Dispatches from Wolf Country — Memento Mori

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You have to believe in facts. Without facts, there’s no basis for cooperation. If I say this is a podium and you say this is an elephant, it’s going to be hard for us to cooperate. — Barrack Obama, Keynote Speaker, Celebration of 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Nelson Mandela, July 17, 2018

Since it is possible that thou mayest depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly. But to go away from among men, if there are gods, is not a thing to be afraid of, for the gods will not involve thee in evil; but if indeed they do not exist, or if they have no concern about human affairs, what is it to me to live in a universe devoid of gods or devoid of Providence? — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. –Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. –Section 1, Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Ratified 1868

There’s no such thing as perfect, why even try???Rhett Miller

Well, that’s been wonderful, ain’t it? We’re had a terror campaign, although a very incompetent one, the pro-Trump terrorist mad bomber. We were fortunate that he didn’t seem to quite get how to get the firing mechanism to work, and given the size of the bombs, he made pretty obvious that he wasn’t really planning on killing a target so much as killing or mutilating or hurting a clerk, or a maid, or a secretary, or a staffer. Consider the bomber the Perfect Trump Storm Trooper — living with his mother until he got too crazy, then in a van covered with hate symbols and Trump adoration, part of either a troop or a trope or perhaps just a cabal of male models and strippers, perhaps dreaming of hitting the big time in a show at Mar a Lago. God bless America.

Then we had a  decide to shoot up a Black Church in suburban Louisville, Kentucky, but wandering up he discovered that the doors were locked. Trying to yank the locked doors open made enough noise so that folks inside dialed 911, which probably had something to do with a relatively quick apprehension. But, he had plenty of time to wander over to a nearby Krogers, and kill a couple of African American Senior Citizens, then skip some whites telling them he was being picky…or, that he wasn’t interested in killing his people. Before telling the whites he skipped with the brilliant statement that “Whites don’t kill Whites!”, he took some fire from a bystander, and decided to leave. Quickly. He didn’t.

But, the tragedy in Pittsburg stole all the air from Trump’s buffoon balloon. In this case, the White Nationalist Terrorist chose a Conservative synagogue on the Sabbath, and for no known reason chose to walk into a room with a group of largely elderly people, celebrating the Bris, the ritual circumcision mandated in Leviticus of a set of twins who had been adopted by a Gay Couple. Was that the reason for the selection? Or was the Fascist jihadist just wandering the building looking for opportunities?

Father of Lies Fred with Apprentice Donny Boy, Philadelphia Inquirer Archive Photo, 1991

Of course, our grotesquerie of a president decided that it was horrible that these disasters keep piling up, stoked by a combination of overheated rhetoric, totally unhinged and evil behavior, and perhaps the full moon were detracting from his many accomplishments like…crashing the stock market? Threatening the Federal Reserve, supposedly telling the Chairman not to raise rates or he would get even; then, ok-ing the largest bond action to get over the known monster deficit his beloved tax disaster — err, law — shot in the Federal coffers. Perhaps implying that Secretary Mattis might be on his way out due to the machinations of John Bolton by saying that Mattis — who has adhered throughout his career from registering for a party or endorsing a candidate because the Armed Forces are politically neutral — is in fact a Democrat. I suspect the general didn’t vote for Trump, but that wasn’t because Mattis is a secret worshipper of not-President Hillary Clinton but because as an independent, he can vote for any one he wants to.

Or, there’s the caravan, financed by George Soros ( Jew), made up of Central American Refugees, fleeing crime, torture, murder and rape in the their homelands. All 50,000 of them. Or fifty of them. A dangerous Brigade combat team of people who are fleeing oppression, including forced service in the guerilla wing of the gangs Trump says has infiltrated these people. Perhaps, since Trump and his band have labelled them all terrorists and cartel members, we should make certain that we get an accurate count of the women, children, crippled and infirm. It’s called Order of Battle and the intelligence people will need that to determine how great a run on formula, Boost and diapers.

Of course, the Operation Liberty’s Shame Task Force is going to face some challenges along the border. The US Military, which would include the Guard if mobilized, is forbidden by Posse Comitatus from enforcing US Criminal Law unless martial law is declared. The president of course said that if the refugees throw rocks, we’re going to tweet, err, uh, um, treat that as gunfire. I want to see those rules of engagement; any even vaguely ethical Chaplain or Battalion Commander would have serious qualms about obeying that order. Also, define rock for purposes of making life and death decisions.

An even better example of why this is so awful — by this, I mean the whole shitstorm is the presidency of Donald Trump and Family and Friends and Sycophants and Parasites, Inc. –lies in the plan by two of the Ace Expose Investigators who brought us Pizzagate to claim that the Special Counsel decided to rape a woman in 2010, supposedly seducing her in a bar by telling her who he was, and then supposedly dragging off by her hair or something.

What, you ask, makes this story different than the Kavanaugh combination goat rodeo and snake fuck? Well, instead of getting red-faced and screaming at people, Mueller had his people contact the FBI and refer the matter to them. I’m sure that the Bureau jumped at the chance to have some fun with the two loonies that propagated this nonsense against their former director, who was still serving as FBI director in 2010. So, the guy known to be so by the book that he pretty much could have written it, decided to get some sexual frolicing done at a bar in DC. I mean, who’d notice the FBI director doing that? Besides every crooked creep in Washington, DC.

It’s a fascinating example of how amateurish these wannabes  are. Daily Kos has a great summation of their press conference announcing that the victim was somebody who didn’t want to appear because she was concerned for her health and safety. I think that might make some sense as it would be rough to be tossed in the calaboose for conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and to defame a Federal Officer so as to disrupt his investigation.

Some pretty bizarre stuff, ehh? These are a couple Trump Troll wannabes who are kind of the comic relief for the Alt Right in this nonsense. The mastermind of the “intelligence” operation is a 20 year old who listed his mother’s phone number as the phone number of his cool intelligence operation. This guy, Jacob Wohl, then proceeded to complain about his mom getting phone calls from the press. His partner, a radio shock jock and “lobbyist” for right wing causes then proceeded to tell everyone who’d listen that this kid is a genius, a prodigy, far surpassing Mozart. Well, perhaps in terms of political intelligence gathering, that might be true. In terms of anything else, however the jury has come back laughing. If you have the time and like watching kittens collaborating in their own torture, here’s the YouTube video of the Press Conference Beel and Zebub decided to throw.

I have been re-reading Aurelius and Stockdale, and they seem to be calming me a bit. Both recommend not letting idiots and evil bother you; do what you can to stop it, but don’t hate back. That’s hard, but the idea that Donald Trump can disturb my sleep if I let him reminds me that I make a choice. I can fret or I can; I can vote, or I can claim disillusionment.

It’s simple. A political aberration, like the Southern Strategy of Nixon, Buchanan, Kevin Phillips and others, will ultimately eat itself starting with it’s tail. It may not happen as soon as we would like; but, the universe has a way of letting things even out. All those who benefitted from it over the years and became president — which would be all the Republicans from Reagan to Bush 43 — failed to imagine what happened when the hate overtook the bullshit quotient in the whole thing.

He was afraid that the world struggle today was… of tolerance against the bigotry that was preached equally by Communism and Fascism. But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word “Fascism” and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.  — Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here, 1936

Signet Classic Edition Cover, Amazon

Trump happened. Sinclair Lewis wrote a book about it almost a hundred years before Trump’s election, It Can’t Happen Here. Well it did, and this election may be the last chance to keep it from getting to the point it does in that book, which is where everything falls apart and we have another, more deadly and grievous civil war. There’s discussion that the book was about what might have happened if Huey Long hadn’t been assassinated. Compared to Trump, Huey Long looks like St Thomas More.

I think about Trump’s bizarre claim to the effect that the greatest tragedy in the bombing binge and the Pittsburg massacre was that it disrupted his beautiful momentum. Dead bodies in a synagogue, or as he called in, a church, make no difference to this slug faced narcissist, he of the small hands and the complete lack of any human virtues. He’s a walking picture book of the Seven Deadly Sins for the 21st Century. He’s good on lust, but love is another matter. He’s great on anger; tolerance and forgiveness, no so much. Pride, he’s got that nailed; thought, no one buys with that. Lying is so much his nature that Fred Trump’s resemblance to stereotypical representations of Satan in human form seems even more apropos: Trump son of the Father of Lies.

Trump isn’t operating like a higher organism; his responses are so contrary to American values and the Constitution, that he obviously is operating by something even baser than instinct. He’s not bothered by a lizard brain; he’s a lizard.

This is important. He walks, he talks, he lies, he cheats, he abuses people and he supposedly represents the Nation. When people from the rest of the world ask you where you’re from, are you now tempted to say, “Canada?” If so, you need to vote and drag all your friends, family and casual acquaintances to the polls and make ’em vote.

The USA may not be perfect, but we certainly are a lot better than whatever it is that Trump and his base represent.  Two noted conservatives, Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin, both columnists for WAPO have written extensively about how awful Trump is; both have withdrawn from the Republican party. I will let Ms Rubin have this last word…

To all the Republicans who think that words don’t matter, who rationalize support for the president because of judges or tax cuts, who insist that domestic terrorism is unrelated to normalization of virulent racist rhetoric and who remain silent believing they have no moral responsibility for this brand of politics, I would say this is reason enough to vote, as my colleague Max Boot has suggested, against each and every Republican on the ballot. We have not seen individual Republican candidates, let alone House and Senate leaders, denounce the ad or insist that Trump take it down. Silence is assent… each one deserves the ire of decent voters. The GOP has sunk to new lows, but likely not hit bottom. Unless soundly beaten in the midterms, Republicans will get even worse, as will the conduct they inspire. Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, November 2, 2018

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Michael is a Retired Army First Sergeant, retired Corporate HR Executive, Occasional Adjunct Professor of Management, Organizational Effectiveness Free Range Consultant, Stoic Philosopher of sorts, Proud Heritage Irish Catholic Apostate...

He went from turning down fellowships to Graduate School after Holy Cross to Fort Jackson and a guy with few teeth from Georgia screaming at me to move his ass! And he enlisted after the draft ended. Twenty-three years active duty from 1974 to 1997 flipping between duty as REMF-Unit designated Grunt to Grunt Unit designated Smart Guy.

Last ten years either an Operations Sergeant Major (4 years) or First Sergeant (6 years). Made the CSM list a week after retirement papers went in.

He went into Human Resources because people said it was like being a First Sergeant.

Michael is retired these days, with time to think, write and occasionally enjoy life a bit. He reads five papers every day, lots of books on what interests me and pays attention. He has basic Socialist leanings. He is also a musician - fifty years plus with a guitar. Ex-marathon runner now lifting weights and grunting a lot to stay sort of in shape.

Michael is deadly serious about the issues but he likes to present with a lot of dry humor and satire. He discomforts the rich, offends the powerful and laughs at the pompous. So, stay awake and pay attention, or you'll miss the jokes.

He refers to himself as a Progressive with an anarchist tendency. Think Bobby Kennedy Democrat at home with Sinn Fein; either a saintly advocate of sweet reason and justice or an arrogant self-righteous SOB with a traditional First Sergeant's vulgar mouth and dislike of anyone's rules but his own. That's Michael Farrell