That headline is ungrammatical but it perfectly illustrates the stupid decisions made daily by President Trump.
With a single Tweet, he recently demolished gay rights, gay marriage and transgender rights, reversing President Obama’s liberal policies.
Trump said transgender people should not serve in the military because they are “disruptive and a tremendous medical cost to the government.” (They are not.)
The decision grieved the military brass and the growing number of transgender supporters. Transgenders have served well in the military. As Gen. Joseph Dunford, military services chief, declared: “We will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect.”
Some governors, like Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, said they would defy the Trump dictate.
“Nevada has a long history of treating its military and veterans with the dignity and honor they deserve,” Sandoval noted.
The New York Times in an editorial rightly called Trump’s three single-day decisions cruel and inhuman.
Many Republicans in Congress can no longer support Trump. What Trump calls “a new breed of Republican politics.” Actually, it’s no-think politics.
TRUMP vs. HST
In 1947 President Harry Truman outlined the pillars of American foreign policy: alliances in Europe and Asia, commitment to international institutions, defense of human rights and the rule of law.
The nation is saddled today with a president who has overturned or undercut those wise global polices. Here are some of his worst decisions, policies and proposals:
1) He imposes sanctions on Russia, interferes in Russian affairs and quarrels with Russian President Putin.
2) He wants to increase military spending.
3) He threatens to dismantle the Iran accord.
4) He is determined to step up U.S. wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
5) He threatens nuclear war with North Korea.
The nation has never had such a warmongering president.
But Harry Truman had his critics too. His anti-communist rhetoric was denounced by many academics and intellectuals as crude, naïve and counterproductive.
George Kennan, one of the architects of Truman strategy, resigned because he was horrified by Truman militarism. Columnist Walter Lippmann, well-known pundit of the era, constantly rapped Truman’s Cold War fearmongering.
Overseas, Europeans shuddered at Truman’s harsh view of communism.
MEMORIES OF 1ST MUSICAL
The “South Pacific” musical triggers memories for me. I was a youngster living in Tabor Home for Children in Doylestown, Pa., 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia.
It was a Lutheran Church home for the homeless where I was indoctrinated with Lutheranism.
Prayer at every breakfast, lunch and dinner. I especially remember three sisters: Sr. Lena Beideck, benign and loving; Sr. Wilma Loehrig, silent and sinister; and tiny Sr. “Lou Gehrig” (her real name is buried in my diaries written long ago). Sister “Gehrig” was a sports-lover who played baseball with us kids, some of whom towered over her.
My mother lived in New York City and I used to hitchhike to New York two times a year to see her. It was she who introduced me to museums, art galleries, musicals, stage plays, exhibitions, operettas and opera. (And fine dining too.)
For my high school graduation in 1949 she gave me a Bible–the King James Version. Over the years I’ve read it twice from cover to cover and looked up so many passages that I ruined the cover. Her dedication read: “May you be blessed through life’s journey with spiritual strength and courage.”
My mother took me to the original stage production of “South Pacific” on Broadway in the late 40s. It starred Mary Martin (Nellie Forbush) and Ezio Pinza (Emil de Becque)..
I’ve watched television and DVD versions of the musical so often I can quote many lines by heart. It is packed with wonderful songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Such as:
1) “Some Enchanted Evening” (“you may meet a stranger”).
2) “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair.”
3) The wonderful ditty sung by Polynesian girls: “Dites Moi Pour Quoi la Vie Est Belle.” (Tell me why life is beautiful).
4) “Bali Ha’i” (“may call you, a distant island, in the middle of the sea.”
5) “Bloody Mary” (“is the girl I love”).
6) “Happy Talk.” (“Happy, happy talk”).
7) “Her body is as dainty as a sparrow / Her figure is something to applaud / Where she’s narrow she’s as narrow as an arrow / And where she’s broad she’s broad where a broad should be broad.”
FOREVER MAE WEST
I’ve watched Mae West movies many times on DVD over the years and always with joy. She was a master of:
1) Suggestive bodily movements.
2) Marvelous Innuendos (“Come up and see me sometime.”)
3) Artfully playing off the words of other characters, telling them what she wants the words to say.
4) Skillfully repulsing men’s advances with a wink and roll of her eyes.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)