Monday, January 30, 2017

A Horrible Mess

Trump has declared his intention NEVER to give up power:
‏@realDonaldTrump Jan 27: I promise that our administration will ALWAYS have your back. We will ALWAYS be with you!
For all those who said they were just glad that the horrible campaign season was over, I hope you enjoyed your 2 months off! Trump registered to campaign for 2020, before he was even inaugurated. We are now in an era of continuous campaigning. Trump will literally be campaigning for re-election the entire time he is in office. There is speculation that the reason for this is that there are laws preventing groups from criticising a campaigning candidate by name, because it can be seen as political influence. So don't worry about Trump using this just to talk shit about other people, he's doing it to silence his critics. There will be plenty of mudslinging from him in his role as president. Another reason for campaigning now is that it allows him to keep previously acquired campaign funds and to accept new donations. Don't doubt that as long as there's cash still there, he will ALWAYS be campaigning.

How could Trump possibly be re-elected if his policies fail? What strategies does Trump use?

1. Exaggerate the positives in what he has done. Exaggerate the bad in what he wants to control.
“It’s not a Muslim ban,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”
@realDonaldTrump Jan 29: Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!
2. Blame others for his mistakes, for getting in his way or slowing him down, or for sabotaging his plans.
Kellyanne Conway says the Muslim ban is actually Barack Obama's brainchild, and President Trump is just following his lead.
Remember it's not a Muslim ban when Trump does it, but it was actually done by Obama and it is a Muslim ban.

3+. Distract people from the real issues. Continue to incite fear and hatred with threats and lies. Use any event or tragedy to his advantage. And I suspect: If there is no sufficient tragedy to cement people's support and confuse their reasoning, create one. Man-made tragedies have worked well to consolidate power and support in the past, including Putin's 1999 Russian apartment bombings and Bush/Cheney's 9/11. There is no good reason to believe it can't happen again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

So there's a Russian joke...

Rachel Maddow talks about US troops rushed to EU countries near the Russian border, which Obama did in his last few days of office, as he is sworn to protect the NATO countries and they axed for the troops. The 5-billion-dollar question is what will Trump do with those troops? Because if he pulls them out, he is thumbing his nose at the treaty, giving Putin what he wants, and possibly adding to the speculation that Putin has damning surveillance footage of Trump.

But wouldn't it be silly to risk world conflict to avoid embarrassment? Or is keeping a gross sextape hidden exactly the kind of top priority on which the current president of the United States chooses to focus? And who said anything about world conflict? Hey wait a minute, why has no one said anything about world conflict? If EU nations are nervous and Putin wants troops pulled from their borders, why? Could Putin actually be considering invading? Perhaps more likely, Putin is planning on taking back what once belonged to the USSR. Getting the old gang back together. Making the Soviet Union Great Again. And he doesn't want the neighbours getting involved.

And what could Trump be thinking in this? Is he too focused on his crowd sizes to consider what global conflicts his gross sextapes and his decisions might get the world into? Or is he on board? Strengthen his allegiance with Russia and raise the US up a little, by helping to cause turmoil in EU? To knock them down a peg or two? These are the types of questions we need to start asking now, instead of getting transfixed on lies about crowd sizes (it was a lie, end of story), conspiracy theories regarding whether Trump really lost the popular vote (it doesn't matter, it won't change anything either way) or whether he'll release his taxes (unless it can lead to impeachment, it doesn't matter if Trump has done bad things in the past as long as the world is so hung up on them that they let him continue to do bad things, and then only talk about those when it's too late). Well, there are some people who are thinking of these real issues, such as Masha Gessen, who worries Trump will lead us to nuclear holocaust. She mentions a few predictions of milestones on the road to Trump's bottom, among them banning increasing numbers of newspapers from the White House, and calling on Americans to report immigrants, thereby beginning a culture of citizen against citizen. Lots of scary stuff to watch out for and mark off our Trump Presidency bingo cards!

Now that Trump's in office and we all need to be thinking of what World War III's going to look like over the next several years, it's clear that it's going to be US + USSR teamed up against everybody else. Perhaps Putin/Trump will try to persuade the biggest nuclear powers to form a gang. Then everyone else can be bullied with impunity. Mutual Assured Destruction is a deterrent against the use of nuclear weapons, but if it's only Unilateral Assured Destruction there's no problem. It would almost be a waste to have all those weapons and not use a few. That would really "put the world on notice", as Conway has claimed Trump is doing when he speaks of an intention to expand US nuclear capability.

Oh, the joke courtesy of Gessen is, we thought we'd hit bottom, and then someone knocked from below. Dark comedy! This is starting to look worse than Bush 2. I guess we'll have to be on the look-out for Pence orchestrating a terrorist attack on the US, and the subsequent power-grab of whatever power is left ungrabbed, amidst the suddenly unquestioning, unified, unquestioning support of the US people.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Welcome to 1984

CNN: Trump White House offered 'alternative facts'

"Alternative facts" offer something that a lot of Americans will gladly accept: respite from the truth. There has been a lot of denial of truth recently---including the reality of global warming, the loss of jobs due to automation, and the competency of President Obama---and fighting against those truths is increasingly inconvenient. But now there is no need to worry about it. Instead of fighting between what you want to believe and what you suspect to be true, Americans can choose to accept what they're told, and leave the struggle between the reality that is, and the alternative reality they want, to people who have no scruples regarding that conflict.

An additional worrying thing to come from this is Conway's statement, "Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That's not your job," insinuating that the media's "job" is to present the message that the Trump administration wants. There were also veiled threats to CNN of punishment for calling out the nascent administration on its lies.

Lying about crowd size probably doesn't matter, but the administration---and media too, either unwittingly or complicitly---can systematically focus on trivialities to divert attention away from atrocities. The only atrocity so far that I'm aware of is Trump's executive order "to waive and delay Obamacare fees and regulation." They may be simply laying the groundwork to be mired in controversy so that no one pays attention to things like new wars.

Trump Loves War

While campaigning, Trump said, "I love war, in a certain way. But only when we win. By the way, when was the last time we won a war?" (This footage is from a campaign rally. #alternativefact)

This suggests to me that Trump equates winning wars with greatness, which fits into the "make America great again" motif. The US hasn't been winning a suitable quantity of wars recently. Unlike Bush 2, who wanted to be a "war president" and start wars for the glory of fighting wars, Trump just wants the glory of winning. It is like a business deal. Trump is anxious to make his mark in his first 100 days as president, and has talked about an intent to destroy ISIS. Given his statements, I predict that Trump will quickly attempt to start and win a war, which means going up against the weakest target that he can find, and using overwhelming force against them.

Trump, like all presidents since the US became a world power, will be making life-and-death decisions involving people all over the globe. This means that Trump will be deciding who gets to die in various specific situations. I hope that people are not stuck in the controversy over lies about Trump's inauguration crowd size, that they don't notice which unpersons the Trump administration is selecting for vaporisation.