Republicans Have No Idea What “Integrity” Is — “Ditto” The Rule Of Law

Ever meet a guy with 96% of his integrity intact? “Yeah — he’s pretty honest most of the time… it’s that 4% where he’s a goddamned liar that’s the problem” is not a sentence one hears often. There’s a reason.

Integrity either is or it isn’t. There’s no middle ground, no grey area. In fact, there’s no grey area anywhere near Integrity’s zip code.

We’re all born equal where Integrity’s concerned: we all get 100% at birth. It’s entirely up to us what we do with it. Treat people with respect (“Do Unto Others is how Jesus put it) and you’re likely to keep your Integrity at 100% your whole life. Make a habit of screwing people over and people will quickly realize that you’re a dishonest shit not worth their time.

Republicans are people who somehow got it in their heads that there IS an Integrity grey area. This is something they told themselves, being corrupt. Republicans still think (apparently) that their continuing association with every Trumpian abuse of our Republic won’t haunt them when Donald Trump is long in our rear view mirror.

They could not be more wrong.

Having no Integrity, it wasn’t hard for Republicans to bust a cap in The Rule Of Law’s noggin. Just like with Integrity, the Rule Of Law can’t live in any middle ground. The Rule Of Law must either “be” or “not be”.

Our problem started the instant we turned a blind eye to the smallest violation of The Rule Of Law. To not enforce is to move the goal posts. What should have remained illegal has now been granted “don’t bother with it” status. Who made such a decision — and why? The Rule Of Law didn’t make it. It violates The Rule Of Law right on its face.

What really exacerbates our problem is this — our Main Stream News Media have repeatedly normalized behaviors and flat out corruption that should have set their heads ablaze. Instead, they eventually let every last Trumpian outrage (illegal ones included) go. And each time they let go and looked toward Trump’s next sparkly object, they paid for it. More importantly, We The People paid for it.

When — it’s not an “if” — we manage to get The Rule Of Law back up onto its feet, we may be shocked by how cruel The Rule Of Law seems. a Shitload of Republicans will have to be punished — including Republicans who eventually came around (talking to YOU, Joe Walsh). Those Republicans that had so much as an inkling what Trump & the GOP were up to (especially as it concerns quid-pro-quoing sanctions) need to be punished because The Rule Of Law says you report shit like that to the Proper Authorities — the FBI, for instance.

We have to be firm though in seeing that The Rule Of Law is carried out to its very letter even if people we like get swept up in its execution.

If we saw The Rule Of Law any differently, it would mean we had zero Integrity.

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Integrity’s An All Or Nothing Proposition – You Either Have It Or You Don’t

In the movie Princess Bride, Wallace Sean’s Vizzini, confounded by their inability to outrun Cary Elwes’ Westley, repeats the word “inconceivable” with increasing consternation until, at one point, Mandy Patinkin’s Inago Montoya responds famously —

We have the exact same problem with the whole concept of INTEGRITY — never mind the word. A Democratic system of government relies on the integrity of its voting process. We think our voting system has “integrity”. That’s bullshit. There are several terrific citizen-journalist-investigators who’ve done deep, deep dives into the fact that our voting systems have pretty damned close to ZERO integrity (Jennifer Cohen and Mike Farb have been especially intrepid and indefatigable in their pursuit of the truth).

Our inability to see this core problem — this complete lack of integrity in a system — shouts volumes about our inability to see a lack of integrity in other humans. Isn’t that the way con men work, after all? The first thing they sell you isn’t a product, it’s bullshit — that they have integrity and you, dear rube, can absolutely trust them.

Donald Trump is a fabulist who has never understood that such a thing as “Truth” even exists. To a sociopath like Trump, the truth is whatever he thinks it is in that moment — whatever he says “the truth” is. Its connection to reality is irrelevant. Anyone who stands beside Donald Trump — knowing (and how can you not) that he lies as easily as he breathes — not only accepts Donald Trump’s lack of integrity, but demonstrates that they, too, have none. How can you stand with a liar and still have integrity?

It’s impossible. You just can’t.

When America stops standing by its word — when we pinball around erratically with no moral compass — we demonstrate that we AS A COUNTRY no longer have integrity (with the caveat being that our integrity has been under assault — if not completely DOA — forever and ever). Should we be surprised when Iran prepares for war against a schizophrenic foe whose word means nothing? Should we be shocked when every country with an agenda understands that with enough money, you can get the American government to do your bidding — even if it runs counter to America’s best interests?

Our news media doesn’t grasp how THEIR integrity lies in tatters. They don’t grasp that the moment they shrugged off “Mexicans are rapists” and then (as if that wasn’t enough FFS!) “pussy-grabbing” — they busted a cap in their own integrity as the final check on power. Even as every norm of behavior, decency, logic and longstanding tradition sloughed off around them, CNN, MSNBC, The WaPo, the NYTimes — pretty much our entire MSM — continued to turn a blind eye in the name of access. If they dared confront a blatant liar with his lies, they worried, he might not talk to them. Correction: he might not lie to them.

We’re living in an age where Joseph Goebbels’ famous “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth” has, ironically, become a kind of truth. It’s how things “are” now.

Can we even spell “integrity” anymore?

What Republicans Forgot: INTEGRITY Matters

Regardless of how we’re all physically ‘born’, we all arrive in this world with 100% of our Integrity intact. Whether or not we get to the end of our lives with it STILL intact — that’s entirely up to us.

The ‘thing’ about Integrity is, it’s an ‘all or nothing’ proposition. Ever meet someone with 99% of their Integrity? What’s up with the 1%?

Our Integrity is iron — yet destructible as gossamer.

When set and kept at 100% it should be seen as inviolable. An impenetrable Force Field of Righteousness, built on facts & open-eyed analysis of those facts & The Truth. That’s the iron.

The gossamer is anyone turning off the Force Field to entertain offers. Even if you opt to ‘stay pure’ — you entertained offers. You even allowed for the ‘appearance’ that you were for sale. Integrity can never ever EVER be for sale. Integrity popped — like a soap bubble. Made of gossamer.

Lying instantly destroys Integrity. Allowance for lying destroys Integrity. Acceptance of lying destroys Integrity. One always has to ask ‘WHY?’ Why lie to begin with? Why’s the Truth ‘problematic’?

In the case of the Republican Party — they’ve been lying to us because they recognized as the Reagan years ended that electoral politics would not favor them going forward. The demographics were already trending completely against them (had more Americans voted regularly, that distinction would have been clearer a lot sooner). The only means to keep power for a few more generations was via the Judiciary.

Or — the Kochs reasoned apparently — one could rewrite the Constitution and make White Christian Male hegemony PERMANENT. To do that they’d need 37 states — so they could convene a new Constitutional Congress. That was very definitely in the Koch Bros sites. The last election — where Democrats took back 7 statehouses — destroyed that plan; the Kochs were within ONE STATEHOUSE. For reals.

The majority of Americans do not want what the Koch Bros want. That’s probably because the majority of Americans are not white, Christian men. But, of course, ya can’t exactly sell that come election time. So the Kochs find themselves politicians — Republicans — who are willing to lie.

And there goes their Integrity.


This Is The Part Of The ‘Scientific Experiment’ Where We Make A ‘Leap Of Faith’…

Exoplanet

How do you ‘see’ something you cannot see?  How can you see a faraway planet when it’s too far away, too small and too indistinguishable?  Turns out, there are methods — and, if you follow them with scientific rigor, you really can SEE something without actually ‘seeing’ it…

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-do-astronomers-actually-find-exoplanets-180950105/

Transit… Brightness… Velocity…

Evidence of Movement… Evidence of ‘impact’ on another object’s brightness… Evidence of detectable ‘speed’.

America is a Scientific Experiment still very much in progress.  All evidence has suggested so far that the Experiment’s planners did a pretty good job of setting up their lab — with one or two shockingly egregious errors that we continue to pay for — they’re that big and that egregious.  Slavery, for instance.

But, in most ways, they set in motion an Enterprise That Changed The World.  Part of that Enterprise is the means for every branch of government or every kind of power to ALWAYS be checked by another.  Nothing and No One could EVER have Absolute Power.  Like a King.  THAT WAS THE POINT.

Fortunately, a few people who haven’t betrayed us to Mother Russia STILL work the trade there in DC — and they’re doing it behind doors closed so tightly not even LIGHT can get out.

Robert Mueller, when he took the mantle of Special Counsel, understood immediately the GRAVITY of the gig — and he saw via what happened to James Comey (and the Comey Letter) what happens if you let ANY kind of information about what you’re doing get out before it’s ready.  Being a soldier and an Officer and an Educated Man and a Career Law Enforcement Guy, Robert Mueller knows a Criminal when he sees one.  He knows Organized Crime when he sees it.  He knows RUSSIAN Organized Crime when he sees it.  He knows HOW Russian Organized Crime ‘works’ and WHO Russian Organized Crime works for —

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This guy — who also happens to be a highly trained, highly competent and highly MOTIVATED Intel Officer.  He also happens to be the wealthiest man in the world cos he’s so corrupt and seems bent on becoming the Wealthiest Man That Could Ever Be Possible For The Rest Of Recorded Time, Too (While He’s At It).

Robert Mueller walked in the door KNOWING what this was about (it started as a COUNTER-INTEL OP, right?  It already had Russia’s scent in its nose).  He didn’t ‘stumble over’ Russia ‘to his shock and horror’, Robert Mueller started out with the question — “What the HELL did Russia pull off while WE were all SLEEPING?”

We know — from the evidence of our ‘lack of evidence’ that Robert Mueller has behaved a lot like a BLACK HOLE (let’s nudge the science analogies a little further along) —

A stellar-mass black hole in orbit with a companion star located about 6,000 light years from Earth.

Black Holes cannot be seen, they can only be inferred from the behavior of everything around them.  We can’t ‘SEE’ their GRAVITY but the presence of their Gravity is evident — because everything around the Black Hole IS RESPONDING (whether it likes it or not) to the Black Hole’s GRAVITY.  The INDISPUTABLE FACT is — BLACK HOLES HAVE GRAVITY.

That same scientific methodology tells us — via the behavior of all ‘bodies’ in the Robert Mueller Universe that nothing — NOTHING — has MORE GRAVITY than Robert Mueller.  No one — not even Donald J Trump — is behaving (at present) as if he has some way to escape the BLACK HOLE-LIKE GRAVITY of Robert Mueller.

None of Donald Trump’s handlers or enablers have done or said ANYTHING to suggest that THEY think THEY can break the Death Grip of Black Hole Mueller’s Gravity.   Just the opposite — the Trump camp keeps banging away at hair-brained schemes and inventions like a deranged Wile E. Coyote…

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Doesn’t end well for Wiley, right?  It ends horribly as it always does.

Gravity always wins and EVERYBODY knows it.  Like now.

These are dark, darker, DARKEST DAYS.  Even the ‘Always-Late-To-The-Dance’ MSM finally gets it:  Donald Trump is an Authoritarian.  He doesn’t just talk that talk, he walks it.  Sorry — he goosesteps it.  Or has OTHERS GOOSESTEP it while he grins and waves and acts like he ISN’T the Biggest Fucking Traitor In The Whole History of Traitors.

But, remember — GRAVITY.  Even Donald Trump knows he cannot defeat GRAVITY.  And GRAVITY is ROBERT MUELLER.

If we’re honest with ourselves, the case against Donald Trump is massive — and that’s just what’s Publicly Available.  We KNOW — cos ‘that’ evidence also is PUBLICLY AVAILABLE — that Robert Mueller has or has access to EVERYTHING HE WANTS (up to and including Donald Trump’s tax returns).

Robert Mueller isn’t investigating ‘Is It Or Isn’t It?’, he’s investigating ‘How Far Back Does This Goddamned Thing GO?’  Not.  The.  Same.  Thing.

Silence is terrifying to Humans.  Even well-adjusted Humans with incredible patience arrive at a moment where it’s time to cut bait and do something else.  But it’s almost always True that ‘silence’ only means you can’t ‘hear’ all the available sound.  It’s like assuming that the light we humans see is all the light there IS to see.  Not so.  Not so at all.

In the case of Robert Mueller, his silence does not mean an absence of presence.  He absolutely EXISTS.  And it does not mean that Robert Mueller has ‘nothing to say’.  It only means he has not ‘said it’ yet.  For a reason that he understands to be essential to the Truth he will speak when ready.  Gravity follows set rules.  It behaves as it behaves.

Though I am not a ‘person of faith’, I have ‘Faith’ in Science — in the ways the Science attacks a question so as to get a REAL answer and not an Ooga-Booga one.  Having ‘faith’ in Science means that, occasionally, I have to have ‘faith’ in its methods.

In this case, I cannot SEE what IMPACT Robert Mueller will have on ‘The Catastrophe That Is Donald J Trump And What He And The Republican Party Are Doing To America’.  But I can ‘see’ the impact Robert Mueller is having on everyone in his ‘ORBIT’.  And that tells me one thing and one thing only:  The INSTANT Robert Mueller begins DROPPING INDICTMENT BOMBS — the whole ‘NATURE’ of our ‘conversation’ will change.

As in COMPLETELY.

As in we’ll be asking on a ‘Breaking News’ Basis — ‘Is THIS The Part Where They Take Donald J Trump From The White House In Handcuffs Or Did We Miss That Already With All The OTHER Republicans Being Marched Out In Handcuffs…?’

It is coming to that.  It WILL.  The deep, maternal IRE of this country has been roused and it will not go back to how it was.  Cruelty to Children is a line in the sand even a redneck narcotized on Big Pharma-grade opioids can sorta-kinda see in the sand.

Robert Mueller knows — he has the hard evidence — what, why, how, when, where RUSSIA RE-ROUTED ELECTION 2016 Away from the Will of the American People and TOWARD Russia and a coteries of Hard Right White Christian Male Loonies (who also happen to be disgustingly rich).  Robert Mueller KNOWS that Election 2016 was neither FREE, nor FAIR.  He knows what we experienced was a ‘soft COUP D’ETAT’ — and that the recipients of the Big Prize were Vladimir Putin & The Republican Party.

Robert Mueller is A Man of Honor (so says the data).  He is a man who believes unerringly in the RULE OF LAW (so says the data).  He is a man still in possession of 100% of HIS INTEGRITY (so says the data).

Robert Mueller knows — this isn’t just about fixing a small item or two.  It’s the Whole Damned Thing.  It’s The Future Of The Republic that’s at stake.  For Reals.

All ‘visible evidence’ says we’ll come out of this okay.  Maybe not unscathed (we’re pretty damned scathed already!) but okay.  Alive.  Able to walk.  Given a few paces, maybe even able to run or jog.  There won’t be time for a hospital stay.  We’re going to have to get healthy on the fly.

But I think we’ll do it.

Ugh — there’s that word again — the one I have no use for:  “Faith’.  Maybe when it comes to people (all Trumpians excepted), a little ‘Faith’ is a good thing.

Want My Vote? First Question: Is Your Core ‘Belief System’ Based On Real Or RUBBISH?

Here’s the conundrum atheists have faced at each and every election.  We have to cast a ballot for people making Life & Death decisions for us.  At the presidential level those are LITERAL Life & Death Decisions.

A POTUS has the power to literally wipe out huge chunks of humanity.  Not ‘quite’ with the press of a button but — awfully damned close.

If we take ourselves into that moment, all movie-like, and move in nice and close to THE POTUS as he ‘stares’ at ‘THE BUTTON’ we’d naturally need to understand WHAT WAS THE PROCESS that got him — and by extension US — to this moment of IMMINENT CATASTROPHE?

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Sure, sure — there’ll be the immediate politics on the international stage but THAT didn’t just happen, those politics (whatever they are) were themselves the process of multiple processes — and one of those processes (a KEY process) is WHO this POTUS is as a human being.  What ‘programming’ shaped them and formed their world view in a way that brought them HERE — to a moment of Imminent Catastrophe for Huge Chunks of Humanity?

What formed & still forms the values and ideas that were their personal justification for getting the World here?

Was it REALITY that informed them?  Or was it RUBBISH?

Was it ASTROPHYSICS that informed their view of where ‘we came from’?  Or was it stories — written by uninformed desert dwellers thousands of years ago — in ‘darkness’?

Does the POTUS in question view the collected texts we refer to as ‘The Bible’ as LITERAL HISTORY?  Does he view these texts as the ‘literal words’ of a Magical Sky Creature (he’s never personally met)?

Does this POTUS believe that the Magical Sky Creature LITERALLY created the Whole Universe out of ‘nothing’ in ‘seven days’?  Does he believe the cause of Human Suffering is a Woman eating a piece of fruit because a talking snake told her to?  Does he believe the Magical Sky Creature flooded the earth cos he was so angry at HUMANS that EVERY CREATURE ON THE PLANET had to die?

Does this POTUS believe that the Magical Sky Creature HAD SEX with a Human Virgin in order to create a ‘Junior Sky Creature‘ that would eventually DIE FOR THE SINS of Humans?

It’s important that we know whether or not a POTUS believes if any of that is LITERAL TRUTH.  Because, if they do?  It means the basis for their whole belief system isn’t just flawed — it’s phony.  It’s like doing your bookkeeping using a base 3 numbering system instead of a base 10.  You’re going to look a lot richer that way.  But you’re not richer.  You’re LYING TO YOURSELF.

And if you go and make ECONOMIC DECISIONS based on your lying, phony math — you’ll lose your house, your possessions — everything.  Because you DID THINGS based on bad decisions which themselves were based on the fact that you believed and still believe in rubbish.

So — yeah — it matters.  Completely.

Here’s The Question: Is Integrity Dead?

Integrity-Dead dead DEAD Tombstone

You can chip away at a lot of things — and still have them.  Living in California as I do, ‘Paradise’ comes to mind.  There’s that lyric to that great Eagles song (the last cut on ‘Hotel California’) “The Last Resort”:  “They called it ‘Paradise’, I don’t know why… Call someplace ‘Paradise’ — Kiss it goodbye.”

But it’s not instantaneous.  The Kissing Good-bye in this instance takes place over decades or perhaps even centuries.   You’d hardly even notice.

Relationships can be chipped away at, too — yet maintained.  Leads (in sporting events).  Workloads (which, unfortunately, never seem to diminish no matter how much ya chip away at them).

Opposition to a political point.

Love.

Hell — even rock solid Marble can be chipped away at and still ‘be’.

And then there’s INTEGRITY.

Everyone STARTS life having Integrity.  For real.  Comes with the package.   You make it out of the womb alive?  You Have Integrity!

Everyone.

No one gets more, no one gets less.

We all get EXACTLY the same amount.  And that amount is expected to last each and every one of us our WHOLE LIFETIME.  The Integrity we were born with is the Integrity we’re going to die with; there’s no ‘replacement’ sitting on a shelf at Amazon somewhere.

Now here’s the Irony (there’s always irony — it comes with everything — like Spam in an old Monty Python sketch — even if you didn’t order it and never would): at exactly the same instant, INTEGRITY is both the most solid thing on earth — and its most easily destroyed.

Weird, huh?  What other ‘element’ behaves like it?

But Integrity IS solid as rock.  It’s the TRUTH.

A person WITH INTEGRITY stands on a Foundation of Truth SO rock-solid that we (in theory) celebrate their integrity.  George Washington & the Cherry Tree was all about having Integrity.  ‘Honest Abe Lincoln’ is the Poster President for Integrity.

We want our LEADERS to be people with INTEGRITY because we need to trust them and it’s a lot easier to trust people we KNOW have INTEGRITY.

And yet — For all its ‘Foundational Solidity’ — Integrity is made up of  the stuff gossamer is made of.  Dreams are made of gossamer…

Even a whisper can destroy someone’s Integrity.  It really is that fragile.

People don’t realize that until it’s too late.  Once your Integrity’s gone, it’s gone, gone, GONE!  Gone-er even.

CPR your Integrity as long as you like once it’s gone.  Paddle it until the Zapper Unit is drained dry:  Your Integrity ain’t coming back.

And if you have to rely on your Integrity to get through Life?  Neither are you.

The answer to my question (loaded as it was):  No, INTEGRITY’S not dead.  It’s not exactly doing well.  The ICU keeps eyeing its chart.

But there may still be just enough people with just enough Integrity to pull the ‘Collective Patient’ — US — through the worst to a place where we can recover enough to allow MORE FRESH FACES to ‘raise our Integrity Level’ from the inside.

So, yeah — there’s hope.  A fair amount of it.

Let’s not buy flowers for the grave just yet…

Integrity Is An All Or Nothing Proposition

My kids, when they were little, wanted to do a hundred things each day — because, in their minds, it was possible to spend the same time doing two completely different things.

It wasn’t, of course.  Invariably we had to make choices about what we wanted to do with our time — because the Truth was (and remains unfortunately):  Our Time is limited.

And Time once spent is spent.

Integrity works along the same lines.  Especially the way it works once spent.  Time cannot be re-invented.  It cannot be revisited (under our current rules of Physics) in a literal sense (looking at light from a distant star, one IS, in essence, looking back in time; but you’re not ‘re-visiting’ it as part of some giant Mulligan).

Everyone gets topped up with A Full Tank of Integrity when they ‘get here’ (provided they can get here).  Most people get through lives with their Integrity dinged a bit here and there but, ultimately, still 100% intact.  They haven’t cheated on a spouse or loved one.  They haven’t been cruel.  They haven’t lied & deceived & refused to tell the Truth ever.

They shuffle from this Mortal Coil ‘Whole’.  An Ethically ‘Made’ Person.

But dings are one thing.  Massive divots and gouges are something else entirely.  Politics, it’s understood, is a blood sport.  You don’t win by playing gently or, entirely ethically.  A person completely out of power is not a ‘person’ in this context.  It’s hard for anyone in that world to keep from gouged just by walking in the office door.

Or is it?

It would seem that a person with PRINCIPLES — if they stated those principles clearly, ran on those principles and won on them — then KEPT THEM SACRED — they would be more or less impervious to corruption.  Their Integrity would be almost impossible to destroy.

Except it’s so rarely the case.  Curious, no?

We grind our teeth in frustration at politicians because they always seem so willing to compromise — in all the wrong ways; they want to compromise their Integrity — and call it a thousand other names.

But once they’ve made that deal — and sold out even a shred of principle — they know it.  Inside, in their hearts, they KNOW their Integrity just vanished — a bubble so gossamer it’s gone before you even realize it was in danger.

You can try hard as you like to re-compose a bubble.  Your chances of success are zero, zero and less than zero.

Integrity is just as challenging to re-constitute.  Ever meet anyone with less than 100% of their Integrity?  Sure you have — they’re called assholes, schmucks, cheaters, liars, rapists, thieves, murderers, Traitors.  It’s one of those clubs you absolutely do not want to be a member of.

And then there are those who do…