Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Courage, Mes Amis!

I've been watching the Republican Presidential debate. It is not a pleasant experience.

I can't believe the most reasonable voice on foreign policy in that party is Rand Paul.

Donald Trump just emphasized that immigrants must come here legally. I can't help noting that Donald Trump's immigrant grandfather [Drumpf] met all of the requirements to immigrate in 1885: 1) He proved he was not Chinese; 2) paid a $50 head tax.

I can't believe the hysteria over Syrian refugees. Why Syria? We've never had a terrorist act by a Syrian immigrant. Where have our terrorists come from? Most of them have been home grown white Christians (and a few Jews). But incidents involving immigrants seem to more frequently involve Saudis and Pakistanis than anyone else. As for "Radical Islamic Jihadism" (or whatever magical incantation Republicans want to use) the foundation of that movement is the radical fundamentalist form of Islam nurtured in the Wahabbi sect in Saudi Arabia, funded by the Saudi state. The other troubling source of terrorism has been Pakistan and the region just across the border in Afghanistan.

This group is mostly not rational.

They live in a fantasy world and have magical solutions to imaginary problems.

Heaven help us!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Living with risk and danger in a time of war

Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Burdens Of History

"The past," William Faulkner once wrote, "isn't dead - it isn't even past."

Faulkner was writing in the context of his fictional world of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, site of the struggle between the aristocratic Compsons and the low-class (dare we call them Red Necks?) Snopes family.

Henry Ford had a different attitude toward the past.

"History," he said,  "is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we make today."

Benito Mussolini: Trump Look Alike


Il Duce

Some commentators (e.g. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post) have recently compared Donald Trump to the founder of European Fascism, Benito Mussolini.

Those of us old enough to remember World War II newsreels, are struck by the resemblance of Trump's body language when addressing a crowd to that of Mussolini.

Here, for example, is a film from that era showing Mussilini's rise to power: https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=benito+mussolini+clips&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

Note the resemblance between Trump's hair and Mussolini's helmet. Or, for that matter, note the similar visual effect of Trump's baseball cap to that of Mussolini's helmet.

Watch the movie of Mussolini's speech. Looks just like Trump's delivery.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Oriental Town Board Meeting

Last night's Town Board meeting saw the swearing in of one new commissioner, Allen Price, and the swearing in of our new mayor, Sally Belangia. Sally becomes our first woman to be sworn in as mayor. She wields her gavel well, and has a voice of authority.

I wish our new additions well.