Street-fight Rhetoric

Michael Gerson of the Washington Post Writers Group recently wrote a lettered op-ed entitled “Nation’s dignity suffers through street-fight rhetoric.” He notes current White House rhetoric compared to former Presidents.

Gerson reminds us of President Kennedy’s inaugural address of which John Steinbeck said: “Syntax, my lad. It has been restored to the highest place in the republic.” In this literate piece he laments the precipitous decline of language usage of late.

It is doubtful that our current President has ever read the word ‘syntax,’ since his appetite for reading is apparently quite limited. He has probably heard the word though and suspects that he ought to oppose it in a tweet. After all, having a room-tax at a hotel is bad enough for a city to impose. The idea of an extra charge above the fee being paid for an escort service is unreasonable. Who needs a syntax?

Gerson appropriately bemoans the kind of language used by a comedienne at the latest White House  Correspondents Association dinner. The paragraph that follows this criticism describes Trump’s eighty-minute rant in Michigan “that mixed narcissism, nativism, ignorance, mendacity and malice.” What Gerson does not do is to link the raw language of the stand-up comic as a quid pro quo of the vituperative vocalizations that spew from Trump.

Probably the best response to Michelle Wolf’s remarks was the wag who tweeted that those who objected should just relax and recognize ‘locker room talk’ that seemed  ‘OK’ when The Donald chuckled about crotch grabbing

Still though a ‘syntax’ sounds like an attempt to put another surcharge on the high rollers, doesn’t it?

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

President’s Identity Stolen

Perhaps it is even worse that that. It appears that his personality has been replaced, even down to his voice and manner of speaking.

I am not much of an analyst of contemporary cyber weaponry, but is it possible that an adversary has developed a voice-changing technology into which one can speak to replicate perfectly the voice and identity of another person? I know you can replace phrases of recorded speech, but in real time, in response to live questions?

Possible evidence for this new weapon was seen on Fox and Friends on April 26th. The “Friends” were gobsmacked to hear a voice, that all identified as POTUS45, phone in to say that the very lawyer, one of a multitude of such, whom he wants identified for client privacy, handles next to nothing of his affairs, except for ‘the Stormy Daniels thing.’

OK, I may not be the most insightful of observers, but it does not take a profound awareness to recognize that the voice could not possibly that of Donald J. Trump. Why would he make a public claim that Michael Cohen does almost nothing for him when he wants to shield Cohen’s records from legal view? Why would he contradict himself about knowing nothing about Stormy Daniels to state that his little-used lawyer is handling that ‘thing?’

Even the “Friends” apparently had doubts about the identity of the caller. They actually tried to cut off the President by telling him they did not have much time.

No, we did not hear the real Donald J. Trump. It just must be a new personality-altering digital weapon or the man is delusional. You choose!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Pecker Is Friend Of POTUS45

That is not exactly news. Well, OK, who knew that David J. Pecker, chairman of A.M.I, with flagship tabloid, The National Enquirer, was a buddy of DJT? But everyone with conscious awareness has known for a very long time that DJT is preoccupied with a pecker, his! He aparently even thinks with it.

Everyone who has even minimum conscious awareness knows that DJT braggs openly about the robust dimensions of his genitalia and freely announces his eagerness to grab the genitals of any woman whom he chooses. There are a couple of guys who live in my small town who are listed as sexual predators and have to report regularly to law enforcement for not much more than The Donald’s proclivities and behavior.

Women come forward with non-disclosure agreements about assignations for which they have been paid thousands of dollars from the consiglieri of POTUS45 and the Republicans and their pious evangelical Christian synchophants say nothing. Today there is rumor/story of our Profligate in Chief having fathered a child out of wedlock earlier in his life. OMG, does no one remember that we once upon a time, tried to impeach a President for ‘spilling his seed’ on the blue dress of a female aide when she apparently engaged in felatio with him in the Oval Office. What has happened to all those who took such enraged umbrage at so vile a Presidential pattern of behavior. Well, apparently it is only ‘libtards’ and ‘snow-flakes’ whose moral behavior can be scrutinized.

A Soap Opera scripted after this administration could not last a season because the story and its back-story would be so utterly incredulous.

Donald J. Trump is followed by toadying fools and dupes!

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Rising Tides Float

As a child, I received some of the first publicly available penicillin to combat an infection. As a senior in High School, I witnessed the Soviet ‘Sputnik’ put into orbit. In Mr. Chappelear’s science class we learned to be a fact that there were about 100 substances in the periodic table of elements.

About a decade ago, a pathologist said that my rare lymphoma had a ‘complete response to treatment’ by way of infusion of a monoclonal antibody. I no longer even think of myself as a cancer survivor. Neither am I aware of my titanium left hip joint except when I get screened at an airport or courthouse. To my surprise, I recently read that in fact there are some 118 elements in that atomic table.

We view such medical and scientific change as commonplace. Such improvements are taken for granted and we know that such will continue to occur. We have experienced similar change in any variety of customs and assurances in my 77+ years, except for one dimension of our lives, our economic system.

For some four centuries, Capitalism has promised to provide a rising tide that will float all boats. Well, not that long in our fair land, since we haven’t had that many years to watch the tide. So, not counting the Tulip Mania in Holland and other 18th Century European incidents, the economic crises of the years 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907, 1929, 1987, 1989-91, 2007-08 have indicated to us in these United States that something is awry with the system. Yes, from the 1940s until the 1980s the tide was up and boats floated but not without Trade Unions, a World War and Federal Government intervention.

Over the years a few large boats have risen to float at unheard-of heights. The majority of vessels, though, have been so anchored that the rising tide over-ran their gunwales and sunk them. When the length of anchor chain is under the control of the big boat captains who even limit lengths for the little guys, buoyancy is not a universal phenomenon.

Capitalism isn’t really working. No, I am not an economist, but one need not be to see so obvious a reality. DJT was elected by the boat owners who see their sterns a bit above the waterline and their bows taking on water. They have watched and are watching the sinking of their hopes. Yet the Trump administration continues to assume that dependence upon the private sector is the answer. Soon the recent Tax Scam will be trotted out again with apparent unawareness that a 40% reduction on tax on the wealthy merely lengthens their anchor chains.

The result is that we continue to do the same thing again and again, expecting a different result. Somewhere I’ve read that such behavior is one description of insanity.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

oooops

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Anticipated Tweets

Next week, Wal*Mart’s Konvenient Kliniks will assume the health care of our nation’s 9 million veterans. The Veterans Administration will be responsible for the upkeep of the U.S. Cemeteries here and abroad but all other function of that cumbersome agency will be assumed by proprietary corporations, whose efficient provision of cheap goods is universally popular.

Starting next week, all boards of education in all States and Territories are dissolved by Federal order. The education of all children shall be assured by the new Federal agency, H.S.N., the Home Schooling Network. Curricula for families is available through DJT Wine Club, complete with tasting notes. The new administrator of this new agency, replacing the Department of Education and its current boss, is the current CEO of the Home Shopping Network.

Work is already begun to transform all brick and mortar facilities of former institutions of higher learning into assembly and shipping centers for Amazon Prime order fulfillment. What has been known as Higher Education will now be universally available online from the University of Ajo, in southern Arizona. This is part of the MAGA priority of making broadband available to rural America.

These fantastic improvements will be available through a of doubling of Costco or Sam’s Club membership fees and a Value Added Tax at Dollar General Stores. Those making more than $170,000 annually, including U.S. legislators who cannot quite make it on so minimum a salary, will see their taxes reduced by 37% as the result of the savings in Federal spending. All other savings will go to boost military preparedness.

APRIL FOOL    I hope!

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

An Unadorned Day

Today is, in the Western Christian tradition, Holy Saturday. It is a day when no liturgies are observed, no vestments worn, no antependia adorn altars or pulpits. It is the Great Silence in which nothing is to be said, nothing can be said, in which there are no words, no noise. No activity is to disturb. There is nothing except dead silence.

For that reason I propose that this day be elevated in ritual status to be known as the most significant day of the year. There is nothing really significant that can be said in the face of the mystery that is our evolved humanity and in the face of the world that has responded under the influence of our having existed as a species. There are no words that can be uttered to frame where we are. There are no actions, other than simply being, that can respond appropriately to our cosmic situation. So this day should stand out from all others to point to saying nothing.

We can speculate about our species, its future. We can hold philosophical opinions about life. We can even develop theology. But this is all prattle before the awesomeness that is the 13 billion years of our planet’s existence. That awe is not precipitated by our being regarded as the pinnacle of life’s evolution. To posit us as ultimate or even penultimate is arrogance at best, more probably just silly.

‘We are,’ ‘this is’ is all we can say with mouth agape in wonder. This is the day to honor that mystery with dead silence.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

An Old Reflection on a Fierce Landscape

From 2008 through 2013, my wife, Jane, and I served as volunteers at Big Bend National Park for three months each winter/spring. Today I came across a notebook in which I had written about a snow storm there in the southwest Texas desert. It follows:

I’m sitting here in the fire-blue Ford F-150 outside the laundry facility at Panther Junction in a snowstorm equal to any large-flaked, damp downfall I’ve seen in Ohio. Where the dry brown ground was warm enough to melt it and soak it up, the snow is not sticking. But in the grasses and beneath the scrub where the previous weeks’ sun seems not to have penetrated, about an inch blankets the desert terrain. The big black male Tarantulas that ranged across sand, rock and roads in search of mates weeks ago are deep in their holes. Rattlesnakes and the coral-colored Brewster County coach-whip snakes are coiled in their dens for weeks yet. As I wait out the laundry cycle, visibility is limited to several hundred yards.

Prickly Pear cacti that yesterday looked like nude sun worshipers, today have donned white scarves wrapped around their lobes by the wind. Creosote bushes have caught handfuls of white fluff and lack only the ability to transform their palmate leaf clusters into hands to be ready for a snowball fight.

The desert, in the space of a few hours, has transformed itself from a sun-baked playground where even in winter shorts and T-shirts were a necessity to a white wonderland that makes you wonder why you left your cross-country skis back home. Once again this fierce landscape has pronounced itself ‘unpredictable.’ It has once more spoken to say, “Your being here is on my terms.”

Far be it from me to question Edward Abbey about the desert, but I wonder about his insistence that “… the desert says nothing. Completely passive, acted upon but never activating. The desert lies there like a bare skeleton of Being …” While the desert may well say nothing, it is not mute. If it is passive, it is a passive aggression, in which its own indomitable self shakes our shoulders insisting upon being taken seriously.

Need I mention that I miss that conversation, sitting here this morning viewing the dreary, rain-soaked sameness of an Ohio Spring.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Faux Flies Faster, Farther

In his satirical poem ‘Don Juan,’ Lord Byron may have coined the phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction,’ but sometimes it is the strangeness of the phony that makes fiction more powerful. Recently the Atlantic noted, “By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.”

The ‘study’ to which Atlantic refers was published in Science [http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146]. The abstract of that study informs us: “We investigated the differential diffusion of all of the verified true and false news stories distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. The data comprise ~126,000 stories tweeted by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times. We classified news as true or false using information from six independent fact-checking organizations that exhibited 95 to 98% agreement on the classifications. Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information. We found that false news was more novel than true news, which suggests that people were more likely to share novel information. Whereas false stories inspired fear, disgust, and surprise in replies, true stories inspired anticipation, sadness, joy, and trust. Contrary to conventional wisdom, robots accelerated the spread of true and false news at the same rate, implying that false news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.”

So, the more far-fetched fiction are the tweeted utterances from POTUS45, the more likely they are to penetrate to the substrata of our commonwealth. That fact/truth does not penetrate so exhaustively is obvious to the casual observer as well as to the scientific enquirer. Why else could the Liar-in-Chief maintain such a hold on so many in the substrata?

6 Comments

Filed under ethics, impeachment, phony, politics, progressive, removal from office, Republican, swindle, Trump

Charadrius vociferus

Since being a Boy Scout, I’ve been a birdwatcher. We ‘birders’ keep life-lists of our sightings among the hundreds of avian species. In looking at my life-list, one of the first birds I identified was the Killdeer.

Because this plover adapts t habitats it shares with humans, it is probably as numerous as it has ever been. It nests on open ground and is seen in fields, lakeshores, beaches, mudflats, dry stream beds, meadows as well as urban parks and open spaces.

You almost have to try not to notice a Killdeer because they announce themselves with loud ringing cries, after which they get their name “killdeer.’ Their Latin name, above, comes from their noisy behavior. Charadrius vociferus is indeed vociferous.

To keep you from discovering the location of its shallow depression nest, a piteous cry will be accompanied by feigned injury. Dragging one wing as though it might be broken, the clever little fellow will lead you further and further away from what it is trying to keep hidden. When you are sufficiently distracted, the injury will disappear and the bird will take flight.

There is an unusual primate with similar behavior. Chiefexecutivis vociferus tweets loud and frequently hoping to distract watchers from what he wants to keep hidden. The more threatened by discovery, the more irritatingly POTUS 45 issues loud ringing cries. His vociferous behavior is his attempt to decoy observers from what could be discovered if less attention were given to the noise. If you want to find the real crippling characteristic, stop paying attention to the piteous noise.

Follow the money!

 

 

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized