Rapt attention

Monday, March 6, 2017


President Donald Trump certainly has an interesting approach to the facts and the truth. He seems to come from the "let's throw everything we got at the wall and see what sticks" school. Not like he necessarily believes what pours out of his clown hole, but if it helps the schtick, no harm in stretching things once in a while. Not like he has to be accountable to his base, or like they could tell the difference anyway.

Having said that, there are times when I wonder if the current Chief Executive is just plain bat shit crazy. The ranting tweet storms, the reported temper tantrums directed at his inner circle, the willingness to concoct fantasy stories that he might have picked up from Alex Jones or Mark Levin, the general paranoia, the unsubstantiated fabrications and subsequent recriminations.

Are we dealing with an unhinged lunatic in the oval office, seriously, and are we comfortable with this guy with the responsibility for the safety of the world, having his trigger finger so close to the nuclear football? Is there a plan in place to rein him in and relieve him of his duties if he completely loses it and has to be institutionalized?

My friends and longtime blog readers know and will remember that my mother Adelle was a history teacher and that I have always been fascinated with the subject. I have been wondering if we have ever had anything close to a Trump, at least in terms of being a wacked out prevaricator with such a loose relationship with what passes for sanity and truth. So I did a little research.

Hate to say it but the answer is no, at least not in this country.

We have had some real doozies but this guy already takes the cake. I found this article, Eight Presidents crazier than Trump and while I don't agree with his basic supposition, it is pretty good. Not the author's fault, Trump had not been elected when he wrote it and he had no idea how nuts he really was. And my god, the presidency just started, we hadn't even invaded Sweden or Norway yet.

So Trump talked about his hots for his daughter, Grover Cleveland actually married his daughter. Benjamin Harrison was afraid to touch a light switch because he thought that the electricity would get him. LBJ reportedly was not above showing White House visitors his own johnson, Andrew Jackson taught his parrot to cuss. None of these guys rises to the level of whack of our current narcissist in chief.

But you start looking at European history and there are people that definitely give the Trumpster a run for his money.

Lucious Aurelius Commodus
Commodus (161–192 AD) was a Roman ruler who suffered from severe personality and narcissistic disorders. He believed that he was the reincarnation of Hercules and had a servant burned to death for making his bath too cold.

Commodus liked to slaughter helpless animals in the colosseum, including ostriches, giraffes and elephants. He clubbed quite a few of the Roman citizenry, and cut off their feet, pretending they were giants.

He believed that he was the immortal son of Jupiter, had his sister killed and was eventually poisoned by one of his inner circle.

Trump has a long way to go before he gets in the same league of crazy as this guy.

Another Roman ruler was Justin II. He was Eastern Roman Emperor from 565 to 574. Nuttier than a fruitcake, he would bite passer byes when they came too close to his wheeled throne.

Sultan Ibrahim
There were several mad caliphs including Ibrahim and Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. The former carpeted a palace for a concubine in sable furs, but ended up drowning 280 other women in his harem.

The latter was famous for his public curses, his extermination of religious minorities and his directives that Jews must wear a wooden calf necklace and Christians an iron cross. In the public baths, Jews had to replace the calf with a bell. In addition, Jewish women had to wear two different colored shoes, one red and one black.

He really helped start the shi'a/sunni split that continues to this day. His mother reportedly sealed his fate at the end, declaring,"In the end he will leave neither you nor me alive. We will lose control of the government. The whole society is in ruins. Have him removed from the throne immediately."

Joanna the Crazy
Europe had its share of nutcases in spades. King Eric XIV of Sweden (1533–1577; ruled 1560–1568) Juana de Loca, Queen Joanna of Castile (1479–1555; ruled 1504–1555) Tsar Feodor I of Russia (1557–1598; ruled 1584–1598) Feodor the Bellringer who was said to be an idiot.  Henry VI (6 December 1421 – 21 May 1471) had a breakdown after losing to the French in his portion of the Hundred Years War. King Alfonso VI of Portugal's House of Braganza ruled Spain for a period of time in the 1650's. He was paralyzed at the age of three and mentally unstable, ultimately exiling his own mother to a convent in Portugal.

Charles II of Spain (Spanish: Carlos II; 6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700) was known as the bewitched and had massive physical and mental problems, probably due to the huge amount of inbreeding in his Hapsburg line.
The Spanish branch of the Habsburg royal family was noted for extreme consanguinity. Well aware that they owed their power to fortunate marriages, they married between themselves to protect their gains. Philip and Mariana were actually uncle and niece; therefore, Charles was not only their son, but was also Mariana's first-cousin and Philip's great-nephew.
Charles was physically and mentally disabled and infertile, possibly due to this massive inbreeding. Due to the deaths of his half brothers, he was the last member of the male Spanish Habsburg line.
Charles did not learn to speak until the age of four nor to walk until eight, and was treated as virtually an infant until he was ten years old. His jaw was so badly deformed (an extreme example of the so-called Habsburg jaw) that he could barely speak or chew. Fearing the frail child would be overtaxed, his caretakers did not force Charles to attend school. The indolence of the young Charles was indulged to such an extent that at times he was not expected to be clean. When his half-brother Don Juan José of Austria, an illegitimate son of Philip IV, obtained power by exiling the queen mother from court, he covered his nose and insisted that the king at least brush his hair.

Tsar Peter the Third of Russia (1728-1762) was another unstable ruler. His own wife described him thusly in her memoirs; an "idiot", "drunkard from Holstein",  and "good-for-nothing."  Here is a description from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica:
Nature had made him mean, the smallpox had made him hideous, and his degraded habits made him loathsome. And Peter had all the sentiments of the worst kind of small German prince of the time. He had the conviction that his princeship entitled him to disregard decency and the feelings of others. He planned brutal practical jokes, in which blows had always a share. His most manly taste did not rise above the kind of military interest which has been defined as "corporal's mania," the passion for uniforms, pipeclay, buttons, the "tricks of parade and the froth of discipline." He detested the Russians, and surrounded himself with Holsteiners.
King George III (1738 -1820) of England was a real beauty. A premature baby during his rule he was virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism. He suffered from extreme melancholy and was said to cry all the time.

He suffered from a condition called porphyria which gave him explosive rage attacks, panic attacks, delusions and visual and auditory hallucinations. Ended up croaking during a period of extreme dementia.

The deposed Chinese emperor Liu Ziya (449-465) aka Qianfei, may take the cake for looniness and debauchery, he could give Caligula a serious run for his money.
Emperor Qianfei also saw his brother Liu Zixun as a threat—particularly because he saw that Emperor Wen, Emperor Xiaowu, and Liu Zixun were all third sons of their fathers. He therefore used the He Mai plot as an excuse, sending his attendant Zhu Jingyun (朱景雲) to deliver poison to Liu Zixun to force him to commit suicide, but as Zhu approached Liu Zixun's defense post at Xunyang (尋陽, in modern Jiujiang, Jiangxi), he intentionally slowed down and leaked the news. Liu Zixun's assistant Deng Wan (鄧琬) then had an opportunity to declare a rebellion, although at this stage Deng was not yet declaring Liu Zixun an emperor.
At the same time, Emperor Qianfei continued his immoral behavior. He summoned the princesses to the palace and ordered them to lie down and allow his attendants to have sexual intercourse with them. When his aunt Princess Dowager Jiang of Nanping (the wife of his deceased uncle Liu Shuo (劉鑠)) refused, he had her whipped and had her three sons, Liu Jingyou (劉敬猷) the Prince of Nanping, Liu Jingxian (劉敬先) the Prince of Luling, and Liu Jingyuan (劉敬淵) the Marquess of Annan put to death. He also ordered his ladies in waiting to strip and chase each other naked. When one lady in waiting refused, he beheaded her. That night, he dreamed of a woman cursing him, "You are so violent and immoral that you will not live to see the wheat harvest next year." After he woke up, he found a lady in waiting whose appearance was similar to the woman he saw in the dream, and beheaded her. He then had another dream in which the executed lady in waiting cursed him. He therefore decided to hold a ghost-killing ceremony the next night.
We have not been spared mentally ill rulers in modern times. Stalin, Himmler, Hitler and Göring were all accused of having narcissistic personality disorders amongst other equally noxious traits as many have suggested are exhibited by the current occupant of the Oval Office. Churchill and Curtin were both said to be bi-polar as was Deschanel. Some of the narcissists like Pol Pot were also said to be psychopaths to boot. Double whammy.

Himmler visiting the camps.

Lets see how crazy things can get with Trump before we start elevating him to such exalted heights of crazydom and insanity. He definitely has his work cut out for him if he ever wants to join the Nutcase Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

But he's on his way. Enjoy it. We're not likely to see his kind again, at least for a while, if we can help it, or until Reps. Louie Gohmert or Steve King run for office anyway.


Isak Lindenauer said...

Sensational run-down of the nuts of history. Unbeknownst to me, this latest rant of yours until just now. Nevertheless, I just finished posting this on FB. Thought they ran a parallel course enough for me to share with you. Courage and outspokeness in the midst of madnesses, Isak

Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs
Isak Lindenauer
Isak Lindenauer This just in: Shockingly, Donald Trump was seen in the hallway of the West Wing of the White House cannibalizing a reporter from CNN. With the female reporters' torn off leg in his mouth, blood dripping from his orange face, he turned to stunned watchers, growled menacingly at them and bounded down the hallway out of sight....
Like · Reply · 1 hr
Isak Lindenauer
Isak Lindenauer C'mon. You all know I was joking. Something like this could NEVER happen in the White House.
Like · Reply · 1 hr
Isak Lindenauer
Isak Lindenauer Breaking News: The President was just seen crouching by a bush on the White House lawn. When confronted by a reporter from The New York Times, he turned, lifted his head, and to her horror, she could see his still-bloody face. In his hand were the remains of a human leg, its fibula and tibia showing through the remnants of muscle and flesh. She screamed as the President stood up and blankly asked why she was so upset. Look at the video , he said, which we just posted of President Obama in the last months of his tenure. He was seen stirring a cooking pot full of children, puppies and kittens and no one seemed upset by that! To be fair, some said he had a point. Others said none of it was true; that he was just being "satyrical."

Sanoguy said...

Bat Shit Crazy? YES!!

Unknown said...

I love to see this piss covered bloated orange sphincter going down. I believe he will be in jail soon along with his sons and the rest of his staff of treasonous liars. Rachel Maddow has been great in telling like it is.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history lesson. Doesn't make me feel any better really, but thanks.