Theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek is Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Origins Project Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University. He received the Nobel Prize in 2004 for his work on asymptotic freedom in the theory of strong interaction. From the Origins Web Site.
The lecture was actually rather enjoyable. I was afraid it would be over my head but Professor Wilczek has a way of putting things that are not only comprehensible but funny in a geeky sort of way.
He posed the plausibility of parallel 2 dimensional worlds that left one thinking.
The dialogue following the lecture was the typical physicist banter and subtle competition fueled a little disagreement here and there. It was a good evening.
And I got my 10th and final book signed. Professor Krauss was gracious as always.
Professor Lawrence M Krauss graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me on his thoughts about some things Robert Oppenheimer wrote. Here are the first few. I hope to get a couple more out of him but we shall see. I am very grateful he took time out of his busy schedule to indulge me.
In an Address to the American Philosophical Society Oppenheimer talked about what they learned in the scientific studies at Los Alamos and why he cannot tell them the story of how they made the atomic bombs.
“It would be a pleasure to tell you a little about it. It would be a pleasure to help you to share our pride in the adequacy and the soundness of the physical science of our common heritage that went into this weapon that proved itself last summer in the New Mexico desert.”
“That would not be a dull story, but it is not one that I can tell today. It would be too dangerous to tell that story. That is what the President, on behalf of the people of the United States , has told us. That is what many of us, where we forced ourselves to make the decision, might well conclude. What has come upon us, that the insight, the knowledge, the power of physical science, that the cultivation of which, to the learning and teaching of which we are dedicated, has become too dangerous to be talked of, even in these halls. It is that question that faces us now, that goes to the root of what science is, of what its value is. It is to that question to which tentatively, partially and with a profound sense of its difficulty and my own inadequacy I must try to speak today. “
In his book The Flying Trapeze, in the third lecture ‘War and the Nations’ he says;
“It may seem wrong to speak of this as an experience of physicists. It certainly is not an intellectual challenge like that out of which the theory of relativity was born or that which gave rise to the solution of the paradoxes of wave-particle duality and than quantum theory. I doubt if there is a certain specific right idea to be had in the field of how to remake the world to live with the armaments and to live with our other commitments and our other hopes. But is true that we have been marked by our deep implication in this development, by the obvious fact that without physics it could not have happened, and by the heavy weight which has been laid on so many members of this community in counseling their government, in speaking publicly and in trying above all in the early phases to find a healthy direction. I do not think that even our young colleagues, tearing away at the new unsolved problems of fundamental physics, are as free of preoccupation for their relation to the good life and the good society, as we were, long ago, when we were their age.”
Oppie was outspoken about his views on the free exchange of ideas, knowledge and scientific discovery. As you know this was his downfall.
After he was accused of being a threat to national security, had his reputation and his career destroyed, do you think what happened to him had any affect on the scientific community in a way that hindered scientific progress, even if just for a short period of time?
“I think any time that scientists are censored for their views this has a chilling effect on the scientific community. In the case of Oppie there were many factors associated with his history that were unique, so most scientists probably didn’t personalize what was done to him, but nevertheless it probably made some think twice before speaking out. It also polarized the community because many people reacted against Edward Teller and ostracized him afterwards.. and later on that suggested a left wing/right wing polarization that may not have been there before.”
Do you think what happened to Oppie caused scientists to feel reluctant to have a free exchange of ideas or did it strengthen their cause for it?
“As I say above, I think Oppie was unique, so what happened to him probably didn’t generalize. “
Do you agree with Oppenheimer’s views on free exchange of ideas?
“The development of nuclear weapons changed many things, and changed the sense that scientists had of their relationship to society. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, whose board of sponsors I chair (following in Oppie’s footsteps in that regard) is based on the fact that the scientific community felt a new responsibility to discuss the dangers of nuclear war with the public, to inform their views for future actions. I think that responsibility still persists. Beyond that, the free exchange of ideas is essential for the progress of science. “
Do you ever worry about losing the freedom of speech you have on the university stage, about losing research funding or tenure for your outspoken views on politics and religion or for your atheism due to political pressure, pressure from religious institutions or the religious community?
“I don’t really worry about this. I am happily pretty insulated from this, and more or less protected by the University, which supports my right to free speech. I know that there are various institutional positions I might otherwise have if I didn’t speak out as I do, but I am probably happy not to have them.”
In Science and the Common Understanding he writes;
“Transience is the back-drop for the play of human progress, for the improvement of man, the growth of his knowledge, the increase of his power, his corruption, and his partial redemption. Our word, the heroic act fade into a memory of memory, and in the end are gone. The day will come when our race is gone; this house, this earth in which we live will one day be unfit for human habitation, as the sun ages and alters. Yet no man, be he agnostic or Buddhist or Christian, thinks wholly in these terms. His acts his thoughts, what he sees of the world around him – the falling of a leaf or a child’s joke or the rise of the moon – are part of history; they are a part of becoming and of process, but not only that; they partake also of the world outside of time; they partake of the light of eternity.
These two ways of thinking, the way of time and history and the way of eternity and of timelessness, are both part of man’s effort to comprehend the world in which he lives. Neither is comprehended in the other nor reducible to it. They are, as we have learned to say in physics, complementary views, each supplementing the other, neither telling the whole story. Let us return to this.
Could you give me your thoughts on this?
“I don’t have strong thoughts on this.. Our time in the Universe is no doubt temporary, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about the future, even a possibly eternal future for the universe..”
This panel consisted of writer Elizabeth Kolbert, publisher of Skeptic Magazine Michael Shermer and professor and archaeologist Curtis Marean.
Kolbert talked about species that have gone or are near extinction; very informative, archaeoligist Marean discussed the evolution of man and how they migrated and populated the earth. He talked about the traces of Neanderthal DNA in today’s humans.
Michael Shermer who is one of my favorite intellectuals discussed ways to engage in civil debate and conversation with those of opposing views on subjects that can get pretty heated like religion.
And as always Professor Krauss was personable and gracious. He signed my copy of Beyond Star Trek. Shermer signed my copy of The Moral Arc and took a photo with me. I will post links to the video when it airs.
This was an excellent dialogue. Two of the panelists were Transgender and they had some very powerful stories to tell. The fact that Lawrence Krauss is socially aware in areas that don’t intersect with science speaks volumes to his character.
And again he had time to sign two books this event, my copy of Quintessence and The Fifth Essence.
Mariette DiChristina is the editor of Scientific Magazine and it seems a good friend of Krauss’. She was interesting and funny, though she doesn’t have a scientific background, which actually makes her more appealing to us average Joe’s, she has a good grasp of scientific knowledge and she is a logical thinker as well as an experienced journalist. I enjoyed the evening very much.
And as always Krauss had time to sign another book, my copy of Lee Burvine’s The Kafir Project for which Krauss wrote the forward.
The questions; Did you re-publish the uncensored article by Hans Bethe and Have you ever published anything by Oppenheimer were mine.
This one was extra interesting as I grew getting my news from Hugh Downs and watching 60 Minutes. Downs is in his 90’s and incredibly sharp witted, age doesn’t seemed to have muddled his mind. He forgot a few details when answering questions but just little details and only a couple. He was funny and warm.
As usual Krauss was his awesome gracious self. He signed my copy of Hiding in the Mirror.
The question; Have you ever protected a source that you felt shouldn’t be protected was mine.
I most definitely have to admit I was in a little over my head on this one. However, Krauss as usual explains things so that any layman can understand physics, at least the basic principles of it. He had a panel of scientists for this one, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, at California Institute of Technology, Kip Thorne, Theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek, Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Adam Riess, Diana Kormos-Buchwald, Professor of History at California Institute of Technology and director of the Einstein’s Papers Project.
The discussion was very interesting, I learned several things about Einstein’s career that I didn’t know before. They also discussed the discovery of gravitational waves! The last guest to speak on the panel was Kip Thorne, he was the science adviser on the movie Interstellar. I hadn’t watched the movie but did so a couple of days later. It was fun to have heard the inside scoop on some of the scenes.
As usual Krauss was very personable with his fans and at the book signing. He signed my copy of Atom.
Race baiting; when someone proclaims Black Lives Matter for example, and your initial response is All Lives Matter and you believe there is only one race, the human race then then you think that saying Black Lives Matter is race baiting. But we human beings cannot interact with each other as one dimensional beings. We are more than just one race; we are individual people with ethnic, cultural, religious, geographical, societal, governmental, educational and many other differences between us as people, as a culture, as a religion, as a community; a town; a city; a state; a nation, as a society, as a governmental system, in educational opportunity’s and many other aspects of life. It is the richness of mental stimulation, the awe and inspiration of the world around us, the sheer joy of human sexual and emotional intimacy, personal satisfaction and fulfillment. But it is also the horror of human cruelty, the despair of oppression, the hatred and in humanity with which we treat one another.
Race baiting; if you hear me saying Black Lives Matter and your response is All Lives Matter and you think I am race baiting think about which way you are looking at it; not which way I am meaning it.
Recently declassified photos show the US’s final preparations of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” which were the two bombs that were dropped cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945.
Soldiers check the casings on the “Fat Man” atomic bomb. Multiple test bombs were created on Tinian Island. All were roughly identical to an operational bomb, even though they lacked the necessary equipment to detonate. 1
On the left, geophysicist and Manhattan Project participant Francis Birch marks the bomb unit that would become “Little Boy” while Norman Ramsey, who would later win the Nobel Prize in Physics, looks on.
A technician applies sealant and putty to the crevices of “Fat Man,” a final preparation to make sure the environment inside the bomb would be stable enough to create a full impact once it detonated.
Soldiers and workers sign their names and other messages on the nose of “Fat Man.”
Here’s a closer look.
“Fat Man” is loaded onto a transport trailer and given a final once-over.
The bomb is then escorted to the nearby North Field airbase on Tinian, shrouded in tarp.
At the airfield, “Fat Man” is lined up over a pit specifically constructed for it, from which it is then loaded into the plane that eventually dropped it over Nagasaki.
Both pits for “Little Boy” and “Fat Man,” each roughly 8 feet by 12 feet, still exist today on the island and now serve as a memorial of sorts.
The bomb and its trailer are lowered down into the pit using a hydraulic lift.
Workers check “Little Boy” one last time, keeping the tarp on for security reasons, following a similar lowering procedure like the one done for “Fat Man” three days later.
Once “Little Boy” is ready, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, is reversed and positioned over the trench.
The tarp is removed and the bomb is readied for loading.
Using the hydraulic lift, “Little Boy” is carefully raised and loaded into the belly of the Enola Gay.
Once inside the plane, the bomb is secured and all connections and equipment are checked again.
From there, both “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were flown over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, and detonated. World War II ended shortly afterwards.
Left: Atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Right: Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945
I have posted about this before, but I was watching CBS Sunday Morning earlier and they interviewed Sir Elton; there was discussion about the large number of songs, how songs were written etc and it brought back some negative feelings, disappointment and even anger I felt towards him over his making ‘Candle in the Wind’ Princess Diana’s song when he played it at her funeral. For those who may not be familiar, Candle In The Wind was written by he and Bernie and released on Yellow Brick Road. It was written for Marilyn Monroe, even has her real name Norma Jean in the first line.
Now, here is my issue with this though the first should be obvious. How rude is it to just discard Marilyn like that? Oh she isn’t worthy of her song anymore because someone better died? It was obviously, or at least it used to be, written with a lot of heart and love for her if you listen to the emotion in the music and the words of endearment.
Here is my second and most angering issue; didn’t Diana deserve for him to write a new song for her? Given the large number of songs this duo wrote I find it hard to believe they couldn’t come up with a new one, actually SIR Elton, one would think, should have been inspired by the loss his very good friend who was also his countries Princess; it was because of her he received the title of Knighthood.
What a shallow and insensitive thing for him to do. Though giving a woman a previous girlfriends engagement ring pales in comparison…you get my drift.
couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.
Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.
You see, I don’t talk about race with White people.
To illustrate why, I’ll tell a story:
It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. This conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister:
“The only difference between people in the North and people in the South
is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”
There was a lot more to that conversation, obviously, but I suggest that it can be distilled into that one sentence because it has been, by my White aunt. Over a decade later, this sentence is still what she talks about. It has become the single most important aspect of my aunt’s relationship with my Black family. She is still hurt by the suggestion that people in New York, that she, a northerner, a liberal, a good person who has Black family members, is a racist.
This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people. Even — or rather, especially — my own family.
love my aunt. She’s actually my favorite aunt, and believe me,
I have a lot of awesome aunts
to choose from. But the facts
are actually quite in my sister’s favor on this one.
New York State is one of the most segregated states in the country. Buffalo, New York, where my aunt lives, is one of the 10 most segregated school systems in the country. The racial inequality of the area she inhabits is so bad that it has been the subject of reports by the Civil Rights Action Network and the NAACP.
Those, however, are facts that my aunt does not need to know. She does
not need to live with the racial segregation and oppression of her home.
As a white person with upward mobility, she has continued to improve
her situation. She moved out of the area I grew up in– she moved to an
area with better schools. She doesn’t have to experience racism, and so
it is not real to her.
Nor does it dawn on her that the very fact that she moved away from an increasingly Black neighborhood to live in a White suburb might itself be a aspect of racism. She doesn’t need to realize that “better schools” exclusively means “whiter schools.”
I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere. When I was younger, I thought it was because all white people are racist. Recently, I’ve begun to understand that it’s more nuanced than that.
understand, you have to know
that Black people think in terms
of Black people.
We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.
The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston resonated with me because Walter Scott was portrayed in the media as a deadbeat and a criminal — but when you look at the facts about the actual man, he was nearly indistinguishable from my own father.
Racism affects us directly because the fact that it happened at a geographically remote location or to another Black person is only a coincidence, an accident. It could just as easily happen to us — right here, right now.
Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.
White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.
What they are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my aunt, the suggestion that “people in The North are racist” is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.
The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.” My aunt’s immediate response is not “that is wrong, we should do better.” No, her response is self-protection: “That’s not my fault, I didn’t do anything. You are wrong.”
Racism is not slavery. As President Obama said, it’s not avoiding the use
of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of
the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism. Racism is a cop severing
the spine of an innocent man. It is a 12 year old child being shot for playing with a toy gun in a state where it is legal to openly carry firearms.
But racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced. Racism is
the fact that “White” means “normal” and that anything else is different. Racism is our acceptance of an all white Lord of the Rings cast because
of “historical accuracy,” ignoring the fact that this is a world with an entirely fictionalized history.
Even when we make shit up,
we want it to be white.
And racism is the fact that we all accept that it is white. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in Star Trek. Khan, who is from India.
Is there anyone Whiter than Benedict fucking Cumberbatch? What?
They needed a “less racial” cast because they already had the
Black Uhura character?
That is racism. Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.
Black children learn this when their parents give them “The Talk.”
When they are sat down at the age of 5 or so and told that their best
friend’s father is not sick, and not in a bad mood — he just doesn’t
want his son playing with you. Black children grow up early to life in
The Matrix. We’re not given a choice of the red or blue pill. Most white people, like my aunt, never have to choose. The system was made for
White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.
But we can’t point this out.
Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or– playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)
But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.
Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.
This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.
White people and Black people are not having a discussion about race. Black people, thinking as a group, are talking about living in a racist system. White people, thinking as individuals, refuse to talk about “I, racist” and instead protect their own individual and personal goodness. In doing so, they reject the existence of racism.
But arguing about personal non-racism is missing the point.
Despite what the Charleston Massacre makes things look like, people are dying not because individuals are racist, but because individuals are helping support a racist system by wanting to protect their own non-racist self beliefs.
People are dying because we are supporting a racist system that justifies White people killing Black people.
see this in how one Muslim killer is Islamic terror; how one Mexican thief points to the need for border security; in one innocent, unarmed Black man shot in the back by a cop, then sullied in the media as a thug and criminal.
And in the way a white racist in a state that still flies the confederate flag is seen as “troubling” and “unnerving.” In the way people “can’t understand why he would do such a thing.”
A white person smoking pot is a “hippie” and a Black person doing it is a “criminal.” It’s evident in the school to prison pipeline and the fact that there are close to 20 people of color in prison for every white person.
There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”
I’m gonna read that again: “Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”
Did you catch that? It’s beautifully subtle. This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article’s headline, the white people are “shooters” and the Black and Muslim people are “killers.”
Even when we’re talking about racism, we’re using racist language to make people of color look dangerous and make White people come out as not so bad.
Just let that sink in for a minute, then ask yourself why Black people are angry when they talk about race.
The reality of America is that White people are fundamentally good, and so when a white person commits a crime, it is a sign that they, as an individual, are bad. Their actions as a person are not indicative of any broader social construct. Even the fact that America has a growing number of violent hate groups, populated mostly by white men, and that nearly *all* serial killers are white men can not shadow the fundamental truth of white male goodness. In fact, we like White serial killers so much, we make mini-series about them.
White people are good as a whole, and only act badly as individuals.
People of color, especially Black people (but boy we can talk about
“The Mexicans” in this community) are seen as fundamentally bad.
There might be a good one — and we are always quick to point them
out to our friends, show them off as our Academy Award for “Best Non-Racist in a White Role” — but when we see a bad one, it’s just proof that
the rest are, as a rule, bad.
This, all of this, expectation, treatment, thought, the underlying social system that puts White in the position of Normal and good, and Black
in the position of “other” and “bad,” all of this, is racism.
And White people, every single one of you, are complicit in this racism because you benefit directly from it.
This is why I don’t like the story of the good samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out.
That’s too easy.
If I could re-write that story, I’d rewrite it from the perspective of Black America. What if the person wasn’t beaten and bloody? What if it wasn’t so obvious? What if they were just systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you to succeed in life?
Would you be so quick to help then?
Or would you, like most White people, stay silent and let it happen?
Here’s what I want to say to you: Racism is so deeply embedded in this country not because of the racist right-wing radicals who practice it openly, it exists because of the silence and hurt feelings of liberal America.
That’s what I want to say, but really, I can’t. I can’t say that because I’ve spent my life not talking about race to White people. In a big way, it’s my fault. Racism exists because I, as a Black person, don’t challenge you to look at it.
Racism exists because I, not you, am silent.
But I’m caught in the perfect Catch 22, because when I start pointing out racism, I become the Angry Black Person, and the discussion shuts down again. So I’m stuck.
All the Black voices in the world speaking about racism all the time do not move White people to think about it– but one White John Stewart talking about Charleston has a whole lot of White people talking about it. That’s the world we live in. Black people can’t change it while White people are silent and deaf to our words.
White people are in a position of power in this country because of racism. The question is: Are they brave enough to use that power to speak against the system that gave it to them?
So I’m asking you to help me. Notice this. Speak up. Don’t let it slide. Don’t stand watching in silence. Help build a world where it never gets to the point where the Samaritan has to see someone bloodied and broken.
As for me,
I will no longer be silent.
I’m going to try to speak kindly, and softly, but that’s gonna be hard. Because it’s getting harder and harder for me to think about the protection of White people’s feelings when White people don’t seem to care at all about the loss of so many Black lives.
This is from a gun broker online site, It is in the list they provide on how to buy from them. The key words here are the last sentence…..
“Anyone who is legally allowed to own firearms, ammunition, knives, and gun accessories is allowed to buy or sell them here. It is your responsibility to be in compliance with all Federal, state, and local laws when using this site.”
Really just take someones word for whether or not they are a convicted felon? Really?
You know, when serving someone buys alcohol the seller is equally responsible if not more, they are required to see verification of age with a photo ID. When you go to a Casino they are required to do the same. If either of those places is found to have neglected to ask for a photo id, found to accept one that states the customer is not of legal age or presents an ID that is not considered valid the seller is held responsible.
Jesus Christ this country has it shit bass ackwards.
The loop hole is here, the online dealer doesn’t have to do a background check because it is not handing the gun to the buyer directly, they ship the purchased weapon to a local gun store that has a Federal Firearm License (which they do require a copy is sent to them to put on file). The buyer then goes to that store and picks up the gun. The local gun store does not have to to a background check because they technically aren’t selling the gun, they just have a package that they haven’t opened to hand to the buyer. The buyer only has to show a printed receipt with the package number to pick it up, no photo ID required. Not even proof of age. The only stipulation is that the laws of the state shipped to are followed.
For instance the state of Arizona only prohibits the shipment of stun guns and tasers.
Now, if the local dealer doesn’t even know what is in the package, as they do not open it, then again trust is placed in the buyer to be following the laws of the state when ordering the gun. The online seller is not responsible for not shipping forbidden weapons, buyer is trusted to check the their state laws before buying and trusted to not buy anything on the prohibited list.
I don’t even have the words for the anger this ‘Really’? factor.
I have to say it is both. But for the sake of argument let’s just say it is just outdated; there is usually less offense taken from this perspective but there is offense taken none the less. I am constantly amazed and offended when so many people get so deeply offended at any criticism of this document. As if it were sacred scripture or something. That however does not floor me as bad as the offense people take at any hint of criticism of any of its writers.
Let’s just consider what should be undisputed facts and not my opinions, this document was written by politicians, it was written to or towards the English Crown; or at the very least with the King in mind. It was meant to define to the King what the new system of government these revolutionaries where setting up I would think as a show that they weren’t going off half cocked but that they had a plan. Regardless it was written by men who just won the freedom to govern themselves, men who were now free from English rule.
The Constitution was written for a government that would govern 13 independent colonies. Leaders of this revolution were awarded colonies to govern on their own, independent of each other without a Federal government in the respect that we have today, this aspect is the source of one of it’s biggest flaws I will get to shortly. But their were only 13 colonies not 50 states. It was written in 1787 before there was a president, two years before and it was written by the Continental Congress. At that time the colonies had governors who were appointed by the King. Continental, important term here because it refers to a body of government in the North American Continent i.e. a separate one from the one on the European Continent. It was written by a Congress who wanted to be able to have authority of the colonies that were governed by the Crown. These men did not want those appointed governors to have any authority over them. Remember this was all done in succession from the Kings rule. These were all men with a common goal of independence.
Those fact are key here, especially the fact that these were men with a common goal. They were working together; this is not the mindset of today’s Congress, but then again they are still of the mindset of not being ruled by anyone; remember their was no President at the time and wanted the king to have no authority over them. They didn’t want a future President to either, they still had a nasty taste in their mouth from the monarchy.
To my main point. Those men were working together, they had a common goal; why would the allow for a Congress of different goals and ideals, and one that had 4 times the number of members in it when writing this document? It is obvious to me that they never considered the possibility that there would ever be 50 states, resulting in a larger body of government of men who were not trying to reach a goal of independence? This document was a war-time set of rules, not a document defining a set of rules for a completely independant nation. (Here is a good place to point out that at the time only white Christian men who owned land had the right to vote, in other words all votes were cast by men of the same mindset, values and ideas). I sincerely doubt these men ever considered a nation of such diverse religious and political beliefs. These men allowed for men of different variations of the Christian faith, men with a belief in god. Yes they allowed for differences in the worship of god but they assumed everyone believed in god in the first place. They left no room for non believers. This fact is abundantly clear by the Declaration of Independence which yes does not mention religion or even suggest religiosity, it does specifically mention god and it does directly refer to god.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
These first words were specifically directed at the king; a king who believed he was appointed by god. The founding fathers were disputing the fact that the king was any better than they were.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
These words were also directed at the king; a king who believed he was given the authority to speak for god to them. They were telling this king that only god had that authority, that god never gave any man that authority. They were not just taking authority away from the king they were giving authority back to god.
But back to the political body of Congress itself. The Constitution was written with a common goal in mind. these men considered that there would someday be differences in political agendas, which is why the allowed for it in the Bill of Rights. they considered that men would worship god in their own way, and they may have even considered there would be men who wouldn’t worship at all but they did not allow for this in these documents; not believing in god was a crime punishable by death in this new America, these rights they were assuring were for god fearing (white) men only. In other words they never considered that citizens that weren’t white, god fearing and male would ever have the right to vote or would ever be voted for; that women or non white, non believing men or women would ever be part of this body of government. These differences in beliefs result in differences in politics. I am pretty sure they didn’t consider that Congress would be voting on abortion rights; gun control (remember they wanted citizens armed in a country that was occupied by the king’s army). They weren’t considering that someday Americans would seek to arm themselves against them, they were men who shared the desire to not be ruled by a foreign monarch, men who wanted to make sure that no one would ever have authority over them; remember there was no president at the time, they I believe assumed that the future president they were allowing for was, like them, a man with the same goals of being free from foreign rule, while not leaving room for error if this elected president was in fact an agent of the crown who could then take back the authority they had taken away; remember the governors of the colonies were all appointed by the king; they were forming this new government from the top down, not the bottom up. They fulling intended these governors would be replaced with elected ones with the same end goal of separation from the crown.
So let’s look at the holes these fact created in this sacred document.
any member of Congress can filibuster. A filibuster is nothing more than a member of Congress running out the clock. It isn’t as painless as a quarterback running out the clock to prevent the opposing team from getting another chance to score; for starters the House play clock is several hours in comparison to the NFL’s 15 min quarters. Congress’ strategy to prevent the opposing side from scoring is to talk until the clock runs out and there is no time for a vote. Ted Cruz once read Green Eggs and Ham and talked about his kids for over 14 hours to run out the clock.
Congress can also decide to vote against a bill without even reading it. This is equivalent to a judge passing sentence without a trial because he knows that a jury won’t convict. In other words the whole democratic majority rule thing doesn’t apply in Congress, defeating the whole reason the people elect politicians to represent them in the first place.
A bill for background checks for someone buying a firearm for example can also have in it a section that states abortion would become illegal if the bill passes. Let’s walk past the fact that one law has absolutely nothing to do with the other; a Senator who was elected because of their policy on gun control would most like vote no on this bill because they also have a right to choose policy. These deliberate conflicts in policies are intended to do exactly what they end up doing; prevent the passing of legislation put up for a vote by the opposing party. And these conflicting parts of a bill can be tacked on to a bill that has already been submitted by the opposing party leaving no room for them to choose not to submit it. In other words legislation is voted on so no one can argue that a bill was not considered.
The Presidential duty to appoint judges, emphasis on the word DUTY. By rules of this very Congress the President has an obligation to make sure our judicial system has enough judges to assure Americans their 5th Amendment right to due process, and the right to a fair trial. The idea of this system is that everyone is entitled to an unbiased judgement from the courts. A judge isn’t supposed to have personal views influence decisions; they are supposed to pass judgement based on the letter of the law. In the case of the Supreme Court of the United States however this is the highest authority of what the letter of the law is. The President has a duty to appoint these judges but according to democratic policy Congress is supposed to approve this appointment to assure that once again the majority will rule, to assure that one individual does not have absolute authority. Today’s Congress has simply decided they again won’t do what is the thing under job description for Senators and vote for the people who voted for them, are flat-out refusing to do their job. The majority doesn’t rule then does it? Any other employee in any position in any other establishment would and should be fired for refusing to do their job. Hell my 3-year-old twins grandson’s get sent to the wall when they refuse to do what they are supposed to. Imagine if a teacher refused to teach, a teacher that just sat at their desk in a classroom of students saying nothing. Imagine a fireman who refused to turn on the hose he was holding standing in front of a burning building full of people who were locked inside. Imagine a pilot of a commercial airline refusing to fly the plane full of passengers who had no way of getting off the plane. Imagine a mother refusing to parent a child, a parent who just sat there watching tv while their baby was lying in a crib unable to feed itself. Imagine a President who refused to get out of bed; who decided they didn’t want do anything all day while an enemy troops were landing on our shores. Imagine a bank manager who refused to unlock the doors; who decided they just wanted to sit in their office all day playing solitaire on their computer. All these people would lose their jobs. But; no one can fire a member of Congress. Even Presidents can be impeached for minor violations like lying about an affair, but a member of Congress? Nope, they can spend 14 hours reading a children’s book to the most powerful assembly of elected officials in the worlds most powerful nation.
I would be willing to bet that our founding fathers; while writing our founding documents; while founding our system of government considered that their successors would be such immature, irresponsible, apathetic and deceitful manipulators of their hard work; of their dreams and of their ideals.
“Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!”
This is what he tweeted. This is why he scares the shit out of me. That short statement is a perfect example of just how not qualified he is to be President. He is absolutely clueless.
First, Scotland did not leave the European Union; Scotland voted to stay in. England left. But let’s put that incorrect statement aside for a minute; ‘they took their country back’ ? Who does he think had it? Even if they would have left the EU, what exactly does he think the EU is?
Well here it is in a nutshell, the European Union is not a government; a ruler or a monarch, political faction or any other type of leadership. It is like an Economic agreement between the countries of Europe. Before the EU everyone; The UK; United Kingdom which consists of Ireland, Scotland England and Wales had the pound sterling; Sweden had the franc; Italy had the lira, the Danish had the krone etc. Those countries that joined the EU; by way of votes from their citizens all now have one currency, the euro.
For countries that had a low rate of exchange this was an economic improvement but those with a higher rate of exchange it turned out not so much. In comparison if we did something like this with Canada and Mexico, Mexico would make out good but we however would not as their unit worth would be greater and ours would be less. It seems England didn’t improve economically in the Union so it left.
Back to Scotland being part of the United Kingdom which is one of the 16 countries that is ruled by Queen Elizabeth; or the English Monarch. Mr. Trump…….Scotland is still part of the UK and Scotland is still under English rule just like Canada, Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, Akrotiri and Dhekelia,Turks and Caicos Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Antarctica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Pitcairn Islands and Indian Ocean Territory. I think I got them all……..
What a moron, if he should become the President I will be moving to one of those countries……
I absolutely can see Trump walking away using some lame excuse about his companies needing him if he thinks he is going to lose. He will ride it out as long as he can but when the reality of a loss to Hillary hits him he will quit. Bet me.
I was raised to believe that asking someone how much money they had was rude. I was also raised to believe that someone who brags about how much money they are worth were rude.
I am in no way, by any means what-so-ever defending or sticking up for Donald Trump; and this applies to any or all political candidates, what gives anyone the right to ask demand to see tax returns to prove how much money they have?
Sure we have the right to ask this of those that are paid with tax payers dollars, like Senators, Congressmen and yes the President. We have the right to ask their salary for that office, not how much money they have from any other means. No right what so ever in my opinion.
Of course their are exceptions like if any of these politicians are guilty of some crime involving the money the make I don’t see how it is anyone’s business how much anyone is worth.
I have been a little thrown, a little confused and a little snippy at what I saw as absolute condescension from Bernie at Hillary by refusing to concede. The Democratic Party has officially endorsed Hillary as the party nominee; but the official Super Delegate vote isn’t until July 25th. True the majority have pledged they will vote for Hillary but Bernie is running on the momentum the popular vote is giving him and betting he can change some of their minds.
My thinking was that he is either overly optimistic; overly confident or just plain arrogant.He had private meetings with Obama before he came out and publicly endorsed Hillary and he has met privately with Secretary Clinton.
I have been expressing the view that Hillary should take Bernie as her VP to guarantee a Democratic win. But hardcore Bernie supporters are usually hardcore Hillary Haters and many of them have emphatically stated that they will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances and many claim they would go one step further than not voting at all and actually vote for Trump. After asking many of them why they matter-of-factly express their contempt for her and even add that they would be angry or at least disappointed in Bernie if he did run with Hillary on the grounds that he would be compromising everything anti-corporate that he stands for. Some friends make the case that Bernie can serve best staying in the Senate; the Vice Presidency is a figurehead office. The VP is basically the voice of or speaker for the President; never his own.
I give weight to all sides of these arguments; but still feel bugged at Bernie for continuing his campaign; unless what Bernie is really up to is this:
He knows many of his supporters will not vote for Hillary; no vote is just as bad and maybe worse than actually voting for Trump. Maybe what he means when he says that he and Hillary are standing together as a party to prevent a Trump Presidency is that instead of running together and risk losing those or maybe more votes he is continuing his campaign because votes for him is better than no votes of Trump votes. He is betting the odds…..I hope he is a lucky gambler.
I feel positive again about America, like I haven’t in a very long time. Like when I went to D.C. a few years ago for the first time. Standing there in front of the Lincoln Memorial and thinking about the character of the man that ended slavery, standing where MLK gave that speech while tears welled up in my eyes feeling what heart that man had; with just absolute awe and the first real Patriotism I think I have ever felt. I also felt deep rooted anger and contempt when I was at the Jefferson Memorial reading the engravings in the massive marble wall that read ‘all men are created equal’ knowing that when he wrote those words he owned hundreds of slaves; even fathering many children born out of his rape. and walking through the Holocaust Museum then going to FDR’s extensive memorial knowing that he did nothing for years while Hitler murdered millions of Jews. I have never read or heard any of the past Presidents speeches really but have listened to hours upon hours and read page after page of Obama’s, Trumps and the past Republican candidates; Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s debates, speeches and interviews.
When I am listening to Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz or Ben Carlson I feel, well almost dirty. I feel ashamed and disgusted. Kind of like when looking at the statue of Jefferson or Roosevelt. And all I hear is hate; hate for America or at least disappointment, mistrust and contempt for our President, racial bigotry for him and any other color of person other than white. I hear how fucked up everything in America is; every government program, every political office held by other parties, and how every immigrant is to blame for it all. I hear misogyny outright and I hear the scripture that they refer to as if they were speaking for god. I hear hate.
Hillary speaks with Pride in America, in Obama and herself. She has honor, integrity and a love for this country. What she lacks is that hateful contempt for the institution of government. She makes me stand up a little taller, take a little more pride in this country and gives me an all around sense of glory and a sense of responsibility for our place in the world.
First let me say that I am a Hillary Supporter through and through, have been ever since the United Nations World Conference for Women in 1995, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXM4E23Efvk . Nothing she has done throughout her years as a Senator and her time as Secretary of State has or will change or lose my support. Everything that happened with Bill Clinton and women; the way she did or did not react or publicly deal with his womanizing ways (yes I believe he is or was a womanizer but do not believe he raped or sexually assaulted anyone. Monica was a big girl who by choice gave him that blow job, she was a willing participant.) Though it speaks to Bill’s character, Hillary’s marriage is none of my business; and as far as I know nothing that happened affected her ability to do her job. That being said, Benghazi? I fail to see how she is at fault for anything that happened that day, as far as I know she asked for more money to secure the Americans in the embassy’s that were attacked that day; yes there was more than one. The Americans that died, as sorrowful as that was, they knew the risks when they went there. They put their own lives on the line willingly as part of their job. Now, how the White House handled the press and what the public was told sure their was a lot of questions there but again; I fail to see how that was Hillary’s fault or responsibility.
Let’s get to the emails; I watch CSPAN, not the news. I think for myself by what those in question actually say not what the press or someone else says they said. Repeatedly those who are in charge of the investigation and all those who she answers to said that the use of a private email is not encouraged but it is not prohibited. She is not the first in a secure position to do so. Personally I probably would have done the same thing given how easy Snowden got hold of information, knowing the leaks within the government and such her private email was probably safer. And I have to point out that Congress is insisting she hand over Top Secret information; TOP SECRET being the key words here, most if not all of those asking for those emails don’t have the security clearance to read them. If they or those who side with them can’t find them, don’t know what is in them then she made a wise decision; she has kept them from eyes that are not cleared to see them.
I firmly believe that those asking are desperately trying to find something they can use against her, especially concerning Benghazi because they have so far found nothing to convict of.
Now we get to the election process. I am not arguing that the election process is at the very least flawed, the whole super delegate thing is very unfair; but that is not Hillary’s fault, she didn’t and isn’t the one responsible for it.
Many of those that hate her do so on the grounds that she is corrupt; that she is bought and paid for, that she caters to the 1%, that she is against the working class. I don’t see it that way; but admittedly I do not know how or who invests or donates to her that is corrupt or unethical. Is she wealthy? Yes, is that a crime? No.
Now on to Bernie; but first let me point out that Bernie and Hillary don’t differ much if at all on most policies; at least not the important ones. They both want harsher gun laws, they both want universal health care, they both want free higher education (except Hillary doesn’t believe it should be free to Trumps kids or even her own for that matter). They both support funding Planned Parenthood and both support equal rights and pay for women.
Bernie in my mind is what my grandma used to call ‘poor proud’. Poor proud is someone who lives like they are poor to prove they are like those that are when in fact they are living poor by choice, without actually knowing the struggle of the lower class and without experiencing the fear of not being able to feed your kids or of becoming homeless. He chose to live in a Sugar shack in college that had no electricity, running waters and had dirt floors; but he did so by choice not because he had no other choice or resources. Don’t let his poor proud act fool you, not only does he make 174,000 dollars a year as a Senator and his wife go somewhere around a 200,000 dollars severance pay after stepping down as president of Burlington College; this was close to here yearly salary. I don’t know how much the Sanders are worth but they are definitely not middle class.
I don’t agree with his free education for all; for those who need it but not for all. I also believe that if he accomplishes this it will lower the quality of higher education; it will be comparable to the poor quality of public education now. This goes for his free medical universally as well. I believe he has the best of intentions but I think he is unrealistic and as my grandma would say…he is poor proud.
But like Hillary he stands for the equality of women, our right to choose, stricter gun laws, cleaner energy, stopping global warming and lowering taxes for the middle and lower class. I don’t know more about his foreign policy other than that he voted against the war in Iraq and he stands against nuclear weapons.
Hillary is the only candidate who understands what is going on in Syria, and the Middle East. She is the only one who knows Foreign policy from the inside. She has already established relationships with other foreign leaders, she has negotiated with them and she understands who they are and what they want and what they will do. I fear Bernie’s higher moral ground attitude will interfere with his policies and his diplomacy with foreign policy.
This is where the thought of Trump in office terrifies me. I am not so much concerned with what he will do to or in the United States, it is what he will do to this country on a global scale. His arrogant third grade attitude; name calling, his bigotry, his misogyny, his lack of understanding foreign policy and his just bomb them all attitude will destroy any and all relationships that have been built with countries like Japan and Russia. His homophobic, Islamaphobic and white supremacy will alienate all foreign peoples and their leaders.
And his support of the NRA will lead to more mass shootings and violent deaths than the already unacceptable rate it is already. His lack of basic manners and his direct political incorrectness; his point to offend; his bullying and his just plain bad manners will only not offend others like him. His reality show on the road to the White House is a testament to the overwhelming number of ignorant people who think Jerry Springer an awesome show.
Yes I will vote for Hillary, and yes the fact that she is a woman adds to her appeal. Not just any woman but a woman who will fight to end the violence and oppression of women world wide. That is the issue that is at the top of my list of wants as far as change in this world; and she alone will not stand on protocol or policy and back down from the fight to end the violence against women.
A couple of days ago Donald Trump held a campaign rally in San Diego. He talked about how he would be back in San Diego this fall for a civil suit trial brought against Trump University; how he was able to call his ‘school’ a University is beyond me, and he mentioned the name of the judge that would be presiding over this trial. Gave the man’s full name, and race. He dropped the names of the prosecuting attorneys and the plaintiff’s in the case. He did so of course amid snide remarks about gender, race, personality and physical traits.
This is the man who Republicans want to trust with our nations top secret military information? This is the man who is already being briefed by the CIA on sensitive information? Really?