Closing Thought–29Nov17

The Elephant And The Donkey

For as long as I can remember the symbols of each party has been used in news stories, cartoons, everywhere…..but have you ever wondered where that symbolism came from?

Well in case you care….I can help out…..

It all started with an insult. During Andrew Jackson’s 1828 presidential campaign, his political opponents labeled him a “jackass.” Stubborn as he was, Jackson co-opted the insult and began putting a donkey on his election posters. For the rest of his career and even into his retirement, newspapers and cartoonists continued to represent Jackson either as a stubborn ass or struggling to control one.

Almost 40 years later, the donkey was used to represent not just Jackson, but a larger group of Democrats. In 1870, Thomas Nast, the German-born political cartoonist who gave us the versions of Santa Claus and Uncle Sam we know today, drew a cartoon for Harper’s Weekly titled “A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion.” The donkey was a stand-in for “Copperhead Democrats” (the Northern Democrats that opposed the Civil War), and the lion represented Edwin M. Stanton, Abraham Lincoln’s recently deceased Secretary of War. Nast thought of the Copperheads as anti-Union and believed the Democratic press’s treatment of Stanton was disrespectful.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/23805/how-did-donkey-elephant-become-political-mascots

See a history lesson is not all that bad…….

Tomorrow and I will return with more stuff…..chuq

Misconceptions Of World War One

We are in the middle of the 100 year anniversary of the First World War…..the Great War…..the War to end all wars…..a war the  changed the world forever.

There are many misconceptions about this war…..it is just too simple to say that it all began with an assassination….true a dude was killed and an empire got its panties in a twist but there is so much more to the situation that some simplistic BS.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was a kind of 9/11 moment for the Austrian leadership. It altered their politics and produced a completely unbroken consensus in favour of war. Prior to the killing, records show that the Austrians were focusing on diplomatic solutions to the Balkans crisis, but after the assassination everything changed.

The archduke was not a popular man in Austria but nonetheless the fact that he was killed upset people hugely. This, after all, was also an attack on the monarchy and the Habsburg state, so it caused an immense shock. At the same time, his dying words to his wife about the couple’s children generated a lot of sympathy for him.

http://www.historyextra.com/article/premium/great-misconceptions-first-world-war

Granted this war does not mean as much to the US as it does to the people of Europe…..but we here in the US should be just as engulfed in this anniversary as Europe…..for the US came out of that war as one of the world’s great powers and we never looked back.

We should be studying this war in finite detail……what would the US be if it had not ventured into this war?  Would we be the power we are today?

World war One should be paramount on the minds of Americans…..but instead we barely acknowledge the event at all.

I guess it is up to the old professor to hammer the event home and make sure it is not forgotten like so much of American history.

Revenge By Government

Remember when the Repubs bought into the conspiracy that the president, Obama, and the IRS were out to get conserv groups?  Oh yeah that was a meme for a long time and it was spread like so much manure on a field.  It was pure conserv bullsh*t.

Well guess what?

Looks like Fearless Leader is doing that which the Dems were accused of in the past…..

Do you remember the “IRS scandal”? Unlike the conspiracy theories supported by “crazy” Republicans, like birtherism and Sharia law spreading in the U.S., the IRS scandal is one of the conspiracy theories supported by “Establishment” Republicans, like climate-science denial and Benghaaaazi. The premise of the “IRS scandal” held that the agency, supported explicitly or implicitly by the Obama administration, targeted conservative groups for harassment. Years of investigation by Congress and the IRS Inspector General firmly proved the opposite. The IRS, trying to enforce ambiguous rules governing political activity by nonprofit groups, flagged organizations on both the right and left in roughly equal measure.

The intensity of the IRS conspiracy theory petered out, but has never surrendered its place in the right-wing imagination. (Indeed, Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn regurgitated the fantasy again yesterday.) The “IRS Scandal” has some importance beyond its insight into conservative paranoia. It has turned out to prefigure the Republicans’ own blueprint for the use of government as an implement of partisan domination and revenge.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-retaliatory-state-trump-using-government-as-revenge.html

Government as a tool for revenge?  What an interesting turn of events….

The End Of Endism

This post is going to cover a whole bunch of theories about society….a mish mash to keep my readers on their toes…….I wish that the endism today was about the end of my health issues but no such luck…….I have a day for tests so I may not be around like normal…..please bear with me and I will return to normal as soon as I can.

Not long ago a dude named Fukuyama put forth a theory about the end of history….it was called endism.

Readers of The American Conservative—or anyone else interested in understanding how the United States in recent decades managed to squander so much so fast—might want to check out the Fall 2017 issue of the quarterly Hedgehog Review. The theme of this particular issue is “The End of the End of History?,” a reference to the essay that (question mark and all) catapulted Francis Fukuyama to global fame back in 1989. History had “ended,” Fukuyama proposed, when the passing of the Cold War left liberal democratic capitalism—a.k.a., the American Way of Life—without a plausible challenger. Our way had become the only way as others would inevitably acknowledge.

In fact, in the years that followed, history proved to be more resilient, willful, and stubbornly opaque than Fukuyama and the legions rushing to endorse “endism” imagined. With climate change endangering the planet and a sitting American president threatening “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” the end might be near, but it’s not the end that Fukuyama’s acolytes had in mind back when the collapse of communism seemingly resolved life’s ultimate questions.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-end-of-endism/

Got you attention yet?

Now if you watch much history on the boob tube then you will hear about the collapse of civilizations……like the collapse of the Roman civilization….or the Maya….so on.

But do civilizations really collapse?

There’s a common story of how the Maya civilisation was wiped out: they fell foul of unstoppable climate change. Several periods of extreme drought withered their crops and killed off thousands in their overpopulated cities. ‘There was nothing they could do or could have done. In the end, the food and water ran out – and they died,’ wrote Richardson Gill in 2007. The jungle reclaimed the cities with their palaces and pyramids until they were rediscovered in the 19th century by intrepid explorers.

Likewise, we all know that the Easter Islanders chopped down all the palm trees on their small, isolated island to clear farmland for their ever-growing population and to move their characteristic moai statues, not realising that they were eroding their landscape, reducing their food production, and ultimately cutting themselves off from the bounty of the sea – and the possibility of escape. The Europeans who found the island in the 18th century wondered how such primitive people could ever have had a civilisation developed enough to carve the majestic stone heads.

https://aeon.co/essays/what-the-idea-of-civilisational-collapse-says-about-history

Now we turn to “modernism”…….

The America Conservative looks at “modernism” and conservatism…….

Nearly 30 years before he shocked National Review by endorsing Barack Obama for president, senior editor Jeffery Hart announced a divorce of a different kind from the American right. With “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to a Modern American Conservatism”—published in The New Right Papers in 1982 and previewed in NR a few months earlier—Hart split with tradition and declared himself on the side of modernism in art, literature, and morals.

“Despite its recent victories, the conservative cause has been creating unnecessary difficulties for itself,” he wrote, and as “a professor of English at Dartmouth, a senior editor of National Review, and a conservative activist”—he might have added former Reagan speechwriter—Hart knew better than most what limits the right’s philosophy ran up against. “The fact is, a lot of my students are not sold on conservatism. … They think conservatives are preppies against sex.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/modernism-conservatism/

Now you have a wide array of theories that have been passed down over the decades….and handle in a true IST method…..is there anything you would like to add to the conversation?