In March 2015 The Metropole Hotel in Hanoi was reopened after renovations. Media reported Vietnamese dignitaries arrive in Bentleys, Benzes, and other cars that one reasonably may describe as “luxury” cars. Vietnam is a country with which the U.S. trades.
Today is Veterans Day. On November 11, 1918, the Treaty of Versailles took effect at 11 a.m. and brought an end to World War I. The carnage was so horrific that some called it the “war to end all wars.” Of course, there was a bigger…
Added by Mark Small on November 11, 2019 at 8:26am — No Comments
Like it or not, the political structure of this country is predisposed to a two-party system. With force and counter-force, and checks and balances, since 1789 our government has been dominated by two political parties. Even as they decried “factions” (what we call political parties), Madison (Republican later to be called Democratic) and Hamilton (Federalist) took helped form the first two parties.
By the mid-1800s the institution of chattel slavery had so devastated this country that…
Added by Mark Small on July 15, 2019 at 7:56pm — No Comments
In 1854 the Republican Party was founded, its principal policy position being opposition to expansion of slavery through the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Cavendish, History Today, Vol. 54, #7, July 2004. After the Civil War, Republican members of Congress pushed reconstruction of the South and sought to protect the rights of people recently freed from slavery (while at the same time seeking to enrich themselves). When Theodore Roosevelt assumed the office of President after the death of William…Continue
Added by Mark Small on May 11, 2019 at 2:16pm — No Comments
“Republicans resigned to Trump losing 2020 popular vote but confident about Electoral College” - David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, 3/22/19.
This headline grabbed my attention. The “Electoral College” never was meant to be “how our system works,” contrary to the opinion of an Arizona Republican donor who supports the current occupant of the Oval Office. The occupant himself is quoted: “I used to like the idea of the Popular Vote, but now realize the Electoral College is far better…
Added by Mark Small on March 26, 2019 at 9:34pm — No Comments
Our intelligence agencies have determined Russia used cyberforce to attack this country during the 2016 elections. Cyber warfare is big money these days - because so much of the World’s security depends upon computers.
Intelligence agencies have determined Russia will interfere in elections yet to come. Putin is no friend of democracy. He hates the United States. He hates political systems that espouse democratic values.
The current occupant of the Oval Office travels to Finland to…
Added by Mark Small on July 16, 2018 at 1:41pm — No Comments
Nothing quite manages to silence opposition and join people in the spirit of loyalty like a national crisis. When crises are real, people legitimately bond and work toward a common goal. The United States faced such crises on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
Unfortunately, despots read history - at least for pointers on how either to seize, or to tighten hold on, power. Crises are right up some despots’ alleys.
Adolf Hitler took office as Chancellor of Germany on January…
Added by Mark Small on June 16, 2018 at 6:52am — No Comments
The kids from the school in Florida, who have been brave and energetic enough to demand changes in policies in regard to gun violence, have used orange apparel to express the movement that way. I sometimes wear a tie. I wanted to find a non-for-profit from which I could buy an orange tie such that my expenditure would go to stopping gun violence. I found some that sell other apparel, but none that sell the specific apparel I could wear. Therefore, I ordered five (5) orange neckties…Continue
Added by Mark Small on June 7, 2018 at 7:23pm — No Comments
Office holders in this country do not possess “rights” via that office. Governments - and, by extension, individuals who hold office in governments - hold power. People have rights. A government official has rights as a person, as do we all.
The current occupant of the Oval Office tweeted yesterday:
“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending…
Added by Mark Small on June 5, 2018 at 6:28am — No Comments
Insider trading is against the law - and not “just because.” It is against the law because markets can be “gamed” artificially.
Mortimer and Randolph Duke, the brothers in “Trading Places” who sought to scam the market on frozen orange juice futures, learned how playing on insider information can backfire. Their characters ended up on the street and broke.
The current occupant of the Oval Office committed a faux pas this week. Well, he does that all the time, but this one…Continue
Added by Mark Small on June 1, 2018 at 8:23pm — No Comments
Isn’t this how the Second Amendment is supposed to work?
Citizens were concerned. Loved ones, neighbors, people whom they didn’t know personally were shot.
Citizens devised an odd plan. They purchased copies of Quotations of Chairman Mao - who racked up more deaths than anyone else on the Top-10 Mass murdered list - for 25 cents per copy in Oakland and sold the copies for $1 each to students at Ucal-Berkeley.
With the profits from those sales, shotguns were purchased. Citizens…
Added by Mark Small on May 13, 2018 at 8:41pm — No Comments
The First Church of Cannabis, and members of the Church, filed a lawsuit in July, 2015, under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to allow members and congregants to use marijuana as a sacrament. The cause number assigned to the case, pending in Marion Circuit Court, is 49C01-1507-MI-022522. I am the attorney who represents the Plaintiffs. The Office of the Indiana Attorney General represents Defendants who are political entities or officials of the State “State Defendants”). The…Continue
Added by Mark Small on April 5, 2018 at 8:04am — No Comments
The Electoral College is a vestige of the “Great Compromise” of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, whereby States were apportioned seats in the House of Representatives based on population, but each State - even the smallest - had two (2) seats in the Senate. States in which slavery was allowed benefitted. “Each person in a State, regardless of her or his status, was counted for purposes of apportionment of seats in the House and electoral voes: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be…Continue
Added by Mark Small on March 27, 2018 at 6:42am — No Comments
The Framers shaped the Constitution on premises that included distrust of, and the need for protections against, democracy and majority rule. The Electoral College was intended, by the Framers of the Constitution, to act as a deliberative body and protect the nation from a person who was incompetent or corrupt.
The manner by which electoral votes were apportioned to each State was based on the Great Compromise, whereby each State received a number of seats in the House of…
Added by Mark Small on March 25, 2018 at 5:30am — No Comments
A constitutional convention - a gathering of delegates to re-write our Constitution - would be a disaster for rights of Americans and of people.
1) No matter what “limits” might be set, once convened, delegates could write whatever they want. Former United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote, in 1983: “...there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress…
Added by Mark Small on March 14, 2018 at 6:53am — No Comments
Putin must have paid North Korea’s leader a bundle.
When all other reasons are eliminated, the reason left—no matter how bizarre—is the one that explains something. That is a sort of razor of logic, similar to the “haircuts” Donald Trump, the current occupant of the Oval Office, used to give to creditors when he was a Brilliant Titan - or maybe “Trojan” would be a better prophylactic term - of Industry.
DT did nothing to elicit “peace talks” with North Korea. DT slung bellicose,…
Added by Mark Small on March 10, 2018 at 9:39pm — No Comments
This week’s revelation that Trump ordered the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in June, 2017, should not have surprised many people. Perhaps more of a surprise was that Trump changed his mind when White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit if Trump persisted with the action.
More people, perhaps, were shocked by Sean Hannity’s on-air epiphany when the item was confirmed by - Fox News.
Several lawyers and a couple of law professors were on the various news outlets…
Added by Mark Small on January 28, 2018 at 10:00pm — No Comments
Half-way through “12 Angry Men,” the hold-out juror #8 played by Henry Fonda says “we’ve established” two important points of the State’s case against were not true, Lee J. Cobb’s juror #3 interrupts and disputes the accuracy of #8’s summary. The other jurors ignore #3's outburst and agree, implicitly, with #8’s summary.
Before November 8, 2016, a lot of facts indicated Russia interfered with our 2016 elections. Facts that have come to light since the election have transformed…
Added by Mark Small on January 19, 2018 at 7:26am — No Comments
Mike Braun, a Jasper, Indiana, businessperson, is a candidate for United States Senate in the Republican Party. In a TV ad, Mr. Braun was touted as a conservative, a businessman, and a Christian. Mr. Braun’s voice-over states he approved the ad.
Many European immigrants to North America in the 1600s and 1700s sought escape from religious persecution. Puritans arrived. In Massachusetts they sought freedom to worship, and discriminated against those whose beliefs were different. Quakers…
Added by Mark Small on January 14, 2018 at 9:00am — No Comments
Trump obtained office with Russian help. President of All the Russias, Vladimir Putin, hates the United States. In 2007 Putin compared the United States to the Third Reich. In 2012 Putin aimed to influence our 2016 elections. That is a finding of the United States Congress in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, passed by the House and the Senate in August, 2017, by veto-proof majorities.
Each day brings more news of Trump collusion and conspiracy with Russia.…
Added by Mark Small on January 6, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments
If we are to wrest control of America from a relatively few who control it with checkbooks, bags of cash, and (more frequently) ACH transfers, some things are important.
1) Take over the two major political parties.
The Framers of the Constitution did not like “factions,” their term for political parties. Hamilton: “Nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties” The Federalist, No. 1. Madison wrote history has…
Added by Mark Small on December 31, 2017 at 8:14am — No Comments