Elvis

Saturday evening we watched the new film Elvis.  I’d give it high marks, worth the time, if you have any interest whatsoever in “The King”.

There were three of us a”in the house” literally.  Son-in-law Don came over and joined us.

There are a great plenty of reviews and others personal experiences about Elvis Presley – I thought I’d recall the few intersections of my own life as a country kid with his career.

I was a junior in high school when he hit the big time early in 1956, with Heartbreak Hotel.  We lived in the country, literally, in southeast North Dakota.  Television was months in our future.  There was TV then, of course, but in places like ours transmission of signals was iffy at best and I can’t say I ever saw television until September of 1956.

There was AM radio, but even that was not for casual use.  Somehow or other, though, I do remember hearing that first hit.  There seemed to be something that stuck.  I don’t recall any photos or such.  It was just a voice on a record played over the radio.

Somehow I connect Elvis with Brylcreem (“a little dab will do yah” – never enough), and with ducktail haircuts and sideburns and blue suede shoes.  I overdid the Brylcreem; but no ducktail, sideburns or blue suede shoes.

The next contact was in Valley City, North Dakota.  I was doorman at the Omwick Theatre in 1960-61, and during my time there, Elvis’ Blue Hawaii and GI Blues were big hits.  I saw only bits and pieces – I was working – but there was certainly plenty of customers for the shows.

From then on, Elvis became “The King of rock and roll”, and most everyone old enough knows that story.

Then came the day in August, 1977, when breaking news was that Elvis was dead, at age 42.  Even though I was the most casual of fans, for some reason his death is on the list of deaths I remember, including where I was when….

In December of 1977, son Tom and I joined my sister and her family and we drove south to visit Mom and Dad in Texas.  Enroute, we drove through Memphis and went to Graceland, just to see it.  At the time, shortly after his death, there wasn’t much going on.  No souvenirs or even a photo to present evidence of having been there – but we certainly were there.

Life goes on, and the legend lives on.  Elvis impersonators are still a draw, and some are pretty good.

I’m struck by the common thread, though, of many celebrities like Elvis, and other young performers, who hit it big, early, and died young for various reasons.

We sort of eat our celebrities alive.  And fame has its down side.

Still, the film Elvis is worth the time.  If you haven’t seen it, I think you’ll enjoy it.

POSTNOTE: Today’s generation of young people cannot imagine a time when communication was still rather primitive.  As noted above, we had no television till 1956; radio was AM only, and our family had one radio, perhaps in the country you might be able to access two or three stations, and to my recollection we had no car radio.  And that was it.  Media began to expand in the 1960s, and exploded in the 2000’s.

In addition to Elvis, by the end of the 1950s I’d heard enough Buddy Holly to be able to say I liked his music.  But “the day the music died” in February 3, 1959, I was a sophomore in college 60 miles away from Holly’s concert venue, and I really don’t remember even knowing the concert was going on.  It was a different time.

2022 US Election

Companion posts August 1&2 accessible here.  These define my own politics, and why I feel the way I do.

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I wondered about voter turnout in the 2020 election in the United States.  Here’s what the Census Department reported.  In numbers: about 240 million were eligible to vote; only two-thirds actually voted in the heaviest turnout ever; the vast majority of those, about 156 of the 158 million, voted for the Democrat or Republican candidates (81 million to 74 million).  One-third didn’t even vote.

It was the most scrutinized and cleanest election ever, state by state, local by local.

The votes were by secret ballot, and no one has to be truthful about whether they voted or who they voted for.

It is a given that the total number of people actually voting will be far less on Nov. 8, 2022, than those who actually cast ballots in 2020.  It is simply a matter of history.

But the upcoming U.S. election is again going to be an accurate reflection of US as a people. We will have no one to blame but ourselves for the outcome.  If we don’t vote knowledgeably for every office holder up for election on our ballot, the result is on each and every one of us.

I’m not going to say who to vote for, nor why, though if you ever read this page, you know my feelings.

The generalization about politics and politicians – that “they’re all alike” – continues, and is, as it has always been, inaccurate.  How we collectively vote has huge implications for all of us, long term.  Every election, really, is for the next generation – the people too young to vote.

In the last post, I offered some suggested resources: Any information for a Minnesota voter can be seen here (our early voting began on Sep 23).  National information here.  NBC has a Plan Your Vote site as well.

If you know me and live in my town, my own parties local website is here.  We have very good candidates for office.

There remains about 7 weeks until election day.  Don’t squander your opportunity.

You truly are US.

September 27, 2022:

This amendment was planned for the day before the Jan. 6 public hearing scheduled for Sept.28.  That hearing has been postponed due to Hurricane Ian about to strike Florida.  Key to the postponement, I understand, was that this was to be a public hearing, and many interested in viewing it would be otherwise occupied with what appears to be a severe storm.

At the same time, much attention is being paid to the implications of the recent election in Italy, said to signal a move by Italians further to the right, in the mode of Mussolini’s Fascist regime which flamed out at the end of WWII.

Here’s a report from Europe about that election which is, granted, only one of many.  But is nonetheless interesting.

I had heard that the Italian election had a low turnout.  The news article, towards the end, documents this.

What surprised me was that the supposedly low turnout in Italysouth, was only very slightly lower than the voter turnout in the 2020 United States Presidential election,  and that 2020 election had the greatest turnout in U.S. history (see first paragraph, above).

What all of this means is uncertain.

For sure, in my opinion, is that voter turnout matters.  A great deal.  Not voting at all, or voting for a candidate with zero chance of winning, “to make a point”, is counter-productive.

Much more can be said.  There are no more than two choices for virtually all races on Nov. 8.  Carefully consider the implications of your vote, or non-vote.

September 28, 2022

As I write, the hurricane is about to make landfall in south west Florida.

I’ve been thinking about autocrats in recent history, among which I include the one we’ve experienced, #45.  He was born 1946, took office at age 70, talks about taking office again at age 79 in 2025.

Some of his companion autocrats: Hitler was 44 when he rose to power and died at his own hand at 56; Mussolini was 39 at the beginning of his Fascist regime in Italy and was about 62 when he met an inauspicious end.  Franco took power at 47 and managed to live out the rest of his life, dying at 82 in 1975.  Putin was 48 when first elected President; 60 when he essentially became President for life in 2012.  He is soon 70 years old.

France’s LePen is 54, so far she’s failed: 2012, 2017, 2022.  Other countries have flirted with far-right nationalism.  In a democracy like ours, it takes root one representative at a time…we can see it coming, but don’t pay attention till too late.

In Russia, there is now mandatory military service, and droves of potential draftees are getting out of the country in any way they can, not looking forward to serving in Ukraine.

Allegedly near 100% of voters in Ukraine territories under temporary control of Russia allegedly expressed a desire to be annexed into Russia – Democracy? Hardly.  Who knows what the actual vote was in these regions.  No one knows if it was in any way ‘free and fair’.  Caveat emptor.  Let the buyer beware.

Our own autocrat in residence in the U.S. still maintains that he was robbed in 2020, absent any evidence, but with many lieutenants, wanting to be in control.

The new big-shot in Italy apparently got much of her support from issues like anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric.  If in Italy, speak Italian.  Sound familiar?

The good news is that none of these recent elections had true majority support.  The bad news is that the majority didn’t act when they should have, the most important act being the simple act of voting for stability which comes from community when they had a chance.

The terms Neo-liberal and Neo-Fascist are thrown around a lot these days.  Toss in words like “illiberal”.  Look them up and learn.

It seems we may be at a once in a lifetime moment, once again.  1861 the Civil War; about 70 years later our serious American flirtation with Fascism; now again playing around with tribal division and culture wars.  Will we ever learn?  The good news, we still have a chance.

Our destiny is our own choice, one vote at a time.

Some possible light at the end of a dark tunnel:  here.

September 29, 2022:

Yesterday I spent some time watching the coverage of the Hurricane Ian arriving in Florida.

I write about 10 a.m. Thursday morning.  It will be weeks before some kind of definitive report will be available, so I won’t anticipate that.

Yesterday, I did watch as Florida Gov. DeSantis gave one of his reports in which he acknowledged  the importance of Federal help during and after the crisis.  He seemed rather unenthused about saying this publicly – but it was mandatory.  Without strong national support his state is toast.

This morning Heather Cox Richardson reports that Gov. DeSantis, then as a member of Congress in 2013, voted against federal flood insurance assistance related to another catastrophic U.S.  storm (see here, para 3).

The United States, as an idea, is a United coalition (at bare minimum) of States, with a primary function of mutual support in times of need.  States Rights types dismiss this, until they need the assistance.  It will be interesting to see how DeSantis follows up as the crisis continues.  He is a leading contender for Supreme Leader in T-party circles for 2024.

In a very real sense, the United States is much like a municipal fire department – an essential entity which one hopes will never have to be personally used, but which  is integral to everyone’s sense of well-being.

My own town, approximately 70,000, has a fire department, of course.  Only rarely have there been serious house fires in this town, and I’ve lived here for 22 years.

Does this mean that we can get rid of the tax expense of a fire department?  Absolutely not.  We want and need qualified and available personnel at the time of crisis.  Similarly, for any other municipal service.

All of these are part of the community function of government.  Ambulance.  Police.  Streets.  Sewers.  Water.  On and on and on.

Yesterday I took bags of stuff to the local recycling center, another community service paid by taxes.  This morning I did my daily walk at the local community activity center built and maintained by taxes (and augmented by a very reasonable fee by people who use it, like myself.)

Beware those who diminish the need for community participation in services like we’ve watched real time as Ian approached and overran Florida.

We aren’t in this as free agents.  We are part of a society – I would maintain Global society – of which we must be a participating part, rather than standing alone.

September 30, 2022

Today is the last day of September.  One month ago, indeed one week ago, who would have imagined Florida’s fate this week.

I cannot add to, or take away from, the official reports of the devastation.  As I write, here in Minnesota, it is a very nice, sunshiny day.  It is hard to imagine how tenuous one’s experience can be on a beautiful day.  People move to Florida as if its paradise, and then reality appears, uninvited.

Someone said this week that the incidence of hurricanes, and their typhoon counterparts in the Pacific, is not more numerous these days, they are simply more intense, a consequence of climate change – yes, global warming accelerated by human behavior.

Whatever your particular belief about climate change, the data is that it is very real,  and it has more and more dire consequences.  People who likes to live seaside in warm climates are in increasingly tenuous circumstances.  Etc.

I wish the Floridians, and others in the aftermath of Ian in the coastal Carolinas, well.

For all of us, it’s long past time to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.  We’ve chosen to ignore the warning for far too long.

Potnote: Rollin’ down the river:

Golden Rule is on its way down the Mississippi.  Today it was at Red Wing MN.  Here’s it’s itinerary through October: Golden Rule Red Wing to Keokuk.  I’ll keep you posted.  Visit it’s website and participate in its campaign.

COMMENTS (more at end of post):

From Jeff: Good one Dick….

Italy: I did my part, voted for Democrat coalition …oh well.   The main thing about Italy is it is the oldest population in
the EU…that plays a part, but also they demand immediate change, so they switch govts and majorities constantly.  Eyetalians…sheesh
Fire Departments:  generally these days in the suburbs, it’s not the fires, it’s the ambulance calls due to older residents…that is driving the need for more firefighter/paramedics and funding.
I am going to be an election judge this November.

Nuclear Weapons

POSTNOTE: from the Saturday Minneapolis Star Tribune, here.

PRENOTE:  Today early voting begins in Minnesota.  Any information for a Minnesota voter can be seen here.  National information here.  NBC has a Plan Your Vote site as well.

I will post about the upcoming election, likely on Mon. Sep. 26.

More about Golden Rule at Watergate Marina St. Paul at end of this post.

Sign received at Twin City Nonviolent gathering, Minneapolis, Sep 21

The following Nuclear Weapons message was shared with me by Amy Blumenshine, one of my blog readers, Sept. 23, 2022.    At the beginning she refers to two prior posts, one linked to the other here.  My comments are at the end of this post.

Amy: “Thank you for your very helpful essays.  I’m writing to request that you consider submitting LTE’s [Letter to Editor] to the regional papers within the next week promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and educating the public on what they may not know.  I’m part of the local “Back from the Brink” campaign effort (link here) and we’ve just learned that the St. Paul City Council has it on their agenda for next week. Minneapolis passed it in December without any media attention and we yearn for more education to occur with this event.   [The resolution is at the end of this post.]

You’ve written much about this so I wonder if you could revise one of your essays into an LTE form for the moment.  Thanks for your consideration!

Below are some of my points.

Most Americans don’t know that 122 countries voted for the TPNW — a workable, verifiable framework for eliminating WMD [weapons of mass destruction]— the best opportunity to rid the world of these devices we’ve had.  That most of our “enemy” states with nukes have expressed interest in supporting the TPNW. 

That we are no closer to effective storage of nuclear waste now than at the beginning of the effort (just a number of ideas have been ruled out — For instance burying in a mountain depends on having containment vessels that work over eons.)  And Americans have already suffered and died from the process involved in mining and producing nukes.

Most people don’t know that the US is planning to spend over $1.7 T to “modernize” the armaments, essentially rebuilding them to make them more “useable.” But even these smaller bombs will be more powerful than the ones the US dropped on Japan.  Of course, the army defending our target would have no way of determining the size of the bomb coming at them.  So, if they have a similar “hair-trigger” launch system of rapid launch as has been reported operated by the US, a potentially overwhelming annihilation would be triggered.  The smoke from the fires caused by a nuclear explosion would trigger a global  famine of many years.  While the current “upgrade” is budgeted at $1.7 T, everyone knows that it will be higher.  Meanwhile, the citizens of St. Paul alone sent over $66 Million in 2021 out of our economy just for nuclear weapons. 

About our current Nuclear Posture Review (the Biden one is expected in 2022)

 United States is ready to use nuclear weapons first in an alarmingly wide range of scenarios. It remains “the policy of the United States to retain some ambiguity regarding the precise circumstances” that might lead to a nuclear response. The United States reserves the right to unleash nuclear weapons first in “extreme circumstances” to defend the “vital interests” not only of the United States but also of its “allies and partners” — a total of some 30 countries. “Extreme circumstances,” the review states explicitly, include “significant non-nuclear attacks,” including conventional attacks on “allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure.” The United States also maintains a “portion of its nuclear forces” on daily alert, with the option of launching those forces “promptly.”..

Not just preparing to commit unspeakable evil but also doing evil in the mining, production, evil preparations and failing to adequately feed our kids.  Bankrupts us economically and spiritually. Reinforces callous disregard for life.  Promotes American exceptionalism and might makes right.

Further we live with the anxiety every time the sirens sound of imminent annihilation, which indeed could have been triggered by rogue leaders or accident. 

And while nukes are definitely omnicidal, they are actually obsolete. No one can guarantee that a missile shot from North Dakota might not be hacked to land here {Minnesota].  Each nuclear weapon is actually a target for the missiles from the opposing side.  A nuclear armed sub was just in a serious accident in an undisclosed location near China. 

And, of course, there is no effective oversight of where the money goes in this program.  Military defense contractors spend huge amounts on lobbying and nearly every one has paid settlements when caught cheating.”

Proposed Resolution

WHEREAS, nine nations collectively have approximately 13,100 nuclear weapons in their arsenals, most of which are far more destructive than those that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945; and 

WHEREAS, the detonation of even a small number of these weapons could have catastrophic human and environmental consequences that could affect everyone on the planet; and

WHEREAS, the United States maintains several hundred nuclear missiles in underground silos on hair-trigger alert, capable of being launched within minutes after a presidential order, which greatly increases the risk of an accidental, mistaken or unauthorized launch; and

WHEREAS, the United States continues to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons first, which reduces the threshold for nuclear use and makes a nuclear war more likely; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. president has the sole and unchecked authority to order the use of nuclear weapons; and

WHEREAS, the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and recent racial justice uprisings have highlighted the need for greater investment in our healthcare system and our communities; and 

WHEREAS, over the next 30 years, the United States plans to spend an estimated $1.7 trillion to replace its entire nuclear arsenal and the bombers, missiles and submarines that deliver them with more capable, more usable versions; and

WHEREAS, taxpayers spend over $2 million every hour of every day to maintain the U.S. nuclear arsenal [That number is just shy of $5 million an hour, now.  It’s based off the per minute number that ICAN released, which is about $84,000 a minute]; and

WHEREAS, Residents of Saint Paul pay an estimated $65,994,272.19 each year to pay for our nuclear arsenal, and if this funding was instead added to the city budget could be used to support the building of approximately to 660 desperately needed new affordable housing units; and

WHEREAS, a grassroots movement called “Back from the Brink: Bringing Communities Together to Abolish Nuclear Weapons” has been endorsed by over 400 health, environmental, academic, peace, faith, and justice organizations and has resulted in resolutions approved by over 50 municipalities, including the cities of Los Angeles, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Washington DC, as well as the states of California and Oregon; and

WHEREAS, the United States, as well as Britain, China, France and Russia, are obligated under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to take concrete steps toward eliminating their nuclear arsenals; and

WHEREAS, in July 2017, 122 nations approved the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force on January 22, 2021 making it illegal under international law to develop, test, produce, manufacture, or otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and

WHEREAS, on September 25, 2022, the Golden Rule ship was scheduled to visit St Paul as part of their Great Loop Voyage through efforts by the group Veterans For Peace; and

WHEREAS, Veterans For Peace aims to advance opposition to nuclear weapons and war by their efforts which include the recovery and restoration of the original peace ship, the Golden Rule, that set sail in 1958 to stop nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands, and which inspired the many peace makers and peace ships that followed; and

WHEREAS, the reborn Golden Rule is sailing once more, to show that nuclear abolition is possible, and that bravery and tenacity can overcome militarism, and was docked in Saint Paul at Watergate Marina on September 25, 2022 to raise awareness for their efforts; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, the City of Saint Paul calls on the United States to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:______

Personal Comment, Dick Bernard: The Golden Rule sailboat previously appearing at this page is witness to the insanity of the Nuclear threat (see Sept 12, 16 and 19 for related posts).  There will be a family event at Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul at 11:30-2:30 Sunday afternoon, Sep. 25.  Complete twin cities schedule is here: Golden Rule Sep 2022.

I was 5 years old when Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened, Aug 6 and 9, 1945.  I was a teenager during the 1950s, when the Cold War was raging, and my home state of North Dakota was being pockmarked with missile silos to do battle with the Soviet Union.  It was a little abstract, I admit – I was a kid – but we got with the program with drills of what to do if the bomb dropped.  It was naive then, and still naive.  An assumption was made that a missile fired by either side would actually reach its designated target, and that going into the basement would save you if you were under the bomb. There still remains the naïveté, for certain.  We seem never to learn.

As I write, Putin is drafting Russian men to put Ukraine in its proper subservient place; and threatening without saying so directly that the nuclear is on the menu of choices of weapons.  And of course, nuclear plants in the Ukraine are also possible accidental or on-purpose targets (Chernobyl is in Ukraine).

Long ago the nuclear option was correctly labeled Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).  I think the powers that be on all sides – the ones with the nukes – know this, and know it far better than the average person.  But the most powerful weapon of all is using the threat of nuclear to foster fear among the peasants – all of us.

I hope the Golden Rule succeeds in amplifying the national conversation, and that this blog, and the person who sent me the above information, is part of it.

You can do your part, small and large.  If you have an opportunity, stop over to see the Golden Rule on Sunday 11:30 – 2:30 in St. Paul.  Bon Voyage!

Golden Rule Sep 2022, likely at Hudson WI on the St. Croix River

Much more information about the Golden Rule and its project here.  Peace in the Park Family Day at Crosby Farm Park at Watergate Marina, off Shepard Rd, St. Paul, 11:30 – 2:30 Sunday, Sept 25.

COMMENTS:

from Brian: Great stuff, thanks for sharing.   Even as a kid growing up in San Antonio, in grade school I remember asking my mother why did  Pres. Truman drop two atom bombs on Japanese cities?

International Day of Peace

Today is the International Day of Peace (IDP).  On this day, in fact, as I write this sentence, President Biden is addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

IDP is an initiative of the United Nations.  The UN history of the day is here.  The short story: the day was first observed in 1981, on “the third Tuesday of September, the opening day of the regular sessions of the General Assembly.

On September 7, 2001 – four days before 9-11-01, yes, four days before 9-11 – the General Assembly had set the future date of the annual Peace Day as September 21.

Later today (4 p.m.), I’ll join the Twin Cities Nonviolent group as it gathers at Lake Street and West River Road in Minneapolis.  All are welcome.

There is no need to elaborate on the reality that Peace is rarely an easy process.  Evil exists, and is not constricted by any boundaries.

Best we can do is to witness daily for a better world, as exemplified by ourselves.

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To my knowledge, the first Twin Cities observance of Peace Day was Sept. 21, 2003, “Peace on the Hill” at Loring Park, sponsored by neighboring church congregations, particularly First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis.  It was an inspiring event.

Loring Park Minneapolis International Day of Peace, Sept 21, 2003

One of my prized possessions is the DVD, Peace One Day, which recounts the successful efforts of a young man to convince the UN to establish Sept. 21 as the annual International Peace Day.  Special thanks to Madeline Simon.   The film was released in 2004, and still available on-line (here).  It is an inspiring film.  It ends with footage from the UN of the beginning of the horror of 9-11-01.

POSTNOTE: I went to the first hour of Twin City Nonviolence this afternoon.  I am glad I attended.

At home, we watched the last segment of Ken Burns “The U.S. and the Holocaust”, showed on the local PBS station Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  This program is eye-opening, even if one thinks their eyes have been open on this issue.  I would urge every reader to check your local PBS station for the program.

 

The British Empire

Today was the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.  It was about 10 days ago that she died.

The British Empire from Wikimedia Commons.  (You can access a larger version of the map at the Wiki article on the British Empire.  Pink shading is the maximum extent of the empire.)

My initial post “The Queen” was September 9.  I’ve had no reason to change anything.  It is totally speculative what the future holds for what remains of the Empire which began in the 1700s (on the heels of Spain and Portugal’s adventures) and probably peaked out about the time of WWI.   France and the Netherlands were part of the colonizing frenzy as well.

It was not kind and gentle times. It doesn’t take much study of history to know that.  The American colonies rained on England’s parade, but after losing the War of 1812, the English figured out how to cash in anyway….

My beat is mid-United States, Minnesota and North Dakota.  Before the English defeated the French at Quebec City (1759, treaty of 1763), what is now Minnesota was part of the French empire; thence English and Spanish, thence after 1818, the United States.

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Last night we watched the replay of the Queen’s funeral.  It wasn’t the first choice – it co-opted a more important PBS program on the U.S. and the Holocaust – but it was very interesting.

I noted that Charles III had a difficult time keeping “a stiff upper lip” at the final committal of his mother.  It was clearly an emotional time for him, far afield from what’s ahead.

She was a good Mum, I’ve gathered.  What more can one ask?

What’s ahead?  I have not a clue.  But it is extremely important, it seems to me, who the presumed leader of a country is, however that person is selected.

So…the Germans mostly elected Hitler; Mussolini was exciting to enough Italians; Putin can more or less honestly claim that the Russians elected him; and on and on.

And it is we Americans who in our infinite stupidity actually elected #45, and almost reelected him; and millions still believe he is the Messiah, most especially colleague ‘Christians”.

“The Gods Must be Crazy” is the title of a movie I once saw, where a light plane was flying over pygmy land in Africa and someone tossed out an empty Coke bottle, which a pygmy found – a gift from the gods?

The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will survive, I predict, but not without bushels of rhetoric.  So will we, if we vote for community more than for tribal allegiance.

QEII is at peace, and I think Charles III is equal to the task ahead.

COMMENTS: more below

from Fred:  QE2 seemed like a decent, hard-working person whose believed preserving the monarchy was actually important. No one could shake her belief.

Charles III will be forced to make some major roll backs. The bloated royal family’s “responsibilities” and visibility will be significantly reduced. Relevancy is on the line.  Royalists will give way to reality.

from Peter: Thanks for your question (I think that’s what it was). I had not quite put it all together. I think this is because the part that does that is in a different compartment from the part that understands everything. Something to do with brain hemispheres (see Dr. McGilchrist)…
Having spent my 17th year of life in Nigeria, four years after “independence,” would have been enough for me to understand a small part of the damage the colonial worldview has done to humanity and life itself. But on the way back to the states we landed in London, and were whisked off to luncheon at the House of Lords, with The Right Honourable The Viscount Gavin Simonds, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain (1881-1971).
He was a cousin on my mother’s side. He is remembered as one of the great jurists of his time. He was a compassionate and generous human being.
I remember the narrow corridors with low arched ceilings and ancient wood and glass bookshelves lining the walls. Everyone coming the other way had to flatten themselves against the bookcases so Gavin and the rest of us could squeeze by. His office was grand, a corner of the palatial builidng, I think next to Big Ben. There was a fishing pole by the window, the long bamboo kind, and an original copy of the Magna Charta in a glass case across the room. His Lordship was famous for saying: “There’s nothing so important it can’t be put off to go fishing.” He said he didn’t use bait, what with the Thames below the window. He was actually famous in fly-fishing circles for tying his own flies, and spending days fishing streams in the wilderness.
His family had owned most of the hops farms, the cooper shops, the breweries, and the pubs, for a couple of centuries, and rose to such prominence that they were known as “the Beerage.” Gavin was appointed Lord Chancellor by Winston Churchill in 1951, and served until retired by the young Queen. He was in office when King George VI died, and personally conveyed the tragic news to Queen Mary and later presided over the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey. He is depicted in the Coronation Window of the Becket chapel at Canterbury Cathedral, in stained glass.
Years later, at a family reunion in the UK, we toured Windsor Castle. The Queen was at home, her banner flying, but we did not run into her. But I walked about 26 miles of the place, gazing up at walls festooned with swords and armor that had been used in the plunder of the world’s material and cultural riches, an enormous hoard still on display.
In Nigeria I had attended a school run by the Sudan Interior Mission, St. Paul’s College, a small secondary boarding school for Nigerians. The other boys were from all over the country. Read the works of Ngugi wa Thiong’o (“Decolonizing the Mind”) for a deeper understanding of what that life was like. I understand that Sani Abacha went there years later, and went on to lead a corrupt dictatorship. It (the school, but also I think, Abacha’s government) was patterned on the British “public” school system, a hierarchy enforced by genteel physical violence.
The top judge of the highest court in the British Empire, and a small, shy, Yoruba boy at St. Paul’s who took a great risk on my behalf out of pure generosity, were both wise and generous human beings, who loved and were loved in their communities. I knew them both very well in 1964. That, and the fact that both were subjects of Queen Elizabeth II, was all they would ever have in common.
I have a personal view of the Empire from inside the very heart of it, from a family that fought for it and in some cases ran it, for generations. Most of my family bacame Americans, but were just as colonial-minded; they didn’t like the monarchy because they weren’t highly ranked in the feudal establishment.
Hoarding is locking stuff away so nobody else can have it. Hoarding education. Hoarding information. Hoarding pleasant environments. Hoarding stuff is bad, but hoarding other people’s opportunities is an addictive disease that will kill our species if we don’t outgrow it damn quick.
Our collective behavior is a function of our collective worldview, which is deeply traumatized. Humanity is out of time now. We’ve changed everything but ourselves. Time to start. Healing oneself makes a great difference.

 

Seriously….

Pre-Note: I’d highly recommend the upcoming activities of Twin Cities Nonviolent, including Golden Rule and Peacestock.  Details are here.  Those in Twin Cities, specifically note the activity for International Day of Peace on Wed., September 21, 4 p.m.  (The site on Wednesday is proximate to the Longfellow Grill, 2990 W River Pkwy  at Lake Street and W. River Parkway, Minneapolis).

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My Sep. 16 post on Golden Rule and the proposed new Military Museum at Camp Ripley, brought some significant comments.  There are only a few comments at the post, and two others follow, as well as my own, but to advocates the variety of perspective give openings for conversation on the crucial issues of War and Peace.

Fr. Harry Bury, who has provided immense energy to Twin Cities Nonviolent, provided some information today which is pertinent to the conversation, from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.  You can access the site here.

Chuck Woolery’s contribution is the basis of most of the following.  He responds first to the previous post, with “Nukes not worth the worry“.

I’ve known Chuck for quite a number of years, and those five words are not the whole of his story, not by any means.

He follows those words with a September 15 commentary by David Ignatius of The Washington Post, titled “Will deterrence have a role in the cyberspace ‘forever war’?”  The entire column is here: Forever War David Ignatius Sep 15 22.  The column is well worth your time.

On the other hand, the purpose of the Golden Rule, as I understand it, is to remember and remind all of us about the deadly and dangerous Nuclear issue, front and center from Hiroshima and Nagasaki through the Cold War, and once again to nuclear in the very near proximity to the Putin led activity against Ukraine.  Ignatius notes we’ve managed to mostly cage the nuclear beast since 1945  but it’s still there.

Golden Rule says we must never forget what man wrought with nuclear as it embarks on its monumental journey….

Following the Ignatius column, Chuck adds his own opinion:

Chuck: “My comment:  Traditional weapons are used up when used. Cyber, biological, and nano technologies can be weaponized and made to be replicable when used.  This single factor changes war profoundly because engineering them are relatively cheap, easy, easy to hide and deliver, reproduce themselves, and they don’t leave a fingerprint or a return address.  This makes them virtually untraceable and useful for anonymous or red flag attacks.  Even framing another nation or violent extremist group as the attacker.   Together the weaponization of these technologies make the cold war concepts of “peace through strength”, and deterrence – obsolete.  Dead!  And ‘forever wars’ a permanent fixture in our lives until humanity gains wisdom to put the protection of human rights and the environment above the protection of national sovereignty and corporations.  AI might gain wisdom and do this before we do.  Until then, Bio and Cyber security are oxymorons.  Security has always been iffy, but these tiny bits of information will continue to be engineered to evade defenses and target specific weaknesses in the living systems and structures, and the cyber systems and structures that modern life depends on.   Things change.  Can we? 

Chuck Woolery, Former Chair
United Nations Association, Council of Organizations.  His blog, 435 campaign, is here.

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Largely, I agree with Chuck.  A few countries, primarily the U.S. and Russia, have large stockpiles of bombs that no one wants to use, for numerous reasons.  But all it takes is one madman, or one mistake.  Nukes have huge consequences, and what they hit depends on whether they actually work as intended.  The ‘bullseye’ can be anyone, anywhere.  A mistake will open the floodgates….

What Chuck doesn’t mention – or else I missed something – is the reality that the death’s door weapons he describes are not deterred by human things like borders, and just go as they go.  As the recent ad campaign for a certain vaccine goes, a virus (or a hurricane, or similar)  “doesn’t care” about why you think you don’t need to care about it.  Covid-19 is only the most recent example.  There are no walls anymore, much to the regret of some who think walls can be built to keep unpleasant things out….  Modern weapons destroy indiscriminately.

To some degree, I am a contrarian about absolutist positions, which might seem to be reflected in support for the new military museum proposal which I companioned with the Golden Rule roll-out in my recent blog.

To me, the two events were not contrasting nor conflicting.  In fact, and much to my surprise, I found out that Mark Ritchie, who invited me to the Arden Hills event, is the chair of the group moving forward the idea, and this is an idea with ‘legs’, attracting much interest.

Mark and I are not strangers.  In fact, he was one of the 27 Charter members  – number 6, actually – of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP) when it was founded in 1995.  Later, before I knew him, I was President of MAP.  The local sponsors of the Golden Rule, Veterans for Peace, are also Charter members of MAP – number 5, two days earlier than Mark; indeed it was one of their members, Wayne Wittman, who ‘signed me up’ 20 years ago.

I have never believed in coincidences, and this is one of those occasions where everything seems to align almost perfectly.

Remembering service of veterans, and the dangers of war, and the benefits of peace, are values virtually all of us share.  It seems to me that seemingly dissonant activities represent a perfect opportunity for dialogue and collaboration.

Find some way to actively participate now and going forward.

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Check back every now and then for new posts.  It seems I do one or two a week.  Best check-in point is here.  The most recent post is on the page; the archive section has posts by the month.

“All hands on deck”

You won’t see an abundance of words in this post, but behind the links are lots of possibilities for action, especially if you have any interest in Peace and Justice Issues.  An earlier post on the Golden Rule, Sep. 12, is here.

Last night (Sep. 15) we were at a great twin cities kickoff for the Golden Rule sailboat, which starts its 1 1/2 year Great Loop Voyage in the Twin Cities through September 30, thence down the Mississippi and onward to the east coast, the Great Lakes, and down river again.  All Twin Cities information is here: Golden Rule Sep 2022.  Sponsoring organization locally is Veterans for Peace #27.  I’m a long-time member.  The local made a substantial financial commitment to bring the project here, and contributions are solicited to the Golden Rule Project.

Helen Jaccard and Captain Kiko, and others, put on a very stimulating program.  Their particular issue is Nuclear.  Follow their link for more.

Helen Jaccard Sep 15, 2022, speaking at Hudson WI

Reference is made to Twin Cities Nonviolent, and to Peacestock 22 in Red Wing.  Their links are included.  I’m also including the Agenda for Peacestock 22, which I attend on occasion: Peacestock22.  I think the first one I attended was Peacestock 2 (then called “Pigstock” because it was sited on a farm in Western Wisconsin.   It is always worthwhile.

Unrelated, but really completely related, was another program I attended the night before Golden Rule.  It was at the Headquarters of Minnesota’s Red Bull Division, and the occasion  was rolling out plans for an expanded museum at Camp Ripley, between Little Falls and Brainerd.

I sometimes puzzle, maybe even exasperate, my peacenik friends, because I am every bit as anti-war as they are, but on the other hand, as they know, I come from a family with a very long history of military service, including myself.   Having said that, my feet are firmly planted on the Peace side: war accomplishes nothing long term (at the same time, as long as there is evil around humanity, there will be war….)

I see no contradiction at all.  Veterans for Peace is full of veterans, these days mostly Vietnam era.  People who served, honorably.  I include in this group, conscientious objectors and protestors, all witnesses, as were the active military, in the contradictions of War as a supposed instrument of Peace.  Everyone is a player.

I will not change the debate here, only I choose to raise the issue!

The speaker at the Camp Ripley event was author Elliott Ackerman, whose first job out of college, in 2003, was U.S. Marines, thence further government service, including five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, through the withdrawal from America’s longest war in Afghanistan in 2021.  He knew the turf, first hand. I had purchased his book prior to his talk, and it is worth the read, regardless of ones point of view.  It is available at bookstores: The Fifth Act, America’s End in Afghanistan.

I thought the talk, in conversation format, was well done.  The biggest audience response by far was Ackerman’s lament about the lack of civility afoot in this country at present.

“Teasing”the Book, each Act is preceded by a brief quotation, as follows:

Act I: President George Bush, Sep 20 2001

Act II: President Barack Obama, Dec 1, 2009

Act III: President Trump, Aug 21, 2017

Act IV: President Biden, Aug 16, 2022

Act V: Taliban Supreme Leader, Oct 31, 2021

I title this post, “All hands on deck” for a simple reason.  If you care, you’ll be there to help sail the ship of our planets survival.  If your gig is peace and justice, there is lot to be considered, here.

COMMENTS:

from Helen, to her list:

It was THRILLING to watch Goldie go back in the water after her big adventure by truck from California to Hudson, Wisconsin.
Here’s the video.
There were SO MANY people who helped in so many ways!
Captain Kiko, Helder Herrera and many others helped get the sails down and booms off.

Captain Kiko and I “undressed” the masts and prepared them for the truck by covering them with carpet.
On the Wisconsin/Minnesota side, we had Captain Kiko, Mary McNellis, Mike McDonald, Dale Opsahl, Craig Wood, Dave Logsdon, Steve Gates, First Mate Steve Buck,  Tom Bauch, Gil Macguire, Justin Farner, Collin Meuller and others who planned events and volunteered at the marina.
We painted the bottom and touched up the top sides andrub rail trim, varnished the pin rails and light bars, and did a lot of work on the masts!  We repaired what was needed and gave the masts and booms a great new paint job.  We had a really great professional get the propeller bent back to perfect shape.
Steve Buck and Gil Macguire are working on the electronics.
In Peace and Friendship,

from Rebecca:  Dick: A very thoughtful piece on peace and military honor as well–no contradiction there. My small group called Vote Climate is doing something for the 12 Days of Nonviolence this year-I will send you something separately on that (Look for it, regarding a Sept 30th–zoom call with Bill McKibben–an eventbrite invite– and, on Oct 1, a live event called “Hands across the Mississippi” at the Lake/Marshall bridge and the Danish Am Ctr at the Westend of that bridge).

The Golden Rule

The ship is in!

The Golden Rule is docked about 10 miles from where I type, in nearby Hudson WI.  I haven’t gone over to see it yet, but will, probably tomorrow.  Golden Rule has a very long history.  It’s story is told, briefly, in a link below.

The Golden Rule 2022

A special event, sponsored by Veterans for Peace Ch 27, and  open to anyone, anywhere, will be a Zoom gathering on Thursday September 15. beginning 3 p.m.  Register here.  For those on Facebook, the Facebook link is here.  Pre-registration is required, but a very simple process.

The best source of general information about the boat and itinerary it will follow in the next few days and for the next year and a half, as well as its past history, is in the most recent newsletter of the Veterans for Peace Chapter 27.  The newsletter is here.  At page 5&6 of the newsletter is the September schedule in Twin Cities area.

Golden Rule being unhinged in Hudson Wi September 13, 2022 photo from Mary McNellis

RELATED:  Check out the schedule, here, for Twin Cities Nonviolent, from September 21 to October 2, 2022.  And the national program is here,

The 2022 Election is 57 days away.  Do not sit this out.  Get more active than perhaps you have ever been.  This is not a usual election.  Our countries future as a democracy is on the ballot, almost literally.

The Queen

Pre-note: please take time to review September 6 post here.

Queen Elizabeth II died yesterday at age 96.  Only France’s Louis XIV, who became King at age four, had a longer reign.

I won’t horn in on others territory – the news will be endless.  The Queen was an individual.  Like all of us, she was human.  For all of us, life has a destination.  Of course, she was born on third base, as the saying goes – almost a home run.  But she seemed a very decent human being.

The Queen set a wonderful positive tone for her country for the entirety of her very long reign.  Yes, she’s the matriarch of a family.  All of us know that “family” however defined, is not always a slam dunk.

The most significant statement I’ve heard so far is the importance of the relationship of England and the United States.  It seems a useful reminder to Putin, that a nation that declared its independence does not have to be a permanent enemy….  There were a great plenty of sins committed in the name of the British Empire.  Queen Elizabeth was not the cause.  But the debate will continue.

The above are my only political statements at this time of transition.

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Elizabeth II is already replaced by her son, Charles III, who inherits an impossible job.  The only more or less equivalent to Elizabeth that I know of is the Catholic Pope, who is always elected, not by the people but by his peers, the College of Cardinals.  Of course, I think the British monarch is the “Pope” of the Church of England….

Is the Royal family “German”?  This is what I found out – it seems credible.  It seems the answer is very complicated….  If you have a better source, let me know.

I’m German and French-Canadian by ancestry.  I was born American, and I speak English.  The official languages of Canada are French AND English, an important accommodation made when the English prevailed over France in Quebec, sealed in 1763. I have lots of relatives north of the border. Till 1763, what is now Minnesota was part of French Quebec, you can look it up.  In 1818, the U.S.-Canada border was settled.  North of the border is the Dominion of Canada, still part of the Commonwealth.

(What is the “Commonwealth”?  I found a website that does a pretty good job on who is in the Commonwealth.)

In early November, 2001, we spent a delightful week or so in London, so had a once over of a friendly city, particularly in the wake of 9-11-01.  We saw the sights, including the tourists eye view of Buckingham Palace.  When we were by Buckingham Palace, there few people around.  We were walking distance from most everything else.

Our tour guide in London was a lady I had met in 1982 in Quebec, when my father and I and four others went to la belle province.  Visitor-from-England Mary joined us for a couple of days.

Mary, it turned out, was the daughter of a well known judge at one of the most famous courts in London, Old Bailey.  The Judge, it turned out, had been captain of the debating team at Cambridge, and he and two colleagues debated at 31 midwest and western U.S. universities in the Fall of 1927, including the University of North Dakota and then-North Dakota Agricultural College.  I had an opportunity to meet and visit with him, and still have a copy of his diary from the tour.  He remembered North Dakota!

The fingerprints of England are all over the U.S.  Sykeston ND, one of the many tiny towns I grew up in, was founded in 1883 by Richard Sykes, a wealthy Englishman, who founded other towns in ND and Saskatchewan.

A delightful English couple in California, Tony and Heather, owned for many years my Grandfathers 1901 Oldsmobile, and in 2001 we were in the double-decker bus following the route of the famous London-Brighton road rally, in which Tony had driven the little car some years earlier.

Along the way, connected with one of my websites, I met a Syrian Christian who has lived in London for many years, and we stay in touch. More recently a Pakistan civic official who got his administrative and legal training in England worked with me on a project when he was here on a Fulbright program.  The results are here.

My spouse’s dearest long-time friend, Allyson, grew up in Antigua, part of the Commonwealth, and has relatives who were and are in government service there…and whose ancestors came there as slaves.  My guess is Allyson is grieving like the others.

Most recently, my colleague Mary Ellen Weller has just published a biography of Anne Frances Hopkins, English artist, whose claim to fame came from her paintings of the Voyageurs in early Quebec, then Canada.  The book is worth your time.

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All of these, and endless other connections, reflect the good and not always pleasant and past reality: “the sun never sets on the British empire”.

Stories abound.  The Queen, and now her son, the King, get the attention, but as is true always and everywhere, it is the people who really make the difference.

Elizabeth deserves the accolades.  Like all of us, her time to bid adieu has come.

I wish all well.

COMMENTS (see also comment at end of post.  I will respond later):

from a long time good friend: I have some very mixed feelings about the Queen and her country.
1. I was 12 when she took over the throne.  She was so sweet, innocent and timid, and I’ve always had a warm spot in my heart for her.
2. The foundation of the so-called royalty is some horrible person leading an army invading and taking over some territory and proclaiming himself King.  Not genetically superior to anyone else but driven by greed and lacking morality.  Further, during a construction project in England, the remains of King Richard the 3rd were discovered.  He was the last British King to be killed in battle.  His DNA didn’t trace back to his so-called royal lineage, so his father was someone like a stable boy, the butler, or some other worker.  Further yet, the kings, princes, or princesses choose to mary someone that may have no connection to any so-called royal family.  So, in summary, the notion of royalty is a sham.
3. The British are some of the most horrible peoples on the earth.  At one time, they had invaded about 45% of the earth’s lands, occupying the region and slaughtering the inhabitants or enslaving them and robbing them of their wealth.  Somewhere around 1700 a British ship was entering port, loaded with wealth that they had stolen during some invasion.  This was pretty common, and a group of other sailors decided to attack the ship and steel the wealth for themselves.  They were called pirates.  We were brought up to believe that the pirates were very bad people.  Were they the bad guys or were the scumbags that had invaded some country, slaughtered, or enslaved the inhabitants and stolen their wealth the bad guys.  Hypocrisy has been a mainstay of British society.  And then there was Churchill that you educated me about.  Such a scumbag that no one would ever believe anything he said.  As Laurance of Arabia was soliciting support of the Arabic world to join the WW 1 allies is their battle with the Ottoman Empire and many parts of Europe, with the promise that they would have their freedom if they helped win the war, you pointed out to me the Sykes-Picot agreement to divide up the Ottoman Empire between the British and France with no freedom for the Arabic world, and no consideration for ethnic groups like the Kurds who have been divided and persecuted since then.  After the war, General Faisal, who led the Arabic army decided that the capital of the new free Arabic world would be in Damascus.  When he was informed that there would be not free Arabic world, he rebelled and the response from Churchill was the gassing of Damascus, killing around 60,000 people, most of which were women and children.
Enough for now.  Just wish that the USA would do a better job of selecting its allies.

from Christine: It is an easy way of thinking to judge the past and responsibilities  with todays values and habits. But I think it is always wrong.

I have never seen you, Dick, fall into that perverse sort of judgments and that makes us friends.
However, It has become common, nowadays for many head of States to apologize for the past. We are not responsible for what our parents have achieved, good or bad and we will never know for sure their motivations. The past is past.
Only a few causes which are still being persecuted today deserve a judgment on my view from the past actions as well as today’s ones: antisemitism or anti any religion. This is the black side of humanity which led to atrocities and still is.
About persecutions from the Americas conquerors, historians keep discovering facts or books distorting the truth we thought was accepted. I think of the “Black legend” written on purpose by the English to accuse the Spanish of committing genocides in Latin America, when the tribes of that time where killing each other with an unknown cruelty much more than by the Spanish who tried to pacify those peiples. This has actually opened the path to the Conquistadores to expand their influence and their territory. I am not saying they were perfect gentlemen. I am only saying that history is history and we need to be very cautious about judgments of the past.
Thank you Dick for always push your readers ( me) to reflections.
To get back to the main subject, Queen Elizabeth was much loved and respected over her reign. Who knows what can be her responsibility over a black side of history over her 70 years reign….. our descendants may have different views from ours….

Election 2022

60 days from this Thursday, at least by my calculation, will be the most consequential American election of my entire life.  Actually, in my state, Minnesota, voting begins Sep 23; best to be registered to vote by Oct. 18.  The Minnesota rules can be seen here.  You can see your sample ballot here.

(For other states, a good resource seems to be from NBC, here.)

Everything you need to know is on your state secretary of state’s website.  There’s never a year to sit on your hands till the last minute, and only then know anything about the consequences of your vote (which includes not voting at all, or voting for someone who has absolutely no chance of winning, just to make a point).

Love it or hate it, in our U.S. there are two viable political parties, Democrat and “Republican”, and at the state and national levels, there is no such thing as a truly independent lawmaker.  Politics has long been a team activity in this country.  If your local candidate, whether man or woman, says they’ll be independent, ain’t so.  What the parties stand for at state and national level matters a great deal.  This years ‘battleground, seems primarily be at the state lawmaking level – who will be your state legislator, or representative in the national Congress.

I watch what’s going on, and I note from the earliest campaign signs, the people on the Republican side on the sample ballot, are not identifying themselves as Republican endorsed on their signs.  I don’t think this is an accident or a mistake.  They would like to convey the impression of independence.  Not honest.

My personal stand has been at every blog I’ve posted in the last 13 years.  You can read it: “moderate pragmatic Democrat”.

A friend from childhood days, a man whose trade was words, a well known author, angrily dropped off my list a few months back, challenging my pragmatism.  Fair enough.  I looked up the word, and the definition that applies to me, indeed the first in the list in my dictionaries definition, was “practical”.

My entire work career in labor union work was spent sorting out stuff between, and working with, people, organizations, management and labor.  There was no certainty any day in my job.  That’s where both the moderate and the pragmatic came in.  Solutions had to be found.

Re Democrat: that party has long been my brand, because Democrats are much more inclusive and bigger ‘tent’.  That makes them seem, sometimes, disorganized.  We’re a complex society – we each live in our own version of this.

In the days when “progressive Republican” was acceptable, I related well to those kinds of Republican.  Dwight Eisenhower comes to mind at the national level; Gov. Elmer L. Andersen in Minnesota.  These folks hardly exist in todays Republican party; they have been banished, which is why I put the word in quotes early in this post.

President Biden defined todays issue well in his recent speech in Philadelphia.  It is worth a listen as you consider the future.   Of course, his critics went ballistic; these, the exact same folks who cannot speak of people like myself without derision: labeling Democrat as “Antifa”, “Socialist”, “radical” on and on….

I’ll close this chapter with a review of the other “sides” position, which I highlighted in a blog some time ago, and asked several friends to respond.  It’s a piece, sent by a reader, that suggests that we are not a democracy, and therefore talks about democracy or Democrats as somehow almost un-American.  Initially, I dismissed it – it was so far out – but then I actually heard an Arizona politician convey the meme in a public speech.  Here is the blog with the reference.  Focus on the John Porter post which is the basis for the post, and the responses to it.

I have no idea who John Porter is.  But do take the time, as with the Biden speech, to listen and reflect.

Then get to work.  Our system of government, formerly the envy of the world, is at stake.  Nov. 8 is two months away.

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POSTNOTES: Check out my Labor Day post here.

Joyce routinely sends excellent commentary on national issues.  I highly recommend each of these:  Here, about the Court ruling on a Special Master for the former president.  The Weekly Sift on the same issue.  Heather Cox Richardson is always worth reading.   I always read these.

Last night we watched the last of a three part series on the German people and Hitler.  This was about the last two years of the war – when the dream of a thousand year Reich evaporated.  At the end some scenes from Nuremberg trial, and the narrator said that even till the end many Germans still idolized Hitler….  It is mindful of the cult of personality still infecting the MAGA crowd.

POSTNOTE 2:  I plan to continue as per usual in my writing, but I will less frequently visit your mail box with reminders.  Easiest way to keep up with my thinking (or lack of same, as you prefer), is to go to the home page (here) and check the archive for the current month, which has every post for the month, most current first..

COMMENTS:

from Fred: Couldn’t agree more re your point about the election. The question is which party you support? Candidates are stalking horses for their party, no matter what they say. The Dems, as always, have differences about which they argue endlessly. No GOP candidate facing a primary or a party vote can risk can come against the leader of what, more and more, is looking like a cult.