"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Somethin' happenin' here/what it is, is exactly clear....

I'm old enough to personally remember Nixon's "enemies list."  It was, for at least a generation, part of the cloud around Nixon, part of the anathema that clung to him like fog, that still clings to him for some people of my generation.

And then there were the (groundless) allegations that Obama used the IRS to punish groups that didn't support his politics (a fine example of the beam in your own eye reflected as a splinter in your opponent's gaze).  Now comes the story that Trump has an "enemies list."  Except this isn't a report in an article by a WaPo reporter, or a strained allegation based on nothing more substantial than innuendo; it's as out in public as it can be:

None of this is true, but the President is convinced it is true; and he has the power to act on his convictions.
It may well be "reported," but the President actually has access to that information if he wants it, and the public doesn't.  So what is "reported" and what is true are undoubtedly two different things; besides, a public commission approved the contract with Amazon, so if it's a bad deal, the first question is:  why did that commission allow it?  Trump, however, would rather publish a private company.  And why does he want to punish Amazon?  Because Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, and Trump knows he really can't do anything to a major newspaper (except make baseless accusations against it).

I'm no fan of Amazon nor is Jeff Bezos my BFF, but this is very disturbing.
This is what the French call an idee fixe.
 Very fixed.  Of course, the American taxpayer doesn't subsidize the Post Office:

The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Again, this isn't that hard to find out; and I'm not the POTUS.  But Trump doesn't care; he just wants to attack Jeff Bezos however he can.  As private citizen Donald Trump he's entitled to do that; but he's not private citizen Donald Trump anymore.  And ignoring this is starting to make me think of: "They came for [           ], and I didn't object."  I don't even like to shop at Amazon, and only do it for things that I need to keep on hand but are too hard to chase down in stores near me (yes, I know that generically describes a lot of on-line shopping, but I don't care to be more specific about it).  I refuse to buy books from them (remember when that's all they sold?), and I generally hold Amazon in the same regard as Wal-Mart (which I more successfully manage to avoid, even though I knew good people who relied on that store for their livelihoods, so I'm always aware my trash is someone else's treasure).

But this is Nixon's enemies list in public and on steroids; and nobody seems to be noticing.

And by the way:

Richard Nixon was never as unpopular as Trump is right now.


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