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Showing posts from November, 2015

Donald Trump is a bullshitter, not an ideologue

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Across the internet, I've heard liberals react with indignant outrage at Donald Trump's latest barrage of brutish, asinine behavior. He appeared to mock a disabled reporter, and predictably refused to apologize. He said he would ban Syrian refugees and create a giant 'safe zone' in Syria; how he would pay for it is anyone's guess. But he really rattled a lot of feathers by suggesting that Muslims should be registered in some kind of national database. When asked by a reporter how that is any different than Jews being forced to register in Nazi Germany, he replied, "You tell me".

But Donald Trump is not a fascist. It's a mistake to think that, like most normal humans, Donald Trump believes the things that he is saying; the truth is, Donald Trump is a bullshitter. And I mean this in the sense described by philosopher Henry Frankfurt in his short essay entitled, "On Bullshit". A quote:
It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he kno…

My dad turned 75 today

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Tonight was a pretty cool night — Vanessa and I had dinner at a favorite local Italian joint with my parents and several of their good friends, in celebration of my Dad's 75th birthday.

I feel pretty lucky to have my father, and to have a good relationship with him. I know plenty of people my age (36) who've lost their parents, or whose parents are in failing health; I'm happy to report that my parents are both very healthy and enjoying their retirement to the fullest with travel, volunteer work, friends, family, exercise, hobbies, and leisure. My dad's as sharp as he's ever been, politically opinionated (democrat til the end!), full of anecdotes and fond of corny dad-humor. As I've gotten older, I've felt increasingly appreciative of the time I have to spend with him.

Tonight he made a short (for him) speech about his life, how surreal it feels to be 75, and the many sublime moments he's experienced along the way. He mentioned meeting my mom, getting cho…