By Their Very Nature, RW-ers Are Closed-Minded & Progressives Are Open-Minded

“Both Sides Do It” thinking (and journalism) would want us to believe that that headline is biased and wrong because both sides are equally closed-minded and open-minded. The fact is both sides are different not just because they want to be different but because they actually think differently. There’s even science to back that up (both sides are not equally interested in science by the way — because both sides are not equally “open-minded” about new information).

Conservatives, as their name says, want to conserve. They’ll accept conserving the present but what they really want to conserve is the past. The future — and any change — terrifies them. Progressives, as their name says, want to progress into the future of course since no one wants to progress into the past. Progress demands an open mind because one knows one will face new challenges that old ways simply won’t be able to resolve.

Progressive thinking, by its nature, is inclusive. We see that the answers to our problems could spring from nearly anywhere — and anyone — if only we’d give all these minds the chance to develop. We see America’s diversity as its exceptionalism. We aren’t just the greatest experiment in human self government ever, we’re also the greatest experiment in human diversity where our cultural dynamism is born out of the rich gumbo of ideas and approaches that flow from the variety of cultures who came to this place in order to be part of the first experiment.

Conservative thinking cannot tolerate uncertainty. That’s why it tends to be deeply religious (instead of being more openly-minded and just plain spiritual). Conservatives want a power structure in place. They want the world as it was (when they were in absolute control) to be the world as it always WILL be — with them continuing to be absolutely in control). Never mind the fact that they are an ever-increasing minority. They are the “god of the gaps”.

It’s painfully ironic that our news media — regardless of the topic — always demands equal open-mindedness from both sides. Lacking any perspective, they start from the false premise that both sides are the same and behave the same. They assume that both sides start off equally stuck in their ways — as if “their ways” were exactly the same.

This is why we get a press that demands Elizabeth Warren explain how she’s going to pay for health CARE for all Americans while they shrug off Republicans insisting (without a lick of data) that their tax cuts to themselves will PAY for themselves. This is why we have a main stream news media that gives equal weight to lies and the Truth. This is why we have a news media that insists that Democrats are impeaching Trump for entirely political reasons.

No, you idiots, the Democrats impeached (and will impeach Trump again) because he violated his oath of office the instant he took it. The Rule Of Law either is or it isn’t — and the instant we allow a POTUS to violate his oath brazenly and with impunity, our entire system of self-government is in mortal peril.

The Democrats did not drive us to this Constitutional crisis, the Republicans did. The Republicans are acting political because their interest is political — they want to HOLD ONTO the political power they now have AT ALL COSTS. They’re so determined to hold onto power that they’re willing to cheat every which way they can. They’re willing to suppress every Democratic voter they can. Those are all political acts. The person having their vote suppressed is NOT acting politically, they’re the VICTIM OF A CRIME.

Same token — the Democrats, when they point to the myriad ways Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, broken the law and shredded the Constitution, they’re NOT reacting politically, they’re pointing to criminal acts. When Democrats cry foul — that election 2016 was neither free nor fair because RUSSIA decided its outcome (isn’t that what Mitch McConnell was protected by refusing to let President Obama tell America that our election was under assault?) — they’re not acting politically, they’re being PATRIOTIC.

They’re also speaking for the real victims of the crime, The American People. Our electoral choice was stolen from us — our Will. That’s the majority of Americans. The 3 million plus (who knows how many suppressed votes there were) who wanted what Hillary and the Democrats were selling, not what Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Russian-owned Republicans were selling.

Mitch McConnell epitomized conservative closed-mindedness by not even giving Merrick Garland a hearing. Democrats wouldn’t even think of doing such a thing. Because it’s now how Democrats — the Progressives among them especially — think.

Even a glance at a conservative crowd versus a Progressive crowd tells you all you need to know about each crowd’s open-mindedness versus its closed-mindedness. A thousand words? No — a million words. More even.

Is there really a question?

Japan's Pearl Harbor Surprise Attack Wants To Teach Us A Lesson About Right Now; Will We Listen?

We think of WWII starting for Americans the moment the Japanese attacked our Naval base at Pearl Harbor. That’s not entirely accurate.

The Japanese arrived at Pearl Harbor and started bombing it — killing Americans & doing grave harm to our navy. But the Japanese didn’t just suddenly appear at Pearl Harbor. They had to plan their attack. They had to move assets into forward positions in order to launch it. Then they had to set off on the attack itself.

The Japanese arrived at Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time. A Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings dove from the clouds above Oahu. But the Japanese task force that attacked Pearl Harbor — including six aircraft carriers, left Japan on November 26, 1941 — two weeks earlier. That’s really when Japan declared war on us — with the intention of attacking the base at Pearl Harbor.

In theory, a murder isn’t a murder until the victim dies. But, up to that moment, it’s still attempted murder. There’s still the plotting of a crime, too — both being criminal acts. The act of rearing back to throw a punch you intend to throw regardless is very much part of your attack. The instant you pull the trigger, the act is irreversible.

We’ll set the planning aside — too abstract.

But the moment the Japanese fleet left port — the attack was on. The only thing standing between the Japanese and carrying out the attack was time and distance. And then timing so as to arrive when the Americans living at Pearl Harbor would be least likely to expect anything — and most vulnerable to the attack’s intended outcome: the crippling of the American Pacific fleet.

We are under cyber attack. We’ve BEEN under cyber attack for nearly four years now. Donald Trump isn’t POTUS because he “won” election 2016 freely & fairly, he “won” because Russia launched the most successful intelligence operation in history — a CYBER WAR relying on, among other things, weaponized polling data and a steady stream of propaganda.

Anyone who thinks you need bombs or bullets to win a war anymore will lose every war they ever fight going forward. Cyber war is cheap and just as effective — if not more effective. Fact: Russia (or perhaps various other bad actors) could shut down America’s power grid tomorrow — and we would be forced to sue for peace — losing the war.

We are under attack. Russia has already put its asset into the White House. They’re using that asset — Trump and everyone around him — to actively undermine every facet of American Democracy. If our Republic goes away, there will be no backstop to Russian hegemony. Putin will have his Greater Russia back. The world will have more authoritarianism, more corruption, more darkness.

Until we — our news media especially — embrace this Truth — that yes, indeedy, we ARE under attack — this very well could be World War Three we’re living through — we will not stop it from happening.

It seems like a no-brainer. Someone’s hitting you — hard. Either you demand that they stop hitting you or you return fire — and you force them to stop.

That’s where we are. It’s where we’ve been — in the not-all-that-distant past. Can we not repeat yet another historical mistake because we refused to take any lessons from it?

If Russian Efforts Changed ONE Vote, They Changed The WHOLE Election

That is a literal Truth. Think about it. If Russia changed ONE vote — caused an African American voter in Wisconsin, say, from showing up at the polls on election day 2016 because weaponized Facebook ads (based on stolen voter data) propagandized them into believing HRC was racist — and if the Trump Campaign KNEW that was happening or encouraged it or (worst but most likely) PARTICIPATED in it — then we cannot say that Election 2016 was truly “Free & Fair”.

And if we know that Russian interference prevented America from having a free and fair election, we have to look at the Americans who aided and abetted the Russians. And we have to ask “WHY?” Why aid and abet a country who would benefit from our diminishment?

We have to assume — since the Republicans are working so hard to obstruct Justice — that they, too, saw benefits from aiding and abetting a foreign enemy. Donald Trump — having not been punished for conspiring with Russia to steal election 2016, saw a chance to not only steal 2020 but blame Ukraine for 2016 — thereby taking the onus off Vlad Putin and Russia. So much gymnastics when all you have to do to win an election (in theory) is have better ideas than the other guy.

Trump has consistently relied on outside help. He’s done it in our faces. He relied on Russian interference in 2016 and he’s relying on it now — BECAUSE THAT’S HOW HE “WON”.

Fact: Paul Manafort handed Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data for four states: Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — four Hillary states — by less than 77,000 votes combined. No one’s ever done an official forensics analysis on the machines or their results. Unofficial analysis has turned up curious anomalies (repetitive results district after district) that only an official analysis can clear up or explain (if they can be cleared up or legally explained).

Fact: Voter suppression in Wisconsin was already pervasive before election 2016; it was exacerbated by its then governor Scott Walker and by some pretty egregious gerrymandering. We don’t know how many Democratic voters were culled from the voter rolls. Strangely, it’s ALWAYS Democratic voters who get culled.

I bet if all those refugees streaming north from Central American drug wars caused by American drug lust were reliably Republican? They’d all get limo’d across the border, first stop being an employment office where they’d get handed some featherbedded job and a passport. Too bad for all those people they’re not corrupt. Better luck next time, I guess.

We have a massive day of reckoning ahead of us. We see now — in real time — how Trump’s use of outside influence to interfere with an election works. We see the quid pro quo’s. We see the staggering corruption.

Fact: Russian money flowed (through the NRA and through citizen Russian emigres doing the Kremlin’s bidding via contributions to Republicans by way of their Kremlin-cash-flowed retirement accounts to virtually every single Republican. I’m kinda suspicious where traitors are concerned. I’m more inclined to demand every Republican prove they WEREN’T financed by Russia than I am to assume they’re innocent or oblivious.

Russians do love their useful idiots.

Storytelling For Dummies (And America’s Main Stream News Media), Part 24: How Villains Work

Villains (and by villains I mean good villains) have to play by certain rules — or they can’t be good villains.

For starters — villains must have a good reason to be villainous. There are plenty of mediocre villains — Bond level villains included — who seem to have no other purpose in life than to achieve world dominance — or, to their dying breath, go after the person preventing them. I’ve never met anyone like that — and I’ve worked in Hollywood.

Voldemort is an excellent villain, for example, because — in addition to wanting ultimate power — he’s a neurotic mess. Being the ultimate power will settle a personal score — and that’s really why he’s doing it. Villains have to be believable characters — believably bad but also believably human.

Think of Kathy Bates’ Annie Wilkes (in Misery). She’s a terrifying villain mostly because she’s soooooooo human.

Good storytelling demands good villains and good villains demand real human traits.

Donald Trump is a villain. For real.

As we’re learning, he’s been a very real villain for a lot longer than either we realized or wanted to admit that we realized. Trump’s a pervert and a rapist. People know these things. There’s always talk. There were always people along Trump’s blighted way who realized who and what Trump was. They let it slide.

Trump became POTUS by cooperating with Russia. Every Trump move since he took the oath of office has weakened America and strengthened Russia. People have died because of this. Died terrible deaths they did not deserve. Trump isn’t the only villain in this story — not by a long shot. Everyone who kept quiet, who knew or even just suspected what Trump was up to owed it to the rest of us to share.

What makes Trump’s villainy so extra awful is that it’s always been so patently obvious. It’s been so obvious, in fact, that it went right by us.

A big reveal is coming. A monster-sized reveal. That it will surprise anyone is tragic: Donald Trump is a traitor.

That it will surprise Americans will be, in large part because our press has been so slow to show up at the treason party. Think about how long it took them to show up for the Russia party. It wasn’t that long ago that some conservative talking heads STILL downplayed Russian influence because Trump did.

Our Main Stream News Media has the remarkable ability to report news — on its very own air — then act as if they’d never reported any such thing. How often do they turn from a story about all the ways Trump acts like a traitor to a story about Trump’s 2020 campaign as if Trump suddenly stopped being a traitor?

That’s the distinct feeling one gets: in the common wisdom, Trump’s only a traitor if they report that story directly. So long as they can weasel word their way around it — his reason is “obscure” — every treasonous Trump move gets chalked up to some other cause. Weasel words are music to a villain’s ears.

Trump has been a racist since birth. As far as I’m concerned, that makes Trump if not a verifiable racist himself, then someone who knows a mess of rapists and always seems compelled to spread racism’s “good news”.

Trump has also been a rapist from the moment he first realized he could score a little pleasure by forcing his teeny-tiny mushroom dick on any woman he wanted. That fact alone should make Trump a card-carrying rapist.

Trump’s also been a misogynist and a pederast and a crook and a traitor. Oh, FFS — and a VILLAIN. His whole life.

And yet — despite this fact, the MSM will have a catharsis shortly — they’ll pass a point beyond which they can’t dither anymore. Trump isn’t just a “different” kind of potus, he’s a goddamned criminal. THAT’S what makes him “different”.

And then the MSM will go apeshit — broadcasting this incredible reveal 24/7 at maximum volume. Donald Trump isn’t just a traitor, he’s a villain!

But, and this is what the MSM won’t get — it won’t mean that Trump “just became” a traitor and a villain, it will mean he’s been one all along.

And that will mean the MSM has gotten that traitor & villain’s story wrong all along. It’s goddamned villainous, I tell ya…

Let’s Be Clear – What we call “Syria”, Putin Calls “Russia-South” – And We Just Handed Russia-South A Big Win

Vladimir Putin has never been shy about his goals.  Aside from remaining the richest man on earth (because he’s also the most corrupt), Putin wants to restore the “Greater Russia” that the Soviet Union had, but lost.  And he wants to restore Russia to “Greater Russia” at our expense.

After all, it was America that broke the Soviet Union – not so much through the Cold War as through the Cold War’s long term effect on Russia’s economy.  The Soviet Union ended with a sad whimper, nothing like a “bang”.  Putin’s never forgotten nor forgiven.

As disastrous as Afghanistan was for Russia (we know that feeling now too), Syria has been different.  For starters, he has a very willing local client in Bashar al-Assad.  Surrounded by enemies, his economy a complete shambles, Assad is in no position to negotiate with anyone.  Putin’s patronage – he’s always had Assad’s back – comes at a very steep price.

Putin has built air bases in Syria.  One of them, in fact, houses Assad’s chemical weapons supply.  That’s the airbase WE bombed right after Syria gassed the Syrians in Douma.  The airbase where Russia said to us “Okay – you can bomb this base (so it looks like you’re doing something) – but you can only bomb THIS part of the air base where we let the Syrians hang out; you bomb any of the rest of the air base – where we are – and our planes and equipment? You’re gonna have a problem…”.

Putin also has a naval base in Syria – in Tartus (Russia’s only naval base outside the Russian Federation – think about how important that makes Tartus to Putin).  That fact alone speaks volumes.  Putin has no intention to ever give back or vacate that naval base.  Why the hell would he?  It’s just as likely that Kim tosses his growing nuclear stockpile.

Russia’s problem with Syria was that they didn’t control all of it.  There were groups – like the Kurds – standing in their way. 

Putin – knowing the America won’t stand in his way (because he owns Trump outright), made a cynical deal with Turkey.  Erdogan got what he wanted (part of Syria that he could fill with anyone NOT Kurd – a group he hates because they’re 1) sepratists and 2) multi-religious as opposed to just Muslim.  ISIS even gets what IT wanted – the means to reconstitute, rebuild and recommit themselves to terrorizing Europe & America. 

Everything Russia could possibly want, they got.  And the world, yet again, looks at America with disgust – this time for betraying an ally.

It’s perverse that our Main Stream News Media to this day asks “Why does Trump like Putin so much?” as if the answer to that question was truly hard to ponder.

Say it with me – please: Trump treats Putin like Putin owns him because Putin owns him.

Betcha Putin opened one of his best bottles of vodka last night.  I bet he savored every last bit of it – the same way he’s savoring what Trump is doing to America on his behalf.

The Problem With Coming Late To The Party

Think back to election night 2016.  I bet you can still recall that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when it hit you that the impossible – Trump “winning” the presidency – had just happened.  Some of us saw that sick feeling as more than just disgust at a bad election result.  It was our noses catching the scent of corruption. 

Trump “winning” wasn’t just a bad election result, it was bullshit.  Literal bullshit.  Even Trump knew it that night – it was well reported how surprised everyone was in the Trump campaign.  It wasn’t the “unlikeliness” of the result that shocked them, it was the fact that the crime they were all part of had just succeeded beyond any of their wildest imaginations. And in spite of their efforts.

Even during the campaign, Trump’s relationship with Russia was under the microscope.  Remember Trump telling Hillary that she was Putin’s puppet, not him?  Pretty funny, that moment, if you think about.  Not so much funny “ha-ha” as funny “boy, does that stink!”.  Turns out we were witnessing something profound.  Trump was projecting as Trump does.

He was confessing: he was Putin’s puppet.

Let’s be quite clear – between then and now, Trump being Putin’s puppet has not become “less true”, it’s become “more true” and by “more true”, I mean “more painfully obvious”.  What used to sound – and be called “hyperbolic” – Donald Trump is a traitor – is now openly stated on relatively reliable news channels like CNN & MSNBC.  If we get to play this all out – I believe we will – and proof of Trump’s treason finds the light (more than it already has – ample proof having already found plenty of light), it won’t mean Trump started being a traitor at the moment we collectively decided he was guilty of it.

It will only mean we’re finally calling Trump the thing he is: a traitor.  He’s been a traitor all along.  He’s been betraying us all along – even when we refused to think he was a “traitor”.  He was being one. 

We all know what happens when you arrive late to a party.  The food’s pretty much gone.  So’s the best wine and the best beer.  Being late gets you the dregs of everything. The news works exactly the same way.

The American News Media has been behind from day one with this story. Between normalcy bias and failure of imagination, they’ve consistently failed to see the enormity of Trumps crime in real time — even as he was committing those crimes in plain view, right in the Main Stream Media’s face. They’re just beginning to see it, get it and report it now.

That’s great that they’re catching up. Great that they see a real and viable threat here. But it doesn’t change the fact that it took the Main Stream Media this long to figure out how much they didn’t know.

We Got Donald Trump All Wrong; As Horrible As We Thought He’d Be? He’s Way, WAY Worse

A lot of us anticipated the bad horror movie the Trump presidency would be. It wasn’t exactly rocket science.

Trump was a fraud who was given the maximum benefit of the doubt by a press both in love with Trump’s fraudulent audacity and in fear of his retribution.  Their inability to cover this story – from Trump’s overt racism (FFS, they still want to debate whether or not he even IS a racist) to his overt treason (they still want to go along with Bill Barr’s lie that the only thing in the Mueller Report are empty pages) should be a warning to us.  We see, hear and feel our country literally shrinking.

Trump has never run anything bigger or more complex than a Mom ‘n Pop Money Laundering Shop for the Russian mob.  There’s a reason Trump keeps everything crime family close. 

Fusion GPS noticed this fact while doing their due diligence after The Washington Free Beacon hired them to do oppo research on Trump (the Free Beacon’s owner liked Jeb Bush).  Fusion’s Glenn Simpson testified before Congress that what they uncovered about Trump – getting ahold of books, magazines, newspapers videos from everyplace thy could including the public library – motivated them to hire Christopher Steele, former head of the MI6’s Russia desk.

I remember not so long ago when our constant harping about Russia got annoyed looks even from friends.  It’s hard to get one’s mind around the enormity of this crime. 

I bet the folks living at Pearl Harbor felt kinda the same way as bombs exploded all around them.  How do you get your mind around being the unfortunate place where the spear tip punctures the body?  They went to sleep at peace, woke up at war.

Even now – with a shitload of solid evidence staring at us, we STILL refuse to call Trump the traitor he is.  Our news media will give him the benefit of the doubt till there’s no more left to give.  Then they’ll wonder which Democrat is the most “electable” against him.  FFS – a bucket of vomit with a D sharpie’d onto its side could beat Donald Trump.  The problem is, it’s Russia they’re running against.  Take Russia out of the 2016 equation and Trump never makes it past the primaries.

But Russia did make Trump the winner in 2016.  They made a lot of Republicans winners, too.  Those Republicans took a sledgehammer to the Rule Of Law.  That was my blind spot – the degree to which the whole GOP was well and truly complicit.  The Republican Party saw demographic extinction ahead of them.  They’ve had to steal the last two republican presidencies (W’s and Trump’s).  Without gerrymandering, the Republicans would lose the Congress, too.  The only co-equal branch available to them?  The judiciary.  Provided they stole it.

Which (Merrick Garland anyone?) Moscow Mitch McConnell absolutely did.  All those highly rated Obama judges held up and denied hearings, all those Trump Judges shoved down America’s throat. 

The result has been chaotic – of course.  But even chaos has advantages over what we’re being forced to endure.  I never saw children in cages coming. I never saw such blatant lying to Congress coming.  I never saw the love of depravity coming. 

I never saw the attrition coming – the way Trump’s constant lying (now compounded because EVERY Republican now lies) would wear us all down – and undermine our collective will.  Living in Trumpian times is exhausting. 

I never saw that  coming either.