Friday, September 16, 2016

Correspondence: Under the influence


Edited by Moristotle

I drank beer last weekend with a guy in a red baseball cap. At some point, I asked him what he liked about Trump, and what the slogan on his cap meant to him. After as many beers as he had drunk, he was quite forthcoming:
I like Trump cuz he hazza power to make peeble kizz ’iz ass. An’ that’s what I want – peeble to kizz my ass. When Trump makes America great again, the’ll have to kizz my ass too.
    I think I’ve discovered the lowest common denominator of many Trump supporters: Narcissism. They want the freedom to do what they want to do. Things like own as many guns (and whatever type of gun) they want, and openly carry it if they want to do that. Things like call anyone who is not like them anything they want. And they fawn over Trump because that’s what he does. He “makes peeble kizz ’iz ass,” to quote the guy above. This guy identifies with Trump; Trump’s the guy many Trump supporters want to be.
    What these people fail to realize, though, is that Trump, if elected, will make them kiss his ass too. Trump recently said before a camera that the politicians he has donated money to “kiss my ass.” But can anyone imagine Trump returning that favor to anyone who makes a donation to him – whether in the form of cash or a vote?
    Trump supporters can trust Trump – he will remain the narcissist they want to be. He will act in his own interest, not in theirs.


Emily Dickinson wrote [the first line]:
I felt a cleavage in my mind –
Excedrin headache ninety-nine.






Roger Cohen at his poetic best!: “Fail Better, America, on this 9/11 Anniversary” [Roger Cohen, NY Times, September 12]. Excerpt:
Joe Quinn is speaking. His brother Jimmy died on 9/11....
    There are always politicians who, as the German Social Democrat Kurt Schumacher noted in a speech to the Reichstag in Berlin in 1932, make “a continuous appeal to the inner swine” of people by “ceaselessly mobilizing human stupidity.” Fear is the fertile soil in which such appeals propagate. The past year in the United States has demonstrated that. Resist fear. It is a distorting lens.
    Some people jumped from the burning towers. I see them still. The choices we face may seem difficult. They are not.
    Fifteen years. Time does not fly. Time eddies, accelerates, slows down and turns back on itself. A sob wells up in me as I watch Quinn....
    The fires burned for weeks. The acrid sweet smell below Houston Street persisted. Papers from the towers fluttered across the East River toward Brooklyn. I picked one up and found on it — or did I imagine them? — these lines from Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” [–From Beckett’s Worstward Ho, 1983] [read more]
It’s happening: “The battle between Tesla and your neighborhood car dealership” [Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, September 9]. Excerpt:
Tesla, the California company founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to not only make electric cars as cool and fast as gas-guzzling sports cars but also to upend the way cars are sold. For generations, automobile manufacturers from Ford to Toyota to General Motors have been banned by state law from selling directly to consumers. Instead, their vehicles are sold by third-party dealers, many of which have deep ties to their community and political leverage.
    But Tesla has been steadfastly eroding the traditional model, persuading an increasing number of states to allow it to sell vehicles directly to customers through its boutique stores and even over the Internet. In April, through little more than online viewing galleries, customers committed to buying 400,000 cars they had not seen in person....
    Auto dealers are widely considered one of the most politically connected groups in the United States. The National Automobile Dealers Association has spent more than $4 million on lobbying since 2015 and year after year is the largest spender in the entire auto industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent research group that tracks political donations. And in the fight for their survival, dealers are not giving up. [read more]
Interesting link: “Amazon and Starbucks pay less tax than sausage stall, says Austria” [BBC, September 2]. Excerpt:
“Every Viennese cafe, every sausage stand pays more tax in Austria than a multinational corporation,” [Austrian Chancellor Christian] Kern told Der Standard.
    “That goes for Starbucks, Amazon and other companies,” he said.
    He added that EU countries with low corporate taxes were undermining the structure of the union itself.
    “What Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg or Malta are doing here lacks solidarity towards the rest of the European economy,” he said.
    He praised the European Commission’s recent order that Apple should pay 13bn euros (£11bn) more in tax to Ireland.
    On Tuesday, the European Commission decided after a long investigation that Apple should pay the 13bn euros in extra tax, plus interest, to the Irish government because a long-standing tax deal with the US tech giant amounted to illegal state aid.
    Apple and the Irish government have criticised the decision and the US firm has said it is confident it will be overturned on appeal.
    Mr Kern, who heads Austria’s Social Democrats and the country’s coalition government, also said Facebook and Google had sales of more than 100m euros each in Austria. [read more]
Walt Whitman wrote
the first line
A child said, “What is the grass?” fetching it to me with full hands;
    “Where did you get that,” I said. “Do you want to get busted?”








We would never see these things if not for the Internet and photography:
Ceiling over St. Mary's Altar, Krakow, Poland

Corsica, France

This happened in 1970: Zero Population Growth, Inc. appears to be active in the California abortion law fight. Waiting in a long , long line to get into a movie theater one night, I observed a barefooted young woman circulating a petition to take abortion laws off the books. She was telling the crowd that they were standing in part of the population explosion. She wore a button that counseled to “Copulate, but don’t populate.”

Grateful for correspondence, Moristotle

1 comment:

  1. Is Trump maybe more of a hypocrite than a narcissist? I think it all comes down to his habit of telling the big lie: "Trump’s ‘Deplorable’ Deflections" [Charles M. Blow, NY Times]. Excerpt:

    But it does point to the staggering, unabashed hypocrisy of the man and the degree to which his entire campaign is engaged in an elaborate ruse of deflection — accusing his opponent of the very things of which he is guilty....
        That’s why it’s so outlandish to have Trump — a man who seems to have never apologized for anything! — demanding an apology from Hillary Clinton for calling his supporters “deplorable” when he has called the situation of a class of the most honorable Americans [disabled veterans], those who put their bodies on the line for our freedoms, “deplorable.”
        This is by no means confined to the “deplorable” issue.
        Trump has called Clinton “a world-class liar,” but there is no bigger liar than Trump himself — just look at PolitiFact. The man is pathological....
        Trump calls Clinton “crooked,” but this is the same man who — along with his businesses — has been sued more than 1,300 times.
        This is the same man who is at this moment the subject of three class-action lawsuits over the sham that was Trump University — two cases in California and one in New York.
        Trump calls the Clinton Foundation the “most corrupt enterprise in political history,” but this is a man who donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
        This is a man whose own foundation, the Trump Foundation, has recently been accused in news reports of breaking the law by being used essentially as a political slush fund.

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