Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: lies

Ignorance, Lies, and Facepalms

who's manipulating my strings?
I see the resemblance….

If I were to tell you that this president knowingly hired someone as his national security adviser who was in secrets talks with Russia during the election, someone who promised quid pro quo with top Russian officials if Trump were elected, would you believe me? What if I told you the exact same scenario, but that the president did it unwittingly? Would you believe me? What if I told you he was warned that the perspective National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn might be susceptible to blackmail from the Russians by ┬áthe acting Attorney General Sally Yates, the same woman he later fired for insubordination because she refused to uphold his Muslim ban? Would you still believe me? What if I then told you that this president didn’t read the reports on this topic? Would you believe that?

I’m throwing all these ‘what ifs’ at you because the basic story is true, but no one knows exactly what this president did or didn’t know about it. He and his aides have changed the story as is their wont, and it’s easy to believe any of the aforementioned scenarios. That’s the most disturbing thing to me: this president is so corrupt, ignorant, inept, and venal, it’s hard to discern which of the negative explanations is the correct one. My opinion is that he was told about Flynn at the time, but he either didn’t care or didn’t retain the knowledge.

Side note: I want this president to take a reading test, and I want him to do it in public. I know it’s not going to happen, but more than one person I know has wondered if this president can actually read. My response is: He’s probably functionally literate, but just barely. More to the point, he evinces no interest in reading, which automatically makes him suspect to me. But again, it’s equally possible that he can read at a high level and just doesn’t care to do so. He’s proven that he’s incurious about the world around him and anything that doesn’t reflect what he already thinks. I seriously cannot see him picking up, say, Toni Morrison and giving her a serious read.

To my questions above, I think it’s equally possible that he knew exactly what was happening and didn’t care, and that he was given all the information but either didn’t read it or didn’t retain it because it didn’t interest him. My brother asked me if this president was a rightwinger. I said I didn’t think he was especially so. My brother followed it up with, “Then why has he chosen so many rightwingers?” I was stumped for a second, but I quickly rallied. My guess is that some of the names had been given to him by his aides or Republicans in Congress, some are friends of his, some are quid pro quo from his campaign, and some are sucker-uppers who flattered this president into giving them a plum position.

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The Keeper of the Family Secrets

keep it in the family.

In my family, secrets are king. Currently, I am in possession of three major family secrets. Two were told to me by a family member, and one, I discovered unwittingly. One of them, I thought was an open secret in that I thought my extended family knew about it (it’s not a secret concerning my nuclear family, but a cousin of mine), but I recently found out I was wrong. It’s a full-blown secret, except, there are some family members who know about it (excluding me, obviously), but they just don’t talk about it. This is common in my family, and growing up, I just took it as normal. There are open secrets that you don’t mention, but you know everyone else knows about them. Even as adults, my brother and I don’t talk about them. I mentioned one of them in an oblique way several years ago, and we exchanged knowing glances. That was it, and we moved on to another subject.

Not only do we have major secrets, but my father is very big on saving face. He can’t abide appearing foolish or lesser than in anyone’s eyes, which meant that he was constantly on the lookout for any perceived improprieties. The one that sticks out in my mind the most is when he and my mom were out playing tennis with some friends. Another friend of theirs called and asked to speak to him. I said he was out playing tennis. No big deal, right? When my parents came home and I told my father about the call, he flipped out. He was pissed that I had told the second friend he was out playing tennis with other friends because he thought she would be upset that she wasn’t invited. Never mind that she didn’t live in our city or that you don’t have to invite all your friends to every activity you plan. In my father’s eyes, I had committed a grave sin, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson I learned that day: Don’t tell anyone anything. I know it sounds ridiculous, but his overreaction to my action wasn’t just a one time thing.

He always thought he was right, and what’s more, he couldn’t fathom another way of thinking. I learned at a very early age that my mother’s life at home revolved around making sure my father wasn’t upset. That meant not telling him anything she thought he couldn’t handle. Again, it was hard to tell what would upset him and what wouldn’t. Simply asking him to finish up his bath (he takes up to an hour-long baths. He falls asleep in the bathtub) could elicit the silent treatment. We had a decades-long battle in which he would tell me to put on a sweater or coat because he was cold. He did not take kindly to my response of, “But I’m not cold.” He thought because he was cold, I had to be cold, too. He took it as a personal offense when I refused to put on a sweater or a coat. Side note: I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease when I was fourteen, which means I had an overactive thyroid. One of the symptoms is never feeling cold. In other words, I had a medical reason to back up my non-coldness, not that it would have satisfied my father.

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