Monday, May 15, 2017

How can Americans support Trump? How can they smoke?

Femme a l'orchidee, by Edgard Maxence
     Smoking is wonderful. That’s why people do it. It’s one of life’s joys. You pause from grinding routine, slip away to some quiet spot, tuck your favorite brand between your lips, spark fire, and inhale a big soothing lungful of your friend, nicotine. Ahhhh. Relaxation. The tightened bolt in your head loosens, anxiety ratchets down, and your brain squeezes out a single drop of pleasure.
     Smoking is vile. An addiction that will kill you. Cancer, emphysema, heart disease. Awful deaths. Half a million Americans a year die from smoking. Smoking is expensive. It makes you stink.
     Smokers, it is safe to say, endorse the first paragraph; non-smokers, the second.
     A phenomenon I call “framing” — you portion off the reality you prefer, the one that resonates with your life, and gaze fixedly at that.
     I mention framing a lot to my aghast friends, who can’t understand how anyone can support Donald Trump. They considered him a liar, bully and charlatan the day he was elected, and it’s only gotten worse. Trump fired FBI director James Comey last week, at first claiming it was because he bungled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails then admitting he didn’t like Comey investigating how the Russians influenced the campaign.
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15 comments:

  1. I think many (most?) of the 38% of the population who still support Trump are those who 1) are happy anyone beat the Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton; 2) like him because he wants to stop illegal immigration from Mexico; they don't seem to care about those who are here illegally from Europe and Asia; 3) he gives hateful people permission to be hateful - you know, the whole polical correctness thing, and 4) some # of them are those who worship celebrity. He gives them permission to hate and ridicule women, African Americans, those with disabilities, the poor. He can do anything he wants, and they just don't care and probably never will.

    If he has 38% approval now, and got, what, 47-48% of the vote, some are starting to reconsider.

    Obviously, if Hillary (or any Dem) won, and did 10% of what Trump has done, and behaved like a petulant 12-year old, the Republicans would move faster than a speeding bullet to start impeachment proceedings. The only reason the Republicans haven't is because they will lose the low-information, first-time voters who put him in office.

    On the other hand, Brownback has made a mess in Kansas and they put him back in office, so there's that.

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  2. I began to quit smoking Nov. 1, 2016. When I woke up on the 9th, I bought a pack. It's been a very difficult addiction to shake and I'm still battling it. I know the horrors it may be causing me. However, I despise the Swamp Thing with every fiber of my being, and have for 20 years. I can't shake the anger and depression he has caused. As a recovering alcoholic, I would think you have a small understanding of my addiction.

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    1. What makes you think I don't? It is, as I said, a metaphor. Not every smoker recognizes there is a problem or is trying to quit.

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  3. @Maida- have you tried a nicotine patch prescription or such? I understand it works for some.

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  4. Interesting topic touching on the Russian Conspiracy. When people say Russians hacked the election, does that mean they altered the election results for any precinct, county, or State? The idea is pretty much as inane as Trump yammering about the Democrats engaged in massive voter fraud. Most likely they unilaterally determined Hillary as President would be a strong leader, a worst case scenario. That is she would be the one most capable of organizing the West, not allow them a free hand in advancing their corrupt policies, and make them answer for their actions in places like Ukraine and Syria. The Russians managed to gain access to Podesta's and a DNC email account with a simple phishing scam. They copied the emails and posted them to Wikileaks. No conspiracy needed, it's improbable bordering on comical that they contacted the Trump campaign and asked for permission to carry out their plan. If it actually influenced the election, the contents of those emails probably had the most impact on some Sander's supporters. Those who read the emails and were disgusted by the raw deal Bernie received from the DNC, and either didn't vote, or voted for Trump in spite, or voted for Clinton anyway. I'm unaware of any survey conducted among Sander supporters that would confirm what they were thinking.
    So we have Michael Flynn, a bad apple the pragmatist in me doesn't mind seeing gone one iota. The mechanism of that removal is a bit troubling. We have had assurances from the last two Administrations that our conversations are protected and require a FISA Court ruling for government access. It seems some partisan bureaucrat realized what the transcript meant, and released it to the New York Times. Some rule of law, Edward Snowden may be have been right.
    Maida, you may wish to go with e-cigarettes. They deliver nicotine without the associated carcinogens.

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    1. You're analysis has a problem, Bernie. If coordination with the Trump campaign is so ludicrous, then why all the meetings that have already been established with various staff members? And why does Trump so mind an investigation?

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    2. The Russians have a long history of interfering in the internal politics of foreign nations. I'll stand by the first part of my analysis unless someone can refute it more clearly. We are in compete agreement with the antics of Flynn and his ilk. They failed to disclose their Russian financial interests and political connections when hired, and who knows actually they did, and Trump didn't care. Trump is making a fool of himself by his botched effort to run cover for them, dancing ever closer to earn articles of impeachment. As an aside, James Comey displayed an abundance of integrity in his segment on 60 Minutes last night.

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    3. I almost deleted my above comment out of embarrassment for the "you're." But such mistakes are common and the result of whipping out a comment too quickly. I do know the difference. Own the sin.

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  5. And why the totally inane excuses for the firing? Which, I suppose to Trump's credit, even he couldn't stomach at last.

    john

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  6. Why the picture of the beautiful boy? (I think.)

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    1. Did see that. Interesting picture, though. Did think that women might not like to be painted while holding a cigarette.

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  7. Old joke about "framing." The oldest tailor in Boston retires. His fellow Tailor's Guild members finance a trip to Rome and the Archbishop arranges an audience with the Pope. When he returns and attends a Guild meeting they ask him what His Holiness was like. "A 43 regular, he says."

    On smoking, its a shame that it took four centuries and the ministrations of science for public opinion to heed the advice of James the First of England (the Sixth of Scotland.)

    "Have you not reason to be ashamed, and to forbeare this filthie noveltie...A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the Nose, harmful to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless."

    Tom

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  8. My metaphor would be different. Not smoking, but the addiction to alcohol and sometimes associated violent tendencies. No matter the harm to family, to household stability, he is forgiven and tolerated, even excused as if the family (or country) deserves this punishment. He does not recognize his own faults and weakness, yet follows the high he gets from the drinking (adulation) he believes is central to his life.

    I'm not criticizing Neil. I speak from my own personal experience with my father in my youth.

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  9. Paul Krugman is correct. Most Trump voters will not admit they made a mistake. He says "One basic principle I’ve learned in my years at The Times is that almost nobody ever admits being wrong about anything — and the wronger they were, the less willing they are to concede error."

    For Paul Krugman's complete article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/opinion/donald-trump-on-the-power-of-being-awful.html

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