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Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson

anna_grin
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huh

Ahavati
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hemihead said:
[ . . . ]
I also read Roman history. Everything you see above you has played out in Roman society. You don’t have to speculate on what might happen in a particular trend/period, you can just go look for the times that same thing happened in Roman history. There is a great series on YouTube that is about 150 hours of the history and politics of Rome, and that alone would give anyone a better grounding in how powerful people run societies than even many people with PhDs in political science.

[ . . . ]


Hemi: I appreciate your well thought-out response and will have to re-read with fresh eyes tomorrow. I will say thank you, however, for making me laugh! Particularly after watching a very disappointing Coming 2 America tonight.

A fellow-counselor friend sent me this meme recently!  Not directed at you at all! I thought of it reading your reply!

poet Anonymous

Ahavati said:

Hemi: I appreciate your well thought-out response and will have to re-read with fresh eyes tomorrow. I will say thank you, however, for making me laugh! Particularly after watching a very disappointing Coming 2 America tonight.

A fellow-counselor friend sent me this meme recently!  Not directed at you at all! I thought of it reading your reply!


I read that meme only a few weeks ago, literally days after starting therapy....felt triggered :-)

anna_grin
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if this is the right place i will share my thoughts on the Syria bombing thing. just as with my opinion on the seusspocalypse i think it’s an issue that’s not being considered with nuance (new fav word) by either side, or even by critics. bit early in the morning for napalm so i can come back

anna_grin
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you’re all getting my thoughts anyway, before they disappear into the ether.

-first off, america has no moral business being in Iraq, or Syria, or any other country on a military basis. whether the reasons are purely oil grabbing, or protection of the disenfranchised, or whether those reasons have fluctuations depending on who is in charge at the time, you’ve got no grounds to act as “world police” in this way. you all took long enough coming around in the Big One against the Bad Germans, and even then only chipped in when you could be fairly sure of a solid victory.

sorry to bring that one up again but i still to this day hear Americans boasting they “saved our asses” when they did nothing of the sort.

- as others have rightly pointed out, however, america is a war machine and relies heavily on military actions to prop up economy and patriotism. if Americans are constantly afraid of other countries, they’re less likely to look critically inward at their own failings.

-this means that besides it being next to impossible for one president to change this state of affairs, bidens action should be eyed and criticised in the context of it being an action of war.

-factors that played into this decision include in no small part that there was a real threat to American troops. this is something that happens like clockwork every time a new government is instated: various countries or enemy groups will try their luck at pushing america out of their business. this recently took the form of a series of rocket strikes on American military.

-in this situation, our joe, sleepy though he may be, couldn’t realistically be seen to take no action. it would be taken as a) military weakness and b) disregard for the safety of what are now, like it or lump it, his troops.

- he took time to orchestrate a strike back that primarily targeted weapons and caused minimal civilian casualty. the decision to strike a base in Syria as opposed to one in Iraq where the the main threat came from was intended to evade further retaliation from the Iraq government.

-if , considering this, you believe that Biden’s actions were beyond the pale no matter the mitigating factors, i essentially agree. the only caveat i would state is that it is not enough to judge his presidency alone on.

-as a final note i am seeing many critics calling this a war crime that breaks international law. I am not an expert on said law but assume that if it is the case, it would have still been the case under trump when he bombed indiscriminately and carelessly, or under Obama who also dropped a few boom boom democracy packages in his time.

-if Biden, throughout his tenure, manages to remove troops from where they should not be, I’ll be impressed.

-it’s not quite as simple as buying into the uncle joe rainbow coalition death cult idea a la Richard medhurst is what I’m saying.

poet Anonymous

Reasonable. If I was Biden I would have acted too. If you want to exert foreign policy, you have to show teeth.

(Read the endless wars of Rome. Whenever Rome had internal strife a foreign invader would test a Roman boundary, or make a grab for a prize while they thought Rome too busy. It’s standard power politics. China is doing it right now, tying up access to food growing regions in Africa while America looks inward)

As to the question of why the US is there, really the trouble began at the end of WW2, and yes it absolutely had to do with oil. These days it’s as much about control of nuclear proliferation, the protection of Israel, and stopping the rise of Nationalism in countries who can fund very large armies from their oil reserves if left unchecked. The shale gas/fracking innovation has pretty much  solved the US’s need to import energy, but that doesn’t mean the Middle East oil asset is worthless to an up-and-comer, despot, or Russian power-broker.

A glaring part of the problem is the French and English chopped the Arab states up on a desk back in Europe, with zero fucks about tribal affiliation, at the end of WW2. Many of these countries are impossible mixes of distinct tribal groups who see that as a more important bond than arbitrary borders....that’s why Saddam spent so much time exterminating the “kurdish problem”, and also why he couldn’t get them all.

Good overview here;

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_policy_in_the_Middle_East

(Apologies if thread-jacking....will stop)

Ps....the US saved England and France, but it a pretty fair argument that the Russians beat Germany. Don’t fuck around with Russia in winter. If Napoleon couldn’t, you won’t...and he actually took St Petersburg!

anna_grin
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i think the implication of a letter is that a response is expected so i think we good h x

(thanks for the link)

we English are just as historically guilty, looking at that information. these days we keep our distance by and large i think (we couldn’t go up against us&a if we wanted to)

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So. . .I'm gonna delay posting today's letter so I can absorb this discussion and attempt some responses. And, yes, anna, you are correct in that this thread is for responses to the letters.

I realize Dr. Richardson is just one person who is sharing her perspective here, but she's giving me a hell of a lot more than mainstream media. Everything I glance over after reading her morning offering basically would only add something to something she's already touched upon ( in regards to American history and politics, that is ). I particularly enjoy her historical references to current events.

BBS.


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Hemi:

I agree with everything you've stated in regards to the U.S. over the last seven or so decades. Actually I want to add something to your initial observations that I feel is extremely pertinent, and has equally contributed to the 'us/them' syndrome: religion in general, but particularly the evolution of the Pledge of Allegiance to include the words 'under God' in the early fifties.

I remember discussing ( I should say questioning ) this issue with my father over a game of chess when I was only in the 5th or 6th grade. It was 1970 something or another. We lived in England, so of course school history was British. My father was teaching me American which coincided with the British I was learning over daily games of chess ( when he wasn't deployed ).

Anyway, while many contend the modification 'under God' was a dangerous revision to the melting pot of America, he said the adoption of the pledge in general was far worse. It has a very ugly history that the majority of Americans are clueless about.

Bellamy's intent was to define “true Americanism” from the infiltration of immigrants pouring into the country.  His opinion was that assimilation equated a lowering of our own ( white ) racial standards.

Therefore, the very pledge  is based on racial separation enhanced by religion. Not just any and every religion reflecting the diversity of America; but, the very doctrine which caused Puritans to migrate in search of religious freedom.

Thus, in essence, they became the very monster from which they had escaped by persecuting those who believed/practiced differently, i.e. - witches, et al.

The wheels of historical repetition have been in motion for decades now, enhanced by the points you present. The recognition of corporations as individuals with lack of accountability totally blew me away, and was the driving force behind the remainder of issues you've listed. In retrospect, it's been like falling dominos in a game we're bound to lose.

Maybe.

I too am more interested in what happens now ( though recognizing what brought us to now is important ). We are on a precipice, a razor's edge, but I am holding out hope that such a revolution will be distant ( if at all ) vs. tomorrow. As long as it hasn't happened yet; there is some hope it won't.

I must admit, you have me wanting to delve more into ancient Roman history! Perhaps after these two current classes ( and cat ) have kicked my ass.






anna_grin
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(small note that i don’t recall puritans actually being persecuted, they just thought they were too good for regular sin filled Christianity. strange how some things don’t change)

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anna_grin said:(small note that i don’t recall puritans actually being persecuted, they just thought they were too good for regular sin filled Christianity. strange how some things don’t change)

I thought there were serious penalties for not belonging to the Church of England, thus religious persecution?

I enjoyed reading your thoughts and concur with Hemi's response to them, particularly in regards to Russia. My father said that too.

In regards to who saved whose ass during WWII, I am one who has made such claims that the U.S. saved England and France. It was mainly in defense of some British ( or other ) asshole dissing our country. I would ( and have ) defend England just as fiercely, having grown up there and holding it dear.

But, you know what, I think what all citizens need to do is step back and view it from a different perspective. I feel saying, " We could not have done it without each other " would not only be more productive for relations, but also be a more accurate reflection of truth.

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they were actively campaigning to purge Catholicism from the Church of England and Catholic practices in general. they tended to catch treason charges for that. so it was a persecution they really brought on themselves

once in america they reneged on their promise for a society of religious freedom, forcing quakers who had travelled with them to follow their doctrine

they weren’t quite the victims they made themselves out to be

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March 5, 2021

In coronavirus news today, there were a record 2.4 million vaccines administered.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) is denying any involvement in a vaccine drive in a private, gated community after which a resident of the community, former Illinois governor Bruce Rauner (R), made a donation of $250,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis Political Action Committee. This appears to be part of a pattern in Florida, where vaccine administration seems to track with wealthy communities whose members donate to the governor’s campaign funds.

News about the January 6 insurrection continues to mount, with a mid-level Trump appointee from the State Department, Federico Klein, arrested yesterday on several felony charges, including assaulting police officers, stemming from the riot. Tonight the New York Times revealed that a member of the far-right Proud Boys organization was in contact with someone at the White House in the days before the insurrection.

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has catalogued almost 2000 pages of public social media posts from those representatives who voted to overturn the election. The material reveals that a few representatives were active indeed in pushing the idea that the election was stolen and Trump supporters must fight. Especially active were Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Billy Long (R-MO) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) is slow-walking the confirmation of Merrick Garland as attorney general, an odd stance at a time when one would think we would want all hands on deck to investigate the insurrection and ongoing domestic terrorism.

The Senate continues to hash out the American Rescue Plan. After last night’s 10 hour and 44 minute reading of the bill by Senate clerks, demanded by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), there was a surprise when Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) requested that the debate on the bill resume at 9:00 this morning and be limited to three hours, rather than the 20 hours that had been planned. Since no Republicans were there to object, the presiding officer agreed, and voting on amendments started at noon.  

The big deal today was that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) balked at what observers thought was a done deal, withdrawing his support from the measure’s $400 weekly unemployment. Shortly before 8:00 p.m., Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reached a deal to extend $300 payments through September 6, making the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits nontaxable for those households whose income is less than $150,000.

Manchin’s position has raised fury on the part of Democrats who are already mad at the loss of the $15 minimum wage in the bill, and there are grumblings that Manchin should not have the power to water the measure down.

But Manchin is as powerful as he is only because the Senate is split 50-50, and the Republicans-- who represent 41.5 million fewer Americans than Democrats do-- are refusing to vote for the measure at all, despite the fact that 77% of Americans want it. We have a structural problem both with the Senate and with the Republican Party.

The Democrats continue to believe they will pass the American Rescue Plan.

[ Continued below ]


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The popularity of that bill spells trouble for Republicans. President Biden is making a pitch for Americans who feel that the government has not responded to the needs of a falling middle class. The bill expands the earned income tax credit for all Americans, and almost doubles the child tax credit. These provisions will disproportionately help poor families, especially families of color. The measure is expected to cut child poverty in half, while also helping parents to work by helping them pay for childcare.

Meanwhile, there is another big event on the horizon in Alabama that suggests a seismic shift in the contours of our political parties.

Workers at an Amazon plant in Bessemer, Alabama, are voting on whether to unionize. Amazon opposes the move, which, since Amazon employs more than 400,000 warehouse and delivery workers, is shaping up to be the biggest fight over unionization in American history. The company warns that unionization might increase costs and slow growth, and it has flooded its workers with mandatory anti-union meetings and anti-union literature—even posting signs in bathroom stalls. While workers have complained about working conditions and mandatory overtime, the company points out that it offers Bessemer workers benefits and a starting pay of $15.30 an hour, while the federal minimum wage remains pegged at $7.25.

The reason this unionization effort jumps off the page for politics is that President Biden recorded a video on February 28 taking a strong pro-union stance. He reminded viewers that “America wasn’t built by Wall Street, it was built by the middle class, and unions built the middle class. Unions put power in the hands of workers. They level the playing field. They give you a stronger voice for your health, your safety, higher wages, protections from racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Unions lift up workers, both union and non-union, and especially Black and Brown workers.“

Biden made it clear that the choice to unionize should be made by workers, without pressure from employers. “The choice to join a union is up to the workers—full stop.” Biden has also nominated Boston mayor Marty Walsh, the former president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, as secretary of labor. If confirmed, Walsh will be the first union member to serve as secretary of labor in nearly 50 years. Biden’s vocal defense of working Americans has the potential to rally struggling workers to the Democrats more firmly than they have rallied for decades.

—-

Submitted March 06, 2021

Notes:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/03/05/how-bidens-american-rescue-plan-help-americans-families-children-column/4555214001/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/02/02/amazon-union-warehouse-workers/

s said:Twitter avatar for @POTUS
President Biden
@POTUS
Workers in Alabama – and all across America – are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace. It’s a vitally important choice – one that should be made without intimidation or threats by employers.

Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union. Image
March 1st 2021

13,994 Retweets62,012 Likes


https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/04/us/desantis-vaccine-ocean-reef-florida-keys/index.html

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/04/cotton-garland-block-quick-confirmation-473637

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/04/trump-appointee-arrested-for-capitol-riot-473825

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime/a-pattern-emerges-in-florida-vaccine-sites-appear-to-benefit-desantis-donors

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/fivepoints/members-of-congress-left-behind-a-massive-evidence-trail-as-they-pushed-trumps-big-lie

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/05/us/politics/capitol-riot-trump.html

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