Trump Times Entry 109 – Russian Roulette for Dummies

Russian Roulette for Dummies

February 25, 2017inthought2

Sure, Trump’s minority victory way back one-hundred-nine days ago, changed the game, but we expected him to go with something American. Maybe entitlement dodgeball, where his team gets all the balls and the rest of us get to dodge. Or perhaps Political Hot Potato, though I suppose with so many scandals it would be tough identifying which is the real hot potato when the music stopped.

My money was on Trump style Monopoly – you know where he gets to own the utilities, railroads and all the property except Baltic Avenue. Something reality based.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect him to load a chamber, spin the cylinder and hand a weapon to his supporters. But, when they began pointing the gun at the institutions keeping them alive and squeezing the trigger, I realized the game had, indeed, changed.

Kill the EPA? Who doesn’t want clean air and water? Off the Department of Labor? Sure, decent wages are so last millennium. Slay the department of Education? Who the fuck is against education?

I’ll tell you who – dummies. And the Trump dummies are playing Russian Roulette with those very agencies. Spinning and shooting – sometimes the chamber is loaded (Scott Pruitt – EPA) sometimes not (H.R. McMaster – National Security) and sometime the camber contains a dud (Rick Perry – Energy).

I wonder, do they know how this game works? Every time the hammer falls on loaded chamber they cheer. Maybe they don’t feel the need clean air and water because they already have it. I wonder how they’ll react when they lose it.  Perhaps education isn’t important to them because they just want jobs. Maybe I’m overthinking this and they’re just dummies.

The republic needs watchdog agencies to protect us from the dummies.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 108 – Deconstructive Criticism

Deconstructive Criticism

February 24, 2017meashomer2

True, when Steve Wormtongue Bannon spoke at the CPAC yesterday, birds didn’t lifelessly fall from the sky; nor did a plague of locusts beset our fair land – unless you count the current plague of Republicans. No, Wormtongue didn’t quote the book of Revelation – he’s a book of Trump guy. He should be, he wrote it.

Now, Trump’s senior adviser doesn’t often speak publicly. I always figured he didn’t want to risk inadvertently triggering some apocalyptic event and confirming the rumor that he was a messenger from hell. But, he spoke and nothing more evil than CPAC itself occurred that day – so, maybe it’s okay if he speaks. We’ll see.

Like any master liar, Wormtongue mixes a little truth in with his bullshit to keep it fresh. And while sanity testing all his “outside-the-box” ideas, not to mention his vague indirect references and jargon, is overwhelming, we occasionally stumble upon some small truth.

Like yesterday when he said the administration’s goal was total deconstruction of the administrative state, it rang true. Very unusual – truth from a Trump spokesman, but there it is. The nonsensical cabinet and agency picks make sense if the mission is to dismantle the agencies and departments. Yeah, wrecking crews.

To be sure, most of us guessed this a while back, but it’s nice to have direct administrative conformation.

True to form, Wormtongue’s stating “the administration was going to dismantle the administrative” was meant to make us dizzy, to obfuscate meaning, to make it sound like bureaucracy cutting. But that’s nonsense.  These assholes don’t give a crap about the number of administrative structures in the government or the size of those structures – they care about who the structures serve.

But he, essentially, spoke truth. Wow!

Then seemingly as a bonus, Wormtongue reveled another, more profound, truth when he went on to say, “Every day there is going to be a fight.” Yup, he got that right – there’s going to be a fight.

It’s been one-hundred-eight days since inviting them in, and the republic finds itself in a state of undeclared war with a foe that features Wormtongue as the most honest of the bunch.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 107 – Paid Protesters

Paid Protesters

February 23, 2017mefront2

So, where do I apply? I could use a few extra bucks and professional protesting sounds sweet. Yeah, standing along parade routes holding signs, walking in circles holding signs and singing, frequenting town hall meetings holding signs and yelling, asking embarrassing questions on those very signs – sounds great. I wonder, if I held a guitar instead of a sign could I make a little extra? Get a taste of We Shall Overcome capitalism – so to speak.

For what it’s worth, these may be the jobs the Donald promised. You know, a field day for the heat, thousands paid to take the streets. Singing songs and carrying signs, not just there for the paycheck this time. (Sorry, that was cheap, but can’t seem to get the song out of my head.)

Should we be concerned about illegal immigrant drug murders stealing these jobs before real Americans have a chance to turn them down? Probably not. In the Donald world, employment paths only lead back to great Americans again and, besides, all protesters will be extremely vetted.

What a country, after only one-hundred-seven days of Trump teasing, jobs are appearing in the most unlikely places. And now, the republic is hiring protesters in all fifty states: no pay, lousy hours, hazardous working conditions, but like most jobs, decent worthwhile coworkers.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 106 – The Friend Argument

The Friend Argument

February 22, 20177ff71655db06b517f24b7c9be46d27e5

Silly me, I thought we settled this whole bullshit tactic back in the sixties or, maybe, the seventies – you know, back when Trump was draft dodging. Nevertheless, the supposition that if a person has friends in a population group that person can’t possibly feel prejudice towards that group, the Friend Argument, has made a bigly comeback.

Way back during the last Civil Rights Era, we heard this argument all the time, typically phrased as, “I’m not racist, I have back (or the historically correct negro) friends.”

The declaration presents a slippery non-sequitur in that the first clause, “I’m not…”, has nothing at all to do with the last clause, “I have friends…”. The two seem connected since both contain references to race, but nothing in that second phrase supports the truth of the first.

Yeah, I know, my logical analysis is always so dry (yawn) – perhaps, some simple substitutions instead:

The truism, “I’m not misogynistic, I’m married to a woman,”, of course, doesn’t ring true. Frankly, most the misogynists I know are married to women.

Reaching out to the absurd with, ”I’m not a murderer; some of my best friends are alive.”, presents a logical disconnect so stark it becomes too stupid to consider.

And finally, “Trump can’t be anti-Semitic, his daughter is Jewish.” brings us to up to date.

The word anti-Semitic describes an attitude, as does not mentioning Jews on Holocaust day, as does responding to questions about anti-Semitic crimes by yelling at the questioner and reciting election statics as an answer. Retaining a known anti-Semitic ass as senior adviser doesn’t help.

Given that, since the election one-hundred-six days ago, hate-crimes against Jewish communities have spiked, specific condemnation seems more appropriate than the usual “tough on crime” jargon. When the Donald responds with talking-point generalizations the words rings of complicit silence.

None of this has anything to do with the Donald’s feelings about is daughter, regardless of her religion. Fathers love their daughters, regardless of everything – even, I imagine, the Donald.

The republic objects to the media and the Donald conflating anti-Semitic silence with fatherly love.  We have no desire to watch a man hide behind his children.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 105 – Indifferent Identity Politics

Indifferent Identity Politics

February 21, 2017mefront2

Astonishingly, as America worries through her one-hundred-fifth day of occupation, the Trump populist continues to present as the victim. And while post victory martyrdom can be tricky, they seem to have it covered

Their grievances are many and include such atrocities as: they are forced to listen to anti-Trump whining, they feel hated just because some of them are Nazis, they won so they should get their way and, a favorite of mine, enough with the identity politics.

Now, when Trump supporters argue identity politics, I don’t think they’re talking about the academic generalized case. Since, all voters can be identified in some way – white, female, practicing Arkleseizure followers, whatever – identity politics potentially includes everyone. But Trump followers aren’t really all that into inclusion.

No, they’re talking about minorities who have recently politically identified. What I hear is a begrudging willingness to tolerate some (backs, Hispanics, well behaved gays), but not others like Muslims, trans-sexual and those who make them uncomfortable in the public restroom.

First off, I need to object to the word tolerate. When I go camping I tolerate, mosquitoes as part of the experience. My tolerance comes from a position of power, I could kill them and sometimes do. No person is entitled to simply tolerate another. It’s an inappropriate exercise of power.

Second, identity politics (as they define them) would not exist if there were no need. The discrimination against Muslims, much like against the Jews not that long ago, clearly identifies a need for political power. Perhaps the real concern is, again, power.

Finally, here we go again with Americans insisting bathroom customs trump all other considerations. (pun intended) Good fucking grief! In a country where sex is used to sell everything from cheeseburgers to cars, in a land where the media is flowing with ads for feminine hygiene products, adult diapers and instant erection pills, where the president has a taste for the unusual in the bedroom – we sure are squeamish about the potty place. I have no idea what this is about.

The republic feels the government should stay out of the restrooms, except to clean them.

In Peace and Justice
osv

Trump Times Entry 104 – Defending the Lie Word

Defending the Lie Word

February 20, 20177ff71655db06b517f24b7c9be46d27e5

I don’t buy it – this whole notion that there’s some important subtle nuanced difference between a spoken falsehood, alt-fact or voiced untruth and the shorter clearer word – lie. Right, I’ve heard the “It’s not a lie unless the liar knows he’s lying” rule – but, please, that’s an obvious attempt to shift burden of proof to the unprovable. After all, how can we know what a complex sensitive guy like the Donald really thinks? He might believe every word he spouts – in which case, he never lies. Gak!

Nevertheless, our ever-tepid media continue to use longer, more complex, less focused synonyms for this innocent little word. And I doubt the substitution’s done to color the tone or balance the rhythm of our reading experience. No, this is discrimination – they don’t include it because they think it’s ugly. Well, that’s bullshit – it’s time for the word lie to step out of the water closet and shine like a gold platted toilet.  (I know, mixed metaphor penalty – 5 points)

Sure, if they start using the word lie, the headlines and news summaries will rapidly become riddled with phrases like “Trump Lies About”, “Trump Lied again” and “Liar Trump lied again today” and, hence, will be even more boring to read than usual. But, it’ll be worth it.

Remember, we’re trying to reach the 30 to 40 percent of the population who voted for the Donald. So far, they have resisted self-interest, common logic and sex scandals as reasons to dump Trump. Their resilience can only be attributed to the effectiveness of the repetitive conditioning they received through FOX News, Russ Limbaugh and alike. We need a counter-conditioning strategy.

Perhaps repeating “Trump lies” hundreds of times a day on the news over the next few years may reach some of them and help. I know, it’ll be painful for everyone, might not work, but hope springs eternal.

After one-hundred four long days, the republic could use a quick, Trump specific, solution, but lacking that, slowly building resistance, over time, is required.

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 103 – Fake Idol Worship

Fake Idol Worship

February 19, 2017try3

Yesterday, the Donald took us back to a happier time when he treated a crowd of 9000 to a nostalgic pre-election classic Trump rally. The attendance, of course, was historic – nearly double the size of the last Ted Nugent concert. And the internet speculates he only had to pay about half the crowd to show up.

Payed supporters? Really? Isn’t that the kind of thing Republicans accuse the Dems of doing?

Well yes, it is. But, Republicans get to do anything they charge the Democrats with. It’s only fair!

Yeah, I know, it’s probably impossible to prove whether any specific attendee is a real Trump believer or just there for the fast cash and cheap meth. But, in at least one case, circumstances suggest a fake supporter or, at least, a staged audience plant.

I don’t know much about political theater, but I’ve seen enough Arnold Schwarzenegger movies to know bad acting when I see it. And that guy, Gene Huber, who threw himself into Donald’s waiting arms qualifies. Though, maybe I shouldn’t blame the actor – the writing was the usual Trump campaign crap.

Let’s see, Trump sees Huber on TV, then spots him in the massive crowd – their eyes lock, they share a smile and engage in some special way. Then later, after Trump’s golden-oldies set, the Donald spontaneously invites Gene onstage, who is conveniently positioned for quick stage access – security gets him through remarkably fast. (Uh huh, an unvetted “stranger” stands alone with the president, within easy striking distance – we’re supposed to believe this shit.)

Mr. Huber then flawlessly delivers a few talking points – with just a touch humility. A few minutes later he nails a similar performance in an NBC interview. Gee, perhaps I was too harsh when I called him a bad actor. Or, perhaps I’m full of shit and he really believes what he says. Though, ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

Huber’s motivation, like any Trump lackey motivation, leads to the same place – Donald worship. Though, fake adoration for the fake idol seems appropriately poetic.

The republic has endured one-hundred three days of poorly acted and scripted Trump drama. We deserve better. If the Donald expects us to suspend disbelief of reality itself, we require better story delivery.

Then again, this may be as good as it gets. Sigh!

(Meanwhile, Republicans in congress have approved Bernie Madoff as Secretary of Treasury. Just kidding, Madoff doesn’t want the job.)

In Peace and Justice,
osv