A Word on the Week
Tomorrow, best of luck and safety to the people of Richmond, Virginia. The planned rally suggests a wish to instill fear in Republican senators, just as the impeachment trial is set to begin Tuesday.
When stories about the Souleimani killing began to seem unmeshable, and the intelligence to support them unproducible, the president stated his reason for ordering the strike didn’t matter. To attendees at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, he apparently recited a sort of countdown of the event: “Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. Thirty seconds, ten, nine, eight…”
The same article (Middle East Eye, 18 January 2020), quotes him on his administration’s deficit-heavy spending, “Who the hell cares about the budget? We’re going to have a country.” (Make sense of that if you can.) And there’s a new book out, A Very Stable Genius, reported to offer untold examples of Trump’s cognition, on display in various clashes with his own “best people”.
Is Trump impaired? A lot of speculation exists as to what psychological syndrome his behavior represents. He seems unable to process evidence and information to derive a reasoned conclusion. He notably, in speaking with reporters, shies away when asked to draw an inference, or access a fact, and accesses instead his repertoire of stories and repeated phrases…lately being very repeaty at listing names and numbers. His ways of walking and moving are unusual, stiff and veering, tilting forward, tilting side to side. Is this a neurological condition? Is the syphilis question more than a parlor game? Pooh-poohers of the rumor, I’ve found, are using specious arguments, which does add interest. And to debunk bad argumentation is not to cast aspersion.
First the disease has to be diagnosed, and this doesn’t happen as part of a routine health checkup. Then it has to be successfully treated. Confirming neurosyphilis requires a spinal tap—whether the president would go along with this, his partisans can imagine for themselves. Penicillin is used, but a regimen of penicillin shots is required to treat syphilis at the tertiary stage. The symptoms can mimic those of a number of other diseases and mental conditions, so misdiagnosis of a difficult and reluctant patient might easily occur. And of course, the president has a strange history with his doctors. He is not forthcoming to the public about his medical test results.
Incidentally, penicillin can be purchased online, so one might speculate that in a boy’s club environment, strange conventional wisdoms could be passed around. Rather than bear the stigma, cure your own at home!
On Monday, the seventh Mr. Boots poem, “Fight Me”, in which Boots threatens warfare with the red goldfish. Tuesday’s Impresario was part twenty-four, a day of combat and dissatisfying spectacle for the crowd. Wednesday, “Male and Female” a poem in the Jumping Off series. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “A Reputation” began; the blackmail victim threatened this time by family scandal. Friday, “Mince No Words” the seventh episode the The Folly‘s Battle Stations. Saturday, a reissue of “Where Fashion Sits”, from The Poor Belabored Beast.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: January 12 to January 18