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Stephen Miller’s Lies About Trump: “The president is a political genius… who took down the Bush dynasty, who took down the Clinton dynasty, who took down the entire media complex”

2018-06-21

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Michael Wolff’s assessment of Stephen Miller (from his book “Fire and Fury”): ” …other than being a far-right conservative, it was unclear what particular abilities accompanied Miller’s views. He was supposed to be a speechwriter, but if so, he seemed restricted to bullet points and unable to construct sentences. He was supposed to be a policy adviser but knew little about policy. He was supposed to be the house intellectual but was militantly unread. He was supposed to be a communications specialist but he antagonized almost everyone.”

Stephen Miller has been an aggressive, antagonistic right wing troll since he was in high school and started speaking on conservative radio at 16.  In college, he repeatedly attacked liberal people and causes.  He was said to have mentored the white supremacist Richard Spencer.  The former senior vice president of Duke, his alma mater, said: ” [he] seemed to assume that if you were in disagreement with him, there was something malevolent or stupid about your thinking—incredibly intolerant.”

(The quotes and details above were sourced from the Wikipedia article about Stephen Miller.  It is revealing.)

Stephen Miller represents the most anti-immigrant, racist, and white nationalist elements in the current government.  He has President Trump’s ear and has been whispering policy.  The particular policy, separation, the one Trump has just reversed, was developed a year ago by a small committee on which Stephen Miller sat.  It wasn’t intended to be universally unpopular but it managed to be condemned by everyone, from Republican mothers like Laura Bush to the Pope.

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Trump of Kim: “I will guarantee his safety…” The Kim government has the worst human rights record in the world according to the UN.

2018-06-20

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“I will guarantee his safety… And we’ve talked about that from the beginning. He will be safe. He will be happy. His country will be rich. His country will be hardworking and very prosperous. They’re very great people…”

The expression on Kim’s face in this photo is either completely obscure or else one of doubt– as if he doesn’t believe what you are saying, nor should you believe what he says.

What President Trump is saying in the above quote is an absurd blanket guarantee that Kim will be “safe”– not that we won’t attack him, not that we are declaring the willingness to sign a permanent peace treaty, but that we will protect him from such things as regime change, food poisoning, or a Chinese coup.

In addition, he is offering that North Korea itself will be safe and rich, without suggesting how that could happen.  He doesn’t say that he is offering them a real estate deal on a luxury hotel by the beach, although that could be on offer.   He is simply using words that fit into his propaganda context without any foundation in mechanisms or logistics.

If we guarantee Kim’s safety, that implies that we would protect him from regime change, that is a coup or a popular uprising.  That puts us in the position of protecting the head of the government with the worst human rights record in the world, according to the UN.  Worst in the world: that’s saying a lot.

That is the essential ugliness of President Trump’s detente with Kim Jong Un: he is a homicidal tyrant.  We could tolerate the declaration of non-aggression and the agreement to “denuclearize” Korea, but we can’t swallow Mr. Trump’s sucking up to Kim, his fulsome praise, his buddy-buddy attitude.

We do need to guarantee peace on the Korean peninsula, but we don’t need to be friends with Kim Jong Un.

 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Money is the only argument that would sway the President: separating adults and children captured by ICE is more expensive than keeping them together–(the fact that there is no plan for what to do with them now is unimportant.)

2018-06-20

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Here is the only argument that carries any weight with people who have the aggressive attitude championed by Stephen Miller towards immigration of any kind: it’s more expensive to separate the adults from the children than it is to keep them together, even if you’re going to deport them all anyway.  It’s easier to deport a minor when they are in the custody of an adult who is also being deported.

That’s the kind of argument that will make the operation of Miller’s railway back to Mexico for those captured at the border smoother and quieter.  At the same time, ICE employees tasked with removal of legal permanent residents who have had any interaction with the law are working from a list and plucking people seemingly at random from the bosom of their families.  The Kafkaesque nature of these detentions rivals the Stalinesque nature of the mass convictions and mass deportations of chained and shackled humanity.

This behavior ignores the essential nature of immigration, to our disadvantage: US citizens are not reproducing at a rate sufficient to even keep the population level.  If it were not for immigrants, the population of the US would be declining.  The average age of US citizens continues to rise, even as their longevity has soared– although longevity has suffered a hit recently.

Thus, the behavior of this presidential administration is self-defeating even while its popularity with the credulous 1/3 of the people has remained strong.  A ruinous trade war and expensive subsidies to coal-fired and nuclear power plants are only a few examples of the self-defeating policies of this administration.

Why do I feel like I’m yelling down a well?  There’s a big echo and no sound is escaping.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and Free-Photos)

 

Comment of the Day: “It ceased to matter long ago whether Trump’s claims bore any resemblance to the truth. At least a third of Americans can reliably be counted on to believe…”

2018-06-19
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Cephalus
Vancouver, Canada 

It ceased to matter long ago whether Trump’s claims bore any resemblance to the truth. At least a third of Americans can reliably be counted on to believe some version of Trump’s whoppers and Trump well knows this. Pointing out that the President is either lying or has no idea what he’s talking about has, in consequence, come to mean exactly nothing. That alone spells the end of democracy. If facts don’t matter, if reason doesn’t count, if truth telling and accountability are out the window, no deliberation, no debate, no evaluation of candidates and policies is possible. That was exactly Trump’s goal. The first and only important victim in tyranny, as the ancient Greeks pointed out, is truth. And so we have escalating tariffs against Canada (with whom the US has a sizeable trade surplus) and ramped up policing and incarceration (when crime rates have never been so low) and all the rest of the assaults on common sense and decency (making cosy with thugs, dictators, gangsters and pimps).

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and alefolsom)

Naomi Oreskes: “Poor Jim Hansen… The Cassandra aspect of his life is that he’s cursed to [know] what’s going on but unable to persuade people to do something… We are all raised to believe knowledge is power but Hansen proves the untruth of that slogan. Power is power.”

2018-06-19

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(photo of the beach at Cassandra, Greece courtesy of pixabay.com and vasiliskritos)

(quoted in an article in the Guardian about James Hansen, the climate scientist who predicted 30 years ago in an appearance before Congress that we would continue to heat up, like a frog in a pot of water over a fire.  In 1988, humans produced 20 bn tons of carbon as carbon dioxide; in 2017, it was 32 bn tons. )

President Trump strikes again: “They could be murderers and thieves and so much else” (read this: long deconstruction of all the propaganda elements in this short phrase follows on my blog)

2018-06-19

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More lies from a lying liar.

There is no excuse for listening to a man who uses the tools of propaganda instinctively, repeatedly, easily: repetition; a catchy slogan; color; a specific objective; a kernel of truth; concealment; and timing.  (quoted from who knows where.)

There is usually a kernel of truth in every propaganda statement (that is, everything that escapes Donald’s lips), and his latest statement includes that as well as first, a catchy, colorful slogan: “they could be murderers and thieves” (which also happens to be, objectively, true: there is a finite probability of some of the immigrants being previously convicted of homicide or just plain theft.)

The specific objective is to frighten people who are willing to listen to him, even if they don’t believe him.  Even a die-hard liberal could be sobered by hearing that: “they could be murderers and thieves” and thinking, you know, objectively, he’s right: a tiny percentage of the immigrants are murderers or just plain theft committers.  It takes time to think of the objective contrary: most of the immigrants are fleeing from murderers (or spouse abusers) and have had things stolen from them on the way.

The factor of concealment is to hide the fact that the immigration authorities at the  lowest level have bought into a frankly brutal treatment, dictated from the top with no precedent (despite his claim of Democratic laws requiring his actions), of immigrants without documents who have been apprehended: they charge every adult with a federal misdemeanor (or a felony if they can identify repeat crossers) and detain each one,  then they separate the adults from the minors and send the minors to non-profit protective agencies who house them, currently about 11,000 of them, unable to communicate with their parents, and not likely to be released back on the other side of the border at the same time and in the same place as them.

The factor of timing is that he has made this announcement, or propaganda statement, at a critical time in the argument over his policy: many Republicans, even Laura Bush, have denounced him in the past few days.  Sessions has already weighed in with the Biblical testament that justifies slavery.  Even Evangelicals are upset.

And, well, repetition: just by announcing that I’m going to analyze the statement, I’ve already repeated it once.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

 

 

President Trump Aspires to be a Dictator Like Kim: “Hey, he [Kim Jong-un] is the head of a country, and I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

2018-06-17

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