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TBR News March 31, 2019

Mar 31 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8

Washington, D.C. March 31, 2019: “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, , the Sinister Truth about Hurricane Katrina, Tesla Death Rays used to bring down the buildings of the WTC, balanced with other information proving beyone 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!

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 Table of contents

  • The 47-Minute Presidency
  • Making America Great Again: Trump’s Impossible Challenges
  • From victory to vengeance: Trump scents blood in 2020 fight
  • Enough collusion talk. It’s time to focus on Trump’s corruption
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • David Rives
  • -David Reardon
  • -John Ragan
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

 

The 47-Minute Presidency

The Reign of King Toot

by Tom Engelhardt

Recently, I did something rare in my life. Over a long weekend, I took a few days away and almost uniquely — I might even say miraculously — never saw Donald Trump’s face, since I didn’t watch TV and barely checked the news. They were admittedly terrible days in which 50 people were slaughtered in New Zealand.  Meanwhile, the president indulged in another mad round of tweeting, managing in my absence to lash out at everything and everyone in sight (or even beyond the grave) from John McCain, Saturday Night Live, and the Mueller “witch hunt” to assorted Democrats and even Fox News for suspending host Jeanine Pirro’s show. In his version of the ultimate insult, he compared Fox to CNN. And I was blissfully ignorant of it all, which left me time to finally give a little thought to… Donald Trump.

And when I returned, on an impulse, I conjured up the initial Trumpian moment of our recent lives. I’m aware, of course, that The Donald first considered running for president in the Neolithic age of 1987.  He tried to register and trademark “Make America Great Again,” a version of an old Reagan campaign slogan, only days after Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election to a charismatic, young, black senator.  He then rode that new president’s “birth certificate” into the post-Apprentice public spotlight amid a growing wave of racism in a country founded on slavery that has never truly grappled with that fact.

Still, the 47 minutes and eight seconds that I was thinking about took place more recently. On June 16, 2015, Donald and Melania Trump stepped onto a Trump Tower escalator and rode it down to the pounding beat of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” (a song the singer would soon demand, without success, that the presidential hopeful not use). A minute and a half later, they arrived in the Trump Tower lobby. There, a clapping Ivanka greeted her father with a kiss on each cheek — the first signal of the corporatist, family-style presidency to come. Then, The Donald stepped to the microphone and promptly launched his run into fake-news history.

Sometimes, the only way to go forward, or at least know where you are in the present, is to go back. Yes, Donald Trump garnered much news with his announcement that day and was already visibly having the time of his life, but no one in or out of the media then thought he had a shot at being president. Even he was only burnishing his brand. As Michael Wolff reported in his book Fire and Fury, even on election night 2016, almost a year and a half later, with the possible exception of Steve Bannon, no one in the Trump camp, including The Donald, had the slightest expectation of his winning the presidency. All of them were just burnishing their future brands.

And yet, in the spring of 2019, those largely forgotten 47 minutes are worth another look because, in retrospect, they provide such a vivid window into what was to come, what’s still coming. They offer the future president not naked at last, but naked at first, and so represent an episode of revelatory wonder (and, had anyone then believed that he might actually win the presidency, of revelatory dread as well).

The Candidate Naked as a Jaybird

Having taken another look at that first speech, I now think of the Trump era so far as the 47-minute presidency. It’s nothing short of wondrous just how strikingly that de-escalatory ride and the Trumpian verbal strip tease that followed before a cheering crowd revealed, point by point, the essence of his presidency to come. And by the way, it was certainly indicative of that future presidency that the audience (reporters aside) listening to him in the lobby of Trump Tower seems largely to have been made up of out-of-work actors being paid $50 a pop to cheer him on. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the email sent out by Extra Mile Casting to recruit those extras read in part: “We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement. We understand this is not a traditional ‘background job,’ but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.”

And given what would happen, never has an audience been bought more cheaply or effectively.

It’s hardly news today that Donald Trump would prove a unique candidate in American presidential history. On that first day, the most uniquely unique aspect of his speech (and, in the age of Trump, I offer no apologies for such an over-the-top superlative) was the utter, even brutal, honesty with which he presented — or perhaps the better word would be displayed — himself to the American people. To paint an even more honest picture, the one thing he might have done was ride that escalator up, not down, to his announcement. After all, his would be an escalation presidency of the first order. In crisis — and when is The Donald not in crisis? — it’s in his nature to escalate.

So bear with me here as I take us back almost four years to look once again at how it all began, at the way in which, after those 47 minutes, you could have turned off your TV, blocked out all those cable news talking heads, and never looked at the man again. After all, by then you knew everything you truly needed to know (except one thing that I’ll return to below) in order to grasp the Trumpian moment to come. In that sense, I think it’s fair to say, without a hint of Trump Tower-style exaggeration, that The Donald was the most honest presidential candidate we’ve ever had.

Honesty may be an odd label to slap on such a man. After all, he lies incessantly. He misstates regularly. He creates false facts anytime he needs them and then sticks with them forever — and he did just that, with alacrity and aplomb, on his very first day. In some sense, almost everything he says might be considered a lie of sorts, but the lying, misstating, absurd claims, and over-the-top pronouncements are done so nakedly, are so easy to debunk (or, if you prefer, like much of his base, to accept as reality), that they might almost be considered another form of honesty. They are, at least, a form of Trumpian revelation and so nakedness.

The general rule of politics is, of course, that the one thing you don’t do is offer yourself exactly as you are, warts and all (or even all warts) and naked as a jaybird for everyone to see. But Donald Trump did just that. In those first 47 minutes and eight seconds, he undressed in front of America. And nearly four years later, it’s worth looking back to grasp just how clearly his future presidency could be viewed in that first naked moment of moments.

King Toot

In a sense, all you needed to know was this. In that announcement speech, it took him barely two minutes to make it to the Mexican border, where he remains today. Nor should it have taken long for any viewer to grasp a few other things about him: he wasn’t a man for scripts, but was a man for insults; the Trump brand was far more crucial to him than the American one; he wouldn’t just interrupt you or anyone else, but also himself; he was ready to use blunt, everyday language never before associated with presidential candidates, no less presidents, in public (“They talked about environmental, they talked about all sorts of crap that had nothing to do with it”); there were no claims too big (or false) for him to make, especially when it came to himself and his effect on the world; he had already perfected his own unique version of incoherence, or stream-of-consciousness speaking, into a vibrant art form (that, in another sense, couldn’t have been more coherent); and he had an ego, invariably on display, as big as… well, not just the Ritz but perhaps his then-still-under-construction Trump International Hotel just down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House — and all of that was obvious even before he mentioned that “great, great wall” of his.

Despite an already existing following, thanks to his promotion of the Obama “birther” conspiracy theory, his adoring base did not yet exist. For him, however, it already did. It was, you might say, born ahead of its time. His first two words in that speech were “Wow. Whoa.” His reference point: the crowd of hired actors in front of him. “That is some group of people. Thousands.” Of them, he would momentarily say — no need to wait for the crowd controversy over his inaugural address more than a year and a half later — “There’s been no crowd like this.” But first, of course, just 20 words in, there had to be a plug for his brand. (“It’s great to be at Trump Tower.”)

And it didn’t take 30 seconds for the first insult du jour of his presidential run to make its appearance. Yep, there was that crowd, Trump Tower, and then naturally the matter of sweat and air conditioning. (“And, I can tell, some of the candidates, they went in [to announce their candidacies]. They didn’t know the air-conditioner didn’t work. They sweated like dogs… How are they going to beat ISIS?”) This was assumedly the first of what would be many insulting references to Republican senator and candidate Marco Rubio’s propensity to sweat, assumedly during his announcement of his candidacy that April. Though The Donald had barely begun, in what would be his typical fashion, he had already connected not blood, sweat, and tears, but air conditioning, sweat, and ISIS in the fashion in which he’s connected seemingly disparate things ever since.

And as Dr. Seuss might once have said: That was not all! Oh, no, that was not all! Those listening, at $50 a pop or not, quickly found themselves on the sort of high-speed train ride you can have in significant parts of the world — there are 27,000 kilometers of it China — but not in the United States, unless you’re at a Trump rally.

Just over two minutes in and the candidate-to-come had already zipped past China and Japan (“…they beat us all the time”) and arrived at that Mexican border. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…” A minute later, he leapt to the Middle East and “Islamic terrorism,” claiming “I’m in competition with them” because, he insisted, ISIS now had the Iraqi oil that “we should’ve taken” after the invasion and occupation of that country. With that oil money, he claimed, they had built “a hotel in Syria.” (Okay, it was, in fact, in Mosul, Iraq, and they didn’t build it, they took it over, but no matter.)

A headlong dash across the Iraqi border into Iran somehow brought him to American nukes (“Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work”) and next thing you knew you were ripping past the U.S. gross domestic product, which, he swore, was shockingly, unbelievably “below zero.” (He evidently meant growth in the GDP, not the GDP itself, not that that was true either.) And none of it — ISIS, Iraqis, Mexicans, Muslims, failing nukes, or even sweat and air conditioners added up to much of anything compared to “a disaster called the big lie: Obamacare. Obamacare.”

And that, mind you, was just the first nine minutes of his announcement, the rest of which — from China envy to Saudi love — similarly proved a remarkably apt outline of the presidency (and president) to come. But don’t let me forget one more thing: at the heart of that speech, as at the heart of everything else in the years that followed, was you-know-who and you-know-whose brand and business.

From those first moments, Donald Trump was always King Toot (as in, tooting his own horn). Yes, in that speech he plugged making America great again, mentioning the phrase, in whole or part, nine times. And it was indeed a brilliant slogan for him to adopt.  It allowed him to say something all too real that no other politician of that moment dared to say: that America wasn’t then the most exceptional or indispensable or greatest country on Earth; in those initial moments, that is, he inaugurated himself as our first genuine declinist presidential candidate (or at least the man who could save us all from further decline).  And whether as a repeated slogan or four words on a red cap, he rang a bell, loud and clear, in the white American heartland.

Still, read that speech now and you won’t doubt for a moment that his truest slogan wasn’t MAGA at all, but MTGAAA (Make Trump Great Again and Again and Again). In that sense, at the first rally of his presidency, he offered a remarkably forthright picture of what was to come.

He billed himself as a businessman of the first order for a country desperately in need of economic resuscitation — and his would indeed be a business presidency, if you mean his (and his family’s) businesses. That first speech would be larded with references to, and praise for, those very businesses and, of course, himself. He assured listeners that he was worth no less than $8,737,540,000 (though not according to Forbes) and that he wasn’t even bragging about it. (“I’m not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to, believe it or not.”)

It took just 12 minutes for him to make it to his golf courses and then to his most recent book. (“I have the best courses in the world… Now, our country needs… a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal.”) No matter that Tony Schwartz, its ghostwriter, would later denounce him as “incapable of reading a book, much less writing one.”

In fact, no subject he raised that day seemed to lack a reference to the monuments, with their giant golden letters, that he had already erected to himself. The Saudis (“I love the Saudis. Many are in this building”), the Chinese (“The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower. I love China”), you name it and he linked it to his businesses. In, for instance, a passing discussion of the country’s sagging infrastructure (still crumbling almost four years later) — “It’s like we’re in a third world country,” he’d say that day — he promptly focused on his hotel-to-be in the nation’s capital.  (“You know, we’re building on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Old Post Office, we’re converting it into one of the world’s great hotels. It’s gonna be the best hotel in Washington, D.C.”)

The emoluments clause in the Constitution? Don’t make me laugh. From the first second, Donald Trump couldn’t have made it clearer that, were you to vote for him, you would be putting his business and no one else’s, including yours, in the White House. Again, it was a rare moment of honesty, even if few truly took it in (or, at that moment, cared).

The Bankruptcy King in Person

All of this is, of course, ancient history, but as a document that first speech is anything but yesterday’s news. In many ways, it remains tomorrow’s headlines in a media world that, so long after, still can’t get enough of him. Had any of us truly been paying attention to more than the circus quality of the former ringmaster of The Apprentice taking his moment in the electoral sun, we might have noticed that Donald Trump was — give him credit — a strangely open book, no ghostwriters in sight. He’s remained so ever since.

That June 16th, he displayed himself nakedly — except for the orange hair — before that audience of reporters and hired actors, as well as the rest of America, and he’s never put on a stitch of clothing since. His initial TV moment was not a once-in-a-lifetime but a first-in-a-lifetime performance by a man in the process of creating a genuine what-you-see-is-what-you-get presidential run and presidency.

As I mentioned, however, there was an exception to everything I’ve written above, as there usually is to all rules in life. One thing was missing from his speech, as it would be from all of the speeches, tweets, and rallies to follow. The single hidden factor in the Trump presidency (even if, like everything else about the man from bone spurs to Roy Cohn, it was always in plain sight) contradicted his endless presentation of himself as the ultimate businessman and dealmaker for a floundering and foundering America.

Donald Trump wasn’t actually a successful businessman at all, not in the normal sense anyway. He was an economic magician (or, in classic American terms, a con man) who regularly ground business after business — a set of casinos (at a time when other casinos were thriving), hotels, an airline, and a series of other endeavors ranging from Trump Steaks to Trump Vodka to Trump University — into the dust of bankruptcy or failure. What made him such a magician was that, in case after case, his greatest “business” skill proved to be jumping ship, dollars in hand, leaving those who trusted him, had faith in him, believed in him holding the bag.

He had a history of screwing anyone who relied on him, whether we’re talking about the investors in his Atlantic City casinos or a bevy of small business types and others who worked for him — plumbers, waiters, painters, cabinet makers — and were later stiffed. In other words, Americans elected a bankruptcy king as their president and character will tell.

There really are no secrets here. In the end, Donald Trump clearly cares about nothing but himself (and perhaps his family as an extension of that self).

So read or listen to that first campaign speech again. Reintroduce yourself to Donald Trump presenting himself with naked honesty — with that single exception — and then consider the future for a moment. Whether in his first or second term (should he win again in 2020), if things start to head south economically, count on this: he’ll repeat his well-documented history and jump ship, leaving the American people, including that beloved base of his, holding the bag.

 

Making America Great Again: Trump’s Impossible Challenges

by Christian Jürs

 

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.

 

From victory to vengeance: Trump scents blood in 2020 fight

The president celebrated the Mueller report – but then his latest effort to invalidate Obamacare left some feeling he ‘stepped all over that message’

March 31, 2019

by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

The Guardian

It felt like a victory lap. At a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday night, surrounded by a sea of red Make America Great Again hats, a defiant Donald Trump held the podium before a raucous crowd

“After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead,” the president declared in a 90-minute speech.

Basking after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which clouded the first two years of his presidency, Trump falsely claimed “total exoneration”.

He vowed retaliation against some of his sharpest critics and suggested consequences for the media were in order. He spoke of doing away with Barack Obama’s healthcare law. And he threatened to shut down the US-Mexico border as early as next week.

It was a stark reminder of how Trump views his executive authority and a glimpse of his looming fight for re-election.

“He is much more likely to be re-elected today than he seemed at the end of last week,” said Michael Steel, a Republican operative who was an aide to former House speaker John Boehner. “I think that Democratic oversight activities will continue, but this definitely took the wind out of their sails.”

However, Trump’s legal perils are far from over. According to a short letter to Congress by attorney general William Barr, the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election did not clear Trump of wrongdoing. Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, specifically stating that his report “does not exonerate” the president.

Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Trump aides and Moscow, which the president said supported his longstanding claim of “no collusion”. Left unclear was what the special counsel had to say of repeated contacts between Trump associates and Russian nationals, and lies to prosecutors about such communications.

On Friday, Barr said that by mid-April he would make public a redacted version of the Mueller report, which is nearly 400 pages long. The attorney general faced criticism after drawing his own conclusion, in his letter to Congress, that Mueller did not have sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

In a second letter released on Friday, Barr said his initial assessment was not intended to be a summary of the Mueller report and that the American public “would soon be able to read it on their own”.

Trump nonetheless seized on Barr’s rendering of the Mueller report.

“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, some bad things, I would say some treasonous things against our country,” Trump told reporters last Sunday. “And hopefully people that have done such harm to our country – we’ve gone through a period of really bad things happening – those people will certainly be looked at. I’ve been looking at them for a long time.”

On Fox News, Trump’s most prominent boosters chimed in.

“This must be a day of reckoning for the media, for the deep state, for people who abuse power, and they did it so blatantly in this country,” said Sean Hannity, who ranks among Trump’s closest allies.

If we do not get this right, if we do not hold these people accountable, I promise you, with all the love I can muster for this country and our future for our kids and grandkids, we will lose the greatest country God has ever given man. We will lose it.”

Initial polls showed little change in public perception of the Mueller investigation or potential wrongdoing by Trump.

A CNN survey found nearly 60% of Americans believed Congress should continue to investigate, while 56% said they did not believe Trump had been exonerated of collusion, even though Barr’s letter said the special counsel could not establish a criminal conspiracy. Perhaps most tellingly, 86% said the findings would not affect their vote in 2020

“The political divide is virtually the same,” said Rick Tyler, a former aide to Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. “If you didn’t like Trump before, you don’t like him anymore now. If you like Trump, you still like him.”

“It could be a reset but it’s not going to be, because the president is congenially incapable of resetting.”

‘The party of healthcare’

Indeed, in the immediate wake of what some called the best week of his presidency, Trump returned to the impulsive style of governing that has prompted disorder and left his own party flatfooted.

In a major shift, the administration announced on Wednesday it would back a legal effort to fully invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, a move that would threaten healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, an issue which proved central to November’s midterm elections, in which Democrats regained the House.

Trump’s move came over the objections of Barr and Alex Azar, his health secretary. The House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, reportedly told Trump the move made no sense, given Republicans do not have a plan to replace the ACA and would be unable to move legislation.

“Members feel like [the Mueller report announcement] was great and Trump stepped all over that message with the Obamacare lawsuit announcement,” a House GOP aide told Axios.

Tyler said: “While I can argue lots of different structures that would be better than Obamacare, that would be like overthrowing a foreign government with no replacement government. The result would be chaos.”

Undaunted, at his Michigan rally Trump renewed his call to toss out the ACA, insisting Republicans would come to be known as the “party of healthcare”. And he didn’t stop there.

Trump also vowed to shut down the Mexico border “next week”, a move that would do significant damage to the US economy. Mexico is a vital trading partner but Trump complained it was not doing enough to stop illegal immigration.

Trump received familiar support from Fox. But other Republicans warned Trump not to jeopardize an otherwise positive moment.

“I think it’s a good thing for America that a detailed and thorough investigation concluded that the president of the United States is not a witting or unwitting agent of a foreign power,” said Steel.

“I do think there’s some danger that in the hubris of his response, the president makes mistakes.”

 

 

Enough collusion talk. It’s time to focus on Trump’s corruption

If there is a silver lining to the confusion and disappointment of Russiagate, it is that we can now pay attention to the real fleecing

March 31, 2019

by Michael Paarlberg

The Guardian

It’s a fortunate thing for Donald Trump that the Democrats, and much of the media, spent the past two years focused on the narrow question of whether his 2016 campaign actively colluded with Russian agents to hack his opponents’ emails. Were it not for this singular obsession, we might have come to appreciate the full scope of graft, influence peddling and petty theft that has made this the most crooked administration in US history

One doesn’t have to go to Moscow to see it; pick almost any country in the world. Take my former home, Panama, famous for its canal and secret banks. Towering over the Panama City skyline is a 70 story hotel-casino shaped like a sailboat formerly known as the Trump Ocean Club. Trump had gifted it to his daughter Ivanka as her first real estate deal, which court records show earned Trump between $30m and $50m. Ivanka Trump put in charge of its sales a Brazilian financier, whom a Reuters investigation identified as an admitted money launderer with ties to Russian organized crime, who would later be arrested for fraud and forgery.

A Global Witness report turned up evidence the hotel project was being used to launder “proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking”. When the hotel’s owners decided the Trump name was bad, even for business this shady, and ended their contract with his organization, Trump’s lawyers asked Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela to intervene on Trump’s behalf.

In an erratic first term characterized by organizational chaos and constant turnover, the most consistent feature of the Trump presidency has been his use of office for personal enrichment. The Argentinian press reported that Trump asked President Mauricio Macri to resolve construction delays for a Trump building in Buenos Aires; both presidents denied the report, but construction resumed within days their call.

In India, Trump made licensing deals for buildings owned by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a lawmaker and the vice-president of the ruling party, the BJP. Lodha’s partners met with Trump shortly after his election to discuss “US-India relations”. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has leveraged his somehow accepted position as acting secretary of state to win investments from the Chinese and Qatari governments in his own real estate business.

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump has won licensing deals for her clothing line in China, which her father had labelled a currency manipulator before warming to president Xi, coincidentally just after the Chinese government approved trademarks for his and Ivanka Trump’s companies.

For legal scholars, the question of what to make of these gross conflicts of interest is a technical one: do they violate the constitution’s so-called emoluments clause, barring presidents from accepting “any present, emolument, office, or title” from foreign states? Constitutional originalists argue that emoluments, as the framers envisioned, had a narrow definition that do not include licensing fees for fashion companies and hotel-casinos, which is as tautological a defense as the fact that Trump has not been named a duke of the Habsburg Empire.

But there’s a simpler term for this: public corruption. It’s broader than hacking, and it’s well documented, if not nearly as breathlessly discussed on cable news.

The activist group Public Citizen collected records of over $15m Trump raked in from government agencies and political organizations such as the Pentagon, National Security Council, Republican National Committee and taxpayer dollars, which were spent money on everything from Trump restaurants to golf carts at Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s hotels have become an easy conduit for money from lobbyists both foreign and domestic. The Trump family business has earned a quarter million dollars in hotel fees from the Saudi government alone, another state Trump railed against on the campaign trail and made nice with once in office.

The big money comes from commercial tenants in Trump properties, which Forbes has estimated earns the president $175m a year, and include a Chinese state bank which rents a $2m office space in New York’s Trump Tower. Despite a much-hyped trade war with China, Trump is famously indebted to Chinese state banks, and two days after the Trump Organization received a $500m loan from the Chinese government, Trump announced he would lift sanctions against a Chinese telecom business. His tariffs also selectively excluded the country’s apparel industry, from which his daughter’s company imports its clothes.

Perhaps what has made these ongoing grifts so easy to overlook is that they are so unimaginative. There’s no grand conspiracy, no chalkboard linking spymasters to sleeper agents. What made Russiagate so seductive as the alpha and omega of Trump’s malfeasance was its promise that his very presence in office was illegitimate, that his misdeeds could be blamed on shadowy foreign forces rather than the country’s existing prejudices and mistrusts they exploited.

The Trump campaign’s defense was one of uncharacteristic humility: that it was too disorganized to carry out a conspiracy of the ages, and it’s a plausible argument. Real malfeasance is boring and obvious: sleaze your way into power and line your pockets while you have it. The Trump family is perfectly capable of that. It sees the presidency simply as a vehicle to extract maximum rents. If there is a silver lining to Russiagate’s anticlimactic conclusion, it should be to free up some attention for the real fleecing that’s going on, one that Congress has, until recently, been too distracted to stop.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

#2166: David Rives

David Rives, son of Richard Rives and head of David Rives Ministries, is a creationist in the grand tradition of ridiculous crackpots like Ray Comfort and Carl Baugh, whose TV program “Creation in the 21st Century” (on the Trinity Broadcasting Network) Rives seems to have inherited. Rives’s output, in particular his series of short videos, is regularly featured by the WND, for instance in WND’s video series The Heavens Declare, where Rives goes through all the usual talking points in apparent favor of a 6000-year-old universe, such as the old and thoroughly refuted creationist take on the bombardier beetle (which Rives seems to think, in line with the teachings of standard creationist cryptozoology, is evidence for the historical accuracy of descriptions of large fire-breathing dragons in the Bible), with a recurrent focus on irreducible complexity. He also thinks that all modern scientific discoveries were predicted by the Bible, mostly because the ones that weren’t are just atheist conspiracies anyways. Here, for instance, is Rives claiming that gravity only makes sense in the context of the Bible.

You can follow the link here to see Rives attack evolutionists on the grounds that dictionaries distinguish astronomy from astrology – “God is behind the stars, not in them,” Rives inform us. Take that, atheists and evolutionists. Of course, Rives is not particularly fond of astronomy either, and has argued for instance against the Big Bang; according to Rives “good science” backs up the six-day creation account in the Bible, and “bad science” contradicts it – “good scientific practice” is the set of methods that give you the answers you’ve already convinced yourself are correct – and besides, the Big Bang theory has unanswered questions: only the Bible has all the answers. Here is Rives explaining further why Big Bang is science fiction (it’s only an atheistic theory) because good science is supposed to be observable and repeatable; evolution, as he sees it, is faith, not science – no, he doesn’t have the faintest idea what science is. (Hint: science istesting hypotheses about the unobserved through observable data derived from the hypotheses – that’s the whole pointof scientific inquiry – and it’s the observationsthat must be repeatable, not the events or circumstances your hypothesis is about.) Then he explains how Galileo, Kepler, and Newton all relied on a Biblical perspective; science should apparently have stopped there (Kepler, of course, also relied on astrology; Rives doesn’t mention that). And in the brief video “Billions of Earths in the Galaxy” Rives argues against elitist, smartypants astronomers who claim to have found “earth-like” planets elsewhere in our galaxy, pointing out that even astronomers admit that even the closest one is supposed to be 13 light years away, which according to the “Rives Theory of Relativity” (no, seriously: he calls it that) would take us more than 200,000 years to reach with any spacecraft. And what does it mean? At best that astronomers don’t know what they are talking about; at worst apparently that they are deliberately trying to sow doubt about the Bible.

Elsewhere, Rives likes to argue against evolution based for instance on standard creationist misunderstandings (or lying) about the Cambrian explosion. Here is Rives on mutations, which are obviously bad for us because they are so random and therefore an argument against evolution (yeah, that one again – he really, really doesn’t get that natural selection bit of the theory of evolution). And here is Rives claiming that clam fossils in Kansas are irrefutable proof of a global flood because they were found “nearly 1000 miles from the nearest ocean” and “2500 feet above sea level.” Oh, ye stupid secular scientists: clams on dry land! What do you say to that? Surely the evolutionist explanation for them relies purely on dishonesty. At least his reports from his, uh, study trip to South Africa are rather fascinating in a train-wreck sort of way.

As for his TV show Creation in the 21th century, it is based on the observation that “[t]heologians have long questioned the dogma of Darwinian evolution, particularly when its adherents have trumpeted the theory as evidence God is no longer needed to understand the universe. But in recent decades the classic, Darwinian narrative of man descended from primordial ooze through the process of random chance and mutation has drawn criticism from another, perhaps more surprising sector: from the world of science.” Of course, the idea that evolution proceeds by random chance is precisely a fundamental misunderstanding frequently made by creationists that real scientists have criticized rather severely, but that’s not what Rives has in mind, of course. The show features “interviews with top scientists around the world discussing the controversial topic of creation science” – “top scientists” here of course being used according to Rives’s personal definition of “science”, which has little to do with science.

Diagnosis: Good grief. As feeble as you could possibly imagine, but apparently that is the key to success with this particular audience, and Rives seems to be on the ascendance to something resembling stardom in the creationist circus.

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

#2147: David Reardon

David Reardon is an American electrical engineer and anti-abortion activist with a bogus degree in biomedical ethics from Pacific Western University, an unaccredited, now-defunct diploma mill. He is the founder of the Elliot Institute, an anti-abortion advocacy group, and the author of a number of articles and books on abortion and mental health. As such, Reardon is one of the most influential propagators of the myth that abortion causes psychological health issues, which he backs up with a thick layer of pseudoscience and discredited “studies” (like the infamous Priscilla Coleman et al. study). Indeed, Reardon’s main anti-abortion strategy is to try to argue that abortion is not only morally wrong, but that there are prudential reasons – women’s health and well-being – for making it illegal, a position that is hard to sustain without an unhealthy dose of pseudoscience, denialism and conspiracy mongering. The purpose of the Elliot Institute is accordingly to study “the effects of eugenics, abortion, population control, and sexual attitudes and practices on individuals and society at large,” where “study” means “working hard to make the data fit the hypothesis by any means necessary.”

Reardon’s nonsense is not exactly fringe-nonsense in the anti-abortion movement, however: post-abortion counseling ministries are a growing industry, and part of an effort by the pro-life movement to outlaw abortion by stressing its purported psychological effects. “Even if pro-abortionists got five paragraphs explaining that abortion is safe and we got only one line saying it’s dangerous, the seed of doubt is planted,” Reardon wrote in his book.

Diagnosis: It’s almost as if any issue taken up by wingnuts and fundies turns into pseudoscience, denialism and conspiracy theorizing by default. Reardon has at least emerged as a major producer of pseudoscientific bullshit, and one whose impact is non-negligible.

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#2140: John Ragan

John Ragan is a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing the 33rd District, which puts him in the company of deranged lunatics like Kevin Brooks, Jimmy Matlock and Stacey Campfield. Ragan is famous for believing that homosexuality doesn’t really exist: “A person is a heterosexual because of the presence of genitalia of one sex or the other. No one except a very few with an exceedingly rare congenital deformity have both kinds of genitalia.” Yes, he might be confused about some details here. In 2013 Ragan sponsored a bill – described by Ragan as a “mental health” bill – that says that school officials must “notify parents or legal guardians in the manner specified by law for such a medical referral” if a child is, among other things, suspected of being LGBTQ; he did claim to not be “anti-gay”, and putting the mental-health reference together with his aforementioned denial of the existence of homosexuality, you sort of get where he is coming from. It is not a good place to be coming from. The bill was a modified version of his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would have forbidden public school teachers from saying “gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual” in classrooms, a bill that drew national attention. In 2017 Ragan sponsored legislation that tried to limit the terms “mother and father” to households with opposite sex parents in a complicated effort to create trouble for gay couples wishing to adopt children.

But Ragan’s lunacy isn’t limited to anti-gay efforts. In 2012, Ragan co-sponsored HJR 587, a resolution against the United Nations’ non-binding Agenda 21 treaty, based on the hard-right conspiracy theorist fear that the treaty is a plot to establish a New World Order. He is also a firm climate change denialist, having asserted that “[t]he anthropogenic climate change theory, as a scientific theory, fails to meet criteria for explanation of all evidence, testability and falsification,” which, of course, is nonsense – not that we even for a moment would suspect Ragan of actually understanding the meaning of the terms he is using.

Diagnosis: Simply a standard, bigoted denialist and conspiracy theorist. He keeps getting reelected, though, which does not reflect well on people in Tennessee’s 33rdDistrict

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

March 30, 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. 56

Date: Thursday, January 2, 1997

Commenced: 1:35 PM CST

Concluded: 2:10 PM CST

RTC: A New Year, Gregory. Will we see it out, do you think?

GD: Probably. Unless, of course, we have the Rapture and you and I are left behind. Are you particularly religious, Robert? If you are, I will refrain from comment so soon after the celestial birthday.

RTC: Nominal, just nominal. Say what you like.

GD: I don’t know if you want that, Robert. I have very strong views on some aspects of religion.

RTC: A Christmas indulgence from me, Gregory.

GD: Every society needs a moral core. Mostly, Robert, religion supplies this. For the Nazis and the Communists, Hitler and Stalin supplied the religious themes, but not here. Why is America the compost heap that produces, not flies from maggots, but the Christian Jesus freaks out of absolutely nothing but pulp fiction? The Gospels are all forgeries, written a long time after the events depicted in them and they have been constantly changed over the centuries to reflect various political and economic needs. I mean, Robert, that there is not one bloody word in the New Testament depictions of Jesus that could be considered to have even a gram of historical accuracy. I could go on for hours about this subject, but the whole fabric of the Christian conservatives or the rampant Jesus freaks is that their dogma is based on total and very clear fraud. The so-called Battle of Armageddon, for example, is nowhere in the Bible…

RTC: Are you serious?

GD: Look it up, Robert. Revelations 16:16 is the sole mention of it. Just a geographical name, that’s all. No blitzkrieg of Jesus versus the Evil Ones. Nothing at all. It was all pure invention.

RTC: Well, if not in the Bible, who made it up?

GD: One Charles Fox Parham, that’s who made it up. He was a very nasty type who ran a bi-racial church in Los Angeles around the turn of the century, before he was chased out. And, of course, he did time in jail for defrauding his flock of money and, more entertainingly, buggering little boys in the fundament. Oh my yes, he made up the whole Rapture story and ranted on endlessly about a fictional Battle of Armageddon. It’s like having the Church of the Celestial Easter Bunny or the Divine Santa Claus. At least there really was a Saint Nicholas, but the Easter Bunny is as fictitious as Jesus the Water Walker.

RTC: I don’t recall learning about that as a child at all.

GD: Of course not, you belong to the original Christian church, Robert, not one of the later cults. Neither the Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox people have this silly Rapture business anywhere in their early literature. This was a fiction started up at the beginning of this century by some nut named Blackstone who claimed that Jesus was coming. I think the word ‘rapture’ didn’t come I into use until about 1910. It’s just more nut fringe fiction, nothing more.

RTC: Well, I haven’t had much in the way of contact with these people except to chase off the Jehovah’s Witnesses who bang on my door and try to shove all kinds of pamphlets on me. In the long run, Gregory, you should learn to avoid the lunatics and concentrate on more important issues. There are always nuts. Didn’t they burn witches in Salem?

GD: The same types, only then they were in power. Now they lust after power so they can shove their fictional crap onto the sane part of society.

RTC: Well, then, what about the ones who don’t believe in evolution?

GD: The same types. We have them across the street. Told me yesterday the world was only 6,000 years old and dinosaurs and men commingled in Kansas somewhere. You can’t tell these people anything. They just keep repeating that whatever fiction you go after is in the Bible. When you ask them to show you, they get angry. Nuts always get angry when you puncture their fantasy balloons.

RTC: And Armageddon? I vaguely recall something about a battle between the Antichrist somewhere.

GD: But not in the Bible. The only reference to Armageddon is Revelations 16:16 and it just mentions the name of the place, nothing about a battle, Jesus, Satan, the Antichrist or my cousin Marvin. Nothing. But when you tell the nuts this, they almost froth at the mouth. They’ll tell you the battle is there and when you make them open their chrome-plated Bible and look, they flip back and forth and get more and more upset. Of course it isn’t there so they make faces and later they tell me, with great triumph, that they asked Pastor Tim and he said it was all there. Of course when I ask them for chapter and verse, they don’t have it.

RTC: Gregory, a word of fatherly advice here. Why bother with these idiots? Who cares what they believe? Are they of use to you in some project? If they are, be patient and go along with them. If they aren’t, drop them.

GD: But they are annoying. Robert, if I told you the Japanese attacked Spain in 1941, wouldn’t such stupidity annoy you?

RTC: No, it wouldn’t. When I was in harness, I heard worse than the babbling of the Jesus nuts, believe me. Senior Company people acting like spoiled children because no one listened to their pet theories about this country, that economy, that head of state, that foreign political party and on and on. Sometime…. no, more often than I liked, some rabid lunatic did us all kinds of damage, as witness the Gottleib mind control stupidity. People like that, Gregory, should be taken out for a trip on your boat or a walk in the Pine Barrens and simply shot. What did Joe Stalin say? ‘No man…no problem.” I often had to listen to these boring nuts, but you don’t. I had to make excuses to get away from them, but you don’t have to deal with them in the first place. Most small-minded people fixate on something utterly unimportant and think they have discovered the wheel. Yes, I agree that religious loonies are probably the worst, but, believe me, the political experts are almost as bad. They hop up and down shouting, ‘Listen to me! Listen to me!’ And who gives a damn what they think? No, I agree with you about the Jesus freaks but there are legions, I say, legions of others that are just as fixated, just as crazy, just as annoying, so you would be far better served if you just shut them out of your mind and turned your talents to other matters more important. Take some comfort in the thought that just as their lights go out and the darkness swallows them that they realize in the last second that there is no heaven, no Jesus and nothing but the embalmer’s needle and the worms. Nothing. But then their brains have turned to Jello and they don’t care anymore because they have returned to the dirt that they came from.

GD: I agree, Robert, I agree with you, but I still get annoyed. But these nuts, and you can add the Jewish Holocaust nuts to the pile, demand you do not say this or read that or watch that movie. They aren’t content to live in their basements and talk to themselves or tyrannize over their poor children and wives, so they rush out into the street and issue orders as if anyone cared or worse, as if they really mattered. That I object to strongly. I have waded through tens of thousands of pages of official German papers and I can tell you, without any doubt, that the Germans did not gas millions of Jews. What do these creeps do? They tell the archives to seal the papers that make them out professional liars and attack anyone who dares to question them. The holocausters and the Jesus freaks are cut from the same piece of God’s underwear. I think the dirty parts to be sure.

RTC: (Laughter) Oh, Gregory, such passion for so little. They both think they are really important and that people actually listen to them, and even care about their unimportant obsessions. Ignore the Jews, too, Gregory, like you should ignore the Jesus freaks.

GD: Ah, but the Jews control the media and most of the publishing houses. If you write, you don’t get published. Now if I made up some fantasy that said the Germans burned two hundred million Jewish babies, I would be a best seller, number one on The New York Times book reviews and a great one on the lecture and TV interview circuit. Of course about ten people would read my fictions, but no one would be rude enough to talk about that. Christ, most of the Holocaust books are pure fiction and the rantings about the Rapture are right in with them.

RTC: Well, I can see some sense here and I admit it is difficult to get away from obnoxious Hebrews, but why not try? I find that if you ignore people like this, eventually they will go away and annoy people in public lavatories. Just another step to oblivion.

GD: I really shouldn’t bore you with you with my own obsessions but I do not suffer fools gladly.

RTC: God, there are so many of them.

GD: I remember my grandfather and one of his pet comments to bombastic idiots he encountered at social functions. He would smile and say, ‘I beg your pardon, sir, but are you anybody in particular?’

RTC: (Laughter) I don’t suppose any of the gas bags got that.

GD: No, but grandfather did, and so did I. I remember once my mother started yelling at me non-stop because I had come in late from a night with the ladies and the bottle. I listened to her rantings for about an hour and finally, after she ran out of steam, she asked me if I had anything to say and I told her, very politely, that I had been trying to tell her for the longest time that she had some hairpins coming loose just over her right ear.

RTC:(Laughter) My Lord, Gregory, what a put-down. Whatever did she do?

GD: She was so worn out shouting that she just stared at me with her mouth open and before she could get her wind back, I went in my room and locked the door. She stood in front of it yelling that I was disrespectful, until my father came out and made her go back into the house because the lights were going on in the neighbor’s homes. I had a warm and caring family life, Robert, believe it. But I didn’t have to listen to the braying of human donkeys all the time. Just the occasional parental psychotic episode. Now they come up with glazed eye and threads of drool dripping from their mouths while they clutch at you and screech, ‘Jesus, Jesus,’ or ‘six million, six million.’ Oh how I would love to give them lobotomies with a chain saw.

RTC: I don’t think you would have much luck with a lobotomy, Gregory. Most creatures like that don’t have brains.

GD: No, Robert, they don’t. What they do have are knots on the top of their spine to keep their asses from plopping down onto the sidewalk.

 

(Concluded: 2:10 PM 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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