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TBR News May 24, 2019

May 24 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 24, 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 May 24;”One hears, because one works in the White House, that Trump is becoming increasingly erratic. One day he is going to nuke Iran but the next day he wants to talk with them. He claims he is not sending troops to the area one day and the next, he brags about the troops is is sending to the area. He is terrified that a growing hostile Congress will get its hands on his bank account in Germany.

Why is this?

Because Russian intelligence paid a large sum of bribe money into their German bank account and the bank, then under the control of the CIA, immediately “loaned it” to Trump.

An employee of the bank noticed this, tipped off the German State Attorney’s office and from there copies went to the US.

If this is proven, it will be the end of Donald Trump as President of the United States, believe me, hence his panic.

The wicked may flee where none persueth but in this case many are gathering for a Presidential fox hunt. Trump will be the fox.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Trump v Pelosi: how a ‘stable genius’ president met his match
  • Trump’s cognitive deficits seem worse. We need to know if he has dementia: Psychologist
  • Conservatives Issue a Clarion Call on Trump’s Mental Health
  • Trump says will consider pardons for U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes
  • The Indictment of Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act Is a Threat to the Press and the American People
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The Empire in Collapse
  • Democracy has been hijacked by white men’: how minority rule now grips America
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Trump v Pelosi: how a ‘stable genius’ president met his match

With calls for an intervention on his behalf, the House speaker has knocked an ‘extremely calm’ leader off balance

May 24, 2019

by Ed Pilkington in New York

The Guardian

It has been almost four years since Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign from the gilded escalator of Trump Tower. In that time he has come to be feared by Democrats and Republicans alike for his personal attacks that always seem to supremely rile his opponents.

Now he has finally met his match.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, has spent the past 48 hours doing to Trump what he has done to so many others. She lifted up his skin, got under it, and began scratching furiously.

Asked at her weekly news conference on Thursday whether she was concerned about the president’s well-being, she replied: “I am,” adding she was also concerned about “the wellbeing of the United States of America”.

And then she delivered the coup de grace: “I wish that his family or his administration or staff would have an intervention for the good of the country. Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence.”

Coming on top of the previous day’s goading, in which Trump angrily flounced out of a White House meeting with her after Pelosi had accused him of being “engaged in a coverup”, the House speaker’s call for an intervention appeared to hit its mark.

Trump responded on Thursday by going on what can only be described as a Pelosi rant, at a White House event for farmers and ranchers. He began by showing the nation that he was in full possession of his faculties, contrary to the House speaker’s insinuation, by proclaiming: “I am an extremely stable genius.”

Then he proceeded to counter Pelosi’s claim that he had “flipped out” and had a “tempter tantrum” at Wednesday’s aborted meeting by insisting he had been calm. “I was so calm. I was extremely calm.”

Lest there was any remaining doubt that he was entirely calm in the face of Pelosi’s provocations, he paraded in front of the cameras a long line of White House staffers including his counselor Kellyanne Conway, strategic communications chief Mercedes Schlapp, press secretary Sarah Sanders and others and invited them to provide eye-witness accounts of his calmness.

Conway: “Very calm … you were very calm.”

Sanders: “Very calm.”

Schlapp: “You were very calm.”

“I couldn’t have been more calm,” Trump concluded. In the course of the function Trump had uttered the word “calm” in a preternaturally calm voice to America’s bemused farmers and ranchers no fewer than nine times.

Until this point in their fractious relationship, the US president has remained, by his standards, relatively respectful of Pelosi, sparing her the “Lyin’ Ted”and “Crooked Hillary” jibes he has inflicted on hundreds of his perceived adversaries. But as a further indication of the effectiveness of the Pelosi taunt, he let rip on her on Thursday.

“She’s a mess … she’s disintegrating,” he said. “I’ve been watching her for a long time. She’s not the same person. She’s lost it.”

Then he called her “Crazy Nancy” before immediately regretting it. “I don’t want to say ‘Crazy Nancy’ because if I say that you’re going to say it’s a copy of ‘Crazy Bernie’ and that’s no good.”

These past four years America and the world has got used to Trump forcibly having the last word. Not any more.

By end of play Thursday, Pelosi had logged on to Twitter – the social media platform of which Trump was supposed to be “master” – and scratched her nails under his skin one more time. “When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues,” she wrote.

Now what, Mr President?

 

 

Trump’s cognitive deficits seem worse. We need to know if he has dementia: Psychologist

April 9, 2019

by John Gartner,

usa today

We see signs that the president’s abilities are declining, but the only way to find out for sure is to give him a full neuropsychological evaluation.

If Donald Trump were your father, you would run, not walk, to a neurologist for an evaluation of his cognitive health. You don’t have to be a doctor to see something is very wrong. “He reminds me of Uncle Bruce in so many ways,” said my aunt, who nursed her brother through Alzheimer’s disease. Joe Scarborough, who has known Trump for years, said in 2017 that Trump’s mental confusion reminded him of his mother, who had Alzheimer’s for 10 years. “It’s getting worse, and not a single person who works for him doesn’t know he has early signs of dementia,” he said of Trump last year on his MSNBC show.

To mental health professionals like me, the red flags are waving wildly. In January 2018, over 70 of us wrote a letter to the president’s physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, urging him to administer a cognitive exam during the president’s physical because we had seen a marked deterioration in his verbal functioning, possibly due to cognitive decline.

In fact, Dr. Jackson did administer the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a screening tool for dementia, and Trump passed. But while Trump bragged that this proved his superior intelligence, this 10-minute screening test, where one must identify a camel, draw a clock and repeat three numbers backwards, only ruled out full-blown dementia.

We argued in a subsequent op-ed that these findings did not rule out the early stages of dementia. We also predicted that if this was organic cognitive decline, it would continue to get worse. And since that op-ed, more than a year ago, it has gotten worse.

Confusing people and generations

Memory loss is the symptom most closely associated with Alzheimer’s. While Trump famously forgets the names of people (as he did recently when he called Apple CEO Tim Cook “Tim Apple”) and places (as when he called Paradise, California, “Pleasure”), one could make allowances for such gaffes. More troubling, Michael Wolff reported in “Fire and Fury” that at the end of 2017, Trump failed to recognize “a succession of old friends” at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump, 72, seemed to hit a new inflection point last week when he said, “My father is German. Right? Was German. And born in a very wonderful place in Germany.” In fact, his father was born in the Bronx and it was his grandfather who was from Germany.

Dementia Care International says a “person may start to mix up relationships and generations” in the second stage of dementia.

One day, when my Uncle Bruce was agitated, he cried out for me saying, “Call John. He’s a rich lawyer. He’ll know what to do” — even though it was my father who was the lawyer, not me. That was not in the early phase of the illness. That incident took place a few months before Uncle Bruce was forced to enter the nursing home.

Capsicles and mishiz and midtowm elections

In Alzheimer’s, as language skills deteriorate, we see two types of tell-tale speech disorders, or paraphasias:

Semantic paraphasia involves choosing the incorrect words. For instance, after Attorney General William Barr released a letter on the Mueller report, Trump said: “I hope they now go and take a  look at the oranges, the oranges of that investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.”

Phonemic paraphasia, which is linked to the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer’s, is described as “the substitution of a word with a nonword that preserves at least half of the segments and/or number of syllables of the intended word.” For example, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu becomes “Betanyahu,” big league becomes “bigly,” anonymous becomes “enenamas” or “anenomynous,” renovation becomes “renoversh,” missiles become “mishiz,” space capsule becomes “capsicle,” midterm elections become “midtowm” and “midturn” elections, and Christmas becomes “Chrissus.”

Trump’s speech patterns appear even more disordered when you go beyond the sound bite and look at a whole speech. He careens from one thought to the next in a parade of non sequiturs, frequently interrupting himself in the middle of a sentence to veer into another free association. When commentators described his two-hour  speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month as “unhinged,” they were referring in large part to this quality.

CPAC speech underscored need for assessment

At its extreme, this is called tangential speech. As psychologist Ben Michaelis told Stat, doctors evaluating for Alzheimer’s listen for tangential remarks and non sequiturs and whether the patient can stay on topic.

You had to listen to Trump’s whole CPAC speech to realize just how tangential it was. “Those who learned about the speech from glancing at mainstream news headlines the next morning would have no idea how flat-out bonkers the whole thing was … even by Trumpian standards,” Amanda Marcotte wrote in Salon. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson said Trump “gave a rambling and incoherent two-hour speech in which he raved like a lunatic.”

Americans have a right, indeed an urgent need, to know whether their president is suffering from dementia. We see clear signs that he is, but the only way to find out for sure is to give him a full neuropsychological evaluation and share the results with the American public. The need is more screamingly obvious now than it was a when we first called for it over a year ago.

John Gartner is a psychologist and a former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

 

Conservatives Issue a Clarion Call on Trump’s Mental Health

March 19, 2019

by Nancy LeTourneau

Washington Journal

Given what we know about Donald Trump and the presidency, I have been suggesting for a long time that his mental status will not get any better and can only get worse. As that prediction materializes, the president’s behavior has triggered several conservatives to issue warnings about his deteriorating mental health.

The most comprehensive comes from Peter Wehner, who served under three Republican presidents and is now a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank. Reacting to some of Trump’s more inflammatory tweets over the weekend, Wehner refers to the president as “a damaged soul with a disordered personality.”

It doesn’t take a person with an advanced degree in psychology to see Trump’s narcissism and lack of empathy, his vindictiveness and pathological lying, his impulsivity and callousness, his inability to be guided by norms, or his shamelessness and dehumanization of those who do not abide his wishes. His condition is getting worse, not better—and there are now fewer people in the administration able to contain the president and act as a check on his worst impulses…

Whether the worst scenarios come to pass or not is right now unknowable. But what we do know is that the president is a person who seems to draw energy and purpose from maliciousness and transgressive acts, from creating enmity among people of different races, religions, and backgrounds, and from attacking the weak, the honorable, and even the dead.

Donald Trump is not well, and as long as he is president, our nation is not safe.

Leading the charge of conservatives commenting on the president’s mental health is George Conway. Right now he is best known as the husband of Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump. But he also made a name for himself by representing Paula Jones in her lawsuit against Bill Clinton. Conway has been expressing his concerns about the president recently on Twitter. This was the end of a stream where he reacted to some of Trump’s lies.

Conway tweeted the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and asked, “Tell us, @realDonaldTrump—which of these diagnostic criteria do you not satisfy?” To explain, he tweeted a link to an article in Rolling Stone titled, “Trump’s Mental Health: Is Pathological Narcissism the Key to Trump’s Behavior?”

At one point, Conway teamed up with Bill Kristol to express his concern.

Jennifer Rubin joined the bandwagon.

Whether meant seriously or not, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s alleged consideration of the 25th Amendment seems, in retrospect, not to have been irrational at all. Since President Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as FBI director and the appointment of a special counsel, Trump’s mental and emotional health has seemed to fray. The pace of lies and nonsensical accusations, the resort to conspiracy theories and refusal to conduct himself like an adult (let alone the president) often pick up in the wake of bad news from the special counsel and widespread criticism of the president’s unhinged behavior. So it was this weekend following his refusal to directly condemn white nationalism in the wake of the New Zealand massacre and the defection of 12 Senate Republicans last week on the resolution repealing the emergency declaration.

These are not warnings coming from partisans seeking to undermine the opposition. Instead, they are clarion calls from conservatives to Republicans currently in office and those serving in Trump’s cabinet to take the situation seriously, before it’s too late.

 

Trump says will consider pardons for U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes

May 24, 2019

by Roberta Rampton

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardons for “two or three” U.S. soldiers charged with war crimes, a move he said would be controversial but justified because he said they had been treated “unfairly.”

Trump told reporters at the White House that he has not decided yet on the cases, and said he may wait until after the men accused of the war crimes go through trials before determining whether to pardon them.

“Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard, long. You know, we teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight sometime, they get really treated very unfairly,” Trump said. He did not identify the cases he was reviewing.

The New York Times reported on May 18 that Trump had asked for paperwork on the possible pardons to be prepared ahead of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, which falls on Monday.

One of the cases was believed to be Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a decorated Navy SEAL charged with war crimes in Iraq. His trial was delayed this week.

Gallagher has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer told Reuters he had not asked for a pardon and Gallagher declined to comment on the prospect of a pardon when asked by reporters in court.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

 

The Indictment of Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act Is a Threat to the Press and the American People

May 24, 2019

by James Risen

The Intercept

A true democracy does not allow its government to decide who is a journalist. A nation in which a leader gets to make that decision is on the road to dictatorship.

That is why the new U.S. indictment of Julian Assange is so dangerous to liberty in America.

The Trump administration has charged Assange under the Espionage Act for conspiring to leak classified documents. The indictment, released yesterday, focuses on his alleged efforts to encourage former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents to him and WikiLeaks about a decade ago.

Many of those documents, including U.S. military reports and State Department cables, were later published by WikiLeaks, but they were also the basis of reporting by major news organizations like the New York Times and The Guardian, which published some of them. The Manning leaks helped reveal long-hidden truths about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the post-9/11 global war on terror. Among the most striking leaks were a classified video of U.S. military attack helicopters killing a dozen people, including two Reuters staffers, in Baghdad in 2007, as well as the more than 250,000 State Department cables, which continue to be an important reference for reporters and researchers studying U.S. foreign policy.

The Manning documents also turned WikiLeaks into a strange new player in the modern journalistic ecosystem. WikiLeaks would obtain materials from sources inside governments and other organizations and then disseminate them, either by publishing them itself or by sharing them with major news organizations. WikiLeaks served as an intermediary between sources and reporters.

Does that make Assange, its founder, a journalist? A debate over that question has raged ever since and has never been resolved.

Journalists don’t want the government to settle this question — and Americans shouldn’t either. If the government gets to decide what constitutes journalism, what’s to stop it from making similar rulings about any outlet whose coverage it doesn’t like?

The indictment says that Assange and WikiLeaks “repeatedly sought, obtained, and disseminated information that the United States classified due to the serious risk that unauthorized disclosure could harm the national security of the United States.”

That is almost a textbook definition of the job of a reporter covering national security at a major news organization. Take a look at the tips pages of most news outlets, and you’ll see a remarkable similarity between what journalists ask for and what WikiLeaks sought.

The indictment goes on to say that “WikiLeaks’s website explicitly solicited censored, otherwise restricted, and until September 2010, ‘classified’ materials.” Today, virtually every major news organization has a similar secure drop box where sources can provide information anonymously. WikiLeaks popularized that technique for soliciting anonymous leaks, but it is now common journalistic practice.

“Assange personally and publicly promoted WikiLeaks to encourage those with access to protected information, including classified information, to provide it to WikiLeaks for public disclosure,” the indictment says. Nearly every national security reporter goes on television, gives speeches, or launches book tours to promote their work and hopefully obtain new sources.

All of this raises an obvious question: If the government can charge Assange for conspiring to obtain leaked documents, what would stop it from charging the CIA beat reporter at the New York Times for committing the same crime?

The Obama administration began the government’s investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks over the Manning leaks, but the issue of how to distinguish between WikiLeaks and the rest of the media is generally thought to have given them pause.

The Trump administration has no such qualms. President Donald Trump sees the media as the enemy of the people; charging Assange opens the door for his Justice Department to go after the rest of the press corps.

The great irony, of course, is that Trump publicly declared his love for WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign, when WikiLeaks acted as a kind of intermediary between shadowy front entities put up by Russian intelligence and the U.S. media in the distribution of hacked emails and other documents from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.

Whether WikiLeaks and Assange knew they were getting the materials at least indirectly from Russian intelligence is still an open question. But there is no doubt that the New York Times, The Intercept, and other major media organizations largely ignored their provenance and instead lapped up the leaked materials and published them in the midst of the 2016 campaign.

The results were very good for Trump.

But the government’s case against Assange has nothing to do with his role in laundering documents stolen by Russian spies to help Trump win the 2016 election. Instead, it focuses on his earlier work, which brought new light to the dark corners of the war on terror.

The selective nature of the charges against Assange underscores the fact that this is a highly politicized case brought by a Justice Department now run by Trump lackey William Barr. Even as it pursues Assange for his role in producing groundbreaking journalism, Trump’s Justice Department is ignoring the one known instance when Assange actually worked, perhaps unwittingly, with a foreign intelligence service.

But given that exploring said angle would raise new questions about alleged links between Trump and Russia, it is exceedingly unlikely that this Justice Department would choose to go down that road. Instead, it’s going after the publication of classified documents that helped educate Americans about the conduct of their own government. All journalists — and all Americans— should be deeply worried about that.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Victor Martinez

Woody Martin’s “Blood of Jesus oil” is so daft it probably doesn’t even count as a scam, and doesn’t quite qualify him for an entry here. Victor Martinez is hardly a household name either, but he has some influence in UFO circles, and did for instance moderate the maillist that first broke the hilarious Project Serpo story, a poorly written science fiction story (and possibly intended as a hoax) about how a number of American astronauts visited the (fictional) planet Serpo in a spacecraft reverse engineered from the Roswell crash UFO in the 1950s by travelling 40 times the speed of light. (We’ve covered it before). Of course, many of the maillist’s subscribers, already on board with this kind of stuff, apparently accepted the story as detailing real events.

And Martinez himself is a true believer, who implores his readers not to be sidetracked by inconsistencies and nonsense in the story but rather focus on the bigger picture, “that twelve of our citizens from the United States of America embarked on a 13-year mission to live on another world. That’s where the focus should be – not on all of these petty, nit-picky details! [Like evidence, truth, coherence or physical possibility] That’s what everyone should be in awe of.” Awesomeness trumps veracity every time, apparently. Martinez trust the general veracity of the story because of the testimony of impeccable sources like Richard Doty, Whitley Strieber, who “claims to have met a surviving team member of Project Serpo in Florida,” and a number of conveniently anonymous source who ostensibly talked to an acquaintance of fellow UFO enthusiast Bill Ryan, who (the acquaintance) was “amazed that details were now being released” but doesn’t want his name revealed and would deny everything if asked. When your conspiracy is as far out as Project Serpo you’ll take the sources you can get; to Martinez the story is simply too amazing not to be true.

“Why the secrecy?” wonders Martinez – why is the government not willing to share the details of the mission with him and his followers? The answer, of course, is well withing reach, but we wager that Martinez will never figure it out. Instead, he is patiently waiting for “at least some major announcement regarding the UFO subject being made public;” some government person in power needs to step up since “most people need an authority figure to come out and say this-and-that […] because most people can’t think for themselves. In other words, they can’t weigh and evaluate the evidence on its own merits and come to a definitive conclusion on their own; they need someone to do it for them.

Diagnosis: Some people are indeed unable to “weigh and evaluate the evidence on its own merits”, but that obviously doesn’t tend to prevent them from coming “to a definitive conclusion on their own”. Martinez is at least relatively harmless.

Rodney Martin

Rodney Martin is a white supremacist, supporter of the National Alliance Reform & Restoration Group (NARRG) – a spinoff of the neo-nazi National Alliance – part of the American Nationalist Network, and anti-semitic conspiracy theorist. “There are all sorts of [degeneracy], porn, lowering the age of consent, prostitution […] The hand print of Jews are all over that sexual decadence in the United States … The whole homosexual agenda …which is pushed by Jews. Not only did Jews create NAACP to direct black action against white people, but they started a whole host of homosexual organizations to promote the homosexual agenda,” says Mar

As you’d expect, Martin is very much opposed to (liberal) immigration reform: “I think if they do, if they ramrod this amnesty bill through, then I think where I talked about the United States being a Soviet Union, I think overnight, we become Yugoslavia, and it becomes not a pretty picture,” said Martin, and claimed it is “genocide” (the referent of “it” being admittedly a bit unclear). Martin seems unsure about the meaning of – among other things – “overnight”.

Diagnosis: We apologize for the brevity of this post, but we cannot be bothered to delve too deeply into the kind of disgusting nonsense Martin is into. Stupid git. It would admittedly be a potential mistake to dismiss him as entirely harmless, however.

Donna Martonfi

You’re probably aware of backward masking, demon-possessed toys and tales of Satanic cults involving priests and presidents, but there are those for whom such things are all too mundane. Donna Martonfi, for instance, will freely tell you about that time 80-foot tall demons got into her house and swallowed her whole. And then there are these Satanic baby farms she knows about. Apparently the proper response to these stories is to be scared and send her mone

Martonfi – might be pseudonym – runs the website Psalm 40 ministries, where she for instance laments the fact that even Christians won’t recognize that Santa and his elfs are a devious ploy to replace Jesus at Christmas time (“Hark the Harold Angels CRINGE”) is the unintentionally apt title of the article) and how the intrusion of superheroes, who are demonic idols (just look at how “Yoda is a demonic looking creature”; Martonfi would know), in popular culture and everywhere is evidence of the challenges faced by Christianity in the US today, which of course also shows that the end is near. You can also request prayers from her, and Martonfi’s prayers are powerful: from a young age Martonfi “prayed for the sick and they recovered;” she’s also once healed a washing machine and prayed her way out of a $2900 car repair bill. Apparently her broken watch required a bit more effort: to begin with, God did nothing, but after a week or so “[a]gain, I petitioned God, only now I was really serious. I remembered the acronym P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. I was not going to be deterred.” Eventually, she put away the kids gloves and reminded God of His duties to her: “Dear Lord, I stand on your Word that says that You shall supply all of my needs and dear Lord, I need to know what time it is!” This did the trick, and according to Martonfi her “watch has not missed one second since.” I think the lesson is that you just have to show God who da boss sometimes.

It seems that she’s also written an autobiography

Diagnosis: Despite their content, her posts are mostly grammatical and semi-coherent. They’re completely unhingend nonetheless, and although she’s pretty obscure we suspect that her views are shared by a large enough group of people that they cannot be completely dismissed as harmless fringe delusions.

 

The Empire in Collapse

by Christian Jürs

Because of the growing, and serious, public discontent that had been manifested during the course of the Vietnamese War from 1950 through 1973, the American governmental establishment resolved to take steps to recognize, infiltrate and neutralize any significant future national anti-government actions.

Once the most powerful nation, the United States is rapidly losing its premier position in the international sphere while at the same time facing a potential serious anti-government political movement developing in that country. The number of unemployed in the United States today is approximately 97,000,000. Official American sources claim that employment is always improving but in fact it is not. Most official governmental releases reflect wishful thinking or are designed to placate the public

This situation is caused by the movement, by management, of manufacturing businesses to foreign labor markets. While these removals can indeed save the companies a great deal of expenditure on domestic labor, by sharply reducing their former worker bodies to a small number, the companies have reduced the number of prospective purchasers of expensive items like automobiles.

The U.S. government’s total revenue is estimated to be $3.654 trillion for fiscal year 2018.

  • Personal income taxes contribute $1.836 trillion, half of the total.
  • Another third ($1.224 trillion) comes from payroll taxes.

This includes $892 billion for Social Security, $270 billion for Medicare and $50 billion for unemployment insurance.

  • Corporate taxes add $355 billion, only 10 percent.
  • Customs excise taxes and tariffs on imports contribute $146 billion, just 4 percent
  • The Federal Reserve’s net income adds $70 billion.
  • The remaining $23 billion of federal income comes from estate taxes and miscellaneous receipts.
  • The use of secret offshore accounts by US citizens to evade U.S. federal taxes costs the U.S. Department of the Treasury well over $100 billion annually.

By moving from a producing to an importing entity, the United States has developed, and is developing, serious sociological and economic problems in a significant number of its citizens, and many suffer from serious health problems that are not treated.

It is estimated that over 500,000 American citizens are without any form of housing. Many of these people either are living on the streets, in public parks, living in cars or in charity shelters. There are at present over 200,000 family groups in America with over 300,000 individuals involved and 25% of the total are minor children.

Over 80,000 individuals are permanently without any residence. Many of these have physical disabilities such as chronic alcoholism or drug addiction. Many are classified as having severe mental disorders.

About 50,000 of these homeless individuals are military veterans, many of whom have serious physical or mental problems. One of the most common mental disorders is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Governmental treatment for these individuals is virtually non-existent.  Approximately half of this number are either black or Latin American (“Hispanics” in official designation.)

Of the total number of the homeless individuals, approximately 10% are female.

Official but private, estimates are that there over 500,000 youths below the age of 24 in current American society that find themselves homeless for periods lasting from one week to a permanent status.

Over 100,000 of this class are young people who are defined as being homosexual. Those in this class find themselves persecuted to a considerable degree by society in general and their peer groups in specific.

Approximately 50% of this homeless population are over the age of 50, many of whom suffer from chronic, debilitating physical illnesses that are not treated.

Drug deaths in the U.S. in 2017 exceeded 60,000.  Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involved prescriptions. Opioids are a class of strong painkillers drugs and include Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin which are synthetic drugs designed to resemble opiates such as opium derived morphine and heroin. The most dangerous opioid is Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. The increasing demand for these drugs is causing them to be manufactured outside the United States.

Suicide is the primary cause of “injury death” in the United States and more U.S. military personnel on active duty have killed themselves than were killed in combat last year.

The growing instability of American families is manifested by the fact that:

  • One out of every three children in America lives in a home without a father.
  • More than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock for women under the age of 30 living in the United States
  • The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
  • The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world although the numbers have declined in recent years due to the use of contraceptives.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world. The criminal justice system in the United States holds more than 4,166,000 people in 1,719 state prisons, 102,000 in federal prisons, 901,000 in juvenile correctional facilities, and 3,163,000 in local jails. Additionally, 5,203,400 adults are on probation or on parole.

The number of people on probation or parole has increased the population of the American corrections system to more than 9,369,400 in 2017. Corrections costs the American taxpayer $69 billion a year.

There are a huge number of American domestic and business mortgages, (67 million by conservative estimate) which have been sliced up, put into so-called “investment packages” and sold to customers both domestic and foreign. This problem has been covered up by American authorities by cloaking the facts in something called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System)

This results in the fact that the holders of mortgages, so chopped and packed, are not possible to identify by MERS or anyone else, at any time and by any agency. This means that any property holder, be they a domestic home owner or a business owner, is paying their monthly fees for property they can never own.

Another festering problem consists of the official loans made to students in colleges and universities in the U.S. the predatory nature of the $90 billion student loan industry. These so-called student loans are the most serious economic problem faced today by American university students.

This problem arose due to federal legislation originating in the mid-1990s which effectively removed basic consumer protections from student loans, thus permitting extensive penalties and the methodology for enforced collection.

Because of the highly inflated cost of higher American education, very few students from high school can afford university education. The new college graduate has, on average, a student loan in excess of $20,000 and students attending graduate programs have average debts of over $40,000.

America today has seriously failing public school systems. Upper economic class Americans are able to send their children to expensive private schools and avoid the exceedingly incompetent public systems. The average American lower school graduates are only a step above illiteracy and their lack of knowledge of world affairs is quite unbelievable.

A small number of extremely wealthy men control and operate all of the major American print and television media.

Each of the few very powerful, rich men have their own reasons for deciding what qualifies as news.

But the public in America now gets its news, without cost, from various internet sites and the circulation number of major print news has dropped dramatically. This has forced the internet editions of the print news media to erect what they call “paywalls.” This permits a very limited number of articles to be read or downloaded before the system demands money for the use of additional material.

The major print media in America is faced with imminent bankruptcy and are making frantic efforts at attempts to prevent free news sites from being aired on the internet.

Government surveillance of the American public is very widespread and at the present time, almost every aspect of an American citizen, or resident, is available for official surveillance. This includes mail, television viewing, telephone conversations, computer communications, travel, ownership of property, medical and school records, banking and credit card transactions, inheritances and other aspects of a citizen’s daily life.

This is done to circumvent any possible organization that could contravene official government policy and has its roots in massive civil resistance to governmental policy during the war in Vietnam. The government does not want a reprise of that problem and its growing surveillance is designed to carefully watch any citizen, or groups of citizens, who might, present or future, pose a threat to government policy.

Another factor to be considered is the current American attitudes towards racial issues. There has always been prejudice in the United States against blacks. In 1943 there were bloody riots in Detroit and Los Angeles, the former aimed at blacks and the latter against Mexicans. Since then, there has been chronic racial prejudice but it has been relatively small and very local. Also, there is growing anti-Semitic prejudice in American but this is officially ignored and never is mentioned in the American media. Much of this growing problem is directed at the brutal actions of Israel against Palestinians. Israelis have an undue influence in the American political scene. The very far right so-called neo-cons are almost all Jewish and most are Israeli citizens. Also, the middle-level ranks of American CIA personnel are heavily infiltrated by Israelis and it is said that any secret the CIA has is at once passed to Israel and that countries needs are assuming importance in CIA actions.

The attitudes of the working class Americans were inflamed during the last presidential elections by Mr. Trump who catered to them and encouraged rebellious attitudes. By speaking against Central American illegal immigrants, Mr. Trump has caused a polarization of attitudes and the militant right wing in America, currently small in number but well-organized and potentially very dangerous, has begun to make its views very well known in public demonstrations.

This movement has played into the hands of far-right American political manipulators.

It is their intention to clandestinely arm these groups and use them to cause violent public confrontations with the far left groups.

By causing this potential violence, the manipulators intend to use the American military to move into unstable area to, as they say, ‘establish law and order’ while in reality, they will use martial law to firm up their basic control of a potentially fractious public.

It is then intended, according to information, to incorporate organized, para-military groups into a sort of domestic Federal police force. These people will not be punished for their actions but rewarded and utilized to ensure further right-wing control of the country.

 

Democracy has been hijacked by white men’: how minority rule now grips America

The US is becoming more diverse and progressive, but white men’s grip on power is being exercised via the courts, gerrymandering and dark money in politics

May 24, 2019

by Tom McCarthy

The Guardian

The exercise of political power by legislative majorities of white, male elected officials in ways that disproportionately exclude or harm women and people of color is such a familiar part of the American political landscape that it sometimes goes underremarked.

That was not the case last week after 25 white Republican men in Alabama voted for a near-total abortion ban in the state, an act that focused the national attention and sparked fears of a broader assault on women’s rights.

But the furore around Alabama’s move was exceptional. Elsewhere white, male legislative majorities have enacted controversial policies without drawing such a spotlight, by stopping minimum wage increases, voting down paid sick leave, blocking bans on fracking, defeating gun safety measures, purging voter rolls, upholding discriminatory criminal justice measures and barring free choice in marriage.

Neither race nor gender nor any other demographic distinction is purely predictive of political outlook, and each of the causes listed above has had champions and opponents of all kinds.

But as when 11 white men on the Senate judiciary committee last year had to recruit a female lawyer to question Dr Christine Blasey Ford about her sexual assault claims against judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Alabama abortion ban has prompted new questions about why America’s elected officials don’t look more like America. It is also reinvigorating the debate about what that discrepancy is costing the country.

“It’s pretty clear that what’s happening in Alabama is not a reflection of what most people in Alabama want,” said Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society and former director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office. “And so the ultimate question is: How is it happening that the state legislature is passing bills that the people don’t support?

A 2018 poll showed that the Alabama ban was supported by only 31% of people in the state.

“It is a reflection of a failure of democracy, of a democracy that has been hijacked by special interests, and in particular by white conservative men who have an agenda. It’s an economic agenda but it’s also a social agenda,” Fredrickson said.

The white male grip on political power in the United States is strong. Seven out of 10 US senators are white men, a group that makes up only about 30% of the US population. White men hold 65% of elected seats nationally, according to the Reflective Democracy Campaign. About half of all federal judges (but more than 70% of Donald Trump nominees) are white men.

The white male grip on power is also deeply entrenched, and well-insulated by historical design. It was written into the constitution, secured by the enslavement of African Americans and an economy and society built on slavery, and promulgated by generations of reinforcement and denial.

Many contemporary structures still prop it up. The US Senate, already badly underrepresentative, will become more so as city populations grow and rural populations shrink, swinging an even greater proportion of power to less populated, and more conservative, states. Federal courts have been rendered more conservative for at least a generation owing to a record number of lifetime appointments made by Trump. Voter suppression laws, dark money in politics and gerrymandering all reinforce a white male grip on power.

The proliferation of racially discriminatory voter suppression, half a century after the civil rights movement, is “shameful”, wrote Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and founder of the voting rights group Fair Fight Action, in a New York Times op-ed last week.

The impact of this dynamic on American life goes deeper, analysts say, than the fact that many citizens simply don’t see themselves in their elected representatives: white men are not creating the same America, through legislation, that a more representative group of lawmakers would.

The proportion of women serving in state legislatures stagnated for more than a decade around 25% in the lead-up to the 2018 election, said Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

But when women are elected, they tend to advance a different agenda from men.

“There’s research that shows that female elected officials are more likely to make the governing process more transparent, they’re more likely to build consensus,” Sinzdak said. “They are also more likely to carry the water on issues like health and education. They’re more likely to bring previously marginalized groups into the policymaking process.”

The 2018 election saw a distinct uptick in the proportion of women in state legislatures, Sinzdak said, and the 2020 election could see the trend continue.

The current disproportionate representation in government of conservatives, in particular, has been achieved through a deliberate plan to seize the levers of power, Fredrickson explains in her recently published The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts and Fair Elections.

Progressives must mount a comparable effort in reply, Fredrickson says, describing part of the challenge as demanding that Democratic officials treat the confirmation of judges like the political process it is.

“We can’t complain about voting rights and gerrymandering and a whole set of other bad court decisions that are issued, and not actually have put in any energy to making sure that the courts are fair and representative,” Fredrickson said.

Another task is to confront voter suppression and the gerrymander, she said – and not in a way that simply results in a reciprocal Democratic gerrymander. An enforcement of “one person, one vote” and of fair districting benefits progressives “because progressives are the majority in this country,” she said.

“Because the country is becoming more and more demographically diverse and socially progressive, [fair districting] is actually going to produce outcomes that are more favorable to our values,” she said. “Which is why the right is fighting so hard against democracy in this country, because they know they’re outnumbered.”

The numbers only count when people show up to vote, and the men who enacted the Alabama abortion ban (and the woman governor who signed it) represent one of the country’s most reliable voting blocs: white evangelical Christians.

In his book The End of White Christian America, Robert P Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), writes that the influence of white evangelical Christians in US politics is diminished, but persistent, owing to voter turnout patterns.

“White evangelicals over the last decade have dropped from about 21% of the population down to only 15% of the population, but both in the 2018 midterms and the 2016 election, they made up 26% of voters, according to the exit polls,” Jones told the Guardian. “And that’s because they turn out to vote at higher rates than nonwhite, non-Christian voters do. So basically they’re overrepresented at the ballot box.”

That could change with new voting patterns, Jones said. “If we ever got anywhere near parity of turnout, we’d see a dramatically different political landscape. At the end of the day, it really is about who shows up.”

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 24, 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. 41

Date:  Sunday, October 6, 1996

Commenced:  8:45 AM CST

Concluded:    9:38 AM CST

GD: Hello to you this morning, Robert. Up and around?

RTC: Well, the sun did come up and animal instincts get us going. And then there is coffee. Are you a coffee drinker, Gregory?

GD: I never used to be, but I am now. I hate the taste of the stuff which is funny because my grandfather was a big-time coffee broker. We had coffee all over the kitchen in little bags. My uncle was an expert and when my father got out of the business, he continued long after my grandfather died. Coffee gets you going but if I drink too much of it, my wiring gets fried.

RTC: The world runs on coffee.

GD: They buy a lot of it. My grandfather wasn’t exactly poor. That’s how I know about your people and the Guatemala business. My uncle was involved in it and it was well-known around the house. Grandfather was tied up with Levi and Zentner…the United Fruit people…. and the Grace Steamship company. Uncle was born in Petropolis in Brazil and was fluent in a number of languages, including Portuguese. Yes, there seemed to have been quite a connection between American business and the CIA. And of course, the White House and Congress.

RTC: Well, you’ve seen the tip of the big iceberg, haven’t you, Gregory?

GD: How big is it?

RTC: It’s not so much the size but the power of it. This country isn’t run by little local political action groups or small town newspapers. Democracy is only a word that sounds good. The public hates to vote although I understand that in Switzerland it is mandatory. They don’t care as long as they make money. Do you know how much money it costs to run for Congress? Many millions. And where does the money come from? Aunt Anna’s cookie and mad money jar? No, it comes from corporate interests who want to keep things balanced on their side of the books.

GD: That’s not a great revelation, Robert. No one really cares, as you say, as long as they have television and a car. Back in the Depression days when people didn’t have television sets and no cars, a lot of the underpaid and overworked workers were Communists. Once Roosevelt got the war started for us, business boomed and the workers ceased to be Communists.

RTC: Oh, that’s absolutely true, Gregory, but don’t underestimate the power of the Communist bugaboo to terrify the public into letting us do what we wanted.

GD: Gehlen told me that in ’48 when he was asked by the Army brass to prepare an intelligence paper proving the Russians were about to launch a huge attack on the West, there were two forces behind all of this bullshit. The first was the Army who didn’t like to be reduced in size. Generals had to retire you know and they didn’t like that. And, business had been booming during the war and they, like the generals, didn’t much like shutting down plants and making less money. This from the horse’s mouth so to speak. Oh, and it worked. Leaked to Congress and Harry Truman, it started the Cold War.

RTC: Nicely put and remember this for Critchfield. Yes, that’s basically the long and short of it. At this moment, the United States is run by four major power sources. They are all interconnected and they have the common goal of protecting their asses and increasing their profits. We have what they call big business which consists of international companies, mostly the huge New York banking giants but some manufacturing companies as well. This country got great by being a manufacturing country but that’s slipping a bit. At the turn of the century it was railroads and steel, but that has faded a little…

GD: A little? A lot.

RTC: Yes, a question of degree, I suppose. Anyway, we have really big business as one entity. The other is the political part of our society. Most Congressmen are put into office to take care of business.

GD: And then we have Huey Long, who was not interested in business.

RTC: Yes, and Roosevelt had him shot very dead, didn’t he?

GD: Yes.

RTC: But Congress passes the laws and since most of them are on the take, they are careful not to pass too many laws to injure their business paymasters.

GD: But under Roosevelt they went the other way.

RTC: But Roosevelt is dead and when he died, we had a new dawn of commerce. And Congress knows where the money comes from and acts accordingly. Eventually we will see someone in the Oval Office who is also Chairman of the Board of Chase Bank. Just joking, but there are those who would love the concept. We have business and political and then we have the Mafia. Yes, it is a huge industry, spawning billions of dollars in revenue. Joe Kennedy turned to them to get Jack elected and then turned on them and began to persecute them using the other brother. Look at all the damage that short-sighted behavior did to the family. And that leads us into our very own CIA. We are at the top of the pyramid, Gregory, for a number of reasons. As you know, we started out as a small advisory group whose job it was to supply Harry Truman accurate international intelligence. Harry never trusted the Army and he found out about the humped Gehlen Report and wanted more facts to work with. Now we got Allen Dulles whose brother, John Foster, was a lawyer with Sullivan and Cromwell in New York. Sullivan and Cromwell was, in essence, a Nazi establishment. They were firm supporters of Hitler and worked with the Schroeder bank in Cologne. And you ought to know that when he was Ambassador to England, Joe Kennedy did business with Hitler and got huge blocks of I.G. Farben stock. It got taken away at the end of the war, seized by the Justice Department and one of the first things Joe did when Jack became President was to have him put Bobby in as AG so he could get his stock back. Oh yes, those people were for Hitler right up to the last week of the war. And even afterwards as well. Of course now that Jews are getting more power here and especially in the CIA, we do not mention any of this. Same thing with your Mueller friend. Of course we used him because he was the top Nazi expert on Communists. Why not? But, of course, if the Jews ever had to face that fact, they would come unglued. Can you imagine the huge headlines in The New York Times?

GD: Yes, I can. We called that Second Coming Type.

RTC: Wrong. The New York Times is run by Jews and sucks at Israel’s tit but they would never discuss this, let alone put it on the front page. Why? Because we have control over what they print. You see, we help our friends in business with delicate political nuisance problems. Like the nice Belgians in the Congo who had all that uranium. Kill off the left wing politicos who tried to grab it all. They really weren’t Communists planning to give uranium to Russia but that’s what we told the President and that’s what our friends who publish The New York Times heard. And that’s what they published and that’s what they condoned. Naturally, with such a dangerous menace, the CIA rushed up to save us all and kill off old Patrice. Same in Guatemala and the same in Iran with Mossadegh. The enemy is identified as dangerous to our business friends. We do studies to prove it to the rabble such as …fake documents and all that…that these enemies are vile Communists, working for the Soviet Union, and a real danger to all of America. On the one hand, get permission to destroy these enemies and on the other, launch a publicity campaign through our many friends in the media to make it just another heroic crusade.

GD: Oh, say it isn’t so, Robert.

RTC: I see you are a baseball fan, Gregory.

GD: No, that’s where it came from, but I am not a baseball fan. I was feigning shock and horror at your dastardly revelations. Do go on, though.

RTC: So we have business, the press, the mob on one side thanks to Jim Angleton’s organization, the legislative branch and that’s it. We don’t control, Gregory, we influence. A press campaign, planned in our offices here, and an assassination or bomb blast there. We have it down to an exact science. A nice balance at that.

GD: And the Mueller business?

RTC: A mere bump in the road. If you had brought this up twenty years before, they would have killed you but by now, it’s unpleasantly cold coffee. They’ll just ruin your reputation by using paid hacks. The media would never discuss this, believe me. You could have Heinrich Mueller’s body in a glass case and the press would be as silent as the grave. We would ask them nicely to drop it and guess what? They would.

GD: The machine seems to run well enough.

RTC: We’ve had time to perfect it. There are always glitches but so far, we have been able to repair them. But it isn’t like it used to be, Gregory. Then it was a band of brothers and now the whole agency has gotten too big, too compartmentalized and too stiff. The power is there but it is an old power, not a dynamic one. One of these days, parts will start falling off and then it will be replaced with another group that will march to a different drummer.

GD: Things always change, Robert, mark that.

RTC: I’m afraid I’m stuck in the old days, thinking the old thoughts and doing what I got used to doing. I told you not to get old, Gregory. I’ve seen it before. Sweet children grow up to be anarchists, faggots, drug addicts, bank robbers, drunks and so on. Wives leave you for someone else, your business changes way past recognition and you become redundant and out you go. You don’t recognize the cars in the street, the music is terrible and the trouble is you remember too much.

GD: And tend to romanticize the past instead of learning from it.

RTC: We write books, but in my case, I can’t. In the first place, I am forbidden to by contract with the Agency and in the second, I can write reports but not books. You write books, though. Of course, so do Joe and Susan. I don’t think very much of Joe, Gregory but I think you might do well to write things up. Joe can see for about two inches in front of his nose, but I find you can see for miles.

GD: It’s a blessing and a curse. I have a secret for you, Robert. You won’t believe me, of course, but here it is, For reasons I don’t even begin to understand, I can meet a new person and almost at once see right into them and know just who and what they are. They may be a professional football player, but if I talk with them for three minutes, I can see that they are gay. Or a religious leader and see he is a drunk. But only face to face. Can’t do it on the phone on by mail. And I think sometimes these people sense I am poking around inside their psyche. I never say a thing to them but some people can sense my invasion of their often rotten soul. And for no reason apparent to a, say, neutral observer, they suddenly hate me.

RTC: They’re afraid of you, Gregory. People fear the predator.

GD: Yes, I’m sure they do, but I am not predatory. I am very understanding of other people.

RTC: Trust me, Gregory, you’re a born predator. That’s one of the reasons I trust you. I prefer to know a wolf as a wolf than a yapping little dog that sneaks around and bites you in the lower leg. You would go for the throat and the kill. No, seeing into people is a gift. I ran enough agents in my time and I know. Always go for the throat.

GD: Yes. I was once confronted with six armed men who were trying to kill some people I happened to be with. I had a gun, a Belgian Browning 9mm. The High Power model with a 13 shot box mag. These fellows were shooting at my friends and at me. I had nothing to do with the business but I had the gun. I got it out and I nailed all six. Five through the head and one in the neck. Before I left the scene with my wounded friend, I went over and shot that one through the head. I didn’t want any witnesses. And I got my brass.

RTC: I never knew that one, Gregory. How old were you at the time?

GD: Seventeen and a couple of months.

RTC: You were in the service?

GD: No. A tourist.

RTC: Six at one throw?

GD: Five on the spot and one a few moments later.

RTC: A dumb question here, but did it bother you?

GD: Yes, terribly. My friend bled all over my shoes before I got him to a safe place. It took a lot of work to get the blood off. And I ruined a very good tie. He got it in the upper leg so I used the tie to keep him from bleeding out. Fortunately, the artery was spared and he survived.

RTC: And it never bothered you?

GD: Why should it? These jerks were shooting at me and in time, they might have killed me, too. Fuck them, Robert. Now they’re turning green in a box somewhere, waiting for the Last Trumpet. Yet in my flesh shall I see God? Oh, I think not. Heaven’s doormat will be a horrible, oozing mess come trumpet day.

RTC: Predatory, Gregory, in word and deed. No wonder the club does not like you.

GD: Club?

RTC: Bill, Tom, Trento and a few others. They warn me about you. I can see why. Their old warning system, the cave man one, is still fitfully working and they can sense you are a danger. Seventeen? Was that the first time?

GD: No, when I was in Germany just before that, I got jumped by a DP. He had an iron bar and I emptied a clip from a .380 into his pump. They had quite a bit of trouble from these DPs from Poland. They were all Polish Jews from the liberated camps and until the Army rounded them all up and shipped them, under guard, to Israel, they cut quite a path. And I got another one over by a putting green. He pulled a knife and his buddy had a wooden pistol. My friend got him and broke his neck and I got the one with the knife using a nine iron. I ruined the club but you should have seen his head. It looked like a cherry pie dropped on the sidewalk. Dragged both of them into the hedges and off we went. The club went into the river. I guess they found them later by the stench and all the flies.

RTC: Very predatory, Gregory.

GD: Self-defense, Robert, self-defense. What else would you call it?

RTC: Good reflexes among other things.

GD: God must hate me for making his doormat so filthy,

 

(Concluded at 9:38 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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