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Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

By the late summer of 2018, it was already clear that the US and the world order it had helped establish during my lifetime were facing deep-seated political, economic, and cultural challenges.
Nonetheless, I drew reassurance from my mother’s reminder that the US had endured a brutal civil war, two world wars, a great depression, and still emerged as the leader of the “free world”, a model for democracy, open markets, free trade, and economic growth.  That was, for me, a source of both pride and hope.
Today, threats facing that model have grown more ominous, and our ability to withstand them feels less certain.  Increasingly, by design or not, there appears to be a movement to undermine Americans’ faith in our government and its policies and institutions.  We’ve moved well beyond former president Ronald Reagan’s credo that “government is the problem”, with its aim of reversing decades of federal expansion.
Today we see something very different and far more sinister.  Nihilistic forces are dismantling policies to protect our air, water, and climate.  And they seek to discredit the pillars of our democracy: voting rights and fair elections, the rule of law, the free press, the separation of powers, the belief in science, and the concept of truth itself.
Without them, the American example that my mother so cherished will revert to the kind of tyranny that once seemed to be on its way to extinction  —  though, sadly, it remains ensconced in some less fortunate parts of the world.
Seventy-five years ago, Americans rose to the challenge of vanquishing tyranny overseas.  We joined with our allies, keenly recognizing the need to defend and sustain our hard-won democratic freedoms.  Today’s generation faces a different, but equally existential, test.  How we respond will determine the future of our own democracy and, ultimately, of the planet itself.
There is a need to “keep at it”.  It cannot be set aside.
  —  Paul Volcker
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System from 1979 to 1987
This quote was taken from an “opinion” piece published in the Financial Times (ft.com).  It is taken from an afterward in Mr. Volcker’s upcoming publication of the paperback edition of his autobiography.
The full version can be found in the FT hard-copy edition (at your local library) and online at:   https://www.ft.com/content/2389d7ec-1b3c-11ea-97df-cc63de1d73f4
Note: The “bold and italic” emphasis in the quote above is mine and did not appear in the additional piece.  These two lines appear in multiple articles online describing Mr. Volcker’s comments and are what prompted me to seek out and read the full original opinion.  There is more in the piece worth reading and I encourage all readers of this post to visit the FT site and read the original.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 For Most Of Us
2017 Stories We Need On Life’s Edge
2016 Heart Trouble
2015 From The Inside Out
2014 Alone And Free
2013 Superstition Is Your Way
2012 Escape Hatches
2011 Sing Like No One Is Listening

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday (5 Dec 2019), that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. “Our democracy is what is at stake.  The president leaves us no choice but to act.
As she was leaving the press briefing platform she was asked if she hated President Donald Trump.   Pelosi turned and pointed at the reporter asking the question and said:  “I don’t hate anybody.  We don’t hate anybody.  Not anybody in the world.  Don’t accuse me.
She returned to the podium to continue:  “I think the president is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence.  I think he is cruel when he doesn’t deal with helping our dreamers.  I think he’s in denial about the climate crisis.
Impeachment, she emphasized, was about protecting the “Constitution of the United States,” rather than about policy disagreements or dislike of the president which could wait for the election.
As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me.  I don’t hate anyone.
Speaker Pelosi continued, saying she prayed for the president, and, in fact did so every day.
As she turned to leave the stage she concluded: “So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.
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On This Day In:
2018 Seek A Clear View
2017 Living With Myself
2016 Still Looking In Mirrors?
2015 Fear No Evil
2014 And Nothing Can Be As Tragic As…
2013 Your Tax Dollars At Work
2012 Historically Unacceptable
2011 Niners Are NFC West Division Champions!!
The Essence Of Leadership

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Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.
  —  Thomas J. Watson
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On This Day In:
2018 Every Time I Think I’m Falling
2017 Still Testing The Hypothesis
2016 Excessive Weakness In January
2015 That Burns
2014 Hey, I Resemble That Remark… (4!)
2013 Sit, Put, Until…
2012 Lessons For My Son
2011 Reaching The Right Audience
2010 Christmas Trees and Profession of Faith

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We believe that according the name ‘investors’ to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a ‘romantic.’
  —  Warren Buffett
[With the Dow at very near an all-time high, a “normal” market “correction” (a 10% drop) will still leave the market above 25,000 which would still be a historic end of year high.  The only questions are when will the correction eventually happen and how far past “normal” it will go?  Okay, three: how long will it last?  Remember, this is the first Presidency to have an 800 point drop in a single day…  Of the top five daily losses in Dow history (roughly 120 years), ALL five have happened during the current Administration.  So far, we’ve recovered from each quickly…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Dominoes II (Update From Last Year’s Post)
2017 Dominoes
2016 Itchin’
2015 In The Not So Distant Future
2014 Sources
2013 Three Essentials
2012 Just Looking
2011 Religious Lessons
2010 View From Under The Bus… (A mid-term report card on the Obama Administration. Long, but still worth reading for historical perspective.)

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Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
  —  Warren Buffett
[And soon, hopefully, just an embarrassingly bad memory…  A genius for marketing one’s self is only useful if – ultimately – there is something in you of value.  Otherwise, with bad luck, you pitiably end up at center stage with no talent to perform.  #GrifterDon was able to make it to center stage.  Under the bright lights, he has wilted and shown us he can’t dance, sing or even perform a soliloquy.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Good Sense
2017 E Pluribus Unum
2016 Lacking
2015 Chip, Chip, Chip
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

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Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes…  but no plans.
  —  Peter Drucker
[This sounds remarkably like #DonTheCon’s platform for the 2016 presidential campaign…  Promises…  Hopes…  But only his secret plans to “make America great again”; which he alone could make happen…  Yet, after three years in office, he still has not revealed a single plan.  Could it be he never had ANY secret plans???  To fix health care?  To get us out of wars in the Middle East?  To solve the Israel / Palestinian problem?  To lower crime or decrease gun violence?  To fix immigration?  Has Mexico paid one peso to build the wall?  To get better trade deals?  To disarm a nuclear capable North Korea?  Just asking…???  In #DumbDonald’s case, “commitment” hasn’t been the problem.  The problems have been his lack of ability, intelligence and integrity.  On second thought, no…  Even discounting those three obvious failings, he’s still a below average to absolute failure as a President.  Unfortunately for the country (and the world), he is just one of those pitiable individuals who history has tragically promoted FAR beyond his level of competency.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Where I Write
2017 At Last, An Honest Philosopher…
2016 Fake It ‘Til You Make It
2015 Hell Toupée
2014 Corrected And Amended
2013 Too Few
2012 Three Characters
2011 Universal Payment
2010 Privatizing the TSA? (An old – and long – post, but still relevant!!)

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Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world’s ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.
  —  John W. Gardner
[And let’s not forget that ONLY one man (#IncompetentDonald) can solve all of Washington’s and the nation’s problems…   Almost three years in office, how’s he doing so far?  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 #45: It’s Tougher Being President
2017 Consequences
2016 Shouting At The Void
2015 Crab Feed
Happy Thanksgiving (2015)
2014 Beyond Proof
2013 Poor Students Of History
2012 Between Two Worlds
2011 Common Humanity
2010 The Last Two Olympians

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