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TBR News June 12, 2019

Jun 12 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. June 12, 2019:

“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for June 12:”Trump believes that at least two people on the staff in the White House have been leaking confidential, and very damaging, material to the media and Congress.

He has had all the phones and computers here, excluding his own, tapped to find out who the snitch, or snitchers, are so he can have the jailed for leaking secret documents.

He wants to do a Manning on all of them in short.

Most of my fellow workers are afraid and keep quiet but there are others who hate Trump because of his highly negative personality and behavior.

There are no secrets in Washington and an FBI man told me recently that Moscow knows just what is going on in the White House, the CIA and the Department of State on a regular basis.

Trump’s Gestapo are even watching staff members when they are off duty at home or even shopping.

Of course if Trump is removed, Pence takes his place and Pence is a rabid Jesus Freak.

He wants to burn all gays at the stake and force everyone in the country to go to church on Sunday.

Rabid Jesus Freaks only are about 5% of the public but they, and the Jews, have strong control in certain sectors of the government (Half the mid-level CIA people at Langley are Jews and Tel Aviv gets all our secrets on a daily basis).”

 

The Table of Contents

  • ‘A simple pattern’: how Trump claims victory when facts suggest otherwise
  • Why Narcissists And Gaslighters Blatantly Lie — And Get Away With It
  • Ahead of contempt vote, Trump shields census documents from Congress
  • Jurors refuse to convict activist facing 20 years for helping migrants
  • America’s Fear-Based Foreign Policy Needs to Go
  • President Trump instructed aides to lie about “devastating” poll results: report
  • Trumpian money laundering and tax frauds
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

 

‘A simple pattern’: how Trump claims victory when facts suggest otherwise

The president’s misleading agreement with Mexico showcases his reality-TV tactics – but the media keeps ‘taking the bait’

June 12, 2019

by David Smith in Washington

The Guardian

Another drama, another cliffhanger, another disaster averted at the last minute. Donald Trump had saved the world. Again.

The strange saga of the US-Mexico trade war that never was serves up the latest example of Trump’s reality-television presidency. Time and again he has manufactured crises, set deadlines, made threats, pulled back from the brink and claimed victory while keeping the details notoriously vague.

The cycle of razzle-dazzle enables Trump to galvanise his support base, selling himself as a man of action, and keeps the media mesmerised while his government pushes reforms or slashes regulations on the quiet. When the smoke clears, however, not much of substance has really changed.

“It’s a pretty simple pattern,” the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, told the Senate on Monday. “The president stakes out a maximalist position but never clearly defines his objectives. That way, after he backs himself into a corner, he can use a deal of any kind, even if it’s merely a fig leaf, to justify retreating from whatever misguided policy he’s threatened. Then he declares victory, having done little to nothing to solve the underlying problem.”

Noting Trump’s penchant for big summits, photo ops, scare tactics and belligerent threats, Schumer added: “What he did here is typical of the president’s gameshow foreign policy: a big production without very much progress.”

Trump honed his mastery of the medium as host of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice from 2004 to 2015. He was obsessed with ratings and not shy about exaggerating them. In the Trump Tower boardroom he was both businessman and showman, a master of suspense as contestants dreaded the words “You’re fired!” at the show’s climax.

Randal Pinkett, the winner of The Apprentice in 2005, said on Tuesday: “The idea of being the centre of attention and sucking up all the oxygen in the room? When you’re host of The Apprentice, that might be your job, but not when you’re president of the United States. That’s about policy, not media whoredom.”

But now Trump occupies the Oval Office and the “contestant” in his latest public spectacle was Mexico. The president was reportedly incensed that, despite all his promises, border crossings in May reached their highest level in more than 12 years (in excess of 132,000 people). On 30 May he reached for import taxes – tariffs – which have become his weapon of choice.

“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” he suddenly announced on Twitter. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”

Immediately, the clock was ticking towards the 10 June deadline. Senior officials from both countries met for talks with billions of dollars at stake – Mexico is America’s biggest trading partner. The US’s new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada was suddenly imperilled.

Trump had generated an entirely unnecessary crisis. Business leaders were on edge, Democrats were outraged and even Senate Republicans threatened to rebel, warning against a self-inflicted wound. The president travelled to Europe, dined with the Queen and attended D-Day commemorations, but he insisted he wasn’t bluffing: the crippling tariffs would go ahead.

Then, at 8.31pm last Friday, came a bolt out of the blue. “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump tweeted. “The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended.”

The US announced that Mexico had agreed to deploy 6,000 national guard personnel throughout the country, giving priority to its southern border. In addition, people crossing the US southern border to seek asylum would be rapidly returned to Mexico to await the adjudication of their asylum claims; Mexico would offer them jobs, healthcare and education.

Trump hyped the apparent concessions as evidence that his tariff threats had worked and was hailed for strong leadership by friendly media outlets. But not for the first time, the New York Times burst his bubble, reporting that the much vaunted “deal” was merely warmed-up leftovers. It said the Mexican government had already pledged to deploy the national guard in March, and that the plan for asylum seekers had been worked out last December.

Critics suggested that it was in fact Trump who had backed down, realising he could not win a fight against his own party and that his trade wars are already taking a toll on the economy. Friday’s disappointing job figures, for example, were a warning sign.

Sowing further confusion, the president went on to claim he had an immigration and security deal with Mexico, only for the Mexican foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, to deny that such a deal exists. On Tuesday, Trump taunted reporters at the White House by waving around a folded piece of paper that he claimed was a deal with Mexico. “Without the tariffs, we would have had nothing,” he said.

Analysts fear that the perceived success will encourage Trump to intensify his trade war with China. Even old allies are concerned. Anthony Scaramucci, who spent 11 days as White House communications director in 2017, said: “You can yo-yo the tariffs and create a lot of buzz and fanfare around what you’re doing and ‘control the news cycle’ but you can’t yo-yo the tariffs without it having a consequential effect on business. Just look at the data.”

But he added: “That does work for him because, remember, his attitude is: ‘I’m going to worry about the base, everything else will take care of itself.’ And if you think about it from that perspective, he’s probably right because as long as he gets voter participation numbers with his base close to where he was, he’s likely to win re-election.”

The reality-TV presidency has produced some classic episodes. Two years ago, Trump raised the prospect of the existence of tape recordings of his private conversations with the fired FBI director James Comey. With the Washington gossip machine working itself up to fever pitch, he finally tweeted: “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”

Trump threatened the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, with “fire and fury”, only to meet him a year ago and insist there was no longer a nuclear threat – yet the country continues its weapon testing. In February, Trump declared a national emergency in a bid to get his wall built, then made an empty threat to shut down the border completely.

The president also relishes building drama and suspense around his appointments of senior officials and Supreme Court justices. None of it comes as much surprise to students of his business and entertainment careers.

One of his biographers, Gwenda Blair, said: “He’s experienced at getting people’s attention with something they’re not expecting or a reversal of the last thing they’ve heard, generating a headline with a tweet. He follows the saying: ‘You want a crowd, start a fight.’”

She added: “He’s quite the cliffhanger guy and also wants to make sure he holds on to those headlines and the minuscule attention span of a significant proportion of the population. He’s done it for decades, so why stop now?”

Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California, and former media consultant to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, said: “Part of Trump being Trump is the art of the deal and the cliffhanger. It has a complete reality-TV quality to it because each episode ends with the camera turned on him and the question, ‘Mr President, what should we do?’

“The whole point Sf reality TV is to get people watching and wanting to come back. Trump plays the media very well and the media continues to take the bait.”

 

Why Narcissists And Gaslighters Blatantly Lie — And Get Away With It

June 2, 2019

by Stephanie Sarkis

Forbes

In a tweet, Donald Trump wrote, “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty’. [sic]  Made up by the Fake News Media…” He then goes on to ask if CNN and the New York Times will apologize to him.  However, there are audio recordings by the Sun showing that he did, in fact, refer to Markle as “nasty.”  Trump’s lying should come as a surprise to no one at this point.

If you claim that Trump just doesn’t remember everything he said, let’s entertain that idea.  Sure, it’s possible.  But is it probable? Probably not.  When people just don’t remember things, they usually don’t start out on the offensive.  Trump’s usual target is the media, similar to Richard Nixon (although Nixon was more circumspect about it).   Ordinarily, when people just can’t remember a fact, they state so. (Which isn’t to say that “I don’t remember” can’t also be used as an obfuscation technique, as seen in the transcripts of Ronald Reagan being questioned in the Iran-Contra trial.)

The more likely reason, as we have seen from Trump’s past behavior, is that he is just plain lying.  A pattern of Trump lying about facts and events has long been established.   As of April 2019, Trump has lied over 10,000 times while in office.  If you’re a member of the “everyone lies” camp, consider the scope of what Trump lies about.

Trump wrote a tweet stating, “Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars [sic]  for the hurricane, more money that has ever been gotten for a hurricane before…”  Both of these statements are false.

At a rally in El Paso, Trump said Beto O’Rourke had only “200 people, 300 people” at a speech he was giving, in the same city, the same night.  The Texas Tribune reported that O’Rourke had 7,000 people at his speech.

In a State of the Union address, Trump said, “The border city of El Paso, Texas…considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities…Now immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in America….”  El Paso was never one of the nation’s most dangerous cities.  Its crime rate is significantly below the national average.  The crime rate actually went up in El Paso after a border fence went up.

When gaslighters/narcissists are caught on video saying something that they swore they didn’t say, instead of a mea culpa, they go on the attack.  They will tell you that you heard them incorrectly.   Or they’ll employ the latest excuse — that the audio was digitally manipulated.  A gaslighter/narcissist may also tell you that, yes, he said it, but it was taken “out of context.” He may also choose to continue lying without compunction.  One thing he will not do is apologize.  To a gaslighter/narcissist, an apology is a sign of weakness.

When reading the audio transcripts of Trump’s comments about Meghan Markle, the excuse “It was taken out of context” doesn’t apply.  He clearly was referring to her.

Why is it so effective when gaslighters/narcissists continue their lie, even when there is easily accessed evidence to the contrary?  Because it tends to work.  First, you get confused as to why someone would blatantly lie.  It goes against what you know as normal human behavior.  Most people, when caught in a lie, will admit to it and apologize. (Most people also tend to not blatantly lie in the first place.)  The more confusion you feel upon hearing the gaslighter/narcissist’s blatant lie, the more you start to remember the gaslighter’s defense or continued lying, not the actual truth that he is lying about.  This is exactly how propaganda is spread — repeat something long enough and people start to believe it.

Do gaslighters/narcissists believe what they are saying?  It’s hard to tell.  Is it possible that a lie has been told so much that the gaslighter/narcissist no longer knows the truth?  It’s possible.  It’s more probable that the gaslighter/narcissist believes they don’t need to follow the same societal rules as everyone else, and they act as if they really don’t care what you think about them.  But at the same time, they are deeply concerned about being criticized.  Regardless, it’s important to remember that this behavior is not normal, nor should it ever be accepted as such.

In this case, there is also a sexist undertone to Trump calling Meghan Markle “nasty.”  This is far from the first time Trump has called a woman “nasty.”  He also referred to Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz  as “nasty.”  He has not been quoted as using “nasty” to describe a man.

How do you handle a news source that lies about saying something? Publish the interview, showing the context in which the comment was said.  Also, do not shy away from saying that a person is lying.  People generally say, “That is not true,” or “That is false,” in response to someone lying.  However, gaslighters/narcissists are pathological liars.  Their behavior needs to be called out directly — again, a simple “You are lying,” and then stating the facts is sufficient.  Expect the gaslighter/narcissist to retaliate by calling you names, or another of their other personal favorites, ignoring you all together — even if it is in the middle of an interview.   However, at least you have stated the truth, on the record.

If you work with a gaslighter/narcissist who constantly lies, keep documentation.  Record date, time, and direct quotes.  Don’t keep this information on a company-owned device, however.  Many have realized too late that when they leave a company, the employer-issued device stays.  If you are having a meeting with a gaslighter/narcissist, make sure there is an impartial witness in the room.  Also consult with your company guidelines and superiors as to how to handle a gaslighting employee, especially before the point of costing you good employees, clients, and money.  Because it will happen — it’s just a matter of time.

 

 

Ahead of contempt vote, Trump shields census documents from Congress

June 12, 2019

by Jan Wolfe and Mark Hosenball

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday to keep under wraps documents related to adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census, defying a U.S. House committee in another move to stonewall Democrats’ multiple investigations of the president.

The move came minutes before the House Oversight Committee convened to vote on holding two of his Cabinet members in contempt of Congress over the census question.

Democrats on the committee were angered after receiving a letter from the Justice Department saying Trump had asserted executive privilege over the documents.

“This does not appear to be a good faith effort at negotiation,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said in an opening statement at the panel’s meeting.

“Instead it appears to be another example of the administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’ constitutionally mandated authority … This begs the question: what is being hidden?” Cummings said.

He said the committee would vote later in the afternoon on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a committee subpoena seeking the documents related to an administration decision to add a citizenship question to the census.

The census question already has triggered lawsuits with several states and cities saying that asking census respondents if they are U.S. citizens will frighten immigrants and Latinos into abstaining from the count. Critics have said Republicans want to engineer a deliberate population undercount in Democratic-leaning areas where many immigrants live in order to gain seats in the House.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball, Jan Wolfe and David Morgan; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Trott

 

Jurors refuse to convict activist facing 20 years for helping migrants

Jury could not reach a verdict against Scott Daniel Warren who was arrested in 2018 for giving migrants water, food and lodging

June 12, 2019

Associated Press

A US jury could not reach a verdict on Tuesday against a border activist who, defense attorneys say, was simply being kind by providing two migrants with water, food and lodging when he was arrested in early 2018.

Scott Daniel Warren, a 36-year-old college geography instructor, was charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants in a trial that humanitarian aid groups said would have wide implications for their work. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors maintained the men were not in distress and Warren conspired to transport and harbor them at a property used for providing aid to migrants in an Arizona town near the US-Mexico border.

The case played out as humanitarian groups say they are coming under increasing scrutiny under Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies.

Outside the courthouse, Warren thanked his supporters and criticized the government’s efforts to crack down on the number of immigrants coming to the US.

“Today it remains as necessary as ever for local residents and humanitarian aid volunteers to stand in solidarity with migrants and refugees, and we must also stand for our families, friends and neighbors in the very land itself most threatened by the militarization of our borderland communities,” Warren said.

Glenn McCormick, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Arizona, declined to comment on whether Warren would face another trial. The judge set a 2 July status hearing for the defense and prosecution.

Warren is one of nine members of the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths who have been charged with crimes related to their work. But he is the only one to face felony charges.

In west Texas, a county attorney was detained earlier this year after stopping her car on a dark highway to pick up three young migrants who flagged her down. Teresa Todd was held briefly, and federal agents searched her cellphone.

Border activists say they worry about what they see as the gradual criminalization of humanitarian action.

Warren has said his case could set a dangerous precedent by expanding the definition of the crimes of transporting and harboring migrants to include people merely trying to help border-crossers in desperate need of water or other necessities.

Warren and other volunteers with the No More Deaths group also were targeted this year in separate federal misdemeanor cases after leaving water, canned food and other provisions for migrants hiking through the Cabeza Prieta national wildlife refuge in southern Arizona.

In Warren’s felony case, the defense team headed by Greg Kuykendall argued that Warren could not, in good conscience, turn away two migrants who had recently crossed the desert to enter the US.

Jurors said on Monday that they could not reach a consensus on the charges against Warren, but a federal judge told them to keep deliberating. They were still deadlocked on Tuesday and ultimately dismissed.

Thousands of migrants have died crossing the border since the mid-1990s, when heightened enforcement pushed migrant traffic into Arizona’s scorching deserts.

 

 

America’s Fear-Based Foreign Policy Needs to Go

Since 9/11, fear has become the basis for most of America’s foreign policy—and the lives of its citizens are worse because of it.

June 10, 2019

by Daniel L. Davis

The National Interest

In a recent interview with Axios, former National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster warned it was difficult “to overstate the threat of a nuclear North Korea,” and added that Donald Trump must “prepare for at least the option of the use of military force.” A sober and comprehensive analysis, however, shows such military-first views are common among Washington’s establishment thinking—and represent a failing school of thought: what can only accurately be called “fearism.”

Fear may be the most powerful of all human emotions. It can help us avoid serious harm—or it can be used to manipulate. Since 9/11, fear has become the basis for most of our foreign policy—and our lives are worse because of it. Fear of a given opponent, like McMaster’s claim against North Korea, is used to justify a worldview that posits the only way to keep our country safe from any enemy—real or presumed—is to use or threat to use lethal military power.

There is little to no effort placed in considering the circumstances surrounding said opponent, its history, its culture, the surrounding geopolitics, nor the balance of power between it and the United States.  In many cases, if a state we don’t like possesses the ability to even attack our country, fearism argues America should consider using military force to eliminate it. Also lacking in this worldview is a consideration of the intent of the target country or their capacity to successfully take on America.

Up through the end of the Cold War, America’s guiding foreign-policy philosophy had been realism, which sees the world as it is: anarchical, competitive, and dominated by states. Realism didn’t raise undue alarms over various threats because it recognized the United States’ strengths compared to rivals and the ability of other states to manage problems by balancing against threatening states.

As a result of the trauma of 9/11, we have abandoned that concept and replaced it with one predicated on fearing all opponents. This “fearism” all too often produces policies that are irrational and illogical—and perversely dissipates, not strengthens, our national security.

We fear terrorism. We fear what the Russians might one day do; what the Chinese might do; we are afraid of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela. But are those fears valid? Yes, some concern about each is valid—terrorism, for example, is a real threat from which we must defend ourselves—but the level of fear establishment thinkers offer is vastly overblown.

For eight years the Bush administration—and then Obama after him—intentionally sought to tie their global actions to an emotionally-charged issue they knew would elicit anxiety among the listeners—fear of “another 9/11!”—and quash any dissention. It worked. Anyone who dared question the overwhelming focus on counterterror operations was derided as weak on defense or worse. The only problem: the claims of those citing a major threat from terrorism were factually wrong.

The 2001 terror attacks barely had anything to do with the territory of Afghanistan and were mostly designed, as I recently chronicled in a Washington Times piece, “between the years 1993–98 while (mastermind Khalid Sheik Muhammed lived and traveled) in Sudan, Yemen, Malaysia, Brazil, India, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan”—and the operational preparation took place mostly in the United States. To claim we have to stay at war in Afghanistan forever to prevent “a new 9/11” is flatly wrong and is supported solely owing to an irrational fear.

A careful, comprehensive, and unemotional analysis of the full range of America’s soft and hard power, combined with an equally accurate assessment of any given opponent, conclusively proves that there are vastly superior and cost-effective ways to keep our country safe and prosperous. The best remedy to the bankrupt concept of fearism is the elevation of a new approach: what I call “constructive realism.”

Unlike fearism, constructive realism isn’t looking for any opportunity to use force—rather, it seeks to keep our country safe by avoiding unnecessary conflict.

It elevates diplomacy above the military instrument to defuse problems before they become acute. And critically, considers a foe’s intent and capacity to harm our country in comparison with U.S. power, not just whether they have certain weapons. If a careful analysis reveals that a given state may be antagonistic towards us but have neither the intent nor military capacity to successfully attack us, constructive realism would rely on our powerful deterrent to keep us safe and not enter into unwarranted and ultimately futile military operations.

To be effective in the perpetually chaotic, complex world, constructive realism provides an effective framework to guide U.S. foreign policy to achieve appropriate strategic objectives at an affordable cost. America’s core interests are those necessary for the government to fulfill its most sacred duties: defend its people, secure the rights and liberties of individual citizens, and fosters conditions which maximizes our ability to prosper as a nation.

To defend these core interests, we should establish and maintain the following strategic objectives as a minimum: 1) provide for the common defense by maintaining a powerful, modern Armed Forces that can protect against attack from any opponent; 2) prioritize productive, constructive engagement in our relations with other global players, which means a greater emphasis on shrewd diplomacy to achieve win-win outcomes wherever possible; and 3) facilitate and maintain peace to the maximum extent possible.

To accomplish these objectives, senior leaders must conduct an unemotional assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of various foreign entities, ascertain whether they intend to be cooperative, antagonistic, or neutral towards the United States, and compare that with America’s economic, diplomatic, and military capabilities. Our leaders will then be able to select appropriate policies for individual actors to best accomplish each of our objectives. Here’s what that would look like in the real world.

Conventional, establishment Washington thinking holds that the greatest threats to U.S. national security today are Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China. The prevailing theory is that the only language these countries understand is brute force, and thus we routinely communicate our willingness to use lethal military action against any adversary to compel compliance to our policy preferences, regardless of this approach’s track record of failure.

What should be the most obvious is that neither individuals nor governments react positively to constant threats. If Washington constantly demonstrates its willingness to use force to get its way, the result too often is to harden an adversary’s resolve, not to realign their policies with U.S. interests, as diplomacy seeks to do. No one in the world doubts our ability and willingness to use lethal military force—the large number of our current and perpetual wars confirm this.

Recognizing America’s unparalleled geostrategic position—prosperous, dynamic economy; strongest military; robust nuclear deterrent; favorable geography and weak neighbors—the United States is free to change the nature of our engagement with key players in the world in ways that improve our national security and enhance our global economic prospects. Here are a few key examples:

North Korea: Kim Jong-un does not want to go to war with the United States. He has zero intention of ever using his arsenal in an offensive strike against either the United States or any of our allies. He does desire to formally end the Korean war, seek closer political and economic ties with South Korea, and to see his domestic economy expand. Trying to demand full denuclearization up front is guaranteed to fail. The best way to ensure our security is to facilitate reconciliation between South and North Korea, reduce tensions so no party feels threatened, and over time work towards disarmament.

Iran: Emotions aside, Iran does not represent a security threat to the United States that can’t be deterred with our normal nuclear and conventional military posture. They are a middling, regional power, but they are more than balanced by other Middle Eastern powers. Our European allies, Russia, and China are still parties, along with Iran, to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and would support either a mutually beneficial expanded agreement or revitalized diplomatic engagement from Washington. Bottom line: military force is the absolute worst way to check Iran’s influence and the most likely to fail.

Russia: Russia is not the Soviet Union. It doesn’t have a massive land army, powerful air force, or a large modern navy. It is the economic equivalent of Italy. They do not have the ability to project power into Western Europe and pose no direct conventional threat to America at all. They do, however, possess the ability to destroy us with nuclear weapons and thus it is in our interest to maintain productive relations with them. Our conventional and nuclear deterrent ensures we don’t need to fear an unprovoked attack.

China: Beijing is a rising economic and defensive military power. In addition to economic opportunity, it seeks elbow room in its own backyard and security from external attack. Its “A2/AD”—anti-access, area denial—military investments are expressly designed to defend the Chinese mainland from attack. They pose no offensive threat to its neighbors, let alone the United States. Like the United States, China shares an interest in avoiding war. We do hundreds of billions in trade with China each year, and with firm but fair diplomatic engagement, we have the potential to increase economic opportunity for American business

The path is open to us to abandon the destructive, reactionary strategy of fearism and replace it with a stronger, more effective alternative: constructive realism. The security and economic vitality of our nation may lie in the balance: either maintain the fear-based foreign policy that has served us so poorly since 9/11 or adjust our grand strategy to match today’s world and today’s security challenges—U.S. prosperity awaits.

 

President Trump instructed aides to lie about “devastating” poll results: report

At least one aide likely disobeyed these orders by leaking the details to the media

June 11, 2019

by Cody Fenwick

Salon

As I’ve been reporting, multiple state-level polls and national approval ratings paint a dismal image of Trump’s re-election chances at the moment, especially given the relative strength of the economy. I’ve argued that, while hardly definitive or even predictive at this stage in the race, this data suggests that Trump has much more of an uphill battle to fight on the way to 2020 than conventional wisdom suggests.

And according to a new report from the New York Times, the Trump campaign’s internal polling presents a starkly similar picture.

It’s so bad, in fact, that the president reportedly told his aides to lie about the poll results:

After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win, even though he is also trailing in public polls from key states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And when top-line details of the polling leaked, including numbers showing the president lagging in a cluster of critical Rust Belt states, Mr. Trump instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well.

Not explicitly mentioned in the report is the clear fact that at least one aide likely disobeyed these orders by leaking the details to the Times.

Of course, Trump was polling pretty terribly throughout all of 2016 — and yet still pulled of victory by a tiny margin — so nothing is set in stone. But it’s clear Team Trump has reasons to be worried. Separate reports have found that Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner is also worried about the campaign’s fundraising.

The new report also found that Trump has little interest in his own campaign. Told about the millions spent on online advertising, he was more interested in TV ads, the report said. And while he reportedly wants to oversee the campaign’s music list, he’s uninterested in the campaign budget.

What does he like to focus on when it comes to 2020? Attacking former Vice President Joe Biden.

“He has tried workshopping versions of those critiques as Twitter attacks, referring to Mr. Biden as ‘sleepy’ and ‘swampman,’ and blaming him for the 1994 crime bill that critics say increased mass incarceration,” the report said. “West Wing aides have been discussing another criminal justice reform event as a vehicle to underscore Mr. Biden’s support of the crime bill.”

 

Trumpian money laundering and tax frauds

June 12, 2019

In May 2019  anti-money laundering specialists in the bank detected what appeared to be suspicious transactions involving entities controlled by Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, for which they recommended filing suspicious activity reports with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department, but bank executives rejected the recommendations.

One specialist noted money moving from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals and flagged it in part because of the bank’s previous involvement in a Russian money laundering scheme.

Andrey Kostin (1979–2011), a Russian banker and son of Andrey Kostin who is the President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, graduated from the Russian Government Finance Academy in 2000 and began working with Deutsche Bank’s London office in 2000 From 2002–2007, the younger Andrey Kostin worked in Deutsche Bank’s Office of Interbank and Corporate Sales in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In April 2007, Anshu Jain sent the younger Andrey Kostin to work at Deutsche Bank’s Moscow office. While he was at Deutsche Bank’s Moscow office, the Moscow office began posting profits of $500 million to $1 billion a year.He served on its management board beginning July 2008 and was the deputy chairman of the management board from February 2011. On July 2, 2011, at 7:30 a.m., while he was at a vacation retreat reserved for FSB personnel, he tragically died when his Can-Am Outlander-800 ATV crashed into a tree along a country road near Pereslavl-Zalessky and the village of Los in the Yaroslavl region of Russia He was not wearing a helmet

Donald Trump has pursued business deals in Russia since 1987, and has sometimes traveled there to explore potential business opportunities. In 1996, Trump trademark applications were submitted for potential Russian real estate development deals. Mr.Trump’s partners and children have repeatedly visited Moscow, connecting with developers and government officials to explore joint venture opportunities. Mr.Trump was never able to successfully conclude any real estate deals in Russia. However, individual Russians have invested heavily in Trump properties, and following Mr.Trump’s bankruptcies in the 1990s he borrowed money from Russian sources. In 2008 his son Donald Trump Jr. said that Russia was an important source of money for the Trump businesses.

In 1996 Mr.Trump partnered with Liggett-Ducat, a small company, and planned to build an upscale residential development on a Liggett-Ducat property in Moscow. Trump commissioned New York architect Ted Liebman, who did the sketches.

In 1987 Mr.Trump visited Russia to investigate developing a hotel

In Russia, Mr.Trump promoted the proposal and acclaimed the Russian economic market. At a news conference reported by The Moscow Times, Mr.Trump said he hadn’t been “as impressed with the potential of a city as I have been with Moscow” in contrast to other cities had visited “all over the world.

By this time, Mr.Trump made known his desire to build in Moscow to government officials for almost ten years ranging from the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev (they first met in Washington in 1987) to the military figure Alexander Lebed.

Moscow’s mayor, Yuri M. Luzhkov, showed Trump plans for a very large shopping mall to be located underground in the vicinity of the Kremlin. The mayor complimented Mr.Trump’s suggestion that this mall should have access to the Moscow Metro, and it was eventually connected to the Okhotny Ryad station. Although the 1996 residential development did not happen, Mr.Trump was by this time well known in Russia.

Between 2000–2010, Mr.Trump entered into a partnership with a development company headquartered in New York represented by a Russian immigrant, Felix Sater. During this period, they partnered for an assortment of deals that included building Trump towers internationally and Russia was included. For example, in 2005 Slater acted as an agent for building a Trump tower alongside Moscow River with letters of intent in hand and “square footage was being analyzed.”

In 2006, Mr.Trump’s children Donald Jr. and Ivanka stayed in the Hotel National, Moscow for several days, across from the Kremlin, to interview prospective partners, with the intention of formulating real estate development projects.

Sater had also traveled to Moscow with Mr. Trump, his wife Ivanka and son Donald Jr.

Mr. Trump was associated with Tevfik Arif, formerly a Soviet commerce official and founder of a development company called the Bayrock Group, of which Sater was also a partner.

Bayrock searched for deals in Russia while Trump Towers company were attempting to further expand in the United States. Mr. Sater said, “We looked at some very, very large properties in Russia,” on the scale of “…a large Vegas high-rise.”

In 2007, Bayrock organized a potential deal in Moscow between Trump International Hotel and Russian investors

During 2006–2008 Mr.Trump’s company applied for a number of trademarks in Russia with the goal of real estate developments. These trademark applications include: Trump, Trump Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Trump Home.

In 2008, Mr. Trump spoke at a Manhattan real estate conference, stating that he really prefered Moscow over all cities in the world and that within 18 months he had been in Russia a half-dozen times.

Mr.Trump had received large and undisclosed payments over 10 years from Russians for hotel rooms, rounds of golf, or Trump-licensed products such as wine, ties, or mattresses, which would not have been identified as coming from Russian sources in the tax returns

 

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Sallie Bernard

SafeMinds is an advocacy group dedicated (to a large extent) to antivaxx lobbying and, in particular, to the utterly discredited hypothesis that mercury causes autism. And, for people with little aptitude for scientific evidence, little time for critical thinking, and a stake in the outcome, no study, however rigorous, is going to change their minds (as the name suggests, the group is entirely impervious to evidence).

Sallie Bernard is the executive director of SafeMinds, and a committed promoter of denialism and pseudoscience. A fine case in point is her comments on an article concerning a seven-year study of 1,047 children who received mercury-containing vaccines as infants funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention – which, of course, found no indication of developmental delays. As the authors of the study pointed out, “[a] majority of the selected families declined to participate or could not be located, and we were able to enroll only 30% of the subjects included for recruitment. Therefore, our findings may have been influenced by selection bias.” Bernard interpreted this as meaning that the study was biased and worthless. Of course, as the authors point out, the selection bias would almost certainly have biased the study in favor of harm, but Bernard missed that. And Bernard was, in fact, a consultant for the study and helped contribute to its design; but you know: when it nevertheless failed to show what she had already determined that it ought to show, what can she do?

Most of her errors are, however, even more obvious. When a major report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), entitled “Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality” showed that vaccines are safe, she went full Orwellian (including conspiracy mongering), once again demonstrating that no evidence, study or science will ever, no matter what, make her and her organization change their mind about the alleged causal links between mercury and autism. After all, Bernard herself published a rather infamous paper supporting a link in the pseudojournal (yes!) Medical Hypotheses back in 2001. And yes, her tactics are the same as always: conspiracies, shifting goalposts and pharma shill gambits abound.

Diagnosis: A major player in the anti-vaccine movement, Bernard makes sure to employ all the familiar canards, all the obfuscation, and a complete lack of criticial thinking skills to dismiss any evidence (i.e. all evidence) against what she very zealously believes for reasons that have little to do with evidence. Dangerous mumpsimus.

Paul G. Humber

Paul G. Humber is the director of CR Ministries and author of things like 400+ Prophecies, Appearances, or Foreshadowings of Christ in the Tanakh and Evolution Exposed. Humber is, of course, a young-earth creationist, and has also penned articles for the Institute of Creation Research and Creation Matters, the newsletter of the Creation Research Society (both organization apparently put “Research” in their name since otherwise no one would ever have guessed that this is what they think they are doing).

Well, Humber’s writings on science contain the usual tropes, appeal to the Bible, obvious lack of expertise and rank denialism, and we’ll limit ourselves to an example: One obvious problem for young-earth creationists is radioactive decay, which rather clearly, uh, suggests that the Earth is somewhat older than they’d like to think. Their solution is of course to (completely out of the blue) assert that radioactive decay isn’t constant but happened much faster in the past. So here’s Humber:

“[C]onsider Deuteronomy 32:22 – ‘For a fire is kindled by My anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of mountains.’ This verse may point us in the direction that radioactive decay is a physical manifestation of God’s anger against evil, affecting even biological life. Prior to the Noachian flood, mankind lived much longer. His lifespan has diminished substantially since the flood. Also, even though Noah might well have had some immature dinosaurs on the ark, their nearly total extinction following the flood seems obvious. This also holds with respect to many other animals that have become extinct.”

Or put differently: radioactive decay can’t be used to measure the age of anything, but is instead a measure of how angry God is at any moment. It’s hard to express how mind-boggling it is that anyone above the age of 7 can write this with a straight face and expect to be taken seriously (it’s at the level of “rain is angels relieving themselves”), but at least it entails that God is much less angry these days and accordingly unlikely to be overly concerned with gay marriage, abortion or transgender people using their bathroom of choice.

Diagnosis: Oh, you silly duck. All the facepalms in the world wouldn’t reflect how crazy and silly Humber’s pseudoscientific babbling is, yet he is apparently viewed as an authority in certain quarters.

John Best

A minor but rather obnoxious conspiracy theorist, John Best is the guy behind the blog Hating Autism, in which he denies the existence of autism and argues that the condition can be cured through various types of woo. Best believes that autism is the same as mercury poisoning, which according to him became epidemic with the invention of thimerosal – in cases of autism where thimerosal-preserved vaccines were demonstrably not given, Best blames dental amalgam fillings, which is possibly even sillier (though not by much). The cure for mercury poisoning, according to Best, is chelation, which is not the case but according to Best has produced immediate (but non-verified) results. Accordingly, he seems to view the Geiers as heroes, even though Mark Geier lost his license to practice medicine in several states due to his chelation therapy. And that, for Best, is one entry to insane conspiracy-land.

According to Best, the “truth about autism” is being hidden. Best claims that there exists a record of a meeting in 1999 where Big Pharma agreed to continue to poison children with vaccines – and that all politicians around the world are aware of this but paid off. He has accordingly called for the arrest of politicians by the FBI. He also subscribes to Illuminati and Rothschild family conspiracy theories, to the extent that even the loons at Age of Autism have been somewhat wary of allying themselves to him – Best has accordingly accused them of supporting the continued poisoning of children by failing to act on his conspiracies.

After the Sandy Hook shootings, Best speculated that the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, had Asperger’s syndrome and subsequently that everyone with Asperger’s syndrome were potential “psycho killers” that should be forcibly cured via chelation. He also blamed the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and President Obama for the shootings because they don’t listen to him.

He has furthermore tried to ask his readers to vote for him as President of the US and for Senate, but unfortunately mainstream media is corrupt and won’t give him a voice.

Diagnosis: A minor but particularly vicious player on the nonsense side. His influence is probably limited.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

June 12, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

 

Conversation No. 26

Date: Wednesday, July 24,1996

Commenced: 10:45 AM CST

Concluded: 11:10 AM CST

 

RTC: I found a very interesting report in the files when I was looking for something else. I misfiled it some time ago. Anyway, Gregory, I thought I would send it to you but I must say that it is highly sensitive and if you publish anything on or about it, you might have very serious problems.

GD: More CIA assassinations?

RTC: No, actually, this has nothing to do with the CIA. We know about the subject but it isn’t really in our field and we want nothing to do with it. This is about…I think we have talked about the subject before. Vanishing people, flying saucers and so on.

GD: I believe so. Do go on.

RTC: Well, you’ll have the report next week, or whenever Greg gets to the local post office…I mean it runs to about a hundred or more pages. Otherwise, I could stick it into an envelope and leave it for the local route man. And there it is. Absolutely pure science fiction but in this case, or rather these cases, science facts. I may have told you about one of our top people who just vanished while walking down his driveway? Well, there is a lot more. We may have talked about the Roswell business and we can get back to that later but the most interesting item in the file is about the woman who was jaywalking in New York and was hit by some minority trying to escape from the police. Terrible impact and knocked her up onto the sidewalk. Right next to a hospital so she was rushed there but died there at once or more likely was killed by the impact. So, when they did an autopsy on her, they were lucky because they got right on to her, or whatever it was, and that was good because about two hours later, after the body cooled off, it turned to a sort of jelly. But, this is the fascinating part. It looked like a woman from the outside but once they cut into her, it wasn’t a woman.

GD: It was a transvestite?

RTC: No, it wasn’t human. The insides were all different. None of the staff had ever seen anything like it before so they photographed the body and took out what they hoped might be some kind of organs. Didn’t do any good because, like the body, the pieces all turned to jelly in the jars. But there are the affidavits and the photographs plus the police report of the accident and the emergency room people. Not human. What it was, no one knows, not to this day. Fortunately for everyone, one of the doctors was an Air Force reserve officer and he made a call. There was a descent on the hospital and everyone was grilled and terrified. One set of the pictures was saved by accident and we got it. And next week, you can have it, if the USPS doesn’t deliver it to Gambon in error. We had no idea what the whole thing was about but we talked with the Air Force people and they know all about such things. They did their Bluebook project on saucers. They do know, Gregory, but we never will.

GD: Why not?

RTC: You ask a question like that? Orson Wells’ program? Why the issue is national panic, that’s why not. Harry Truman could see this and the Roswell business and other things were all shut up and the press fed with reams of fake sightings and they got their in-house historians to write satires on the little green men. And even now, they encourage the nut fringe to publish silly crap and engage in hair pulling contests, just to keep the public looking at other things. Panic, Gregory. Tens of thousands of people vanish each year without any trace. We got the transistor from the Roswell wreck and the Air Force says at least 5% of all flying saucer sightings are real. And the non-humans walking around. My God, can you imagine the resurrection of the Salem witch trials is the air-brained public ever got it into their fuzzy heads that there were aliens running around the streets? And I don’t mean Guatemalan housemaids or Mexican gardeners either. No, royal panic. The public would demand answers and no one in authority can give them.

GD: Oh, they can just make something reasonable up and get it on the front page of the New York Times and then it’s all quiet on the western front.

RTC: Yes, that’s the usual drill but that might apply to sightings of strange celestial crockery but the thought that something sitting next to you on the bus might be something sinister from another galaxy would cause a royal uproar. No one here wants to deal with such things so they are best forgotten or better still, never talked about in the first place.

GD: I remember uncovering a story in July of ’76 about the Legionnaire’s Disease in Philly. I don’t know who was behind it but it was no accident. I got ABC interested in it and they did one, and only one, story on the air and then were shut up from way on high.

RTC: That was a little mistake from the Ft. Detrick people. The perp was terminated.

GD: So were some old geeks.

RTC: Collateral damage. Yes, I know about that and I laugh every time they mention in the media that it broke out again. Keeps the ball rolling. But the visiting aliens are another matter.

GD: Oh, I understand that. The public would run around like drunken chickens and every nut in the country would be jabbering about his own nut version and of course people would point out homeless eccentrics or, more likely, unwanted neighbors or personal enemies and the public would lynch them.

RTC: That’s the problem.

GD: Is there a solution?

RTC: As I understand it, a number of our agencies have been very quietly working on this visitation business for some time. The problem is that we can’t just send out flyers to hospitals or morgues without it getting out but I would be obvious that if they found something similar, the local press would be alerted and the story might, just possibly might, get out. Ah well, I have mixed emotions about sending this to you and you do assure me you won’t copy any of this or write about it?

GD: Are you joking, Robert? My God, the flying saucer nuts are almost as bad as the Kennedy assassination lunatics. If I published anything that one of them didn’t dream up in some psych ward when the meds ran out, they would gang up on me, screeching like Irish banshees. I’ve been thinking about doing something on the Kennedy business…..

RTC: But after I am no longer around. We agreed on this…

GD: Of course. No, I anticipate the screeching and clawing if I do. And if I ever hinted that there are non-humans among us and, better still, if I could even come close to proving it, my God, not only would the Air Force strafe my house at night but an army of the Undead conspiracy nutties would camp on my lawn and shit all over the grass. But is it interesting all in all. I mean, who, or what, are these things? Are they just doing on the ground recon? Are they going to run one of their people for high office? Are they collecting toads to experiment on? Colonists?

RTC: We could go on for days but in the end, I doubt if we’ll ever know.

GD: I suppose if someone at a Burger King saw an old woman’s three foot long black tongue shoot out of her mouth and snatch a Whopper off of a tray we might have problems.

RTC: There would be a descent of the sanitizing people and a few obits in the local paper. The old lady with the frog tongue would be long gone and so would any witnesses, believe me.

GD: This is a weird conversation Robert, believe me..

RTC: Well, you can see why things like this never get any meaningful press, can’t you. If some farmer started talking about some giant frog eating his horses, everyone would laugh at the really funny AP article on page thirty and that would be the end of it.

GD: Probably would be.  But what do your people think about all of this?

RTC: That there are aliens among us and that flying saucers are about 98% real. And we know that people vanish from the sight of man but then why frighten ourselves unnecessarily, Gregory?

GD: Yes, we can go the beach and watch all the legions of fatties waddling around the sand, crushing small children and blocking out the sun for thousands of others.

RTC: Gregory, I thank God I am not fat or I might find you offensive.

GD: So many others do, Robert. How did they know the thing was a woman?

RTC: It had no cock and a pair of tits.

GD: To the point. Sounds like people I know. Turns to jelly, does it? Why back to  the subject of fatties at the beach, so many people turn to jelly after twenty five. If we could harvest the fat, flense them at it were, we could make up for any international oil shortfall. And if Malthus was right, and I know he was, when the great hunger comes, why this country will have whole ciities full of the hefties they can harvest. I saw a woman the other day and I swear, one of her mostrrous thighs could feed a family of five for a month. For a month, Robert. With a decent sauce, of course. Why the Filipinos eat monkeys but I think that’s more like cannibalism than anything else.

RTC: Your unkindness knows no borders. But to return to reality, Gregory, you understand the dynamics here, don’t you?

GD: More or less. A friend of mine, an anchor person for a television station in San Francisco told me once that if they knew to the hour when a major earthquake would strike Los Angeles, and it will, the state would quietly evacuate people they considered important and wait for the rest to happen. Not cruelty but pragmatism. There would be a huge panic, suicides, looting, rapes, arson and other manifestations of human vileness and the death tolls from these would far transcend those from a major quake. No, I understand the concept. ‘Where every prospect pleases and only man is vile.’

RTC: Have you ever considered going into the ministry, Gregory?

GD: The Ministry of Defense?

RTC: No, that’s not what I had in mind.

GD: I can put my shirt on backward and collect for the poor. Since I’m poor, it wouldn’t bother me at all.

 

(Concluded at 11:10 AM CST)

 

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

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