I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 16, 2017 - 10:55 a.m.
I've been so busy that I've had no chance to write about either my musings or the events in the world. Yesterday I finally had a slow day. My excitement was going into the City to pick up mail at my PO box. I could give you all the details of the commute but somehow our market research department said that has a low Q Score. I could write about all the things I wanted to write about for a week but didn't have time to. There is only one problem with that plan; I don't remember my brilliant insights. Why didn't I write them down? Oh, right. I'm an idiot. But wait? I did write one down in my phone's note app! But that's not what I'm going to write about today. I now remember the angle I wanted to discuss the Comey firing from. It's a week after the fact but that's good, it gives me perspective.
The uproar is already dying down. No Trump scandal seems to have legs. I hope I'm wrong about this. The abuse of power is terrible. I'm not going to talk about that; you already know it. I want to discuss the corrupting effect Trump has on his supporters.
People hate to be wrong. They will go to great lengths to convince themselves that they were right against the evidence. It's not about convincing others; it's about convincing themselves. I am talking about people in general, not just Trump supporters. I'm talking about you. I'm talking about me. I catch myself doing it and combat it. I know it's hard to believe but there have been a few times I was wrong.
Trump supporters are now convincing themselves that they are right. The corruption comes from that forcing the acceptance of the morally unacceptable. If Trump had kept his mouth shut it would not have been as bad. They'd could believe the original story that it came from the Assistant AG, Rosenstein. But Trump then said himself that it was all his idea and that the Russian investigation was the reason. So now they have to twist themselves in moral knots and think it's that it's not wrong to fire someone for investigating wrongdoing involving yourself or your associates.
We see politicians doing it. We see pundits doing it. Worst of all we see our friends doing it. They tell the world, as they tell themselves, that it's the president's prerogative to fire the head of the FBI. Nobody denies that. It's a different matter to fire him to prevent him from investigating you. It's not clear if this constitutes the legal definition of obstructing justice but it certainly violates the spirit. Now his supporters have to think that's OK. They are grading ethics on a curve. This is how new norms are created.
Now comes the news that Trump gave the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. The story repeated itself. Trump's staff denied that it happened then Trump goes and tweets that he did it and that it was the right thing to do. Can you imagine what they'd be saying if Obama had one that? Imagine if Hillary had won and done that? They'd be calling for her head. Is that going to happen now? I very much doubt it. I hope that I'm wrong. If the rank and file Republicans turn on Trump then so will enough of the officials to make something happen. Let's hope. We can't keep defining deviancy down.
I'm off to New Jersey today to make radio. That's worth a two-hour trek, right?
Tell Me a Story - May 21, 2017
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