Author Archive for jdbernard743 – Page 2

A Steyn for a Stain…

Sebastian Gorka

Remember him? Sebastian Gorka? He’s like Bozo, the inflatable clown punching bag, he just keeps bouncing back. He’s such an unlikely success story – if this is what success looks like – a Hungarian anti-Semite and neo-Nazi sympathizer is granted a US Green Card on the strength of his marriage to an American heiress, and together they seize onto a feverish alt-right dream they can pedal to right-wing American media.

In a calculated move, on arrival in the US, thanks to his wife’s conservative connections, he meets Robert and Rebekah Mercer, underwriters of Breitbart News, and soon he’s a Breitbart on-air darling. In time, he moves over to Fox News where he serves up self-important, European-styled expert opinion on immigration and terrorism. Next, in a giant leap far beyond his inflated resume’, he impresses “the chosen one” and gets himself appointed Deputy White House Assistant for Counter-Terrorism. read more

My Bookish Friends…

Our living room is lined with bookcases. Reading the spines will take you on a journey into our psyches. There are fairy tales, history books, classics, references, art books, biographies, adventure travel, modern fiction, Eastern and Western philosophy – books we had as children, college texts, anthologies, and many we haven’t read…yet. They comfort us, old and new friends, reminding us of our history, our aspirations, and what we love. 

I’m especially inspired by the books my friends have written. The stack in the picture shows some of them but doesn’t begin to include all their titles. Some of the writers are older and some relatively young. Two or three are “retired” but writing full time, and the rest all have day jobs that may or may not involve writing. There’s a neurologist/geneticist, an executive recruiter, three lawyers, two university professors, two journalists, a retired energy consultant, a retired Boeing speechwriter, a former Pan Am Captain and two graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. read more

More Tears in Heaven…

This is an update of an article I wrote during the first year of the Trump presidency,. It’s even worse than I imagined.

In Franz Kafka’s short story Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa, the traveling salesman, wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect. The rest of the story deals with his attempt to manage the transformation and explain it to his family.

In The Trial, another Kafka character, Joseph K, finds himself on trial for no discernable reason. “Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.” Traduce is an arcane, seldom used verb, that means “to tell lies about someone so as to damage their reputation.” It should be in current usage. It’s so Trumpian. read more

Best Rainy Day Matinee Ever…

Rainy Day Blues

I’ve never liked the weather in Seattle. I named my blog Surviving Seattle because I struggle with it most of the year. On the other hand, summers here are hard to beat, so I was especially bummed last Saturday to wake up with rain spattered windows and dripping eaves. No morning swim, no bike ride in the afternoon, no outside table for drinks at dinner. I have my routines. So, what do we do when cabin fever closes in?

Last week we went to the movies (Biggest Little Farm) to avoid the endless feedback loop of the current news cycle. Saturday, we needed to find a way to get out of the house but avoid the rain. read more

Trump’s Stages of Grievance…

Most of us are familiar with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief– denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Kubler-Ross’ list is a handy reminder that grief and the time it takes to run its course don’t always follow a straight line.

Stages of Grief

Grief comes from the Anglo-French word gref meaning injustice or calamity and the Latin word gravis meaning heavy. The dictionary defines it as a “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.” Grieve, is related but comes from the Latin gravare, to burden but also gravis or heavy, and its dictionary definition is “to feel or show grief.” read more