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Trump Doesn't Even Realize It's Over

Trump Doesn't Even Realize It's Over

By Dennis Loo (7/13/17)

Trump and his closest advisers are so dumb that they will have to be escorted out of the White House by guards because they won't get it that they've been ousted, even when it's official. "Wait," you can almost hear Trump say, "I was elected. Did you see the big crowds at my inauguration?"

The jig is already up, only they don't realize it yet. 

Let me use an analogy:

Monty Python's black knight encounters King Arthur of Camelot and won't let him by. The king is forced to fight the black knight, cutting off each of his arms, first the left, then the right, and then both legs in succession, but the black knight keeps on fighting despite this, calling them all flesh wounds, even though he has lost his limbs and is spurting blood all over the place. The black knight is Trump. 

 

If it's possible, Donald Jr. is even dumber than his dad. Except that I didn't think it's possible to be stupider than Donald Sr.

The anti-intellectual streak in American culture, where Donald Jr. gets a softball interview with Sean Hannity, and still admits that he may have met with other Russians (!) is like a serial murderer planting a big sign in his backyard saying "DON'T LOOK HERE FOR DEAD BODIES!" It's like Donald Sr. saying to Netanyahu when visiting the Israelis - before the cameras - that he didn't tell the Russians it was the Israelis that gave him the information about laptops on airplanes. Wait, he did that!

None of the rules such as ethics rules or the emoluments clause or the separation of powers rule or not picking fights with the mother of a slain soldier all assume that when you get caught red-handed that you have enough sense to own up to it, and not act as if facts don't matter. This Trump crowd is another thing altogether. Anti-intellectualism has met its nadir in Trump.

This is akin to Trump's statements during the campaign that beginning with his first day as POTUS, conflict between black and brown people and the cops WILL END (because the police will get their way totally) and he has a secret plan (which is still to be revealed) to get rid of ISIS. As if things are so simple, and resistance did not exist. Apparently, in Trumpville, resistance is a foreign concept, not the way of the world.

NBC is now reporting that there was another Russian, a person suspected of and probably involved in counter-intelligence, at this "fruitless" meeting with Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. 

So, according to POTUS, most people would consort with and buddy up with adversary nations against domestic opponents. Sure, Donald.

We await the next shocking revelation that will top what has already been revealed. We won't wait long. Pure shame won't drive these people from office. The GOP has already proved itself a "nothing burger." First, they were saying no evidence has been revealed and now that indisputable evidence is provided, they say it does not matter. The actions of the people must be brought to bear.

 

What We Know So Far

What We Know So Far

By Dennis Loo (7/12/17)

Despite all his best efforts to call it "fake news" and the Democrats' revenge for a lost election, the following items were confirmed by both sides in terms of occurring (not necessarily what they mean):

1) Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort agreed, and Donald Jr., at least, was eager to meet, with someone he thought was a Russian lawyer with ties to Putin with dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign. The fact that the Russian lawyer didn't after all have the promised dirt doesn't matter (if it's true) as a legal matter. You are breaking the law to solicit help from a foreign nation on your domestic opponent, regardless of whether your source provides an iota of evidence. 

2) Jared Kushner approached Russian Ambassador Kislyak with the idea of setting up  a secret channel of communications with the Russians and the Trump campaign. This was to be kept secret not from the Russians, who of course knew everything, but from western intelligence and the public. This was such a bizarre and naive idea that Kislyak didn't know what to make of it.

3) Paul Manafort was forced to resign as the second Trump campaign chair because of his ties to and huge payoffs from Ukraine.

Read more: What We Know So Far

Credulousness as a Problem

Credulousness as a Problem

By Dennis Loo (7/8/17)

I have written on several occasions in different ways about the problem of credulousness, both as a phenomenon that I see among undergraduates, and as a problem that we see broadly in society.

For instance:

People are a lot smarter than they’re allowed to be. If we want a better world we need to give them the chance to become sophisticated thinkers, not only our students but people of all ages. You cannot raise and train rigorous thinkers in a hot house. They have to be immersed in the rough and tumble of real contradictions and clashes between varying perspectives. Truth, as we say here, emerges through contention. I’m going to close with this excerpt from a major white paper that I initiated and wrote with a terrific team of California university faculty in 2011 entitled “Cooking the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs: California’s Public Higher Education System in Peril.” The American Association of University Professionals (AAUP)’s Journal of Academic Freedom published it in 2012.

Life does not come with an answer key. The correct and best answers to all questions are not always definitively known in life at any given point before the fact, and incomplete and indirect information is the norm rather than the exception. Primarily due to the influence of the privateers, the educational system is increasingly becoming one in which the main emphasis is memorization and giving back to the teacher what the teacher has dispensed as the answers in order to pass the tests. Students are not being properly and adequately taught how to analyze, weigh information, think holistically, decide between competing claims, and make wise choices based on frequently incomplete information. This grows all the more significant when there is a growing storm of false or misleading information emanating from people and organizations trying to seduce people into buying their wares, whether those wares are commodities or ideas. Should this trend persist it will mean that our society will become increasingly intellectually impoverished, because its citizenry has become vulnerable to being manipulated by hucksters, opportunists, and those who have more ready access to mass media by virtue of their owning media, possessing a lot of money, and/or having friends in high places.

The good news is that something can be done about this with students, since you have them for a while and they receive some training in my classes and some in their other classes on how to pick apart what you are exposed to. Even if you are told something untrue or mostly untrue, you have the means by which you can infer the truth, or at least, a part or even a lot of the truth. You can, in other words, be given malarkey and you can make marmalade with it. The saying that computer experts have of GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out - thus doesn't necessarily apply to humans. It is nevertheless true that part of people's training to do the preceding, however, does require exposing people to a whole lot that is true, so that they realize that a) lots of what they thought before was true, isn't, b) lots of what they learn instead is true, albeit often shocking, and c) that the ways they were thinking before needs to be subject to scrutiny and a good deal of it rejected, or else what they learn from you remains a few inconvenient facts, but they remain convinced that nothing can be done about anything anyway. 

Let me illustrate that last point: if you have been taught repeatedy that it is "human nature" to be greedy, self-centered, and that material incentives (or disincentives) invariably are what is exclusively or primarily true, and you believe it, then you may learn some discrete factoids along the way, and you will treat those facts as maybe even true, but your conviction of what "human nature" is remains unshaken because you have heard it as a truism so many times, from so many sources, that anyone challenging your view is surpassingly odd and out-of-touch with the real world. After all, perhaps you're thinking, how can something I have taken for granted for so long and repeated by everyone I know not be true? It is furthermore the dominant ideology preached by POTUS on down as the truth. Most of my teachers even preach it, so it must be true, right? 

Read more: Credulousness as a Problem

Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12