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.

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

Turn or Burn, When Hate Becomes Normal

‘Turn or burn’ is a reference to the 16th Century practice of the burning heretics and homosexuals alive.

First posted Jun 17, 2016

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

A homophobic Meme showing Donald Trump saying, Get in Faggot, We're Making America Great Again
Homophobic Meme found on Twitter

Dan White grew up a world of normalized homophobia.

Queers were criminals in the eyes of the law, abominations to the Judeo-Christian God, and described as clinically deviant by psychiatry.

White’s political leaders and ministers told him his honor as a man was under attack; they said perverts like Harvey Milk were a threat to everything decent God-fearing men like Dan White revered.

Dan White was a straight man.

Dan White was a Viet Nam Vet.

Dan White was a devout Catholic.

Religious and political leaders on the right raged that fags like Harvey Milk and liberals like George Moscone deserved death.

Political leaders who use hate speech to ‘fire up’ their base know that some of those people will act on what they hear.

They want violence and plausible deniability.

Screenshot from NBC News

Dan White had reason to think he’d be seen as a hero when he gunned down Harvey Milk and George Moscone in 1978.

Herb Cain, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote after the trial about the police department’s support for White, and their “dislike of homosexuals.”

As a former police officer, White knew he could use some form of the ‘Gay Panic’ defense and get a reduced sentence.

 Historically, in US courts, use of the gay panic defense has not typically resulted in the acquittal of the defendant; instead, the defendant was usually found guilty, but on lesser charges, or judges and juries may have cited homosexual solicitation as a mitigating factor, resulting in reduced culpability and sentences. Wikipedia

That’s what happened.

White’s defense attorney’s argued diminished mental capacity.

On May 21, 1979, a jury found Dan White guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to five years in prison; he earned paroled in 1984.

“A middle-class jury, not a bunch of kooks by any stretch, had decided one can kill, twice, complete with coup de grace, and get away with it.” Herb Caen, People Magazine, 1985

Dan White killed himself in 1985.

“Nobody knows what’s going on inside of me,” Dan White once said, but he was wrong.

Right-wing ideologues know what’s going on inside of depressed and angry white men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

A meme that depicts a permit to hunt democrata and liberals
Liberal Hunting Permit found on a right-wing website in 2016

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2016-2020 all rights reserved

Memes found on the internet used for educational purposes
Header Image, (c) Rob Goldstein 2020

 

 

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#WordlessWednesday: Bugz

Thank you to everyone who stops by my blog and leaves a comment. If you haven’t seen the Mueller Hearing and want to see it here is the video on YouTube.