Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Day the Dog Pulled the Curtain on the Fraud

I have a couple very good and very important books going right now, books I think every U.S. citizen should read as soon as they can possibly get their hands on a copy, or e-copy; “Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris, by Ian Kershaw and On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder.

Hitler is a bit of a slow read (most definitely not due to interest, rather due to the detail one must pay very close attention to) both books are a vital read, given the political scenario in which we find ourselves and our nation today.

While reading “On Tyranny”, I kept thinking of the old B&W movie “The Wizard of Oz”.  I’m normally not one who typically picks up on subtle symbolism in movies, or books.  It takes books with the obvious, such as 1984, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, etc., the kind of books intended to engage our imagination via symbolic characters and scenarios.

But; for some reason “On Tyranny” kept bringing “The Wizard of Oz” to mind for me.

In Oz, there’s apparently symbolism in almost every character, blade of grass and flower in the story, symbolism that has been debated for generations unbeknownst to me :-)

“Hitler Hubris”, no symbolism whatsoever is attempted.  It’s straight out in the open, even spelling it all out for the reader.  However; what it does expose is an extraordinarily frightening parallel between Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump; two men who’s contribution to society will live in infamy as long as there is even but one human being left on this planet with either a memory or the ability to read.

There have been and will always be characters in the history of humanity who will forever live in infamy. 

Some characters aren’t just equated with the worst of what society has to offer, but those who literally define the worst of the worst; sociopathic characters straight from Hell providing the very story of hate, deceit, treachery, ardent narcissism, arrogance, truculence, cruelty, dishonesty, aggression, pusillanimous, ignorance, ruthlessness, etc. etc. etc.

Most of those characters are already historic as of today; names such as Franco, Pinochet, Duvalier, Stalin, Pot, Amin, Mussolini, and of course Hitler.

However; one is creating his own repulsive story as you read this - Donald Trump; a “great and almighty wizard” who is certain he knows all and can even grant people’s most outrageous of wishes, simply by doing nothing but turning knobs, pushing buttons, pulling handles, and communicating from behind a curtain, in fear of dogs; dogs, like you and me, who have already pulled the curtain hiding his fraudulent existence.

Fortunately for the illiterate buffoon that he is, the curtain is limited to one-hundred forty characters or less, so his illiteracy, ignorance, and raw stupidity remain hidden to the less observant, and the foolishly devoted.  

I always use quotes in my posts, but I rarely use one to the extent that I’m using this, but it’s reason and relevance will appear very quickly.  

As you read the following, think of Charlottesville, Trumps campaigns wherein he gleefully threw voices of opposition out of his rallies and compared law abiding liberals to Right Wing hate groups such as the Alt-Right, KKK, and White Supremacists, a tactic used by ultra-nationalists to reduce to their level, all opposition, both in present and in historical pre-WWII Germany, as they rounded up all those they claimed were in need of elimination in order to  cleanse the Motherland of racial impurities.

“Most governments, most of the time, seek to monopolize violence. If only the government can legitimately use force, and this use is constrained by law, then the forms of politics that we take for granted become possible. It is impossible to carry out democratic elections, try cases at court, design and enforce laws, or indeed manage any of the other quiet business of government when agencies beyond the state also have access to violence. For just this reason, people and parties who wish to undermine democracy and the rule of law create and fund violent organizations that involve themselves in politics. Such groups can take the form of a paramilitary wing of a political party, the personal bodyguard of a particular politician— or apparently spontaneous citizens’ initiatives, which usually turn out to have been organized by a party or its leader.
Armed groups first degrade a political order, and then transform it. Violent right-wing groups, such as the Iron Guard in interwar Romania or the Arrow Cross in interwar Hungary, intimidated their rivals. Nazi storm troopers began as a security detail clearing the halls of Hitler’s opponents during his rallies. As paramilitaries known as the SA and the SS, they created a climate of fear that helped the Nazi Party in the parliamentary elections of 1932 and 1933. In Austria in 1938 it was the local SA that quickly took advantage of the absence of the usual local authority to loot, beat, and humiliate Jews, thereby changing the rules of politics and preparing the way for the Nazi takeover of the country. It was the SS that ran the German concentration camps— lawless zones where ordinary rules did not apply. During the Second World War, the SS extended the lawlessness it had pioneered in the camps to whole European countries under German occupation. The SS began as an organization outside the law, became an organization that transcended the law, and ended up as an organization that undid the law.
Because the American federal government uses mercenaries in warfare and American state governments pay corporations to run prisons, the use of violence in the United States is already highly privatized. What is novel is a president who wishes to maintain, while in office, a personal security force which during his campaign used force against dissenters. As a candidate, the president ordered a private security detail to clear opponents from rallies, but also encouraged the audience itself to remove people who expressed different opinions. A protestor would first be greeted with boos, then with frenetic cries of “USA,” and then be forced to leave the rally. At one campaign rally the candidate said, “There’s a remnant left over. Maybe get the remnant out. Get the remnant out.” The crowd, taking its cue, then tried to root out other people who might be dissenters, all the while crying “USA.” The candidate interjected: “Isn’t this more fun than a regular boring rally? To me, it’s fun.” This kind of mob violence was meant to transform the political atmosphere, and it did.
For violence to transform not just the atmosphere but also the system, the emotions of rallies and the ideology of exclusion have to be incorporated into the training of armed guards. These first challenge the police and military, then penetrate the police and military, and finally transform the police and military.”

Snyder, Timothy. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (pp. 45-46). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

A Letter of Guidance to an Illiterate, Obsessive, Narcissistic Juvenile.

Most of us have known about the “letters of recommendations” outgoing presidents leave for their successors.  Though; I’ve neither heard nor seen any of the contents of those letters until now, my assumption was that they contain information not meant for the public, or contain reasons many of the promises the incoming cannot be met.  Maybe parts of it fall well into that category, for it seems many “promises” the then candidates made on their campaign trails never see the light of day.

However; at least parts of President Obama’s letter have been publicized in the past two days by many media outlets, revealing words of encouragement and advice that any sane man would both appreciate and follow, from an outgoing president.

CNN printed this much of it, and who knows, perhaps it’s the full letter:

Dear Mr. President -
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don't know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we've both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It's up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that's willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It's up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that's expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions -- like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties -- that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
Now, personally, had I received such a letter from anyone with the experience and credentials of President Obama, not only would I read it, I would memorize and recall it daily in an attempt to follow the suggested outlines of success.  The letter is not just a guide towards decency for all human beings, but to a successful role as the nation’s leader.

First Point of advice: Building Ladders to Success:  Use the gift of wealth and influence we have that many of the world will never see to build ladders for others to rise to success.

Sadly; the only ladder Trump has built is the ladder to HeII for the U.S.  Every effort Trump exerts is an effort to achieve a negative outcome for us all, placing us at the foot of that ladder, holding it steady while he, in his own world, climbs that ladder.

In his arrogance; an arrogance so absolute, so utterly extreme, Trump’s incapable of taking advice, incapable, of listening to any who have gone before him and learned the lessons from which he could benefit; he’s incapable of understanding that there are many, many who have gone before him who can guide him.

Instead, he took the opportunity to show his clownish, juvenile view of all who, in his mind, are beneath him (all other human beings), waving the letter mocking its sender as though it was a love letter between two lovers and he'd discovered it and wished to amuse and make himself feel taller than all others with it by exposing it to the world.

And; this effort is not entirely due to Trumps absolute ineptness at virtually everything he does, but many of his efforts seem to be intentional disregard for the purpose of childishly thumbing his nose at President Obama.  Trump’s obsessive character trait will not allow him to accomplish anything other than to display his obsession for revenge politics, his bigoted perspective of the world and his disgusting treatment of the poor and disabled.

However; remember those academic credentials he flaunted not long ago? “I went to to better schools and received better grades than any of them did.

Well, I suppose, if “you're like this really smart guy who earned a four-year degree at Wharton's School of Finance and Commerce”, you have the right to flaunt that degree in the faces of the likes of Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar (something that would make graduating from Wharton's look like graduating from pre-school), and Obama's Occidental College, Columbia Thesis for his Master's Degree, and his Doctorate in Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School.

Well, I take that back. I doubt you have any right at all to compare yourself to either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama in any form of education and certainly not in intelligence. That Wharton degree?  Keep it for when we have a TP shortage.  It’ll look really good next to your gold-leafed vanity mirror.

Trump’s myopic view of the world is a direct result of his extremely sheltered, wealthy childhood.  Though most wealthy children grow up with a healthy perspective towards life and are highly educated, Trump’s dangerous narcissism accompanied with his pampered childhood has created a man whose only thoughts, indeed obsessions, are of himself and how he can get more for himself.  

His arrogance undoubtedly interfered drastically in the outcome of his education, too arrogant to listen to anyone.  What else would explain his semi-severe illiteracy?

However; I simply don't see any effort whatsoever by Trump to follow the advice of forty-four on any of the 4 main points he suggested.  In fact; what I do perceive are a malignant narcissist’s efforts to, not just ignore them, but to make every attempt to deny and defile the very nature of the advice.

Second Point: Leading the World.  In President Obama’s words; “American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It's up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that's expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.” 

But; Trump is nothing, but the world’s worst leader, perhaps ever.  And; in that, I don’t mean bad because he leads us down the wrong path, though that is indeed what he’s doing.

What I mean is he is utterly incapable of leading men and women towards any path; towards any goal.  The man doesn’t even understand the skills it takes for good leadership and he is abdicating every leadership role the U.S. has taken decades and many wars to build, both amongst allies and adversaries alike.

There are many leadership styles, but few to which followers respond well.

Simply through watching him, I can guarantee I know which style of leadership he subscribes to; the style that those most new to leadership, or those who are far too arrogant to learn ALWAYS use.

Trump views leadership as something that automatically comes with and from position and, as a result, the autocratic style that accompanies him and those like him, is oppressive, ineffective, caustic and ruinous at best.

His arrogance and narcissism prevents his learning anything new.

He will never learn anything; anything at all.  Rather; he’ll continue to view those he sees as his “followers” as disposable, even useless sheep who don’t have the brains to follow his “highly valuable” leadership and should be responding to his autocratic rule, or they’re committing acts of treachery.  Hence, Sally Yates, Preet Bharara, James Comey, Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, etc, etc….are no longer around.

For all of us who have held leadership roles, we know precisely how hard we must work to EARN the respect of those we lead; how tenuous that leadership can be, how difficult it is to attain, and how so very easily it can be lost.

The long, arduous work had already been accomplished for Trump, all the incompetent fool needed to do was to continue the forward progress.

But, in true Trump fashion and perhaps even through his seething hate for President Obama, or just his sheer embarrassment with himself upon learning he can’t lead, he turned his back on the world and in doing so, placed the interests of you and me, the U.S. and the entire planet in the trunk of the car he’s driving, peddle to the metal, towards the cliff.

But; you can be sure he’ll leave a note behind blaming someone else for his leadership flaws though - probably his lifetime friend Thomas Jefferson b 1743, d 1846, who somehow shared his anger with the U.S. for the U.S. Civil War, fifteen years after his death.

Trump refuses to assume the role many world leaders look to for help in their own nations, because he’s afraid doing so will expose a massive weakness in a man with far more weaknesses than he has strengths.  He can’t lead anything or anyone, especially globally.  The only thing the clown does is leaves decision-making to others as he goes golfing every weekend, then blames any missteps on whomever he can find close at hand.  It’s no wonder he thought leading the nation as a part-time job.

Third point: “we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions -- like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties -- that our forebears fought and bled for.”

The doofus Trump hasn’t a clue as to what integrity is and the moron certainly doesn’t understand the separation of powers.  I can tell you as surely as I’m sitting here writing this this evening, Trump views himself as THE POWER.  Kim Donald-dung.

He’s made that abundantly clear on multiple occasions in his legal battles over the Travel Ban, his efforts to deport masses of people that even includes U.S. Citizens.  He attacked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, threatening to “break them up” because they ruled against his travel ban directed towards Muslims.

Trump was really castrated and infuriated when another Appeals Court shot down his travel ban again, and a Federal Judge blocked part of Trump’s sanctuary cities executive orders.

NONE of his appointees have a clue as to what they’re supposed to be doing and have no understanding whatsoever of their limitations of power.

Jeff Sessions made that perfectly clear when he stated “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” when speaking of the Federal Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling.  In other words; “I don’t see how a mere judge has the power to rule against tyranny and dictatorship”.

Trump’s efforts to ramrod laws limiting the powers of the EPA were blocked as well when the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia  prevented Scott Pruitt and Trump from rolling back dozens of President Obama’s environmental rules restricting methane emissions.

Trump has made it perfectly clear too, on where he stands with civil liberties in his comments about Charlottesville and his continued vehement remarks and adamant support for those comments backing the White Supremacy groups.

Despite President Obama’s efforts to guide him, Trump’s continuous lies, falsified story-telling; stories such as General Sherman, during the US/Philippine war in 1891, rolling bullets in pig’s blood before killing “Muslim Terrorist” POWs.

His lies to the Boy Scouts of America; and then of course, there’s truly the absurdest of absurdity: Trump insisting, despite the efforts of all the people who tried to inform him of the error in his claim “he has a close friendship with Frederick Douglass”.  Insisting that it was once again the fake press who has  made a mockery of a personal friend of Trump’s, Frederick Douglass by claiming he’s dead”.   The same Frederick Douglass who died over 132 years ago:

“Based on what Betsy said about me, we could really use Fred’s energy around here,” Trump said.

He lashed out at the press for reporting that Frederick Douglass was dead, calling those reports “very unfair.”

“That’s a nasty thing to say about someone who is alive and doing a great job,” he said. “This is why the press is failing and it's failing very, very badly.”

And with that, I can write no more absurdities, or my own mind will explode.  But then, I have a few more months of Trump before he pushes the U.S. beyond the breaking point and we collectively say to Trump; “your fired”, you moron.”