Archives » T Ronald Dump

Plausible Deniability?

As soon as I saw the footage where T Ronald Dump said he wanted no violence and that none of his supporters should commit any (far too little and too late a disclaimer) my bullshit-o-meter hit overdrive. Am I being overly cynical or is this just part of his playbook? He clearly meant not a word of it. Nothing about his demeanour suggested a belief in what he was saying. In fact his body language said the exact opposite – which I think his followers will pick up on; indeed that it was designed for them to do so.

For I suspect that the only reason he said those things was not to display contrition (it didn’t) nor acceptance of his election defeat (it didn’t) nor even somehow to ameliorate his inflammatory conduct and speech (it couldn’t) but so that if there is any violence, whether in Washington DC or elsewhere, on Jan 20th, the day of the Inauguration of the next Presdent of the US, he can then say that it has nothing to do with him and therefore the assault on the Capitol on Jan 6th (and on democracy itslef) was nothing to do with him either.

Inauguration Attendance

I see T Ronald Dump has said he will not be attending his successor’s inauguration at the US Capitol on Jan 20th.

Given the events that happened on the 6th is it possible that the Donald has good reason to stay away through knowing something we don’t?

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he does know something as he’s obviously a coward. “Bone spurs” allowed him to avoid military service and despite saying on Wednesday, “We will march on the Capitol,” he took great care to be nowhere near where any trouble might take place and was conspicuous by his absence.

(He will no doubt be consoled by the fact that the crowd for this inauguration will, for eminently sensible security reasons, be smaller than it was for his.)

T Ronald’s Legacy

Well he may not have done it to us all yet but T Ronald Dump has certainly done it to trust in US democracy.

What happened at the US Congress building yesterday is the natural culmination of all his rhetoric over the past five years since he decided to stand for President. Stoking up resentment – as well as being a classic tactic of fascists everywhere – was always going to be a tiger that is difficult to keep in bounds.

A harbinger of yesterday’s events was when a group of armed terrorists invaded the legislature of Michigan last year in protest over Covid restrictions. Singularly they were all white and (as far as I’m aware) no action was taken against them. Seeds.

Then there was Trump’s constant drip feed of claims that the recent election was rigged. Seeds.

(He also said this four years ago but mysteriously his complaints disappeared when he won enough States to gain an Electoral College majority.)

No evidence has been produced of electoral fraud in November’s election sufficient to deem Trump’s loss invalid. There was certainly none sufficient to convince over 60 different courts of law to rule that it had happened. What evidence of fraud did arise was that of a voter trying to vote for Trump and the Republican Party; not against him.

Incitement to riot is the least which can be said about T Ronald’s speech to these vandals a few hours before. Seeds.

Perhaps the US is fortunate that Trump is not an organiser – or doesn’t have people to organise for him – or yesterday’s events may have had even worse consequences.

There are, too, questions to be answered as to how easy it was for these terrorists – who are nothing less than traitors – to overwhelm what looks to have been an inadequate police/security presence considering the lack of secrecy about their intentions. And one of their number even paraded about inside the Capitol building brandishing the battle flag of the Confederacy. If that’s not evidence of treason against the US what is? (The Confederate States of America was after all an entity that rose up in rebellion against the United States.)

Question, too, the kid-gloves with which they were treated in removing them. Not to mention his enablers in the Republican Party who failed to stand up to him during the past four years. It’s not too much to describe them by a word more familiar in British political history; appeasers.

Let us be clear in relation to this storming of the centre of US democracy by an unbridled mob:-

No Democratic Party voter did this.

No Civil Rights protester ever did this.

No Muslim did this.

No progressive did this.

No Black Lives Matter campaigner has done this.

No socialist has ever done this.

No left winger did this.

No so-called Antifa activist has ever done this.

No communist has ever done this.

Instead it was right wingers, avowed Trump supporters, people who are supposed to believe in law and order, who committed this assault on democracy, embodied the anarchy and chaos from which Trump claimed to be saving them.

They ought to be subject to the full force of that same law and order on which they trampled so comprehensively yesterday.

Dare I hold my breath?

Unpresidented Election

You may be aware the UK is in the middle of a General Election campaign. It is possibly the most important of my lifetime and one which has the potential of embedding a harrowing future.

In that context the following is quite trivial, but it still annoyed me.

I have only received one leaflet so far – from the Labour Party. While it does show photographs of the local candidate and Labour’s Scottish leader there is absolutely no sign nor mention within it of the UK leader, one Jeremy Corbyn.

It also has three linguistic irritations.*

1:- “Only the Labour Party will bring unpresidented investment into the UK.”

I suppose there is an outside possibility that this is a reference to T Ronald Dump’s intentions towards the UK and its NHS in any negotiations of a trade deal after Brexit. More likely that view is too generous and it is in fact a malapropism.

2:- “A Labour Government through their Green Industrial Revolution policy…”

Now, the word ‘Government’ can be a noun of multitude (which would take a plural pronoun) and I accept that this is the way in which most people use the word nowadays.

However, in this case it refers to the Government as a whole and not as a collective and so requires a singular pronoun, ‘its’.

3:- “the fact they have not recuited or trained enough staff.”

Recuited? (Recruited, please.)

I hope the literacy (and/or proofreading) standards of any other campaign leaflets I receive in this election will be somewhat higher than this.

Or is that expecting too much?

*Edited to add: Make that four. By the time I’d come round to compiling the post I’d forgotten the leaflet also spelled truly as truely.

Man on the Moon

The Moon landings were faked up on a Hollywood backlot, right?

What a load of utter tosh!

It astounds me that anyone would prefer to believe that something which would have had to be kept secret for so long by quite a large number of people (people moreover, cinema technicians etc, not truly invested in the “deceit”) would not have leaked by now. But it hasn’t leaked.

And why hasn’t it leaked?

Because it would need proof of such a conspiracy to fake.

And there is none.

And why the desire to deny the endeavour and the expertise which went in to the making of man’s greatest adventure, not to mention the sheer bravery of the men who made the voyages? Buzz Aldrin was quite right to take exception to the guy who accosted him, a guy who has not one thousandth of the guts and integrity. What is it about some folk that they cannnot rejoice in others’ achievements but must find some way to denigrate them?

And the Soviet Union did not claim that the US Moon landings did not happen – which as a propaganda coup they most certainly would have – because they knew perfectly well that they did. (Compare that to now, when Russia does claim that things that happened didn’t and things that didn’t, have. And so, too, does POTUS, T Ronald Dump.)

Besides, some of the experiments the astronauts placed on the Moon are still sending back data, even fifty years on.

So, raise a glass and drink a toast to a magnificent accomplishment, a demonstration of humans’ ability to perform amazing feats of focus, cooperation and enterprise.

It’s just a pity we gave up on that enterprise so soon.

A Dismal Choice

The two remaining candidates to be the leader of the Conservative Party and hence the next Prime Minister of the UK show just how the calibre of the country’s politicians – along with the standards of its politics – has fallen.

The choice lies between a blustering buffoon and a piece of rhyming slang.

My comment on the present incumbent when she triggered Article 50 has come true in spades. These are dangerous men.

The buffoon showed himself to be totally unfit for high office in his time as Foreign Secretary when his failure to master any detail of her case led to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being all but confirmed in the eyes of Iran as being in effect a spy, or, at least, working against its government.

The rhyming slang, when Secretary of State for Health, was so inept in the post he managed to unite the almost the entire medical profession against him. And have you seen his eyes?

If either of these two is the answer, what on Earth is the question?

On a related point I’ve seen it suggested that if the buffoon does become PM then it is possible he may appoint T Ronald Dump’s pal (well he likes to think T Ronald is his pal) Nigel Farage as UK ambassador to the US.

Great. Just do it Boris. At least it will get Farage and his poisonous rantings out of this country for a while.

Apparently Jorge Luis Borges characterised the War of Thatcher’s Face as a fight between two bald men over a comb.

The contest between Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt (don’t their full names just tell you all you need to know about them?) is more like two blind men scrabbling over a hearing aid. Neither can or will do much good with it once they’ve got it.

End of Empire

One of the lessons of history is that all empires come to an end. The Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire (“neither holy nor Roman, nor an empire,” as Voltaire once quipped,) the Mongol Empire of the Golden Horde, the muslim Caliphates, the Spanish Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the French Empires (Napoleon’s and the later colonial empire,) the Empire of Brazil, the German Empire, the Russian Empire and the later Soviet one, the British Empire – whose last vestige apart from dribs and drabs of territory around the world surfaced in the “Empress of India” proclamation at the funeral of the late Queen Mother – all gone to dust along with so many others.

This Wikipedia list gives only the largest empires.

US President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, once said that Britain had lost an empire and not found a role. I wonder if part of the Brexit vote – not all, just part – was a reaction by older voters to that lack of a role as they can by and large remember when a political map of the world was liberally strewn with pink. I would venture that young people don’t have that feeling.

As for myself I long ago came to the conclusion that empire was a thing the UK was better off without, a delusion of grandeur no longer sustainable. After all, the British Isles constitute a relatively small mass of land off the northwest coast of Europe, not too significant in the grand scheme of things. That the British state should “punch above its weight” in international circles struck me as an increasing anachronism. And why should we be punching anybody anyway?

Membership of the European Union made perfect sense; a close collaboration with neighbours of a broadly similar outlook and goals.

But maybe this was actually a Scottish perspective as there seems to be a streak of belief in the southern parts of these islands – perhaps more prevalent the further south you go – in English exceptionalism coupled with a desire to have as little to do with foreigners as possible. As a newspaper headline supposedly once had it:- “Fog In Channel. Continent Cut Off.”

Scots do have the saying, “Wha’s like us?” (To which the answer is “Gey few and they’re a’ deid.”) But that was always more of a joke, a whistling in the wind, than an assertion of superiority.

That loss of empire (and of the sense that superiority can no longer be assumed) may well have been a factor in the Brexit vote. Clearly, for some in the southern portions of Britain at least, being part of a larger association in which you are neither the top nor the most numerous dog and therefore cannot condescendingly lord it over others (as they historically have done abroad and do still within the UK) is not a role in which they feel comfortable. Some of them still seem to think the UK can be (or even still is) a force on the world stage. Former (is there any other kind?) Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said sonorously on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, “This is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” in the context of what he called “bullying” by the EU as if that assertion still carried a degree of clout. (I note Marr made no attempt to disabuse him of his belief in innate worth. The fact that Raab had been made Brexit Secretary in the first place – and Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary – is an indicator of how impoverished the British political system has become in terms of elected representatives.) Sometimes I could wish that they would get over themselves.

Maybe a period of irrelevance as a North Atlantic offshoot of a more powerful trading block – a truer reflection of the UK’s standing – is just what they need in order to wake up to their reduced capacity to influence world affairs (consider: does anyone in Spain still hanker for the empire they once had?) – but perhaps even that would not jolt their certainties. Indeed, it may even inflame their resentments.

It may be that some of that losing a role sentiment, a sense of imminent decline, is an explanation of why US voters turned to T Ronald Dump two years ago. Decline has not come yet but will eventually – all empires fall in the end – but for now the US is still a preeminent superpower (though facing economic challenge from China in particular.) Quite how a real fall from that state will affect a polity which is used to strutting its stuff on the world stage is now being rehearsed in a compelling but worrying way, as a farce presaging a tragedy.

Counterproductive Tactics

What a spectacular misjudgement the Spanish government made in their response to the referendum in Catalonia.

Yes it did not have official sanction and therefore was illegal but to send in riot police and beat up citizens is not going to win over voters. It may have the diametrically opposite effect.

In a similar vein, if you wish to convince the citizens of a country with whose head of state you have a dispute to get rid of him themselves and that you are not a threat to those citizens in the way he claims then it isn’t perhaps the wisest pronouncement to say you will totally destroy said country.

Forgetting History

Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian on how T Ronald Dump crossed a line when he failed to condemn neo-Nazis after Charlottesville.

The worst thing was that the incumbent President of the United States – supposedly the leader of the free world – conveyed moral equivalence between Nazism/fascism and those who oppose it. That is breathtaking in its lack of awareness and abdication of responsibility for decency.

I have read an article which claimed that just because you opposed Nazism it didn’t mean your cause was necessarily good. What?

WHAT?

(The rationale was that Stalin fought fascism/Hitlerism, the implication, that since Stalin was bad then so, if you fight Nazism, are you.)

[I hesitated to post the link here as I didn’t want to encourage the writer in his false comparisons but finally decided to. (Here.)]

Quite apart from the outrageous insult his proposition is to those Allied soldiers who signed up to fight in the Second World War and even more so to those who gave their lives doing so, (it implies they were fellow travellers, duped) what a despicable piece of whataboutery that false equation represents. It gets the whole thing exactly the wrong way round.

The true state of affairs is that if you don’t fight Nazism/fascism then your cause is bad.

Apparently 9% of US citizens polled after Charlottesville believe that neo-Nazi or white supremacist views are acceptable. If the poll is representative that means 30 million people in the US share those beliefs. That is a forgetting of history right there.

How did it come to this? How did people come to forget those vile views (and the actions which resulted from them) were what their grandfathers had to fight against? How can a belief in the US as a bastion of freedom co-exist with an ideology whose aim is to extinguish freedom? (Even as that ideology is dressed up as a crusade for freedom of expression – or historical memory.)

A Professor Halford E Luccock of Yale University is quoted in the New York Times of 12/9/1938 as saying, “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labelled “Made in Germany”; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, “Americanism”.”

Beware those who fly flags of whatever colour.

Oscar Fail?

I don’t watch the Oscar ceremony. It’s an event which garners publicity way beyond its actual significance or importance for weeks beforehand and I’m not much into films anyway.

Notwithstanding that I couldn’t avoid the aftermath of this year’s do and its wrong envelope saga. Lead item on both the radio and TV news all day.

So the story that was to be the big thing from the Oscars this year didn’t happen: overshadowed by an apparently inexplicable mistake.

My first thought on hearing of what transpired was to wonder if any of this year’s award winners made any anti-Trump comments in their respective acceptance speeches. If they did I haven’t heard a word about them. And naturally it occurred to me that anyone behind the scenes wishing to avoid any discussion that such comments may have caused would have reason to feel very pleased indeed at the actual turn of events.

It may just have been an almighty cock-up (the usual explanation for bizarre occurrences) but if it was a conspiracy to deflect any possible criticism of the recipients and the so-called Academy from T Ronald Dump and his supporters it worked beautifully. I still don’t know the content of any of the winners’ speeches – at least one of which usually makes the news.

If this was a dead cat it was certainly a beezer. Possibly the most dead cat* ever.

Pedant’s corner:- *Yes, I know if a cat is dead, it’s dead and can’t be any more dead. There are no degrees to death after all.

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