My sincere apologies to anyone who found my last post offensive.
My post was not offensive, nor was it subversive. However, this new event invites serious reflection on a number of issues. Among these, the numerous attacks on the President of the United States. These point to behaviour that cannot be considered reasonable and acceptable. There are rules of conduct that preclude harassment.
I hope sincerely President Obama did not abuse the power vested in him. I doubt that he has. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the United States’ military, but he is not belligerent.
My post entitled “Suing President Obama” contained a list of related articles. This list disappeared. My computer is no longer stable. It sometimes erases part of what I have written. I think I need a birthday.
“Suite bergamasque, four-movement suite for piano by French composer Claude Debussy, begun in 1890, when the composer was a student, and revised and published in 1905. Its most readily recognizable segment is the third movement, the ever-popular Clair de lune (“Moonlight”).
The work’s title derives from Bergamo, a city with ancient origins that is located in the foothills of the Italian Alps. It is traditionally considered the home of Harlequin, a standard figure of thecommedia dell’arte. The first movement, Prélude, has open and flowing phrases with much use of legato phrases. The second movement, Menuet, and the fourth movement, Passepied, are quick and light-footed, more staccato in mood than the first. The gentle and familiar Clair de lune in its original context provides an elegant contrast to the sprightly second and fourth movements.”
Yet, I am afraid. I heard Mr Boehner, courtesy of the BBC. He mentioned the Affordable Care Act, but called it what it should no longer be called: Obamacare. The name of the programme is the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and it is a long-awaited health-insurance plan.
Warren Buffet: “It would be ‘asinine’ if US defaults.”
I listened to Warren Buffet. He stated that the “house” would no longer use a government shutdown to negotiate a rise in the debt ceiling.
All I know about the deal is that, although it will “pass,” it is a short-term arrangement. I expect therefore that we will soon be watching a replay of the drama that is currently ending. When “negotiations” resume, there may not be a government shutdown, but I do not think extremist Republicans will ever want to fund the Affordable Care Act. As for the rich, they will continue to oppose paying their fair share of taxes.
Here is the history of the United States debt ceiling, from Wikipedia.
This is a brief post. I will end it by saying that I am delighted the crisis is over. We can breathe again. However, we have now seen an episode of obstructionism: a government shutdown. I just hope President Obama will not be blamed. That would be scapegoating. Who knows, President Obama may have gained supporters.
Abraham Lincoln in 1863 (aged 54)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Post revised on 20 October 2013)
A House divided: 1858
“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.” (Abraham Lincoln, 16 June 1858)
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:22-28, NKJV)
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Oak Alley Plantation, looking towards the main house from the direction of the Mississippi River.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
President Abraham Lincoln
President Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809 – 15 April 1865; aged 56), elected in 1860, opposed the expansion of slavery into the United States’ territories. I will quote Wikipedia: “Lincoln won, but before his inauguration, on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.”[i] Abolition was about to cost a great deal of money, as will the Affordable Care Act, so seven states turned to mutiny, or a form thereof.
It is quite appropriate for a nation to defeat an abusive and tyrannical leader. But it is in no way appropriate to elect a leader only to divide a country or to hold it and the world ransom and to jeopardize his policies. A policy “is a statement of intent.” (See Policy, Wikipedia.) Everyone knew President Obama’s intent: affordable health care. The Affordable Care Act, the ACA, was passed into law, and it has now been implemented. As I wrote in a previous post, two words sum up Barack Obama’s presidency: obstructionism and scapegoating, the kind of misery inflicted on President Obama by members of Congress and various Sarah Palins.
At any rate, slavery was abolished on 31 January, 1865, but President Lincoln, a Republican, was assassinated on 14 April 1965, Good Friday, by actor John Wilkes Booth. Born on 10 May 1838, Booth died on 26 April 1865 (aged 26). He was shot by Union soldier Thomas P. “Boston” Corbett (1832 – presumed dead 1894 [he may have died in a fire]). In other words, Lincoln won the election, but at the cost of his life. As written above, he was assassinated at the age of 56.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 therefore jeopardized the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Settlers reserved the right to use popular sovereignty to determine whether or not they would have slaves. Put in a nutshell, this is the history of western expansion. Settlers were in search of cheap and submissive labour. Lingering in their mind was the memory of beautiful alleys bordered by oak trees and leading to the plantation owner’s mansion.
Has anything changed? I don’t know, but I am seeing extremist Republicans so wish to avoid higher taxes that they are holding not only the United States, but the world hostage. Slavery is over, but the Declaration of Independence, quoted below, remains an unfulfilled ideal. This time, no one will lose slaves, but the Affordable Care Act will be expensive and the wealthy do not want to pay their fair share of taxes. However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on 23 March 2010 and implemented on 1st October 2013.
Insurance Companies will no longer make huge profits by considering certain illnesses, such as cancer, as “pre-existing” conditions. The only pre-existing condition all of us have to face is our own mortality. But does anyone have to die for lack of money? And must people die in pain? Insurance Companies have long allowed innocent individuals to die prematurely and in pain. Humans have a right to work, a right to education, and a right to health, not to mention other rights.[ii] And they have duties, such as the duty to protect these rights and to protect women who also have rights. Is the health of a woman less equal than the health of a man?
Wealthy individuals can afford an education and they can afford to pay medical bills, but in the US many are saying to the other half, the less affluent and the poor: “Perish if you wish; I am safe.” (Discours sur l’inégalité, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.) No one is asking that wealthy citizens take their shirt off their back and give it to less fortunate citizens. However, there has to be some equality, as stipulated in the Declaration of Independence (4 July 1776).
Taxes are the “Freedom we surrender” (Thomas Hobbes)
A number of extremist Republicans hail from states that once constituted the Confederacy. Their ancestors had slaves. But slavery is no longer acceptable. It’s a crime. Moreover, it is now part of the social contract to provide citizens with affordable health care. Nations no longer threaten their economy and global economy over a right, such as the Affordable Care Act, but it is happening in the US. No, it’s not President Obama’s fault.
As for the scary videos on the internet, one expects the worst, only to learn they are about the taxes everyone will have to pay. That is the fear these videos are instilling in people who are not always in full possession of the facts. Yes, taxes will probably go up, but, as I mentioned above, taxes are the “freedom we surrender” (Thomas Hobbes) so we can live in a civil and just society. The Affordable Care Act is a law and one doesn’t break the law. Nor does one blackmail a President whose intellectual superiority no longer needs to be proven. He is a man of colour. So this smacks of racism. There comes a point where one decides that racism should be put away once and for all.
It’s relatively simple, in the short-term. I believe Congress should raise the debt ceiling immediately! It’s an obligation. That debt was incurred during a Republication administration waging wars in the Middle East. If the debt ceiling is not raised, those who have caused delays will have abused the power invested in them by their constituents and they may have triggered a depression that will affect not only the United States, but its trading partners.
President Obama said that a default would be “devastating.” Those are the sentiments expressed by Christine Lagarde, the chief of the IMF. “IMF’s Christine Lagarde warns America’s lawmakers they risk pushing world into recession.”
President Obama cannot give in to blackmail and he has to protect Joe Biden, the Vice-President. Mr Biden is currently under the Witness Protection Program, which is prudent. I cannot understand that the Affordable Care Act would cause the US Government to shut down. So, I’m afraid I may have to agree with those who look upon Congress as “immature.” Yet, somehow, I believe matters will be resolved.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. (Abraham Lincoln)
Since the 2010 mid-term elections, Tea Party members and hardline Republicans have systematically opposed all proposals brought forth by the current President of the United States, President Barack Obama, and his administration. That is called obstructionism, and it is a very ugly practice.
Moreover, since the 2010 mid-term elections, Tea Party members and hardline Republicans have also, and systematically, blamed the President and his administration for not doing what they, i.e. Tea Party Members and hardline Republicans, are systematically preventing him from doing. That is called scapegoating, and it is also a very ugly practice.
Distortion of reality
As things stand, President Obama and his administration are even being blamed for the debt caused by the two unfunded wars authorized by the Bush administration, a Republican administration. The former President (R) and his administration are the ones who engaged into two wars, gave tax-cuts to the affluent and incurred a huge debt. Not to mention that these wars, unnecessary wars, caused the maiming, the death and the disorientation of thousands of young lives.
After 9/11, America had to hunt down Bin Laden. All that was required was intelligence work and well-trained commandos. This is how Bin Laden was found, under a Democratic administration.
Given the above, I would like to ask not that a former Republican President and his administration be crucified, but that Americans remember the facts. By the same token, I would also like to ask that Americans stop throwing stones at a Democratic administration that did not incur the debt now bedeviling the United States and destabilizing global markets.
President Bill Clinton: his legacy
When President Bill Clinton left office, Americans had a substantial financial surplus. In fact, America was rich.
Consequences: America was near bankruptcy
However, because the former President Bush declared two unjustified wars and gave tax-cuts to the affluent, the former President spent the funds the United Sates needed to remain a prosperous country. President Bush (R) may have had the best of intentions when he went into Afghanistan and then entered Iraq, a sovereign nation, but he acted blindly and irresponsibly. He took money from less affluent Americans until the bubble burst.
The Bubble burst
Yes, the bubble burst. This happened in the late summer and early autumn of 2008. Having been apprised that the ship was sinking, President Bush went to the Democratic Party, told that the United States was no longer solvent, and asks for assistance on the part of the Democrats. The Democrats agreed to prevent the collapse of both the US economy and the economies of its financial partners.
The Mid-Term Elections: robots are voted into office
After President Obama and his administration were voted into office, a shockingly unqualified Sarah Palin started sabotaging the work of President Obama and his administration. She was not alone; she had helpers. She opposed health-care reforms claiming that big government would kill grandmothers, etc.
Birth of the Tea Party
Out of Sarah Palin’s ill-conceived speeches and the support of mindless and irresponsible politicians, grew the Tea Party. After the mid-term elections of 2010, members of the Tea Party and hardline Republicans suddenly found themselves in a position that prevented not only a reasonable, but also a sane discussion of issues facing the US.
With all due respect, those members of Congress voted into office in 2010 are robots that have been programmed to say “no” to any action President Obama presents to save America.
As you know, robots do not think. They are programmed and the ones I am speaking of have been programmed to say “no” systematically to any action proposed by President Obama and his administration.
Saving America begins with making sure Americans have jobs. Too large of chunk of American products are manufactured by people who will accept a very small income. Consequently, too may products are manufactured abroad. And, to make matters worse,
the robots in Congress will vote against any package that would stimulate the growth of jobs. Tea Party members and hardline Republicans are saying “no.”
Therefore, I would ask
that Americans stop blaming President Obama and his administration for a debt he and his administration did not incur.
And I would also ask
that Americans support President Obama in his attempt to help his nation.
It short, I am seeing bad faith, amnesia, various forms of extremism, ignorance of societal needs, frequent instances of inhumanity, blindness, pig-headedness and the tail end of racism. Sorry, but the job, i.e. the Presidency, goes and should go, to the person best qualified to perform the required duties. Unfortunately, there have been too many exceptions to this fundamental requirement: competence.
If the Republican Congress will not provide President Obama with the funds he and his administration require to create jobs, I’m sorry but, between obstructionism and scapegoating, the narrative is over. The consequences will be an economic depression so profound and so broad, it will hurt everyone including Tea Party members, hardline Republicans and, eventually, those who fund their campaigns.