Daily Archives: 10/29/2017

Demonization or Deification — A Very Tricky Distinction – David Simmons | Asia Times

Demonization or Deification — A Very Tricky Distinction

David Simmons | Asia Times

Last Thursday the front page of The Nation, a Bangkok-based daily, featured a dramatic photo of the Grand Palace with the simple headline:  “Divine Departure.”

For the past year, Thailand has been in an official state of mourning after the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died at the age of 88 a year ago after a long illness. The Bhumibol era officially ended Thursday with the cremation of one of the most beloved monarchs of modern times.

But “divine”? Yes — Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, but it is obvious that if there is a divine presence for nearly all Thais, it is not the Buddha. It is Bhumibol.     Continue reading

What Is Really Unprecedented About Trump? – Julian E. Zelizer | The Atlantic

What Is Really Unprecedented About Trump?

In many respects, the way that the president thinks about politics is utterly conventional.

Julian E. Zelizer | The Atlantic

“Unprecedented” has become one of the most popular terms to use when discussing President Trump. On any given day since January 20 2017, the odds are good that a person can turn on their televisions or browse through a news story to encounter some pundit discussing how President Trump’s actions are unlike anything we have ever seen before.

As a “public intellectual” who takes to the airwaves frequently, I often find myself fielding this question about all sorts of issues. The gatekeepers  perpetually have their ears open to hear a guest utter those words. Because of how unpredictable and bizarre so much of the news seems to be in the era of Trump, the desire to blurt out “unprecedented!” when discussing the state of American politics is always strong.    Continue reading