Monday, December 18, 2017

The Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost-- Random thoughts on 2017.

The Mueller investigation is closing in on the detritus of the Presidency, the ship of state piloted by a mad Ahab, who, instead of pursuing the great white whale, pursues personal narcissisms at the expense of his countrymen.  Having achieved high office through an enormous con of the working people to whom he represented himself as their champion, the duplicity, mendacity and lack of a scintilla of integrity are finally being revealed by a dogged, intelligent, incorruptible and highly competent prosecutor and his team of first rate lawyers, all devoted to exposing the truth.

There are many Russia questions to be answered.  And they will be, despite the naysayers  the Trump apologists in  Congress, and  the White House sycophants, including Mike Pence, who thinks the world is 5000 years old, and will not dine with a woman unless his wife. whom he calls "mother" is present.

The truth is not something that the present incumbent has ever worn.  In his real estate dealings, his competitors, dupes and stiffed debtors are legion.   And the women he has harassed are now speaking up.  A trial will soon occur when the President might be subpoenaed to testify, to the delight of political theatergoers.

After the faith in our institutions has been shaken to its core, light appears at the end of the dark tunnel.    Trump will go, either through resignation or impeachment.   I do not believe he will last until 2020.  But then again, I did not think he would be elected.  But wait, would he start a war with Little Rocket man to escape impeachment and possible conviction?  Or indictment?

Now, we are faced with what will come next.   Will the country continue to be riven with cultural divisions?  The answer is probably yes.    But hopeful signs emerge from the deepest of red Alabama, which has elected of all things, a progressive Democrat instead of a troglodyte "Judge Moore," who believes that the ten commandments belong on the courthouse door, that homosexuals should be in jail, gays should be prosecuted, that abortion is a mortal sin, and last but not least, that slavery was a better time for America.
He has still not conceded the election, won by Doug Jones, a moderate Democrat, who most likely will be a decent senator.  Mitch McConnell, that paradigm of compassion for the working class, should be thankful that the Republican senators will not be placed in the unwelcome position of attempting to expel Moore on ethics issues.

On a broader front the economy is humming along, but the threat to unskilled labor grows with each passing day.   Automation, robotics, and industrial efficiency fueled by those two horsemen continue apace.  Each day exponentially increases the body of knowledge and information.   Parents agonize over the screen time spent by their children, who are mostly now ignorant of literature, language and rely instead on computers to do the calculations children did in former generations.  The idea that a tax cut for corporations will allow them to pay more to workers is delusional.   Workers, displaced by automation will not even be hired and the reason corporations are so profitable are because they mostly have reduced their workforces because of automation.  Robots do not need wage increases, get sick, or sexually harass anyone (unless in a Arnold Schwarzenegger household).

Sexual harassment allegations are now as common as men and women.   What used to be acceptable or to be more artful, was tolerable as was segregation in Birmingham, Alabama or slavery in the antebellum south, has now become outrageously unacceptable.  Cultural shifts that came slowly  now  arrive with lightening speed on social media and on the Internet.  Crowds of friends on facebook roil about how our President is as culpable as any of the prominent men who have patted a butt or advanced their libidos at women's expense.   But were not women at one time ambiguously agreeable to such behavior?  Did not men interpret a "no" to really mean a "yes?"   Some men grouse that "you can't even flirt with a woman any more," or "you can't even shake a woman's hand."   Evolutionary biology has been eschewed by the new cultural ethos.  But so has polygamy, and the rule of the old white walrus, beating off his rivals for command of the harem.

I liked the Charlie Rose show, but Charlie needed to go.  He had informative and stimulating conversations with authors, statesmen, foreign policy analysts, composers, directors, professors, scientists and politicians.  His guest list read like a catalog of important people with important things to contribute to the national discussion on almost every important subject.   Seems like Christianne Amanpour, not a bad choice, will replace his show.   Terry Gross would have been an excellent choice also.

James Levine is a brilliant conductor, Richard Wagner was an anti Semite, Ty Cobb (the baseball genius not the President's mustachioed lawyer) was an incorrigible, mean spirited jerk, Harvey Weinstein brought us brilliant film, Einstein had many mistresses, U.S. Grant was a drunkard, Lincoln was a depressive, Roosevelt and Kennedy dallied with many women; the list could traverse all of history, including the Founding Fathers.   Thomas Jefferson had children with an enslaved Sally Hemmings.  How about that for a hostile workplace environment? They all contributed to the advancement of society. 

I am afraid I cannot include the present occupant of the White House among these notables.  He is beyond redemption.

But, as I said, soon he will be gone.

Abba Eban, the Israeli statesman and legatee of Churchillean oratory said, "The American people will eventually get it right, after they have done everything else first."

1 comment:

  1. David,

    You present it all so clearly, and in such a compelling way. One wonders how Trump got there, and why he's still there. For the first, we recall P.T. Barnum, who said "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." If you think Abba Eban is more optimistic about us, I don't see why he should be. It isn't our failure to progress enough. We've actually gone backwards. With a capital B.

    For the second, despite the legitimacy (since we have never abolished it) of the Electoral College, there are, as you say in passing, the "apologists in Congress." This is much more substantial and corrosive than it appears on the surface. It is those anti-American morons who gave us first the rebuff of Merrick Garland, who was reportedly liked by everyone on both sides of the aisle, and then the sheepish and idiotic approval of self-interested criminal after self-interested criminal in the Cabinet. And Neil Gorsuch. THAT's our problem, more than Trump is. They're sissies who are afraid of their own shadows, and they'd sell down the river their constituents, who pay them the exorbitant amount they get, in a heartbeat. And let's not forget that between the House of Representatives, created by breathtaking gerrymandering, and the White House, which is occupied only on an Electoral College technicality, our current government actually represents a minority of Americans. Except as you also allude to, it doesn't really even represent them, as they have been sold a massive bill of goods, which Barnum reminds us they're too stupid to recognize for what it is.

    I couldn't stand Charlie Rose. He reminds me of Dame Edna's line about talk shows being monologues interrupted by strangers. Rose couldn't shut up and let his otherwise interesting guests be interesting. I'm told one guest once facetiously wanted to talk and told Rose he didn't mean to interrupt him. Oh, so he's heavy-handed with the ladies, too? Sure, why not? What a jerk.

    The reason that "the idea that a tax cut for corporations will allow them to pay more to workers is delusional" is first, they don't want to pay more to workers. They want to pay less. That's why they find the cheapest labor on the planet, wherever it is at a given time. Second, they could pay more to workers, if they wanted to, which they don't, without a tax cut. What businesses pay to employees, or to build factories, is a business expense, and it's tax deductible for the business anyway. Even if businesses didn't pay any taxes, which they apply themselves to figuring out how to do, they would still keep their expenses as low as possible, because they overpay their brass, and they care much more about their shareholders than they do about their employees, or their customers.

    Other than that, you hit the nail on the head.