The “force of personality” paradigm: politics


and this article:

There is no more sacred room for military officers than 2E924 of the Pentagon, a windowless and secure vault where the Joint Chiefs of Staff meet regularly to wrestle with classified matters. Its more common name is “the Tank.” The Tank resembles a small corporate boardroom, with a gleaming golden oak table, leather swivel armchairs and other mid-century stylings. Inside its walls, flag officers observe a reverence and decorum for the wrenching decisions that have been made there.

Hanging prominently on one of the walls is The Peacemakers, a painting that depicts an 1865 Civil War strategy session with President Abraham Lincoln and his three service chiefs — Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, and Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter. One hundred fifty-​­two years after Lincoln hatched plans to preserve the Union, President Trump’s advisers staged an intervention inside the Tank to try to preserve the world order. […]

Before they could debate the Iran deal, Trump erupted to revive another frequent complaint: the war in Afghanistan, which was now America’s longest war. He demanded an explanation for why the United States hadn’t won in Afghanistan yet, now 16 years after the nation began fighting there in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trump unleashed his disdain, calling Afghanistan a “loser war.” That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military leaders at the table but also the men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief’s commands, and here he was calling the war they had been fighting a loser war.

“You’re all losers,” Trump said. “You don’t know how to win anymore.”

Trump questioned why the United States couldn’t get some oil as payment for the troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. “We spent $7 trillion; they’re ripping us off,” Trump boomed. “Where is the f—ing oil?” […]

Trump by now was in one of his rages. He was so angry that he wasn’t taking many breaths. All morning, he had been coarse and cavalier, but the next several things he bellowed went beyond that description. They stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now.

“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.

Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

For a president known for verbiage he euphemistically called “locker room talk,” this was the gravest insult he could have delivered to these people, in this sacred space. The flag officers in the room were shocked. Some staff began looking down at their papers, rearranging folders, almost wishing themselves out of the room. A few considered walking out. They tried not to reveal their revulsion on their faces, but questions raced through their minds. “How does the commander in chief say that?” one thought. “What would our worst adversaries think if they knew he said this?”

That sure reminded me of this:

(click the closed captions for the subtitles) Of course, Hitler actually served and fought in battle…though IN NO WAY do I compare Trump to Hitler in terms of pure evil..there is no comparison in that regard.
I am talking about his incompetent rant upbraiding competent experts.

But…one Trump supporter appeared to say that these Generals were too full of themselves and needed to be taken down a notch; he called it a “bump back to reality” (as if Trump has a grasp on reality).

Trump supporters aren’t the only ones however. As a liberal, my social media accounts have been flooded for praise of a noisy kid (the climate change girl) that liberal adults insist on paying attention to. And there is the attention paid to Rep Ocasio-Cortez..who frankly hasn’t done a darn thing besides attracting a lot of attention. and of course, some liberal parents just gush over their “activist” kids who..well, haven’t done much either but have made a lot of noise “speaking truth to power” (psst: you have to know and understand “truth” in order to be able to speak it..there is a difference between “speaking your mind” and “speaking the truth’; the latter requires you to know what you are talking about)

I suppose it is human nature, but I am sick of it.

On another note: Trump has bad job approval numbers, but it might be worse than shown, as Republicans rate other Republicans higher than him. Contrast that with the Democrats who approve of Obama but also rated him favorably compared to other Democrats.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t be reelected; he just has to win just enough votes in the key swing states and I have no confidence in our crop of Democratic candidates.


Weights only: rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10: decent..nice set (more rest than normal)
goblet squats: sets of 6: 2 with 25, 1 with 50, 1 with 60, 1 with 70 (touch butt to the bench with the 70).
I was mindful of the knees and worked to keep them spread..

bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (kept the hips touching)
incline press: 6 x 150
decline press: 10 x 165

clean and press: 8 x 100, 8 x 95 (parallel with the shoulders arms
dumbbell: 10 x 45 (2 sets)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
barbell squats: played with the leg positioning and foot positioning; some knee pain (hips not back enough?)
5 x 45, 5 x 75 ..a couple of sumo reps with the bar

This all took a while; I need to build inner thigh strength so I can do a wider angle sumo type squat, or just get that butt back.
Weight: 196

The journey continues. I do not know where it will lead but I am reasonably sure it won’t lead anywhere profound.