Header Image (book)


Monday, June 19, 2017

Recommended Reading

[Note:this blog post was previously published early on the morning of June 14, 2017, but pulled back into draft form after the news about the shootings of Congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia, broke]

Apparently, Trumpophobia extends to attacking an eleven-year-old boy, particularly in the social media. See Sick: Barron Trump Roasted for Holding Innocent Item in Photograph.

 In December 2016, Forbes declared: Fidget Spinners Are The Must-Have Office Toy For 2017, but because Barron Trump was spotted using a fidget spinner, some Trump haters have concluded that the boy must be autistic. The social media are toxic.


  1. Fidget spinners were initially designed for kids with autism, ADHD and other disorders....real or imagined. That they became popular among the vapid, drive-by consumer class....came a short time later.

    So people on 'social media' area acting like asses. It's been my experience that social media was made exactly for that purpose; to allow people to safely act like dipshits, when they didn't have the stones to do so in person. It's like an outlet for peoples voices that should have stayed inside their head.

    1. CI,
      I've seen several students in my classes with these fidget spinners. None of these students with these fidget spinners are on the autism spectrum. They may be nervous, though.

    2. Sadly, I've seen adults with them. Maybe if it keeps people from being umbilically attached to their phones, there could be an upside.

      However, it actually seems to be trendy [in a perverse sense] to have children that 'suffer' from autism or other 'disorder'. Personally, I think it's a way to not have to confront being a lousy parent.

    3. CI,
      it actually seems to be trendy [in a perverse sense] to have children that 'suffer' from autism or other 'disorder'.


    4. A person who is NOT nervous is a person who is NO LONGER ALIVE.

    5. By the way, it is not only "fashionable," but practically de rigeur now to absolve EVERYONE of BAD BEHAVIOR by calling it a "DISEASE."

      If this observation makes sense to you, you might be interested in looking into the following:

      The Excuse Factory: How Employment Law is Paralyzing the American ...

      by Walter Olson

      ALSO: In The Litigation Explosion, Walter Olson exposed the irrational incentives within the legal system that have made America the world's most litigious society. .

      Originally published: 1997

      Search also for: The Rule of Lawyers: How the New Litigation Elite Threatens America's Rule of Law,

      [NOTE: The above information was copied verbatim from Wikipedia.]

    6. Lulu Spackinton said

      How bright you are to remind us of The Excuse Factory, FT! It's very appropriate to this topic. Too bad most don't seem able to grasp the connection!

  2. On the last day of this year's 2016-2017 classes, I told one of my students with a fidget spinner, "Give me that thing. It's distracting me."

    She was sitting on the front row and driving me crazy with the damn thing.

    My student responded, "I'm coping with my anxiety." She refused to surrender the fidget spinner.

    I believe this was the first time that this student had ever defied me. Whatever.

    I said, "What anxiety? This is the last day of class. And that thing is distracting me."

    She continued to play with the fidget spinner -- but under the table and out of sight.

    BTW, this young lady has been earning straight A's for four years in a row. I suppose that she could have been nervous about the last day of classes, when report cards are distributed -- or nervous about something else, for that matter.

    But I guarantee this: That particular student of mine is NOT on the autism spectrum!

  3. From Is Barron Trump autistic or on the autism spectrum? (emphases mine):

    I am an autistic adult and I do not support Donald Trump. I am Canadian and even further left, by default, than most American left wing people.

    That being said. Imagine being a child forced into the limelight by your larger than life Father. You’re entering puberty and you are deciphering life in the context of constant media coverage, scrutinizing your every move. Take the most uncomfortable moment in your pre-teens and add a thousand cameras broadcasting world wide. Could you act natural? Could you make eye contact?

    Have you ever had the uncanny sensation that you don’t know what to do with your arms? Well, whether or not Barron Trump is on the autism spectrum, he will be experiencing that feeling for at least the next four years. Maybe we should have a little god damn sympathy for a child dragged into his father’s politics until he can at least think and act for himself.

    Just imagine the population holding you accountable for your parent’s politics for four years and scrutinizing your ability to act natural on camera. Could you do it? I know I couldn’t and my parents are pretty liberal. It’s just that I’m a bit more liberal and they’re half-assed liberal-ness makes me uncomfortable.

    Just saying. We can’t know if he’s autistic or neurotypical until he is formally diagnosed and that diagnosis is made public. A person under scrutiny can never act naturally.

    1. Durchfall den Mund said

      Always harping on negatives makes life a living hell.

  4. CI,
    Fidget spinners were initially designed for kids with autism, ADHD and other disorders....real or imagined.

    I note that the original intent was also to help people cope with "regular" stress (from Forbes, "Here's The Science Behind The Fidget Spinner Craze").

  5. Social Media: Enabling people who were previously a pain in the ass only to a small circle of friends, family and coworkers, to infect millions worldwide with their asininity.

    1. SF,
      Don't forget about the obscene phone callers, who were pretty much eliminated by caller-ID.

      But not really eliminated: they moved to the Internet and became trolls.

    2. Brilliant observation! I had never made the connection between technology-stymied prank callers and internet trolls. Interesting.

    3. SF,
      Warren gets the credit for that observation, which he made in 20006, when this blog was plagued by the troll of trolls. I've never had a troll like that one since!

    4. Old World Obscene Phone Call Script:

      Obscene Caller: Hello. Are you the lady who washes?

      Targeted Victim: No, I'm not.

      Obscene Caller: You filthy pig!

      [OC hangs up, and dissolves into a fit of giggles]

      We kids thought this was great sport on rainy Saturday afternoons –––– when we were EIGHT YEARS OLD.

      I thought Erma Bombeck's advice to victims of obscene phone calls was priceless.

      She said, "First, if you're ever lucky enough to get one ..." ––– and went on from there.

      Good ol' Erma! She was always treminding us in a thousand different ways that life is too serious a matter to take too seriously.

      She helped us see the funny side of just about everything, –– except maybe stuff like the Holocaust ––, but then SHE would never have dreamt of talking about THAT.

      Smart, funny, very endearing lady! May she rest in eternal Peace, Joy and Love with all the other angels!

  6. I had a kazoo as a child that drove everyone nuts.... determined to play it....I guess these days it would mean something...and if a child in the WH, heaven help me.

    1. Bunkerville,
      Yes, these toys take on significance if a child in the White House has them. Sheesh.

  7. What the HELL IS a "FIDGET SPINNER?"

    Is it like a Yo-Yo? –– a Slinky? –– a Set of Jacks? –– a Jew's Harp? –– a Tickle-Me-Elmo Doll –– a Boombox? –– Linus's Blanket? –– a Pet Rock? –– a Pack of Chewing Gum? –– a set of BEN-WA BALLS? –– a VOODOO DOLL?!?!?!?!?

    What IS the damned thing? WHAT?

    Whatever it is no one should EVER be permitted to carry one into a CLASSROOM.

    Do you allow kids to have CELL PHONES in the classroom?

    D yiu allow kids to have PORTABLE RADIOS un the classroom?

    Do you allow kids to READ COMIC BOOKS or PORNOGRAPHY in the classroom?

    Do you allow kids to DRUM with THEIR FINGERS on their DESKTOPS in a classroom?

    Do you allow kids to HUM to themselves in the classriom?

    Do you allow kids to SING OUT LOUD in the classroom?

    Do you allow kids to DANCE in the AISLES in a classroom?

    Do you allow kids to CALL YOU NASTY NAMES in a classroom?

    Do you allow kids to MASTURBATE in a classroom?

    If the answer to ALL those foolish questions is not a resounding "OF COURSE NOT!" you probably shouldn't be teaching.

    I hasten to add lest you take persoinal offense, AOW, that the "YOU" I refer to in this mini-tirade is not "YOU, PERSONALLY," but a generic alternative to the now archaic use of "ONE" –– as in "One should know better than to kick a policeman in the shins, –– thumb one's nose to a teacher, –– or break wind at a tea party." (:-o

    1. FT,
      Wikipedia offers THIS INFORMATION about the fidget spinner.

      In case you missed it, please see MY EARLIER COMMENT about the fidget spinner and a student in my classroom.

    2. FT,
      Do you allow kids to have CELL PHONES in the classroom?

      Actually, I do. But cell phones must be stowed in the silent mode.

      Today, for reasons of personal safety, almost all students in high school must have cell phones.

      And, of course, today's cell phones are much more than merely phones. They provide access to the Internet, which is of good use in the classroom -- within the proper parameters.

  8. "What the HELL IS a "FIDGET SPINNER?"

    Perhaps it may be the 21st Century, high-tech substitute for pencil chewing!

    1. Addendum to Jon:

      Or maybe a substitute for nail biting, doodling, and any number of other nervous habits.

  9. FT typed in:

    Is it like a Yo-Yo?

    I hadn't thought of that comparison.

    But in many ways, the yo-yo and the fidget spinner have common characteristics. Both can be almost hypnotic.

    I don't know what "tricks" the fidget spinner can perform. The yo-yo, on the other hand, is capable of many tricks.

  10. "I don't know what "tricks" the fidget spinner can perform."

    I don't either but give it some time and we just may see VARSITY FIDGET SPINNING! Now, imagine a non-contact sport where everybody wins. Why not?

    1. Jon,

      I can see the contests now! A major athletic event! LOL.

  11. Re: These things in the work-place,

    "a recent trend in fidget toys adds a collectible, high quality -- and often expensive -- flair to finding a place to dump your excess energy."

    Oh really, well how about [dumping] it into an increased work-load?

  12. AND THE POINT IS THAT PRESIDENTS ASK THEIR CHILDREN TO BE FREE OF HEAVY MEDIA SCRUTINY...Malia smokes pot and it's barely mentioned....Barron carries some kind of toy and it's so important to ...SOMEONE?? It's not WHAT the toy is, it's WHY it's got this attention....
    And I think we all know why.

    1. I don't understand the allegations here. You clearly know about Malia smoking pot, because you read it somewhere, possibly blogs or social media? Yet you claim the exact sam sourcing for this story, somehow makes Conservatives victims?

    2. Lulu Spackinton said

      Somebody here is obviously deaf, dumb, and blind, but I ain't sayin' who. That's up to you to figure out for yourselves - if you can. Good luck!

    3. AOW...imagine people not seeing the hypocrisy and double standard?
      EVery president asks people to lay off the children and the media was not bad to the Bush girls and amazing to the Obama girls.
      CI, what am I supposed to respond with? Malia's on video smoking a joint...Barron's clearly playing with some toy. Frankly, I know what it looks like to smoke a joint and it's different than a cigarette. I don't know the toy, but I'm thinking there's more conjecture on what he was holding than what she was holding :-)
      Same 'sourcing'...the eyes.
      Chill! Don't worry, for goodness sake. Conservatives are getting bashed......be happy!

    4. I'm not happy about Conservatives being "bashed". I'd be happier if they weren't constantly claiming some sort of 'double standard' or hypocrisy'. I remember the last eight years, where many of the right were suddenly lip readers, mind readers, genealogists, etc. Don't you?

      Why do you obsess over what you're seeing on social media? It's certainly nothing that hasn't been going on since it's inception.

    5. CI, how many times must I write the facts for you to finally see it's not even close to the hate shown Obama? I'm tired of it.
      When you can show me conservative talk show hosts who said they wanted to s*** on Obama's desk on live TV, or show me an actor holding Obama's head dripping in blood, or networks being proven to show 93% negative coverage of Trump, or ...gad, how many can I list?

      And YES, THANK YOU! We GET it, Obama was accused of not being American..FINE....you didn't like that, most of US didn't like that but we get accused of piling it on.

      Do you think Obama was popular because he didn't close Gitmo as promised, or because of the IRS scandal, or the VA scandals, or destroying health care for many people,? No, he was popular because the media loved him.

      But, because I'm an extremely proud Conservative, I and others get accused of not being able to think fairly.
      No, this horrible behavior toward Trump has not "been going on since the inception" of social media, which, after all's fairly recent, so that's not the best leg to stand on, by the way. And I'm not even a big Trump fan.
      I want people get a grip and let the man work...he himself doesn't make it easy...but the hate must stop.
      My God, was there hate for Obama...but you'll have read very little in the NYTimes or LA Times or Globe ot Tribune, or .......
      i'm tired of spelling it out.
      Believe what you'd like. thanks

    6. 'Hate' is not measured by facts.....it's measured by emotion. Emotion rules Leftists......intellect and reason [is supposed to] rule Conservatism.....not late night talk show sock puppets.

      "been going on since the inception" of social media, which, after all's fairly recent,

      Of course, I'm talking about the use to social media to lambaste political figures....not merely Trump. Nor was I even talking about the media. I'm talking about the CITIZEN....the person who writes hypocritical trash on social media....and the person who uses it as an emotional metric.

    7. By the way, if you're getting upset, you shouldn't respond. You know well by now that I don't take nor do I write anything to be personally offensive. I like spirited debate, and I like to understand what makes people tick.

    8. CI, I think you don't realize how you sound sometimes...just as I know for sure I wasn't upset and didn't think I sounded it...just TIRED of having to repeat things...and that you should know well by now that most of us Conservatives here are fairer than you like to portray.

    9. You're under no compulsion to respond, or repeat. And it appears that we can both be a tad tone deaf to our own writing. That's probably the norm for most of us.

      We'd perhaps quibble over the metric of 'most', but that'd be a debate with no end in sight.

    10. @CI -- 'Hate' is not measured by facts.....it's measured by emotion. Emotion rules Leftists

      If I extrapolate from that then the right is ruled by cliches.

    11. Nostradumbass spewed:
      "If I extrapolate from that then the right is ruled by cliches.

      That's rich coming from a hate filled light weight like you. Besides that, if you only commented in words and concepts you understood, your comments would be cut in half.

    12. If I extrapolate from that then the right is ruled by cliches.

      Nope, you did it wrong. It's not the right who's currency is vapid, bumper sticker pablum, that fits on placards and the limited intellect of "activists".

      "Safe spaces", self segregation and petulant cries of "cultural appropriation" are the hallmark of fragile Leftists.

    13. Z and CI,
      Have a look at this: I'm Old Enough To Remember When Making Fun of Our President's Innocent Kid Would Ruin Your Life.


      The event proceeded normally, Obama made dad jokes, pardoned the turkey and the girls smiled along, all the while seeming like they could not wait to get out of there. Frankly, I can't blame them. I would too were I in their position. I filed some behind-the-scenes piece about the event and moved on editorially. Later that night, my Google Alerts for the turkey pardoning began blowing up. A GOP Hill staffer named Elizabeth Lauten was under attack for a Facebook post condemning the Obama daughters for their demeanor at the event....


      Her post quickly went viral. Media outlets around the world covered the story. It was reported on the nightly news....


      Lauten was savaged online. Big-name media personalities called for her firing. She apologized the same day for the post but it was too late. Elizabeth Lauten was a cursed name. She had attacked the President's kids and the greater media zeitgeist was going to make sure she paid for it.

      Pay she did. The Washington Post which wrote five deep-dive stories and various think pieces on the controversy, announced Lauten's resignation days later...

      I wonder if any who have sniped at Barron Trump have been "savaged" to the same extent?

    14. I remember what happened to Lauten....and it was so benign..the girls acted bored, so what, they're teens...she probably shouldn't have said it, but she certainly didn't deserve having to resign!!

      The Barron Trump snipers would NEVER have to resign or be fired...this is fun for the left..PILE IT ON...

      DUCKY: talk about Cliches, how have you appreciated Jesse JaCkson's little rhyming schemes? :-)
      Wisdom is rarely cliche, by the way.

    15. Yes, I'm talking bout the cliche that the left is ruled by their emotions.
      When I called it a cliche I'm given trivial examples such as "safe spaces" as if the whining of a bunch of SJW's is sufficient to describe the left.

      I could counter "safe spaces" with the immature emotional need to go to church strapped but the irony would be lost.

      I continue to be a leftist and wrestle with the question of how capitalism and socialism can be compatible with democracy.
      I am still influenced by the American democratic socialists such as Veblen, Charles Beard and John Dewey.
      I'm open to debate and discussion from anyone who isn't dealing in cliches.

    16. Z,
      I was unaware of Lauten until I read about her yesterday.

      I suppose that I was unaware of Lauten's punishment because none of the blogs and other sites that I frequent said a word -- as far as I saw, anyway.

      BTW, you might want to read Washington Times published this opinion piece from January 2017:

      No widespread press outrage over disparaging tweets about Barron Trump.

    17. G. Yugotta Bigby-Hynde said


    18. AOW - There shouldn't be 'widespread press outrage [or coverage] of disparaging tweets. There shouldn't be any coverage in a responsible media, of the rantings, tantrums and vacuous pap on social media.

      When I called it a cliche I'm given trivial examples

      Ducky, I gave you actual examples from your very camp. The very currency your side employs.

    19. CI,
      There shouldn't be 'widespread press outrage [or coverage] of disparaging tweets. There shouldn't be any coverage in a responsible media, of the rantings, tantrums and vacuous pap on social media.

      I agree.

      But did you see the recent story about several students having been accepted for admission to Harvard, then had their admission revoked because of what these students had said on social media?

      Sure, Harvard -- or any university -- is within its rights to do so. But we again see how significant the social media have become.

    20. G. Yugotta Bigby-Hynde said

      Petty Petty Petty Petty Petty

    21. AOW - I disagree with your last point. No institution of learning, nor place of employment barring a cleared national security position, should have the ability to demand access to one's social media history.

      On the other hand, I have little sympathy for people who can't control their diarrhea of the mouth [or keyboard in this case].

      - CI

    22. CI,
      Was access demanded, or were their pages wide open?

      My Twitter page and my Facebook page are wide open.

    23. Addendum...

      But if I worked for the public schools system, those pages would not be wide open -- and likely wouldn't exist at all. I know how the bureaucrats keep watch.

    24. That's a good question, depending on how much attribution an individual makes public; what's ma further worry, is an employer making a correlating judgement call to identify an individual if attribution is not 100% apparent.

      - CI

  13. AOW....here's how effective leftwing media's been. On Facebook, I just saw a headline that says "President Trump Orders Execution of Five Turkeys Pardoned by Obama"...along with that is a photo of Obama smiling at a turkey.
    Some of the commenters said "How unpresidential" "That's awful"...they had to be told IT'S A JOKE.

    1. Z,
      Really? They didn't know it's a joke?

      That boggles my mind.

      More Trumpophobia. There really does seem to be a lot of that going around, doesn't there?

    2. an awful lot, yes...imagine those people thinking that was a serious story, that they've been primed to believe he's that awful, everything's so questionable, that it was a true story.
      The hate is palpable. And I'm starting to see a kind of pattern, AOW....the Left's been on TV on various channels I've watched intermittently some of the day, saying how violent Republicans are, how Sarah Palin did this and said that, how Dems have to start fighting back....
      It's truly a concerted effort and I'm hoping the Rs recognize what's going on because it's easy to fight, as Tucker Carlson did fairly well tonight.
      Real obvious stuff going on... "turn it around leftwingers, make it THEY who are the bad guys..." so obvious.
      I am in no way saying all Rs are fine, they say nothing wrong, but there's something real interesting going on in this attempt to screw Trump and all Conservative American values.

    3. Z,
      there's something real interesting going on in this attempt to screw Trump and all Conservative American values

      Let's recognize it for what it is....Saul Alinsky's Rule 13:

      "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

      Yes, we're watching a truly a concerted effort. Sheesh.

  14. Tucker Carlson apparently had appendicitis last week...I just looked at mainstream newspaper articles on it and read some reader comments....about 75% of them were vile..."If I were an organ I'd want to be taken the F out of Carlson, too" etc.
    Conservatives....good luck.

    1. Z,
      I didn't bother reading the comments about Tucker Carlson's appendicitis. I knew in advance what those comments would be like.

  15. It's T-I-M-E to post an A-N-T_I-D-O-T-E


    KID, –– a master of disseminating great wisdom succinctly and with good humor ––, posted the following today at his great blog Diary of a Right Wing Pussycat:

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    Are You Feeling Depressed Because of the Never Ending Unimportant Attacks From the Children?

    [DON'T BE]

    Trump won 30 states.
    There are 3,141 counties in the United States, Trump won 2623 of them.
    That is a mandate.

    [LOSSES for the DEMOCRATS]

    The Presidency lost.
    63 House seats lost.
    10 Senate seats lost.
    12 governorships lost.
    1030 state legislature seats lost.
    4100 of 7883 State legislative seats.


    67 of 98 State legislative Houses, vs 14 in 2009.
    32 states with total legislative control vs 6 for Democrats.
    36 governors.

    Just smile, ignore [the ENEMEDIA] if you have to, and come on out and vote again in 2018 and 2020. Vote against RINO's when you can vote for a Conservative instead. (Just a suggestion)

    Reposted with gratitude to Kid,


    1. FT,
      I've been, to a large extent, ignoring the Enemedia. Their needle is stuck on "Trump-Russia."

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. From the WaPo's front page online this evening:

    Jared Kushner finally spoke. The Internet can’t stop mocking his voice.

    So much for the WaPo as the periodical of gravitas.

    1. One Tweet posted in the above:

      Jared Kushner has been banned from speaking publicly until he has gone through puberty.

      And this "news information":

      Try Googling his name and you'll see that “jared kushner speaks” and “jared kushner voice” have the top queries within the past day.


We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective