The Spirit of '76

Brand-new book from author interviewed on "Fresh Air"

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Russian Navy, Rebuilding, Flexes Its Muscles

Quick, Important Link --

The article below highlights a United States intelligence report which shows the Russian Navy newly refurbished and growing stronger.  

While I have praised Russian leadership in Syria, there should be no mistake about my concerns about any nation expanding war-making capabilities.  America must remain strong, but constructive and peace-promoting.  

I hope the totality of my posts here make this somewhat clear.  

Russian Navy Showing Renewed Strength

Up-coming Anniversaries in 2016

It is sometimes startling to remember how quickly time flies.  For instance, it seems only a few years ago that Indira Ghandi was first elected Prime Minister of India.  However in 2016 it will have been Fifty years!  (Mrs. Ghandi had a second term from 1980 to her assassination in 1984.)

Below is a list of some important anniversaries, and a few of lesser importance.  There are many others.  For more anniversaries follow the link below.

And Happy 2016 from The Musical Patriot. 

2016 Anniversaries

Ellen MacArthur youngest woman to sail around the world alone

Dolly the sheep cloned

First Gulf War
Release of the "Birmingham Six"

Indira Ghandi first elected Prime Minister of India

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed

The first Jeep 
Attack on Pearl Harbor

U. K. general strike

Albert Einstein publishes theory of relativity
Tanks used in battle for the first time

William Shakespeare died


Monday, December 28, 2015

Traditional Republican Third Party May Not Be a Good Idea, Says Journalist

There are dangers to an attempt by traditional conservatives and/or moderates to mount a third-party effort to capture the White House in 2016.  The main danger says journalist Darrell Lucus is that of having a large far-right party participating directly in the political process, something that is never good for democracy.  And by "far-right" we can read "fascist."

It is my contention that what Trump, Cruz and others really represent at this juncture is the danger of a large, organized far-right party in the U.S.  This would be something never before seen in this country.  If one thinks about the hyperbolic anti-Muslim attacks by Trump, especially, what we are really seeing is Hitlerian language, now being put into policy proposals ("Ban all Muslims").

Better than forming a third party, Lucus advises, is for traditional Republican conservatives to work to directly oppose Trumpism in America.  This is something they have been reluctant to do for fear of -- yes -- splitting the party.

Better than any of these solutions is for the media to stop pandering to Trumpism and all its diatribes. What the media is doing amounts to an assault on the American system of tolerance for all religions. This we simply cannot have.

In coming days I plan to concentrate and focus on how the media itself is promoting Trumpism and how the media can be opposed.  Therein, I believe, will lie the best method of opposing nascent fascism in this great land.

The Perils Of a Republican Third Party

Friday, December 25, 2015

Astonishing and Useful Mea Culpa from Journalist Matt Bai

Media member admits egregious errors on the part of the media in current Presidential campaign.  

This article by Matt Bai is a no-holds-barred criticism of the media shenanigans which now pass for media "coverage" of the Presidential race.  The star of this tragicomedy is Donald Trump with a strong supporting role played by the media.  

There is no need for me to comment at length about this article for it speaks for itself.  This article is remarkable for its passionate candor.  There is little or no self-pitying, no attempt to describe mitigating factors.  It is a straight-up description of how Trump and the media need each other.  It is an exploitative situation for all concerned.  Bai is absolutely right to be concerned.  Whether he is concerned enough can be questioned.  What cannot be questioned is his honesty and sincerity.  A must-read.

Journalist Explains Dangerous Symbiosis Between Media and Trump
(Link includes video example.)

Mea Culpa From a Media Member: Honest and Long-Overdue

Coming momentarily -- notice of an important admission of error from a media member

Link included

Media member admits egregious errors on the part of the media in current Presidential campaign.  

 Check back here soon

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Will the Presidential Election End Up In the House of Representatives? (Up-dated with two comments)

There have begun to be serious suggestions that members of the traditionalist wing of the Republican Party, which represents many if not most of the Republican leadership, may bolt to form their own party in 2016.  If this happens it would not be the first time there has been a split in a major political party.  The last time there was anything significant of this nature was in 1968 when George Wallace ran an independent campaign for the White House and won 46 electoral votes.  The election was not thrown into the House of Representatives that year.

To my knowledge the last time this happened was in 1824 when the Democratic-Republican Party failed to unite behind a single candidate for President.

Jeff Greenfield, in a forward-looking article this past week-end, reported Republican Party leaders are aghast at the prospect of  Donald Trump as their candidate.  In order to protect some semblance of a viable party for the future there is talk of forming a third party.  At least one expert believes such a party's candidate could beat Trump in several states.

That prospect leads to speculation no candidate would command a majority of Electoral Votes, throwing the decision to the House of Representatives.  Whether that would be the current House or the House elected in the fall of 2016, I am not sure.*  I will research this and report back later.

For now, things are getting interesting behind the Christmas lights and beneath the tinsel.

*Up-date:  See comment below

Monday, December 21, 2015

Today's College Activists Agitate for Protection

An interesting article on line charts the fairly recent rise of college students agitating for protection from free speech.  This theme echoes an Atlantic article of earlier this year which reported much the same thing:  students organizing against upsetting speech, texts, and teachers.  While the current article referenced may be somewhat overdrawn, the issue is one of importance -- and concern.

Finding the right balance between freedom of speech and respect is hard.  The fact that it is difficult is one reason democracies have had such a difficult time.  Just witness the Trump vs. the World drama now gripping the Republican Party.

At any rate, the article is well worth reading:

Today's College Protestors Somewhat Opposite Protestors of the 60s, Says Author

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Greek Left Split, Continues to Fight Austerity

“This agreement is not compatible with the ideas and the principles of the left. But most importantly, it is not compatible with the needs of the working class and the popular masses. This proposal cannot be accepted by the members and the cadres of Syriza.”

Update --

 Latest developments in Greece underscore the depth of opposition to the austerity measures the European Union continues to try to foist on the Greek people.  

Syriza, the Greek leftist party is now itself split, but with a strong and energized anti-austerity component continuing to speak out and to organize.

It is encouraging to see workers and others continue to oppose austerity even as their own party, Syriza is led by Tsipras and others pushing the E. U. oppression.  More at the link below.

Greek Leftists Refuse to Kow-tow to Austerity

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Continued From Yesterday: Protests Against Media Are Right

The media claims they must report on Donald Trump because he is simply news.  This may be, but as so often in the media it is not what is reported, but what is not reported.  And so often what are left out are context and background.  Also, being left out is the whole truth.

For instance it was reported that overnight polls declared Donald Trump to be the winner of last's night's Republican debate  ("The Hill" on line).  The poll was conducted of only likely Republican voters.  Apparently, anyone else who may have had the stomach to watch didn't matter.

What is scary is the amount of time given to Trump and the celebrity aura accorded to him in most of the coverage.  America deserves the facts.  Donald Trump is not qualified to be President, temperamentally, or by experience.  What we need from the media is honest analysis of how this man came to be a part of the process of a major American political party's Presidential nominating process.  And we need this "coverage" fast.   

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Up-Dated With Link: Dump Trump Movement Has Appeared

Quick Post --

There is a "dump Trump" movement afoot.  This is good to see.  After I have seen more details I will be back here with more.

It seems that the body politic has tried to digest the latest Trump diatribes, found them completely indigestible and is in process of rejecting the source.  America, it appears, does not want to let the world down, after all.

Try This Link for More Information

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

How Trump's "Islamaphobia Became Part of Mainstream Discourse

Those who have not followed certain far-right groups closely -- and that includes most of us -- Trump's diatribe against Muslims seems almost to have come out of nowhere.  We are not necessarily surprised that Trump would say such a thing.  But we are surprised and frightened that someone who appears to be the most popular candidate of a major political party is saying such things.

The article linked to below shows clearly how this has come to be.  For certain persons on the right have been able to pour millions of dollars into anti-Muslim propaganda campaigns.  And the article puts this in the context of terrorist actions at home and abroad.

Now that we are at this point, Trump must be vigorously opposed.  This opposition should center on the press which has ended up promoting Trump as part of the new celebrity journalism which plagues the Fourth Estate.  Actions could include letters to the editor and boycotts of advertisers, both of which can be highly effective in shutting down the Trump propaganda operation.

It is helpful that some Republican leaders such as John Ellis "JEB" Bush have denounced Trump.  But so far, most of these leaders have said they would support Trump if he is the eventual nominee.  This is simply not good enough.

As I said yesterday, the Trump candidacy must be stopped cold.  Nothing less is up to the greatness of the country;  anything less would be a terrible disservice to the nation.

How Trump's "Islamaphobia" Became Mainstream

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Is Russia Right on Mid-East Policy?

Past Administrations in the U. S. have focused on bringing peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.  The current administration along with other western powers including Britain and France have concentrated in recent years on opposing any Arab leader considered un-democratic to the point of demanding his ouster.  This is evidently what has motivated the Obama Administration.

However, is it possible, just barely possible, that the Obama Administration has been misguided?  And is it possible Russia has been right?  No matter how distasteful such a proposition may be to American pride, facts must be faced squarely.  The article from a Russian source below explains.

 The Russian View on Arabia

Some Take Fascist Line on Trump

Those offering support for or only tepid criticism of Donald Trump according to NBC include A. Coulter, L. Ingraham, T. Cruz, and state Republican Party chairpersons in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Should we quarantine all Republicans from those states?  I hardly think so.  
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," If you want to make America great again, reject this without any doubt or hesitation."
He added that Trump supporters aren't getting "a strong man who's going to fix all of our problems" but "someone who is making it harder to win a war we can't afford to lose, that's a wrecking ball for the Republican party, who's a xenophobic, race baiting, religious bigot."

-- Courtesy, NBC News

John Kasich Faces His Inner Devil and Wins

Chris Christie: "Again, this is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about. We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we," he said on Michael Medved's radio program.

Republican Candidates Weigh In Against Trump Diatribe

I disagree with Donald Trump's latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 8, 2015


Now Blogging the Trump Fiasco

The best thing J. E. Bush ever wrote:

Donald Trump is unhinged. His "policy" proposals are not serious. 

-- John Ellis Bush on Twitter

Stop Trump Now

To their credit, Republicans in a growing chorus are denouncing the latest comments of D. Trump to essentially ban Muslims from entering the U.S.  As a person with ties to the Christian community I am no apologist for those who would use any religion as an excuse to engage in terrorism.  But to force people to declare their religion before being allowed to enter the United States is completely against the laws and spirit of this country.

Trump must be stopped now.  His comments are un-American, ugly, and cruel.  It will not do to allow him to continue on this dangerously divisive trajectory.  With Trump at the head of the Republican ticket America would have essentially its first fascist candidate of a major political party.  Even more fascist than Reagan, quite clearly.

If Trump is allowed to continue his powerful attacks and sneering counter-attacks backed as he is by almost unlimited money, we could soon found an agent of social hysteria who cannot be stopped except by extraordinary means.  I for one don't want to face such a maelstrom of horror.

(politically and non-violently, 
but clearly and forcefully)

Republicans Denounce Latest Trump Plan

Sunday, December 06, 2015

A Look Ahead

Coming This Week:

Are terror attacks examples of what is called "blow-back?"  Does the West find itself in a cycle of violence related to past actions of its own?  There certainly are beginning to be allegations of this nature.  Some may have credibility.  I'll be taking a closer look this week. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Smart Immigration

The subject of immigration reform is one which is rankling the U.S. political scene, and riling certain individuals.  It is time for an in-depth look at this issue.

As a blogger, I am only able to hit high points most of the time and point the way to sources for further research.  I do know that the 1965 re-write of immigration law contained a provision, included close to the end of the legislative process, which allowed for an expansion in the number of family-related individuals who could come into the United States.  Eventually, it seems, this led to an increase in individuals coming in from non-European countries.

It is often said that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and this is true.  Persons from all over have been welcomed to these shores.  Sadly, these persons have not always been welcomed in the communities they ended up in.

America does need to remain friendly to persons from other countries.  But perhaps it is time to take a look at the numbers.  This I hope to do at some point.  For too big an influx of people, no matter where they come from, can have an adverse effect on the existing community.  There are issues of  jobs, of adequate social services, good roads, to say nothing of the social impact of the newcomers.

I also know that by the second and particularly the third generation of immigrant families individuals have acculturated, adopting the language and understanding the ways of their adopted homeland. Our concern now is for that first generation.

There are other important aspects to the discussion  including religion.  These other aspects are beyond the scope of this post.

If we are smart we will look at the facts in this situation.  We need cool heads, not inflamed passions.  

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Note to Readers

Dear Reader,

After almost ten years of steady posting here, I now have an analysis of this blog underway.  This analysis is not terribly intense yet, but I expect it will end up being pretty thorough.  Whether you, the valued reader, can expect to see major changes is unknown at the moment.

In the meantime, I plan to continue posting here.  Goodness knows there is plenty of fodder for an industrious writer's mind.



Featured Post

Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism