After Sunday’s victories for Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, neither of France’s traditional leading parties will have a candidate in a Presidential election for the first time in sixty years. PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI / AFP / GETTY
“The French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about,” the former President Barack Obama says in a video [at the foot ofthis post] endorsing the front-runner, Emmanuel Macron. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY EMMANUEL MACRON / TWITTER
The New Yorker
In its recent issues, The New Yorker has published several articles on the French election. I was busy buying a new apartment and wasn’t as vigilant regarding the future of France and of the European Union as I should have been.
Preface by the author of this post
In this analysis, we must think locally and globally. If Marine Le Pen is elected, we could lose Europe to extremists. We cannot do this as we have to put an end to terrorism. If France elects extremist Marine Le Pen, both France and Europe would live the nightmare created by those who believe that keeping immigrants out, or getting rid of them, will stop terrorism. That is not how it works.
Extremism feeds polarization, which is a terrible danger and one that may lead to a high degree of division and, possibly, war. Extremists won the American election. Too many people were of the opinion that forbidding Muslims from entering the United States would keep the United States safe.
An appropriate reading of the words “great again” could be that America will not use the money levied through taxation to serve everyone. Besides, Mr Trump has been acting like an autocrat. The United States is a democracy which is how it is great.
I like Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, but their appointment to the highest level of Mr Trump’s administration is nepotism. More importantly, members of Mr Trump’s own family think he must be watched.Mr Trump cannot control his emotions. Yet, as commander-in-chief, he can push the wrong button. I am quoting President Obama.
A forgotten middle class and poverty
Mr Trump’s great America is a country where the poor and the middle-class support the wealthy and where the poor die in pain because they cannot afford the high premiums demanded by Insurance Companies. The Republicans may destroy Obamacare, the Affordable Health Care.
Former American President Barack Obama has endorsed Monsieur Macron’s candidacy. He knows very well that a Le Pen victory is a loss for France, for Europe, and for the world.
In an article published in The New Yorker, Alexandra Schwartz wonders whether President Obama can sway public opinion in France. That is very difficult. However, Barack Obama’s opinion carries considerable weight. Marine Le Pen wishes to “send them home,” which reminds me that Hitler believed killing Europe’s Jews would save Germany. How naïve! When the poor German nation realized that Hitler had a genocide in mind, it was too late. Dissenters had to kneel down and were shot in the back of the neck.
The Future of Europe hinges on a Face-Off in France
Fortunately, the United States is located on the other side of the Atlantic. The French, however, live in continental Europe and it is easy to peddle fear. Scaring the people into electing Marine Le Pen could lead to the dissolution of the EU. Europeans need the European Union and so does the world. Power has to be distributed. Poor German Chancellor Angela Merkel would have to negotiate Frexit. Poor German Chancellor Angela Merkel would have to negotiate a Frexit!
Marine Le Pen’s Memoir: a Dutiful Daughter’s sanitizing of far-right Politics
Below, I have inserted an article and, perhaps, a video by David Remnick of The New Yorker. It is about President Trump. He’s dangerous, but it would be my opinion that Marine Le Pen is more dangerous.
Emmanuel Macron who is expected to be France’s next President was the victim of a cyber attack. What happened during the United States electoral campaign is happening in France. Will hackers sabotage democracy?
I hope sincerely that this will not jeopardize Emmanuel Macron’s candidacy. The attack may be a good sign. Emmanuel Macron was targeted, not Marine Le Pen’s Front national. This may indicate that the hackers believe Monsieur Macron is likely to be the next President of France.
Following the publication of my last post, I received information from Paul Nicklen, a scientist and a photographer for Sea Legacy and National Geographic magazine. The document Mr Nicklen sent me was on official White House stationary and, I suspect, many individuals were sent a copy. It was signed in the following manner.
Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada.
The document seemed private, which may no longer be the case.
The link below took me to Mr Nicklen’s fascinating but alarming account of the Arctic and the word “yesterday” was the day before yesterday, probably 20 December 2016. The following is a link to the document, but the document inserted itself at the bottom of my post automatically:
I am not a scientist. Therefore I cannot speak personally and accurately about the effects of global warming in the Arctic. I have to rely on the testimonial of experts. All I know is that the Arctic is very rich, but I have now read that:
“The danger of an oil spill would deliver a fatal blow to this pristine and critically important ecosystem.”
Mr Nicklen wrote:
“As a scientist, what I know about the Arctic is terrifying. Currently, it’s warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. As a photographer, I can observe and document these effects first-hand: receding glaciers, struggling wildlife populations, and cities impacted by rising sea levels.
And as the landscape changes, driven by climate change, I am watching the Arctic region become increasingly vulnerable. In particular, we should see the rapid disappearance of sea ice here for what it is: a sign of imminent and catastrophic change. The danger of an oil spill would deliver a fatal blow to this pristine and critically important ecosystem.”
But — with the leadership of President Obama — we’ve taken a step forward.”
I gather that, given the above, Mr Putin cannot come in and drill. The Arctic may be very rich, but it is “off limits” for excellent reasons. We cannot kill the Arctic because we would lose what it has to give. There would be no remedy. In other words, it’s a “Poule aux œufs d’or” (Hen with the Golden Eggs) narrative. (See RELATED ARTICLES.)
good and bad
education, an example
The Trump presidency will affect Americans in many ways, but, first and foremost, we must expect privatization. In this regard, citizens of the United States must act. In certain areas, privatization will not be harmful to citizens, but in others, it could wreak havoc.
For instance, limits must be put on the privatization of education. An education cannot be the privilege of the rich. A good education is an extraordinary tool in that it gives everyone more freedom. For instance, it allows informed voting, which was needed on 8 November 2016. The 2016 American Election was so flawed we can call it a disgrace!
However, everything has to be put into perspective and we must then go from plan A to plan B.
Healthcare, for instance, is a “right.” Taxes buy protection and safety. They also buy a good education or job-training, adequate housing and, as we advance, they may also guarantee a universal minimum income.
The well-to-do can also buy safe and effective contraceptives, a vasectomy, tubal ligation, a hysterectomy and an abortion when it constitutes a medical imperative, which is why the Ohio “Heartbeat” Bill is a slap in the face for women belonging the middle-class and poor women. It is the beginning of serious cuts in health-care legislation and must not be voted into law. A five-year old is too young to carry a child. (See Lina Medina, Wikipedia.)
However, if Insurance Companies have a monopoly on healthcare, the United States will be stepping back to an era where cancer was considered a pre-existing condition and the sick were left to die in pain. An insurance company’s first goal is a profit. They are in business. The same is true of pharmaceutical companies.
Mr Trump has stated that he does not “believe in” global warming. Well, global warming is not a matter of faith (I believe in); it is a matter of fact. If the United States does not protect the environment, the world will not survive. This would be the ultimate genocide.
Canada and the United States: an Agreement
On 10 March 2016, Canada signed an agreement with the United States concerning the Arctic and the environment:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama hold a joint press conference in Washington, D. C.
As I surfed the Internet yesterday, I saw a comment that caught my attention. Mr Trump likes Russian President Vladimir Putin because he is a good “leader.” What does Mr Trump mean? Mr Trump would have liked to silence the press, a freedom the press will not abandon. Mr Trump may also intimidate a few leaders, but all he does will be screened by the press. Freedom of speech will never have been so free and focused. Moreover, it will still be the government of the people by the people.
Mr Trudeau fils should perhaps remember his father Pierre Trudeau‘s words:
“Living next to you [the US] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”
« Être votre voisin, c’est comme dormir avec un éléphant; quelque douce et placide que soit la bête, on subit chacun de ses mouvements et de ses grognements. »
Addressing the Press Club in Washington, D.C. (25 March 1969)
FILE – In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. As president-elect, Trump is calling for unity in words that draw attention precisely because they sound so unlike Trump, the candidate. But many question whether it is possible to reverse the campaign’s damage to political discourse and its ripples out to the way Americans speak to and about each other. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
I am finishing a slightly longer post, on Molière, but glanced at the New Yorker which contained a short article written by journalist Andy Borowitz who publishes humorous material.
On 26 November, I read an alarming article published in a Sherbrooke, Quebec’s local newspaper. Its author is University of Sherbrooke Applied Political Science Professor Emeritus Gilles Vandal. According to Professor Vandal, in the 1980s, Mr Trump studied Adolf Hitler‘s Mein Kampf (My Struggle).He then hired Roy Cohn as his lawyer who taught him how to cheat the system, how to destroy evidence to avoid lawsuits, to refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing and not to hesitate to lie, if necessary.
… dans les années 1980, Donald Trump trouvait son inspiration dans Mein Kampf et les discours de Hitler d’avant 1939. De plus, il a été à l’école de Roy Cohn, le principal adjoint de Joe McCarthy. Trump s’est adjoint Cohn comme principal avocat. Ce dernier lui a enseigné comme tricher avec le système, comment détruire des preuves pour éviter de se faire poursuivre, l’importance en toute chose de refuser de reconnaître ses torts et de ne pas hésiter à mentir si c’était nécessaire. Gilles Vandal, « L’Univers raciste de Trump », La Tribune, le 26 novembre 2016, p. 17.
We are returning to Molière.
Love to everyone.♥
Don McLean sings American Pie Please, do not remove the music.
My grandfather was an American citizen. We often drove down to Massachusetts to visit with him and his wife. We loved our visits.
There were many conversations. My father told me several times that, as a country, the United States was the best and the worst.
Well, Americans had the best president, whom they nearly crucified, and now they may well have the worst president, who may crucify Americans.
Mr Trump is embroiled in some 75 lawsuits which means that he may not be able to do much for Americans after his inauguration. He was threatening to sue the eleven women who told he had assaulted them. It is at that point that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey reopened the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s emails, which is how Mr Trump was absolved.
We no longer heard that President-elect Donald Trump had assaulted at least eleven women: amnesia!
Mr Trump has since threatened to sue Mr Comey, but I doubt that it had anything to do with Mrs Clinton’s emails. He threatens everyone with a lawsuit. In fact, Mr Trump had also planned to sue Hillary Clinton. He changed his mind, but may change it again.
According to USA Today, during the last 30 years Mr Trump was involved in 3,500 lawsuits. It is difficult to understand how and why he was elected to the presidency of the United States. He’ll be picking fights.
President Obama will be missed. His competence, engaging personality, impeccable manners earned him the admiration and respect of the world. There were very few issues Barack Obama could not handle. The citizens of other countries felt safe and Americans were in good hands. He is attempting to ensure a safe transition.
Fidel Castro is Dead
How will the new tenant perform? Whom will he sue? Fidel Castro is dead. He made himself, metaphorically speaking, an absolute monarch and, reportedly, jailed and perhaps executed many Cubans. Yet he was a hero to other Cubans. At any rate, the time has come for the embargo to be lifted, but President-elect Donald J. Trump builds walls, not bridges.
A tragedy has befallen the United States and the world.
I have not written for a few days. Life took over…
The Orlando Massacre will long be remembered as a horrific event. But we are now hearing about the courage of people who saved dozens of lives risking their own. These accounts are very touching and they show love. The police did all it could. They broke holes through the walls so they could get in and stop the massacre. I thank all these generous and fearless individuals.
Hatred: Donald Trump
In the meantime, however, Donald Trump, a presidential hopeful, has disgraced himself. Should he be voted into office, he would prevent Muslims from entering the United States. Before he started killing, Omar Mateen, the presumed shooter, claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, but it is unlikely that he was directed to kill innocent citizens by anyone. President Obama is calling the crime “homegrown.” We will know more as the investigation progresses.
The Republicans erred in choosing Mr Trump as their candidate to the presidency of the United States. Presidents cannot allow themselves to make statements in which they demonstrate hatred. In fact, candidates to the presidency of the United States cannot even allow themselves to think as Mr Trump thinks.
At the moment, not only has Mr Trump displayed Islamophobia, but he has also made it very clear that he is a racist. Several years ago, I watched an A&E television program and I heard Mr Trump boast to Bill Curtisthat a certain club was so exclusive that African-Americans could not enter.
He is also a misogynist and, in this regard, extremely offensive. Does Mr Trump think that women are irresponsible citizens who undergo abortions frivolously? Besides, Mr Trump cannot make pronouncements in this area as he is not a qualified medical practitioner. He’s a bully and, as you know, a liar.
What will we do when President Obama is replaced? He cared for the people. He had the qualifications expected of world leaders. He didn’t rush to judgment. He was able to perform his duties despite systematic obstructionism. He survived two government shutdowns. He has an open, brilliant and beautiful mind and he has earned the respect and admiration of the world.
But Donald Trump! The Orlando massacre was a great tragedy which a presidential hopeful used to foam at the mouth and offend Muslims.
Mr Trump has shown that he is “unfit,” a word I am borrowing, to run for the office of President of the United States.
I apologize for neglecting my very dear readers. Life has been unkind. I’m glad we have each other.
Physician Preparing an Elixir, Folio from a Materia Medica of Dioscorides, an illustrated manuscript dated A.H. 621/ A.D. 1224, Iraq or Northern Jazira, possibly Baghdad, Islamic (Photo credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY)
President Obama visits King Salman of Saudi Arabia
President Obama was in Saudi Arabia, so many wondered if the President of the United States would attempt to save Raif Badawi.
King Salman’s Best Interest
King Salman has stated he would not change anything. Continuity is the word he used. During the first week he was in power there were four beheadings.
It may be in King Salman’s best interest to release Raif Badawi. There are a large number of Saudi liberals who could be radicalized if Raif Badawi’s sentence is not revoked. Rigidity on the part of the King could therefore lead to civil unrest.
But do absolute monarchs think in this manner and would Saudis revolt? We are dealing with human beings belonging to a different culture. Human nature is a universal, but cultures differ.
Louis XIV and Molière
I am of course remembering Louis XIV of France. Never was absolutism so absolute as in the days of the Sun King. I wrote my PhD thesis on 17th-century playwright Molière and discussed his somber plays. The Misanthrope (4 June 1666) and Dom Juan (15 February 1665) are chief examples. But so is Tartuffe (12 May 1664).
In the Misanthrope, Alceste criticizes the court and says he would like to live in a desert. Molière saves the situation by giving Alceste a friend, Philinte, who is more tolerant of the faults of others. However, he agrees with Alceste:
Philinte to Alceste
Non, je tombe d’accord de tout ce qu’il vous plaît : Tout marche par cabale et par pur intérêt ; Ce n’est que la ruse aujourd’hui qui l’emporte, Et les hommes devraient être faits d’autre sorte. Tous ces défauts humains nous donnent dans la vie Des moyens d’exercer notre philosophie…
(Le Misanthrope, V.i)
“No, I agree with you in all that you say. Everything goes by intrigue, and by pure influence. It is only trickery which carries the day in our time, and men ought to act differently. But is their want of equity a reason for wishing to withdraw from their society? All human failings give us, in life, the means of exercising our philosophy. It is the best employment for virtue; and if probity reigned everywhere, if all hearts were candid, just, and tractable, most of our virtues would be useless to us, inasmuch as their functions are to bear, without annoyance, the injustice of others in our good cause; and just in the same way as a heart full of virtue.” (See The Misanthrope online)
One cannot survive absolutism if one doesn’t learn to bend a little. In fact, one cannot survive without bending a little. Interestingly, Alceste is in love with Célimène who is the embodiment of what he loathes, which suggests a certain ambivalence on his part.
In Dom Juan (15 February 1665), no one can stop Dom Juan from being a conqueror. His conquests are the women he seduces. It has been suggested that Dom Juan is a Casanova. However, he is driven not by his sexual appetite, but by his need to conquer. He is cataloguing his “conquests.” No one can change him. His wife and his father appeal to him, to no avail. At one point, Dom Juan decides to hide behind the mask of feigned devotion, the perfect mask. However, heaven itself kills him: thunder, kills him.
In Tartuffe (12 May 1664), Tartuffe himself feigns devotion. Orgon, the pater familias who has adopted him, enjoys the fact that so pious an individual can turn every sin into a virtuous deed. (See Casuistry, RELATED ARTICLES). So he gives Tartuffe a box, a cassette, that contains evidence that Orgon was not always a loyal subject of the monarchs.
The play is particularly revealing. The characters manage to show Orgon, the heavy father, that Tartuffe wants to seduce his wife. They convince Orgon to hide under a table behind a table-cloth, so he can see for himself that his “saint” is flesh and blood, but it’s too late. Tartuffe has the incriminating cassette and owns Orgon’s possessions. The king, who sees all, sends an exempt to Orgon house. Orgon believes he is being arrested, but such is not the case. The king knows that Tartuffe has committed crimes. The exempt has come to arrest Tartuffe, not Orgon.
A “deus ex machina”
Therefore, a deus ex machina saves Orgon and his family. The powerlessness of Orgon’s family indicates that one can lose all.
Such is life under a despotic monarch. The King sees… A deus ex machina intervenes when a situation is desperate. A deus ex machina is a machine. When all else fails, God intervenes. Only the King can rescue Orgon and his family.
Tartuffe, or The Impostor, or The Hypocrite, premièred on 12 May 1664, as part of a celebration probably inaugurating Versailles: Les Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée (FR). One can assume that the feast, which lasted from 7 to 13 May 1664, was an attempt to outshine Fouquet’s inauguration of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an event that took place on 17 August 1661. Les Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée was a lavish feast, but it could not match the inauguration of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
After the inauguration of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Jean de La Fontaine wrote his “Élégies auxnymphes de Vaux” (FR) a poem in which he praised Fouquet and expressed hope that Louis XIV would be compassionate towards a patron of the arts. Fouquet owned Vaux-le-Vicomte, a castle more beautiful than the King’s Louvre, formerly the main residence of the Kings of France.
Given Fouquet’s imprisonment, Jean de La Fontaine chose prudence. He made animals and vegetation speak and he used old fables, Æsop‘s, who lived in Greece but was born a “Levantin.” Æsop’s fables date back to the Indian Panchatantra, retold in Arabic by Persian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa(750 CE) and given the title Kalīlah wa Dimnah.La Fontaine’s eloquence is a mute eloquence, une éloquence muette. His characters are mostly animals and vegetation. This is the manner in which he could tell the truth. Absolute monarchs will not admit to seeing themselves in a lion. As I have written elsewhere, the lion is king, but the King is not a lion.
Therefore criticism of the King was worded in a dire-sans-dire, (to say without saying). Writers had to write in an “oblique” fashion, as did La Fontaine, Molière, and scholars of the French Enlightenment. The word “oblique” had been used by Michel de Montaigne (28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592).
(There is consistency to my fantasies, but at times from afar, and they look at one another, but in an oblique fashion. [my translation])
Note the use of the word fantaisies. That is an example of obliqueness in that Montaigne demotes himself. Montaigne’s obliqueness characterizes the writings of La Fontaine, Molière, Pascal (Lettres provinciales [1656 – 1657]), and the works of major figures of the French Enlightenment, not the least of whom was Voltaire (né François-Marie Arouet). Voltaire had found himself “embastillé” (thrown into the Bastille prison),for his attempts to promote tolerance.
Young Man holding a Skull, Frans Hals (Vanitas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In short, the King’s confessors, Bossuet in particular, were the only persons who could influence Louis. They preached that there was a God, the real God, above the King. So the divine rights of kings were not divine, as kings were mortals. They reminded the king that he would die: memento mori and that all was vanity: vanitas vanitatum. This argument did inspire restraint on the part of Louis XIV, but does King Salman have a confessor, a Bossuet (27 September 1627 – 12 April 1704), whose eloquence is unmatched?
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh, January 27, 2015. Obama is stopping in Saudi Arabia on his way back to Washington from India to pay his condolences over the death of King Abdullah and to hold bilateral meetings with King Salman. (Photo credit: Reuters)
Let us return to President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia. Could President Obama speak about Raif Badawi?
I doubt it. King Abdullah had just died and the President went to meet the new king, King Salman. He had business to discuss with King Salman whose country is a member of the coalition fighting IS.
Had President Obama intervened, he may have been perceived as meddling. One cannot walk into someone else’s house, rearrange the furniture and settle in.
However, President Obama has now met King Salman. He travelled to his country. He was well received and the two leaders talked. The above photograph may be our best reassurance. Both leaders seem relaxed and in a jovial mood. So there may be a better future.
Let us hope Mr Badawi soon joins his family in Canada. The international community is pleading for his release. Nobel Prize laureates and scholars have asked for clemency. Kind-hearted people are ready to be flogged a hundred times each so Mr Badawi is spared further flagellation. Amnesty International is collecting names and funds.
Finally, we, in Canada, are waiting for Mr Badawi, but we cannot release him. That is for the Saudis to decide.
It has to end
Jihadi John is still beheading innocent people. There are constant beheadings, and Syrians have to leave their country.
In fact, President Obama is now being threatened, which was to be expected.
Michel de Montaigne, Essais, Gutenberg [eBook #3600] (EN)
 Molière wrote: “Toutes les peintures ridicules qu’on expose sur les théâtres doivent être regardées sans chagrin de tout le monde. Ce sont miroirs publics, où il ne faut jamais témoigner qu’on se voie ; et c’est se taxer hautement d’un défaut, que se scandaliser qu’on le reprenne.” (La Critique de L’École des femmes, sc. VI.)
(Depictions that ridicule people on stage should not cause grief to anyone. These are public mirrors and people should never show that they see a reflection of themselves; they would be owning up to a fault in the utmost, if it should offend them to see it ridiculed. [my translation and rewording])
I am using this light-hearted “pochoir” to wish my faithful readers a very Happy New Year.
Remembering 4 November 2008
Let us hope 2015 will be a better year. There were sad events in 2014: terrorism, racism… Moreover, on 4 November 2014, money made room in Congress for Republican candidates who may not otherwise have been elected into office. Money should not buy aspiring politicians a seat in Congress or, in the case of Canada, a seat in Parliament.
The date I want to remember is 4 November 2008. On that day, Americans elected to the presidency of the United States an exceptionally gifted and accomplished gentleman who cares for his people and has earned considerable respect for his country wherever he has travelled.
You have become very dear to me so I hope health issues will not prevent me from reading your posts and writing mine in 2015.
Our next topic is angels and archangels. They are zoomorphic beings because they combine the features of a human being and those of an animal.
So this post is an in-between update.
I had to devote the last few days to politics. I accepted to do some writing. Canada will be electing a Prime Minister next Fall and the choice is growing clearer as the days grow shorter. I believe it will be a victory for the Liberal Party of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau who is energetic, young and has a great deal of charisma. However, by then, the Russians might have moved in.
US President Barack Obama
I will discuss briefly President Obama’s Republican Congress. The results of the mid-term election were devastating. Mr. Boehner’s goal is to get tax-cuts for the rich. It is as though former slave owners wanted to be compensated for the loss of their slaves. They are wealthy once again, but they buy and elect candidates who are anti-tax extremists.
At any rate, the gap between the rich and the poor will be wider and too many Americans will be lining up in soup kitchens. Americans can also expect a more robust military engagement in the Middle East. There may not be money to feed and house the citizens of the United States, but hardline Republicans have not progressed beyond the Civil War and Manifest Destiny. There’s money for wars. Getting on one’s horse, armed to the teeth, and rushing into wars is behaviour anti-tax extremists in Congress will not object to. They live in the past.
It could also be that Congress will attempt to jeopardize the Affordable Care Act, which means that Americans who are diagnosed with cancer will be left to die in pain because an Insurance Company will look upon their illness as a pre-existing condition. There may be a rapid end to the Affordable Care Act.
Countries depend on the Middle East: Oil
Many countries depend on the Middle East because of its oil. Europe does. Besides, Isis is a group of demented terrorists who are not necessarily citizens of Iran and Iraq, but come from other countries and behead innocent civilians. President Obama did not want to engage in warfare but found himself caught between a rock and a hard place. At any rate, whatever he does, he’s always wrong. As you know, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is probably receiving advice from Russian President Putin.
But how does one let Jihadi John torture and kill? Therefore fighting him and other jihadists seems an obligation. But Jihadi John may not be a true jihadist, but a trouble-maker. Military engagement in the Middle East is very dangerous and Canadians have joined the Coalition.
The citizens of the United States have an extraordinary president, one of very few American presidents the entire world respects, but on a gloomy day in early November, he was treated as though he was garbage. Money allowed more Republican candidates to enter Congress and further sabotage the social programmes President Obama wishes to put into place and the economy of the United States. So, the rich will indeed get richer, the poor, poorer, and the middle-class will shrink into nothingness. There may be two more years of obstructionism, scapegoating, and various unpalatable games.
The choice was obvious. If Mr. Boehner would rather die than allow a raise in the minimum wage, one had to put an end to a Republican-led Congress. It seems that the greater problem facing America is not Isis, but American extremism and materialism.
The results of the mid-term elections also seem a vote against intellectual superiority. Could it be un-American to be exceptionally intelligent and have values! Why support a President who knows what he is doing? Un-American! Born in division, living accordingly.
‘Our interests are concentrated in the Arctic,’ said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a youth camp outside Moscow on Friday. (Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin: a Threat
This is old news. But would you believe Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to take what he claims is his: the Canadian Arctic? Oil!
This is our territory, and we will renew our infrastructure and the infrastructure of the Emergencies Ministry, because we need to provide security for convoys and shipping along the trade route,’ the Russian news agency quoted him as saying.
When he gets here, we will, of course, feed him poutine. After all, in French, Vladimir Putin is Vladimir Poutine. Poutine is a combination of oily french fries, cheese and a rich brown sauce. It’s lethal but legal. All arteries get clogged and one has a stroke.
So there we are, Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving in, and if he survives French Canada’s ultimate weapon, greasy poutine, it could be that he will find his way to the White House.
President Obama did not lose. The loser is the average American. That is a tragedy and I am truly saddened. Millions of Americans voted for the Democrats and must also feel the end has come. But the end has not come, not if one doesn’t want it to come.
Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. JFK
President Obama heard President Kennedy and he has been serving his country. He has been serving men and women. He is the foremost leader in the world, but he now needs you. In a democracy, everyone paves the road to the future.
As for racism and guns, put these away. They belong to a past Americans must bury. All of us are first and foremost human beings who want to live in peace and harmony.
I am not an American citizen
We jumped for joy
I have received several messages asking that I make donations to President Obama‘s political campaign in the United States. I cannot do so because I am not an American citizen. My grandfather was an American citizen, but I was born in Canada. I have tried to make donations, but my money was rejected.
However, I want to state that I am a non-American supporter of President Obama. I fear the conflict in the Middle East will not be solved militarily, but I do not possess sufficient information to oppose President Obama’s involvement. In fact, I have no reason to think President Obama is acting irresponsibly. I can trust him and I believe President Obama found himself in a position that did not allow him to keep out of the coalition battling demented terrorists: Isil/Isis.
I have been watching President Obama since 4 November 2008 and everyone I know admires and respects President Obama. In my opinion, he may well be one of the United States’ best Presidents. In fact, he may prove to have been the best. I love the way he treated former President George W. Bush. He treated him as a President should be treated. He was very polite. And he treated him in a manner Jesus of Nazareth would like: forgivingly. The attacks of 11 September 2001 were destabilizing, to say the least.
On 6 November 2012, we were jumping for joy. Americans had elected the better candidate.
Were President Obama not at the helm, the world could well be facing its worst financial crisis ever. The success of an economy is based, to a large extent, on reliability. President Obama is trustworthy. He looks before he leaps, which is very wise.
What President Obama wants is security and stability for his people. The Affordable Care Act is proof of this. If President Obama could, he would do even more, but Congress is dysfunctional. Mr. Boehner is suing President Obama, thereby ignoring the fact that Barack Obama is the duly-elected President of the United States of America. He was chosen by the people without using unethical means, such as voter purges.
Welfare for the Wealthy
Opposition to the Affordable Health Care
Demand for tax cuts
Debt ceiling crises
Obstructionism and Scapegoating
Let it be widely known that Mr. Boehner wants tax cuts for the wealthy and opposes the Affordable Health Care Act because there may be a rise in taxes. If taxes are raised, it will not be by a large amount and it will be for the better. It will ensure affordable healthcare for all Americans and save many from bankruptcy and, possibly, death. Besides, in no way should the poor and the middle-class support the wealthy.
I do not support politicians whose main concern is obtaining tax cuts for the wealthy and are therefore trying to sabotage the Affordable Health Care Act because the wealthy may have to pay higher taxes. In this regard, the debt-ceiling crisis of 2013 and the government shutdown were the last straw. That crisis was a form of blackmail and it cost American citizens billions. Congress had derailed.
When the debt ceiling has to be raised, one raises it. The alternative is unthinkable.
President Obama has been subjected to systematic obstructionism and scapegoating. Whatever he does is condemned. He is not paid the respect he deserves by virtue of his position, wisdom and leadership.
Detail of Flag (1954-55). Museum of Modern Art, New York City. This image illustrates Johns’ early technique of painting with thick, dripping encaustic over a collage made from found materials such as newspaper. This rough method of construction is rarely visible in photographic reproductions of his work. (Caption and photo credit: Wikipedia)
If President Obama were not at the helm, the world would live in fear of hasty decisions and a total economic collapse. Too many Americans would carry lethal weapons. A woman’s health concerns would not be respected. The poor and the middle-class would be poorer. The minimum wage would not be raised. There would be no social programmes protecting the citizens of the United States. The United States would be governed not by a polite and exceptionally gifted statesman, but by mere politicians shooting from the hip.
Imagine! Mr. Boehner would kill himself if the minimum wage were increased. Are Americans to return to the days of slavery?
One letter came from Barbra Streisand. Barbra, I doubt that you will ever read this post, but I will say nevertheless that I am a supporter of President Obama. I love his manner, his humility, his compassion, his brilliant intellect, but most importantly, I know that he cares for the people: the poor, the disabled, the sick, the middle-class homeowner, the children who need good schools and good teachers.
I trust the citizens of the United States will not let themselves be bought. There are anti-tax extremists in the United States, but there are people who can see greed and selfishness, where there is greed and selfishness. There is an élite. They may or may not be affluent, but their integrity cannot be doubted. Barbra, you are part of this élite.
You are so right about Congress. In my opinion, it is a perfect storm.
I apologize for not posting sooner. There is a crisis in my family. However, the bigger crises are taking place in the Middle East and the United States.
John L. O’Sullivan, (15 November 1813 – 24 March 1895) sketched in 1874, was an influential columnist as a young man, but he is now generally remembered only for his use of the phrase “manifest destiny” to advocate the annexation of Texas and Oregon. (See Manifest Destiny, Wikipedia.)
Micheline is sad, says Belaud the cat. She is sad because she does not think President Obama knew to what extent practices, proponents of the “Manifest Destiny” would have allowed, were used by United States President George W. Bush.
She also thinks that, in all likelihood, abusive surveillance continued after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States because he did not know the US was listening in on the entire world, including its friends. We need to trust at least a few persons and nations, which fully explains Chancellor Merkel’s reaction. President Obama knew he had to protect his people, but may not have been aware that the NSA (National Security Agency) was monitoring Chancellor Merkel’s mobile telephone.
“Now Micheline” I said, “you know very well that people hear what they want or wish to hear and that the manner in which a message is understood depends largely on the way it is formulated. He may not have known.”
The term “Manifest Destiny” was coined by John O’Sullivan in the July-August 1845 issue of his United States Magazine and Democratic Review and, according to William Earl Weeks,[i] quoted in Wikipedia, its three themes were the following:
The special virtues of the American people and their institutions;
America’s mission to redeem and remake the world in the image of America;
A divine destiny under God’s direction to accomplish this wonderful task.
Founding fatherThomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was a proponent of the “Manifest Destiny.” Yet, he owned hundreds of slaves and fathered six children with slave Sally Hemings (c. 1773 – 1835). Four survived to adulthood, at which point they were freed. Sally Hemings was of mixed ancestry and the children were “seven-eighths European in ancestry” and white in appearance. (See Sally Hemings, Wikipedia.) But he did not free Sally Hemings. She would have been auctioned off, had Jefferson’s daughter, Martha Washington Jefferson Randolph, not freed her.
George W. Bush
I also told Micheline that, although former US President George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) adhered, knowingly or unknowingly, to the concept of the “Manifest Destiny” (see Manifest Destiny, Wikipedia), after the events of 9/11, former President G. W. Bush may have felt very distraught which could have led him to enter Iraq, a sovereign country. He was the President of the United States, its Commander-in-Chief, the US had been attacked by terrorists, and he had been influenced by the “Manifest Destiny.”
And now we have learned that former President G. W. Bush did not know how far he could go too far. He let the NSA (National Security Agency) monitor the telephones of allies of the United States. If an individual adheres to the notions set forth in the “Manifest Destiny,” there is a risk that individual will not know that his or her rights end where the rights of others begin.
President George W. Bush may not have been as great a president as Thomas Jefferson, but I’m quite certain he will never be made to answer for his actions. All is right under the mantle of the “Manifest Destiny,” which is why Micheline fears the notion of exceptionalism.
“Don’t worry, Micheline, President Obama will do all that is needed to regain the confidence of his allies. Yes, some people will use this opportunity to fault him, but it will not work. Too large a number of United States citizens will see the truth. What is really sad, Micheline, is that we have extremists right here who threaten Canadian unity.”
“The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to Joseph McCarthy‘s practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.” (See Joseph McCarthy, Wikipedia.)
The bottom line, Belaud said, is that one can fully expect citizens who insist on carrying firearms also to monitor their friend’s telephone conversations.