The Bright Red Line

Fellow-blogger Erik Hare, writing as Barataria, has written a thoughtful, honest post about the lessons of history as they relate to last Saturday’s tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia. Please take a minute to read, as he has made his point far better than I could have. Thank you, Erik, for this post and permission to share.

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

This weekend a line was crossed, a bright red line painted in the blood of over 400 thousand Americans who died to end the scourge of Nazism forever. Chanting “Blut und Broden”, or its easy translation, children with far more energy than sense attempted to define Americanism by what has been demonstrated and defined to be its exact opposite.

Like their apparent heroes, they are losers. But they having chosen the losing side of history for predictably bad reasons beyond a simple moral failure. Their inability to learn from history is a feature of a nation incapable of learning from history and thus in need to constantly redefine itself.

As much power as there is in constant redefinition, there is also a need for constant vigilance. History is calling us today. Millions of ghosts are watching us waiting for us to make the right decision.

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Friedman On The Escalating Rhetoric Between Trump And Kim Jong-Un

Today, my friend Gronda has shared the astute, well-reasoned words of one of my favourite political analysts, Thomas Friedman. This post needs no introduction from me, as it speaks for itself. Excellent post, Gronda … thank you!

Gronda Morin

Image result for images of kim jong unOne of my favorite columnist/ thinker, Thomas L. Friedman has shared his take regarding the situation with N Korea and Its leader, Kim Jong Un.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On August 10, 2017, Thomas L.  Friedmam of the New York Times penned the following opinion piece,  “Be Strategic, Not Impulsive, On North Korea.

Excerpts:

“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Americans who are concerned about the situation in North Korea “should sleep well at night.” Of course! Donald Trump and the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — neither of whom has any aides who can stand up to them — are trading fire and brimstone threats with their fingers cocked on nuclear weapons. What could possibly keep a person up at night? Surely Tillerson jests or is high on Ambien.”

Image result for images of kim jong un

“Have we already become so inured to the madness of the Trump administration that we have…

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White House’s Censorship Of Climate Change Reports

As I have said before … words matter. One’s choice of words matters. Months ago, we were introduced by the Trump administration to the concept of ‘Alternative Facts’, and those included, as we discovered, an alternative vocabulary. Now the (S)White House has added to the ‘dictionary of alternative words’ by dictating to federal agencies what words they are and are not to use. Guess what, folks? “Climate Change” is no longer allowed. Blogger-Friend Gronda has the details for you, as well as a link to the Annual Climate Change Report, which will likely be altered before it is released to the public. Please take a few moments to read this important information! Thank you, Gronda, for an excellent post and for permission to share!

Gronda Morin

Here is link to the 2017 Climate Change Report sponsored by the US government, and published by the NY Times: Read the Draft of the Climate Change Report – The New York Times 8/7/17 (A draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, but was obtained by The New York Times, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. )

Because of the republican President Donald Trump’s administration’s disdain for climate change issues, many are concerned whether this report will be shared with the American taxpayers, and if it is, how heavily censored the report will be, and thus, we have this latest leak.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On August 7, 2017, Oliver Milman…

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In Flanders Field

My very dear friend David Prosser, whose blog Barsetshirediaries always brings a smile to my face, recently introduced me to his second blog, The BUTHIDARS. This second blog (you’ll have to ask David where he got the name, as I have no idea) is one of peace, love and hugs. It is based on kindness to all, and is a place where “smiling and hugging are the order of the day”. The most recent post on this blog begins with a poem we have all heard many times, In Flanders Field by John McCrae. Reading the story behind the poem, and then David’s beautifully written commentary brought a tear to my eye, but not in a bad way. David calls for peace, for an end to wars so that we can direct our attentions to more important things. Please take a few moments to read this exceptional post … and if you feel so inclined, give his blog a follow! Thank you, David, for pointing me toward this excellent blog and for permission to share! And … HUGS!

The BUTHIDARS

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit…

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Another Shoe Drops In Trump-Russia Probe (President Dictated Son’s 6/9/16 Meeting Response)

I have often thought that Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, and the latest news is more proof, as if we needed more, of this. I will ask my dear blogger-friend Gronda to tell you … the rest of the story. Many thanks, Gronda, for this excellent post and for allowing me to share it!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of trump and trump jr TRUMP JR./ TRUMP

This is the latest news in the Trump-Russian saga…

On July 31, 2017, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Phillip Rucker and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer.

Excerpts:

“On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril. ”

“The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.”

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“But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed. Flying home from Germany…

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Mr. Scaramucci, The Mooch Is Banished From The White House

It appears that General John Kelly, the new White House Chief of Staff, is not going to put up with all the b.s. that has defined the WH administration thus far. On his first day on the job, he did the nation a great service! Please read Gronda’s excellent post for details! Two thumbs-up to Gen. Kelly! Thank you, Gronda, for being right on top of this!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of anthony scaramucci and reince priebus PRIEBUS/ SCARAMUCCI

It appears that the republican President Donald Trump’s new Chief of State General John Kelly is truly taking charge. The first significant signal is that Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (Mooch) has been shown the exit door just days after he was hired. At any other competently run organization, he would have been fired within the hour (7/27/17) after he had fired off an X-rated tirade against the then White House’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and the Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

In addition. the White House’s Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that all White House Staff will report directly to General Chief Kelly. This includes Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Steve Bannon.

Maybe this chief of Staff will be on the job for at least six months. He is starting out with a bang.

Image result for photos of anthony scaramucci and reince priebusHere is the rest of the story…

On July 31, 2017, Maggie Haberman, Michael D…

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Six Months in San Francisco and the Gettysburg Address

Blogger-friend Rob Goldstein, a talented and multi-faceted man, has given me permission to share this excellent piece about the evolution of our democracy. He has tied his words and pictures in a short video clip highlighting scenes from recent marches for our freedom. Please take just a few minutes to peruse this remarkable post … you will come away feeling a bit more hopeful … I did. Thank you, Rob, for this post and for permission to share!

Art by Rob Goldstein

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Re-processed digitized image scanned from an oil painting by Eastman Johnson, A Ride for Liberty, The Fugitive Slaves A Ride for Liberty – The Fugitive Slaves

American Democracy is a living political system, it evolves.

In 1776 ‘all men are created equal’ meant all wealthy white men who
owned land; by 1863, it meant most white men regardless of class and
a war with the South to abolish slavery.

American Democracy continues to struggle and evolve.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It…

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Are you sure you want to double down on fossil fuels?

On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offered clear signs that it is likely to weaken Obama’s fuel economy standards: It is considering freezing the fuel efficiency targets, instead of raising them each year as the Obama administration had proposed. This is a step in the wrong direction if one cares about the planet. Blogger-friend Keith Wilson, however, has written an inspiring post telling us of what some other nations are doing to drastically reduce or even eliminate emissions from autos! Please take a moment to read and ponder! Thank you, Keith, for some great news and for implied permission to share!

musingsofanoldfart

The United Kingdom just announced it will ban sales of combustible engine cars in 2040. Australia announced the same week the planned development of a super highway for electric cars, complete with charging stations.

These announcements come a month after France made a similar decision to the more recent UK one to ban combustible cars and Volvo said they would no longer make combustible cars after 2019. And, not to be outdone, several cities like Paris, Mexico City, Madrid et al, want to ban combustible cars much sooner by 2025.

In fact, as reported in the book “Climate of Hope” by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Sierra Club ED Carl Pope, cities around the world are leading the way on the climate change fight. They are making huge strides in making buildings more green, improving the time for taxis and cars to move across the city which produces less…

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Is It Possible That President Will Fire Sessions And Mueller While Congress Is In Recess?

One of my favourite bloggers, Gronda Morin, is supposed to be on vacation in order to recover from a bad case of “trump-itis”, but while soaking in the sun and surf, she simply cannot stay away from the fray! Today she poses a very interesting question … merely a speculation … but of late we have learned that even our wildest imaginings can become reality. Take a minute, if you will, to read Gronda’s post and think about this purely hypothetical scenario. Many thanks, Gronda, for both the post and permission to share!

Gronda Morin

AFP AFP_QS1EX A GOV USA DC TRUMP/ SESSIONS

THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY IS SPECULATION ONLY.

Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I am not into conspiracy theories I don’t comment on them unless it is a matter of fact checking to tag a claim as being false.

But I have a fellow blogger Crustyolemothman who is very worried about a lot of chatter that he has been hearing/ reading about how the republican President Donald Trump plans to fire the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions while Congress is in recess.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday (7/20/17) brushed off the public sharp criticism rendered by President Trump during his 7/19/17 interview with New York Times reporters. The president complained  about Mr. Sessions decision to recuse himself from any participation in the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, saying he loved his job and planned to continue serving. So, the attorney general did not bite the president’s bait…

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GOP Guilty For Rise And Triumph of President Donald J. Trump

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that my biggest pet peeve is bigotry in any form. I have written about Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and so many more, and each one brings tears as I write, wrenches my heart, and sometimes causes me to despise much of mankind. My writer-blogger-friend Gronda has the courage to put the monkey on the proper back, to place the blame for the increase in racially-based hate crimes right where it belongs. Please, if you read no other post today, read Gronda’s top-notch piece. Many, many thanks, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of trayvon martinAfter 30 years of being a registered republican I, as an older Italian American became an independent voter in 2016, because I felt that the republican party had lost its soul, its moral compass, the knowledge of what is right and wrong, a sense of decency and decorum. And too many, FOR TOO MANY YEARS, in my former party have been party to catering to the alt-right and all hate groups.

In my case, I had been awoken to a strain of racism that had permeated the republican party to where I could no longer remain. It started with the Trayvon Martin case. There were too many in my former party (2012-2013) who were propping George Zimmerman as a hero when any sensible person could see he was a bum. Then there was the demonizing of Trayvon Martin as a pot smoking thug when he was just a kid walking…

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