Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, June 28, 2019

And Down is Up

Update: Jimmy Carter isn't afraid to say it.  Maybe the dam will finally break.

Since I've started comment moderation I have found that it places a psychological burden on me to explain why I reject comments. The general criterion is that comments get shitcanned if they do not make any positive contribution to discourse. Sometimes I let comments through that are factually wrong or logically flawed just for the sake of pointing that out. I figure they show that people are out there who actually believe stuff that is false or nonsensical so it's a guide to what needs refutation.

But I'm getting tired of stuff that's so rucking fidiculous that it doesn't merit dignifying with a response. I'm going to dignify this one anyway because it's obvious that too many people are still getting their information from William Barr and the Three Stooges on Fox and Friends. I'm going to make one more attempt to break through the epistemological bubble, then I'm done.

Also, the individual who made this inane comment is hereby permanently banned. I have better things to do than argue with the impenetrably dense.

The comment in question is that Donald J. Trump was a "victim" of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Here are some actual True Facts from the Mueller report.  (Yeah yeah, rigged witch hunt. It also totally exonerated him.)

In an unprecedented attack on political infrastructure of the United States, military officers in Russia hacked into Democrats’ computers, stole emails, and release them to embarrass Clinton. The plot was first hatched years earlier, according to Mueller’s team, when Russians began studying how to manipulate Americans and turn them against each other, with one key lesson being to exploit the country’s racism. Working from a “troll farm” in St. Petersburg, Russians spread anti-Clinton fake news and pro-Trump propaganda across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram—all the while Silicon Valley slept.
And of course Trump knew perfectly well that this was going on, while it was going on, and he publicly encouraged it. It is true that Mueller did not recommend criminal charges for conspiracy, although some have questioned this decision. But he did conclude:

[T]he investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. The Office charged some of those lies as violations of the federal false statements statute …
The Office learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated—including some associated with the Trump Campaign—deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records. In such cases, the Office was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts. Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.
Hmm. What are you trying to hide? But the beneficiary of this unprecedented interference in our politics thinks it's all a big joke.

In Japan at the G20 -- and sitting beside Vladimir Putin before the duo's first meeting since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report -- Trump was asked whether he would tell the Russian President not to meddle in future American elections.
"Don't meddle in the election, please," Trump said, smirking and wagging his finger at Putin.
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
The dismissiveness is dripping in Trump's comment. You want me to say the little thing to the nice man? I'll say it. You happy now? (Pats collective media on head).
He wants the media -- and everyone watching -- to know that he's just going through the motions, that he doesn't really believe that he needs to tell Putin not to involved Russia in future elections. He's checking a box, in the most sarcastic way possible.

He doesn't seem to feel victimized. And it is preposterous to argue that the Russian interference didn't affect the outcome, not that it particularly matters. We can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, but it's pretty damn clearAlso this. People don't want to face up to it because they don't want to deal with the implications.  Professor Campos explains.

As many people have pointed out, the legacy American media are not equipped to deal with a president like Trump. For one thing they can’t absorb the fact that the president of the United States is both a complete moral monster and utterly unfit for office in even the most prosaic terms, because that would mean the system had failed in a radical way, which can’t happen because that’s unimaginably bad, which means it’s impossible.
Something else follows from all this: If you support Donald Trump in any way, you will come to truly despise anyone who points out what a horrible thing you are doing. This too is part of the basic logic of hatred leading to eventual dehumanization: for example, as many students of the Holocaust have pointed out, the Nazis may have started out persecuting the Jews because they hated them, but they soon moved on to hating them because they persecuted them.


Don Quixote said...

I notice that Robert Mueller, who was not going to say anything further in public about his report on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and obstruction of justice by the fascist rapist whom I call Shitler and his fellow traitors, is in fact going to testify.

I'm assuming that he just can't believe the level of mendacity and treason on the part of the criminal Shitler enterprise currently encamped in the White House of the U.S., as well as the lack of backbone on the part of congressional Democrats and the mainstream media. In other words, he's going to simultaneously spoon-feed Congress and the mainstream media the most damning parts of the meal he tried to feed them once already, which was blocked on its way to their esophaguses by William Barr.

I hope it works. I was raised in a country, the U.S., where lies on the part of government and media were much more grudgingly accepted by people. Even my parents, not the most critical voices, were aware, for instance, that the congressional report on JFK's assassination was a whitewash, to use my father's term. They didn't claim to know the truth, but they knew when they were being bullshitted.

I wonder if Shitler, who fancies himself a tyrant and a mob boss, keeps files on people (like Lindsey Graham and Barr, etc.) that he blackmails them with? I think he's just too damn lazy and too damn stupid to get such a thing done. I think, rather, that he finds people who are morally and ethically compromised to begin with, and recruits them to be sycophantic followers, much as Putin and Russia recruited him, realizing the tremendous realpolitik potential of a narcissistic miscreant like Shitler.

Miss Coveney, my wonderful tenth-grade European History teacher, always told us it would happen in this sequence: Democracy, anarchy, tyranny.

Will the sheep look up before they're all slaughtered?

Cervantes said...

"How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain,
Enow of such as for their bellies' sake
Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reck'ning make
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But, swoll'n with wind and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said,
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more".

Don Quixote said...

Elegiac times, indeed; but let's hope a different energy sweeps up the masses and the human analogs to the Ovis aries raise our eyes upward.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cervantes said...

Sorry, I published something by mistake. I appreciate the anonymous tips sometimes but as long as it's on topic, you can go ahead and try to post it under a unique handle. The no "anonymous" rule is inviolate.

Regarding the extent of investigation, it was no within the Special Counsel's remit to try to determine whether the election was legitimate. He did not investigate that question at all.