QUOTABLE QUOTES ~ Caitlin Johnstone on “Values”

“As a human being, you may safely flush your loyalties to any system which has been a part of humanity’s march to extinction right down the toilet. The political systems, the mindsets, the religions, the culture. It has all failed, so you owe none of it any loyalty. In fact, you may feel free to reject anything that your society regards as ‘normal’, because your society is as sick and insane as a society can possibly be. ‘Normal’ has led to a world that is dying and a society that is insane. So be happy with your weirdness. A wild divergence from our current trajectory is the only hope our species has for survival, so as a member of our species it is your duty to participate in that divergence in any way that looks healthy to you. Our civilization as it exists today is a dead man walking. Do not dance with dead men. Reject the norms. Let the zombies think you are weird. The values they are criticizing you for diverging from are the values that are choking us all to death.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

~via

Normal Has Failed. Be As Weird As You Like.

IF THIS DOESN’T WAKE YOU UP… THEN IT’S TIME TO PACK IT ALL UP NOW!!! ~ Richie From Boston: “Trump 2020 QAnon #MAGA”

I don’t always resonate with Richie but apparently we both have the same keen gifts of perception that could always see RIGHT through Trump’s BS… 

 

 

~via RichieFromBoston

‘THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS MAN’ ~ David Corn: “Watch Mary Trump Explain Why ‘Straight-Up Sociopath’ Donald Trump Lies, Why He’s Racist, Trump Family’s History With The Ku Klux Klan & Why She Wrote Her Book”

Many American families have their dysfunction. But in only one contemporary American family has the ‘racist, misogynistic, ignorant blowhard uncle’ become the president of the United States. What is that like? Well, we don’t have to guess. Because Mary L. Trump, the niece of Donald Trump, has written a bestseller about the horrific family environment that produced him. And this week she talked to Mother Jones about her uncle, her book, and how she came to write it. Trump’s niece also says she has “no doubt” her grandfather supported the KKK. After the Trump family went to court to stop the book — and lost — it was published last week and has reportedly sold a million copies. This memoir/  psychological dissection, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, is a harrowing account of a man and a clan shaped by ego, rivalry, the pursuit of wealth, and profound pathology. Mary Trump’s depiction of her uncle as a broken human being — broken by his father, Fred, a ruthless patriarch with sociopathic traits — is more explanatory than revelatory. She doesn’t show us a Trump we haven’t already seen. But she explains how and why he became a person more concerned about his TV ratings than the deaths of 140,000 fellow Americans.

 

 

I have a bit of a history with Mary Trump going back to 2016. Shortly before Election Day that year, I tracked her down. Throughout the campaign, she had practically no presence within all the stories about Donald Trump and his family. I hoped that she could provide information on him, the family, and their finances. After all, she had been involved in two bitter lawsuits against Trump and his siblings — one over the disposition of Fred’s estate and one challenging the decision of Trump and his siblings to cut off health insurance for Mary and her brother’s families. Her brother had an infant son at the time with a serious neurological disorder that resulted in tremendous medical bills. Mary returned my call, expressed her horror at the prospect of her uncle becoming the most powerful man in the world, and explained that Fred, with Donald, had raised a mini-me sociopath. Donald Trump was not the most evil man in the world, she remarked to me; Fred was. But she said she could not speak on the record about any of this. She has now given me permission to reveal our communications from that time.

I chased Mary as a source for months and years, sensing she had much to share. I never persuaded her to go public. But now she has done so, and as her book has become a publishing sensation, I was finally able to talk openly with her. And I could ask her why she thanked me in her acknowledgments.

Explaining why she did not come forward at the time of the 2016 election, Mary noted in our interview, “I didn’t feel it would make a difference.” She believed she didn’t have that much to offer and would be dismissed as a disgruntled relative still upset over being screwed during the battle over Fred’s estate. She was also fearful of retribution from the Trump crew: “They’re very vindictive people.” She explained that she had forgotten that within the records of her lawsuits were loads of documents detailing Trump family finances. It was when the New York Times came knocking in the spring of 2017, in search of this material, that Mary realized she possessed significant information related to Donald Trump. After persistent coaxing from a Times reporter, she retrieved the material from her lawyer’s storage facility and handed it over to the newspaper. About a year later, the Times, using these documents, produced a blockbuster report showing that Trump and his family had committed fraud to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. The story also revealed that Trump had received about $413 million from his father, far more than the mere pittance of a $1 million loan that he had claimed. Mary’s involvement with this project got her thinking: She did have something to say about Trump and her family. Soon she was contemplating writing a book.

In the interview, Mary, who has a PhD in clinical psychology, discussed her main thesis: Fred Trump was a “straight-up sociopath” who psychologically destroyed his oldest son and her father, Freddy, who wanted to be a commercial pilot rather than take over the family real estate business, and Donald Trump was permanently warped by witnessing this abuse and by other dysfunction within the family. Donald, Mary said, “learned… in order to be safe, in order to protect himself from my grandfather’s cruelty, he needed to make himself in his dad’s image, which I think was at the expense of his humanity. My grandfather had no redeeming characteristics… and Donald Trump no longer does.” She added that there “was a point he wasn’t so cruel, not so deliberatively divisive.”

One Trump family mystery involves a 1927 New York Times story that reported Fred Trump was arrested at a KKK rally and march in Jamaica, Queens. The article didn’t say why Fred was detained and gave no indication if he had been there as a supporter or opponent of the KKK. When I asked Mary about this, she replied that she never heard this matter discussed within her family, but she added, “I have no doubt which side he would’ve been on.” Fred, she explained, used the n-word was routinely used within her family circle.

She also shared her view that Donald Trump inherited his father’s bigotry. “He’s racist,” Mary said of her uncle. “It has to be said honestly and straightforwardly.”

I asked Mary if she could explain Donald’s affinity for Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian rulers. And she could: “I think he sees in somebody like a Putin or a Kim Jong Un or a Duterte or an Erdoğan a person who has a lot of power and by associating with them it sort of confers on him that aura of strength and invincibility. And who cares what that leads to? Concentration camps in China. Or disappearing people. If he’s associated with that power, then it reflects on him.”

So could she answer for me a question that I’ve pondered for years: Does Donald Trump believe his own lies? After all, does Trump truly think he is the smartest guy of all time, that he knows more than the generals, that he’s been more right about the coronavirus pandemic than anyone else, that his polls are great, that he has achieved more than any other president, and blah, blah, blah? “Very often he is lying to himself,” Mary said. “It depends on the circumstances.” She continued: “The more stress he’s under, the more besieged he feels, the more likely it is that the distance between the telling the lie and believing it is the truth is decreasing. We’re getting to the point it’s instantaneous.”

I pressed her on this point. Does he lie so much as a means to get what he wants and knows this is what he is doing — or is he delusional? “It’s a combination,” she said. “Is it just delusion or is it a tactic? I think it might start out as a tactic but it ends up being a delusion because his need to perpetuate a narrative about himself — a very specific narrative about himself as the winner, as always being right — is decades old. It’s a defense mechanism to protect him against the reality of who he really is… If he had any insight into that, I don’t know that he could bear it.”

Mary Trump’s book is a deep dive into Trump’s damaged psyche, and it does ring true — especially at a time when Americans are watching him botch the response to a pandemic due to his narcissism, ignorance, and lack of compassion. But does her analysis provide an escape route for her uncle — he’s harming the nation because he was harmed as a child? Does this, I asked Mary, absolve Trump?

“I can’t say this emphatically enough,” she replied. “Absolutely not. This was not in any way intended to let him off the hook. He’s a responsible — he’s responsible for his actions. He’s an adult human being who knows the difference between right and wrong. He just doesn’t think it applies to him. But he knows the difference. The point of the analysis of his developmental history was in its explanatory power… Even I feel sympathy for Donald the 2-and-a-half-year-old. A lot of people who end up being horrible criminals when they are adults had very abusive childhoods. You can have sympathy for that child. It does not at all, under any circumstances, diminish their responsibility for what they do… He does not get a pass. He needs to be held to account. Very seriously held to an account when this nightmare we’re living through is over.”

 

VIDEO: Watch Mary Trump Explain Why ‘Straight-Up Sociopath’ Donald Trump Lies, Why He’s Racist, Trump Family’s History With The Ku Klux Klan & Why She Wrote Her Book

 

 

 

~via Mother Jones

THE NARCISSISTIC CHILD ~ Tom Leonard on “Think the President’s a Bully Now? You Shoulda Seen Him as a Boy!”

A pint-sized bully who loved to pull girls’ hair and once lobbed rocks at a toddler in his playpen. A loud-mouthed classroom know-all who could never admit he was wrong and boasted of giving the music teacher a black eye. And a sporting show-off who yearned to hear the crowd’s applause…  but who would smash his baseball bat in fury if he didn’t win.

Arrogant, over-bearing, thin-skinned, determined, and not exactly great with the ladies — does this portrait of a child growing up in Fifties surburban New York sound like a certain grown-up (well, sort of grown-up) currently strutting the world stage?

It was Aristotle who said “Give me the child until he’s seven and I will show you the man”, and Donald Trump, now 73, would certainly agree. The 45th U.S. President insists he’s much the same character now as he was when he was in junior school.

According to Trump Revealed, a new biography compiled by Washington Post journalists who spoke to dozens of people who knew Trump as a child, he’s not wrong. The psychological resemblance is uncanny, and not a little disconcerting.

Born in June 1946, Trump was the fourth of five children to Fred Trump, a ruthless Queens builder and property developer, and his Scottish-born wife, Mary, an immigrant who had fled poverty on the Isle of Lewis and met Fred at a dance in New York. Trump Sr was a dour, authoritarian patriarch who dressed in a jacket and tie even at home.

They were the envy of their neighbours with a chauffeur, cook, colour television, intercom system and two Cadillacs with consecutive personalised number plates (virtually nobody had one back then but, of course, the showy Trumps had two).

Donald — with his ten-speed Italian racing bike and a huge, elaborate model train set — made the local children green with envy.

He clearly left an impression on his neighbours, classmates and teachers because so many could remember at least one chilling anecdote about him 60 years later.

When a ball bounced into their garden, he threatened to tell his father and the police about those responsible.

Dennis Burnham, who lived next door, was a toddler when his mother briefly put him in a playpen in their garden. She returned a few minutes later to find the current U.S. president, then aged five or six, standing at his fence throwing rocks at the little boy.

His mother warned Dennis to “stay away from the Trumps” as they didn’t want him “beaten up” by the family bully.

Another local child, Steven Nachtigall, now a 66-year-old doctor, said he never forgot Trump, a “loudmouth bully”,  once jumping off his bike and pummelling another boy.

The disturbing image remained in his brain decades later, he said, because “it was so unusual and terrifying at that age”.

The 45th U.S. President insists he’s much the same character now as he was when he was in junior school

Young Donald — whose nicknames at school included Donny, The Trumpet and Flat Top (for the blond pompadour hairstyle he had even as a child) — picked mercilessly on his own little brother, Robert, a quiet and sensitive child.

The future property tycoon later liked to boast how he once stole Robert’s building blocks and, so pleased with what he built, glued them together so his brother could never use them again.

With his siblings, Donald went to a smart private primary school called Kew-Fores, where he quickly became notorious for being unruly, going around with a gang of boys who pulled girls’ hair and talked during class.

“He would sit with his arms folded with this look on his face — I used the word surly — almost daring you to say one thing or another that wouldn’t settle with him,” recalled former teacher Ann Trees.

It’s an image that anyone who saw one of the 2016 Republican presidential debates can easily imagine.

Ditto, a former classmate, recalled a boy who would never admit he was wrong, no matter how trivial the subject. “He had a reputation for saying anything that came into his head,” he added.

Trump spent so much time in detention that the punishment was nicknamed “DT” in his honour.

When he was seven, he yanked classmate Sharon Mazzarella’s pigtails. She chased him downstairs and smashed him over the head with her metal lunchbox.

Trump admits he was a troublemaker at primary school. “I liked to stir things up and I liked to test people,” he said years later. “It wasn’t malicious so much as it was aggressive.” Trump bragged for a long time that, aged eight, he almost got expelled for giving his music teacher a black eye “because I didn’t think he knew anything about music”. 

However, it later emerged he had exaggerated. The teacher, Charles Walker, remembered Trump as supremely attention-seeking. Told on his deathbed that Trump was running for president, he reportedly remarked that even at ten, Donny had been a “little sh*t”.

“When I look at myself in first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same,” Trump told a biographer.

“The temperament is not that different.”

From most other adults, such an observation would sound endearing. Now, as he stands with his finger on the nuclear trigger, as President of the United States, it’s more than a little terrifying.

 

Related article:

Trumpty Dumpty

 

~via Daily Mail

CHRIS THURMAN: “There’s a Sociopath in the White House”

“It is disconcerting that anyone in the country is still arguing about whether or not Trump is a misogynist, racist, xenophobe, or narcissist. He is. Actions speak louder than words, and the many things Trump has said and done throughout his life speak to these defects being true. If anything disturbs Trump’s sleep, it is the threat that sooner or later the investigative reporters he calls ‘fake news’ and government leaders and legal authorities he says are on a ‘witch hunt’ will expose his worst wrongdoings and he will finally have to pay for them. Trump is terrified by the possibility of his darkest deeds coming to light and costing him his presidency and possibly sending him to prison. Every president does wrong things. All human beings do. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether or not a president has a conscience. If they do, they will admit when they act badly, take full responsibility, experience guilt and remorse, and turn from their misdeeds. If they don’t, they’ll refuse to admit they have done anything wrong, blame others for their actions, have no empathy or compassion toward those they hurt, and continue in their wrongdoings. Trump has spent his life in the latter category, surrounding himself with people who are unhealthy enough to support him every step of the way. There’s a sociopath in the White House. If some of us don’t think so and want to keep supporting Trump, I would suggest there are none so blind as they who will not see.”

~Chris Thurman

 

Every time I watch a Donald J. Trump rally, I find myself not listening to the president but looking at the people behind him who cheer his every word. The troubling thought that goes through my mind is “There are none so blind as they who will not see.”

Many of Trump’s supporters seem oblivious to the truly dangerous mental and moral defects in our current president. I don’t say that as a hit job or attack given that I am a staunch conservative by political orientation. I say that because I believe it to be objectively true about Trump and that things are only going to get worse under his leadership.

It is heartbreaking to see the signs Trump supporters hold up at his rallies. I see women holding up “Women for Trump” signs when he is a known sexual predator and serial adulterer. I see African-Americans holding up “Blacks for Trump” signs when he is a known racist and white supremacist. I see former military servicemen and women holding up “Veterans for Trump” signs when he is a cowardly draft dodger. I see evangelicals holding up “We Support Trump” signs when there is little if any evidence he is a Christian or even holds Christian values. I see people struggling to make ends meet holding up signs of support for Trump when he has done nothing but look out for the wealthiest of the wealthy while enriching himself in office and not caring about the financial plight of the average citizen.

Is Trump a Sociopath?

It is disconcerting that anyone in the country is still arguing about whether or not Trump is a misogynist, racist, xenophobe, or narcissist. He is. Actions speak louder than words, and the many things Trump has said and done throughout his life speak to these defects being true. His presidential campaign was driven by racist sentiment, and after becoming president, he proposed barring Muslims from entering the United States. Trump ignores reality and is unremorseful about how often he twists it in ways that build his ego.

If we could stop denying these painful realities about our president, we might have to face an even more frightening possibility: Trump is a sociopath.

Seven markers suggest that a person is a sociopath. A sociopath chronically lies in an effort to deceive others and enhance his public image; acts impulsively and fails to plan; refuses to conform to social norms and repeatedly performs acts that are grounds for legal action and arrest; mistreats those who are critical or unsupportive; disregards the well-being of others; fails to sustain consistent work habits or honor financial obligations; and lacks guilt or remorse when hurtful to others.

Anyone who has studied Trump over the years would probably agree that this is an accurate description of our president.

Trump is a pathological liar, and recently cracked the 12,000 false or misleading statements barrier. He acts impulsively and fails to plan ahead, the best and most horrific example being his border policy that led to inhumane conditions for those detained and children being separated but infrequently reunited with their parents. He violates social norms all the time, even small ones, for example when he served a national championship team fast-food at the White House.

He is frequently verbally abusive toward people who criticize him, calling them all kinds of horrible names. Trump lacks empathy, and once told a grieving widow that her husband “knew what he had signed up for” when he enlisted in the military. He has no sensitivity to how his name-calling and verbal attacks are hurtful.

Lack of Conscience

According to psychologist Martha Stout and author of the book The Sociopath Next Door,

“The central trait of sociopathy is a complete lack of conscience, which is very difficult for most people to get their heads around, because those of us who do have a conscience can’t really imagine what it would be like if we didn’t. Most people think that deep down everybody has a conscience, and it turns out that’s just not true.”

 

Trump doesn’t appear to have a conscience like most of us do, and that is the main reason he can act in such illegal, unethical, and immoral ways and sleep like a baby at night.

If anything disturbs Trump’s sleep, it is the threat that sooner or later the investigative reporters he calls “fake news” and government leaders and legal authorities he says are on a “witch hunt” will expose his worst wrongdoings and he will finally have to pay for them. Trump is terrified by the possibility of his darkest deeds coming to light and costing him his presidency and possibly sending him to prison.

Every president does wrong things. All human beings do. That’s not the issue.

The issue is whether or not a president has a conscience. If they do, they will admit when they act badly, take full responsibility, experience guilt and remorse, and turn from their misdeeds. If they don’t, they’ll refuse to admit they have done anything wrong, blame others for their actions, have no empathy or compassion toward those they hurt, and continue in their wrongdoings.

Trump has spent his life in the latter category, surrounding himself with people who are unhealthy enough to support him every step of the way.

There’s a sociopath in the White House. If some of us don’t think so and want to keep supporting Trump, I would suggest there are none so blind as they who will not see.

 

~via The GlobePost