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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/1/20

Regarding the 45 Seconds of the "Debate" I Did Watch

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I really wasn't planning on watching the "debate" at all. I'm generally happier being in control of such things rather than their being in control of me. So, as I usually do in these matters, I check the "morning-after" reviews, and if so compelled, catch a peak of snippets of the actual event on YouTube or some other Internet site.

But, I awoke from my little nappy at around 9:30 PM last night. So, I made my way to my computer to see how things were going. The MSM, at this point was already freaking out about the "chaos". So, I took the mute off the little live stream video one of the sites had going, and took a peak in.

What struck me hard and almost viscerally was just how miserable Trump looked. He really seemed like a homeless person who had been taken off the streets and plopped next to someone on a TV debate stage. His face was fat and swollen and seemed to be pulsating red, with as painful, hurt and angry an expression as I've ever seen on a "grown man". Sonny Liston coming off the ropes after taking a pummeling from Mohammed Ali couldn't hold a candle to the expression on our President's face. I then realized the simple fact of the matter was that Donald Trump, who puts "winning" above everything was actually living out his own worst nightmare: he was losing (big-time, at the moment...) globally, i.e. in front of the entire world. His losing, was the #1 news story, internationally, and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. And the person responsible for his losing, was now standing ten feet away from him on a stage, on live television.

Strategies??? The MSM pundits were talking strategies? Donald Trump had calmly and reasonably thought his performance last night through prior to coming, and what we were witnessing was a thoroughly calculated, game of 3-D chess, by this giant of the world stage???

I don't think so.

He was more like a mortally wounded wolf or bear coming face to face with the cause of its unbearable suffering.

And perhaps a close second to Trump's world class personal humiliation, I imagine was his growing realization that if he actually does lose this thing in November, it would be just a matter of weeks before he is escorted out of the White House on January 21, 2021, and placed under house arrest (at best) for the dozens of legal actions against him, which he couldn't be indicted for as long as he was President. Not the least of which could very well be treason.

So, I wasn't necessarily persuaded by what I would call the generally "objective" accounts of the "debate".

No, this was sheer high drama and political theatre at its most cutting.

And no matter what he does, at the moment, Trump can't stop the bleeding.

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A rapidly aging boy from NJ, with a somewhat radical political bent, and stubbornly persistent anger issues...

The above photo is not of me but of an Indian holy man named Sathya Sai Baba. He is pictured here (in a photo taken in the (more...)
 

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Steve Schneider

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I planned to watch the debate. But I could only take so much at a time.

I found it hard to keep watching because it began to feel like I was witnessing the Dueling Banjos scene from Deliverance.

I'll say this for Trump: he surely knows how to motivate a part of his base.

But my hunch is mental rape, abuse and cozy talk about Proud Boy types will turn off enough elderly voters and white women who live in the burbs to give Biden a win.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 10:58:55 AM

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Al Hirschfield

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Reply to Steve Schneider:   New Content

I didn't even get to the point of seeing the Dueling Banjos (love the analogy, though...). One look at The Donald's bloated puss and I was off and listening to "The Best of Carly Simon" on my iPad (you might be too young to remember...).

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 11:23:12 AM

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Remember "You're So Vain?"

Trump was just getting started when Carly Simon told us about a certain type of guy. But these words could apply to him, says my 62-year-old brain:

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht

Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and..

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 11:36:29 AM

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Al Hirschfield

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Reply to Steve Schneider:   New Content

Oh, I apparently misjudged you by several decades! You must be just very young at heart, then...

Did you know that song was a composite composition (?), (I seem to recall hearing way back when), written about Warren Beatty and Kris Kristofferson? It certainly seems to nail at least what was Warren's image at the time. But I don't quite see the Kristofferson in it (me not knowing either of them personally...). His image was more "Outlaws", and reading William Blake while riding his horse.

I think the song would have had to get a bit more sociopathic to account for Trump, though (methinks). Although Trump did at least give the impression of being just a garden variety narcissist way back then. Who could have known that this creature was somewhere hiding in there all along...

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 12:07:11 PM

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Didn't know it might be about Beatty and Kristofferson. I always heard she was singing about Hugh Hefner.

But you hit the mark on Trump giving the impression of being just a garden variety narcissist way back then, although he was always looking out for someone else to foot his bill.

In 1975, during my senior year of high school, I remember walking past a building that was being renovated next to Grand Central Station. It was Trump's first stab at making it in Manhattan, I think, and my aging brain remembers that he got lots of help from the city to make Manhattan great again. Some kind of tax help that made it cheap for him to create a hotel on the property.

Trump fed off the city during the time the Daily News headline warned that President Ford wanted NYC to "drop dead" and go bankrupt.

A young Trump always had a knack for getting other people to pay his way.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 3:25:32 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Steve Schneider:   New Content

I heard that the guy Carly was singing about was Nick Jagger!

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 6:16:00 PM

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He wants to engineer and oversee, a blood bath, at home and/or abroad (Iran): No doubt, his preference would be that both scenarios happen contemporaneously, to ensure his perpetuation in power and escape from accountability. The more blood, spilled the better for him. The monster is unleashed, and its cruel fangs, bared. So many of the citizenry are terrified!

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 3:00:36 PM

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Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

I share your fears.

Of course, we can only guess what Trump and his army will do if he says the Democrats rigged the election and stole it from him.

I also wonder: What will state legislators do? What will secretaries of state do? What will state and federal courts do? What will law-enforcement do if the president, even indirectly, stokes intimidation and violence?

I had trouble watching the debate; I'm so numb I'm not sure how much I watched and how much I saw later online or on MSNBC.

But my instincts tell me Trump is writing off some elderly voters and women who live in the suburbs. I hope enough of these people join a coalition to remove a dangerous man from office.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 3:30:15 PM

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Reply to Steve Schneider:   New Content

Thanks Steve. The world is on tenterhooks , unable to understand what has happened to democracy in the US. I hear that some Americans thought Trump acted like a crack head during the debate. Their words, not mine. Speaking of drugs; I listened to Glen Kirschner's podcast, and he pointed out that another group of people Trump alienated by his debate performance, are families who have to cope with an addicted relative. He was cruelly dismissive about Biden's son who is struggling with the problem.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 8:07:59 PM

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Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

It's interesting to me that people separated by an entire ocean are that sensitive to what goes on here. I think an awful lot of Americans are keenly motivated to leave this country just so they wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. A family member happened to be at a party with some hedge fund billionaire who was in the process of emigrating to New Zealand, and was paying a million dollars per person for each member of his family to immediately get citizenship papers. He said he had made his fortune by anticipating changes in the world and was convinced that it would get much worse here before it got better. But, he certainly also gave the impression that by leaving the country, he thought he would be leaving it behind. You seem to be saying that it actually doesn't work that way? Or, just the fact that the US has so much power and influence in the world that its being run by an unhinged maniac could pull everyone else down with it? Okay, maybe I just answered my own question...

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 8:24:37 PM

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Absolutely, the dollar is the reserve currency of the world. Also, several currencies are pegged to the dollar. The US was traditionally in principle, (maybe not always factually), a stabilising force in global politics. Ironically, the US waged wars in foreign countries, ostensibly to establish or shore-up democratic rule. There is a lot riding on this election.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 9:20:14 PM

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Hello Irene,

Thanks for referencing the Glen Kirschner observation about Trump disrespecting families of people dealing with addiction is interesting.

As I remember it, Trump and his NJ buddy Chris Christie made a big deal in the 2016 GOP primaries about wanting our government to do something for all the people suffering from a form of drug addiction that seemed to hit white folk in particular.

Jail and prison and tough sentences for certain types of addicts, Republicans seem to say, but understanding and compassion for poor white folk who fall ill to the newer flavor on the drug market.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 9:17:14 PM

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Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

Trump is a reflection of how sick this country has become. And how paralyzed.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 3:58:40 PM

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Typo: The more blood spilled, the better for him.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 4:09:35 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Yes, better safe than sorry, Irene...

5 EXPENSIVE TYPOS FROM HISTORY

You might not give commas much thought on a day-to-day basis. They're just punctuation. But what if we told you that one misplaced comma could cost your business millions of dollars? Strap in, then, and let us run you through five of the most expensive comma typos in history.

1. James Joyce's Unwanted Commas ($410,000)

James Joyce's novel Ulysses was famous for its experimental style, including deliberate errors such as passages of unpunctuated text. The problem is that those faced with transcribing his manuscripts sometimes 'corrected' Joyce's errors. In fact, one volunteer editor added hundreds of commas to a 40-page passage that was meant to be entirely comma free!

James Joyce may have been a literary visionary, but he was also a proofreader's nightmare.

These comma typos were reproduced in each edition of the book until the 1980s, when a new version was released with the commas removed and other deliberate errors restored. But this process cost around 300,000 USD, so you can see why hiring a good editor is worth the money!

2. Rogers Communications Inc. vs. Bell Aliant ($1,000,000)

Comma placement was part of a dispute between Rogers Communications and Bell Aliant worth over $1,000,000. The comma was in this passage:

Subject to the termination provisions of this Agreement, this Agreement shall be effective from the date it is made and shall continue in force for a period of five (5) years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five (5) year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.

Did you spot it? It's the comma before 'unless' that caused the problem. Bell Aliant took it to mean that the clause about terminating the contract applied to the initial five-year period, whereas Rogers Communications argued it only applied if the contract was renewed after this initial period.

In the end, they resolved the comma issue by checking the French version of the contract, which thankfully was free from controversial punctuation.

3. An Oxford Comma in Maine ($6,840,000)

Leaving an Oxford comma (i.e. a comma before the final item in a list) out of a contract cost a dairy company in Maine 5 million USD. This came after a dispute with its own drivers about overtime.

In particular, a clause in Maine's overtime law about exemptions from overtime included the phrase 'packing for shipment or distribution of'. The company said that 'distribution' was meant to be a separate item in this list. However, without a handy comma to make this clear, the drivers successfully argued that they were owed overtime and forced the company to settle.

4. The US Government vs. Fruit ($52,500,000)

Rather than a missing comma, an unwanted comma in US Tariff Act of 1872 cost the US Government 2 million USD (around 38.4 million USD in today's money). The issue arose because of a clause that exempted 'fruit plants' from import tariffs. Or that was the intention, at least.

However, someone added a comma between 'fruit' and 'plants'. And since fruit was expensive at the time, importers took advantage of this loophole until it was closed two years later. This meant that US taxpayers lost out on revenue, but they presumably gained in access to affordable bananas.

How much fruit could you buy for 38.4 million US dollars, though? Probably quite a lot.

5. Lockheed Martin vs. Inflation ($95,690,000)

Lockheed Martin are a multibillion-dollar global corporation. Nevertheless, they were worse off by 70 million USD after one comma typo in a contract.

The typo occurred in an equation used to adjust interest rates over time. This meant Lockheed's calculations didn't reflect the actual inflation rate, costing the company tens of millions of dollars. And if that isn't enough to make you look for comma typos in your own writing, we don't know what is.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 at 7:59:41 PM

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