More susceptible to falsehood than to truth

Anything can be corrupted, polluted or discredited

truthI receive Quotable Notes daily. One from March: “Man’s mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.” –Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536), a Dutch humanist who was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance. I don’t know that “the first editor of the New Testament” is correct. But it WOULD appear so.

For the past couple years, in order not to write about him ALL THE TIME, I’ve posted on this date some links about a person who has described himself, more than once as a “an extremely stable genius”.

This has turned out to be an extremely difficult task. It’s not that there’s a dearth of examples of unsettling behavior but rather a plethora of them.

He feels compelled to comment about his claimed expertise in all subjects in some way, even when it comes to offering advice about something for which he is completely unqualified. He offered unsolicited advice on the best way to fight the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. It was met by derision and laughter because the weight of dropped water on a rooftop fire would have collapsed the structure and made things much worse.

He prevaricates brazenly, having lied or misled the American people more than 10,000 times.

He berates senior officials constantly. It’s remarkable how many times his aides ignored his dodgy or possibly illegal requests. He is tired of hearing “You Can’t Do That.” We should all be afraid.

Back in March, his 32 tweets were noteworthy, from a Saturday Night Live rerun he groused about to several attacks on the late John McCain.

He “railed against Shep Smith and other Fox hosts he doesn’t like; called on the network to defend Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro, two hosts he does like.” He’s since dissed Chris Wallace, and the network in general for allowing Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg on the platform.

Nation of Change noted: “No one has yet assessed the full disaster from stripping the office of dignity and competence, plus shredding prestige overseas. When ‘anything goes,’ even changes weekly, then anything can be corrupted, polluted or discredited.”

Frank S. Robinson says he has plan-free fact-free anal sphincter foreign policy. He CLEARLY has no idea how tariffs work.

Robert Reich wrote that, as a result of the tax cuts, “business is booming for connoisseurs of private planes. That’s because the tax law allows businesses to deduct the full cost of buying a plane in the first year of purchase… Some wealthy individuals have even created shell businesses to utilize the deductions.” His golf habit has cost American taxpayers $100 million.

Most Americans believe he has made race relations worse. He again targets transgender people – this time in new proposal to rescind Obama-era healthcare protections.

I could go on, and on, but it’s exhausting. He says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents; he feels no responsibility to protect the integrity of our democracy.

Should he be impeached? Probably, and for all these reasons. Even Justin Amash, a Republican, finds his actions “inherently corrupt.”

That said, as awful as I find him, he can win re-election in 2020. And THAT depresses the hell out of me.


A fugue

November rambling #2: The Road to Unfreedom

‘Make the Gospel great again’

Dunn lumber signNATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT (it ain’t good)

Lies, damn lies and post-truth

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Authoritarianism and the Weekly Sift – From Russia to Ukraine to Brexit to Trump: The Road to Unfreedom

Kenyans Say Chinese Investment Brings Racism and Discrimination

How the Generals Are Routing the Policy Wonks at the Pentagon

With Statement Equal Parts ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Imbecilic,’ He Smears Khashoggi and Vows to Back Murderous Saudis

Billboard featuring DJT, ‘Make the Gospel great again,’ Bible verse is taken down in Missouri

The Difference Between ‘Patriotism’ and ‘Nationalism’

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Won’t Invite a Comedian Next Year

The Nancy Pelosi Problem – the most effec­tive congressional leader of modern times—and, not coinciden­tally, the most vilified

Hazing, humiliation, terror: Women who work in federal prisons are harassed by both inmates and guards; those who complain are ‘blackballed’

Ken Screven: Breaking Stereotypes | Out in Albany

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Already Breaking the Rules

West Virginia Democrat announces 2020 presidential bid

Walter Ayres: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a pastoral letter against racism – Open Wide Your Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love

Stephen Colbert On How He Returned To Catholicism After Being An Atheist

Coffin Clubs New Zealand

For Young Adults, Cohabitation Is Up, Marriage Is Down

Forgotten your keys again? It’s not as bad as you think; it could be good for your brain

Color Meaning, Symbolism, And Psychology: What Do Different Colors Mean

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Is Incomplete — There’s a Final, Forgotten Stage

The intraocular option

HAIRMERGENCY!

Noun. alexiteric (plural alexiterics) (medicine) A preservative against infectious diseases. A preservative against the effects of poison. (HT, Dan)

Bill Gates is obsessed with redesigning the world’s toilets

Dustbury turns 65 and thinks he’s Sinatra

SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg has died at age 57 of ALS

Tributes to the late magician Ricky Jay

RIP William Goldman the Oscar-winning screenwriter who penned classics such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and The Princess Bride

Greg Burgas: Some more olde-tymey movies I’ve had the chance to watch or re-watch recently

Kelly Sedinger: Prologue to his forthcoming supernatural thriller, The Chilling Killing Wind

CGC 9.2 Overstreet #1 Hits $9K at Heritage

Cookie Monster Week: The proper way to eat a cookie and Gets therapy and How to make an apple pie

Subway Break Dancers, Clad in Armor, Go Medieval at the Met Museum

Internet Wading: Numbers, words, food, and art

Oven Rack Placement for the Best Baking Results

Now I Know: Why Do Leaves Fall from Trees? and Why Did the Chickens Cross Under the Highway? and How to Become Half a Prince and 1-916-CALL-TURK

Arthur does a meme I tagged him on

MUSIC

Coverville 1239: The Joni Mitchell Cover Story III

Roy Clark: I Never Picked Cotton and 12th Street Rag and Yesterday When I Was Young and Malagueña from The Odd Couple

Roman Carnival overture – Berlioz

YOU MAKE MY DREAMS Aubrey Logan feat. LaVance Colley – Hall & Oates

How Eric Idle wrote Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

U is for Untrue “news”

The Daily Currant and its ilk have fooled even US mainstream media organizations.

True-or-FalseIn September 2015, I was seeing this story on Facebook, disseminated by people I knew personally, that indicated that President Obama was going to receive his second Nobel Peace Prize. Instantly, I knew it was bogus – among other things, the award would be issued later in the year – but I wanted to know WHY it was spreading so quickly.

Both NationalReport.com and USAToday.com.co who published the story are notorious fake websites, that do not print legitimate news. USAToday.com.co is not affiliated with USAToday in any way, according to its disclaimer. USAToday.com.co is part of a growing number of .co websites that attempt to disguise themselves as reputable brands Continue reading “U is for Untrue “news””

Not Letting the Truth Get in the Way

You know that old cliche about you’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts? I guess that depends on whether it’s politically expedient.

I’m an old political science major. I appreciate differing points of view on the issues. I even solicit varying positions by reading a mix of publications. But what’s been going on in US politics is not that anymore. Reading this article, originally from the Guardian (UK), called The Right’s Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by a Too-Polite Left, I was particularly fascinated by this section:

Listen to what two former Republican ideologues, David Frum and Mike Lofgren, have been saying. Frum warns that “conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics”. The result is a “shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology” which has “ominous real-world consequences for American society”.

Lofgren complains that “the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today”. Continue reading “Not Letting the Truth Get in the Way”

Liar

I’ve been long fascinated with lying. One of the most significant books that I’ve ever read was Lying by Sissela Bok, who makes the point that there are moral consequences of lying, even for a good cause.

I almost started watching Lie To Me, that FOX show about this guy who can always discern a liar. Almost everyone believes they recognize a liar, but listening to some of the political discourse, I’m not convinced of that.

Surely, American jurisprudence is based heavily on the notion that the jury can tell who’s lying and who is not. And it’s scary; I find that, particularly in periods of stress, I engage in behaviors commonly associated with lying, such as repeating the questioners words, so that I am not misunderstood. This is especially true when asked a question is asked negatively: “Isn’t it true that…?”

The Three Dog Night song Liar:
Video
Lyrics