Monday, July 18, 2016

The RNC kicks off, and more

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

Voters are about to be given the deciding say on the question whether Donald Trump’s ways make him a winner. Ironically, it is possible that a majority of voters will have been persuaded to say “yes” by the fact that Trump is not in prison for any of his many frauds, and he has, after all, apparently won the Republican Party’s nomination.
    See “Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With the Truth” [David Barstow, NY Times, July 16]. Excerpt:
As Mr. Trump prepares to claim the Republican nomination for president this week, he and his supporters are sure to laud his main calling card — his long, operatic record as a swaggering business tycoon. And without question, there will be successes aplenty to highlight, from his gleaming golden high-rises to his well-regarded golf resorts, hit TV shows and best-selling books.
    But a survey of Mr. Trump’s four decades of wheeling and dealing also reveals an equally operatic record of dissembling and deception, some of it unabashedly confirmed by Mr. Trump himself, who nearly 30 years ago first extolled the business advantages of “truthful hyperbole.” Indeed, based on the mountain of court records churned out over the span of Mr. Trump’s career, it is hard to find a project he touched that did not produce allegations of broken promises, blatant lies or outright fraud.
    Under the intense scrutiny of a presidential election, many of those allegations have already become familiar campaign fodder: the Trump University students and Trump condo buyers who say they were fleeced; the public servants from New Jersey to Scotland who now say they rue the zoning approvals, licenses or tax breaks they gave based on Mr. Trump’s promises; the small-time contractors who say Mr. Trump concocted complaints about their work to avoid paying them; the infuriated business partners who say Mr. Trump concealed profits or ignored contractual obligations; the business journalists and stock analysts who say Mr. Trump smeared them for critical coverage. [read more]
Martha Mitchell , wife of Atty. General John Michell under Nixon, predicted that one day this country would be so far to the right that people would forget it ever leaned to the left. I fear that day is at hand.

See “Sparkling and Blighted, Convention Cities Spotlight
Ignored Urban Issues” [Sheryl Gay Stolberg, NY Times, July 17] for a good analysis of Cleveland’s and Philadelphia’s problems, which skirt the unpleasant but true problem of persistent criminality in the black districts which drove away the better neighbors, black and white. Excerpt:

CLEVELAND – It was a sparkling scene of urban renaissance: Children scampered through the fountain in Public Square, spruced up at a cost of $50 million just in time for the Republican convention here. Electricians installed security cameras on the redesigned plaza as carpenters put the finishing touches on a new cafe.
    Lex Horth, an amateur photographer from Gates Mills, an affluent village nearby, snapped photos and marveled at downtown’s newest jewel. “I haven’t come down here in 25 or 30 years because it was so derelict,” said Ms. Horth, 80, adding that she was blown away by “what Cleveland has done.”
    Twenty minutes south, in a neighborhood called Slavic Village, Robert Smith and David Rajecki, both 58-year-old disabled factory workers, surveyed a vastly different scene. Historically a bustling center of Czech and Polish immigrant life, Slavic Village was sliding into decay even before it was devastated by the foreclosure crisis.
    Now many of its homes are boarded up. The barber on Fleet Avenue has bullet fragments in his leg; rival gangs burst in last year and fired shots. Mr. Rajecki, missing teeth, cannot afford dentures. Mr. Smith calls the neighborhood “a dive” — “you don’t even got a bowling alley anymore,” he said — and Cleveland “a broke city.”
    As Republicans gather in Cleveland to nominate Donald J. Trump for president, and Democrats in Philadelphia to nominate Hillary Clinton, the nation is in the thick of searing debates over terrorism, race and policing, gun violence and immigration. But the host cities, both in Rust Belt swing states, spotlight something Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton rarely discuss: the plight of urban America. [read more]
Australia just had its prime ministerial election (equivalent to America’s presidential election). The Liberals (like Republicans in America) got back in, but with barely enough seats for a majority. There was some in-fighting amongst the Labor party (like Democrats in America) during the election process, and that gave rise to a conversation on TV this morning, between the TV anchor and a Parliament reporter, that I thought was hilarious because of their metaphors:
    The TV anchor asked: “How severe has the in-fighting been? As they go back to sitting in parliament trying to get things done, are they first going to have to hold hands and sing, ‘Kum bi ah’?”
    The Parliament reporter, with a smile and giggle answered: “No, I don’t think it’s been that intense, but they will have to stabilize their blood sugar levels somewhat.”

“Border Fences Aimed at Stopping Immigrants Are Killing Wildlife” [Taylor Hill, Take Part, July 13]. Excerpt:
The rapid construction of border fences across Europe is aimed at stemming the influx of refugees, affecting millions of lives. But those fences are leading to a crisis for an unintended target – wildlife.
    A new study evaluates the impact of the 15,000 to 19,000 miles of fences in place between Western Europe and Central Asia as well as the consequences from hundreds of miles of additional border fencing erected since 2015. That construction was done hastily, without assessing the threats the barriers could pose to gray wolves, brown bears, Eurasian lynx, and other native species, according to the researchers.
    Immediate threats include entanglement in razor- and barbed-wire fencing. The barriers can also halt seasonal migration and limit species’ ability to move into new territory in response to climate change. Over time, fences can lead to population fragmentation and inbreeding, the study found. [read more]
Image of Save Animals Facing Extinction
Every day, poachers brutally slaughter elephants, tigers, & rhinos, to sell their tusks, horns, and bones on the lucrative black market.
    We can’t let these majestic creatures go extinct.

Hi, I work at Artsy. While researching [the artist] Banksy, I found your page, “Fish for Friday” for October 25, 2013.
    I am reaching out to certain website and blog owners that publish content in line with our mission to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. We hope to continue promoting arts education and accessibility with your help.
    Our Banksy page provides visitors with Banksy’s bio, over 250 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Banksy exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond our Banksy page. We would love to be included as an additional resource for your visitors via a link on your page.
    [Editor’s Note: The artist Banksy was brought to our attention by our late co-founding editor, Mr. Tom Lowe, in whose memory we dedicate this item from our recent correspondence.]

Grateful for correspondence, Morris Dean

1 comment:

  1. Interesting about the fences. Even in this country there has always been a pro & con belief in fencing. The great range wars in the west was over that very thing.