Saturday, July 20, 2019

Essay about Trump-led America that says it all - read it and weep (and Vote!!!!)

I am fortunate to live in a very liberal, progressive area.  To all my friends who live in parts of the country where Trump supporters cheer at his rallies, and you feel like you are alone in the midst of craziness, please take heart and don't move away.  We are in a period of great transition in this world.  Your votes and clear seeing are needed for the change that is happening (and being opposed by the racists and ignorant among us). 

The American People From 2016 to the Present: "With Such People, You Can Do As You Please"

by Jaime O'Neill | July 20, 2019 - 6:59am

"If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer…And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also its capacity to think and to judge. And with such people, you can do as you please."

Those are the words of Hannah Arendt. She was the writer who gave us the phrase "the banality of evil" when she was writing about Adolf Eichmann and the unexceptional people who were the monstrous administrators of the Nazi extermination camps. What is so scary about such people is that they aren't really distinguishable from clerks in hardware stores, or guys who sell insurance, ordinary schlubs who, given the power to do evil and a system to do it in, will.

It's a scary thought, a long way from the cartoon villains we prefer because they are, at base, less threatening. They aren't "us;" they're "them," the bad guys, readily identifiable, anomalies, freaks.

And there are some of those. Hitler was one. Stalin, too. Kim Jong Un and Mohammed bin Salman. Duerte in the Philippines. Putin in Moscow. And Trump, as well.

But the banality is in the lesser figures, the cheering supporters swept up in the hate and fear, the scapegoating, the relentless propaganda.

And the lies.

Look back at what Arendt says above about what results when the ability to believe in the truth gets undermined. Aren't we living in a country untethered from the truth, where even the best of us no longer seem to believe in truth with enough confidence to make us do something about the ugliness we have been marinating in since even before Trump delivered that ugly inaugural address about American "carnage"?  That was a Steven Bannon production, as we may recall, part of his Goebbels-like attempt to turn off the light and replace it with shadows where phantoms lurked and white folks were endangered.

The lies have been off-loaded every day since, along with the clandestine raids on the treasury, the turning back of a vast number of regulations and bills the powerful and the privileged found inconvenient or onerous, impediments to their objectives, irritants on their journey to ever greater wealth and power. We've become a country that blatantly violates human rights, that takes children from their mothers, with a leader who calls out elected congressional representatives, targeting them for hatred and the likelihood of violence from his followers who have revealed themselves to be so much worse than "deplorables."

We appear to have lost "our capacity to act" and also our capacity to "think and judge." The rules changed overnight. Every day, we heard from the sources of information that we were "in uncharted waters," that what we were seeing from Trump and the Republicans was "unprecedented," or "not normal." Dictators we once dealt with clandestinely have been feted and praised no matter how thuggish, murderous, or oppressive to their own people. Our traditional allies have been offered offense on a regular basis. The values we liked to say guided us have been openly ignored or trashed. Grossly incompetent or corrupt people were put in charge of things. The once rather subtle power of the corporations and the lobbyists came out from under cover and became obvious.

Because, when a nation has lost a grip on the truth, when a whole damn population has "lost the capacity to think and judge," you "can do as you please."

And so "they" do. The Wall Street bulls run loose everywhere, knocking down anyone or anything that gets in their way. The economy is good; nothing else matters. Bigots and racists are just bargaining chips. Environmental concerns are swept off the table. It doesn't even matter that the economy that is so good is constructed on quicksand, as it was during the Bush years when tax breaks and crooked banking ultimately brought the world economy to the brink of collapse. Remember that, when we all lost our home equity, and it appeared the whole world was going to slide into a depression that would have made the one back in the '30s seem Mickey Mouse by comparison.

They do with us as they please. They lie in our faces even when there is videotape to prove we are being deceived. Lindsey Graham can say anything, contradict himself, let the hatred show on his face, as well as the corruption. Nothing happens. The beat goes on.

Trump's henchmen in his cabinet can be brought up on charges, can be investigated, can be caught red-handed. Corruption is revealed everywhere, from Elaine Chao (McConnell's wife, Secretary of Transportation) to Betsy de Vos (Secretary of Education, massive Republican donor, self-serving nitwit). Nothing happens.

Generals like Flynn or Kelly can be revealed as slimy opportunists who will lie or sell out their sworn duties to enrich themselves. Nothing happens. The beat goes on.

When one bad guy leaves a high post, a worse one is shuffled in, at the EPA, or in the Labor Department, or, perhaps worst of all, at the now laughingly-named Department of Justice (though there's nothing at all funny about the fact that the word "justice" has been rendered meaningless under Wm. Barr).

We once were lost, and we seem to be more lost with each new day. Lost and powerless. Miscreants and witnesses are summoned to appear before Congress. They don't bother showing up. Nothing happens. New charges of sexual misconduct by the POTUS surface only to be ignored. Demands for his taxes are also ignored and only the flimsiest of excuses for non-compliance are offered. We are lost. Will we ever be found?

The criminality of the powerful is in plain sight. Nothing happens. And the beat goes on, steady and propellant, driving us ever deeper into darkness as we march to it, some of us eagerly, some of us shuffling like zombies in a very bad movie, a few trying to break ranks and then targeted with louder and louder vilification and appeals to hatred.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…/The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity."

That's from "The Second Coming," the oft-cited poem by William Butler Yeats, written when we were edging toward making much of the world a killing field in order to resist Hitler and fascism. (If, by chance, you don't know the poem, here is a link to a reading of it.)

Imagine that "rough beast" as you will, but it's hard not to see it coming. Hell, it's on TV every goddamned day.

Because, in a country where the plug has been pulled and truth has drained away and there is no center, there is nothing you can't do to the people who live there. Or to the children who come to be there, as the last place they thought they might find mercy, or refuge.


Sunday, July 07, 2019


Quantum physics now confirms the same truth...
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Walking the Red Road

Creation said:

"I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it.

It is the realization that they create their own reality."


The Eagle said,
"Give it to me. I will take it to the moon."

The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it."

The Salmon said,
"I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean."

The Creator said, "No. They will go there, too."

The Buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains."

The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there."

Grandmother who lives in the breast of Mother Earth,
and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said,
"Put it inside of them."

And the Creator said, "It is done."

- Creation story from the Hopi Nation, Arizona

- artist: Vasil Woodland