How Failure Of Imagination Kills…

When the forensics get done on our Time — and the Big Question gets asked — “How in the world did Americans let such an obvious criminal & traitor 1) get elected & 2) remain in power so long?

The answer will complicated with lots of moving parts (requiring actual calculus to figure out). One of the biggest moving parts will be the Republican Party itself and the monstrosity of its actions here. But the fact that they were complicit — in ways that even predated Trump’s takeover of their party (think Mitch McConnell & his refusal to even talk to Merrick Garland) goes right back to the heart of my premise. We “didn’t see it”.

In real time, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans did something no other Senate had ever done before — held a President’s SCOTUS pick hostage. Mitch’s excuse was so phony it should have physically hurt every ear that heard it. It was Bullshit On Steroids: “The American People should get to decide who the next SCOTUS judge is”. The American People in that equation are the ones who VOTED FOR BARACK OBAMA and made him POTUS — the guy charged with doing that very thing.

Yet here we are. No Merrick Garland. Neil Gorsuch instead. Funny how the rules work when you make em up as you go along — AND GET AWAY WITH IT.

With all this press going at this story like sperms going at an egg — you’d think someone would have gotten through already and “fertilized” that egg. And yet — with a mountain RANGE of evidence staring them in the face, the Press seems blind to it. It’s there — they kinda know it is — and yet they can’t bring themselves to go and report it. It’s like they just can’t “trust” themselves and what they’re thinking. What they “know”.

This is how “FAILURE OF IMAGINATION” works. Under normal circumstances where everything’s normal — failing to think with imagination won’t hurt you (not much anyway). You can always muddle along in your mediocrity enjoying the status quo until you don’t.

But this here ain’t “normal”. Not even remotely. Gawd, I hope that’s not a revelation. Laws weren’t written to deal with our particular situation. This wasn’t “imagined” by the Constitution’s framers — a flat out treasonous POTUS and the flat out treasonous political party supporting him (the framers didn’t even want political parties; they happened because we’re human and tribal by nature). See how our problem is “outside the box”?

The solution to our problem will have to come from “outside the box” too. Part of our problem is — the criminals are using our rules to undermine them — as part of the whole Cyber War they’ve been waging against us as we sleep. We’re miles behind — in large part because we’ve been so damned slow to SEE what was happening.

Not slow to SEE, so much, really, as GRASP. We saw all this happening — but failed to grasp what it meant — and how it was playing out in all its terrible detail RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. That, too, is failure of imagination.

FAILURE OF IMAGINATION is how McConnell got away with circumventing the will of the American People to deliberately remake the judiciary as conservative when the people CLEARLY want it progressive?

HOW has Donald Trump gotten away with HIS shit for as long as he has? How did we ever let him get past “Mexicans are rapists” or “Pussy Grabbing” or every stinking lie he’s told from the moment he became OUR EMPLOYEE? How have we not been able to stop this — or even report this accurately?

I’ll let you fill in the blank — with an “Amen!” chaser.

But it isn’t just OUR failure of imagination — as citizens. We rely on our Press (as per the First Amendment) to be the final check on power. To do that they need to IMAGINE the worst — because you can’t report all the possible reasons things happen if you don’t include that. For one, you’re not being accurate.

But — strangely — watch enough news, and of all the possible answers to The Biggest Question Facing Us — Why Does Donald Trump Act Like Vladimir Putin Owns Him? The American Press STILL refuses to answer the question: “BECAUSE VLADIMIR PUTIN OWNS HIM”.

It seems bizarre that one can’t “imagine” the thing that’s not just “staring you in the face” but stabbing you there, too.

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Dear MSM: You Screwed Up Reporting Trump-Russia. OWN IT!

A very real day of reckoning is coming for America’s Main Stream News Media: They helped perpetuate the False Narrative that nearly destroyed our Democracy. How many kazillion times has a TV News Talking Heads round table collectively nodded, “Yeah – THAT’S why!” when one of them explained away Trump by saying “Well, the American People voted for him…”?

It’s BULLSHIT. We didn’t. The MAJORITY of Americans (who were allowed to vote and whose votes were counted) voted AGAINST Donald Trump & everything Republican. The only reason Trump is POTUS is because he ‘won’ the EC. Let’s put aside the fact that the Electoral College is a vestige of slavery appeasement. Let’s put aside that the Electoral College is an example of indirect representation.

Let’s put aside the fact that 10 days before the election, Paul Manafort returned to the campaign from banishment (after his Russia ties were revealed) and told them all to focus everything on PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN & MICHIGAN. As of this writing, no one has asked Manafort on the record (as far as we know — Team Mueller surely already has) what exactly he meant by that. Considering that those three states came in for Trump with less than 80,000 votes COMBINED — and their machines were never officially given a forensics exam (where you open up the machine and gaze at its code) — and considering where we are in our knowledge of what all Donald Trump, the republican party and Russia did together — to blithely believe that Trump’s EC win reflects “winning” is absurd.

Yet, all those arguments ended there with the rest of the talking heads nodding “Yeah — weird — whattaya gonna do about it?”

Thus was the False Narrative born and regularly strengthened. As crazy as it all seemed — as disconnected from what Americans really seemed to want (Trump’s base are not America — they may be 30% of us but the other 70% want nothing to do with them!) all that illogic could get shrugged off cos “That’s what America voted for”.

What, I wonder, will all those pundits with all those “Well, America voted for him!” replies on their resumes say when, it turns out, they were flat out wrong. Trump didn’t win the EC either. He was never the legitimate POTUS. He lost, in fact, and Hillary Clinton won. If HRC won, you understand, it screws up the whole narrative that she lost — and lost because she was a bad candidate. If in fact Hillary Clinton DIDN’T lose — and, in fact, won — then she WASN’T a bad candidate.

Our whole False Narrative just got caught out nekkid.

Oops! Now what will the pundits say? Actually — if we were doing this right, we wouldn’t care what those pundits said cos they’d be gone. They’ve all got exactly ten seconds to explain themselves and their lack of journalistic skepticism. Even if they didn’t quit and find other employment, those of us who watch the news would have to watch them knowing this about them: they suck at their jobs.

False Narrative’s bunk mate is “Both Sides Do It”. Don’t get me started on that SOB…

‘Both Sides Do It’ Is As Dubious As It Is Dead End

American journalism has multiple issues that prevent it from doing its job correctly.  Corporatism’s up there but we can’t blame corporatism for ‘Both Sides Do It’.

I’m curious — Is ‘Both Sides Do It’ (the market version of ‘False Equivalence’) actually taught at American journalism schools?  Is that where the Chuck Todds & Alex Witts & Andrea Mitchells & Wolf Blitzers & Chris Cilizzas of the world learned to ditch all analytical thinking and simply assume that all things are indeed equal?  They certainly couldn’t have ‘learned’ that from actually studying reality.  Or living in it.

The first thing ditched when a journalist tacitly accepts that ‘both sides do it’ is PROPORTION.  They could (and the Chuck Todds ALWAYS DO) ask the dopey ‘what if’ — “Well, what if this otherwise completely illogical, unbelievable thing were true…?”  The next thing they do — if there’s a shred of similarity — is “See?  Both sides DO do it!”

Yeah, Chuck Todd, they do.  Hey — didja know that humans and fish both ‘breathe’?  They do!  Both sides DO IT!  Of course, humans breathe air and fish breathe water but — that’s a minor detail, right — at least it always is where your storytelling is concerned:  “BOTH SIDES DO IT!”.

Let’s try on proportionality.  A man who steals because he is hungry vs a man who steals BILLIONS because he can.  Both men are thieves; BOTH SIDES DO IT.  The proportions aren’t quite the same though.

If journalism is an inquiry into The Truth, then any journalist taking up the mantle that ‘Both Sides Do It’ has just cut their vision of The Truth in half.  Maybe more.

Any journalist even ‘thinking’ that ‘both sides do it’ is a journalist who’s already left the building.

Bad enough as ‘both sides do it’ is as an ‘analytical tool’, it’s a hell of a lot worse as a basis for action — as in ‘both sides do it so here’s what WE should do…’.  There’s nothing of substance where the ellipse now is.  You can’t take ‘both sides do it’ and create actions to stop both sides from doing it.  It’s a dead end description — in addition to being inaccurate.

The way it almost always works — no, ALWAYS works — is we all turn to Liberals, Progressives and Democrats to ‘be the adult’ and step back from the precipice first.  No one ever looks to conservatives to make the first move because they know — compromise is not in any conservative’s DNA.  There’s a reason they’re conservative:  They want to CONSERVE something — the past is my guess.

Every time they compromise though, a piece of that past gets wiped away forever.  It’s no more than a memory now… .  Conservatives know that.  Newt Gingrich did.  newt-gingrichThat’s why his revolution allowed no compromise.  Compromise wasn’t just failure, it was extinction.  In response, Newt launched the full-on Culture War that got conservatives so crazed they thought joining forces with RUSSIA was an okay idea.  They thought taking Russian money and serving Russian masters was preferable to compromising with progressives.

Think about that.

One side does it for a specific set of reasons.  Conservatives and republicans ‘do it’ because they know the demographics are against them.  THEY ‘do it’ because their ideas appeal to fewer and fewer people — most of whom, it so happens, look just like them.  Conservatives do it because they dread losing power; they know it will never come back to them.  Not if Democracy works the way it’s supposed to…

Which brings us to Mitch McConnell — the man who has single-handedly destroyed the US Senate — the man who stood in the way of Barrack Obama telling America in September that our election was under attack from Russia — whose aim was to make Donald Trump president.

Mitch McC

Mitch, it turns out, has been taking Russian money forever… As in MILLIONS of it.  And we thought he was only the Koch Brothers’ lackey… Silly us.  Mitch literally robbed Barrack Obama — AND EVERY AMERICAN WHO VOTED FOR HIM — of the SCOTUS pick THEIR VOTE WON THEM.

‘Won’ them.  Or is winning different when Democrats do it?

DO both sides do what Mitch did?  No, both sides do NOT.   I rest my case.

When Imagination Fails – WE Fail

How does one explain the consistent inability of American News Media (and news media from all over the world) to grasp and report the Trump-Russia Story?

Even now when the average panel starts to pick apart what Donald & Vlad are doing together, the Media STILL want to pretend that everything happening is absolutely normal – that it’s NORMAL for an American President to meet with the leader of a country that has always been hostile to us WITHOUT any note-takers tasked with memorializing AN HISTORIC MEETING…

It’s not normal.  It’s not the actions of ‘an unusual president’ who ‘plays by his own rules’.

People determined to believe something – REGARDLESS of its actual veracity – are going to believe no matter what.  They’re not interested in Reality or The Truth – they’ve got Magic in Mind.  It’s so much easier to just ‘give in’ and ‘accept’.

But that’s not the MSM’s job — not in America, it isn’t.  The Fourth Estate is Constitutionally obligated to stand as the ultimate CHECK on Executive Power.  To check Executive Power, you have to be nimble — quick to react to shifting circumstances — especially when that Executive Power is so CLEARLY being abused.

The problem is however that most of the MSM cannot SEE that Executive Power is being ABUSED because they ENABLED that abuse.  They gave it their tacit approval.  They accepted it as ‘just how things are and how they should remain’.  And now that Donald Trump is using his Executive Power (stolen to begin with) to try and finish the job he started (on Vladimir Putin’s behalf): the destruction of America’s Democratic Culture — and our relationship with our similarly Democratic European Allies.

It isn’t ‘blindness’ behind their inability to ‘see’ — it’s the inability to imagine that it’s possible in the first place.

When your average Talking Head Panel sits in on your average News Show — and they pose the question to themselves:  “What is Donald Trump actually up to here?” — the knee jerk inclination is to shrug it off with an empty-headed ‘He just does things differently, I guess…”.

‘Different’?  Um, no actually — TREASONOUS.

The one possible answer to their question – DONALD TRUMP IS AN ASSET OF RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE – has been for years – and is actively WORKING AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF HIS OWN COUNTRY – never makes it to the table for collective analysis.  Why is that exactly?

That’s a ‘trick question’, you understand.  The answer is FAILURE OF IMAGINATION.

And we can all see what THAT has brought us to…

Can We Be Really, REALLY Honest With Each Other? If You Believe In Bullshit — WHY Should ANYONE BELIEVE YOU?

I’ll try and make this easy.  If you boarded an airplane and the pilot announced (before the doors had closed) that not only was this his very first flight as a professional pilot — and (cause that’s not enough), he doesn’t believe in science, he believes in Magic — and just to prove that HIS MAGIC is as good as OUR SCIENCE — he’s going to CUT THE ENGINES at 37,000 feet and PRAY US the rest of the way to our destination.

Who’s staying on board that airplane?  Anyone?

Make it a heart surgeon who’s shrugged off looking at your charts before cutting into you — he’s going to wait for Divine Inspiration and THEN cut you.  You staying on the table?

When people tell us they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, we should listen to them like our lives depended on it.

While politicians may not have their hand on a literal wheel — what they do can and does have almost the same impact.  So — WHY they do WHAT they do is important because it indicates whether or not they’re representing OUR interests or whether they’re conflicted somehow.  For my part, I prefer that people making decisions that impact others have the same ‘RESPECT for Reality that I have.

I believe FACTS matter far more than FEELINGS.  I recognize that FACTS can ’cause’ FEELINGS to happen — and those feelings can effect how we perceive those facts — but those FEELINGS do not ever ‘CHANGE’ those FACTS.  FACTS remain FACTS regardless of how ANYONE ‘feels’ about them.

So — when people inclined to poor decision-making BECAUSE THEIR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS INVOLVES ‘MAGICAL THINKING’ go to make a decision, they tend to skip right past all Logic, Analytical Thinking and Thoughtful Analysis to their Magical Thinking Wheelhouse and push ‘Start’.

The Facts On The Ground do not matter.  You have BULLSHIT singing in your ears (badly and completely out of tune).   Bullshit always has its way.

We are living during War Time, folks — but not just ONE WAR… No, we’ve got TWO WARS on our hands.  Good thing they’re ‘related’ — otherwise this could get complicated.

War #1) THE CYBER WAR — the one Vladimir Putin & Russia are waging on us with the full and complete cooperation of Donald J Trump, his Crime Family & the Whole Republican Party.  We’ve ‘talked about that’ here and will again, I’m sure.  War #2) THE CULTURE WAR — The one the Republican Party has chosen to wage on the American People.

The Republican Party does this at the behest of its SECOND Most Vocal, Forceful Constituent — The Hardcore Christian Right Wing.  The MOST Vocal (behind the scenes — and ‘in its own way’), Forceful Constituent is MONEY, of course — and the handful of Rich, White, Christian families who HOARD that money as if it could save them from ‘DEATH’ itself (it won’t).

 

Right now, decisions and decision-making are coming at us more quickly than most people can handle.  That’s not a coincidence.  Those pushing the rush of decisions want people to fall back on the decision-making skills that they learned while going through the American Educational System– Oh, wait… that’s right — we don’t TEACH ‘decision-making skills’.  We RUN from them — preferring to stick a bible under their noses (a bible no one has cracked or WILL crack) with a handful of ‘Do It Cos Big Daddy In The Sky Sez Do-It’ type ‘lessons’.  And that, or some variation, is what amounts to ‘Doing Something”.

Here’s the problem in cold, hard, practical terms.  Sorry if it offends.  No, actually — not sorry at all…

Your average republican (and they put a shine on the word ‘average’ like no one else) ‘CLAIMS’ TO BELIEVE – AS FACT that:  “A Magical Man In The Sky had UNPROTECTED SEX with a Young Female Human who had never had sex before and produced together a ‘Man-God-Baby’ whose ‘mission on earth’ was to ‘DIE’ for All Humanity’s ‘sins’ because A WOMAN named ‘Eve’ once ate a piece a fruit she shouldn’t have — because a TALKING SNAKE told her to…”.

Pretty strange story, right?  But there are more than a few Christians — IN CONGRESS no less — who will claim — out in the open — ON TV EVEN — that they absolutely, positively believe that these things ALL actually happened EXACTLY AS WRITTEN.  That THEY are HISTORICAL FACTS that are INDISPUTABLE.  These ‘LEADERS’ who control what we do as a Nation — have as their KNOWLEDGE BASE a story which while ‘instructive’ and ‘imaginative’ IS NOT HISTORY and to act like it IS history — while DENYING ANY UNDERLYING MESSAGE THE STORY HAS — is an example of the MOST cynical bullshit.

And it’s BULLSHIT.

You might as well say ‘Yeah, I see the apple falling — but I’m still not buying into this ‘gravity’ thing…’.

You’ve told the class — unequivocally — that you are a sucker, a day trader, a headlines only reader.

And, you’ve told them that facts ultimately do not matter to you.

Given a choice between decision-making based on ‘faith’ (which is… guesswork?  Wishful Thinking?  Hopefulness on Steroids?) and Stone Cold Reality, I’ll take the Stone Cold Reality, please.

Realists keep their eyes open — they HAVE TO.