Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Short Posts 7/27/16: On Nuns, D. Trump and H. Clinton

1.  Pope Francis has issued 
an “apostolic constitution,” a binding document with new rules. And to whom is the document addressed? Contemplative nuns!
These are the sisters we generally don’t see. They live in cloistered monasteries, away from daily contact with the world, focused on work and prayer. (We call them monasteries, not convents, because that’s the accurate term when referring to the residences of either nuns or priests who lead contemplative lives.)
You would think that the Pope would not have the time to worry about roughly 40,000 nuns whose main occupation is to pray for the rest of us.
What's worth our attention about this new apostolic constitution is this:

Interestingly, these directives to [sic] not apply to monks. Changes for the men, a Vatican official said, aren’t even being - uh - contemplated.

Nunz Gone Wild?  Or more control applied to nuns than monks?  You decide.

2.  Donald Trump's utterances have made sarcasm and irony impossible forms of political writing, because he makes reality more bizarre than anything mere writers could make up.

His recent quip is a good example of that:

The billionaire businessman then went even further, in remarks that left open the possibility that he would be open to Moscow staging a new hack against the United States to find the emails.
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," Trump said during a news conference in Florida.
Trump's comments marked an unprecedented appeal to a foreign country to essentially launch an espionage operation against a political opponent. They come as Democrats gathering for their convention in Philadelphia are already grappling with a hack of emails at the Democratic National Committee, which were later posted on WikiLeaks.

Let's play the devil's advocate and assume that all this was just a joke*.  But what would that tell us about Trump's ability to carry out diplomatic conversations with foreign presidents, prime ministers and other dignitaries?  What kind of "jokes" might pass his apparently uncontrollable lips?

3. Suppose that Hillary Clinton had five children with three different husbands:

 Imagine the furor, and not only from the American right, if that indeed was the case.  Yet Donald Trump has five children with three different wives.  This is an interesting example of the (probably subconscious) way we judge women and men with several sexual partners differently.


*  Should you wish to get really worried about possible Russian intervention in US elections, consider the vulnerability of electronic voting machines!  A nice by-product of securing them against tampering would be a greater general trust in the validity of election results.