Monday, July 13, 2020


The big news for me this morning was that Donald Trump has been photographed wearing a face mask.  I was impressed and pleased.  He was quoted as saying he had never been against face masks, which I think was surprising.  

A short time after seeing a photo of a masked Trump, I remembered reading about a book by the Black professor of linguistics, John Mc Whorter.  I have taken a Great Course by McWhorter and I like to keep up with what he is writing.  While looking up his "The Power of Babel", I learned of the book "Please Stop Helping Us" by Jason Riley.  I like the title and I have a suspicion that despite the fact that African-Americans have lots of bad deals and unfair conditions, there is still a need to develop self-discipline and individual commitment to improvement.  Riley is Black as is McWhorter and they are in a position to know that Blacks need to focus on what they can and must do.  

The title of Riley's book reminds me of one of my favorite lines in my beloved movie "In the Spirit".  Elaine May turns to Marlo Thomas while trying to figure out what bad guys are after them and asks,"Who have you helped recently?"  May knows that Marlo can over-help, goof the helping and generally worsen lives at times, all the while being "ultra-helpful".  

Whether it is Trump, or policy or movies, people can over-do and/or mis-do.  That is a good time for a reversal.  In the sport of scholastic wrestling, there are three periods.  In the first, the opponents face each other standing.  In the 2nd and 3rd, one opponent starts with something of an advantage.

It is not easy to keep a squirming, well-trained, powerful opponent down and when he can, he will reverse the positions.  There are times when a reversal of efforts or aims or goals is called for, when it is timely and valuable.

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