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Old 02-17-2017   #401
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Liberals and many Republicans are too busy demonizing Putin
I think Putin is doing a good job of that Ė what with all the murders and things.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 02-17-2017   #402
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Re: Trump

Druidic, aren't you worried about the way Bannon openly talks about war with China?
Steve Bannon: 'We're going to war in the South China Sea ... no doubt' | US news | The Guardian

Putin is horrible but I don't think he'd try to bomb America because there's no way Russia would escape an enormous retaliation.

I think Trump might want to bomb someone in the heat of a bad moment but I hope nobody would follow his orders.

North Korea might be unhinged enough but I doubt any other country will stick their neck out for them and they might know that.

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Old 02-17-2017   #403
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
I saw it as well. What bothered you, Des? I saw it as alternately pragmatic and witty. This guy isn't a traditional pol but those who voted for him didn't want business as usual.

For me, it's all about improving relations with Russia and avoiding an all-out renewed Cold (Hot?) War.

Are we witnessing the birth of a new type of Pol? Or is this just Trump's style, a style that wouldn't work for others?

Many Americans see something different than our European cousins. Interesting though.
When I read this post, I couldn't help but think of Sam Harris' comments on Trump from his most recent podcast episode. I used to be a big fan of Sam Harris, but now I find him to be intensely problematic. Few people, however, have so skillfully argued for Trump's absolute lack of fitness for any public office. Comments transcribed here:

"I havenít heard any defense of Trump that concedes his most obvious flaws as a person, much less explains why these flaws donít matter. This is what you would have to do to defend him in an interesting way.

I really find this alarming: the people who defend Trump do not admit that thereís anything wrong with him.

Ö

Itís like the most they can concede is that heís uncensored and will inevitably offend some people.

Hereís what I think is true: there isnít a single fortune 500 company or a reputable university or any other respectable institution which has a board of directors, which three years ago would have said the following:

You know what we need to take our organization to the next level? We need a truly brilliant leader. We need someone with vision, and integrity, some who is ethical and deeply knowledgeable. We need the wisest person we can find to take us forward at this point. You know who we need? We need Donald Trump.

I am confident that, had those words been uttered in any board room in America, the result would have been derisive laughter. And there are good reasons for that.

And yet now Trump is president of the United States. And all the reasons why people would laugh three years ago are even more obvious now. But the people who support him donít concede any of his obvious flaws. They think theyíve re-branded his pettiness and vindictiveness and boastfulness and dishonesty and inarticulateness as some sort of 21st century virtues.

When Trump stands up in front of the memorial wall at the CIA and brags about the size of his inauguration crowd, or rather brags about the size he hallucinated, or brags about how many times heís been on the cover of Time Magazine, this isnít stagecraft. This isnít some brilliant manipulation of the media. This isnít some next-level communication.

This is his psychopathology leaking out into the world. This is what youíd have to do to defend Trumpóyouíd really have to reconstrue him in a compelling way. And I donít see how thatís possible.

When I see Trump in moments like that, as plain as day, I see the confessions of a disordered personality. I see a child in a manís body. And so it is with his tweets.

Ask yourself: how would Trump look if he really were an utter narcissist and a pathological liar? If you donít believe that he is these things, the question is: how would he have to appear to BE these things to you? What would constitute evidence of narcissism and dishonesty?

I think if you can get out of your echo chamber for a second, and just dispassionately look at the situation, you will see that Trump could give no more evidence of these things if he tried.

Ö

Look at his life. Look at the reflexiveness with which he lies about everything, and has done so for decades. My argument is there could not be more evidence. And thatís a problem.

So if youíre going to defend Trump, you have to argue that, somehow, what I said isnít true. And thatís hard, because, again, it is one of the most obvious things ever displayed by another human being. Calling Trump a pathological liar at this point is a lot like saying Michael Jordan was a great basketball player. This is not open to much interpretation. And so it is with most of his other flaws.

As I said, Trump himself is so alarming, just as a person, and the degree to which his egocentricity and lying have damaged our public conversation is so startling, that I canít even worry about the theocrats heís brought with him into government."
https://www.samharris.org/podcast/it...-me-anything-6
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Old 02-17-2017   #404
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Re: Trump

I'm a fan of Sam Harris. He's a sobering voice of sanity in an increasingly alienating cultural landscape of ideological bifurcation. I was reminded of his skewering of Trump when I saw this clip today:


It is beyond my comprehension intelligent people could watch this without looking at one another with a look of pure 'WTF!?'. It's nonsense. It's how a fiction writer would write a parody of an idiot. How much clearer does it need to be that this man is unfit for duty?

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
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Old 02-17-2017   #405
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Re: Trump

"... I can't believe I'm saying I'm a politician, but I guess that's what I am now..."

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 02-17-2017   #406
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Re: Trump


After a day of peculiar strain and weariness, I laughed a great deal at this, I'm not sure whether in an entirely healthy way.

I see a comment under the video:

"It would appear that America currently has no government."

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 02-17-2017   #407
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Re: Trump

"You know what uranium is, right? Just think of nuclear weapons and other things like.....lots of things are done with uranium including some bad things."

That part was especially hilarious to me.
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Old 02-17-2017   #408
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Re: Trump

Everything is coming apart, just as I had planned! Bwa Ha Ha!!

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 02-18-2017   #409
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by gveranon View Post
Then again Moosbrugger didn't inherit millions of dollars.
Inheritances are seldom (never) restricted to finances...


The more I examine the issue the more I see aspects of Trumps character everywhere in Musil – Clarisse’s unwillingness to accept all too human failure, Stumm’s naive but admirably honest attempts to encompass the required knowledge “is a low dollar good” – perhaps if we cannot agree on where the characters map we can agree on where Kakania maps now very easily (and I say this as someone with the utmost respect for the dual-monarchy)


I am also tempted to comment that a philistine in Musil's era relative to the cultural norms would not be recognizable as a philistine relative to cultural norms now (and neither is DT, demonstrably, to almost half of the US voting populace)



"suckers for posterity" aren't we all
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Old 02-18-2017   #410
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Acutely decayed View Post
The more I examine the issue the more I see aspects of Trumps character everywhere in Musil...
Yes, and Musil's novel reflects many non-Trumpian aspects of our culture, too. I've been thinking lately of the Parallel Campaign--the endless, idealistic effusions of Diotima and others that fail to find a purchase on anything in reality. Trump would want nothing to do with that (a simple slogan is all he needs), but politico-cultural writings from all over the ideological map have been filled with similar attempts since forever. I'm reminded of a remark attributed or misattributed to Wittgenstein (another late-Hapsburg Viennese!) that trying to restore a tradition is like trying to repair a torn spiderweb with one's hands.

Quote Originally Posted by Acutely decayed View Post
I am also tempted to comment that a philistine in Musil's era relative to the cultural norms would not be recognizable as a philistine relative to cultural norms now
True.

Quote Originally Posted by Acutely decayed View Post
(and neither is DT, demonstrably, to almost half of the US voting populace)
No, Trump's supporters recognize that he's a philistine--though most wouldn't use that word--but for many of them it's a large part of his appeal.

Notice how the discourse of even his most intelligent, knowledgeable supporters has degenerated. As if he is someone worth emulating! (I'm not speaking of anyone in this thread, but of commentary I've seen in various places.)
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