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Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice.  Divide and conquer!  We must not let that happen here.
    —   Eleanor Roosevelt
[We will soon see if the Senate is interested in protecting Democracy or whether party continues to be more important than country.  What we saw last month was a President promote civil insurrection to destabilize the Congress while it was performing its Constitutionally mandated duty of confirming a democratically held (and fair) election, simply because he (and his insurrectionist supports) lost the election.  The President did this in front of the cameras and there is no denying his culpability.  He spent almost a year promoting the line that the election would be unfair and, in fact, “stolen” if he lost.  He then spent two months after the election calling on his supporters to come to Washington to “protest” to Congress about them approving the legitimate results of the election.  On the day (6 January 2021), he called on his followers to halt the proceedings in Congress and he promised to walk to Congress with them in protest.  Of course, being a coward, he did no such thing.  He retreated to the White House, where he could be protected from the immediate results of his induced riot.
The former President should be tried and convicted of violation of his oath of office and then the Senate should vote to remove the privileges of his former Office – primarily retirement pay and the ability to run for future public office.  That is what should happen.  I have very little faith it will.  The simple truth is Republicans seek a return to power in an off-year (non-Presidential) election next year (November 2022), and they don’t want to jeopardize that election protecting the Constitution or the Country by punishing a faithless (IMHO a traitorous) former President.
We’ll see if there are any “Profiles In Courage” in the Republican Party, but my money is on this leopard not changing its spots.   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Senate Perfidy
2019 Contributing To Congress
Yellow Signs Of Spring
2018 But Take Heart
Poetic Marker
2017 The Few, The Many, The Most
2016 To My Brother
2015 For Junior
A Roman Rome
2014 Hmmm
2013 What’s A Motto With You?
2012 Worthy Companions
2011 Bourne Again
Which Ten Are You In?

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I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
   —    Carl Sagan
[Perhaps, having seen the corruption and malevolence of the Trump Administration, the next four years can see the beginning of an American renaissance…  I hope so.  As I prayed four years ago:  “I may not agree with all (or any) of this President’s policies, but I pray he makes America a better place.”  Hopefully #45 was the “just” the darkness before the new day’s dawn.   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
   —   Mahatma Gandhi
[Two new Senators and Democratic control of the U.S. Senate!!!  A big “Thank You!” to the State of Georgia.   Of course, 21 January 2021 starts the real work for all of America.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Implications
2019 Just To…
2018 Still Going…
2017 Great Risk
2016 Robbery
2015 Humanity Plus
2014 Dinner For Two?
2013 Exercise For Those Over 50
2012 Tearful Joy!!
Except When He’s Left

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History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
   —   Abba Eban
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On This Day In:
2020 Careful About Myth Telling
2019 My Irish Diet
Fighting With Oneself
2018 Feeling Both
2017 Just Start
2016 Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
2015 Restraint At The Inn
2014 To Not Discovering
2013 I Have Less To Say
2012 Not The Best Prediction I’ve Ever Read

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One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.  In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die.  And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
   —    Eleanor Roosevelt
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
   —    Edmund Burke
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants.  He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.  Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.  Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.  To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.  Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.  But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
   —    Republican President Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt
[Tomorrow, Congress (both House and Senate) will meet in joint session to “officially” count votes from the electoral college and declare the winner of the 2020 Presidential election.  The “winner” of the election was former Vice-President Joe Biden.  The loser of the election was the current President: Donald Trump.  Biden won the election by over 7 million voters nationwide and surpassed the 270 electoral college votes required to become President.  The losing President (Trump) and his political party (the Republicans) are claiming there was voter fraud and election “irregularities” – but, only in the swing states where the President lost the election and only on the votes for the Presidency (not for Republicans who kept their offices while the President did not).  There is NO evidence to support claims of either significant voter fraud or irregularity in ANY state.  The Republicans are lying to the American public and to the voters they represent in the hopes of furthering their own political careers.  The American public has voted.  Trump LOST by a significant margin.  It is well past time to accept reality and turn to solving the outstanding problems facing our country.  Tomorrow we will see which “representatives” (Congressmen and Senators) in our government believe in “democracy” and which are willing to sacrifice our country’s principles for the sake of an incompetent businessman / politician / con-artist.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 On Killing Foreign Generals…
2019 Patient Understanding
2018 I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Form
2017 Fashionista
2016 A Faulty Model Of God
2015 Non Sequitur
2014 No Flags League
I Ain’t Who Am
2013 Spoiling For Fame?
2012 How Many?
2011 Too Tired To Chat Much
2010 I Must Be Crazy!!

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Since this series’ maiden voyage, the impossible has come to pass:  Mighty walls that maintained insuperable ideological differences have come tumbling down; deadly enemies have embraced and begun to work together.  The imperative to cherish the Earth and protect the global environment that sustains all of us has become widely accepted, and we’ve begun, finally, the process of reducing the obscene number of weapons of mass destruction.  Perhaps we have, after all, decided to choose life.  But we still have light years to go to ensure that choice.  Even after the summits and the ceremonies and the treaties, there are still some 50,000 nuclear weapons in the world — and it would require the detonation of only a tiny fraction of them to produce a nuclear winter, the predicted global climatic catastrophe that would result from the smoke and the dust lifted into the atmosphere by burning cities and petroleum facilities.
The world scientific community has begun to sound the alarm about the grave dangers posed by depleting the protective ozone shield and by greenhouse warming, and again we’re taking some mitigating steps, but again those steps are too small and too slow.  The discovery that such a thing as nuclear winter was really possible evolved out of the studies of Martian dust storms.  The surface of Mars, fried by ultraviolet light, is also a reminder of why it’s important to keep our ozone layer intact.  The runaway greenhouse effect on Venus is a valuable reminder that we must take the increasing greenhouse effect on Earth seriously.
Important lessons about our environment have come from spacecraft missions to the planets.  By exploring other worlds we safeguard this one.  By itself, I think this fact more than justifies the money our species has spent in sending ships to other worlds.  It is our fate to live during one of the most perilous and, at the same time, one of the most hopeful chapters in human history.
Our science and our technology have posed us a profound question.  Will we learn to use these tools with wisdom and foresight before it’s too late?  Will we see our species safely through this difficult passage so that our children and grandchildren will continue the great journey of discovery still deeper into the mysteries of the Cosmos?  That same rocket and nuclear and computer technology that sends our ships past the farthest known planet can also be used to destroy our global civilization.  Exactly the same technology can be used for good and for evil.  It is as if there were a God who said to us, “I set before you two ways:  You can use your technology to destroy yourselves or to carry you to the planets and the stars.  It’s up to you.”
   —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Still Willing
2019 Another Prayer
2018 After Silence
2017 Are You Looking Forward To A Trump Presidency?
2016 Three Errors From Eureka
2015 Limiting Choices
2014 Praise The Lord And Pass The Hypocrisy
That Sound
2013 Still Waiting For Answers
2012 Informal Leadership
2011 A Little More Progress
2010 Bec’s Gone Again…

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I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.
   —   John W. Gardner
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On This Day In:
2019 Dance The Night Away
2018 #45: The Poorest President In History
2017 Bull’s Eye
2016 Gifts
Jacked 3
2015 I’d Settle For Interesting
2014 Old Math
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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History never looks like history when you are living through it.
   —   John W. Gardner
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On This Day In:
2019 Pushing The Envelope
2018 The Price Of Justice Is (Sometimes) Security
2017 Time Too
2016 The Cornerstone Pays
2015 Would That This Be True
2014 More Likely
2013 Enjoyed The Desolation
Watching Faux News
2012 Speaking Of Products
2011 Ready To Be Immortal?

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Is it possible that, after all, “history has no sense,” that it teaches us nothing, and that the immense past was only the weary rehearsal of the mistakes that the future is destined to make on a larger stage and scale?
   —    Will and Ariel Durant
From their book:  “The Lessons Of History
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On This Day In:
2019 At Least Mostly On Purpose
2018 Only One You In All Time
2017 Have You Hugged A Tree Lately?
2016 Unconquerable Imagination
2015 Just Plain Wrong
2014 Finding Beliefs
2013 Pretty Confident
2012 Effective Ranges
2011 Three Wisdoms
2010 I’m Just Askin’…
Space & Time

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The historian always oversimplifies, and hastily selects a manageable minority of facts and faces out of a crowd of souls and events whose multitudinous complexity he can never quite embrace or comprehend.
    —    Will Durant
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On This Day In:
2019 I Think I’m Repeating Myself
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like X-mas!
2018 No Reason To Turn
2017 Talking Knuth
Seeing It Through
2016 Hoping For The Best Come January
2015 Adaptive Security
2014 Wants
2013 Side Effects
2012 Just Trying To Earn A Living
2011 Productive Worry

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The Irish forgive their great men when they are safely buried.
   —   Irish Proverb
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On This Day In:
2019 Courage Facing Temptation
2018 I Can’t Laugh At #45
2017 Release, Harmonize, Illuminate
2016 One Trouble With Television
2015 I Am Lucky And I Am Grateful
2014 Future Envy
2013 We Do Not Want To Learn That
2012 Social Inhibition
2011 Studying Chinese Food
Are You Bored, Too?
2010 Rant, Pant, Deep Breath – Reality

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Since man is a moment in astronomic time, a transient guest of the earth, a spore of his species, a scion of his race, a composite of body, character, and mind, a member of a family and a community, a believer or doubter of a faith, a unit in an economy, perhaps a citizen in a state or a soldier in an army, we may ask under the corresponding heads — astronomy, geology, geography, biology, ethnology, psychology, morality, religion, economics, politics, and war — what history has to say about the nature, conduct, and prospects of man.  It is a precarious enterprise, and only a fool would try to compress a hundred centuries into a hundred pages of hazardous conclusions.  We proceed.
   —   Will and Ariel Durant
From their book:   “The Lessons Of History
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On This Day In:
2019 How #45’s Father Raised Him For Incompetence
2018 Describing #45 – “The Loser” – As A Successful Businessman
Raking – #PresidentIdiot Proposes Full Employment For California
2017 Federal Deficit, National Debt And Tax Cuts For The 1%
2016 Picky, Picky, Picky
2015 Another Limitation On Religion
2014 Enduring
2013 Tell Me More…
2012 Passing…
2011 Fake It ‘Til You Make It

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We remember…
The two images below are of mementos from my wife’s family side.  The medallion was given to her family for her father’s uncle who died in World War I (“The Great War“, “The War To End All Wars“).  The second image is of a Christmas card from 1917, which Hil’s grandfather (her mum’s dad) sent home while he was a prisoner of war (POW) in a German camp.
A token of service for a life given and a signal of life for continuing hope.
Sacrifice and service…  We remember…
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On This Day In:
2019 Veterans Day – 11 November 2019
2018 Veterans Day – 11 November 2018
2017 Veterans Day – 11 November 2017
2016 Veterans Day – 11 November 2016
2015 Veterans Day – 11 November 2015
2014 Veterans Day – 11 November 2014
2013 Veterans Day – 11 November 2013
2012 Monkey Business
Veterans Day – 11 November 2012
In Others
2011 Veterans Day – 11/11/11
Deeply Confused (Still)
2010 We are not from fearful men and I Am Not Afraid!!
Veterans Day – 11 November 2010
2009 Narrowly missed first weight goal, but still happy…

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Image of 2018 Veterans Day Poster

2020 Veterans Day Poster

[To all who are serving, to all who have served, and to all those who have waited patiently for their return, “Thank You!!
If you have the time, take a minute to read:  What Is A Vet?    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Veterans Day – 11 November 2019
2018 Veterans Day – 11 November 2018
2017 Veterans Day – 11 November 2017
2016 Veterans Day – 11 November 2016
2015 Veterans Day – 11 November 2015
2014 Veterans Day – 11 November 2014
2013 Veterans Day – 11 November 2013
2012 Monkey Business
Veterans Day – 11 November 2012
In Others
2011 Veterans Day – 11/11/11
Deeply Confused (Still)
2010 We are not from fearful men and I Am Not Afraid!!
Veterans Day – 11 November 2010
2009 Narrowly missed first weight goal, but still happy…

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The Lessons Of History”  (1968©)  —  book review
Today’s book review is for a summation / distillation book written by Will and Ariel Durant (a married couple) which culminates a series of eleven volumes popularly titled: “The Story of Civilization“.  This book (“Lessons“) actually was written and published between volumes 10 and 11 of that main work.  The book attempts to provide extremely brief points about twelve topics: geography, biology, race, character, morals, religion, economics, socialism, government, war, growth / decay, and progress.  There is also a preface and a first chapter detailing the authors “hesitations” in presenting such a précis.  The book is barely 117 pages while the typical main volume is 900-1100 pages (over 10,000 pages in total).  Obviously, their task was daunting and, generally speaking, they only compare / contrast the two main tensions (positions) for each topic (i.e. religion vs secularism) in this slim book.  This book, like the main series, is an attempt to bring “history” to the masses (in simple, if flowery, language).
If you are a lover of words, you will enjoy the authors’ writing style.  I found the imagery almost poetic at many points.  If, however, you are a person grounded in ideas, you may be less taken by this work.  The chapters tend to be limited to the “compare and contrast” formula of only two main concepts each per topic.  Another issue: the book is dealing with racism and culture, character and morals, etc., and many times we see these topics through the prism of our modern perspective, while the authors view them over the course of human history.  Racism and slavery, for example, seem almost excused because that’s the way it (humanity) has been for the vast majority of the last 5,000 years.  It is NOT excused (by the authors), but it is detailed and in most sections comes across as “the white-man’s destiny”, until suddenly – sometimes in only a single brief paragraph, it isn’t.  And the “suddenly” paragraph represents the last 150 years which some of us have lived through a fair chunk of – in my case 65 of them, anyway.  I am not trying to be critical of the couple’s monumental work (over five decades in the writing for the main series), however, this book seems to suffer from the same European / Northern Mediterranean perspective (i.e. bias) which the main series is always criticized for.  I did not personally find this overly objectionable, but then I am a “melting-pot” American (product of the 1960’s).
Is this a good book?  Is it thought provoking?  Is it entertaining?  Yes.  Yes.  And, yes.  There is a well known expression that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  The authors opine this is not necessarily as true as is the subtle appearance of time, leadership, government and civilization being caught up in great interweaving cycles – like a pendulum we swing back and forth between anarchy and tyranny with only brief periods of democratic liberties and freedoms.  And, they attempt to illustrate this series of cycles for each of the twelve chapters opposing extremes.  Please note:  the authors imagery is circular.  Mine is the pendulum.
Final recommendation: highly recommended!  I bought the full twelve volumes several years ago and promised myself I’d read them “eventually”.  I’m glad I’ve finally dipped my toe in the ocean.  I guess the next step is to begin the real swim…
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On This Day In:
2019 Dodgers Choke AGAIN
He Wasn’t “Just Kidding The Press”
2018 Thinking About My Hil
Remember Your Duty In November
2017 Play Well With Others
2016 Surviving And Challenging
2015 On Destroying Historic / Archaeological Sites
2014 Magical Power
2013 How Awesome Would That Be
2012 Two Views
2011 Still Looking For Examples
2010 Giants Win Away 3 – 2!!

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