Posts Tagged ‘trump’

“Hope Trumps Fear”

May 13, 2016
  1. The New York Times INTERNATIONAl, Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mayor Assails Politics of Fear, by Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle

LONDON: “The new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said on Wednesday that his election in the face of a divisive campaign high-lighting his religion is a lesson to Donald J. Trump that Islam is perfectly compatible with Western values.

Mr. Trump is ‘playing into the hands of extemists’ and is ‘ignorant about Islam,’ Mr. Khan said…’But London,’ he said, ‘chose unity over division, and a rejection of the politics of fear,…What we have shown, and I hope it’s a lesson that Hillary and others in America take on board, is hope trumps fear,’ he said, adding ‘forget the pun.”

In Bridge, a trump card wins over other cards.  In the above paragraph hope trumps or wins over fear. 






China’s Trump Card?

October 29, 2014

The Wall Street Journal: Saturday/Sunday, October 25-26


“With a far-ranging fleet of new submarines, China is rattling Asia’s balance of power, challenging the U.S. and risking an undersea contest.  Echoes of Tom Clancey and the Cold War?

One Sunday morning last December, China’s defense ministry summoned military attaches from several embassies to its monolithic Beijing headquarters.

To the foreigners’ surprise, the Chinese said that one of their nuclear powered submarines would soon pass through the Strait of Malacca, a passage between Malaysia and Indonesia that carries much of world trade, say people briefed on the meeting.

Two days later, a Chinese attack sub–a so-called hunter-killer, designed to seek out and destroy enemy vessels–slipped through the strait above water and disappeared.  It resurfaced near Sri Lanka and then in the Persian Gulf, …before returning through the strait in February–the first known voyage of a Chinese sub to the Indian Ocean.

The message was clear:  China had fulfilled its four-decade quest to join the elite club of countries with nuclear subs that can ply the high seas…

China’s increasingly potent and active sub force represents the rising power’s most significant military challenge yet for the region. ‘This is our trump card that makes our motherland proud, and our adversaries terrified,‘ wrote China’s Navy Chief.”

Please see trump card in the previous blog or go to and search “trump card.”  Clearly, by using this games’ idiom, the Navy Chief states that the submarines are an important empowering addition to the Chinese fleet.


Trumping the Internet

October 12, 2014

The New Yorker, September 29, 2014

The Solace of Oblivion, by Jeffrey Toobin

In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet.

“The European Court ruled that Google must delete certain links that violate privacy…”

According to the article, “Despite the varied circumstances, all these people (among them are  U.S.actors, persons with criminal records, citizens with unwanted photos) want something that does not exist in the United States, the right to be forgotten.”

Actually, one could say that in the U.S., the right to free speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution, trumps the right to privacy.  “When it comes to privacy, the United States’ approach has been to provide protection for certain categories of information that are deemed sensitive and then impose some obligation not to disclose unless certain conditions are met,” says  Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at the Sanford Center for Internet and Society.” Examples of this are the disclosure of medical information (HIPPA), educational records, video-store rentals.  “Any of these protections can be overridden with the consent of the individual or as part of law-enforcement investigations.”

However, “the Internet’s unregulated idyll seems to be coming to an end, at least in Europe.”

A trump card is the most powerful card in Bridge and can take any other card.  To trump (verb) is to take a position which is superior and supercedes another position.  To see more of this idioms, please go to and type in “trump.”


Trumping in Ice Hockey

April 26, 2014

The New York Times SPORTS Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brains and Brawn Are Trumping Red Wings’ Speed, by Joanne C, Gerstner


“The Bruins have concertedly disrupted the Red Wings, outscoring them, 7-1, in consecutive wins.  The Red Wings have been shut out in four straight periods and have failed to score on nine power plays in the series.  The Bruins have pushed Detroit’s forwards to the outside, away from their star goaltender, Tuukka Rask.

‘You know nothing comes easy in the playofffs; it’s about continuing to do the hard work and being smart,’ Bruins left wing Wilan Luric said. ‘We’re playing smart right now, and we know what we have to do against a team as talented as Detroit.  We’re taking nothing for granted; we’re only up, 2-1.”

…”Detroit has found its speed neutralized, with Boston winning every key matchup…”

The Boston Bruins are trumping the Detroit Red Wings now according to the article.  The term trump is used in all sorts of games, but normally in the card game of Bridge, where a card suit is declared “trump” in the opening bids. Here it is an idiom.

What Is the Trump in Race and Affirmative Action?

June 25, 2013

The New York Times OP-ED Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Speed of Ascent, by David Brooks

“The Supreme Court didn’t exactly shock the world on Monday. But, by imposing stricter standards on how courts review affirmative action plans, the court did send another small signal that the era of explicitly race-based affirmative action is coming to an end…

So affirmative action gave us some wildly good and unfortunately negative outcomes, and it stirred up fierce debates. But that’s not why these racial preferences are going away.  They are going away because underlying realities have changed.

First, economic inequality now trumps racial inequality as the chief source of disadvantage… now the income gap is nearly twice (as) large as the race gap.  Given this, explicitly race-baced affirmative action just doesn’t respond to the needs of the moment…

We now have the means to measure speed of ascent in a fairer and better way. Explicit, raced-based affirmative action programs weren’t wrong for their time, but they are being replaced.”

Trump can be a verb as in the sentence above or a noun.  Its derivation is from a declared trump in cards, which when played wins over another card.   For example, if hearts are declared trump in a game of bridge:  My king of hearts trumps your ace of spades.

David Brooks, distinguished columnist on the New York Times OP-ED page, supports his thesis with specifc examples.  However, it is not the place for this blog to quote entire columns, but to point out how sports and games idioms are used in the media.

Fiscal Questions Trump Defense

March 4, 2013

The New York Times, Monday, February 25, 2013


Acceptance of Deep Cuts in Military Surprises the White House, by Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker

WASHINGTON–“…lawmakers most keenly dedicated to shrinking the size of government are now more dominant than the bloc committed foremost to a robust national defense, particularly in the House…

‘Fiscal questions trump defense in a way they never would after 9/11,’ said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma.  But the war in Iraq is over. Troops are coming home from Afghanistan, and we want to secure the cuts.’

Fiscal questions are now more important in the Republican Party.

A trump card in Bridge is stronger than other cards and can take the trick unless another higher trump card is played.

Econonomic Decline Trumped Harvard Planning

April 27, 2012

Harvard Magazine, March/April 2012

John Harvard’s Journal

A Long Way from Longwood

In a profile of Joseph B. Martin, current Leffler professor of neurobiology, and former dean of Harvard Medical School at the Longwood Campus in Boston, and, also, the author of a memoir, Alfalfa to Ivy, Dr. Martin speaks about the impact of the University Planning Committee on Science and Engineering (HUSEC) on the Medical School’s planned initiatives.  HUSEC is an interfaculty committee, which two University President had charged with forging “meaningful scientific collaborations across the individual disciplines and schools of a University long-known for the independence of its departments and Schools.” (from Harvard’s current president, Drew Faust.)

“Although the Allston Science Campus is currently a reality, according to a Google search by me, Dr. Martin states: “The economic disasters that have ensued (including the 2007-8 financial crisis and the resulting sharp decline in the endowment’s value) came to trump any such ambition under Harvard’s new administration.  And so, in the spring of 2011, the Allston initiative was put on ice and the building for the first science Quad was on hold…  The stem-cell institute headed for relocation into the northwest corner of the Harvard campus, as far from the medical school and its hospitals as it could possibly be.  The initiative on bioengineering is located in a space at the medical school on the Longwood campus, a good location for those of us here in the medical world, but, once again, keeping separate the activities that Larry Summers, President of Harvard) hoped would integrate our communities across the university.”

The economic crisis trumps again.

Has Competition Trumped Value-Creation?

April 25, 2012

The New York Times, Tuesday, April 24, 2012


The Creative Monopoly, by David Brooks

“…Competition has trumped value-creation.  In this and other ways, the competitive arena undermines innovation.

You know somebody has been sucked into the competitive myopia when they start using sports or war metaphors.  Sports and war are competitive enterprises.  If somebody hits three home runs (baseball) against you in the top of the inning, your job is to go hit four home runs in the bottom of the inning.

But business, politics, intellectual life and most other realms are not like that.”  They may be competitive, but there is always the option to invent a different game, to be creative.

“Everybody worries about American competitiveness.  That may be the wrong problem.  The future of the company will probably be determined by how well Americans can succeed at being monopolists.”

A trump in a bridge hand is powerful and almost always wins unless a competitor has a higher trump.  So competition almost always wins over “value-creation”, but not always.