Trump’s Torture Monkeys

‘Torture Monkeys’ prey on pain.

The U.N. defines torture as follows:

“Torture is any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

Trump and his enablers torture us with corruption, disease and economic calamity.

Becoming numb to it is normal, but it prevents us from acting to defend ourselves.

The narcissist wants us to normalize abuse and suffering, to accept it as a
‘new normal’ but that only leads to more suffering and pain.

In cases of domestic violence, the first step in ending the torture of abuse is saying no.

The news clips below date to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic starting with the news of today.

100 days in isolation because your President chose to let his people die is torture.

Watching a parent or a child die because our President is morally deranged is torture.

Watching your President ridicule the government’s best people because they are not corrupt is torture.

Yesterday,  Trump and his Republican Torture Monkeys succeeded in their weeks-long crusade to spread Covid-19 to kill more people and drive us into more calamity and isolation.

Friday saw the highest single-day total for coronavirus cases in the U.S., with more than 43,000 new infections. Those numbers are worse than the pandemic’s previous daily peaks. And that’s leading to fears that hospitals in Texas and Florida could soon resemble New York’s during the worst days of its outbreak.

The New York Times reports that U.S. intelligence told Donald Trump in March that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban fighters to kill coalition troops, including U.S. troops. Trump has done nothing about it and instead advocated for Russia’s return to the G8

 

This is what American carnage looks like.

President Trump’s reluctance to endorse wearing masks to prevent Covid spread has inspired a nation of maskless culture warriors who are putting everyone’s health at risk, including the President’s own Secret Service detail.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says the system of checks and balances in the US government is only effective if other leaders speak out and act when they see blatant abuses of power.

Chaos is Trump’s plan and chaos will worsen between now and the election. Expect Trump to cower in the chaos, delight in the discord and prey on your pain.

There is no real plan coming from the White House. Instead every night, carried on this network and others, there’s a two-hour pathological, narcissistic propaganda show in which the president feels some fleeting sense of satisfaction because people are watching.

“America is acting like a failed state”

“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it. Then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you could do, either through the skin or some other way and I think you said you were going to test that, too. Sounds interesting. Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning because you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it will be interesting to check that. That you’re gonna have to use medical doctors. But it sounds interesting to me.”

Former Health and Human Services secretary and Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius discusses the White House’s “very troubling” suppression of the Center for Disease Control’s 68-page reopening guide.»

Donald Trump has lashed out at Democrats who have questioned his handling of the coronavirus threat, calling it their new “hoax”.

Donald Trump is the President of the United States.

His decision to politicize wearing a mask to prevent the spread of disease, and his sabotage of successful measures adopted by states like California and New York, wasted months of isolation and the expense of living in isolation and caused the deaths of over 128,089 Americans.

128,108 Americans dead from neglect.

Now we find out that Trump knew months ago that Russia is offering bounties to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops, and he did nothing to protect them.

The Trump Administration is torture.

 

Updated July 1, 2020, to add these two videos:

Charlie Savage joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss his new reporting in the New York Times that American officials intercepted data showing large financial transfers between Russian intelligence and Taliban-linked accounts.

It now appears that Trump received written intelligence about this in early 2019 – but did not act on it. The White House claims that Trump knew nothing about it until stories about the alleged Russian plot made the news.

Header image,  ‘Torture Monkeys’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2014-2020

This was originally posted in 2015 as an image only post, ‘Torture Monkeys’. I
was going to delete it but wrote this instead.

I Believe

Thank you to Karen Kleis for sharing this with me.

I Believe….

I believe that Donald Trump, his Cabinet and administration, and his Republican enablers in Congress are a real and active threat to the people I love and to me.

Trump says he won the election and wants us to “work together” to “Make America Great Again”.

This is my response:

•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years.

•I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.

•I will not “work together” to build a wall.

•I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.

•I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from other countries.

•I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.

•I will not “work together” to help Trump use the Presidency to enrich himself.

•I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protection.

•I will not “work together” to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.

•I will not “work together” to enable the extinction of other species.

•I will not “work together” to remove the civil rights of other citizens.

•I will not “work together” to subvert our allies and the NATO Alliance.

•I will not “work together” to slash funds for public education.

•I will not “work together” to take essential public service from people
who are poor.

•I will not “work together” to remove sensible gun control.

•I will not “work together” to drop the minimum wage.

•I will not “work together” to destroy the Unions.

•I will not “work together” to suppress and deny scientific fact.

•I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.

•I will not “work together” to increase the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

•I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.

•I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.

•I will not “work together” to normalize the vile and uninformed
views of the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party, and white supremacists.

•I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.

•I will not “work together” to weaken food and drug safety.

•I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.

•I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.

• I will not “work together” to cut ethical oversight at any level of government.

•I will not “work together”  impose a pipeline for the transport oil on
Sacred Ground for Native Americans.

•I will not “work together” together to promote the lie that American
Democracy is as corrupt as a Russian Oligarchy.

This is our line and we draw it because words like “winning,” “being great again,” “rich” or even “beautiful” are meaningless when we scapegoat our fellow citizens and degrade our most cherished Democratic values and Institutions.

Signed,

The Majority

Author unknown.

 

Photograph of “Torn Constitution” (c) Rob Goldstein 2017-2020
First published May 16. 2017

 

 

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This relationship is killing us

When we elect a President, we expect him to treat his power with humility and respect.

We expect him to be an American President.

What we have is a selfish gaslighting narcissist whose only obsession is staying in power.

Perhaps Trump saw the demographic of who was dying and decided to use Covid19 to purge voter rolls.

April 7, 2020, According to new data about the scope of the Coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., COVID-19 is hitting Americans of color especially hard. The CDC has not published racial breakdowns of deaths, but some states are — and they show that patients dying of the disease are disproportionately Blacks and Latinos.

We know Trump got a heads up about a spreading pandemic in November 2019.

 

April 8, 2020, ABC reports the National Center for Medical Intelligence warned the military and White House about the spread of the virus in China in November 2019.

 

 

The dire warning about an out-of-control disease sweeping through China was detailed in November in a report by the National Center for Medical Intelligence.

 

The oddest sight of the Trump Pandemic was that of an American President inciting an armed rebellion against doctors and nurses and Governors who were doing their jobs.

April 17, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump tells protestors to ‘liberate’ three Democratic-run states with stay-at-home orders.

The Death toll from Trump’s neglect was 34,614 on the day of this tweet:

Liberate Minnesota
Liberate Minnesota

The President had not only declined to use his power and resources to stop the spread of a lethal virus; he sabotaged the efforts of State and Local governments by politicizing a matter of science.

So here we are, Monday, June 22, 2020, day 90 or more of quarantine.

June 22, 2020, day 90 or more of quarantine.
On June 22, 2020, day 90 or more of quarantine.

Our President just told us he’s killing us on purpose.


“In a shocking admission during his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally on Saturday night, President Donald Trump said he had told officials in his administration to slow down coronavirus testing because of the rising number of cases in America.” CNN

It’s not a joke.

The President of the United States intentionally slowed down testing to reduce the numbers to create a false argument to reopen the economy.

We still don’t know who or where the sick are or how many people have died.

The idea that the strong protect the weak is the defining moral premise of who we are as Americans.

If you have a gift, a power, and you can use it to save just one life, you have a moral obligation to use it.

It is a code of honor at the core of our identity as a people.

Photograph of a sign at the 2019 Women's March in San Francisco
The American Mission Statement

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Emma Lazarus.

Or

“When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.” Peter Parker

What does it mean to have an American President who has no sense of common decency?

If I were married to the guy, I’d leave and get a restraining order, but it’s worse: the guy is the President. So I’m more like a hostage of a sadistically abusive Father I didn’t choose and can’t leave. There is nowhere to go to; he’s here, every day, with his racist lies and his threats to incite violence, every day, day, after day, after day.

May 31, 2020

June 22, 2020

Update: from The Lincoln Project

 

Photo of “The American Mission Statement” (c) Rob Goldstein 2020
Photo of ‘You’re on my toe” by Eclaire Banderstatch (c) Rob Goldstein 2020

 

 

Down the Rabbit Hole of British Politics

I asked fellow blogger, Mary Smith, to write about her experience of the chaos in the UK. The United States is not alone in its struggle to come to terms with an election outcome that may be the result of Russian Interference.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/mar/15/uk-ministers-will-no-longer-claim-no-successful-examples-of-russian-interference

Sometimes, when I look at the UK’s current political picture, I feel as though I’ve fallen down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole and ended up in a land where everything is topsy turvy and incomprehensible. Bizarrely, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’s proud of how the coronavirus pandemic has been handled – this in relation to the 40,000 deaths so far, the highest death rate in Europe. In fact, at the moment of writing this, the UK has the third-highest death rate in the world. When he boasts about being a world leader in defeating Covid-19, is this really what he means? This, from the Prime Minister who went about boasting he’d shaken hands with Covid-19 patients. Until he got it himself and ended up in the hospital. Then you get the people who break the very rules they brought into force in the first place. If members of the public break those same rules they face paying a hefty fine.

Down the rabbit hole, we’ve also come to realize the most powerful person in the UK is not actually the Prime Minister. In fact, we see and hear from him so infrequently there is even a hashtag for him: #wheresboris. No, the man with the power, the man who pulls the Prime Minister’s strings is political strategist, Dominic Cummings. Boris appointed him as his chief adviser in July 2019, an appointment which horrified many in Westminster on all sides of the political divide. Former Prime Minister David Cameron described him as a ‘career psychopath.’

In the lead up to the 2016 referendum on whether or not the UK should leave the EU, Cummings was the campaign director for Vote Leave. The Electoral Commission found that Vote Leave overspent £675,000 by channeling the funds through a group called BeLeave. Cummings refused to answer a Commons select committee’s questions about it and was held in contempt of Parliament. Cummings boasts about winning the EU referendum by blitzing Facebook users with 1.5 billion adverts, working with Cambridge Analytica’s sister company, Canadian AIQ using psychological profiling and targeting techniques. The most well-known of the ads was the one stating the £350 million the UK gives to the EU each week would be given to the NHS, others pandered to those concerned about immigration by stating, wrongly, that Turkey would soon join the EU and thousands of Turkish migrants would head to Britain. And his ‘Take Back Control’ slogan went down a storm in some quarters. And one ad maintained the EU would stop people in Britain trying to save Polar Bears.

Then, he campaigned to ensure Boris Johnson won the election in December 2019, with a large majority. Covid-19 was on the horizon but we didn’t yet know it.

By early March, when the WHO was imploring countries to ‘test, test, test’, the UK abandoned its testing and tracing programme, deciding to trust to herd immunity. Large sports events went ahead – something experts say could have caused many avoidable deaths. Health staff were screaming for protective equipment – there were not enough masks or gloves – and every day they – and we – were assured it would be arriving soon. It never was. Testing was resumed, but too slowly. The UK Statistics Authority has criticised the Government for continuing to mislead the public on the number of tests being carried out.

When lockdown measures were announced in the UK to prevent the spread of Covid-19, millions of us gave up our civil liberties. We agreed to stay in our homes, only coming out to do essential shopping and for our allowed daily exercise. We agreed not to meet friends and families, not to gather in the streets to protest about climate change, not to drive to beauty spots and picnic places, to give up all cultural and leisure pursuits from concerts and theatre to coffee and cake in cafes or even prayers in church. Cafes, restaurants, hotels, pubs all closed. We did this willingly because we believed it was the most effective way to halt Covid-19. Indeed many of us wondered why Prime Minister Boris Johnson hadn’t brought in lockdown restrictions much sooner – instead of doing nothing while we all saw the numbers of deaths rise each day.

We did it even when Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer was caught visiting her second home – twice. She apologised and resigned. We did it when Neil Ferguson, who had advised the Prime Minister on putting the country into lockdown, was caught when his married lover visited him. He apologised and resigned.

Then, it was discovered Dominic Cummings had driven 260 miles from his London home to his parents’ estate with his wife and child. Not only that, towards the end of their stay, the family went on an outing, a sixty-mile round trip, which Cummings said he made to test whether his eyesight was okay for the drive back to London. He was allowed to hold a media briefing in the rose garden – something unprecedented for an adviser to do – during which he attempted to justify his actions.

People who had stuck to the lockdown rules, who had not seen family for weeks, who were struggling financially and emotionally, who had not been able to sit at the bedside as loved ones lay dying, were understandably furious. As were many politicians in the Conservative Party. One government minister resigned, a doctor resigned, Dominic Cummings did not resign. He said he had no intention of doing so.

Boris Johnson supported Cummings, and despite seeing his popularity slump sharply, he has refused to ask him to resign. What hold does Dominic Cummings have over the Prime Minister?  This article may provide some of the answers, including Steve Bannon, an illicitly obtained data base, and a suppressed Russian report:

Instead, he told us to continue to stay alert, rushed to lift many of the lockdown restrictions – letting people go out to play to take their minds off the scandalous behavior of his adviser – and told those of us who can, we must go back to work. Soon, he’ll be opening pubs and restaurants. Soon, the second wave of Covid-19 will be with us.

But guess what, it won’t be the Government’s fault because now thousands have taken to the street to protest the murder of George Floyd and support BlackLivesMatter. When the number of Covid-19 cases starts to increase – it is we who will be blamed for it. One final thought: If Dominic Cummings is pulling Boris Johnson’s strings – who is pulling his?

A couple of interesting links: Journalist for the Guardian, Carole Cadwalladr did a huge amount of research into Cambridge Analytica and AIQ.

The Byline Times
Journalist and Poet, Mary Smith

Mary Smith is a Scottish blogger, poet, and journalist who works as a reporter/feature writer for Dumfries and Galloway Life.

(c) Mary Smith, 2020