The Other Independence Day

Closing Thought–19Jun19

Nope not a sequel to a popular SciFi movie….but a second American independence Day…..19June….or as it has become known as…Juneteenth……..

Juneteenth falls on June 19 each year. It is a holiday whose history was hidden for much of the last century. But as the nation now observes the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s onset, it is a holiday worth recognizing. In essence, Juneteenth marks what is arguably the most significant event in American history after independence itself—the eradication of American slavery.

For centuries, slavery was the dark stain on America’s soul, the deep contradiction to the nation’s founding ideals of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “All men are created equal.” When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he took a huge step toward erasing that stain. But the full force of his proclamation would not be realized until June 19, 1865—Juneteenth, as it was called by slaves in Texas freed that day.

Another part of our history that usually gets overlooked for the more sanitized version of the days after the end of the Civil War.

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Bastille Day

If you are in France then today is a big day…….

July 14 is celebrated as the French independence day since 1789……and anyone that took a history class knows the story of how the people of Paris stormed the Bastille which was a prison at the time of the revolution…..or so they say…..

You guessed it…the old professor will drop some history on you that you may not have been aware of in you studies…..

In contrast with what we have learned in history class, the Bastille was never captured by attack. Actually, it was handed out to the rebels in a quite peaceful way. Strictly speaking, French national holiday – 14th of July, shouldn’t be celebrated for the storming of Bastille, but for handing it to the rebels instead.

Official historical description of the event is as follows: on the of July 1789, thousands of rebels marched towards the Bastille, well-known royal fortress in the center of Paris, to protest against tyrannical regime of king Louis XVI, and against the retirement of Jacques Necker, popular French minister of finances.

Guards loyal to the king soon started to shoot into the rebel crowd using cannons and muskets, but yet the rebels, although with heavy casualties, managed to heroically storm and conquer this despicable symbol of the royal power. They freed the suffering prisoners from the dungeons of Bastille, announced the end of despotism and beginning of the better future for the mankind.

And that is my dropping of history……did you know that Thomas Paine was earmarked for execution after the Revolution but he made it out because of a mistake.  (that is a post for another day)

Since some of my ancestors were French…I have taken to celebrating the Bastille Day as a family tradition.

Today will be my way of celebrating…… wine and cheese (French of course) and afternoon nap….after all I am an old fart and need my rest……and then a soccer match between Belgium and England……

Have a good day and I will see you guys tomorrow… well, be safe….chuq

Reign Of Terror

Last month, July, the French celebrated their Bastille Day, their equivalent to our Independence Day.  They threw off the yoke of the monarchy and set about forming a republic.

After their storming of the Bastille there is little knowledge of what followed….few know of the Reign of Terror but few understand what it was or who was the leader….

I can help with that…..Robespierre was his name and terror was his game.

Maximilien Robespierre has always provoked strong feelings. For the English he is the ‘sea-green incorruptible’ portrayed by Carlyle, the repellent figure at the head of the Revolution, who sent thousands of people to their death under the guillotine. The French, for the most part, dislike his memory still more. There is no national monument to him, though many of the revolutionaries have had statues raised to them. Robespierre is still considered beyond the pale; only one rather shabby metro station in a poorer suburb of Paris bears his name.

Although Robespierre, like most of the revolutionaries, was a bourgeois, he identified with the cause of the urban workers, the sans-culottes as they came to be known, and became a spokesman for them. It is for this reason that he came to dominate the Revolution in its most radical phase. This was the period of the Jacobin government, which lasted from June 1793 to Robespierre’s overthrow in July 1794; the months when the common people became briefly the masters of the first French republic, which had been proclaimed in September 1792. It is also known, more ominously, as the Terror.

Source: Robespierre and the Terror | History Today

There is always more to the story than we know…..I try to help with that oversight.

Class dismissed!

Closing Thought–12Jan17

Lately there is has been a wealth of stories in the news about Puerto Rico…most of it having to do with the island going bankrupt…..but there is a new twist to the story of this island state…..

Puerto Rico’s new rep to the US Congress filed a bill Wednesday that would turn the island into the 51st US state by 2025. The bill is the first step in a renewed quest for statehood that’s to include a referendum letting Puerto Rico voters choose between independence and statehood, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez tells the AP. She filed the bill less than a day after she was sworn in as Puerto Rico’s first female congressional representative, saying she aims to secure equal treatment for the more than 3 million US citizens living in the US territory. “We are treated as second-class American citizens,” says Gonzalez, a Republican who once served as speaker of the island’s House of Representatives.

The bill also aims to relieve a decade-long economic crisis that’s sparked a recent exodus of more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans to the mainland. If Congress ultimately accepts Puerto Rico as a state, the island would receive roughly $10 billion in additional federal funds a year, Gonzalez says. Puerto Rico became a US territory in 1898 and gained limited political autonomy when the US approved its constitution in 1952. However, islanders can’t vote in presidential elections, and their congressional representative has limited voting powers. Statehood is a top priority for Puerto Rico’s new governor, Ricardo Rossello, who has said he plans to hold elections to choose two senators and five representatives to Congress and send them to Washington to demand statehood, a strategy used by Tennessee to join the union in the 1700s.

The US has been raping the island for decades maybe it is time for them to enter into the union…..but first…..what says the people of Puerto Rico?

This should be their decision not some isolated fat cat in the Congress…..

Good day my friends…I look forward to your visits….

Will The Future Be Conflict?

The truth is that I am about as sick of politics as I can get…..foreign policy is also at a basic stand still until after the election…..I am sooooooo Borrrrrrrrred!

And then I read an article about a region that I know from past experiences….Western Sahara…..

Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania’s withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco’s sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (favored by the Polisario Front) or integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never took place due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. The 2,700 km- (1,700 mi-) long defensive sand berm, built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and running the length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. Local demonstrations criticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodic ethnic tensions between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants. Morocco maintains a heavy security presence in the territory

My interest comes from having been in the country back when I was working overseas and I fell in love with the region and the people.

I have written many posts about the country but there a a few that go better with the happenings these days……

Source: Western Sahara–Will Violence Return? – In Saner Thought

And a little later……

Source: Western Sahara: A New Direction – In Saner Thought

After reading those posts you will see that the people are seeing NO other option than armed conflict….the world especially the US has turned their backs on the old stand-by “The Right Of Self-Determination”…….

There is an old saying…..”Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

“The seed of revolution is repression.”
The people of Western Sahara are beginning to see that they have no other choice but a rebellion……

After evaluating 25 years of peace, Sahrawi officials and some civil society players agree that armed struggle is the only option they can depend on to reach their goal of independence.

Sept. 6 marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations-sponsored cease-fire agreement in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi independence movement. The peace accord was supposed to be followed by a referendum in which the Sahrawis would choose their system of governance from three options: integration with Morocco, autonomy or independence. But the planned vote was canceled after Morocco refused to allow any process that would include independence as a choice. The dispute is still ongoing, with continued tension.
It is only a matter of time before the world will have to face the situation in Western Sahara…..the simple solution is for the US to step the Hell up and demand Independence for Western Sahara…if they would do that then the rest of the world would follow suit….Morocco would be pissed but they will be alright once the swelling goes down.
(My apologies for missing the anniversary of the accord)

Western Sahara: A New Direction

The world did no stop because the GOP has their convention…I know that may be hard to believe….but it is true.

I have written several posts about the situation in Western Sahara… interests come from having worked in the country in my youth….

Western Sahara……A former Spanish colony, it was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then it has been the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front.

A 16-year-long insurgency ended with a UN-brokered truce in 1991 and the promise of a referendum on independence which has yet to take place.

Although under the de facto administrative control of Morocco, the status and sovereignty of Western Sahara remain unresolved and numerous direct talks have failed to break the political deadlock.

The Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), declared by the Polisario Front in 1976, is now recognized by many governments and is a full member of the African Union.

The Polisario Front is where I pick up on this post…….the leader of this movement has recently died and the movement was sent into a spiral of intrigue and speculation…..all that has been brought to a halt…….

The Sahrawi people have a new chief and a persistent determination to establish recognition from Morocco, one way or the other.

The newly elected president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Brahim Ghali, is calling for a peaceful settlement of its decades-long quest for independence.

He made it known, however, that Sahrawis are ready to fight for their freedom.

In a July 9 election in a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria, the indigenous people of the Moroccan-occupied territory in disputed Western Sahara chose Ghali as their president and secretary-general of their liberation movement, the Polisario Front. Ghali replaces longtime leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, who died May 31.

Ghali was one of the front’s founding members. He led the movement’s first military operation against Spain in 1973. In 1991, he began a new career as a diplomat, holding different posts, from Polisario’s representative in Spain to its ambassador in Algeria.

Source: Western Sahara’s Polisario Front elects leader

Image result for western sahara images

The country elected a familiar face for leadership…..the world at large has the power to make this a peaceful time by negotiating peaceful settlement of the fate of the country….freedom and independence are the only right answers.


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 – Original by —

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