Clips from the US of America


All electioneering stops a full day or two before actual polling. Cassandra has decided not to comment on the forthcoming general election and its contestants for an entire week, so you will not hear from her on Sri Lankan matters today except to express this one hope of the many: that new persons be elected and not the same old bunch, many of whom we are thoroughly disillusioned with, nay disgusted with. There are new faces in the line-up, in the JVP included National People’s Party more particularly, and even in the two split factions of the old Elephant party. The Pohottu Party is forecast to win a majority; however, it is the party that is presenting the same old faces, some disliked and disapproved of, to contest the elections. We have just three simple desires:

Let the known for corruption and proven for other crimes be kept out of the next Parliament by the voting people rejecting them;

Let decent people by which is meant persons of education, honesty, integrity and truly dedicated-to-the-nation candidates be elected, which means many new faces

More women winning seats.

A just-out book on Trump

Searching for a subject outside our country to write on has not posed a problem since the Prez of the US gives plenty grist to the writing wrist.

No less a person than an only niece has written the latest book on President Donald Trump, adding to the many, the one but the last of that list being John Bolton’s The Room where it happened affording a peek to so far held state secrets.

Too much and Never Enough: how my family created the world’s most dangerous man is authored by Mary L Trump, daughter of Donald T’s elder brother Fred (1905-1995), who was a good man and thus a disappointment to Trump Snr. He avoided the family business firm and joined TWA as a pilot but took to drinking and died an untimely death. Mary Trump in her book is said to "shine a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world. I had to take Donald down." Strong indictment and she emerges stronger in her interview with CBS News, which I watched.

She categorically denied her writing and publishing her family biography at this time with November elections hovering, was for fame/notoriety or money, but to warn the US voters as the subtitle clearly does. "If I was for money or fame, I would have written this book ten years earlier." The title expanded may read too much for Fred (being his demanding father’s son); never enough for Donald (whether it be money, power or women). The protagonists in her book are Trump Snr, the sharp yet sneaky businessman to whom money was everything, and his two sons. She says her father lacked the killer instinct that was desired by Trump Snr in his sons and had too much humaneness, kindness and consideration and distaste for the family business.

The interviewer asked her as a psychologist (she is a PhD trained in clinical psychology) whether she had psycho-analysed her uncle. Her reply was no.

It is naturally a best seller from the day it was out on sale. Donald T tried to stop its publication, but failed.

Have we got a parallel here? May be the hagiographic biography of her father written by one of the daughters of ex-President Maithripala Sirisena. It was launched with much fanfare but used by one or two to critic and even ridicule the Prez like his setting on fire his father’s paddy field!

An American woman Representative verbally kicks a harassing man

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative in Capitol Hill for Queens, and Hispanic, had delivered a Lesson in Decency on the House Floor and become the absolute talk of the country.

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term Democrat from New York, provided a rare exception Thursday as she stepped to the microphone in the House chamber to make a hash of Ted Yoho, a veterinarian, Tea Party member, and veteran Republican from Florida." Cass quotes further David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker and newspaper columnist, on a story that began earlier this week. "When Yoho reportedly approached Ocasio-Cortez on the Capitol steps to inform her that she was, among other things, ‘disgusting’ and ‘out of your freaking mind.’ His analysis was directed at her (hardly novel) public statements that poverty and unemployment are root causes of the recent spike in crime rates in New York. On matters of criminal-justice reform, Yoho is of a decidedly conservative bent. Not long ago, he voted against making lynching a federal hate crime, saying that such a law would be a regrettable instance of federal overreach. According to a reporter for The Hill, Yoho did not cease in his expressive disdain for Ocasio-Cortez even as she walked away. Once he believed her to be out of hearing range, Yoho reportedly described his colleague as a ‘f…bitch.’"

Yoho tendered a somewhat apology in which he said he has a wife and daughter. Ocasio-Cortez verbally smashed him and said the latter factor mattered not. I listened to the video tape of her explanation in the House of Reps. Superb! She was truly great, though so young.

"As a first-termer, Ocasio-Cortez has been a star, even if she has had her stumbles, including an initially troubled relationship with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez has been at the forefront of major issues, including climate change, immigration, campaign-finance reform, and income inequality."

Any parallel to the brave American women over here? Had to discard many women in politics whom Cass called to mind. Thalata Atukorale says it as it is; then mercifully she found a parallel to the young firebrand of the USA. Yes, you’ve guessed correct. It is Hirunika Premachandra. She too has had her political and personal hiccups (the case brought against her over kidnapping someone) but she can be relied on to be fearless, outspoken, unafraid and, like the American woman, is young and attractive but never trades on her good looks as some women do.

Post script: The Island clippings

Superb observation by the Editor, The Island on 29/7: "Why keep a dog and bark yourself?" referring to people presenting the President appeals for this and that, and he directing the request be looked into. So true. The President must be a statesman, keeping aloof of the election hustings, and neutral. It is his to concentrate on foreign relations and present a good image of himself and the country rather than having to deal with nitty gritties. Why are there a horde of Ministers if he has to attend to everything? We hope it won’t be a horde Cabinet this time around!

Charles Sarvan titles his article in the same paper as "Cassandras in Sri Lanka: some (random) thoughts." Need I change my pseudonym since I neither forecast the future nor am partisan and least of all willing to place my head on the block to be chopped off for what I have written, so help me deities!!

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