… And fleeing the Dictatorship of the Gullible

I belong to a medically underserved population trying to rid itself of a Trump addiction. We’re users, hopheads, junkies. No rehab facility. Failing to overcome the addiction means relapse, new seizures of sputtering rage, and driving friends and families away again. They are as tired of this as we are.

Clinicians are rightly preoccupied with COVID-19 and its after-effects, so we are left to fend for ourselves.

We’ve all had moments when we thought we were around the turn. “Distraction” helps, but it’s a Band-Aid. He’s faded for the moment. He’s still there. Somewhere.

There’ve been a few encouraging signs…

The President Has Only Nuclear Options Left

On December 14th, state officials will gather to approve either a Democratic or Republican slate of electors for their state. Historically, the states simply adopt the slate of electors offered by the party that won their state.

If all goes according to law and custom, slates representing 306 Electoral College votes will be awarded to Joe Biden, 232 to Donald Trump. A candidate, of course, needs 270 to win.

There was a joke going around that the only way Donald Trump would get to 270 is if he lost 50 pounds.

But there’s yet another way. It is, experts say…

What If He Won’t Leave?

Some weeks ago, I happened to catch a favorite old movie. Seven Days in May is about a widely popular general, a powerful senator and the Joint Chiefs of Staff — outraged by a daring new disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union — conspiring to take over the U.S. government.

It’s a thriller, and not remotely unfeasible. John F. Kennedy, who knew the founding book and even cooperated in the moviemaking, told the director John Frankenheimer that he believed a coup like the one in the story could happen in the U.S. It’s been a…

When holdouts flee, it’s not bias, accuracy or hoaxes

Democracy, as the Washington Post reminds us, dies in darkness. For whatever light daily newspapers still shed, of course, it’s already dusk.

Fifty-six dailies closed or merged from 2004 to 2016. In all, more than 20% of the nation’s newspapers (including weeklies and monthlies) shut down from 2004 through 2018.

© Black Nerd Problems

The reasons are common knowledge. Papers were mortally wounded when classified and then other advertising moved online after 2000.

Then they were castrated, generally without anesthetic, by many of the private-equity and hedge funds that came to dominate the business in…

Or Is It Just Flirting With Extinction?

According to the Washington Post as of mid-December 2019, We the People have been asked to make sense of the 15,413 “false and misleading claims” coming out of the White House since inauguration. The pace is quickening. The president hit 7,688 false claims by mid-December, up from 5,689 in all of 2018. He did 1,999 in his rookie year in 2017.

They ranged from the absurd (wind turbines cause cancer) to the pathetic (he was Michigan’s man-of-the-year) to the corrosive (the Paris Climate Accord protects polluters) and, daily, to the laughable (Ivanka Trump…

“If you ever wondered how Germans went about their daily lives, you know now.”

I am of a family that had to choose whether to leave Germany as Nazis came to power in the 1930s. Though disenfranchised and intimidated by the street assaults and arsons, most of my relatives chose to wait out the savagery. Decent people in Germany surely would come to their senses soon and the fever would break.

All but two of those relatives disappeared in 1943, gassed and burned.

And I am of an American generation that believed It Can’t Happen Here. We have checks and…

War Clouds Gather in the Persian Gulf. Rain in the 2020 Forecast.

Those who ignore the past, it’s said, are doomed to repeat it.

President Trump, who frequently changes his mind, maintains that he does not want a war with Iran. On the other hand, he is up for a difficult re-election campaign in 2020 and no U.S. president, even an unpopular one, has ever lost a re-election campaign during wartime.

Historian Ronald Feinman has examples: James Madison, reelected during the war of 1812; Lincoln, during the Civil War, reelected in 1864; Franklin D. Roosevelt, reelected in 1944 during World War II; Lyndon B. Johnson, elected in 1964 during the Vietnam War…

The same guys warning of a cruel “Islamization” of America out-Islam Islamic law

In last week’s dimming of the Enlightenment, severe abortion bans emerged from state legislatures en masse. The bills’ sponsors, if nothing else, are enviably more certain than many of us in settling the eternal philosophical and scientific debate about the origins and meaning of life.

But more noteworthy than the legislators’ certainty in this most uncertain age: their new laws are the same abortion strictures found in Islamic law, which many of the same politicians have been warning is taking America over. …

Brief Lessons From 1800 Years Ago

In February, the distinguished Mary Beard gave an academic talk in Rome and, as a Classics professor at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Ancient Literature, mentioned that reporters often asked her which Roman emperor Donald Trump is most like.

She thought it “a silly question,” and said she usually didn’t reply.

It’s often asked because Donald Trump does sometimes claim imperial privileges, most recently immunity from subpoenas. He once bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and get away with it.


A Modest Proposal To Carve The Whole Thing Up

Keep The Electoral College As Is, But Not Really

My state (Colorado) recently joined 11 others ready to commit their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who gets the biggest national popular vote.

It is a capital idea, and a way to help us avoid inaugurating candidates who don’t have most Americans’ support but win the Electoral College.

Popular vote losers have ascended to the presidency five out of 45 elections: John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Several happened to go on…

William Sonn

Author, Paradigms Lost: the life & deaths of the printed word; A Small Treason (out summer, 2021)

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