Living Large In Carson City: Great Is The Guilt OF An Unnecessary War: John Adams Edition


Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean: Can’t have a war without an enemy. . . You could have one, but it would be a very dull war . . . (Robert De Niro Wag the Dog)

The premise for the 1998 movie Wag the Dog has always had echoes of degradation with what is going on in the current White House and Donald Trump. The movie begins with a scandalous scenario where the president is accused of having an unwanted and illicit encounter with a young girl scout visiting the Oval Office. The fondling accusation proves to be true, and understandably, the White House is thrown into chaos. Making matters worse, the election is just a few days away putting the president in a precarious situation to say the least.

Enter a mysterious character played by Robert De Niro named Connie Brean. He along with the Anne Heche and Dustin Hoffman characters set out to create a diversion of monumental proportions – a fake war with Albania. What unfolds over the next 90 some odd minutes is a travesty of justice and a perversion of reality. Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson (Good Ol’ Shoe) deliver riotous cameo appearances which only add to the surreal nature of the story line and add to the quixotic blend of what is and what could be.

In a real life scenario of art imitating life, the world is seeing much the same circumstances unfolding this week at a Polish conference in Warsaw dealing with stability in the Middle East or, more to the point, War with Iran. The conference is a serious attempt to redirect the world’s sentiments against Iran and is being attended by an array of heavy hitters from across the globe. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the embattled Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu are two of the most influential. And then there is Rudi. Yes, that Rudi. The mealy mouthed, bug eyed and unhinged Rudi Giuliani who is Trump’s personal lawyer and spokesman (using that term loosely).

Sixty-five governmental delegations are attending the talks with the theme of how best to control Iran’s future, and how to limit its extension of influence across the Middle East. No shrinking violet, Rudi went straight to the heart of the matter by stating,



Former NY Mayor @RudyGiuliani in Warsaw:
In order to have peace & security in the Mid-East there has to be a major change in the theocratic dictatorship in . It must end & end quickly in order to have stability

For the president’s personal lawyer to make such a strong statement, the Oval Office must be staunchly supportive of his official presence there. Think again. Rudi made the trip to Warsaw representing his client the he National Council of Resistance of Iran. Also known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the group was once a terrorist organization within Iran around the time of the 1979 revolution. The investigative group called the Intercept describes the group as,

Members of the MEK helped foment the 1979 Iranian revolution, in part by killing American civilians working in Tehran, but the group then lost a struggle for power to the Islamists. With its leadership forced to flee Iran in 1981, the MEK’s members set up a government-in-exile in France and established a military base in Iraq, where they were given arms and training by Saddam Hussein as part of a strategy to destabilize the government in Tehran that he was at war with.

In recent years, as The Intercept has reported, the MEK has poured millions of dollars into reinventing itself as a moderate political group ready to take power in Iran if Western-backed regime change ever takes place. To that end, it lobbied successfully to be removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2012. The Iranian exiles achieved this over the apparent opposition of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in part by paying a long list of former U.S. officials from both parties hefty speaking fees of between $10,000 to $50,000 for hymns of praise. The Intercept

While Rudi acknowledged he was not in Warsaw as an official delegate, nor would he attend the talks, his presence as a paid speaker for the goals of MEK is troubling.

One official delegate, Benjamin Netanyahu, however, was more than willing to speak his mind on the purpose of the talks and give his view of what he seeks to come out of the meeting.  He stated,

Even before the conference began, the Israeli prime minister appeared to shrug off efforts by the State Department and the Polish government to portray the gathering as broadly focused on Middle East peace, describing it as primarily a meeting of Iran’s enemies. The Intercept

Never one to pull a punch, Netanyahu even went so far in the article to say “war with Iran is (the) aim of the Warsaw talks”. It doesn’t get more explicit than that in anyone’s mind. One has to ask why now? Why make incendiary statements about Iran now when peace in the Middle East is on the front burner of diplomatic circles in the region more than ever? More on this later.

Rudi is not the only MEK supporter in the ranks of the Trump administration. John Bolton is a supporter of MEK as well. Here is a tweet describing Bolton’s position on regime change in Iran,

Bahman Kalbasi


8 months ago among MEK supporters tells them they will overthrow ’s regime and celebrate in with Bolton himself present, “before 2019”

The speech exile Kalbasi speaks of was well before Bolton was named as Trump’s national security adviser at a rally in Paris held by the MEK. He also predicted that the regime change imminent. He stated,

“The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday,” Bolton said. (The 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution will be on February 11, 2019.) “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton added. “The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself.”The Intercept

While he was obviously wrong,  but the implications are disturbing coming from someone so mentally unstable and with so much power.

On Valentine’s Day, Mike Pence while attending the Warsaw Talks called out members of the European Union, most notably France and Germany, for trying to undermine the United States sanctions on Iran and urged them to pull out of the Iran nuclear treaty. Both countries refused to send delegates to the Warsaw meeting fearing the meeting would devolve into a free for all condemnation of Iran which would only further isolate the Iranian government from the rest of the region and the world.

Pence’s condemnation of the EU members is particularly galling considering that it was Trump who blew up part of the deal by withdrawing from the treaty. Barrack Obama secured the treaty in the hope of taking the only realistic course to impede Iran from furthering their nuclear capacity. All indications and reporting on the treaty point to the fact that the treaty is working and the U.S. sanctions are only exacerbating the problem. (PBS)

So, a quick score card of who’s who in the rush for war with Iran. There is Netanyahu who is facing corruption charges and a tough election coming up at home which bodes badly for him. John Bolton is simply a dyed-in-the-wool maniac when it comes to Iran, and who harbors a deep-seated need to blow them off the face of the earth. Mike Pence is little more than a puppet for whatever Trump tells him to think and say. Then there is Rudi, the president’s personal lawyer. It has become obvious Rudi does not have an intelligent thought in his head these days and has become the president’s stooge saying anything and everything that comes to mind.

But most of all, there is Trump himself. Beset by the Robert Mueller investigation, the newly empowered Democratic majority and Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives, and in the face of monumental failures in the form of the shut down and the newly signed immigration bill, it is safe to say Trump might be feeling the heat for all sides. The condemnation of Iran takes on both ominous and strategic importance to the president. Could there be ulterior motives behind the machinations of so many world leaders and their minions who are in such deep do do?

Or as Conrad ‘Connie” Breansaid: Can’t have a war without an enemy. . . You could have one, but it would be a very dull war . . . (Robert De Niro Wag the Dog)

Living Large In Carson City: Chaos Is The Food Of Dictators Edition

ErisDiscordiaclr.pngEris Greek Goddess of Chaos

Now the Indians are dressing up like cowboys
And the cowboys are putting feathers and turquoise on
And the music is sold by lawyers
And the fools who fiddled                                                                                                     in the middle of the station have gone                                          Johnny Lee Cherokee Fiddle

For those of you who saw Urban Cowboy, you will remember Johnny Lee’s incredible tune, Cherokee Fiddle. The song’s lyrics talk about an American Indian fiddle player who journeys each year from his home to a distant city to play his fiddle in the train station and make a few dollars for his troubles. The deceptively catchy tune is admirable for its roots in country music. However, like the characters in the movie, Lee’s protagonist is caught up in the changing times. The old ways give in to the pressure of more modern conventions that leave the Indian fiddle player wondering what  happened and lamenting the fact that he is no longer relevant. Chaos ensues and the world moves on.

The passage from the song above describes exactly how I view the world in the shit storm that is the Donald Trump pseudo-presidency. Up is down; down is up. What once passed for truth and enlightenment are now false flags of a bygone period of naivety. Evangelicals embrace a man who is as wicked in his worldview as he is in his sexual peccadilloes. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, is maybe the best example of false prophets being hailed by the chosen. The Dallas Observer came up with 10 examples of how Jeffress excuses the excess and sins of the Orange one in an article titled, A Guide to Robert Jeffress’ Excuses for President Trump. Take number three for instance when Jeffress justifies Trump’s directive to separate children from their parents at the border,

“Any American who commits a crime is going to be separated from his or her child,” Jeffress went on. “You don’t send children to jail with their parents in America, so I’m not sure why the only criminals who would get a pass on that policy would be illegal immigrants.” Dallas Observer

Huh? Equating hardened criminals to poorly educated, impoverished, and often asylum seeking immigrants fleeing murderous conditions in their home countries is the thinking of a chaotic mind who has lost plumb. I won’t go into the other nine, but they are equally reprehensible. Yet, this is where we find ourselves at the beginning of the New Year. Men of God aligning themselves with a known philanderer, liar, and a cheat. Parse it however you want, but be sure to mark one down for the chaotic zeitgeist facing America today.

In a few hours, Herr Trump will take over the airwaves to lay out his  reasoning for wanting to build an ineffective Medieval wall across the southern border of the United States. Supposedly, he will also address why he thinks shutting down the government is such a good idea as well. In the past few days, he and his minions have been spreading lies and untruths about the number of terrorists entering the United States, not bothering to make clear that the southern border is one of the locations with the fewest number of terrorists stopped from entering the country. Sarah Huckabee Sanders put the number at 4,000 before Chris Wallace corrected her and exposed her lack of facts. Vice President Mike Pence made this ridiculous claim recently,

“In the last fiscal year, we apprehended more than 10 terrorists or suspected terrorists per day at our southern border from countries that are referred to in the lexicon as other than Mexico. That means from the Middle East region.” — remarks at a Washington Post event.  AP Fact Check

In truth, only six people were stopped at the U. S. southern border in the first six months of 2018 (the most up to date numbers) who had ties to government watch lists . This doesn’t mean they were actual terrorists but were in some way related to terrorists or had suspicious background check information that automatically placed them on the list. Pence’s claim that those suspects were from the “Middle East region” is simply a stretch of his overly active imagination. Taken in toto, if you count Trump’s base and his sycophantic supporters in Congress, the end result is a chaotic mishmash of false and misleading statements that have only one purpose: To scare uninformed Americans that their lives are in danger and a state of emergency exists on the level of Russian paratroopers falling for the sky like rain drops.

I am not one to draw comparisons to the rise of Nazis in Germany before WWII and anyone, but the social conditions and the rise of Hitler are eerily similar to what we see going on in America today. An exhaustive six page layout on gives a bullet point list of the Rise of Nazis and how Hitler used his oratorical powers to create bogey men beyond just the Jews including homosexuals, gypsies, Communists and others to justify his rise to power and create chaos that only he could combat. Trump is no Hitler. He’s not nearly smart as Hitler. He is, however, a excellent purveyor of fear and malice toward any group he sees as worthy of using as a distraction.

And let’s face it. Trump needs a lot of distraction right now. He knows his border wall will not work. Indeed, the border wall meme is now revealed as a gimmick dreamed up by his handlers to remind him to push his views on immigration. It appears Trump’s distaste for reading off teleprompters would lead him astray of his intended message, so his aides came up with the wall trope to keep him going in the right direction. It worked. I will never be able to get the sound of his deplorables chanting “Build the Wall, Build the Wall” out of my brain. Talk about creating chaos. It begs the question was “Lock her up”  a misguided glimpse into the future where he becomes the target of a similar chant like “Impeach the motherfucker”?

While we progressives take pains to point out Trump’s inconsistencies and amoral view of politics in America, I must say there is a little fear in me as to just how far Trump will go. Declaring a State of Emergency is no laughing matter. Like Hitler, it would give him power beyond that of a normal leader. The next off ramp on the chaotic highway to madness is Dictatorship. It is a place where fear is the norm, persecution is the law of the land, and the chaotic is ever present. Can’t wait to hear what he has to say in a couple of hours. More to come.