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Maria Butina – Russian Spy, Right Wing Agitator

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Thought by her Kremlin masters to be just unattractive enough to not be seen as a honeypot we have 29 year old soviet style FSB semi-sleeper Russian Agent Maria Butina. She’s been at the peripheral of the right wings worst ideas, notably the NRA and it’s constant push for expanded gun rights and a no Background checks.

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Posing in some accounts as a grad student writing a thesis in whatever she was sort of a eyepiece for the Kremlin as it looked for Americans who were inclined towards or already on a treasonous path. So of COURSE groups like Evangelicals, CPAC and the NRA caught her attention and were passed up the FSB food chain where Putin and his guys can work them over into useful Quislings or worse.

How powerful a spy is she? Well we cant be sure but she had a powerful Spymaster controlling her, one Alexander Torshin. Consider him an FSB Oligarch in the service of Putin. Torshin garnered hapless congressman Dana Rohrbacher as a pal and even punked John Bolton into going to Russia to encourage a (fictional) gun rights movement for a fistful of dubious cash Bolton all too naively took. (The idea Russia would let its citizens own guns is outright ridiculous as its a complete autocracy that has long been killing journalists. Like they would want those journalists to be able to shoot back? Come now!)

The “Foreign Policy Expert” comes off like a complete idiot in the video, and the fake russian group has NOT taken it down, so you can see it HERE – its a real LOL actually

So no two ways about it, Butina is a big deal. She could pick winners and losers via dirty tricks, she could funnel money and information. She was a full blown spy. It was most likely either her or Torshin who bagged over or arranged some kind of crypto-currency exchange of 30 MILLION DOLLARS to the NRA, much earmarked for Pro-Trump (and virulently Anti-Hillary) ads. She was somewhat ubiquitous in attending Right Wing Functions like Gun Shows and CPAC. An image search brings back dozens of pictures of her gun totting and bible thumping with the dumbest of them.

She got caught up in some ‘gun totter on the streets’ interviews the NRA put together for the internet. More bizarrely, she was suddenly a press corps member whose strange question about US – Russian Sanctions to Trump at an NRA Friendly right wing forum on July 11, 2015 scared the shit out of Steve Bannon (per Fire & Fury and other sources). Butina came off like a spy to Bannon, proving that even bigots can have moments of clarity.

The NRA- Ready-made Traitors

If your goal is dividing America and taking it apart the NRA is a great place to start. Disdain for law enforcement, constant sympathy for armed Open Carry lunatics and introducing Conspiracy Theories at the moment any Gun Massacre occurs are the methods of the NRA. They are right out of the old Soviet Playbook that Russian Intelligence works off of. Its EASY to make a case the NRA is a Russian Front Organization.

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Not Hiding in plain sight

The NRA is such a treasonous, unAmerican Organization that you don’t need to be all that smart to see it ripe for sowing sedition in it’s rhetoric. As far back as the early 90’s the NRA had called US Federal Agents acting on a duly sworn warrant  “Jackbooted Thugs”, a statement that so pissed off former president George HW Bush he uttered a few profanities while quitting and then condemning the organization.

While I’m no fan, Bannon allegedly was smart enough and savvy enough to immediately be struck by Butina’s question and stunned enough to think it over and judge it strange as fuck. Bannon, for all his bile, racism and bad ideas policy-wise, was perhaps the most tgahdButina.pngintelligent Trumpist and he was totally right on this one.

Butina was a plant and the question was written by the Kremlin. Why Trump, who hates the media, indulged her for a question also seemed weird to Bannon (and he was right to think that). So we’re not talking subtlety here. Borderline Brazen is a better term.

Butina had claimed some strange privileges in the past. Like saying she had a Diplomatic Passport and could spirit people in and out of Russia in a boasting session to an FBI Agent. So like I said, this wasn’t all that subtle.

UPDATE- in the July 18 installment of CNN with Don Lemon, Juliette Kayem said theres some indications the NRA actually sponsored Butina’s student visa, meaning she’s a planned plant and the NRA is an ongoing treasonous enterprise.

Big Boo-TAY in Custody

Now sitting in jail and unlikely to get out barring some kind of spy exchange, Big Butina is probably going to clam up and wait for her government to go ahead and catch someone worthy of exchanging for her (unlikely). She has no chance of getting bail. She will rot in jail until some kind of trial, which will probably be the End of the NRA and maybe her sugar daddy congressman buddy, Dana Rohrbacher, a guy fellow GOP Rep Kevin McCarthy has described as “taking money right from Putin

Butina’s charges aren’t sealed. This makes her somewhat unique among Mueller Probe Catches. She will be a valuable window for the general public to see some of the machinations of the Mueller Probe, which to this point looks effective and inexorable.

Butina was certainly sizing up options for the Kremlin. The indictment against her includes statements to known FSB sources as damnig as “I await further orders.” She wasn’t seling stuff in consignment to Pottery Barn, so you dont have to be  genius to know what that meant.

Final thought – Maybe Jessica Chastain for the movie? Jessica’s much prettier, but on the other hand, she’s familiar with spy roles.

Don’t Cry to me Big Butina. You knew what you were doing

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Treason Summit Fallout

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No one thought the Trump- Putin Summit in Helsinki was a good idea. People were even a little more sure Trump should NOT meet alone with Putin. No one got what they wanted. Trump defiantly went to the Summit in spite of a series of actions by Special Counsel Mueller that showed deep Russian interference with the 2016 US Election and continuing “meddling” (apparently Meddle is the new word for “Attack”) in this nations elections.

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Walking out to meet the world press it was obvious the threats and promises of destruction should Trump get out of line from Putin had deeply effected Trump.

Whether Putin pulled out his cellphone and showed Trump some humiliating video, mentioned that the Election results had been tampered with (which is more and more likely) or any number of other possible compromising acts that deflated the usually puffed up and animated Trump, is anyones guess.  One things for sure Trump looked like guy who was just shook down Mafia style.

The only things that were the same as always were his insincere tone, frequent lies and distracted delivery. A fidgeting, fumbling mess who we know now was admittedly tongue-tied by Putin’s “brilliance” he stood before the world, a fat man in a billowing suit covered with orange body paint just babbling. Lurching awkwardly from attacking Hillary and Obama to agreeing out of hand with Putin’s denials, it was a Trump Shit Show like no other. No disparaging words for Putin at all as Trump blamed ‘both countries” in a Charlotesville-style “Have it both ways” Bullshit line.

At the podium Trump sounded deflated and outright beaten while Putin was in his glory, feeding lines to the American president he had created and compromised. Like a sign language chimp who lacked subtlety or nuance, Trump trashed America to please his master. Right up to the moment they literally played ball with Putin (with  world cup soccer ball) Trump showed he would totally PLAY BALL in every way with his Master.

Perhaps in the moment of deepest insanity trump suggested Mueller go to Russia and listen in on the FSB ‘questioning’ the people indicted the day before and, more fantastically, praised a suggestion by Putin that his investigators come here and look over Mueller’s files. The man sounded like a naive idiot and a Traitor.  So much for Trumps repeated boasting he doesn’t need to prepare for meetings.

In stark contrast; Putin stood before the world as its most ruthless super criminal and the greatest blackmailer in all of History.  If it was a boxing match it was Mike Tyson versus Peter Hurricane McNeeley. Trump should have sold advertising on the soles of his shoes the way he went down and sucked carpet in his glass-jawed confrontation with Putin. The one time boxing promoter all but threw in the towel. This was no WWE fake fight, even if the ending was pre-ordained. Trump got his ass kicked.

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‘HIS MASTER’S VOICE’

The numbers were already bad for Trump, who in most polls has over 50% of Americans disapproving of his actions. In most polls he has about 35-40% approval on his best day. Thats WITH an irresponsibly high tax cut bribing people every pay day. In other words- people really hate president Trump.

Today, in one of his show “Cabinet Meetings, the “president” tried reading a script of  poorly crafted lies in disinterested fashion.  He mentioned that he has simply misspoke and was actually tearing in to Putin and we all just missed it. It wasn’t the least bit believable and left dozens of other terrible statements from Helsinki unaddressed.  It may have made things even worse.

In a bizarre dissertation to the media, which included a brief blackout in the room whih provided some strange images for a moment; no questions from press and ended with an extra harsh “Its over! GET OUT!” from the White House Communications staff the moment it concluded. They have learned that the president will blow up his own cause on his own with the ‘throw away added on lines” that have so marked his presidency. It was already too late. Trump went off script in his ‘correction’ and repeated the disproven notion that ‘it could have been anyone” who hacked the election in an ad lib tacked to the end of the very same sentence in which he said he accepted it was in fact just the Russians.

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during the bizarre blackout

Trump has still not ever addressed the American People in any kind of fireside chat or Oval Office address. He has not held a Q & A with the media since February 2017 when he defended General Flynn (who has since admitted to treason) as ‘a nice guy’ and a ‘victim’.

This was a big deal. The last 24 hours have seen the Trump presidency’s unsustainable trajectory finally starting to erode.

Is this the End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?

 

The NRA Den of Treason – Traitors with Guns for Hire

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Since the inception of this blog I have referred to the NRA as a Russian Front. I have called Putin the ‘actual leader’ of the NRA and I have pointed out that their rhetoric is Anti-American. Yesterday I got a whole lot of backup on that in the form of Maria Butina, a Russian spy and weirdo who you may have noticed on the peripheral of right wing activism.

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The National Rifle Association has been on a Treasonous Path at least since the Ruby Ridge Incident in 1992. Thats when then NRA Wayne LaPierre called the government agents acting on a duly sworn search warrant “Jack Booted Thugs”. This was so out of line then president George HW Bush purportedly said “Who the Hell is Wayne LaPierre anyway?” and quit the organization out of disgust.

And its been easy to connect the dots since then. If they weren’t already getting money to undermine the government at that point they had started broadcasting a desire for it.

How to Train Your Traitor

Essentially the world is full of horrible people who will do anything for money. The more money you throw in the mix the more horrible people are willing to act. Its McTeag’s Law.

Wayne LaPierre got over 15 MILLION DOLLARS for 3 years helming the NRA before treasonous loser Ollie North replaced him in May of 2018.  Where’s that kind of money come from? Looks to me like it’s coming from Putin and his oligarch’s.

Loathsome Dana Loesch, enigmatic Colion Noir and North are part of a three headed treasonous monster fed by the Kremlin and controlled by Putin directly.  They eat Bitcoin and Putin feeds them well. Why else would they hatefully attack schoolchildren for having the temerity to survive an Active Shooter? The shady secret all the NRA ‘faces’ have in common is that they care nothing for their nation or their fellow citizens, not even the children. Just listen to a few seconds of anything Ted Nugent says and its clear these people are NOT about America at all.

All for money.  RT aka Russia TV and NRA-TV have the same message all the time. Its a pro Kremlin Message that is hateful and UnAmerican. The uniformity of the messages is undeniable.
There’s other Gun Rights Groups out there if you just cant live without being part of a gun agitation group. The National Rifle Association doesnt need your money and doesnt care what you think. They’re pawns of Putin and an extension of the Kremlin

Russian Spy and Right Wing darling Maria Butina has been down with them for 4 years and has rated them ripe for mobilization as a Treasonous Organization for the Kremlin. They were already completely against America and Civility. They just needed an injection of cash, which the Kremlin was happy to provide.  And a few style tips in the guise of NRA TV’s crazy messages and propaganda. The real question is if the NRA was in with the Russians before all this. My guess is- Probably.  The Anti-Government and Anti-Law Enforcement Statements have been their true north for more than a decade (at least).

Trump and the NRA were a natural match. It was like setting up two people with the same strain of herpes. They were already toxic and a breeding ground for new diseases. The NRA ploughed MILLIONS of dollars into pro-Trump, Anti-Hillary Ads. In an election as fluke-ish as 2016 it was enough to be one of several reasons Trump overcame the odds and somehow won.

Resist the NRA. They are in fact nothing more than a Treasonous Terrorist Anti-Police Organization.

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Is Scott Pruitt Maybe Just Mentally Ill?

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UPDATED

Corrupt and inept EPA Commissioner Scott Pruitt is finally a former Cabinet Member. It only took 14 probes Federal Probes steadily bearing fruit to end him. Here’s the original post as written just hours before penultimate Trump Survivor Pruitt went down! (Or in this case, had his resignation accepted)

We’ve heard a new tale about Scott Pruitt’s outright bizarre behavior at the EPA every week, or occasionally, a couple of times a day.  The hits have literally kept coming. There’s no less than 14 Federal Corruption probes right now per CNN.

Today he was FINALLY canned with no real reason given aside from the media being blamed for reporting all his antics. He was called an excellent guy and with no apology the adventures of Baron Pruitt von Munchausen in DC came to an end.

But we can STILL wonder if he’s crazy, especially since, in Trump’s world, stocked with exactly NO friends, people keep returning. Watch for Pruitt to join Shadow Secretary of State Hannity soon in Trump’s Shadow Cabinet of Un-Approvable Security Clearance-proof deplorables. Probably as Shadow Attorney General.

Pruitt’s Craziness

A Cone of Silence, Pruitt’s weird assertions about him and god, a bullet proof desk and a bunch of high living scandals. Throw in some naked old fashioned corruption, like trying to get his wife a franchise from Chik-fil-a.  Today it was crazy half baked idea to give him Jeff Sessions job as the nations Attorney General. It all adds up to non stop crazy!

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Maybe we should stop and ask ourselves- are these the actions of a sane person? With a crazily bloated security staff and some petty love of driving around with the sirens on blowing lights in a too big motorcade like a Stalin Era Commissar? Going out to the best places every night to dine then retiring to sleep on a used Trump Hotel mattress in a plush but near free crash pad in DC he gets right from a lobbyist?

You dont have to be a rocket scientist to point at the moon and you dont need a psych degree to say Pruitt does a bunch of really crazy things! 

I’m wondering if Pruitt maybe is just mentally ill. How is it now being discussed on CNN? It’s time for one of the people on the panels discussing him to include some kind of clinical psychiatrist.  OCD maybe explains some. Schizophrenia maybe some more. I dont know.

Of course I’m not a doctor; but you dont have to be a rocket scientist to point at the moon and you dont need a psych degree to say Pruitt does a bunch of really crazy things!  The proof is all over the place.

Think about the things we know are true alone. Even then, its too crazy! As far as speculation?  I think he’s using that Cone of Silence to ‘talk to god’ because he thinks god’s talking back!  And he possibly hears other voices too.

This is not the way a sane person, even a corrupt sane person, acts. It’s too off the wall (to use a clinical term).

Trump’s Rudolf Hess.

Wonder who will distinguish themselves now that Pruitt’s out of there? Ryan Zeinke is a walking human meltdown, maybe he rides that horse of his into some trouble next. Outside Betsy DeVos and Pence-y no one is more hated (well, maybe Elaine Chow for giving comfort to turtle boy mcconnell)

The Real View on Alexandria Ocasio Cortez from NY’s 14th District, WOODSIDE

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It was last winter I first encountered people looking to get me to vote for Social Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’m pretty sure I signed the petition to allow her run in the first place last fall. While I ended up supporting her until the numbers were shown on CNN i never thought she’d unseat Joe Crowley. As it turned out she easily defeated the re-districted 10 term incumbent.

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How’d she do it? Simple, she was in the district every day campaigning. Her people were at the Woodside Train Station daily talking to anyone who would listen about Ocasio-Cortez and her even further than Crowley Left Views.  Adding to the confusion, Woodside was about the only neighborhood left in Crowley’s re-drawn District. He was a bit of a stranger looking for his secnd term with the new boundaries. He failed to adjust.

For me, when the Ocasio-Cortez door-knocker came by he told me the impeachment of Trump was something his candidate was all for and looking to even perhaps initiate. That was it for me. Crowley hates Trump but he wasn’t looking to Impeach. I just detest Trump and think Impeachment is the way to go, especially if it starts with the Rep’s from Queens, where the bigot is from.

Throw in she’s got more or less the same views a Bernie Sanders and that’s how she won. Free public college or vocational school, Housing as a Right, Medicare for All.  She has all the right ideas that resonate in THIS neighborhood. The abolition of ICE should not be underestimated as a plank in her platform. I liked the sound of it, even if it may not happen its a worthy goal.

Im pretty sure we were all okay with Joe Crowley, but where was he? Did he sleep on this challenge? While he was in the local neighborhood papers for a guitar playing gig at a local pub and burger joint and was in a couple of civic parades I never saw him out shaking hands. It wouldnt have killed him to be outside CitiField begging for votes, Cortez did it.

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Photo Mural at Woodside 7 Train & Long Island Railroad staion

In the end it was possibly simple laziness and lack of connection to the district that ended Crowley. He’s still well liked. No one says anything bad about him but Ocasio-Cortez just outflanked him on the left and leaves me living in a town everyone is America is talking about.

Im thinking this is a sign more strong very left women will be winning their races. Woodside and the Mighty 14th District is where the End of Trump begins.

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my actual Ocasio-Cortez handbill that changed my mind

 

Trump’s GOP Cargo Cult

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Recently Republican Senator Bob Corker finally said what we all know- The Modern GOP is a Cult, specifically a Cargo Cult.  It’s latest incarnation sees Trump starting to eclipse Reagan as the demi-god and the introduction of some elements of the “Prosperity Minister” cultism.

Roughly 6 years after I first blogged about this in one of my earliest posts its time to look at the GOP Cargo Cult Now

The Cargo Cult- 

The classic historical Cargo Cult refers to a phenomenon that arose on the isolated pacific islands various military’s built bases on during the Second World War. Looking back it seems likely the earliest Cargo Cults probably revolved around people like Captain Cook and other colonial sea captains and political figures. I guess it’s probably worth noting that the Imperial Japanese, who were fascists, simply tried to ‘genocide’ anyone on islands they occupied and inspired guerrilla resistance rather than obsessive imitation. There are no known Imperial Japanese Cargo Cults, likely due to cruelty.

It’s only in the wake of World War II that sociology and modern psychological thinking have advanced enough for the Cargo Cults to be studied or understood.

The native islanders in places like Papua, New Guinea had not had much contact with the outside world.  They were isolated from the modernized humans who just had little need to go to their little part of the world until the cataclysm of the Second World War.

After the war began in the Pacific the native islanders were subject to massive culture shock.  21st Century humans are probably more mentally prepared for an Alien Invasion than these Un-contacted Tribes were for the 1940’s just erupting onto their neolithic islands. Literally overnight and literally out of the sky in the form of shiny silver airplanes (as well as great iron beasts from the sea) came the mid-20th century. They had NO context for this.

None of the previous limited contacts with outsiders provided a frame of reference for what transpired on their islands, which was the entirety of their very world, over the weeks following arrival of troops. Thousands of years of norms were simply obliterated.

I can’t stress the shock these people felt enough. To these isolated natives the idea that an internal combustion engine would spin gears and operate pistons to spin a propeller to power a vehicle capable of carrying goods or people was inconceivable. To the natives the planes were not machines at all.  They were great beasts akin to hollow metal dragons. The dragons insides were full of ‘Eggs”; or as we would call it, cargo containers. When cracked open there was magical treasure, like coca cola, or candy or whatever inside. They traded with the soldiers on the bases too.

These were near stone age societies. They barely had boats, so they just couldn’t wrap their minds around mechanized flight. It had to be magic! They were convinced that they were seeing people whose gods were simply stronger. It’s the same reaction the Romans would have had if a nuclear aircraft carrier with a squadron of jets showed up in the Mediterranean! So don’t tell yourselves primitive European’s would have handled it better. This was like a Star Trek episode happening to these poor people!

To explain what they saw they looked to the natural world and their own supernatural tales. For instance they saw what we would call “Air Traffic Control” as a magical ritual rather than technical exercise. It’s kind of easy to see how. And they extrapolated conclusions from what they actually “knew”.

The way they saw it the dragons were summoned from the sky by rituals at a holy temple, or as we would call it, a Military Airfield. The “rituals” were the day to day operations of the base. Mundane military stuff like waving in incoming planes with flags and lighting runways seemed ritualistic to them. For obvious reasons, it all really impressed them. Seemed to them the rituals were directly related to the cargo.  Sure seemed like a magical or religious ceremony to them. Viewed as a magic ritual it’s isn’t too far from some ways many peoples had tried to appease their gods. Lots of religions have ritual motions, including Catholicism and most other christian religions.

The difference was their rituals werent as reliable as this at all!  This, it seemed,  never failed! After all, a plane always showed up, so it was just a matter of doing it right. It’s not that hard to see how they developed the misconception. They LOVED the Cargo.

Just as quickly the war ends and the bases were mostly abandoned and life, for the natives, returned to ‘normal’. But things were forever changed.

They had become accustomed to the gleaming aluminum dragons. They missed the Cargo. No longer were the great beasts from the air and sea disgorging the amazing things they now desired. Gone was the supply of canned goods, cigarette lighters, flashlights and coca cola along with all other pieces of 20th century luxury and technology.

They felt that being thrown back 2000 years was  punishment from the Cargo gods and the wanted to reverse that.
In a turn of events still being studied by sociologists and historians, the Cargo Cults emerged.

The Biggest one is called “John Frum”, sometimes spelled “John Frumm” It means “John from America” and theres a lot of images of him. He’s an African American US Navy Seabee.

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A John Frum Cultist (credit Tom Richards)

It happened like this;

Some of the natives eventually found their way to the abandoned bases and imitated the base personnel. Coconuts were fashioned into radio headsets, bamboo control towers were created. ‘Uniformly’ dressed men ‘marched’ in an attempt to summon the cargo Dragons back.

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A Bamboo Airplane constructed by John Frum members

While this didn’t work the behavior has persisted. John Frum is alive and well as a belief system today. In fact, every once in a while a really charismatic John Frum Cult Leader emerges and the whole cycle starts again. To most though, these days hes more like Santa Claus and its just about fun. John Frum is undeniably a part of the fabric of New Guinea society though.

Its should be noted that the cult mindset survives attempts by outside sociologists to dispel it as nonsense. The remaining true adherents are inoculated against the truth by the Cult leaders.

Inoculation Against the Truth ( while also telling people to only believe you), is a trait of most cults. It’s one of the strongest parallels between the MAGA Cult and the Cargo Cults.

In the Trump Cult it’s blatantly about blaming people (like immigrants) for ones own life not magically being better and eating up Trump’s bullshit. Just picture the Bull Headed MAGA hat guy who believes whatever Trump says despite evidence it’s a lie. Now you know why, he somehow has become convinced he’s going to get something out of it. Or, think of Roseanne. She was so wrapped up in it, she felt so strongly about expressing fealty to the Cult she lost her show.

Trump and the GOP Cargo Cult 
How does this apply to early 21st century American Conservatism? The Republican Party is now packed with under qualified ideologues, who espouse an unrealistic image of a worry free past, in this case, the Go Go 80’s, which were sort of a result of idealizing the 50’s.

The Original Cargo Cult Republicans were those whose behavior and beliefs had devolved into a quasi-religious mindset towards Modern American Conservatism revolving around the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan in an idealized, ritualized and unrealistic way.

It seems that the whole idea is sort of tied to a feeling that in the past things were better. Movies were better, music was better. Its purely reactionary. It’s probably something to do with the fact people live longer now and there’s just more people pining for the past in general.

Then there’s a more sinister aspect where a lot of (white) people take it a little further and get into real trouble by extending the analogy too far. It ends up being: “In the past things were better because women and blacks knew their place.” This is sort of insane thing to think but somehow sort of popular. Just ask Tomi Lahren or other people in the White Grievance Political field.  Tomi’s making money talking about pure paranoia all day.

Now the GOP is selling white people on some idea that they’re an oppressed minority. Then they imply (or overtly say) that everyone would be rich if we crack down on Immigration and build a useless Wall in the desert. There’s more spokes of intolerance but that’s the essence of Trumpism. Its very close to classic fascism.

We’ve all heard the term ‘Cult 45″ for the president and his Political Jonestown of Deplorables. The Right seems to be sort of prone to Cult thinking. At this point we’re at least 2 generations deep in a desire to return to the past. This generation specifically wanting to go to the 80’s like their parents wanted to go back to the 50’s. So this would be the third time around we have looked to the 1950s for an ideal and conveninetly forgotten that it was an unjust time with rampant racism and a bad interventionist foreign policy for Uncle Sam.

The members of a Cult do not heed signs they are wrong. Instead they strive to out-do eachother.

The leader tends to jerk the leash regularly to let the followers know who’s boss.  Demonizing anyone not part of the Cult is also textbook cult behavior.

Denouncing people is big. Inside the cult theres a purity test and people like Mark Sanford just can’t pass anymore. The doctrine of Trumps Dangerous Ad Hocracy rules the day.

 

 

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Trump, who was most successful in the 80s, when a rising tide lifted all ships,  played right to this idea and still does. The Cults alive and well. Just ask Bob Corker.

The images of John Frum are replaced with some dirt cheap overpriced red MAGA hats. Trump compared himself to Reagan in a series of falsehoods about his election.

Like the Cargo Cults of the Pacific in the Trump-Reagan Cult values form above results. They could care less that theres a rational explanation or a practical way to do things, they have their coconut phony radios and their MAGA hats.

The “Ritual” these days includes stuff like Xenophobia, Open Carry, Pro Assault Weapon policy, Intolerance and UnAmerican rhetoric. Delivered already are the Tax Cuts, which were done in the face of real statistics and facts that indicated it was reckless and bound to boomerang on us. Trickle Down Economic is a scam. It’s failed under 3 presidents. This is a big part of why it’s a cult.

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Outright Cruelty is also now part of the Cargo. Hating Snowflakes and Libtards is the GOP gospel. So every Travel Ban, every child we kidnap from its parents and every sick person denied care is a reward to the Republican. So they’re getting some of the cargo, the part that’s free, right now. They’re probably pretty sure that they will al be very rich any minute. When that doesn’t happen they will blame who Trump tells them to.  Right now its democrats and immigrant children, but we’ve seen everyone including the pope and the our allies leaders has been hatefully bashed to whip up the greed and hate that motivate a political cargo cult.

Misc-

Found this on youtube. It’s not my opinion but theres a lot of visuals.  The pundit is pretty scathing and I do not endorse all of his assertions, especially his condescending attitude; but at least you can see some of these things for yourself.

 

This is the third dive into Cargo Cults here, I’ve covered the Reagan Cargo Cult Mitt Romney tried floating (the time wasnt right) and my post on the Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action” which involves an alien race that is highly impressionable and prone to “follower” behavior.

Outspoken Trump & Putin Critic Anthony Bourdain Dies Mysteriously

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Outspoken Trump and Putin critic Anthony Bourdain has died under mysterious circumstances in Europe.

While Bourdain had a troubled past and could have lost a battle with addiction or depression, there’s been no mention of a note.

Bourdain had called out Putin, among other things, as a murderer.

The former Chef turned free-range CNN world correspondent also seemed to fine recently on camera and none of his coworkers seem to have seen this coming. He leaves behind an 11 year old daughter. It would seem he had everything to live for.

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Putin is exactly the kind of person who would kill someone he disliked and try to make it look like a suicide. He was in France, well within the established Putin Killing Zone for anyone he feels like off-ing.

I for one am glad its in the hands of French rather than American authorities.

Meanwhile the world has lost an ambassador for tolerance and a voice of resistance to the Trump – Putin Criminality that.s currently holding the us all hostage.

Its not impossible or maybe even unlikely Anthony Bourdain simply took his own life, but the idea Putin would just kill him needs to be analyzed by law enforcement. Again, I’m glad its not in the hands of American authorities because for this I trust the French a lot more.

Here he is allowing an anti Putin dissident to use his show as a platform. Putin is just as vain as Trump but far more ruthless and effective. We know he loves killing off his critics. This is the sort the thing he would hold a deadly grudge about for sure.  The man in the interview, Boris Nemtsov, died in a hail of gunfire weeks later. Now, mysteriously, Bourdain is dead as well.

 

Trump’s Dangerous Misunderstanding of Patton

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We’ve all seen enough by now to know that President Trump has an unhealthy fixation on the movie “Patton”. There’s plenty of articles by right wing people comparing Trump to Patton favorably and some of the more religious among them are buying in to Patton’s own belief in re-incarnation and, of course, imagining that it’s Trump. Trump himself seems to embrace Patton. He certainly mentions him regularly.

All I can say about the re-incarnation thing is- Patton saw himself only re-incarnated as a soldier and would have stayed in Vietnam every moment he could. He didn’t have to serve in the military, he was dyslexic, but he overcame it just so he could fight. So lets just forget about Trump being Patton reincarnated. Its preposterous.

The thing is Trump has a dangerous infatuation that will shape our futures. He is , in fact, president.

In Trump’s personal style dealing with the media and at his rallies we’ve seen him channel the angry, eccentric World War II generals profane and detailed threats, put downs and boasting as some of the main aspects of his public persona.
The big problems with this are that Donald Trump is not like George Patton at all and that the movie glosses over certain flaws while making others appear as virtues.

Even worse, certain coincidences I believe Trump regards as similarities between himself and Patton as portrayed in the movie are now re-enforcing his delusional belief that he is very much like George Patton. Both are meltdown prone and scream at staff and abuse subordinates, both talk their way into huge avoidable problems. But thats as far as the real similarities really go. These men, and the staff’s they yelled at, couldn’t be more different.

Trump’s surrounded by Yes Men and traitors who can’t event get a security clearance. Patton’s guys were crack combat officers. So Trump’s never getting back competent answers or a person with enough integrity to stand up against a bad idea. Patton was rooted in reality far more than Trump and if his fuel guy told him there was no fuel he’d scream a little, but he didn’t crucify the guy. Or scapegoat them. He understood there was simply no fuel. That’s a major difference.

This is a hard break with Trump’s uncontested bile and anger when he is actually told things he doesnt want to hear.  Trump lives in his own reality, Patton was merely  a romantic.  There’s also the fact Trump would simply try to steal or blackmail someone into giving him what he wants. This wasn’t an option for Patton, who was more honorable than that anyway.

Of necessity,  Patton’s guys were colonels and West Point grads who could absorb a military tantrum. Patton wasn’t spared bad news. SO there’s another major difference.

Another thing we all know about the president is he is a grandiose liar. He’s racked up several thousand outright falsehoods in just over a year in office and the tally keeps growing. In fact if you look at the numbers he’s lying more often than ever now. As far as Patton goes, Trump’s lying to himself. We already know Trump fancies himself smarter than a general, he told us so himself. It needs to be noted that Patton was not known to be a liar.

Here’s how a man mistakes a dramatic movie for reality; Trump is very simply ignorant of History and has very little actual knowledge about the actual Patton. In fact the only piece of information I’m absolutely sure Trump is aware of would be the Conspiracy Theories regarding Patton’s death (not in the movie). So to him this movie is 100% accurate and real. We know he never bothered reading up on it, come on!

Fantastic scenes where the salty general jumps out a window and cuts loose with his personal pistols against a couple of german bombers wrecking up his base are pure Hollywood but I’m sure this hasn’t occurred to Trump. He probably thinks Patton was an action hero AND a commanding officer.

The biggest thing my hypothesis has going for it is if you momentarily embrace it, it explains pretty much everything and holds up to scrutiny from numerous angles. Of course its not perfect, but indulge me and then draw your own conclusion— BECAUSE COMMENTS ARE ENABLED!! Please weigh in if you feel so inclined!

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Patton- The Embellished Bio-Pic

Patton was pure Oscar Gold seldom paralleled. Winner of Academy Awards for Best Actor (George C Scott) Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Francis Ford Coppola) and Best Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith of Star Trek fame!).

The movie ‘Patton’ is a masterpiece of film making that starts with a very strong Francis Ford Coppola screenplay advised by none other than Patton contemporary and equal- General Omar Bradley himself. An inspired George C Scott gave a brilliant, authentic and career defining performance then blew off accepting his Best Actor Oscar to go to a hockey game, how cool is that? Throw in one of the best movie scores outside Star Wars to move it along from the great Jerry Goldsmith of Star Trek fame. The director was Franklin J Shaffner , fresh off “Planet of the Apes” success.

Why This Movie Is A Dangerous Influence on Trump

Trump’s fascination with Patton is a problem for a bunch of reasons. For one thing George Patton, despite his success, is a TERRIBLE role model for a politician or president. Brash and outspoken, his role in the war was minimized because of his personal antics.

While the movie makes much of this, the scenes where Patton goes on tirades around his staff and peers over the consequences of so many ill considered actions (sound familiar?) are captivating. George C Scott plays him as a figure who NEEDS to create obstacles for himself by self sabotaging because fate always turns the tables and suddenly the sabotage ends up benefiting him. Were Patton to have never stirred the pot he wouldn’t have had such great luck. Trump, as we have seen, loves to self sabotage. This could be part of why.

The obvious problem is Francis Ford Coppola is NOT writing reality and we may all be let down when fate DOESN’T turn the tables and everyone ends up screwed because of one of Trump’s crazy actions or tweets,etc. The poorly considered Korea Summit would be an example of self sabotage and then waiting for miracle. In reality the South Koreans really want some kind of peace talks so the idea keeps lurching forward while Trump vacillates.

The real Patton was apparently had no political ambitions, which makes sense since despite a rough charm he had no diplomatic skill or real personal charisma. He needed the shock and awe of non stop profanity to drive home a point to fighting men in time of war though. The moment he spoke to anyone else he was always and only ever inappropriate. While this was (barely) forgivable for a mid 20th century war time general, it’s just awful for a 21st century president! Yet we have only seen Trump speak for longer and longer making one dangerous uninformed statement after the next while salting in hardcore racism with the boasting, threats and pure bullshit.

Patton was so awful a human being technical adviser General Omar Bradley quit the movie when he saw the script portrayed him and Patton as close friends. Bradley, its should be noted, was famously a nice guy. This means Patton was probably despicable, so he has that in common with Trump. Bradley seems to have regarded him as exactly the re-incarnated Dark Ages Warlord Patton fancied himself to be in his poetry. Being a horrible dick may be the only thing Trump and Patton truly have in common, but Patton of course had certain redeeming traits.

In his own time Patton was seen as an eccentric throwback. Basically he was little too crazy and liked war a little too much. He was the kind of soldier who needed to be sealed in case marked “Only Open in Case of War”. He chaffed at his bosses and generally was a pain in their asses.

Despite fighting the nazis like a boss, he seemed to go soft on them after the war. Unlike Trump he hated the Russians, but he probably would have conspired with them just to get World War 3, which he gets sacked for advocating for (along with the soft on ex-nazi’s thing). When Patton dies he was in a heap of trouble and had no command again.

The root of Trump’s many misconceptions is due to viewing the movie in a very simple manner. Its unlikely Trump ever took a single film class. The fact is Film Appreciation 101 might save the planet were Trump forced to take the course. If he had he would have realized the Ironic Duality of the plot.

Simply put the movie is all about introducing the open question of “Is Patton all that is Great and Gallant in the Military? Or is he all that is Wrong and Perverse about War and War Making?” The movie seems to suggest he is both at the same time.

The characters from the movie line up in Trump World roughly like this- Trump of course is Patton. Egotistical British General Montgomery , equally delusional and insane to only a slightly lesser degree, is ‘Crooked Hillary’. Patton’s very first aide in the movie who dies is BOTH original campaign managers AND Chris Christie (aside from the actual sorrow Patton felt,Trump we know is a stranger to empathy). Cod, his final aide is Kellyanne Conway and racist Steve Bannon. Omar Bradley and the US military are Paul Ryan and the Republicans. The German Military is Mueller and the FBI.

The movie opens with a ‘Patton Rally’. With a huge flag behind him he lays down tough, gruff and profanity laced violent rhetoric in clear terms. Everything is black and white, which is just fine because they’re preparing for war. It’s really freaky when you see the scene superimposed on a 21st century political rally.

The movie provides a composite of Patton’s actual speeches delivered brilliantly, using George Scott’s incredible speaking voice to draw us in as he gives it to his troops in a loud and dirty fashion. It’s very much a political looking arena and the first of many Academy Award Moments defying the viewer to look away.

When Patton begins to speak he’s commanding and profane. He tells his men their better than anyone their opponents, who are subhuman creeps. He boasts about their training and weapons and says they’re destined to win. He speaks of violence and glory. Again, perfect for a wartime general, TERRIBLE for a president, but of course its not very different from what Trump says at his rallys.

Trump holds out immigrants and muslims as an enemy and dehumanizes them almost s much as Patton dehumanized the Nazis extolling his troops to kill. Unlike Patton, there’s no hope. Patton is sure their going to win and win big. Maybe it wont be easy or fun, but it’s going to happen. Trump follows one false gloomy statement with another.

There are some traits both the Man in the Movie and Trump share. Then there’s a lot of fluke-ish coincidences where they seem to resemble each other but dont hold up.

One similarity between Trump and Movie Patton would be the portrayal of Patton as very much Bipolar, which is one of the dominant parts of Trump’s Borderline Personality Disorder. So what I’m saying is both were crazy. Patton, and Trump, also had certain traits of sociopaths and worse.

Patton was probably ‘Manic Depressive’ in terms of that time. Both were spotty students at prestigious schools (though Patton was afflicted with dyslexia, an actual learning disability he overcame, showing some discipline and personal character). Both are only functional when attacking. Both are insulated from their mistakes by great personal wealth. The bottom line is; “Both were crazy and self destructive”

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Anti-Patton Cartoon from “Patton” (1970)

Both loved media coverage of and yet bristled at the scrutiny that invites. Both earned the distinction of “Suspected Huge Fan of the Nazis” from the media in their time.

Neither one feels that it’s fair to have their own words used against them, no matter how hypocritical.

Near the end of the movie Patton’s being questioned by the press as to why he won’t remove former Nazi’s from key positions. He answers with his own “Very Fine People” gaff- analogizing the nazis to the Republican and Democratic Parties in the United States. It was such a stupid thing to say you don’t actually feel that bad he let himself get set up. In fact it seemed like he knew they were setting him up and went with a defiant response out of pure bile. It destroys his post War career.

Neither guy can simply shut up for any length of time. While Trump uses tweets Patton would simply act in an outrageous manner (sound familiar?) til the press couldn’t look away.

Both seem to flirt with the idea of War for War’s sake (the Patton character admits this repeatedly). The recent whimsical attitude in meeting with North Korea in different capacities without any preparation fits well with the Patton in the movie, but it sure isn’t reflective of the real life guy.

“Fire and fury,” is a total Patton line. It’s not from the movie, but it would fit. Threatening people is one of Trump’s favorite things. Patton boasted all the time too. The difference of course is it’s APPROPRIATE for general to be boastful and threatening.

And Appropriateness is an area where Trump is really in need of improvement. Whacked out tweets, not putting his hand on his heart during the National Anthem, disparaging numerous Gold Star Families and worse are all in a days work for the offender in chief. Bolstered by his delusion he’s Patton or Patton-like at least, Trump is likely to continue and increase the boasts and threats.

A particularly dangerous sequence in the movie revolves around the German Siege of Bastogne. Loaded up with fuel and ammo and ready to kick the Nazi’s asses the weather intercedes and slows sops his relief attempt.

Angry and scream-y, Patton decides its time for some help from God and a little theater to motivate the troops. He summons the Division Chaplain and makes and demands a prayer good enough for god to intercede and stop the storm. The chaplain points out hes asking him to pray for a battle and therefore death on massive scale and it’s sort of messed up. Patton has no problem with the hypocrisy.  Then he goes on a rant worthy of a Spartan king or a particularly extreme Roman general about how they’re going to be sustaining the attack no matter what. Patton admits to his aide he’s sort of acting. Its another Academy Award moment in the film.

A truly inspirational prayer, for those who care about such things, was written. The weather cleared fairly quickly thereafter and the Patton’s army set off on a historic campaign.

Of course what we all know today about Patton’s Weather Prayer is that a warm front moved in and the snow simply stopped. That doesn’t blunt the forceful nature of the scene where Patton excoriates a regimental chaplain, telling him to write a prayer “good enough” for God to bother listening. Its very much like Trump’s contempt for the Pope and religion in general. The “Two Corinthians” Fiasco shows Trump has no religious knowledge or convictions but has no problem with rank hypocrisy and is therefore a bit less moral than Patton.

This sequence of the movie is meant to show Patton’s Hubris and psychopathy in pursuit of battle and it’s a very dangerous thing to take it literally as surely Trump does. We can blame the Evangelical communities blind loyalty and excuse make-ing for Trump for this delusion gaining strength.

Another thing Trump and ‘Movie Patton’ have in common would be a total lack of understanding of whats called “Psychological Warfare”. In the film Patton is apparently baffled as to the importance of his mission leading up to D-Day- to be a weapon of mass distraction . Patton’s use as a decoy convinced Hitler to disregard an Actual Invasion and hold off forces that may well have turned the tide of the War itself , to await a Fictional Invasion that was never going to happen. It was key to pulling of the Allied Invasion of France.

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Now consider Trump calling the Generals and the former president stupid repeatedly for broadcasting some details of their plan to destroy ISIS. He simply doesn’t understand the idea that you can cloud your opponents judgement to the point you can predict or even control his actions.

It’s too subtle for the movie character or Trump to grasp.

Both Trump and Patton have a deep disdain of giving out any government healthcare. Patton orders his hospital units not to admit Combat Fatigue (PTSD), which he considers cowardice.

This was so insane even to 1940’s medical personnel they simply ignore him. That of course boomerangs on Patton in his version of a “Hot Mic on the Bus” moment. Of course I am talking of the scene where Patton slaps a ‘cowardly’ soldier in a Field Hospital, disgusting everyone and showing his troops how little he cares about them despite the bravado.

In the heat of battle Patton visits a field hospital. At first he’s compassionate and deeply moved. Then he tirns hateful and insane. The General loses control of himself publicly and betrays his own bi-polar nature and complete lack of empathy during a brutal, sort of violent, screaming meltdown culminating with him repeatedly slapping a ‘cowardly’ soldier.

Lack of sleep and stress are surely in the mix when the real Patton freaked out like a true bi-polar. The sequence shows the dark side of Patton’s insanity. I dont think Trump will see it that way. His cruel approach to medicare and the Obamacare reforms shows he has no compassion, something the cinematic Patton develops. Trump surely wont (because Francis Ford Coppola is not writing reality).

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Real life Patton slapped more than one soldier more than one time til they actually had to discipline him and remove him from command. It was just like the self inflicted wound we see Trump give himself all the time. Unlike Patton, he just never gets a humbling comeuppance where he returns slightly improved from time to time. Trump just keep making the same mistakes over and over.

Patton is benched and used as a decoy until after the D-Day Invasion, the battle he had waited all his life to fight in. He faces it like a pitcher caught doctoring a baseball and forced to miss a playoff start. In other words, with only a minimal thought of anyone else. Again Patton shows his view of war and command to be from the Dark Ages or perhaps early Renaissance at its most compassionate.

In his finest moments of triumph after receiving a new army to command, when prosecuting the war Patton is shown as petty and dismissive of his soldiers well-being and simply thinks of his Army as a whole. To Patton, when people get killed it’s like the Army itself is just trimming it’s fingernails. In other words; it’s a natural ongoing function of war. With Trump we can see the chaos in his personal staff and cabinet, burning people like Michael Cohen as needed.

Just as important as winning were the laurels and press adulation that came with it. When holding the spotlight Patton is grandiose in his actions while his words are always petty. Demonizing and denigrating his personal rivals, boasting of his the strength of his army. Its much like Trump with the exception of the part it’s actually appropriate for a general to have that attitude in time of war. Trump appropriating the George C Scott version of Patton in a political mode ISN’T appropriate at all, it worked well enough to get him ‘elected’ (we think). A crass and abusive screed of insults and violent rhetoric are the hallmark of every Trump Rally ever

Patton and Trump have contempt for the abilities (and probably even the racial abstraction) of the Russians, despite Trump’s open admiration for Putin. Patton moves himself firmly onto the hot seat in the early postwar moments by repeatedly insulting people, specifically members of the Russian military, the US President and that which would become NATO. Sound familiar ?

The movie closes with the disgraced Patton reflecting in how the Romans would celebrate a victory with a triumphant parade through Rome itself and a warning that all Glory is Fleeting. Cadet Bone Spurs insistence on a Bigly Military Parade is right in line with this.

Disturbing Conclusions and Thoughts-

We already have had our national policy shaped by this movie. As the documentary “All The President’s Movies” tells us, Nixon ordered major bombing offenses against Vietnam twice after watching the movie. And we all know that Trump loves Nixon so if he finds out that watch out!

It’s my theory that Trump see’s the story of Patton as that of an American who couldn’t lose cause he was an American and that he was an exceptional person who prospered BECAUSE he broke all rules and civility rather than IN SPITE OF THIS. I believe he sees his kooky Cabinet of Billionaire Ass kissers as equivalent to Patton’s highly trained and battle proven staff officers. This dangerous delusion was how Trump found a way to cast crazy ex-General Flynn in the role of Omar Bradley. Comparing Flynn to Bradley is so far from the truth it would be laughable of it weren’t absolute reality.

Based on his overtly displayed misunderstanding of the movie Trump shows he is dangerously militarily primitive and most comfortable with methods and ideas more commonly associated with the Nazi Germans than 20th century Americans.

Military deaths are way up under Trump I truly think he’s relaxed rules of engagement and demanded more missions in general. If you doubt it just consider the Green Berets lost in Niger. We still can’t get a reason that makes sense about why they were even on that doomed mission.

Patton is a terrible role model for even most soldiers as he was always succeeding at he expense of higher all around casualties. He declined peaceful solutions whenever possible. He was always one mistake from disaster but circumstance connived him a series of unlikely wins. As a role model for a president Patton is a disaster.

Like Trump, Patton’s glory should never eclipse the incompetence of his enemies. It requires some historical perspective to understand. Patton was set loose in western Europe with a veteran army and ample supplies. Even more decisive the Germans are mandated by Hitler ONLY to plan against Patton in an area where they expect the Invasion that never comes in Calais. Rather than ever accepting that they must fight Patton they become intimidated and willfully ignorant of the reality due to Hitler’s rapid mental decline from seriously insane to non functional maniac between about 1942 and early 1944. Patton directly benefits. Nothing analogous this is in play for Trump, His current foe, Mueller, is self-created but much more competent than Trump and no amount of freaking out is going to save Trump from that

Looking back at the 2016 campaign think of this as being roughly the same as Hillary not going to states she considered ‘safe’, like the vaunted Democratic “Blue Wall” of reliably Democratic states , each of which she then lost by less than an under-attended baseball game worth of people. We know Trump appreciates this misstep because its one of his favorite riffs to go on from the now “Trump 2020” rallies that are a veritable torchlight parade for the guy. “Kill Them All! Build That Wall!” however, is a lot less civilized than the behavior we see from people about to go to an actual war. Its belicose shit talking that serves just to help these cultists pay homage top their hero and are probably damaging the fabric of America.

Unlike Trump, Patton didn’t have a staff of soothsayers and guru’s off Fox News, Patton’s guys were highly competent top notch merit promoted staff officers with great expertise. Trumps rag tag group of advisers is anything BUT top notch or Highly Competent. They also have more turnover than Patton, which is amazing.

Another unavoidable conclusion from the movie is that current 21st century Americans are actually LESS civilized than Americans of the mid 20th century, 75 years ago, or at the very least the Americans of 1970 when the film is made. Being at war since 9-11 surely is somewhat to blame for this. This suggests that assertions about a cult of ignorance and a desire to literally turn back the clock to early post world war 2, before the integration of the military, by the Trumpists are very much real and accurate.

The movie ends before the freakish and controversial death of Patton in a car accident. The truth is the driver probably just messed up and plain old crashed. Patton lingered for a few days and was buried with his troops. Its long been imagined and even said that the General was killed by the CIA’s predecessor the OSS. This is sonething I’m sure Trump believes Patton was assassinated. I mean, there’s the whole issue where he’s afraid someone is going to poison him to back it up.

The Hate-Watcher’s Guide to Disney’s Star Wars Fails; Episode 1- Uncool Weapons

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Ever since Force Awakens hit theaters it’s slowly become obvious that the production values in The Galaxy Far, Far Away have fallen even as the budget has gone up. Sure, things usually look good in the center of the screen, but as anyone who’s racked up repeated views of Force Awakens, Last Jedi and SOLO will notice- Only the hero’s weapons are any good.

Part of it is technology may have simply enabled the developers to the point where they became the opposite of Creative, they are now “Risk Averse”. So while we got a decent effect for  Star Killer Base’s main weapon its sort of alone amidst dreadful new props and bad Foley Art (sound effects).

More Elegant Weapons from a More Civilized Time

Bigger, blander has been the trend and of course nothing is worse than Kylo Ren’s three bladed lightsaber. It’s at once stupid, poorly imagined, and thought provokingly impractical. The weapon was just a terrible vision of a lightsaber variant. It might have been forgivable alone, but it had plenty of (bad) company!

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This is all on Disney. It’s cheapness, laziness and a lot of re-use of things from the Avenger’s Universe. It’s not like they can’t get it right, when they shelled out for lots of Lucas property in Rogue 1 and embraced the feel of the original movies things worked out. Everyone had a pretty cool weapon right down to the US Omaha Beach gear some of the Rebels sport in the final assault. They took the time to really study the original gear and art from the first movie. They also correctly realized that George Lucas was homage-ing World War II movies and added some real WWII movie looking features to the whole production. It’s not rocket science!

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WW2 style Rebels in Rogue 1

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two awesome, real looking weapons in a cut scene from Rogue 1 Theatrical release

Even in the heavily criticized pre-quel series George Lucas designed better looking and sounding weapons than Disney has ever bothered with. For example, when Lucas decides to give the lightsaber an upgrade for Darth Maul it results in a cool, dangerous and logical looking weapon. Same thing for blaster pistols. Jango Fett has a great set of silver blasters that sound awesome when fired. It seems like the Solo movie’s Lando has one just like them judging from the look and sound of it.

Continuing on the topic of Blasters we have lots of stand out bad props. It seems perhaps no one wants to use their best ideas on a weapon that will end up being property of Disney anyway. A lot of highly boring weapons are showing up for whatever reason.

The Force Awakens shows us our lamest weapons to that point. Consider it a watershed moment where lack of creativity would always be accepted so long as a huge special effects scene was enabled. The Star Killer Base itself is just not that creative a weapon. It’s a mega Death Star. It’s acceptable but it also seems like the galaxy’s most expensive fire and forget weapon cause they suck that star dry! Some enabling dialogue could fixed that in a second, but the movies sloppy. “After we fire prepare to tow the base to the secondary star in the next system!” There- see how easy that was?

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Finn’s Blaster

The standard Stormtrooper weapon for the First Order is only okay. Its got white plastic on it probably incorporated for the sale of the toy (keeping it from looking too real). If we’re going to start designing movies around creating more effective Cosplay outfit we should just quit making Star Wars movies right now.

 

Rey’s blaster is a good example of a terrible weapon. It looks awful and lacks any menacing quality. It also sounds pretty crappy when she fires it. I won’t even waste a

paragraph on the LEGO style rifle Finn gets from Han Solo. I will indulge one more sentence and say its so bad it makes Rey’s modded vape rig of a pistol look a lot better.

In general they’ve given up on putting that worn, hard-used look into people’s personal weapons. In the past generally when Lucas was calling the shots the coolest weapons (and ships) had a convincing beat up look.  In the Disney Star Wars movies most of the gear looks new and fresh. It’s just not very Star Wars. Most Non Imperial Star Wars gear looks like it’s in serious need of maintenance.

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Rey’s blaster

Just among major characters in the Solo movie; Beckett’s personal weapon was a forgettable collection of tubes! Bad Guy Vision/ Dryden Vos terrorizes people with a pair of ginsu brass knuckle lightsabers that are a snooze! I wont insult you by posting a picture.

Conversely, very watchable Rogue 1 features mostly Lucas and Lucas-like ships, enemies and weapons and made for a Star Wars movie we could feel the ‘danger’ in.

There’s also a new level of Gun Awareness in our society that shouldn’t make it into the movies creative process (at least so far as marketability of toys). In most states relaistic looking reproductions of weapons are simply illegal.  The result is that ‘realistic’ (aka Menacing looking) weapons have to be orange when they’re made into toys/collectibles. Seems the art prop department played to that.

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Rey’s blaster prototype?

Think of it this way- when the original movie opens in 1977 every single weapon was awesome and had a great sound to it. Han’s blaster, storm trooper rifles, the Death Star’s main weapon. All wins. This starts to go away slowly in the prequels, but the guns still reflect the characters. Not so much anymore.

Han Solo’s weapon alone is a triumph of Hero Weaponry. Inspired by a real gun, heavy and dangerous looking, had a great sound for ‘cocking’ it as well as a super cool ‘report’ when it fired. It did damage that seemed appropriate. It’s a win. The storm trooper rifles are no less brilliant.

And George Lucas was a MASTER of Foley art who could always squeeze just a little more juice out of the right sounds and weapon combo. In return of the Jedi we finally hear a second type of weapon fired from the Falcon. You never get a great look but it seems that there’s forward firing cannons as well as the Quad laser Turrets. It has a unique bass-y sound.

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Han Solo’s Lucas Conceived weapon

 

Lucas vs Disney = No Contest

There’s a visible creative drop off between Lucas conceived and, for lack of a better term, Abrams conceived weapons, where Lucas wins hand over fist. It’s not even close.

Cube-ish, rectangular and uninteresting weapons that unimportant characters sport are a new and growing problem. The Creature/ Weapon asssembly line at Dinsey evokes under-thought 1970’s Marvel Star Wars comics weapons or even something like the mid 80’s GI Joe animated cartoon. Everything looks like it’s made of LEGOS. The Force Awakens was a call away from arms, for lack of a better term, as it signaled a huge slip concept designs. Except for Rogue 1 all the weapons we’ve seen from Disney are just awful.

Refocusing on the SOLO Movie; every weapon but the main characters, which were leftover from Lucas, is bland and boring. Only ships like the Falcon and TIE fighters are actually good or have decently menacing weapons. Even so, the Non Lucas guns on the Falcon, which we understand were before a lot of “special modification”, were still just lame. Its not like the visibly less cool gun couldnt have sounded a little less wimpy. The earlier tie fighters were ‘copyright payment reducing-ly different,’ with toned down weapons as well and are not quite as familiar or menacing . They seem like they will be easy to deal with and they are.

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Characters weapons were once much more important in The Galaxy Far, Far Away. The spoke to a character and added to it.

 

The desire to have the weapons reflect the character and also where they fit in to society was a meme in the original movie. For instance, well toCharacters weapons were once much more important in The Galaxy Far, Far Away. The spoke to a character and added to it.  do princess Leia has an appropriately elegant blaster, as does her mother Amidala in the prequels.

As for Leia’s weapon, it’s also well thought out and she stays with in later movies. It seems more precise and have a smaller impact mark on the stormtroopers she hits. Luke’s original musket was another example of the weapon fitting the character. It’s slim and elegant. It looks like a rich person would own it more than say what Han is running around with. It’s one of the character’s signature possessions.

When Luke gets his own pistol he ends up with what Han uses rather than the usual Rebel blaster, showing he was not your typical Rebel. It could be viewed as showing the characters self image, even if its just that he noticed it was pretty effective.

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Rogue 1- Always the Exception

On the opposite end of the scale, the fluke good movie, Rogue 1, features mostly Lucas conceived ships and weapons. Let’s face it, it helped. The reveal of Princess Leia at the end is a rare moment of respectful treatment of an original character, but thats a whole post of its own.

The Rogue 1 characters weapons and what original gear, weapons and ships they had were close to the weapons we see in the original series. Its clear that this production team looked at the same sources Lucas looked at- the weapons and equipment of World War II, for inspiration when designing anything new.

It’s got a far more authentic “Star Wars” feel. We don’t have the Falcon, but he have the basic Imperial Shuttle, which has always been cool ( but was re-interpreted somewhat poorly as the First Order shuttle). Also in Rogue 1 we have a big battle featuring almost purely Lucas conceived ships at the end of the movie. Plenty of X-Wings, TIE fighters and other familiar and signature vessel’s were part of the fight. It felt very ‘Star Wars’.

A bunch of Darth Vader scenes where he does everything we love climaxes with his vicious attack on a group of rebel soldiers. It’s one of everyone’s favorite scenes from the movie and has been cosplayed at subsequent Comic-Cons. All the weapons in this sequence are Lucas conceived and it’s the best part of the best Disney movie by Light Years.  Think about that.

Intellectual Property

This will be it’s own post soon. Just a thought for now-

Im thinking theres probably a connection to the language in the Disney – Lucas Intellectual Property Agreement that is part of pushing weapons and ships into a Non-Lucas area.

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more awesome weapons from Rogue 1

 

 

 

 

Why Star Wars Movies Keep Getting Worse

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Parallel Cosmologies

Well if you can mess up a Han Solo movie you can mess up anything. While Solo wasn’t a complete disaster it wasn’t as good as Rogue 1 or Revenge of the Sith. In general the movies are trending down. I have a few theories about exactly why this is happening.

Here’s my take on how these movies have gotten to the point making a good one is not likely at all-
The Wrong Movies Made MUCH More Money

Biggest Single Problem – The Phantom Menace is the highest grossing movie. That means every movie since has had elements of this huge fail thrown in. They think their giving the people what they want. It’s just because the price of movie tickets had hit an all time high (and has not gone up much since) around the time the movie came out AND the Star Wars Mandela Effect (more on that later)

Return of the Jedi is probably the highest grossing of the original trilogy in initial releases for all the obvious reasons. ROTJ is so flawed the Ret-Conning starts pretty quickly. Its probably the most re-made of the original movies too. This leads to a lot of problems. Lucas keeps helicoptering back to do a little more here and there.

One of the now recurring problems starting with ROTJ is “Unfrozen Han Solo” is a hit as a giddy comic relief type with no remaining darkness. It completes the characters journey from hard bitten cynic and works only in that sense. Sadly that version of Solo was the one we get in the Solo origin movie. It hamstrung the movie and the character.

Un-Failing Through Sheer Profitability has made the movies bomb proof and review-proof. How do you get a read on a franchise when your most flawed movie is highest grossing and you discount pent up demand?
Tech Crazy Money Hungry Mistakes and Purple Shift Compromise Originals

Along the way Lucas really fucks up and ‘Purple Shifts’ the prints of the original movies. In other words he was too quick to digitize the movies and they suffer from a then unnoticed flaw in technology. All colors pulled towards purple. Only a few people notice, until everyone does. Then you see it to the point its distracting. Its likely the original color scheme is gone forever.
Star Wars Mandela Effect

People just seem to blame themselves when they see a multi-billion dollar grossing movie that they know sucks. Herd Mentality and groupthink kick in. You see the same thing with badly designed cell phones. Apple especially has introduced flawed phones and blamed the user. One time they convinced everyone they just couldnt take a picture right. Hey it worked, right? Forget that they hadnt worked out a huge bug and just patched it. The story held up.

Most people think they enjoyed the movies no matter what. It’s like a lot of people are innoculated ahead of time against believing the movie could be bad.

There’s a harsh group of fans who also just hate every movie and at one time they were cranks. No one wants these cynics to win. It’s spiteful denial that the doomsayers ended up being right.

This means no ones Word of Mouth Testimonials about the movies can really be believed. Theyre lying to themselves and will try to get you to validate it for them by telling you it was good or that it was worth seeing.
Toy Money

The toy money is just as green as the movie money. So if the movie is a little off the mark more toys can be released and people will buy them no matter what. So you can ‘save’ movies with toys

The cruel Paradox; Toys are for Children; doesnt happen exactly like you might think, but it affects the movies.

Everyone collects the toys, including me. The problem isnt that adults wont buy them, they do. It’s making a movie too dark and scary for children at all is now off the table.

As proof I offer this- the best movie outside the original series is still Revenge of the Sith, the only PG-13 Star Wars movie ever. It was not considered profitable and its the “Temple of Doom” of the franchise. Different and interesting but not as successful and much ignored.

So you don’t really learn anything from making a chance-y but good movie. Another way to fairly assess the movies also gets closed off.

No chances are taken with Star Wars movies at all. The spark is gone. The New York Times accused the Solo movie of being a movie about a Wikipedia page. Its not unfair at all. There were few surprises in Solo.
Feedback Loop of Yes-Men

The Phantom Menace was terrible because NO ONE could criticize George Lucas to his face. The Internet made him anonymous again. He has never spoken of it but he was definitely going online like everyone else and he saw some biting criticisms. To his credit he seems to have listened. Im sure the first few hours were horrible for him though.

You can see Lucas’ effort to literally Un-Fuck the problems of Episode 1 in Episode 2. By Episode 3 he had re-set the stage for a truly good movie in Return of the Sith. I think Lucas absolutely was letting the fans have their way and its probably out of shame when he himself realizes he screwed the pooch with Episode 1.

Once Lucas is gone this lesson leaves with him.
No Failure Analysis

The fans are not honest with themselves when the movie is bad. this stops anyone from killing things that don’t work because most people are followers.

Don’t be a Follower. Solo, for example, has so many problems that exist outside center screen that it’ll be analyzed to death. They’re real.
Pure CGI Infatuation

CGI has been a blessing and a curse for the movie industry. In one sense wow, we can have a city wiped out by a flood or a snowstorm. Its freeing but in Sci-Fi its cut both ways and led some aspects of movie making right off a cliff creatively.

Its a lot of power to be able to use a CGI spectacle to bail out a medicore movie. That means movies that once wouldnt get made at all get made anyway with big special effects budget. Overall the worst thing its done its made for a lot of lazy shortcuts in otherwise good movies.

Star Wars goes through the same temptations and issues. And In the Galaxy Far, Far Away the problems also existed because, after all, its in Hollywood.

While Lucas got KILLED for the problems of the character Jar Jar Binks, the critics deem him as an ‘acceptable” effect and it starts us down a path of Pure CGI creatures. Most of the time the Pure CGI creature is simply too easy to create and ends up being mediocre.

They just never reach the level of believeability that Peter Jackson consistently manages to achieve.
Lazy Alien, Ship and Weapon Creation & the Tragedy of the Golden Army

A few scars, a helmet and some breathing issues and you’ve got yourself a bad guy. There no more to it than that. Technology may have simply enabled the developers to the point where they became the opposite of Creative.

Should the Alien Invasion ever occur we will all be shocked and angry if the alien race isn’t essentially the aliens from Hellboy, Hellboy 2: the Golden Army. and Pan’s Labyrinth.  These aliens were simply Reused in the Avengers. They pull all aliens is a similar direction.

What we are now confronted with is the proto-type aliens we see a lot now were created by Guillermo Del Toro.  They are/were great, but this vision has now made the rounds Lets face it, refugees from Pans Labyrinth and deserters from the Golden Army show up all over the place. They’ve inspired a lot of “Boss” Aliens. The thing is both Hellboy movies and Pans Labyrinth are populated with things like actual, working gags. The Star Wars movies really can’t boast this of late. In fact Last Jedi misfired 2 jokes in a row (to start BOTH Storylines) in the most ramshackle movie yet.

The Golden Army has no apparent Veterans Administration or benefits. Seems they all became Intergalactic Blackwater guys when the Golden Army lets them go. I dont know but lets maybe get them their own movie again and move on in other franchises? This is a whole post of its own one day.

The laziness and enablement that gets us so many dull aliens spills over to affect all aspects of production. Starships and aliens also too often get short creative shrift.

It’s a real issue in Solo, outside the Heroes Weapons and Starships are Under-Developed. Again its due to the ease of which any vision can be created.

Think of it this  way – when the original movie opens in 1977 every single weapon was awesome and had a great sound to it. Han’s blaster, the storm trooper rifles, the Death Star’s main weapon. All wins. This starts to go away slowly in the prequels, but the guns still reflect the characters and the sounds of the weapons remains excellent. Not so much anymore.

In the SOLO Movie every weapon but the main characters, which were leftover from Lucas, was bland and boring. Only ships like the Falcon and TIE fighters are actually good. Most obviously- Beckett’s ship was just 3 rectangles!

Because they’ve developed so many aliens theres a point where Aliens are no longer Alien. We’re just too familiar with Galaxies Far, Far Away.
Many Successful Parodies

After Spaceballs the Star Wars Parodies kept coming. Most were good and that just makes it harder then ever to make a serious Star Wars movie. Basically the open of The Last Jedi is so awful it seems like a moment from Spaceballs because any attempt at humor will evoke the parodies.

A similar thing happens to a lesser degree when Star Trek was confronted with Galaxy Quest. For some reason the effects arent as bad. This might because Galaxy Quest was actually a pretty respectful parody.

Last- I have a prediction.
Marvel and Star Wars Look The Same and WILL Crossover

Yup. I said it. I do not think the people involved can ignore the fact that theres a crossover between these universes that will result in the Hugest Box Office take of All Time when “Star Wars Meets the Avengers”. It CAN NOT NOT HAPPEN. It WILL eventually be made. The SOLO movie made for 3 of the last 4 releases simply being bad.

When the franchise is finally deemed to be Underperforming they will corssover the Universes. Don’t believe me” Marvel has had Star Wars rights since 1977. No one will be able to handle this fact. Consider Thor- Ragnorak a test balloon for the Marvel – Star Wars Crossover