“EXTREMELY STABLE GENIUS”???

analysis blackboard board bubble

“I am an extremely stable genius,” Trump has claimed several times while speaking to reporters or in his tweets. But he lies as usual. First, he’s not “stable” and second he is NO “genius.”

Stable by dictionary definition is an adjective meaning “sane and sensible; not easily upset or disturbed.” Trump’s press conferences whether planned or unscheduled are anything but “sane and sensible” as he rants, gestures madly, swinging his arms back-and-form; screeches “fake news” when he hears reports he doesn’t like; and often brandishes the OK (thumb and forefinger circled) sign with three fingers raised, which has been associated with white supremacists. (If you don’t believe me google it or go to the Southern Poverty Law center at https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/09/18/ok-sign-white-power-symbol-or-just-right-wing-troll).

A genius is an “exceptional intellectual.” Trump himself has made clear he doesn’t read, he doesn’t listen to aide’s advice, he doesn’t study, and he has repeatedly lied about being first in his class at Wharton, the prestigious business school. Salon.com reported:

Trump did not go to Wharton’s prestigious MBA program. Rather, he received an undergraduate degree offered by Wharton to University of Pennsylvania students. And Trump didn’t attend Wharton for a full four years. Instead, he transferred there after spending his first two undergraduate years at Fordham, the Jesuit University in the Bronx.

And Forbes magazine reported:

Trump has repeatedly claimed (and allowed media outlets to report on his behalf) that he graduated ‘first in his class’ from the Wharton School at Penn. In fact, he wasn’t even close.

In addition a Forbes article in February 2019, explained that Michael Cohen in testimony before Congress

revealed that, under the direction of President Trump, he had sent letters to Trump’s high schools, colleges and the College Board (creator of the SAT), threatening them with legal action and jail time if they ever released Trump’s academic records. Cohen provided a record of one such letter sent to the president of Fordham University, which Trump attended for two years before transferring to complete his undergraduate degree at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump’s high school has confirmed receiving an identical letter.

So the “extremely stable genius” lies and lies some more in order to cover up the obvious fact that he’s unstable and a low-intelligence guy, adjectives he likes to apply to people he hates or fears.

YES, CHEF: A MEMOIR

YES CHEF

To get a break from politics, I decided to write a review of Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson, which I recently read. Samuelsson is a famous chef himself and someone with a most interesting background and heritage. Published in 2012 (Random House), Chef Samuelsson’s memoir, written with journalist Veronica Chambers, describes his early years in Ethiopia. Named Kassahun Tsegie at birth, his mother died of tuberculosis (during an epidemic) at the age of 28, leaving Marcus and his sister Linda orphaned. Or so they thought. Years later, Marcus found his father, along with step-sisters and step-brothers, living in Ethiopia.

Marcus and Linda were adopted by a white Swedish couple, Lennart and Anne Marie Samuelsson, who lived in Goteborg. The couple had been searching for a son in Asian and African countries, where children were often orphaned. The Swedish couple had already established what many considered a “blended” family, which included a foster child, Anna, whose parents were Jamaican and Swedish.

Although Marcus loved soccer and wanted to be a pro, he also was drawn to cooking, which he began to learn with the help of his grandmother Helga. He eventually found that cooking was his “thing.” Marcus’s book chronicles his many ups and downs (failures & successes), and his experiences at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden; apprenticeships in Switzerland, France, United States; and becoming Executive Chef of Aquavit in New York City at the age of 23.

Marcus has opened a variety of restaurants, including Red Rooster in Harlem. He also has written numerous cookbooks and has toured frequently.

In 2009, he married Gate Maya Haile, an Ethiopian-born model. Their marriage took place in Ethiopia with families and friends from the U.S. and Europe in attendance. That same year, 2009, Marcus cooked the first State Dinner for President Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of India.

Yes, Chef should be in most public libraries. I downloaded my copy from my local library’s virtual site and read it on my laptop. I enjoyed. Bet you will too. And you’ll find out why restaurant workers always say “Yes, Chef” when ordered to do something.

One Heroic Republican

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

The Republican Party, in my view, is nothing but a bunch of Trump lovers, who refuse to call out his 10,000 lies and other misdeeds. But one Republican has made a name for himself and lived by his conscience. He is U.S Representative Justin Amash, a very conservative Republican from Michigan, who publicly stated on Saturday June 18, that after he “carefully and completely” read the Mueller report, he concluded that Donald Trump committed “impeachable conduct.” He also accused Attorney General William Barr of intentionally misleading the public, which Barr certainly did. In a tweet Amash wrote:

 

“Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.”

All these conclusions are fact-based and can be verified by reading Vol. II of the Mueller report. In addition Amash stated, “When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.”

If only a few more Republicans would stand with Amash instead of criticizing and blasting him for not being loyal to his political party. Instead these Republicans who put party before the U.S. Constitution are going along with Trump who (true to form) immediately began trashing the Michigan legislator.

Yet I keep hoping more Republicans will come forward and if nothing else at least call Trump what he is: a liar, a thief, a misogynist, a racist, a hater, and an obstructer of justice.

“KING” TRUMP & COMPLICIT REPUBLICANS

“KING” TRUMP & HIS REPUBLICANS ARE BLOCKING/DESTROYING:

  • Women’s rights (by supporting extreme anti-abortion laws)
  • Rule of law (by the U.S. Attorney General who sides with Trump)
  • Evidence of trump’s corruption (see Mueller report)
  • Justice (by the U.S. Attorney General who sides with Trump)
  • Families of immigrants seeking asylum or refugee status (see Trump’s latest policy statements)
  • Efforts to slow climate change (see Trump’s and administration’s own words)
  • Environmental protections (see Trump’s deregulations of protective laws)
  • Voting rights (see efforts to block voters by gerrymandering and Russian intervention in elections)
  • Public testimony from Special Counsel Mueller and witnesses for his report

Proof of these accusations come from multiple sources online, in print, and cable news reports backed by evidence. In addition, currently 900 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter that says in part, “Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

Correct me if the destructive assessments are wrong. I, for one, am sick of what Trump and his cowardly Republicans are doing. So sick that it is even difficult to write about it—because it feels we (Americans) are being overtaken by a trumpian dictatorship and that Republicans who support Trump are complicit in this dictatorial effort.

PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG.

 

TOO MANY CANDIDATES?

I don’t know how other Democrats feel about having to choose who would be the best candidate to oust Trump, but I for one think there are far too many competitors seeking to be the 2020 presidential nominee of the Democrat Party. Last count, there’s a former VP of the United States, seven U.S. Senators, half a dozen U.S. Representatives, several Governors, three Mayors, and even an author and a tech executive. These last two seem quite out of place with NO experience in governing. I mean, they can talk and write about all kinds of good things that should happen to our federal government and country, but it takes more than nice words to go after the twitter-crazy Trump and his mishmash of lie after lie, plus outright obstruction of justice—no matter what he says to the contrary!

As a former Midwesterner, the New York Mayor Bill de Blasio turns me off. What does he know about the needs of small towns and life in small cities like Zion, Illinois; Barrington, Illinois; Mishawaka, Indiana; Elkhart, Indiana; Ventura, California; New Port Richey, Florida—all places I have lived? (All are likely to be Trump country.)

I’m especially concerned about drowning out the female candidates’ voices. I mean that literally. Sixteen (seventeen, if you count the tech exec) male competitors to five females (six if you count the author). Then, unfortunately, there is the fact that in competitive speeches or even in every-day conversations, “women are regularly interrupted, talked over, misheard or misperceived when they speak, research indicates….The reasons for these disruptions are varied, and include pitch and other vocal characteristics, word choice, and inherent social and cultural biases.”

Women’s voices are naturally higher in pitch than men’s and the lower male pitch often is characterized by many listeners as authoritative. A major political exception, in my view, is Senator Bernie Sanders whose voice has a screeching quality at times, especially when he begins ranting and waving his arms and his grey mane flies all over his head.

Apparently, Senators Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar are well aware of that kind of bias against women’s voices; they express themselves in low, calm, authoritative tones, as for example Hariss’ prosecutorial questions for U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s testimony before Congress. Her voice was quietly steely, and she managed to fluster Barr, who has shown himself to be Trump’s attorney rather than the U.S. AG. I wish I could say the same for Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her intelligent reasoning and smart policies get lost, in my humble opinion, because she is so intense in her deliveries that she appears phony. As for the other women in the race for the Dem nomination—Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Tulsi Gabbard—they show little ability to take on a misogynist and bully like Trump.

And that’s the bottom line: the nominee HAS TO DEFEAT TRUMP and all those sycophants in his administration.

MOM WAS NOT HER REAL NAME

 

bouquet from MartyMom Is Not My Real Name, says a button magnet once attached to my refrigerator. Often when I saw that saying, I thought of my own mom. I still do.

Lots of people called her “mom.” But her given name was Beatrice or Bea, who early in her life, tried to express her creative spirit in paintings. She wanted to attend the Art Institute in Chicago for training. But her father would have none of that! Girls didn’t need to be doing such silly things and it probably was a “sinful” undertaking. Besides, all hands were needed on the farm.

Mom’s creativity was channeled in other ways, appearing in such practical skills as cooking, baking, sewing, quilting, embroidering, and “saving for a rainy day.”  Saving was a passion with mom, and today’s environmentalists can seldom top her efforts. She saved egg shells to be buried in the garden to enrich the soil. Egg cartons were saved for someone to reuse. Slivers of soap could be melted down, reformed, and reused.  Glass jars and bottles were saved for preserving: tomatoes, pickles, peaches, apricots, grape juice, tomato juice, jellies.

Anyone need a rubber band? You were bound to find one on the broom closet door knob. Mom saved hundreds of scraps of cloth that might be used for a quilt or for patching clothes. Thin or ripped bed sheets were patched with flour or sugar sack material. One infamous sheet that I recall had at least six such patches. Worn blankets were sewn together to create a new-used bed covering.

Every bit of paper (including envelopes) with a blank side was saved for writing on again. Greeting cards, birth and death announcements, shower and wedding invitations, letters, and countless other written communications were saved to reread dozens of times. Mementos and photographs from all types of events were never thrown away. Neither were paper bags, string, pencil stubs, and countless other everyday items that someone might be able to reuse someday.

On Sundays and holidays, sharing meals was a special event. Guests also came for such occasions as showers, graduations, birthdays, and quilting bees. In my mind, I can still see the quilting frame with its white cloth and colorful pieces of  material stretched nearly across the living room for days on end, as the ladies carefully worked their teeny-tiny stitches—and they’d better be teeny-tiny stitches or a quilter might find herself shunned by the other skillful needle-and-thimble contortionists. My brother and I played with blocks and other toys under that quilted “big top”—a cozy retreat.

I think of Mom with snapshots:

  • hemming skirts and dresses and fitting my brother with pants and suits she made on her trusty Singer;
  • pouring boiling water over lemons and honey to soothe our sore throats;
  • showing me how to iron men’s shirts the “professional” and “efficient” way; i
  • insisting that Saturday was not for lolling around in bed—there were household chores to do;
  • cajoling, prodding everyone to get ready for church on Sunday morning.
  • Mom dressing for some event, always meticulous with her hair, hat, stylish dress and shoes—and gloves. Don’t forget the gloves, a pair for every occasion.
  • Mom fussing, planning, organizing, and preparing for weddings, births, funerals, charity events, family gatherings….

Mom was one of her names. So was Beatrice, Bea, Aunt BB, Sister Bea…

Mom died at the age of 97.

Peace to thee, the preacher said.

 

“BE BEST”?

Melania Trump’s recent first-year celebration of her campaign for children is a big mystery to a lot of people. She claims to be advocating for children’s “social, emotional, and physical health” and their “wellbeing.” She has said early in her campaign, “I will make every effort to be best at championing the many successful well-being programs in existence today.”

Sounds great, but what does “wellbeing” mean and what are well-being programs? What does she do to bring about “Be Best” (a phrase that hangs in the air with no place to land)? It’s like the old writing maxim: Who. What. When. Where. Who is the best at what? When is someone the best that she or he can be? Where do children display their best behavior/skills/knowledge/civility/etc. etc?  It’s as if kids are supposed to take part in a contest to see who is the best at something or other.

In short, Mrs. Trump’s campaign is embarrassing if not blatantly hypocritical. She should be counseling her husband who has little regard for children’s well-being or anyone else’s for that matter. Donald J. Trump stands aside while his wife talks, his very presence making a mockery of his wife’s words.  He is the guy who ordered the caging of immigrant children whose parents were seeking asylum; he is a known bully, as childish as the schoolyard tormentor; he is a master at lying–more than 10,000 times since taking office; he is a wannabe king who insults, threatens, disparages, and fires people who disagree with him; he is a man who would be indicted for obstruction of justice if he were not in the presidential office, according to at least 700 former federal prosecutors who have signed a letter asserting Trump’s criminal behavior.

So, Melania Trump, how do you explain “Be Best” to your husband? Lots of people would like an answer—a truthful answer.