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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 10,026

Journal Archives

Trump wasnt always so linguistically challenged. What could explain the change?

Trump speaking style interviews

It was the kind of utterance that makes professional transcribers question their career choice:

“ … there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

When President Trump offered that response to a question at a press conference last week, it was the latest example of his tortured syntax, mid-thought changes of subject, and apparent trouble formulating complete sentences, let alone a coherent paragraph, in unscripted speech.


Now, Trump’s vocabulary is simpler. He repeats himself over and over, and lurches from one subject to an unrelated one, as in this answer during an interview with the Associated Press last month:

“People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it — you’ve been to many of the rallies. OK, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. Big, big, big advantage. … The Electoral College is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall.”

First it seemed like just random acts of violence

I first penned this after Sandy Hook but think has some relevance to the political and social situation that the recent "election" has brought upon us.

First it seemed like just random acts of violence – no obvious connection except for perhaps some mental instability and the types of weapons used.

Although this had happened to some level in the past in this country, there seemed to be an increase in frequency and intensity of the violence.

Predictably there was a general sense that something needed to be done; whether treating the possible mental illnesses or limiting access to the weaponry. A political will was forming to perhaps address this, altho the money was on the other side.

The media was finding this problem to be another good lead issue to improve audience ratings and advertising revenues. Apparently random acts of terror are more affecting than the day-to-day threats.

Paid-for shills on K Street and sitting in the Capitol; bloodthirsty and greedy manufacturers; willfully ignorant supporters.

Industries and their trade groups (weaponry, media, mental services) had a vested interest in how this situation would be handled. Some members of the government were influenced by the commercial organizations.

The populace became more and more polarized about how to handle this. Typical progressive/conservative grounds.

Non-action was the likely outcome – common answer/inertia.

The adherents of the viewpoint that the choice of weaponry is solely their own started to believe that the government would try to confiscate or limit their rights.

- Hunting clubs
- Gated communities
- Private security
- Guerilla tactics
- Non-violence confrontations
- Local police, Army/NG – unable to deal with homegrown insurgency
- Police/military may have bonds to the weaponry activists
- Households becoming safe-havens in name only. No policing possible given number of attacks
- One border country closes due to large-scale immigration attempts – not clear how long they can last.
- Other border country started this weaponization and terror earlier – lessons learned. (I'm not sure what I meant.)

How to tie tRump to your local/state candidate

Most repugs don't want to be associated with the orange bloviator. Any association we can make with THEIR potential POTUS would be a blow to their chances and credibility.

I suggest we produce some nice tRump yard signs that can be affixed to, or co-located with your existing local/state repug candidates.

It'll be fun to see how many of these orange tRump signs are removed by the repug apparatchiks as we move closer to possibly electing this misfit.

Let's question each repug constantly on their view of the position of the POTUS and who should be occupying the Oval Office, in their name.

I haven't ordered any yet but I think they'd work wonders in Vermont.

We’re repeating Bush’s failure: An Iraq veteran despairs over our deepening climate-change denial

Excellent post in Salon by Roy Scranton.

I watched American denial at work as a soldier in Iraq. I'm seeing it all over again in our global warming response

It took me awhile to realize we were failing in Iraq. At first, despite what I considered a healthy skepticism, I thought we might just be able make it work. From May 2003 to June 2004, I had a grunt’s-eye view of the occupation, and even as late as January 2004 I held out hope. Yes, there was a growing insurgency, but many Iraqis seemed optimistic and supportive: they just wanted security, stability, and jobs. Sure, disbanding the Iraqi army put hundreds of thousands of men out on the street and de-Baathification left the government crippled, but there was such a powerful grassroots enthusiasm for democratic self-determination that a new order seemed almost inevitable. Okay, all that stuff about WMDs was a lot of smoke and mirrors, but we were building schools and helping small businesses—that was real, right?

By February I was dubious. By March I was worried. By April, after four U.S. mercenaries were killed and hung from a bridge in Fallujah, I knew we were flailing. By May, after reports of American torture at Abu Ghraib, I knew we’d lost.

Watching the war drag on for another seven years, watching the recent rise of ISIS, watching Iraq break apart into fragments and get sucked into the Syrian Civil War, I’ve thought a lot about how to make sense of my experience there, how my narrow perspective on the ground connected to bigger institutional and political realities, and what the whole debacle taught me. I like to think that if I can learn something from an experience, however awful, then some part of it might be redeemed. I like to believe that we can learn, adapt, and, even if we never achieve perfection, at least be better than we are.

If Iraq offered anything, it offered a lesson in political maturity. It taught me that good intentions matter a lot less than bad habits. It taught me that an organization was only as capable as its mid-level managers. It taught me that top-down directives don’t matter much without grassroots buy-in, and that grassroots agitation doesn’t matter much without systemic change. It taught me that politicians, business leaders, careerists, and hacks always tell the same story, the same story that always has the same happy ending, and it’s always some kind of a lie. It taught me that the real story was almost always about conflicting motives, miscommunication, greed, stupidity, and inertia. It taught me that the news back home almost always got the story wrong.

On this Veterans Day, as American soldiers redeploy to Iraq, redeploy to Afghanistan, and now head for Syria, these reflections are much on my mind. They’re on my mind every time I read a new story about ISIS. They’re on my mind as I watch the presidential election. But most of all, over and above everything else, they’re on my mind when I think about global climate change.

Every day brings new reports of increasing temperatures, threatening storms, drought, forest fires, rising seas, melting ice sheets, and leaking methane. Along with these reports come increasingly alarming warnings from scientists, sober in their language but shocking in their content, suggesting that feedback mechanisms such as permafrost and ice sheet melt are already kicking in, arguing that observed warming is consistently outpacing modeled predictions, and confronting us with the possibility that it may well be too late stop global warming from spiraling out of control. Adding a frightening drumbeat to the news reports and scientists’ warnings are policy statements by the World Bank, the Bank of England, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the US Department of Homeland Security, all of which identify climate change as a clear and present danger to global economic and political security.

We’re repeating Bush’s failure
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