January 18, 2020

Back from a week-long trip to Vancouver, BC for work and was never so happy to see the palm trees and swimming pool of my back yard when I came in late on Friday night. The trip to Vancouver via Seattle wasn’t so bad, but the trip back was everything one hates about travel in winter with its endless delays and airplane cabins filled with coughing, sneezing passengers. I didn’t get my flu shot this year – a lot of good it did me last year! – so maybe I’ll be sick in five days’ time.

The weather in Vancouver sucked – the folks there can’t remember a stretch of snow, ice, and cold like the one they had this year. There are a lot of folks out there who think Vancouver some kind of exotic place (and I have little doubt it’s lovely in the summer), but all the high-rise apartments being built, the houses still with their Christmas lights up, the unplowed streets, and the generally unkept looks of some really nice houses (we were in both Richmond and Metrotown Burnaby) gave it a kind of sad look shrouded in the ice, fog, and snow. All I could think of was Moscow or some place in Siberia. Of course, there’s a large Asian population there, and going out at night we found no shortage of drop-dead gorgeous Asian chicks (I’d love to be the personnel manager at the Cactus Club Café), which helped defrost our frozen-open eyes a bit.

(A recommendation if you’re ever up in that area: the Louisiana Hot Sauce wings and the French fries at the CCC were the best I ever tasted. I tried to get this drop-dead Asian bartender with blond hair – a lethal combination if there ever was one in The Great White Shank’s view – to make a Hemingway daiquiri but it was hopeless. She did end up making a decent mojito, however, but watching her mull the lime and the mint together was as painful a sight to these purist eyes as anything I could imagine – she might as well have been churning butter!)

Seem to recall my prediction that Red Sox manager Alex Cora wouldn’t last until Memorial Day, but I was still surprised to find his job a victim as a result of his presence in both the Houston Astros AND the Boston Red Sox sign-stealing scandal which threatens to supercede all the usual Hot Stove League and Hall of Fame inductee offseason chatter. I don’t really know what to make of the whole sign-stealing thing – everyone in every sport is always looking for ways to gain an edge on the opposition, so what else is new. But maybe there are some lines you really can’t cross, I dunno.

…and while on the subject of Alex Cora, I seem to remember him declining his White House visit because of comments President Trump made about the Puerto Rico government and its role in the Hurricane Maria relief. Seems that the President was right after all. I won’t wait for an apology from Cora – he’s too busy checking out the employment ads looking for someone adept at cheating in sports.

…and while on the subject of baseball, F**K the elitist a**holes (and the Boston Globe‘s Dan Shaughnessy is the king of all of them) who take into consideration the off-field exploits of those on the ballot for Hall of Fame induction. These clowns wouldn’t vote Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth into the HOF if their likes were on the ballot these days because their personal lives weren’t as perfect or upstanding as theirs. Curt Schilling belongs in the Hall of Fame. PERIOD.

Somewhere between Calgary (where it was -12 at takeoff) and Phoenix this song popped into my mind and now I can’t get it outta there. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily – after all, it remains one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac tunes.

If there is such a thing in today’s online media as a “must-read article”, this is the one. Like him or hate him, there is little doubt that Donald Trump will go down in history as transformative a president as Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR were in their times. A couple of excerpts:

Donald Trump is a world-historical figure. He is not merely a part of history; he is an agent warping it with his own gravity. His ideas and actions represent a firm break from the prevailing paradigms of the past. His is an original voice arguing aggressively against the status quo. If everything about this moment feels different, that’s because it is. We are all witnesses to history’s play, but few generations see a world-historical figure ascend to its stage.

The media are blind to the moment, but future historians will see. Almost everything in the public sphere is now defined in relation to Donald Trump.

Why? Because Trump is single-handedly turning on its head everything the American public has been taught (I would argue, lectured) about American government and the role the media has played in supporting its role and growth over the past sixty years:

He stood on the dais during his inauguration and practically said, “See all these Republicans and Democrats and their great plans for our country? I’m going to destroy them all and burn down most of what they’ve built since World War II.” No wonder both sides joined hands with the Deep State and attempted to do by coup what Hillary could not. Winning the American presidency is one thing, but shining a bright light on what the American government has become is something else entirely.

Consider how many powerful ideas Donald Trump has cast into the national consciousness. He has exposed both major parties as socialist globalist cults more concerned with government health care and foreign nation-building than a policy for American freedom. He has exposed how free trade can never be free when based on slave labor. He has exposed how the silent destruction of towns across the Midwest came not from China’s comparative advantage, but from American companies’ use of slavery by proxy. He has redirected investment away from Wall Street and toward Main Street for the first time in over thirty years and has unleashed three decades’ worth of pent up entrepreneurial energy in the very towns long deemed dead. He has questioned how the federal government can have any legitimacy if it fails at enforcing its very own immigration laws.

Not one Nobel laureate imagined this American renaissance of GDP and stock market surge, record-low unemployment, wage growth, and low inflation in one bubbling cauldron. It took a change agent. Not one foreign policy mandarin suggested unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of the American oil man in order to destroy our enemies’ power over us permanently. It took a change agent. Not one State Department official questioned why the United States was still subsidizing Europe’s generous socialist welfare system seventy years after WWII. It took a change agent. Nobody wondered why we were enriching China at our own expense and preparing for a world where a communist dictator would lead. It took Donald Trump.

Because of the technology of the day and all the social media, we are witnessing first-hand history being made on a daily basis, and it is being made by someone who, perhaps more than anyone since Theodore Roosevelt, is an unabashed “American President”.

The world has noticed. It is Donald Trump to whom Nigerian Christians turn for survival from Islamic terror. It is Donald Trump who has strengthened Israel by keeping promises his predecessors lacked the fortitude to see through. It is Donald Trump whose name is often whispered by freedom-fighters in Venezuela, whose American flag is respected by regime protesters in Iran, and whose image is waved by thousands demanding freedom in Hong Kong. Nobody clamoring for freedom is waving pictures of Angela Merkel in the air, but in Hong Kong and Taiwan, a photoshopped image of Donald Trump as Rocky Balboa is easy to find. At a time when the German chancellor argues for limiting free expression, those people most desperate to escape China’s yoke see the American president as the only fighter who might help set them free. He is our American president, but he belongs to the world now, too.

Because he is actively working to destroy entrenched ideas and institutions, his opposition is clear-eyed and equally aggressive. Rather than the traditional political tug-of-war that pits adverse interests against each other without significant movement toward any direction, President Trump as a world-historical driver of change is engaging in pitched battle with winner-takes-all stakes.

Whether he ultimately succeeds in shifting various equilibriums is irrelevant to his role in history. In victory or defeat, he represents a firm marker against which past and future events will be viewed. What his fiercest adversaries are only now realizing is that Trump has shifted the trajectory of history permanently. He is not operating on their terms; they are all actors in the Trump Era.

Read the whole thing for the context in which it is written. You won’t be sorry.

Mark my words: give them both three years and they’ll come crawling back to the royalty. Prince Harry is no King Edward VIII and Meghan Markle (does anyone out there really think she’s attractive?) is no Wallace Simpson. My late and beloved Auntie Marge would be horrified!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:45 | Comments Off on Weekending
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