Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mother, dearest

Parishioners at the Stornoway High Church on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland still remember the dignified blonde who came from America every summer.

She walked with a formal, erect posture, provoking whispers about how she’d picked up her “airs and graces” in New York, where she’d married a rich man.

But mostly they remember her speaking Gaelic as though she’d never left.

The woman, Mary Anne MacLeod, is the mother of Donald Trump, the spoiled rich kid turned President of the United States. And the contrast between her humble immigrant roots and the 1950s McMansion where she wound up is the key to understanding Trump’s deep insecurity.

MacLeod spent the first 17 years of her life in Tong, a fishing village on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, closer to Iceland than to London. Though her son was raised in a mansion of sorts in Queens, she grew up among impoverished islanders in a two-room rented cottage crammed with her and 10 siblings.

Most photos show a house that they moved into much later – after Mary finished the 8th grade and went to work full-time to pay her share (1/6th) of the rent.

On every other day of the week, MacLeod’s family worked hard, digging peat to burn, hauling fishing nets in the icy rain and farming whatever meager crops they grew in the rocky soil.

As a girl, MacLeod saw very few examples of how rich people lived. An English opium baron had purchased the entire island in the mid-19th century and built himself a turreted gray stone Victorian castle on a plot of land overlooking Stornoway.

The family’s church was on a street lined with handsome brick mansions belonging to the families of local merchants. To distinguish themselves from their impoverished and fish-smelling counterparts, that except for Sundays, residents of these mansions forbade the poor to even walk on their street. That ban included the MacLeod family, local residents say.

Poor islanders had been abused by the wealthy for years. In her grand-parents generation, the British expelled tens of thousands of Scottish peasants in order to empty the land for sport hunting and sheep. Thousands immigrated to North America. Those left behind clung to farming, fishing and speaking Gaelic. MacLeod did not hear English until she enrolled in school, which was ended after the 8th grade.

Another crisis pushed MacLeod to leave. When World War I ended, a winter shipwreck just yards from shore, killed 200 soldiers returning from the front, decimating the male population.

That shortage of men prompted her to join her older sisters in New York in 1929.

The exodus from Lewis was so dramatic, that the same month the 17-year-old sailed away on a steamer for New York, her local paper, the Stornoway Gazette editorialized: “Our straths and glens will soon be peopled only with middle-aged and elderly people.”

Six years after she arrived in New York, the blue-eyed youngest member of her family, met a blonde, mustachioed, first-generation German-American at a dance in Queens. They later married. Fred Trump was almost a nobody. He later became a home builder in suburban New York – financed by his mother, Elisabeth Trump.

His wife spent her adult years creating the pomp she’d only viewed from a window as a girl. Despite her lack of education and lowly roots, she liked to wear furs and be chauffeured in a Rolls Royce around plebeian Queens, New York.

In his book, Trump: Art of the Deal, Donald wrote about her passion for the trappings of wealth.

Her son Donald inherited her obsession with luxury—and his own insecurity about not being born to old money.

He built himself a miniature Versailles, his gold and marble triplex in Trump Tower—designed by another immigrant with queenly tastes, first wife Ivana Trump.

And because his mother left Scotland without a high school education, he has sneered at people with academic degrees. “The most important thing I learned at Wharton was not to be overly impressed by academic credentials,” Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal. “It didn’t take me long to realize that there was nothing particularly awesome or exceptional about my classmates…” In the same book, he worried Ivanka “looks down on him.”

But while MacLeod had airs and graces, she never turned her back on her roots. She returned to Tong, year after year, lapsing into Gaelic the minute she arrived. The islanders cite the Gaelic saying “The bird sings best in its nest.” Trump, though, never came with her. The people of Lewis were amused of their American son, Donald, when they first learned he was a reality-TV celebrity. But after he strong-armed mainland Scots near Aberdeen into land concessions for his “best golf course in the world,” and as his political career swerved into scandal, those in his mother’s hometown grew ashamed of him.

A Facebook page called Isle of Lewis Against Trump is decorated with a photograph of a Trump troll doll. “He is not proud of his mother’s humble beginnings,” said the novelist and poet Kevin MacNeil, who lives on the Isle of Lewis. “It is hard to understand how in a single generation the values of altruism, togetherness and sheer human decency were lost. Selflessness became selfishness. A supportive sense of community became a vain-glorious arrogance.”

Trump has claimed his mother came to America on a holiday and decided to stay in the big city, which causes islanders roll their eyes.

It’s just another Trumpian alternative fact—like his claim that his German-American father was actually Swedish.

Trump’s older sister used to accompany their mother to Lewis, but Donald visited Tong only once while he was in Scotland while inspecting work on his golf course in 2008.

Scottish journalists clocked his time on the island at 180 minutes, with just 97 seconds at the MacLeod cottage.

Beyond his golf course, Trump seems to have little use for his mother’s humble roots. His living relatives—second cousins mostly—have stopped talking to journalists since his election.

What would MacLeod make of her famous son now? “I think his mother would be horrified,” his cousins said.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Call it what it is!

SpyGate is deflection.

Face it! Trump is an assh*le.

His presidency is a sh*th*le!

His followers are worshiping a MORON.

I like it.

I like it a lot!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Some Hope for Democracy

Across the world, democratic norms are eroding. Symptoms include curbs on freedom of speech, declining trust in institutions, a drop in popularity of mainstream political parties and erosion of civil liberties.

The world's most democratic countries now include Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland and Switzerland.

European countries — such as Britain and Germany — round out the list of "full" democracies.

Only one country from the developing world, Uruguay, is represented.

Among the world's most authoritarian places are North Korea, Syria, Congo and Chad.

Spain suffered as a result of its attempt to stop Catalonia's independence referendum by shuttering polling stations, closing down websites and policing voters.

In Eastern Europe, most countries performed even worse on the democracy index than usual, thanks to the consolidation of strongmen under Trump and Putin.

"If 2016 was notable for the populist insurgency against mainstream political parties and politicians in the developed democracies of Europe and North America," they write, "2017 was defined by a backlash against populism."

Examples include: a grass-roots effort to reverse Brexit and growing opposition to Trump.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Democracy is in Danger!

Democracy is in danger around the world.

The annual Democracy Index tracks the health of the world's governments. The results for 2017 were depressing.

In 89 countries, democratic norms are worse than a year ago.

Just 4.5 percent of the world's residents live in functioning democracies, down from 8.9 percent in 2015.

That drop is primarily because of the United States.

In 2016, the Economist demoted the USA from a "full" to a "flawed" democracy, citing a "serious decline" in public trust.

In 2017, the United States retained the same miserable rank and score.

As the report's authors explain, President Trump’s presidency has only further polarized the country. Americans remain far apart on issues such as immigration and economic and environmental policy.

"The growing divisions between (and within) those who identify as Republicans and Democrats help to explain why the Trump administration can not govern, despite controlling both houses of Congress," they write.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


Trump's venomous rhetoric is part of an offensive against immigration that would make the United States resemble the ethnic diversity of the planet.

Trump wants to be king. Trump wants to be king of kings. Trump wants to be god.

Trump IS a neurotoxin!

The prison Trump is building is in the minds of his cult followers.

Trump is a turd. He is the turd of turds.

He is a turd on a tower of turds.

However, do not waste you time talking to Trump-bots. They are suffering from the effects of neurotoxicity.

Common symptoms of neurotoxicity include problems with memory, thinking, language, as well as personality changes numbness of compassion and unwavering support of Donald Trump.

In other news, the grandchildren fight over "their inheritance."

Another severe neurotoxin is found in RELIGIONS.

The grandchildren of the Mythical Abraham (Abi-Ur-Hamm = Hamm-Ur-Abi) fight on! Hamm was the "father" (abi) of the "city" (Ur) from which we get the word Urban. Jupiter was derived from Dios P'ter (heavenly father) which morphed into St. Peter. Myth upon myth upon myth.

Grandpa said I could have the west bank. NO! Grandpa said I could have the west bank.


Go take a quiz, or something.

The truth is found in silence.

Trump can avoid telling lies by drinking a nice warm cup of STFU!