iranians were ... persecuted Christians?

What if they were Iranian Jews?

What if Obama allowed 2500 persecuted Iranian Christians fleeing Muslim persecution into this country? Made them Americans? Would that be big and bad? Or small and good?

I mean, would that information influence your perception of this situation?

Would it?

Is that what happened?

How do you know? If Trump never gives supporting facts or context or sources?

It’s not actually. What happened. Because, in fact, there were no 2500 Iranians granted US citizenship as part of the Iranian nuclear deal. None. Zero. Not one. No, Trump based his accusation on a Fox News story which was in turn based on a comment by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary hardliner Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour. And there is no evidence whatsoever to support Zolnour's claim. The guy just made it up in order to accuse his own more moderate countrymen of striking some secret deal with The Great Satan, i.e. us. See, Zolnour and other Iranian extremists don't want any deal restricting their nuclear ambitions. And they are trying to take down their own, increasingly moderate government who wants to reach an agreement with the West.

Ironic, isn’t it? That Trump should then be parroting this lie, eh? Not to mention Fox News.

Ironic indeed.

Speaking of nuclear war:


Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!

Many good conversations.

What conversations? Who's doing the conversing? What are they talking about? Are our allies involved? Is Congress? These are matters of national interest, matters of state, matters of the public record. And yet, there's no proof of this assertion. None.

"If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!"


That's the president saying we would be at war with North Korea. It’s not ambiguous. There’s no room for flexible interpretation. We would be at war with North Korea.

Was North Korea preparing for war? I mean, this is a hell of a statement: If not for me, we would be at war with North Korea.

Trump is claiming he personally stopped a war. A war that we would be in right now.

But there’s no evidence that North Korea was preparing for war.

So who then does that leave as the aggressor?


On what grounds? At what provocation? Because it sounds an awful lot like the United States was secretly gearing up for a preemptive war -- which would be illegal by both our own and international law – not to mention the very thing Trump spent years castigating George Bush over.

Again, maybe it's just me.


How can the Democrats, who are weak on the Border and weak on Crime, do well in November. The people of our Country want and demand Safety and Security, while the Democrats are more interested in ripping apart and demeaning (and not properly funding) our great Law Enforcement!


A loss of dignity of and respect for. Degrading. Humiliating. Shameful. Debase. Degrade. That’s what demeaning means.

Trump says democrats are “demeaning” our “great law enforcement.”


You see it, right?

The implication?

You should respect authority simply because it is authority, because it wears a uniform. Not because it is worthy of respect.

Speaking out against abuse of power is unpatriotic. Militancy is necessary, authoritarianism is necessary, oppression is necessary, for safety, for security, for the public good.

I mean you see it, don’t you?

You hear the echoes of all the worst regimes from history in that rhetoric, do you not? You can hear the tromp of jackboots and the screams from the concentration camps, can’t you? For the public good. For safety. For security.


Maybe you’re just not listening.


When we have an 'infestation' of MS-13 GANGS in certain parts of our country, who do we send to get them out? ICE! They are tougher and smarter than these rough criminal elelments [sic] that bad immigration laws allow into our country. Dems do not appreciate the great job they do! Nov.

...these rough criminal elements that bad immigration laws allow into our country...

There is no proof of this. None.

And in fact existing data shows exactly the opposite. Trump ignores his own experts for a politically driven false worldview, because it pushes the narrative of fear. And because that fear drives the conservative agenda: We must do this because "the people of our country want and demand safety and security."

The people of our country want and demand safety and security.

You see it, right?

You hear it, right?

These are the very same words from your history books. These are the very same ideas our grandfathers stormed the beaches of Normandy to fight.

The very same.


The economy is doing perhaps better than ever before, and that’s prior to fixing some of the worst and most unfair Trade Deals ever made by any country. In any event, they are coming along very well. Most countries agree that they must be changed, but nobody ever asked!


See the weasel words?

Perhaps. He caveats every statement like this, giving himself a way out, showing that he himself doesn't really believe what he's saying. That he knows his own words are untrue.

He doesn't believe it.

He doesn’t, but the howling mob does.

"most countries"

Note again that he doesn't provide any proof of this, no list of countries, no world leaders to back him up. In fact, the response from world leaders and our erstwhile trading partners says exactly the opposite. Again.

And we are now for all practical purposes in a trade war.


Crazy Maxine Waters, said by some to be one of the most corrupt people in politics, is rapidly becoming, together with Nancy Pelosi, the FACE of the Democrat Party. Her ranting and raving, even referring to herself as a wounded animal, will make people flee the Democrats!

"said by some"

Again, who? Who said that? When did they say it? What was the context? What proof do they offer of this "most corrupt people in politics?"

Trump repeats the murmuring of sycophants and agents provocateur, the paranoid unhinged voices in his head, but offers no actual proof.

But, of course, the howling mob requires no proof. No critical thought. No reason. No objective thought.

They only require a target for their hate.


Many Democrats are deeply concerned about the fact that their ‘leadership’ wants to denounce and abandon the great men and women of ICE, thereby declaring war on Law & Order. These people will be voting for Republicans in November and, in many cases, joining the Republican Party!

"many Democrats"



What democrats? Who are these people? What democrats are joining the Republican party? If there are “many” then it shouldn’t be hard to come up with a list of names. Where is it?

Instead, it's prominent republicans who are publicly abandoning Trump, abandoning their party. So who are these democrats Trump is talking about, the ones joining the republican party? Who are they? Let's see the voter registration rolls. Let’s see the headlines.


It never even occurs to his supporters to demand such proof. He tells them what they want to hear. He makes their unfocused rage and their impotent fury legitimate. They don't need proof.

They just need a target for their hate.


Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!

Wow, indeed.

And now we’re down to it.

You see, once upon a time, the idea of spying on Americans was utterly abhorrent to the civilian analysts and the military electronic warfare specialists and the signals intelligence experts of the Nationals Security Agency. I know, I used to be one of those people. Our job was to protect Americans, not spy on them. We were proud of that. It was important. How we did our job mattered as much as why. We were patriots, not the fucking Gestapo.


Now, the National Security Agency spies on Americans.

Now, NSA spends more time and more resources and more effort spying on Americans with the willing assistance of American business than they do on our enemies.

Because they were ordered to do so.

Because our leaders tell them that we are the enemy.

Because Congress changed the law and provided limitless funding.

Because the president, this one and the previous one and the one before that gave the order.

And apparently Trump didn't even read the Defense Authorization bill he signed last month.

And why?

Why was the National Security Agency ordered to spy on Americans?

Why was the US intelligence apparatus turned loose on Americans?

Why was its mission expanded to domestic surveillance and its budget massively enlarged to support spying on its own citizens?

Why did Congress change the law and the President give the order?


Because "the people of our Country want and demand safety and security."

That’s why.

Because the generals and the spies and the angry white men who run this country, those fearful old Cold Warriors, they told us that the only way to make ourselves safe, the only way to gain security, was to let the FBI and the CIA and the NSA and the local cops listen to our phone calls,

read our emails,

monitor our texts,

plumb our hard drives,

audit our library records,

access our medical history,

search our houses,

all without a warrant, without probable cause, without oversight.

That's what they all told us when they passed the Patriot Act and the Protect America Act and when they renew those secret laws every year.

That’s what they tell us when they strip-search little kids and old ladies in the airports. When they kidnap citizens right off the street and spirit them away for "enhanced interrogation" at some CIA black site in some undisclosed foreign country. When they detained Americans without warrant or trial.

That’s what conservatives told us.

That's what Republicans like Trump tell us now.

Ironic, no? That out of fear we demand impossible safety and security, and thus grant unlimited powers to government, and that government then makes us into the enemy in the name our own safety and security.

And when people like me – someone who used to work for these sons of bitches and who knows the terrible power of the intelligence community from the inside – when we told you that was madness, well, we were shouted down as "weak on the Border and weak on Crime" and weak on terror and weak on national security.

We were called unamerican and unpatriotic.

We were called traitors.

And we still are, every day. Including today by the president himself who is right now ironically bemoaning the very authoritarianism he himself, and his own party, helped to create.

Donald Trump is insane.

He's a raving madman. A very, very dangerous madman, who's surrounded himself with toadies and fops and fascists and evil lieutenants and is cheered by the brainless mob like some goddamned megalomaniac from an Ian Fleming novel.

He demonstrates this every single day and you have only to look at his own words up above to see it.

And yet, right now, right here, on this blog, in my social media timelines, liberals will shortly arrive and admonish me to "just ignore him."

Just ignore him.

That’s what they'll say. Just ignore him.


Fucking wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Ignoring madness is how you wake up one morning in a country gone utterly mad.

Ignoring madness is how we all ended up here. Now. In this place. Living under this insanity.

Trump's insanity, his duplicity, his dangerous disingenuous bullshit, must be called out every single time.

Every. Single. Time.

Trump and his supporters must be held to account.

If congress wouldn't do it, then congress too must be held to account.

Because, sooner or later, Citizens, one way or the other, we're all going to be held to account for this madness.

But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.
Edmund Burke