In the coming year many many well known and famous people are going to get what they have wished for. Donald J. Trump has already got some of his this last year and 2020 promises to give him even more. So has Mitch McConnell. Just to mention two. But more will get there wish, an just like the wishes granted by the Jinn in the Lamp it will not be what you think it is.
Just looking as his past actions Pres. Trump has striven most of his adult life for recognition, for people to “know his name”. I think, like very many of our Presidents he also wanted to go down in history. Well, he is getting both. Like Joe McCarthy the current age will long be known as the Trump Era. An just like the McCarthy Era certainly does not stand for what Joe McCarthy would have hoped for the Trump Era too will stand for something Donald J Trump does not wish.
How can I say this? Easily, I do not believe in ‘storybook villains’ who knowingly, willfully commit evil acts because they are evil. To them their acts are for the good. Their own personal good, but still for the good. Like most accomplished hypocrites they lie to themselves. They are willfully blind to the harm their actions do and they do not feel any pain for their actions. This makes it easy for the Jinn to turn the wish on the master of the Lamp (or ring, or bottle).
Weather it takes a year or two or many many decades history will record the Trump Era as a turning point in the American experiment. I do not know if we are on a new age of building the American Dream or at the start of the Fall of the Republic but I do believe we are approaching, if not in, a Crux of American history as Portentous as the Civil War or the Progressive Era. I do think we are there, now.
So for my New Years wish to all who read or may read this.
May you have a happy 2020 and may you work to make everyone you meet this year happy they have met you.
I thought I’d end this year and start the new with a two parter on Drinking the KoolAid. I’m going to start with what I mean by “Drinking The KoolAid”. So lets get the good old “Way Back Machine” up and running (Mine looks like a big blue box and, yes, it is bigger on the inside than the outside) and look back.
Here, in this blog, “Drinking the KoolAid” means to accept what you are told by your leaders no mater how irrational, illogical, and/or unpredictabled it is as long as it supports what you want to believe. As I told someone the other day “It is just taking Confirmation Bias to it’s logical extream. That you will accept as fact, with out any critical examination, anything that supports what you want to believe. To take any challenge to these ‘facts’ as a personal attack and justification to counter attack anyone who says the facts are false.”
It is not my purpose to explain why people “Drink the KoolAid”. Beyond that understanding need to counter it. I have this past year struggled to come to grips with what I’m now calling “The Orange KoolAid”. This is my phrase for the universe of “AltFacts” created by the supporters of Donald J Trump who know exactly what they are doing and why. It is not those who mix up thief own colors of the KoolAid for their own reasons. This is the KoolAid color for those who would fit right in with Geo. Orwell’s 1984 Inner Party. Those persons who love not just having Power but love being able to perniciously apply that power when and where they wish.
I am also talking about those people who are willfully don’t seeing the problem facing us in the coming decade. The issue is not just ‘The Orange KoolAid” but also the new system(s) for serving it up to the people. I’m taking about those people who see any attempt to keep the KoolAid out of they system as an unexceptionable threat to some Cherished right. An because they have not studied logic or have forgotten what they have studied they don’t recognize the ‘Slippery Slope’ fallacy. These are not ignorant or stupid people. Some are the most successful people in this country. But they are also the most willfully blind.
These are just some of the problems I’ve tried to address this past year. Sometimes successful sometime not. Sometimes I’ve been correct, sometime I’ve been flat wrong. I hope that when I’ve been wrong I have acknowledged my error and corrected myself here. But in recognition of my being human I’m accepting I may not have gotten them all. In the coming year I am accepting the challenge of the “Flood of Orange KoolAid” coming our way I will be looking for all of the illogic, misusing of logic, and logical fallacies coming our way. I will try to point out on all sides of the issue but given the color of the KoolAid Flood I expect most of the sources will be on the Donald J Trump side of the isle.
Before I start let me open with the acknowledgement that I can be hypocritical. As a devout and practicing Christian I know I can and do sin. I just attempt to acknowledge it and work to be better in the future. That said lets get started on the great age of Hypocrisy Signaled by the election of Pres. Obama.
I bet you thought I was going to say Pres. Trump, didn’t you? “Sherman, to the Way Back Machine!” Hypocrisy is one of the oldest human failings in history. The problem is we now live in the age of video recordings and the Internet. This means, quite simply, that all of our leaders need to remember that what we said 21 years ago can, and will, come back to haunt them. This is of particular importance to some of the leading members of the U.S. Senate.
Just over 21 years ago several leading members of the Republicans in the Senate were members of the House of Representatives working to impeach Pres. Clinton. In this effort they took to the airwaves to stand on ‘High Principals’ to that end. Unfortunately they are now taking the exact opposite positions in the Impeachment of Pre. Trump. An not only does the opposition have the videos, they are playing them on all the TV outlets they can get to show them. What is worse this is not the first time this has happened in the Impeachment Hearings.
I maybe one of the few ‘lay’ people to watch the house hearing where the Constitutional Law experts testified. But I did watch and I did hear Prof. Turley testimony. He was well spoken, clear and concise in why Pres. Trump should not be Impeached. He stuck to all of the Pres. Talking Points in his defense. The problem is it can be shown he was functioning as a paid hack.
21 years ago Pros. Turley took the nearly exact opposite position in the Impeachment of Pres. Clinton. Now while it is perfectly acceptable for a scholar to argue in favor of a cause he personally does not support it does bring into question the veracity of his arguments when it is shown that the same person has taken all sides on an issue. It is particularly bad when the person in question is put forward as a principled, and unbiased scholar just putting forward a principled position. From now on Prof. Turley’ s scholarly Veracity will be questioned. He will have to work hard an long to regain it.
I have no doubt that there are plenty of people on the Democratic side of the House and Senate who are all to often hypocritical but that is not the point here. The point here is that bald faced lying of the Trump Administration has already thrown a lot of tar on the Republican Party. The House Impeachment hearings has thrown even more. An if the GOP Senate runs the Trial of Donald J Trump like they are promising it is going to be eye deep in tar and other lest lovely detritus. The party may never recover.
In the lore of Psychohistory and Sheldon Crisis’ there come a time in every crisis commonly known as the Crux. Simply put the Crux’s is the point in the crisis where one and only one decision can be made and it will force all human history down the path desired by the Psychohistorians (or Robots). Unfortunately for us our crisis as another kind of crux. Ours will have basically two major paths, not one.
Sometime in the next few months the GOP in the Senate is going to have to decide if all there is, is support of Donald J Trump or to the Ideals of the United States. The Crux isn’t the conviction of Donald J Trump but rather the kind of trial the GOP controlled Senate will give him. If the trial is not up to the basic ideals of fairness of this country the American people will know it. The range of possibilities for the trial are shrinking as I write this.
We seem to be coming down to either having a Pro forma trial where no witnesses are called. Where we may not even have any open/closing statements made by the House & the President. All me may have is a reading of the Impeachment Resolution and then a call for the question (vote) and then 51+ Senators vote to “acquit” Donald J Trump.
The other Choice is to have a full trial with opening statements, the calling of witnesses with questioning by both parties, closing statements followed by the Senate voting on each article of impeachment and we will either have 67 votes to convict or we won’t.
In either case both the American people and the World will know just what kind of trial was held. An this will set this country, irrevocably on one of two paths to the future. Both paths will be hard to walk, but one will lead us to a day of new light, the other of to a day of darkness.
I am about to make a lot of conservatives upset but I remind you all that you do not need to be a member of the MAGA GOP. The choice is yours to go or stay.
With the clear statement by Sen. McConnell that he will ensure a quick trial and acquittal of President Trump in January of next year I feel it is safe to draw some conclusions about the Republican Party in the coming years. First it is the party of Golf Cheats. By that I mean they welcome with open arms people who will do what ever is necessary to win no mater what they are doing. That being seen to win is that is important, even when everyone knows and is aware they cheated to win.
Next we can say it is the party of people who see the sole purpose of power is the arbitrary use of power (see 1984 Clip). These are also people who have, in the past complained most vociferously about the left having ‘relativistic morality’ but see nothing wrong with apply one standard to themselves and another standard to everyone else. They can do this because in reality the only moral standard they have is ‘Did I win?’ Given this standard it is easy to see why the Senate GOP will move so quickly and in unison to do what ever Donald Trump needs to stay in power.
We have been seeing this coming for the past 40+ years with the movement of southern conservatives from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party and the movement of liberal Republicans to the Democrat Party. With the introduction of RINO to the GOP lexicon and then their removal from the party. We have seen it in the rise of open voter suppression where ever the GOP has gained complete control of the State House. An we have seen it in the total acceptance by the GOP of gerrymandering of congressional districts.
So if you accept the ideal of “Wining isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” If you see believe in the arbitrary use of power for the sole benefit of the Wielder of the power. If you know you are always the victim and it is always ‘those people’ who are responsible for you sad state. Then the Republican Party is for you. Just be sure to latch yourself to the most powerful Patron you can because you have just become minion.
Donald Trump is a golf cheat. This is a well known and given fact. Now I now that the MAGAs will say this is slander/libel/fake news but it is none the less a fact. Knowing this we can make some extrapolations of just what is going to happen next year now that the Impeachment is well on it’s way to being based in the House of Representatives.
To make my extrapolations I’m going to make two assumptions:
The impeachment resolution will be passed in the Houese
The Senate will vote not to convict on a straight party line vote
Given these two assumptions we can make some fairly safe extrapolations. The first is based off of Pres. Trump being a “Golf Cheat”. He will be emboldened to cheat in 2020. Why shouldn’t he? Nothing bad happen to him and that is all that matters. Also all that is wining.
Next is that anyone and everyone who works from the principle of “Wining isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!” will also emboldened to also do what ever is necessary to win their own elections. Worse, they will be emboldened to not hide what they are doing because they, too, will suffer no punishment. This will not just be at the national level, it will be at the State and local levels. Senate, House of Representatives, Statehouse, and City Halls, all will be up for grabs by the most ruthless.
Finally we will enter an era of only Party Loyalty will mater. An that only as long as fear of those above is greater than anything else. Loyalty will be based solely on fear of retribution an nothing else. In politics and government you will be able to buy what ever you want as long as you are powerful enough to make your will felt. So loyalty to an individual or an ideal will go the way of the Dodo for years to come. Loyalty will only last. As long as the individual benefits from supporting someone. Once gone, people will do what ever is best for themselves and no one else.
In losing, be up lifted in spirit for what I have predict here will not last. It has happened before in human history and it as always destroyed itself in the end.
I want you to take a look at the above picture carefully. It is a great artistic work by Gustave Dore of the last survivors not on the Ark of the Great Deluge. There are two in it that are totally Innocent of any sin or offense against God. The tigress and her cub.
When I really started thinking about Christianity, over 55 years ago, the story of the Great Deluge was on of the first things I started to question. Not because of science, but because of what I was thought to believe Christianity and God are all about. What upset me was all of the innocent animals that died in the flood. How could a loving and just god kill them all in such a horrible manner? (For me, then as now, drowning is the most horrible way to die. I’m a hydrophobe.) When I asked about this I was told God save two of each animal on the Ark. This is not a good answer to my way of thinking. If you do have what you think is a good answer please leave it in the comments. I really would like to know what you think.
This is what started me on my quest to question and understand the Bible. I started looking at all the places where god is supposedly acted in a manner that was not loving, and/or forgiving and/or just. There are a great many in the Old Testament but there are some few in the New. I’m not going to list any here, I think it is better you look for yourself. I recommend you first decide just what you mean by ‘loving’ and forgiving and just. Then see if the god in the passage is acting that way.
Now ask yourself if these stories were taken as allegory does it make more sense. Not that these specific bad things did or could happen but that if you act as the people acted bad things will happen. They will happen to you and they will, unfortunately to people and things totally innocent. An this will be a burden you will have to carry for ever after. This allows God to be Loving, kind, forgiving, just, and all the good things he is supposed to be and still teach us the lesson of the story.
An so our Sheldon crisis continues on. I do not believe what I am seeing take place. The MAGA in control of the Republican Party are certainly following party line as spoken by Donald Trump. In all of the hearings I have either watched or listened to not once have I heard any one challenge any single fact given. The best I have heard is that it was that the fact was hearsay. An when witnesses of fact testify about what was labeled by the MAGA members of the committee we hear nothing.
For those of you who are not familiar with the “Foundation” trilogy (written by Dr. Issac Asimov), a Sheldon Crisis is a socio-political crisis for seen by Hari Seldon that is totally unavoidable that is meant to drive the Foundation toward creating the 2nd Galactic Empire. In each of the crisis’ the freedom of action of the leaders of the Foundation, and their Opponent is progressively limited till one one course of action is available. When ever anyone attempts to deviate from the path things spring up to thwart them. Just like the people attempting to defined Pres. Trump.
In this Sheldon Crisis the single major thwarting item is Donald Trump himself. It is his steadfast refusal to acknowledge the facts of the case as currently presented and his holding to his beloved ‘sure fire’ tactic of “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” that Is the largest roadblocks. That an his demand that he hear his supporters/defenders use the prescribed tactics and verbiage that seems to be preventing any effective defense.
Yesterday with the first hearings of the House Judiciary Committee we got are first, if weak, effective defense of Donald Trump. Unfortunately for Prof. Turley fact checkers were able to find video of him arguing the exact opposite back in 1998(?) in the Pres. Clinton impeachment. An while it is perfectly acceptable for a lawyer to argue both sides of an issue in a trial it does not stand a witness, who is testifying to his own personal beliefs and opinion, well to do so. It is perfectly acceptable for us to ask, “What does he really believe? An what does he stand for?”
What is even sadder is that not once did Prof. Turley ever say that the actions that Pres. Donald J Trump is accused of doing are or are not worthy of Impeachment. At the most all he said was that the process if flawed and going too fast. An even in this he did not address the issue that makes moving as fast as we are. The simple fact is if we don’t settle this issue before the next election and take action to insure that there is no foreign interference in the 2020 Presidential election there will be good reason to doubt the results, no mater what your political persuasions.
So our crisis progress with are freedom of action becoming narrower and narrower. Where will it end?