President Chump, You Cannot Distract Us

June 6, 2017 at 7:59 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom | Leave a comment
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Orangutans can use objects in creative ways. Photo taken by Postdif from Wikipedia, at the Philadelphia Zoo on 8 May 2010.

Orangutans can use objects in creative ways. Photo taken by Postdif from Wikipedia, at the Philadelphia Zoo on 8 May 2010.

To President Chump –

When others point out inconvenient facts about you, one of your favorite tactics is to change the subject. You deliberately do something attention-grabbing, to distract the public’s attention away from the inconvenient facts.

When there are questions about the connections of you and your gang to Putin’s regime, you squawk instead about how those inconvenient facts became widely known. You squawk about leaks – you, who said “I love Wikileaks” during the campaign, when leaks had been crafted to harm your opponent, just like the more recent “leaks” that were crafted to harm Emmanuel Macron‘s campaign for the Presidency of France.

That doesn’t work any more. We are on to you.

Speakers and posters at the March for Truth on June 3 said so, loud and clear.

Every morning, you will wake up to us asking again about your taxes.

You will wake up to us asking again about your conflicts of interest.

You will wake up to us asking again about your loyalty.

You will wake up to us asking again about whether you are a security risk – you, the first US President ever to have been called The Leaker in Chief.  (Yes, that was one of the posters at the March for Truth.)

Perhaps Mar-a-Lago should be renamed Mar-a-Leako.

The March for Truth on June 3, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, which was one of its many cities.  Photographed by 'Another Believer'.

The March for Truth on June 3, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, which was one of its many cities. Photographed by ‘Another Believer’.

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The ‘Racist Right’, Not the ‘Alt-Right’, and Not ‘White Nationalist’

May 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom | 2 Comments
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A dune-dwelling Aptostichus sp from Baja California.  Photo by Marshal Hedin.

A dune-dwelling Aptostichus sp from Baja California. Photo by Marshal Hedin.

There is no such thing as the ‘alt-right’.

What presently calls itself the ‘alt-right’ is really the white-racist right.

It is racist because because the group favors people solely on the basis of birth – upon skin color and ethnic ancestry – not upon earned achievement (moral/humanitarian, intellectual, artistic, or athletic).

The present usage of ‘alt-right’ is a ‘framing‘ trick, designed to hide the group’s goals behind a phrase that sounds more benign than ‘white racist’ or ‘white supremicist’.

In part, Richard Spencer’s appropriation of the term was probably because ‘alt-right’ sounds almost like ‘all right’. That would heighten the mask of benignity.

The term ‘alt-right’ is camouflage, like the false surface created by a trap-door spider.

Promyrmekiaphila burrow entrance closed, in northern California. Photo by Marshal Hedin.

Promyrmekiaphila burrow entrance closed, in northern California. Photo by Marshal Hedin.

Spencer also uses another phrase as camouflage: ‘nationalist right’.

In using that phrase he wants to hide behind the long pedigree of nationalism, in an attempt to pass his radical position off as being somewhere on the mainstream spectrum.

But he reveals the racism underneath by having used his new term at demonstrations against the removal of monuments to the Confederacy. No matter how the racists try to deflect attention from the fact, the Confederacy was an attempt to ensure the long-term survival of slavery. That reveals that white-racism underlies the ‘nationalist right’.

When coupled with Spencer’s views and goals, it is impossible to forget an earlier use of ‘nationalism’ as a camouflage for racism. ‘Nazi’ was the abbreviation of the German words for National Socialism.

This is not just guilt by association. There is evidence for a real connection.

John Woodrow Cox interviewed Richard Spencer at a party that Spencer’s group held in Washington, DC, not long after Trump’s election. Some at the party gave a Sieg Heil salute. At one point, Spencer said “Let’s party like its 1933.” Spencer had previously dated an Asian-American woman, but now regrets his deviation from racially-pure behavior. He said that he would never again date a non-white woman and that interracial relationships should be forbidden.  Cox asked, “How, in a nation with more than 100 million blacks, Asians and Latinos, could a whites-only territory be created without overwhelming violence?” Spencer’s answer: “Look, maybe it will be horribly bloody and terrible.”

Just last week, Spencer led two rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, opposing the removal of Confederate memorials there. One of those rallies was lit by torches. Charlotteville’s Mayor pointed out the wrong-headedness of the rallies, evoking a storm of racist tweets. One of them said “I smell Jew.” (The Mayor is Jewish.)

(Interestingly, one of the chants at the second rally was “Russia is our friend”. An echo of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.)

Every time that you say or write ‘alt-right’ or ‘nationalist right’, you are falling into the trap, and are inadvertantly advancing the white racist cause.

Promyrmekiaphila burrow entrance open, in northern California. Photo by Marshal Hedin.

Promyrmekiaphila burrow entrance open, in northern California. Photo by Marshal Hedin.

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Donald J. Trump is Persona Non Grata at our house

March 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Detail of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, retouched by Bluszczokrzew .

Detail of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, retouched by Bluszczokrzew .

Donald J. Trump is Persona Non Grata at our house.

We will not welcome him in, nor shake his hand. In fact, we will not let him in. We do not want to see his face – not in person, nor in the news. We do not want to hear his voice, nor his self-serving opinions.

This rejection also applies to John Miller and to John Barron/John Baron, if Trump again lies by pretending to be them, and feeds major newspapers “their” views on Trump, in a bizarre attempt to trick the newspapers into adopting positions favorable to Trump’s ‘brand’. For examples of Trump doing this, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Yes, the same Donald Trump who claims that every unfavorable news report is fake “news” has tried repeatedly to create fake news.

A national organization should host an online registry where millions of Americans, and millions in other countries, could declare that Trump is persona non grata to them, too.

The hosting organization should not be one like CREDO Action nor MoveOn nor the ACLU, whose positions on other issues are divisive enough to repel many of those who would otherwise sign against Trump.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) would be an ideal hosting organization. (The SPLC’s scope is much wider than its name indicates: it monitors and educates against bigotry and injustice against every ethnic group.)  So would any major environmental organization.

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Streep Versus Creep

January 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Meryl Streep, 16 February 2016, usbotschaftberlin, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usbotschaftberlin/24452956954/

Meryl Streep, 16 February 2016, usbotschaftberlin, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usbotschaftberlin/24452956954/

During the recent Golden Globes ceremony, Meryl Streep described how revolted she had been by Donald Trump’s bullying parody, at a campaign event on November 24, 2015, of Serge Kovaleski, an excellent reporter for the New York Times, who happens to be disabled. An astounding video containing both Trump’s jeering, and Streep’s comment on that jeering, is viewable at the beginning of the online version of Ann Hornaday’s article in the Washington Post about the Golden Globes event. An excellent article by Elahe Izadi and Amy B Wang also contains the video, along with the complete transcript of Meryl Streep’s remarks.

Trump, being Trump, responded by lying, in a tweet, that he hadn’t been jeering at Kovalevski. The video shows clearly that he had been jeering, in exactly the manner of a schoolyard bully. An eye-opening analysis by Glenn Kessler gives the background to Trump’s jeering, and to Trump’s multiple lies about it.

Hornaday notes that Trump’s jeering was “to distract his audience from the fact that Kovaleski caught him in another lie, about Muslim Americans celebrating on Sept. 11, 2001” Glenn Kessler’s article provides abundant evidence confirming Hornaday’s statement. Jeering to distract attention away from Trump’s own lies is a standard Trump tactic.

Hornaday notes that Trump’s tweet also called Steep “an “overrated” actress and “a Hillary flunky””. As was just mentioned, a standard Trump tactic is to smear anyone who points out any of his errors. Another standard Trump tactic is to claim that his critic is an unpopular has-been.

A tweet by a twit,
Who is full of it.
That is, who is full of himself!

Trump’s tweets and his public statements are his way of flailing about against critics, and against inconvenient truths (to use Al Gore’s indispensible phrase).
When Trump senses a threat, verbally he writhes frantically, like a startled snake.

American pipe snake = false coral snake (Anilius scytale).  Photographed 12 December 2007 by DuSantos.

American pipe snake = false coral snake (Anilius scytale). Photographed 12 December 2007 by DuSantos.

Trump flails about because he cannot use logic. He cannot use facts. He has never cared about either logic or facts, so he never learned how to use them.
So Trump has left only bald unsupported assertions.

Trump finds unsupported assertions to be a congenial tool. After all, Trump has a history of pretending to be other people , sometimes “John Miller”, and sometimes “John Barron”. While pretending to be these other people, Trump says about Trump what Trump would like to have had other people say about him. That is a con-man’s tactic.

This is a variant of Trump’s tactic of claiming that un-named “other people say” or “many people say”. Trump ascribes to these invented people the inuendo that Trump wants to plant.

To be charitable about it, Trumps false statements are not always deliberate lies. Sometimes Trump makes an unfounded statement simply because he cannot distinguish how the world is from how he thinks the world ought to be. At any moment, Trump’s idea of how the world ought to be is the same as whatever would have best served Trump’s current purpose. This is a natural confusion for anyone who thinks that the Universe revolves around him. A prime example of this facet of Trump’s fun-house mirror is his habit of asserting that each source that points out his flaws is “failing” or “overated”.

Trump likes to pin disparaging labels on other people to ‘re-frame the discussion’. Sometimes this is simply a smear tactic. At other times, as with Trump’s jeering at Kovalevski, it is a tactic for drawing attention away from a fact or a question that is unfavorable to Trump.
‘Lyin Ted’, ‘Lyin Hillary’ – you get the idea. The smears are rarely founded on fact.

Margaret Sullivan has recently written an incisive overview of Trump’s approach to using lies as a tool.

Since Trump’s labels and tweets are designed to re-direct the conversation, ‘most convenient for Trump’ usually means that Trump’s smears ascribe to Trump’s critics Trump’s own unsavory traits.

A recent example of a different aspect of Trump’s lies is his claim that before his inauguration, Washington DC had run out of inauguration gowns. Trump’s claim was quickly refuted . But Trump didn’t care: he relies on the fact that his original bombastic claim will stick in the mind better than will its later disproof.

When Trump was told about the Putin-authorized spying on him – and the resulting cyber-theft of Trump’s personal and financial data – Trump’s immediate reaction was to deny that it had happenened.

The most charitable way to describe Trump’s tweets and public statements:
Trump gives himself a colonoscopy, and reports what he sees.

Schematic overview of colonoscopy procedure

Schematic overview of colonoscopy procedure

Trump will be the first President in US history to constitute a major security risk.

This is important, so lets consider it further.

Trump finds Putin’s authoritarianism more congenial than the checks and balances of a free society.

Trump doesn’t understand the value of a free society, so he never bothered to understand what is required to sustain a free society.
So Trump does not accept America’s founding ideas.
Trump does not even know what America’s founders sought to accomplish.
Trump mistakenly takes ‘Amass wealth! WIN! WIN!’ to be America’s defining goal.

So Trump does not even know what he should be defending.
That is just part of why he is a security risk.

Trump will be the first President whose loyalty to the United States is questionable.

Trump seems to be more loyal to Putin than to the US. Trump certainly believes Putin more readily than he believes the CIA and the FBI. Trump accepts Putin’s statements immediately, without any scepticism. At first Trump unconditionally rejected the CIA’s and the FBI’s findings – despite the evidence for them. Then he grudgingly accepted some aspects of those findings, again without having any non-subjective basis for rejecting the finding that Putin’s scheme had helped Trump. As Kathleen Parker (a Republican) asks in a valuable op-ed, “Well, didn’t it? Didn’t Trump loudly call upon Russia to hack Clinton’s emails?”  Two valuable op-eds (here and here) by Dana Milbank discuss the bias of Trump and his circle toward Putin.

The only possible conclusion: Trump is more loyal to Trump than to the US.

Trump has no self-control. His fragile self-esteme gives him a thin skin.
When opposed or disparaged he thrashes about defensively.

He deludedly thinks that his gut reactions are better than learning the facts, and are much better than thinking before reacting.

Those are the many other reasons why Trump is a security risk.

Imagine that your job was to vet applicants for security clearances, and to either approve or disapprove their applications.

Would you approve this unstable, flailing Trump?

I wouldn’t.

Trump poses a dilemma for those loyal Americans who are tasked to divulge sensitive information to this flailing buffoon who lacks all self-control.

*

Now consider Trump’s slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’.

Leave aside the fact that both Trump and his followers often twist the slogan into ‘Make America Grate Again’.
Leave aside also that a notable segment of Trump’s followers interpret the slogan as ‘Make America Hate Again’.

Consider instead why America was great in the 1950s and early 1960s, at least for some of its citizens.

At that time, many formerly economically and poltically important countries were still reeling from the physical devastation that had occurred on their soil during the Second World War. Their economies had been destroyed. Their infrastructure had been destroyed. Some countries even had to reconstruct their political structures.

For example, rationing continued in England for many years after the end of the Second World War.

None of those handicaps existed in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Of those four countries, the US had – by far – the largest economy and the largest manufacturing capability.

Our manufacturing and transportation infrastructure had swelled during the war, and our political structure was intact. We were able to supply what the ravaged countries needed to buy.
Few other countries could compete with us in that respect. Many of the other unravaged countries were still colonies, or were economically very undeveloped for other reasons.

In those days, manufacturing required many laborers. Automation was limited. Filling orders, monitoring inventory, keeping records, sending written or oral messages all required human hands. That meant a huge demand for human labor.

Labor couldn’t cross borders easily. Shipping was slow or expensive, and was itself labor-intensive. So the demand for labor was futher concentrated in the few favored locations.

That concentration of advantages will not happen again.
Trump will not be able to produce the job landscape that he promises.

*

There is much discussion these days as to whether respecting the office of the President entails respecting Trump.

Respecting an office means respecting its intended role – its potential contribution to society.

Respecting an office does not entail respecting any particular occupant of that office. Whether a particular occupant earns respect depends upon the occupant’s principles, virtues and weaknesses.

It is impossible to repect the upcoming occupant of the Presidency.

Trump is both creepy, and a creep.

Creepy? Witness Trump’s remarks to Billy Bush. I’ve never encountered a man whose locker-room conversation was as despicable as Trump’s. Trump needs Tic Tacs for the brain.

A creep? Witness Trump’s attempt to boot Vera Coking, an elderly widow in Atlantic City who merely wanted to live the rest of her days in her own home, with its treasured memories. Trump wanted the spot to make more parking for his casino.

Proto-President Creepy Creep,
Sneers at the humaneness of Meryl Streep.

A poseur at charity, secretly selfish and cheap.
Weak self-esteem, hidden by boasts in a heap.

Hidden also by smears that convince only sheep*.
Deceitful disgusting defective Donny The Creep.

A twisted brain, and a heart of ice.
Defective Donny just isn’t nice.

Sad!

Mad!

Bad!

* No insult is intended to bovine sheep, only to human sheep.

On January 20, 2017, President-elect Creepy Creep will become President Creepy Creep.

*

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Defective Trump and Imperfect Hillary

October 17, 2016 at 10:45 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Line art representation of a quill pen. Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Line art representation of a quill pen. Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Hillary Clinton is an ordinary fibber, like you and me.

Trump is not an ordinary liar. Trump is a psychopathic liar.

Here is the evidence.

We are polite to people we don’t like. We invent a reason why we “can’t” accept an invitation. Again and again, we tell our children a suitably sanitized version of the truth about something. We tell a garishly dressed friend that they look good. “No, it doesn’t make you look fat.” A minister warmly greets a secretly less-liked member of the congregation. A teacher responds to an annoying question by saying “that is a good question”. An elected official enthusiatically welcomes a disliked constituent. A server in a restaurant, a sales person in a store, … The list is endless.

Probably no one can go through live without telling many fibs – at least, no one who keeps friends and a job. And that is true even in open societies, where saying what you believe would not lead to imprisonment or death.

Everyone who wants to influence policy and public life must fib.

George Washington understood that slavery was evil and unjust, and undermined the political principles he fought for. He and some of his friends brainstormed ways of ending slavery, and in his will he freed all of the slaves that he personally owned. (He could not legally free the slaves owned by his wife.) But Washington knew that he could not express his view openly, if he were to deal effectively with what were then the most pressing issues that he faced.

Lincoln likewise. Hence the limited position he took during his first Presidential campaign, and hence also the delay in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, and its incomplete coverage.

FDR favored Britain and France over Hitler before the US entered the Second World War, but he could not say so, given the isolationist (indeed, Trumpian) mood in the US before we were attacked.

Lyndon Johnson favored increased fairness toward African Americans well before he was able to act upon his views. He urged the leaders of the Civil Rights movement to increase the poltical pressure on him, to provide him political cover while still leaving him politically effective.

By the way, these examples show the hypocrisy of those who fault Hillary for not always expressing her long term political goals out loud.

That brings us back to Trump.

Trump is not an ordinary liar. Trump is a psychopathic liar.

Trump lies as easily as he breathes, without guilt, with conviction. That is what distinguishes a psychopathic liar from an ordinary fibber.

Psychopathic lying is an essential trait of all great con men, since a person who does not feel guilty comes across as more convincing.

Trump might even really believe his own lies. Since Trump avoids the effort of critical thinking, he may unconciously and automatically swivel his beliefs to whatever would be convenient for him at the moment.

Of course you know about Trump’s lying birtherism, and his more recent lie that Hillary started birtherism.

You know about the many recent disproofs of Trump’s claim that no one respects women more than he does.

You probably remember how, during the second debate with Hillary, Trump attempted to immediately change the subject to ISIS.

You know about how Trump continues to deny that he favored the Iraq War, despite the videos that disprove his claim.

You might know that Trump is a champion earner of Four Pinnochios from Glen Kessler’s fact-checking columns in the Washington Post.

But that Trump is a psychopathic con-man is spectacularly proved by the multiple incidents in which he called newspapers, pretending to be someone else who was telling the newspaper about Trump.

Look at the following, which were found via this:

1. Donald Trump’s ‘John Miller’ interview is even crazier than you think …
May 16, 2016 – The name Trump assumed varied slightly — “John Miller,” John Barron,” and “John Baron” — but the goal didn’t: Tout Trump as a hyper-cool, …

2. Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself – The …
May 13, 2016 – The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he’s a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, “I’m sort of new …

3. John Oliver – Donald Trump and John Miller – YouTube
May 16, 2016 – Uploaded by consumer
From HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. … Mix – John Oliver – Donald Trump and John …

4. Donald Trump and the “John Miller” Tape: A Question of Character …
The New Yorker
May 13, 2016 – John Cassidy on the newly surfaced recording from the nineties in which Donald Trump apparently poses as his own spokesman.

5. Miller Time: Donald Trump Lied that he was ‘John Miller’ To Spread …
May 14, 2016 – When [People magazine’s] reporter called Trump’s office for an explanation, she was told that John Miller had gone home and that Trump …

Trump pretended that someone else said about Trump precisely what Trump wanted said about Trump.

That is a con.

That is just like a scammer who calls you up to tell you that your licence to the operating system on your computer has expired, or that your computer is full of malware that they will remove if you turn over complete control of your computer to them.

Doesn’t Trump’s masquerade remind you of Trump’s distinctive trick of claiming that un-named other people are saying what he would like said about one event or issue after another?

One of Trump’s many lies is that Hillary Clinton is a bigger liar than the rest of us. Trying to pin the label of liar on his competitors had been a theme of Trump’s campaign in the primaries. Now, in the general election, he is trying to pin it on Hillary. But Trump lies much more often than Hillary, and his lies are far more dangerous.

Even if Trump does believe his own lies, some part of his brain is uneasy about them.
That is probably why ‘liar’ is his favorite insult, and is why he uses it so promiscuously.


The present post should be regarded as part of what will be a series of replies to common but misguided assertions that Trump has tried to implant in the public’s discussion of the candidates for President. In particular, many of these assertions were usefully collected together in Greg Tag’s comment on the previous post, How to Vote Against Trump . These assertions implicitly rest upon Trump’s lie that Hillary Clinton is a bigger liar than the rest of us.


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Questions that Moderators Should Ask Trump in the Presidential Election Debates

September 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Conceited, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Presidential election | 2 Comments
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The Presidential Election Debate on September 26 will be moderated by Lester Holt,

Lester Holt, Sept. 25, 2012, before departing Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

Lester Holt, Sept. 25, 2012, before departing Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

that on October 9 will be moderated by Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper,

Martha Raddatz interviews John W. Miller, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, 24 September 2014.

Martha Raddatz interviews John W. Miller, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, 24 September 2014.

Anderson Cooper at Tulane University, 14 May 2010 . By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Anderson Cooper at Tulane University, 14 May 2010 . By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

and that on October 19 will be moderated by Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace in Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010. Photo by Jim Greenhill from Arlington and Durango, USA - 100223-A-3715G-168 .

Chris Wallace in Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010
Photo by Jim Greenhill from Arlington and Durango, USA – 100223-A-3715G-168 .

Here are three questions that every moderator of a Presidential Debate should ask Trump.

Why hasn’t Trump released those of his tax forms that are not being audited?
If they will be released, when?


Trump admires Putin.
Putin supports Assad, the dictator of Syria.
Does Trump support Assad?

Trump admires Putin’s way of controlling Russia, and of suppressing dissent.
Putin’s techniques are completely contrary to the US Consititution.
Which of Putin’s techniques would Trump adopt, and which would he reject?

A moderator who does not ask these questions is not exercising due diligence.

An addendum to this post:

Mr. Trump, you have expressed your approval of the forcefulness of so many dictators:
– Putin;
– the Chinese Communist Party, for its brutal suppression in June 1989 of the demonstrating students in Beijing and in other cities;
– Kim Jong Un .
Please name the dictators – present (such as Assad) or historical (such as Saddam Hussein) – whose forcefulness you don’t approve. How do the dictators you do approve differ from those you don’t approve?

Mr. Trump, an op-ed by defense and intelligence experts Michael Morell and Mike Vickers says that “At the Comander-in-Chief Forum on Sept. 7, you [Trump] said that as long as Putin says nice things about you, you will say nice things about him.” If we were back in the 1930s, would you have said “As long as Hitler says nice things about me, I’ll say nice things about him”? After all, Hitler would have liked your isolationism, so he would indeed have said nice things about you.

Fact: Of all of the dictators, past and present, Trump most resembles Mussolini.

 

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Trump’s Tax Forms

July 1, 2016 at 9:26 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,
Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump has repeatedly promised to release his tax forms for the past several years, but has always delayed doing so. He is stone-walling.

Prior candidates for the Presidency have released theirs.

Trump claims that his tax forms contain nothing interesting.

But a recent article in the Washington Post shows that Trump is a hypocrite.

The article, by Robert Costa and Karen Tumulty, is about Trump’s vetting of possible running mates.

The article says
“The contenders under the most serious consideration … have been asked … to answer more than 100 questions and to provide reams of personal and professional files that include tax records and any articles or books they have published.”

So Trump knows that tax forms reveal important information about a person’s character and actions.

He refuses to release his tax forms. What is he hiding?

Either his income is much less than he boasts,
or his contributions to charity are much less than he boasts,
or both.

Those are the only possibilities.

One of those three must be true.

No matter which of them is the truth, any of those statement proves that
—————————-Trump is a liar,——————————————
———————————-and—————————————————
—————–Trump doesn’t believe what he says.

But we knew that already. This is just additional proof.


For previous posts about The Trump, see here, here, here, here, and here.

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What Trump DOESN’T Know About Business

April 1, 2016 at 11:18 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 1 Comment
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Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump understands: real estate (especially hotels and entertainment), entertainment, self-promotion (a type of advertising), and selling the use of his name.

Trump doesn’t understand: international trade, the effect of international trade upon jobs, manufacturing, transportation, treaties, international law.

Most of the areas of business that Trump does understand are not relevant to the tasks of a President. The only exception is self-promotion. Even in the business areas that Trump understands, his record of success has been spotty.

The areas of business that Trump doesn’t understand are critical to the tasks of a President.

But Trump will never learn to understand those areas, because he doesn’t care about facts, and he doesn’t admit to mistakes (his insecurity forbids him to admit to them, especially to himself). So he will never be able to map out what he needs to learn. Learning involves forming provisional pictures, testing them, and correcting them. His refusal to admit to errors means that he cannot do that. By his own admission, Trump habitually relies on his gut guesses rather than on knowledgeable advisors. That habit does not promote learning.

In disputes, Trump is quick to sue. He does that to intimidate, harass and threaten those who disagree with him. He learned that trick from the practices that were common in the real estate business when and where he started out.

That won’t work in domestic politics, and it won’t work in international politics.

As a side note, given Trump’s well known proclivity to sue, it is surprising that anyone would sign a contract with him, without at least insisting that the contract require that disputes be resolved by arbitration, with the arbitrator being pre-specified in the contract.

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Bernie Sanders As Commander in Chief?

March 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Conceited, Fairness, Presidential election, Terrorism | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,
Flag of the Islamic State. This flag is also used by al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram. Graphic by Yo.

Flag of the Islamic State.
This flag is also used by al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram. Graphic by Yo.

Here are some questions about Bernie Sander’s fitness to be the Commander in Chief.

Does Bernie Sanders agree that we need a capable – hence adequately funded – Department of Defence?

What capabilities of the Department of Defence does Bernie Sanders want to enhance?

How does Bernie Sanders plan to respond to the non-traditional military sitiations posed by terrorism and by countries (Syria, Russia, China, North Korea) that sneer at international law?

What policies does Bernie Sanders think should govern the use of drones?
What are his thoughts on collateral damage?

What areas of defense R&D does Bernie Sanders think needs to be pursued? What new weapons and tactical capabilities are needed?

What is Bernie Sander’s rough estimate of the proper level of funding for the Department of Defense next year? How many Divisions and how many aircraft carriers should we have?

A Syrian soldier aims an AK-47 assault rifle wearing a Soviet-made, model ShMS nuclear–biological–chemical warfare mask. Unknown author - http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0JoLDPpw5WbYCMAmPsXL1g

A Syrian soldier aims an AK-47 assault rifle wearing a Soviet-made, model ShMS nuclear–biological–chemical warfare mask.
Unknown author – http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0JoLDPpw5WbYCMAmPsXL1g

When Assad used chemical weapons against peaceful Syrians, did Bernie Sanders support the idea of US participation in setting up a no-fly zone to protect Syrian civilians from attack by Assad’s military? (A no-fly zone was not set up after Asaad’s use of chemical weapons, despite our prior hollow talk of a ‘red line’. That created a vacuum. That vacuum helped catpult ISIS into becoming a priminent player. Our lack of follow-through, and the hollowness of our threat, bears a major responsibility for the flourishing of ISIS.)

What would Bernie Sanders do to protect the non-extremist anti-Assad groups in Syria from Assad, and from Putin?

What would Bernie Sanders do to protect the very effective Kurdish fighters against attacks by Erdogan’s authoritarian Turkey?

Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount Sinjar in August 2014" USAID U.S. Agency for International Development - https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaid_images/14783000490

Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount Sinjar in August 2014″
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development – https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaid_images/14783000490

What would Bernie Sanders do about the desparate refugees who have fled ISIS?

Any candidate who cannot come up with thoughful, practical answers to these questions is utterly unfit to be commander and chief.

Any candidate who has not already pondered these questions is utterly unfit to be commander and chief.


During the Presidential election, that will be obvious to anyone who values practical effects over wishful thinking.

Being good-hearted is not enough.

Economic fairness is important, but do not underestimate the importance that most voters assign to:
– adequate defense
– our role in supporting international fairness
– and to being respected internationally, and effective internationally.

Some of those latter urgeswere a major factor in the ability of Mussolini and Hitler to replace open political systems by authoritarian ones.

Those same aspects drive Putin’s high popularity in the face of the economic disaster he has brought to Russia.

The importance of same aspects are why China follows an aggressive, nationalistic policies in south-east Asia, despite the political and economic backlash from neighboring countries, and because of China’s falling rate of economic growth.

In the Presidential election, a candidate that lives in dream-land will lose to a candidate who at least cares about what is achievable, no matter how ill-considered are that candidate’s specific goals and paths to those goals.

So a vote in the primary for a well-intentioned candidate who does not care about defense and about foreign policy will inadvertantly aid the victory of the candidate of the opposite party, as long as that competing candidate does have strong opinions (however stupid) about defense and foreign policy.

Remember how votes for the egotist Ralph Nader first made George Bush president instead of Al Gore, and then four years later help George Bush win a second term. (Recall also Nader’s hypocritical claim that there would be no difference between Gore and Bush presidencies.)

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Shout It! We Do NOT Love Donald Trump

January 23, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Conceited, Dysfunctional Politics, Presidential election, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags:

320x480.DonaldTrump.May2015.UpsideDown

As explained at the bottom of this post, you can comment on it to show either your agreement or your disagreement with some or all of it.

Trump is insecure. To an abnormal extent, he likes to project strong self-esteem. But the abnormal intensity of his boasting reveals that his self esteem is actually weak. His need for reassurance is why he continually claims that this group and that group loves him. Do you know anyone else who so obsessively boasts that so many groups love him?
Donald Trump, we do NOT love you.

We do not even LIKE you.

We despise Trump because he is an insecure braggart and a bully.

In Atlantic City, Trump tried to bully an elderly widow who just wanted to remain in her own home, rather than have it bulldozed to advance Trump’s plans for a casino. Trump lost. (Despite his inflated claim, Trump does not always win.) Afterwards, instead of expressing remorse and ethical growth, Trump gratuitously and falsely said that she was a nasty person.

We mistrust Trump because he believes in hype as a matter of principle.
An article (by Robert O’Harrow Jr., Alice Crites, Walter Fee) in a recent Washington Post adds detail to what we know about Trump’s spotty business history.
Besides being careless of facts, Trump overstates his assets, overstates what he can accomplish, and spins his failures – as if calling a failure a success makes it so.

As a matter of policy, Trump tells people what he knows they want to hear (voters, casino commissions), without making sure that he can back up what he says.

We despise Trump for his astoundingly incautious handling of large sums of money. Imagine what such an impulsive, feckless investor would do to the US Treasury, and to the financial standing of the US. Alexander Hamilton would have been aghast at the dangers of entrusting any significant aspect of the US economy into the hands of such a gambler and bluffer, especially given Trump’s bumpy track record in business.

We despise Trump for never acknowledging when his claims are proved to be erroneous. Trump’s disinterest in correcting the record shows that he does not care about the truth.
A striking example is his ‘birther’ claims about Obama, which he never retracted despite abundant solid disproof.

We despise Trump because he does not favor an open society, with the time and role it gives to the airing of dissenting views. Instead, Trump likes Putin’s way of doing things, and Putin likes Trump. An open society is the goal of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: witness the separation of powers, and the Bill of Rights. Trump thinks those features are merely impediments to decisive action. As explained in a previous post, Trump’s political beliefs developed as a result of the atypical advantages he had in starting his carreer.

We despise Trump because he allows and enables Corey Lewandowski‘s totalitarian control of access – by reporters and by the public – to Trump’s speaking appearances. Lewandowski’s approach is similar to that of Putin in Russia, to Xi in China, to Kim Jong-un in North Korea: only favorable images and reports may come out. Lewandowsky stomps on freedom of speech. Perhaps for his next job, Lewandowski should interview for a job with one of the dictators named above.
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