Don’t ask what Putin can do for you, ask what you can do for Putin – D. Trump

was originally published on Meandering home

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Trompsky #4

Welcome back professor Trompsky, how was your month, I think it has been a month since we have seen each other?
– How was yours? [chuckles and murmurs]
To be honest with you, sir, it has been terrible. I was terrified by all the suspicious packages addressed to the president’s opponents, the horrendous rhetoric of Bolsonaro in Brazil, the shooting in Pittsburgh?
– What we experience is the continuation of a process that has been set in motion, really, by the election of this current president. As a scholar I think the Bolsonaro election could be something of a final blow to global democracy, at least to the spirit of global democracy. That spirit is now in decline and, uhm, against ultra-nationalism we will have to fight an uphill battle.
Do you think the world will see more terror in 2019?
– I prefer not to engage in that kind of speculation, hope you understand. What I do see is a general shift in administration. From the nineties to the early 2010s the world has been governed by comparably capable people (remember how almost everybody currently sees George W. Bush in a favorable light), and now we are shifting to, uhm, the type of rulers that appear to be the lesser hypocrites. Yes, it is a politics of appearance, what we see in Brazil for example. Bolsonaro knows, using fake news, how to appear a tough crime fighter, how to appear the equal of the ‘normal man on the street’, how to appear an outsider of the elite, which clearly he is not. Appearance trumps political expertise and experience, we have seen this in 2016 in the US [chuckles].
Do you think leaders with a similar media strategy, a similar strongman style, will come to power in Europe and the rest of the world?
– Oh yes. This is to some extent a trial-and-error process. The few mistakes Bolsanaro has made, will not be repeated by the next Orbán or Duterte.
What is the proper leftist answer to this? Should they engage in, and could they win the battle of appearances?
– I don’t know. [shakes his head]. I think it will be very hard. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or also Andrew Yang are very authentic politicians. But the left is divided and for proper idealists it is, and I think this is an important point, it is much harder to appear the lesser hypocrite. Wasn’t the media reporting about Sanders’ tax report? It is the absurd paradox of the politics of appearance that Donald Trump, with all his blatant lies, appears as the lesser hypocrite.
And the same goes for Bolsonaro?
– Yes. Brazil is in a way what awaits the US in ten, twenty years. The people are looking for an alternative and this man is filling the empty space on the right. In the case of Bolsanoara, he doesn’t lie directly but his supporters claim that what he says about gays, blacks, activists, women, minorities, it shouldn’t be taken seriously. And the riddle is why that makes him appear to the electorate as the lesser hypocrite.
We thank you for your time, Mr. Trompsky.
– My pleasure. Please do come back.
If democracy hasn’t died in darkness.
– Yes, ahum [chuckles]

Trompsky #4 was originally published on Meandering home

Professor Trompsky #2

Welcome back professor Trompsky, glad you took your time to talk about the controversial Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
– Thank you. These are very serious matters yes. I think he is the least capable person in America today to become a Supreme Court Justice. Every which way you look at it, this nomination is a catastrophe for our country and should be aborted at all costs.
So you are calling for abortion of his nomination. Could you elaborate?
– If we carry this nomination to term, we will have bred a monster. Brett Kavanaugh is a religious fanatic of the sort that would put the church above the constitution. The High Court will turn into a Medusa whose sole purpose it is to protect the powers of the president.
When you say we must prevent Supreme Justice Kavanaugh from happening, what exactly do you have in mind? Polonium?
– This is not the time for flippancy. I personally think there are more civilized ways than radioactive chemicals.
Such as?
– We just keep repeating the sins he committed as a young adult. Did you know that FFFF means “Find ’em, finger ’em, fuck ’em, forget ’em”? And that boofing is anal ingestion of alcoholic beverages?
This is common knowledge, yes.
– I don’t see how this man still has time for serious legal scholarship, let alone the position of highest judge in the country.
I understand your point professor Trompsky. What do you suggest as a means of last resort, to avoid this twit to ascend to the throne of the American judiciary?
– [shrugs] I don’t know. Maybe burn down the court house.

Professor Trompsky #2 was originally published on Meandering home

Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

The Refugee Convention entered into force on 22 April 1954.

In the above text, we look at the word particularly. We note that it does not mean exclusively. Even if the head of the family (which we should consider an outdated term, but can still understand) has not fulfilled the necessary conditions for admission to a particular country, the Convention “recommends” governments to take the necessary measures.

But what are the “necessary measures” if such measures are perceived to conflict with “national safety interests”. And what precisely means “recommends”? The dictionary states “to push for something”.

Listen, this is no match for Trump, the Artist of the Deal. Why is the verb here not “obligate”?

The United Nations now urges the US to stop separating children from their families at the border. According to a spokesperson, “The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles.” She asks that Washington adopts non-custodial alternatives that allow children to remain with their families. Fair enough.

The human drama is terrifying and I don’t see no political solution soon. Trump supporters, and indeed Trump himself, are quick to blame Democrats for passing the original laws that led to this catastrophy. I am worried that Trump defenders are reluctant to change their opinion and speak up to their peers, fearing to be ostracized. It is easy to get on the Trump Train, but you can not jump off.

A slippery slope and ‘Gazafication’ of the US – Mexico border looms over the current events. What if people approaching the border would be shot at sight (admittedly an unlikely scenario, despite extremist toads who demand so)? I can already hear the propaganda claims: It is the right of the US to defend itself. Illegal immigrants are criminals. I already see them quoting dubious crime statistics produced by the Cato institute. And I see hordes of American citizens accepting these claims. The ‘fire and fury’ of such violent border protection measures would translate into laudable toughness and a sense of ‘something is finally being done for our safety’, at least in the feeble indoctrinated minds of Trump’s following. Any critique of Trump’s actions will become increasingly harder as it will be dismissed as unpatriotic. This small step tactics has been adopted by other dictators (dixit Fox news) before.

I don’t apologize for the Godwin, if you have perceived one, dear reader.

Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees was originally published on Meandering home