Humankind - the coronavirus of the animal kingdom
Understanding can come late in life

Donald Trump, the world’s greatest loser


TUMBY BAY - Memorial Day is the American version of Anzac Day when military personnel who have died on duty are honoured and mourned.

In 2017 Donald Trump accompanied his then chief of staff, former General John Kelly, to the Arlington National Cemetery.

While standing at the grave of Kelly’s son, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, Trump is reported to have said, “I don’t get it. What’s in it for them?”

Possibly more than any other comment made by Trump over the last four years this is the one that points to the essence of his character: one that is devoid of empathy, kindness or consideration for any human being apart from himself.

While Trump’s view of the world and his place in it is horrifying, it is not surprising.

In many ways he is articulating a version of the Great American Dream, the belief that, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, every American can pursue ever upward prosperity and status.

That this dream involves glorious individualism and involve trampling over the bodies of one’s fellow citizens has sadly become an accepted part of the process.

While the Great American Dream is essentially an aspirational slogan, it is a mistake to assume that it is an ethos common to all Americans.

Many Americans, like people all over the world, simply want to be reasonably comfortable and happy over the span of their lives. Not all of them want to become billionaires and occupy the office of president.

When Trump asked, “What’s in it for them?” he was very probably talking about money and wealth.

The satisfaction that those dead soldiers might have sought by serving their country was not something that seemed to enter his mind.

To him they were “suckers” for joining the military in the first place and “losers” for getting killed.

Like many young men from wealthy families, an otherwise fit and athletic Trump avoided military conscription five times. The first four were because he was at university but in 1968, during the worst part of the Vietnam War when being a student was not a get-out clause, he used the medical excuse of having bone spurs in his feet.

In Trump’s mind this was a good tactical move. He wasn’t opposed to the war but he had no intention of becoming another sucker when there was money to be made and a hedonistic lifestyle to be enjoyed at home.

Like many of his peers, what Trump does is conflate the pursuit of wealth with the pursuit of happiness. To him they are one and the same. The idea of happiness divorced from wealth is not something he understands.

Trump is not really a particularly unusual character. There are many Trumps all over the world. Papua New Guinea has one. His name is Peter O’Neill.

What is different about Trump is that he somehow managed to scratch and gouge himself to the top of the biggest and smelliest heap in the world.

With his single-minded obsessions, lack of intellect and inherent cruelty, he is at once extremely dangerous and irretrievably pathetic.

He is dangerous because of the immense power he wields and pathetic because his life has been focused only on himself.

There are men and women and their families sitting in rough shelters all over the world happier and more fulfilled than Trump.

Those people are winners.

Trump, sitting on the dunghill that is his wealth and power, is a loser.

If he wasn’t such an awful human being I might even feel sorry for him. 


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Philip Fitzpatrick

1984 here we come. Trump now plans to rewrite history.

"President Trump signs an executive order to establish a 'national commission to promote patriotic education'
US President Donald Trump made the announcement about what he has dubbed “The 1776 Commission,” at the first White House Conference on American History. He said the commission will be aimed at establishing “patriotic” and “pro-America” education that will celebrate American history. In his remarks, Trump criticized the 1619 Project, a New York Times project that explores slavery’s legacy."

Lindsay F Bond

No matter what Phil writes on Trump, "stuff happens" because those good USA folk believe in having a vote and the outcome is either gift or infliction when their bubble world bursts.


Lindsay F Bond

Today PNG can celebrate independence as a nation.

Compared with folk in the western portion of the greater New Guinea island, and compared with the predicament beset (yet again this week) upon folk referred to as Palestinians, PNG folk have a fortunate opportunity to celebrate.

Voices are together raised in rejoicing a national anthem.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Judging by some of the other comments on this article there is a real concern in both Australia and Papua New Guinea about the carryings on of the Donald and what he is doing to the world.

Michael's attempts to push a right wing interpretation of what this means aside, I think such topics should be discussed on PNG Attitude.

If PNG Attitude is a forum for Australians and Papua New Guineans and if they share common views about the larger world these things are worth discussing.

Michael is playing games and while they are amusing I think people like Corney are better listened to.

OK, let the debate continue until it gets boring - KJ

Michael Dom

There is no need to attach failure to my scientific credibility, that's belittling, since I am not making an attempt to proselytize technically either way.

The political arguments raised find their basis in philosophy and religion, to which I've raised the ideological arguments of the Right for them to be seen as they are raw and writhing in the flesh.

Are they that scary?

That they require evidence based disputation is encouraging, and the same should be applied "liberally" to both arguments.

One sided debates are disgusting - scientifically speaking.

The balance that is sought is neither a place, nor a point in time, nor a people, it is every time an individual person.

This was a fundamental agreement by the secular and religious in by gone days.

The tension between determining less and more liberty is necessary - How else do we know it?

In my understanding, it was the rise of Christianity in the Western world, with its mostly peaceful dictates (albeit burning witches was not good), and within which the the remnants of Greek and Roman philosophy were retrieved and rebuilt upon, democracy being one such rescued concept.

If that historical perspective is a right wing concept then so be it.

I don't have the references to provide for you and have neither the time nor the inclination to convince anyone any direction.

There is a creeping disease setting into human society worldwide which is not political and most unfortunately cannot be responded to rationally and by the scientific method - use the right tools.

It is my unfortunate post as a poet to report it.

Michael Dom

It is the hallmark of democracy that individual liberty has been maintained and it is founded on Judeo Christian principals.

Left wingers and Liberals are atheists or secular, and tend to believe that big governments (Baal worship) will keep them well.

(They are ushering in a new religion to replace the old gods they've over thrown.)

I almost joined this group of pathetic hedonists but was thankfully suspicious of where the rhetoric and false narrative was heading.

I don't like being told what to believe, like Lord Buddha and that other bloke the Jews crucified.

Here is one correction, for instance, the Confederate States of USA were the home of the Democratic National Congress, the Dixies, the party of Black slavery which Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, won the hard fought civil war which emancipated negroes from chattal labour.

Democrats have created a new plantation for Blacks called BLM and with its politically correcting SJW brigade, NFAC militia and terrorist sect Antifa.

Also, note that Bill Clinton (Democrat, 42nd President), Dick Cheney (Republican, 46th Vice President), Mitt Romney (Republican), Russ Limbaugh (radio host and conservative political commentator), John Wayne (Big Jake), and Mohammad Ali, all dodged the draft for the Vietnam war, among a host of other famous folks.

(No women. Now that's damned sexist!)

At that time thousands of young American men were looking for ways to miss out on getting killed in a war they didn't believe was necessary - it was a controversial time and Trump wasn't alone.

Far from obscure now Donald Trump will be awarded a Nobel Peace prize.

Climate Change will not save the Leftists from extinction and the balance of the political world will be restored.

But this requires intervention from true liberals, those who believe in the foundations of Liberty and freedom of expression, and respect the tenets laid down by Judeo Christian principals, some of which also happen to be universal to the best teachings of Islam and Buddhism, not social justice, self righteous bigotry and intolerance, as promulgated, very tactfully but in substance, by some of the comments to this article.

I find the ultra left wing fascists today utterly disgusting, with their horrific Marxist ideology and unnecessarily violent tactics, completely abhorrent to common sense and sanity.

Twisting social agenda to bully and belittle, corrupting their narratives with a false notion of compassion and above all else striving to shut down and cancel free expression - seeking to end even the idea of self determination by enslaving the individual as a political unit within their rank and file.

Truly the zombie apocalypse has set in as we watch the formerly red but now black-fisted flags fly during their rampant 'peaceful protests' where lives are lost and police men and women become the targets of pathetic leftist thugs and bullies.

This epistle from Michael is in too many places biased, non-factual, of a far right wing ideology and, surprising to me, unscientific.

Michael is, of course, entitled to any worldview he chooses but I think it behooves him, as a scientist, to at least note that there are other views formulated by evidence, views other than his own that are entitled to consideration.

But first I should observe that I believe this discussion has long departed the slender objectives of PNG Attitude, and that observation will guide me in future deliberations about publishing material on this subject.

But to demonstrate my position, I want to take the first couple of paragraphs of Michael's comment simply to show how his assertions may be disputed.

Michael writes: "It is the hallmark of democracy that individual liberty has been maintained and it is founded on Judeo Christian principals [sic]."

I see three points in this short paragraph.

A response to point 1: According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens (See for example, 'The quality of democracy', L Diamond and L Morlino, London: Routledge)

A response to point 2: The relationship between liberty and democracy is complex because being part of a democracy usually entails limiting certain personal liberties at the expense of democratic principles, while people safeguard their individual liberties by putting limitations on democracy (See for example, 'The Friction Between Liberty and Democracy', D Andre,

A response to point 3: For conservatives from [Steve] Bannon to [Gov John] Kasich to Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the term [Judeo-Christian] is a building block of American society. But for critics of how the term is used today, Judeo-Christian is vague, historically flawed and even inflammatory. These opposing views reflect a deep rift in American society and illuminate very different fundamental political beliefs. “This is a term defined by exclusion,” said Shalom Goldman, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, arguing that the term is often used to reject secular values and Muslims. “It’s essentially saying our values are not the values of the Enlightenment or the Constitution, but instead our values are the values of the Bible,” he said (See for example, 'What are ‘Judeo-Christian values’? Analyzing a divisive term', George Altshuler, Washington Jewish Week)

Michael writes: "Left wingers and Liberals are atheists or secular, and tend to believe that big governments (Baal worship) will keep them well. (They are ushering in a new religion to replace the old gods they've over thrown.) I almost joined this group of pathetic hedonists but was thankfully suspicious of where the rhetoric and false narrative was heading. I don't like being told what to believe, like Lord Buddha and that other bloke the Jews crucified."

I see two major points in this paragraph.

A response to point 1: The most vehement opponents of traditional religion are secular humanists and their allies on the political left. While it is not true that all liberals are secularists, it is true that secularists are overwhelmingly progressive (See for example, 'Scientists speak of wonder but not of God', Charles Davenport, News & Record)

A response to point 2: We're accustomed to thinking of liberalism and conservatism as parallel ideologies, with conservatives preferring less government and liberals preferring more. The equivalency breaks down, though, when you consider that liberals never claim that increasing the size of government is an end in itself. Liberals only support larger government if they have some reason to believe that it will lead to material improvement in people's lives (See for example, 'Liberals, Ideology, and Big Government', Ross Douthat, The Atlantic)

I will not continue to dissect and analyse nor dispute the rest of what Michael has to say. He is entitled to say it and I do not have all day at my disposal. Furthermore, he will not be convinced by me and nor shall I be persuaded by Michael. That said, however, the pigs may not care, but I would like to see more science and less ideology in his writing - KJ

Paul Waugla Wii

Donald Trump truly lacks leadership skills. The American people must not be hoodwinked into believing their current president will lead them somewhere.

He is a pathetic individual who does not have the moral fibre nor the sharp intellect to provide much-needed leadership at a time when not only America but the entire world is going through a period of great economic, social and political turbulence.

Corney Korokan Alone

How Albert Einstein viewed the evil of caste in the United States.

In December 1932, one of the smartest men who ever lived landed in America on a steamship with his wife and their thirty pieces of luggage as the Nazis bore down on their homeland of Germany.

Albert Einstein, the physicist and Nobel laureate, had managed to escape the Nazis just in time. The month after Einstein left, Hitler was appointed chancellor.

In America, Einstein was astonished to discover that he had landed in yet another caste system, one with a different scapegoat caste and different methods, but with embedded hatreds that were not so unlike the one he had just fled.

“The worst disease is the treatment of the Negro,” he wrote in 1946. “Everyone who freshly learns of this state of affairs at a maturer age feels not only the injustice, but the scorn of the principle of the Fathers who founded the United States that ‘all men are created equal.’ ”

He could “hardly believe that a reasonable man can cling so tenaciously to such prejudice,” he said.

He and his wife, Elsa, settled in Princeton, New Jersey, where he took a professorship at the university and observed firsthand the oppression faced by black residents who were consigned to the worst parts of town, to segregated movie houses, to servant positions, and were, in the words of his friend Paul Robeson, forced into “bowing and scraping to the drunken rich.”

A few years into his tenure, the opera singer Marian Anderson, a renowned contralto born to the subordinated caste, performed to an overflow crowd at McCarter Theatre in Princeton and to rapturous praise in the press of her “complete mastery of a magnificent voice.”

But the Nassau Inn in Princeton refused to rent a room to her for the night. Einstein, learning of this, invited her to stay in his home. From then on, she would stay at the Einstein residence whenever she was in town, even after Princeton hotels began accepting African-American guests. They would remain friends until his death.

“Being a Jew myself, perhaps I can understand and empathize with how black people feel as victims of discrimination,” he told a family friend.

He grew uncomfortable with the American way of pressuring newcomers to look down on the lowest caste in order to gain acceptance. Here was one of the most brilliant men who ever lived refusing to see himself as superior to people he was being told were beneath him.

“The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me,” Einstein wrote. “I can escape the feelings of complicity in it only by speaking out.”

And so he did. He co-chaired a committee to end lynching. He joined the NAACP. He spoke out on behalf of civil rights activists, lent his fame to their cause.

At a certain point in his life, he rarely accepted the many honors that came his way, but in 1946 he made an exception for Lincoln University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania. He agreed to deliver the commencement address and to accept an honorary degree there.

On that visit, he taught his theory of relativity to physics students and played with the children of black faculty, among them the son of the university president, a young Julian Bond, who would go on to become a civil rights leader.

“The separation of the races is not a disease of the colored people,” Einstein told the graduates at commencement, “but a disease of the white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

He became a passionate ally of the people consigned to the bottom. “He hates race prejudice,” W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “because as a Jew he knows what it is.”

Lindsay F Bond

Alexis de Tocqueville is quoted with “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”

And if readers might offer examples of that, sorry, there is no prize.


That writer is reported noting of a (1830s?) Congress he witnessed, “vulgar demeanor of that great assembly”.

As if that was an “infection”, presidents might be only a portion of the “infection” vector.

Hope offered by that writer: “There is a kind of aristocratic refinement and an air of grandeur in the depravity of the great, which frequently prevent it from spreading abroad.”

Corney Korokan Alone

This week I am reading, 'Caste: The Lies That Divide Us' by Isabel Wilkerson (winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, who is also the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller "The Warmth of Other Sun's").

I have to complete reading that before anything else.

The book is epic. She gets to the root of all the evils of racism today, especially given the onslaught of chaos and blame shifting thrown around world politics.

She brilliantly begins the seminal non-fiction of the new decade, by quoting both James Baldwin and Albert Einstein.

"Because even if I should speak(1) no one would believe me. And they would not believe me precisely because they would know that what I said was true" - James Baldwin

"If the majority knew of the root(2) of this evil, then the road to its cure would not be long" — Albert Einstein

It's a recommended reading for students of history and global citizens of the world who subscribes to the intrinsic value and sanctity of human beings.

1. “Because even if I should speak”: Baldwin, Fire Next Time, pp. 53, 54

2 “If the majority knew of the root”: Albert Einstein, message to the National Urban League, September 16, 1946. Cited by Jerome and Taylor in Einstein on Race and Racism, p. 146. The National Urban League is a civil rights organization that was founded in 1911 and is devoted to the social and economic well-being of African-Americans.

Arthur Williams

Racism Is Not a Sin by Ed Hurst (

Now that was provocative article i encountered yesterday.
Worth a read if we want to get beyond the BLM caricatures good and bad that the media is spawning.

I close with a little excerpt:

"Faith makes demands that no flesh can obey. It requires granting dominance to a faculty inside of you that overpowers flesh. That really doesn’t happen very often in the human race. Most religions reflect the dominant cultural impulses of the people involved, and those people seem utterly convinced it is from God.

"Racism is a very natural human instinct to guard against intrusions into your nation’s sense of order and peace. Racial awareness is not a sin; noticing differences based on DNA is hard-wired into human nature. It was planted there by God and and He used it at the Tower of Babel in divine wrath against Nimrod’s monumental arrogance and sin. You can use racial awareness as an excuse to commit a lot of sins, but that’s how sin works. We can develop protocols for building trust between races, but it’s downright evil to demand blind trust. Only predators do that. The existence of in-groups is human nature and unavoidable.

"Racial consciousness itself is not a sin. By the same token, failing to recognize faith as the ultimate power over every human factor is also a sin."

This was one opposite opinion to the other four articles that came in my email yesterday.

Corney Korokan Alone

Yes, Trump's ascendancy was fueled by the stench of corrosive division and blatant lies that even the supposed White Evangelical establishments were duped to believe and harbour since the formation of the country in 1776.

These pseudo-Christians are racist to the core. They cling to Trump because of his whiteness and bigotry. He’s their last hope of a white America that they cling to so ferociously.

No wonder he tries to panders to them holding the Bible and take photos in front of the church which he hardly sets his feet in. These unfoldings are sure to disgust any true believer of the Lord Jesus Christ anywhere in the world.

The GOP and Trump's supporters are the confederacy trying to rise again. Will it succeed?

The foundations of some of those deep divisions were federally approved policies. Conscious and deliberate policy determinations based out of crass injustice, tribalism and outright ungodly sensibilities.

Take for example the prejudiced housing policy that consigned African-Americans into the perpetual caste system that they have to content with for four solid centuries:

America's double standards and duplicitous character as a nation has been greatly amplified by an equally duplicitous character whom they chose as their chief executive and blustering in chief.

Couple this with the unrelenting unequal treatment dished to the African-Americans who descended from slavery by America's war zone like police machinery, unequal justice system and the prison industry is unconscionable to watch and read about.

Arthur Williams

Had two emails today re race for The White House in the ‘Land of the Free’.

‘ Is Biden really the best the Democrats can have as #1 choice for the Presidential Election
With competition like this, what chance is there that anything will change........’

Interested me as I had felt for some time that there is something strange physically or mentally about Trump's opponent.

No idea on veracity of this 7 min. clip.

My second enlightenment was from a more reliable source: ‘Disciples Christians in Politics’ by Sam Haist the pastor of formation at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. Sourced at
Quite a good read but I noted it began with an 'Illustration by Rick Szuecs / Arthobbit / Getty / Rahardi Creative / Envato'

It showed the USA electorate in a compound. There were two groups one red and the other blue.

To me that sums up a major problem with USA politics of having no candidates from any other credible party. There may have been one or two exceptions just after Independence but almost all Presidential elections have been a binary choice. Did a ‘Write In’ ever win?

Added to that is the almost unexplainable system they use.
It seems you can know who is a registered Democrat and who is a Republican.

Guess!!! that only registered members can vote in the primaries of their party where colleagues slag off their friends before losing and eating humble pie to stand firmly behind the Primary election.

Then there seems to be all sort of gerrymandering and deliberate attempts to disenfranchise groups such as the badly educated, minorities or just plain black and/or coloureds.

While making it harder for many who have managed to overcome obstacles and actually register but now find it hard to get to a local polling booth or obtain a postal vote.

Then because of the sheer size of the nation people in California are still voting while eastern votes are being counted and publicised.

To win you must be able to be raise hundreds of millions.
There are Super PACs so guess there could be mini-PACs too!

On 21st Aug Trump had reached $1.2 billion while Biden was about $700 million (Source great statistics in it

Sadly the election is not won on the popular vote totals (that would be too democratic that's why USA, UK and other allegedly democratic nations use FPP voting systems to get rid of the 'Populist' vote which incredibly has become a dirty word.

How about their Electoral College that not all states are bound to follow.

Man imagine explaining clearly so that anyone can understand. Imagine if you were 2nd language English speakers in USA.

Yeh Man "That's democracy in the Land of the Free!" and its inhabitants gloat over being far democratically superior to rogue nations like Korea, VietNam, Saudi Arabia or Belarus.

I suggest the rest of the world should forget the USA elections and solve more tangible problems the world is facing like poverty, death of million from preventable disease, clean water,rising seas, climate change, deforestation and not forgetting modern slavery with its victims reaching the highest in history by far higher than BLM protestors want us to be aware of.

Bernard Corden

"The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through" - Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)

Philip Fitzpatrick

A bit like the way Covid-19 has shown up the glaring inadequacies of Neo-liberalism so too has Donald Trump shown up the faults of US-style democracy.

More than anyone else he has made it very plain that the US is not in fact a democracy but a corporate and financial oligarchy. No wonder he regards Putin so highly.

We now have two very plain pictures of all that is wrong with western democracy and what needs fixing

Western democracy isn't actually broken and requiring replacement but it really needs improving so as to encompass the greatest number of people and their welfare.

It's tempting to think that might happen but my gut feeling is that it won't happen, here and in PNG or anywhere else.

An even bigger jolt is required. Maybe climate change will do it?

Chris Overland

That Donald Trump is a dreadful man is well proven and understood, at least by those who are willing to see him for what he really is.

That said, I am sceptical that he ever referred to dead soldiers as "suckers" and "losers". While I can imagine him saying this it doesn't mean that he did.

Also, while I thoroughly detest Trump, he has brought to light the grave divisions in US society that have always been there. That he has done so for entirely selfish and cynical political purposes doesn't alter the fact that these divisions have existed for a very long time and that successive Presidents have utterly failed to deal with them.

Many of those who oppose him now, while full of righteous indignation at his lies, distortions and hubris, do not yet seem able to understand that only a major revision of the very basis of US society, notably its rampant individualism, unhealthy veneration of money, chronic suspicion of government and still virulent racism, will be essential to create the sort of world they wish to live in.

It strikes me as ironic that while it is, in fact, cooperation not competition and communalism not individualism, that are the true historic bed rock foundation of US society, it persists in telling itself the great lie that rugged individualism was and remains the ultimate source of its wealth and power.

Trump exemplifies this lie in many respects: it is the lie he tells himself every day about why he is wealthy and powerful.

The truth is that he merely inherited his wealth and has relied upon various enablers to be financially and politically successful.

Trump's towering ego and self confidence are built upon these lies.

History will show that he is a hollow man, whose so-called achievements amounted to nothing worthwhile.

He will sink into well deserved obscurity, only mentioned for the harms he has done and as an exemplar of all that was and is wrong with US society today.

Bernard Corden

A rubbish dump can grow without developing but a person can develop without growing.

Michael Dom

"Trump just isn’t a guy with whom you’d want to share a foxhole."



Then he's in the right place to make sure that fox holes and more mass graveyards like Arlington don't need to expand acreage.

Or do the Washington Post and Phil Fitzpatrick want to glorify war?

Wait, I thought that is what Trump supporters do?

Really, "I don't get it. What's in it for them?"

Isn't there a majority of straight white men in the patriarchal US armed forces?

Then wouldn't the further demise of this population, by warfare, help to usher in the utopian future of Black Lives Matter and other right wing radical agenda?

Phil, are you trolling as a closet conservative?

I too am immediately suspicious when an entire media industry begins to pile on anyone for anything.

Trump 2020.

Paul Oates

Trump typifies the worst features of the United States culture. He is a great example of what aspects of the so called 'American Dream' most other nations and people emphatically reject. No, we don't want Coca Cola and Big Macs stuffed down our throats.

Having visited the USA, there are many far better people in the US but they aren't able to make their voices heard as the electoral system is hopelessly slanted against any reasonable person being elected to public office.

Unfortunately, what Trump doesn't get is that those who did give their lives and energies to make his nation successful were not his type of person. Clearly he doesn't have the perspicacity to understand this basic premise. Since he got to the top of the pile, he clearly thinks he is right in his views. There's a long list of similar people in history who eventually 'came a cropper' thinking they were 'the right stuff', just because they achieved power.

Regrettably, there's at least a couple of other current so called world leaders who are able to understand why we don't embrace their style of 'leadership', but who are quite prepared to make arrangements to fix that.

We need to recognise that our world is currently polarizing and when this has happened in previous times, due to a paucity in world leadership, it has led to war. War does not determine who is right but only who is left.

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