RANGER AGAINST WAR: Precedent for the President <

Monday, January 08, 2018

Precedent for the President


--candidate Clinton blowing his horn

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need  
--You Can't Always Get What You Want,    
The Rolling Stones 

Television is not the truth!
Television is a God-damned amusement park! 
 We're in the boredom-killing business! 
 --Network (1976) 

And there's winners and there's losers
But they ain't no big deal
'Cause the simple man baby pays for the thrills,
the bills, the pills that kill 
--Pink Houses
John Mellencamp 
_______________________

[Note: This a non-partisan social critique. It is is neither an apologia for nor a defense of Mr. Trump. RAW never shills for any candidate.]


Whenever I happen upon it, the evening news always richly rewards me with insight into the current liberal mental cul-de-sac. The 4 January 2018 PBS News Hour interview with sorta non-2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden was no exception.

The blindness and anger which hobbles so many today can be understood by watching the life and person of Mr. Biden, and seeing how the fight in him is rendered impotent by his habitation inside of the straight-jacket of the hypocritical Democratic party line. It is why he is destined to never be President, despite the release of his new book and twice saying in the interview that he would not rule out running for office.

Biden is a kind of tragic figure. Once the rebel and provocateur of the Sunday morning talk show circuit, he has now assumed the mantle of a proper elder statesman. Beloved by his Delaware constituents in his 35 years as senator, many of the rest saw him as a bit kooky for his opinions. (To them, he was the tamer East Coast's version of California's oddball Governor Jerry Brown.)

But like Robinson's Minivar Cheevy, Biden's curse is to be a man out of time. At first, ahead of it; now, he has been passed by.

He ceded his 2016 run to the inevitable heir to the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton (who's own shelf-life had expired when the feminist movement lost steam, somewhere in the 80's). And like Senator McCain who did the same for President George Bush in 2000, you rarely get a second chance in the ring.

It must sting to see the once-outspoken nature for which he was censured harnessed by the successful runaway train of opinions that is the new President. If it had been allowed to him, Biden might have been buffed up and possibly been able to go toe-to-toe with Trump. But he would have had to have dropped the obedient-righteous act which has been beaten into him for decades, so not likely.

To see Biden's hesitation in answering a question on the fitness of the President is to be reminded of the reason many Democrats continue to fail.

It all seems so obvious: when the Democrats curse the President, they are by extension damning his electorate and supporters, which is to say, a largish chunk of the United States. Their relentless derision, disdain and outright insults cling to the people who approved of and elected this President, and this does not play well in Peoria.

This very simple not-winning feature of their incessant condemnation and high snark is what they miss; pardoning the pun, it is the elephant in their room.

Mr Trump won because members of the Democratic Party (DP) defected to the other side, and they did so from every demographic. Thenceforth, those Democrats have been enfolded by the shrill party diehards into Hillary Clinton's reviled cesspool of "undesireables".

People do not take kindly to being labeled as fools.

In the interview, Biden noted a sea change in candidate quality when President Reagan succeeded the very "Presidential" Jimmy Carter, suggesting the current President is an equally lame actor (except moreso.) But instead of riding his newfound high horse and bemoaning this "unbelievable" state of affairs, Biden and his fellows would do well to step out from behind the curtain and recognize the Land of Oz for what it is.

In a big fail, Biden et al. miss the fact that former Hollywood B-actor Reagan was the shape of things to come. George Herbert Walker (1989-1993) was a brief retrograde move towards the non-performer, but his disdain of the camera and the image was becoming superannuated -- was, in fact, already moribund.

Candidate Bill Clinton blew his sax on Arsenio Hall's show in 1992. When Monica Lewinsky, his au peche mignon, was revealed, it was a no holds-barred black humor-fest in both the realm of the MSM and online entertainment industry. (Ms. Lewinsky calls herself "patient zero" in the brutal new word of social media evisceration.)

George Bush landed in full military regalia on an aircraft carrier, a feat almost as impressive as Hannibal's crossing the Alps with his 40 elephants. Barack Obama connected with fans via MySpace and Facebook accounts.

Mr. Trump is but the inheritor of that venerable tradition, amped-up for 2016 standards. Time moves on, carrying us into ever newer scenarios, speeded up by the connectivity of an anonymous and unvetted ether world ever-more insinuated into people's every moment.

Guy Debord, Alvin Toffler and fellows saw decades ago what we are now passing through: the Society of the Spectacle, aided by mass undifferentiated information. The mash-up is not entirely a pretty one. Following the blip that was GHWB, all Presidents played to the masses, some better than others.

The politicians who can accept the reality and function efficiently and with respect (both to the voters and by extension, their candidates) will succeed. Any notion of what a candidate "ought" to be has now been knocked out of the park.

As any self-help book worth its salt can tell you, it is not what "shoulda-coulda-outta" that will fix you, it is seeing what IS. Incredulously, the DP's have yet to accept what is, calling it everything besides the reality, which is simply: "it is this". (It is an as-yet unknown impulse which disallows these people from accepting the reality.)

Summoning his best Democratic patter, Biden comic-tragically concluded by saying his party must do better to address the needs of the middle class. But is that not what Democrats are supposed to do?

But they didn't, did they? And it is their failure to speak and act honestly on behalf of the non-sexy, non-pet categorical average person which lost them a momentous election, and which saw their heir-apparent KO'd by the non-party favored 100:1 long shot.

The naysayers who refuse to see and accept the truth are not viable, and will only grow increasingly so. "It shouldn't be" does not comport with what "is". 

Apparently, the reality of election 2016 does not comport with the image the now very proper Mr. Biden has of what a president should be. Perhaps the people are also not what he thinks they should be, namely, obedient zombies true to their school.

Today's reality is, social media has allowed new alliances and points of view. The participant's fealty is to his own knitted together community's media feed, the created thing which informs his reality.

However, the most important point lost on the arrogant disbelievers in election 2016 is this: it is not they -- our elected officials -- who give the imprimatur to the next President, but rather the People themselves who elect all of them. A government by, of and for The People.

Elected officials, low to high, serve us, feeding at the trough of our tax dollars. Civil servants all -- humility be thy name.

Sorry Joe, but your idea of what constitutes "presidential" has been bypassed. As in the Dark Tower, the world has moved on.

Sans judgement, change is a constant, and only in hindsight may one evaluate and decide if it was helpful, harmful or benign. There is no holding back the floodgates of the new.

If anyone should know this, it is the crusading liberals who forever seek to smash every societal shibboleth.

So if they wonder where this impulse to reject the trappings of the "presidential" emerged, they could do no better than to look at themselves.

The hope is that the deniers will grow fatigued with the their omnipresent disdain and begin to exit their Slough of Despond, and work to create a positive new day.

Even Asian cage fighting gets boring after a while, right?

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38 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

"However, the most important point lost on the arrogant disbelievers in election 2016 is: it is not they -- our elected officials -- who give the imprimatur to the next President, but rather the People themselves who elect all of them. A government by, of and for The People."

Funny how the old style of government was run by wealthy coastal elites and the new style of government is also run by wealthy coastal elites, but only the new style is truly of, by, and for the people.

I can't speak for the Democratic mainstream, about which you're obviously right in this assessment, but what frankly boggles me about the Trumpist crowd, current company included, isn't so much that you're fools as that see any hope for change at all, to recycle some old sloganeering, in what looks to me just like same old, same old, though with an unusually abrasive, uninformed, and incompetent man at the center.

The fact that America is clearly a failing state, at least in its present form, leads people to look farther and farther outside the box for radical solutions. In that sense the Trump movement is more a tragic figure than a foolish one, if I'm getting my literary words right, and you can correct me if I'm wrong on it.

That said, if the new vision of politics for the social media age is what we see from Trump, then this is not going to arrest the decline of the nation-state, it is going to accelerate it. Presidency as reality TV show will do to politics what reality TV shows did to the value of my cable subscription.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 7:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I apologize for a missing word there in the third paragraph: "... as that you see any hope..."

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 7:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I still think you are putting form above content.

Many Americans - mostly Trump voters - agree with your assessment that America is in decline. In fact, that was one of their - and Trump's - main points. Trump's platform was - and is - "Make America great again".

What did the Democrats have to offer to reverse the trend? Well, according to them, America is not great because we don't have enough gender confused people in the military, we don't have enough wealth transfer to people that prefer to hate whites and smoke crack with sagging pants, we don't have enough illegal immigrants being made legal, women aren't free enough to complete the castration of every last male with a little mojo in his system, we don't have enough socialism and freebies....you know, the typical leftist social Marxist clap-trap.

Along comes Trump who says America is not great anymore b/c we don't have good jobs, we have too many foreign invaders and they are taking jobs, we spend too much on foreign countries that turn around and screw us, we spend too much on stupid wars. we pay too much attention to business-unfriendly leftist regulations. He then offered proposals for how the trend could be reversed.

So the promise of further decline into a carnival freak show of whining weaklings that hate the culture getting freebies put in their open hands and the corrupt politicians that pander to the whines versus freedom loving capable citizens ready, willing and able to get to work building a great country and great personal lives led by politicians that maintain a climate of freedom where each citizen's talents and visions can grow.

That is how many Trump voters saw the choice in 2016.

That is how I see the choice.

Now you can argue that Trump isn't going to do all those things. That is speculation, but fair speculation based on your theory about wealthy elites and Trump being one. I reject your theory and say that he is already doing many of those things he promised and that America is already improved as a result.

Time will tell.

IMO, no one could have fought "the swamp" except one that is a super sonic showman himself, without vulnerability to the usual shaming techniques that the swamp applies to keep politicians where they want them (down in the muck). Trump says, "I'll see your media grandstanding and raise you to the tenth power". There's never been anything like it before. Yes, Trump is a natural extension of the decline of the country, but IMO, that is a good and necessary thing. A respectable principled politicians (if there is such a thing) would get torn to shreds by the media and political opponents and would end up making "reasonable compromises" with craven lunatics. Trump just gives it right back to them in spades.

never let the enemy control the tempo of the battle.

avedis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 8:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,

Yes, I think you get it right: the mechanisms of governments are still pulled by the same people. The radically different thing that happened is that some people thought to topple the old regulars and their tired boilerplate and choose for something new.

I think is relevant to post a reply I just gave to you at the previous post, so that others may consider the thoughts as well; they apply to both posts:


With kindness, look around you: we already ARE this thing that you fear. I submit that we all must stop gasping and wringing our collective hands, and just look around. Breathe ... this is what it IS, and has been so for some time.

If DJT was some sort of bellwhether for us, then perhaps that is to the good. If you think something needs to change, then perhaps it does. Perhaps is also reasonable to think that his electors think the same way you do.

Perhaps it is the DJT voters who had a desire for "hope" and "change" (Obama's 2008 slogan, "change we need.") This is all submitted for your consideration. It is the only thing that makes sense to me. I am just looking at what is.

DJT is not a golem, nor are the people who voted for him ... these are all just people. There was not some evil mastermind who upended the world just to give the news puppets a raison d'etre.

It is important to say: DJT is no wizard, and he did not create some sort of sudden societal comedown. One may not blame a man. No -- we did this to ourselves. He is not the phenomena, but we are.

Amazing that we are flapping our arms about our facticity now, while we have been stewing in the idiocy and vulgarity for so long. It has taken a shockingly short time of "living" in the ever-present world of ersatz social networking and the concomitant nothingness of flash mobs, etc., to create this dumbed-down world.


Before you join them, some good primers for you might be Kornbluth's short story, The Marching Morons; a viewing of Chayevsky's "Network" and the film "Idiocracy" (quite crass), and of course, Huxley's classic, "Brave New World".

While the comedown is surely a sad one, the Pollyanna in me recognizes that not all will join in to the sickness, and there are other places to be.

But, yes, it does look like the upward slope of Western Civ is now flattening, and it has been doing so for awhile. I wrote a piece on the "Great Middling" (the counter impulse to the Awakening). Perhaps I'll look for it ...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

addendum:

"There's never been anything like it before"

There! I identified what is truly different about Trump. He says, "If you want to spew hateful damaging BS 24/7 a la World Wrestling Federation culture, as you've been doing for years now, fine! I can play that game and play it better than you. Meanwhile, I'm working on the agenda people put me in office to accomplish."

Rather than get upset with the carnival barkers that force trump's tactic, they get mad at trump for fighting back w/ the same tactic used against him.

You want a "respectable" looking guy who fights by Marcus of Queensbury rules while a gang is kicking him in the balls and stabbing him in the back.

Of course their are others that desire the social Marxist vision and they won't ever be happy.
avedis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


Very well-stated abstract of the whole kit and caboodle (see my above). It is so clear to me, yet when I speak this obvious truth, and am greeted the usual one-each wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I mean, c'mon folks, we have been here quite a while. Did you not notice? Like you, I am heartened by the fact that they chose a man whom they could relate to, who says he wants to make things better. He has been saying the same things for 30+ years (as recorded on various interviews archived online).

Alas. I am reminded of the song title, "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime". It is pretty to think so.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
IMO we are in a war. There are those (Obama turned out to be one of them) that say America is a bad place that was never great and not worth saving in any form that resembles how it has been for 200 years+. Opposing that crowd are those that think America was a great place and is worth saving and that the saved version looks a lot like the past 200 years (minus slavery and imperialism).

Then there are corrupt cowardly politicians that are trying to surf a middle road while enriching themselves at the people's expense.

Well, there is no middle road. We will be one or the other; a great country based on traditional values and culture or we will be a socialist state run by a top down government system and populated by people that don't look or think like the founders at all.

The media and progressives favor the latter; and they favor it with a frightful vengeance. Trump defies these people and his supporters love him for it.

There really is something of substance happening here.

avedis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

to avedis's addendum:


Spot-on. There can be no Marquess of Queensbury rule when there are no holds barred, can there?

You have identified both the lie ("There's never been anything like it before"), and the real-world reaction to it (DJT's pugilism).

I viewed an interview with he and Rona Barret in 1980 (online), and he clearly recognizes how dirty one would have to get if one entered the Presidency and had an actual agenda vs. a great smile. He is very well-spoken on the matter.

You deserve your victory declaration, bravo: "There! I identified what is truly different about Trump."

Indeed.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


Agreed -- it is very clearly a cultural war, and you delineate the sides.

Mr. Obama said that we all share the same human values, but I'm afraid the reality that is in front of our face does not bear that out. Western civilization is a precious and hard-won thing, and it's values are surely neither borne nor accepted by all.

All those who would buy into that pretty lie need do is look around. As you say, we will either remain a country with some shared bedrock values and moral lodestones, or we will let them wither away. It is not naive to stand up for such things, even though the human often falls short of their perfect attainment.

We all know the exceptions; this is why we have an elastic Constitution and make amendments to it as we see fit.

DJT voters tired of the liberal self-loathing, and would like to feel a little grand again about themselves and their country. As George H. W. Bush said, "We must never apologize for the United States of America".

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
Thanks for understanding. You know how challenging it is to have a perspective like ours to be listened to, let alone agreed with.

I have also listened to interviews with Trump from many years ago wherein he talks about being POTUS. Oprah even encouraged it before she was against it. His replies to questions are as you say. He gets it and always has.

I'm going to piss some people off even more......Trump may have dodged the draft, but he sure has stepped up on behalf of his country now.He has redeemed himself in my eyes. I'd say he has a greater chance of being assassinated than any previous POTUS. He didn't need this crap and neither did his family. Anyone who thinks this is a scheme to get rich is crazy. For one, he's already rich. For another, he could have wallowed in corruption by supporting politicians that paid him back. That would be the easy SOP methodology. Also, he was already famous. His enemies - who's ranks grow daily - refuse to believe that he could be sincere. IMO, that demonstrates their level of crusty cynicism, not his.

avedis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 12:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis,

The only real problem with this theory of yours is that in my experience the kind of people who make the sort of public statements Trump does on Twitter are unlikely to have much of a grasp of the intellectual depth or managerial skill necessary to accomplish meaningful change given the vast institutional array of the U.S. government he is trying to steer. It isn't so much that I am blind to the reality that public relations and marketing is a big element of politics as that with every president, it becomes more so, and the time to spend on what you would call the "substance" issues becomes correspondingly less.

Perhaps you are right. Perhaps Trump really is able to do it all. Or perhaps, given his background as essentially a showman, whether it be in hawking real estate or starring in reality TV shows, he is just really good at maintaining a semblance of rivoting action on the screen while behind the scenes there really is no there there. Perhaps if the Democrats really do follow through with this hideous Oprah gimmick that captivated them the last couple of days, we can see their version of it, which will almost certainly be worse than Trump.

I am not surprised to hear Oprah encouraged Trump to run for president. These celebrities do all flock together. I gather she used to hold parties at Mar-a-Lago, too. For him before she was against him.

The draft dodging point is one that isn't unique to Trump (although naturally his Democratic critics like to say it, because you and I both know the Democrats don't care whether their candidates have military service or not either. But something in me just has a hard time seeing someone put in a position to order men potentially to their deaths when he's never been on the other side of those orders. This is separate from the economics and I don't see how you "redeem" yourself of it. If anything, the Trump camp's insistence that he shouldn't have to divest his business interests because he worked too hard to build them and it would be too great a sacrifice to ask him to give them up speaks against any redemption, in my mind.

I'm sure that it also never occurred to Trump how much he would personally benefit from reforms to passthrough income tax law as the Congress was passing it, either. He's just that good of a man, no doubt.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 12:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa,

If it's in both places I may as well respond here.

On the slow and steady decline accelerated by social media, I wouldn't say Trump woke me up to it so much as that I've been talking about it more since you took this site in a more political direction beginning with Trump's campaign. We could have had a similar conversation three or four years ago, sans Trump.

In that sense Trump is not so much shaping our age as he is a reflection of it. I don't like it, but as I said either here or in the earlier thread, that makes him a symptom, not the disease.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 12:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


And thank you for your concision in clarifying the matters. I agree with every word you've said.

Truly I do not know why speaking and seeing the truth is so very difficult at this time. (Diogenes reminds us that the problem is not a new one, however.)

It is all about our distraction and bitter amusement, as though some great horror or injustice had befallen us: did you see his (hair/mis-Tweet/her shoes/...), hear what so-and-so said about him ... every day it something different for our amusement, never the actual matters of State. Never conferring upon the man the recognition of his rightful status.

We have been undergoing an inexorable decline due to technology which was never vetted for its effects, but merely embraced for its newness. While I place much blame there, one may not excuse the failed school systems which have allowed for the idiocy, as well.

Add to that our natural inclination for self delusion and aggrandizement and tribing up, and you have the perfect storm for a pandemic of blindness. As said, DJT is hardly the problem (though he proposes solutions, and cannot be knocked for that.)

We are made to think he some sort of aberrant alien, but aliens did not emplace him in the office, people did. If his stated wish to bring America back in line with a previous better time is an alien thing, then who, exactly, are the rest for?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 1:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


Per the site's direction, we have always addressed politics in the season, for it's hard to avoid, and also inextricably interwoven with a nation's military direction, yes?

I am merely writing on those things which I can. The site remains RangerAgainstWar, and we eagerly await the writer's re-entry.

For now, we are on a side road, which is not a bad thing, ISTM. Especially when there is such madness (both literally and figuratively) diverting and possessing our country.

In this, we are considering issues of great moment.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 1:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

There is no need to apologize or explain. You write about what interests you, as does Jim. I'm just explaining why, if it seems like I've only just discovered the decline of politics in the Trump age, that's really only because I started commenting here at the beginning of that age.

I don't own a smartphone (and fortunately my work doesn't require it... yet), don't use Facebook, only scan a couple of high-profile accounts on Twitter (one of which is the president's), and am basically tuned out of the grand new world. Indeed, despite the fact that Avedis and I are usually disagreeing on here, I think, in a weird way, the truly crucial difference between us, the one I find it hard to explain, is that he still clings to hope (in Trump, at the moment) whereas I am much closer to giving up on it altogether.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 3:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I'm a glass half full kinda guy.

A friend was showing me his aps on his smart phone (he thinks I'm an embarrassment b/c I don't have one, nor want one). One of the aps shows his wife and friends, who also have the ap, where he is at all times (a GPS thing). It's also somehow connected to FB. I asked him if he is prone to getting lost or falling and not being able to get up. I added that early onset of Alzheimer's must be a terrible thing, but it's good that he has been tagged with a tracking device like some endangered species. I was joking of course. He didn't think it funny at all. I think I was supposed to ooh and ah over his cool trendy gizmos.

I guess it's hard to be my friend.

avedis

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 4:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

To David and avedis,


In your latest comments, I see our fraternity: we refuse the umbilicus to the Smartphone and its supposedly seductive visuals (for some). In contrast, I find looking out an actual window, seeing actual things and smiling at actual people to be tonic.

Proudly Old School, it stuns me to see how frantically all walk about with their heads down, fingers dragging or a-tapping on that little screen, or furtively doing the deed under their desks or the resto table. As I write this, it seems like behavior more befitting Pee Wee Herman at a grindhouse.


avedis: You are funny, and like you, the apps and the pix fail to amuse me.


David: Do not despair! You say, "it seems like I've only just discovered the decline of politics in the Trump age ..." -- please realize, it is not DJT. Rather, as Pogo said: "We have net the enemy, and he is us." It is just evolution (or devolution, as you please.)

That is all. ISTM DJT is Jung's trickster, and most are sitting tight in Plato's cave. To them, DJT simply MUST be the/a problem.

A wiser person asks, "Is there a problem?", if so, "What is the problem?", "Is there a solution?", and "Are we willing to undertake and implement the solution."

I don't see DJT as a problem. He is a successful capitalist, well-suited to his time, and his opinions on government have remained remarkably stable over time. To me, he is Chayevsky's Howard Beale.

Like avedis said, he already had the money, the girl, the international recognition ... he didn't need this relatively low-paying job and all the b.s. He seems like more of a Ross Perot, who I see as 100x more of a patriot than a Hillary Clinton, for instance.

(Oh yes, I know -- "patriotism" is a bad thing as my West Coast friends would remind me.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 6:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis,

I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to remember when you could be friends or at least sit down and drink some beer despite political differences. I'd like to think that applies to us here.

Lisa,

I imagine once you've already made your first billion, something like the presidency looks appealing mainly because of how cool it would be to have that kind of recognition and power, not because it's a money-making vehicle. This is certainly true of all the other old-money families that put up their favoured sons for public office. I refuse to believe even the Clintons, who don't quite have the same background as say the Kennedys did, are worth less than a couple hundred million between them. The notion that Trump is different than other politicians in this respect strikes me as wishful thinking.

I agree with the importance of the long-term perspective and that's the same frame I use to think about authoritarianism. That word is the long-term destination of the growing power of the presidency. Clinton would also have moved it in that direction, though not in the same way Trump is: I can't, for instance, see her attempting to suppress the freedom of the press through cease and decease letters, but I can certainly see her continuing some of Obama's abuses of his power, including for instance the Iran agreement for which liberals are (of course) attacking Trump. Basically the long-term destination is the same and this is also true in other Western countries. It is a civilization-wide decline and I do not think it can be arrested by any political leader, not even one with the qualities that some of you seem to believe Trump possesses.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 10:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I just re-visited this most informative, well-researched piece on the phenomenon we are discussing, and which has only grown exponentially since this was published on 16 NOV 2017.

FYI:


You Are Still Crying Wolf



Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 10:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Taking a look at that second paragraph of mine, it occurs to me that the "difference" supposedly is that Trump is independently wealthy rather than being beholden to wealthy donors.

However, as in my view the last year already proves, this is a distinction without a difference. The reason to mistrust professional politicians is because they will parrot the views of the wealthy elites who fund their campaigns. Trump is a wealthy elite. He is simply cutting out the middleman of the professional middleman.

One year in, NAFTA is intact, Trump's attempts to cooperate with China against North Korea have failed, and the challenge to China's undercutting of America's economy has been abandoned, apparently in favor of the failed attempt to challenge North Korea. Trump can do nothing about the bigger problem of what I guess we could call Twitterfication of our civilization, because he is a product of it and he is dependent on it (there's that dependence theme again). The bigger structural reasons for decline are not changing and won't change because of Trump. All of this was predictable. Indeed, I believe I predicted it.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 10:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


I appreciate your observation and hope that we could all enjoy a drink together, and that is what distinguishes civilized people of good will from the hyenas and dingoes. May it come to pass :).

Per your thoughts on the "civilization-wide decline", I don't think it can be doubted, given the evidence. Some point to the few successes, like Silicon Valley, but that is merely one, non-humanizing thing (technology), and most "winners" are a flash in the pan, anyway. I question the inherent good in what they have delivered (but stay consistent with my theme that the onrush of the new cannot be stopped.)

Always what comes to mind is Morse's message on his new telegraph (and later, Bell, on the telephone): "What hath God wrought?" We do not know, but the evidence we see can provide us intimations.

Do not get caught up in the distractions ("Oh, he's a billionaire", so he is not entitled to do (this thing); he did not join the military; etc.) Like you say, so with the corrupt Clintons, and on down the line. All profiteers, all exploiters for their own aggrandizement.

Therefore, we must look beyond the distractions to see what actually is. Instead, all we have is the terribly thin gruel provided by the camera obscura for our amusement and to slake our collective, undifferentiated anger.

"There's something happening here / And what it is ain't exactly clear ...".

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 1:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
A big question to my mind - Is Jim going to have you brought up on charges for insubordination? Is it possible you will receive a Big Chicken Dinner from RAW?

avedis

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 3:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

Alas, all the shenanigans in Washington about politics and personality obscures the sad facts about poverty and imperial ambitions. The last president who seriously talked about defence spending effectively stealing from the cold and hungry was Eisenhower.

Today, we have the USA abetting a war in Yemen (to no advantage to the USA at all) and 40% of Puerto Ricans (American citizens, every one of them) still without power 4 months after a hurricane flattened the island.

And all we hear about is who leaked what to whom, and who is leading the horse race for President in 3 years time. Oh, and I almost forgot the 1.5$ trillion gift to the very rich.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 8:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


You have it precisely right -- I am guilty of insubordination! (Your intuition impresses me.)

I am awaiting my Article 15. (Word is, Ranger would deliver them to the hapless recipients in his company accompanied by their choice of music, either country, rock or classical, I think. One might see that as compassionate or cruel, but certainly, absurd.)

Meantime, I'll keep writing, and we all will keep talking, I hope. (He'll want to put a stop to the shenanigans after a while, I'm certain.) I'm just the editrix 'round here, you see?


Ael,

You see the absurdity about which I've been talking. Like avedis says, we have gone whole hog into the supposed form, substance be damned. I'm afraid all who participate in the mudslinging are showing themselves to be a bunch of ignorant, arrogant ninnies. Oft-times, very educated ones.

In light of this, I am not sure what an advanced education actually provides, aside from vocational skills. Sans honesty, clear vision and empathy, I'm not sure the value of anything that issues forth from such a one.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 9:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
Be careful! Ranger once tried to fine me a greater % of my pay that he was entitled to per regulations.

You have a right to not accept an article 15 (non-judiciary) and request a formal courts martial.

avedis

Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 11:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you stick with the article 15, may I make a suggestion as to the music to which you receive it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvRmXWqY80w

avedis

Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 3:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


Ah, I didn't know about the pay docking ... well, they don't call 'em "Sneaky Petes" for nothing.

Nor did I know what a "BCD" was. The little lady just thought it was just, indeed, a big chicken dinner (alas). Ranger would not divulge the meaning, but I checked online.

The first entry was from a chap calling himself "ColonelofTruth". I introduced myself, explained my being in the brig, and complemented his latest poem and his "BCD" post.

He wrote back and said that Hillary Clinton should be jailed. I don't think we clicked. (People tend to see the name RAW and think "Pinko Lefty Bastards" (I'm guessing).

I love your Marine terms. I did not know that I could request a formal courts martial. Rules do matter.

The music is a bit jangly for my liking, but I do appreciate the thought ;).

Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 10:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Since you've accused me of focusing on meaningless form as opposed to genuine substance, I thought I'd pop by and point out, just in self-defense, that I can tell the difference: the new nonsense about Trump is a racist for saying so many immigrants come from shithole countries is, indeed, partisan bullshit by liberal politicians, reporters, activists, etc.

Of course most immigrants come from shithole countries. There's usually a reason they're immigrating.

Not that it matters, but Trump should have just owned the remark instead of denying it. Now it's too politically correct to say that people come to the United States because they want a better life for them and their kids? Not a one of my ancestors made that trip to New York because they liked life in Ireland or in the Ukraine. I have checked on this.

Anyhow, just a quick comment to show I can tell the wheat from the chaff at least on occasion.

Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 3:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I agree, Trump should have owned it. If he didn't say it, he should have.

avedis

Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 9:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Spot-on to both David and avedis. Enough of the p.c. malarkey.

It's time we call a spade, a spade. As with you, David, Ranger and my ancestors came to the U.S. to work hard, and to find/make a better day. Further, they could not be admitted sans sponsor, to ensure they would be addition to and not a drag upon the system.

Fear not, David -- we know you to be bright and incisive. Everyone comes from a slightly different perspective. The joy is to make meaning of the gestalt, and one may only do that be being honest and listening. That, I think, is what we try to do 'round here. I'm really quite proud of the commentary here, as it rises above mere snark,of which perhaps 90%+ of internet interactions consist.

Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 10:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
Hopefully you are not on a bread and water diet by now, LOl.

I think a big point that people miss about immigration is that in the past, say when my paternal grandparents came here, there was no welfare; nor was there an anti-American sentiment in the popular culture. They came here to work hard and contribute and be good Americans.

Believe it or not, paltry as welfare benefits may be, many of the immigrants we accept live better on welfare + a cash paying side job or two (drug dealing in some cases) than they did in their home countries. The welfare incentive screws up the free market forces involved in immigration totally. It also no doubt impacts the desire of the best and brightest to fix their own countries. Why bother when you can just migrate to nice safe hand-out land? Then they get here (or Europe) and they're told it's acceptable to disrespect the existing culture. The biggest irony is watching a bunch of angry beaners waving Mexican flags at anti_Trump rallies in places like California. If they love Mexico so much, why did they leave? Why is Trump bad for preventing people from a place they're so proud of to come here? It's pure unadulterated BS, IMO.

Also, I think a lot of it is driven by covert interests; one worlder goons like Soros, the UN and that abominable Pope.

The motto for the 21st century should be "Don't be a tool"

avedis

Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 1:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Avedis

From what I understand the unemployment rate among immigrants usually is a little lower than the natural-born, but it hardly matters, really. Either they will be living on welfare, or they will taking jobs that Americans might have taken at higher wages. As far as I can see it is a no-win scenario.

I also don't understand, since we're talking about immigration policy, why Trump is a racist for saying that the U.S. should move to a more merit-based immigration system. In virtually the entire rest of the First World, including Canada, this is what is known as "common sense."

Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 9:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
Right. It's just common sense and it's what all other countries do.

This is another issue where Trump Derangement Syndrome becomes obvious. People hate Trump so much that they can't exercise common sense.

avedis

Monday, January 15, 2018 at 5:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


Yes, no institutional welfare prior to FDR's New Deal programs. For my parent's generation, living off of poverty was only a temporary and last resort for fit, young people. Different generation: it was considered shameful.

Right on the disincentive of welfare, and yes, with all of the adjutant bennies of welfare (healthcare, food stamps, rent assistance, phone line, etc.), one may indeed live just fine.

I like your motto. BS all across the land, IMHO.


David,

Thank you for mentioning the immigration policies of other nations. My father's brother waited almost 20 years, I believe, before gaining entree to the U.S. He was a gainfully-employed CPA and family man.

Monday, January 15, 2018 at 12:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Mad Dog said...

Spot on! I defected from the DNC years ago and decided to throw in with the Libertarians. That being said, I've grown cynical toward all politicians no matter their brand. And now Oprah...Lord help us. I believe PACs and multi-million dollar companies and their lobbyists are calling the only shots that matter at this point.

Monday, January 15, 2018 at 7:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Mad Dog

An Oprah presidency would, I think, signify the death and burial of reason.

Monday, January 15, 2018 at 7:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Mad Dog,


Agreed on the money. That was the accepted fact: money men and their corporations buy candidates.

This is what I find intriguing about DJT, in that ISTM he was not the darling of the usual party suspects; he was chosen by the people and the electoral system. So to me, his election says that things can work.


David & M.D.,


Oprah! Dear God. There are no words.

The-Great-Middling (of America).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 3:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis follow-on:


Thank you for your concern re. the bread-and-water rations. It is complex, like they say.

In some ways, I am indeed on thin gruel, and not getting the nourishment needed. However, as I also serve QM and KP duties and am all-round kitchen scullery mate, I have full access to the larder. So I could take in as many calories as I wished.

However, if I got a bit chunky, that would only earn me the further ire of bodily ridicule, so I keep myself in dietary check, you see?

So please be comforted to know that food insufficiency is not a problem.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 3:21:00 PM GMT-5  

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