In my local rag, historian Matthew Gabriele points out that, on the historical evidence, walls don’t work, despite Donald Trump’s claims that they do.
When two people who want to get along start needing to have things explained, look out.
Stout, Rex, The Father Hunt (New York: Bantam, 1993), p. 97.
“What they would typically do is horseplay around with a gun at the location, meaning that they would point it at each other, they would pull the trigger. Most of the time, the gun was unloaded when that occurred,” Lemma said.
The victim was playing with the gun when Morse tried to take it and during the struggle, the gun fired, killing the victim, according to authorities.
I will not say one way or the other that I have ever had any experience with that evil weed, but I freely admit that I have toyed with other intoxicants (God bless the Scots!). I will say that, had I done so, I would fancy myself not so stupid as to toy with firearms when so doing.
Victoria Hugo-Vidal suggests that, since our government is going to the dogs, it might be better if it went to the dog. A snippet:
Because President Dog’s executive orders would be unintelligible to us, since nobody speaks fluent BARK BARK BARK (and in all likelihood the orders would most likely translate to “Let’s go for walkies RIGHT NOW”), if anyone in Congress wanted something done, they would have to pass legislation for it. And they would have to pass it by a veto-proof majority, because while we can certainly dip President Dog’s paw in vegetable-based ink (just in case he licks it off) and point him toward the legislation, we cannot predict if he will stamp his paw on it, or if he will chew it up instead. Congress could not rely on executive actions to accomplish their goals – they would have to do it themselves.
Mike Brooks suggests that the tribalism of our contemporary politics is rooted in humans’ evolutionary past. He points out that, until very recently in the sweep of history, humans lived in tribal groups of up to a couple of hundred persons. Even when persons were absorbed in the realms of empires and kingdoms, day-to-day transactions were confined to villages with few inhabitants. He suggests that Donald Trump’s desire for a border wall both symbolizes is fed in part by a toxic hyper-tribalism. A snippet:
There is a certain level of absurdity to our tribalism when we think more deeply about it. When it comes down to it, we are much more similar than we are different. Most of our differences, such as what language we speak the color of our skin, whether we are male or female, what foods we like, and even how and to whom we pray, were determined by factors beyond our control. After all, none of us had any influence over when and where we were born, who our parents were, the color of our skin, and the era of our existence. Somehow, each of our consciousnesses are in their own particular bodies at a certain place and time, and we have had no control over this.
In one sense, it can be okay to take some pride in this affiliation (e.g., “I’m proud to be an American,” “I love my university”). However, it’s easy to slip into tribal, us vs. them mentality when we start saying versions of “me and my group are better than you and your group.” Arguably, this is how patriotism (e.g., “I love my country”) can turn into a more tribal nationalism (e.g., “my country is the best/greatest”). A look back through history (e.g., Nazi concentration camps, genocides, slavery, ethnic cleansing) offers hard lessons about what can happen when hyper-tribalism runs amok.
I commend the entire article to your attention.
When I was in elementary school in Jim Crow Virginia, the third grade Virginia history book lauded the year 1619 as the “Red Letter Year” for three events:
- The first meeting of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in the colonies.
- The arrival of the first English women in the colony.
- The arrival of the first black (the word in the textbook was, I believe, “African”) slaves.
At the Hartford Courant, Frank Harris III looks back on the legacy of that last event, America’s original sin, the effects of which soil this polity still.
I wonder whether the schools still teach 1619 as a “Red Letter Year”? Hell, as I look about, I wonder whether they still teach history at all. (One of my friends recently told me of a conversation with a politically active young whippersnapper who did not know that President Andrew Johnson had been impeached, nor that Richard Nixon had resigned because he feared imminent impeachment and conviction.)
Wade Gilley has had enough.
I can’t say that I agree with him wholeheartedly, but I share his thoughts about the paid-by-the-puff opinionaters on my telly vision.