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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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Tuesday, May 30

Donald Trump, U A

He may not have said it, but if he had it would sound something like this: “Our trip to Europe and the Middle-East last week was a huge success, a really really great visit with our allies over there.  And I believe I won that knuckle-crusher contest between me and France’s President Macron.  Yes, he’s a lot younger than me but I showed him what a grip I had.  And it’s the same grip I use on making America great again.  For a relatively older man, I have a tremendous grip.  But I also had a bad time with Chancellor Merkel in Germany.  All those automobiles they ship to our great country has to stop.  They are bad, very bad in their trade relationships with our great nation, and I will put a stop to it.”

Almost sixty years after Lederer and Burdick made the tag “Ugly American” a fitting label for the way most of the world viewed Americans, President Trump is doing his best to resurrect that image.  It was then a legitimate complaint about too many U.S. citizens who traveled abroad, their arrogance in insisting that communication be in English and not the language of the nation visited, the flaunting of money, the loud, brash stressing of opinions, the lack of class in attire, the reminders of how much better life is in the US, our ignorance of the history and culture of nations visited.

We haven’t often heard him speaking directly about his policies, off the cuff, that is.  I’m not sure he could state much of anything very clearly without the help of his writers.  In the debates, he very carefully avoided having to say anything with substance.  Without a teleprompter he’d be almost speechless, and even with a teleprompter which gives him someone else’s words, his delivery is slow and awkward.  He loves empty adjectives, like big, wonderful, bad, great, amazing, incredible, and tremendous.  He loves to pile up intensifiers to make a point, believing, it seems, that if he repeats such words, he’s making strong points.  For example, he might say something “is really, really bad,” or someone “is a very, very good person.”  He speaks in clichés.  He tends to exaggerate.  He too often makes statements that haven’t been accurately researched.  He stumbles over phrases and leaves words out.  For example, in an interview about his appearance on the Chris Wallace show, he said, “I have, seem to get very high ratings. I definitely. You know Chris Wallace had 9.2 million people, it’s the highest in the history of the show. I have all the ratings for all those morning shows. When I go, they go double, triple. Chris Wallace, look back during the Army-Navy football game, I did his show that morning. It had 9.2 million people. It’s the highest they’ve ever had.”  [In fact, it was 2.3 million.]  In other interviews, “When WikiLeaks came out ... never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it.”  “The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage … The electoral college is very difficult for a Republican to win.” And: “The election has, you know, look, the Democrats had a tremendous opportunity because the Electoral College, as I said, is so skewed to them. You start off by losing in New York and California, no matter who it is … The Electoral College is so skewed in favour of a Democrat that it’s very, very hard.”  “But President Xi, from the time I took office, he has not, they have not been currency manipulators. Because there’s a certain respect because he knew I would do something or whatever.”  “I mean mostly they register wrong, in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly, and/or illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people.”

I believe we have made a really, really tremendous mistake in electing this man to be our president, and I, well, have to say . . . we have a leader who’s now reinventing what we once thought we’d done away with, the really, truly, Ugly, Ugly American.

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