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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

HITLER versus TRUMP

Our Sunday paper had a book review by Michio Kakutani (below right) of Hitler:  Ascent 1889-1939, by Volker Ulrich, translated by Jefferson Chase, $40.  Incidentally, the Amazon version sells for $23.80 with free shipping as a Prime member, while the Kindle copy costs $17.99.

Here is Kakutani's first paragraph:
How did Adolf Hitler--described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a "half-insane rascal," a "pathetic dunderhead," a "nowhere fool"--rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven?  What persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace him and his doctrine of hatred?  How did this "most unlikely pretender to high state office" achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?

That morning a new ABC/Washington Post poll showed Clinton leading Trump by 4 percentage polls.  I thought, how can this be so, when for ten days now Donald Trump has been sinking deeper and deeper into the grave he was digging.  So I replaced a few words in the review:

How did Donald Trump--described by the media as a "half-insane rascal"," a "pathetic dunderhead," a "nowhere fool"--rise to power in the land of Lincoln and Washington?  How did this "most unlikely pretender to high state office" achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?

If Hillary Clinton faints on the stage at the third Presidential Debate on Wednesday...if Democrats don't vote on November 8 believing that Trump was so far behind that their votes wouldn't mean anything....you can conjure dozens of scenarios--if Clinton on Sunday was truly ahead only by 4%--the possibility of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States remains frighteningly real!

Sure, The Huffington Post today had Clinton ahead by 7% (Clinton-Blue, Trump-red, Johnson-orange):
I find this Clinton lead somewhat reassuring, but the above lead still looks perilously close, and things can still change in three weeks.  Is the USA today what Germany was in 1930?

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Super Typhoon Haima is now at 160 MPH, will cause severe damage over the northern Philippines on Thursday, and seems to be heading to landfall in China just north of Hong Kong by Friday:


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