i’m one of those over-60 Berners — he made me WANT to pay taxes, to contribute to the Commonweal, to improve our country for E Pluribus.
i also mourn the non-existent Unum that we’ve split into. that “under god” shoved in between “one nation” and “indivisible” really split us in half, didn’t it? we cannot be both “one nation” AND “under god” at the same time; it’s not possible. those who insist on remaining under god have to accept that FACT and learn to live with it, without it threatening their already tenuous belief system.
was it President Lincoln who observed that a house divided against itself cannot stand — or was it the putative “president” — Putin — the dictator who has made a mockery of the term “president”? who runs against him? only dead or imprisoned men, or ineffective straw candidates of his choosing. what opinions do the Russian people have? ask author/journalist Masha Gessen, a Russian-American who’s lived under Putin’s totalitarianism and understands it far better than we cosseted Americans. she well understands that the effect of Putin’s totalitarianism has been to deprive Russians of independent thought; they are incapable of autonomous critical thinking and must depend on State-run TV for their “opinions” du jour. i laugh when i hear our TV journalists slash anchors repeatedly demand their pundits to tell us Americans what the Russians are thinking — they are thinking what Putin wants them to think, as soon as he lets them know what that is. it doesn’t pay to be too clever in Russia these days; look what happened to the brave souls of Pussy Riot. Ms. Gessen’s wonderful book, Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, tell that story plainly and succinctly, it’s definitely worth reading, unless we’re just content to let it wash over us like a warm summer’s breeze or the latent effects of one of many uncontrolled wildfires.
ditto for Garry Kasparov, a Soviet citizen who made it to the intellectual elite because of his ability to successfully wage war on the chessboard and who remains there because of his ability to visualize that board umpteen moves in advance. why did he pick America instead of Great Britain for his refuge? ask Aleksandr Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006 after being poisoned by highly-lethal polonium 210. or, more recently, the Skripals, father Sergei and daughter Yulia, who fell victim to Russian-produced nerve agent Novichok just a few months ago in Salisbury, UK … or the unfortunate British woman, Dawn Sturgess, who died earlier this month of exposure to residue from that very same Novichok at the relatively young age of 44.
i report; you decide. perhaps it’ll take the form of Putin, with Trump’s assistance, or the Republican-run Prayer Breakfasts and NRA, with Russian spy Maria Butina’s calculated machinations — either way, it’s a sure bet that as long as we keep resisting the moral reality of our secular republic, we will collapse like that proverbial house of cards.
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