Archive for Politics

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

The Five 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

A True Story of Fake News

Donald Trump has always been impressed with Time Magazine and is often heard bragging about how many times his picture has adorned its cover. Most of the claims are bogus. Until the election of 2016 he made it only once (January 1989), but truth has never been a guiding principle for The Donald.

Given that the magazine didn’t see fit to honor him with another cover, it was only a matter of time until he ordered his minions to create one. This is the first fake Trump Time Magazine cover, fraudulently created in order to impress those who crossing into Trumpland. Take note of its date, March 1, 2009. There was no March 1, 2009 issue of Time Magazine. Pure fake news. read more

My Take

By Jack Bernard

Special to The Seattle Times

Jim Johnson reads a newspaper with his morning cup of coffee at a Starbucks in downtownPortland. As of September, you can still get… (Don Ryan / The Associated Press) 

The Seattle Times recently reported that Starbucks planned to stop selling newspapers at its stores beginning in September [“Starbucks stores to stop selling newspapers in the fall, pointing to ‘changing customer behavior,’ ” July 12, Business]. I want to amplify the voices of those concerned with that decision.

Starbucks has branded itself as a “third place,” a term for a place other than home or work where community life takes place, people connect and interact. It would appear that Starbucks borrowed the branding idea from another Seattle favorite, Third Place Books, our local independent bookstore chain, but that’s beside the point. read more

Scatology vs. Eschatology in Today’s Politics…

Detail from Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights

I’ve been thinking a lot about death and Ricky Gervais lately, because I’m losing friends at such an alarming rate. Their obituaries often say, “Died of natural causes,” but Stuart Nuland in his book How We Die says the death certificate should probably read “Died of old age,” although he acknowledges that we’re not quite there officially. At my age, it’s natural to be thinking of death, but I’m trying to be cool about it. As Ricky Gervais says, “Death is like being stupid; it’s only painful for others.” read more