On Tyranny: “Listen for dangerous words
Be alert to the use of the words extremism and terrorism. Be alive to the fatal notions of emergency and exception. Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.” – Timothy Snyder
“…so long as the press is free and not corrupt, it has an enormously important function to fulfill and can rightly be called the 4th branch of government. Whether the 1st Amendment will suffice to protect this most essential political freedom, the right to un-manipulated factual information, without which all freedom of opinion becomes a cruel hoax, is another question.” – Hannah Arendt, Lying in Politics
“A slave is he who cannot speak his thought.” – Euripides
“Gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless! But his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!” – Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“He can run but he can’t hide.” – Joe Louis
“A Headless Horseman flies along the path
In bold pursuit of justice, which was rent
From body politic by scoundrels sent
To do him harm; then flee from his earned wrath
The coward he pursues is only one
Of many greedy men; entrenched in power
Unearned, but now besieged in trembling tower;
In fear their selfish reign may soon be done
Upon his fifty legs, with three, stout reins
This Horseman seeks a reckoning both just,
And terrifying to the Thief-in-Chief;
Who knows, despite all dodges that he feigns
Will not elude a judgment that he must,
This time, unmasked, full face without relief.” – Chicago Dog, The Terrors of Accountability
In reading about President Trump’s latest self-awarded title of “Great Liberator,” added to his “Very Stable Genius,” “Only I Can Fix It,” (Grand PooBah, Lord High Executioner, etc.) labels, I couldn’t help thinking about the lament of Jim Croce’s protagonist working at the car wash: “They couldn’t see that I was a genius; they said we got all of them we can use…”
Poor Donald. So unappreciated he uses a term from the root of “liberal” – a word he and his MAGA-besotted followers despise. Our would-be leader of the “fancy free” world is having difficulties peddling his old elixir compiled from “skin of scapegoat,” “oil of bile,” and “follicle of fear,” that served him well in 2016. Calling Covid-19 a “Chinese virus” does insult Asians, but somehow doesn’t stop the disease. Thus Trump refuses to adequately set up food banks, while his MAGA yahoos “liberate” their angry selves upon State Governors, and block medical workers from getting to Covid-19 patients in Lansing, MI. One could confuse them with the Tiki-Torch, Neo-Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville, VA, except that half these “soldiers of freedom” had anti-viral masks. Only my KGB friends in Mandan could sort out this madness.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends. Where on earth did those yahoos packing heat with their Trump rally flags, MAGA hats and anti-Governor Whitmer signs get the idea that they could blow away the Covid-19 virus with AK-47’s and AR-15’s? What were they thinking?
Putin: Don’t ask me to say that they were thinking. My guess is that Trump translated his fears of the 10th Amendment inhibiting his self-anointed “absolute” authority into invoking threats to the 2nd Amendment, and the gun nuts responded accordingly – like Pavlov’s Dog. If Governor Tony Evers (D-WI) actually denies them public toilet permits for a scheduled future lunacy, I expect howls to resonate from the White House, confusing the need to pee with the right to plea.
Rasputin: Public urination, or a Presidential Press “Rally,” what’s the difference? Pavlov’s Dog was an old friend of my grandfather’s, by the way. But he was just faking obedience, so that he could get more doggie treats. Sort of like what Drs. Fauci and Birx are doing to Trump for the sake of science and medicine. Americans are going to have to overcome Covid-19 in spite of Trump, outside of Trump; in his face, and behind his back — whatever works.
HPR: But where does Trump get his inspiration for epithets like “impeachment hoax,” and “liberate,” which abuse our language, but skirt the restrictions of Twitter and others on dangerous speech like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Does he have a playbook?
Lena: Trump’s attention span is too tiny for any kind of a book; even a pamphlet. Actually, he gets his slogans from a board game he plays with Jared, Ivanka, and his “Toadie-of-the-day,” like current Chief of Staff and former failed Congressman, Mark Meadows (R-NC).
Señor Perro: Melania wasn’t buying this nonsense, but I was able to obtain a copy from her personal staff, while on a break from their 14-hour day to update their passports.
Schickelgruber: It’s called “The Blame Game;” assembled by neo-neo-con-deception experts William Bennett, Bill O’Reilly, and certain morons from FOX news, channeling Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Chief. Their goal is to paint Covid-19 as a conspiracy virus incubated in the labs of the Democratic Party’s “deep state.”
Kim Dog Un: True to Trump’s MO, “The Blame Game,” is a rip off of “Monopoly,” and has similar features. Like most everything in Walmart and Target except food, it’s made in China.
Putin: If you land on “Park Place” it will be called “Trump Tower.” The houses and hotels in this real estate game, will, of course, have Trump’s name and face on them, like the currency.
Mr. Swamp Fox: The old “Boardwalk” is now “Maralago.”
Corporal Kangaroo: The jail has been replaced by “Lock her up!”
Chicago Dog: The most interesting twists are the card sections. Monopoly’s “Community Chest” label doesn’t fit a grifter like Trump. That is named “Perfect Call/No Quid Pro Quo.”
Rasputin: “Chance?” has been changed to “Let’s Make a Deal.” The card that said “Go directly to jail; do not collect $200!” now says “Go directly to a Second Term; collect a bundle!”
HPR: Hmmm. Are all the former “Chance?” cards that optimistic?
Putin: No. These cards tell Trump how to get out of the jams that his “charisma of inertia,” fat mouth, pea brain, and galloping ego have put him in. His sycophants snuck them into the deck while he was pounding away on Twitter, as part of their feeble efforts to control him.
HPR: I’ll bet they make amazing reading: Trump’s dumbest ideas recycled as great thoughts.
Rasputin: Yep. One says: Steal votes in Wisconsin; blame it on Democrats! Another says, steal PPE from Colorado’s Governor; blame it other Governors! Another says, steal money from House and Senate appropriated funds for hospitals and small business; blame it on Democrats!
Mr. Crying Wolf: “Perfect Call/No Quid Pro Quo” cards say “Ignore CIA warnings on Covid-19; blame it on China!” Or, “Ignore NSC concerns of effects of Covid-19 on National Security; blame it on the Governors!” Or, Abolition of Obama Pandemic Response Agency and failure to produce testing kits; blame it on the World Health Organization(WHO)!
HPR: Aren’t those a tad repetitive? I would hope there were some which read: “Mitch McConnell OK’s State Bankruptcies: Germany buys Florida; Norway purchases Kentucky!”
Schickelgruber: Repeating big lies is a common denominator of Goebbels and FOX news, although the latter occasionally hedges their bets, with Chris Wallace giving air time to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who then terrorizes Trump with truths about his incompetence.
HPR: Americans are actually looking for a common denominator of Covid-19 infections that can only be obtained by full testing and scientific procedures. Republicans still won’t let the House and Senate pay for what is really needed, or keep Trump’s buddies from filching it.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Sensible folks naturally fear the virus. They know there is no quick cure for Covid-19, perhaps never. They are just being less cowardly about it, realizing, that, like small pox, it will likely take a vaccine to do the trick for the world population. Otherwise there is just “herd immunity,” acquired with a body count to be determined by the disease and its victims.
Rocinante: As more Americans question the dictates of the dollar, and follow their sense and sensibility, they are rejecting Trump for the likes of Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, Bill and Melinda Gates, John Legend, and a host of government, private sector and entertainment leaders from around the planet, appearing in One World Together at Home (msnbc), in support of the WHO.
Lena: The larger truths about Trump and what he stands for are as awful as the virus itself. Trump has failed miserably, totally, as his Republican predecessors since Reagan have, in part, in all major categories of governmental responsibility; Public Health, Public Safety, Access to Education and Infrastructure. Fortunately, like Irving’s Headless Horseman, the Executive Branch can operate on its own under extraordinary circumstances, at least for a while.
Torquemada: Roman-Empire-style “Bread and Circuses” are a common denominator in Republican aversion to responsible governance, but they have had help. For the sake of instant gratification and cheap material goods available at big outlet stores, Americans have been content to allow large enterprise to destroy small business, and big capital to ship manufacturing jobs of essential materials (respirators, reagents, PPE) overseas to China and other countries.
Alter Goat: Even farmers, who absolutely must plan on a yearly basis, have been bewitched by the big city disease, the short-term capital gain game of maximum profits, by planting fence line to fence line. With Big Ag advocates at the head of government, as well as Big Biz, they have screwed up the environment with pesticides almost as much as the Oil Boys, while cramming undocumented laborers into big ass meat processing plants, and creating a production chain that fails to deliver its overabundance of food to all the people who need it when a crunch comes.
HPR: Sadly, Speaker Pelosi can only play defense while thieves still dominate the White House and Senate until January 2021. A blue wave from all political sectors is looming, though.
Chicago Dog: More likely a tsunami, like revolutions of old.
HPR: Those were way too bloody.
Chicago Dog: Agreed. But this war will be waged with ballots, not bullets. The message, however, will echo the cries from the time of the American and French Revolutions:
“Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for ‘a that,
That sense and worth, o’er a’ the earth,
May bear the gree (have the prize) an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet, for a’ that,
That man to man, the warld o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.” – Robert Burns, 1794/1795