Why Trump Esteems Putin

June 30, 2015 at 11:56 am | Posted in Conceited, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 4 Comments
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Trump Approves of Putin.  Image created by  thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

Trump Approves of Putin. Image created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

This astonishing fact appeared in an important column by Michael Gerson on Trump’s political position, and was discussed in the second half of the previous post.

The present post seeks to understand why Trump esteems Putin.

Why does Trump not see in Putin’s actions what everyone else sees?

The explanation is to be found in Trump’s job history.

“Trump began his career at his father’s real estate company”, according to Wikipedia. So he started with a strong dynastic advantage.
Trump spent almost his entire career as the unremovable top executive of a large company.
No one in his company could gainsay him.
No one in his company could contradict him.
No one in his company could refuse to do what he asked.
Despite nearly fatal business mistakes in 1989 through 1991, no one in his company could criticise him.
Only sycophants were allowed.

In his company, he became an autocrat.
He enjoyed being an autocrat. (“You’re fired!”, said he, with relish and glee. )
He eventually came to believe that autocracy was the only effective way to obtain results.

That is why Trump approves of Putin, and is unable to see how massively Putin has damaged Russia.

Conscience leads almost every autocrat to wish to believe that they are a benevolent autocrat.

Trump wants to believe that he is a benevolent autocrat.
That is why he repeatedly says “They love me!” (The emphasis is his.)
When you hear words, even if they were spoken by yourself, they activate the same neural chains that are activated by words spoken by others.
So words spoken aloud by yourself are more comforting and supportive, and they carry a whiff of objectivity and outside validation.
(That is why prayer and wishes and political slogans said aloud, either by yourself or spoken in unison in a crowd, are so much more reassuring than silent prayers or wishes or slogans.)
So Trump says again and again, emphatically, “They love me!”

Of course benevolent autocrats are rare, even among those who wish to believe that they are benevolent. Lord Acton’s insight applies: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Acton’s insight does not refer to corruption by greed, but to corruption by rationalization and by arrogance.

Picture of John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton. Created, no later than 1902, and published in the book 'Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone', published by Allen & Co.

Picture of John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton.
Created, no later than 1902, and published in the book ‘Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone’, published by Allen & Co.

Trump is the opposite of George Washington, that avid self-taught student of the history of freedom versus autocracy, who, as the first President of the US, deliberately and adamantly refused to set monarchical precedents, and who accepted the decison of Congress even when he thought it to be mistaken. Washington thereby set the most precious precedents of all.

The Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796.

The Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796.

Trump is a would-be President who doesn’t understand or like democracy.
He doesn’t understand the creativity and self-correction that is provided by the intellectual
crowd-sourcing that arises from the uproar that occurs in any open society.

Trump is utterly unfit to be President.

Trump’s advantaged career history also explains his other peculiarities:

Trump is arrogant. While announcing his candidacy, Trump astoundingly asserted that he would make Mexico pay for building a wall along its US border. Make? How? This is Bluster’s Last Stand.

Trump is conceited. So he feels no need to have his ideas critiqued before announcing them or acting upon them. Trump asserted that Mexico keeps its good people for itself, and “sends” its criminals and other misfits to the US. Does Trump suppose that a panel in Mexico reviews information about each of it citizens, and then issues orders to each, either stay or head north? This breathtaking idiocy is of a piece with Trump’s assertion that Putin has boosted the rest of the world’s opinion of Russia. It is also of a piece with Trump’s disastrous business decisions during the late 1980s and early 1990s, which nearly bankrupted his business and himself.

Trump is tone deaf. He has far less than the normal ability to see himself as others see him. He has lost much of his former skill in mentally mirroring others that was demonstrated by his college career. He seems to have retained only the mental mirroring skills needed for business deals.

It is sometimes asserted that sucess in business is one of the best indicators of suitability for executive office.

Trump illustrates the truth that being a business executive who lacks extensive experience in elective politics, or in another arena having frequent give-and-take between evenly matched participants, does not indicate suitability for high office. Instead it indicates unsuitability. (The same is true for military leaders.)

Trump illustrates the truth that a sense of entitlement is the root of most evil.

Trump is utterly unfit to be President.

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Was Donald Trump Born in the US?

June 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Global warming, Presidential election | 5 Comments
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Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Donald Trump recently announced that he is running to become the next President.

This is the same Donald Trump who refused to accept the abundant evidence that Barack Obama was born in the US, and that Obama’s Presidency was therefore legitimate according to paragraph 5 of Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution of the United states of America.

This is the same Donald Trump who insisted that President Obama publish a validated copy of his birth certificate.

Billboard challenging the validity of Barack Obama's birth certificate. The billboard is located in South Gate, and photo was taken on November 12, 2010.

Billboard challenging the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. The billboard is located in South Gate, and photo was taken on November 12, 2010.

Barack Obama's long form birth certificate, from the State of Hawaii Department of Health

Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate, from the State of Hawaii Department of Health.

This is the same Donald Trump who wasted so much of his own time and attention, and that of the public, by being the last prominent ‘birther’ to refuse to accept the abundant solid evidence about the place of Obama’s birth. This is the same Donald Trump who ensured that time and energy and newsprint and bandwidth would continue to be wasted on what was generally acknowledged to be a refuted claim.

This is the same Donald Trump who selected himself to stand in the schoolhouse door, in what everyone knew would be a futile attempt to block Obama’s path.

Is this Donald Trump eligible to be President?

Is the energy and time – his own and the public’s – that Trump expended on this silly charade, an indication of how he would allocate his attention and the nation’s resources, if he became President?

He was smart enough to know that it was a charade, wasn’t he?

If he did, then his wasting of our time and energy was so egregious that it was unpatriotic.
If he didn’t, then he is unfit to be an executive of anything.

I cannot believe that he was stupid enough to fall for the birther wishful thinking.

Therefore he had chosen self-promotion over the welfare of the country.

That is unpatriotic enough to make us wonder, was Donald Trump born in the USA?

At Trump’s every campaign appearance, demand to see his birth certificate.

Demand that he publish a certified copy.

—————————————–Trump’s Approval of Putin

Michael Gerson recently reviewed lesser known aspects of Trump’s political history.

The review contained a bombshell: Donald Trump’s approval of Putin, the most destructive tyrant of Russia since Stalin. Gerson’s column says of Trump:

The defects of democracy, in this view, are remedied by the strongman. It is not a coincidence that Trump expresses admiration for Vladimir Putin. “He’s doing a great job,” says Trump, “in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia, period.”

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

Putin: the person who derailed Russia’s transition to becoming a fair and open society, governed by the rule of law, instead of by the convenience of a mafia.

Putin: the mugger who robbed Crimea from Ukraine because Ukraine had overturned Putin’s protogee Viktor Yanukovych. Putin: who subsequently manufactured a surprisingly well equipped military separatist movement in eastern Ukraine that has triggered a new cold war.

Somehow Trump forgot to mention his admiration of Putin while announcing his candidacy.

After all, the voters deserve to know about each candidate’s role models.

Is someone who approves of Putin fit to be President?

At Trump’s every campaign appearance, ask him about his approval of Putin.

At every interview, ask Trump about his approval of Putin.

Donald Trump:

320x480.DonaldTrump.May2015.UpsideDown

A birther, who wasted everyone’s time by pretending that a dead issue was still alive, solely to draw attention to himself.

An admirer of Vladimir Putin’s approach to governing.

This post can be summarized in three words: Trump Tramples Truth!

Your comments are welcome.
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Sex and Food as Meditation

June 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Practical tips | 2 Comments
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Chocolate, taken or created by Fir0002, and uploaded by Shizhao.

Chocolate, taken or created by Fir0002, and uploaded by Shizhao.

As you know, chocolate is one of the major food groups, and constitutes the wide base of the food pyramid, upon which all of the other food groups rest.

What does that have to do with meditation and sex?

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Brigid Schulte interviewed Sally Lazar about recent research that shows how meditation produces beneficial changes in the brain. This finding of benefits is not based merely on people’s reports on how they were affected, but also on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). (See the video clip in the online article.)

Sex has much in common with meditation.

Notably, both aim for intense concentration on particular sensations, temporarily shutting out the distracting signals from everything else. In sex, the sensations that are key for satisfying the urge are the pleasurable sensations from your own body, along with the signals of your partner’s pleasure and excitement. Without exclusive focus on those two ingredients, release will not occur.

Mindful eating is similar. It is single-minded concentration on how good something tastes.

If sex, mindful eating and meditation have so much overlap, might frequent sex and mindful eating produce the same benefits as meditation?

Answering that question would benefit society, as well as being enjoyable. Even the research to answer the question would be enjoyable. Is anyone looking for a research project?

Meditation that is regular enough, and of long enough duration, produces substantial benefits. If good sex and good food count as meditation, then without knowing it, you might already be part way to meditating enough.

Chocolate is created from the cocoa bean. A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening.  Photo by Medicaster.

Chocolate is created from the cocoa bean. A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening. Photo by Medicaster.

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June 4: Tiananmen Square Day

June 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Fairness, Judicial Injustice | 1 Comment
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A drafting board with a T-Square and triangle. Photo by Michael Holley, October 24, 2012.

A drafting board with a T-Square and triangle. Photo by Michael Holley, October 24, 2012.

June 4 is Tiananmen Square Day: T-square Day

An emblem for Tiananmen Square Day.  Created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com

An emblem for Tiananmen Square Day. Created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com

Two previous posts (here and here) on this blog have marked the anniversaries of the massacres in Beijing and Chengdu on and after June 4, 1989. It is that time of year again.

Tiananmen Square Day honors those who believed in the rule of law.

The demonstrators in Beijing and Chengdu thought that the government of China would adhere to its own written laws. They thought that laws exist to benefit and protect the people, not just to benefit and protect the powerful – those who have appointed themselves to rule the country. The demonstrators’ concept was correct, but their prediction was wrong.

The government of China claims to observe the rule of law. But that is a sham. Laws in China are written or are re-interpreted according to the whims and interests of the powerful. In China today, the mafia is in control.

Recent items (here, here, and here) in the Washington Post underscore the arbitrary way in which the laws are invoked, and the impunity with which they are twisted.

Besides stunting Chinese society, besides the unfairness to individuals and communities, this looseness with fact and law could lead to international conflict. The unilateral reinterpretation of territorial claims in the waters around south east and eastern Asia are a recent example.

In discussing this and other government actions, it is essential to distinguish between the government of China, and China and the Chinese people. To say and write ‘the government of China’ takes more time and space than to say and to write ‘China’, but the distinction is so important that it is worth the extra time and space. Never insult an injured people by confusing them with their oppressors.

Tiananmen Square Day honors the rule of law, while demonstrating that the rule of law cannot exist without the separation of powers.

The separation of powers is the only way for the administrators, the legislators and the judiciary of any polity to be independent enough to monitor one another, and to limit each other’s abuse of power. The tendency to abuse power is inherent in human nature. Even people of good will cannot resist the temptation to abuse power. We are excellent rationalizers, so we easily trick ourselves. The trajectory of the French Revolution is a perfect example.

Black was the color chosen by the demonstrators in Beijing and in Chengdu. Wear something black on Tianenmen Square Day. If you need to be inconspicuous, wear black shoes, or a belt, or a tie, or a scarf or a purse.

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