trump's words often change because he says whatever he says and when he reiterates a few days later he says something different. The media knows this by now but dutifully reports every twist and turn. This benefits Trump immensely. It takes the mind away from something the media does not attend to -- what has the man actually done?

"By their fruits, you shall know them" is a thought attributed to Jesus in the book of Matthew. Words are actions but deeds have more body, more heft, more import.

Words or deeds?

What was more news, Trump actually firing Comey?

Or all the words that preceded that event? Clearly the deed. In general, this is the standard that should be applied to Trump. It's not what he says but who he is. Who he is shown by what he actually does.

Thus Trump was instrumental in confirming Gorsuch. That actual deed to me is a huge and illustrative reason why we should be rid of Donald Trump.

We are known by what we do

Deeds are remembered. Victims of fraud remember the deeds that led to their victimization. Victims of midnight raids and early morning home invasions remember things with exactitude. This insight is almost the center of pragmatic philosophy in its original ethical form -- its founder Charles Sanders Peirce later named it pragmaticism to save it from kidnappers.

Another verbal matter

If we were to say what Trump has done, almost forever, we would say he has used words to create a cloud which envelops and bathes him with attention. This is what Trump actually does.

This is the NYT's lead stories today. They are about speech.

What actual deeds can we attribute to Trump? Among other things, he has conducted two surprise bombing ventures with mixed results -- largely unremembered in the flood of stuff. This history seems relevant to the current crisis.

The lead story?

I suspect that of the three articles noted here, this will be the keeper because it deals with deeds, with actual options, with the nuts and bolts of what is out there.

This article centers on the conclusions of retired general James D. Thurman who once was at the top of military doings related to Korea. He suggests that we consider the actual persons who would be most affected and that we not allow escalating speech to lead to serious miscalculation.

It is the prospect that Trump's words are fueling an uncontrollable crisis that has everyone on edge. The impulse to flaunt American capacities may be natural but there is a common sense we can derive from good Western movies. The cool and collected hero often has the upper hand.