Pandemonium. The capital of Hell in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Pandemonium. Every damned day. Every single goddamned day. It’s a fire in a munitions factory. It’s a train wreck. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum. The Titanic has plowed into an iceberg at flank speed and the band is madly belting out “It’s a Small World After All” as the ship goes down. It’s a fucking circus of flying monkeys and murder clowns and burning tents full of screaming people trying to find the exit being trampled by trumpeting elephants with projectile diarrhea.
Apparently today was the day for the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) to vent his rage at Peter Strzok. It’s not that I would notice this, I don’t follow the OHM on Twitter. I see no need to follow him since the entire rest of the Twitterverse follows him and if he says anything of merit, I’m sure I’ll see it eventually.
Sadly, almost nothing he says on Twitter bears reading much less commenting on, but I’m still exposed to it repeatedly by outraged people all over the Twitterverse and beyond. Exposed to his tweets by people who want to open the eyes of the average American to the depths of depravity represented by the early-morning emissions of the OHM.
I’m pretty sure Average Americans have either gotten it by this point or they never will get it. However, when Trump picks on Peter Strzok for the umpteenth time over the course of months, only days after he’s been unjustly fired, I think it bears pointing out a few facts on the subject of this previously invisible man.
Peter Strzok is a counter-intelligence hero. I know that most people older than 30 think that the phrase counter-intelligence hero is an oxymoron, but he legitimately is a counter-intelligence hero. I really only need one salient fact to prove this point; and that fact is, he knows what a scumbag money-laundering businessman the OHM was and wasn’t afraid to voice this even before he was running for president.
Oh, you think I need more than that? Luckily I have more than that.
The above is a twenty-minute segment in which Rachel Maddow details exactly what Peter Strzok did on the job. His work was instrumental in exposing the real-life spies that the show The Americanswas based on. The FBI code named this the Illegals Program, and investigating it resulted in the exposing and indictment of ten different spies who had taken up residence in the US using false identification.
He was chief of the FBI’s Counterespionage Section and number two in the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. He led the team of investigators in the Clinton classified email probe and led the FBI investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election. He was involved in the controversial anti-Trump “Steele dossier” used, in part, to obtain multiple secret wiretaps. He was the one who interviewed Trump adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI only to later learn that agents reportedly didn’t think he’d lied. And Strzok was the “top” FBI agent appointed to work on the team of special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged Trump-Russia collusion.
His position, his history in successfully exposing Russian interference previously while working in the FBI lead naturally to his being appointed to lead the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, investigations that have resulted in thirty-five successful indictments and guilty pleas at this point in the investigation. Who wants to bet that Paul Manafort won’t be the thirty-sixth? He did his goddamn job and he did his goddamn job to the best of his ability. He knew that the OHM was dirty because he recognized behavior patterns he had seen in others that he had investigated previously, and he had faith that the American people would never advance such a shallow, deceitful, conman to the office of the president.
Clearly his faith was misplaced. But that is a different story, one that I tell other places on this blog in gory fucking detail. So I don’t need to tell that story here. This article is about Peter Strzok, that flawed human being who had the misfortune to be assigned to the job of investigating the very same conman who would be given power over him. That invisible man, that hero of counter-intelligence, was fired a few days ago because the OHM wanted him fired. Because of the things that he said about the OHM and because of his position within the FBI that would have allowed him to continue investigating the OHM’s russian financial backers.
“I understand we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity,” Mr. Strzok said, continuing: “I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.” He concluded: “As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in.”
About 12 percent of Bernie Sanders’s supporters in the Democratic primary crossed party lines and voted for Donald Trump in the general election, according to a new analysis.
In several key states — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — the number of Sanders to Trump defectors were greater than Trump’s margin of victory, according to new numbers released Wednesday by UMass professor Brian Schaffner.
What do you think?
I get really, really tired of the armchair quarterbacking of political events. That’s what I think. I think the three critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan were so close as to make the term “victory” an almost meaningless label to apply to either candidate, which is why I ignore most pundits when they talk about why the race turned out the way it did. None of them could do better than Nate Silver and fivethirtyeight.com did before the election and even the best science around still gave Hillary a better than 70% chance of winning. I’ve known virtually since the second or third week after the election that there was only one person to blame for swinging the election to Trump in the final weeks running up to election day.
We have James Comey to thank for President Donald Trump. As 538 has mentioned more than once, Comey gave the election to Trump with his letter on October 28, 2016. It was Comey, Comey and more Comey, which is why I shed no tears at his leaving the FBI. Without Comey’s letter we have a Hillary Clinton presidency. This is undeniable,
The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.
Could Clinton have done a better job? Without question. Clinton herself is another subject I hope to tackle at some point (here) but she did no better and no worse than any of the male presidential candidates before her as far as her activity and campaign go.
So let’s not play these games that the DNC wants us to play right now. They want us to keep Bernie Sanders from changing the Democratic party. They want us to embrace the neoliberalism introduced by Bill Clinton. That is a part of history now. What the future holds is anybody’s guess but you don’t earn the label progressive or liberal by looking to that past. That is Conservatism and playing the Republican’s game. That is playing to lose. Let’s play a progressive game next time and see if the GOP can keep up. Let’s play to win for a change.
A story related by d’Ancona clinches the point. One day, Trump’s butler Anthony Senecal read his boss’s book The Art of the Deal. It detailed how the tiles in the nursery at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s West Palm Beach club, had been personally made by Walt Disney. Is that really true, the butler asked the billionaire. “Who cares?” replied Trump. Who cares indeed: if truth is a commodity, it is one that has crashed in value, but not before Trump astutely dumped his shares in it.
Since January 20th I’ve been keeping a passing eye and ear on the news. Not really paying attention, just waiting for the talking heads and pundits to start clueing in on the new reality. Waiting for the former gatekeepers and news creators to understand the landscape in front of them. I’m beginning to think I am wasting my time. Every newscast, every podcast, every article I run across with few exceptions falls for the tasty bullshit offered rather than dig into the fabrication that they are being asked to consume and regurgitate for the public’s consumption.
The Muslim ban was one of the first things out of the gate 6 months ago, and it’s still being discussed. Removed, reissued, struck down again, and now the Supreme Court will be asked to weigh in on this xenophobic floating turd in the public drinking water. They’ll couch the destruction of Trump’s attempt to institute an unconstitutional ban on a specific religion in flowery rhetoric, or they’ll debase themselves before the power of the mob that His Electoral Highness is assembling to inflict his will on the unsuspecting public, but in the end the Muslim ban is bullshit just like everything that has been said about it is bullshit. Six months of bullshit about a policy that never had a chance of being real American law. It is a religious test. A muslim ban imposed by christians and their anti-christ Trump, just more of the christian persecution complex that has been on display since Reagan invited them into politics in 1980.
This is how demagogues rule. This is how democracies and republics dissolve. Listening to His Electoral Highness’ bullshit and reporting on it as fact is facilitating the dissolution of the country we have known and, from the perspective of the doddering old fool of the religious right agenda we should know so well by now, ushering in the theocratic government they are convinced will secure god’s blessing for America. But that is just one facet on the polished turd of Trump’s bullshit.
The border wall he announced after descending the flowing golden escalator to proclaim his candidacy, the border wall that will keep out the brown-skinned menace to the South of the US? That bullshit still isn’t a thing, either. It isn’t a thing because it can’t be done and the people along the border don’t even want it done. The Republicans in Texas, ever anxious to keep Tejanos subjected and divided, have embraced the xenophobic fear of the brown-skinned other that Trump embraced as a candidate, only to be stabbed in the back by the rogue force they got elected to the presidency. Texas cities aren’t even sanctuaries according to the Trump justice department. So the sanctuary cities fear mongering that the governor and the legislature spent months on and will spend millions defending amounts to exactly bullshit. Meaningless bullshit clogging up the airwaves, obscuring the real news.
For six years, six years, the Republicans have campaigned on repealing Obamacare, the moniker they hung on the ACA that Obama in one of his moments of wisdom embraced. Trump said they’d fix that day one. It didn’t happen day one, hasn’t happened yet six months later. The Republicans can’t agree on just how to hang themselves with their own rhetoric, so they fidget and hesitate and refuse to do much of anything of measurable impact. They passed a bill through the House that they know won’t pass the Senate, and the Bullshitter-in-Chief threw them a party on the White House lawn to celebrate their victory in doing absolutely nothing at all. Just the kind of thing a lover of bullshit like Trump would celebrate, of course. It doesn’t even matter that the non-plan doesn’t do any of the things he’s forgotten he promised on the campaign trail. It’s the celebration that counts.
Trump promised jobs? How is that lying, cheating scumbag going to create jobs? The only people who stay with him and make money are family and household staff. The only business partners that make money are the criminals who give him money to launder; and they only make money because he knows they’ll kill him if they don’t. Every single word I’ve heard him utter since he declared his intention to build casinos in Atlantic City and then shafted every single person who dared believe anything he said about the project has been bullshit. Look at them, the scattered carcases in his wake. The thousands of people he trickled down on as he was being golden showered himself. The people who are afraid to admit they fell for his bullshit all these years. The people who thought they’d get rich as part of the scheme only to be left holding the bag, paying the bill, after all the important people have checked out. Look at them, the wannabes still following him even now just hoping for a droplet of his time so that they too might be as lucky as he is, to be apparently worth billions all while truthfully being in hock to the eyeballs, afraid of his own shadow and spied on by his Russian bride. Risking everything on this one big final scam, running for president, hoping against hope that it just might turn out alright.
Every single media personality who reports on Trump secretly wants to be Trump. That is the thing they only admit to themselves when they are alone with their thoughts at three am wondering what they did wrong in their lives to end up where they are. They want to be famous like Trump. Charismatic like Trump. Able to pull crap out of their asses like Trump and have total strangers eat it up like cake. The lure of fame so commonly mistaken for infamy, especially in the world of reality television. It is a mark of pride for me, never having seen a single episode of the Apprentice. Never listening to Howard Stern or any of his thousands of imitators and so never consequently being trapped listening to Trump talk about himself. Never being a fan of David Letterman and so also missing him there. It was a blessing, when I could tune out the bullshit so easily.
So it goes, round and round and round with no end in sight. This is the goal of the bullshitter. They want to keep people distracted, try to wear out their attention so that when they finally look away in exhaustion the real goals can be pursued. Those goals vary from one bullshitter to the next. Most of them are selling something, and His Electoral Highness was one of those when he was a real estate developer. His bullshit serves a different purpose these days, but bullshit remains bullshit, and anything coming out of that mouth is bullshit, has always been bullshit. The mistake is in listening to what he says in the first place. Listening beyond the necessity to realize he needs to be removed from office and gathering the evidence to achieve that goal. All the reporting and amusement and outrage and even the disaffection and denial all serve the greater purpose that the bullshitter wants achieved so long as the media and his future prosecutors do not realize that ending his bullshit career is the only goal of merit. As long as he remains in play, in office and free to manipulate and profit, his bullshit serves the purpose he creates it for.
Yesterday Robert Reich posted yet another in a series of posts detailing how the president is clearly unhinged and needs to be removed. Today Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station brilliantly detailed how Trump’s Twitter bullshit remains without substance (he’s still doing it two years later) I understand that it’s important to convince the people who support him to stop, but I really don’t think that his supporters are vulnerable to reasoned arguments from any quarter. It is far, far too late for that to be effective. We have white power being motivated to violence in the streets across the country, and no one is prosecuting them as we did the Black Panthers and Malcolm X in the 60’s . White supremacists are more powerful and more visible than they’ve ever been in my lifetime and I’ve been paying attention to politics from the inside and the outside since the mid-seventies. We are in a crisis point and I doubt there are very many people reading this that don’t already know this.
When His Electoral Highness intoned “The Media is the Enemy of the People” anyone with an understanding of history and the manipulation of society should have perked up and taken notice. This is a well-known tactic of demagogues and dictators. Discredit the press, make people uncertain of the truthfulness of what they read and hear,
Part of his purpose there (attacking the press) is to make sure the news source they (his base) accept about Trump is Trump. If the press can’t find a way into that circle, then it really doesn’t matter what a ball they are having as they report on this playground of a White House.
He is still speaking directly to his supporters, what the media calls his base and what I would refer to as preaching to the choir. He doesn’t care what anyone else thinks as long as his alt-right people stay loyal to him, his brownshirts in waiting. The equivalent to the Reichstag fire hasn’t occurred yet, but His Electoral Highness, the demagogue who serves as a stand-in for Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mussolini, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum has been inducted into a leadership position he isn’t capable of executing in a legal fashion. His troops are marshalling now and it only remains for the catalyst to be introduced for the violence in his name and defense to start.
None of this comes as a surprise to me. I recognized the patterns if not the person quite some time ago. Wanting to avoid a Trump presidency is why I voted for Hillary Clinton, not that it did much good since everyone else appears to have stayed home. Avoiding a Trump presidency is also why I warned everyone who read my blog at the end of last October about Trump and his backer’s true threat level. Apparently I wasn’t clear enough about the kind of violent, uninformed malcontents backing the con artist that was running against Hillary and the system itself, so I explained it more succinctly in a post and with a moniker I gave to Trump when he didn’t burn out as I (and he also) expected to – The Orange Hate-Monkey. Following that I explained the job of the electoral college, to the electoral college and then compared the GOP to their historical predecessors and then, when all else had failed, I explained why we as the owners of this entire mess should act to clean it up as quickly as possible, summed up in the archaic phrase Caveat Emptor. Caveat Emptor, a phrase everyone should be required to understand in this day and age.
I haven’t written much since then because, frankly, I’m waiting for everyone else to catch up. I’m beginning to get tired of waiting. The media still report on every bit of bullshit that passes his lips. They follow his Twitter feed slavishly. Parse his every utterance as if they contain pearls of wisdom. Why do they report these things as news? Surely after years of having to correct what he says, then he says differently, and then changes again, a journalist trained to verify facts would realize that the source is not reliable and find another source. But they don’t. They can’t stop themselves.
Economist: “Beyond that, it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?”
Trump: “It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll . . . you understand the expression ‘‘prime the pump”?”
Trump: “We have to prime the pump.”
Economist: “It’s very Keynesian.”
Trump: “Have you heard that expression before, for this type of an event?”
Economist: “Priming the pump?”
Trump: “Yeah, have you heard it?”
Trump: “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just . . . I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.”
Earth to Trump: The expression “priming the pump” has been used to refer to government spending that stimulates the economy since at least 1933. If you never heard it before your grasp of economics is below that of most Americans. If you think you made it up, your narcissism is fabulous. “Fabulous” is a word that has been used since 1658. You didn’t make that up, either.
He knows these things didn’t come from him. If he doesn’t then he really is as unhinged as most people think these days. It is bullshit; and all of the reporting on what he says simply promotes it. Dr. Reich is flabbergasted that Trump would admit he fired FBI Director Comey because he refused to end the Russia probes. Of course he fired Comey because of Russia. I didn’t believe he’d admit it himself initially, but why shouldn’t he? His base doesn’t believe the Russian conspiracy is real (and it may not be) but why should he care what he admits or what anyone reports? He knows he isn’t going to be hindered by what the media says or doesn’t say. He rules with the support of the mob at his back. The ever more violent white supremacists and malcontents, what we would call terrorists if we were being honest with ourselves. They put him in office and they intend to keep him there.
Life is political, not because the world cares about how you feel, but because the world reacts to what you do”
This is why the media needs to go cold turkey on their Trump addiction. This binge they’ve been on since almost two years ago now. They need to report facts instead of the touchy-feely bullshit that Trump spews every morning. Facts like his demonstrable theft of service business practices, just waiting to be revealed to the researcher willing to dig deep enough. Where are his tax returns? Now he’s going to release them after he leaves office? Who believes this bullshit? Show of hands? Nobody. He’s never going to release them, they will incriminate him and he knows this. Someone please produce them, so we can get on with the prosecution.
Facts like his complete allegiance to Putin and Russia. He dropped missiles on a Syrian airbase? Where is the outrage? Where are the official state protests? Where is Russia and Syria holding us to account for his act of war? What you hear instead is the sound of crickets chirping. Has the media grown so fatigued they don’t even notice the echoing chasm of a lack of quid pro quo, tit for tat, the kind of behavior that has historically always followed a strike like that? You won’t see it, because it was bullshit executed by the military at Trump’s request. No real effect, planes took off the next day from that base to strike the same targets they’d been striking the day before. In the end, the missile strike simply proved that even the things he does are bullshit, which is quite a feat in and of itself. To be ineffectual even when blowing things up and killing people. You have to be a world-class bullshitter to be able to pull off that level of bullshit.
On June twentieth we’ll have officially hit the six month mark in the Trump presidency. He has already gone on more vacations in 6 months than Obama did in 6 years. He’s produced less work than any other president at this point in his presidency, and his only successful acts have been to undo most of the progress made by President Obama in his last 6 months in office. His congress is on the path to produce less legislation than the last congress, which was the least productive congress in the history of the nation. This is what a constant stream of bullshit earns you. Lots of effort simply to lose ground. He’s made a lot of money over this past six months, though. That I can guarantee you without having to look at his ledger sheets, all of it at the expense of US citizenry and US international standing. Forfeiture of the American hegemony, the end of US international leadership.
I’m going back to Netflix now. I have House of Cards to catch up on. Yes, it’s tame by comparison to His Electoral Highness’ court intrigues, possibly even more believable, but I prefer distraction to watching the slow torture of the American spirit into something that I’d rather not be associated with. Someone wake me when the impeachment hearings start.
Not even being president could give you any class.
I’ve arrived at that certain point in time; November 8th, 2016. I’ve been stalling the inevitable. I have now listened to all the podcasts that were queued up from prior to that date. I even went back through the archives of Hidden Brain in hopes of delaying this confrontation with reality, and I say in hopes of delaying this confrontation with reality, and I say even because I’ve heard most of them as part of the science queue from the NPR feeds. I listened to them again even though I really didn’t need to.
Call it denial, call it whatever you like, I haven’t been able to listen to a newscast for the last two weeks. I still can’t listen, watch or read while pundits attempt to normalize what has just happened. Every podcast for the last year and a half that has included any attempt to break down the Orange Hate-Monkey‘s (OHM) flung shit, the sounds that normal people consider words with meanings, have been and will continue to be culled from my news stream. I have no time to waste on attempts to rationalize what is 80% bullshit, scientifically determined.
Now that the OHM looks to be destined for the White House, these sickeningly obsequious pundits are still trying to make sense of the patterns that emerge from words that he has said, blithely ignoring the adage that covers this particular waste of time.
The electoral college still hasn’t spoken, won’t speak until after December 19th. If they elect him he then becomes President-Elect. He won’t be President until January 20th of 2017. Until then everything that a pundit might think about what will happen is just another attempt at creating a fantasy narrative, much like your average fantasy football player talking about their team as if it existed anywhere outside of their own heads.
Life must go on, but the way forward may not include much in the way of news content for me. I will not be wasting my time normalizing the behaviors of proto-fascists. Any article which includes phrases like Trump says will be beneath notice from the perspective of actual value for time spent, simply adding to the amount of garbage in that has to be sorted for relevant life-sustaining facts coming out. Arguments to the contrary directed at me will simply be met with OHM quotations which might or might not be relevant to the argument presented.
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Who knows if these quotes will be relevant? I certainly don’t. No one can know, not even the OHM himself. He lost sight of what the truth was long, long ago, back in the days before his dad gave him the stake to start his business with.
The old anonymous quote (which I’ve used more than once recently) on the current problems with our country goes like this; “American fascism will arrive carrying a cross and wrapped in a flag” and it has. They aren’t fascists yet. Not yet. Speech is free, after all. You can say the things fascists say and still not be one. Talk is cheap. If they follow through on the OHM’s promises… When they seat their dictator with the express purpose of allowing him to do what he promised, they will no longer be proto-fascists but fascists in fact. [They are now defacto fascists, just FYI.]
The one thing that can be said about the structure of a Trump administration is that we have a good idea of who the people that will ultimately be named as co-defendants at the war crimes trials will be. These are still the same paltry few facts that we knew two weeks ago when I wrote this piece.
The OHM announced this week that he has selected Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, which means that gutting public schools nationally to line corporate schooling pockets will also occur along with misbegotten attempts to stimulate 18th century power production in the form of coal, denial of climate change and its effects, etc. It is worth noting that Devos’ husband Dick DeVos is the son of the Amway founder; consequently she and he are well versed in the nature of what has come to be known as the prosperity gospel, favored among pyramid scheme operators, conmen and hucksters across America. Favored by them because it clothes them in the robes of religiosity every time they cheat someone else out of a buck. God willed it to be that way.
There has been almost nothing that qualifies as news on the subject of the outcome of the election that is worth reporting beyond those few facts and the fact that Hillary Clinton has now racked up a whopping 2 million vote lead in the election held on November 8th (Electoral College Explained. Again.) Every other word out of the news organizations mouths on this subject for the last two weeks has been nothing but meaningless hot air.
These politicians aligning themselves with Trump, expressing willingness to work with Trump cannot understand some very basic facts relating to the OHM’s bid for the presidency, and those facts will come back to bite them in the end.
If his supporters intend to force the OHM to comply with the sales pitch he made to gain office, to rid the US of the immigrant menace, the Muslim menace, then there will be concentration camps full of brown people all across the US. That is how you isolate and dispose of 11 million people. It is a herculean task and requires harsh measures and steadfast resolve to carry out. What is never mentioned in any of these discussions is what the rest of the world will do while we publicly dispose of 11 million people. War with the rest of the world? It is what we deserve for allowing the OHM to take office. He is quite literally an American Hitler.
Let me guess. You don’t see it? I’ll spell it all out for you.
The NSDAP embraced the grassroots distrust of the other in their German midst as the way to victory. It was/is common for Jews to be viewed as other in Germany and across Europe and into parts of the US. This same language, this same course, is being used by the OHM, his appointees, his supporters, etc. They don’t even pretend that Jews aren’t on the hit list with the Hispanics and Muslims. Fear of the other in our midst is what drives most of the OHM’s supporters, and they aren’t going to be satisfied with half-measures. There will be round-ups. There will be mass incarceration. There will be blood. If the OHM allows any of these things to occur, he will be remembered as the president that brought fascism to America.
In other words, Trump and Putin are two of a kind: xenophobic, bigoted demagogues with dual histories of corruption, aggression, and celebration of white supremacy repackaged as patriotic nationalism. Their radical American and Russian followers, now linked by the internet, share similar goals and are part of a larger revival of white-supremacist movements happening across the West.
More troublingly, he has harnessed the power of the evangelical christian right. DeVos was just his latest pick to illustrate this. Before that it was Governor Pence, one of the most militant enforcers of christian dogma to come along in quite some time. This was also the way to power for the NSDAP and their leader. Famously, the belt buckles of German soldiers bore the slogan Gott Mit Uns (God With Us) just one of the more outward signs of the use that religion was put to in support of Nazi designs on power. Also like Hitler, the OHM has little use for religion himself. It is a means to an end and nothing more.
There are some serious shadings of The Handmaid’s Tale in the OHM’s rhetoric, but that really isn’t anything new in conservative circles. If misogynists and their ilk, the dedicated anti-abortion lobby, were vulnerable to comparisons to Nazism they would have modified their talking points ages ago. Fascists and authoritarians throughout history have taken an unhealthy interest in securing increased reproduction for the right kind of people. This is hardly a feature of Nazism alone, but it is worth mentioning that banning abortion was just another thing that the GOP and the NSDAP have in common.
These are just the most visible parts of the equation.
Looking more deeply into the plans of the OHM, I would have you note that he refused to divulge his taxes or any of his financials. He refuses to divest himself of his businesses. We have no way of knowing who and what he owes to whom, or where his personal interests lie. What will make him a buck. What will keep him in the good graces of the criminals who counted on him to launder money for them (the real purpose of most real estate development) he has steadfastly refused to budge on this issue even though it will put him in violation of the constitution,
During a discussion on CNN this morning, former White House lawyer Richard Painter made the case that if it appears that Trump will be in violation of the emolument clause of the Constitution, then the Electoral College must decide to not vote for him next month.
After he and fellow guest Jan Baran agreed that there isn’t an actual law that prevents Trump from being involved in his businesses while in the White House but that it does present numerous ethical issues, Painter said that he informed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway of concerns around the emolument clause.
This is most likely what Trump had in mind if he were so unlikely as to be successful in his bid for the White House. A real estate developer is only interested in how much money he can make in a particular deal, and let’s be clear about this point. Him making money has absolutely nothing to do with protecting America, or making it great again. His personal aggrandizement has netted him a lot of gold-plated furnishings in his long business life; but it has served to destroy many other businesses and many other people along the way. His standard of practice is theft of service. He doesn’t know how to pay for any of the things he takes. There is where the problem lies.
He will lie, cheat and steal from the American people on a level that we haven’t seen since the days of Boss Tweed. This is the kind of business he has always conducted and I have seen no inclination on his part (much less ability) to change his patterns. He will break the tie between Warren G. Harding and George W. Bush for worst president in the history of the US, easily being the most hated President in the history of the US even before taking office. In my estimation he stands an equal chance of also being the last president of the United States, if we allow him to take office.
“The President of the United States has the power to affect how our tax dollars are spent, who the federal government does business with, and the integrity of America’s standing in a global economy,” said Clark. “Every recent president in modern history has taken steps to ensure his financial interests do not conflict with the needs of the American people. The American people need to be able to trust that the President’s decisions are based on the best interests of families at home, and not the President’s financial interests.”
Previous American presidents including Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all used some form of blind trust or placed their assets in an investment vehicle over which they had no control.
I have faint hope, still, that the Electoral College will refuse to elect Donald J. Trump to the Presidency. That they will refuse to endorse the OHM and at least kick the can to the House of Representatives, make them embrace their own destruction directly.
If the Republicans had any credibility left last summer they would have refused to nominate Trump. They didn’t, they embraced him. They claimed he did not represent the party, then embraced him anyway. They had their lackey in the FBI interfere in the election by submitting a false letter to congress less than a week before the election, which the OHM then paraded about, pretending that the GOP was finally going to get the butcher of #Benghazi. Lock her up! his mindless supporters chanted. Too late we learned that it was just another fake story, one among hundreds that the Republicans and their nominee’s Russian friends had flooded the internet with.
The Republicans appear to think “any way to power is acceptable” making them well and truly the inheritors of the NSDAP. They will most likely be remembered that way, if there is anyone left to remember after the dust settles.
October 26, 2017 addendum. Obviously Trump holds the office of president. Wishful thinking about alternatives has long gone out the window. Today I got a few notifications in the inbox that brought this article back to mind. One of them was this article headline Who Knew Trump Would Be a Weak President? from an article over at the New Republic. While I didn’t know he’d be weak, the moment he didn’t orchestrate the creation of Mexican concentration camps for the disposal of his purported eleven million illegal people, I was happy to discover he was a weak president. Being deemed and proven weak beats that alternative by several miles.
The OHM wants so badly for us to let him be Hitler. He begs for that kind of power constantly. Daily if not hourly. He derides the free press, excoriates people who protest against him, etcetera, as I’ve mentioned in more recent articles. But this article isn’t about the OHM. This is about the enabler in this codependency tragedy. This article was and is about the party of Lincoln, the party of Eisenhower, and now the party of Trump. The Republican party.
Today I also get a notification that Steve Bannon is hell-bent to turn the GOP, the Republican party, into the de facto party of Trump, an organ that will rubber stamp anything that the OHM whimsically decides to do next. Javier Zarracina over at VOX penned an article titled The Republican purge has only just begun. Robert Reich poses his usual question at the end of the status he linked the article to. For those who haven’t been paying attention, Steve Bannon is the leader of the White Nationalist movement that backed Trump, and was recently ejected from the White House by more sensible members of the Trump administration for his openly racist and xenophobic proposals. That guy, the guy who was too crazy to be kept near the easily confused President Trump, now wants to turn the GOP into the German NSDAP in principle if not in fact.
…conversations with conservative activists, GOP operatives, and people close to Bannon and the White House suggest that the Breitbart executive chair is engaged in a bold, ambitious project that has a relatively clear vision. He doesn’t just want to destroy the old Republican establishment — he wants to build a new one.
To do that, he hopes to unite many factions of the right who have gripes against GOP leadership into a broad coalition. That would include immigration hardliners who fear “amnesty” deals. But it would also include social conservatives and anti-spending activists who feel their priorities are too often ignored or compromised away.
Overall, he wants Republican senators to care far less about what the Chamber of Commerce thinks, and far more about what Breitbart readers think.
There are a lot of people who read Breitbart. A lot. A scary amount of Americans believe the bullshit shoveled there and at FOX news without question. But is that a group large enough to win general elections? That really is the question here, not whether I like what Steve Bannon does to a party that I’ve never had any use for in the first place.
I think that if he wants to turn the GOP into an even less likeable version of the Libertarian inspired Tea Party (Now with More White Nationalism!™) so that the GOP loses seats in districts they gerrymandered to be unwinnable by any other group aside from mainstream GOP representatives, I’m cool with that. He can have the soiled corpse of the GOP to enact whatever disgusting acts he wants on it. Let the fate of the GOP be a lesson to any other group that thinks that power for its own sake is something you can pursue without risking your very soul. From Lincoln to the OHM in 150 years. That’s how fast a party founded on ending an injustice can turn into a party that promotes injustice. A cautionary tale for anyone who cares to tell it or read it.
It now falls to the Democrats to craft a message that will win hearts and minds and deliver the United States from the evil that would be American Fascism under a Trump government designed from the beginning to destroy everything that has been constructed in this country over the last two hundred years. Yes, the future really is that grim.
We have no way to know the Real Estate Developer’s leverage position. We have no way to know because he won’t release his financials and we have to take this liar’s word on everything he says. Six bankruptcies. SIX. “No personal bankruptcies” means nothing, and every businessman worth his salt knows this.
This is his standard of practice. His business model. Load his corporations with debt, loot the assets, declare bankruptcy. These sort of revelations should make his supporters shut up about his business acumen, because who wants a fraud like this leading our country? Weirdly his supporters seem as impervious to facts as the Birther-in-Chief himself.
As an aside, I love the NPR Politics podcast, the podcast that inspired this Planet Money episode. Love it. One little problem. I can’t link individual episodes, just the page with the latest on the top (well, you can embed them now) which makes the podcast really hard to share. IF the page was like the NPR Planet Money page, this would not be a problem.
On The Other Hand their general weekly podcasts make me parse the news more closely than I feel comfortable doing on this blog when it comes to linking their feeds here directly. I’d have to go through every sentence and pontificate as to why I disagree with this or that observation. Just go to the feed and listen to it yourself. Make your own judgments.
The real crime is not that he pays no income tax. No, the real crime is no Real Estate Developer pays income tax. This is because congress loves liars and fraudsters and hands them some of the best benefits available at their discretion.
But that isn’t the half of it. His supporters don’t want to know any facts about their candidate. They have been plugging their ears and humming as loud as possible for over a year now, hoping against hope that this guy will do the things he says he’ll do, counting on him to do the things he says he’ll do, and they don’t want to know any of the ugly details involved in getting the things they want.
So when the argument is made that he’d be stupid to release his tax returns, they agree with that. Because they can look at themselves in the mirror the morning after and say “I never knew he was going to murder 11 million people. If I had known that I would never have voted for him.” The lie is, they could have known that if they had not willfully blinded themselves.
Revealed this week (brace yourselves, this is going to keep happening) the Orange Hate-Monkey has probably not paid income taxes for about twenty years.
In a lengthy New York Times article, it is revealed that his losses in 1995 could have lent him a tax shelter for 18 years. But that isn’t the half of it. As this article on Vox points out, what is in the tax returns is even worse. We know it is even worse because the Birther-in-Chief hasn’t released his tax returns yet.
Trump cares nothing for the future of this country. He was impeachable from the moment he took the oath of office because he perjured himself in taking it. He is already subverting the constitution in violation of his oath. His raping of the country has begun and will continue until we stop him.
Last night at midnight, the Trump Administration took the White House petition site, We The People, offline.
Since taking office 11 months ago, 17 petitions have gathered more than the requisite 100,000 signatures each requiring Trump to address them.
He has responded to precisely none — including the largest and most popular petition in the history of the government site, “Immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.”
A backdoor is not required to address the immediate issue of this specific case. What this decision shows is a lack of understanding on the part of the judge, and an attempt to force Apple to do what the US government has tried to get Apple (and all other tech companies) do for the better part of 20 years. Make our data systems less secure in the name of national security. Ironically it is the government that is grandstanding on this issue, not Apple.
Paul Harvey dominated the radio waves when I was growing up. It seems fitting to title a corrections post after his iconic radio narration; the hallmark of which was telling you teasing parts of the story in advance, then pitching you on whatever his advertisers told him to pitch that week, and finally getting to the truth of the story in the final segment. Well, I don’t know that this is the final segment of the story or not, but I do have some corrections to offer on a particular subject which is bugging me at the moment, and it has something to do with truth.
Steven Novella is currently in a debate on his blog NeuroLogica with a 9-11 truther; and while I am unable to even read the articles from the 9-11 truth side of the argument, I felt the desire to offer a comment for Dr. Novella’s excellent rebuttal of the truther argument. So I wandered back over here to my blog, looking for the well-reasoned arguments that I’ve presented in the past, only to find that none of the reasoned arguments I remember on the subject have ever been posted to this blog. Every Single Thing I’ve EVER written on the subject of 9-11 on this blog is bullshit, up to this point. No seriously, go look, I’ll wait.See what I mean? I was (I might still be) completely clueless on the subject, far too gullible even still. The entries are a blatant example of the malleability of the moment and one’s experiences in it. When I wrote that crap, I believed it (well, the plagiarism-level cut and paste on the subject of the 9-11 mosque isn’t too bad, but then I didn’t write 9/10’s of that) and it’s only been my experience online in various threads and sites that have refined my thinking on the subject of conspiracy theories in general and the attacks on 9-11 in particular.
If I had to point to a specific moment in time or a piece of literature in particular that affected my thinking on this subject, it was Deadly Decisions: How False Knowledge Sank the Titanic, Blew Up the Shuttle, and Led America into War a book suggested by Buck Field just as a passing side-comment while we were discussing the failings of the first Abramanation. I’ve often marveled at how the apparently insignificant contents of conversational banter can have immense ramifications on the thinking of an individual (probably why I’m so fond of Connections and other works by James Burke) reading Deadly Decisions did that for me. Suddenly all the conspiratorial thinking that fogged up my reason lifted, and I could just glimpse the million monkeys banging on keyboards producing, if not Shakespeare, then at least all the catastrophes of history that seemed to defy explanation. Humans as a group are not too bright and are prone to make decisions that lead to very, very bad outcomes.
Case in point, the attacks on 9-11. Paraphrasing the chapters in the book detailing the failings that lead up to the attacks, the attacks were ultimately successful because that is how human systems fail. The CIA was tracking the terrorists until they arrived in the US. Once they were on US soil, the FBI claimed jurisdiction and promptly flushed the investigation. Not once but three times President Bush and his cabinet were advised that attacks on targets in the US using commercial airliners were being planned. None of the signals were acted upon, and nothing more is needed to explain the inaction beyond the observation that human systems fail in this fashion. The only way to end these kinds of failures is to alter the way we think about the systems we create.
Ultimately no one is to blame for the attacks on 9-11 beyond the 11 men who successfully hijacked the planes and flew them into the buildings, because they were the ones who took those actions.
Some of the content I’ve posted other places follows, starting with proper reference links;
There were a lot of firsts for the WTC. In all the history of high-rise fires, not one has ever been hit with a plane traveling 500 miles an hour and had its fire proofing removed from its trusses. In all the history of high-rise fires, not one has ever had its steel columns which hold lateral load sheared off by a 767. In all the history of high-rise fires, not one has ever been a building which had its vertical load bearing columns in its core removed by an airliner. For Building 7, in all the history of high-rise fires, not one has ever been left for 6-7 hours with its bottom floors on fire with structural damage from another building collapse. Not the Madrid/Windsor tower did not have almost 40 stories of load on its supports after being hit by another building which left a 20 story gash. The Madrid tower lost portions of its steel frame from the fire. Windsor’s central core was steel reinforced concrete. In all the history of high-rise fires, not one has ever been without some fire fighters fighting the fires.
I find it amusing, reading the thread I pulled this reference quote from. So much crap in my head at that time; but I was starting to work through it, call it into question, laugh at it, then discard it. I wish there was something worthy of posting from that period that I wrote. There isn’t. Just more of what is already on the blog that I don’t need more of. Well, maybe this bit;
I love the way they say “collapsed in their footprint” as if that’s even the case. Watch the full video of the collapse, and you will see the outside skin peeling away OUTWARD as the upper floors collapse through them. One can duplicate this effect with a couple of cardboard paper towel rolls. The upper floors landed in the footprint, because the perimeter structure guided those floors down onto it, as it sheared away and impacted the structures around it. Those ‘explosive’ puffs of smoke? Smoke and Air escaping through the fracture points as the upper floor forced the compressed air beneath them out (also replicatable with some basic home items) This is a pretty straightforward structural failure, and the engineer who designed it was devastated by it. Watch the video of him discussing it, if you don’t believe me.
When the US shot down a civilian airliner, back around gulf war one, I first noticed this unwillingness of Americans to accept facts related to tragedies. There were all these theories about the plane being loaded with corpses and flown into restricted airspace, that it wasn’t the US that fired on it, etc. Silly complexifying theories that just got in the way of understanding what really happened. This 9/11 truth stuff is nothing but more of the same. Got no time for it.
That bit and the bit where I laugh at Alex Jones for claiming that he predicted 9-11.
Alex Jones lives in Austin. The syndicated radio show comes from the local AM station that I listened to (3 to 6 pm weekdays. Jeff Ward, best radio show in Austin) A couple of my friends from my time at the local LP were part of his blue windbreaker truth squad (or whatever they called themselves) They all believed what he said implicitly, but to me it’s a lot like professional wrestling. It’s real to them, but that doesn’t make it true. Has anything that he’s promoted breathlessly in the last 20 years come true? The secret prisons? Any of it? He’s playing to his market, and he’s pretty good at it. Like Coast to Coast, there’s just enough truth buried in the exaggerations to make you pause. But in the end it’s entertainment, not science. If he predicted 9/11, then I predicted 9/11.
It was a common argument in LP circles that an attack on the US was inevitable, because of our military adventurism. Hell, it was a rare day that went by where we DIDN’T talk about what form of attack might occur, and how that would be the end of freedom in this country, because the average American was completely unprepared to understand the costs of our military adventurism, and wouldn’t realize that our foreign policy lead us to this place.
The last debunking article I’d read was this one.
At a certain point, though, debating science and theory and ideas is an exercise in futility, because the hypotheses of conspiracy theorists are not grounded in any kind of a larger understanding of the real world. “This sounds really mean,” says Erik Sofge, a reporter on the original Popular Mechanics piece and an occasional contributor to Slate. “But really, it’s like arguing over the marching speed of hobbits.”
Here’s the article where the AIA signs off on the NIST reports and distances itself from Richard Gage, the man behind AE911Truth.
All of Gage’s so-called evidence has been rebutted in peer-reviewed papers, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, by the National Institute for Standards and Technology, by the American Society of Civil Engineers, by the 9/11 Commission Report, and, perhaps most memorably, by the 110-year-old engineering journal Popular Mechanics.
What is more interesting than these bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories is the way that Gage places his AIA membership front and center in his presentations. He seems to be attempting to cloak his organization in the officialdom of the venerable 155-year-old professional institution, even as AIA wants nothing to do with his organization.
Chris Mohr (this guy) is convinced that he has rebutted (not debunked but rebutted as in disproven, shown to be invalid, answered satisfactorily, etc.) Richard Gage, and was even featured onstage in a video with Gage that Gage’s own people refused to release, as he details in the opening seconds of the video playlist here. The videos are as riveting as watching paint dry. I don’t recommend them.
Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia. Wild conspiracy tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories: The Pentagon was struck by a missile; the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs; Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet. As outlandish as these claims may sound, they are increasingly accepted abroad and among extremists here in the United States.
To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.
In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history.
The rabbit hole of 9-11 conspiracies these days begins and ends with Building 7. Because of the positioning of the building on the site, it’s odd construction, et cetera, proponents of conspiracy theories always seem to point to building 7 as the most inexplicable part of the catastrophe.
However, it really is explainable, and the explanation isn’t implosion; the buildings didn’t disintegrate into dust, nor did they fall completely in their own footprints. Building 7 did not collapse at free fall velocities. 18 seconds per seismic monitoring; twice as long in duration than ‘free fall’. I’ve toured ground zero, more than once. As a former architect I’ve studied the damage around that area numerous times. If you understand the structures, then you will understand why they failed the way they did. There’s nothing mysterious or inexplicable about that day and it’s events, not even the fact that W. ignored warnings in advance of the attacks. That is also completely normal human behavior.
Thirteen years and still no defectors from the group that set the bombs? Not one shred of documentation from the (and as a former architect, I know what documentation is required) thousands of pages of diagrams necessary to pull off a job of this magnitude? No significant amount of explosive residue (I have to say significant, because there was all kinds of materials in the buildings including trace amounts of explosives. Not enough to bring down the buildings) that leads to the culprits who made it? Nothing? Whereas (in that book I’ve already linked) you can find references to the CIA program that tracked the hijackers. Documentation for the meetings at which W. was warned of plans to attack with planes. In the NIST reports you can find explanations of how the structures failed the way they did. Etc. Etc. Etc. Mountains of evidence that support the explanation that planes struck the buildings just like we all saw, and the resultant damage and fires caused them to collapse, and to bring other buildings down with them. And against that mountain of evidence you have…?
The NIST report has been altered! It is full of errors
Anomaly hunting does not prove a counter argument; it simply points out anomalies in the data presented. In other words, because the government falsifies data, it doesn’t prove that the buildings were imploded, or the planes remote controlled, or whatever fanciful tale you prefer over the hard reality that occurred that day. In order for the data to be ‘falsified’ you have to prove intent to deceive, rather than simple error involved in a complex determination of structural failure. Discounting all of the documentation accumulated on this subject because of errors in certain parts of the data is engaging in fallacious reasoning.
Anomalies in the data occur. That is reality not human nature. Building seven fell the way it did because that’s the way it’s particular frame failed with the damage it received. The side facing the twin towers fell first because of the damage it sustained, and it pulled the visible portions of the building back and down with it, making the collapse look “odd” from the perspective of the street (the only perspectives available) but is quite well explained by the NIST reports if you care to actually read them.
We knew about Watergate within the year that it occurred. MKultra within a decade of it’s ending. The NSA programs currently running stayed secret for less than a few years. The timeframes whereby secret operations remain unknown is getting shorter and shorter, and the more complex the operation, the less likely it will be able to remain secret for any amount of time.
The Manhattan project is another example of open secrets, like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in it’s own way. Anyone involved could have (and did) relate the incident when they felt they were clear of reprisal. Where are the confessions for the people involved in the implosion of building 7?
There is no magical waiver for illegal operations documentation, coordination and manpower. No way that planning materials can be made to disappear in a flash of smoke, rendering any copy of the record of the intense planning required to bring down structures the size of the World Trade Center incapable of being found and used to expose the conspiracy. Complex operations must be documented and coordinated. The more complex, the more documentation and manpower. People talk, and documents will be found. That is what happens. The claim that this doesn’t happen in this special instance is completely irrational.
The possibility of using thermite to cut steel does not equate to thermite being used to cut steel in this instance. I can cut steel with a cutting torch, it does not mean they used a cutting torch to bring down the WTC. Even if it were possible, there has not been enough residue found on the debris to conclude that it was used in this fashion. Once again, anomaly hunting is not evidence. To paraphrase another skeptic, making selective choices amongst competing evidence, so as to emphasize the results that support a given position, while ignoring or dismissing any findings that do not support it, is a practice known as “cherry picking” and is a hallmark of poor science or pseudo-science.
I love this wikipedia page. It is a page heavily edited by 9-11 truthers and it brings up and then dismisses with evidence every objection to the NIST report. It is an excellent illustration of how all of these arguments have been had before, by people more informed than either side of an imaginary argument between me and whoever is reading this.
The desperation in truther mentality is quite amusing. Conspiracy theorists in general go through the years convinced that there is some nefarious plot afoot that will destroy civilization as we know it if it isn’t revealed to the world.
…however, these same conspiracies have been floated for decades. The bilderbergers, the Rothschilds, The JFK assassination, 911 truth, etc, etc, etc. Weirdly, the world just keeps on turning, never noticing that the plots go unchallenged by the vast majority of the population. How is it that these conspiracies have failed to take over the world? When these groups have been actively conspiring now since before the First World War?
Column 79 held up the building?
Column 79 in WTC7 being the first to fail,as suggested by the NIST report, makes perfect sense. The penthouse which is seen to drop before the facade of the building does has a corner on column 79. Had any other column been suggested to fail first, you would have to explain the kink in the facade which is visible when the building starts to collapse, and the disappearance of roof structures in that area before the rest of building collapses.
Anyone who thinks that therefore only colum 79 held up the building doesn’t understand structure or the phrase progressive failure which, contrary to the internet meme, has nothing to do with Obama. Progressive failure describes how the tall buildings we occupy are carefully crafted latticeworks of interlocking support members, the loss of any one of which can lead to the entire structure collapsing. Any first year engineering student understands this theory and works to avoid a circumstance where progressive failure would bring an entire building down.
…and if you have other questions, you might want to peruse this link for answers before postulating anything else that makes you look like an idiot.
Progressive Failure is the exact mechanism of crafted structures that implosion methods exploit in order to bring down buildings. All of the building collapses on 9-11 represented sobering problems for future engineers, because engineers specifically attempt to design buildings to not do what those buildings did anyway.
Anyone in the AEC community who clings to the implosion theory for the WTC structures is engaging in a well known psychological evasion technique, probably due to an emotional need to prove someone else is to blame aside from the engineering community. Consequently it’s actually surprising that so few architects and engineers are truthers. This speaks to the strength of the evidence, rather than the weakness of the individuals involved.
Hindsight is always 20/20. Conspiracy theorists rely on this while spinning their theories. There’s no room for the knowledge that things were different and seen differently before the incident; so the idea that you might not conclude that what we after the fact would see as a threat, would not be seen as a threat at the time. That there were vested interests denying that America could be attacked directly, and that attempts to investigate the conspirators before the attack were actively discouraged by these interests. That the government was warned multiple times prior to the attack, but then modified the narrative to remove these references after the fact, and that this is simply the way human systems have been shown to operate.
What brought down the buildings? Waiting for proof that it wasn’t planes, fire and construction techniques that lead to their collapse is waiting on someone to manufacture evidence. Because nothing of any credible significance has ever been found that says otherwise.
Unfortunately, out of the blue… the US government aka the DOJ lobbed a bomb (in the form of a Complaint) against the Liberty Dollar’s seized property last Thursday, June 29. The civil forfeiture complaint, filed in the US District Court in Asheville NC, definitely moves your gold and silver closer to auction and the outright theft of your legal property. Fortunately, in a bizarre move, it was stayed for six months pending the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI. Go figure.
Please click HERE to read the whole 52 page Complaint and TAKE ACTION BELOW!
Of course, nobody outside of government wants the DOJ to steal your $3.5 million Liberty Dollars in gold and silver. And a good number, almost 5,000 have signed up for the Class Action Lawsuit. But I would like to get “5,000 people involved”… so I am giving all late comers 48 hours… until 7:00 PM EDT on Wednesday… to add your name to the list.
Want to get your name in history? Well the attorney has agreed to include everybody’s name in our response. That’s right, we are going to list all the names in what might be the largest case in history. Please note this will NOT be a “Class Action Lawsuit” as that takes too much time and money. No, you will be personally represented by the attorney – if you sign up for the “Class Action Lawsuit” before 7:00 PM EDT on Wednesday.
Shortly after Wednesday, you will receive an “engagement letter” via email from the attorney. It will specify that you want him to represent you at no cost to you, except ten percent duty on all returned material. All you have to do is confirm your contact info, the approximate amount of paper and digital currency you wish to redeem, sign it and click send!
It can’t get any easier, better or cheaper! Please send this Last Call to everybody on your email list. This is your opportunity to stand tall for your monetary values.
This is good news if you had Liberty Silver on account at Sunshine Mint when it was raided.
Alert #19: June 20, 2008
Dear Liberty Dollar Supporters…
GREAT NEWS: The victims of the FBI Raid have filed a Rule 41(g) Motion for recovery of their property from the wrongful search and seizure! Let the fun begin!
Now, before I get into the meat of this rather extensive Alert, please do two things: 1) Read this whole Alert! It includes the Motion… the Tenth Anniversary… my retirement… things you may want to know about. 2) This is a very serious time for the Liberty Dollar. We really need your support, please. Our shopping cart had been dead since November and does not accept credit/debit cards. Liberty Dollar’s survival is in critical condition. Please support this effort by mailing in an order, making a contribution to the Contingency Club or just sending in a donation or all three! Now here’s the news:
I! am very pleased to inform you that a representative group of twelve victims (hereinafter Plaintiffs) having not received a reply to their Demand Letter have filed a Rule 41(g) Motion in Federal District Court in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for the return of their property that was represented by either paper and/or digital warehouse receipts. They are proud to proclaim, “We are not going to let the G-boys steal our gold and silver.” In fact, while I have been unusually quiet for over a month, I have actually been diligently working with the plaintiff on Rule 41(g) Motion that was filed on June 17, 2008. Let the fun begin!! Please click HERE for the Demand Letter, the Rule 41(g) Motion and all the Exhibits.
Please note this Motion was filed on paper so it won’t appear in Pacer so you will not be able to look up the case in Pacer. So please note the link above to all the docs.
Now begins the long and difficult task for the return of $3.5 million in gold and silver that was wrongfully seized. If you have paper or digital Liberty Dollars and have not signed up for the “Class Action Lawsuit,” shame on you! Please click HERE and take action now. Do not let the government steal your property! Then write to Assistant US Attorney Thomas Ascik, as noted below.
I am proud of the thousands who have taken action. Thank you! And a very special thanks to our attorney Robert J. Stientjes of St. Louis and the Contingency Club for making this Motion possible. Robert Stientjes is a dedicated, experienced and successful attorney who is well prepared to recover all the seized material. The Contingency Club consists of Liberty Dollar supporters who are financing the Rule 41(g) Motion and will double their money when we win!
Retaining an attorney was particularly difficult because all of Liberty Dollar’s money was confiscated, aka “economic persecution.” And, of course, attorneys want to be paid, just as we all do. So my situation was: 1) The government confiscated of all my money. 2) The people whose material was wrongfully seized were short on money. 3) And attorney’s usual contingency fee of 33% meant everybody would lose a third of their property, just to force the government to return the other two-thirds from the wrongful seizure. This just seemed too costly.
So I created the Contingency Club and designed a new financing plan to pay for the recovery and save everybody who have paper and digital warehouse receipts a lot of money.
The best estimated cost to recover the material was approximately 10%. So I offered a few people the opportunity to double their money by financing the attorney fees. I was very pleased that a reasonable number of people responded immediately and the Contingency Club was formed. As the individual members of the Contingency Club are not obligated to pay the attorney fees, I hope you will join the Contingency Club and help us shoulder this formable expense and DOUBLE YOUR MONEY with a contribution.
The Contingency Club works like this: I have guaranteed the attorney’s hourly rate to recover your property for only a 10% duty on all returned material verses the usual 33% contingency fee. A savings of 23% on your property! Plus you can even recover that 10% or more when you double your money by contributing to the Contingency Club to finance the court battle over Rule 41(g) Motion.
Here is how you can double your money. Contingent upon winning the case (that looks extremely good given our extensive legal research) and securing the return of all the material, the Contingency Club will: 1) Pay you two dollars for every dollar you contribute if the attorney fees are less than $150,000; 2) Return your original contribution plus 50% if the attorney fees are between $150,000 and $300,000; 3) No contribution will be returned if the attorney is paid over $300,000 or if we lose. Neither is very likely.
Bottom line is that you should get your property back for only a 10% duty by weight. Which most likely will be more than offset by a 10% appreciation in the value of silver. But we need your help to cover the attorney fees, please.
Minimum contribution to the Contingency Club is $100. Please make your check payable to “Burk & Reedy,” the law firm that is handling the Contingency Club bank account and mail it to the Office in Evansville. We will forward it to Burk and Reedy and send a confirmation and acceptance of your contribution within ten days. Please note more than one contribution may be placed, such as $100 per month, and this “Double Your Money” offer may be withdrawn if over subscribed.
PLEASE NOTE: Thank you if you made an earlier donation to the “Legal Defense Fund,” but that money was used on earlier legal issues and is not part of the Contingency Club. If you want to participate in the Contingency Club, please send in your contribution to the Evansville office with the check made out to: “Burk and Reedy” please. Thank you for all your support!
NOW: And if you have not signed up for the Class Action Lawsuit please click HERE to do so. PLEASE don’t let the government steal your property!
Have you written to Assistant US Attorney Thomas Ascik? I certainly hope so! If you have any paper or digital warehouse receipts, then please send the sample letter (at the end of this Alert) to Mr. Ascik and identify yourself as an interested party and ask him to put you on the government List Serve so they have to notify you before they take any action to forfeit/auction your property. PLEASE don’t let the government steal your property!
Your letters to Mr. Ascik are working! He has actually returned phone calls and stayed any auction of the seized material. Thank you for sending a letter.
If you want to be real active, please send this request and sample letter to everybody on your email list and ask them to write Mr. Ascik also, provided they have some paper or digital Liberty Dollars. This is the type of Internet action that is so devilishly effective! Please take action today! Help get your property back. Mr. Ascik needs to hear from as many people as possible!
Questions & Inquiries… The Office has received several calls regarding orders placed before the Raid. And questions about how can we take new orders when we haven’t even filled the earlier orders? First, I would like to do nothing more than fill your order. But the material for your order was seized. I simply do not have the material to fill your order. The government has it and you should write to Assistant US Attorney Thomas Ascik and demand the return of yo ur property. Second, I cannot return your money because the government also confiscated that. Third, all new products have been from 1) donations, 2) financed by loans to Liberty Dollar, or 3) were financed by pre-paid new orders. I can well understand your frustration of placing an order and not receiving it. We will be most happy to fill all orders or return your money when the funds and material are returned to us.
Pre-Move Up Orders: I am pleased to inform you that all orders placed before the Move Up to the $50 Silver Base have been filled.
Re-minting Orders: I am even more pleased to inform you that all stock for the Re-minting Orders has been placed. Now it is just a matter of time… unfortunately… a lot of time. Due to the surge in silver prices, the supply “tube” was exhausted of all existing manufactured silver. The Mint has informed us it will be six to eight weeks until the blanks are available… then minting and shipping. We are waiting just like you and understand your concern. We will ship all the Re-mining Orders asap. Please be patient because it is going to take some time.
Meanwhile, talking heads like Jason Hommel, are stirring things up. There is no actual “shortage” of silver at this time. There is only a shortage of manufactured silver. That is a huge difference and the topic of much misdirected communication.
Announcing the Tenth Anniversary! It is a testament to your desire to have Real Money that the Liberty Dollar has survived two Move Ups from the initial $10 to the $20 and now at the $50 Silver Base, the US Mint warning, FBI Raid and ten years of monetary ignorance. We feel like celebrating and hope you will join us! T-shirts, Money Bags, sets and even Uncut Proof Sheets… all are a testament to the largest effort to return America to value – one dollar at a time. Thanks a million times for all your support!
Tenth Anniversary Orders: With fewer orders, we have turned our efforts to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Liberty Dollar in grand style. But unfortunately our shopping cart still does not accept credit/debit cards!!! This makes it extremely difficult to order, as you must mail in your order with a check or money order. Then it takes us about ten minutes to enter each order… all this is extremely time consuming and trying. But that is the situation under this government…
The top of the line of incredible Tenth Anniversary commemorative is the Tenth Anniversary Set of four Silver Libertys in a special Lucite holder in a special imprinted box and our very first Certificate of Authenticity! You gotta see this item…. So click HERE! In fact, we did something similar for the Fifth Anniversary with three Libertys… and I bet you have never seen it. I bet you have not even heard about it. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think one has ever traded on eBay! They are that special and likewise the Tenth Anniversary Set will be equally special. Please click HERE to see this truly amazing showstopper.
But wait! This Tenth Anniversary Set with four Silver Libertys is available in two numbered editions. Both Editions are packaged in a custom stamped box with the certificate and hand numbered on the one ounce $50 Liberty. Plus each is individually hallmarked with a new “USA” stamp in the shape of the country. Click HERE for more detailed photos. But that is not all. The First 100 Edition, numbered 001 to 100, will be marked with FDI on the package and certificate for “First Day of Issue” for an added premium. The second edition sets, numbered 101 forward, will be marked LNE for the “Limited Numbered Edition” on the package and certificates.
Pre-anniversary prices at current LOW silver rates (below $25/oz) are: FDI is $179 for Associates and $199 for non-Associates. LNE is $159 for Associates and $179 for non-Associates. Prices will change with the silver market and will definitely be raised after October 1, our Tenth Anniversary. And if I am arrested or Liberty Dollar is closed, the prices will be out of this world and only available on eBay.
The most unique Commemorative is without a doubt the Uncut Sheet of four $50 Certificates that were originally printed to commemorate the Liberty Dollar’s Fifth Anniversary in 2003. Did you get any of the 2003 Proof $50 Certificates? They are still hot on eBay! But these had a small printing error so they were put away and forgotten… until ! after the Raid. While digging around we found this old box… and what a treasure! Now, the long displaced Uncut Sheets have been overprinted in wonderful two-tone engraving script to commemorate our Tenth Anniversary. Each sheet is 100% cotton banknote paper and has the original invisible DNA “thread,” and while you cannot see it on the printed Certificate area, by tilting the paper just so, you can see the welt of a duplicate “thread” from the impregnation of the DNA in the paper to the right that is now overprinted. Plus each sheet was originally printed on both sides and is now individually numbered and signed by me. This specimen measures a huge 12-1/2 inches left to right by 12 inches tall. Please note the Certificates are not serial numbered but they are individually printed OCTOBER 1, 1998 – 2003. This is truly a unique item. We only have 500 of them… so order early as I am sure all will be gone by Octob! er 1. Very special – pre-anniversary giveaway price of only $5! 9 eac h. Sorry, there is no Associate rate on this very unique item. Click HERE to view this item.
Hallmarked $50 Libertys: Also available is the $50 Silver Liberty with the special “USA” Hallmark. This is a single item that has been “cherry picked” and packaged in a capsule. Please note that each one is individually hand hallmarked, so each one is unique. The hallmark may not be complete as each one is different due to the nature of a hand stamped hallmark. Pre-anniversary Associate rate is $45… that’s under face value! Non-associate rate is $65. All prices will increase after October 1, regardless of silver price. See it HERE.
Tenth Anniversary T-shirt is also available. Of course it features the new $50 Silver Liberty on the back with the proud caption: LIBERTY DOLLAR IS NOT A CRIME. The white, 100% cotton shirts are available in M, L, and XL for $12 each.
$5000 Money Bag: Did you get any of the $1000 bags we did for the Fifth Anniversary? The new Money Bag is dated 1998-2008 and printed with $5000 LIBERTY DOLLARS as each bag holds 100 Silver Libertys and that is now $5000!!! Nice to see the value of our money go up in value, eh?! Canvas Money Bags are only $5.00 each. Great item for your Liberty Dollar collection and your children! This item can be viewed HERE.
And don’t forget about the new 2008 $50 Base brochure, still below cost at only a dime each. And weekly gold sales are continuing too. Just call the office to order the new quarter ounce $500 Gold Liberty.
All the above mentioned items can be ordered using the following Order ! Form .
The Four Gallons for a Buck has been captured on YouTube… check it out at:
Spent two Twenties in past week: Of course the new $50 Silver base Libertys in $50s, $20s, $10s and soon the $5s are out there and being used. Ray Ubinger filed these Success Stories of his recent use: One for a Red Bull at a gas station in Virginia and one for a Dilly Bar at a Dairy Queen in North Carolina. As always he didn’t said anything misleading or duck any questions.
“At the Red Bull I asked, ‘Do you take silver Liberty Dollars?’ as I handed her the round. The clerk at first said ‘Sure!’ but then on looking the round over said she didn’t know so she’d check with the manager, who was 20 feet away. I waited silently in place. I saw the manager handle the round and heard him ask the clerk, ‘How many does he want to use?’ ‘Just this one,” said the clerk. The manager then said okay. He never talked directly to me himself. Gave LD$20, got Red Bull + US$17 in change.
“For the Dilly Bar I led with, ‘Would you prefer government paper or actual silver?’ as I put both an LD Twenty and an FRN Five down next to each other. The clerk asked of the silver, ‘Is it real?’ I said yes, it’s real silver, two-fifths of an ounce, 99.9% pure, in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. He said he was going to buy it right out of the register after the transaction. He asked where I got it, was it from a bank? I said no, it came from a currency exchange online. ‘Cool,’ he said. That was that. Gave LD$20, got Dilly Bar + US$18 in change.”
Editor note: Right on Ray! It is good ! dedicated people like you who are lighting the way for our ! country to find its way back to value. BIG Thanks for your support and efforts!!!
Retirement and Annual National Tour: As I have mentioned several times, I agreed to give the Liberty Dollar my time and money for ten years. I have decided to keep to that schedule and will retire on October 1. Of course I remain responsible to resolve all the legality issues but I will not wait to find someone to take my place. I must remain true to other projects that require my time. So this year’s tenth Annual National Tour (ANT) will be my last tour. And with gas and hotels at an all-time high, I am sure it will be the most expensive tour. So this is a good time to offer me a free meal and a place to stay. This year’s ANT will start on July 9th. The basic route is from Miami, to Maine, San Diego, Vancouver and back to Miami with two stops in Evansville and hopefully down to Texas. If you want me to visit, please send an email to me. No newbies, ple! ase. This is for seasoned supporters only as my schedule is already MAXXED… Hope to see you. It’s been a terrific TEN YEARS!
Slowest & Lowest Period: Jonathan Kosares and Randal Strauss of Centennial Precious Metals in Denver demonstrate that buying gold during the summer doldrums has been a winning trade for each of the last seven years, averaging a gain of nearly 13 percent in about six months. You can find the Kosares-Strauss analysis, headlined “Seasonal Price Trends Look Favorably on Summer Purchases,” at Centennial’s site: http://www.usagold.com/analysis/doldrums-2008.html So now as we enter the summer months and the living is easy… and gold and silver are usually at their lowest, I urge you to take action. When we launched the Liberty Dollar ten years ago, the most popular question was, “Why should I pay twi! ce the price for silver?” Of course very few people ever ! exchange d at face value. The brave souls who stepped up to the Liberty Dollar usually paid $6.50 or $7.50 depending on quantity. Recently that very same 1999 Liberty Type 2 went for $1000 on eBay! Don’t be deceived by the likes of Lew Rockwell, Mark Skousen, Bill Bonner, et al anti-Liberty Dollar gang. The Liberty Dollar offers the most serious solution to the hyperinflationary depression this country is rushing toward. Please read this article and then protect yourself and those you love with gold and silver at low summer prices.
PS: Numerous people have jumped into the fray to get their silver back. Jerry Collette is perusing the silver on Constitutional grounds. More info on his effort can be found at: http://www.libertarianlegal.org/recover_rp_dollars.html. Robert Clarkson, who was also raided by Agent Andy, Special FBI Agent for the Asheville NC office about two years ago, is also working to get his property back. Robert’s site is: www.PatriotNetwork.info. We welcome any effort that you think will work. I personally think Robert Stientjes is on the right track. Please support the Contingency Club and make some money so everyone can get his or her property back.
Just imagine, in the last ten years the Liberty Dollar has appreciated 500%, from the $10 to the $50 Silver Base, while the US dollar has lost over 50%! Thank you for your patience and support of the Liberty Dollar that exemplifies the high ideas that our country was founded upon.
Bernard von NotHaus Monetary Architect / Editor
PS: It has been a wonderful ten years. I cannot express my sincere thanks for all that you have done. Thank you for reading the whole Alert. Thanks for caring. Bernard.
TAKE ACTION: PLEASE SEND THIS SAMPLE LETTER TO YOUR EMAIL LIST AND THE US ATTORNEY ASCIK:
Thomas Ascik, Esq. Assistant United States Attorney 100 Otis Street Ashville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.271.4661
Dear Mr. Ascik,
I understand that you are in charge of the forfeiture and auction of the material seized in the Liberty Dollar investigation.
Please know that I am a holder of Warehouse Receipts and/or electronic Liberty Dollars and you are in possession of my lawful property.
Please be informed that I am most definitely an interested party and hereby request that you keep me informed as to every step of the process to forfeit and auction any of the material seized as required by law regarding the Liberty Dollar investigation.
Therefore, I hereby request you add me to the government’s “service list” for all pleadings and all other developments filed regarding Liberty Dollar forfeiture action.
I further demand you return all material sei! zed at Sunshine Mint immediately so I can redeem my Warehouse Receipts and/or electronic Liberty Dollars and enjoy my property.
Please confirm receipt of this letter.
(your name AND address)
END OF SAMPLE LETTER
Well, I’m not spamming my friends, but I figured I’d post the info here.
It looks like ALD will indeed move up on March 23rd. $50 an ounce after that date, from $20 an ounce at current prices. I only wish I was in a better financial position so that I could carry more silver across the Move Up.
At least we may still be able to get our silver back from the thieves who stole it; the thieves who were wearing FBI jackets when they confiscated the silver at the Liberty Dollar head office and Sunshine mint. Read on for that info.
Monday March 17, 2008
Dear Liberty Dollar Supporters:
WOW!!! The Liberty Dollar will definitely Move Up to the $50 Silver Base rather serendipitously on Easter Sunday, March 23. With the 30 Day Moving Average at $18.40 there is no alternative. And of course the fools at the fed are meeting on Tuesday to douse more gasoline on the inflationary fire of their own making.
All of this is much like the French Revolution as the wise, good men of Paris engineered the Reign of Terror. In the beginning Mirabeau and other idiots who favored fiat paper money insisted that patriotism would lead people to keep the money. Later Cambon insisted that the assignat currency was perfect. Ultimately everything was tried to keep it together. In the end the Committee of Public Safety butchered over 1900 people in one month! Most of them were merchants who refused the damn worthless currency! The people started complaining that they couldn’t buy food… because the merchants were dead! Then Napoleon came to power.
Now there are a bunch of high-minded idiots in charge of the US dollar… and we will all suffer. Not just American but the whole world. Get out of the US dollar while you still can. Sell asap and buy silver. Of course not many people will do that. It was the same with the hyperinflationary German mark before Hitler came to power.
The same hyperinflationary cycle occurred in China after World War II and Mao came to power. Click HERE to read “Inflation through History.”
Our national idiots know not what they are doing or else they are traitors. It matters not unless America’s rises to the occasion and Liberty lights the way out of the monetary quagmire. Without this beacon, t! he unfortunate outcome will be that the stupid masses will cry out for order and a new tyrant will come to power.
Yes, you can buy silver cheaper than the Liberty Dollar. Yes, silver will cover your ass but bullion will do nothing to solve our great country’s monetary problems. We need a value based currency. That is why the Liberty Dollar was specifically designed to function on a one to one basis with the US dollar – regardless of how low the US dollar goes or how high the silver goes… the Liberty Dollar was designed to be there.
Ten years ago when silver was $5 per ounce, the Liberty Dollar was introduced at the $10 Silver Base. Of course some idiots argued that the Liberty Dollar was a rip off at “twice the price of silver!” Those same one ounce 1998 Silver Libertys are now selling for up to $700 on eBay!
Now, silver is flirting with $25 ounce and the Liberty Dollar is Moving Up to the $50 Silver Base… sure enough the same idiot intelligentsia still don’t have a clue. God help us!
This is your last notice to get the Liberty Dollar at the $20 Silver Base. Please do what is right for yourself and our country. Please support the Liberty Dollar. Get some today! Deadline is Midnight, Saturday, March 22, 2008.
Please be aware that AlertPay on our shopping cart is total trash! You cannot spend over $100 unless you are approved and that is a very painful experience. Your BEST option is to send check, money order, or wire if over $5000 to Liberty Numismatics… or simply made out to “LIBERTY” as we have a new bank account.
Liberty Numismatics 225 N. Stockwell Road Evansville. IN. 47715 812.473.5250
Wire funds to: Integra Bank 21 S.E. Third Street Evansville. IN. 47708 ABA Routing NO: 086300025 Account NO: 7810349683
Please bear in mind that I am the only person here… calling is the last thing you want to do. All funds must be initiated before midnight and may be declined due to market conditions.
Please do not let the US Government Steal Your Property If you have at least one paper or electronic Liberty Dollar, I encourage you to write US Attorney Thomas Ascik who is in charge of the forfeiture and auction of your property of Liberty Dollars that was seized by the FBI on November 14, 2007. If you do not want to lose your property, I strongly urge you to send the attached letter or something very similar to it to the US Attorney. There is no need to be abusive… “He is just doing his job”… but he needs to know that there are THOUSANDS of people like you that want to be kept informed by being placed on the government “service list”. So please US mail your letter to US Attorney Thomas Ascik ASAP. No need to send it Certified… but if you want to add your personal note… keep it brief… as it will be a waste of your time… as he will probably not even read it… such is “our” !@#$#@! government!
SAMPLE LETTER TO THE US ATTORNEY ASCIK:
Thomas Ascik, Esq. Assistant United States Attorney 100 Otis Street Ashville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.271.4661
Dear Mr. Ascik,
I understand that you are in charge of the forfeiture and auction of the material seized in the Liberty Dollar investigation.
Please know that I am a holder of Warehouse Receipts and/or electronic Liberty Dollars and you are in possession of my lawful property.
Please be informed that I am most definitely an interested party and hereby request that you keep me informed as to every step of the process to forfeit and auction any of the material seized as required by law regarding the Liberty Dollar investigation.
Therefore, I hereby request you add me to the government’s ‘service list’ for all pleadings and all other developments filed regarding Liberty Dollar forfeiture action.
I further demand you return all material seized at Sunshine Mint immediately so I can redeem my Warehouse Receipts and/or electronic Liberty Dollars and enjoy my property.
Please confirm receipt of this letter.
(your name AND address)
END SAMPLE LETTER
Thank you during these difficult times. For it is only by banding together and adopting a free and independent currency that provides us with “just weights and measures” will we be able to throw off the yoke of a manipulated monetary/tax system and generate a peaceful and prosperous society.
Thanks for all your efforts in returning America to value – one Liberty Dollar at a time!