Pantalone and Molière’s Miser


, , , , , , , , ,


Pantalone (1550) by Maurice Sand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maurice Sand

Below is an excerpt from an article I posted in 2014, when our topic was the commedia dell’artePantalone is a mask, a stock character. His name may differ from play to play, but his function, or role, does not change. He is the blocking character, or the obstacle to the marriage of comedy’s young lovers, the innamorati of the commedia dell’arte and, in the case of Pantalone, money prevents the marriages that comedy favours. He is an ancestor to Molière’s Harpagon, L’Avare‘s protagonist.

The portrait I am featuring above is by Maurice Sand, whose full name is Jean-François-Maurice-Arnauld, Baron Dudevant (1823–1889). He was the son of writer George Sand  (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), who separated from her husband, but brought up her son Maurice and daughter Solange (1828–1899). She may be the most colourful woman in 19th-century France and a prolific author. We will discuss George Sand in a future post.

Maurice Sand’s depiction of Pantalone is delightful. One of Maurice’s subject matters was la commedia dell’arte. You may remember that one of Molière‘s artists was Edmond Geffroy (29 July 1804-8 February 1895) FR. Maurice Sand’s Masques et bouffons de la comédie italienne, texte et dessins was published in 1860. Maurice was also a writer. He was a self-effacing gentleman, but kept company with the most famous writers and artists of his days.

A few weeks ago, I read André Maurois‘ biography of the three Dumas: mulatto général Dumas, Alexandre Dumas père and Alexandre Dumas fils. Maurois mentions Maurice several times. Dumas père, the most notorious Dumas (The Three Musketeers, etc.), was a very close friend of George Sand, but not her lover. Her famous lovers were composer and virtuoso pianist Chopin and poet Alfred de Musset (called Musset).

Molière and the Commedia dell’arte

Molière (15 January 1622 – 17 February 1673) was influenced by the comédie italienne and, in particular, by the commedia dell’arte. He once shared a theatre with the Italians. Moreover, Molière’s first troupe,  L’Illustre Théâtre, went bankrupt in 1645, the year it was founded. Molière spent 24 hours in jail and then left Paris and toured the provinces until 1658. We do not have the text of the many comedies he performed during the 13 years he lived outside Paris, but he may have posted a canevas, the plot, and members of his troupe improvised their role as did the actors of the commedia dell’arte.

Pantalone, the greedy alazôn, vs the eirôn

Pantalone is a heavy father or an alazôn, the blocking character of comedy, or the person who opposes the young lovers’ marriage. As for Pantalone, he is a ‘needy’ blocking character or Pantalon de’ Bisognosi, Italian for Pantalone of the Needy.’ His name derives from San Pantaleone, or Saint Pantaleon. (See Pantalone and Saint PantaleonWikipedia.) As an alazônPantalone is the opponent of the victorious eirôn (as in the word ironic), who helps bring about the marriage of the young lovers. The role, or function, of the alazôn may be played by several characters such as a braggart soldier, a miles gloriosus, or a pedant, il dottore. Roman playwright Plautus (c. 254–184 BCE) wrote the Aululariafeaturing the miser Euclio.

Pantalone is an ancestor to Molière’s L’Avare (The Miser). L’Avare‘s other ancestor is Euclio, the miser featured in Aulularia, the pot of gold, a play by Roman dramatist Plautus. Molière’s Miser was first performed on 9 September 1668, in the theatre of the Palais-Royal, le théâtre du Palais-Royal. Harpagon is a descendant of Plautus’ Euclio (see L’Avare, Wikipedia).

Molière’s L’Avare

My article on Molière’s L’Avare (The Miser) is ready for posting, but it is too long. This post will help me make it shorter. L’Avare originates in Greek Old Comedy and Greek New Comedy (Menander c. 342/41 – c. 290 BCE). He may be a type in the Latin Fabula palliata and Atellan Farce, but Molière’s best known-sources are PlautusAulularia and the commedia dell’arte. Money, or lack thereof, is a common obstacle to the marriage of comedy’s young lovers. As we will see in a future post, Molière’s L’Avare features two young couples and two father figures.

You may notice that a large number of individuals can be associated with Plautus’ Miles gloriosus and the commedia dell’arte‘s Pantalone, il Dottore and il Capitano. Comedies, farces in particular, often feature a boastful character. But Molière’s L’Avare is the depiction of a miser, a less prominent figure than boastful characters.

At any rate, here is a quotation from a post entitled Pantalone: la Commedia dell’arte (20 June 2014).

An Excerpt

Costume: Money

Pantalone is dressed as Pantalone and his costume is part of his mask. It is always the same and he looks like a hunchback. However, he is not Victor Hugo‘s Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831). He is a hunchback because of the bag of money he conceals. Pantalone is lustful, jealous, deceitful, selfish, lazy, full of himself (“Il Magnifico”), but, above all, greedy.

Pantalone is the metaphorical representation of money in the commedia world. (See Pantalone, Wikipedia.)

Pantalone is “di bisognosi” (dans le besoin, the needy).

Other than his hunch, Pantalone wears a red cap, red tights, yellow Turkish slippers, a short vest and a long coat. (continue reading)

Love to everyone ♥



The Commedia dell’Arte

Sources and Resources

François Couperin 2/3, Airs, Gillot/Watteau


The Italian Comedians by Watteau, 1721 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
20 November 2016

The US Election: its Aftermath


, , , , , , ,

Obstructionism & Populism

President-elect Donald Trump has stated that American elections were rigged. Although there could be truth to this statement, it is a generalization.

Yet Mrs Hillary Clinton suspects that the investigation into her emails jeopardized her bid for the Presidency of the United States. I believe it did. I have read that she had been somewhat careless in handling classified material, but the FBI had not found criminal wrongdoing at the close of its first investigation. However, reopening the investigation suggested wrongdoing. Nothing more was needed to eliminate Mrs Clinton and open the way for a tragedy.

Therefore, one could say that there was obstructionism, but obstructionism of a kind that cannot be pinned down entirely on people at the top, such as FBI Director James Comey. The court of public opinion is ruthless. It undid Mrs Clinton. Unless there were errors in calculating the votes, which does not seem to be the case, Americans voted Donald Trump into office. And he was elected by a populist United States, not its élite, which is somewhat ironical. As a billionaire, Donald Trump is probably one of the wealthy Americans who hide their tax dollar, which tends to put him on the very same level as the establishment, or part of the establishment.

It could also be that Americans wanted a change. Mrs Clinton had been in Washington for many years, which was both an advantage and a disadvantage. She was the experienced nominee, but she had already spent two terms in office as the wife of former President Bill Clinton. In the eyes of ordinary and not-so ordinary people, a husband and wife are one and the same person.

Consequently, contrary to Pascal’s Wager, a large number of Americans chose “infinite” losses rather than “limited” losses. One may argue that four years is a finite period of time. Mathematically, four years are four years. However, there are other yardsticks. The events of these four years may be defining and irreversible. As President Obama pointed out, if a person loses self-control twittering, will it be safe to trust him with the nuclear code? The results would be limitless.

In short, taking a risk, i.e. voting for Mr Trump, was a perilous choice and, therefore, not a  choice. He is the laughing-stock of the world.


Detail of Elihu Vedder‘s mural Government (1896), in the Library of Congress. The title figure bears a tablet inscribed with Lincoln’s famous phrase. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

America’s Credibility

There will be consequences. On 8 November 2016, the credibility the United States had gained during Barack Obama’s presidency was shaken by an amnesia-stricken and reckless American electorate. During his term as President of the United States, Mr Trump is likely to be what he was before his election: sexist, racist, lewd, brash, narcissistic, xenophobic, an unbearable misogynist, etc.

As well, Donald Trump is a nativist and his natives are white Americans. We know that he is married to Melania who is not an American by birth but is somewhat trans-cultural given her former occupation as supermodel. She was one of the tall and very slender ladies flying from runway to runway. They “appear,” as does Donald Trump.

The fact remains that when and if Donald Trump attends summits, the American discourse will no longer have the logic and fluency it did under President Obama. But, as President, Mr Trump may not attend summits.

Had Mr Trump not been elected, he might have appointed himself President of the United States and would have been a usurper. Mrs Clinton was not a perfect candidate. It appears she had some baggage, but she was more experienced which made her a safer choice. She was not likely to deprive Americans of social programmes. These programmes are not charity. Americans pay for them through their tax dollar.

Consider that, theoretically, it is now “open season” on Mexicans, Muslims, people of colour, persons of a different sexual orientation or women, and various dissenters. Mr Trump’s presidency promises to be authoritarian.

He is in favour of the death-penalty and he will penalize women whose life was threatened by a pregnancy that had to be terminated. I hope he will seek the advice of doctors in this respect. Doctors cannot let a woman die because she is pregnant. Doctors performing abortions will also be penalized. It is as though Mr Trump did not know that abortions and birth-control are different issues. When abortions were decriminalized in Canada, doctors could, at long last, intervene if the health and life of their patient was at risk. Their only option had been a hysterectomy. Is a woman’s life so unimportant that she should be left to suffer and die if a pregnancy threatens her health and her life ?

The United States should be as Abraham Lincoln defined it in the Gettysburg Address: a democracy. Mr Trump, whose bid for the presidency was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, militant racists, is a clear and present danger. He may also allow the bearing of guns in mid-town Manhattan.

He also had the support of the National Rifle Association.


The Bigger Picture

Let us look at the bigger picture. The European Union has been weakened because of Brexit and with Donald Trump steering the USA, the leader of France’s Front National, nativist  Marine Le Pen, feels emboldened. Under President-elect Donald J. Trump, I believe Russia stands to become a greater power, perhaps the main power. By electing Mr Trump to the presidency of the United States, Americans may have elevated Russian President Vladimir Putin to a more commanding position. Americans may, in fact, have changed the balance of power.

Canada ♥



Mr Trump is the President-elect and this is his honeymoon period. Moreover, hope springs eternal… We have to think that all will be well. It is a matter of survival, but the campaign tends to indicate that all is not and will not be well. I fear the aftermath of Mr Trump’s election to the presidency. It may lead to purges in the United States and a degree of erosion in Canada’s social programmes, if he slashes into Obamacare.

I opposed Mr Trump’s election for reasons which I believe were very good reasons. I will continue to oppose him if I see danger and abuse. But he may surprise us. He’s no longer a nominee and he is not a usurper. He is the President-elect of the United States. We’ll have to wait and see.

Love to everyone

“Beautiful Dreamer”
Stephen Foster
Jonathan Guyot Smith & Stephen Sasloe


© Micheline Walker
17 November 2016


“The Frogs Who Desired a King,” a Fable for our Times


, , ,


Les Grenouilles qui demandent un roi (La Fontaine)
The Frogs Asking [for] a King III.4 (La Fontaine)


Les Grenouilles qui demandent un roi is the fourth fable in book three of La Fontaine’s first volume of Fables (1668) (IX.2). His second volume, containing five books, was published in 1678. The twelfth book was published in 1694, shortly before his death. The same fable is also one of Æsop’s Fables, classified as number 44 in the Perry Index (the classification of Æsop’s Fables).

Les Grenouilles qui demandent un roi tells the story of “silly and frightened” frogs who live in a democracy, but, tired of democracy, ask Jupiter for a monarch. Jupiter acquiesces. From the skies descends a peace-loving king who makes a huge noise as he lands. This king is often represented as a beam or log.

Frightened by the din, the frogs go into hiding, only to return slowly to look at the king. The peace-loving king is a beam, which is not very kingly. The frogs start jumping on the beam-king, which the king tolerates as Jupiter grumbles. The beam-king is a kindly monarch, but he does not move.

Dissatisfied, the people go back to Jupiter to ask for a king who moves. So Jupiter sends them a crane that starts eating them up. In Æsop’s telling of this fable, the crane is a stork.

In Phædrus‘ Latin translation of this fable by Æsop, a second king is sent to the frogs. It is a water snake. There is no second king in La Fontaine.

Our silly frogs complain, and Jupiter tells them, first, that they should have kept their government (a democracy), second, that they should have been pleased to be sent a gentleman-king, the beam-king, and, third, to settle for the king they have for fear of encountering a worse one, La Fontaine’s celui-ci (this one) pointing to the voracious crane.

In Æsop, as noted above, the crane is a stork.


The Frogs prayed to Jove for a king:
“Not a log, but a livelier thing.”
Jove sent them a Stork,
Who did royal work,
For he gobbled them up, did their king.



An art nouveau illustration by Charles Robinson from an 1895 edition
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To read the fable in French, click on Les Grenouilles qui demandent un roi
To read the fable in English, click on The Frogs Asking [for] a King


The Baby’s Own Aesop by Walter Crane

The Moral

One of the morals of this fable is the eternal “Leave well enough alone,” but we are also reading a “beware-of-your-wishes-as-they-may-come-true” narrative. The moral of this fable is also a defense of the status quo, the state of affairs.

If all is well, a change is not necessary. If forewarned of possible dangers, a change may be dangerous. Knowing there are very real dangers, one does not jump into uncertainty. In a serious election, one cannot say “I’ll give him or her a chance.” Acting in such a manner reflects a somewhat flawed understanding of democracy. As I wrote above, La Fontaine calls the frogs who are not pleased with the good king log, a beam: “gent fort sotte et fort peureuse,” very silly and very frightened people.

We do not know the exact origin of this fable. Æsop retold fables told in the Near East, Middle East and India, including Buddhist tales. The most likely source is the Sanskrit Panchatantra by Vishnu Sharma, written in the 3rd century BCE. The storyteller is Pilpay or Bidpai. Bidpai’s stories were translated by Persian scholar Ibn al-Muqaffa as Kalīlah wa Dimnah. Moreover, Æsopic fables translated into Latin, by Phædrus, or Greek, by Babrius, were retold several times after Phædrus and Babrius. There are modern references to the Frogs Who Desired a King or King Log & King Stork. Under The Frogs Who desired a King, Wikipedia quotes New Zealand author James K. Baxter who wrote:

A democratic people have elected
King Log, King Stork, King Log, King Stork again.

Because I like a wide and silent pond
I voted Log. That party was defeated.

Howrah Bridge and Other Poems, London, 1961

These words will be my conclusion.


Sources and Resources

Wikipedia’s The Frogs Who Desired a King is our best source of information on this fable.

Æsop’s Fables
Perry Index #44
(a complete classification)

Ladislas Starevich, 1922


Arthur Rackham

© Micheline Walker
12 November 2016

Glenn Beck on the USA


, , ,


Glenn Beck: we don’t listen

I believe this is informative. To listen to Glenn Beck, one has to scroll down a little, but one gets there.

Beware, he may already have changed his mind. Afterthought.


© Micheline Walker
10 November 2016


Donald Trump: 370 Economists


, , , , ,

Mrs Clinton will not forget, at least not easily, but she was very composed while delivering her concession speech. No one expected Mr Trump to be elected to the presidency.

The Letter from 370 Economists

Many of us did our best to prevent a Trump victory, but democracy is flawed. It allows everyone to vote, including those who are incapable of making an informed decision. They are easily led by slogans. Democracy also allows anyone to run for office and, in the United States, the educated, including Nobel Prize winners, are mere ‘academics.’ With Donald Trump at the wheel, an economic collapse can be expected, which is frightening. One listens.

A group of 370 economists, including eight Nobel laureates in economics, have signed a letter warning against the election of Republican nominee Donald Trump, calling him a “dangerous, destructive choice” for the country.
Nick Timiraos, the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 1, 2016

No one listened. Mr Trump is a liar, a racist, a bigot, a bully, a misogynist, and a possible rapist. He is incapable of self-control, profoundly disturbed by Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but he has been voted into the office of President of the United States, despite serious warnings on the part of 370 economists who called him a “dangerous, destructive choice.” A know-it-all America dismissed warnings from the ablest and wisest. Mr Trump did not seek the presidency so he could serve his country. No, not even remotely. He sought the presidency to feed his ego, to serve himself.

bn-qo372_trumpe_m_20161101111503-1Donald Trump campaigns in Warren, Mich., on Monday. Adviser Peter Navarro reacted to the letter Tuesday, saying in part, “You shouldn’t believe economists or Nobel Prize winners on trade.” PHOTO: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

What Happened?

How this happened is somewhat difficult to explain. It could be an example of the American psyche. (See Glenn Beck, below.)

However, the following is a possible scenario. When FBI Director James Comey reopened the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s emails, he placed her under a cloud of suspicion. Her emails had been investigated, but once wasn’t enough, he reopened the investigation knowing he would find no criminal wrongdoing on the part of Mrs Clinton. Investigating again was a witch hunt and I believe it jeopardized Mrs Clinton’s bid for the presidency of the United States.

The timing points to a set up, un coup monté. However, the ‘bad guy’ was Mr Trump, a sexual predator who was threatening to sue the women who confirmed that they had been assaulted by him. The ‘bad guy’ was not Mrs Clinton who used the wrong server, whatever that is, to send emails. She was cleared for the second time on Sunday 6 November, which was much too late for her to recover. Therefore, on Tuesday 8 November 2016, Americans, who customarily suspect the establishment, shot themselves in the foot and transformed the election into a small, but perhaps not so small, coup d’état.

My question remains. Who put FBI Director James Comey up to this dastardly deed? The United States remains a house divided against itself. The Civil War is not over.

The Greater America

In fact, where is that greater America? I remember years of relative prosperity. For instance, when the interstate was built, President Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s initiative, Americans who could afford a car moved to a bungalow in suburbia. Many of these bungalows were cantilevered. There was a rumpus room, a recreation room, under the bedrooms. That is where couch potatoes slouched watching television. Cars could also take them to drive-in movie theatres where they slouched. In fact, food could be brought to a car and a large percentage of the slouching population got fatter. Smaller potatoes grew into larger potatoes as cars polluted the air. Was this a greater America? It would not be possible for 370 economists, a large number, to instill doubt into the mind of couch potatoes. Couch potatoes vegetate.

Glenn Beck: we don’t listen


About two weeks ago, Mr Trump stated that he was then quite certain President Obama was born in the United States, but that he had yet to be persuaded that President Obama was a Christian, not with a name like Barack Hussein Obama. This is an obsession, une idée fixe.

Hillary Clinton greeted supporters after delivering her concession speech on Wednesday in Manhattan. “This is painful, and it will be for a long time,” Mrs. Clinton said. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times


What next? If 370 economists called Mr Trump a “dangerous, destructive choice,” I have reason to fear. It’s a tragedy.

Canada and the United States are neighbours. We share the Great Lakes and many of us also share ancestry. At any rate, we welcomed draft dodgers and will welcome Americans who may think moving to Canada is an option. But how does one escape Donald Trump?

This, I believe, was my last post on the American presidency.

Love to everyone 

Nat King Cole sings “The Falling Leaves”


© Micheline Walker
9 November 2016 (11/9)

November 8, 2016: the USA Votes


, , , , ,

Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia on Sunday. The F.B.I. informed Congress on Sunday that it has not changed its conclusions about Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. (The New York Times)

“WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told Congress on Sunday that he had seen no evidence in a recently discovered trove of emails to change his conclusion that Hillary Clinton should face no charges over her handling of classified information.” (The New York Times)

What is particularly shocking in this story is not only the timing of Mr Comey’s decision to re-open the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s emails, but the fact that Mr Comey knew that re-opening the investigation would not show criminal wrongdoing on the part of Mrs Clinton, but would give Mr Trump an advantage.

It was obstructionism, i.e. putting obstacles in the way of a nominee, and it was political. Mr Comey gave Mr Trump an advantage. Mr Comey all but removed Mrs Clinton’s bid to the presidency of the United States by suggesting partisanship.

It is for the American electorate to choose the President of the United States, not the FBI. By announcing it was re-opening its investigation regarding emails sent from her personal computer, the FBI put Mrs Clinton under a cloud of suspicion. She is a strong woman, but the stress the announcement generated was harmful.

Colin Powell

  • Donald Trump is a “national disgrace,”
  • Donald Trump is an “international pariah,”
  • Mrs Clinton is an “experienced” politician.

Retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is not an admirer of Mrs Clinton, has stated that he would vote for her because she is an experienced politician. He has called Donald Trump a “national disgrace” and “international pariah.” If Donald Trump is a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah,” voting for him makes no sense. One may as well jump off a plane without a parachute.


Colin Powell, NYT

I share Mr Powell’s view. Mrs Clinton is a veteran politician and a former Secretary of State. She is “by leaps and bounds” the more qualified nominee. As for Donald Trump, evidence points to his suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If Mr Trump believes he can be President of the United States without being elected, he is indeed a very sick man. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is relatively easy to detect. Narcissists care for one person only, their person.



Platform & Programme

I have written several times that Donald Trump has failed to present a coherent platform or program. He doesn’t, except for despicable goals.

Normally, I avoid redundancy, but I am quoting New Yorker journalist  for the second time. Mr Gopnik writes that:

His [Mr Trump’s] platform is resentment and his program is revenge, and that is an ideology with many faces and one name. This is fascism with an American face.

  • Economists foresee a disaster and oppose Donald Trump. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • The Atlantic endorses Mrs Clinton, or disendorses Mr Trump.
  • Mr Trump has been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.

PRESS ON “The Editorialists Have Spoken… ” TO READ THE ARTICLE

The United States is a Democracy

Americans live in a democracy and cannot allow anyone to take over the presidency, without being elected to the position. Such a person would be a dictator, as was Adolf Hitler.

He would, in other words, exercise absolute power over the American people, depriving them of what has made America great: the freedom to choose their leaders and to live a private life.

Who would have thought, a year ago, that Donald Trump would be the Republicans’ nominee for the presidency of the United States? Americans have been taken by surprise. Could this be an American Brexit?


I’m with Colin Powell. If I were an American citizen, which I am not, I would vote for Hillary Clinton because she is the competent candidate, not Donald Trump.

Remember that Donald Trump

  • wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans from entering the United States;
  • that he will not allow Muslims into the United States;
  • this is how he will deal with the Migrant Crisis brought about by Isis and Autocratic regimes;
  • that he is a racist, endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan;
  • that he does not like women, he’s a misogynist, has assaulted women and may have raped a 13-year old;
  • that he will abolish Obamacare: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
  • that there is little doubt that he suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder;
  • and that he does not care for the people of the United States.

The only person Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump.


Love to everyone. ♥

John Philip Sousa
Semper Fidelis – “The President’s Own” US Marine Band


Independence Day by Andrew Wyeth

© Micheline Walker
7 November 2016


A Breech of Protocol


, , , , , , , , ,

In this depraved campaign season, it’s unclear whether Trump’s support from white supremacists will have a positive or negative effect on his campaign.In this depraved campaign season, it’s unclear whether Trump’s support from white supremacists will have a positive or negative effect on his campaign.”


A Possible Rape

Just as we were expecting Mrs Clinton to lose her bid for the presidency of the United States, rumours are circulating that Mr Trump may have raped a 13-year-old and then threatened to kill her if she told.

Such matters have to be investigated. One is innocent until proven guilty and to this rule there can be no exception, but rape, however, is a criminal offence. I suspect, moreover, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will have to investigate allegations of connivance between Mr Trump and the Kremlin. There is considerable fear outside the United States that Mr Trump will be elected into the office of President of the United States. The Ku Klux Klan, no less, has endorsed his candidacy.



President Obama criticized Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey for re-opening the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s emails. Mrs Clinton used her personal computer to send emails in her professional capacity as United States’ Secretary of State. It is not a secure way of sending emails. Mrs Clinton has stated that she was not directed not to use her personal computer, but that she is accepting full responsibility for her actions. Moreover, Hillary Clinton’s emails were investigated and she was cleared.

Consequently, when FBI Director James Comey announced he was re-opening the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s email, the earth shook. He had put Mrs Clinton at a disadvantage in an election where voters do not have a choice. The alternative is Mr Trump, which is the unthinkable. By re-opening the investigation, Mr Comey broke a protocol. It was too late. I saw a figure, but could not trace my way back to the source. However, if my memory serves me well, the figure was 60 days and I had read the New York Times and The New Yorker.

The protocol applies to governmental agencies, such as the FBI, and it is used to protect the candidates, the electorate and, ultimately, democracy. Consider, for instance, that a voter may be persuaded not to vote for the candidate of his or her choice, only to learn that the candidate of his or her choice was the better candidate. It is easy to poison the mind of voters. Mr Comey failed to protect Americans.

Newspapers can disclose news, which is how I learned about the possible rape of a 13-year old. In this matter, timing is again an issue. Mr Trump’s victim, if indeed he raped a 13-year old, should have spoken earlier, but she reported that Mr Trump told her he would kill her if she talked. The word “killing” may have been used metaphorically, but to the victim, it was a genuine threat and the ultimate form of intimidation. Besides, it is a known fact that Mr Trump is a sexual predator.

It is also a known fact that Mr Trump is a liar, but would he lie to a young woman who could ruin his reputation and career? I doubt it. If he is elected to the presidency the United States, Americans will have a liar as president and commander-in-chief and Mr Trump may have lied his way out of a conviction: rape. He can afford the very best lawyers.

borowitz-comeysaysfbiinvestigatinghillarystiestobillclinton-1200-1Hillary and Bill Clinton, PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY

Two Investigations

The plot thickens. I was under the impression that the FBI investigation was about Mrs Clinton’s emails, which it may be at the moment. However, the FBI is also investigating the Clinton’s, or “so-called ties” between Hillary and Bill Clinton. Specifically, they are investigating the Clinton Foundation. Yet we are told that emails are being investigated.

“Dropping a bombshell less than a week before the Presidential election, the F. B. I. Director James Comey revealed on Wednesday that the Bureau was investigating Hillary Clinton’s ties to Bill Clinton.”

I should tell why the FBI could not investigate the new cache of emails earlier than it did. There was a formality the FBI could not skip. What is it, precisely, that the FBI could not investigate before 8 November 2016, the day of the election? It seems a witch hunt the purpose of which would be to eliminate Mrs Clinton and elevate Donald Trump to the presidency as he wishes, without an election.

“To say that they are investigating so-called ties between Hillary and Bill Clinton while offering no specifics about what those ties might be is unconscionable this close to an election,” Podesta told CNN. John Podesta is Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

“A New Age of Endarkenment”

In my last post, I asked Who (and how) had put the FBI up to such shenanigans as re-opening an investigation days before an election and possibly sabotaging the better candidate’s campaign thus empowering an ignoramus and a man who cannot contain himself. If a man feels free to assault women, he will feel free to assault the world. Whoever put the FBI up to re-opening an investigation into Mrs Clinton’s emails is an unconscionable individual.

From my perspective, Americans are currently being denied the right to elect their president and Mr Trump, who will take them to a “new age of endarkenment” is being foisted on them. We know the “how,” a breech of protocol, but the saboteur has not been identified.

Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian (UK) writes that

If Donald Trump wins, it’ll be a new age of darkness.

Mrs Clinton used the wrong computer, but as I wrote in my last post, she has devoted a life time to the well-being and the security of all Americans. Once he is in office, Mr Trump will do away with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care ActObamacare. This is very wrong. Citizens pay taxes and, in return, their government ensures their security. No one is omitted. Leaders negotiate a Social Contract with the citizens of a country, which is not happening in this particular election. This election isn’t an election.

Donald Trump behaves exactly how you would expect an American fascist to act. PHOTOGRAPH BY MANDEL NGAN / AFP / GETTY

I wrote that he did not have a platform, a program, but he does. He has a platform and a program, but it is of a bitter savour.

His platform is resentment and his program is revenge, and that is an ideology with many faces and one name. This is fascism with an American face.


The protocol should not have been violated. Sowing the seeds of doubt about a nominee as a campaign is drawing to a close is paramount to endorsing the nominee’s opponent. Mr Comey’s last-minute revelation is an assault on democracy, words I have already used. In this election one should vote for the nominee whose devotion and dedication to the United States is an established fact. That privilege is being trampled on.

Retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell is not an admirer of Hillary Clinton and he has called Donald Trump a “national disgrace” and “international pariah.”

Yet, he has stated that he would vote for Mrs Clinton because she is an experienced politician. She is, by leaps and bounds, the better and safer choice. In such a case, a rational individual has to take Blaise Pascal‘s wager.

“In Pensées, Pascal surveys several philosophical paradoxes: infinity and nothing, faith and reason, soul and matter, death and life, meaning and vanity – seemingly arriving at no definitive conclusions besides humility, ignorance, and grace. Rolling these into one he develops Pascal’s Wager.” (See Pascal, Wikipedia.)

According to Pascal’s Wager, if one elects Mr Trump one has every thing to lose and nothing to gain.

I tried to finish this article earlier, but a migraine stood in my way and the pain will not abate.

Love to everyone.




Google images

© Micheline Walker
5 November 2016
(Revised 5 November 2016)

This is Nonsense. Vote!


, , ,


My WordPress colleague B. Ashley is asking:

  • “Do you want a person who is questionably devoid of conscience and empathy with a self-serving orientation and thirst to dominate others, to control war and peace matters? ” and
  • “Do you want someone with a penchant for outrageous, disrespectful and pathologically untruthful statements to represent the United States?”

My answer to both questions is: NO!



“If the Jack Mitnick episode revealed anything about Donald Trump, it was the direction of his narcissism, that he could take credit for an employee’s expertise as if it were a condition of his own character.”
(8 October 2016)


What also perturbs me is that the FBI (the Federal Bureau of Investigation) did not comply with Mrs Clinton requests for full disclosure.

Why would the FBI not supply the information Mrs Clinton wants everyone to know? The answer that leaps to one’s mind is that the FBI does not have the information Mrs Clinton wants it to release in time for Americans to vote knowledgeably. By not complying with her request, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not lifting the cloud of suspicion weighing down on Mrs Clinton which is how it is sabotaging the American election.

Casting suspicion will not do if proof is not provided. The people need evidence. One is innocent until proven guilty.

A New Cache: the Timing

Examine the timing. The new cache was found days before the elections, which is much too convenient, so convenient that it is difficult to tell whether or not a new cache has been found. Americans need evidence. The FBI must prove that the cache of emails exists and, if it exists, disclose the content of all emails.

The FBI under a Cloud of Suspicion

If it does not disclose the content of all emails, the FBI is placing itself under a cloud of suspicion. It has to disclose the content of these emails as the American electorate does not otherwise have the slightest reason to believe they exist. The American electorate may in fact conclude that they have been manipulated, like puppets.

An Investigation of the FBI

If the FBI does not have the emails it claims to have, there will have to be an investigation into the FBI as one or more of its employee(s) will have acted irresponsibly and unconscionably. It is highly unconscionable to manipulate the electorate just before an election.

Who and How

Just who put the FBI up to such shenanigans? And how?

A Democracy

There is not such thing as a perfect form of government. A Democracy is the best we poor humans have found. We can vote. This is what made America great. So please vote.

Every adult can vote: black, white, Asian, male, female, rich, poor, middle-class, working-class…

This man, featured below, cannot lead a nation. He has yet to present a platform. He prefers accusations…


Mr Trump

Mr Trump is now behaving as though he had won the election. Grandiosity! The election is scheduled for 8 November 2016. Only then will we know who has been elected President of the United States. We will not know a second before.

However, I have just learned that the new investigation will not be over before 8 November 2016.


I’m hoping for a miracle. Mrs Clinton has devoted most of her life to the well-being of her nation. She is like a veteran. She has served her country dutifully. Does anyone need more evidence?

Love to everyone 

Franz Schubert
Ave Maria


Independence Day by Andrew Wyeth

© Micheline Walker
2 November 2016

The Campaign: a Nightmare


, , , , ,

Hillary Clinton Holds Town Hall In South Carolina Ahead Of Primary

Hillary Clinton in South Carolina (Photo credit: Google images)

A Nightmare

After months of investigation, mere days before the vote, and having failed to find dead bodies in Mrs Clinton‘s closet, the FBI chose to flex its muscles by undermining Mrs Clinton’s bid for the presidency of the United States. It appears that more emails have surfaced. We do not know what they contain but they have jeopardized the success of Mrs Clinton campaign and the security of the citizens of the United States. More importantly, they are putting the world at risk. No Mr Trump is not presidential material.

To be absolutely precise, the FBI, the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have sabotaged the 2016 American presidential elections. Are these new emails or emails waiting to be investigated?  How can anyone know? The timing would suggest they were sitting in a file cabinet or were handed over at the worst moment. We have no way of knowing. The campaign was a circus and it has turned into what seems a nightmare.

At any rate, witch-hunting has begun. There were rumours suggesting connivance between Mr Trump and Russia. This matter was dealt with promptly. We have been told that their is no connivance between Mr Trump and Russia.


Witch-Hunt by Lucy Gaylor-Lindholm, 2010

Mistaken Identity

Not only does the FBI investigation seem a witch-hunt, but the nominee who is in serious trouble is Mr Trump, not Mrs Clinton. Therefore, it may be a case of mistaken identity.

How can anyone forget that

“Trump’s trouble began on October 7, when The Washington Post released a video in which Trump boasts of sexually assaulting women. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them,” Trump said. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.” He added, “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” The video produced a wave of revulsion, and many Republicans denounced him, with some withdrawing support.”
The Atlantic

Sexual assaults are a statutory offence in several countries and damning in the United States, with the possible exception of Mr Trump. The facts that emerged on 7 October 2016 caused many Republicans to distance themselves from Mr Trump. But the FBI did not promptly lift the cloud of suspicion that could lead to Mrs Clinton’s defeat. It could be that the FBI chose to ignore that a known sexual predator was still an official nominee to the presidency of the United States, drowning in an ocean of unsubstantiated suspicion the better qualified candidate. I doubt that Mrs Clinton would have run for office if there were serious improprieties in her conduct.

An Ignoramus

Former General and Secretary of State Colin Powell has credibility. He stated that he would vote for Mrs Clinton because she is an experienced political figure, not a frivolous comment. Mr Trump is new to politics and knows so little about the various dossiers the President of the United States must be familiar with that one wonders why the Republican Party chose him as their nominee to the presidency. They perhaps expected that Mr Trump would present a clear and coherent platform, but he didn’t.

For instance, he gathered a group of women who were ready to say that former President Bill Clinton was a womanizer. Mr Trump should have known that former President Bill Clinton’s indiscretions have nothing to do with Mrs Clinton’s ability to play her role as President of the United States in a competent manner and it so happens that in the current race to the presidency, Mrs Clinton is the competent nominee, not Mr Trump. Mr Trump did not know that forcing oneself on a woman was objectionable and perhaps a crime. It is a crime in many countries.

Besides, Mr Trump planned attack on former President Bill Clinton was a “trumpism.” It was yet again avoidance of a discussion of the many issues facing his nation, such as immigration, gun-control, the crisis in the Middle East, matters Presidents of the United States deal with. Given the years she has devoted to serving the people of the United, Mrs Clinton is familiar with these issues, which, as noted above, makes her the competent nominee. Mr Trump’s campaign was no more than a distasteful sideshow and sadly “bombastic” (Paul Krugman, NYT).

The article below, by Paul Krugman, dates back to May 2016, but it has not lost its significance. To read the article, please click on its title.


Please do keep in mind that, if elected, Mr Trump intends to build a wall separating the Unites States and Mexico. It would prevent Mexicans from entering the United States. He has also stated that, if he elected to the presidency, he would not allow Muslims into the United States. In his opinion, all Muslims are terrorists. Moreover, this sexual predator has threatened to jail women who have undergone an abortion. Finally, as our colleague B. Ashley has written, he suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (see Wikipedia). Mr Trump’s behaviour is “characterized by an exaggerated feelings of self-importance,” or grandiosity. If a man states that he should be proclaimed President of the United States, by-passing an election, not only is he assaulting democracy, but his perception of reality could be that of an absolute monarch. All humans exhibit a degree of narcissism. We think we are important, but not the point of claiming we should be the president of a country, except as an obvious joke. That would be called a sense of self-entitlement.

After posting my last article, I realized that it lacked a conclusion, or final sentence about democracy. In a democracy, people have the right to choose their president, but they also have to live with the consequences of their choice. Mr Trump does not know poverty. He can afford the best care, the best medication, luxurious dwellings, meals in the finest restaurants and lives in a tower he owns.

If elected to the presidency, will he be able to see that others are homeless, hungry, unable to feed their children or to pay a doctor’s fees? Mrs Clinton can see the needs of others, but although she is an experienced politician, which is an advantage, she has spent decades in Washington. Some people think a change is, by definition, for the better.

Video from France, in English


Vladimir Horowitz
Chopin « Polonaise N°6 l’Héroïque »


© Micheline Walker
1 November 2016

A Democracy: the Right to Vote


, , , , ,


A Street in New York, on a November Day

Our colleague has written several articles on Mr Trump.

I can sense a personality disorder, but it is difficult for me to give it a name. I am not a psychologist, nor am I a psychiatrist. However, our colleague B. Ashley has studied the “Donald phenomenon” methodically and has sought the help of experts. Therefore, she may be able to provide information that go beyond my “trumpism,” which consists in concealing one’s platform or in not having a platform to begin with. It would seem that what ails Mr Trump is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Wikipedia). There can be no doubt that his behaviour is “characterized by a exaggerated feelings of self-importance,” or grandiosity.

Voter take into account the nominee’s platform. But they also choose the nominee considering the manner in which he or she behaves. Mr Trump has behaved as though he owned the presidency. Mr Trump has avoided presenting a serious and coherent platform, a process I have called “trumpism.” He has also exhibited a sense of entitlement, which is consistent with narcissistic behaviour.

Cancelling the Election? Never!

Mr Trump had stated he would not accept the result of the election unless he were elected. But he has moved a step closer to imposing himself on the American electorate. The moment he heard that more emails had been found that could harm Mrs Clinton, he boldly proposed that the election be cancelled. He was the President of the United States by default, so to speak.

On the one hand, Mr Trump displayed feelings of grandiosity, and, on the other hand, he forgot a simple and well-known rule, which is that one is innocent until proven guilty. However, particularly egregious is the implication that one can rise to the presidency of the United States dispensing with an election. That would be an assault on democracy. It is the behaviour or dictators.

It could be that Mr Trump is afraid the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will not find information that would disqualify Mrs Clinton and that he felt he should quickly seize this heaven-sent opportunity. Not only would Mr Trump have risen to the presidency having avoided a serious discussion of the many issues at hand, thereby flaunting “exaggerated feelings of self-importance,” but, more importantly, Mr Trump would have circumvented the election to which campaigns lead, which I do not think is possible.

Mrs Clinton has asked, unambiguously, that all information FBI investigators extract from the latest emails they are in possession of be made available to the electorate as soon as possible, if appropriate. This request is reasonable. But it is not reasonable to expect being proclaimed President of the United States by-passing an election. If the FBI finds serious and arguably true improprieties in the emails they are examining, I should think the need for an election would not be eliminated. Americans would still have to choose between nominees.

I do not know what protocol would be used in this worst-case scenario, but I doubt that an election can be avoided. Elections are central to the “rule of the commoners,” the concept that underlies the notion of democracy. (See Democracy, Wikipedia.) A democracy is not a perfect form of government, but it is the best we have. Americans must vote.

Mr Trump has tarnished his image. A nominee to the presidency should know:

  • that sexual assaults are unacceptable;
  • that a defeated nominee must accept defeat because the United States is a democracy;
  • that one does not attack members of one’s party. Colin Powell is a retired General and a former Secretary of State. His support was essential;
  • and that one has to be voted into office. Nominees are not divinely ordained, which would explain why Mr Trump has circumvented a serious discussion of the issues. He is “chosen.”

Let us also remember:

  • that his attitude towards Mexicans and Muslims is unacceptable;
  • and that il n’est pas sortable. He does not have the polite manners that allow one to take him out. He will shame the United States.


To conclude, I will write that if Mr Trump is elected to the presidency of the United States, Americans will have to face with the consequences of their decision, and so will the world. The United States is a democracy.

Narcissus-Caravaggio (1594-96) edited.jpg

But I will attempt to summarize Narcissus'(story, using Wikipedia and Britannica.

Narcissus was the son of the river-god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He was a beautiful youth who “disdained those who loved him”  (the nymph Echo loved him and so did Ameinias). Nemesis, “the goddess who enacted retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods),” was able to attract Narcissus, the son of the river-god, to a river and once he saw the reflection of his face, he could not stop looking at it. “Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at this reflection until he died.”

However, “[t]he Greek traveler and geographer Pausanias, in Description of Greece, Book IX, said it was more likely that Narcissus, to console himself for the death of his beloved twin sister, his exact counterpart, sat gazing into the spring to recall her features.”[1]

The story of Narcissus is told in Ovid‘s Metamorphoses, Book III. The flower named after Narcissus, the narcissus, is best known as the daffodil or jonquil. The jonquil grew where Narcissus died.[2]

The term narcissism has several meanings, which include grandiosity and egocentrism. Narcissists focus on themselves and themselves alone. For instance, Napoleon had himself crowned Emperor. But this practice has no room in a democracy.

Kind regards to everyone. ♥


[1] “Narcissus”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 30 oct.. 2016

[2] loc. cit.


Beethoven‘s “Emperor concerto,” nº 5
Hélène Grimaud, piano


© Micheline Walker
30 October 2016
Revised 30 October 2016