Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Of Swamps, Sewers, “Deep States” and Mixed Metaphors

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Last Word | May 16th, 2018

“Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater private security group and a close campaign adviser to Donald Trump, met a Russian financier with direct ties to Vladimir Putin's family in the weeks leading up to Mr Trump's inauguration, according to multiple people briefed on the talks.”
- The Financial Times, 04/01/18

“On Tuesday, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, released a report claiming that Viktor Vekselberg—a Putin-friendly Russian tycoon—and an American citizen named Andrew Intrater had ‘routed eight payments to Mr. Cohen through a company named Columbus Nova LLC’ starting in January 2017. Intrater, who is Vekselberg’s cousin, is the CEO of Columbus Nova, a US-based firm.”
- David Corn and Dan Friedman, Mother Jones, 05/10/18

“Anytime that you shake (a tree in) this Trump forest, a Russian falls out.”
– Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA), 05/09/18

“When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.”
- Murphy

In less than two years, President Donald Trump has managed the remarkable feat of turning the Washington “Swamp” into a “Sewer,” and the mythical “Deep State” into a genuine treasure trove of public servants speaking truth to power on a daily basis. These refugee experts from the FBI, CIA, Foreign Service, Defense Department and other U.S. government agencies take their oath to the Constitution far more seriously than the Donald and his enablers. Fortunately, warnings by these patriotic Americans are no longer being buried in a print and electronic media that just a few years ago, with a few exceptions like MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, were failing to challenge Donald Trump’s bodyguard of lies built upon the initial falsehood surrounding President Obama’s birthplace in Hawaii, the 50th state of the United States.

Actually, draining real swamps in places like Florida, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast, as opposed to potential farmland in Ohio, is incredibly stupid, and dangerous to what protects their human communities from things like…hurricanes. A perusal of Ivor van Heerden’s "The Storm," about Hurricane Katrina in 2005, can set one straight on this point. A swamp is an ecosystem which needs, above all, clean water, not pollution from oil and real estate ventures like golf courses and their attendant housing booms, and constant runoff from upstream agriculture overly dependent upon chemicals. Learning to negotiate flora like Poison Ivy, and fauna like alligators in our swamps and forests is nature’s way of teaching us to walk carefully through life.

As for the metaphorical “swamp” in Washington, D.C., sewage treatment is a better option than drainage. Thanks to Trump and his supine Republican cheerleaders, the stench, both domestic and foreign-made, has reached such a level that noses of the American electorate may be getting out of joint over something besides racism, misogyny, and a gnawing sense that the long-term benefits of an expanding American economy are only trickling upward. Since Russia also has a number of real swamps, as well as human “swamp” creatures known as oligarchs, I thought it best to consult my KGB Huskie friends and their new canine acquaintance, Mr. Swamp Fox, on such herculean tasks as draining swamps, laundering money, and defending the indefensible.

High Plains Reader: Hello good friends! I’m sure you know that several American presidents have been bought and paid for by individual and corporate interests before: big oil, big railroads, big slavery, big banks, etc., but it was usually done in dollars, not rubles. How can Donald Trump make America “Great Again” if he needs Russian cash to do it?

Putin: He can’t, but that was not the point. His real object was to make Donald Trump “great again” after his humiliation by President Barack Obama at the Washington, D.C. correspondents’ dinner a few years ago. Trump is more gifted as a demagogue than as a businessman, and was able to project his personal hatred of an accomplished black man onto hatreds and frustrations of millions of Americans, whose beefs were, by and large, far more legitimate than his own.

Rasputin: It’s quite logical really. Donald Trump has seen himself all his life as a King/Emperor in the business world, not limited by pesky overseers like a Board of Trustees. But he and his family were, like most royalty in the past, much better at pissing away money than accumulating it. American swamp creatures in New York had his number years ago, so he had to sell his brand to underworld swamp creatures in America and overseas, especially Russia, where the gangster elite of the Soviet Union had devolved into the more conventional capitalist gangster elite currently dominated by President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Swamp Fox: Slogans like “Drain the Swamp” and labels like “Deep State” are not new.

They’re designed to distract, not educate the electorate. They are now a part of the confusing common coinage of contemporary political conversation, like “liberal” and “conservative.”

HPR: That’s always bothered me. Does a liberal “liberate?” Does a conservative “conserve?”

Putin: Relax! Nobody can explain these complicated terms in the fast paced media we are obliged to live in nowadays. “Liberal” and “Conservative” were terms invented in the early 19th Century to explain the American and French Revolutions of 1763-1815, which resulted, among other things, in the U.S. Constitution in America, and the Napoleonic Dictatorship in Europe.

Rasputin: Those “old world” issues that were fought over then have similarities to those we fight over now: human rights, individual liberty, equality of opportunity, excessive taxation without representation, community and national security.

Mr. Swamp Fox: But today, another revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries has come to the fore. The Industrial Revolution brought technological advancements to provide solutions to old world problems, but also created new ones of nuclear war and climate change--threats to human habitation around the planet earth.

HPR: What has all this got to do with Donald Trump?

Putin: The world of money and power has evolved to meet changing circumstances wrought by the 20th Century. Donald Trump has not. King/Emperor Trump has managed to elevate himself by virtue of a unique electoral system into the American presidency, many levels above his competency. His prowess on Twitter and amidst his adoring followers in resentment precincts around the country will not suffice.

Rasputin: And the U.S. Constitution of 1789(91) has evolved as well, through traumas like the Civil War of 1861-1865, World Wars I and II, the New Deal, the Cold War and civil rights movements to the point where advances against individual and collective tyranny are accepted and embraced in the Executive Branch of the United States, much to President Trump’s shock and surprise.

Mr. Swamp Fox: And marvelous human swamp creatures, like trial lawyers, are in the middle of it.

HPR: Abraham Lincoln was a trial lawyer. But I thought lawyers were referred to as sharks.

Mr. Swamp Fox: “Shark” can be a term of admiration as much as abuse, depending on the fate of a given client. “Bulldog” is another term with mostly positive attributes for the tenacity of its gripping teeth. I prefer the metaphor of an “alligator,” a patient and tenacious creature adapted to land and water, as in the private and public sector.

HPR: You mean like Robert Mueller and Michael Avenatti?

Mr. Swamp Fox: You’re learning! Robert Mueller hunts in the turbid waters of Washington, D.C. fixers and international criminals as required by our laws and procedures. His appearance on land will come in due time. Michael Avenatti hunts on land where the rest of us can see and hear him, but he is perfectly comfortable beneath the waters, when obliged to do so by judicial decree.

HPR: And President Trump is terrified.

Putin: So is the rest of the sentient world. A frightened, spoiled rich boy is one thing. A frightened President of the United States is quite another.

Mr. Swamp Fox: But Americans have a unique way of mixing anger with hope in their better moments. Countless citizens among us are showing courage and resolution each day in 2018, far exceeding that of those who control Congress and the Presidency. Besides, real democracy in action on TV is always more entertaining than “reality TV.”

Rasputin: The sunlight of a reinvigorated media supported by that democracy is the kind of disinfectant that all genuine sewage treatment requires. And alligators as well, of course. They are known to favor corrupted meat.

Recently in:

News

​Best of the Best 2018

by Sabrina Hornung

Last Sunday we celebrated our annual Best Bets award ceremony at the Plains Art Museum and we had a packed house. With awards from over 50 categories, members of our community gathered, rallied and supported each other in our…

Professionally people know me as a trans activist, educator, or community organizer. This is often the topic of my Trans Corner column. What they may not know is I’m an incredible geek who spends her time unwinding playing video…

Thursday, May 31, 5-9 p.m.11 8th St S, FargoNine regional artists join forces in Fargo’s newest artist collective gallery. Along with the core group of artists, art enthusiasts can anticipate guest artists and great opportunities…

“If I look like a kid on Christmas morning, it’s because that’s the way I feel right now. How I wish my parents could have heard the words you said about me,” Luci Baines Johnson said. She was preparing her commencement…

Gadfly

Armageddon and Rage

by Ed Raymond

Is Our Democracy Dying From A Koch Assisted-Suicide?The One Percent is going after wealth like Captain Ahab went after The Great White Whale. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal recently wrote about “the up-market way to…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

The organization Nature of the North is storming Fargo with their mission to get everyone out and in nature one way or another. This week’s attempt is a workshop featuring Cyrus Bickell of Disgruntled Brewing in Perham, MN. A man…

Nikki Lane is a trailblazer. Her unique voice could be described as a cross between Wanda Jackson’s grit and Neko Case’s hauntingly smoky vocals. It’s classic and it’s fresh. In 2017 she won an Ameripolitan award in the…

Writer-director Alexandra Dean’s “Bombshell” recounts the remarkable life and achievements of Hedy Lamarr, the Golden Age screen goddess whose physical beauty and career as a Hollywood actor long overshadowed her…

Arts

​Civility is for the Birds

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduTucked in the back of Roberts Street Studio, if you follow the “yellow brick road” (a funny story, if you get the chance to ask her), you are likely to find local artist Mackenzie Kouba working…

Theater B is giving away seven tickets to go see “The Moors” by Jen Silverman, from April 26 until May 12. Described as part Brontë, part Twilight Zone, “The Moors” is a dark comedy set on a bleak and unforgiving…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comAnd they lived “happily ever after.” Many people in the U.S. believe in love and matrimony, but marriage takes consistent effort and time to weather the ups and downs.According to…

By Ken Smithkelandsmith@gmail.comWhen the State of North Dakota decided to sell the campus of the Ellendale Branch of the University of North Dakota following the disastrous January 1970 fire that destroyed the two main buildings,…