Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Reassessing the Use of Time

BlogSpot tells me this is my 600th entry.  It only took 10 plus years, but it would make several books of writing.  I think in terms of “books” because of my publishing background.  Looking back it seems like I used these pages early on to frequently express my views about the Wall Street induced recession and then later on resisting the rise of anti-intellectualism in the age of Trump.  I still occasionally turn to comment on “the Zeitgeist” but I’ve been on Twitter over the past year for much of that, clocking in at nearly 1,000 tweets, realizing though it’s merely venting without the possibility of affecting change.

Progressively the Lacunaemusing blog has morphed into articles about cultural events, traveling, books, music, family history, reviewing plays, just about such event I feel compelled to write about. No doubt it will go more in that direction as time permits. 

Twitter is no doubt cannabis for the brain, seductive and addictive.  That is a New Year’s resolution, to cut back on Twitter.  Maybe I’ll have to go cold turkey altogether, but still find it to be a valuable news source, frequently seeing what’s happening even before it hits cable news.  But should I care about the slight lapse of time?  Maybe so if there is a Twitter post announcing the first Nuke has been launched.  Might give me time to scurry to the basement.  Wait!  I have no basement! T.S. Eliot: In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

I’ve used Twitter to say some things about my blog, including this recent one:
Indeed, no pay but plenty of satisfaction, for keeping it up, and by and large I’m proud of its contents.  The collected thoughts of an aging everyman.  

But how do I leave this entry without saying something about the Michael Wolff book, Fire and Fury, an expose about the chaos at the White House and the child-like behavior of our President who has defiled the Oval Office?  My question is why should this be “news” as his sociopathic narcissism was well documented by his own behavior well before the election?  We elected him nonetheless, but by an extremely thin margin of the popular vote in three states, WI, MI, and PA, which swung the Electoral College his way.  I had something to say about that on Twitter too:
H.L. Mencken so prophetically opined nearly 100 years ago:  “As democracy is perfected, the Office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete moron.”

The time has come and our inner soul has been laid threadbare. We have met the enemy and we are them.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Who Holds Whom Hostage?

For decades North Korea has crafted a delicate balance, building a nuclear capability while promoting nationalism to perpetuate the Kim Jong-un regime. American Presidents during those years were willing to accept the status quo which was preferable to a military confrontation.  Even with conventional weapons, , on a first strike North Korea could kill up to a million people in Seoul, only a few dozen miles from the DMZ.  That potential has held the world hostage all these years.

Pressure on North Korea’s trading partners, particularly China, to enact stiff sanctions on North Korea has, until recently, been futile.  Here China holds the U.S. hostage, owning a portion of our debt and more significantly knowing the American public’s insatiable demand for cheap imported goods would prevail over any economic retaliation against China.  China was content to have North Korea as a buffer zone until it, too, has been startled by NK’s nuclear ambitions.

Indeed, a delicate balance, and then Trump’s opening day message at the United Nations, where he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea.”   We all know what that is code for – the use of nuclear weapons.  An American President has said he would use this country’s nuclear force as a first strike.

Unthinkable.  There were so many other ways to signal our resolve, to further pressure North Korea to the negotiating table.  He went on to call Kim Jong-un ‘Rocket Man,’ --in front of the United Nations, schoolyard name-calling.  Then, further undermining the dignity of the Office of the Presidency, he continued those threats and name-calling in Tweets.

Surprise.  Tensions have ratcheted up, Kim Jong-un responding with new threats, including testing a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.  Unlikely, but to even utter that is giving as good as one gets.

There has been much criticism levied at Trump for worsening an already incendiary environment between the two countries, so what does he do?  -- he turns on the NFL.  He has a reptilian instinct for survival.  In so doing, he wrapped himself in the flag, the one that belongs to us all.  “Fire the sons of bitches” referring to NFL players who went to one knee during the playing of the National Anthem.

I come from a generation which would never do that, but I would defend another person’s right to protest that way over such weighty issues as “Black Lives Matter.”  Of course all lives matter in this country and to be born black should not be an impediment, but look where Trump brought President Obama – to the point of producing his birth certificate to prove his legitimacy as the President.  If Obama was white, no such argument would have been made. 

Now, if anyone is an illegitimate President, it is Trump.  And he knows it -- how he got to be President, by his actions and Russia’s and astonishingly by those of the head of the FBI.  Even his ignorance of American history, and his divisiveness seemed to work in his favor.   He did not win by popular vote and although some of his marginal supporters say they would not vote for him now, he still has a solid 30 -35% base enamored by his strong-arm tactics, convinced he can do no wrong.  And it is HE who is holding the rest of America hostage.

He knows his tenure as President is precarious, with the possibility of impeachment or the invocation of the 25th amendment, which provides for the removal of the President if “disabled” and unable to perform the duties of the office.  One could argue that we are already there, but it is a high bar to achieve and it has to be set in motion by the Vice President and ultimately have the backing of 2/3 of Congress if the President objects. 

With his pathetic response to the Charlottesville show of power by white supremacist groups and his attack on NFL players, mostly black (although he disavows that as being an issue), he dog whistles to his hard-core followers, many probably NRA diehards, and thereby creates a hostage situation.  I can see clearly, now, the “strategy:” “remove me as your President and suffer the consequences of a new Civil War. “  He has his army, he has the means of communication, he exhibits sociopathic thinking, and his politics of divisiveness have created such an environment.  He would even risk nuclear war.

So, North Korea holds the world hostage, China holds us hostage, and Trump holds the majority of the American people hostage.  Never has there been such a President who disrespects the very ideals which makes the American flag so sacred.  He has done more than take a metaphoric knee to fortify his fragile ego.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's a Twitter World

Finally have been forced to join Twitter, as it has (unfortunately) become the news feed of choice.  The restrictions of 140 characters might appeal to some people.  I find it abhorrent as one cannot tell a story in that space, only a brief, fleeting emotion (or invective in the case of “some”).  Still, for late-breaking news (both fake and real) it’s a medium that needs to be reckoned with.  So, this old dog is trying to reckon.

From time to time I might post a string of Tweets here that tell a story, such as watching Obama’s moving farewell speech, then seeing a Tweet on Ben Bradlee’s memoir about Nixon’s accusation that the Press fabricated Watergate, and then, coincidentally on the very next day, seeing Carl Bernstein (live, not on TV) talk about Watergate and the role the Press still plays, even in this treacherous “fake news” environment.  Mr. Bernstein still has the right stuff – an impressive speaker.