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Once again I've learned something from the professor's recounting of history, this time General George Washington's resignation of his wartime commission. And, as always, the lesson carries meaning today, specifically how our democracy was designed around the peaceful relinquishment of power.

It stands in stark contrast to the House Republicans, who in the next Congress will use their power to blackmail Democrats and the nation itself. They are not there to govern. They are there to destroy.

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

A most vivid comparison was drawn between George Washington and Donald J. Trump in today's letter.

'In 1817, given the choice of subjects to paint for the rotunda in the U.S. Capitol, being rebuilt …artist John Trumbull picked the moment of Washington’s resignation.'

“I have thought that one of the highest moral lessons ever given to the world, was that presented by the conduct of the commander-in-chief, in resigning his power and commission as he did, when the army, perhaps, would have been unanimously with him, and few of the people disposed to resist his retaining the power which he had used with such happy success, and such irreproachable moderation.” (Letter)

It felt as yet another shock of reality to compare our first president to the 45th. History reminds us of how fragile democracy is and our consequential role in its the ebb and flow.

Our just passed defense budget, with spending increased to $858 billion stood out as well ...an increase of about 10%. 'Defense funding is about $45 billion more than Biden had requested, reflecting the depletion of military stores in Ukraine, where the largest European war since World War II is raging, and the recognition of a military buildup with growing tensions between the U.S. and China.' (Letter)

WAR: '...constant present: death and destruction. A simple, enduring observation that deserves emphasis. Lives lost, worlds wrecked, this is what war entails.'

'This person had just been smiling, smoking – and now he's gone. Disappearance was what women talked about most, how quickly everything can turn into nothing during war.'

'Part of taking war seriously means focusing on its consequences, … recognizing the damage and harm done. Reckoning with the destruction, the unexpected and unwanted consequences of war, is a weighty counter to the still dominant trajectory of tacit support or acceptance for escalation.' (Christopher Hobson, 'Taking war seriously')

Is War the natural condition of life? Are there means to control this lust for power, destruction and death? Yes, the Ukrainians are models of courage against a powerful demon, and Biden has successfully marshaled NATO against Putin's WAR, nevertheless, think about what is happening to Ukraine and to Russia … and the war is not over.

Can we take War seriously and do something about it?

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Fern McBride, you have written beautifully about War and your question is one we must continue to ask: “Can we take War seriously and do something about it?” Gratitude. There are really no “winners” as War is not a game. What will the Ukrainian people have left of their homes and cities and lives? How long will this war continue? All countries including USA must continue to support Ukraine, against a fascist, a dictator, Putin. It’s a necessary cost that takes away from humanitarian assistance world wide. That question is an echo: “When will they (we) ever learn ?”

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Joan Baez tribute to Pete Seeger. https://youtu.be/p3ly8cyWvkw

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Also Irenie was commenting on Fern McBride and her description of war. Reminds me of my father-in-law’s comments of many years ago. He was in his early to mid 70’s (a bit older than I am at this writing). He was a registered member of NOW and said there will always be wars until women truly have equal rights and are allowed to become leaders in companies and in governing. He said men just want to be “the cock of the walk” (like a rooster). He believed women would be more apt to “work things out” because it’s the young that die in war and women are the nurturers (mothers). I thought he was terribly ahead in his thinking. Very simple reasoning and I grew up in a family of strong women. But then again, good mothers need to be strong women. I think we must be simply more of the live & let live - lean into one’s strengths and appreciate other’s doing the same. Joan Baez ... yes, when will we ever learn?

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Pat, how lucky to have father-in-law who had so much respect for women. So absolutely ahead of his time and so right. There’s a Greek Comedy, “Lysistrata”

about women waiting for their husbands and lovers to return from yet another war. Yes, in another time! Their solution to force or convince these men to comply is what makes this amusing and even perhaps a possibility. Withholding the most important thing possible.

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

Today, women have the ability to govern, but are a minority in the government. Watching the speech of Zelensky I noticed as I always do, the profusion of black suits. How long will it take for true equal representation?

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I thought about that play, Lysistrata, just the other day when listening to the news about the Afghanistan women protesting over being denied schooling above grade school. As well, the women of Iran. Would that they be successful in reversing the minds of their menfolk.

Watching Zelenskyy "pull" Nancy Pelosi to him so he could kiss her cheek at the end of his speech was so heartwarming to see. As well, it spoke volumes - to me, at least - about his regard for women, his opinion that women will be the ones to end this terrible war.

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In Aristophanes play, Lysistrata's plan was for women to withhold sex from their spouses and lovers until the men called a halt to the Pelopennesian War. The play was a hit but the war went on for seven more years, Sparta ultimately defeating Athens.

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You’re right … but did you look behind him? First time ever two women sat behind him.

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Yeah. I'm assuming he knew they had his back!

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The power of females is always under attack. Little boys who revere their mothers fall under the spell of the patriarchy, it seems. Of course some mothers promote such…

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My mother was disappointed in me as a son. She revered her older brother Bob (my namesake) who was a man of the 1940s, a bomber pilot in Europe. Her other brother, Bill a patriot who died a Marine in the Pacific War. Me? I was the creative artist and writer, not a fighter. When I used all my fine art credits in HS and needed a practical art, I took Typing (with mostly girls who would be secretaries) instead of Shop or Mechanical Drawing. I could see mom was disappointed.

It was my life tho and I avoided the draft by joining the Air Force 3 days after graduating and used my typing skills working in an office spying on Russian radio comm, instead of killing or being killed in Vietnam like so many young men of my generation. Of course mom was proud to see me in my manly U.S. Air Force uniform, just like my Uncle Bob, but wonder if she ever appreciated that I was actually not a fighter who found his place in "the system" to survive.

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A while back, like in the mid/late 1970s, I heard or read someone suggest that the reason many men strenuously oppose abortion is that they're afraid that given the choice their mothers would have aborted them. Made sense to me then, makes sense to me now.

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Lysistrata has become one of the performance pieces--akin to Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues--that groups present at specific times of the year, especially in February. It's a popular thing to do on college campuses. I do love the play but I'm also aware of the ways in which it is problematic because, well, Aristophanes was a satirist par excellence and knew exactly what to say to tweak the Athenians as they prosecuted a stupid and ultimately disastrous war. It wasn't about honoring women (Greeks were never good at that, goodness knows). Another Aristophanes play that was even more biting is Peace, which features a servant riding up to Olympus on the back of a giant dung beetle to plead with the gods to end the war.

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I have often wondered why women today don't do the same thing the Greek women did. It might take a while to convince all the women to participate, but I'm absolutely sure it would work. : ) It seems that war is fueled by testosterone although some females have a lot too.

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Alas, Mary, it's a play not a real event. Written by a sincere misogynist, Aristophanes, who consistently used (as did Socrates) women as his foils because they are (as Plato has Socrates say) "good to think with." And there is a real irony to the notion that women going on a sex strike would matter at all to Athenian and Spartan men because, well, they were often engaged in behaviors that left women out of the picture completely. Also the veiled erotic messaging between the Spartan woman, Lampito, and Lysistrata is designed to titillate the men in the audience . . . Sigh. Aristophanes was hugely opposed to the war between Athens and Sparta but he was no liberal woke feminist type. However, he had (if Plato is being truthful in Symposium) a very interesting idea about how sexuality is expressed non-binarily.

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Irenie, that has always been one of my most favorite plays. I found it amusing and compared it to Amazon women.

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Yes, Marlene, an example of “Art for Social Change” a college class that opened my eyes to the power of words and images. Our writing, poetry and photography! An ancient practice in our “modern “ world. Words and Images. We tell our young children, “Use your words.”

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The grievously wounded always cried out in their anguish for their mothers.

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George Floyd

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And yet, the examples of Margaret Thatcher and Catherine of Russia suggest that women as leaders would be no panacea, and think of Marine LePen as president of France. The world needs good people to lead. Gender, like race, religion and height, is not really relevant.

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There will always be bad eggs within the mix but the good, the honest, the truthful, the strength in numbers, will always prevail.

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Well, that's not completely true. While some women leaders exhibit some truly horrible traits, women leaders are more likely to be more communal than men, who tend to be more competitive and combative. While it's the strategies that are important, women and men will tend to draw on those that are more congruent with their socialization and sex.

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Jon, the world has been "run" by men mostly until women recently have begnu to have positions of power. I believe war is fueled by testosterone (my humble observation) and women like you mention are mimicking the males. If we (anyone with some female hormones) look into our hearts, we will find ways for making peace rather than war and destruction.

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At the very least we (women) will often bring a different perspective to the table.

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Your father-in-law was a true feminist and certainly much more forward thinking than most men. How lucky that you had him in your life!

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Good afternoon, Pat. You have reminded me of an article I read many years ago, written by a Viet Nam vet--its title, "Why Men Love War." I think it was published in Harpers. The premise was that men love war because it gives them an experience of the basic realities that, outside of war, belong exclusively to women: having their hands directly on life and death; having permission to express physical affection with each other--touch, hugs; and, above and encompassing everything else--intensity. Women carry life and give birth; young girls hold hands and brush each other's hair; women live, if sometimes unconsciously, with the reality of our own bodies and the great power in the whole birth cycle. And one other thing I recall about the piece that men don't have in ordinary life in this culture--talk, conversation about the things that are important--friendship, love, fear, doubt.

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I hear you Dean Robertson. That is the yin side description. But alas all of us are prone to categorize which I call “glopping” or putting in a restricted group. We all have all those traits and altho many in the world assign them to good or bad or male or female but we should also all try to accept AND recognize those feelings in ALL people of varying degree. Here’s to being more forgiving in the new year

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Men don’t like war Dean. All the reasons you have given are why men love women. I read your comments and realize your intellect supersedes mine. That is why men love women. They are the vast ameliorating influence in all that we know. Ever walk in to a bachelors pad? Sucks, huh? I have been married to two different women so I realize I should concede up front before I am demolished here. I will just repeat one of my wedding vows. You are absolutely right darling, and as usual I admit I am wrong again.

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

Some of us women think we can understand men or at least the one we're with. Your exchange with Dean echoes a situation I am currently trying to figure out. There are puzzlements. Flux, change, different situations, curiosity, knowing, the unknowable, generalizations, formulas … Got that? Some men love war and some do not.

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Now, Pat, I'm trying to figure out exactly what you're saying here. First, I'm just summarizing the ideas of a Viet Nam vet as best as I remember them, and I maybe didn't do it clearly. Men love war because they at least get close to unvarnished reality. Women have childbirth--life; men have the only equivalent in this human experience--in war, they have death. I don't think we're disagreeing. Maybe what you're calling loving women is what this writer would call envying women.

"They are the vast ameliorating influence in all that we know. Ever walk in to a bachelors pad? Sucks,"

Unless you really are saying that men love women because we vacuum. Apologies. I just couldn't resist. It was too good not to say.

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Well said. What a gem your dad was.

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'Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable meaning is nothing but an instrument for the attainment of the government's ambitious and mercenary aims, and a renunciation of human dignity, common sense, and conscience by the governed, and a slavish submission to those who hold power. That is what is really preached wherever patriotism is championed. Patriotism is slavery.'

Leo Tolstoy

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General Louisell said to me one day as we embarked on a combat assault in the central highlands. “Pat, we are not the government. Yes we could win this war. We could go to Hanoi. This war is in the hands of congress. My job as an infantry commander is very simply to bring as many of us home alive as possible, and unless and until we are assigned a different mission we will perform as ordered.”

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Such a profound comment, Pat. May your Night be silently peaceful.

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And McNamara sat in his ivory tower and sent men to die, without so much as a far thee well.

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McNamara reduced everything to numbers, and even at his end he hadn’t learned the difference between hand-wringing and remorse.

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Thank you Pat. The strategies of war. The choices. In our conversation have we written about Conscientious Objectors or those who refuse to fight, who found legal ways to avoid the draft. They are not cowards. That saying, “ What if there was war and nobody came?”https://youtu.be/Cszt7vxMUgo

Joan Baez: “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands” What is worth fighting for? We need to know.

https://youtu.be/_bCPl-e9rag

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So glad that my time on earth has been with these giants.

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In agreement with Lynell, a truly profound statement coming from a man “in charge”. Obviously that made a huge impression on you, Pat. Considering the manipulation you soldiers weee under by the crooked commander of the armed forces and by Robert McNamara, somehow you all came back home. Tattered, worn out, unappreciated for your efforts, and mentally depleted. Fern’s quote from Tolstoy about patriotism being slavery is so correct. My very best wishes to you, Pat, for merry holidays.

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He is right. Samuel Johnson said “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” And, boy, do we have a cult of scoundrels, those who have conflated love of country with hate of others. Deliberately and with malice…

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Patriotism can also be an affirmation of oneself, one's dignity and ones identity as the Ukrainians have clearly demonstrated as the very idea of their essential unity as a people has been found in their reaction to Putin's agression and his denial of their right to a seperate existence. The government under Zelensky is providing them with the necessary ressources and leadership to achieve their collective and individual independence and proclaim openly and with pride who they really are and what they stand for.

Of course it is not always the case as you say as Putin himself is proving in Russia where he is trying to get a "patriotic" reaction from his people so that they would be willing to sacrifice their own lives to support his "power trip" and agression.

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Patriotism can be used for good or ill, sadly, ill is ahead much of the time

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Having read the gospel of Jesus, I am very critical of Poser Christians who claim to follow his teaching but do not, and never quote words attributed to him, such as "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. ..."

The same with Poser Patriots like the ravenous wolves (Proud Boys, Oath Keepers) who attacked our seat of government and thot they were being patriotic by following their own Fascist False Prophet.

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Stuart! You’re back! I’ve been wondering about you.

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Never far away every day but preoccupied currently with European affaires rather than American

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Nice to see you back Stuart, you've been missed!

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I cringe at the ¨Support Our Troops¨ motto. Corporate War Machine playing the mothers and fathers who send their sons and daughters off to become fodder.

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As the mother of a retired soldier, I came of age during the Vietnam War. Military personnel were spat on, called awful names,etc. because they rendered service when called. Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen get used as instruments of politics and foreign policy by politicians who don't give a damn about the boots on the ground as people. Prime examples--Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld. Iraq was a fool's errand built on lies. The troops were not responsible for that. The military industrial complex puts profits over lives, but that's a big story for another day. When troops have rendered honorable service, they deserve our support to recover from the moral and physical injuries brought on by their service.

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You and I must be close to the same age. I ended up marrying a Vietnam vet. What those vets, doctors, and nurses endured was catastrophe after catastrophe, especially after they returned. No ticker tape parades for these soldiers. Just years worth of mental and physical breakdowns. That’s what wars do to people.

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Although I understand your perspective I tend not to think of it as "service" because I certainly don't want anyone to "serve" me in that way. Instead I see it as exploitation through propaganda paid for by our tax dollars so that some people can profit from war. There hasn't been "necessary" war since WWII and even that one might have been avoided had the Armistice agreement not been so punitive toward Germany.

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When I was teaching at a uni, returning Vietnam vets who were my students told me ‘in secret’ that they'd been in Vietnam and asked me not to betray that info inadvertently to their classmates…i.e., do not reference them in any way in connection to that country. They were afraid and tired of being vilified.

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Gailee, that is the part of war and battle I will never understand. Releasing, sending one’s child to certain death, as the old men watch them die. Its a brainwashing, historic practice. A male custom in many cultures. The hunters and gatherers. Of course there are examples of the opposite but they are rare. I didn't give birth or raise a child to “become “fodder.” In The Senior Bush’s war, I stood at the Capitol in Sacramento with my sign “No blood for oil” and spoke to the crowd. My children born during Vietnam to die in another war? Not over my dead body.

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Dec 25, 2022·edited Dec 25, 2022

When I had my son I swore I would never, ever let him be involved in a senseless American war. I would take him to Canada if I had to. I also wrote a play, my first, about a mother who went on a journey to change the way women's passivity to sending their children into wars. Very Jungian. Too big for me to tackle at that time 🌝, but I just don't understand it still to this day.

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Yes. Yes. Yes. Every time I see those military propaganda commercials about young people making the choice to join up and "be a part of something bigger than myself" (paid for by our tax dollars) I cringe. Government glorifies all the goodies of joining and never mentions the horrific downsides of killing, being killed or maimed in the name of some twisted ideal.

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You pulled that right out of the hat, Fern. So significant!

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Not out the hat, Marlene. You responded so naturally because war and peace as well as campaigns for health, welfare and understanding seem to be automatically on our minds, in our hearts and in our work with such organizations as Women's Peace & Humanitarian Fund, Alliance of Pan American Round Table, The International Alliance of Women, Women without Borders (WwB)...

'Evidence shows that peace processes overlook a strategy that could reduce conflict and advance stability: the inclusion of women.'

'Women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution can improve outcomes before, during, and after conflict. But women are often excluded from formal peace processes. Between 1992 and 2019, women constituted, on average, 13 percent of negotiators, 6 percent of mediators, and 6 percent of signatories in major peace processes around the world. While there has been some progress in women’s participation, about seven out of every ten peace processes still did not include women mediators or women signatories—the latter indicating that few women participated in leadership roles as negotiators, guarantors, or witnesses.'

'Peace efforts in 2020 have similarly struggled to include women. For example, women represented only around 10 percent of negotiators in the Afghan talks, just 20 percent of negotiators in Libya’s political discussions, and 0 percent of negotiators in Libya’s military talks and Yemen’s recent process. One current peace process is led by a woman chief mediator (Stephanie Williams, acting head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya)—marking the first time in six years that a woman holds this role.' (CouncilonForeignRelations)

https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-peace-processes/

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And Fern let’s add Linda Thomas-Greenfield to that list. It’s been her life’s work to bring humanitarian aid and peaceful negotiations to the African nations for decades. She is our wonderful representative in the United Nations and I believe the first black woman to hold that position from the US. We are making progress, albeit incrementally.

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It feels inevitable most of us have learned the horrors and futility of war. The fact we still go to war is barbaric and stunning to me. Is this why I have such a naive I suppose and visceral reaction when we over fund the military?

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Joan changed the words! Maybe for the ceremony in DC. It’s a very sad anti-war song as originally sung.

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Well said. My mother lived through the WWII German occupation and hunger winter in the Netherlands, while my father endured being held in a Japanese prison camp for civilians in Indonesia for the duration of the war, so I know a little about the effects war can have on human beings, not to mention that several of my family members were taken to the gas chambers. That some of us still believe it's okay to engage in war despite the evidence of it's destruction and heartbreak is mindboggling. To engage in the business of killing, directly or indirectly through being part of the manufacturing of war machinery means that people have to deny what they're doing, including shutting off their empathy. Why do we keep repeating this? If it's true that each of us has only this one gift of a chance at life, why do we think it's okay to end someone else's chance? We need to rethink what patriotism actually means. And it certainly was exemplified by George Washington's peaceful, voluntary relinquishing of power. Now that's patriotism.

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I have a similar background as you. My mother was from Berlin. My dad was from Poland. They each escaped their countries in the mid 1930’s. Many of their relatives were shot in fields or gassed. My mother’s own parents were taken from their home to Chelmno, a gas camp in Poland. They were gassed with 9 others in 1942. My father joined the Army to fight the Nazis but he was sent to fight the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. War is hell. We all have a story to tell. I pray for peace before I leave this earth.

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My mother was a teenager in northern Italy whose family was struggling to survive Mussolini. Their region supported the partisans resistance against fascism. To punish the people the nazis rounded up the teenagers, mostly girls, and sent them to “work” and they all ended up in Auschwitz and then forced labor in Austria’s Mauthausen camp. She & her sister survived and I was raised with stories of the horrors of war. People are often disbelieving when I tell them her history because she was Catholic, they didn’t know others were also imprisoned.

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The Nazis wanted to destroy anyone who could not or would not, with utter docility, produce either labor or more little Aryan citizens for the German war machine and its dream of filling the land with blond, blue-eyed ubermenschen (a complete bastardization of Nietzsche's concept, but Hitler was not a subtle reader of much of anything).

They summarily executed disabled people, people diagnosed as mentally ill, gay men and "anti-socials"--which included lesbians, communists, anarchists, artists who refused to produce safe idealistic imagery, and anyone else they deemed at odds with efficient production of children, goods, and/or war--and anyone who resisted fascism or collaborated with fascism's enemies.

I often wonder why this part of the Holocaust is so often glossed over. Europe's Jews suffered immensely, and perhaps the single-mindedness with which the Nazis tried to exterminate them is too overwhelming for most to consider whom else they came for, but as we can see here in the US, fascism cannot abide human variation beyond very narrow boundaries.

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The Nazis killed anyone who didn't go along, as well anyone they deemed "unfit". So they targeted Jews, homosexuals, people with mental illnesses, anyone who didn't appear Aryan enough.

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

J Nol. For me the crux of the matter rested with the sure and certain conviction that no one should be afforded the effrontery of killing especially non-combatants. No matter the era, the war, no one gets to make the Putin Folly. By the same token, no one could stop us from ending the lives of the machete killers as they hacked away at the innocents. I become easily enraged when Ukrainians are pushed to the ultimate sacrifice. I became enraged when Montagnard villagers were kidnapped in the night and left hacked to death in the morning light. The question asked was is there a time to engage in war? Yes to all of you. That time will come and someone will “Rush In.” Will it be us fools (as trump called us) again? I suspect so.

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My husband of long ago, his soldier’s career chosen by his father, left Europe, as ‘displaced person,’ after surviving three years, a German POW, and Europe in ruins, families decimated.

He studied agriculture so that, as he said, he would never be used again. He lived out the rest of his life in the country that accepted him, Australia.

A time came when Russia threatened his homeland and he,and other old soldiers were ready to return to defend that homeland, whose political authority of the time had rejected them.

Patriotism needs to be viewed in context.

Someone hugging a flag, is just that, nothing more.

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I hope and pray you’re not correct, Pat.

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So do I Marlene. If Biden’s Way bears fruit and Putin is deposed, Tomorrow Will Come.

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I am old enough to remember when the US went to "war" when it was declared by a President and confirmed by Congress. There was at least the illusion of democracy at work. That the people we voted for represented our opinions as to whether we should invade or bomb the crap out another country. It was at least an intention "guard rail".

But then we adopted the boiling frog approach. Let's just send in some advisors. then some trainers...and all of a sudden we are sucked into a mess we never understood and the people never voted for. Vietnam and Afghanistan.

And then, there was the Military Industrial Complex War - Iraq. The Oligarchs who made weapons and ran black ops sneaked their puppets into the WH. With Iraq, we gave Putin a blueprint of falsified facts and phony patriotism.

All of these "wars" are perpetrated by just a few older white guys. They doom millions to displacement, homes destroyed - misery untold...innocent deaths and dismemberment. Just a few white guys - someone should take them out at the first sign of such insanity. Putin's demise is long overdue. And Dick and W belonged in prison for life.

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Yes. Yes. Well said.

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If the only responsibility of elected officials was to faithfully represent the majority opinions of their constituents, Hitler would have triumphed, and we certainly would have no affordable care act. Without FDR’s leadership which eventually informed the misinformed, a very different world would exist.

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Men making those awful decisions, Bill. MEN

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Makes me almost want to transition :)

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There are always going to be those for whom power and greed rule. The struggle will forever go on I fear, just with different characters. The pale blue dot May extinguish itself as the vision of fools destroys faster than the best of humanity can create. But fight on we must…

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The war in Ukraine continues apace. Last night Kherson, liberated by AFU only to be destroyed by the ORCs, was badly damaged with 10 killed and 55 injured. Putin is now calling it war, in spite of having sentenced people to up to 15 years in prison for doing exactly that. He says Russia will be in a continuous state of war for the next 200 years. And talks about Russia's designs on the rest of the world.

Russia must be defeated and destroyed as a major power, forced to face up to their history, and prevented from ever becoming a threat to the world again. Too many people, including Biden, do not see that. People say escalation, WWIII, Nuclear bombs. . . I read the same comments against the war as Chamberlain used in ignoring Germany's designs on Czechoslovakia. Yes, indeed, "When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?"

Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season and miracles in 2023.

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Dear Allen, Embracing you, the people of Ukraine, Russia, US... with support for human understanding and care for one another. I'll take your 'miracles in 2023' we still need them. Salud!

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Shalom aleichem

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Aleichem shalom

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People thought WWII was a choice. Eeny meanie Ireini mo. Ukraine is not a choice. Eastern Europe is not a choice. WWII was not a choice. Putin is a choice.

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The thug Putin isn't any different from Hitler with his 1000 years Reich proclamation. I agree that Russia and specifically Putin must be brought to their knees to signal that this approach will not be tolerated by the world. Otherwise, this could signal to others that military incursions into other countries will be ignored. I wondered about our really soft response to his taking of Crimea. How could this not encourage him to try to go further? Then I wonder, is this different from the surrogate wars the US has fought to keep the "scourge" of Communism from spreading? How do we signal that this is not just about democracy vs authoritarianism, but also about the sovereignty of countries.

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Russia must be brought to its knees, Allen. Putin must not exist on this planet and nor should his generals. I look at Ukraine and see how many men and women run their government. I am impressed with the intelligence of all of them and their commitment to their country. We should be so lucky. Happy Holidays, Allen. Always lovely to hear from you.

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

Marlene, Russia is on its knees at best, and Putin plays a major role in continuing to bring it down. Putin is not Russia. The Russians are suffering mightily.

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I know they are suffering and it’s very sad. The younger generation is protesting but they are getting arrested and thrown wither in prison or they’re sent to the front lines. The others ignored what their government was doing to them until now. They realize they were lied to but are too afraid to take Putin on. Look at Navalny. He had freedom but returned to Russia only to be locked up. Everyone has suffered because of one man’s destruction. I say destroy him.

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Dec 25, 2022·edited Dec 25, 2022

Hi Fern, Happy Christmas Eve to you. To me it is the best of the holiday season because it is a peaceful pause at year's end and a denouement of the festivals of light for many faiths.

Often I've paraphrased my favorite read for 2022, The Dawn of Everything. Before there were kings, there were clans and tribes which revolved around the functions (procreation) and labor of women (attending crops and care of the young, ill and elderly, early art and home building.) As far as prehistory can be deduced, they were peaceful societies. While there was a division of labor between men and women, the purpose of banding together was access to food, survival of the weather elements and protection of the young and each other.

Then came the system of servitude to build the city-state, the advent of religion in which a powerful leader attributed qualities of god to himself---(the better to befuddle the masses)--- and state sanctioned violence. Humans knew early on that murder was wrong, but the kings kept their power by murdering competitors real or imagined, near or far. They assuaged their gods by human sacrifice— often of women and children. They made a mess. Nothing has changed but the refinement of mass destruction.

Thus, there is the paradigm of masculine power and the right to kill to maintain (or steal) territory and to subject people to slavery. There is also the opposite paradigm of feminine submission and woman's appointed role to be man's servant. Don't get me started about religion and the belief that gods are male for the most part. We've totally lost the cellular memory of how to coexist for the benefit of the environment, community and each other. We glorify the warrior-chief, and permit mayhem and treachery under the rubric of leadership.

This is not to say that all men who lead are authoritarian and cruel. Nor does it say if women were leaders they would be sensible and compassionate. What it says is there are other ways or models and if we want to exist as a species we better get on with it. Men can be cooperative and caring, women can be also. Male and female roles can coexist without domination.

Indeed, we are looking at the end of our species if we can't figure this out pretty quickly.

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I just saw Ron DeathSantis attempt to befuddle the masses of Florida...and of course appeal to those same demons you so aptly describe...nationally.

Have we progressed beyond the tough guy around the fire beating his chest and bullying his competitors?

Here is a guy who attended Harvard and now appeals to the lowest level of information and intelligence in order to achieve power.

Your post is wise beyond words. And in an intelligent world, it would be class room basic.

I see another Mussolini.

And I see millions of people who still respond to that chest beating around the fire. It is terrifying that we have evolved so poorly, so less than our potential, so cruelly.

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It’s scary how the ignorant like to be led to the chambers of hell. They know not what they do.

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Dec 25, 2022·edited Dec 25, 2022

Dear Hope, I felt as though we were sitting together while you shared your sense of The Dawn of Everything. Then you laid out the threads of power and division in society. I am honored to hear your inner voice. We have wanted to see each other face and feel each other's presence. I had an experience very close to that with you tonight. This has been a warm and caring pause on Christmas Eve. The apartment was quite cold until you came by. Thank you Hope for this beautiful visit. Please accept my embrace. Salud.

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I had a strange experience the other day. I was having lunch when a woman younger than I came into the restaurant. We caught each other's eye. I thought I have met her in another life. (I'm not prone to think such things.) Later, she walked by my table and said, "Have we met before?" I said I didn't think so. Then she said, "I think it was in another life." Then she left the restaurant. Perhaps we are evolving. Deep peace of the season to you, Fern.

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We are joined in Peace, Hope. Sleep well.

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Dec 26, 2022·edited Dec 26, 2022

Well stated, Fern!

Years ago, I attended a lecture by Ashley Montagu at the Chatauqua Institute. This esteemed cultural anthropologist had just published "Growing Young." His research posited that the human species is actually quite young, in its adolescence in fact. Forty years have passed and current events affirm his assertion even more strongly.

I'm thinking our species is consistent with the maturity of 8th graders. Hormonally driven to prove their manhood, choosing to fight as a solution to problems, bullying, name calling, impulsiveness, lack of ability to see consequences of actions, and general disregard for the rights of others.

Maybe in a few thousand years, our human species will be ready to get along. If we're still around.

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Our technology keeps evolving our biology does not. We are still motivated by our lizard brain. A great fault of this country is its sense of individualism vs fraternalism. So much more is accomplished by cooperation than individuals competing. Together anything can be accomplished. Being at each other's throats gets us nowhere.

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Fraternalism allowed us to evolve and dominate the Earth. Now we are behaving worse than ants.

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Dec 26, 2022·edited Dec 26, 2022

Oh, Cheryl., along with your good points, you reminded me of mortality. I don't want to think about that...I'm sure you know what I mean. Cheers!

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Fern

At 71, I'm well aware that there are fewer grains in the top of the hourglass.

I don't even buy green bananas anymore. 😂

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Dec 26, 2022·edited Dec 26, 2022

Humor absolutely intact!🎇🎉😅 Thank you, Cheryl.

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In spite of the common economic 'wisdom' war is always bad economics. And please do not sight profiteering of the arms industry as a counter argument.

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While war can be bad economically for some, it certainly isn't for those who manufacture and sell war machinery. What with the bloated Pentagon budget being used to make all kinds of new war toys. And, ask GM during the build up for us entering WWII. Or ask Sweden during WWII, a country that made and sold war equipment, despite their "neutrality".

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Harvey, I regret that I did not understand your comment. If you can would you elaborate on your point? I don't know how it might have been inferred that I would argue in favor profiteering on the part of the defense sector.

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Did any of you hear the interview in which Trump claimed he was better than Washington?

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🤮 That was part of the trading card grift

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Michael, the traitors to our system of governance must be thrown the hell out of power. We have the right to do it and it must be done. McCarthy is as bad as Joseph McCarthy or worse, in his evil intentions to hand our democracy to thugs and goons. Dump is just the tip of the right wing iceberg trying to derail our democracy.

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Michael, I earned the same lesson in Professor Richardson’s letter this evening. I think I was a diligent student in learning the presented material on which we were then tested but that’s a lesson of which I have zero memory. I think our civic classes need to be revived, required and updated. We need to hear the good, the bad and the ugly so all of us have a clear understanding of our past so we can preserve our future as a Democracy.

I downloaded the 845 page report and am looking forward to reading what really happened and what was discovered during the past nearly 2 years.

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Here’s the link. Great comment Pat! Happy Holidays to you and yours...

https://january6th.house.gov/sites/democrats.january6th.house.gov/files/Report_FinalReport_Jan6SelectCommittee.pdf

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THANK YOU!

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

Thank you, Elisabeth! Worthy of my tears and gratitude.

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Isn't history (when it uses the truth instead of the pack of lies we were told in school) fun?

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Isn't history in the broadest sense the only basis we have to project the future with better than random accuracy? Even when we calculate something entirely new, success depends on what we have learned from observation and analysis of conditions and events in the past. Galileo (who actually measured the acceleration of "falling" objects) paved the way toward landing human beings on the moon, and getting them back.

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With all due respect for your words, William, you still get a big LOL from me!

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I don't think it's an either/or issue. History isn't an exact science, since it depends on who is telling it, which events are emphasized and how they are being interpreted. The adage - history is told by the victors holds in many instances, leaving out much of what actually happened and making invisible many people who were also part of those events.

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All of what you said is apparently true, and there are no shortage of real-world illustrations of how subjective history, especially social and political history can be. That said, accurate understanding, to the degree that is possible, of present-sliding-into-past and past patterns of circumstances and outcomes remains our foundation for getting anything right about the future; even literally landing our next physical step. Psychosis, in which evidence-based decisions are slippery and excessively uncertain, can be extremely terrifying. I suspect that a certain degree of uncertainly is the beginning of wisdom; but what if nothing appears to be decently reliable?

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Washington’s words, possibly ghostwritten by John Adams, still stir the soul.

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The “burn it down brigade.” How embarrassing for all of America and a kick in the teeth to those who gave their all…

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They are there to seize absolute power or as much as they can; to dominate and subjugate. It's an urge as old as dirt, and those infected with this malignant narcissism will attempt to destroy whatever gets in their way, and sometimes, destroy just because they can.

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

Michael, I write to inform everyone of a grassroots effort currently underway to urge outgoing and incoming House Democratic leadership to prevail upon the 50, give or take, centrist House Republicans to support an alternative to Kevin McCarthy—owned and controlled by the Freedom Caucus—whom the then 213 House Dems would support. Were this initiative to succeed, we likely could anticipate a semblance of regular order in the House.

I believe the movement was started by subscribers to Robert Reich’s Substack, who decided to act upon a proposal suggested by Reich. At least 1 of these subscribers mentioned HCR’s LFAA reference to moderate Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) made earlier in the week.

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Please send the link if you can, Barbara. Happy Holiday.

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Elisabeth, There is no link. The idea emerged from Reich’s December 17th “Saturday Coffee Klatch.” In the comment section of Reich’s December 20th newsletter (“The real news about the January 6 Committee’s…”) Reich subscriber Jerry Weiss repeatedly and astutely promoted the idea and urged us to follow through. I might note the comment section also includes a productive discussion between Weiss and me, wherein we passed some useful thoughts to one another.

Since the House vote for Speaker is scheduled for Jan. 3rd, this initiative is top priority and we’re spreading the word.

If you give me an address, I gladly will email Reich’s Dec. 20th newsletter, which includes the comment section.

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I’ve just read it! Will look for your exchange with Jerry Weiss. Thank you.

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Elizabeth, Seeing I benefitted from all of Jerry’s Dec. 20th postings, I suggest, in addition to my exchange with Jerry, you also read his other posts.

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Thanks….!

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I subscribe. I’ll look at it immediately. Thank you!

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@R M Jory, Having reviewed this Reich “Office Hours” link from Dec.14th, I am quite certain that anyone interested in helping to deny McCarthy or any House Freedom Caucus extremist the Speakership will find no better source than the Dec.20th comment section I noted above. As I mentioned to Elizabeth, who is part of this thread, I advise reviewing every Jerry Weiss posting, including his exchanges with me and others on the platform.

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What a good and revealing discussion you and Fern started today. Lovely people here on the eve before Christmas, a day to celebrate birth, possibility of peace on earth, and multitudeS praying in words or acts to achieve such, as you fine people are testament to here in response to today’s LFAA. May your hearts and hearths be and remain a place for hope and comfort as the world struggles yet to be at peace.

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Wishing you a peaceful and refecting Christmas Eve.

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Michael Washington had to wait at Rockingham for months before there was a quorum of Congress in Princeton to whom he could hand over his sword and resign. What a contrast to Trump and his January 6th Capitol Building insurrection. Washington acted under the Articles of Confederation, Trump acted against the Constitution.

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Heather’s story speaks of Washington stepping down in Maryland. As a resident of Skillman, adjacent to Princeton, since 1978, I’ve heard a different story. Indeed, the house in which Washington waited has been moved a few times and has tours describing his long wait there. I don’t seek to challenge Heather’s accuracy, but I heard in great detail the Princeton/Washington story.

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Truly an inspiring moment in the history of our country. Thank you for sharing the story of Washington’s resignation. It was part of his legacy as a great leader that I did not know, but am very happy to have now. Hoping you & Buddy are safe and warm.

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Good Professor,

Have a wonderful holiday season. You made confusion not so confusing this past year. Thank you.

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I did not know about Washington's resigning of his commission either and the principle it set. The House will be a dumpster fire the next two years and I hope that somehow their destruction can limited. The final words of the chairman of the January 6th committee chairman are inspiring. A peaceful joyous holiday season to the good professor and Buddy and all who post here. With gratitude.

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I think it be amazing if the goons only set the dumpster on fire.

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Actually I usually say something different, but decided to keep it more civil. In the hopes that they don't burn down everything.

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Michele, yet it also seems possible that it may gradually lead to some actual bipartisan negotiations and actual productive legislation for the first time in several decades, witness the passage of the omnibus spending bill!

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I hope this happens since they have such a slim majority.

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You may wish to inform yourself of Washington's treatment of Indigenous Persons of this continent and his foot soldiers. His whole history does not reveal a hero.

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You know, I took Heather’s post to be less about the “whole man and every decision he made” than about a particular, unique choice that a white-propertied-man-of-European-decent-in-a-powerful-position made, that set in motion a proud, inspiring legacy we enjoyed until Jan. 6, 2021. All our leaders have baggage. Washington’s action in that moment (as captured thematically by Trumbull) seems to accept - and embody- the humility, that leadership now had a new ideal to live up to.

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Rarely is a person “heroic” in all their lifetime actions…perhaps only on a few notable occasions. People are of their time/class/culture and we, in modern times, may take umbrage at some of the views they held & actions they took. I wonder what some historical figures, lauded and flawed, would be if they’d been of “this time”….an interesting thought experiment we cannot know the answer to.

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I believe that President Biden will be seen as a hero of this time in the future. What he is accomplishing amid the shelling of the extremists is jaw dropping.

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Gailee, completely agree. Biden is clearly a hero now and history will be kind to his (imperfect) but incredible legacy.

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100%. And the shakiness of the Democratic coalition in Congress makes it even more remarkable. Nancy Pelosi is right up there too. From time to time I wonder what the celebrated legislative leaders of the past could have accomplished under these conditions.

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In addition, it often seems that we are more adept at finding fault with those long dead than with directing a critical eye to our own allies and (heaven forbid) ourselves. I'm confident that our descendants a couple of centuries hence will see all our flaws with a clarity that we don't -- assuming of course that humanity has managed to hang on that long.

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Perhaps Washington’s experiences as a wartime leader led him to a deeper understanding of the values his men sacrificed their lives for. To be free of tyranny. Unlike most current Republicans, he may have seen the potential irony of becoming that which he waged war against and declined the temptation. If so, Washington’s action illustrates a beautiful moral arc, bending toward justice.

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That was actually an active issue during his presidency: he had to mediate between two members of his cabinet, Jefferson at State and Hamilton at the Treasury, who had very different ideas of what direction the new country should take. Much simplified version: Hamilton favored a strong national structure (they weren't called Federalists for nothing!), and Jefferson wanted the states to have more power. And of course the centralizers were accused of being monarchists! But at the same time the Articles of Confederation had shown at least the clear thinkers that not much could be accomplished if the individual states had too much autonomy -- and the European powers were more than ready to capitalize on squabbling among the 13 states. (At least until the French Revolution took a violent turn and Europe had more immediate problems to deal with.)

But that state >< federal tension has never gone away. It blew up in the Civil War of course, but it's still very much with us: witness, among other things, the red-state resistance to COVID protocols, the "independent state legislature theory" currently before SCOTUS, and the Confederate battle flags carried into the Capitol on 1/6.

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Maureen I think you are precisely accurate in your surmise about Washington learning something during his prosecution of the war; he learned an entirely new set of tactics after the British whupped him and his troops in several early encounters. He also learned about the vagaries of gaining the political and financial support necessary to prosecute a war. There can be no question that Washington learned A LOT about leadership in his time as Leader in Chief.

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Great persons must inevitably learn much in their progression into our consciousness of their greatness! I would include both Joe Biden and Vladimir Zelensky (and Churchill, Eisenhower, Kennedy, etc) in that description.

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Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

Right on, Barbara. Being “of this time”is different than the past because we have made PROGRESS—something most Republicans are opposed to.

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Are all heroes perfect by todays stands, well, hell no. Who said they were….

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In a sense, Washington's voluntary relinquishment of power is what made our Revolution revolutionary.

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Dec 25, 2022·edited Dec 25, 2022

The Founders, to varying degrees, were not the saints I was sold in public school, but their constitution has been a beneficial anchor for democracy overall, even though it's egalitarian intent was incomplete from the getgo; and it's guidance can certainly be perverted to this day.

The Framers graciously surrendered their quills by including an amendment process that accepted the growth that occurs when perspective and times change. So called "originalists" ostensibly fight to keep the document a frozen fossil, but I think that the framers, without knowing (or perhaps daring to admit) exactly what that might look like, saw "beyond the years", and allowed for this.

It's not the framers frame of mind that is sacred, it is the principle of liberty and justice that they incorporated. What the Founders bequeathed to us that remains a gift to this is day, was to refrain from establishing their own new KING, same as the old KING. And yet that decision remains controversial to this day.

"That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings." - Lincoln

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Zella, YES! “His resignation, walking away from power, stands in stark contrast to the attempted coup by the twice impeached single term former president.”

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Thank you Heather.

I realize I have been super busy these last few days, but did I miss if Kevin McCarthy has told his fellow Republicans that if they vote for him he'll get them a pony?

He reminds me of that kid in school that will tell you absolutely anything you want to hear if you just like him.

Be safe. Be well

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There is just so little substance to the man. Another reputation in the dust bin.

You be safe as well, Linda.

May we find our bits of joy as the end of year draws near and a winter blanket is upon us.

🗽💜🌲✨

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His desperation to be speaker and his obsequiousness make me cringe.

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Christine I feel he has drawn his own fate. He is positively dripping in desperation. If not him, who they will tee up is the question.

Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday and New Year for all you hold dear.

💕🌲

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Thank you, Linda!

You painfully reminded me of my school days during recess, bribing the "captain" with candy to pick me to be on her team.

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That analogy put a smile on my face! 😂

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"...he'll get them a pony?" Probably just a kick in the ass. 😈

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Beth, no doubt.

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🐴😂

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Thank you Professor for all the work you do to prepare these letters. I have learned so much from you and from the people who offer their comments here. This is why I want to wish you and all the people who write here and those who read what is written a very happy holiday season. Stay safe, warm, and healthy. From Texas where we are freezing!

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I haven’t commented much but I do want to say that I appreciate what I read here every day. It gives me hope and I always learn something new.

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Jan, this community has become a part of my daily life. Thanks for commenting.

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I have never felt such a shiver of awe as I did reading Heathers description of Trumbull choosing Washington’s peaceful relinquish of power as his theme for the fine painting to grace the rebuilt Capital rotunda. The J6 rioters defaming that spirit, egged on by a egotistical despot that carnival-barked his way to power and would not let go, even though Americans said “Enough!” Heather, you inspire me every day with these history lessons. Blessing on you and your family in the coming holiday and New Year. I am so grateful for your time, intellect, and effort with your LFAA posts. And warm wishes to all in our commenter community that keep the discussion lively.

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The lymphedema treatment act was also attached to the omnibus bill, after several years of trying, finally women with mastectomies for breast cancer who have swollen arms from lymph blockage will have their compression sleeves paid for by Medicare. Hundreds of people and thousands of hours were spent in getting this finally in the pipeline. Enough men finally understood the problem and the awful expense to vote for it, though many Republicans in the House never understand anything. It shows how hard it is to get a job done when legislators are distracted by lies and corruption. Also how our Senator Cantwell persisted in working for human decency, and how compassionate reason finally won.

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I didn't know about this Frank. That is wonderful news, because often the compression sleeves are insufficient and additional ridiculously expensive and uncomfortable treatments are required. As someone who has been in Cancer Land for 27 years (had all the usual surgery and chemo 27 years ago; had clean scans for 24 years; then everything went to hell about 3 years ago), I can also say that doctors are still unsure as to why some women experience this and some do not. I was lucky: I did not but I had other post mastectomy issues, but no one was able to tell me why/why not. And that is still the case. 27 years later. This suggests to me that the research on how women's bodies react to disease, medical treatments, and recovery (as compared to men) is still woefully lacking. Surprise, surprise.

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Ah, my sister. I hope your resumed cancer journey is ultimately met with another triumph. Your comment about the medical profession not understanding the different responses in women’s bodies is profound.

An aside: the first body armor I had issued to me that was specifically designed for women (let’s just say it had darts in roughly the right area) had a card that touted how it was designed for the “unique contours of the female body”, because of that there was a motiveless gap where the front panel of the body armor covered the area right over the heart (essential since close contact of the panel to skin is what keeps bullets from entering the body,). As for the “trauma plate” which covered the 4” x 6” area over the heart, it was also Ben at an angle to match the darts; a frangible round would fracture and shrapnel would go up under the chin.

After my mastectomy, I resumed wearing men’s vests. The terrain was flatter and the straps were wide enough that they didn’t come loose when you sneezed.

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Ally, first: oh shit I am so not surprised. Second: you too my dear. You don't want to be where I am right now. I am reminded of NASA's decision that they didn't need to design space-walk suits for women because, y'know, why would they need them?! Men designing things for women's bodies is always an exercise in "what the fuck were you thinking?!"

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Also a little petty observation - wasnt it a man who designed a bra originally? Or am I making an assumption because I remember (long long ago) the "news" about the brassiere (!) some guy invented for Jane Russell. I doubt I'm the only one here (old enough) to remember that.

And just like the body armor how the h*** would any male comprehend exactly how these various pieces of "equipment" should fit?

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Maggie, not sure who at Playtex was responsible for the "modern" bra (I think they were the company that merchandised it first), but who the hell thought it was a good idea to use foam tits that are "removable" in order to make expensive bras, um, NOT FIT AT ALL?!?!? This is a constant complaint that I and others who have had cancer surgeries have expressed. I have to wear a bra (sigh) and this is definitely one of the most infuriating modern trends I have ever experienced. Bras that cost more than $10 should have proper sizing and proper lining and padding that doesn't wander around under one's clothes.

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Frankly, I dont think I EVER had a bra that actually did not feel like a straitjacket! Of course maybe I never paid enough for one - does seem like $30-$40 should be "enough", right? I have a friend who, I'm sure, completely understands your feelings!

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Ally and Linda - Women's cancer journeys will continue to be longer until there is as much concern with women's medical issues as there is for men's. And as much importance and financial support paid to them.

Hearing your stories makes me that much more grateful that my issues were & are mainly kidney & urological - not easy, but not as debilitating as yours.

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Linda Mitchell: I always appreciate your posts because you are so eloquent and spot on, especially with your words on our shared frustration with the state of Misery. I’m so sorry you have suffered these past three years from a recurrence of cancer. I’m wishing you a very healthy recovery in 2023. Please be safe and take care ☮️💟

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Hugs, Linda. I hope the new year brings good scans.

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I recently retired to North Carolina. Oh how I miss Senators Cantwell and Murray!!

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Blast those who voted to put a Mafia Mob Boss in charge of our United States, Democracy and the U.S. Citizens. Blast them for going along with their foiled plan and blood thirsty actions of January 6th. I suspect many will fall and pay a dear price, but truly want to see the Bafoon clothed in Orange and Shackles.

Merry Christmas to millions.

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I won’t be satisfied until every member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection, including those who voted against accepting the lawful results, are removed from office by enforcing the 14th Amendment. Allowing them to remain in government is like treating a deep wound with a band-aid and some aspirin.

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Yeah, I think your analogy is more like treating a deep puncture wound by not cleaning it, covering it tightly with an anaerobic bandage and an aspirin.

Those Congress Critters are an infection in our body politic.

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Maureen, while I hope for very much the same, if we are to learn from history I fear we must keep in mind what Rachel Maddow describes in her podcast Ultra: the dozens of Nazi co-conspirators in Congress before during and after WWII were never "brought to justice" legally. Having turned their trial into a circus which was ultimately declared a mistrial after the trial judge's death, most all of the conspirators were subsequently voted out of office, the ultimate decision rendered by the ultimate judge, the people. Sometimes the body's power of healing turns deep wounds into abscesses which can eventually resolve into scar tissue.

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Agreed. It is a fascinating podcast on a sliver of history I didn’t know nearly enough about.

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With you on your sentiment. We’ll have to keep vigorously supporting our democratic republic and the institutions that keep it together. It cannot stand without us.

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Janice, if Orange Fascist dies first, that would save us a lot of money.....

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This Bulwark piece isn't about DT's death but aging. I got a kick out of it. You may too...

https://thetriad.thebulwark.com/p/jvls-christmas-extravaganza-is-here

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Quoting Oliva Nuzzi in the article: "“His world has gotten much smaller. His world is so, so small.” To match his mind, imo.

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Excellent piece. I got a kick also!

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What a great great contrast between the actions of Democratic Congress Critters to propose “an aggressive investment in American families, American workers, American national defense” versus TFG and his supporters’ attempts to overturn a legitimate election. I’m glad that Congress is taking steps to close the loopholes in the counting of electoral votes. One is designed to benefit all citizens; the other is designed to ignore the wishes of the majority of the voters. Thank you for highlighting how George Washington modeled putting the health of the country ahead of his interests.

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Mary Hardt, I like and agree with most of what you have to say, but disagree that Washington was putting the health of the country above his own interests. I believe that he saw his interest tied up with, not separate from, the health of the country, that he would live best if his country was healthy. I believe that we need more of this mindset today - each of us (including me) does better when we ALL do better. Investing in education, health, American families and workers makes my life better because I am able to live in a healthier environment and society. Climbing over others and pushing them down just destabilizes and weakens the platform on which you eventually stand. It is possible that Washington was tired, wanted a rest, and recognized the the constant mental labor that would be required of him if he remained in a position of power. Whatever his actual reasons, the moment and his speech truly set the country on a revolutionary (for the time) path. There are bullies today trying to push us from that path.

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As I see it the Republican party had 2 choices. Go back to the moderate party that was concerned about big government and overspending, or choose to play the 'Whacknut' card. They chose the later and they rolled "Snake Eyes" Bye Bye.

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They doubled down on the tea party nuts, I have no mercy

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Happy Festivus!

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The wonderful Frank Bruni, in his last newsletter, included a hilarious and brilliant takedown of McCarthy, who seems to be syntactically challenged. I include it here. Have a great holiday all: stay safe, stay warm. Dana Milbank has been listening closely to Representative Kevin McCarthy as the California Republican campaigns, ineloquently, to become the next speaker of the House: “Deep in his brain there seems to be a syntax scrambler (I’m guessing it was put there by Hunter Biden, or perhaps the Chinese) that causes violent clashes between subjects and objects, nouns and verbs, singular and plural, and past and present.” (Thanks to Donna Silver of Madison, Wis., and Arlyne Willcox of Manhasset, N.Y., for nominating this.)

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Linda, come on, the "scrambler" was clearly installed by Italians directed by George Soros & funded by Bill Gates.

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My husband suggested a way to track illegal immigrants: give them a Covid vaccine. The microchips Bill Gates put in the vaccine will be all we need. Two birds with one stone and all that.

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(Prolonged and recurring laughter).

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And don't forget Hillary's emails- - -

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Installed by using Jewish space lasers.

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FYI, the American Jewish History Society has a seachable database that covers the years 1654 to now ....

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Oh, I found you, finally, Bryan. You and I, we are frequent birds to the forum, and, yet, when I so want to touch your goodness and thank you for your thoughts, care in sharing what you know ___ advocate for justice, I felt for a time on a frustrating chase. You have now gotten the point. Here's to comradery in the coming year.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/11/14/your-card-is-the-king-of-rats

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Thanks, I needed that ... poetry from Espada. I did lose track of poem songs & poem stand-ups when "... Gil Scott was tradn' rappin' for smack." I don't track the references to Boots Riley & Kunta Kinte in 'My Favoite Mutiny'. I do understand Lawyer Pitches to gathered colleagues. Sitting in the audience (too many "CLE" audiences) I liked to raise my hand & ask a question before anybody said anything to anybody. Legal Maxim: Don't ask a Question unless you know the Answer. 2023 is already here. Back to work. Salud to All.

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What is Boots Riley doing now?

'Now, he's working on a streaming series called I'm a Virgo and it stars Jharrel Jerome. Riley has been reticent to detail the show's general plot. However, reports do state that it is about a 13 foot blackman that lives in Oakland. The show will be hosted by Amazon Prime video. May 16, 2022

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To some rap on the forum from Bryan. Salud!

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