World

OLD STATUES NEVER DIE, THEY JUST GET CARTED AWAY.

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Tattoos, and Statues have always been permanent reminders of temporary feelings. A statue however is slightly easier to remove. As a symbol, statues have themselves become a much larger issue. What do we do about our troubling history? How do we judge yesterday’s conduct by today’s standards? What is the purpose and effect of what we include or exclude in the telling of the story of humanity?

A professor of mine, the great historian Gabriel Kolko, taught me that history was perception. Winston Churchill famously said that he was sure that history would treat him kindly because he planned to write it himself. As a general rule, history is written by the winners.

In the United States the issue of statues and symbols, especially relating to the American Civil War, have become a divisive issue. It took until the 21st century for the Confederate flag to be removed from state capitals. Disputes have erupted over the removal of statues of southern Civil War leaders and Generals. These statues and symbols represent the defense of slavery. This was an evil so great that it is understandable that it would be offensive.

There are those who argue that to remove these statues is to deny history. There is no shortage of written materials, records and other reminders of history. There are museums where these statues can join the other mementos of the best and worst humankind.

Statues of the losers and tyrants are symbolically torn down to mark their fall. There are no public statues of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Saddam, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, and a legion of other tyrants and losers in the progress of humanity.

Truth like water find its own level. Statues rise and fall with the march of history and the values and sensitivities of the people who raise and live with them.

The Second Amendment Under Attack

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Retired Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, has called for the repeal of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

At this point in time, that may not be possible. A constitutional repeal requires 2/3 of both Houses of Congress to put the matter to the people. It then requires 38 states to approve. It has only been done once. That was the repeal of prohibition. It is too difficult, and too timely. That is not to say it cannot be done and America may one day find the will.

There is a building momentum for action on this issue. The NRA has so much money and power, the struggle is long from over.

Sadly, the undeniable argument for sane, realistic, an effective gun laws, is dead children.

The answer?  As Justice Stevens noted, one of the problems with the Second Amendment was its interpretation by the courts. It will become important for America on this as with a multitude of significant social issues to have a progressive, liberal, visionary Supreme Court of the United States.

It will be there that the future of America will be decided. A far more restrictive and realistic interpretation of the Second Amendment is the only hope to bring America in line with the rest of the civilized world when it comes to guns.

Maybe America Should Have Stayed with Britain

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Those colonists loyal to King George III, left America to form my home, Canada.

I have always  admired much about the United States. Although democracy is never perfect, America flourished in their newly created country founded on freedom and liberty. I respected and appreciated America’s commitment to defend democracy and liberty around the world. They are the richest country on the planet.

Even before Trump polarized and focused America and the world’s attention on the strength or weakness of America’s democracy and social values, Trump has attacked the institutions and values that make America great. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the cornerstones of American democracy and liberty.

Trump aside, some have begun to question America’s place as a leader and beacon for truth, fairness, justice, freedom and liberty. I look to Canada, and most of the civilized world to find universal healthcare. The world’s richest country, U.S.A, is without universal healthcare, or even meaningful healthcare while arguing about less.

Here we have political discourse which is generally civil and productive. I haven’t seen that in the United States since before Gingrich became speaker. What has followed is a continual obstructionism by both parties.

In Canada, again like most of the civilized world, we have sane and effective gun laws. Americans have to recognize that the Second Amendment was drafted in the 18th century in a different reality. Countries with more restrictive gun laws have far fewer gun deaths.

I still love America and believe the spirit of the best of the U.S.A, is the envy of the world. I, however, have realized that Americans may have been better off had they remained part of Great Britain as a colony, Dominion, member of the Commonwealth and an independent country. Chances are good that our neighbors to the south would have universal healthcare, sane gun laws, and a degree of civil, respectful and productive political discourse, with a democracy that never sunk this low.

Don’t Forget Who He Is.

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Trump was sent to Washington to shake things up. A reaction to the voters anger from both parties at the governing class.

Today he spoke at the United Nations. He did what no other president has done. He attacked America’s enemies. He said the things that many Americans felt needed to be said.

He has shaken up government. He has attacked the leadership of both parties and has admonished them quite accurately for their failures and lack of accomplishment. When the GOP wouldn’t cooperate and come through, he turned to the Democrats. He doesn’t have an ideology.

These are admirable accomplishments. One must however, remember that this is a lying, pathological, misogynist degenerate.

It is unfortunate that the electorate had no other choice but the governing class they rejected or a corrupt con man.

Why Trump Really Won

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had less to do with the results of the election, than the voters of both parties anger at the governing class.

Voters were tired of the less than transparent conduct by the White House and Congress treating us like the audience of a reality TV show. Create a fantasy world, conflict, tension and keep the audience entertained.

America’s voters were fed up with a directionless government which took care of themselves before they took care of the American people. They were tired of the deadlock in Washington and nothing getting done.

Patients had run out for the governing class. Those who made their lives politics. Public service was seen by the people as a ticket to all the money made available by Citizens United.

The Democratic candidate was a member of the governing class. All of those Republicans who stood on the early stages of the campaign were members of the governing class. Trump was not. He capitalized on that anger and spoke out loud all of the fear and hate of the ugly underbelly of America.

That is what elected Donald Trump.

The Donald Trump Trample

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There’s a new dance sweeping the nation. It’s called the Donald Trump Trample. So far the White House staff, Departments of government, Congress, and Scotus are learning how it’s done.

First there’s the Trump Trample on racial and religious groups. From Mexicans to Muslims there’s enough disrespect and hate for all. His tacit support of the Nazis and white supremacists fit in with his concept of America.

Next he does the Trump Trample on individuals. Whether it’s Jeff Sessions, James Comey, the GOP leadership in Congress or the long list of departed staffers. No one but his family is spared. For now. Trump has no shame in publicly bullying and berating people.

Finally and more importantly he does the Trump Trample on the basic rights and freedoms that are the foundation of America. His war on the press has viciously attacked the First Amendment. The greatest and most pathological liar to ever sit in the Oval Office, wants to control the truth. He tacitly encourages violence and hate.

There’s no doubt that everybody’s afraid of the Trump Trample. He runs the country like a reality TV show. Create a fantasy world, crank up the drama and the tension and keep them entertained. He truly believes in his own superiority. Only he can decide what’s lawful or not. If you’re anywhere in government and you don’t fall in line you’re gone.

So far the Trump Trample has worked. He freely trashes institutions, individuals, and civil rights in the most base way built on pathological lies. He has succeeded in intimidating and frightening all around him. He will do the dance until he is recognized as the indispensable leader. His ego, personality disorders, and mental illness, will accept no less

Why are The One %

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There appears to be a consensus that 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. That is the problem at the root of conflict in the world.

Out of all the problems humankind faces, this is the most inane situation certainly on this planet and probably the rest of the universe.

How can people suffer every day from the fear that financial survival in this world demands? While the resources exist to alleviate 99% of it.

It’s not just the poor and disadvantaged, whose mere existence is an insult and stain on humanity. Most people, even the moderate to reasonably well-to-do, have to struggle with financial survival every day.

We live in a world that appears to be deteriorating around us, as infrastructure is a politicians low priority until it breaks. Federal and local governments around the world have lacked the resources to maintain or replace them. We lack the resources to provide the basic services that we need in this modern society. Governments, like most people, must deal with the pain of choosing priorities in accordance with their financial abilities.

Why? Why? Why?

The resources exist to deal with these issues in a way that eases life and makes it more fair for everyone.

The weight of history, has over the centuries distributed some of the great wealth held by the few amongst the rest of the population. The 1% has counted on control of the military and political scenery to maintain this balance. In this modern world it is unlikely that this is the case. Instant mass communication depending on how it is used may be the saviour or the downfall of humankind.

But the scale is starting to tip the other way. The pressure on society to find another way to keep score and fairly manage resources will meet head-on with a deteriorating society. It is hard to imagine that the flow of history will be stopped.

But for the moment we live in a bizarre world. All but the privileged few, under financial pressure from governments to the people. Meanwhile 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth.

Why?