Archive for Politics – Page 2

A Faustian Bargain…

I’m both fascinated and repulsed by Donald Trump, and since 2016 I’ve been looking for a character in literature to use as a metaphor for his rise and fall. 

In the beginning I thought his affection for golden toilets and chandeliers made Jay Gatsby a comparable figure, and I wrote an essay making the case. Both are criminal pretenders, but Jay Gatsby operated behind a quiet, tasteful, polished persona. Trump could never pull that off. 

Then, his penchant for lying brought Pinocchio to mind. Imagine the image of that nose based on the number of lies told during his term? Enticing as that is it’s not a fair comparison. Pinocchio was kinda cute, but Donald is anything but cute. Still, the little puppet being manipulated is tempting. read more

Supreme Hypocrisy…

I went to law school during the era of the Earl Warren Supreme Court (1953 to 1969). So did Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She graduated from Columbia in 1959. I graduated from Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley in 1965. That’s about as close as I ever came to being on the same playing field as RBG.

Her death last week brought both grief and controversy. Her passing was not unexpected but it was politically untimely and has inflamed passions on both sides. Someone will be appointed to succeed her, but no one can replace her. She was one of a kind, and when she lies in state in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol on Friday, she will notch another first… the first woman ever to be accorded the honor. read more

Vaccines…a Cautionary Tale

Health officials are beginning to wonder whether it will be possible to contain a spreading killer if society does not take more aggressive, intrusive measures. ‘Right now, we are paralyzed,’ said [the] director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta leading the Federal Government’s epidemiologists tracking the disease. ‘We don’t have the data to fight this epidemic,’ he said yesterday.  

Opponents of widespread mandatory testing argue that it is unnecessary and could prove self-defeating by frightening possibly infected people away from the medical system.” February, 10, 1987 (NY Times) read more

Welcome to the Inferno…

“And he replied: You should already see

across the filthy waves what has been summoned,

unless the marsh’s vapors hide it from you.”

(The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto VIII)

The vapors have not hidden it. At this point in the Trump presidency filthy waves and catastrophic fires are devastating America. With only 50 days until the second reckoning on November 3, 2020 the swamp creatures have risen to the surface.

“Many in life esteem themselves great men

who then will wallow like pigs in mud,

leaving behind them their repulsive fame.” read more

Bon Courage, mes Amis…

“Lately one heard the expression ‘Je suis las’,” it meant I’m tired of the way I have to live my life, and this is what Mathieu saw in their faces, in the way they walked. But then, he would think that, he cared for the people of Paris, as though he were a guardian.” Alan Furst – A Hero of France

I’ve just finished two books about the French Resistance in World War II. Madame Fourcade’s Secret War and A Hero of France. Both are about spy networks. I thought they would provide some relief from the Trumpian news cycle but was surprised to find a number of parallels. read more