All posts by chris82179

Skeptic, agnostic atheist, student of logic, philosopher of realism. Interested in epistemology, morality, uncovering deep truths, life. I'm very curious. Join me.

9 Months of Bullshit

We are nine months into the Trump administration and it has become nearly impossible to recollect the laundry list of scandal, lies, immoral, crass, ignorant, flat out dumbfounding and totalitarian anti American sentiment that has come out of the White House since.  It began on day one,  in which Trump in his inauguration speech depicted the United States as some sort of post apocalyptic ruin, a perverted dystopian world view which helped gain him votes to become President due to rampant propaganda against the prior administration, a lie that was exposed  after it was revealed the United States unemployment rate was a legitimate number as it continued its tick lower. Now, Trump was proud of the unemployment rate, no credit to his predecessor.  The stock market, who had been in a steady bull run for all of his predecessors 8 year term, was suddenly now his greatest accomplishment.  The distorting and twisting of reality, the gaslighting since, has known no bounds.  From lying about the inauguration crowd being the largest ever, a trivial matter, to lying about why he fired Comey, a matter of obstruction of justice, to lying about anyone whom he hates to make himself look better.  Which he does have a heart of hate, as it drips in form of his spiteful twitter feed, his sociopathic hypocrisy.  From decrying the qty of Obama’s golf outings which seem to be eclipsed by none other than his own, to his lying of conversations in which other people present can easily refute.  The credibility of the adminstration of course was crumbled long before the administration came to be, and the list of lies, gaslighting, conspiracy theories and deflections that have been committed since then is hard to grasp in full.  But at this nine month mark it can be easy to succumb to his twisted distortions and give up resisting due to mental fatigue and some may have.  But nonetheless, the base, wholly under the spell of propaganda that has elected Trump and twisted their world view into a polarized perception wholly consumed in the type of bias that fervent propaganda provides, seems to hover around the low 30% mark.  It is remarkable that George Bush was lower, considering George Bush, who many reasonable people considered the worst President of our era due to his unjust invasion on false pretenses into Iraq and the subsequent fear of overreaching government power through the Patriot Act, has become a voice of reason.  His presidency seems like nothing but somewhat of a negative now during this current era in which Trump brazenly blasts through the lowest of lows in a blistering pace in which rarely a week goes by in which the White House isn’t in some blithering discombobulated form of trying to dig its way out of reasonable public condemnation.

There is no reasonable disagreement to the horrendous ignorance and narcissism on display by this President, what you will see is bizarre deflections toward Obama or Hillary to gloss over the bizarre, lowly, deplorable lie, gaslighting and juvenile mannerisms of Trump.  Trump is the hero of the sociopaths and psychopaths, the nihilists and those who hate government with a passion, because what would they care we have a despicable human preside in the white house?  It is a passion for chaos and destruction that suits their bias, and Trump provides it.  Not only are white supremacists emboldened in our current era, so are those who violently oppose it.  The nation divides further and Trump’s narcissim and refusal to admit guilt, to admit the truth and his unwavering ability to lie even to himself about his own grandiosity continues to take its toll on the nation.  There have been cracks in the base, but the fervency is high and the sociopaths have come out of the woodwork, continually trolling the internet, the media, or anyone who speaks out against Trump.

The day to day anti american fascist like sentiment coming from the White House in these nine months can be hard to remember, but here are a few more – as we must remember we have never seen the likes of such depravity inhabiting our highest office.  Clearly we see a picture in which his bizarre quest for grandiosity is more important than truth, than reason, than the nation itself.

1)Gaslighting us all about the inauguration size for the sake of propaganda.  A stupid maneuver born out of his own narcissism.  Perhaps he was lying to himself, ever hell bent on a way to feed his own grandiosity regardless of truth.  His anger when he and his lacky deviant administration press secretary was called out on it was apparent.   Travels to the CIA on his first day as President, whom he already disrespected in a blatant way due to their findings on Russia’s involvement in the election.  Feeling it was an attack and way to put his presidency.  This, disrespect of the CIA’s findings in favor of his reputation is Anti American, not only is Trump ignorant, he is not suitable to make a judgment call dismissing the CIA’s findings.  We know why he did it though.. narcissism.  While in front of the Memorial wall of the fallen CIA, Trump disrespectfully and narcissistically rails against the press and says ““There is nobody who feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump,”.  Anyone speaking in third person about themselves has clear issues with their ego.

2) Attempts to order the construction of a multi billion dollar border wall, that a $50 ladder can conquer.  A symptom of his stupidity, shortsightedness and ignorance.

3)Follows a lie that millions of voters voted illegally to soothe his ego of why he lost the popular vote.  Early on there was a campaign to get to the bottom of it, which resulted in the quest for voter data from all states.  Presented as facts with no evidence, his narcissism damages the integrity of the the highest office again, and presents damaging propaganda taken as the bible to millions of his supporters.  A conspiracy theory, backed by nothing but his all consuming narcissism – which has easily become a consistent and recurring theme in his attempt to hoist his disastrous presidency into what he wants it to be, one of the greatest ever.

4) Fire Sally Yates for doing her job, blocking Trump’s unlawful travel ban which was then subsequently blocked by multiple judges and revised until it can pass.  Trump’s ignorant brazen action made him look incompetent, erratic, xenophobic as well as stupid.  His firing of Yates for competency was preceded in ignorance by his firing of Comey a couple months later.

This is Trump’s first few weeks only.  It was a disaster from the beginning and there is no sign that it won’t relent, week after week of scandal and stupidity, juvenile bickering and name calling, pointing the finger and gas lighting, lying and Nixonian coverups, Trump’s presidency began in lies and is on pace to end in lies, a problem sustained by propaganda that has no problem forsaking values for the sake of clicks, forsaking truth for the sake of money.  This mindset too is Trumps, and it is a scourge of humanity.  The sociopathy that supports it rears its ugly head in America.

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Disrespect of the Flag

Want to disrespect our flag? Stand at the nations highest podium and use the death of fallen soldiers to lie and point the finger at everything but yourself for your problems, and call people names like a child, in order to try and improve your self image. Make up conspiracy theories and lies to make it look like everyone else is worse than you, or is out to get you, all while whining about how the free press makes up fake news which in fact are legitimate real news, that point to legitimate real problems that you have. Say things like this as well:

“It’s very tough, because it’s an island. In Texas, we can ship the trucks right out there. And you know, we’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and on Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico. But the difference is, this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. And it’s a big ocean; it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

“I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.”

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. Grab em by the …. you can do anything.”

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any votes.”

“I know words. I have the best words.”
“I think there is blame on both sides.”

“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

“She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.”

“I alone can fix it.”

This is the character of the current president. Character matters. Integrity, Humility, honor, intelligence, reason, courage, all are devoid in the sentiment he exudes.

This is someone who can’t place the country’s needs before his own. He doesn’t have the temperament to lead nor the humility to realize that the job is too large for any one person.

Government requires compromise, patience, thoughtfulness and adaptability: qualities he utterly lacks. He doesn’t read. He doesn’t study. He’s incapable of reflection, of rigorous analysis of his thoughts or words to determine the consequences of his actions. He’s profoundly and proudly ignorant.

Donald Trump is not strong. He is not honest or honorable. He is not humble, compassionate, caring or kind. He has none of these qualities. He never will. He isn’t capable, nor is he capable to competently lead the country, he’s in far over his head and the circus of his ridiculous sideshow of a presidency continues, a complete disrespect of the nation.

The National Anthem

I went to a Chicago Blackhawks game last week, and a tradition at the United Center is to applause and cheer throughout the National Anthem. I think it’s a great tradition and carried it on.

I consider myself a patriot, in so much as I do care deeply about the United States, which is to say, the people, not the government. The United States is a group of people who live together with the same rules, or at least are supposed to have the same rules. I find what benefits us all, will benefit myself, and such I am patriotic in that I want what is best for us all. Of course, my perception of what is best may not be what you perceive as best. Nonetheless, somethings are reconcilable and somethings are not.

My posts throughout these forums have been focused primarily on Trump since 2016, as I have found him to be a clear and present danger to what is best for this nation, the likes of which I haven’t seen in my lifetime.

Now with that being said, considering what the national anthem has become at sporting events, I no longer have the same respect for the national anthem and the requirement by some that it must be respected, or the flag must be respected, at all costs. These two things are symbols and these symbols have different meanings for us all. To me, the symbol seems to mean something else. It is becoming for some, a patriot test, and I feel no need to answer to anyone about my patriotism. I have no desire to partake in any patriot test, if anyone thinks that I must obey this whim, in that kneeling during a national anthem must mean they are not a patriot, then I don’t think I want to stand anymore.

I don’t take Patriot tests, my actions and my sentiment presented here speak for itself. I have provided caring, empathetic analysis for those who may or may not have the same advantages I have, for those who if they did, the United States might be a greater place, and if I can fight for a greater United States, I am too fighting for a greater home for myself. But when something begins to become a patriot test in the mind of others, it has gone too far in the mind of others and it is not something I’m going to play. It is far beneath me to take a Patriot test as far as I’m concerned. I know where I stand and people who hold that test in their eye, well, perhaps they need a reality check.

A Retreat for the Mind

Amidst chaos and other things, sometimes my mind drifts away as a way to cope.

There is a memory of an imagined time and place in my mind, one that has been with me for many years. I may have formed it while reading something, but nonetheless it has become a source of peace and beauty inside, when it is conjured from the recesses of my mind.

It is 70-80 years ago, on a country farm, in late summer. There’s something bittersweet about late summer, a last call for a glass of ice lemonade, the ritualistic sounds of the cicada, reminding me of the same summer song heard yearly.

A gentle breeze, a settling sun, a pink sky, the heat of August is over – beset by the crispness of the looming autumn to come. A last time to explore, to camp, to walk through a shallow creek barefoot maybe. There’s a large Oak Tree outside the backdoors white painted, wood porch – which faces the setting sun. A swing dangles gently in the breeze. A lush lawn of green grass ends just over a slight roll of a hill the home rests on. That is the beginning of an endless field, a field without fences. The calmness, the serenity, the memories of the summer as well as the prior summer are summoned.

A time without commercializations, a time without TV’s or a myriad of fads, a time with no care, a time of inner peace, a time to be lazy and notably, a time of reflection.

“There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream. ”

-Walt Whitman

Maybe that imagined place can be yours now as well, a place to ponder and to enjoy within your imagination, to visit when times are harsh and unforgiving. I hope I packaged this gift nicely for you to take to heart, to understand, to help heal, to fight.

In Defense of a Nation

Nazis.

This past Saturday, a woman was killed for standing up against Nazis. The same day, the President blamed those who stood up against the Nazis, as well as the Nazis.

The problem is that Trump sees a Nazi rally happening and says nothing, then when violence breaks out blames “many sides”.

Compare that to blaming “many sides” when Nazi Germans invaded France and Poland. Compare that to blaming “many sides” when the Tsarnaevs bombed the Boston marathon, or when any other evil that must be opposed, opposition too gets equal blame.

The energy granted from Trumps campaign to Nazis has grown the movement, it is now a “thing” among the up and coming generation to spread Nazi like hate. It is all over the internet, in unprecedented levels in our lifetime, among a frenzied misdirected youth. These are dark times, and even darker when it goes by and doesn’t get called out by our leadership. At least some leaders have called it out for what it is, but many more are trying to rationalize away the refusal to push the blame squarely on Nazis. I do not recognize the nation I grew up in, I don’t know how those whose family fought against Nazi Germany can either.

This apology is too late and possibly signals to the nazi groups that Trump is doing this because of pressure, which can continue to embolden them.

Trump is Mentally Abusing the Nation

Propaganda has made a comeback in the United States in the advent of the Internet. Partially to blame is the internet itself, which provides the ability for illegitimate, uneducated wanna-be journalists to present information in an extremely biased nature, changing the facts slightly to make the outcome seem more insidious.  We are living in a golden age of propaganda in the United States and it is unfortunately that a large quantity, in at least the 10’s of millions of people, have fallen prey to it.  Trump has risen to power through it, with pushing fake facts that Obama was born in Kenya, which gained him fame and notoriety in the political arena.  A case can be made that this notoriety and popularity led him to eventually feel capable of legitimately running for President, due to a large swathe of support on his Twitter account that numbered in the millions.

Another item that has been coming up a lot lately is the term gaslighting.  Gaslighting can be defined as a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.

Today we see a combined effort of pushing conspiracy theories, propaganda and gaslighting by the Trump administration on an unprecedented level. In the book “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes:” Jacques Ellul wrote the following:

“Direct propaganda, aimed at modifying opinions and attitudes, must be preceded by propaganda that is sociological in character, slow, general, seeking to create a climate, an atmosphere of favorable preliminary attitudes. No direct propaganda can be effective without pre-propaganda, which, without direct or noticeable aggression, is limited to creating ambiguities, reducing prejudices, and spreading images, apparently without purpose.”

Trump and the alt right, tea party and like minded folks have set up the pre-propaganda over the course of years, initially getting support with pushing a conspiracy theory about Barack Obama, this allowed him to push more conspiracy theories as a way to relieve pressure was on him in the White House.  Often what he will present as defense of a situation he has put himself in, is a defense already presented by fervent supporters on Twitter.  While talks of illegitimacy filled the air in his first week in office, Trump wishing to propose that he has some sort of mandate even though he lost the popular vote, pushed against it by bizarrely claiming millions of illegals voted.  That was not his idea, of course.  But this would be a good reason why he lost the popular vote, according to his insecure delusional mind.  Of course, this is sad and pathetic to any reasonable human being, but the propaganda was already set up for him.  Weird right wing media sites are already aplenty and have been hounding for years how illegals are voting, despite millions of dollars of studies proving any such theory false.  Trump proceeded, without evidence, to make the claim due to his insecurities.  He was ridiculed, rightly so, and of course also believed wholly, by what is now recognized as his cult-like base, whom he already reckoned would not leave him even if he murdered someone in cold blood.  They too, have been exposed to pre-propaganda to allow them to follow along in a conspiracy theory, despite all reasonable facts to the contrary.

There has been for a long time a distrust in the media in right wing circles, due to not having their side viewed in a favorable light in their perception, which seems to be a product of the propaganda they have been fed through a decade of internet, social media sharing and drop out journalists with no standards of actually reporting news, but gaining attention by making outrageous claims that garner “clicks” and as such, ad revenue.  These types of websites of course, led Trump to believe Obama was born in Kenya, or that millions of illegals voted against him, or that Obama tapped Trump tower when pressure on him was coming down from the Michael Flynn fall out.

The conspiracy theories were propped up by fake news and terrible journalists who made up lies, spun stories and weaved tangled webs that one could only believed if they made up more conspiracy theories.  Now I am not a Hillary supporter, a very unlikable candidate, but there was plenty of propaganda and lies spread to help Trump win the election.  Hillary Clinton was “bribed” by Russia, by whomever, various claims of some possibly true, some probably true, and many nowhere near true stories have been made up.  The Trump cult has believed them all and push them all at a dizzying rate, millions of shares and millions of voters illusioned by propaganda and half truths, which caused intense polarization and distancing from reality.  This created hate and distrust for every institution in power, because they couldn’t understand why she was not in jail.  More conspiracy theories were formed to justify their increasingly delirious perception, deep state was at play,  yet somehow Hillary was protected.  Of course, Trump ran on this madness as well, with “lock her up” being a key theme.  Considering Trump isn’t the law as President, it was bluster and fecal matter that was being shot out, and “lock her up” quickly died on his agenda, as he had more important things to deal with, such as defending himself from the onslaught of news about Russia involvement, which he did not like.

The propaganda and conspiracy theories have most recently, taken a turn for the worse. No longer are conspiracy theories promoted as truth from Trump and his fervent supporters, but now they are being directly gaslighted by Trump, themselves and the propaganda machine.  The entire story of Russia and their favor towards Trump was denied from the beginning, yet we see that the Trump team has known of their involvement from the beginning, as it was Trump Jr. who was first proposed to receive assistance from a “Russian government lawyer” to provide damaging information on Hillary, as part of the support of “the Russian Government”, per the emails he received and released publicly.  This led us to the important revelation, that not only was this story not able to be considered a hoax or a witch hunt by all reasonable means as Trump pounded incessantly , which it was not, it was  from the beginning an investigation from the beginning to see if there was a deeper connection and or to prevent the situation from occurring again, but it also showed that the Trump team had been lying about thinking Russia was not involved.  They knew better and they knew before anyone outside of the government, it seems.  The lies that followed a year were finally blown apart by this revelation that Trump Jr and the top echelon of Trumps staff knew all along, and really, there is no reason to think Trump didn’t know either.  He is a con, after all and his son and son in law, Kushner, would have done a great disservice by not telling him, in confidence.

Yet after we know they know, Trump continues to call it a hoax.  He called the Russian government operative just merely a lawyer, when the emails themselves explained the connection to the Russian government, their favor towards Trump.  This is gaslighting, it is mental abuse, and his supporters have taken the bait once again it seems.  Denying reality, they pretend the story is a hoax, even though the investigation is not just about Trump, there is something greater at stake, protecting the elections from further intervention.  The followers fall prey to myopic tunnel vision of protecting their holy leader of the cult, forsaking patriotism and duty to protect the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Trump’s conning ways, such as creating a fake university that scammed millions of dollars from people and spouting ignorant conspiracy theories coming off the top of his head, not thinking pretending to be smart, is exactly what shows that the US has become for a large minority.  A nation who supports con artists,  the voters showed support of an idiot who pretended he knew more than generals about ISIS, while proving he knew nothing. Trump showed America that an undisciplined conniving buffoon can make it to the top, lie to us all, gaslight us all, and still, people will fall victim to his abuse and lay down and think he is right.  It is a shame on this nation and the people who support him thoroughly, they are not only enemies of this nation, they are enemies of themselves, of the world, of truth, justice, intelligence and all that one should hold dear.