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Under Lying
Trump apologists are now running with the argument that there can be no obstruction of justice if we can’t find the underlying crime of conspiracy with the Russians. Setting aside for the moment that there is no law to support such a notion, let me suggest this very real possibility:

What if the reason Mueller didn’t find sufficient evidence of conspiracy was that Trump’s well-documented efforts to kill or stymie the investigation (pages 194 through 347 of the report) ended up working?

If so, we are left with hall-of-mirrors conclusion that obstruction, if it is ultimately successful, is not a crime. Similarly, if you hide your victim’s body carefully enough, then it’s perfectly legal to hide it — and to get away with murder.
That Thing
I can’t
‘Member
Where
It is

Or why
I am
Looking
For it

I don’t
Know when
I had
It last

Or where
I most
Often
Store it

In fact
I don’t
Know what
It is

Nor how
I know
It is
Missing

All I
Know’s that
I am
Here now

But that
My mind’s
Gone a-
Fishing
Think Again
If asked, most of us would say we have common sense. Some of us might even be a little insulted by the question. These people might assume that only very stupid people don’t have common sense.

That, however, would be a silly assumption — as those of us who have at least some common sense could have told them. Common sense isn’t about brains. Or cunning, or verbal alacrity, or even logic. It is connected to experience, though…and human wisdom at its most fundamental level.

The term “common sense” has no particular academic meaning. It’s nothing more than vernacular for sound judgment when it comes to basic, practical matters. It appears to be activated on an almost intuitive level, as if analytical thought does not participate at all. The mind considers its own life experience holistically in reaching quick, reliable conclusions. We might even view it as a natural survival mechanism.

Or so it seems. None of us can be sure of exactly how the human mind functions. What we can see, however, is that such subliminal judgments are sometimes overridden by our analytical self. In such cases it doesn’t seem to matter whether common sense has produced a sound judgment or not. The rational mind just can’t leave it alone. Instead, it moves to replace perfectly good conclusions with more intricate explanations of reality. “Overthink” is the popular term.

Not that common sense always gets it right. Sometimes the complex, laborious thinking of science can step in and cancel good old common sense with irrefutable proof. Thanks to that kind of thinking, we no longer entertain the common sensical belief that the Sun revolves around the Earth. What once seemed obvious is now seen as a quaint foolishness.

Outside of the rigors of the scientific method, however, such appropriate cancellations are rare. Take the Deep State, for instance. Those who believe there is such a thing defy the common sense conclusion that nothing so huge and so secret could last for more than a day or two. Such folk do not rely, however, on anything like the scientific method for their proof. Most of their “evidence” (if you dare to trace it at all) is composed of dark suspicions. Those suspicions, in turn, are supported by well-documented coincidences that spiral off into infinity. None of this evidence would be admissible in a court of law, much less as part of a careful scientific inquiry. Classic overthink.

But that doesn’t stop the conspiracy buffs. It is my belief that everyone has common sense. In fact, day-to-day life could be very difficult if we didn’t have some semi-automatic system for assessing situations and moving on quickly. Other animals (who do not have our analytical capacity) seem to use something like common sense in order to facilitate their quick decisions…and so survive. They do not, so far as I can tell, subscribe to conspiracy theories.

Perhaps we should admit that our human intellect, for all its impressive accomplishments, has a few weaknesses. Unlike common sense, it shows a susceptibility to emotion and other non-rational motivations. As a licensed armchair psychologist, let me name a few. Wish-fulfillment is certainly one, though I can only guess why someone would wish for the existence of the Deep State. Maybe folks are desperate for any explanation of events, no matter how unlikely, if the alternative is a world filled with uncertainty. Or perhaps they want to be hip and in-the-know. Or maybe they’re just wrapped too tight for the real world.

Or it could be laziness. People often resort to cynicism as a way of dealing with a chaotic world. “It’s all rigged anyway” is a great cop-out if you’re looking to avoid responsibility. If everything is controlled by unseen, all-powerful forces, then you are off the hook for doing anything about it. These people are not conspiracy buffs, however. They just want a convenient excuse not to be bothered — which is a perfectly good survival mechanism in itself. And way preferable to overthink.
We Have a Winner
I am not a Game of Thrones devotee, but that does not prevent me from having very strong feelings about the characters, the story arc, and the opinions of those who do watch the show. (In the interests of transparency: I did watch for a couple of seasons, but all the torture and graphic cruelty proved to be too much for me.)

So, where to begin? How about with Jon Snow? Everybody liked him, then he died. But the next season, he comes back to life. I’m sorry, but that’s when GoT lost me for good. If characters can come back to life, then all the killing is just a meaningless orgy of violence with no real consequences attached. Since no one is ever really dead, the crime of murder in Westeros is just another event and neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Once I realized that, even the dragons weren’t enough to keep me going.

The driving question behind the endless plot of GoT, of course, is Who will win the Game of Thrones? Now, since I stopped watching back when the dragons were still youngsters, all I have to go on are the headlines I see each Monday after the most recent episode has aired. I don’t bother to read the accompanying articles, but I see enough to know that Arya Stark, for instance, has come back from total blindness(!), and is now a serious player in the race for the top spot. That puts her right there with Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and practically everyone else who’s a continuing character — including the “dead” ones.

I’ll give you my prediction, but first let’s rule out the losers. Blondie the dragon whisperer is too obvious; never pick the most obvious choice. None of the Starks, either; they have been a hard luck, doomed clan from the start. The Lannisters family is also out (despite the adorable Tyrion); they’re just too ordinary as fantasy fiction rulers go.

For awhile I thought the winner might be the Night King — especially if you were to buy my theory that the character should really be called the Night Queen because he’s a she. Check out his/her perfect nails and somewhat diminutive build. Anyway, a victorious female would be a satisfying conclusion, and the switcheroo at the end would make all this suspense worthwhile.

I have backed away from this idea, however, and I think you know why. So that leaves us with the only credible choice remaining. Who’s as smart and wily as any of these other characters? Who would you obey as king without question? Who’s been in almost every episode, and who commands your undivided attention in every scene he’s in?

Drogon, of course. Drogon the dragon. No? You just watch (even though I won’t be).
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon