We Have Seen This Bitterness Before

2016 is being billed as the election of bitterness…..the American people, according to some, are unset and yes, even bitter, about the way this country is governed and even the path it is on…..

But it is nothing new!  This is where I insert some sort of historical perspective to the chagrin of many….

Mark Naison: Though some people died, others burned themselves out, and families fractured, the nation survived and we stumbled on without our political system collapsing.

I have many friends, most of them younger than me, who are terrified by the divisions in the country, by the violent acts that periodically add to the tension, and by an election which brings out a level of fear and anger they have never seen before.

Unfortunately, this is not new to me. I have vivid memories of the year 1968 and that Presidential election. We had a terrible war. Assasinations. Riots in every major city. Campus take overs. And a country divided down the middle over race and politics

Source: We Have Seen This Bitterness Before: Reflections on 1968 and Now – LA Progressive

So far this election is nothing new…..we could say that the outsiders were the story but that is yet to be seen…..

Just as the election of 1968 the Dem Party has missed the boat….yet again…..

Barring any unforeseen circumstance, Hillary Clinton will likely become the Democratic nominee during next week’s Democratic Convention. With that nomination, the Democratic Party will have missed the opportunity to win a generation.

It’s no secret that Sen. Bernie Sanders polls well with millennials – during the primaries the candidate won more votes than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined, taking more than 80% of the age group’s vote in some states.

Source: The Democratic Party missed the opportunity to win a generation | TheHill

This election will do harm to this country than anything in the past….no matter who wins the damn election.

Next up is the Dem Convention….let’s see what antics are played out on that stage….

Thomas Paine On War

I have been a real fan of Thomas Paine most of my life…..my grandfather gave me a copy of “Commonsense” when I was 10 years old(I still have the copy in my library) although it did not mean much to me until I was 14 and I read it cover to cover….from that day on he has been a big influence in my life and my thinking…..I began reading everything the man ever wrote and I finally got a copy of his “Rights of Man” and his views on war changed everything for me…..

The more one reads Paine the more one will see how he predicted a lot of the BS that is happening with this country……especially our unquenchable thirst for war…..

Around the globe, the United States faces more enemies than ever before. American troops are deploying to Syria and Libya, and returning to Iraq to combat maniacal ISIS terrorists, among others. American forces are shipping out to the Baltic States and Ukraine to contain a revanchist despot in Russia. America’s navy is steaming into the […]

The list goes on and on. Never in its history has America confronted so many adversaries at once. It’s unprecedented. Even World War II, with 50 times the number of US military casualties, had only two theaters of operation.

New foes pop up faster than old ones can be dispatched. An entire generation of American soldiers is fighting twice as long to liberate Afghanistan from tyranny as it took their forefathers and mothers to liberate themselves from the tyranny of a British king.

Source: Tom Paine Warned About America’s Perpetual War – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Our elections are suppose to help keep America safe from our enemies…..in the last 50 years they have done the opposite…

I know I just had to get my historical perspective so how, right?

And the peasants dance

Turn the page

Star Gazing The Old Way

It is a Sunday and I have been spending time with the granddaughter she just got braces and her self-esteem is a bit low….so we are spending time on other stuff to keep her mind off the changes…..

I love history and have always thought about the vast knowledge that the ancients have had about the heavens…..and since the telescope is only about 400 years old what can explain their large amount of knowledge?

Well it seems there may be an answer to that question…….

Telescopes as we think of them date back 400 years to the Enlightenment. But astronomers studying huge tombs in Portugal believe ancient humans were making their own stargazing instruments 6,000 years ago, the Atlantic reports. Researchers, who presented their findings Wednesday at the National Astronomy Meeting in Britain, believe the tombs themselves were a type of massive lensless telescope, according to Live Science. The Guardian reports the long, narrow entrances to the tombs—which were the only source of light—would focus the eye on a single piece of sky, block out the sun’s rays at dawn, and make the eye more sensitive to low light. “This would allow enhanced observing, especially in the twilight hours of dusk and dawn,” astronomer Daniel Brown tells Live Science.

The tombs may “have been the first astronomical tools to support the watching of the skies, millennia before telescopes were invented,” the Royal Astronomical Society says in a statement. Ancient humans admitted inside the tombs may have been seen as having “secret knowledge or foresight” due to being able to see the rise of seasonal stars days before those outside the tombs could see them. They might use that information to declare when it was time to move herds to new grazing areas, for example. Researchers are now experimenting to see what stars might align with the entrances to the tombs.

The ancients were smarter than we thought they were….or I am sure the the wackos with the “Ancient Aliens” will have another wild theory on how they accomplished this feat.

There are so many holes in our knowledge of the “ancients”…..so any info achieved is a big step forward…..

How America became the most powerful country

The war hawks and others are always saying that the US is the most powerful country on earth….if it is true…how did it become so?

Those who call themselves “patriots” are always spouting diatribes……all that chest thumping is marvelous but like so much in politics is an applause line not something substantial….like why and how did it become this omnipotent nation……

I found a little ditty that can explain just how this came into being…….

We take it for granted that the United States is the most powerful country on Earth today, and perhaps in human history. The story of how that came to be is long, fascinating, complex — and often misunderstood. Here, excerpted in part from “70 maps that explain America,” are maps that help show some of the key moments and forces that contributed to the US’s rise as sole global superpower.

Source: How America became the most powerful country on Earth, in 11 maps – Vox

History is a cruel bitch!

How the Taliban and the US fell out of love

After 15+ years of war in Afghanistan one might want to know how the US and the Taleban came to blows.  Some say it is because of their support for AQ and Osama (for the mentally challenged…that is Osama with an “S” not a “B”)….it is a good explanation but is it the only reason for the division?

Let’s look back….in the 1980’s when Afghanistan was fighting for survival and liberation from Russian occupation……the US was the biggest and best suppliers of weapons and funds to the Afghans fighting the Russians and that included the beginnings of the Taleban……

It would seem that the Afghans have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the US…..if so then what would drive a wedge between the 2 countries?

I read a good perspective piece in AJE on the situation between the US and the Taleban

The relationship between the US and the Taliban from the late 1990s onwards was defined by one thing: ignorance.

There is a saying that “man is an enemy to that of which he is ignorant”. It seems to perfectly sum up the relationship between the Taliban and the US during the late 1990s.

I recall in the autumn of 1997 interviewing the Taliban’s acting prime minister, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Akhund. He would later become the deputy to Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban.

During our conversation, he received what seemed to be a very important phone call. Wanting to give him some privacy, I stood up to leave the room. But he motioned to me to remain and then put the call on loudspeaker.

Source: How the Taliban and the US fell out of love – News from Al Jazeera

Is there any way to salvage a friendly relationship between the two countries and the 2 ideologies?

The Nonviolent History of American Independence

I will betaking most of today off to spend with family….lots of traditional stuff like BBQ, a few beers and lots of fun……but I could take my leave without one of my traditional history lessons….

Independence Day is commemorated with fireworks and flag-waving, gun salutes and military parades . . . however, one of our nation’s founding fathers, John Adams, wrote, “A history of military operations . . . is not a history of the American Revolution.” Often minimized in our history books, the tactics of nonviolent action played a […]

Source: The Nonviolent History of American Independence – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Bye for now…..will return to tomorrow….enjoy your day……

The Jefferson Bible

It is the weekend once again and today is a Sunday…..my day for a visit from the granddaughter where she and I either play some game or we sit and have a “rap session” to use a term from my youth.

We have talked about religion and I have never tried to influence her one way of the other…..I did encourage her to ask me questions and I would be forthright and answer them as best as I can….

One of our sessions we talked about religion and the founding of this country….she was told that all the founding dudes were religious and that is why we call this a “Christian” country….she wanted to know what I thought….

I told her that the most influential thinkers of the founding were not all that religious but rather what is called a deist……I explained the term to her….

Deists believe in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any reliance on revealed religion, religious authority, or holy text. Because of this, Deism is quite different from religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The latter are largely based on revelations that Jews, Christians and Muslims believe mostly came from God to prophet(s) who then taught it to humans. We like to call natural religions by the title “bottom-up” faiths and revealed religions as “top-down.

Many of the leaders of the French and American revolutions followed this belief system. Among the U.S. founding fathers, John Quincy Adams, Ethan Allen, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Thomas Paine, and George Washington were all Deists. Deists played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, and the religious freedom clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

I then told her about Jefferson who so disliked the teachings in the New Testament that he edited it and compiled his own personal version of it……he called his version…..the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth…..(in case one would like to read instead of trying to find a copy then check it out)……

Source: The Jefferson Bible (The Life & Morals of Jesus of Nazareth)

I also told her that I had always wanted a copy of it and she found me one and presented to me……it will go in my collection along with my coveted copy of Commonsense given to me by my grandfather all so long ago….

Go outside and get some sun…..later my friends…..