Tuesday, August 09, 2016


During the time we were away from home, last week, we saw more politically-slanted TV fare than has been the norm all through this year. I've avoided all politics on TV, apart from the primary debates and results programmes, minus the waffle from MSNBC and CNN which followed them.

Ye gods! How can people watch this garbage? Most of what I saw was all Trump all the time - not pro- but supposedly avidly anti- with the very occasional neutral-sounding commentary.

TV, newspapers, and much political material on the internet are in full Trump mesmeric mode. They use their time putting all his many and varied faults on display, front and centre, over and over and over again, leaving Hillary Clinton's many and varied faults, and the dangers inherent in her presidency mostly hidden, relegated to minor, semi-critical articles in the backwaters. Major space and air-time is being taken up by Trump, Trump, Trump. (Note: I haven't ventured to watch or read on overt Republican sites or TV channels where, of course, there'd be a different emphasis.)

Thought provoking piece by Andrew O'Hehir:
Trump Is Channeling a Deep-Seated American Urge Toward Self-Destruction
Is Trump sabotaging himself? Wrong question — he's channeling a deep-seated American urge toward self-destruction.


Donald Trump’s suicide mission is not personal, first of all. If I had to guess, I would say that he wants to be president but doesn’t know why, and has no idea what he would do with the office if he wins. Trump wishes only for his own glorification; he isn’t intelligent enough or complicated enough to yearn for his own destruction. Whether that translates in practice to a desire to lose the election, with the side benefit of endangering democracy by claiming that the system is corrupt and the results were rigged — well, that sounds like a pretty good guess, but as I said earlier I don’t know and I don’t really care. Trump’s suicide mission is ultimately about something much larger than his own presidential campaign, and also much larger than demographic clichés about the declining white majority.

America is experiencing a health crisis on an enormous scale — a crisis that is simultaneously physical, psychological and spiritual and is hardly ever understood in holistic terms. If Trump is the most prominent symptom of this systemic disorder at the moment, he is not its cause or even its leading indicator. For starters, this crisis encompasses epidemic rates of obesity and epidemic rates of suicide, dramatic evidence of a wealthy country that is literally killing itself. It’s about a nation of worsening social isolation and individualized info-bubbles and pathological delusion, a nation that spends more per capita on healthcare than any other major Western power to achieve worse outcomes, and where Baconator Fries are $1.99 at Wendy’s.

Trump, his campaign, and his supporters, are often accused of authoritarianism. A piece at Counterpunch, by Bernard Weiner , yesterday is an example: Trump and Authoritarianism. Most will accept what they read or hear on this, and could be right to do so. Yet the Clinton campaign is not innocent in this same regard. The following comes from a report by a Democratic delegate who attended the Democrats' convention. It's a single anecdote, but smacks of the general atmosphere.

I gave one woman, a Clinton delegate, a sign that said ‘I Support Palestinian Human Rights.’ She wanted to wear it, but her friend said, ‘We can’t do that, we’re not allowed to.’ They don’t want to question party leadership on any level. Even the simple thing of taking a button and putting it on your body is a big no-no for them. I didn’t think the party was this authoritarian.

From commentary about a different report by another Dem. delegate, taken from naked capitalism website

August 8, 2016 at 8:42 am

Re: Bernie delegates speak out, it’s all in this one line:

[Party leaders] assume that we’re irrelevant for the long term.

They get told to shut up, their signs are confiscated, they’re threatened with revocation of their credentials, the Clinton delegates treat them like a communicable disease, and they know the Democratic Party will never accept them. And still, they’re going to vote for her, because we must defeat Trump.

I’ve read tweets and F[ace]B[ook] posts from by a couple of other delegates, one of whom had her arm twisted so hard by a Hillary supporter that it left her with a huge bruise. The entire time, she was surrounded by security, who even followed her into the ladies room.

But if we don’t defeat Trump, he’ll turn our democracy into a fascist dictatorship.

August 8, 2016 at 9:21 am

Sounds like Sanders delegates were getting the roughing up that so upset many when it was applied to protestors at Trump rallies. Who’s the fascist again?

In other news: things I learn by reading online:
TL;DR, or tl;dr = short for "too long; didn't read". Internet slang to say that some text being replied to has been ignored or as a signifier for a summary of an online post or news article.

The abbreviation is based on the principle that, if the writer does not invest the time to convey their message concisely, the reader is justified not investing the time to read it. Alternately, it might mean that there is insufficient material of value or interest to justify the time required to read it. (Wikipedia)

If this post rates a tl;dr - what can I say?!

(ME: By the way, Wiki, it should be "alternatively", not alternately.)
Betteridge's Law of headlines is an adage that states: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." It is named after Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist, although the principle is much older. As with similar "laws" (e.g., Murphy's law), it is intended as a humorous adage rather than always being literally true.


mike said...

As above, so below...the astrology of now is playing right before our eyes. Many would say that the Uranus-Pluto square is behind us, but January, 2017, brings them within 3* of square (POTUS inauguration). The current Saturn-Neptune square is reflected in Andrew O'Hehir's statement you provided:
"America is experiencing a health crisis on an enormous scale — a crisis that is simultaneously physical, psychological and spiritual and is hardly ever understood in holistic terms."

I'm enjoying the POTUS wannabe show...better than fiction and I'm thinking Gore Vidal or Terry Pratchett. As anyjazz mentioned in some comment a while back, haven't seen this since Goldwater. Bernie is out, so I have no vested interest in either Hillary or The Donald. I'd prefer Trump succumb to failed-attempt status, but the same can be said for Clinton, but with slightly less conviction...a no-win situation, unfortunately. I do like that the frayed Republican Party has truly imploded and that the egalitarian Democratic Party revealed its non-egalitarian, vulture-picked, skeletal remains. Not bad for one election season.

The roadshow only has three more months on tour and we in the USA will have our own version of Brexit, regardless the outcome. I suspect the election results will resemble roulette, as there are so many factors. Trump may at this moment be low-scoring, but there are enough independent and anti-Hillary voters, directionless Bernie supporters, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson voters, to sway this election into the unknown ether defying prognostication.

John Townley's view of the future constantly drawing us forward may be appropriate for this era, with the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto conjunctions four years from now and the concurrent USA's Pluto return.

“The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote (provided that he wasn't poor, foreign, nor disqualified by reason of being mad, frivolous, or a woman). Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible, and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.” Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

“Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.” Gore Vidal

Twilight said...

mike ~ Roulette-like - yes indeedy! If many votes otherwise reserved for Republican or Democrat swing to Stein and Johnson, all bets, and prognostications have to be off.

There are so many unknowns, and around 3 long months yet to go.

There's chat/gossip at naked capitalism, this morning, about Hillary Clinton's (and Bill's) health. I've noticed that she looks great at times, then at other times she looks quite different, not sick exactly but not quite right. Perhaps that happens when the Botox application or a good hairdresser wasn't around, and a photographer caught her in poor angle/light.

As someone pointed out, perhaps we should be looking at Mike Pence and Tim Kaine as likely presidents, in view of speculation about Clinton's (Clintons') health and Trump's overall issues which could, eventually, lead to implosion, or withdrawal.

Terry Pratchett always had words for these situations. A shrewd, sharp, always funny wordsmith!

Another of that ilk was Douglas Adams who expanded on what Gore Vidal had to say:

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Overall, a phrase I jotted down when coming across it in one of John Galsworthy's novels, months ago, might fit the occasion:

... the chrysalis of faint misgiving becomes so readily the butterfly of panic.

But then, Douglas Adams had a famous antidote quote:


Anonymous said...

Below, my earlier remarks which wretched Captcha (sp?) wouldn't let me load some hours ago.

But first, funny you should mention Hillary's health as that is a meme I saw flying about online the past few days, with examples of stumbling and so on.

mike, I don't know about 'unknown ether defying prognostication' as last year I came across a Christian prophetess who had some mighty strange dreams she believes in - I know, whatever - until last month when Robert Phoenix - I know, whatever - made the same 'prognostication' - strange doings these days.

My earlier screed -

Yes, Gore Vidal, sadly missed. (I was trying to find the source of that very quote a few days ago - no luck. And it was precisely to discover if he said it before Doug Adams - which I suspect is true.)

Twilight's remarks just so describe Pluto en route to the USA return; not to mention the global political/economic situation. There is so much personal astrology online, it is easy to forget that these outlier planets are actually generational.

And, as I may have mentioned here before - and certainly have elsewhere - the longterm effects of the generational major aspects (Ptolemaic) can continue to roll out a decade or more after such aspects 'perfect' - see good old 'Cosmos and Psyche' for example after example.

Only a couple of days ago I saw the upcoming Saturn/Pluto (Jupiter) conjunction described online in positive terms! Well, you can put a cherry on top of dog doo, but that don't make it dessert.

Yes, Twilight, the mad obsession of virtually all the western MSM with Trump is quite something to observe. I have naively remarked that surely this is not the way to undercut the man's hold on the public imagination: that old saw - quite true - that any publicity is good publicity. Any lingering notions about a free and objective press have long since bitten the dust.

mike - About John Townley's view, I consider that we collectively imagine the future and then act to materialize it. Scifi offers many examples of this. It's why my call for a new cosmology. As was observed in Lawrence of Arabia, 'Nothing is written', or Khayyam's, 'The Moving Finger writes; and having writ, Moves on...' For years now, I have had this awful awareness of, as I put it, the future coming true. But it is a future we ourselves craft day by day, second by second, with every decision we make and every action we take.

And, oddly to me, outside of a cursory piece in The Guardian or The NYT, the quite literal gathering storms of climate change continue for the most part unremarked and unacted upon. That coming 'weather pattern' will prove our feeble political twitterings to be the tempest in a teacup they really are in the scheme of things.

Yes, the Tyrant, hell, even the Triumvirate never worked; while three legs may stabilize a stool, three heads are no better when two conspire against one.

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ Many thanks for these observations. :-)

Re man's self-made future - that idea fits, in a slightly different way, with what several writers have said about Trump: that he is the result of what we, or many of us (as USA-ans) have become, he is simply a mirror of our communal ugliness.

Bernie Sanders said in more than one of the Dem debates that climate change should be at the top of the "to do" list for the next president. Nobody took much notice, however. I'd have liked Al Gore to have come to his aid, but sadly Al Gore is of the establishment - I was once a great fan of his, after "Inconvenient Truth", but he has proved to be another broken reed. :-(

Anonymous said...

Rather good cartoon, I thought -


Twilight said...

Sabina ~ Good one, yes! :-D

A Pearls before Swine contribution:


R J Adams said...

Clinton is the Establishment's favorite. The Establishment owns the U.S. media - never mind that it's Fox News or MSNBC or CNN. They're desperate to ditch Trump so, of course, they crucify him every chance they get. Meanwhile, Clinton benefits from staying in the background and letting her Establishment buddies and their Big Media do her dirty work for her.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ As someone said in a movie we watched the other night (not exact quote but near enough):
"when government is owned by corporations it is no better than being ruled by the mafia."