Closing Thought–30Dec20

The year id 1970…..the height of the antiwar movement….the location is Kent State…..Four Kent State University students were killed and nine were injured on May 4, 1970, when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd gathered to protest the Vietnam War. The tragedy was a watershed moment for a nation divided by the conflict in Southeast Asia. In its immediate aftermath, a student-led strike forced the temporary closure of colleges and universities across the country. Some political observers believe the events of that day in northeast Ohio tilted public opinion against the war and may have contributed to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.

I bring up this short history because one of the survivors of that shooting spree has died….

Alan Canfora, who was one of nine students who were wounded in the 1970 Kent State shootings but survived, has died. He was 71.

Canfora died Dec. 20 at home from an illness unrelated to COVID-19, according to a Facebook post by his sister, Chic Canfora.

“It is with immense sadness that I share news of the passing of my beloved brother, Alan Canfora — a devastating loss to our family, friends and the Kent State/May 4 community,” she wrote in the post as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal.

As a junior at Kent State, Canfora was one of the hundreds of students who protested at the Ohio campus May 1-4. They were demonstrating against the Vietnam War and the National Guard’s presence on their campus.

The Guardsmen fired on unarmed protesters May 4. Canfora was shot in the right wrist in the first 13 seconds. Four students — Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Lee Scheuer and William Schroeder — were killed.

(thehour.com)

This may not mean much to some but to me it was a turning point in our protests against the Vietnam War….

It is a crying shame that this country cannot muster a protest movement against our many wars and especially our endless wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.

These people we brave beyond compare….something that is sadly missing in our society these days.

Will we ever see the antiwar movement re-born?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dead Before He had His Chance

A tragic death for a soon to be representative before he was sworn in from his station in the government……the representative-elect from Louisiana…..

Luke Letlow, Louisiana’s incoming Republican member of the US House, died Tuesday night from complications related to COVID-19 only days before he would have been sworn into office, the AP reports. He was 41. Letlow spokesman Andrew Bautsch confirmed the congressman-elect’s death at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport. “The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” Bautsch said in a statement. “A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.” Louisiana’s eight-member congressional delegation called Letlow’s death devastating, and US House leaders were also offering their condolences. Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two children, Jeremiah and Jacqueline.

The state’s newest congressman, set to take office in January, was admitted to a Monroe hospital on Dec. 19 after testing positive for the coronavirus. He was later transferred to the Shreveport facility and placed in intensive care. Dr. GE Ghali of LSU Health Shreveport told the Advocate that Letlow didn’t have any underlying health conditions that would have placed him at greater risk from COVID-19. Letlow, from the small town of Start in Richland Parish, was elected in a December runoff election for the sprawling 5th District US House seat representing central and northeastern regions of the state, including the cities of Monroe and Alexandria. He was to fill the seat being vacated by his boss, Republican Ralph Abraham. Letlow had been Abraham’s chief of staff and ran with Abraham’s backing for the job.

My first thought was if he is a GOPer was he one that flaunted the calls for social distancing and masks?

The reports are that he had mixed use of masks….could that have led to his death?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Even More Stim Stuff

We all have heard the debate on whether us mere mortals would get $600 or $2000….depending on which side wins this political battle.

Personally I think we may be having the wrong debate……we should be asking just why in the Hell are rich people getting more stim money?

The issue of whether Americans will get relief checks of $600 or $2,000 is now in the hands of the Senate, and the legislative jiu-jitsu already has begun. It’s expected to play out over a few days, and how it will end up is anyone’s guess at this point. Meanwhile, a different argument has surfaced about who should get the money. Coverage:

  • A shift: Axios reports that as recently as a few days ago, it seemed “impossible” the Senate would back $2,000 checks. But that has changed with senators feeling the pressure from President Trump and their own constituents. Some Republicans may not be able to risk a “no” vote, putting the needed threshold of 60 votes in sight. However, it’s still an “uphill battle,” per Axios.
  • Support growing: So far, GOP Sens. David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, and Deb Fischer have announced their support of the $2,000 checks, reports the Washington Post. Perdue and Loeffler are under particular pressure to back the larger amounts because they face runoff elections in Georgia next week. That still leaves Democrats seven votes short, though the numbers are changing quickly.
  • Your money: So what does all this mean in terms of when you’ll get money? The Treasury may begin sending out $600 payments at some point this week, on track with its original schedule, reports the Wall Street Journal. If the final amount ends up being $2,000, the payments “will be topped up,” says a Treasury official. The first payments could go out Wednesday, though it’s possible that could change. Most would be in the form of direct deposits.
  • Wrong question? In a Washington Post op-ed, Catherine Rampell says the $600 vs. $2,000 debate is the wrong one to be having. Instead, she wants to know why rich people will be getting relief checks, too. Yes, they might not get the full amount, but even a family that earns $350,000 would get something. These nearly universal payments are inefficient, she writes. “The payments end up being a pittance for higher-income, fully employed households, yet insufficient for the households that suffered large income losses.”
  • The maneuvering: On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell rejected an attempt by Chuck Schumer to stage a quick, up-or-down vote on the larger checks. But this is just the opening gambit, with McConnell signaling he will tuck the increase into other legislation to be considered soon, per the Hill. It might, for example, be linked to the repeal of a legal shield for tech companies.
  • A slam: The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal (which opposes larger checks) is seething at Trump for putting McConnell in a bind. Holding a vote “would split the GOP caucus and upset fiscally conservative voters,” the editors write. McConnell could instead opt to block a vote, but either way “it amounts to a Donald Trump in-kind contribution” to Schumer and Joe Biden. All of this also puts Georgia’s two GOP senators in danger of losing their runoffs, the editorial adds. If the GOP loses its majority, “Republicans across the country should know to thank Mr. Trump for their 2021 tax increase.”
  • Unfazed: Trump is keeping up the pressure. “$2000 for our great people, not $600!” he tweeted Tuesday morning. “They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!”

I still do not see why billionaires needed subsidizing.

But the good news is the stim checks are said to go out on Tuesday…but they will be smaller than wanted….thanx to …..you guessed it….the Senate.

Stimulus payments are on the way, Steven Mnuchin says. The Treasury Secretary announced Tuesday that the first stimulus payments of up to $600 per person would be arriving in bank accounts within hours, the Hill reports. “These payments may begin to arrive in some accounts by direct deposit as early as tonight and will continue into next week,” he tweeted. For those without government-registered bank accounts, “paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow,” he said, adding that starting later this week, people will be able to check their payment status at IRS.gov/CheckMyPayment.

“These payments are an integral part of our commitment to providing vital additional economic relief to the American people during this unprecedented time,” Mnuchin said in a statement, per CNBC. The Treasury Department says full payments of $600 per individual, $1,200 per couple, and $600 per child will be received by individuals with a gross adjusted income of $75,000 or less for 2019 and couples with an income of $150,000 or less. ” For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced,” the department says. President Trump, congressional Democrats, and some GOP lawmakers have called for the payment to be raised to $2,000, but a vote on a measure to boost payments was blocked in the Senate Tuesday.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Make It Go Bang!

By now everyone has heard about the moron that blew up himself and his RV in Nashville. The thing is this person is handled with kid gloves in the media (at least that is how it appears)…..my question is….WHY?

The Nashville narrative is pretty clear: Authorities say Anthony Quinn Warner packed his RV with explosives and blew it and himself up on Christmas while parked downtown. He was, by the most basic definition of the term, a suicide bomber. And yet you’d be hard-pressed to find the phrase in media coverage, writes Danielle Campoamor at Refinery29. The same applies to “domestic terrorist.” Campoamor calls out “legacy publications” in general for avoiding the terminology, particularly the New York Times and the local Tennessean, which is part of Gannett. Instead of being called a suicide bomber or a domestic terrorist, Quinn is being described as a lonely, older white guy. If he were Black or brown, he wouldn’t be getting the same treatment, writes Campoamor. She notes that this Times article in particular set off a backlash among critics like her.

“Editors and political talking heads dragging their feet to name a white domestic terrorist accordingly is hardly new,” she writes. Men like those recently accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor usually are instead described as “militia” members or “watchmen.” Campoamor isn’t the only calling attention to this. “If a bomber commits suicide with a bomb wouldn’t you call that person a suicide bomber?” tweets Molly Jong-Fast of the Daily Beast. The problem goes beyond media semantics, writes Campamor, pointing as an example to the way hate crimes against Muslims spike after an attack by someone claiming to be one. “This refusal to hold white men to the same standard—to the same level of villainization—plays a large part in the culture of hate crimes that runs rampant in America,” Campamor notes. (Read her full column.)

Why was this white guy a lonely man with mental problems?

I do not think a black or brown person would have gotten such favorable treatment….they would have been thugs or terrorists.

What gave this demented person the benefit of the doubt when others are not so lucky?

Question….answer?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Christmas Truce of 1914

During the first year of the Great War on Christmas Day 1914 both sides of the trenches called an impromptu truce from the fighting.

Have you heard of this historic event?

No?

Let me educate you about this Tuce….

The Christmas Truce occurred on and around Christmas Day 1914, when the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front during World War I in favor of holiday celebrations. During the unofficial ceasefire, soldiers on both sides of the conflict emerged from the trenches and shared gestures of goodwill.

Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops fighting in World War I sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. Some Germans lit Christmas trees around their trenches, and there was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer. 

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/christmas-truce-of-1914

I bring this up because the question has been asked…what did the world learn from this action?

The answer is….not much.

I say thins by looking back since those days….

After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later when Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the Red Army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

The world had descended into a 77-Year War, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations that germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into World War II and the Cold War that followed inexorably thereupon.

Upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 – Why There Is Still No Peace On Earth

Truly sad that since that war humanity was only learned to make big, better and more lethality.

We could have learned so much from those brave individuals…..but instead we learned just how much profit there was in modern warfare.

Truly sad.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”