Okay, I’m cheating you. I promised to post every chapter of Polemical Judo before the election. But a couple of them won't change anyone's minds and are more about sage arguments over policy. Like Chapter 9: "America’s place in the world - Pax Americana and the rise of China." No time for that one. And Chapter 15: "Exit Strategies" - is now a year old, discussing everything from the 25th Amendment to what Vladimir Putin might do, if his "assets" become liabilities.
The latter has happened already, with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell tearing down what little remained of Republican credibility, rendering that tool of oligarchs ineffective (one hopes)... though several of the darker scenarios in Chapter Nine actually came true! And several even darker ones may yet.
No. with just two postings left before the very few undecideds join sparse lines of voters on actual Election Day, let me admit: almost no one was interested in Polemical Judo - who reads anymore? - and I shoulda done a 'podcast' right?
== More effective, by far… ==
I recently exchanged signed books (and admiring remarks) with retired Adm. William McRaven, a Navy SEAL who forged the modern standards for Special Operations and who oversaw the toppling of Khaddafi, Saddam and Osama bin Laden. Yes, all three! He tells those tales grippingly in "SEA STORIES: My Life in Special Operations."
While serving as Chancellor of the University of Texas, he had a best seller - "MAKE YOUR BED" - of advice how to inspire boys to become better men.
I've long held admirals in special respect. There is very little slop-room for error in the US Navy. Having given lecture series at the Naval Postgraduate School, I know the high level of intellect and fact-centered sagacity of most of the officer corps, in general... with some glaring exceptions. I've long recommended that retired senior officers be enlisted – along with retired judges, scientists etc. - into a fact-checking corps that might help restore Americans' confidence in a much-maligned thing called Objective Reality.
Also someone I've had contact with when I consulted with ODNI and some alphabet agencies. James Stavridis is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, who tells here about how the most dangerous waters in the world may be the eastern Mediterranean, with Turkey in friction vs. Russia near Syria and Libya... and Turkey vs. Greece in the Aegean and Russia flexing against NATO and on and on.
At least with general energy independence achieved by the US around 2014, there is no longer any excuse to keep valuable carrier groups guarding the increasingly irrelevant but volatile and dangerous Persian Gulf or Straits of Hormuz.
== And more so-called "deep staters" (actually heroes) are standing up for us… ==
A group of 73 former U.S. National Security officials who served under GOP administrations, including former CIA and FBI chiefs, endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a joint statement on During the Democratic Party Convention, joining the growing number of prominent Republicans to depart from their party for the 2020 election. Yeah, yeah. “Deep-State.”
And: "Former U.S. attorneys — all Republicans — back Biden, saying Trump threatens ‘the rule of law’. Indeed, name for me a fact-centered caste in our society, a vast majority of whom... including most former Republicans... are joining in this tsunami? The MAGA meme most-current is "education makes you a traitor."
== Why do I raise this right now, in the final week? ==
Because no zinger is more powerful with MAGA males than to demand they back up their cult’s all out war on the reputations of the men and women who crushed Hitler, thwarted Stalin, won the Cold War and the War on Terror… and who Foxites now denounce – without a scintilla of evidence – as “deep state” enemies.
This hypocrisy… when laid bare exactly as I just did… really rocks them back. Not enough to change parties… but maybe enough to stay home and get drunk when it matters – on Election Day. When that thing... staying home and getting MAGA pals to do it too, even in sullen torpor... would be an act of genuine patriotism.
You might be able to get that much from them. By saying the generals and admirals and real heroes want them to.
== Of some potential zinger value ==
We’ve seen a raft of videos by the Lincoln Project – searing stuff. But. Dang this channel of videos against Trump are personally financed by one fellow - a fellow author of thriller/scifi novels - who has more of a sense of political knife-fighting than any official democrat, or even the Lincoln Project’s upright Republicans. The Ivanka riff is cringeworthy. The one about Democrats having served and fought for our country devastates the lying slander pushed by Fox.
When they raise Hunter Biden, ask them to name the actual crime! Then ask what crime they got out of 25 years and half a billion dollars of "Clinton investigations." Finally, demand they bet real cash stakes whether in a year the sum total of "Hunter revelations" amount to more than what Eric, Don Jr., Pompeo, Mulvaney and the rest have done on every single weekday. Or ask them to bet whether Obama or the Clintons ever did 1% of this crap -- How Donald Trump Moved Millions From His Campaign Donors To His Private Business. Or Emails show how Pompeos mixed personal, official business "We view this as a family endeavor," Pompeo's son, Nick Pompeo, wrote to State Department officials.
Whenever you demand a wager -- one to be judged by retired, senior military officers -- they always run. It would be funny, if not pathetic.
== And finally … a lying meme re-interpreted as true! ==
Here's the poster he sends to every one of his despot pals and the world's casino moguls, mafia dons, petro sheiks, former-commissar billionaires, inheritance brats and would-be feudal lords.
Oh, sure, the Tea Party guys are circulating it so their idiot-confed followers think Trump is talking to them.
But it is totally about and directed to Putin, MBS and Kim and Murdoch and all the world mafias. Re-interpret it that way and it becomes powerfully, terrifyingly true.
That re-interpretation makes you so want it to be true.