Handsome Devil won’t be in theaters until this winter or spring — I just saw it last night at a film festival — but you heard it here first: so funny and affecting and terrific; something to add to your IMDB watch list for sure.

Right this minute you can watch former Justice Souter (last half of the clip) warning — in 2012 — of the dangers to democracy when an ill-informed citizenry falls prey to a demagogue.  It’s how the Roman republic fell.  The parallels between Trump and Augustus could not be more timely; the contrast between Souter’s calm and Trump’s bluster, more stark.  Truly powerful.

And you have to read Sir Richard Branson’s account of his lunch with Trump:

Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.

He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. I told him I didn’t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them. There must be more constructive ways to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn’t lead to him running for President!)

I was baffled why he had invited me to lunch solely to tell me this. For a moment, I even wondered if he was going to ask me for financial help. If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!

I left the lunch feeling disturbed and saddened by what I’d heard. There are a lot of frightening things about this election; not least that policy has been pushed so far down the agenda. What concerns me most, based upon my personal experiences with Donald Trump, is his vindictive streak, which could be so dangerous if he got into the White House. For somebody who is running to be the leader of the free world to be so wrapped up in himself, rather than concerned with global issues, is very worrying.

Later, I remember contrasting the lunch with a one-to-one lunch I shared with Hillary Clinton. Here we talked about education reform, the war on drugs, women’s rights, conflicts around the globe and the death penalty. She was a good listener as well as an eloquent speaker. As she understands well, the President of the United States needs to understand and be engaged with wider world issues, rather than be consumed by petty personal quarrels.

Jim Burt: “Mrs. Clinton swept the debate series and did so masterfully.  Anything I could say to the contrary would be a mere quibble.  So, of course, I’ll quibble. When, early on, Chris Wallace asked the candidates if, with respect to the Constitution, the Founders ‘meant what they said.’ I wish Mrs. Clinton had responded along these lines:

Chris, the Framers of the Constitution actually SAID what they meant as the purpose of the Constitution, in no uncertain terms, right in the Preamble:  “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  The Framers didn’t provide for Social Security or Medicare any more than they did for an Air Force, but they did say that the purpose of the Constitution was to, among other things, provide for the common defense – there’s the basis for an air force – and promote the general welfare – and there’s Social Security and Medicare.  Whatever our government does needs to be measured against those few words of the Preamble.  If a government action establishes justice, provides for the common defense, or promotes the general welfare and is not expressly forbidden by other language in the Constitution, then it’s constitutional and consistent with what the Founders said they meant.  People who argue to the contrary don’t appear to have read the Preamble.

Of course, it’s not too late for her to say that.  Over and over, in fact.”

Peter Yarrow, of Peter Paul & Mary, has posted “Lift Us Up.”  “You will see my daughter Bethany singing this song surrounded by a bunch of folks sitting on the floor, the way we used to when we first sang folk songs — hearts bound together, asserting in song what we stand for as Americans and as ethical human beings.  PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THIS SONG.”  Who can say no to that?

If you bought any GEC (the former UPIP), you have the right to buy more shares even cheaper.  (Call your broker if you have not already been notified.) Several of you have asked whether to exercise that right. Because I have money available that I can truly afford to lose (even after having lost a good chunk, on paper, as this stock has fallen ever further), I am doing so, fully — and oversubscribing for extra shares.



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