The Emperor’s New Clothes

I’ve not read a lot of Andrew Sullivan’s work. But he channeled many of  the troubling thoughts and fears I’ve been experiencing but trying to ignore for the past several weeks. His piece “The Madness of King Donald” shines a bright light on the elephant in the Oval Office; namely that the President is nuts.

He begins with the litany of lies which are verifiably untrue but for which there is never an acknowledgment or correction. The lie is repeated and often doubled down by a bigger lie. What kind of person does this? Someone in a very troubling state of mental health.

I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.

Sullivan says journalists simply have to call him on his lies immediately and to his face.  We shall see.

The patriarch of the Ilich sports, gaming and pizza empire Mike Ilich passed away. His significant impact on the city I love cannot be overstated.  But you have to separate what he did and how he did things. He had his detractors. Stephen Henderson wrote of some of the ambiguity we feel.

But he also leaves a complex legacy. The strife over some of his projects and the public subsidies for them. The fans who decried the tenure of his ownership of two of the city’s major sports franchises. They are part of who he was, too.

Happy Monday to you all. I’ve got four days of work before I get to leave on a vacation to a very warm place.

Desearía poder hablar español.


Some Things I Discovered While Looking Up Other Things

I’m a reasonably well educated guy.  I grew up in a solidly middle class neighborhood and walked to a local Catholic school. For all of its challenges you have to give the Catholic church it’s propers when it comes to education. There were 50 students in each classroom but we learned our reading, writing and arithmetic.  I was thinking about than in during a recent Facebook thread on diagramming sentences. We did a lot of that too.

But in practical terms probably the most relevant course I’ve ever took was the non credit after school course in touch typing when I was a high school freshman. We sat at manual typewriters that had no letters on the keys. In the front of the room was a large chart with the QWERTY keyboard.  A white habited Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister whose name is lost to my memory drilled us in the order of the letters of the keyboard.  We would type each letter as we recited in unison A;SLDKFJGH [SPACE]. These were the home keys. And so it went for the upper row of keys and the lower row of keys. The drills went on and on until we were adept at touch typing; that is, typing without looking at the keys.

Who knew what an important role the QWERTY keyboard would become with the evolution of personal computing? There have been suggestions that QWERTY is obsolete.  But they will have to pry my QWERTY keyboard from my cold dead hands. Although here are some input devices I would definitely try.

Lately, I been learning about all of the neat things one can do to format documents in Microsoft Word. I’m immersed in different kinds of “Styles” and how neat it works when you take a “numbering style” and attache it to a “paragraph style”.  We lawyers love our numbered paragraphs. Once you learn how to do this editing and moving paragraphs is a breeze and  the numbering  stays consistent.

Here is a neat Word trick. Say you want to experiment with your formatting and need several paragraphs of “text” to play around with. Type this command =lorem(2,3) and you will get this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna.

Nunc viverra imperdiet enim. Fusce est. Vivamus a tellus.

The first number is the number of paragraphs you want and the second number is the number of lines.

Alright, I’ve posted an entire blog without talking about politics. But that silence will end soon.