Monthly Archives: September 2019

The Old Lamplighter of …

Sammy Kaye, with vocal by Billy Williams, had the most popular version of the song about the time I was in the first grade in 1946.

By the 60s, The Browns made it a country pop hit.

The song is a sentimental stroll along memory lane as we observe the Lamplighters turning on the gas-powered streetlamps at dusk and extinguishing them when the sun came up.

“Gaslighting” is not about sentimental journeys. It is about vicious plots to destroy. It comes from a movie in which a husband maliciously turns the gas lamps off and on while trying to convince his wife that she is crazy for thinking she sees the lights flicker. He wants her institutionalized and out of the way.

Gaslighting is telling you that you are delusional for believing what you plainly see.

In the current Congressional hearing, phase one in the Trump impeachment, the Republicans have developed group gaslighting to a theatrical art. The President’s high crime( high as in above and more serious than codified law) of using diplomatic conversation for personal political dirty tricks did not really happen, those gaslighters insist. You are delusional to even think so.

And if their gaslighting cameos do not convince you, those congresscritters are rehearsed with lines labeled ‘whatabout,’ with which they want to get your attention to turn stage-left (OK, stage-right) to focus on some supposed distraction.

The only thing missing from the Republican burlesque cabaret is scantily clad women and Barr on stage singing Mack the Knife.  It is song and dance, but it is not entertaining.


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Quid pro quo

I recently exchanged a riding mower for $500. There was nothing wrong with the transaction, except maybe I let it go for a bit less than it was worth. I didn’t need the mower any more so I had something to trade for something. Something for something. This for that. If I were into Latin I could say ‘quid pro quo.’  It is the simplest three word description for a transaction. You have something I want and I’ll give you something you want for it.

There is no question that a businessman become U.S. President does not understand that concept. If perhaps, you do not agree that any businessman would know the meaning of the phrase and the process it describes, can you possibly doubt that a U.S. President who understands all negotiations as transactions could not know what he is doing in a ‘something for something’ conversation.

President A: It is my hope and expectation that we can obtain more of your military equipment.

President B: Uhum, and I have a favor to ask. Could you expedite an investigation in your country of one of my political opponents?

What could possibly be simpler to understand? Something for something. This for that.

On July 26, 1920, H. L. Mencken wrote in the Baltimore Evening Sun: “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents more and more closely the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, an the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

That ‘great and glorious day’ has arrived! Mencken’s wit has been appreciated for a long time but it has taken nearly a hundred years for his clairvoyance to be proved. Can a ‘complete narcissistic moron’ be impeached? I hope so.


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