Notes from around the Human Experience…
WHEN IT’S TIME TO WRITE, IT’S TIME TO WRITE: As noted here before, usually we have an idea for a column before we sit down to write. Today we didn’t, so we dove in to find one, first by checking the headlines.
Turns out there was another mass shooting, this one at a school in Red Bluff, California. This one does not appear to have registered on the collective American radar like others have, probably because only five were killed, a figure which includes the shooter. Wholesale thoughts and prayers are not being issued and Red Bluff will not become part of our national lexicon. There was a time when it would have, but that time has long passed.
We suppose we could have trotted our usual mass shooting column, but it’s gotten regular work the past couple of months. Besides, regular readers of this crap know our feelings on the matter:
We have violent American citizens because we have a violent American government. When we have a government at peace, we will a country – and a world – at peace.
Then we looked to see what was shaking with President Trump. President Trump!
Yawn: The usual crap. Trump long ago established is incapable of governing. He is a liar. He is utterly devoid of the wisdom to produce a long-term vision for this country and if even if he was in possession of it, he would lack the patience to carry it out.
LOL: The funny thing is we knew all this and we elected him anyway.
Dry, Technical Matter: This got us thinking about something we said when it became clear the Obama Administration was merely marking time:
America was on its way to the two worst consecutive terms of presidential leadership in her history.
16 straight years where nothing was done to address the two issues that will eventually destroy us: our endless wars and our staggering national debt. Trump is well on his way to making it 20 years without decent presidential leadership.
We The People: You know what? We can blame incumbents, the media and lobbyists only so much. Every person who has occupied the White House or held a seat in Congress over the years got there because we stamped their passes. The fault for our partisan abnd bickering government that is incapable of doing anything of substance is ours and nobody else’s. We elected everyone there.
Some Philosophy Crap: The good news is the government we deserve is as close as the next election. All it takes is citizens – you and me, we the people – who are concerned and conscientious, participating and demanding who have the courage to hold our leaders accountable.
The Bottom Line: We have a collective responsibility to do just that. We must not be derelict in this duty! Failure to do so will result in the collapse of our once-great nation, probably before this half-century is out. The Great American Experiment will be tossed aside the scrap heap of history with, among others, the Soviet Union and the Roman Empire.
WE THE PEOPLE: THE PREQUEL: The Continental Congress of the United States adopts the Articles of Confederation on this date in 1877.
Fly In The Ointment: Ratification took four years. Twelve states ratified it within fourteen months, but Maryland wanted assurances other states would cede their claims to land west of the Ohio River February and the Maryland legislature did not ratify the Articles until 1781.
Oh Yeah: The Articles reserved most powers for the states and provided for a very limited central government. It ultimately proved unworkable and was replaced by the Constitution in 1789.
USA! USA! Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins the Savannah Campaign, also known as Sherman’s March to the Sea, in the American Civil War in this date 1864. Beginning in Atlanta, the march would end with the capture of Savannah, Georgia on December 21.
Suck It, Confederacy: The effects were devastating. Railroads, telegraph lines, cotton gins and mills and bridges were destroyed and cattle, mules and crops were confiscated. Sherman himself estimated that about 20 percent of the devastation was put to use by his army, 80 percent wasted.
Great Moments In Mass Murder: The Clutter family of Holcombe, Kansas, father Herb and mother Bonnie and their teenaged children Kenyon and Nancy are murdered in their home on this date in 1959.
Whoops, Our Bad: The killers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, had heard in prison from a former Clutter farmhand that the Clutter family had money. They may have, but they weren’t keeping it at their house and Hickock and Smith only got away with $50. They were captured six weeks later in Las Vegas and were executed together in 1965.
FunFact: The entire ordeal is chronicled in a very good book by Truman Capote called In Cold Blood, which as made in a very good movie.
Quotebook: So nigh is grandeur to our dust/So near is God to man/When duty whispers low, Thou must/The youth replies, I can – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Voluntaries
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Peter the Great’s wife Catherine, known to history as Catherine I, succeeded him as ruler of Russia.
Today’s Stumper: What was the governing document of the United States before the Articles of Confederation? – Answer next time!