Thoughts

What I’m about to say may earn me no brownie points, but … I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.  I have been criticized and called on the carpet by one reader for not addressing the 13 U.S. military men and women who were killed last week during a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.  The attack was perpetrated by a branch of daesh, ISIS-K.

Yes, I am deeply saddened by the deaths of these 13 men and women, all of whom were loved and important to many people.  However, another 100+ (numbers are uncertain at this time) or more Afghanis were also killed in the same attack, some of them young children.  How can I write a tribute to the U.S. military dead without also memorializing those innocent Afghani civilians?  Can anyone reading this tell me that the military staff were somehow more important, more valuable people than those Afghanis?  If you can, I would very much like to hear your reasoning.

A life.  No, not all lives are equal in what they produce during their time here on earth.  You have people like Dr. Martin Luther King who did so much good in his short 39 years here on earth, then you have the average John Doe who makes many friends over a lifetime, but his contributions are mainly small, local ones.  Does that make John Doe’s life worth less than MLK’s?  Certainly not to his spouse, children, grandchildren, and the friends he made over the course of his life.  Yes, there is a day set aside every year to honour Dr. King but not John Doe.  But you know John’s family has a special day of remembrance for him.  He was important, too.

When the evacuation from Afghanistan is complete, when final tally is in, I will likely write about all those who died this month, including the 13 soldiers.  But folks, it ain’t over yet.  The Taliban, the U.S., and some 96 other nations have agreed to allow the evacuations to continue past the August 31st deadline.  At least twice in recent days, additional attacks, presumably by ISIS-K, have been thwarted by U.S. drone attacks, the most recent of which killed Afghan children.  As of today, we have no idea what the final tally will be.  The end of the story has yet to be written.

And while I’m on that topic, I will also not point fingers of blame at either President Biden, or any of the former presidents who made mistakes that cost lives in Afghanistan.  There will be a time to assess what we might have done better starting back in 2001, how we might have prevented the deaths of 2,400 U.S. military and countless Afghanis who have been killed over the past 20 years as a result of our occupation of Afghanistan. But first we must finish the task at hand.  There will be plenty of blame to go around, I’m sure, and it must be analyzed, and the entire story told.  In time.  But the blame is far less important that the lessons for the future we must learn from the mistakes of the past. Today, we get as many people out of Afghanistan as we possibly can, bring them to safety, then figure out how best to help them assimilate into our country, our culture.

I am not being heartless.  My heart aches for the families of the men and women who are coming home in body bags, but it also aches for the mother who just lost her child in Kabul, the father who lost his entire family.  A human life is important no matter what clothing covers it, no matter what skin colour, no matter what religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Profit Over People — The “American” Way

Sure, go ahead, blame President Biden.  Blame George W. Bush, blame President Obama, blame the former guy … there’s plenty of blame to spread around.  Blame the military advisors who advised Bush and Obama (the former guy took advise from nobody, believing he actually had a functional brain).  Blame your Aunt Mabel for all I care.  The bottom line is that there was only one winner in the entire U.S.-Afghanistan fiasco:  private military contractors.

If you purchased $10,000 of stock evenly divided among America’s top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001 — the day President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and faithfully reinvested all dividends, it would now be worth $97,295.  Not a bad return on investment, eh?  Defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the Afghanistan War.  Those top five biggest defense contractors?

  • Boeing – $8.2 billion profit in 2017
  • Lockheed Martin – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Raytheon – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • Northrop Grumman – $2 billion profit in 2017
  • General Dynamics – $2.9 billion profit in 2017

People’s lives don’t really matter to the CEOs of these companies whose eyes only light up when they see $$$$$$$$$$.  Not Afghani lives, not U.S. or British lives, only profit matters.

It is right and proper that we leave Afghanistan – we never should have gone there in the first place and for damn sure shouldn’t have stayed 20 years, but … all those lovely profits!  How the withdrawal came about and how it was transacted will be questioned for many hears henceforth and fingers will be pointed, blame will be dispersed, and at the end of the day, nothing will have changed.  The U.S. will not have learned a lesson from this, but will continue to display its extreme arrogance in believing that they have all the best solutions and eventually, perhaps sooner than later, there will be another Afghanistan.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing every single defense contractor in bankruptcy by the end of next year and the U.S. defense budget for new military hardware reduced to zero.  I would far rather my tax dollars be spent helping people with such things as education, food, shelter, job training, than spent on killing machines.  However, mine is a humanitarian viewpoint, or one of a snowflake liberal as I’m often told, who cares more about people and animals than I care about profit and power.

The Media and GOP Revel in Botched Afghan Withdrawal

I’m already sick and damn tired of the media and the radical right blaming President Biden for what is happening in Afghanistan. Their own last two presidents are more culpable than Biden … G.W. Bush made the wrong decision to put boots on the ground there in 2001, and the former guy actually played footsies with the Taliban! Put the blame where it belongs if you must ‘blame’ someone. Our friend Jeff has written a post that precisely reflects my own thoughts. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

The daggers are out – sharpened the past seven months by a media devoid of drama, intrigue, lies, and other wrongdoing they’d grown accustomed to the previous four years. The GOP, eager to pounce, now has some chaos they can hang on President Joe Biden.

Why does it seem that certain people seem to be rooting for failure? Because they are. It’s pretty simple. The media and the GOP have specific reasons for loving every minute of the botched exit from Afghanistan.

We’ve heard, anecdotally, that certain media members haven’t been too happy in recent months. They long for those days when all you had to do was head to Twitter early in the morning to find out what crazy mutterings the disgraced former president was typing into his phone. Ah, there’s my story for today! Oh wait, it’s mid-afternoon, and now he’s gone completely off the rails!

Those were…

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Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

I wrote last week regarding my concerns over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, my fear that the Afghani people will be subjected to harsh treatment by cruel, evil men who respect none, and the concern that the Taliban, once back in power, will retaliate once again against the U.S.  Our friend Quentin at We the Commoners blog has written an excellent analysis of the situation as it stands today.  Thank you, Quentin … great work, as always!


Confronting Afghanistan: Day of Darkness

By Quentin Choy

The scenes in Afghanistan are chilling. As the Taliban slowly conquered regions over the last few weeks, their march on Kabul was imminent.

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was the correct decision in the long-term, but the devastating short-term consequences we are seeing are haunting.

Following two decades of war in Afghanistan, the U.S is ending the longest war in its history with very little to show for it.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.”

President Joe Biden

Read the rest of Quentin’s post here

Filosofa’s Thoughts …

I haven’t opined on President Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan because I have very mixed thoughts on the subject.  Our presence in Afghanistan for these past two decades has been very costly, both in terms of money and lives.  However … there has never been any doubt that once U.S. troops left, the Taliban would move in swiftly.  We just didn’t realize, I think, how swiftly.

Now, I know this isn’t a topic that is near and dear to most of you at the moment, as we are dealing with our own crises on multiple fronts at the moment:  the pandemic, political chaos, devastating wildfires, racism, and much more.  However, what happens once we leave Afghanistan IS important to us for, I believe, a number of reasons, not the least of which is humanitarianism.

Displaced people in Afghanistan in a makeshift camp

The Taliban has moved in much more quickly than most foreign policy experts expected, and it is now estimated that they control 65% of the country.  A new U.S. military assessment says the national capital, Kabul, could fall to the Taliban in as quickly as a month.  Why should you care?  Two major reasons:

  • The Taliban are brutal terrorists. Already, tens of thousands of ordinary Afghans have had to flee their homes and- hundreds have been killed or injured in recent weeks.  The Taliban are misogynists who will brutalize women.  Their form of justice … well, let me give you an example straight from the horse’s mouth:
    • “In our Sharia it’s clear, for those who have sex and are unmarried, whether it’s a girl or a boy, the punishment is 100 lashes in public. But for anyone who’s married, they have to be stoned to death… For those who steal: if it’s proved, then his hand should be cut off.” – the words of Taliban Judge Haji Badruddin

We claim to be a humanitarian society, to care about people.  Can we care less, or not care at all, simply because the people being brutalized are half a globe away, have different beliefs, and a different skin tone?

  • The second reason you should care is simple. I want you to close your eyes and remember where you were at around 9:00 a.m. on the 11th of September, twenty years ago.  What happened that day was perpetrated by al-Qaeda, who were taught and backed by none other than the Taliban.  It was, in many ways, their hatred for the United States, it was in part retaliation for us spreading our western ways to their very closed society.

Think it can’t happen again?  Oh yes, it can, and my bet is that it will.  The Taliban has even more reason now to hate the U.S. than they had 20 years ago.  My best guess is they are already discussing and planning their revenge for the 20 years we have kept them out of power in Afghanistan.

Make no mistake, I support President Biden’s decision to pull our troops out of Afghanistan, for we could not stay there forever.  But rather my objection is with the timing and implementation.  I think it was done too quickly, rather like ripping the bandage off of a raw wound, and without thought for the future of the people of Afghanistan.  I think we are leaving a country of 39 million people vulnerable and in grave danger.  I do not pretend to be an expert or to know the best way to withdraw from Afghanistan, but I very much fear that the way we have gone about it will have unintended consequences for the people of Afghanistan and ultimately for the people in the U.S.

Taliban members

I was disappointed yesterday to hear President Biden say …

“I do not regret my decision. Afghan leaders have to come together. They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”

It seemed cold, calloused, unfeeling, uncaring for the fate of humans half a globe away.  Ultimately, he isn’t wrong … the bandage must come off, but there may be a safer way of removing it.

A Woman Of Principles

There aren’t too many congressional Republicans for whom I have even a modicum of respect these days.  Liz Cheney is at the top of the list of those I respect.  I don’t agree with her political positions, and quite often detested her father, but … Ms. Cheney has proven herself to be a woman of conscience, a woman who is not afraid to stand by the courage of her convictions.  She has what so many … almost all … Republicans lack these days:  integrity.

And it is because of her conscience, her integrity, her refusal to support the lies being told by the former guy and his minions, that she is almost certain to lose her leadership position as the third highest ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Think about that one … because she is honest, she is to be punished by dishonest people like Kevin McCarthy, who knows damn well that the election results were fair and aboveboard, but for his own political purposes has tied himself to the former guy’s train.

Ms. Cheney has written an OpEd for The Washington Post that I think deserves to be widely read.  I don’t agree with everything she says toward the end of her column, but that doesn’t diminish my respect for her for being one of only a handful of people in her party who put country before self.  I expect to have ideological differences with those on the right … I just don’t expect to be lied to, deceived, and threatened as we all have been by today’s Republican Party. This is what sets Liz Cheney apart from the rest of the party … her honesty.


Liz Cheney: The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.

Opinion by Liz Cheney

May 5, 2021 at 5:05 p.m. EDT

In public statements again this week, former president Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the 2020 election was a fraud and was stolen. His message: I am still the rightful president, and President Biden is illegitimate. Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6. And, as the Justice Department and multiple federal judges have suggested, there is good reason to believe that Trump’s language can provoke violence again. Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this.

The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks. On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” Now, McCarthy has changed his story.

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law. Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution. The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president’s arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.

The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan described this as our American “miracle.”

While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

For Republicans, the path forward is clear.

First, support the ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations of the Jan. 6 attack. Those investigations must be comprehensive and objective; neither the White House nor any member of Congress should interfere.

Second, we must support a parallel bipartisan review by a commission with subpoena power to seek and find facts; it will describe for all Americans what happened. This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media. No currently serving member of Congress — with an eye to the upcoming election cycle — should participate. We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks. The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.

Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.

There is much at stake now, including the ridiculous wokeness of our political rivals, the irrational policies at the border and runaway spending that threatens a return to the catastrophic inflation of the 1970s. Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity, and we need to do the same now. We know how. But this will not happen if Republicans choose to abandon the rule of law and join Trump’s crusade to undermine the foundation of our democracy and reverse the legal outcome of the last election.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

Father And Son … Corruption x 2

Let’s talk about the Giuliani family for a minute.  There was a time when I had the utmost respect for Rudy Giuliani.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the perfect leader.  He offered heartfelt empathy, he was the voice of reason, he so obviously cared what the country, and more specifically New Yorkers were going through.

Unfortunately, that man disappeared shortly thereafter, never to be heard from again.  He was replaced by a Rudy Giuliani who attached himself like a leech to the most corrupt president this nation has ever had, he lied and cheated on behalf of that ‘man’, and he lost every ounce of respect he had ever earned.

Giuliani helped incite the attacks by domestic terrorists, white supremacists, on the Capitol and Congress on January 6th, but that was only the culmination of all his dirty deeds. The New York State Bar Association is investigating his role and it could ultimately lead to his disbarment.

Giuliani is under investigation with the Department of Justice for his dealings with a shadowy cast of characters in Ukraine, attempting to find and distribute material about the relationship between a scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy company and President Biden’s son, Hunter.  Trump famously told Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in July 2019 to get in touch with Giuliani …

“Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

And then it came out that the former guy had actually threatened to withhold military aid that had already been approved, unless Ukrainian President Zelenskyy promised to publicly announce an investigation of the company in question.  This, of course, led to the former guy’s first impeachment.

I don’t know what will come of the investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his efforts on behalf of the former guy to help incite an insurrection, but time will tell, and personally I won’t shed a tear if Rudy is disbarred and relegated to the annals of history.  But let’s talk about Rudy’s son, Andrew, for a minute.

When Rudy Giuliani took his oath of office to become Mayor of New York City in 1994, it is said that his son Andrew ruined the moment by repeating parts of the oath along with his father. Andrew was exuberant on the podium beside his father, as he blew kisses to the cameras, mimicked every hand gesture of his father, and shouted out: “It should be so and it will be so!”  Of course, since he was only 8 years old at the time, I guess we can overlook that.

Fast forward to 2017 when the former guy gave Andrew a job at the White House … his official title was Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison.  Don’t ask what, exactly, he did, but his starting salary in 2017 was $77,000 and within two years had been increased to $95,000.  Remember, folks, that we paid this salary and as far as I can discern, the only thing he did to earn it was contact sports teams to get them to come to the White House for a photo op with the former guy.

Initially, he was given ‘unescorted access’ to the West Wing, but when John Kelly became Chief of Staff, that was rescinded, then re-instated when Kelly left and was replaced by Mick Mulvaney.  That tells me that his position was largely … nothing more than a favour to his father.  He floated around for his own ego.  Oh … one more thing he did was he golfed with the former guy much of the time!  He was a regular golf partner of Trump, and traveled with him for the sole purpose of playing a round or two of golf with him.  In January 2020, the Irish Times called him “Trump’s most regular playing partner”.  Never forget that We the People paid for this!

Fast forward again to present day when Andrew Giuliani is considering a run for … wait for it … Governor of New York!  He has higher aspirations than his father, and only about one-fourth as much intelligence!  It is reported that he’ll be flying to Mar-a-Lago next week to meet with the former guy to finalize his plans for his campaign.  Says Andrew …

“I will be down there next week for a two to three-day swing where we’ll be meeting with donors, interviewing potential staff and speaking to the former President. From a self-interest standpoint, I want the President to be as involved as he wants to be …”

Oh, my aching head!  He seems to be one of the delusional mass who has forgotten that the former guy is just that … former.  But the good news is that New Yorkers are too smart to be snowed by this young punk-in-a-suit!  At least, I hope they are.  I hope they send Andrew G packing, send him back to the playground, the golf course, or the Ukraine … I really don’t care as long as he never enters the Governor’s mansion!  I strongly suspect he has his eye on the Oval Office somewhere down the road, in which case I would jump off a tall building!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 9/12

Every week, our friend TokyoSand searches high and low for the best political cartoons of the week.  This week was no exception.  TS has had some WordPress issues this week (we can all relate to that, I think!) and so I cannot re-blog her post in the usual way, but can only include a link.  I do hope you’ll pop over and check them out!  Thank you, TS, for all your amazing work!


A roundup of cartoons from the nation’s best editorial cartoonists reacting to this week’s top news stories.

Source: The Week’s Best Cartoons 9/12

America’s Wake-Up Call — Jeff & Jill Are Baaaaack!!!

The date for the re-start of mine and Jeff’s project, September 11th, came about quite by accident … to start with, that is.  We counted back eight weeks from election day, picked the first Friday in those 8 weeks, and … were stunned to see that with this logic, our first post would be on the 19th anniversary of 9/11.  Nineteen years … wow.  In some ways, it seems like only yesterday, doesn’t it?  The building I was working in, a publishing company here in Cincinnati, has since been demolished, but I remember the exact place I was standing when one of my staff called me over to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  The rest of that day is a blur, but that single moment in time remains frozen in my mind.

For a number of reasons, 9/11 is very personal to me, as it is to many of you but that isn’t my focus with this post.  This is the final leg of mine and Jeff’s project, started back in January of this year with the goal of helping our readers understand the importance of this election year, the issues, and why it is so crucial that each and every one of us do our part.  It just happens, though, that this anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, provides us with a good lead-in to jumpstart our project.  The title for this second half of our project is “America’s Wake Up Call”, and by the time you finish reading this post, I think you will understand why.

On September 11th, 2001, terrorists flew planes into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and one that we believe was headed for the White House that was brought down by heroes in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  In under two hours, our lives were changed.  At that time, President George W. Bush was at the helm.  No matter what happened later, no matter what mistakes or poor decisions he made in the months and years that followed, I will always remember him for what he did in the hours and days that followed:  he united us.  He comforted, he understood, he grieved along with us.  His was the voice of caring, of compassion, of intellect, of … calm and reason.

This is the text of his address to We the People on the evening of 9/11 …

bush-2Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil — the very worst of human nature — and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

Now, fast forward to 2020.  Can you envision the current occupant of the Oval Office, whom I refuse to refer to by the title of “president”, giving such a speech or acting in such a rational manner as G.W. did on that day?  Try to imagine, if we had a similar crisis in this nation today, how Donald Trump would react.  He would screech, he would point fingers, his face would be twisted into a hundred contortions.  He would blame … he would blame Democrats, he would blame Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer.  He would blame any and every one of us in one way or another.  Would we feel comforted as we did nineteen years ago?  Hell no!  We would be terrified! 

Bush-1George W. Bush united the people of this nation … he brought us together in our shared grief, and helped us to understand that we needed to reach out to each other, that we were all in this together and that together we would get through the days ahead, the loss of loved ones, the shattering of our lives.  Donald Trump is not anywhere near the man that George W. Bush is and was on that day.  Donald Trump would use the crisis as a means to drive the wedge that already exists between the people of this nation just a little bit deeper, to cause us to fear one another instead of reaching out and offering comfort, just as he has done with the current pandemic.

I can offer at least one hundred reasons that Donald Trump must be defeated on November 3rd, that Joe Biden must be elected, but this may well be the best reason … we need a leader who leads, who cares about us, who has the intelligence and demeanor to remain calm in the midst of a storm and unite rather than divide.  We do not have that leader today … let’s make sure that next January we do.

Discord & Dissent Table of Contents

♫ Imagine ♫

Yes, I know I have played this one several times already, but please bear with me.  I tend to play this song when … well, when I need to … imagine.  When I need to imagine that there is hope for this world, when I need to believe that humans will eventually find their better side, will begin to care someday, care about others, care about the land, about all living creatures.  Today is the 19th anniversary of the horror that would become known as 9/11.  2,977 people died on that day, more than 400 of them police and firefighters.  Since then, hundreds more rescue workers have lost their lives as a result of the toxicity at Ground Zero. But, we lost more than human lives that day.  We lost … I think that was the day we all came to realize, though even today we would deny it, that “Peace on earth” is a myth that will never be realized.  We came to realize, I think, that … nothing would ever be quite the same again, and that no, it won’t all be okay.  But we want to still believe … I think we must still believe, else … what is the point in it all?  And so, my friends, I give you John Lennon and his view of … a better world.

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management