“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Monthly Archives: December 2019
Retro Quote – Margaret Mead
Filed under History
Worst Quote of the Week – December 27, 2019
“We’ll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.”
– Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), blatantly declaring that he will work with Trump’s defense during the latter’s upcoming impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.
McConnell’s position is tantamount to a jury foreperson working closely with a criminal defendant to ensure that person is found not guilty.
Best Quote of the Week – December 27, 2019
“If it means that I am viewed as one who looks openly and critically at every issue in front of me, rather than acting as a rubber stamp for my party or my president, I’m totally good with that.”
– Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), expressing the possibility she will vote for the impeachment of faux-President Donald Trump.
Additionally, Murkowski noted that she was disturbed by the support of U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that he is already cooperating with the White House for Trump’s pending trial. She also believes the Democrat Party rushed the impeachment measures. However, as a moderate Republican who apparently isn’t intimidated by Trump, she could become a key figure in the President’s Senate trial.
Retro Quote – Richard M. Nixon
“I gave ’em a sword. And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish. And I guess if I had been in their position, I’d have done the same thing.”
Filed under History
Tweet of the Week – December 20, 2019
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
– Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), in response to the ‘Conservative Squad’.
The ‘Conservative Squad’ is a quartet of Republican congressional candidates – Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota; Nancy Mace of South Carolina; Jessica Taylor of Alabama; and Beth Van Duyne of Texas – who claim they are the answer to four Democratic women in Congress known as the ‘Squad’: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Ohio.
Worst Quote of the Week – December 20, 2019
“I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”
– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on his pending role in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate
Filed under News
Best Quote of the Week – December 20, 2019
“I’m absolutely confident that, for two years if every nation on Earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything… living standards and outcomes.”
“Never let yourself be persuaded that any one great man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
From a political standpoint, this has not been a good week for the United States. On Wednesday, the 18th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump. Trump now holds the dubious distinction of being only the third Chief Executive to be recommended for removal from office. As much as I personally despise our Russian-elected president, I’d rather see him voted out of office next November than be forcibly removed. It would be the single strongest message to Trump and his band of right-wing sycophants that their extremist ideology is of no use to the American populace.
But the impeachment process hints at a failure in our national leadership and puts the institution of voting into question. As the oldest continually-functioning democracy in the world, the U.S. has always been a beacon of freedom; our constitution an enviable guide to how a nation should operate. Our right to vote is a core element of our very national existence. It’s the heart of our democratic soul. The president of the United States is often deemed the leader of the Free World. That other elected officials would seek to oust him from that pinnacle slashes at our democratic heart.
I’m old enough to remember Watergate. Even people who considered themselves staunch conservatives had to concede that President Richard Nixon was as crooked and devious as his detractors made him out to be. On the night Nixon announced his resignation, millions of Americans tuned into the live broadcast. Afterwards there was no sense of real jubilation. As the nation inched closer to its bicentennial, most people – including my parents – felt sad. When Nixon left the White House, the transition of the office occurred at the tip of a pen, instead of the barrel of a gun. After all, we didn’t live in a third-world society. No tanks, no bombs and no bloodshed. Still, Americans asked, how did we get to this point?
I definitely recall the Clinton impeachment fiasco. My brain and body became flush with anger at the self-righteousness of the Republicans Party. They had done everything to undermine Bill Clinton’s presidency – even before he won the Democratic Party’s formal nomination. And they failed. Their bloodthirsty overreach extended shamelessly to the president’s secretary and the mother of the woman who kept that infamous blue dress. They paid the price for their arrogance in the November 1998 midterm elections. They lost their super-majority in both houses of Congress. Conversely, the Democrats gained seats; the first time the same party as the president attained positions in the House and the Senate in a midterm election since 1942.
And now, here we are – for the second time some twenty years – at the threshold of usurping the leader of the Free World. How did we get to this point? As I wrote in an essay two years ago, impeachment should not be taken lightly. Neither politicians nor average citizens should become obsessed with it. A sanguineous mindset traumatizes the national soul.
With the term “impeached” now added to the title of President, Donald Trump’s place in political history has been secured – unpleasantly and distastefully carved into the American psyche. He cannot escape it. Deny it, yes, as his narcissistic persona is already doing. But – like the sky – it’s ubiquitous and unmalleable.
How painful for this nation.
Filed under Essays
Since it’s still Friday, the 13th, here in the U.S., I feel it’s appropriate to present this oddity: the world’s largest Ouija board, which was set up recently in Salem, Massachusetts.
The monstrosity measures 3,168 square feet (294 m) and weighs over 9,000 pounds (4.0823 mt). Considered the world’s largest Ouija board and known as Ouijazilla, it debuted in October through the Talking Board Historical Society in Salem. The TBHS is dedicated “to research, preserve, and celebrate the history of talking boards” and the people “behind them”, including those (what I call the fools) who use them.
As someone with personal experience using a Ouija board, I know what the voices say when these objects speak: STAY THE HELL AWAY!
Regardless, the titanic Salem board surely will be a subject of many ethereal conversations. And I honestly can’t wait until things start moving on their own!
Filed under Curiosities
Retro Quote – Morrie Schwartz
“The little things I can obey. But the big things – how we think what we value – those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone – or any society – determine those for you.”
Filed under History