Losers and Suckers Revisited

The Atlantic Editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg reports that, among other derogatory comments, Donald Trump referred to  American’s Armed Services personnel as “losers” and “suckers.”  Employing his trademarked kill-the-messenger attack, our President labels Goldberg’s allegation “a disgraceful situation by a magazine that is a terrible magazine, I don’t read it but I heard about it.  They made it up and probably it’s a couple of people who had been failures in the administration and I couldn’t get rid of them fast enough, but, or it’s just made up  .  .  .”  Who to believe? 

Founded in 1857, James Russell Lowell its first editor, what evolved into today’s The Atlantic numbers half-a-million readers.  Named American Society of Magazine Editors’ 2016 Magazine of the Year, The Atlantic remains an unchallenged standard of journalistic excellence.  Inevitably, radio, televised and print journalists will misconstrue or get the facts wrong.  But to insinuate Jeffrey Goldberg would deliberately concoct a report is outrageous as labeling The Atlantic a “terrible magazine.”

Writing instructor James Frey counsels authors to employ the “Would he or she really?” test. Would a character really speak or behave as I want her or him to?  Would fifty-five year old, Nebraska wheat grower Abner Brown really abandon a wife of thirty years, children and grandchildren to run off with an Exotic Dancer?  Would International Consolidated Coffee heiress Priscilla Vanderwood really become a Methodist Missionary in Darkest Africa?

Would a journalist with over three decades unchallenged veracity, whose accolades include the National Magazine Award and Overseas Press Club’s Joe and Laurie Dine Award, would Jeffery Goldberg really concoct and publish a lie?  Would a man with countless, easily disproved assertions and distortion of fact, who claimed sore feet to dodge military service, who refuses to call John McCain, and by extension all POWs, a “Hero,” who admits lying about the lethality of an impending COVID 19 disaster, would Donald J. Trump really label America’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard “losers” and “suckers?”  Is the Pope really Catholic?

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death: “A civil action against someone who can be held liable for a death.” (Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute)

Bob Woodward has Donald on tape saying early on he saw the disaster impending from COVID 19 but failed to act and lied to Americans.  ACLU or someone, please file suit against Donald J. Trump for the wrongful death of Americans from this pandemic?


“Guardian” US tech reporter Julia Carrie Wong calls “QAnon a wide-ranging and baseless internet conspiracy theory  .  .  .  whose followers believe the world is run by a secret cabal of Satan-worshiping Democrats and Hollywood celebrities.”

The roots of conspiracy and conspiracy theory extend to the deepest soil and darkest history of human relations.  Without looking further into QAnon—What more is there?—nor suggestion a connection, I see today’s Right Wing trotting out a six-and-a-half decades old, Ronald Reagan rant indicting Big Government Democrats for stealing Americans’ freedom.

With President Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office, Reagan claims “a little intellectual elite (Democrats) in a far distant capital (are) trading our freedom for security.”  Ronald is emphatic in opposition to remarks by Democrat Senator Fulbright that, “the President as our moral teacher  .  .  .  must be free so that he can do for us what he knows to be best.”  This in mind, how might our fortieth President view Red-Cap minions applauding, cheering, virtually genuflecting at every utterance from forty-five’s lips?

I fail to find facts supporting President Reagan’s implication that, trading “our freedom for security” Democrats have thrown Common Folks to the wolves.  Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal rescued Common Folks from the disaster brought on by Republican Herbert Hoover’s blind faith in Jowl Street.  Missouri haberdasher and Commonest of men, Democrat Harry Truman pushed forward Roosevelt’s commitment to put Common Folks back to work and paychecks in their pockets.  Laying Presidency and Party on the line, Democrat John Kennedy went all-in pushing Civil Rights legislation and women’s right to choose.  Like Truman, Common Folks peanut farmer Democrat Jimmy Carter proved too moral and honest to survive the bureaucracy and hypocrisy of D.C., and continues into his nineties doing hands-on carpentry with Habitat for Humanity.  Democrat Bill Clinton balanced our budget but was unable to overcome Republicans’ hard-headed refusal even to consider basic health care for Common Folks.  Against decades-long Republican opposition, Democrat Barack Obama expended enormous effort in finally achieving affordable health care for Common Folks.

By contrast, under Republican Donald Trump a handful of Billionaires gained power in America.  His consumer-funded tariffs and tax giveaways to those who already held enormous wealth loom huge in ballooning our national debt as over ninety percent of America’s wealth gravitated to less than five percent of its population while Common Folks sleep on the sidewalk and scramble for nickels and dimes.

Who holds power in America, a democratic Government or Billionaire Oligarchy?  QAnon’s and other nameless, faceless “conspiracies” notwithstanding, it is clear that with Donald Trump the latter took over.

The Grin

In Rage Bob Woodward reports Jered Kushner’s advise that, to understand Donald Trump’s Oval Office and West Wing read Alice In Wonderland.  Regarding the Presidential father-in-law, Kurcher quotes the Cheshire Cat, “If you don’t know where you are going any path will get you there.”

Context makes this guidance more instructive.

.  .  .  a large cat which was sitting on the hearth and grinning for ear to ear.

‘Please would you tell me, ‘said Alice, ‘ .  .  .  why your cat grins like that’?

‘It’s a Cheshire Cat,’ said the Duchess  .  .  .

‘I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I did not know that cats COULD grin.’

‘They all can,’ said the Duchess; ‘and most of them do.’

(Later)  .  .  .  she was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree as few yards off.

The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice.  .  .  .

‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rater timidly,  .  .  .  it only grinned a little wwider.  .  .  .  ‘Would you tell
me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.   

‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’*

The Cheshire Cat’s defining characteristic, first to appear and last to disappear, the Grin.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland*
Lewis Carroll
Cheshire Cat by Sir John Tenniel, original 1865 edition.

See my Facebook, Edward Conklin, for pictures.


Wikipedia identifies three dozen Siluriformes or Nematognathi with names like Ailidae, Bagridae and Kryptoglanis shajii (Superman’s scaled nemesis?).  Hiding in this eye-crossing taxonomy are the channel, pond and mud catfish we consume with hush puppies, fries and tartar sauce.  Wikipedia, ichthyologist and “Fat Fred’s Fried Fish” notwithstanding, two hybrid catfish families go unrecognized: Political and Religious.

At risk of wading in over my head, allow me to examine characteristics of these landlocked fishes.  Politics: Greek for “affairs of the cities” or means through which group affairs are organized.  Religion: Latin “re, back” plus ligare, ligament, to bind or connect , rebind or reconnect.  As if non-aquatic craniates yearn to reclaim something we lost. 

Birth “thrusts” all catfish into foreign water.  With tiny eyes and brains aquatic varieties grope the bottom gulping whatever ill-fated worm, tadpole, dog kibble, dough-ball—hook-less or not—that bumps against their whiskers.  Safe to say, apart from a malign current these catfish never stray from the water and school where they hatched.

Having not yet acquired the tools and experience to discriminate, terrestrial fingerlings gulp cultural norms as their aquatic cousins grab a grub or Power Bait.  We eat what’s served and become what we eat!  Clean Plate Club members get desert!  

Mature terrestrial catfish enjoy an advantage over our water-born cousins.  Unlike aquatic varieties, behind a bulbous forehead a marvelous lump of matter allows landlocked osteichthyes to think!  This amazing, sometimes brilliant, sometimes foolish, ever chattering gray glob makes all the difference!  Adult dry-land catfish acquire the capability to puzzle and worry, to accept or reject a grub, insect or snail their home school offers.

No catfish, aquatic or terrestrial, is exempt from malign currents, turbid water, scarcity of grubs, worms and the ever-threatening treble hook.  Despite a sometimes unbearable environment and suffering, however, the majority of Political and Religious catfish find sufficient support and safety to remain with their home school.

We are Political/Religious catfish hybrids.  If what’s served tastes bad, putrid, poisonous or may hide a hook, we landlocked cats can exercise the wisdom to spit or vomit!  If our school begins to feel toxic, overly aggressive, misled, misguided or cannibalistic, we may leave home water and search out a new more benign school.

Losers and Suckers

Presaging calling America’s military “losers” and “suckers,” candidate Donald Trump would not call John McCain, and by extension other Prisoners of War, a Hero because he got caught.  No current and former member of America’s Military Service, Prisoners of War, friends and families and all who appreciate the commitment and sacrifice of our Armed Services should ever again vote for Donald J Trump.

From Day One

Vice president Pence says President Trump was on top of COVID-19 “from day one.”  Projecting his fear, Donald told Bob Woodward he lied about the virus’s lethal implications because, not able to handle the truth, Americans would panic.

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

Bob Woodward recorded Donald Trump saying he knew COVID 19 was a serious problem and lied to Americans.  Did he know the truth then or not?  Did he lie to us or Woodward?  Can’t have it both ways.

Fact is, what escapes Donald’s lips in the instant is True.  Not to get tripped up, however, accomplished liars must be quick on their feet.  Appearance to the contrary, Donald isn’t.