I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
August 14, 2016 - 12:05 p.m.
I didn't leave the Island last night. I left the building just to get ice cream. I only left the top floor of the duplex to eat. I spent most of the day on the couch on my computer. That does not make for exciting reading. The ice cream was very good, I had a root beer float. I didn't even cook dinner, I had a peanut butter sandwich. Today I get off the Island even if I melt in the process. If anyone wants to meet for dinner in Manhattan or even Brooklyn let me know.
I watched the Olympics. I love the Olympics. I need to watch it more than in prime time. It's on all day, just not on NBC. I have been watching mainly on my computer, not the big screen TV. This way I can stay upstairs. I'd be watching now except that I'm writing and that makes it tough. This is the only time having it a separate TV makes a difference.
I've been watching swimming and track & field. Those are the kinds of events I like best, the Olympic motto is "Faster, Higher, Stronger." That's what those events are about. There's no judging and no complicated rules. My least favorite are things like gymnastics which is like judging art, far more subjective. I can't tell who won just by looking. Many of the field events like the shot put are great but it's not head to head competition. You don’t' know the result till everyone's done and you look at a board. You can't beat a race. The first to cross the line or touch the wall wins. There have been some great races, some decided by a hundredth of a second, a three-way tie for silver, and some dominant performances. I found myself cheering Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps. I forgot her name but the smile on the Jamaican woman that one the 200m dash was priceless.
Now to turn to something far less pleasant, Donald Trump. No I'm not going to go on and on about how terrible he is; it’s preaching to the choir. What I want to discuss was how just about everyone was wrong about him but in another way everyone was right. When he announced his candidacy most people did not take him seriously. They said, "Too many people would never accept someone so unqualified and filled with hate for him to get elected." I was one of those people. He did well early in the primaries and we said, "That's just name recognition and he'll fade." But he didn't fade. He easily won the Republican nomination. There were also those that surprised at all. They saw his appeal to a broad swathe of the electorate. They thought he'd win the election. But now it's looking pretty clear that he won't. He had the ceiling that the naysayers said but it was far higher than we thought.
Trump looked poised to take the lead in the general election right after the GOP convention but then he started cratering. A big part was the Democratic Convention bounce and the acceptance of Hillary by Bernie supporters; 90% now support Hillary. But it wasn't just more people being for Hillary but more being against Trump. Yes, there were a string of hateful gaffs on his part like attacking a Gold Star family. But he's been doing those kinds of things from the start. Hell, he opened his campaign by calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists. The more he said things like that the more it helped him in the primaries. And that's the thing, it was the primaries. The people that appealed to were voting for the GOP candidate no matter who it was. Yes, they might be more excited about Trump than Romney but they were never going to vote for a Democrat. So he hit his wall. But why did he do so well in polls right after the convention? Because as hard as it is to relate to most people weren't paying attention to the election before then. All the other stuff that we think of as dominating the news was going right past them. To them these statements by Trump are a revelation. They are learning something new about him. Most people are simply not engaged in politics till the election nears. It's just like most people don't follow swimming or gymnastics till the Olympics every four years.
Then there are the Republicans that can't face the reality that Trump is their candidate. They kept hoping something would stop him or that he'd transform and become presidential. He didn't. They are starting to realize that they can't live with him as president, perhaps in the literal sense. Of course they have so demonized Hillary over the years they can't accept her either. Some will cross over and vote for her. Others will stay home or vote for a third party or a write in. Before it looked like it would be the Democrats defecting, now it's the Republicans.
Of course there's a long time to the elections and I could be wrong. FiveThirtyEight dot Com gives Trump a 12.2% chance of winning. I could be linking to this in November and eating crow and looking to move to Canada. But I think not. The more people see Trump the less they like him. My money is on a landslide. 538 says there's a 35.6% chance of that so it's not much of a longshot.
One thing that has made me very happy is that one of my vitriolic Hillary hating friends has come around. He's gone from attacking her and saying she can't win to supporting her.
OK now to eat. I never had my bacon and eggs yesterday as I got distracted while cooking and starting making a breakfast sandwich. So that's today's menu. When I'm out today remind me to buy shredded cheese; somebody threw mine out and I can't have an omelet till I get more.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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