The Women’s March On Washington Has A Lesson For The March For Science

February 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Climate change, Disinformation, Enemies of Planet Earth, Global warming, Practical tips | Leave a comment
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Rikugien, a Japanese garden in Tokyo, Japan, photographed by Fg2 on March 29, 2005.

Rikugien, a Japanese garden in Tokyo, Japan, photographed by Fg2 on March 29, 2005.

Next April 22 will be Earth Day.

The March for Science will be on that day.

Scientists – and those who appreciate science – will be demonstrating to remind everyone of how indispensible science is to our understanding of how the world works, and to our ability to survive and thrive.

To survive and thrive we use tools: mental tools – concepts, knowledge (conclusions) and skills – and physical tools.

The demonstrators will be reminding us all that the relentless testing of all of our tools, using testable evidence, is the only way of arriving at conclusions and other tools that are reliable enough to build upon.

Well-tested conclusions and other tools are fruitful even when they are incomplete or approximate. Because tested tools have withstood at least some testing, they carry at least some information, so they contain clues as to improve on them.

From experience, we know that well-tested conclusions and well-tested other tools exist, and are better in the long run than unreliable conclusions and other tools.

A testable and well-tested assertion is worth of being called a fact. An unsupported assertion is not worthy of being called a fact. There is no such thing as an alternative fact. There can be alternative perceptions, but not alternative facts.

That is what the demonstrators desperately want to remind us of, because malignant people are trying to make us forget that hard-earned understanding, and if we do forget it, our future will be as was aptly described by Thomas Hobbes: nasty, brutish and short.

For the March for Science to be all that it can be, it must learn an important lesson from the Women’s March on Washington.

Photo by Mobilus In Mobili of the Women's March on Washington, 21 January 2017

Photo by Mobilus In Mobili of the Women’s March on Washington, 21 January 2017

Ellen McCarthy, Lavanya Ramanathan, Maura Judkis published in the Washington Post an informative account of that event.

But they mis-interpreted one feature of what happened there, and it is exactly that feature that the planners of the March for Science need to understand correctly.

The mis-interpretation occured in these lines in the article:

But the group gathered in Washington, which organizers said topped 500,000, wasn’t an unfettered love fest. As the program of speakers stretched into the third hour, many in the crowd, like penned race horses itching to run, began to chant: “Let us march!”
And resentment brewed as some marchers took off while speakers of color were still standing at the microphone.
“This whole thing is supposed to be about intersectional feminism, and they’re just walking out on speeches,” said Telfer Carpenter, 22, an equity studies major at the University of Toronto who had come in on an overnight bus. “I think the first people to leave were old white women. They left when a Muslim woman was speaking and when a Korean woman was speaking. A mark has been missed.”

I was there, and the crowd’s impatience had nothing to do with who was speaking or with what they were saying.

It had everything to do with it being “the third hour“.

At that point, we no longer cared or even noticed who was speaking. Most of us couldn’t see the stage, so we couldn’t see any ethnic or religious indicators of the speakers.

Most people had been standing since well before the program began: for more than three hours.

We had been happy to hear what the early speakers had said. But now we were saturated. We didn’t want to hear another thing, no matter how pertinent, no matter how interesting it would have been if we had heard it earlier.

That would have been true even if we had been seated and warm. But we were stiff and cold – and most important – the speeches had continued beyond our attention span.

Enthusiastic attendees morphed into disgruntled attendees.

Three hours was just too much. We needed to move. We wanted to march, since that would be how we would have our say. We wanted to shout at the White House, “Lock him up!”, as we so delightedly shouted once we started walking.

It is easy to see why the planners of the March made the mistake of exceeding our attention span.

The planners had wanted to enlist the participation and support of as many organizations as possible.

Each of those organizations wanted to publicize its cause and its views. It wanted time in the limelight for its spokesperson.

The error was in allotting too much time to each of so many speakers.

The organizers of the March for Science will likewise have enlisted many participating organizations.

The guiding principle for any such event should be to have at most an hour and a half of speeches, total.

If that means five minutes per speaker, that will be far better than what happened here. The need to make each statement brief will yield more memorable statements.

View of the Women's March on Washington from the roof of the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C. January 21, 2017 (B. Allen / VOA)

View of the Women’s March on Washington from the roof of the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C. January 21, 2017 (B. Allen / VOA)

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Streep Versus Creep

January 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Meryl Streep, 16 February 2016, usbotschaftberlin, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usbotschaftberlin/24452956954/

Meryl Streep, 16 February 2016, usbotschaftberlin, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usbotschaftberlin/24452956954/

During the recent Golden Globes ceremony, Meryl Streep described how revolted she had been by Donald Trump’s bullying parody, at a campaign event on November 24, 2015, of Serge Kovaleski, an excellent reporter for the New York Times, who happens to be disabled. An astounding video containing both Trump’s jeering, and Streep’s comment on that jeering, is viewable at the beginning of the online version of Ann Hornaday’s article in the Washington Post about the Golden Globes event. An excellent article by Elahe Izadi and Amy B Wang also contains the video, along with the complete transcript of Meryl Streep’s remarks.

Trump, being Trump, responded by lying, in a tweet, that he hadn’t been jeering at Kovalevski. The video shows clearly that he had been jeering, in exactly the manner of a schoolyard bully. An eye-opening analysis by Glenn Kessler gives the background to Trump’s jeering, and to Trump’s multiple lies about it.

Hornaday notes that Trump’s jeering was “to distract his audience from the fact that Kovaleski caught him in another lie, about Muslim Americans celebrating on Sept. 11, 2001” Glenn Kessler’s article provides abundant evidence confirming Hornaday’s statement. Jeering to distract attention away from Trump’s own lies is a standard Trump tactic.

Hornaday notes that Trump’s tweet also called Steep “an “overrated” actress and “a Hillary flunky””. As was just mentioned, a standard Trump tactic is to smear anyone who points out any of his errors. Another standard Trump tactic is to claim that his critic is an unpopular has-been.

A tweet by a twit,
Who is full of it.
That is, who is full of himself!

Trump’s tweets and his public statements are his way of flailing about against critics, and against inconvenient truths (to use Al Gore’s indispensible phrase).
When Trump senses a threat, verbally he writhes frantically, like a startled snake.

American pipe snake = false coral snake (Anilius scytale).  Photographed 12 December 2007 by DuSantos.

American pipe snake = false coral snake (Anilius scytale). Photographed 12 December 2007 by DuSantos.

Trump flails about because he cannot use logic. He cannot use facts. He has never cared about either logic or facts, so he never learned how to use them.
So Trump has left only bald unsupported assertions.

Trump finds unsupported assertions to be a congenial tool. After all, Trump has a history of pretending to be other people , sometimes “John Miller”, and sometimes “John Barron”. While pretending to be these other people, Trump says about Trump what Trump would like to have had other people say about him. That is a con-man’s tactic.

This is a variant of Trump’s tactic of claiming that un-named “other people say” or “many people say”. Trump ascribes to these invented people the inuendo that Trump wants to plant.

To be charitable about it, Trumps false statements are not always deliberate lies. Sometimes Trump makes an unfounded statement simply because he cannot distinguish how the world is from how he thinks the world ought to be. At any moment, Trump’s idea of how the world ought to be is the same as whatever would have best served Trump’s current purpose. This is a natural confusion for anyone who thinks that the Universe revolves around him. A prime example of this facet of Trump’s fun-house mirror is his habit of asserting that each source that points out his flaws is “failing” or “overated”.

Trump likes to pin disparaging labels on other people to ‘re-frame the discussion’. Sometimes this is simply a smear tactic. At other times, as with Trump’s jeering at Kovalevski, it is a tactic for drawing attention away from a fact or a question that is unfavorable to Trump.
‘Lyin Ted’, ‘Lyin Hillary’ – you get the idea. The smears are rarely founded on fact.

Margaret Sullivan has recently written an incisive overview of Trump’s approach to using lies as a tool.

Since Trump’s labels and tweets are designed to re-direct the conversation, ‘most convenient for Trump’ usually means that Trump’s smears ascribe to Trump’s critics Trump’s own unsavory traits.

A recent example of a different aspect of Trump’s lies is his claim that before his inauguration, Washington DC had run out of inauguration gowns. Trump’s claim was quickly refuted . But Trump didn’t care: he relies on the fact that his original bombastic claim will stick in the mind better than will its later disproof.

When Trump was told about the Putin-authorized spying on him – and the resulting cyber-theft of Trump’s personal and financial data – Trump’s immediate reaction was to deny that it had happenened.

The most charitable way to describe Trump’s tweets and public statements:
Trump gives himself a colonoscopy, and reports what he sees.

Schematic overview of colonoscopy procedure

Schematic overview of colonoscopy procedure

Trump will be the first President in US history to constitute a major security risk.

This is important, so lets consider it further.

Trump finds Putin’s authoritarianism more congenial than the checks and balances of a free society.

Trump doesn’t understand the value of a free society, so he never bothered to understand what is required to sustain a free society.
So Trump does not accept America’s founding ideas.
Trump does not even know what America’s founders sought to accomplish.
Trump mistakenly takes ‘Amass wealth! WIN! WIN!’ to be America’s defining goal.

So Trump does not even know what he should be defending.
That is just part of why he is a security risk.

Trump will be the first President whose loyalty to the United States is questionable.

Trump seems to be more loyal to Putin than to the US. Trump certainly believes Putin more readily than he believes the CIA and the FBI. Trump accepts Putin’s statements immediately, without any scepticism. At first Trump unconditionally rejected the CIA’s and the FBI’s findings – despite the evidence for them. Then he grudgingly accepted some aspects of those findings, again without having any non-subjective basis for rejecting the finding that Putin’s scheme had helped Trump. As Kathleen Parker (a Republican) asks in a valuable op-ed, “Well, didn’t it? Didn’t Trump loudly call upon Russia to hack Clinton’s emails?”  Two valuable op-eds (here and here) by Dana Milbank discuss the bias of Trump and his circle toward Putin.

The only possible conclusion: Trump is more loyal to Trump than to the US.

Trump has no self-control. His fragile self-esteme gives him a thin skin.
When opposed or disparaged he thrashes about defensively.

He deludedly thinks that his gut reactions are better than learning the facts, and are much better than thinking before reacting.

Those are the many other reasons why Trump is a security risk.

Imagine that your job was to vet applicants for security clearances, and to either approve or disapprove their applications.

Would you approve this unstable, flailing Trump?

I wouldn’t.

Trump poses a dilemma for those loyal Americans who are tasked to divulge sensitive information to this flailing buffoon who lacks all self-control.

*

Now consider Trump’s slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’.

Leave aside the fact that both Trump and his followers often twist the slogan into ‘Make America Grate Again’.
Leave aside also that a notable segment of Trump’s followers interpret the slogan as ‘Make America Hate Again’.

Consider instead why America was great in the 1950s and early 1960s, at least for some of its citizens.

At that time, many formerly economically and poltically important countries were still reeling from the physical devastation that had occurred on their soil during the Second World War. Their economies had been destroyed. Their infrastructure had been destroyed. Some countries even had to reconstruct their political structures.

For example, rationing continued in England for many years after the end of the Second World War.

None of those handicaps existed in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Of those four countries, the US had – by far – the largest economy and the largest manufacturing capability.

Our manufacturing and transportation infrastructure had swelled during the war, and our political structure was intact. We were able to supply what the ravaged countries needed to buy.
Few other countries could compete with us in that respect. Many of the other unravaged countries were still colonies, or were economically very undeveloped for other reasons.

In those days, manufacturing required many laborers. Automation was limited. Filling orders, monitoring inventory, keeping records, sending written or oral messages all required human hands. That meant a huge demand for human labor.

Labor couldn’t cross borders easily. Shipping was slow or expensive, and was itself labor-intensive. So the demand for labor was futher concentrated in the few favored locations.

That concentration of advantages will not happen again.
Trump will not be able to produce the job landscape that he promises.

*

There is much discussion these days as to whether respecting the office of the President entails respecting Trump.

Respecting an office means respecting its intended role – its potential contribution to society.

Respecting an office does not entail respecting any particular occupant of that office. Whether a particular occupant earns respect depends upon the occupant’s principles, virtues and weaknesses.

It is impossible to repect the upcoming occupant of the Presidency.

Trump is both creepy, and a creep.

Creepy? Witness Trump’s remarks to Billy Bush. I’ve never encountered a man whose locker-room conversation was as despicable as Trump’s. Trump needs Tic Tacs for the brain.

A creep? Witness Trump’s attempt to boot Vera Coking, an elderly widow in Atlantic City who merely wanted to live the rest of her days in her own home, with its treasured memories. Trump wanted the spot to make more parking for his casino.

Proto-President Creepy Creep,
Sneers at the humaneness of Meryl Streep.

A poseur at charity, secretly selfish and cheap.
Weak self-esteem, hidden by boasts in a heap.

Hidden also by smears that convince only sheep*.
Deceitful disgusting defective Donny The Creep.

A twisted brain, and a heart of ice.
Defective Donny just isn’t nice.

Sad!

Mad!

Bad!

* No insult is intended to bovine sheep, only to human sheep.

On January 20, 2017, President-elect Creepy Creep will become President Creepy Creep.

*

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Defective Trump and Imperfect Hillary

October 17, 2016 at 10:45 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Line art representation of a quill pen. Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Line art representation of a quill pen. Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Hillary Clinton is an ordinary fibber, like you and me.

Trump is not an ordinary liar. Trump is a psychopathic liar.

Here is the evidence.

We are polite to people we don’t like. We invent a reason why we “can’t” accept an invitation. Again and again, we tell our children a suitably sanitized version of the truth about something. We tell a garishly dressed friend that they look good. “No, it doesn’t make you look fat.” A minister warmly greets a secretly less-liked member of the congregation. A teacher responds to an annoying question by saying “that is a good question”. An elected official enthusiatically welcomes a disliked constituent. A server in a restaurant, a sales person in a store, … The list is endless.

Probably no one can go through live without telling many fibs – at least, no one who keeps friends and a job. And that is true even in open societies, where saying what you believe would not lead to imprisonment or death.

Everyone who wants to influence policy and public life must fib.

George Washington understood that slavery was evil and unjust, and undermined the political principles he fought for. He and some of his friends brainstormed ways of ending slavery, and in his will he freed all of the slaves that he personally owned. (He could not legally free the slaves owned by his wife.) But Washington knew that he could not express his view openly, if he were to deal effectively with what were then the most pressing issues that he faced.

Lincoln likewise. Hence the limited position he took during his first Presidential campaign, and hence also the delay in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, and its incomplete coverage.

FDR favored Britain and France over Hitler before the US entered the Second World War, but he could not say so, given the isolationist (indeed, Trumpian) mood in the US before we were attacked.

Lyndon Johnson favored increased fairness toward African Americans well before he was able to act upon his views. He urged the leaders of the Civil Rights movement to increase the poltical pressure on him, to provide him political cover while still leaving him politically effective.

By the way, these examples show the hypocrisy of those who fault Hillary for not always expressing her long term political goals out loud.

That brings us back to Trump.

Trump is not an ordinary liar. Trump is a psychopathic liar.

Trump lies as easily as he breathes, without guilt, with conviction. That is what distinguishes a psychopathic liar from an ordinary fibber.

Psychopathic lying is an essential trait of all great con men, since a person who does not feel guilty comes across as more convincing.

Trump might even really believe his own lies. Since Trump avoids the effort of critical thinking, he may unconciously and automatically swivel his beliefs to whatever would be convenient for him at the moment.

Of course you know about Trump’s lying birtherism, and his more recent lie that Hillary started birtherism.

You know about the many recent disproofs of Trump’s claim that no one respects women more than he does.

You probably remember how, during the second debate with Hillary, Trump attempted to immediately change the subject to ISIS.

You know about how Trump continues to deny that he favored the Iraq War, despite the videos that disprove his claim.

You might know that Trump is a champion earner of Four Pinnochios from Glen Kessler’s fact-checking columns in the Washington Post.

But that Trump is a psychopathic con-man is spectacularly proved by the multiple incidents in which he called newspapers, pretending to be someone else who was telling the newspaper about Trump.

Look at the following, which were found via this:

1. Donald Trump’s ‘John Miller’ interview is even crazier than you think …
May 16, 2016 – The name Trump assumed varied slightly — “John Miller,” John Barron,” and “John Baron” — but the goal didn’t: Tout Trump as a hyper-cool, …

2. Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself – The …
May 13, 2016 – The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he’s a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, “I’m sort of new …

3. John Oliver – Donald Trump and John Miller – YouTube
May 16, 2016 – Uploaded by consumer
From HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. … Mix – John Oliver – Donald Trump and John …

4. Donald Trump and the “John Miller” Tape: A Question of Character …
The New Yorker
May 13, 2016 – John Cassidy on the newly surfaced recording from the nineties in which Donald Trump apparently poses as his own spokesman.

5. Miller Time: Donald Trump Lied that he was ‘John Miller’ To Spread …
May 14, 2016 – When [People magazine’s] reporter called Trump’s office for an explanation, she was told that John Miller had gone home and that Trump …

Trump pretended that someone else said about Trump precisely what Trump wanted said about Trump.

That is a con.

That is just like a scammer who calls you up to tell you that your licence to the operating system on your computer has expired, or that your computer is full of malware that they will remove if you turn over complete control of your computer to them.

Doesn’t Trump’s masquerade remind you of Trump’s distinctive trick of claiming that un-named other people are saying what he would like said about one event or issue after another?

One of Trump’s many lies is that Hillary Clinton is a bigger liar than the rest of us. Trying to pin the label of liar on his competitors had been a theme of Trump’s campaign in the primaries. Now, in the general election, he is trying to pin it on Hillary. But Trump lies much more often than Hillary, and his lies are far more dangerous.

Even if Trump does believe his own lies, some part of his brain is uneasy about them.
That is probably why ‘liar’ is his favorite insult, and is why he uses it so promiscuously.


The present post should be regarded as part of what will be a series of replies to common but misguided assertions that Trump has tried to implant in the public’s discussion of the candidates for President. In particular, many of these assertions were usefully collected together in Greg Tag’s comment on the previous post, How to Vote Against Trump . These assertions implicitly rest upon Trump’s lie that Hillary Clinton is a bigger liar than the rest of us.


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How to Vote Against Trump

September 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Presidential election | 3 Comments
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Twice the impact.  Created 2016-09-26 by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

Twice the impact. Created 2016-09-26 by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

 

How can you best fight against Trump?

How can you best protect

  • the country,
  • freedom of speech,
  • political freedom here and world-wide,
  • innocent persons,
  • human fairness,
  • the US Treasury,
  • the human world,
  • and the natural world,

against the damage that each of those would suffer if Mussolini-like Trump became President?

Some of the voters who are revolted by Trump are planning to vote against Trump without voting for Hillary.

They are planning to vote against Trump by voting for the Green candidate, or are planning to vote for the Libertarian candidate.

But a vote for anyone other than Hillary is only half a vote against Trump.

Here is why.

Although voting for one of the spoiler candidates doesn’t increase Trump’s tally, it also doesn’t increase his opponent’s tally. It has zero effect on the comparison of their two tallys, which is the comparison that will determine who becomes President.

A vote for Hillary doesn’t increase Trump’s tally by 1, but also does increase Hillary’s tally by 1.
That increases the difference between Hillary’s tally and Trump’s tally by 2 units.
That is two blows against Trump.

A vote for the Green or for the Libertarian candidate doesn’t increase Trump’s tally by 1, but that is only half the effect on the difference between Hillary’s tally and Trump’s tally that would be produced by a vote for Hillary.

Remember what happened when Ralph Nader acted (unintentionally) as a spoiler against Gore.

How did that turn out?


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What Trump DOESN’T Know About Business

April 1, 2016 at 11:18 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 1 Comment
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Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump understands: real estate (especially hotels and entertainment), entertainment, self-promotion (a type of advertising), and selling the use of his name.

Trump doesn’t understand: international trade, the effect of international trade upon jobs, manufacturing, transportation, treaties, international law.

Most of the areas of business that Trump does understand are not relevant to the tasks of a President. The only exception is self-promotion. Even in the business areas that Trump understands, his record of success has been spotty.

The areas of business that Trump doesn’t understand are critical to the tasks of a President.

But Trump will never learn to understand those areas, because he doesn’t care about facts, and he doesn’t admit to mistakes (his insecurity forbids him to admit to them, especially to himself). So he will never be able to map out what he needs to learn. Learning involves forming provisional pictures, testing them, and correcting them. His refusal to admit to errors means that he cannot do that. By his own admission, Trump habitually relies on his gut guesses rather than on knowledgeable advisors. That habit does not promote learning.

In disputes, Trump is quick to sue. He does that to intimidate, harass and threaten those who disagree with him. He learned that trick from the practices that were common in the real estate business when and where he started out.

That won’t work in domestic politics, and it won’t work in international politics.

As a side note, given Trump’s well known proclivity to sue, it is surprising that anyone would sign a contract with him, without at least insisting that the contract require that disputes be resolved by arbitration, with the arbitrator being pre-specified in the contract.

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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!

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Is Donald Trump A Natural Born Citizen?

July 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Posted in Conceited | Leave a comment
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After toying with the idea of running for President in 2000 and 2004, Donald Trump (specifically, Donald J. Trump, Sr.) made a brief lunge in that direction in the run-up to the 2012 election.  He teased the Republican party from October 2010 to May 2011, and briefly even did fairly well in the polls.  (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump)

Article II of the Constitution  says, in part, that No Person except a natural born Citizen of the United States … shall be eligible to the Office of President.

We may have a problem here.  If Donald Trump seeks the Presidency, he must be a natural born citizen of the United States.

Now, we know he claims to have been born in the US.

But that is just his say so.  He might be lying, or misinformed.

Clearly, he should publish his birth certificate.

Until then we cannot be sure about his natural born citizenship as we are of Barak Obama’s.

If he travels in Arizona, I would urge the police there to stop him and require him to prove his citizenship, or else to show a visa.

Besides being the right thing to do (in Arizona, at least), requiring this of him would also provide some evidence that Arizona’s verifications of citizenship are not based on ethnic profiling.

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