“…optimism (assumed) we were living in a ‘new world order’ and a ‘new economy’ that would ‘grow’…bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be ‘unprecedented’…The ‘developed nations’ had given to the ‘free market’ the status of a god, and were sacrificing to it their farmers, farmlands and rural communities, their forests, wetlands, and prairies, their ecosystems and watersheds. They had accepted universal pollution and global warming as normal costs of doing business.” – Wendell Berry, In the Presence of Fear, II, IV
“What…Hanna Arendt meant by totalitarianism was not an all-powerful state, but the erasure of the difference between private and public life…During the campaign of 2016, we took a step toward totalitarianism without even noticing by accepting as normal the violation of electronic privacy…Rather than reporting the violation of basic rights, our media generally preferred to mindlessly indulge the inherently salacious interest we have in other people’s affairs…We can try to solve this problem…collectively, by supporting, for example, organizations that are concerned with human rights.” – from Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, #14
“It is impossible to over estimate the consequences of American ignorance on world affairs.”
– Salman Rushdie to Edward Said, 1986
“The countries that top the rankings of COVID-19 deaths globally are not the poorest, the richest or even the most densely populated. But they do have one thing in common: They are led by populist, mold breaking leaders…the disruptive policies of populists (Trump in U.S.; Boris Johnson, U.K.; Bolsonaro, Brazil; Modi, India; Obrador, Mexico) fare poorly (in the pandemic) compared to liberal democratic models in countries like Germany, France and Iceland in Europe, or South Korea and Japan in Asia…Populist politics makes it very difficult to implement rational policies that really resolve the issue – or at least manage the crisis more effectively.” – John Daniszewski, AP/Bismarck Tribune, July 24, 2020
“Realists…(fail) to appreciate the power of illusion in human affairs especially when it acquires the force of myth.” – R.G.L. Waite, The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler
“A ‘fail safe’ system (like The Department of Homeland Security) (can) destroy all others.” – (Amended) Murphy
“Unlike Facebook, (Tik Tok) collects little data about users, and its quick exit from Hong Kong shows that it is not ready to be a tool of China’s government. Tik Tok became a global phenomenon because it is ‘less filled with hate and disinformation, and genuinely funnier than most other platforms.’” – Tae Kim, Bloomberg.com; The Week
“Mike Pompeo wants to know: Who is China’s Stephen Miller for the Uighurs? His boss needs tips.”– Kim Dog Un
“Who are the Nazis in your neighborhood?” – Dirty Bird – Big Bird’s undercover, feathered fiend
“In the nut house that is the White House, the liar tweets tonight,” about injuries his fragile ego suffers from “ungrateful citizens,” who prefer his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, by double- digit margins in States Republicans thought they owned. His populist, anti-establishment mantras, mixed with unprecedented incompetence, have produced chaos in a people who voted in 2016 for better, not worse. Trump’s nod to centuries old racism produced overwhelming white support for Black Lives Matter. His nod to millennia of misogyny has produced the spectacular takedown of neanderthal Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL), and his fellow Republican sexists, by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), on behalf of all women, and the rising number of men who dare to think of women as equal in every way.
Trump is also stung by the reality of Covid-19 and the hilarity of TikTok, an Al Jazeera for teenagers, punking him over poor crowds in Tulsa, OK. So he “pitches” Dr. Fauci on masks, distancing, and hygiene, while the latter is honored by Major League Baseball, far better funded for Covid at their own expense, than Trump has supported the country with Federal funds.
Meanwhile, Trump’s “Gangsta AG,” Bill Barr, grim guru Stephen Miller of “Concentration Camps For Kids of Color” fame, and temporary, “national cops,” plot frantic strategies. Their mission? Turn “walls of moms” and big city Mayors Trump has refused to aid in the pandemic, into “terrorist leaders” among the minds of his dim bulb followers in the “boondocks.” He also announces a “surge” in Federal police, threatening to impose Vladimir Putin’s methods of governance on the United States Constitution and the vast majority of American people, who still believe that their local sovereignty matters, like black lives, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I live in those “boondocks,” and most people here don’t bother themselves with Trump’s nonsense, except if they, alas, tune in to FOX News, or worse. A few enthusiasts were visible at a “Trump Table” in Mandan last week, festooned with “Trump” flags, one of a Rambo-like Trump, brandishing a lethal “big ass” weapon. What was more disturbing was to hear from my friend, Real Live Lena, who saw a car marked “Federal Police” parked and pointed at one of Bismarck’s busiest roads. I rushed home to ask my KGB canine friend Lena and her colleagues whether Trump was planning to “dominate” the “mean streets of Bismarck and Mandan, ND.”
High Plains Reader: No car marked “Federal Police” has ever been spotted out here before. What’s going on? The Trump/Rambo table in Mandan is only a block away from a statue of Teddy Roosevelt. Surely they are not insane enough to think we care to tear that thing down.
Lena: They’re insane enough to tear gas a “wall of moms,” the Portland, OR, Mayor, and beat up on a peacefully assembling, Navy Veteran. Welcome to Orwell’s Third World borderlands! Portland’s Dads, as a “legion of leaf blowers,” may be enough for Trump to declare martial law.
Rasputin: Nah. It’s just the “Traveling Trump Show,” spreading terror for the hell of it on the road to their next episode of the Donald’s Reality TV version of “Strongman Democracy.” Putin: Actually, it’s policy, not insanity. It’s not the first time government agents initiated violence and then blamed their targets. Trump’s feeble memory is being “coached” by Vlad Putin on those secret phone calls, after all. Trump’s Badass Barrister is his enforcer. Barr’s tardy, “artful dodging” before the House on July 28, was not from respect for Congress, but to give Trump’s DOJ time to provoke violence that could help his “Law ‘n Order” Shtick for the Fall election. It’s what dictators and their henchmen do all the time. Donald gets that part.
Schickelgruber: Barr’s postponed House appearance also gave time for “willing executioners” like (Congressman) Jim Jordan (R-OH) to put together creative, “Agitprop” film clips for an anti Joe Biden campaign ad, masquerading as evidence of how much “trouble” there was in “River City” (ie. Portland). The 7 minutes+ duration was painfully close to the elapsed time of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis by the kind of cops not needed at any level of law enforcement.
Chicago Dog: As the Jacksonville, FL fiasco shows, Trump and the RNC can’t organize a piece of crap, but Bill Barr is another matter. He’s almost as good a liar as (former White House Press Secretary) Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Trump? Not so much. His M/O is: Bluff and fake being “in charge.” Good for campaign rallies, but not for running a government. Covid-19 shows that.
Headless Horseman: That’s why conservative, Federalist principles at State and Local levels are utilized by liberal Democratic Mayors and Governors, and any Republicans, not terrorized by Trump populist, Know Nothing, Republican Party manifestos of arbitrary federal government.
Kim Dog Un: And while it makes sense from a “Cold War” perspective for Sec. of State Mike Pompeo to close down the Chinese Consulate in Houston, before they pirate vaccine information like they have done with so much U.S. intellectual property, it might not benefit the U.S. or the world that much, if a successful vaccine is developed here during Trump’s gangster Presidency.
Corporal Kangaroo: Barr’s competence is more dangerous than Trump’s malevolence, especially if added to Trump’s penchant for bullying and blackmail. It might be a bad scene.
Señor Perro: Trump blackmailed Puerto Rico over hurricane relief, because he doesn’t like Puerto Ricans in general. He blackmails Blue State Governors over PPE, specifically, because he doesn’t like Democrats. He blackmails Mayors, especially those of color, who stand up for their cities. He’ll hoard a vaccine from the rest of you, for “his people,” for sure.
Alter Goat: With pandemic, economic crisis, and new Cold Wars, Americans face a dictatorial President and enslaved Republican Party: unleashing racism and misogyny in harrowing waves. But democracy is pushing back; with women and people of color, all over your Federal system, backed by critical masses of white folks, fed up with old divisive ways. If you stick, you’ll win!
Mr. Swamp Fox: Things must be bad for his boss, if AG/Advance Man Bill Barr is showing his cards this early in the Presidential cycle, when folks are switching their TVs to Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the WNBA, and fretting over school cancellations amid the Covid crisis.
Prudence Possum: The rising policy swamp engulfing the White House is yielding some interesting talk. I overheard Barr chewing out Trump’s “terrible temps,” for unsubtle application of Trump’s wish to “dominate streets of blue America:” Acting DHS Secretary, Chad Wolf, and Deputy DHS Secretary and Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (aka. Department of concentration camps/borderland storm troopers) Ken Cuccinelli.
B-6th power: What’s the matter with you? Our job is to give Trump “illusions of power” in what we do, but (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) owns the Budget. Tear gassing Mayors?
Ken (Front Man) Cuccinelli: Portland’s Ted Wheeler is not a Republican Mayor. Bullying of Democrats and liberals is popular with Trump’s base, who like bloodshed if it’s not their own.
B-6th power: What base? Remaining simpletons in Red areas of the country, trying to kill themselves off? Is Covid-19 not real enough for you? Trump’s ratings on the pandemic are worse than a pedophile Priest’s on child-care. Millennials, and their moms in cities, suburbs, and even the boondocks, don’t fall for what worked under Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes. You don’t have to clean up your act, but you do have to be “kinder, gentler thugs,” like Kelly Ann Conway.
Chad (Wolf Man) Wolf: Kelly Ann can’t get her husband (Lincoln Project’s George Conway) locked up anymore than I can keep my neighbors from outing me as one of your “human rights deniers” and a blight on their real estate values. And you couldn’t keep Michael Cohen in the slammer. So much for intimidation — Who are you to talk?
B-6th power: At least I made the effort. Unfortunately, my Ukraine/Benghazi ploy to slander Joe Biden hit a snag. (Majority Leader) Moscow Mitch had many nasty tools in his “dirty Senate pet tricks box,” but he had to pick a wedge like (Senator) Ron Johnson (R-WI) to run the show.
KFC & Wolf Man: A wedge?
B-6th power: The simplest tool in the world. All this lying is not going well, I must admit.
KFC & Wolf Man: It used to be so easy, to lie and cheat like hell.
When did Americans wake up; demand a “show and tell.”
Who did this to us Bill? Why can’t we bluff as old?
We can’t admit we’re wrong, or we’re left in the cold.
B-6th power: Look in the mirror, morons! And see what Trump hath wrought.
He always uses weakness; it’s we who have been bought.
If I really had an answer, I’d give it to you now;
But those who have been plowing, are soon to feel the plow.
Prudence Possum: If that bunch were not so evil, it might be possible to sympathize with their unenviable position; caught between a madman President, and a mad-as-hell electorate. The only thing I would bet on would be that Bill Barr is frantically maneuvering to save himself, and the “devil take the hindmost,” although he may keep up his “Trump defender” persona to the end.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: A revolution of “family values” is taking place all over America, as a result of the challenges of the Covid virus. Whether on zoom, or in quiet conclaves without electronic access, families are spending more time discovering each other in myriad ways. Homeless folks, Black Lives Matter demonstrators, white folks who never before had to line up for food banks, are discovering “a family of mankind” in their misery, but also in their daunting, courageous, daily struggles to maintain themselves. American politics is being reshaped as a result, inexorably challenging some of our age-old undemocratic demons.
Omar Khayyam: There is plenty of frustration among the hardest hit, and even some violence not initiated by the Trump White House for the TV cameras. But the “silent majority” this time is not listening to Trump’s “Richard Nixon/George Wallace redux ‘law and order’” demagogy. They are listening, instead, to the measured wisdom of the late John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, echoed in the themes of Reverends William Barber and Al Sharpton, to make “good trouble” and practice, as well as preach non-violence. National polls reflect this in every corner of the land.
Señor Perro: Appearances of former Vice President, Joe Biden with former President Barack Obama are heartening: a return to responsible government in 2021, but with officials who reflect America in its myriad colors and genders, in a renewed resolve for a “more perfect union.”
Chicago Dog: One defeats power plays as lies: the big lie (Hitler); multiple untruths (McCarthy) or serial lying (Trump) with power plays of truth (Dr. Fauci; Governors Hogan [R-MD] and Whitmer [D-MI]), and constant vigilance, prior to, during, and after each and every election.
Prudence Possum: The bad guys know this. Bill Barr has done a great job of destroying U.S. Criminal Justice at the top, but he hasn’t cracked the Judiciary, or lower Federal, State and Local authorities, who loathe Barr’s imposition of fascist principles of justice. His acolytes, KFC, Wolf Man and other “Trump terrorists” are themselves terrified. Republicans are doomed unless they shut down the election process in all 50 States, but they haven’t a clue about how to pull it off, short of all out war on the American people. My alligator friends found their lament…
Lullaby of Trumpland…………………………………………………………………………The Terrified Temps
They’re on the road again to see if they
Can terrorize the people to give in;
And hand our Donald Trump his biggest win
Against the libs and laws that block his sway.
We know his bluff is called in all the ports
Our phony circus tries to land a punch
For Putin’s way governance and launch
A world made safe for tyrannies of sorts.
Our boys are up against democracy
Deployed by young and old, and White and Black;
Brown, Yellow, Red and female, we must say;
In numbers and sophisticated glee
At our discomfort, and our blatant lack
Of courage, brains, or plans to win the day!