This post offers additional commentary on my two most recently posted articles…(posted here and here)
North Korea and the Eclipse’s Astrological Affect on Trump
Those of you who have some astrology under your belt may have noticed that my last post omitted any mention of the military potential in the Mars transits to Trump’s chart in early September. This was not intended as an implicit denial of that potential; I simply did not want to stir up fears of military action then, just when things with North Korea seemed to be calming down. But, what I didn’t know when I posted last was that on the day of the solar eclipse (tomorrow, or even tonight, in US time zones) the US, South Korea, and Britain were scheduled to begin a 10-day long exhibition of military power, right on the North Korean border.
So, to put it plainly, the transits of Mars over Trump’s Mars and ascendant (and over the sensitive point of 5° Leo that the eclipse will create tomorrow) do have the potential to militarize Trump’s actions and worldview just as similar Mars transits did last April, when Trump ordered the dropping of the new “Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan (I’m not trying to condemn or approve this military decision, I’m just noting it’s concurrence with Mars transits). Mars will make Trump’s world more fiery as September begins.
Now I still don’t want to kindle fears here, but I do want to use the politically escalating situation with North Korea to emphasize the importance of prayer in moments like this. While the scheduled military exercises I just mentioned are an annual event, they routinely managed to infuriate North Korea, which this time could lead North Korea to “retaliate” with its own show of military force. This is highly undesirable at the moment, given the Mars transits that, as I mentioned in my last post, will begin to affect Trump’s chart as early as late August. It is even more undesirable if Kim happens to have been born in 1983, which, as I mentioned in that earlier post, would give Kim an astrological birth chart that would make him increasingly angry and unstable for the remainder of the month of August (but, Kim also could have been born in 1982 or 1984). What we don’t want is for Kim’s and Trump’s actions to play directly into their successive moments of angry and aggressive astrology.
So, let’s all pray that some pacifying influences find their way into the hearts and minds of Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump! In fact, please do so for at least a quick moment right now, before you read on.
It is unfortunate that these military exercises haven’t yet been rescheduled in acknowledgment of Kim Jong-un’s recent decision to de-escalate tensions by delaying his own test missile launches toward Guam. This would be a perfect opportunity for the US to introduce a little goodwill into the boiling animosity between nations. So, for the rest of today, I would urge every reader to pray that the military exercises of the US, South Korea and Britain be either canceled or postponed. And if the exercises are begun as scheduled, I would like to urge everyone to still pray that these exercises be cut short.
Prayer is extremely powerful, and group prayer is far more powerful than most of us realize.
Trump’s Alternate Realities (Supplemental)
Habitual readers of this blog may recall my recent post, “Trump and the Astrology of Alternate Realities,” in which I describe how Trump’s natal nodes’ strong influence on his sun and moon give Trump a highly unusual approach to truth. In short, Trump is disposed to view truth, not as absolute, but as more like a variable that can be adjusted with the right kind of tweaking.
The anxiety and outrage over the recent tragic events in Charlottesville have unfortunately been compounded by Trump’s remarks about the tragedy. Trump has been criticized extensively about how his moral equivocation may reveal hidden sympathy toward the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hateful bigots involved. I don’t want to weigh in on whether Trump’s equivocation reveals such sympathies, but I do want to show how his equivocation sheds light on his relationship to truth.
Interestingly, when Trump rhetorically asked whether removing statues of General Lee and Stonewall Jackson opened the door to removing statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, he was attempting a logical argument. This affords a special opportunity to examine how Trump actually conducts a logical argument. The rest of this article is just such an examination.
For those readers who generally prefer to retreat into the heart whenever “logic” becomes the focus of conversation, please try to bear with me as I make my point.
Most people don’t understand what logic is and how much a part of our lives it is. It is such an integral part of the mind’s hardwiring, that we couldn’t fully avoid logic even if we tried. In the simplest terms, logic is nothing more than a system of “truth preservation.” That is, if you start off with some true piece of information, and you then apply only logical steps in your thinking about that information, you will automatically end up with a true conclusion as a result. Take for example a hypothetical scenario in which it was clearly true for a particular person to say, “It didn’t rain anywhere in my city yesterday,” And, suppose that this person also truthfully said, “it rained on my 30th birthday party.” The truth-preserving rules of logic guarantee that it’s true that this person’s 30th birthday party either wasn’t yesterday or it wasn’t anywhere in their city.
Logic is so much a part of our daily thinking processes that we don’t even notice its mechanics operating silently in the background of our minds (I even witnessed my daughter making logical deductions when she was only three years old, even though she had never even heard of logic!). It’s true that when people worship logic as if it were a path to happiness in itself, those people tend to make themselves and others unhappy, but this doesn’t mean that logic is bad. It just means that we should see logic as just a helpful truth-preserving tool and not as a route to happiness.
Okay, now for the interesting part about how Trump recently handled logic…
If you followed the news at all in the last week, then you know that Trump has been heavily under fire for “morally equivocating” several times in his comments about the violence amongst the protesters in Charlottesville. The particular instance of moral equivocation of Trump’s that this article will focus on is the one in which Trump challenged the press to explain why removing public statues of General Lee and Stonewall Jackson wouldn’t open the door to removing statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Trump’s argument was that the same rules should apply to all the statues in question. After all, Trump pointed out, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, weren’t they?
I have yet to see anyone acknowledge that this was a rare instance of Trump publicly attempting a logical argument. Trump normally asserts things without any supportive argument, but not this time. Accordingly, the success of his argument can be determined by a simple review of how the argument was conducted. More importantly, that simple review also can reveal how Trump seems to orient generally towards logic, which again is the “truth-preserving” system of rational thought.
Trump’s Argument Under Simple Review
Here’s how Trumps argument goes:
Trump first rightly implies that the statues of General Lee and Stonewall Jackson fall into a certain category—let’s call it the category of statues of “historical American figures who supported slavery.” The logical augment that Trump then attempts to make says that if you remove a statue in this category from one location (e.g. removing General Lee’s statue from Charlottesville), then you have no logical justification for refusing to remove other statues of historical American figures who supported slavery (e.g removing statues of Washington and Jefferson elsewhere). While this may look enough like a logical argument to confuse many people (or at least fluster many folks), it is not at all according to the rules of logic, as I would like to explain. Hopefully, this explanation will ease some people’s minds.
If we try to make Trump’s argument clearer by making it more generic, his argument is basically saying, “A is a type of C, and B is a type of C, so if you are morally allowed to remove A, then you must be morally allowed to remove B.” However, this kind of argument will only provide a logical conclusion if there is no reason or basis for dividing the broader category (“C”) into useful subcategories. Think of it this way: does it make sense to say, “Murder is a kind of killing, and killing in self-defense is a kind of killing, so if you can ban murder, you must also be able to ban killing in self-defense”? Clearly, there are ways of thinking about self-defense that can morally distinguish it from murder. Differentiating the two will create subcategories of “killing” that can be distinguished in morally important ways. Self-defense is universally considered moral, whereas murder is not.
Less crudely, how about another problematic example:
“If you can prohibit children from drinking alcohol, then you can prohibit them from drinking water.” The Trump-style argument would be, “Both alcohol and water are drinks, therefore, if you can prohibit one, you can prohibit the other.” Clearly, not all drinks are equivalent. This is the problem of false equivalency, and Trump has been getting into trouble for applying this false equivalency in the arena of morality. False equivalency is merely the idea that a broad category of things cannot be parceled into two relevant smaller categories of things that should be treated very differently.
The problem with Trump’s equivalency argument is that Trump surely must know that that there are very clear moral criteria for acknowledging two morally distinct subcategories within the category of “historical American figures that supported slavery.” If Trump does know this, then he’s monkeying with the truth-preserving rules of logic (while if he really doesn’t know this, then that would reveal another way in which Trump is approaching the truth from an “alternate reality”).
At the very least, there is the dividing line between those American figures who did, and those who did not, kill their fellow countrymen specifically in order to perpetuate the slavery of thousands of other people. The founding fathers fought and killed the British monarchists (who could be called the “countrymen” of the American colonists) in order to win freedom for themselves and their compatriots. They also happened to be slave-owners (who, incidentally, felt deeply conflicted about the institution of slavery and owning slaves themselves, according to their biographers).
On the other hand, Stonewall Jackson and General Lee were fighting specifically for their “freedom” to enslave others (a freedom that gave them the “right” to torture, murder, rape, and otherwise abuse their captives).
So, by taking a moment to look beneath the surface, we can see that the category of “historical American figures who supported slavery” can indeed easily be divided into the subcategories, “those who killed their countrymen specifically to perpetuate slavery” and “those who did not kill their countrymen specifically to perpetuate slavery.”
In fact, I think it’s likely that, if pressed to kill others in order to defend their ability to hold slaves, Washington and Jefferson would actually have refrained from such violence. That is just my own speculation, but what is not open to speculation is that neither Jefferson nor Washington were driven to kill the British by a desire to perpetuate slavery.
What This Reveals About Trump
Hopefully, it’s now clear how Trump’s argument got logic wrong. Trump’s argument invoked a broader category (“historical American figures who supported slavery”) in order to morally equivocate between two important subcategories (“those who killed for slavery” and “those who didn’t kill for slavery”) that are easily morally distinguished. The question is, “Why did Trump appeal to the broader category that blurs the moral distinction, rather than appealing to the morally distinct subcategories that everyone intuitively recognizes?” This move set him apart from almost everyone, regardless of political affiliation.
Either Trump simply misused logic, or he couldn’t see the moral distinction that is so intuitively obvious to the vast majority of people around the world. In either case, Trump’s comments about Charlottesville serve to demonstrate his unusual relationship to the truth.
That’s all I have for now, so I’ll see you all on the other side of the eclipse…!