On The Border

I could go off on a tangent about the Trump Wall but in this case it is a conflict in the making in the Caucuses of Central Europe…… between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

History of the Caucasus - Wikipedia

There has always been an animosity between the two……Armenia is a Christian country while Azerbaijan is Muslim…..read about the two countries here (if interested)……

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17398605

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17043424

Years ago I wrote about this region as a possible linch pin event that could start a major world incident that may lead to a war…..FYI my post on the subject and region……https://lobotero.com/2013/06/13/looking-for-the-linchpin/

The war of words between Armenia/Azerbaijan has almost always been a part of the region’s history……but there have been several border clashes between the two and they are still readying themselves for the possibilities….

The senior adviser to Azerbaijan’s president said the situation at the border with Armenia reminded him of World War I between France and Germany, with heavily armed soldiers facing each other in border trenches. Hajiyev warned that any spark could lead to a full-blown conflict. He accused Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of advancing a bellicose nationalist agenda despite claims when he was elected that he wanted to achieve peace with Azerbaijan.

Hajiyev said the threat by Azerbaijan to strike a civilian nuclear plant in Armenia had been made by a low-level military officer and did not reflect his country’s official stance. He went on to accuse Armenia of targeting civilian targets in his country.

He brushed aside claims that Turkey was the reason for the recent flare-up of tension and said that Baku was ready to address and resolve the long-standing conflict with Armenia. 

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20200722-interview-adviser-to-azerbaijan-s-president-we-are-expecting-provocation-from-armenia-at-any-moment

Things are getting more and more heated between the two nations…..

The mid-July 2020 escalation on Armenia and Azerbaijan’s densely populated state border, which killed over a dozen people and sent women and children fleeing, should sound as a warning. Villagers on both sides of the 230km, trench-lined border have long lived in fear of clashes and landmines. Three decades after the 1992-1994 war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, children go to schools behind ever-thicker cement walls, farmers shun fertile but mine-riddled fields and young people seek their future elsewhere. International mediation efforts have largely ignored the border regions, focused on untangling disagreements over Nagorno-Karabakh itself. But July’s violence shows how critical it is to pay attention to the safety of more than 150,000 civilians living there. Yerevan and Baku should keep channels open to find mutually beneficial ways to cooperate along the border. The shooting should not stop them from exploring collaboration on narrow initiatives to allow children to attend school, farmers to harvest crops, herders to put livestock to pasture, and water to flow to taps and fields.

For both sides, the potential cost in lives and property of violence is higher along the border than in other areas. Neither side has a clear military advantage in the border zone. Military positions and front-line trenches are so close in places that residents can shout to soldiers on the other side. The border is at the crossroads of the three post-Soviet states of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As such, it is criss-crossed by key roads, railways and pipelines pumping natural resources from Russia to the region or from Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea to Europe. Both sides not only have an interest in avoiding disruptions to this infrastructure but also stand to benefit from repurposing and repairing sundered cross-border Soviet-era water supply networks

https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/caucasus/nagorno-karabakh-conflict/259-preventing-bloody-harvest-armenia-azerbaijan-state-border

I still believe that this region holds the key to a wider war……another region is the Pakistan/India/China in the Himalayas…..

I will be watching!

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Come August

Closing Thought–03Aug20

Kinda reminds of a tune by Earth, Wind and Fire…..but sadly this date is some dire predictions for the economy…..

There’s a chance that the worst of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t happened yet. According to a troubling BuzzFeed News op-ed, the real economic and societal collapse could arrive in August.

Part of the problem, according to BuzzFeed’s argument, is that many of the measures put in place by the U.S. government to mitigate the coronavirus’s impact will expire in August — while the actual pandemic will likely continue to rage. The result is that unemployed Americans could once more be vulnerable to evictions, right when federal employment payments helping keep them afloat stop coming.

Back in April, when the limited federal aid offered by the U.S. government started to arrive, American households began to save, on average, 33 percent of their income out of fears of an impending economic crash, according to the op-ed.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/economy-collapse-august

Of course the White House or maybe the Congress will offer up some stim money to head off this possibility….but will it work?

The problem is that a significant portion of the money is being funneled directly into capital buffers, leading to an increase in precautionary balances. The situation is akin to the “liquidity trap” that so worried John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression.

Today’s stimulus measures have understandably been rolled out in haste – almost in panic – to contain the economic fallout from the pandemic. And while this fire-hose approach was neither targeted nor precise, many commentators would argue that it was the only option at the time. Without a massive injection of emergency liquidity, there probably would have been widespread bankruptcies, losses of organizational capital, and an even steeper path to recovery.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/stimulus-policies-must-benefit-real-economy-not-financial-speculation-by-joseph-e-stiglitz-and-hamid-rashid-2020-06

The problem is the oligarchs always want money thrown at them and they will fix the economy…..they have not done so in 200 years and yet their wealth keeps going up….and problems still exist.

Does that tell you want these stim plans are really doing?

But not to worry….the markets are up….and yet you are still trying to find the cash to buy food or pay the rent…..how did all that stim money help you?

That brings me to a question I have asking for a very long time…..

We’ve said it before: The stock market is not the economy.

Usually, this simply means that fluctuations in the markets may have little to no real bearing on the underlying realities we think of as making up the economy. Or that there are many important structural factors that make the markets’ outlook different from how ordinary citizens view the country’s overall economic health.

But now, those usual bromides risk wildly understating the disconnect. In the time of COVID-19, the stock market couldn’t be more divorced from the United States’ broader economic situation. Although the S&P 500 tumbled sharply in March, as the coronavirus shut down large swaths of the economy, it had made back almost all of its losses by the first week of June — before dipping again and then quickly rebounding yet again.

The Economy Is A Mess. So Why Isn’t The Stock Market?

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“lego ergo scribo”

03 August 1807

History on this day……1882 the Immigration Act that banned Chinese immigrants for ten years (sounds familiar for some reason)

1908–Allan Allensworth filed for the first Afro-American city…..Allensworth, California

But the big situation was in the early years of the republic.

On this day in 1807, Aaron Burr,  the former VP of the United States and presidential candidate goes on trial for treason.

Burr was arrested in the Mississippi Territory in 1807……my post on this situation……https://lobotero.com/2019/02/19/the-arrest-of-aaron-burr-1807/

The synopsis…..

What was the nature of the plot that had seen Burr charged with treason? Even today, many details of the scheme remain hazy. “Too many people told too many different stories, and too many people had things to hide,” historian Buckner F. Melton has written. What is known is that Burr worked to raise a small army on the American frontier. He may have hoped to lead an independent campaign against Spanish-held territories in Texas and Mexico, but it’s also possible that he planned to wrest a portion of the newly acquired frontier from the United States. According to some contemporaries, Burr had designs on founding a new western nation with himself as its emperor.

https://www.history.com/news/aaron-burrs-notorious-treason-case

A very good account of the trial……

Click to access burrtrial.pdf

For those too lazy to read…..this video will help……

I have studied this incident….and I think that it was Jefferson being petty that caused the acquittal…..Jefferson had made promises that he did not keep and Burr wanted revenge on Tommie…..for his lies and manipulations.

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“legho ergo scribo”

The Dems And Their Big Plans

I have always said that the Dems have marvelous ideas and plans….they just suck at politics and how to get those plans in motion.

Look at some of the more recent ideas…Green New Deal……a sweeping plan that could change everything in this country….and it will silently disappear after the next election……how about that Medicare For All….another excellent idea that would benefit all of American society…..and it will die an ignoble death……my point is as I have stated….great plans no umpf to get them done.

Now this brings me to the most recent situation in this country….the protests over the deaths of son many Blacks at the hands of the police….there have been many plans by many different activists…..but think about this….what is the “Big Plan” to fight this racism from the white Dems?

(Pause here for thought)

Here is the Dems promise for the future….Joe Biden…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/18/biden-and-criminal-justice/

Fine words but I fear they are just that……WORDS.

Even before a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, leading to a renewed national conversation about racial inequality, white Democrats were already pretty “woke” on some issues. An overwhelming majority of white Democrats said that racial discrimination was a major barrier to Black people getting ahead in America, that the police and the broader criminal justice system in America treated Black people unfairly and that the legacy of slavery still affected Black Americans today. And on issues of criminal justice and policing in particular, white and Black Democrats held fairly similar views. Surveys since Floyd’s death1 have shown even greater wokeness among white Democrats (and Americans more broadly). White Democrats now view the police even less favorably and the Black Lives Matter movement more favorably, and they are also more likely to agree that Black people face “a great deal” or “a lot” of discrimination in America today.2

What we don’t know yet is whether white Democrats have moved significantly on racial issues beyond policing and discrimination in general — issues that deal with more material concerns, such as school integration and wealth redistribution. Most polling since Floyd’s death has focused on policing, Confederate monuments and other topics that have been in the news.

White Democrats Are Wary Of Big Ideas To Address Racial Inequality

If you think this election will be different…then I feel you will be sorely disappointed.

Most white Dems and even a few of the Black elected officials owe too much to the wealthy elite for any true program to fight racism to become anything but a fanciful thought.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Eyes Have It

About four months ago I started having troubling with my right eye and it progressively got worse and then the pandemic hit and I had to postpone my visit to the eye doctor.

Finally my area started letting people go for medical appointments as long as a mask is worn….so I went to my eye doctor and did the tests….I knew I had cataracts but they had not been too bad…..well the news was not good…..there are three kinds of cataracts and I have all three kinds especially one that acts quickly….and that is why my sight was not so good in my right eye.

My doctor moved as quickly as he could…after hours of testing and waiting I was schedule for eye surgery on 15July2020…..and again on 29July2020…..

I was jittery because everything I do involves my eyes….reading, research and writing…..and someone digging around in my eyes was not something I was looking forward to having done.

But thanx to the tranquilizer that was given did the trick.  I was awake and knew what was being done to my eyes but I was relaxed and calm…..and the operations took on;y about 15 minutes per eye……it took longer in prep than the actual surgery.

Both surgeries have been completed and my doctor tells me that everything is healing better than he had anticipated.

My eyes are still a bit sensitive to sunlight and must wear those shades…..

Image

Plus I no longer need my glasses to see…..I do however need some reading glasses but that is the cheaper way out.

I would like to thank all my followers for their kind wishes and their understanding…..I appreciate your patronage.

Hopefully after my last follow-up on 10 August I will be good to go…..and I can return to my usual research, reading and writing…..as it is now I am a bit limited as to what I can do.

Thanx everyone

Be Well….Be Safe

“lego ergo scribo”

The Confusion Over Masks

Should we wear masks? Or Not? Can masks help cause the virus?  Are they safe?

Questions….questions…..so many and so many opinions that are not really answers.

But the one statement about masks that some want to push on the population…..”forced to wear a mask is a violation of my rights”

Just how much “rights” does state laws violate?

Several hundred people assembled in London’s Hyde Park in July 2020 to protest rules making face masks mandatory in shops and supermarkets to help control the spread of COVID-19. This was not an isolated event. Similar protests have occurred in many places around the world in reaction to the prospect of “mask mandates” – especially in the United States.

These protesters are not without allies. “Anti-maskers” have elicited support from prominent figures on the political right in the UK and America: Peter Hitchens of the Daily Mail has called them “muzzles”; Michael Savage, a prominent talk radio host, called masks a “mark of submission”; to say nothing of President Donald Trump’s refusal to wear a face mask in public and his dismissal of them as “politically correct” (until his abysmal approval ratings compelled him to awkwardly soften his position).

Why do mask mandates elicit such anger?

Setting aside the conspiracy theories and disinformation that seem to prevade these protests, the participants are joined by a fierce attachment to individual liberty. They believe mask mandates sacrifice individual liberty to a collectivist notion a “greater good”.

https://theconversation.com/face-mask-rules-do-they-really-violate-personal-liberty-143634

I believe that these toads that refuse to wear masks and even commit violence to make their point are violating my rights….they could be making me ill…..

Just like freedom of speech does not give an idiot the right to scream “FIRE!” in a crowded theater that cause a panic and injures or kills others.

Speaking of “Freedom of Speech”……

Fish explains the difference between how free speech applies to the government and how it governs your relationship to your employer. And why free speech is such an issue in the academy, when the opposite should be true.

Freedom of speech may free us from some constraints, but it also frees us to say and do terrible things. When speech is free, he says, “consequences always abound.” 

The High Cost of Free Speech

If these people do not want to wear a protective mask then they should stay home and do the “business” over the phone or laptop.

None of the people that think their freedoms are being violated are nothing put idiots pretending to be concerned about others….they are selfish dolts that spread disinformation.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Guns Of August–Part Two

A little history for this Sunday…..

The original Guns of August referred to the beginning of the Great Wat, World War One…..but this is a bit different……

30 years ago today Saddam turned his forces loose on Kuwait…and thus began the first Gulf War…..

The consequences are still reverberating three decades on, obviously in Iraq and the Middle East but also further afield, after Saddam Hussein became the first Arab leader to invade another Arab nation. On Thursday, August 2, 1990, at about 2am, 100,000 Iraqi troops and 700 tanks smashed through Kuwaiti border posts. Saddam then announced that the emir of Kuwait had been deposed and the emirate was now Iraq’s nineteenth province.

This was his second invasion of a neighbor. In September 1980 he invaded Iran believing that the rule of the ayatollahs, and their Shia branch of Islam, posed a clear and present danger to Iraq’s Sunni-dominated government.

Much of the Iranian army and air force was dependent on US spare parts and these had dried up after the fall of the Shah in 1979. Saddam believed it would be a piece of cake as much of Iran’s heavy weaponry and air power would be unusable. Initially his forces were successful, driving deep into Iran. But the Iranians fought back, launched human wave attacks against Iraqi artillery and trench warfare, reminiscent of WWI, ensued. Stalemate. The war finally ended in 1988 under a United Nations-brokered ceasefire with neither victorious, both exhausted. Kuwait had initially lent the Iraqi leader US$14 billion to help finance the conflict. Saddam believed that this debt should be written off. Kuwait refused and demanded prompt payment.

The Gulf War, 30 Years and Counting

For those that are not capable of learning with our visuals…..

Just because I can…..a look at this war from Iraq’s perspective…..it is about 20 minutes if your attention span will allow it……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Masks For Pets

We have this pandemic thing and this virus seems to be jumping to our pets as well…..as a matter of fact the dog that tested positive has died…..

The first dog to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in the US has died. Buddy, 7, had tested positive in April in Staten Island, National Geographic reports. The family pet “was the love of our lives,” Allison Mahoney said. “I can’t wrap my head around it.” Few details of Buddy’s case had been released since the announcement that he was infected early last month. But two veterinarians who reviewed the German shepherd’s medical records said he probably suffered from lymphoma, as well, which the family didn’t know he had. The vets said the relationship between the illnesses is not clear; the cancer might have made the dog more vulnerable to the virus, or it might be the virus that made him ill. Not much is known about how the virus affects animals; a USDA site lists confirmed cases.

The Mahoneys described a frustrating ordeal, per National Geographic. “You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you [as if you have] 10 heads,” Allison Mahoney said. With fewer than 25 pets known to have confirmed cases of the virus, the family and records on Buddy could increase understanding of the toll on animals. Mahoney’s husband, who also had contracted the coronavirus, first suspected Buddy had the same problem when the dog began breathing heavily in April. “Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought [Buddy] was positive,” Robert Mahoney said. The family took the pet to three vets before finding one who’d give Buddy a coronavirus test. Even after Buddy died, his vet couldn’t get health departments interested in running tests to learn about the illness.

(A cat in Britain just tested positive.)

Then I saw where some celebs were trying to put masks on their dogs…..please do not try this!

Animal experts have issued the stark waring in response to a disturbing trend that has seen worried owners using the masks believing it will stop their pets from contracting the killer virus.

However according to Dr Melissa Meehan, a vet based in Melbourne, Australia, it can cause stress and anxiety for cats and dogs and in the worst scenario they could die.

She told Yahoo News : “As a vet I am constantly treating dogs and cats that suffer from stress and anxiety, which impacts on their health and mental wellbeing and also causing behavioural issues.

“Putting a mask on a dog or cat can absolutely cause distress.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pet-owners-warned-putting-face-22422022

Please read carefully and pass it on so that people do not harm their furry companions.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is Making The People Sick?

Closing Thought–31Jul20

We all know that this pandemic is raging and killing fellow Americans……but why?

We can say that it is the president’s fault for not taking this virus seriously in the beginning…..but is that really the reason?

Could it be that Republicans and Democrats view the pandemic differently?

Americans have changed their behavior in ways that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. Masks are an essential accessory. Social distancing is the norm. And even as states moved to reopen their economies in May and June, many Americans continued to think it was better for people to stay home.

But underneath that apparent consensus is a large — and growing — partisan divide. Even as cases and hospitalizations spike in red states that mostly escaped the early effects of the virus, Republicans and Democrats remain stubbornly split on the threat it poses. For instance, it was only in July that President Trump wore a mask in public for the first time. And perhaps thanks to Trump’s repeated downplaying of the threat that COVID-19 poses, Republicans are much less concerned than Democrats are about the virus.

On the one hand, according to surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center, Republicans have consistently been less likely than Democrats to say that they fear being hospitalized because of COVID-19 or that they might unknowingly spread the virus to others. But on the other hand, that partisan gap has widened significantly between April and June.

Republicans And Democrats See COVID-19 Very Differently. Is That Making People Sick?

I mean seriously…..25% of the American people believe some of the conspiracy theories flying around this pandemic….25%…that is one quarter of the population!

Most Americans (71%) have heard of a conspiracy theory circulating widely online that alleges that powerful people intentionally planned the coronavirus outbreak. And a quarter of U.S. adults see at least some truth in it – including 5% who say it is definitely true and 20% who say it is probably true, according to a June Pew Research Center survey. The share of Americans who see at least some truth to the theory differs by demographics and partisanship.

Educational attainment is an especially important factor when it comes to perceptions of the conspiracy theory. Around half of Americans with a high school diploma or less education (48%) say the theory is probably or definitely true, according to the survey, which was conducted as part of the Center’s American News Pathways project. That compares with 38% of those who have completed some college but have no degree, 24% of those with a bachelor’s degree and 15% of those with a postgraduate degree.

A look at the Americans who believe there is some truth to the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was planned

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Not Postpone 2020 Election?

Is that a threat or just wishful thinking?

Donald the Orange has a problem……voters are starting to doubt his chances for re-election…..

President Trump has trailed Joe Biden in the polls. First, it was only a 5- or 6-percentage-point gap, but since the middle of June, that margin has widened to anywhere from 8 to 9 points, according to FiveThirtyEight’s national polling average.

But until very recently, voters didn’t seem all that convinced that Biden could win. In poll after poll, comparatively more voters said they thought Trump would win reelection in November. Now, though, that view may be shifting.

Voters Are Starting To Doubt Trump’s Reelection Chances

For several months Trump has been setting up the debate that there will be something wrong with the November election……he has even floated the idea of postponing it.

President Trump on Thursday voiced the thought many of his political opponents don’t want to hear: He raised the idea of delaying November’s election. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” he tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president, who is trailing in the polls, did not immediately elaborate on the idea. The Washington Post notes that the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to regulate the election date.

In April, Joe Biden said this: “Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.” A Trump campaign spokesperson dismissed the idea at the time as “conspiracy theory ramblings.” Since the prediction, the coronavirus has only worsened in the US, with the death toll now surpassing 150,000. States are ramping up vote-by-mail efforts, but Trump alleges that would open the door to voter fraud.

Let’s look at the possibility of Trump postponing our election….he cannot do it on his own….we sill have a Constitution (as much as Trump might hate the idea)…….

  • The Constitution: It gives Congress, not the president, the power to set the date. Officially, Election Day takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a date that has been fixed since 1845, per the New York Times. What’s more, the Constitution stipulates that presidential terms end on Jan. 20. Barring a change to the Constitution, then, any voting delay could only be for a few weeks.
  • What Trump said: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” He didn’t explicitly suggest he would push for the move. Later, he “pinned” the tweet, ensuring it would remain at the top of his feed.
  • Digging deeper: The National Constitution Center has a lengthy post on the subject. “In general, a combination of state or congressional actions could delay elections but not postpone the selection of a president and vice president,” per the post. “The only hard deadline spelled out in the Constitution is the end of a president’s term and a vice president’s term on January 20 of the year following a general election.”
  • Emergency? No, not even in an emergency such as a pandemic can a president circumvent Congress on Election Day, per a breakdown in the Washington Post. Trump could lobby Congress to make the change, but Democrats control the House, making this all but a non-starter.
  • Criticism: It’s coming from Democrats and Republicans. “Please don’t even pretend to mess with this,” wrote Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush. “It’s a harmful idea.” GOP Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming stated flatly on Fox News, “We will not delay the [election].” At the conservative Hot Air site, Ed Morrissey sounds exasperated. “The best that could be said for this tweet is that Trump’s just spitballing, but even that’s an indictment of its own,” he writes. “No president should just be spitballing a suggestion like this, not in public and not even in private.” Besides, he adds, Trump keeps saying we should “reopen for business.”
  • Fraud allegation: Trump continues to allege that mail-in ballots are prone to voter fraud, but the Hill reports there is “no evidence to support the idea.” An NPR fact-check also finds that Trump is spreading “unfounded claims.” Trump, for his part, tweeted a link to this news station’s investigation into problems with mail-in voting in Philadelphia, notes Breitbart News.
  • Things change: In April, Trump ridiculed Joe Biden’s prediction that the president would try to postpone the election, notes Axios. “I never even thought of changing the date of the election,” Trump said at the time. “Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election.”

If his threat cannot be acted upon would Trump just in a pouting haze walk away from the election?

First things first: John F. Harris writes that this scenario is “not terribly” plausible. But in a piece at Politico Magazine, he lays out why it might make sense for President Trump to quit the 2020 race before November. Harris notes that in March 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson shocked the nation by announcing at the end of a televised address about Vietnam that he would not run for another term. Things were too dire for him to waste any time on partisan matters, LBJ explained. Harris, who notes that Trump’s current chances of defeating Joe Biden are not great anyway, sees a parallel in 2020 with the pandemic. He even has a sample address Trump could use.

“Fellow Americans, I know I am a disrupter, and everyone knows I thrive on conflict,” Trump could say. “I believe that disruption is what Republicans and the country needed when I ran for president in 2016, and that is what I delivered.” But the pandemic changed everything, and “I am going to devote the balance of my term to trying to get this country opened up safely, and allow someone without my sharp edges make the case for Republicans this fall.” So why would Trump do it? He seems headed for a loss, which could tarnish his image. Stepping out now would help keep him in the game, “preserving his role as disrupter at large in American politics over the next decade.” Read the full column.

Just a thought that that I wanted to share…..

Say what you like….there is NO doubt that this coming election will be different than the ones that preceded it….

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/reasons-years-election-unlike-history-opinion/story

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”