Weekend Open Thread

Found out a new tooth will cost about $1,200.00. Personally, I blame Big Candy for oppressing me when I was young.

About 234 women have been diagnosed with Zika because we all thought a hallmark of the 21st century would be insect-borne disease. Thanks, environmentalists!

86% of Americans are totes cool with dispensing with due process of law, as long as such action will make them feel like they’ve done something in response to massacres.

There have been some actual signs of a possible delegate revolt at the GOP Convention. I personally doubt that such will happen – mostly because the GOP leadership is spineless.

Pope Francis the Surprising has shocked the world, again:

Because most people today do not understand that sacramental marriage really is a bond that binds them to each other for life, many marriages today can be considered invalid, Pope Francis said.

Raising a point he has raised before, and one also raised by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis insisted June 16 that the validity of a marriage implies that a couple understands that sacramental marriage is a bond that truly binds them to another for their entire lives…

This is upsetting a lot of people – hasn’t upset me in the least. Most marriages probably are invalid once you fully understand what is meant in Christian terms by the word “marriage”. A civilization of valid marriage would not have, for instance, “no fault” divorce. A valid marriage cannot be one where there’s even the slightest thought of “I can get out of this”. Methinks that a lot of the outrage is from people who do, in the back of their minds, have that “out” clause in there. If you are serious about keeping your promise all the days of your life, then what the Pope said should not worry you, at all.

Related: just keep in mind when reading MSM reports about Christianity, they simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

Brits will vote on Brexit next week – the entire global Ruling Class is in a tizzy because recent polling shows Brexit in the lead. I don’t buy that for a moment – in the end, the majority of British voters will be too frightened to leave the Super Nanny State. I hope I turn out wrong, but I just don’t see much patriotic spirit anywhere in Europe outside Poland these days. And even if the Brits do vote to leave, just watch Tories, Labour and Liberal-Democrats pledge themselves to adhere to the EU in spite of the vote.

22 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Amazona June 17, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Now Allahpundit is doing it, too. I just wrote to the Washington Post about using the same language: ” the 1,237 delegates he needed to clinch the nomination. ..” No. 1237 delgates PRIOR TO THE CONVENTION do not “clinch” anything.

    It’s that old Semantic Infiltration again. Say something often enough and pretty soon it is accepted as true, and then repeated so often it has taken on a life of its own.

    If Donnieboy gets enough delegates AT THE CONVENTION then he will have, finally, “clinched the nomination”. Till then, not so much. Many more Republicans do not want Trump than want him. That is what we need to look at.

    (And no, by the way, Cruz did NOT “drop out of the race”. He merely stopped campaigning. Not everyone loves wallowing in the gutter and exchanging schoolyard taunts, and once Cruz realized that “fighting back” just energized Trump because it fed into his pathology he didn’t want to be part of that kind of campaigning. And who can blame him? A Trump campaign is a freak show.)

    I think only the people who really truly strongly absolutely do not want Trump to be the nominee are aware of the groundswell of opposition to his nomination, and we are pressuring our state GOP officials, while the national officials are hiding out and not making themselves very available for lobbying. The people who kinda like Trump in a guilty-pleasures kind of way, who know it is low-class to admit it so they don’t but they tiptoe around supporting him, have no idea of the strength and depth and seriousness of the opposition. I think Reince, et al, are picking up the vibe anyway, and part of it is that a Trump nomination will probably have their heads figuratively on pikes by the end of next year.

    Will Trumpbots storm off and join another party, or refuse to vote? Those who got on board because they like the freak show might. If that’s why they came to the Trump party, they probably will leave in a huff. Those who are serious about the issues he has (sometimes, off-and-on) advocated will realize, once he is not hogging the microphone, that others have much the same approaches to the same issues, and even have realistic policies for addressing them that go beyond single-syllable tweets and promises that “it will be so wonderful” and “everyone will be so happy”, and will vote for whoever has good ideas on those issues.

    And Trump in true Trump fashion (that is, ignorant and proud to prove it) is trumpeting that nominating anyone else would be “ILLEGAL”. Yeah, this is a guy we want as our nominee. What we really want is to have to choose between two corrupt people who both think they get to make the decisions about what is and what is not “legal”.

    • Amazona June 17, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      And come on, you have to admit it would be a hoot to know how much time and money and energy and more money Hillary has spent on anti-Trump ads, only to have her facing a serious not-Trump opponent who can out-debate her without breaking a sweat and who can explain why she is bad and the political system she represents is bad.

      • M. Noonan June 17, 2016 / 11:31 pm

        It is pretty certain that dumping Trump means at least a large portion of his voters stay home, or go elsewhere. Not sure how the GOP wins in that scenario. But, Hillary is so tremendously unpopular that anything is possible (even a Trump win, in spite of it all).

      • Amazona June 18, 2016 / 1:23 am

        I’m not sure that all that many Trumpsters would stay home. A lot of it would depend on how the party handles it, and it would start by avoiding the term “dumping”. As I have said, the party has missed a great chance to ease into a different decision by letting Trump get away with what is essentially a Great Big Lie, claiming that he has already “won” and the nomination is his.

        I do think those who jumped on the Trump bandwagon because they were attracted to the freak show aspect, the Apprentice and WWE fans, are likely to stay home and sulk. But I think a lot of people got drawn in by the promises to address issues that are really really important to them, and didn’t pay attention to the fact that others, like Cruz, were saying much the same thing. Those who voted for Trump because of his positions will probably stick around and vote for whoever else has the same positions.

        We have to look at the different Trump voters. There are, as I said, those who just plain love the man, and who fully agree that he could shoot someone in public and it wouldn’t matter. There are the Democrats who voted for him because they wanted us to be stuck with him. There are the people who thought he was a breath of fresh air and liked his bluntness and what seemed like courage in taking on the sacred cows of that dreaded “Establishment” but who have had second thoughts as he has changed his positions, basically admitted that he never really meant a lot of what he said but only said it to “open negotiations”, and shown more and more of his erratic, belligerent and vindictive self. And there are those who voted for him because no other candidates were still actively running against him.

        Not all of those people are hard-core Trumpsters. Aside from the Identity Politics fanbois, conservatives who want the best for the country and understand the dangers of a President Hillary will vote R. Maybe some of them will do so the same way so many of us will vote for Trump if we have to, but true conservatives want what is best for the country, even if their feelings are hurt.

        And we also have to consider the oft-repeated claim that so many who would otherwise not vote for Hillary are ready to do so because Trump scares the snot out of them, or they just plain hate him. If he is truly polarizing Dems and Independents in a negative way, losing some hardcore Trumpers could be offset by losing all those people who were willing to vote not for Hillary but against Trump.

      • Amazona June 18, 2016 / 1:27 am

        I think the key to beating Hillary is being able to clearly articulate her many defects. Just calling her “crooked” won’t do it. Trump is just too inarticulate to be able to stand up there, day in and day out, and make sense when he tries to explain what she has done and what it means.

        One of our sometimes-bloggers once complained that he didn’t like Cruz because he “sounded like a lawyer”. I WANT a candidate, and a president, who can put together a string of coherent sentences that form an important idea or concept.

      • M. Noonan June 18, 2016 / 11:29 pm

        Calling her crooked is part of the battle – but, you’re right, to really drive it home you’ve got to show – in very simple terms – why she’s crooked. It is easier with Hillary than with just about anyone else because she’s so well known for being dishonest. Trump should be hammering home on things like a major Hillary donor being placed on a highly sensitive commission dealing with nuclear weapons policy, even though the guy had no experience in that area, at all. Things like that – find three bits of Hillary’s pay for play and just keep asking and asking and asking about it…eventually, it will get drilled into the public mind (in spite of MSM attempts to deflect) that Hillary takes bribes and pays off her cronies at our expense.

      • Amazona June 19, 2016 / 9:43 am

        I agree. But Trump is so incoherent I am not sure he can do this effectively. He always reverts to schoolyard taunts and one-word insults. I think one aspect of Hillary’s dishonesty, like Behghazi, should be isolated and then different parts of it hammered—the refusal to increase security when asked, the refusal to send in help when begged, the lying about what really happened afterward, and tying it all up with how can someone like this be the Commander in Chief. Then another topic—the emails. A lot of people don’t understand why this is a problem, so start with talking about national security when the opposition basically has a microphone in the Secretary of State’s office, explaining why lack of confidentiality put our nation at risk. Then go back to the laws regarding how to handle sensitive information, tie it in with what she did, and hammer the double whammy of national security and breaking the law. Then you can tie that in with why she did it—-to keep her emails from being accessible through FOIA, and that is when you bring out the Pay to Play aspect of her term in office, her selling of United States favor for money paid to Bill allegedly for speeches. Then come back to a double hit, on the illegality of selling her support and that of breaking the law regarding how to handle sensitive information. There should be stuff on the Clinton Foundation, how little money ever goes to real causes and how much goes to the Clintons, and how much money was donated “to the foundation” by people who then got special favors from the Secretary of State. (However, the Clinton Foundation donations are problematic, as Trump made large donations to the foundation.)

        It is complicated, and given the abject ignorance of the American public it has to be broken into easily digestible bits and explained to them very clearly. It calls for a good communicator, one who deals in facts rather than feelings, one whose skill is in explaining things in a way people can understand. I don’t think Trump himself fully understands these things, not in the depth and detail it will take to answer questions succinctly without wandering off into vagueness or insults. Understanding details and how things tie in with each other to make a coherent whole is a special talent, and Trump does not have it. You have to have absolute knowledge not only of the details but of how they relate to each other, and the ability to both speak clearly and think on your feet so you can quickly tie things together and make then make sense.

        He might be able to read speeches written by people who do have a grasp on the details and their significance, and his campaign might be able to put together some decent ads to do some of the work, but in a debate or being questioned directly he just won’t be able to speak clearly and concisely enough to make sense out of what is some pretty complex stuff. He gets tangled up in easy stuff, and his instinct when cornered is to revert to stupid schoolyard taunting and bullying, and incoherent babbling.

        Obama is bad off-script, but Trump is a train wreck.

        It’s not a matter of what has to be done, or how to do it. It is whether Trump CAN do it, while effectively dodging the vast amount of dirt they can bring to bear against him.

      • M. Noonan June 19, 2016 / 11:30 pm

        That is what, so far, he hasn’t shown the ability to do – he simply must have some sense of self discipline to get himself as far as he has. And he must have some intelligence, too, in order to have mapped out this primary win. But there seems to be something missing at the center of it all – an ability to grab all the threads and present a coherent whole.

      • Amazona June 19, 2016 / 11:57 am

        Why do I worry about Trump’s problems with coherence when off-script?

        Well, when he claimed that “…everyone knew this guy (Mateen) had a problem..” but complained that no one did anything even when Mateen was reported to the FBI, a reporter asked him “So what does that say to you?”

        His response? “It says very sad. That’s what it says. I mean, to me it says very sad.”

        Here is a softball over the center of the plate, a perfect opportunity to make a concise and meaningful statement about the need to have better action from our intelligence agencies or some such comment, a brief comment on the problems in our intelligence agencies and perhaps even a suggestion about how to correct the problems. It could be about the need to clear our intelligence agencies of the internal roadblocks to efficiency created by Political Correctness. It was a perfect example, and what’s more a gimme by a reporter, of an opportunity to say something important.

        But true to form, Trump could only speak in cartoonish shorthand, and what’s more in inarticulate cartoonish shorthand, as his comment doesn’t even track, grammatically. “It says very sad” ? He can’t even form a complete sentence, such as “To me it says that the state of our intelligence agencies and their ability to deal with threats is very sad”.

        He couldn’t provide an intelligent answer for two reasons. One is that he doesn’t have any understanding of the internal problems of our intelligence agencies, what rules might be hampering their effectiveness, how they function and what aspects of their function and and should be changed, etc. And one is that the man, when off-script, is simply incapable of forming a coherent sentence or even of sending us the message, even if imperfectly constructed, that he has a coherent thought process.

        But he didn’t stop there. “I’m a big fan of the FBI, but they had a little bit of a bad day,” Donald Trump said of authorities’ response to warnings about Mateen, who had been on an FBI terror watchlist twice.

        Sorry about what happened at the play, Mrs. Lincoln—- looks like you had a little bit of a bad day there.


      • Amazona June 20, 2016 / 10:02 am

        I’ve noticed that those who argue that Trump is smart actually say, in one way or another, “Trump MUST be smart—look what he has done”. This wistful belief doesn’t ever seem to be based on anything we have seen for ourselves, but on some image of what he HAS done, that would seem to indicate intelligence.

        In the example you gave, he “…mapped out this primary win….” But there IS no “primary win”. OK, I realize that Trump apologists have redefined “winning” in his case as getting more votes than any other prospective candidate, but it has to completely ignore the fact that he has not even come close to getting a majority of the votes cast. In fact, he got only something like 35-40%, meaning that 60-65% of voters VOTED FOR SOMEONE ELSE. The only thing that got him so many delegates is not the voice of Republican voters but individual state laws which assign all delegates to the person who got the most votes in that state, even if he only got 25% of the votes. Much like Obama in the Senate race he finally won, he only did well when he had no opposition to speak of.

        And, of course, you can’t say you won unless and until you actually win. Trump says he has won, even claims that nominating someone else would be ILLEGAL. To which I say yeah, that is exactly what this country needs—-two candidates who believe they get to decide what is and what is not legal.

        In much the same vein as “I haven’t seem him looking very bright but he must be” there is your other comment, which can be similarly paraphrased as “I haven’t seen him acting disciplined but he must be ‘…to get himself as far as he has..’ “. Again, in seeking to explain what is to many of us is inexplicable, you have concluded that there must have been some discipline in there, somewhere.

        Yet one of the biggest complaints about Trump is his blatant lack of discipline. The man seems to have no control over his mouth. He came into this contest knowing he would be going up against Hillary if he were to win the nomination, knowing the Dems would be playing the gender card and trying to get women voters, yet he has not been able to refrain from insulting women pretty much across the board. When his people evidently took him to the woodshed over saying he wouldn’t need any national security advisers because he has a “very good brain” he came out and gave us a list of people he would use as advisers, but simply could not stop himself from adding on that he would still depend on that “very good brain”. “Discipline”?

        I suggest that the only way to think that Trump is disciplined, or even capable of discipline, is to cite what you have actually seen for yourself, not to speculate that he must have some discipline, or the ability to act as if he does, based solely on an outcome that could be explained by something else. Ditto for praising his intelligence because you can’t imagine him having done what he has done without being at least fairly smart. I was just at a party with many children, and even those as young as three or four could put together better and more coherent sentences than Trump. But I don’t feel the need to defend him by saying “he can’t really be as stupid as he seems because golly gee, look at what he has done”.

        Cunning is not the same as intelligence. Slyness is not the same as intelligence. The ability to see what people want and then pandering to those wants might be a form of intelligence, but it’s not the form I respect.

        Narcissism is by definition defined to some extent as having a very large ego, but Trump’s is of such immense proportions and so overweening it dwarfs everything around it. That is a problem, but a solvable one, if enough pressure can be put to bear on the narcissist to force him to listen to reason. The thing that can seldom if ever be overcome is an oppositional personality, and in true Trump fashion his is of grandiose size and scope. He is compelled to oppose whatever he thinks he is expected to do. Tied in with his narcissism, this is a potent and potentially deadly mix.

        We have all heard the statement that if you tell someone not to think of a pink elephant he can’t help but think of a pink elephant. Well, if you tell Trump not to let a tiger out of a cage, he will then be compelled to do that very thing, and that compulsion will be backed up by the absolute conviction that because he, Trump, has such a “very good brain” he knows more than anyone else that this is a good idea, not a bad one, and besides no one can tell him what to do.

  2. Amazona June 17, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    The article in your link on Christianity is a hoot. “Reporters, crow’s ears and Karma Light nuns,” Too funny. Kinda reminds me of the morphing of the Harmonic Convergence to Harmonica Virgins.

    You gotta give the Left credit for persistence—they never let ignorance shut them up.

  3. Amazona June 21, 2016 / 10:23 am

    From an article today in Public Discourse: emphasis mine

    “The one completely authentic thing that Trump has said in this campaign came from a foreign policy question in the second debate: “I’m a salesman. I’ll say whatever I have to say to make the deal.” It is a statement that has proven accurate about all his dealings in whatever enterprise he has taken on. He says whatever the customer needs to hear. Once the sale has been made, all bets are off. Why would anyone think that his sit-down with Paul Ryan, or his list of Supreme Court candidates, is anything more than saying what he needs to say to make the deal? People are desperate to find some evidence of President Trump under the surface, but the only thing anyone ever actually finds in bed when they wake up the next morning is The Donald, Deal Master.”

    I just don’t understand why people who support Trump and people who kind of support Trump and people who earnestly explain why he might not be so bad all manage to ignore this one honest and candid statement of his. Even when he restates it, as he did when he admitted that he never did intend to deport all illegals but just said that “to start negotiations” people still say they support him because he will deport illegals.

    It boggles the mind.

  4. Amazona June 21, 2016 / 10:48 am

    I was in a medical office yesterday talking about a procedure and I said “Maybe it won’t be as bad as I think it will be—kind of like voting for Trump”. The woman looked startled, then ducked her head and laughed a little nervously, then looked up and laughed out loud. When she stopped laughing she said “I am so embarrassed to be a Republican right now. Is this really the best we can do?” I told her what I have been saying lately: “I know a lot of Republicans, and I don’t know any happy Republicans” and she said “Exactly. I know a lot of Republicans and NONE of us are happy.” We chatted briefly about the nomination, and she repeated that she is just embarrassed to have her party represented by Trump.

    I have started tossing out a mild Trump comment every now and then, and I have found only two defenses of him—and both are of the same nature I mentioned in an earlier post. Neither was a defense of what they have seen of him on the campaign trail, but both have been that he “is really smart” in one case and “he is not stupid” in another, and both were based on the belief that he would “surround himself with good people”. The belief that he is smart is based on his business success, and no, they didn’t know about or want to hear about his business failures or that the successes were so often made possible by shady dealings and unethical business practices. There was just an assumption that he couldn’t have accomplished what he did if he wasn’t smart, therefore he is smart. The second “defense” always seems to me to be an admission that he isn’t up to the job and the only way to feel good about electing him would be the assurance that there is SOMEONE there who is.

    As the article says, “People are desperate to find some evidence of President Trump under the surface…” but I keep wondering why settle for someone whose presidential qualities, if there are any, are so hard to find and depend so much on assumptions and a big dose of Magical Thinking?

    • Bob Eisenhower June 21, 2016 / 11:41 am

      I want to comment on the “Trump is smart” thing, too, but unfortunately, it is in the other direction.

      Trump is clearly a smart guy.

      He graduated from Wharton and, while perhaps rich parents can help get you in to Wharton, in the end he had to pass the classes to graduate one of the premier business schools in the nation, arguably even THE premier B-school.

      He is extremely good at the very things you complain about, weaseling words to sway individuals and audiences. That takes smarts. If all it took were charisma Tom Cruise would be able to win a caucus or two.

      I think taking the tack that Trump is dumb is a losing argument, His policies are dumb, he doesn’t know what he’s doing politically and he is racist, but he is not stupid.

      • Amazona June 21, 2016 / 2:31 pm

        I never said Trump is “dumb”. I said that people look backward to find examples of things they think mean he is smart, even when there no direct causality. To take your example and look at it in two ways. One is that we don’t know how well he did at Wharton. As the old saying goes: “What do you call the guy who graduated last in his class in med school? A: Doctor.”

        Another is that there are different kinds of “smart”. You might be the kind of smart that gets good grades without really trying. You might be the kind of smart that has to work really really hard to get good grades. You might be the kind of smart that says a degree from Wharton is a degree from Wharton and who is going to check out your class standing so just graduate and move on, a D is as good as an A. You might be the kind of smart that pays people to write papers and take tests for you.

        Another is that “book smart” doesn’t always mean really intelligent. My husband had an IQ of 148, tested twenty years after he graduated from college, but he could not take a test well. I’m not that smart but I test better.

        Ever watch “Big Bang Theory”? Sheldon Cooper is a genius, but his intelligence is limited to a few areas. Ever hear the term “street smart”? It doesn’t mean someone tests well or got a good education or speaks well, but merely that he has good situational awareness and knowledge of how to interpret what he sees and how to act on it.

        “Smart” is not an absolute. “Unique” is an absolute. Something is unique or it isn’t. There is no such thing as “more unique”. But “smart” has a wide range of meanings and degrees and types. If you ask a job applicant if he has a criminal record and he replies “Twelve arrests but no convictions” you may think he has a certain type of intelligence, to be able to avoid conviction, but he is also not someone you want to hire.

        Yes, a degree from Wharton could mean the graduate is smart, but not necessarily. If someone has made a ton of money and has had many successful businesses but has done so by using substandard materials, bribing inspectors, not paying vendors, and in general using unethical and even illegal methods (and I chose examples I have not heard applied to Trump, so cool your jets…) then perhaps by one criterion one could say he is “smart” but that should be qualified to mean smart in a way that knows how to cheat, lie, and break the law.

        You use several examples of what you consider proof of being “smart”. One is a degree from Wharton. I have addressed that. One is that he is good at selling, which is another kind of “smart” he himself has described, as just telling people what they want to hear.

        There is also the kind of intelligence associated with communication. The office of President Of The United States demands—DEMANDS—someone who can communicate with people, who can speak clearly and present coherent ideas in a way that indicates depth of understanding and strategy. I have yet to see any of this from Trump. On the contrary, what I see from him, once he is off the teleprompter (anyone else remember our comments on dependence on a teleprompter?) is a level of communication that is barely at a third grade level. I do not believe that his “very good brain” is just spinning so quickly his mouth can’t keep up, or that his mental faculties operate on such an elevated and abstract level that it is hard to bring them down to the level of ordinary speech. No, I think what you see is what you get. I think when a reporter asks what a lack of response by an intelligence agency says to him and his response “It says very sad. That’s what it says. I mean, to me it says very sad” I think that is exactly what is going on in his mind. I think his mental analysis is the simplistic “very sad” without even understanding that he was not asked how this made him FEEL but “what (failure in threat analysis) says to you”. The translation of a request for an objective analysis of the failure of a government agency into a personal feeling of sadness is not only a hallmark of his narcissism, it is indicative of a very low level of analytic ability. It is also possible that his mind immediately flipped to a response to the tragedy instead of to the failure in threat analysis. But that was not the question. Is it “smart” to not be able to understand a question? Or to put the best possible face on it, of the inability to think quickly enough to put a thought into words, if in fact his thought process was more of a complex and analytical nature.

        And this is a whole lot more important than what grades he got in college or how much money he has made.

        The thing is, I was talking less about how smart Trump is and more about the lengths people go to and the assumptions they make and the conclusions they draw to try to justify their support of Trump or at least of their defense of Trump, and that in my opinion the conclusions are not always logical. The Right is in a very uncomfortable position right now, as on one hand we are critical of those on the Left who constantly make excuses for the many and various defects of Hillary Clinton while so many of are doing exactly the same thing for Donald Trump.

      • Bob Eisenhower June 21, 2016 / 2:42 pm

        As the old saying goes: “What do you call the guy who graduated last in his class in med school? A: Doctor.”

        More like “What do you call the worst guy in Seal Team Six? One of the best of the best soldiers in existence.”

        Wharton is not just some college one might pass. It is like Seal training for business. If you manage to graduate Wharton, you are, de facto smart.

        Anyhow, I’m not looking to be a booster for Wharton and I’m certainly not looking to be a booster for Trump. I just hate it when people demonize demons with the wrong epithets. I feel it diminishes the other arguments against the demon.

        The 9/11 hijackers were many, many horrible things, but as Bill Maher pointed out (and lost his job over), they were not cowards. Likewise, Trump is many repulsive things but he is, indeed, a very smart man.

      • Amazona June 21, 2016 / 5:03 pm

        And you get to define “smart” by your own criteria, including one criterion that may, or again may not, depending on circumstances, be relevant. I get to use my own criteria, and my own preference for what type of “smart” is relevant to a presidential candidate and to a president. I gave some excellent examples of high IQ in some areas that does not translate into others. I acknowledge that Trump may have the kind of intelligence that can read a book or hear a lecture and retain enough information to pass a test. I also have an element of skepticism about him doing all the work himself, after seeing how he has run his businesses, breaking immigration laws and cutting deals with the Mob, so I am just less impressed overall with this whole Wharton adulation. That extends, by the way, to the whole Ivy League worship that seems to dominate politics. Let a state college grad with extensive experience and success (such as Scott Walker) go up against an Ivy Leaguer and some people act as if the lack of an Ivy League pedigree is a disqualifier. I guess I am just not an education snob, particularly after seeing some of the morons with Ivy League credentials.

        ” If you manage to graduate Wharton, you are, de facto smart.” Maybe so. But is it the kind of smart that means you can quickly process information on the fly, integrate it into what you already know, and put together a coherent comment using real sentences, comprehensible to a listener and conveying real information? Does it convey confidence that this “smartness” is enough to override or compensate for personality disorders such as narcissism and/or oppositional personality disorder? Is refusing to take good advice “smart”?

      • Amazona June 21, 2016 / 5:12 pm

        Bill Maher said that the hijackers were braver than Americans who drop bombs on people from a distance. He didn’t just make a stand-alone comment that the hijackers were brave.

        I’m going to stand by my conviction that slaughtering innocent civilians is an act of cowardice even if the event takes the life of the coward. A grown man who slashes the throat of a woman and watches her bleed to death is a coward. If any of these “men” had stood up to any of the men on those planes, or even any of the women, equally armed, there might be an argument for some degree of courage.

        You might also look into the research done by the Israelis on suicide bombers. They have found that most, if not all, were heavily drugged when they set off their bombs.

        If you think Trump’s degree means he is smart in the same way the fact that the hijackers also died means they were not cowards, then I think you have weakened your argument for Trump.

        So how well did Trump do at Wharton? For that matter, did he do graduate work at Wharton or just get a BA? (emphasis mine)

        “….. he was sent to the New York Military Academy at age 13 by his parents, who, according to Biography.com, hoped “the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner.”

        He did well there, and then went to Fordham University, a Jesuit school in the Bronx, for two years, before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania and studied economics for two years, graduating in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree. He took undergraduate classes at Penn’s famed Wharton School of Business. Though he was not enrolled in Wharton’s prestigious MBA program, the Spring 2007 Wharton Alumni Magazine featured Trump, with this headline, “The Best Brand Name in Real Estate.”

        The University of Pennsylvania is one of the eight private colleges and universities in the vaunted Ivy League, known for accepting unusually smart students, great test takers, legacies, and the sons and daughters of famous and/or very wealthy people.

        How did Trump get into the University of Pennsylvania?

        A 2011 Salon magazine article refers to a 2001 book called “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire,” by Gwenda Blair. It says that Trump’s grades at Fordham, a Jesuit school in New York, had been “respectable,” and that he was admitted to Penn after an interview with a “friendly” Wharton admissions officer who was an old classmate of Trump’s older brother .

        The article also points out that Trump has happily allowed the media to report that he graduated first in his class from Wharton, including in New York Times stories in 1973 and 1976 about him. But the story goes on to say:

        Writing in the New York Times magazine in 1984, William Geist reported that “the commencement program from 1968 does not list him as graduating with honors of any kind,” even though “just about every profile ever written about Mr. Trump states that he graduated first in his class at Wharton in 1968.” … In 1988, New York magazine reported that the idea that Trump had graduated first in his class was a “myth.”

        Hmmm. Undergrad, admitted in some part due to family influence, not to the prestigious Wharton School of Business MBA program but to the University of Pennsylvania, where he took some undergrad courses at Wharton. Lied for years about graduating first in his class at Wharton when there is no record of any honors whatsoever. In other words, just a student who made it through four years of college, who took some classes at a top business school his last two years in college and then invented a story in which he graduated first in his class from the business school. In other words, there is no indication of extreme intelligence or accomplishment.

        Sometimes the view in a rear-view mirror is not as clear or definitive as one might like.

  5. Amazona June 21, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    How much “smart” would it take to cancel out even a small percentage of Trump’s narcissism?

    Daniel Radcliffe, the man who played Harry Potter when he was younger, told of meeting Trump when he was 11 and appearing on an American TV show.

    “When Trump, who had just appeared on “Today” himself, asked the young actor how he was doing, Radcliffe shared that he was nervous. That’s when the real estate mogul and future presidential candidate imparted these these words of wisdom: “You just tell them you met Mr. Trump!”

    “I can’t even relate to that level of confidence,” Radcliffe, who is starring in the new off-Broadway play “Privacy,” told Meyers.”

    I think the use of the word “confidence” was very tactful. I think “arrogance” would have been much more accurate.

    • Bob Eisenhower June 21, 2016 / 6:30 pm

      MERRIAM-WEBSTER Cowardice: one who shows disgraceful fear or timidity

      I disagreed with Maher when he said flying the planes took more guts than bombing from 30,000 feet, but I agreed with his basic tenet, which was decrying misuse of the label “coward.” The only part of the above definition of cowardice that applies to the hijackers is “disgraceful.”

      In re: Wharton, good get. I thought he graduated, like an MBA, but I guess I bought into his BS machine same as the rest. Still, I rested too much on my argument on Wharton, I believe he is, at face value, smart.

      Lastly, I think Daniel Radcliffe demonstrated genuine class, of which Trump was clearly oblivious. Trump should have been excitedly telling everyone he met Harry Potter.

      • Amazona June 21, 2016 / 10:53 pm

        Trump should have been excitedly telling everyone he met Harry Potter.


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