Arizona -- The MK-ULTRA mind control experimentation is indeed disconcerting. However, as described in the article, the paranoia of the "communist threat" of the 1950s and 60s was running rampant. We referred to it as McCarthyism. The added fear of “Soviet brain perversion techniques” described by Dulles only added fuel to the fire as he cited "the American POWs returning from Korea, shells of the men they once were, parroting the Communist propaganda they had heard cycled for weeks on end." In other words, the POWs were in their words, "brain washed".
The CIA experimentation into mind controlling drugs and techniques was a product of that paranoia...fear if you like. Fear causes humans to think less clearly, and that fear of communism was rampant in government as well as social circles. As abhorrent as we find the MK-ULTRA mind control experimentation today, putting it into the context of the American mind set of the 50s and 60s, it is not too difficult comprehend.
Having said that, the 40 percent or so of the population that is solidly in Trump's corner is somewhat scary. I just don't know what they are capable of if their leader is taken down. Their brains didn't take drugs to get there...just endless propaganda from the likes of Fox News and a Mussolini type leader who has mastered the art of Tweeting to feed their brains daily.
This thread from 2010 is interesting to see how not much has changed when it comes to public perceptions largely driven by media figures. Back in 2010 it was Rush Limbaugh and Fox News that seemed drove the right wing narrative for the Iraq War. Here's an extract from an earlier post in this thread:
"Jeff Cohen, in his December 2003 Common Dreams article, Bush and Iraq: Mass Media, Mass Ignorance, stated this: "That half or more Americans think Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attack -- perhaps the most media-covered event in our history -- stands as a horrific indictment of U.S. media today. Such levels of ignorance can't be found in other countries." "
I also wrote this back in 2010:
"I have chosen these books and Cohen's article from the past because we have so much we can learn from them. But the American public seems to have a short attention span that can't remember last month's follies let alone those of just a few years ago. Revisionist history is in the making. It thrives because of ignorance and the absence of critical thinking by our politicians, our media and the American public."
Today nine years later nothing has changed...just the underlying events. The fact that some 40-45 percent of the population believe the false Fox News and Trump narrative on "Trump anything" blows my mind. Those who live in ignorance and false beliefs never change from one generation to the next. Only the conspiracy theories and alternative realties change.
Thanks Arizona for digging this thread out from nine years ago.
As the Atlantic reported...
“As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.”
We must remember that Trump does not give away something for nothing...never ever. It's in his DNA. And that "something" must have value to him personally, either now or in the future. So as President, he may seem to be giving away something to the Turks for nothing now, but there is either something we do know about in his or his family's sinister dealings that he wants hidden or alternatively Erdogan has made a "gesture" to him that he could not refuse.
That's the way Trump did business as a "businessman" and that is the way he conducts his presidency for personal gain.
Arizona -- Thanks for sharing all the links. I watched all the testimonies as well as the coverage of the Roger Stone guilty verdicts. Now on top of that the David Holmes testimony of the Sondland cellphone call to Trump
with everyone at the restaurant table listening in will be devastating to Trump as it is first hand knowledge and not hearsay. Sondland's public testimony on Wednesday will be critical. He has already perjured himself, and if he corroborates the Holmes testimony then Republicans will not be able to spin this one. If he doesn't corroborate, then it becomes more problematic. It depends on how well Trump can tamper with this witness before Wednesday.
Politico, November 15, 2019: ‘No discipline. No plan. No strategy.’: Kamala Harris campaign in meltdown
Politico reports that "Kamala Harris’ campaign is careening toward a crackup."
I was one that was ready to get on the Kamala Harris bandwagon in January. As the posts show I very enthusiastic in January, but started to have reservation in March. Now I will write her off entirely. Although she has many good points, she was slow to think through the depth of the issues, always seeming to have a band-aid approach.
However, I fault her now for running a disorganized campaign. If she can't organize and run her campaign then how would she manage the ship of state?
I see the main problem as nepotism and cronyism. Her campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, is the focal point of much of the internal criticism and bickering, but others point to her campaign chair, Maya Harris, Kamala's sister. Essentially Rodriguez had all the responsibility but no authority as he had to run every routine decision though her sister. But then Rodriguez has also hired many of his business partners for key positions...cronyism as everyone deflects criticism.
The article says the campaign is "leaderless at the top". I agree. She has not shown competent leadership at the top, and perhaps it's the people she chose to run her campaign.
Furthermore, my concern expressed in other threads, and why I have evolved from being a number one fan of hers to a bottom dweller, is the way she has been indecisive in answering questions. I believe others have noticed that as well and why her poll numbers dropped. She may claim that people are playing the race card or the woman card, but that's an excuse to hide behind her otherwise unappealing performance as a candidate. It may be that her race and gender are the only things keeping her loyalists on board.
We'll see how well she does on the debate stage again. A good performance can right the ship, but for me her ship has too much heavy baggage arranged haphazardly causing the ship to lean dangerously in choppy waters. Only she can fix it. She must take the wheel of the leaderless ship...but does she know how?
John Cassidy, The New Yorker, May 8, 2019: As a Businessman, Trump Was the Biggest Loser of All
Okay I came across this article and didn't know which thread to post it in, so I went back to the bad businessman thread. Cassidy regurgitates many of the points we have made in this website so I'll refrain from repeating them here, but simply copy and paste his last paragraph:
"Even now, there are a lot of Americans who believe that the President is a savvy and successful businessman who knows what he is doing. The actual record, which, thanks to the Times, we now know a good deal more about, suggests the exact opposite. It reveals Trump to be a reckless conman who burned money and relied on his father, even as he was fashioning a myth that eventually took him all the way to the White House. No wonder he is so averse to allowing the American public to see any more accurate information about his financial history."
Getting back to this thread, yes indeed Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey for their incursion into Syria. But then he abruptly removed the sanctions one week later on October 23rd citing "success". Sheesh. Now he praises Erdogan in his visit to the oval office.
New York Times Editorial, November 13, 2019: In Meeting Erdogan, Trump Courts Another Tyrant
We've talked about Trump's love for tyrants in another thread, but this is about Trump and Erdogan. Here's an extract from the NYT editorial:
"...in Mr. Trump’s world — the world we are increasingly living in — Mr. Erdogan is “a tough guy who deserves respect.” In fact, the tougher the guy, the more respect Mr. Trump seems prepared to show... a weakness for ruthless authoritarians"
"At the joint White House news conference Wednesday, Mr. Erdogan showed little reciprocity for Mr. Trump’s bonhomie, making no pretense of taking seriously Mr. Trump’s famously fatuous Oct. 9 letter (“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool. I will call you later.”). And hearing Mr. Trump say “I’m a big fan of the president” did not prevent Mr. Erdogan from raising pet peeves against the United States, including the vote in the House of Representatives to recognize the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as “genocide,” or the refusal of the United State so far to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a rival Mr. Erdogan holds responsible for a failed coup in 2016."
"Mr. Erdogan apparently got his visit without any quid pro quo, and that is the problem. A White House meeting with an authoritarian thug like Mr. Erdogan should have a clear and tangible foreign-policy benefit for the United States and the world."
wwjd -- "Trump is powerless without his cult following, and without Trump, his base is headless." Excellent point. They have a kind of symbiotic relationship -- "mutualism" as opposed to "parasitism" I suppose. They thrive and draw strength from each other...the rallies, the tweets, etc.
What will happen to his cult followers if Trump is ever convicted by the Senate and removed from office or worse sent to jail after his removal for crimes known and unknown? They cannot fathom the thought and could cope by doing crazy stuff. The human mind once corrupted is hard to heal.
Well.....Nikki Haley is a Republican. And that says it all. Self interest first, party second, country third...oh and I suppose God is somewhere there as well.
I watched the entire hearing today. Wow. It got a bit tiring but very compelling. The two witnesses, Taylor and Kent, were articulate and professional. Very believable. I think some of the Republicans, especially Jim Jordan, made fools out of themselves. Of course they were performing mainly for Trump and his base...not the American people as a whole.
Yes if this was a jury trial Trump would be convicted quickly. However, the Trump party is a cult living a lie. We'll see how it develops and if public opinion is turned much.