As matters stand, there is no choice except to pass the debt ceiling bill before June 5. If not, a government shutdown could follow, as well as an international financial crisis. The United States could do away with the “ritual” it keeps facing. It could borrow more money without politicizing a matter politicians may not understand and may believe is the result of votes, and, therefore, democratic.
However, raising the debt ceiling cannot be debated. If politicians debate the issue, which they do, democracy is poorly served, if served at all. They are engaging in a futile debate holding a nation captive. This bill must be passed. (See What is the debt ceiling by Amber Phillips, The Washington Post.)
So, please, think again and think much further.
In other words, once again, my neighbors to the south are experiencing the “dangerous, idiotic debt ceiling ritual.” (See The Washington Post, April 26, 2023, at 1:05 p.m. EDT.) As noted above, I wrote about this potentially disastrous perennial and futile “ritual.” In the end, having debated and fought for weeks, the United States will raise the debt ceiling because failure to do so would lead a financial catastrophe.
If the United States does not raise the debt ceiling, it loses its credit. In other words, all Americans would lose, which tends to invalidate the process. So, this process is a game, a nasty game, between the Republicans and the Democrats, the United States’s two leading political parties. The two parties must pass the debt ceiling bill, yet they are turning the forum (Congress) into an arena: “leaders scramble for support.” Amber Phillips writes:
The debt ceiling is one of the few must-pass bills, and it comes up almost every year. But when a Democrat is in the White House, Republicans have seen the vote as an opportunity to make a political stand and exact concessions. (Congress rather easily approved the debt ceiling when Republicans controlled Congress and Donald Trump was president.)
(See "What is the debt ceiling" by Amber Phillips (The Washington Post
Published April 26, 2023, at 1:05 p.m. EDT.)
We look at Ukraine and fear democracy will be crushed. The invasion of Ukraine was and remains an affront to democracy. However, democracy is threatened otherwise as well as elsewhere. It is threatened in my very own backyard.
I have not been publishing for a few weeks, so this post seems a surprise and out of place. But I have been writing on the Dutch Golden Age of painting, without publishing my material. I have discovered earlier posts on my subject. They were written ten years ago. Migraines have kept me away from my desk as well as syncopes. I had to go to the emergency ward and remained there longer than I expected. The problem is low blood pressure (hypotension).
How dreadful! On 4 July 2022, innocent Americans were the victims of a gunman whose weapon was purchased legally. I suspect that the gunman was going through a crisis, but he had a gun, and he lives in what could be described as a “gun culture.”
Groups such as the National Rifle Association lobby the government to secure the “right” to buy and carry firearms. Under particular administrations, they succeed. The 2nd Amendment does not justify using a gun because the United States has “[a] well-regulated militia “that ensures the “security of a free state.” Security is the operative word. One may protect oneself, but how and to what extent? Given constant deadly shootings, guns do not save anyone.
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
I hope this post is my last post on the perennial debt ceiling impasse in American politics. The decision to raise the debt limit cannot be entrusted to feuding, vindictive, and, at times, uninformed politicians. Too much is at stake. One does not jeopardize intentionally the welfare of a nation and the world, which seems to be the case.
Had the debt ceiling not been raised, albeit temporarily, seniors would not have received their Social Security cheque. Veterans, the disabled, the unemployed, and other citizens would not have received the benefits to which they are entitled. Affordable health care would have been suspended. People who have contracted Covid-19’s Delta variant would not have received the care they need, the Military would not have the resources it requires, nor would law-enforcement agencies…
A Game of Chicken
Yet, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas calls the deal a “defeat” for the Republicans. Senators would be playing a “game of chicken.”
The deal is temporary. It ends on 3 December 2021. By then, the deal may be repeated, which invites a comparison with the Myth of Sisyphus. The deal is not a solution, it is a stopgap and will remain a stopgap until reforms place the decision concerning raising the debt ceiling out of the hands of vindictive politicians. Meanwhile, the financial safety of Americans and the world will seem and be precarious. It will be a predicament inviting a comparison to the anecdote of the Sword of Damocles.
The Sword of Damocles
“Damocles, is a legendary courtier who extravagantly praised the happiness of Dionysius I, ruler of Syracuse. To show him how precarious this happiness was, Dionysius seated him at a table with a sword hung by a single hair over his head. The sword of Damocles is now used to refer to a precarious situation.”
(See Damocles, The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Oxford University Press, 2000)
This comparison is helpful. Although Dionysius I ruled, in his quest for power, he had offended others and made errors. He may even have committed crimes. So, he feared revenge.
Americans and the world are in a precarious position because of frightful partisanship. The United States has never defaulted, but it could. The Republicans are threatening the Democrats and former President Donald Trump is on the campaign trail. Stability is essential. Therefore, as noted above, the matter of the debt ceiling could be handled by economists employed by the United States. Moreover, the public pot of gold could be deeper. Certain reforms are necessary, and the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes. If one pays his or her taxes, honest governments use the money to provide services. Let me tell a short story.
Last week, acute chest pain and feeling unwell forced me to go to a Hospital’s Emergency Room. I thought that everyone would be busy looking after Covid patients, but doctors and staff were available. The information they needed was in their computer, including proof of vaccination. I was wheeled to a small room, and after several tests, a doctor and health workers diagnosed pericarditis and medicated me. They phoned my pharmacy so medication would be delivered to my home. In the evening, a young man helped me get into a cab, so I could return home. The next morning, the pharmacy delivered the medication I required, and I have started to feel better.
So, paying my taxes afforded me the care which, in my eyes, only royalty receives. But that care is available to everyone and it is not jeopardized by a “game of chicken.” Shame on Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and perish vindictiveness. This kind of behaviour is dangerously irresponsible. My neighbours to the south deserve the care I am receiving.
3 December 2021
The debt ceiling had to be raised by 18 October 2021 and the deal is enabling Americans to stay afloat until 3 December 2021. The United States has excellent economists and there is an élite among Democrats. Chuck Schumer is an élite Senator. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, knows Washington inside out.
Moreover, although there may be a degree of dissent among members of a party, when the country needs them, the citizens of the United States usually rally. President Biden has a good team. The debt ceiling issue has been misused by both parties. It must be eliminated. The next dreaded deadline is 3 December 2021.
I hope that reforms will put the decision to raise the debt ceiling into the hands of experts who will be called upon to help an administration manage the economy. It may be best to remain as optimistic as possible. Motivation and solidarity are needed. First, Republicans must agree to raise the debt ceiling, for their own good, which they do not seem to know. Afterwards, one re-examines certain fiscal policies and updates priorities. The planet is endangered.
What everyone must remember is that Republicans would be the first to suffer from refusing to raise the debt ceiling. They have seated themselves in Damocles’ chair and should know they have. If the ship sinks, they too will sink and they will be blamed. This is nonsense. Therefore, “stop the nonsense.”
‟U.S. default this fall would cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in wealth, study says.” (30 September 2021, The Washington Post)
After last Thursday’s vote, a refusal to raise the American debt limit, I wondered to what extent the Republicans could be considered a legitimate political party. In other words, I wondered how much the Republicans (=½) serving the government (=1) could differ from the Democrats when the goal is to pay a government’s debt? Members of a political party represent the people (=1) whose welfare it normally seeks. So, can they jeopardize the economy (=1) of the country (=1) they represent?
Voters do not give their representatives (=½) the right nor license to harm their government (=1). Representatives discuss an issue, such as their joint economy, which is an essential process in a healthy democracy. However, although the government of the United States is bi-cameral (=½ + ½), Republicans and Democrats, its two houses, are the two sides (=½ + ½) of the same medal (=1) and, by extension, the two sides (=½ + ½) of their nation’s economy (=1). There is only one medal, the government (=1), and one shared economy (=1).
Therefore, although the government is a forum, a place where a discussion occurs, it seems to me that it cannot be an arena. When all is said and done, representatives of the people usually reach a consensus or make a decision following a vote. The majority wins. The government may otherwise be rather lame or seem lame. Remember the myth of Sisyphus.
The Myth of Sisyphus
“He [Sisyphus] was punished for cheating death twice by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity.” (See Sisyphus, Wikipedia.)
The figure of Sisyphus was used by Albert Camus in Le Mythe de Sisyphe to represent absurdism. I have mentioned Sisyphus in at least one previous post to portray futility. It is in this regard that the metaphor remains useful, but Sisyphus’ fate is also absurb. Given that the Republicans are one side of the same medal, they must agree to raise the debt ceiling or face an economic debacle. Another stopgap could lower the United States’ credit rating and inflation may follow. In other words, a second stopgap could lower the purchasing power of the poorer half of the middle-class and the poor in the United States (=1). Moreover, the credit rating of the United States may be lowered, unless flexibility can be attained otherwise. In 2011, as a result of turmoil, the United States losts its AAA credit rating.
Last week’s failure [on the part of the United States (+1)] to raise a debt ceiling it must raise was an exercise in futility. The boulder may stumble down to the bottom of the hill only to be pushed to the top once again. All years are not equal. So, the United States must give its economy a degree of flexibility, which raising the debt limit currently provides. The United States is grappling with a deadly and financially ruinous pandemic. More than 700,000 Americans have died and some have little if any income. Moreover, in the second half of August 2021, the United States’ government had to pull its troops and its supporters out of Afghanistan after the unexpected takeover of Afghanistan by the Talibans, a fundamentalist group. The war had lasted twenty years, a Sisyphian scenario.
Americans pay their taxes. It has been reported that avoidance of taxes is frequent among the very rich, but most middle-class Americans pay their taxes in full. So one wonders whether Republicans are honest representatives of the citizens of the United States. They threaten the economy of a nation.
I am not an economist, but it would be my opinion that the Republicans had nothing to gain by postponing raising the debt ceiling. They cannot laugh for very long. Responsible representatives of a nation are not expected to misuse a citizen’s tax dollar by threatening their constituents at the best of times. Republicans did so at the worst of times. Obstructionism has seldom been so flagrant and so wrong.
By and large, the victims of Covid-19, in both Canada and the United States, have not been not been vaccinated. This disaster must be addressed by the government (=1).
“We are supposed to avoid questioning our political opponents’ motives. We are supposed to credit them with loving the United States as much as we do. We are supposed to assume they are patriotic and rational. But what if a high percentage of Republicans care more about destroying a Democratic president than avoiding a debt debacle? What if they care more about conjuring up fear of “tyranny” than protecting the lives of children? What if they care more about returning their cult leader to power than they do preserving the sanctity of elections?”
The above is an excerpt from an article written by journalist Jennifer Rubin and published in the Washington Post on 29 September 2021.
A Funding Stopgap
The Republicans have agreed to fund the government until December.
“The funding stopgap sustains federal agencies’ existing spending until December 3, at which point Congress must adopt another short-term fix, called a continuing resolution, or pass a dozen appropriations bills that fund federal agencies through the 2022 fiscal year.”(The Washington Post)
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that lawmakers should abolish legislation that constitutes a “potential threat of a U.S. default.”
“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said lawmakers should abolish the legal limit on how much treasury can borrow to meet the federal government’s payment obligations, pushing lawmakers to eliminate the potential threat of a U.S. default.” (The Washington Post)
“U.S. default this fall would cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in wealth, study says.“ (Washington Post)
Lawmakers should indeed eliminate legislation that can be used to jeopardize the economy of the United States and divide an administration, Republican or Democrat. The Republican Party’s opposal to a rise in the debt ceiling allows a profound erosion of a President’s ability to protect the people of the United States. The campaign is over. Joe Biden is the duly-elected President of the United States, but the Republicans are tying his hands.
The United States cannot default on its debt. So, yesterday’s events seem a game.
Aubert de Gaspé keeps repeating that the defeated are forever defeated and then says, in full, that at the Treaty of Paris 1763 (“trois ans après”), Louis XV abandoned France’s colony in North America. The Battle of Sainte-Foy was a French victory, but the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, a short confrontation, was deemed the last and lost battle of the French and Indian War (1754-1763) when in fact the last battle, the Battle of Saint-Foy, fought on 28 April 1760, was a French victory. “Nonchalant” Louis XV tossed the Battle of Sainte-Foy aside, turning a victory into a defeat. Not necessarily. Coulon de Villiers could avenge his half-brother’s assassination, however, by 1759, could France reinforce its troops in New France. France was losing the Seven Years’ War.
La Nouvelle-France, abandonnée de la mère patrie, fut cédée à l’Angleterre par le nonchalant Louis XV, trois ans après cette glorieuse bataille qui aurait pu sauver la colonie. Les Anciens Canadiens(XIV: page 321)
I have not been able to determine whether Virginia lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie authorized the “ambush” that took place on 28 Mary 1754. But in 1753, George Washington was asked to tell the French to leave the Ohio Country.
Questions do arise? For instance, who initiated the offensive, an ambush, that took place on 28 May 1754? Was it George Washington or Tanacharison, or was it a joint decision by George Washington and Tanacharison? More importantly, as noted above, had Virginia lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie authorized the ambush of an encampment of 35 Frenchmen? In Wikipedia’s entry on Robert Dinwiddie, it is stated that Virginia lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie started Washington’s military career. In one of the videos embedded in my last post, George Washington opened fire. This could be the case. In fact, if Jumonville did not have a gun, or, if a gun was not at hand, should Washington have shot at Jumonville? Robert Dinwiddie is credited with having started George Washington’s military career. Not quite.
“Washington was heavily criticized in Britain for the incident. British statesman Horace Walpole referred to the controversy surrounding Jumonville’s death as the “Jumonville Affair” and described it as ‘a volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America that set the world on fire.'” (See Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, Wikipedia.)
Jumonville Glen has been called a battle and the Jumonville Skirmish, but it was an ambush, and Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville was murdered. George Washington took Tanacharison to the Ohio Country. However, it seems, that Tanacharison took George Washington to ambush Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville. Whether Virginia Royal Governor Robert Dinwiddie authorized this second event cannot be ascertained. It also seems that Jumonville and a few Frenchmen were killed or wounded and that all of them, but one, were captured. Moreover, Jumonville may have been killed at Fort Duquesne. When Washington surrendered, if he surrendered, he admitted that Jumonville was assassinated. But, as mentioned above, this may not be true.
In fact, “[t]he exact circumstances of Jumonville’s death are a subject of historical controversy and debate.” (See Battle of Jumonville Glen, Wikipedia.)
So Aubert de Gaspé comments on the inanity of wars. But in North America, a war was waged that was a tinier war than the Seven Years’ War, but it was absurdism at its peak. Nouvelle-France fell. Jumonville was not a battle, whether it took place at an encampment or in Fort Duquesne, and the French won the Battle of Saint-Foy. I feel as though I were reading an early draft of Malraux‘s Condition Humaine (Man’s Fate, 1933), or Camus, all of Camus.
Militarily, Jumonville’s brother, Captain Coulon de Villiers, “marched on Fort Necessity on the 3rd of July  and forced Washington to surrender.” (See Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, Wikipedia.) The lex talioniswas at work: an eye for an eye. Humanity has been avenging itself for millennia at a huge cost. Historically, the people of New France change masters overnight. I suspect that Sir Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, who passed the Quebec Act of 1774, could tell that the French, the people, did not have to be punished. It is also very refreshing to read Aubert de Gaspé who writes:
Des deux côtés la bravoure était égale, et quinze mille hommes des meilleures troupes du monde n’attendaient que l’ordre de leurs chefs pour ensanglanter de nouveau les mêmes plaines qui avaient déjà bu le sang de tant de valeureux soldats. Les Anciens Canadiens(XIV: p. 318)
[The courage of both was beyond question, and fifteen thousand of the best troops in the world only awaited the word of their commanders to spring at each other’s throats.] Cameron of Lochiel(XIII: 201-202).
We’ve had it, and I hope sincerely that you are not reëlected. Millions of Americans and millions of human beings on Planet Earth have to suffer paralyzing and deadly heat waves, while you dismiss “climate change” as “fake news.”
I would also like to speak to you about the fate of women in your country. Do not think for one minute that a woman should always be exposed to unwanted, not to mention yearly, pregnancies. Open planned-parenthood facilities, so women never have to undergo a life-threatening and unwanted abortion. The life of a woman is dear to her, dear to her husband/partner, and dear to her family. Let women be.
As well, tackle doctors. They deserve an excellent salary, but in no way do they need to be very wealthy. They may well be more compassionate than you thought. As well, tackle pharmaceutical companies. This discussion includes everyone. Everyone is part of the equation.
You are lucky to have a fine wife. She’s an immigrant! Will you deport her? In fact, will you deport yourself? Except for Amerindians, North-Americans are immigrants.
By the way, ordinary people do not need guns. If some Americans enjoy target practice, safe facilities are available.
I will not cover other issues, but I am asking you to
deal with the very real problem of climate change,
to open planned-parenthood clinics,
to make health care affordable, preferably free,
to stop deporting innocent immigrants,
to take guns away from ordinary citizens, and
to drive out poverty.
The current year is 2019. When will humanity be protected?
If you do not deal with the above-mentioned issues as quickly as possible, Americans, the World and the climate will deal with you.
I should say I rather liked you when you visited the United Kingdom. Melania looked gorgeous. As for the Queen, she is a professional.
Would that I could watch you a little more, but I’m trying to write a book on Molière and providing information to the excellent people who read my posts as a I write the book. I require funding, but I doubt that my university will provide it.
Ironically, as a Presidential hopeful, Donald J. Trump was endorsed by the National Rifle Association of America. He was also endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, a hate group who participated in the Charlottesville events. By accepting such endorsements, President Trump may have emboldened the killers. Stephen Paddock (9 April 1953 – 1st October 2017) was shooting from the 32nd floor of a hotel, which allowed him to kill or wound many people and complicated the work of the police. Fifty-eight (58) concertgoers are dead and some five hundred were wounded. Mr. Paddock had booked a room at the Mandalay Bay. So far, authorities are at a loss in determining a motive. Stephen Paddock is “unknowable.”
I wish to offer my condolences to the family and friends of the victims of both tragedies. The Last Vegas shooting was by far the bloodier, but although the Charlottesville events did not lead to numerous deaths, they were the more meaningful tragedy.
The Charlottesville tragedy is particularly significant because it is rooted in the American Civil War, the worst of American tragedies. Less than a hundred years after Americans fought the American Revolution, secession was unthinkable. Robert E. Lee attended West Point and served in the United States army.
The Civil War (1861-1865) opposed the Union, the North, and the Confederates, or the South. When Abraham Lincoln was elected to the Presidency of the United States, in November 1860, slave states, the South, stood to lose “their way of life, based on slavery.”
First, the slave trade was abolished in 1807 by an act of the British Parliament (see The Slave Trade Act of 1807, Wikipedia). Second, in 1833, slavery itself was abolished (see The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, Wikipedia). What had been considered morally acceptable when the slave trade began in the 16th century had become unacceptable. For centuries, captured Africans were packed like sardines in slave ships, the penultimate of which was the Wanderer. It sailed to Jekyll Island, Georgia delivering some 400 slaves.
Besides, the economy of the South was an agricultural economy. The South was rich, but unlike the Union, its economy demanded the cheap labour that had long been provided by slaves. As for the North, the Union, its economy was developing into an industrial economy. Furthermore, the 1840 a World Anti-Slavery Convention was held in Exeter Hall, a Masonic Hall. Exeter Hall is a synonym for the Anti-Slavery Society. Freemasons played a significant role in the abolition of slavery. (See World Anti-Slavery Convention, Wikipedia.) To sum up, the South was doomed, but didn’t act.
Yet, to some extent, the South was a victim of history. Slavery had not been looked upon as a wrong when the Atlantic Slave Trade began, in the 16th century. Slaves were brought to the Americas, packed like sardines aboard slave ships. They were then purchased by plantation owners who probably believed the blacks were not human beings, at least not altogether. The impact of the Age of Enlightenment on the morally acceptable was enormous and it put slavery where it belonged, in the wrong. However, vested interests and an ingrained state of mind, not altogether American, stood in the way of abolition. Abraham Lincoln himself feared for the South’s economy.
For instance, Lincoln asked Giuseppe Garibaldi to lead an army, but Lincoln knew about an agricultural crisis.
“Garibaldi was ready to accept Lincoln’s 1862 offer but on one condition, said Mr Petacco: that the war’s objective be declared as the abolition of slavery. But at that stage Lincoln was unwilling to make such a statement lest he worsen an agricultural crisis.” (The Guardian, UK)
It remains that a right, slavery, had become a wrong and that it could not be made a right again. It violated the United States’ very own Declaration of Independence, whose main author was Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner:
But a black could not be transformed into a white. Once they were freed, former slaves were targeted by white supremacists. They became the victims of such groups as the Ku Klux Klan. After the Union won the war, Robert E. Lee himself could not see the blacks as equals. He thought the blacks should not be given the right to vote, which remained the case until the 1960s.
Slavery and Racism: the colour black
At this point, the necessity arises to distinguish between slavery and racism. One can assume that slavery is as old as the world and that slaves have not always been members of the black race. Arabs have enslaved white women. However, the blacks have long been held in contempt. In two former posts, I noted that Senator John C. Calhoun (18 March 1782 – 31 March 1850) did not favour the annexation of Texas by the “Union” because some Mexicans were métis (see Manifest Destiny, Wikipedia).
“We have never dreamt [sic] of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race.”
North-African philosopher Ibn Khaldūn (27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) did not consider the black race as equal to the white race. He saw them as “dumb animals” and, therefore, candidates for slavery.
“Therefore, the Negro nations are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because (Negroes) have little that is (essentially) human and possess attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated.” (See Racism, Wikipedia.)
Historically, the blacks have been considered the inferior race, “dumb animals,” and “submissive to slavery.” Had the whites and the blacks been put on an equal footing, there would not have been an Atlantic Slave Trade and plantation owners would not have grown very wealthy by making slaves do the work. French CountArthur de Gobineau (14 July 1816 – 13 October 1882), a friend of Alexis de Tocqueville, also considered the black race as inferior to the white race. Gobineau is the author of An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, published in 1853. (See Related Articles #2)
The Abolition of Slavery
The Union won the war and slavery was abolished. By 1865, United States President Abraham Lincoln had already emancipated 3 million slaves. On the 1st of January 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order. On the 1st of January 1863. (See Emancipation Proclamation, Wikipedia.) However, slavery was not ended officially until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the Senate, on 8 April 1864, and by the House of Representatives, on 31 January 1865. A total of four million slaves were freed and Abraham Lincoln paid the ultimate price. He was assassinated on 15 April 1865, six days after Robert E. Lee “surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.” (See Robert E. Lee, Wikipedia)
But it had been a very bloody war:
Four years of intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead, a higher number than the number of American military deaths in all other wars combined.
The Civil War left profound traces. It ended slavery, but racism grew and it intensified the discussion about the nature of the American federalism. After the Civil War, “power shifted away from the states and towards the national government.” (See Federalism in the United States, Wikipedia.) Several Americans fear their government.
Labour unions remembered Lincoln, which is also significant.
Flyer distributed in Lawrence, Massachusetts, September 1912. The Lawrence textile strike was a strike of immigrant workers.
President Trump was criticized for stating that there was violence on “both sides:” a hate group, who protested “legally,” and counter protesters. There was indeed a mêlée, but a permit to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee (19 January 1807 – 12 October 1870) cannot justify the killing of Heather D. Heyer. Besides, there is violence and there is violence.
In other words, a hate crime was perpetrated in Charlottesville. Although the neo-Nazi group had a permit, twenty-year-old James Alex Fields drove a motor vehicle into a group of counter protesters killing 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer, a paralegal from Charlottesville, and wounding 19 other counter protesters. James Alex Fields killed, which is a crime.
May you rest in peace, Heather Heyer.
No permit can justify murder. The President of the United States therefore blundered by suggesting that a permit lessened James Alex Fields’ guilt. Words such as “permit” and “legally” were uttered by white nationalists to excuse their crime. One wonders whether a hate group should be provided with a permit to protest. In Charlottesville, a permit could and did invite disorder including murder. Freedom is not a free-for-all. Freedom and a free-for-all are poles apart.
It may be judicious for the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) to reëxamine its position regarding the Charlottesville events. Everything has its limits including liberty. Liberty cannot be put into the service of criminal conduct. The Charlottesville events border on Thomas Hobbes‘ view of man “in a state of nature:”
“in a state of nature each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This, Hobbes argues, would lead to a ‘war of all against all’ (bellum omnium contra omnes).” (See Related Articles #9)
As for the Las Vegas shooting, there is a sense in which Stephen Paddock also acted “legally.” In the United States, civilians are permitted to carry firearms. What could Stephen Paddock do with his collection of firearms? I suspect that when a President such as Donald J. Trump is in office, a person who has a collection of firearms may shoot and kill. It would be in the best interest of a Presidential hopeful to refuse an endorsement from the National Rifle Association and the Ku Klux Klana fortiori. Deaths by gun are far too numerous and too many victims are blacks. The right to bear arms makes it difficult for a police officer to know whether he or she is addressing a person bearing arms. Not that police brutality is acceptable, but that in the United States police officers are caught between a rock and a hard place. It’s “a war of all against all.”
I would like to express my condolences to the people of Britain. On 22 May 2017, only two months after the 22 March Westminster bridge attack, the Manchester Arena was targeted. Twenty-two (22) persons were killed, including 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, and 53, perhaps more, were wounded. The victims were attending a performance by American singer Ariana Grande.
The killer has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi who was born to Libyan parents in Manchester, England, on 31 January 1994. French and British authorities have confirmed that Salman Abedi travelled to Syria and was radicalized.
Once again, it would be my opinion that the attacker, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who has been described as a “regular kid,” may have acted in response to the current wave of Islamophobia, in the United States especially. The President’s professed Islamophobia may be incitement to murder.
On Monday, 29 May 2017, “two men were stabbed to death on an Oregon train trying to stop an anti-Muslim rant.”
President Trump was in Europe last week, but he first visited Saudi Arabia. After his visit, the Saudis suggested that President Trump’s Islamophobia was a ploy aimed at attracting votes. He, Donald Trump, would not allow would-be killers to enter the United States.
In late March, the Canadian government passed an anti-Islamophobia motion in an attempt to protect its Muslim citizens. I would never have suspected the government of my country would have to resort to a forceful measure to discourage discrimination.
I should also note that the New Year’s eve attack on Istanbul has revealed a reëmergence of a fear, and probably dislike, of the United States in Turkey.
Turkey is an officially secular country, but at birth, citizens of Turkey are registered as Muslims. (See Religion in Turkey, Wikipedia). Istanbul, the former Constantinople, was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was defeated during World War I.
Since the 15 July 2016 coup d’état, harshly repressed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there has been a shift away from the West in Turkey. On 4 January 2017, New York Times journalist Tim Arango reported that: “instead of unifying to confront terrorism, Turkish society is fracturing further with each attack. The West, symbolized by the United States, is the perennial bogeyman.”
Turkey is a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord, l’OTAN (see Member States of NATO).
I will conclude by quoting writer, journalist and commentator Fareed Zakaria. On 4 May 2017, Mr Zakaria wrote that “Trump is turning other countries against the United States.”
President Trump is now attacking Germany, and Adam Taylor of the Washington Post reports that “even Angela Merkel’s political rivals are on her side against Trump.” Of course! President Trump is attacking Germany, all of Germany!
 Refugees from the Middle East are Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. Most are Muslims, but Canada has also welcomed Christians, Armenians and Assyrians (Syriacs) and Yazidis, whose faith combines a number of beliefs. The persecution of Yazidis by ISIL was genocidal.
“I expected this to be an uneventful few weeks,” Sally Yates said, of her role as the acting Attorney General. Instead, she was embroiled in two of the biggest controversies of Trump’s early Presidency. PHOTOGRAPH BY CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY
On 26 January 2017, the acting Attorney General of the United States, Sally Yates, expected an “uneventful few weeks.” President Trump had just been inaugurated and usually Presidents of the United States do not infringe upon the laws of the land. By and large, human beings expect what I will call “normal” circumstances. However, Ms Yates soon informed the President that United States ArmyLieutenant-GeneralMichael Flynn “was vulnerable to blackmail by Russia.”
Our Interview with Sally Yates on the Russia Investigation – The New Yorker
“I expected this to be an uneventful few weeks,” Yates said, of her role minding the Justice Department until Jeff Sessions was confirmed by the Senate. Instead, she was embroiled in two of the biggest controversies of Trump’s early Presidency. On January 26th, Yates informed the White House that Michael Flynn, then the national-security adviser, was vulnerable to blackmail by Russia. Four days later, she wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers that she was not convinced the travel ban was lawful.
In the photograph below, taken in 2015, Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn is sitting next to RussianPresident Vladimir Putin. That Russia had interfered with the United States Presidential election, held on 8 November 2016, was common knowledge almost as soon as the votes were counted, but talks began earlier. (See Michael T. Flynn, Wikipedia.)
In December 2015, Flynnand Jill Stein attended RT’s (Russia Today) 10th anniversary gala. Flynn is sitting next to Vladimir Putin during the dinner. (Caption and Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sally Yates was dismissed on 30 January 2017. Yet, she was the acting Attorney General of the United States. As for Michael T. Flynn’s tenure as national security advisor, it lasted 24 days. Mr Flynn was in office from 20 January 2017 until 13 February 2017 (see Michael T. Flynn, Wikipedia), which takes us to James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation who broke with protocol by reöpening the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s emails on the eve of the November 2016 United States Presidential election and may still have been examining Mrs Clinton’s email when he was fired, on 9 May 2017. It is as though President Donald Trump were dismissing the ‘judges.’
The Russian Connection
Dismissing the judges? Not quite. Mr Comey was merely investigating possible collusion between Michael Flynn and Russia. At any rate, there was a private dinner at which President Trump asked for James Comey’s “loyalty.” President Trump wanted Mr Comey to “let this go,” ‘this’ being his investigation into Michael T. Flynn and Russia. Not only did Mr Comey continue investigating the Russian connection, but he also kept notes of his conversations with Mr Trump and prepared thoroughly for his meetings with the President.
Given allegations of meddling in the 8 November 2016 United States Presidential election; given also that the President fired Mr Comey on 9 May 2017, why did President Trump meet behind closed doors with Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, and Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak on 10 May 2017?
The strange Oval Office meeting between Trump, Lavrov and Kislyak – The Washington Post, right, meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House on May 10. (Russian Foreign Ministry via Associated Press)
The Justice Department has therefore appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, Mr James Comey’s predecessor as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr Mueller has been asked to conduct a thorough inquiry into the Russian connection, including possible interference in the 8 November 2016 American Presidential elections. Will President Trump also dismiss former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller? There is a pattern. President Trump dismisses the judges.
For instance, President Trump has given his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, too important a role. There has not been a significant public outcry, at least not in the United States. She is the first daughter. However, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has used the word “nepotism” with respect to Ivanka’s prominence in President Trump’s administration. Moreover, during President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Jared Kushner negotiated a $110B Saudi arms deal.
So one wonders. Will Mr Mueller be the judge of President Trump, or President Trump, the judge of Mr Mueller? I think Mr Mueller will be the investigator and ‘judge,’ and that no one will manipulate his findings.
It has all been so strange that I must close and return to Reynard the Fox after a long, unavoidable and unintentional interruption. I apologize.