The Personality of the President

March 17, 2017

In the first of these commentaries, I quoted New York Times’ columnist David Brooks’s assessment of Trump’s qualifications to be president. He wrote that Mr. Trump was: …professionally unprepared, intellectually ill-informed, morally compromised, and temperamentally unfit. Now forty days into the Trump presidency, I want to revisit the subject of the personality of the president, with […]

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The Ides of Trump

March 4, 2017

A brief observation about the address to Congress. But then, something each can do. Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress this week was a great relief to his supporters in the Republican Party because he sounded “presidential,” meaning that he had pretty much stayed on the script. And he had demonstrated his skill […]

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Don’t Laugh

February 27, 2017
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Both Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Stockholm have had the experience of living through a terrifying event in the “alternative facts” universe of Donald Trump. Both were victims of attacks perpetrated by Muslim immigrants. Bowling Green’s was a “massacre,” and Stockholm’s was less specific, but happened “last night,” said Trump in a campaign-style speech on February […]

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Fear is the Thing

February 13, 2017
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I regret that this article is so long, but it seems important. Like so many others, my response to Trump’s executive order closing the borders to persons from certain Muslim countries, whether refugees, vetted and holding visas, or those who were already legal residents, was to the human aspects of it, the contempt for fairness, […]

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Who Are These People?

February 9, 2017
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The news cycle in the Trump era passes over us in disorienting gusts. Items that stirred outrage or bewilderment even a week ago are left behind, swept away, like pages of a discarded newspaper; last week’s news becomes just so much litter. Look at what’s next! In the Trump world of attention-getting absurdities, of puerile […]

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Who is This Man?

February 3, 2017

I had thought to take short rest from this. The news cycle had shifted the Supreme Court nomination, an issue that is predictable and so widely covered that I will let it go. But an item in yesterday’s Washington Post, front page, caught my attention. Trump, the Post reported, had had, on 28th January, an […]

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Judge Blocks Trump’s Order on Refugees

January 29, 2017

Judge Blocks Trump’s Order on Refugees is the lead story in The New York Times of January 28. It is an in depth and on-the-ground look at the consequences of Trump’s January 27 executive order barring people from certain specifically-named Muslim countries from entering the United States. The story, attached here as a live link, […]

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Day 5 of the Trump Presidency

January 25, 2017
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Democracy has tripped on itself; the people have been fooled; and the American Republic, that great experiment, is at risk. The Trump era begins. What can one do? Oppose, refuse, resist: it is hard to know which word best captures what has now become necessary. Perhaps the best thing, or the only thing, is to […]

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Paris: Irritations and Pleasures

December 10, 2013

On my first day back in the city after a spell in the US, I needed to take care of some banking business. French banking is bizarrely awkward. The place is over-banked, a bank on every corner it seems, but one cannot go to just any branch of your bank and, with the right account […]

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American Health Care vs French Healthcare 3

November 29, 2013

AMERICA HEALTH CARE FOLLIES With my finger tip, I could feel something on my back,  but I couldn’t see it. Since I had been out in the garden, in an area of New England where Lyme Disease is an issue, I thought that might be a tick. I had no friends around, so went to […]

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