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Abdullah Alaoudh: “If we allow a murderer [Mohammad bin Salman] to get away because we think we can make some deals with him, we are just reinforcing the idea that money can silence everybody.”

2018-11-21

“And this is the dangerous message that created Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafi.  We can better protect the good relationship with Saudi Arabia in the long run through building a relationship with the Saudi people, institutions, and even the majority of the royal family.  Or we can risk losing all that by protecting one powerful individual who has been implicated in a horrible crime.”

This long quote from Abdullah Alaoudh comes to you through the Washington Post and is written by Karen Attiah.  It is published as an opinion piece.  The writer was a friend of Jamal Khashoggi.  Aloudh is a senior scholar at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

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Salon: “[he who must not be named] evidently believes he is above the law.”

2018-11-20

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)             

Lots of people say that:

The American Prospect: “[He]

Declares He Is Above the Law

June 3, 2018     [Chrome tells me this page is “not secure.”]

Washington Post: ” [His] lawyers say he’s above the law” 

June 4, 2018

Los Angeles Times: “[He]

doesn’t think he’s above the law. He thinks he is the law”

It should be noted that on June 4, 2018, at a press conference, Sara Sanders, White House spokeswoman, was asked whether the President believes he is above the law, and she responded “Certainly not.”   So the denial is in place, but the statements he made still strongly imply it; he said he believes that he cannot commit obstruction because “he would be obstructing himself” and in any case, he could just pardon anyone involved (including himself, as he has said before.)
In any case, it is clear that what little rational thinking takes place is guided by the assumption that he can do whatever he wants without anyone legitimately obstructing him and without consequence… this is called impunity and leads to worsening behavior in a sociopath.  This is why things are really going to go downhill from here unless someone (like Mueller) takes drastic action.

So read this: an article from a psychiatric point of view published in Salon a just a week ago:

Psychiatrist justin frank on [his] god complex: he is erotically attached to violence.

From which comes the titled quote: “[He] evidently believes he is above the law”, the very first sentence in the article.

Abigail Adams: “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could”

2018-11-17

Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her husband on March 31, 1776, while he was away working on the Declaration of Independence (actually, she wrote many letters.)  Here is a larger quote from her March 31 letter:

Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Rememberall men would be tyrants if they couldIf particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

Yale philosopher Jason Stanley: “Regular and repeated obvious lying is part of the process by which fascist politics destroys the information space. A fascist leader can replace truth with power, ultimately lying without consequence.”

2018-11-16

From a New Yorker article by John Cassidy:

Now another Yale academic, the philosopher Jason Stanley, is reiterating the point. In his new book, “How Fascism Works,” Stanley writes,  “Regular and repeated obvious lying is part of the process by which fascist politics destroys the information space. A fascist leader can replace truth with power, ultimately lying without consequence. By replacing the world with a person, fascist politics makes us unable to assess arguments by a common standard.”

The beginnings of this “post-truth world” can be seen already:

In a Quinnipiac University survey that was carried out this summer, seventy-five per cent of Republican respondents said they trust Trump more than the news media to tell them the truth about important issues. Just sixteen per cent said they trust the news media more than Trump.

One reason for this withdrawal from reality is the propagandistic nature of the Trumpian screed. I mentioned in a previous blog the essential elements of propaganda, but they bear repeating: repetition; a catchy slogan; color; a specific objective; a kernel of truth; concealment; and timing.  (quoted from who knows where.)  Republicans are subjected to a constant torrent of propaganda from their Republican National Committee and their fund-raising apparatus.

Fortunately for us, although it may not be enough of an advantage, the Republicans are in the minority.  Independents make up the largest voting bloc, and Democrats the second-largest.  We have to point out at this juncture, that Adolf Hitler won his way to the chancellorship with only 33% of the popular vote (he was the head of the Nazi party, the largest or second-largest party in contention at the time, and Communists were excluded from the final “free” vote of the Weimar Republic.)  The example of Nazi Germany should make us cognizant of the need for Democrats to enlist the cooperation of the smaller parties, although that may not be easy; a united majority front against minority Fascists would be essential should push come to shove.

Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian: “He [who must not be named] is just a bull carrying his own china shop with him whenever he travels the world.”

2018-11-13

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

He has been having a bad time lately, since the election it seems.  His trip to Paris didn’t go well.  When Theresa May called him while he was on the flight over, he unloaded a bellyfull of bile.  He insulted French President Macron over his misunderstanding of Macron’s speech plumping for a European army– apparently he thought that Macron was saying that Europe needed to defend itself against the US.  In reality, Macron was referring to cyberattacks coming from Russia, China, or the US, not actual military aggression by the US.

Macron responded by giving a speech in front of 60 or 70 world leaders, forcing him to sit there and listen, glowering in silence next to Angela Merkel, while Macron denounced nationalism and called it the opposite of patriotism.

Now that he is back at the White House, he has holed up in his bedroom, hate-watching CNN and tweeting his lies and calumnies non-stop.  He has cancelled all his activities (although he was forced to appear in the White House for a celebration of the Hindu holiday Diwali.)  Ironically, Diwali is supposed to commemorate the cosmic triumph of good over evil.  He didn’t even go to Arlington Cemetery on Veteran’s Day, breaking a tradition that has held since JFK.

We don’t have to wait for a constitutional crisis any more.  It is here.  One of the few things that he did, without any publicity, the other day was to publish an unlawful executive order denying pursuit of asylum to anyone not presenting themselves at an official port of entry.  Meantime, the largest port of entry on the southern border, Tijuana, with 100,000 crossings a day and 22 or more lanes of traffic, will only process one hundred applications a day for asylum.  Applicants must wait for weeks at the southern end of the border crossing for their turn to apply for asylum.  Of course, the vast majority of asylum requests will be turned down.

What’s more, none of the additional personnel dispatched to the border to stop this “invasion” will be assigned to take applications for asylum.  He is determined to slow-walk asylum claims and add to the years-long backlog of immigration court cases.

His order denying asylum to those not presenting at official ports of entry is unlawful because the governing statutes specifically state that people can apply regardless of when they come to the attention of authorities– whether it is voluntarily at a port of entry or later, if a person is apprehended north of the border.  He can’t override specific laws with executive orders and the court will not allow him to ride roughshod over the legislative branch of government as long as Marbury v Madison is settled law.

Sessions, while he was head of the Department of Justice, narrowed the criteria for successful asylum applications by removing the fear of personal violence as an allowable claim.  Those who say that their husbands are threatening to kill them, or who are being extorted or hunted by gangs, will no longer qualify for asylum.  Those who have applied because of personal fear can seek asylum in Mexico, but gangs are waiting for them in places like Tijuana and have been known to kidnap and extort those with sufficient family resources (there are also husbands who kill their wives if they find them.)

Meantime, the number of people applying for asylum each year has skyrocketed from roughly 5,000 to nearly 100,000 over the last ten years.  Yet the US historically has only allowed about 25,000 people a year to enter under asylum provisions.

He who must not be named claims that people are lined up to apply for jobs at the White House– despite the fact that taking a job like that could be a career-ending move.  He is suffering severe cognitive dissonance over the shellacking he has gotten in the elections.  He’s in hiding, still tweeting furiously.  His multifaceted pathological personality and defective character are providing us with a horror show every day that we can’t turn away from.  Our eyes are locked on this unfolding disaster, unable to look away, nauseated, disgusted, and ashamed for our country.

He who must not be named celebrates Diwali, the Hindu festival commemorating the cosmic triumph of good over evil. What’s wrong with this picture?

2018-11-13

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and yogeshree2989)

The reader should be aware that this symbol long predates the twentieth century in several cultures distant from Germany– it looks shocking, but I guess that’s the point.  This really is an authentic Diwali picture and it just makes you wonder… is good good or is it really evil?

Stan Lee: . “Not to have diversity of different races and nationalities is ridiculous, because the world is diverse. The more we can include everybody, the better it is.”

2018-11-12

(photo collage courtesy of pixabay.com and InspiredImages)