TBR News January 30, 2020

Jan 30 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 30, 2020:“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.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for January 30: “This shocking, dangerous and evil Corona flu virus now rampant in China is causing the brainless media to yap and howl like a room full of Chihuahuas on speed. The virus is no more dangerous than the usual winter flu outbreaks but the media is making a great plague out of it. Last week it was the awful nerve gas poisoning of a former Russian spy living in England and this week, the knuckle-draggers are warning us about flu. What will be next? Trump banning virginity? Pompeo romping buck naked with a withered Jesus at a Texas mall? Or the media howling with fear at the discovery that evil vampire bats are infesting American libraries across the nation? (Russia is suspected and Trump will sanction Russian bats, tennis shoes and those motorized Russian strapons,so popular with Republican Congressmen and their boyfriends)”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating January 30 reporting

Source             Approve         Disapprove
Ipsos                   39%                 55%

The Table of Contents
• ‘Danger! Danger! Danger!’ Is Trump’s team alarmed about their own case?
• The Bolton Bombshell and the Unwaveringly Pro-Trump G.O.P.
• White House sends threatening letter to Bolton, as key witness unexpectedly appears at impeachment trial
• Useful and Useless
• The Answer to all our Evils
• The Season of Evil
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons

‘Danger! Danger! Danger!’ Is Trump’s team alarmed about their own case?
The president’s lawyer Jay Sekulow warned senators that the republic was in peril but testimony from John Bolton could devastate his defence
January 28, 2020
by David Smith in Washington
The Guardian
“Danger. Danger! DANGER!” Jay Sekulow, a lawyer defending Donald Trump at his impeachment trial in the US Senate, turned himself into a human klaxon on Tuesday, repeating the word “danger” 15 times.
By his lights, Sekulow was warning Democrats of the danger of a partisan, politically motivated impeachment that would lower the bar for imposing the ultimate sanction – the political equivalent of the death penalty – on future presidents.
But another interpretation would be that the combative attorney and talkshow host was warning Republicans of the danger allowing of John Bolton, the former national security adviser, to testify at the trial, potentially causing the president’s entire defence to unravel.
Sekulow’s argument went something like this. Look, what Bolton says isn’t true. But even if it was true, it’s still not impeachable. Not that it is true, you understand. It really isn’t. But let’s just say, for the sake of argument, it was true. You still can’t impeach for that. Got it? Am I clear?
The trial had been going so well for the White House until the New York Times’ weekend revelation that Bolton, in an upcoming book, writes that Trump did indeed make military aid to Ukraine conditional on the Ukrainian government announcing an investigation into his potential election rival, Joe Biden.
Now there is a Capitol Hill clamour for Bolton to testify. The defence spent most of Monday avoiding the mustachioed elephant in the room until Alan Dershowitz – whose past clients include OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein, Roman Polanski, Mike Tyson and Harvey Weinstein – finally uttered his name.
Sekulow took up the cause on day seven of the trial. Standing at the lectern, with blue tie and blue pocket handkerchief, he began: “What we are involved in here, as we conclude, is perhaps the most solemn of duties under our constitutional framework: the trial of the leader of the free world and the duly elected president of the United States.
“It is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts. That’s politics, unfortunately, and [Alexander] Hamilton,” – yes, him again – “put impeachment in the hands of this body, the Senate, precisely and specifically to be above that fray. This is the greatest deliberative body on Earth.”
He added: “In our presentation so far, you’ve now heard from legal scholars from a variety of schools of thought, from a variety of political backgrounds. But they do have a common theme with a dire warning: danger, danger, danger!
“To lower the bar of impeachment based on these articles of impeachment would impact the functioning of our constitutional republic and the framework of that constitution for generations.”
It was a point he made over and over again. This attempt to take the moral high ground was pretty rich coming from a team that has pushed bogus conspiracy theories about Biden.
Sekulow also repeatedly entreated senators to put themselves in Trump’s shoes. Brimming with indignation, he ran through a parade of Fox News villains: the Steele dossier, FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, Fisa warrants, former FBI director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller. The unspoken message was that Trump is the victim of deep state conspiracy.
What, you may ask, did all this have to do with coercing Ukraine? Sekulow insisted: “You can’t view this case in a vacuum. You are being asked to remove a duly elected president of the United States and you’re being asked to do it in an election year.”
Indeed, Democrats would agree this is not occurring in a vacuum. During their presentation, House managers carefully explained how Trump’s bullying of Ukraine, which is in constant peril from Russia, goes hand in hand with his peculiar affection for Vladimir Putin. Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s president came a day after Mueller’s congressional testimony.
Inevitably, Sekulow griped about the backlash against his team’s criticism of Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. “Do we have, like, a Biden-free zone?” he demanded. “You can impeach a president for asking a question?”
Then he returned to the Bolton imbroglio. Sekulow dismissed “an unpublished manuscript that maybe some reporters have an idea of maybe what it says … I don’t know what you’d call that. I’d call it inadmissible, but that’s what it is … You cannot impeach a president on an unsourced allegation.”
Sekulow quoted Trump and Mike Pence’s office denying Bolton’s allegation. He warned against an impeachment based on policy differences. Democrats looked underwhelmed. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota whispered behind her hand to Chris Coons of Delaware, who smiled.
Again that cry of “Danger, danger, danger!”
Klobuchar sighed.
Meanwhile, Senator Mitt Romney, among those who may well vote to call Bolton and other witnesses, was reportedly told off for breaking Senate rules by bringing in a bottle of chocolate milk. He later came back with it in a glass instead.
In what may come to look like wild overconfidence, the defence rested its case after using less than half its allotted 24 hours. Clips of Democrats warning against the Bill Clinton impeachment two decades ago were played, culminating with Chuck Schumer, now Senate minority leader, saying: “My fear is that when a Republican wins the White House, Democrats will demand payback.”
The White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, looked at Schumer and said: “You were right.” The senator’s face remained a mask frozen with a bemused smile.
But this could not be described as a barnstorming finish. Cipollone claimed they had made a “compelling case” and pleaded for senators to “respect and defend the sacred right of every American to vote and to choose their president” a few months from now.
There was an outbreak of muttering among Democrats. It was as if, collectively, they were saying: is that all you got?

The Bolton Bombshell and the Unwaveringly Pro-Trump G.O.P.
January 28, 2020
by Susan B. Glasser
The New Yorker
By the time Kenneth Starr started speaking at the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump on Monday afternoon, it was hard not to wonder whether the whole thing was meant as a monumental distraction. Certainly, it was a bizarre spectacle: the man who brought us the last impeachment of a President lecturing the Senate on the dangerous evils of impeachment.
I’m old enough to remember when, in 1998, Starr produced the most X-rated document ever to be printed under congressional seal, in service of lobbying for an impeachment. The document, which will forever be known as the Starr report, detailed Bill Clinton’s Oval Office trysts in painfully graphic detail. (Google “Starr report” and “cigar” if you don’t remember.) Now, in 2020, the author of that report is acting as the sanctimonious guardian of congressional dignity, lecturing us all on the floor of the Senate about the unfair, improper charges against Donald Trump? Within seconds of opening his mouth on the Senate floor, Starr had his liberal critics—and lots of non-liberals, too—sputtering with outrage.
In his remarks as a member of Trump’s legal team, Starr inveighed against what he called the “Age of Impeachment,” saying that it is happening “too frequently” and is “inherently destabilizing” and “acrimonious.” He reserved particularly scathing words for the “runaway House” and its conduct during Trump’s impeachment, which he called “dripping with fundamental process violations.” Starr seemed especially upset about the partisan nature of the Trump proceedings by the Democratic-controlled House. “Like war, impeachment is hell,” he said. Remember, this is the man who advocated for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, by a Republican-controlled House, for lying under oath about an extramarital affair. Irony is dead. Very, very dead.
But in the end Starr’s comments, trolling as they were, seemed inconsequential and destined to be quickly forgotten, even by the senators required to sit quietly at their desks and listen to them “on pain of imprisonment,” as the Senate sergeant at arms solemnly reminds them at the start of the trial each afternoon. On this day, the only words that mattered were two that never crossed Starr’s lips: John Bolton.
Sometimes, it’s what happens outside the courtroom that throws a trial into turmoil—even in a Senate impeachment proceeding whose outcome we all think we know. This was the case with what even Fox News called the “Bolton bombshell,” the news, reported late Sunday by the Times, that Bolton, in his book manuscript, confirms that Trump conditioned nearly four hundred million dollars in military aid to Ukraine on politically motivated investigations. Bolton, who served as Trump’s national-security adviser until September, claims that the President told him this directly, and has said that he is prepared to testify under oath about the Ukraine matter. But Senate Republicans—aside from a handful of undecided ones, such as Mitt Romney and Susan Collins—have so far balked at calling Bolton and other Trump Administration witnesses who abided by the President’s order not to testify when they were called to do so in the House.
The attack on Bolton was swift and predictable. Bolton was a disgruntled former employee, a neocon, a money-grubber with a two-million-dollar book to sell. The President himself led the mob, beginning to tweet and retweet anti-Bolton statements around midnight. By 9 a.m., he had sent out about a dozen critiques of the man he employed to oversee America’s national security for a year and a half, including the false statement that the House had never called Bolton to testify in its impeachment inquiry. On the Fox Web site, a headline trumpeted that Trump & Company “strikes back” against Bolton for the “manuscript leak,” without saying what the leak actually said. By midday, the Republican National Committee was sending out official talking points attacking Bolton.
The assault on Bolton, though, may not have its intended effect. It only takes four Republican votes to buck Party leaders and call for witnesses. By Monday morning, it was clear that a vote for witnesses had become much more likely, and that the fight was now over the terms. Trump’s ally Lindsey Graham laid it out starkly, threatening to call witnesses such as former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, whose work in Ukraine Trump wanted investigated, as a way of embarrassing the potential 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee. Graham tweeted, “If there is a desire and decision by the Senate to call Democratic witnesses, then at a minimum the Senate should allow President @realDonaldTrump to call all relevant witnesses he has requested.” In other words, let the floodgates open. But will they? The four Republican senators who have been most interested in hearing witnesses may or may not want to join in that exercise. Romney told reporters he had always wanted to hear from Bolton, and that it was “increasingly likely” that enough Republicans would now join him. Collins said that the Bolton revelations “strengthen the case” for witnesses. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, another key vote, said that she had always been “curious” about Bolton’s testimony.
What their fellow-Republicans had to say was even more revelatory. Within hours, Trump’s most fervent defenders in the Senate said they didn’t care that the former national-security adviser was accusing Trump of doing exactly what the first article of impeachment charges him with doing. “We learned nothing new. We learned nothing new. This is no different than what we’ve heard from several of the seventeen witnesses that the House has brought forward,” John Barrasso, of Wyoming, told reporters on Monday morning.
Soon, the rhetoric in Trump’s defense grew more heated, notwithstanding the Louisiana senator John Kennedy’s suggestion to his colleagues that they “pop a Zoloft.” Kelly Loeffler, the newly appointed Republican senator from Georgia, did not take his advice. She tweeted a statement torching Romney and anyone who would dare consider calling witnesses: “After 2 weeks, it’s clear that Democrats have no case for impeachment. Sadly, my colleague @SenatorRomney wants to appease the left by calling witnesses who will slander the @realDonaldTrump during their 15 minutes of fame. The circus is over. It’s time to move on!” Loeffler’s tweet said, in a more confrontational tone, essentially the same thing that most Republican senators said on Monday.
At any other moment in Washington in my lifetime, I would have predicted with absolute confidence that the Bolton revelation would force Republican senators to switch their position and support witnesses. And not just a few, but almost all of them. But this is now, and the unthinkable and inconceivable have become increasingly routine. Here it was, the proverbial smoking gun, right in the middle of the trial, crucial evidence that Trump, his advisers, his lawyers, and his enablers on Capitol Hill knew about and were trying to suppress. Just last week, Trump’s legal team told senators that “not a single witness with actual knowledge ever testified that the President suggested any connection between announcing investigations and security assistance.”
In fact, the President and his aides knew that Bolton had done more than suggest it. He had put it in writing, sent his account to the White House on December 30th, and was prepared to raise his right hand and swear to it under oath. But we have had so many smoking-gun moments in the last few years. This is the post–“Access Hollywood” tape G.O.P., which elected as President of the United States a man who bragged of grabbing women by their genitals on tape, just a few weeks after the recording came to light. In the Ukraine scandal, we have seen this process repeat itself. Facts emerge that show the President’s actions to be inappropriate, outrageous, and clearly, straightforwardly wrong. At first, even Republicans on the Hill seem to waver. But again and again and again they find a way to accommodate themselves to the unpleasant new information, to rationalize and to justify.
On Monday, after watching all this play out, Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Democrat who has been forced to forego Presidential campaigning in Iowa in order to attend the Senate trial, said that listening to the Trump defense was like a visit to an “alternative universe.” But Monday proved once again that this alternative universe has become the new normal in Trump’s G.O.P. It is not the exception but the rule. The post-Bolton-bombshell Republican Party will be largely the same as the pre-Bolton-bombshell Republican Party.

White House sends threatening letter to Bolton, as key witness unexpectedly appears at impeachment trial
January 29, 2020
by Clark Mindock and Joe Sommerlad
The Independent/UK
Donald Trump has raged at his ex-national security adviser John Bolton, saying the Ukraine claims made in his forthcoming new memoir are “nonsense” and declaring he would have started “World War Six” if he had not been removed from office last September as the Republican effort to discredit him continues.
A new poll by Quinnipiac University has meanwhile found that 75 per cent of Americans want to hear from Mr Bolton at the president’s Senate impeachment trial as GOP majority leader Mitch McConnell is forced to admit he does not currently have the votes to stop Democrats calling new witnesses to speak out.
And, as fallout has continued to come in from Mr Bolton’s apparent book, a letter was released showing that the White House attempted to stop it from being published before the leaked manuscript, arguing that it contains classified information (others have pointed out that Mr Bolton has a long history handling US classified information, so it may be questionable that he would actually include such information in a book write-up).
President Trump delivered his latest Keep America Great rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, last night after unveiling his highly controversial two-state solution to bring peace to the Middle East at the White House, which was cheered by Israel but met with angry protests by Palestinians.
During the ongoing impeachment efforts on Wednesday, Mr Trump’s lawyers argued that because the president believes it to be in the country’s best interest to win re-election, he could not have done anything wrong by encouraging an investigation into his rival by a foreign government.

Useful and Useless

The Internet has proven to be the greatest source of information since lunatic Christians burnt down the library of Alexandria. Anything being sought, be it an address or an in-depth analysis of Dead Sea scrolls, is there and is the main reason that the famous Encyclopedia Britannica has gone out of business.
At the same time, because it is open to one and all, the Internet is also a breeding ground for a legion of strange persons with a frantic desire to air their pet theses, themselves and their friends.
We see earnest discussions about the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy by mutant dwarves, the Sinister Truth about Hurricane Katrina, Tesla Death Rays used to bring down the buildings of the WTC, balanced with other information proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Russian bombers were used. We also discover the evil plottings of the Illuminiati, a group that has been long gone, or that the Rothschild banking house had taken over the whole world. And from one source, now long vanished, we discover that Houston was destroyed by a nuclear bomb set off by Jewish radicals or that the Fukishima disaster was really caused by an Israeli submarine, using German-made nuclear torpedos! And today the breathless media informs the world that a horrible plague is sweeping China, killing at least three people, and threatening the planet with population extinctions
Yes, the Internet can entertain as well as inform.
But the fact that the Internet has many independent news sites means the diminution of the print media and the television news stations. Since these are the propaganda control for the oligarchy, there is great distress in board rooms and from them to the halls of Congress. They would like to shut off the Internet so that the stupid, and tax-paying public can only see what they are supposed to and not what might be the truth.
Obama and Cass Sunstein tried to shut down anyone who dared to interfere with the propaganda machinery but they were not successful. Even a furious and highly delusional eccentric, Trump and his decaying machinery, can’t do it and if they continue to try, there will be very serious public reactions indeed.

The Answer to all our Evils

Brothers and Sisters in Christ!!!!
We are honored to announce to you the founding of our NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH!
We know that many of you are not satisfied with the enforced meekness of regular Christian churches; that you are often humiliated by your neighbors and co-workers for displaying the piscine symbols of the Faith on your cars and front doors, mocked because of your picketing of abortion clinics and Satanist movies and demands for censorship of everything but the stock market reports.
Now, we have the True Answer for you!
We have formed the Church of Jesus Christ the Avenger whose credo is the manifestation of Muscular Christianity and the total destruction of all alien forms of life who will not accept the Word of Christ as Gospel! Unlike their Jesus Christ who is meek and long-suffering, our Jesus Christ is capable of leaping over several buildings at a single bound and of smiting Satan with both hands and a length of lead pipe for good measure! Our Jesus Christ would never have kissed Judas but rather, have snapped his neck like a piece of celery in a Bloody Mary! Our Jesus Christ would not merely have torn the veil in the temple but instead, have reduced the building to instant rubble along with all the congregation!
No longer do pious possessors of the One Truth have to put up with mockery from alien cults such as the Mormons, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Roman and Eastern Catholics, Hindus, Moslems and other false cults of Lucifer. Now, the Church of Jesus Christ the Avenger will smite them hip and thigh and cast them into Outer Darkness. This time there will be no wailing and gnashing of teeth because Jesus Christ the Avenger will have ripped off their jaws (and private parts as well)!
You can join our Church and experience the thrill of Power as you witness acts of Holy Vengeance daily on the television. Rejoice when Orthodox Jews are forced to eat pork sausage and sour cream, see Christian Scientists compelled to take drugs, laugh when Mormons are made to drink Coke and iced tea and be enraptured as Baptists are held under water for ten minutes!
Those of you who crave Creative Christian Action can join the Society of the Militant Meek, the Sword of the Lord and Gideon, and the guarantors that the Meek shall indeed inherit the Earth! We alone can guarantee this because it is our aim to Exterminate anyone who does not belong to our Church! And not only will we inherit the earth, we will also inherit all of the cars, TVs, DVDs, bank accounts, clothing and real estate of the Departed Satanists!
Membership in the Society of the Militant Meek is not automatic but application must be made to your local Church of Jesus Christ the Avenger along with the severed head of a Satanist. Please note that we cannot accept the severed head of an ex-spouse, a mother-in-law, a creditor or anyone else against whom you might have some unworthy Personal Objection . No, the head must be of a Satanist unknown to you. (The Pastor of your Church has lists for your use.)
We hope we have made you aware of our goals and we advise you that More Bulletins will Follow!
And please know that all True Christians are truer supporters of the Divinely Inspired Donald Trump, sent by God Himself to Purify and Energize the entire nation and to help him expel Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, from a White Nation and send them to a Purgatory run by Catholics and Christian Scientists

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurate.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 72

The next morning, Charles Rush received a call from the President’s appointments director, working out the timetable for the visit. Names of the guests would have to be supplied to the Secret Service detail, the apartment would have to be checked by security teams and any food checked in advance of service.
The Presidential aircraft and a backup plane would arrive at Midway at noon, one week from then, on the seventh of January. The President, Rush was told, was certainly looking forward to the visit and hoped that the meeting would be fruitful.
Two days later, Rush was informed that Tyler McKnight could not be included on the guest list. A security check disclosed the episode of the cremated cat and McKnight’s subsequent incarceration in an establishment for the care and treatment of the psychotic. Such people, it was felt, were better off kept away from the President.
Rush, who had only a vague notion of the unpleasantness attributed to McKnight, had no problem dropping him from the list. He personally loathed the imbecile wife and there were times when Tyler McKnight was a royal pain in the ass.
On the second of January, Robert Collins had a meeting with a gentleman who called himself Saul Wotka who spoke with a Slavic accent and was actually a Ukrainian named Selenko. Several years before, he had done considerable ‘wet’, or political assassination, work for the SVR, Russian foreign intelligence, and was now working for himself in America where he could make a good deal more money with fewer problems. Mr. Wotka declined to accept the assignment to kill Charles Rush because of the prominence of the victim but he and Miguel Alvarado Sanchez, Collins’ drug partner, decided between them to bring in a specialist from Mexico who would kill the Pope if given enough money. There would be some fee splitting but Sanchez had no problems with this as he, too, felt that the removal of Charles Rush would draw down enormous publicity, something that no one in Chicago particularly wanted.
The FBI had recently arrested a group of Chicago police officers that had been involved with an extensive series of local art thefts. They were acting on private information received from a well-connected Chicago attorney named Edward Lupin, and since these men worked for Collins, it was generally agreed that discretion was certainly the better part of civic valor.
While Collins was meeting with his paid assassin upstairs in his apartment, a thin gentleman wearing a set of grimy coveralls was leisurely checking the security gates that controlled entrance into the apartment building’s underground garage. His employer, Mark Mitkin, was having a fitting for a new tuxedo he planned to wear for the private party Charles Rush was giving for the President, while his wife purchased a new dress for the occasion.
The New Year was off to a most propitious beginning for both tailors and assassins alike.

In snowbound Minnesota, Alex got up early and made an elegant breakfast consisting of an omelet, fresh croissants and very expensive Scotch marmalade and put it onto a tray along with fresh linen, a cup of hot tea and Chuck’s best silver. He took the tray upstairs and knocked quietly on Gwen’s door.
“Yes? Is that you, Chuck?”
“No, it’s Alex with your breakfast.”
“Can I come in?”
She was sitting up in bed, propped up against her pillows and looking a good deal less haggard than the night before.
“Oh my, what’s the reason for all this service? Breakfast in bed?”
He set the tray down on its legs in front of her and stood back, smiling.
“Well, I thought since I was such a shit last night, I would make up and fix you a nice breakfast.”
She replied to this with some surprise.
“You weren’t a shit last night. I was just tired and I went to bed early. This smells awfully good. Why don’t you pull up a chair and have one of these rolls?”
“They’re croissants. Chuck made them up from scratch and I helped him. They do taste awfully good. That orange stuff is pretty good too.”
“Have one.”
And they thoroughly devoured everything on the tray that was edible.
“Are you feeling better today, Gwen?”
“Much. Too much celebrating on New Years Eve, Alex.”
“I guess so. I went to bed early so I don’t know.”
“Are you happy here, Alex?”
“Are you being funny? Of course I love it here. It’s like I died and went to some nice place. Heaven, I suppose. I lived in the other place for so long that anything is wonderful for me. You people have been so neat with me that I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and there I’ll be, back in Duluth, hearing Ernie farting all night. I’m glad they kept the bedroom door shut or I’d have had to sleep on the porch.”
She looked reflectively at him over the top of her teacup.
“Your mother is not a nice person, is she?”
“No, my mother is a bitch.”
Gwen sighed.
“So was mine.”
“Is she dead? You said ‘was’.”
“She’s dead as far as I’m concerned and she was dead a long time ago. Or she should have been.” Gwen remembered the bears. “Chuck shot those bears with my .357, he said. Were you there?”
“Sure was. He blew the head clean off of one of them and made a real mess of the trees. That sure is a powerful gun.”
“Do you know how to shoot, Alexis?”
“No, but I’m learning to play the piano. Chuck’s teaching me.”
“I’m happy for you. Would you like to learn how to shoot?”
“Oh, I sure would! Would you teach me?”
“I’d love to.”
“Then I could shoot bears and if my mom came up here to try to get me back, I could shoot her too. I don’t think even the bears would eat her.”
“Did you see LeBec? Did the bears really eat him? Chuck is such a bullshit artist sometimes.”
“Yes, I saw him and yes, the bears ate him. And Chuck has never bullshitted me, ever.”
She put down the empty cup.
“He probably doesn’t. I guess he really likes you because he never seems to mind when you pester the shit out of him.”
“I do not pester him!”
“Oh, you do, believe me. I guess that’s because you like him.”
“No, I don’t like him. I love him.”
“Well, good luck. I do too and I can’t seem to connect with him. How do you do it?”
“I don’t know, Gwen. He and Claude are nice people but I like Chuck best because he’s very kind.”
She laughed.
“Oh, is he? He has a terrible mean streak in him, you know. I’ve seen it, believe me.”
She was thinking of Connie at the bottom of the pool.
“Has he been mean with you?”
“No, no, never with me. Chuck has been wonderful with me but he does have a bad side.”
“Who gives a royal shit? As long as he’s good to me, I don’t care what kind of a bad side he has or who he uses it on. I’ll tell him to be nice to you.”
“The hell you will, buddy! You keep our conversation private or I will righteously kick your ass. Understand? I have a mean side too, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“Oh really? Gee, I would never have guessed, Gwen. Like I said about Chuck, I don’t care how mean you are as long as you’re nice to me and you have been. I meant it last night when I said you were like a sister. I didn’t know you were only a few years older than I am. I guess you’re pretty advanced and I’m pretty retarded.”
“Bad life for both of us. Now why don’t you take the tray and go say hello to Chuck? I’m going back to sleep again. And listen, Alex, we all love you very much and thank you for the super breakfast.”

Chuck was still asleep with his tray arrived. It took some shaking of the bed to awaken him and he arose slowly from the depths. Directly across from the foot of his bed were the tall French windows looking out to the north and a clear, brilliant day.
He saw Alex and the tray.
“What are you up to, Alexander? What time is it? Christ, something smells good. What is it?”
“I think it’s hot bear sandwiches but maybe that dead guy is mixed in with them. Really, I made you the same thing I made for Gwen. Those French rolls, that orange goo and an omelet like you taught me to make. Also a cup of that expensive coffee you hid in the cupboard and won’t let any else drink.”
“Unprincipled snoop. I suppose you advertised this to one and all?”
“No. Sit up and I’ll set this thing down.”
“Great. Now …my God, it’s getting on to eleven. I suppose I’ll have to fix some lunch in an hour.”
“You do what you want but sit up and eat your breakfast before it gets cold.”
“Yes, mother. Go sit down over there and tell me news of the world. You made breakfast for Gwen?”
“Yeah. You always say ladies first so she got the first tray.”
“I hope you were nice to her, Alex. You were starting to be a real shit last night.”
“I know. I was very nice to her. How does it taste?”
“Almost as good as my own efforts. But not bad at all. Did you piss in the coffee?”
“No, I know you like it strong so I made it with a lot of coffee.”
“Yes, you certainly did. I won’t be able to sleep for a week. Look, the spoon’s standing up in the cup.”
“Gwen was right, Chuck. You are a bullshit artist.”
“Give me a break, rat child, and I told you to sit down. You stand there and make me think you’re about to give me an enema. Sit down and talk.”
Alex folded himself down into the embrace of a leather armchair.
“Talk? The sun’s out for a change.”
Chuck sipped his hot and very strong coffee.
“Yes, I have noticed. I would like to ask you, my friend, why you were about to become a shit last night? You were just beginning to get onto Gwen’s case and you know it, don’t you?”
Alex turned his head away and looked out the window.
“I guess so.”
“Alex, I’m over here so do me the courtesy of looking at me when you’re talking to me. Thank you. Tell me what got into you?”
“You’ll think I’m a nut.”
“No, I will not. Why? I mean, Gwen is your friend and some mistakes were made that were not her fault. She had no idea you were not me. Go on.”
“Chuck, I really like Gwen. She was nice to me when I got beat up and she bought all kinds of neat clothes for me. But I respect her too. See, my mom…I mean there was a lot of sex around when I was a kid. We lived in a small apartment before we moved in with Ernie and things were always going on. You know, boy friends and all. I got to see all kinds of nasty things that I really didn’t want to see. I don’t have respect for my mom or her boy friends. I don’t have any respect at all. They acted like pigs, if you know what I mean.”
“I do. Go on.”
“Well, I discovered that sex feels great but after it was all over, I felt really mad at myself. It was just like I was one of my mom’s pig boyfriends. And the trouble is that I liked Gwen and I never thought of her that way. In bed I mean. It was just that she was acting like my mom and I wished she hadn’t. So I was mad at her.”
“For being human? No, I don’t condemn you at all for feeling the way you do. My mother was the same way after my father died. A lot more discreet but the same way. And I used to hate it the same way you do. We have no quarrel there. Alex, I like sex myself but like you, I feel badly after it’s all over and it takes me some time to get worked up again. In fact, I try to stay as far away from physical sex as I can. And besides this, when I was in high school, I had a real hard time getting dates. Ever ask a girl for a date and have her laugh in your face?”
“No, I never even got that far. I guess that would be a cold shot, wouldn’t it?”
“Oh yes, a very cold shot. Ugly girls would go out with me but I would rather stay home and love my hand rather than go out with an ugly girl. Ever notice how fat women are getting these days? I mean really fat?”
“Oh yes. I used to call the girl’s gym class the porker parade. One of them heard me and I had to run like hell when she started chasing me. Why are women so fat now? I was looking in an old school yearbook and there were some nice looking women in them, not a bunch of fat old cows.”
“Don’t ask me, Alex. Men are getting just as bloated. Guys like us and like Claude used to be the norm but now we’re the exception.”
“Can I say something without you thinking I’m a fag?”
“Go on.”
“Claude looks like some kind of a statue, doesn’t he?”
“He has an excellent build, I will grant you. And by acknowledging that, I wish to say that I have no interest in him sexually.”
“Do you think I could look like he does?”
“I don’t know. Claude has a lot of weight lifting equipment that he wants to bring up here and I told him it was OK. Ask him if he would give you some instruction. I assume he will because he seems to like you and if he does, who knows what you might look like? Let’s see, you learn piano and good manners from me, weight lifting from Claude and boxing from Lars. Anything else?”
“Sure. Gwen is going to teach me how to shoot her guns.”
“The complete American male. You’re apparently a sexual prodigy and pretty soon, we’ll all be worshipping at the shrine of the weight lifting, straight-shooting pianist. Then we can all say, with truth, that you are indeed Alexander the Great. And your coffee would etch glass, kid. Next time, don’t make it so strong. I might have a heart attack if I drink all of this.”
“I’ll make some more if you want.”
“Jesus, no. I’ll be running around the house like a turpentined cat in about five minutes. Never mind about the coffee and thanks again for the breakfast. It was actually very good, Alex, and I am very pleased that you made peace with Gwen.”
“Chuck? Can I ask you something very personal?”
Chuck put the half empty coffee cup back on the tray.
“Do we always have to get personal?”
“I just wanted to ask you something, that’s all.”
“All right. Just don’t ask me any sex questions, OK?”
“OK, I promise. See my mom told me she never knew who my real dad was. I sort of believe her because I must have asked her ten dozen times. All we ever had around the house were a bunch of fat slobs named Ricky and Carlos and even one named Big Jim. What I was wondering, Chuck, is… I mean…. would you be my dad?”
There was absolute silence in the room and they looked at each other for a full minute until Chuck cleared his throat.
“You see, Alex, being a parent, surrogate or not, is a very serious business. Not to be taken lightly at all. Great responsibilities are involved, much time is expended and many problems to be had for everyone. I am very flattered you would ask me, Alex but…”
Alex looked at the floor.
“I guess I shouldn’t have bothered you. I’m sorry.”
“Will you let me finish? Having said all that, I am really afraid to say that I would be… greatly honored, Alex, to be your father. Unless, of course, you want me to take you to Little League games and build soapbox racers with you. That would be clean out of the question, of course.”
Chuck was afraid that there would be some kind of severe emotional reaction but Alex merely walked over to the bed and shook hands very solemnly.
Nothing further was said and with the ceremony of acquired patrimony concluded, Alex took the tray off the bed and set it on the floor.
A moment later there was a double knock on the door. It turned out to be Claude who had just come in from a five-mile run along the cleared road. The day was not that cold and he had been sweating heavily, a sweatband around his head was soaked.
He had taken off his cold weather running clothes and was now wearing a worn pair of red shorts.
“What happened to everybody? I think Lars has been watching his nasty tapes again because his door is locked and Gwen is weeping. Did you do something else to her, Alex?”
Alex was outraged.
“No! I took her breakfast and I was very nice to Gwen.”
“Oh Jesus,” Chuck said as he pulled back his covers and got out of bed, “I’ll go over and see what’s the problem. Did she say something to you?”
“I couldn’t understand her, whatever she said.”
Chuck left and Claude flopped down on the bed.
“Kept it warm for me. What’s the tray for?”
“Breakfast. I made it for both of them. I couldn’t find you.”
“No, I was out running. Weather’s not too bad and after a few miles you really can work up a sweat.”
“Chuck said you were getting some weightlifting stuff up here and that you might teach me how to lift weights. Would you?”
“Sure, why not? Let’s wait until the snow melts off and then I’ll call up and have things shipped up. You look like you’ve gained some weight, kid. What do you weigh?”
“One twenty five. I haven’t been off of that for two years.”
“There’s a scale in Chuck’s bathroom. Go see what you weigh now. I think you’ve filled out a little. Of course you should have with all the food you eat. Chuck says you go through milk like crap through a goose.”
When Alex came back from weighing himself, he looked astonished.
“I weigh one thirty two!”
“See, I told you that you look much better. Gained seven pounds in a week or so. Not bad. You want to run with me tomorrow?”
“I can’t run that good. How far do you go?”
“Five miles today.”
“No, I’d go about a mile and you’d have to carry me the rest of the way.”
“OK. We can take it easy the first time. Say we run a mile and walk back? You should be able to do that if we don’t push it. Tomorrow?”
“Sure, if it doesn’t snow. But what about the bears?”
“Fuck the bears. I’ll take a pair of my old socks along and one whiff of them and no more bears.”
“Do your feet smell?”
“Hey, is there a cow in Texas, kid? Is the Pope Catholic? Yeah, Uncle Claude’s athletic socks smell like Limburger cheese and camel shit blended in an aromatic mixture guaranteed to impress your date. Tomorrow then. What did you fix for breakfast?”
“Limburger cheese and camel shit sandwiches.”
“Oh, that’s not very original, kid. Can’t you think of something better than that?”
“How about toe jam on raw chicken livers?”
“Not too bad. Try candied cat snot and monkey shit.”
Alex began to laugh until he snorted for air.


This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

The Encyclopedia of American Loons

Susan Stevenson

Founder of the conspiracy theory, New Age quackery, anti-vaccine and anti-GMO site Gaia Health, homeopath Heidi Stevenson, has passed away. Susan Stevenson is probably not related, but she is at least just as crazy (though somewhat less influential). Stevenson is a hypnotherapist who practices past life regressive therapy, and a promoter of angel therapy, a type of New Age therapy based on the idea that communicating with angels is a key to healing. And Stevenson sees angels everywhere: “My life seems to be teeming with angelic connections, and the momentum is building. Have you noticed this in your own life? Angelic reminders that they are with us – ‘whispers’ in our ear, ‘taps’ on the shoulder, brushes of air across your skin or changes in air pressure, ‘flutters’ from deep inside, glints of light and color – all these gentle hints to pay closer attention to their presence. Think back – have you been paying attention, listening, responding? I know I certainly have been. Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. [her “degree” is from California Coast University and not worth the paper it is printed on], in her newest book Angel Therapy [the quote is some years old], says that this increased activity is directly related to the approaching millennium.” Some might suggest that the symptoms she describes would warrant an altogether different kind of response. Stevenson offers instructions on “contacting your personal angels” here.
Stevenson is apparently “a registered and certified clinical hypnotherapist in private practice”, where she offers “private sessions for adults and children,” as well as “workshops and audio tapes on a variety of life enhancing topics.” We do, admittedly, wonder a little bit how she squares her angels with her evident commitment to reincarnation (as per “past life regressive therapy”). More than that, we wonder who on Earth certified her – she doesn’t tell, and California does not recognize any separate licensing category called “hypnotherapist.”
Diagnosis: Yes, they seem warm and welcoming and enthusiastic and positive and harmless, but one cannot help but wonder why such fluffy New Age proponents always feel the need to dishonestly market their skills and qualifications. They are, perhaps, so post-truth that dishonesty doesn’t register any more. Stevenson probably needs serious help making other important distinctions, too.

Kamal Saleem

A.k.a. Khodor Shami (real name)

That evangelical fundies aren’t always deeply concerned with honesty should come as a shock to nobody. Kamal Saleem, for instance, is one of several “ex-terrorists” (Walid Shoebat is another) who claims to have been involved in islamist terror activities but saw the errors of his ways and is currently touring the religious right circus complaining about the evils of the Quran. In particular, Saleem claims to have been recruited by the PLO in Beirut in 1964 or 1965, four years before it was established in Lebanon, and ten before it was deployed to Beirut. Indeed, he claims to have been part of the Muslim Brotherhood at the same time (of course, his audience will probably not be aware that PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood were archrivals) and have met most of the most high-profile figures in the Middle East at the time. His fictitious backstory is ridiculous enough for one reviewer to dub him the “Forrest Gump of the Middle East.” Indeed, entirely according to himself, Saleem used to be important enough for the Muslim Brotherhood to put a $25 million bounty on his head, and he claims that there have been attempts to earn it: After a 2007 speaking event in California, for instance, he claims to have returned to his hotel to find his room ransacked and a band of dangerous Middle Easterners on his trail. He describes calling the police to alert them to an assassination attempt, though local law enforcement has no record of any such incident. We suppose you are supposed to blame a conspiracy backed by the pro-shariah government of the US.
Saleem used to work for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network – CBN continued to use him as a source even after his back story was revealed as fraud – and was hired by Focus on the Family in 2003, before launching his own ministry, Koome Ministries, in 2006 to “expose the true agenda of [Muslims] who would deceive our nation and the free nations of the world … America must wake-up and set a continued Christian agenda of Liberty and Truth as a standard to follow throughout the free world,” and embarking upon a lucrative career posing as an ex-terrorist. He has in recent years managed to become something of a mainstay in the religious right circus ring; his participation in The Call‘s “Dearborn Awakening” section – long after his fictitious backstory had been exposed – where he told rally attendees that he is descended from the “Grand Wazir of Islam” (a title that doesn’t exist in Islam) and urged attendees to pray for Muslims to convert to Christianity, is a typical example.
While preparing for his The Call appearance, Saleem also said that President Obama planned “to break down Article 6” of the Constitution in order to enforce “Islamic law,” warning that “if he breaks this, the Sharia law will be supreme in America.” Not only is this of course deranged nonsense, Saleem is also, ironically enough, closely affiliated with explicitly dominionist groups like Transformation Michigan that are themselves fighting tooth and claw to overturn Article 6.
Creeping shariah law is a mainstay of Saleem’s unhinged rants (we won’t even try to sum up this maelstrom of paranoid delusions). In 2012, Saleem claimed to have uncovered a liberal plot to use the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade to “bring Sharia law liberally in our face”. The formulations do admittedly suggest that he is poking fun at a paranoid audience, but the sum of evidence show that it is most likely an instance of unhinged insanity. He didn’t offer any details concerning howRoe v. Wade would lead to the implementation of shariah law, but did call it an “Islamic clause”. He doesn’t seem to know very much about Islam. Oh, and according to Saleem, the Obama administration didn’t merely wish to let Shariah law replace the constitution; it also sought to legalize terrorism through immigration reform – again there is a certain lack of detail, but apparently immigration reform means that “all the illegal Muslims will be legalized here” which entails that “terrorism will be legal.” President Obama was apparently also “sending millions to Hamas to import Muslim people” to the U.S. as part of a Muslim Brotherhood plot. The military is also involved: “many generals who swore to destroy the United States of America are generals in the United States”. Then he warned that “this world will become past tense and one day we’ll be wearing ragheads.” Apparently it all has something to do with the UN Resolution 16/18, which reaffirms “freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression” and opposes religious discrimination, and which will ostensibly force the church to “go underground” and thus impose Islam on everyone (or something). Let us at least all agree that there is something here that doesn’t quite add up.
In 2014, Saleem caught President Obama red-handed, having figured out that Obama secretly wanted ISIS to attack the United States so that he could declare martial law, cancel the next election and become a dictator. And while waiting for the bombs, Obama was waging jihad and helping fundamentalist islamists to take over America with abortion and gay rights, two things fundamentalist Islamists are not known to be particularly fond of, but it is probably all a false flag. We should consider ourselves lucky that Saleem and fellow conspiracy theorists were there to expose the plot. Saleem also revealed that the Obama family was in fact secretly attending mosques every Christmas; he established this by the powers of speculations, which works better for him than facts (what good are they? Factswon’t fit his narrative. Come on!)
Of course, having been exposed as a fraud carries little significance in wingnut circles. In 2012, for instance, the tea party group Constituting Michigan brought Saleem to Allegan High School to warn guests of the danger of creeping sharia law. Responding to criticism of the event Bill Sage, one of the co-founders of Constituting Michigan, dismissed it as “the result of media bias”. It is not clear what piece of criticism that response was supposed to address, but we are also under no illusion that Sage has ever worried about truth, accuracty, honesty or accountability. Dave Agema was also scheduled to speak at the event. Here is the American Decency Association’s attempt to defend Saleem. It is oddly telling.
Indeed, the same year Saleem was also given a platform at the Values Voter Summit, where he entertained audiences with tall tales of his work for Lebanon, Syria, the PLO, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Muslim Brotherhood and even Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, until he moved to the U.S. to wage “cultural jihad;” there he and his fellow terrorists “met the professors” at American universities and colleges – “our playgrounds” – and helped “the professors to establish new curriculum purposefully” to brainwash students to change “your children to hit your nation with everything they’ve got” (currently “45 percent of Common Core is Islamic indoctrination”; how he arrived at the figure is left open.) He also claimed that Hillary Clinton was working with Islamic countries to eviscerate the Constitution and “subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail and their churches and synagogues shut down,” which he says would happen “early next year!” 2013 came and passed without subjugation, but the religious right has never turned their back on a false prophet. He made similar claims about Clinton in 2016, and in 2017 he repeated his warnings that the Democrats are plotting to let Muslim terrorists take over America. Mat Staver, for instance, still seems impressed.
Saleem has also produced anti-Islamic videos for the Oak Initiative. His fake backstory is laid out in his virulently anti-Islamic book The Blood of Lambs, which has been reviewed as “obsessively, sadistically violent.” He usually responds to criticism of his claims by accusing critics, including a Christian professor at Calvin College, of being Muslim Brotherhood agents working in cohorts with an Islamic “shadow government” that has formed an “unholy alliance” against him: “Today we the enemy of Islam, the liberal movement, the socialist movement, the communist movement, the women movement, Cod Pink, all of them are coming against me, the Occupy, all of these are coming against me.They have unholy alliances together with Islam, whether it’s homosexual or baby-killer, all these have unholy alliances.” Coherence is not his strong suit.
Saleem emphasized the same confluence of isms on Alex Jones’s show in 2016: “the isms are coming together: Islamism, socialism, secularism, fascism, liberalism, secularism, all of them are part of the ism movement for the Last Days and they are united together for a one-world order” and “world government”.
Diagnosis: First time you encounter him, you’d probably conclude that he is a professional liar, but it seems pretty likely to us that he just isn’t able to distinguish reality from feverishly incoherent imaginations. Completely and utterly batshit crazy.

2 responses so far

  1. “. . .would impact the functioning of our constitutional republic and the framework of that constitution for generations.”

    Trump’s presence is what has impacted the functioning and framework of the Constitution. He has treated it like toilet paper yet his lawyers make it seem as if Trump recites it like a prayer every night before retiring. I wonder how many years it will take to clean up that bathroom.

  2. Trump is 73 years old, considerably overweight, has high blood pressure and recently (though it has been kept secret) had a heart attack that was treated at Walt4r Reed. Continual pressure will, without a doubt, give Trump another heart attack. Pray

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