Thursday, August 10, 2017


Gloaming at the shore
Cambria CA

twilight of reason
     Holding the current escalation in mind, remember these words from one year ago. 
        "We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history." 
        Last August some 50 Republican national security, foreign policy, intelligence and diplomatic experts who worked for Republican Presidents from Nixon to George W. Bush issued a position paper stating why they would not vote for the Republican nominee Trump.
         Here are some of their thoughts.
         "From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.

        "Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President."

            "Mr. Trump lacks the temperament to be President."

            "He lacks self-control and acts impetuously."

           "All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Commander- in-Chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal."

       These men were "the real deal." They are experienced in the real world. They are deep and thoughtful. Republicans too. Astounding that members of the House, Senate did not or have not paid them a bit of attention.

        You can read the entire statement and see credential of the signatories here. I urge you to do so, especially if you were/are a trump supporter.

a gathering fog

    In this dry, tinder like season we love to see the marine fog bank beginning to line up.
     The heavy bank whispers in and shrouds the central coast over night, providing a welcomed dampening cool.
        Political foggery is less welcome.

the pence aperient
      I first met Mike Pence when he was a small town radio talk jock and failed congressional candidate. Someplace in his evolution from Irish Democrat to right wing evangelical he decided he wanted to be President. Mike is running now, despite what he says publicly. Just as he seems programed to be piously smug, he is programmed to run.
      He and his people have been making the rounds of heavy contributors and GOP apparatchiks. Before he was sacked Anthony Scaramucci let it slip that's what was up, especially with recent staff changes. 
      Pence is a curious fixture on the scene. After a tour as a member of congress he went back to Indiana to run for governor to bolster his presidential ambitions. He followed the skilled Mitch Daniels and should have just followed in the wake, instead he mucked it up so badly his own party was considering dumping him in the re-election campaign, but that's when the sig rune Schutstaffel lighting bolt named trump struck.
      A bit of advice Mike, stay as far away from Trump and Trumpista thought as you can. If you want to prove your testicles are still in place cut out the "fake news"  and "America first" garbage.  And by all means quit fawning over and paying homage to a serial adulterer, sexual predator, habitual liar, narcissistic, real estate hustler. 
      Even as far out of the mainstream that some of your ideas are, your temperament at least would be a change for the better. Watch yourself, you just may get your dream.

google goobering
    I read James Damore's Google's Ideological Echo Chamber-that's the memo that got him fired.You can read it for yourself, here. It's the latest wrinkle in a trouble of our time.
    Close to the core of the matter is the issue of freedom of speech and thought. We are having trouble with that now.
     In the Atlantic cover story and his new book How America Went Haywire, Kurt Anderson lays much of the blame on the free speech and free thought movement of the 1960's. To simplify Anderson's interesting thoughts, the trump movement and other far right elements, have appropriated the 1960's arguments, tactics and "approval" of things alternative-"you do your thing, I'll do mine," "everything's cool." 
     As Anderson and others including this blogger have noted,  Daniel Patrick Moynihan said it well
     "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."  He said that a long time ago and fearfully we live at a time when people claim their own facts.
       I'm not convinced the root of that was the unhinging of things in the 1960's, but it no doubt contributed and the echoes continue to resound. "Fake News" is only a symptom. Ditto Damore's Google memo.
      Damore professes to be open, believing in diversity, and agrees that sexism exists. He tries to ride through the eye of a needle and question what he sees as cultural and intellectual deficits at Google. He perceived a bias. For that he is accused of sexism, and he gets fired. 
      After reading Damore's memo several times I think he was trying to generate discussion in a knee jerk hyper sensitive culture that permits such alleged "indiscretions" where words are ruled to make people "uncomfortable" or "feel assaulted." It is the age of "micro aggressions!"
      Damore, or anyone who tries to raise these topics such as bias, discrimination, revisionism or any of the isms or to seek an examination of values is likely to get his or her head handed to them. I come away thinking he was indeed trying to provoke thought and discussion in a corporate culture.
      But at the same time he asserted ideas and "facts" about sexual and gender differences that in my opinion were too broad, overly arching and beyond his expertise. Had I been his editor, I would have challenged him. But we just don't have many editors anymore, anywhere. That is especially true in trying to divine the line between what we think or believe and what is reality. I understand how some of Damore's "certainty" about women was offensive or could be construed to be that way. 
      I grew up in a newsroom-profane and profound-loud and argumentative, collaborative and demanding,verification and confirmation were foundational. Nothing was sacred, nothing was off limits and even as "tough" as that culture was it allowed for true intellectual wrestling and it revered facts. "Truth" was an ideal and the only way to approximate it was to allow everyone to say their piece, take their shots, do their research, state the facts and if something was still left standing, then maybe someone would say, let's go with that. 
       It might be time to leave feelings (and guns) at the door and make sure we don't call opinion, theory, or belief a fact or a reality and then we could re engage this nation in conversation and debate. Of course having an open mind would be helpful.  Know where you can find any?

      See you down the trail   


  1. For some reason the words of the late great Lou Palmer just ran through my mind: "Fancy cars and big cigars".

    1. There was a guy who could bust you down by one-upmanship. Helluva an editor who could challenge you at deadline. Sardonic, witty, well-read, and a perfect colleague in a news room.

  2. Damone is the Kapernick of Silicone Valley. There are market consequences from free speech.

    1. Speak at your own risk, seems to be the motto. That's not a good way to run a democratic republic.

  3. I always feel enlightened by your posts. Things are going from bad to worse with Trump. I'm sure he's enjoying this Korean confrontation because it gives him toys to play with and it serves as a diversion from the Russia story.

    1. Thanks.
      As for Trump, I think his serial falsehoods the made up "telephone calls" and his in appropriate revealing of sensitive or classified information-in tweets and to the Russians rise to the level of making him unfit.
      Consider the potential scenario if the VP or others wish to invoke the 25th Amendment Section 4

      Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

      Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.[3]