The Sleep Of Reason Breeds Monsters, and It Can Do That In The United States of America

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(Francisco Goya ~1799)

This image is one of Francisco Goya’s most well known and important. It has been debated if its meaning lies in the personal for Goya or on commentary on society. We can never be sure of what the artist intended.

It is possible, however, to see how when people abandon reason and analysis, that horror follows. Fascism arose in the 20th Century as people in Germany, Austria, and Italy primarily abandoned reason to follow the emotional cults of personality that would lead to the worst evil the world has ever known.

In the United States, which has a terrible history of bigotry, nationalism, and violence, driven by right wing forces that abandon reason and, using tactics of Hitler, such as blaming others through scapegoating and pull people to their worst impulses and the use of the big lie, in which an untruth is repeated loudly and often, we must recognize that such evil is here.

The United States, on January 6th, experienced an attack that was directly against the sovereignty of the country, against freedom, and against democracy. This was the worst attack against the foundation of our nation since the Civil War. This was not a riot gone terribly wrong; this was a planned insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government of our nation, and those responsible should be held to account for their actions. The insurrectionists responded to a President who used Hitlerian tactics of the big lie about the “stolen election”, which was fair and secure and not stolen, and scapegoating members of Congress as the enemy rather than members of a different political party. These actions were real, and they were horrific and abominable.

Americans, of any party, who believe in democracy must repudiate such beliefs. If as some suggest, we simply move past this insurrection, then we are agreeing once more, to abandon responsibility, analysis, and reason. The consequences of such ignoring of the enormity of what happened can be devastating to our nation and our democracy.

White power groups are an extension of the evil that Hitler manifested. Let there be no mistake about it. They represent bigotry and evil and dictatorship. And they are a direct threat to our freedom and democracy.

We must not fall into a national sleep of reason. We must stay awake, otherwise, the fate of this nation, of the United States of America, for which so many fought and died in many wars, will be at risk.

Quotations on Democracy

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

                                                          Abraham Lincoln

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“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.”

                                                           Barack Obama

 

 

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“What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.”

                                                            Robert F. Kennedy

 

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“Those who vote and respect the will of the people  in elections are true patriots; those who riot and perform acts of sedition are traitors, as are those who support the insurrectionists.”

                                                           Charles F. French                                            

An Attempted Coup of The United States of America

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I was going to do a post on writing today, but with what is happening in Washington, D.C., I have to speak about this insanity.

I will start by saying that I support peaceful protest of all kinds, because it is guaranteed in our Constitution, but I never support protest that is violent, including from those with whom I agree politically. Violent protest is never acceptable. Please do not reply by comparing today’s actions to other protests; as I stated, I disagree with all violent protests. Besides that would be like a child saying “Well, he did it, so I am too.” The logic is ridiculous.

What is happening today, though, is far worse than violent protest. By breaching the Capitol and disrupting the Constitutional work of the government, these people, who were incited by President Trump have committed many federal crimes and are committing insurrection. They are attempting to keep President-Elect Biden from becoming the President of the United States of America.

No matter what a person’s political party or viewpoint, this should be condemned. These images are what we would expect to see in a government that is collapsing in a small country, not in the nation that is supposed to be the shining light for democracy. These actions are also frighteningly similar to the actions of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s.

Too many people have fought for and died for the United States of America, and these actions show disrespect to all who have served the country. I am still amazed that some people, contrary to ALL evidence, believe the election was stolen. It wasn’t–Trump lost. Elections have winners and losers, and sometimes the side you support loses. I have learned that many years ago. You have the right to be upset and to plan for the next election, but you do not have the right to storm the Capital and disrupt the workings of the government.

This attempted Coup d’ etat needs to be stopped immediately. All those involved with it, including any and all who incited this horrific behavior should be prosecuted to the fullest extant of the law.

American democracy and freedom are at stake. An attempt to take over the government must not be allowed to stand.

Please Honor Memorial Day

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I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday exists.  The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.

This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America.  Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day.  I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and  thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.

They deserve our thanks and our honor.

Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.

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Of What Is Trump Afraid?

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I typically try not to post about politics in this blog, but it is more and more difficult not to say anything. Our President is acting like he is above the law, and he now has an Attorney General who behaves like a personal lawyer to Trump and not the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America.

It feels very much like a massive constitutional crisis or crises will soon occur, and I fear for our very democracy.

Our first President, George Washington, in his farewell address spoke of both the dangers of not obeying the law and of the perils of political parties:

But the Constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. (11)

Washington does not say that all people, except the President must obey the law; he says that everyone must obey the edicts of The Constitution.

Furthermore, he adds his thoughts on the risk of party loyalty opening the country to foreign influence:

It [political party] serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another. (14)

The words of our first President are wise, and we should take heed of them. All citizens of the United States of America should ask themselves: what matters more to them–their allegiance to a political party or to the country?

I hope most Americans, liberal, conservative, and independent, choose country over political party.

And I ask again–why is Trump afraid of Mueller testifying? If he is innocent, then he should have nothing to fear. If he is guilty, then he is trying to stop justice.

Works Cited:

(https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/Washingtons_Farewell_Address.pdf)

 

Teargassing of families and children–the stuff of fascism.

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The Trump administration has ordered and defended the use of tear gas against families, against mothers, against children, and against babies. This is beyond reprehensible–it is evil, and it is the stuff of fascism, racism, and bigotry.

We must never become used to such abominable behavior. All of those who oppose these actions must speak out.

This must end.

Remember that we are all connected.

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee”

John Donne

Be Sure To Vote!

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Be sure to vote! As Americans, we have a precious gift and an awesome responsibility to take part in our Democracy. Be sure to go tomorrow and vote!

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This right to vote is enshrined in our constitution and has been fought for in many ways, both by soldiers in war and by civil rights activists. Honor their achievements and efforts.

Go vote!

I Stand With The Jewish Community

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Today we have seen the commission of a horrible act of terrorism and murder committed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A shooter opened fire inside a synagogue and killed 11 and injured 6 others. I am not sure if those horrific numbers will increase–I hope they do not.

It must be said without any doubt that this was an anti-Semitic, racist, bigoted, and fascist act, that also is chillingly reminiscent of acts in Germany during the 1930s. In our current political climate, in which hatred is growing, and in which guns are easily available to anyone, including some people who have no business having them, such horrors occur far too frequently. This was an act of hatred by a racist, an extreme right winger.

People of all political views, at least those who are sane, must oppose these increases in hate. There are no excuses, no justifications, and no political spins that can reduce the culpability of a political culture that has lead to the massive increase of both shootings and attacks on places of worship, especially of people in the minority in the United States. These actions indicate a growing and disturbing trend towards fascism, and it must be opposed. My parents were of the generation that fought against totalitarianism by Japan and Germany and Italy. They did not sacrifice so much so that our country can slide into fascist attitudes. We must never forget the lessons of the horrors of the 20th Century, especially the Holocaust and World War Two.

Freedom and democracy demand that reasonable people, who can certainly disagree with how to fix problems in the United States of America, unite to oppose this disturbing trend.

Again, I am horrified by this shooting, and I feel great sadness for the Jewish people who suffered from this attack–the dead, the wounded, and their families and friends.

It is not enough to offer thoughts and prayers.

This must never happen again.

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An Attack On American Democracy

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American democracy is under attack–the threat of the bombs that have been found that were aimed at numerous people, including political figures, business people, artists, and leaders from national intelligence–has precedent only in the assassination of President Lincoln. That conspiracy intended to kill 3 other government figures and bring down the Union.

There can be no doubt that this is a domestic terrorist attack, and all Americans should be horrified by these actions. These are the kind of actions that put many people, including the people who work in the postal facilities and offices where the bombs were sent, into grave danger. This is an attack clearly focused on one political side. I would condemn this kind of action, no matter who is the focus.

We are supposed to be Americans, regardless of political party affiliation. After 9/11, we had a brief moment of unity. We need to end the hatred and divisiveness that threatens all of us.

I also want to commend the various law enforcement agencies who are investigating these horrific attempts at mass assassination, including the FBI, the ATF, NYPD, and other police forces. They are doing excellent work, and I hope they identify the person or persons behind this threat quickly.

I also pray that our country, The United States of America, can remember what unites us. We are stronger than anyone who would threaten or attempt to terrify us.

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Quotations on Leadership

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“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

                                                                    John F. Kennedy

 

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“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

                                                                   Theodore Roosevelt

 

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“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope”

                                                                   Winston S. Churchill