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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Tale Of Trumpelstilsken

When I grew up I was read the fairy tale of Rumpelstilzchen, which is a furious little troll who is dancing wildly around his fireplace whenever he doesn’t get his will and things go by the wayside. 

These days it looks like we have gotten an American version of it. They call him Trumpelstilsken and the troll has invaded the White House. Trumpelstilsken has been living there only a few days but he is already furious with everyone around him, especially his press secretary, whose lies haven’t been strong enough to convince the international community of his
“alternate facts” as Kellyanne Conway tried to put it.  Now, why is Trumpelstilsken so mad at everyone?  Well, he wants to be loved by his people and is now discovering that they are way too critical of his behaviour. When Trumpelstilsken ran across the country  and met the cheering mob which actually got him into the White House, he loved and enjoyed every moment of it. Their affection for him was sooo great that he was looking forward to every new day. But those days are gone. Instead, world-wide protests erupted against him being in the White House, and on top of that he has all these other nasty little trolls around him who refuse to listen to him. 

Here is what the Washington Post is writing about Trumpelstilsken:

The first days inside Trump’s White House: Fury, tumult and a reboot

President Trump had just returned to the White House on Saturday from his final inauguration event, a tranquil interfaith prayer service, when the flashes of anger began to build.

Trump turned on the television to see a jarring juxtaposition — massive demonstrations around the globe protesting his day-old presidency and footage of the sparser crowd at his inauguration, with large patches of white empty space on the Mall.

As his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was still unpacking boxes in his spacious new West Wing office, Trump grew increasingly and visibly enraged.

Pundits were dissing his turnout. The National Park Service had retweeted a photo unfavorably comparing the size of his inauguration crowd with the one that attended Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony in 2009. A journalist had misreported that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. And celebrities at the protests were denouncing the new commander in chief — Madonna even referenced “blowing up the White House.”

Trump’s advisers suggested that he could push back in a simple tweet. Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a Trump confidant and the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, offered to deliver a statement addressing the crowd size.

White House press secretary's inauguration claims, annotated

During a briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer accused members of the press on Saturday of “deliberately false” inaugural coverage. (Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

But Trump was adamant, aides said. Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response, and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.

Spicer’s resulting statement — delivered in an extended shout and brimming with falsehoods — underscores the extent to which the turbulence and competing factions that were a hallmark of Trump’s campaign have been transported to the White House.

The broader power struggles within the Trump operation have touched everything from the new administration’s communications shop to the expansive role of the president’s son-in-law to the formation of Trump’s political organization. At the center, as always, is Trump himself, whose ascent to the White House seems to have only heightened his acute sensitivity to criticism.

This account of Trump’s tumultuous first days in office comes from interviews with nearly a dozen senior White House officials and other Trump advisers and confidants, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations and moments.

By most standards, Spicer’s statement Saturday did not go well. He appeared tired and nervous in an ill-fitting gray pinstripe suit. He publicly gave faulty facts and figures — which he said were provided to him by the Presidential Inaugural Committee — that prompted a new round of media scrutiny.

Many critics thought Spicer went too far and compromised his integrity. But in Trump’s mind, Spicer’s attack on the news media was not forceful enough. The president was also bothered that the spokesman read, at times haltingly, from a printed statement.

Trump has been resentful, even furious, at what he views as the media’s failure to reflect the magnitude of his achievements, and he feels demoralized that the public’s perception of his presidency so far does not necessarily align with his own sense of accomplishment.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Strange And Twisted World of Trump

By now, the fact that Trump is a pathological  liar is widely known. But it appears that he is directing his staff to follow practice. After the inauguration, his press secretary  came with the following incredulous statement:

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said. “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”

Trump’s press secretary lashes out at media, calls crowd coverage ‘shameful’                                                            Spokesman Sean Spicer used his first media briefing to angrily berate the press, accusing reporters of deliberately seeking to minimize the “enormous” crowd at the swearing-in. He took no questions.

Everybody who has seen the crowds at Obama’s inauguration knows that only a fraction of those numbers showed up at Trump’s inauguration. When press secretary Spicer mentions the world-wide crowds, he must have gotten them mixed up with the protest marches happening around the world. What an idiot.

And btw. here is the comparing picture:

1-Fullscreen capture 1212017 111150 PM

   2009 crowd                                                             2017 crowd

To call media reporting shameful and wrong is plainly a lie and distortion of reality. This signals the style the American public will receive their twisted news from the new government. Below 2 more images with time taken.

1-Fullscreen capture 1222017 52135 PM
1-Fullscreen capture 1222017 51844 PM

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The World Has Never Seen Anything Like This. Mr. President, You Are Unpopular!

Never before in history has there erupted world-wide protests against a newly elected U.S. President. Today, we are seeing public protests and anti-Trump demonstrations all over the world. Whether we look to Europe, Australia or even Africa, people are on the streets to demonstrate against the rise of racism, and discrimination against women and minorities.
Trump’s inauguration address was a declaration of war specked with insults against U.S. Presidents of the last 30 years. But his insults didn’t stop there. He insulted all Washington residents as well. The International Community is reacting with disbelief and utter rejection of Trump and his horror-cabinet selection. January 20-2017 will mark the day when the clock got turned back 100 years.

(CNN)Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and around the world are joining marches Saturday to raise awareness of women's rights and other civil rights they fear could be under threat under Donald Trump's presidency.

The key focus of the day is the Women's March on Washington, which organizers say could attract a quarter of a million participants.

Women's March: Thousands to protest worldwide on Donald Trump's first day

Women's March live: Thousands worldwide protest Trump

But there are also more than 600 "sister marches" planned around the United States, with some of the biggest expected in Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

And women and men in cities around the world -- including Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris and Cape Town, South Africa -- are also marching in solidarity and in opposition to the values they think Trump represents.

Women of color on what's at stake under Trump

'Girl Power vs. Trump Tower'

Australia was the scene of the first major international march, with thousands joining an anti-Trump protest in downtown Sydney.

Thousands of protesters turn out Saturday in downtown Sydney.

Thousands of protesters turn out Saturday in downtown Sydney.

Organizers said up to 5,000 people attended the protest at Martin Place; police estimated the number was closer to 3,000.

Chants from the crowd included "women united will never be defeated" and "when women's rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back." Some carried banners with messages such as "Girl Power vs. Trump Tower" and "Dump the Trump."

A small group holds a pro-Trump rally Saturday in Australia's largest city.

A small group holds a pro-Trump rally Saturday in Australia's largest city.

A separate group of about 30 Trump supporters also held a rally in Sydney. The police restrained some of them, blocking them from entering the same area as the anti-Trump protest group.

Protest organizers in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, said about 700 people turned out there for a women's march. Marches were also held in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter


Women's March NZ @WMNewZealand

So many great signs and banners today!

Protesters also joined together to march in Nairobi, Kenya -- the African nation that was the home country of former President Barack Obama's father.

Sisters' March Nairobi. So amazing to see the community to come together

Marchers in Cape Town carried banners with slogans such as "climate change is a women's issue" and "so over mediocre men running things."

Opinion: What's the state of sisterhood in the time of Trump?

Europe marches

Big crowds turned out Saturday in dozens of cities across Europe, with marchers including men, women and children.

Protesters who gathered outside one of Rome's most famous structures, the Pantheon, on Saturday morning carried signs such as "Yes we must" and "Women's rights are human rights."

Demonstrators also took to the streets of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and other cities in Germany.

This Pussy Bites Back ! #solidarity #womensmarch #berlin

A photo posted by Katy Ray (@raykaty) on Jan 21, 2017 at 2:56am PST

Katy Rea, who was at the march in Berlin, told CNN: "There are around 1,000 people. Lots of families, children. Very friendly atmosphere. Some police are present, but it's tame and relaxed."

Marches were also planned in cities up and down the United Kingdom, from London to Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh.

In London, thousands were expected to join a 2-mile march starting outside the US Embassy and ending with a rally in the city's historic Trafalgar Square.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Lots of anti-Trump placards at Womens March in London today but some protesting #Brexit, Workers rights, nuclear weapons, LGBT rights & more

Marcher Victoria Dawson told CNN the atmosphere was "positive, inclusive, electric."

Women's rights weren't the only issue on the agenda, with placards also bearing slogans to do with Brexit, nuclear weapons, workers' rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan -- who before the US presidential election told CNN that Trump's views of Islam were "ignorant" -- posted a tweet encouraging Londoners to join the march and "show how much we value the rights every woman should have."

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

In Paris, demonstrators gathered near the iconic Eiffel Tower before marching through the streets waving flags and banners.

Other French cities including Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux were also holding events.

Protesters march in Marseille, France, in solidarity with women in Washington and around the world.

Protesters march in Marseille, France, in solidarity with women in Washington and around the world.

On Friday night, a crowd of predominantly female protesters gathered in Brussels, Belgium, to denounce sexism and protest against Trump.

'Sea of pink' planned

The Women's March on Washington, which was to begin at 10 a.m. ET near Capitol Hill, comes on the heels of a slew of protests there on Inauguration Day.

You'll see these 'pussyhats' at the march

You'll see these 'pussyhats' at the march 01:33

The march, which began with a modest Facebook call in the aftermath of the November election, has grown into what could be one of the larger political demonstrations ever seen in the US capital.

Many of those taking part are concerned about Trump's agenda, his past remarks that appeared to demean women and allegations against him of sexual misconduct -- which he has denied.

Thousands of people have also been busy making cat-eared knit hats to wear at the march, with the aim of creating a "sea of pink" on the National Mall.

Organizers of the so-called Pussyhat Project said they have received tens of thousands of handmade hats to distribute to marchers, with submissions flooding in from all 50 states and as far away as France and New Zealand.

Elizabeth England posted footage on Twitter showing scores of protesters, many in pink hats, gathered close to the Baltimore Penn Station on their way to the march. She told CNN: "Everyone is friendly and excited and hoping the trains start running more!"


Friday, January 20, 2017

What Happens If…. In The Seat Of Power

The following interview was given to the German magazine “Der Spiegel”.

Dr. Bruce Blair, born in 1947, is a security expert and expert on nuclear weapons at the University of Princeton. In the 1970s, Blair controlled the procedure for the possible shooting of nuclear weapons for the US Army. His job was to run the way from the President's prescription to the launch of the rockets virtually, and to ensure that all the trials went smoothly. Since his work for the US Army, Blair has been among the leading nuclear policy critics in the US. In the election campaign he appeared in a video of Hillary Clinton and warned earnestly against the election of Donald Trump.
From 6 pm German time Donald Trump is US President: What does the most powerful man in the world do with his power? How does he deal with the so-called nuclear case? With a single decision, Trump could ignite a nuclear war.

His statements are, as usual, not clear. So in April last year, he said in the election campaign that it was a "horror to use nuclear weapons". He would be the last to do this. But then he added, "But I will never rule it out."

The nuclear expert Bruce Blair expresses himself in the interview about Trumps Nuclear-omnipotence:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Blair, Donald Trump will be sworn in on Friday, just like all the new presidents, he will receive the high-level briefing on the nuclear codes. What do we know about this briefing?

Bruce Blair: Several things. We know, for example, that the so-called nuclear case will be presented to him at the session. This is a kind of mobile command center that a president can use in the event of a crisis.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is in the suitcase?

Blair: The suitcase contains documents on America's secret nuclear weapons sites. Also in it is the Black Book with fixed targets for attack and various war options, from which a President can choose in an emergency. In addition to the suitcase, the new commander-in-chief is usually also given his personal nuclear codes. And someone who is well acquainted with it, explains to him how he uses it. The codes are extremely important. If he wants to command the use of nuclear weapons, he must first identify himself against the Pentagon. That is what they are meant for.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: On the morning of the inauguration, does the new president go through the details of an atomic war?

Blair: Usually not very intense. Shortly before inauguration, most of the agenda is likely to be very complex. A truly detailed explanation of the different options is already done during the transition phase. In the nuclear briefing it is more a rough description of the possibilities. Jimmy Carter, for example, was annoyed with the fact that the brochures in the suitcase were way too long. He has therefore commissioned a one-page version that resembles a comic. Option one, option two, option three. So in that way. This version is still there to my knowledge.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the election campaign, you have emphasized the great fear that Donald Trump is going to the White House. Have you been slightly less worried since his election victory?

Blair: No. Trumps fingers on the nuclear case makes me afraid. I have no confidence in Trump’s judgment on war and peace. He is impulsive. He is aggressive, poorly- or misinformed. He knows virtually nothing about nuclear weapons or international relations. He's a hot-head. He does not think. He does not want to learn. And most importantly, he has shown that he divides the world into winners and losers. Quite honestly, I'm afraid. I am afraid some time Trump makes a bad decision about nuclear weapons.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: But let's be honest: a push of a button and already the nuclear weapons fly towards enemy targets - how much of this concept is science fiction?

Blair: Not much, that's the problem. There is a clearly regulated procedure in the nuclear arsenal. It has been designed to react quickly and efficiently in case of doubt. It is incredible: the president has a decision-making power that can end civilization. Perfectly without hurdles.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How do you have to imagine that?

Blair: There is, for example, the emergency scenario of the telephone call in the middle of the night, when a president is informed by his security adviser of an impending attack on the US. He then has a maximum of six minutes to decide how to react. The protocol stipulates that the President must confer with his closest advisors, as well as the senior official of the command center in the Pentagon, the so-called "war room".

If the President orders the operation, the Pentagon official, who informs the nuclear weapons sites about the decision, must first clarify the question whether the President is really concerned. The codes are used here. According to what is known, this goes according to the usual "challenge response" procedure used in military circles. The Pentagon official reads a part of the string, the president must supply the appropriate equivalent. Then it's going to happen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A nightly call has not happened very often.

Blair: There is a second scenario: a longer confrontation with a state or an enemy, which does not have to be decidedly hectic and the president possibly has days or weeks. This may be different variants. But the point is: When a decision is made, everything goes very quickly. And the attack targets in the nuclear case are fixed.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where are the targets?

Blair: Many details are secret. But, on the whole, it is known that 900 targets are stored in Russia, of which 100 are in Moscow. 500 are available in China, 60 in North Korea, 50 in Iran. The president can decide what he wants to attack. A goal, or simply all targets at the same time. There is no one who can prevent his decision. No one who can veto. By the way, not even the minister of defense, as some believe. If the president is OK, everything goes. The command center sends a short start command, which arrives at the respective rocket locations practically at the same time. Then the weapons are launched within a minute. That was my job for years.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Hopefully only in theory.

Blair: Yes, of course. We have, of course, only practiced the emergency in the nuclear weapons site where I have been working. Every day. Hundreds of times. Always use the same procedure: Command. Start instructions from the Pentagon. We open the safe. We get our sealed codes out and compare them with those codes that were sent to us. If these match, we start the atomic rocket on the simulator. Everything within a minute. This is the standard.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How many American nuclear missiles are currently deployed?

Blair: There are currently 430 atomic rockets under ground, which are always ready. In addition, some submarines with some 300 rockets are still floating in the Pacific and the Atlantic. From the command to the launch, it would take a bit longer - around 15 minutes.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Does each of these missiles have a target?

Blair: No, each rocket has many different targets in its computer. But part of the one-minute procedure is to set the rocket to the right attack option. Depending on the option, the missile will then fly to an appropriate destination. There are three different types of targets: the rockets could be used to destroy enemy nuclear weapons, destroy buildings of the political leadership of a country or the arms industry. This must be imagined as a menu option. The goal, the country, is going.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: After all, a Hiroshima scenario, with hundreds of thousands of people dying, can not simply be ordered by the President.

Blair: Not directly. But, of course, the sensitive buildings are often in densely populated areas. In cities. And it is also conceivable that the president selects a variant that is not preset. His personal variant, so to speak. Only a long-term plan is needed, which can not be imagined without intensive discussion at the highest political level.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Trump has expressed criticism on nuclear weapons many times, many years ago even said that he would like to see an international agreement on disarmament. Can it be that he surprises us all?

Blair: I do not believe it. We almost never know whether he means things seriously. Why should this be different in questions of nuclear weapons? His whole political understanding can have devastating consequences in this field. He holds nothing of diplomacy. He likes to escalate situations. Of course, I also hope that he makes his promise true and negotiates well in all fields. Completing a very big deal, which also includes disarmament, missile defense. But I believe that his temperament is completely unsuitable for the sensitive question of nuclear weapons.

PIEGEL ONLINE: It is said that he office of the president makes humble, it changes a politician.

Blair: Yes, and we have seen that in history. Ronald Reagan, after taking office, instructed his military to set up in such a way that it would be ready to fight in an atomic war at any time, and win the war. At some point he saw that this was an absurd basic assumption and the Soviet Union took this very seriously. Too serious for his taste. Reagan then changed his policy. The problem with Trump is: If there was a rival, he would want to win it.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Are the nuclear codes always in the nuclear case? Or can every President decide for himself where he keeps them?

Blair: There are presidents who keep the codes in the suitcase. I also believe that this is the safest option. The suitcase is always guarded by a military officer who accompanies the president around the clock. Nothing can be lost. But every president has the opportunity to wear it on his own body. This can be a risk. Former General Hugh Shelton has revealed in his memoirs that Bill Clinton had carried the codes in his wallet, where the credit cards were. When the codes were exchanged after a few months, as usual, they were gone. Under Carter, the codes landed in the laundry of the White House because he had forgotten them in his suit. And when Ronald Reagan was shot, he took off the jacket that contained the codes. They then landed in a plastic bag, of which nobody really knew who it belonged to. There are crazy stories.


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