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Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Trump, superlatives, Resolutions
Sunday November 27, 2022
Occasionally, The Guardian lets its hair down and writes about itself.
Recently, Sophie Zeldin-O'Neill, The Guardian’s deputy membership editor, wrote in an e-newsletter that Donald Trump's announcement of running for the presidency in 2024 “renewed a debate about how to responsibly cover him without unwittingly providing the coverage he so expertly manipulates.”
She likened it to “walking a tightrope.”
“We will have no hesitation to call a lie a lie, or indeed a liar a liar, even if they are a former US president," said Paul Harris, head of news for The Guardian US.
Tags: Trump, lies, truth, Guardian
Sunday November 13, 2022
Final results in the U.S. mid-term elections may not be in for some weeks. But the political pundits are having a field day finding things to analyse.
I dare suggest that some of them have read the election wrong. This election was not about abortion rights. Or about immigration, racial discrimination, or inflation.
It was not even – despite Joe Biden’s and Barrack Obama’s impassioned last-minute pleas – about the survival of democracy.
It was about one thing -- Donald Trump.
Tags: Trump, Elections, mid-term, conservative values
unday October 9, 2022
Could Jesus have been wrong? This is not a hypothetical question. It bears strongly on how we can – or should, or might – respond to a variety of current controversies.
Could Jesus be wrong? The mind boggles. Christian faith worldwide is founded on the conviction that Jesus must have been right, regardless.
Now, there are certainly things that Jesus said and did that stretch our credulity. Walking on water, for example. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. But we rationalize away that experimental failure, by arguing either that it’s a skill limited to the divine, or that it proves our lack of faith.
But then there are those troublesome parables.
Tags: Trump, Jesus, parables, wrong
Sunday January 10, 2021
Years ago, I started writing a summary of the good things and bad things that had happened that year.
At first, I had little difficulty separating good from bad. My two lists – good and bad – bore little connection to each other.
But as time passed, I discovered that different aspects of the same situations were showing up in both lists.
This year, the overlap is almost total. Bad things occurred, certainly, but part of each parcel included good things. And vice versa. Like Frank Sinatra singing about love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other.
Take Donald Trump. Please. (A line borrowed from stand-up comedy.)
How can his behaviour be a ”good thing”?
Easy -- he proved I was right about him, all along. (I never said that the good and bad had to be equal, only that they were intertwined!)
Tags: Trump, extremes, good/bad
n all the hoopla about the U.S. election last week, a couple of significant events sneaked by. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that corporations are not persons. And the U.S. media acknowledged that they have ethical responsibilities.
First, the media. Friday night after the U.S. election, still-president Donald Trump ranted for 16 minutes of outright falsehoods and accusations without evidence, that he had won the election. At least six American networks cut him off in mid-sentence.
For the networks to pull the plug on a sitting president is an unprecedented act.
In the second piece of overlooked news, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, in certain situations, corporations are not persons.
Tags: Trump, corporations, networks
Over the last ten days I have watched -- reluctantly, I admit -- parts of the Democratic and Republican national conventions in the U.S.
Long ago, I had to write essays to “compare and contrast” Shakespeare’s sonnets with, say, Wordsworth’s. Or John Milton’s metaphors versus T.S. Eliot’s.
It can be an illuminating exercise. But it’s easier when you can lay out two manuscripts side by side.
I wish technology enabled me to compare the two political conventions side by side. Perhaps with 30 seconds of this audio, then 30 seconds of that one. So that I could flip back and forth, instead of relying on memory of two separate events.
Still, the most obvious difference was visual. The Republican convention paid lip service to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its body language didn’t. During the speeches by both Melania and Donald Trump, Republican dignitaries sat cheek-to-cheek, buttwise. No physical separation. No masks that I could see. Lots of handshaking and back-patting.
The Democratic convention didn’t have masks either. But they didn’t need them. No one else in the room – they actually practiced isolation.
Tags: Trump, Democratic, Republican, Biden
Today’s word, for those of you who view life as an episode of Sesame Street, is “schadenfreude.” Pronounced “shah-den-froy-duh.” It means “taking delight in Donald Trump’s impeachment.”
Oops, there’s another big word. “Impeachment” -- pronounced im-peach-ment -- means “humiliating the president.”
And that’s about all it means.
Canadians don’t have impeachment. We have no procedures for impeaching prime ministers, regardless of their lack of popularity. Instead, parliament can pass a vote of “no confidence,” which means, basically, that the members of parliament want another election, whether or not Canadians as a whole have lost confidence in the ability of the government to govern.
The big difference is that when a Canadian parliament votes “no confidence,” the government falls.
When the American House of Representatives votes for impeachment, it does little more than splat the president with a banana-cream pie.
Tags: Trump, Impeachment, Congress
Three million years ago, a distant ancestor of mine lived in Ethiopia. Since then, we humans have grown taller, stronger, more intelligent and, I would hope, more compassionate.
After three million years of evolution, is Donald Trump the best we can achieve?
Trump is the world’s number-one human, the colossus who sits bestride the world (to borrow a line from historian Robert Payne). President of the world’s most powerful nation. Chief executive officer of the world’s richest economy, who can make stock markets around the world crash with a single Tweet. Commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military force, with the biggest nuclear arsenal.
A while ago, I resolved that I would not waste any more columns on Trump. It’s difficult to keep that resolution, when he declares himself “the least racist person in the world.” Or condemns the entire city of Baltimore as a “rat and rodent infested mess.”
But I cannot continue to avoid writing about him.
Tags: Trump, National Cathedral, Joe McCarthy, send her back
The news has not been good recently – unless you’re a Trump supporter. The media have been filled with incidents of hate, violence, death, and disaster.
The world is still reeling from the mass murders at the mosques in New Zealand. Followed by the copycat defacing of five mosques in the U.K. Where Brexit seems headed for disaster, taking Theresa May with it. And disaster aptly describes typhoon Idai’s effect on Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.
And that’s not counting an endless parade of house fires, vehicle accidents, thefts, and political conflicts.
I admit to contributing to this flood of bad news. Ironically, journalists focus on bad news precisely because it’s an exception to the norm. It is news because it is out of the ordinary.
So we hear all about the accident where the bus full of young hockey players collides with a semi-trailer whose driver failed to stop at a stop sign. We never hear about the thousands of trucks, every day, that do stop.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Trump, bad news, Brexit, Mozambique, Princess Diana, joy