ON THIS DAY: September 21, 2018

September 21st is

Pecan Cookie Day

Hobbit Day *

U.N. International Day of Peace *

World Alzheimer’s Day

World Gratitude Day *

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Word Cloud: SUBVERSIVE (revisited)

NOTE: This was originally posted on September 9, 2015. It has been re-formatted, but the message seems all too timely now, without needing updating.

by NONA BLYTH CLOUD

Whenever a small group hungers for power over a larger group, the weapons they use are the same:  Terror and Guile.

The larger the target area in geography, the greater the population, the more Guile must be the weapon of choice.  Rhetoric and Dogma are smoke-screens of Guile – rarely, the lust for power will drive a Power Seeker mad – but overwhelmingly, Power Seekers have no belief in the politics or religion they espouse, and will revise or jettison a set of beliefs that fails to get them what they want.

Items high on any successful Power Seeker’s check list: Control of the Media, and of Education. Freedom of the Press is not merely an ideal of democracy, it is a primary requirement. Enslaved peoples are always denied education – they are trained, not taught – a most important distinction.

But once a person can read, they have in their hands a great weapon in the struggle to become or remain Free.

All of the Arts are acts of rebellion. They kindle self-awareness and curiosity.  Power-Seekers rightly distrust the Arts. They stop Arts programs in schools, cut government subsidies to the Arts, they forbid music and dancing, they destroy or subvert cultural treasures, but they spend fortunes to own Art, or they steal it outright. If they own it, they believe they control it.

The Guile of the Power Seekers can be undermined by Ridicule. It is hard to control people who see through your propaganda. The Emperor Has No Clothes. Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain. A ridiculous enemy is much less frightening, which diminishes their power.

Whether you are out to control the lives of millions of others, or you are one of the millions fighting to keep control over your own life, you must gain the hearts and minds of the young to prevail. Part of the narrative of the Power Seekers is derision of any words not of their making, so they are dismissive of the importance of children’s literature, while at the same time railing against the “corruption of our children” by any book which would lead those children to thinking and asking questions.

books old books in a pileMother Goose; Grimm’s Fairy Tales; The Ugly Duckling; The Wind in the Willows; The Wizard of Oz; Nancy Drew; Brown Girl Dreaming; To Kill a Mockingbird; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; The Story of Chopsticks; Nadia’s Hands; Harry Potter; The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child; The Book Thief; The Hunger Games

Goodnight Moon and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star make children look up at the sky and wonder.

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Shel Silverstein’s “charming little verses” give Power Seekers an uneasy feeling:

from Where the Sidewalk Ends:

INVITATION

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

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Apparently “no public evidence has emerged showing that Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia” -yet(i pubes)

By ann summers

iu[1]

ON AN OCTOBER AFTERNOON BEFORE THE 2016 ELECTION, a huge banner was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge in New York City: Vladimir V. Putin against a Russian-flag background, and the unlikely word “Peacemaker” below. It was a daredevil happy birthday to the Russian president, who was turning 64.


Today’s long-form NY Times story by Shane and Mazzetti is worth reading if only to remind oneself about the relentless work of rigged Russian witches, and that there’s a viable timeline for #TrumpRussia. One can only hope that the paper of record is also following the money, not parroting Glenn Greenwald’s theories.

The NY Times tries to frame as seemingly random what seems structurally obvious: the Russian kleptocracy found their perfect 2016 dupe in Trump, ignoring what the Dallas News among others found as obvious and pernicious Russian influence, especially in terms of money. It’s like Shane and Mazzetti never read The New Republic.

It is a strange article despite its useful infographics, telling the Russian story as if no one was getting paid — Russian money to GOP PACs, or that someone was always getting paid or as we know with Michael Cohen’s Prague trip, wanting to get paid. Fortunately Stormy Daniels reminds us of the stakes of knowing that images from Mario Kart are worth at least $130k to someone. Somebody bought that banner. Someone pays for the shout-fest. We just don’t know it yet, or we just don’t know “yeti pubes”.

For many Americans, the Trump-Russia story as it has been voluminously reported over the past two years is a confusing tangle of unfamiliar names and cyberjargon, further obscured by the shout-fest of partisan politics. What Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in charge of the investigation, may know or may yet discover is still uncertain. President Trump’s Twitter outbursts that it is all a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, have taken a toll on public comprehension.

But to travel back to 2016 and trace the major plotlines of the Russian attack is to underscore what we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign.

To many Americans, the intervention seemed to be a surprise attack, a stealth cyberage Pearl Harbor, carried out by an inexplicably sinister Russia. For Mr. Putin, however, it was long-overdue payback, a justified response to years of “provocations” from the United States.

For some years, Mr. Trump had attracted attention from Russian conservatives with Kremlin ties. A Putin ally named Konstantin Rykov had begun promoting Mr. Trump as a future president in 2012 and created a Russian-language website three years later to support his candidacy. A Russian think tank, Katehon, had begun running analyses pushing Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump as a candidate was “tough, rough, says what he thinks, rude, emotional and, apparently, candid,” wrote Alexander Dugin, an ultranationalist philosopher considered a major influence on Mr. Putin, in February 2016. Mr. Dugin declared that Mr. Trump probably had “no chance of winning” against the “quite annoying” Mrs. Clinton, but added a postscript: “We want to put trust in Donald Trump. Vote for Trump, and see what will happen.”

Against all expectations, Republicans across the country began to do just that, and soon Mr. Trump was beating the crowd of mainstream Republicans. Mr. Putin, said Yuval Weber, a Russia scholar, “found for the first time since the collapse of the U.S.S.R. that he has a prospective president of the United States who fundamentally views international issues from the Russian point of view.”

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Whether Mr. Trump or any of his associates conspired with the Russians is a central question of the investigation by Mr. Mueller, who has already charged 26 Russians and won convictions or guilty pleas from the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn; the former campaign chairman, Paul J. Manafort, and his deputy, Rick Gates; and from Mr. Papadopoulos. Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, has pleaded guilty in a separate case.

But none of the convictions to date involve conspiracy. There remains an alternative explanation to the collusion theory: that the Trump aides, far from certain their candidate would win, were happy to meet the Russians because they thought it might lead to moneymaking deals after the election. “Black Caviar,” read the subject line of an email Mr. Manafort got in July 2016 from his associate in Kiev, Ukraine, hinting at the possibility of new largess from a Russian oligarch with whom they had done business.

[…]

Mr. Trump’s frustration with the Russian investigation is not surprising. He is right that no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money. But the inquiry has buffeted his presidency, provoked concern that his attempts to thwart the investigation amount to obstruction of justice and fed his suspicion that the F.B.I. and intelligence agencies — what he calls “the deep state” — are conspiring against him.

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ON THIS DAY: September 20, 2018

September 20th is

Pepperoni Pizza Day

Rehabilitation Awareness Day

Rum Punch Day

String Cheese Day

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ON THIS DAY: September 19, 2018

September 19th is

Butterscotch Pudding Day

National Gymnastics Day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day *

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ON THIS DAY: September 18, 2018

September 18th is

U.S. Air Force Birthday *

Chiropractic Founder’s Day *

National Cheeseburger Day *

National Respect Day

World Water Monitoring Day *

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day *

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ON THIS DAY: September 17, 2018

September 17th is

Citizenship Day

U.S. Constitution Day *

Monte Cristo Sandwich Day *

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