Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Photo: Trump (left) and Alec Baldwin (right) from this MSN article about Trump dissing Baldwin.
Each of the following examples has a link to a page that has the YouTube video appropriate to each item. This is from a list from an article outlining The Washington Post's closing statement about Donald Trump's candidacy. The comments, of course, are mine. But click the link to see the YouTube videos. Seeing Trump mimic and mock a physically disabled reporter really has to be seen to be believed.
1. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the -----. You can do anything." October 2016
That's the infamous Access Hollywood tape. He called it "locker room talk," but as I've blogged before, it isn't. It's sexual assault talk. The laughter you hear in the tape is Billy Bush, formerly of NBC. He's getting a $10 million buyout from the network--which means that NBC would rather give him $10 million for free, than to have him work for them and earn it. If a network distances itself from Billy Bush, who only laughed and egged Trump on, shouldn't America distance itself from Trump, for free, simply by voting for somebody else?
By the way, having been in plenty of locker rooms--both as a former ballplayer and as an older guy--I can tell you with 1000% certainty that A) that isn't locker room talk, and B) guys who talk like that also think like that, and they do so all the time, not just in locker rooms.
2. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...They're bringing crime. They're rapists." June 16, 2015
If you believe this, you're as racist as Trump is. I don't know how else to say it. Besides bias, this shows a shocking lack of historical perspective. From the 1920s to the end of WW2, millions of European immigrants came to this country. Italians, Germans, French...millions. Assuming all of the Mexicans were criminals is like assuming all of the Italians were mafia figures or mobmen wannabes. They weren't. My grandfather wasn't. Your ancestors most likely weren't, either. Were a few of them? Of course. Trump's ancestors gave birth to someone who sexually assaulted women and somehow slithered his way around tax fraud--both federal crimes. So who's the criminal now?
And do you want a President who will obviously be biased towards Mexicans, women and plenty of other demographics? Do you want a biased President at all, towards anyone? If you do, vote Trump.
3. "I like people that weren't captured." July 18, 2015
This is Trump talking about John McCain, who was a prisoner-of-war for a number of years--and a popular figure in his own party. This is unforgivable. I didn't vote for McCain (Palin also had something to do with that), but I had no problem with him as a person--with what little I knew about him. He won points with me for telling a woman at his rally that Obama was not a terrorist, that he was a decent family man with whom he had political disagreements. That's class. Trump wouldn't have done that. He instigates such falsehoods and then blows them up. But you don't slander an American war veteran, especially one who was tortured for his country for many years. The lack of respect shown here proves he will have the same lack of respect for anybody. As we have seen...
By the way, Trump evaded the draft five times. And I like people who don't criticize war veterans for being captured.
4. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her, whatever." August 7, 2015.
This was the first warning shot before his full-front verbal assault on women. (The physical assaults apparently started over 30 years ago.) But, yeah, a candidate for President mocked a woman's period, and the entire world heard it. A woman he thought was against him. A foe. He didn't respond with a logical argument, or stats about something relevant, or even a witty comeback. Nope. Like a four year-old, he went right for the lowest denominator. I grew up with a mother and two sisters, and I can tell you I would've gotten my block knocked off if I'd ever disrespected a woman like that. This was the first hint for some of his complete disregard (and fear) of women in general.
5. "Thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down." November 21, 2015.
This was Trump saying that he somehow saw thousands of Muslims in a New Jersey city cheering on 9/11 as the buildings fell. This is a scary lie, because it says he believes that somehow every Muslim in America knew that the attack was on. (Similar to how racists used to think that every black person had a mysterious method of communication with every other black person during the Civil War and during slavery.) They didn't. And not every 9/11 attacker was Muslim. And blaming all Muslims for 9/11 is like blaming every Christian for each of The Crusades. Not logical. But worse, it's hate-mongering. And it's teaching that hate and bigotry are okay. And it's teaching that facts are irrelevant. The lunatic fringe will think, speak and believe lunacy, but the rest of America shouldn't.
Do we want a President who thinks these things? Do we want a President who Hates close to that red button?
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Four Good and Different Stories -- Book Review of The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century
Photo: from Random House's website, here.
Very entertaining collection of 14 stories that offer a different view of history, or a view of a history yet to come. Though I found 2 or 3 of them to be clunkers, the others are more than worth your while.
My preferred ones, in no particular order, are:
In "The Lucky Strike," the pilot of the Enola Gay does not drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Though the U.S. government uses his punishment to send a message, a new feeling of hope and peace arise, and the bomb never has to be dropped at all. This Kim Stanley Robinson tale is rightly popular in the genre, and constantly referenced.
Ward Moore's "Bring the Jubilee" is more a novella, but it reads as quickly as a short story. The historical change here is at the end, and almost an afterthought, as it takes up about 2% of the story time. Instead we get a very well-written and engrossing take on what America would be like today if the South had won the Civil War, but it doesn't bog itself down with politics and stereotypes. In our current political climate, this is a welcome change. Very well-constructed story with believable characters. This one is considered a masterpiece of the field.
"Dance Band on the Titanic" is an interesting little story that will stayed with me afterwards, more for the thoughts the story inspires than for the story itself. It's about a loner who works on a ferry that carries passengers and products over several time rifts, several alternate realities and possible some parallel universes. Throws it all in there. The core of it is a girl who commits suicide many times over, in the same way. But many times, because there are many of her in all of the alternate and parallel realities. But if he's able to talk her out of it, all of the "hers" will not do it, as well. Rather well carried out, but I laid on my bed last Saturday, ready to write a short story that I thought would be better. I stopped writing 6 hours later, and I found I had a new novel on my hands! That's how a lot of my ideas come, which is why writers say you should read a lot if you want to write. You'll see something you like, but you think could be better, and then you try to do it. I've never written in this genre before, and I was actually in the middle of two other novels when this one hit. But I'll finish this one first.
"The Death of Captain Future" is a really good short story. It's not alternate future fiction as I understand it, because it all takes place in the future, and there's no history or time change in it. A little confused about why it's in this collection, actually...But it's a good story that's more about heroism and courage (and spin) than anything else. The female character in it looks and talks and acts like a female character in one of my short stories, written months ago, long before I knew this story existed, that I'm also making into a novel. So I wasn't happy to see that...
These are my four favorites. A few others were good, but not worthy of review here, and, like I said, two of them I thought were clunkers. A couple others were...meh. One story was about Shakespeare hitching aboard a ship that lands in present-day Virginia. His crewmates get killed, but he's so entertaining that he's allowed to live. Because of his stagework, he's a good fighter with a pole, too. He writes Hamlet, but the tribe laughs at it...Meh.
In another one, time and history get severely screwed up, as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and Mozart and a general for Genghis Khan are all thrown together. Good story, actually, but really out there, which is the whole point of the story. I could've given this one more review time.
There's a long one, the last one, in which Hitler comes up with the bomb just before America does, and so there's a stalemate and Germany is allowed to move on. Hitler lives a lot longer, as does Goebbels, who tells the story. Hard to get through; difficult because both are so correctly reviled. Meh.
In another one, a good one, two Nazis stop at a cottage because they're lost. A witch / crone tells them their unfortunate future. One almost shoots her but thinks better of it. Popular story in the genre. I could've covered it more, but it's mostly allegorical, rather than a story. Still good, though.
Another good one, very short, is about a guy who realizes suddenly all of the "hims" that exist in all of the alternate and parallel realities, and it drives the story's "him" into suicide. Not all of the "hims," though. I'm torn about it. Interesting concept and understandable conclusion, but I still feel it was bungled. Good / meh.
But get this book to at least read the four I described above. Or find them somewhere and read them. Well worth it. Enjoy!
Monday, October 10, 2016
[By the way, is anyone else getting DONALD TRUMP WON THE DEBATE--VOTE HERE ads from his campaign, and then--right beneath it--seeing an article about how his wife is offended by his remarks, or about how women were aghast at his attempt at physically intimidating Hilary, or about how Paul Ryan (the leader of his own party) won't support him or campaign with him? I wish I could do a screen grab of that and just post that here. Anyway...]
Recent blogs about why you shouldn't vote for Trump are here, here and here. If you need more, here you go:
--Women really bother him. He really hates and fears them.
There's the tape with Billy Bush, of course. Won't go there. You've probably read it or heard it already.
But what's really scary about the tape isn't just that he said what's on it--which is bad enough. It's that he--
1. Refuses to apologize for it; and
2. Dismisses it as "locker room talk."
First, he refuses to apologize for it. This is incredible because--even if he doesn't mean it--it's the politically correct and politically appropriate thing to do. You know his daughter, who's very smart, and his wife, who's very embarrassed, told him to do so. You know Paul Ryan told him to. You know every Republican and every woman he knows told him to.
And he still didn't.
Which tells me that, in addition to the myriad of his mental health issues I've already gone over (Narcissism, misogyny, xenophobia, paranoia, denial, tunnel vision, hatred, fear, bullying, closedmindedness, delusional behavior, self-deluding, and sociopathic lying), we can now add Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Yes--he'll not do something, even if it's in his own selfish self-interest, simply because you told him to do it. If he's not the one to tell himself to do something, he ain't doing it. Even his daughter (who he should listen to), his wife and his political advisers have no power.
Secondly, his comments on that tape with Billy Bush are NOT "locker room talk." And it's disturbing that he thinks it is, and that he can so easily dismiss it as such.
Trust me: In high school, in college and while being a former bad ballplayer, I've been in my share of locker rooms, and I've heard lots of stupid guys say all sorts of bad things.
But not like this. Locker room talk involves lots of f-bombs, and maybe an inappropriate remark about someone's body part. (Not necessarily a woman's.) Maybe in a very immature way (especially in college, surprisingly) there would be a sophomoric reference to someone's sister or mother.
And, if Trump is referring to locker room talk in workout gyms...well, those often involve such riveting subject matter as "reliable babysitters," "Does anyone have some Tylenol?" and "You have a great chiropractor? Can I have his number?" But usually there's no talk at all. Guys are quickly changing up to go home or to go to work.
That's not what was in the tape. The tape was him bragging to (an incredibly stupid and social- climbing) Billy Bush about how he has fantasized about groping married women under the pretense of taking them furniture shopping.
Yes. Read that again.
Does that sound like "locker room talk" to you? It isn't. It's sexual assault talk.
By the way, Trump really means the locker rooms of CEOs and other priveleged, above-it-all rich white guys. Guys who've had too much to drink and who're basking in their own glory. Guys who feel trapped by their wives or girlfriends, who they might not even like. Those are the locker rooms Trump means. To be frank.
While we're on the subject of his attitude towards women--which is downright scary and insulting, and I can't understand why a single woman would vote for him--let's look at the way he was stalking and looming over Hilary Clinton during the second debate:
For my job, and just by knowing a lot of women and hearing their stories, I can tell you that this is a sociopath's way of intimidating, scaring and bullying women. Men who abuse women do this. But don't just take my word for it. I'll end this blog entry with words from women themselves, taken from the address below, which you can just click to see a short article: