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  • mistermuse 8:43 am on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beacon of hope, , coronavirus, David Niven, , , , ,   


    “War is nothing more than a catalogue of mistakes and misfortunes.” –Winston Churchill

    ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * **

    It’s funny– well, not literally funny — how one thing can lead unexpectedly to another. I’m half-way through another biography….but, unlike the others I’ve been reading recently, this one has led to the sort of post I didn’t anticipate writing when I began reading it.

    Its title is THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON (A BIOGRAPHY OF DAVID NIVEN) by Sheridan Morley. NIVEN (1910-83), as you may know, was an American actor who was born/raised in England and came to the U.S. in 1932. When WW II broke out in Europe, he returned to England to serve in the military. In 1941 he wrote a letter to a fellow British-born actor friend back in Hollywood, part of which I quote here from the book:

    Thank God we have now got a real government and in Churchill a real leader at last, but there is going to be a little scalp-hunting when the smoke has cleared off the battlefields. I am unimportant, but besides cousins and relations, I have now lost practically all my old friends, and all in the past few weeks….they need never have been sacrificed if the people then at the top had been doing their jobs as well as they said they were doing them [emphasis mine].

    Sound familiar? Today, with the corona virus, we have a different kind of world war, but the same (and even more lame) kind of sophistry, gas-baggery, and incompetence resulting in unnecessary casualties:


    And so I ask you: How on earth does the most morally corrupt President in U.S. history not belong behind bars or in a mental institution rather than in the White House? How is it, after 3 1/2 years of reigning the swamp, that roughly 40% of the American people either cannot, or will not, see through this pathetic con man of a President — a President who thinks he is not only above the law, but thinks he IS the law, who tries to subvert the law to his own ends? Are his supporters deaf, dumb and blind….or simply incapable/too much in denial to look behind the curtain and see that the mighty Oz is the very hoax he labels all that exposes him?

    Come November 3, we must turn from the dark side to the other side of the moon, or America will have surrendered all claim to being the “beacon of hope” for the world.


    • Rivergirl 8:51 am on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I have no answers. His appeal to the right, and their unwavering support of him is mystifying.

      Liked by 4 people

    • equipsblog 9:00 am on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Amen. I agree with what Rivergril said.

      Liked by 4 people

    • BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES 10:12 am on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      It’s mind boggling how this can go on for so long. I hope November will bring change!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 11:51 am on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. Many times on your blog I’ve slammed Trump. I once said this, and it remains true: Trump is an enemy of democracy. Ditto for anybody who supports him.

      Neil Scheinin

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 5:18 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        It is to the Senate Republicans’ shame that it took this pandemic — and thousands of lives — to bring Trump down (assuming he is defeated Nov. 3). If they had voted to impeach him when they had the chance, Pence would probably have become President and, as a former governor, would likely have been more inclined to listen to the states pleas for federal help. Or not.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger 6:06 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink

          Here’s the thing: Trump is evil. This was obvious to me way before he took office. If he wins in November, he will do far more damage in his second term than he already has.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 10:53 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink

          I agree. It was obvious when he was just one of many Republicans running for the nomination that he was evil. More recently, it has become obvious that he is a mental case: a bad man and a mad man rolled into one. God (or fate) help us.

          Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry 12:15 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      One thing I find mighty peculiar is that every post about Trump that I read on WordPress has much the same to say about this obnoxious, egotistical, narcissistic windbag, yet he clearly has many supporters. I guess that there are very few, if any, of his followers on this platform… but that would seem odd.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:53 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe Trump’s followers have too limited a vocabulary for WordPress. They’re more accustomed to the grade school bombast of Trump on Twitter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • pendantry 5:59 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink

          … I nearly said something like that (but more acerbic)… but restrained myself.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Paulie 1:25 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Trump certainly BELONGS behind bars but the system failed. I guess that the framers never saw it coming; a Senate that would, in a brazen act of partisan politics, essentially abdicate it’s responsibility when it came to an impeachment trial. As for the 25th amendment, the reverend Mike Pence would no more move to declare Trump incapable than he would covet his neighbor’s wife.

      As it stands now, the system is too cumbersome and too dependent on politics and will never, ever be changed. I would be shocked to see a new amendment during my lifetime but there has to be some mechanism introduced that can address the crisis of an incompetent president.

      As for the 40%, I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. In 2017 I read three books to try and gain some understanding as to why people voted for Trump and I suppose that I did gain some small insight. Why Trump still has any support beyond 10% (because we’ll never rid ourselves of the tinfoil hat faction) is completely beyond me. I guess I’ll never know because I’ve cut ties with anyone who supports Trump. That’s with the exception of some cousins and I simply don’t discuss it with them.

      In any other occupation, Trump would be fired for failing to do his job and/or creating a hostile work environment.

      Right now we are limping towards January and god knows what Trump will do between November and January as a lame brain (er duck) president.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:03 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I see that Trump’s approval rating is now down to 37% in one poll (Gallup, if I recall correctly). Some of that 40% is apparently starting to erode, but I’m not counting my trends before they’re matched (by other polls)..


    • Rosaliene Bacchus 3:59 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      As I see it, our minds are very malleable, making us easy prey for those who seek to manipulate and control our beliefs and behavior. We are all susceptible. We are all under mind control of some form or the other, for example, think of our consumption habits. Our 45th president has successfully managed to capture and hold a particular mindset among us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:43 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I think that is true in one sense, Rosaliene, but only to the point (for many of us) where minds become made up and set in concrete for the rest of our lives (like Trump). Meaningful malleability requires an openness to (and weighing of) challenges to what we have been indoctrinated or conditioned to believe….which, I suppose, is just a fancy way of describing GROWTH or MATURITY. All I know is I’m not the same person I was in my 20s and 30s — but that’s another story for another day.

        Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 4:33 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      His followers are deaf dumb and blind. Even worse, wilfully pig-headedly so.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:31 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I like your your word “pig-headedly” — between that and “gas-baggery” in my post, we may be starting a whole new lexicon-ery.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 5:11 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Gov. Cuomo today appropriately called him out for enabling the pandemic. That sadly is too true.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:35 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Gov. Cuomo is almost as good at ‘telling it like it is’ as Trump is at telling it like it isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elizabeth 5:36 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink

          He just flat out said “Trump lies.” Very refreshing compared to the toadies around Trump.

          Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 6:53 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      If British incompetency lost a few of Nivens family … we wont try to count the number of Aussies they slaughtered! Landing them in the wrong place eg Gallipoli, etc … we were sent in first sheep to the slaughter …

      He says what they want to hear and fear renders them deaf dumb and blind …

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:29 pm on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        When I was growing up, American (and I assume British) history books were written as if our political and military leaders were almost uniformly great and noble figures and our countries acted in good faith in almost all cases. Hopefully we’ve learned our lesson and Trump will go down in history as the worst of the worst.

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 3:41 am on July 7, 2020 Permalink

          lol all our history books need rewriting, massive correction … let’s see how your election goes …

          Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 12:43 pm on July 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Niven wrote a book called “The Moon’s a Balloon”. What is it with him and the Moon and Balloons?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:03 pm on July 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Niven’s 1971 memoir THE MOON’S A BALLOON was originally to be titled THREE SIDES OF A SQUARE, but was changed due to a title conflict….and the biography THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON was written after Niven’s death. The only other “moon” connection with Niven I’m aware of is his role in the 1953 film THE MOON IS BLUE, which was considered so risqué at the time that it was refused the seal of approval by the Motion Picture Production Code. I haven’t finished reading the biography, so perhaps there is more ‘moonshine still’ to be uncovered.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 6:30 am on July 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Haven’t heard about the “Moon” book but read Niven’s Bring on the Empty Horses years ago. I respected him for going home to fight for his country, unlike John Wayne, who wriggled out of the war and later showed his disloyalty to his colleagues by promoting McCarthy. It’s one of those ironic instances when a coward and a gasbag was made into an American hero. A friend of mine made a movie with him and had his heart broken when he discovered the “true” Wayne.
      On another note, I LOVE gasbaggery!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:51 am on July 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      One of the reasons I like biographies and autobiographies is that that they often reveal another side of famous contemporaries the writer knew. Of course, it’s prudent to be aware that opinions of others are only as good as the character and judgment of the writer (who, for example, would believe anything Trump says, good or bad, about anyone?).

      I appreciate that you love “gasbaggery.” That helps me feel better about the dreadful “moonshine still” that I pun-ished masercot with in my reply to his comment. 😉


    • FOTOROTO 1:10 pm on October 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      “It is most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hopes especially of embroiling the United States with Germany.”
      — Winston Churchill

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:31 pm on October 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Churchill was fighting for the very survival of his country. If that be a sin, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” –Jesus Christ


        • FOTOROTO 9:45 pm on October 19, 2020 Permalink

          Defence is more than justified, but attacks are considered war crimes. Don’t you think it’s time to accept that he was a war criminal and racist?
          “The Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”
          — Winston Churchill

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 10:34 pm on October 19, 2020 Permalink

          I accept that I’m not a Churchill scholar or expert. Having never heard that quote before, it would seem, on the face of it, that he was indeed a racist (though perhaps no more so than most of our ancestors, which does not excuse him). As for being a war criminal, I don’t know your basis for that charge, but if you’re putting him in Hitler’s class (which I’m not saying you are), I’d wonder where you’re coming from (ideologically).

          In any case, I’m American, not English, and we have our own history to contend with.


  • mistermuse 11:56 am on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coronavirus, , , leadership, letters to the editor,   


    I am one of those increasingly rare and slowly-becoming-extinct creatures who still gets the local newspaper delivered to his home each morning, usually reading it spread out on the kitchen table (the newspaper, not me) while eating breakfast. I read some parts of the paper more thoroughly than others, but usually give LETTERS TO THE EDITOR just a cursory glance….unless a letter’s heading arouses my interest and incites a reading. Today, one such heading did just that, and the letter (in response to another writer’s letter) so perfectly expressed what I feel that I want to share it with my readers:

    Yes, Trump is our leader, but we don’t follow him blindly

    Regarding the letter, “We’re all on one team with one captain and one objective” (March 28): [that writer] wrote we need to “put aside our political hatred” and follow our “captain” (President Donald Trump) in this coronavirus crisis, as [that writer] did when he played football.
    But what if your captain had never even played before and said, “I don’t believe you all need helmets. The other team is a hoax. The scorekeepers are the enemies of the people. This game will be two quarters, then we’ll get back to work. Don’t listen to my coaches. I’m a football genius.”
    Would you still follow him blindly?

    I will close here, since the letter speaks for itself. I only hope it speaks to you.




    • magickmermaid 1:58 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Loud and clear! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rivergirl 2:13 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes we get the right leader at the right time. Lincoln during the Civil War. Roosevelt in WWII. Kennedy fir the Cuban Missile Crisis.
      And then there’s Trump.
      Need I say more?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 2:44 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent analogy.

      Liked by 3 people

    • arekhill1 2:49 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Unspeakably self-centered yapping yam…sorry, just thinking out loud, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 4:26 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        The poor yapping yam obviously can’t help himself, Ricardo (except try to help himself get re-elected, which is at the bottom of everything he says and does — and I do mean “bottom”).


    • josephurban 3:37 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      The answer to the last question. YES, many stooges will follow him blindly.

      Liked by 2 people

    • obbverse 4:04 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      C’mon Muse, doncha remember Donny? He played- little league stuff- mostly on the bench due to bone spurs or something?- that big headed tight end with the tiny hands and short attention span? latest events prove he MUST have played some- there’s lots of evidence of severe concussions.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 4:34 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I’m just the messenger (not the letter-writer), but I do happen to know a bit of his boy-background because a former follower of this blog knew him then and supports him now (which is why, after I satirized Trump a few times, he is no longer a follower).

        Liked by 2 people

    • annieasksyou 4:19 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Sure does (speak to me). And I wish the clever respondent had pointed out that our “captain” is certainly not acting as though we all have one objective. Therein lies part of this rolling disaster.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 4:44 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        The saddest part is that some victims of the virus have died because of Trump’s gross unfitness for office. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Obama would’ve dealt with this a lot sooner and more effectively than Trump.

        Liked by 3 people

        • annieasksyou 8:06 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink

          Not only sad—despicable and inhumane! And still fighting Schumer about the need for nationwide coordination to end FEMA bidding against the governors while profiteers jack up the prices of lifesaving equipment. Breathe in, breathe out!

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 9:24 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink

          Trump’s presidency is, and has been since day one, all about HIM. The truly saddest part is that almost half of Americans either can’t see him for who he is, or don’t think what they see matters more than what they hold dear (such as anti-immigrant policies, unlimited gun rights, appointment of conservative judges, and other right-wing and evangelical priorities).

          Liked by 3 people

    • restlessjo 5:56 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He is a dangerous man. I don’t know where you found him, but I wish you’d put him back! And I am the most unpolitical of people. Stay safe over there! 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 6:18 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Trump stinks.

      Be well. Stay safe.

      Neil S.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:09 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I used to think skunks stink, until Trump came along. Now I realize that skunks are mere amateurs.

        Take care, Neil.

        Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 7:24 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      sorry for the destruction he has wrecked upon your country and now so many will die … always said he stuffed you up more than enemy could and this proves it!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 7:48 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Well he learned from Hoover I think. “Prosperity is just around the corner.” I read the paper every morning too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:51 pm on April 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I would agree, except that Trump is undoubtedly one of the least well-read Presidents in history and probably doesn’t know Hoover said that (or much of anything else about Hoover, for that matter). But I’m glad to hear that you’re a newspaper reader — a hundred years from now, newspapers will probably be an all-but-forgotten curiosity, like the silent movies of a hundred years ago are today.


    • masercot 5:07 am on April 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t have said it better myself…

      … but, that won’t keep me from trying…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:48 pm on April 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      The writer of said letter will be glad to hear that. As for me, I didn’t realize how perfectly comments echo across Blog Valley, even over some distance and after some time. I hope Trump doesn’t start using this venue and sticks to Twitter (which I’m not on), as I can’t stand his comments the first time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Shruti pandey 2:10 am on April 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      The football game example? Excellent 👏

      Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine Haustein 12:21 am on April 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll follow science during a pandemic, thank you, letter writer. And please stay inside.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 6:43 pm on April 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      what a perfectly apt analogy. God, i hate this ghoul! continue…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:34 pm on April 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t know whether hating such a sick and pathetic creature as Trump is worth giving him more fodder as a target/victim of so-called “never Trumpers”….but who can blame Trump haters for why they hate him? I think Trump must be stood up to in no uncertain terms, but tempered by a cool head which doesn’t stoop to Trump’s level to the point of losing the high ground.

        Anyway, who am I to talk after all the potshots I’ve taken at him (but without using the “h” word).

        Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 6:43 pm on April 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      P.S.And be well. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️ 3:47 pm on April 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Nice blog 💚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 10:25 am on April 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 1 person

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