282 Comments

Hi Heather fine letter as ever. On history and rhyme, being from Ireland we like the eloquence (and optimism) of Heaney

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

- Seamus Heaney

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That is wonderful. Looking for rhyme.

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Beautiful.... thank you.

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I love that poem, and Seamus Heaney, so went looking for the full poem. Found several, but this one (on the page of a poetry group) also includes a discussion of Heaney's inspiration. It goes back 1600 years!

https://topangaauthorsgroup.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/junes-poem-pick-from-the-cure-at-troy-by-seamus-heaney/

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My family has celebrated the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples' Day ever since my daughter, now 51 years old, was in second grade in 1976. On what was then known as Columbus Day (South Dakota was the first state to recognize Indigenous People’s’ Day when it changed the holiday’s name in 1990), I received a call at work from the vice-principal of her elementary school. It seems my 7-year-old daughter had been sent to his office on a disciplinary matter by her second-grade teacher. I was quite surprised as my daughter had never had any disciplinary issues at school, quite the contrary. I told the vice-principal I would be at the school shortly to meet and discuss whatever the issue had been.

On arriving at his office I and my daughter, met with the vice-principal and my daughter's teacher to discuss whatever the problem was. I was told my daughter had disrupted the teacher while she was instructing the class on the significance of Columbus Day. It seems the teacher had been explaining how Columbus was the "discoverer" of the Americas and she had been showing artists pictures of him landing and being greeted on the beach where he landed by a group of "Indians." My daughter, it seems, asked the teacher politely, "If Columbus discovered America, who were all those people meeting him when he landed." As you might imagine this resulted in much laughter from the other students embarrassing the teacher and resulting in my daughter being sent to the vice-principal.

On hearing the story, I turned to the teacher who had sent her to the vice-principal and asked what she had responded in answer to my daughter's question? It seems her only response had been to send her for disciplinary action to the vice-principal. I told the teacher that "I felt she had asked a very good question and that it deserved an answer. I told her I felt she should answer it now."

The teacher responded, "She could certainly understand where my daughter had gotten her 'smart mouth' from and she and I should have more respect for teachers."

I thanked her for the compliment, and responded that I requested "My daughter be moved to a different second-grade class with a teacher more equipped to educate her students as this one was clearly not suited to do so."

My daughter was moved to a different second-grade class the following day and since then, for my family, the second Monday in October has always been known as Indigenous Peoples' Day. We also sometimes call it the "Are you as smart as a second grader day."

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Boo yah!! I’m a professional historian, and I can say with absolute certainty that that sort of “teacher” is a menace to our kids. Kick them to the curb!

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In the late 1950s I brot a LIFE magazine feature on Charles Darwin to class in Jr. High School. An old un-evolved trilobite teacher told me that "Charles Darwin was a crackpot and so was I for reading about him." BTW, in High School I Aced Biology. :)

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Thank you for that story. In addition to the story about my daughter, I will share my own elementary school experience. In a sixth-grade science class, I had a teacher explaining the principle of how an airplane wing enabled the flight of an airplane. We received the classic story of air rushing faster over the curved upper surface of the wing thereby creating lift enabling the plane to fly. My problem was my Dad had taken me to an airshow only the week before where I distinctly remembered watching an airplane fly inverted (upside down) overhead. That seemed to refute the explanation the teacher had provided. So I raised my hand and explained to the teacher what I had seen at the airshow and requested an explanation. The teacher paused and then looked at me and replied, "Airplanes cannot fly upside down." Stunned I realized that the teacher, not knowing the correct answer to my question, simply denied that it was possible.

I went home quite upset as I now had reason to question everything I had ever been told by a teacher as perhaps untrue. I remember relating the story that evening to my Dad. I told him I was particularly upset as it now caused me to question everything I was told by teachers as I now understood they could perhaps also have lied to me perhaps intentionally or out of ignorance.

My Dad, bless him, took me to one of our neighbor's house who was an aeronautical engineer and had me retell the story of my experience at school. The neighbor then explained that the story about the wing shape was true, but more importantly the underside of the wing, whether the plane was inverted or not, and the forward movement of the plane caused air to push on that underside and tend to elevate the plane. He then explained the various control surfaces on the plane and the purpose of each in different flight attitudes. We then got in his car to drive around the block while he had me hold my hand out the window of the car at various angles to feel the pressure of the air against my hand.

So that is how I learned several important lessons. First I learned about the control surfaces of an airplane and their purpose in various flight attitudes. Second I learned the importance of critical thinking and always to examine what you are told carefully for yourself regardless of who is supplying the information.

I also learned once again how smart my Dad was to know where to get the information required to answer my questions with facts and the truth.

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Unfortunately your experience wasn't an isolated event then or now. Bless you for continuing to grow in curiosity and humanity.

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And they are also still far too prevalent. My daughter had more than a couple. And she had her own run-ins. I'm sure she would applaud your daughter's actions.

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For those who wish to portray history more accurately my daughter also learned that Columbus was preceded in being the first European to visit the Americas by Lief Erikson who first arrived in the Americas about 500 years before Columbus.

Christopher Columbus was not the first European to discover the New World! This commonly held belief is wrong. Columbus didn't reach the New World until 1492, 500 years after Leif Erikson's arrival in 1001 AD.

Leif Erikson was the first European to set foot in the New World, opening a new land rich with resources for the Vikings to explore. But for some unknown reason, the Vikings only made a few voyages to the New World after Leif. Unfortunately, this caused his discovery to remain unknown to nearly all of Europe, which was in the midst of the Crusades.

We also note Lief Ericsson was also greeted by the Indigenous people already here on his arrival as well.

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The people already here had had exposure to Irish and Scandinavian fisherment well before the Vikings arrived. But being fishermen, they kept the information about the rich fishing grounds to themselves. There is, however, apparently some documentary evidence in the form of "extra-curricular" illustrations in some medieval Irish texts as well as stories passed down that were finally taken seriously. (Illustrations in medieval books are fascinating, worth checking out just for the fun of it.)

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What a good dad you are! You grew a critical thinker by the time your daughter was only 7 years old!

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I love that story. Good job Dad!

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Great story from a great Dad! I so remember with great appreciation my dad coming to my rescue once when I was in high school. I didn't ask him too, just told him what I had decided to do about a situation at school. He called the teacher that evening and talked with him for two hours. Next day the problem had been resolved. You are a dad to be admired and I know your daughter has the same wonderful feelings about her dad that I have for mine.

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Oh what a great and funny story. Thank you for sharing. Love it!

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What a wonderful story. I admire you and your daughter so much! Wonder about what happened to that teacher!? I hope she became enlightened soon after, but stopped teaching immediately....

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Powerful and poignant

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Another setback tonight with a Texas Appeals Court judge overturning the lower court and ruling that only a single ballot drop-off location per county is sufficient. That includes one drop-off location for Harris County Texas, an area the size of the state of Rhode Island. But on the upside, if Georgia is an indication, there is rising determination to not be cowed by Republican contrivances to suppress the vote. People stood in line as long as ten hours to cast their ballots on Monday, with one voter summing the day as "we voted as if our lives depended on it". It does. And hopefully we all will do the same.

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World Central Kitchen went not to a third-world country but to Marietta, Georgia, last night to feed people dinner who, yes, waited in line for astoundingly long hours to cast their votes. WCK earned another donation from me for that generosity.

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Didn’t know that. Thanks. I love Jose Andres. Did you see the special series that he did with Andrew Zimmern where they went to the nation’s Capitol and highlighted the food service workers there? He is on the right side of history.

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No, I missed that. But I do admire Jose Andres immensely.

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Thanks, Mim, for this information. I will donate to this organization.

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Thank you, Kerin. They are life-savers, and Jose Andres is a true mensch.

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I looked it up, and we have a branch right here in Baltimore (https://wck.org/news/baltimore), where I'm sure it's strongly needed, especially in our inner city but also in the surrounding areas. Interesting to read "mensch." I don't hear that too often, but indeed he is one, bless him and everyone who helps!

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I’m going next Wednesday for in person in FL. Can’t wait. Don’t care how long the lines are. My schedule has been cleared.

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That’s Brian Kemp for you, a trump toady.

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The man who stole the governorship from Stacey Abrams.

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He learned it from his history. "Whatever they have, I can take."

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Took the words right out of my head!

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Yes, I had to read that story over about 3 times, thinking that surely I was misreading that. I still can’t believe it!?!

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I felt so bad for those voters and so impressed by their strength and determination. It's clear that when people are kept down, they become resilient, persistent, and resourceful. Tormenters learn this eventually--and sometimes painfully.

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Thank goodness for grit!!

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Educate me. How do we know those voters were voting blue?

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One obvious way is where in a county they live. If Blacks live on the east side, say, you reduce the no. Of voting machines or polling places. Last election the state had supposedly new machines and many in those polling places “broke down.” Never mind there were reported to be unused ones in a warehouse.

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One easy way was to just look at who was recorded standing in the long lines...mostly people of color, the very ones at whom most of the voter suppression efforts are directed. Not unreasonable to feel "blue" in a good way when you see that!

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So enfuriating. That should automatically extend the voting day into Nov 4.

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Sorry not sorry to say that would be a good way for 45 to blow an aneurysm if he has one. Anger is the answer. 😁

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Over the last few days I've had an uneasy feeling, but have not been able to identify it. Last night, I finally realized that just below the surface I am carrying a lot of anger, bordering on rage. I can't read of listen to anything related to tRump and the swamp. Heather's letter today is a breath of fresh air, helping me to better understand that this is all part of a history that we have to ride through. It is my hope that Heather is teaching some very bright future historians who will carry on her legacy of making history understandable and relevant.

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It seems we have the same feelings. Ref my Rant.

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If the” powers that be” can confuse fact and fiction in people’s minds to the point where they can’t tell one from the other….and in the end they stop trying…the only story in town is that told by the “Authorities”.

If the “Authorities” can change the interpretation of history, and indeed the elements therein that are considered “important”, according to the prevailing political winds and convenience as opposed to the researched and considered, provable findings of specialized historians then, the people loses contact with its past, dilutes its culture and destroys its own identity.

If “real” history is not taught in schools, as opposed to the government’s currently favored, historical flavor of the month, then we cannot obtain a true picture of our place in society or of the fundamental nature of that society

The identity of each and every one of us depends upon our personal psychological makeup, our family structure and our place in our common history. If any of these elements can be deformed by propaganda through deliberate suppression or distortion of facts, through constant repetition of lies or through brute force, massive stress and enforced ignorance, then we lose a significant degree of the control over our identity. We cede the power to say who we really are to that outside force and accept, thereafter, to be told who we are. We cannot then achieve what we feel we are here for in life and what we aspire to; we are enchained in the “purpose” imposed upon us by the prevailing regime.

This is exactly what Putin is trying to do to the Russian people and what Trump admires so clearly…..and would dearly like to impose on America. People resist and destroy those who would deny their rights in time! Let’s make that time NOW.

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The Nazis imposed their nationalist anti-Semitic propaganda on school children’s curricula, effectively over 10-15 years brainwashing a generation to literally die for Hitler.

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Well said. Illumines my and many of our intense anger and grief. Weber woven our lives on the loom out the light and dark of our country and felt pride of our participation in this story., And in making it better. I'm also aware that a trump supporter could send would say the same thing

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I so look forward to living again in a country where the government is not waging psychological warfare on all of us!

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It has been thus since Europeans came. You make a good point, but in a highly abstract way. Entire civilizations have been systematically dismantled and the people in them ripped from their identity by people who thought their own way of constructing reality was the only valid one. We are still here, trying to get you all to see us.

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You are preaching to the converted for sure. The European's "democracy" never included those peoples already inhabiting the space that they usurped and has significant difficulty in accepting into it's midst those that were not asked to if they wanted to take passage to America in the first place. And look at the mess we've got ourselves into thus in our pig-headed materialistic drive to "succeed" .

My text is abstact as you say and applies to the Native Americans as much as it does to the opposition to would-be dictators today. The time for vengeance of the Native American culture and identity can not now be brought forward by quantitative pressures of population; small pox etc took care of that several centuries ago. It will come by a growing recognition on the part of the "invaders" that they had much to learn from their "hosts" as they had figured out to live in harmony with each other and with nature. We will hopefully become more like you rather than the other way round or the world will cease to function for us all.

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It is interesting that In “Brave New World”, Huxley sent “everybody” to the “reservation” when they were no longer useful. It wasn’t about race, but rather about history. The protagonist, once on the “reservation”, he discovers a play of Shakespeare and a quote that gives the book its title: “Oh brave, new world, that hath such creatures in it!”

The real question is — when did we decide to call re-designing truth something other than what it is — propaganda.

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Agree

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Tonight on CNN, a masked reporter was asking Trump supporters if they were worried about being at his crowded rally with no masks. They repeated all of his misleading statements about the coronavirus. Some even went so far as to say if it was their time to die, so be it. At the end of his report he asked a group of them, “If President Trump asks you to put a mask on tonight will you do it?“ “Yes. Absolutely,” they said.

They will accept and repeat his disinformation about history and education as well.

We have a long climb out of this mess.

My husband thinks Trump might become an expatriate and move to Russia January 21 to avoid imprisonment.

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It is unbelievable. Last Sunday, I was at a funeral of a childhood friend. I was talking with her cousin about shared memories. We talked about horses and family stories. I showed her pictures of my dogs🙂. It was a nice chat. Given we live in Michigan, the conversation turned to the kidnap attempt on Governor Whitmer. Well, it went off the rails. She was worried about what would happen if Biden was elected. She said Nancy Pelosi was trying to get the bill about the 25th amendment pushed through so that Kamala Harris could be President. She thought the President was doing a good job with COVID-19. I responded that there were over 200,000 that might disagree. Needless to say it got awkward fast. Luckily, I had to leave to get my mother for the burial.

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Oh I can see it like a movie... I am so sorry that you experienced that. It is so depressing. I have been there. I still am. I think I’ve been avoiding so many and sometimes wonder who in my world will be left!?

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I always thought she was a reasonable person. I was looking forward to chatting with her. She had asked another cousin if I was coming. It was a sad turn.

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I hear you. Assaults come daily from the presidential podium and the church pulpit and neighborhood newsletters. What is "real" is challenged and senselessly questioned. "Righteous assumptive behavior" has strained many of my relationships and redefined who is a "friend" in many cases.

I am a child of pre-civil rights era and have both fought for and celebrated change and continually encourage progress for all humanity. Yet I have lived always with a sense of unease because what has been politically done can be so easily undone. The "letter" and the "spirit" of the law have never been united as one, and the biblical "justice and peace" have yet to kiss.

It has been especially difficult for many young ones who have had their social worlds disintegrate as the veneer has been ripped away by the political, racial and social vitriol, and normal life disrupted by the corona virus pandemic. Remember especially to encourage them.

I remain certain of this-- that there is never enough darkness to extinguish light. This community affirms each day for me that there is a just and valuable purpose for getting up and going forward. I come back often for refreshment. Thanks to each of you.

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who... will be left? Good pun.

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haha... took me a nano-second... slow today!

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I sometimes feel sad about the friends I’ve had to let go or who have let me go, but realize I have made so many new friends who recognize selfishness and evil and foolishness for what it is, and I am so grateful! I’m grateful for this community. Maybe one day, a few years down the road, we could meet at Boston College or in Maine.

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Something to hope for. post virus/political pandemic.

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How about a super zoom on the night/day that the election results posted!? I guess there are way too many of us but I wish we could L.L.C. connect some way!?

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I don’t know how that L.L.C. popped in there!?

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As much as I want to see trump tried for his transgressions it would not break my heart if he disappeared into Putin's Russia,as long as his assets in the US are frozen. He would probably be expecting to be feted and petted and I think the reality is that once he is of no further use to Putin he will be pushed aside and live out his days in isolation.

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Assets in the US frozen AND no media contact.

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Problem with him going to Russian is him sharing top government secrets... well not that he does not already do that, but still.

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I agree. He, Jared, and the three adult kids need to be arrested, with no bond. I’m afraid Jared and Ivanka will attempt to flee prior to Jan. 20, saying they’re going to a friend’s wedding overseas, or some reason they’re going abroad. Everyone needs to be watched.

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If Biden wins and he can flee with a pardon from Pence in the lame duck period--I wonder whether that's what Heather was thinking. I still have trouble visualizing that scenario, with him campaigning so hard. Or maybe he just likes the adulation. I think at base he is just a showman. But you might be right that Jared and Ivanka and, possibly, Eric et al. and Donnie Jr and his banshee just might skip. They probably all have dirty hands. Nah. They'll just stay and dodge and weave.

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Arrested on what grounds?

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Also, violating the emoluments clause. Paying for votes, rewarding donors through policy.

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Tax evasion and tax fraud mainly.

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The list is too long to enumerate here....

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Would Russia accept him?

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Lol, he wouldn't be an asset anymore, just an ass, so if they took him perhaps they would send him to develop Siberia

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Jeanne, I’ve thought the same about trump moving to Russia. I really don’t think he would be greeted as warmly there as he believes.

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I don't think they would see any utility in the idea at all. If one can say a couple of positive things about Putin they would be that he is extremely lucid and clear-sighted concerning his own interests. In the new world they will have to deal with a resurgent America under Biden.

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Would it be possible that his presence in Russia would be a sufficient provocation for the people there to rise up, kill Putin and the oligarchs, and make yet another attempt at the closest thing to democracy as they could manage?

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If he does flee to Russia, hopefully we can shoot down Trump Force One over mid-Atlantic and put us all out of our misery.

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As much as that would satisfy me, I cannot stomach the thought of him having a presidents funeral. He does not deserve that and neither do we.

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Burial at sea? No.... we’ve done enough to our oceans.

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Far too much plastic out theire killing whales etc already......and I wouldn't like to think thereafter that part of the fish I'm eating is him!

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The problem with letting him go is that, once in Russia, he could be established as "the true American government in exile," supported by Putin, running a network on the internet for all the Trumpscum here to be propagandized and thus continue the chaos. One way or the other, after the election, he has to be Dealt With. My personal choice is 20 years in the prison of your choice, found guilty of the charges of your choice (taxes being the most "karmic"), locked away where he can't do anything. Along with his three oldest spawn, his co-conspirators.

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Agreed, but I think the family scum should all be in different prisons far far away from each other, so they are alone and disconnected.

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Don’t forget Jared. He especially deserves prison.

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I hadn't thought of that, but it's probably a real possibility, considering the bizarro world we live in.

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Agreed

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That would turn him into a martyr. No thanks.

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If he has resigned or it’s after noon on Jan 20, he’s a private citizen with no access to Air Force One. Besides, he doesn’t deserve to be a martyr and Biden would be blamed. They need to arrest him as soon as he’s a private citizen again.

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He has his own plane. I see no reason to shoot any plane down, anyway. Let him go.

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😂😂 great idea!!

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He won’t wait that long. He’ll resign prior to Jan. 20, have Pence pardon him, then attempt to flee the country, hoping he can get out without notice. I hope there’s a 24/7 watch by the NY District folks, or a snitch inside the WH so he can be arrested as a private citizen. Ivanka and the boys need to be watched as well.

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As an expat, he still has to pay US taxes. If he renounces his citizenship, he can avoid them.

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Ahem, pay his taxes!?! Just teasing you! But really!

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Makes sense. Explains his vital interest in a Trump Tower there.

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He'd better bring forward his schedule by at least 24hrs if he want's to get to the airport!

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I hope he does.

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Yes, words matter. Just think what 45 could have accomplished if he'd managed the virus with even just good words, like "wear masks and keep your distance! It won't be forever, but it's important until we get a vaccine!" Such a simple thing.

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I've had the same suspicion as your husband's thoughts re: Trump going to Russia. I wonder if he still owes Vladimir a bunch of money, and if so, will Vlad let him work it off? 😉

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Mine thinks the same thing!

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So does mine.

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Funny thing, I don’t even read the “letters” on Facebook anymore, I just go there to share them in the hope that others will open their minds enough to read them and think about things. This is mostly because of all the hate on Facebook these days. Then, what do I find here this morning? Another hateful troll who chooses to spew a perverted interpretation of not only what was in the letter but of history itself. Must be hitting a nerve to be desperate enough to argue falsehoods that they pay money to do it. Thanks, now I feel a little better for having said that and can say what I actually meant to.

In the first part of today’s letter trump’s “proclamation” sounded like the rantings of a bananna republic tin pot despot. So that’s where we are.

When reading the second part of today’s letter, I was struck by the thought that it sounds like trump, being a 70+ year old white male, seems to be echoing the outdated understanding of our history that he likely formed in either elementary or jr high school and never bothered to learn anything new. He and his so called ‘base’ insist that’s our ‘true’ history but, really, it’s just another historical artifact - much like old, outdated items of furniture that are interesting to look at and help us understand how people *used to* live, like an icebox that evolved into the modern refrigerator, for example. There is a scientific principle that says the only constant in life is change. The same goes for history. Time to evolve.

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I deactivated FB for exactly that reason. The vitriol, falsehoods, and hate of anyone not white/male/house-wifey was exhausting and not productive for me. I literally had a woman on my feed ask during the VP debate “Why isn’t anyone asking her about her affair?” Super seriously . . . The book of double standards is a multi volume set.

How are you (HCR fan base) dealing with the discovery of the stupid in your social circles? I live in an urban area in MA (very blue) — the past four years has exposed the political and downright hateful thinking of local dumpster fire supporters. And for clarity, I do think the current president IS a dumpster fire. Everyday more garbage is put into it so it burns bright.

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I live in MA, too, also in a very blue area. Most of my neighbors keep to themselves (we are very rural). My FB friends, on the other hand, are quite polarized. It’s challenging. I am reluctant to end decades long friendships over this but am stuck on the thought that, after all these years, I never knew that some of these folks held such extreme views. It leaves me wondering if I really knew them or if they are caught up in the brainwashing. So, I just wait and try not to feed into the propaganda but it’s very difficult to watch folks I considered dear friends spew this crap. Fortunately, most of them also keep a civil silence. Sadly, not all. The ones who have been belligerent and argumentative will likely not remain friends. I hold out hope for the rest.

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I’ve had my share of that, including the loss of a 50-yr friendship in 2016. (Her choice bc i didn’t support trump. She also dumped another, even longer friendship.) Which leads me to my point—I don’t think these long-time friends are people we didn’t “know” necessarily, but life has changed something for them or maybe it hasn’t worked out well. Perhaps they become bitter or resentful or are married to someone who’s affected their outlook. Who knows? But it’s sad nonetheless. Enough ruminating.

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I have been on a hiatus from Facebook for a couple of months, not just because of the vitriol, but because of Facebook's refusal to monitor hate speech. I see that they have done better in recent day with removing QAnon sites and now Holocaust deniers. But I'm not going back on because I value the peace and quiet in my brain. And I'm using the time that I used to spend on FB to read more - always a win for me.

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Like you don’t hear hate speech on this forum?

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I love Jake Tapper’s comment immediately after the first “debate”: “That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck. “

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I have my posts set to friends only. I know that friends share some of my posts but have never gotten any vitriol or trolls. If I’ve made a comment on a public post and there’s snark or name calling I block comments from the post.

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I have my Facebook posts set to "Friends except...." and the "except" is anyone who spouts 45 rhetoric in response to something I post. This "except" list has gotten long. If they are sufficiently off the walls, I unfriend them.

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Thanks. I need to start such a list.

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I have a small amount of "friends" on my FB page. Most all do not support 45, do support Black Lives Matter, and revere RBG, etc. Most all are white females. I have only 2 "dissenting" friends. One who unfriended me but now wants back "in." One who emailed me 12 Fox News-Breitbart-Buchanan-etc.. articles in one day telling me to "wake up." Those two are my sisters. Party/45 over family! To be clear, I wanted answers from them about why they supported this administration because, frankly, I kept feeling like I was watching an infomercial every time I would see something coming from the 45ers and thought my sisters would honestly give me the info I was seeking. What I got was much like the rest here on these letters get...hateful speech!

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Lynell, I just want to say that the intra-family divisions are painful enough on the basis of issues. But what I have noticed that is even more distressing is the cruel and insulting tone that creeps in- this from family members whose personality seems to have completely shifted. Turning into " mean girls and boys"!!! The pain of all this leads to silence in the service of saving family relationships. Awful!!!

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I invite bad actors to edit their posts. Usually their pride prevents them from doing so. If they persist, I delete (or hide) the bad posts. If they prove trollish, I block 'em.

My timeline is pretty clean.

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Ironically, I got a 1-day ban from FB for "Hate Speech." That's when I deleted my profile on that totally "messed" up site.

https://twitter.com/roboyte/status/1264661242158948354?s=20

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Good grief. That was a fine post, not hateful. Anti-hate.

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Delete FB. I did 8 months ago and never looked back.

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Same, 7 months ago.

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Careful. When you delete your FB account, the data stays in FB's hands. You no longer have access to it.

Also, does deleting a FB account remove your posts and likes from other users' timelines? I have never seen a clear description of that. Think about it. You comment on someone else's timeline, and someone else comments on your comment. If you delete your account what happens to that thread? I don't know.

So, in general, if I create a social media account, I regard it as "permanent" because while I can delete my access to it, I doubt I can wipe the data off the service's servers. Imaging I was planning bank robbery, and law enforcement issued a subpoena for those records....

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My son deleted his fb account several years ago. Unless he's in a picture I posted, they are gone. Comments from him (in memories) are gone too. I can tell because I will have a responding post to nothing.

And you are correct in assuming that all of his data is still somewhere in fbland

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I’m aware. My point was in not having it in my life anymore. Mission accomplished.

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I think it's unlikely Trump wrote a word of that, just signed off on it. Stephen Miller & Co.

Avoid the trolls. Part of their purpose is to anger people and waste their time. Make sure their time is wasted by scrolling past.

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The troll guy is comical. Preaching to the choir is one thing, at least it gratifies the ego. Ranting at your detractors seems like an exercise in self defeat. He's fighting his fight, and he does get a rise out of people. He's gotten my ire up, I admit. But that's just feeding the troll. Every now and again one pops up, but they seem to drop off when they get zero traction. This one is persistent. While I have a mild curiosity to see the conservative's logic thoughtfully explained and raised for discussion, in part because I doubt thoughtful explanation is possible, this guy fails in my estimation. He comes across as an old crank to me. Meh.

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As soon as I see his name, I scroll on by. Not worth my time.

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I was wondering which despot wrote his speech.

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I remember being turned off from chemistry in school when i learned that much of the program was "disproved" but they kept it as a "useful" intro to the subject...facility beats truth once again!

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Wow Karen, as I scroll thru these earlier replies, I see so many paralleling what I just wrote.

Great Minds Think Alike? :)

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Wow!! So clear. So concise. So enlightening. I love the explanation of History vs. Commemoration! We can both commemorate George Washington for his heroic role in building our country as a democracy instead of a monarchy and, at the same time, be repulsed by his active participation in the reprehensible practice of human slavery.

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"History vs. Commemoration" a new talking point🙂

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Yeah, I appreciated that distinction, too.

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I didn't know the story behind the founding of Columbus day - it deepens the story for me, though I still can't get past the irony of people saying that Columbus "discovered" the Americas. I'm sure the Arawaks, if they were still around, would argue with that characterization.

I am very pleased to hear Du Bois's name associated with the attempt to clarify the significance of people of color to American society. I got my Ph.D. in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst where the W.E.B. Du Bois Library houses most of his papers in their special collections department (most of the rest of the papers are in Ghana). When I was teaching history classes during grad school, I would take whole classes of students to the library after reading The Souls of Black Folk, and the special collections people would lay out Du Bois's hand-written drafts of several chapters of Souls for the students to read. It was always fun to see a bunch of minds exploding when they took a look at that. And then, when the librarian told them how to use a finding aid to request to look at anything in the collection, suddenly there were a bunch on 19-year-olds enthusiastically reading letters he wrote to his daughter (he wasn't very nice to her), and receipts for donations he made, and so on. Given that Du Bois was born and grew up in Western Massachusetts, I've always considered him to be a homeboy.

Below is a link that shows a sampling of the UMass special collections' digitized papers related to The Gift of Black Folk that HCR mentioned. On a quick glance I noticed a typed draft of chapter 3 and an outline of the book. Anyway, there it is.

https://credo.library.umass.edu/search?q=the+gift+of+black+folk&fq=FacetCollectionID%3A%22mums312%22&search=

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The right wingers hate any history that doesn't comport with their mythological tales of our wonderfulness. I wrote a book about the air war in Korea, "MiG Alley", which strips away the Air Force's cold war myth of a 10:1 victory ratio over the "commies" and uses facts from both sides to paint a picture of a very close-fought campaign of Americans against Russians, in which the Russian pilots were as good as their US opponents and shows how the US kept the other side from appearing over the battlefield, thus ensuring no communist victory, while despite the Air Force dropping more bombs on North Korea than were dropped on Germany in WW2, the other side kept their forces on the battlefield supplied, thus leading to stalemate. The book has been well-received by readers and reviewers, but there is a significant group of wingers who give it poor reviews for being "woke" history and for being "distasteful" for debunking the mythology - Americans not being 100% the most wonderfullest ever.

The Right is the enemy, and that is not going to stop on November 4, and it is only going to be stopped when they are seen as The Enemy and treated as such, with laws against domestic terrorism, and with reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine as law rather than regulation, thus putting their propaganda outlets out of business as currently organized and shutting off he Noise Machine.

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Courtesy of HCR Facebook readers, a progressive POV rewrite of Steve Miller’s, I mean trump’s “Columbus Day” proclamation by Justin P. Cowan:

https://www.facebook.com/25009894/posts/10105671145056891/

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Wonderful. It is almost enough to make me reconsider my total avoidance of Facebook and its forums. Almost enough, but not quite enough to overcome my abhorrence of their business model, ethics, disrespect for privacy of data, and lack of security.

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I do however have immense respect for HCR and now also Justin.

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My God! There’s genius in that post. I wish I was so much smarter than I am, I might be more effective in my commitment to helping our cause. But it’s occurring to me that we are going to have to change our strategy and not fight but forgive and try to calm and connect with these rabid dogs that surround us.

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Still with serious prosecutions to hold people accountable for their transgressions that caused such serious harm to so many. Then comes re-education and forgiveness. De-Nazification did not happen by asking for volunteers or without the Nuremberg Trials.

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Yes! Absolutely...

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Wow. You folks are scary. Re-education? What are we, Maoists?

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Really don't care to speculate...

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Brilliant editing. I just shared it on Facebook. Thanks.

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Thank you for sharing this!

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Brilliant! Thanks for the link.

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He needs a regular post translating for the "empathy impaired"

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Thank you! I shared that!!

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My history knowledge informs me that the voyage of Columbus was financed by the Spanish monarchy, not the Italians. Columbus just happened to be Italian. It would be like an American expedition being financed by Mexico because the Americans didn't have the cash or desire to finance exploration. And then attributing the "discovery" to an American even though in this scenario, at the time, all the fame and riches went to Mexico. The reason for the journey was to find gold and bring it back for Spain. Columbus was was an armed Spanish "mercenary."

Besides, Columbus never set foot on the American continent. What Columbus "discovered" was the Bahamas archipelago and then the island later named Hispaniola, now split into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On his subsequent voyages he went farther south, to Central and South America. He never got close to what is now called the United States.

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Not even Italian as Italy as such only started to exist in 1870 with the unification orchestrated by the the Chancellor/Prime Minister, Count Cavour of the Kingdom of Piedmont. Columbus was a perpatetic citizen of the Republic of Genoa.

And the funding money can more truly be said to come from the Kingdom of Castile-Aragon as their Queen Isabella had only just driven out the Moors to unify Spain.

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I saw an article yesterday that said Genoa was, at the time, a tribute-state of Spain.

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A bit of confusion as early in the 15th C the Republic of Genoa "dominated " Sardinia and lost the island to the Spanish dominated possessions based in Naples. All part of the decline of Genoan influence and trade...hence their lack of interest in Columbus!

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Does anyone know where the queen and king of Castile-Aragon got that money?

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They were not particularly rich, exhausted after years of "wars of liberation" . They just "leaned on" a peasant or two as usual and borrowed from their ever watchful and dangerous competing local aristos and family.

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They were also looting all the Jews and Muslims that they forced out.

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In The Republic Plato argues that citizens will accept the perfect society only if they have a founding myth in which to believe. Plato spent his days in rational argument, and felt all too clearly what is true of the human race: by nature we are magical thinkers and need myths to make sense of our lives and the world. The Enlightenment project is the battle to replace magical thinking and myth with rational thinking and science. We are many centuries into that battle; we must fight for it day by day and along the way we are reframing what it means to be human. I'm enjoying every day Heather's contribution to rationality.

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Thank you for that bit of enlightenment (pardon the intended pun!). I'm not familiar with philosophy, but this strikes a chord and nicely contextualizes our current state of politics.

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But a little founding myth still comes in handy to help people develop their collective identity....quantum mechanics just doesn't quite hack it somehow!

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Absolutely agree. My job is in marketing; I don't kid myself that human decision making is primarily rational; story telling is what makes us human. I hope rational thought and science can help us tell ourselves stories which make the world better for all sentient beings.

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Thank you, Heather, for doing what you do with bringing little known history meaningfully into our awareness, and then righteously advocating for the modern day role—and critical necessity—of historians.

🙏

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I’m trying to imagine the president saying “orthodoxy” when reading that proclamation. Thank you for the history behind “Columbus Day”.

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I agree that the "proclamation" was not written by tRump. Too many big words.

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And actual sentences.

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Oort-hod-oaksy? Or-thud-ocks-y?

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Thank you HCR for telling me about the origins of Columbus Day. I had no idea where it came from, so on this fact I was as ignorant as the 60+ million Trump voters. Assuming they don’t know either. This has been a year of discovery about USA history thanks to you and all the terrible events (pandemic, George Floyd, etc.) that transpired. I’m surprised and grateful to learn the truth and angry for the many years my head was buried in the sands of ignorance. Lifelong deception is hard to forgive. But, hope springs eternal (Didn’t Aristotle call hope a waking dream?). From the Trump Wreck, a better nation can emerge if we decisively VOTE HIM OUT. Hooray for Stacey Abrams and GA voters. “Continue to Speak Out, Dr. Fauci. You must have known Trump would use you. You’re 78 with an illustrious career behind you. Can you honestly remain neutral? You’re the most admired doctor in America. Do you want to see your misused words help elect Trump for another 4 years!” Sending postcards today. Citizen Campaign Volunteer over and out. ❤️🤍💙

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