By Robert A. Vella
In a classic scene from the 1982 science fiction film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the villain (played by legendary actor Ricardo Montalbán) expressed his intense vindictive hatred for Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) by telling him:
“I’ve done far worse than kill you. I’ve hurt you. And I wish to go on… hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her – marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet… buried alive. Buried alive!”
It is a memorable portrayal of raw human vengeance and retribution by an egomaniacal character who sees any challenge from “inferiors” as a direct threat to his perceived omnipotence. Enemies must be annihilated, and wayward subordinates must be beaten into submission. It is the psychology of megalomania, personalities which are built and depend upon the primal emotion of fear.
But, when the fear subsides, such personalities are left abandoned and disempowered because no one takes them seriously anymore. Like a confused dog barking at the Moon, they are ignored alone in the darkness.
This parable is fitting for Donald Trump on this Monday in mid-July 2020. Faced with a raging pandemic and his many egregious failings as President which have all-but-doomed his reelection chances, Trump is lashing out in all directions like Khan Noonien Singh did in the story. Self-perceived omnipotence cannot compete with reality. No matter how much he lies, no matter how much he tries to silence the voices of truth, and no matter how hard he attempts to intimidate everyone around him, his sphere of influence keeps shrinking and shrinking. Soon, Trump’s midnight howls will fade into distant echoes. No one will hear them. No one will care.
Instead of focusing on the out-of-control coronavirus disaster in Florida and other early opening states, the White House is trying to destroy the reputation of one of America’s most respected public servants, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for telling the truth about how bad things are getting.
President Donald Trump is meanwhile highlighting claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors, media and the Democrats are lying about the country’s pandemic — the world’s worst — in order to crush the economy on which he is relying for reelection.
The new campaign of deception is accelerating a day after Florida recorded the highest-ever single daily caseload of new infections for any US state and as the daily total of confirmed cases nationwide hits a staggering 60,000. The surge is raging across southern and Western heartlands, also including Texas, Georgia and Arizona which tried to get back to normal before the curve of infections was suppressed. The resulting torrent of new cases is exposing Trump’s call for early openings, embraced by many Republican governors in defiance of CDC guidelines, as one of the worst political and economic decisions in modern history.
From: As Fauci disagrees with Trump on virus, White House takes aim [emphasis by The Secular Jurist]
In a statement Saturday, a White House official told CNN that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.” The official went on to provide a lengthy list of examples, citing Fauci’s comments early in the pandemic and linking to past interviews.
These bullet points, which resembled opposition research on a political opponent, included Fauci downplaying the virus early on and a quote from March when Fauci said, “People should not be walking around with masks,” among other comments.
The move by the White House comes as President Donald Trump and Fauci are not speaking. The tension between the two men has grown publicly as the two have responded to one another through interviews and statements.
As the pandemic reached new highs in Florida and across the world, New York City provided a glimmer of hope: zero deaths for the first time in four months.
Total confirmed cases across the nation surpassed 3.3 million – about 1% of all Americans have now tested positive since the outbreak began racing across the nation just a few months ago. More than 135,000 Americans have died.
In Washington, President Donald Trump showed little faith in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, retweeting a social media post accusing the agency of “outrageous lies.”
Tokyo — Officials in Okinawa on Monday said at least 94 U.S. service members at bases on the Japanese island have tested positive for the new coronavirus, raising long-standing tension between the local population and the American military. The surge represents the biggest number of cases the U.S. military has reported in Asia since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and local officials are skeptical that U.S. virus containment policies are sufficient.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not directly criticize President Trump in an unusual op-ed Saturday for commuting his friend and adviser Roger Stone’s 40-month prison sentence, but he did make clear he didn’t see the controversial and objectively self-interested move as serving justice.
Mueller’s op-ed, published in The Washington Post, was mostly a response to accusations from Trump and his allies that the Russia investigation “was illegitimate,” and specifically “claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office,” Mueller wrote. “Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”
“Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons,” Mueller said: “He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.”
The op-ed apparently persuaded Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has rejected previous requests to call Mueller to testify, to reconsider his objections.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation.
That request will be granted.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 12, 2020
From last week: Trump attacks Lindsey Graham after SCOTUS rulings
President Donald Trump took a swing at Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday in the aftermath of two Supreme Court decisions involving his closely-held financial records, lamenting that the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and close Trump ally was not doing enough to target the president’s political foes.