The End of a Trump Era: Or just the start of another?

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What happened Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol - Washington Post
(Photo obtained from The Washington Post)

In a long blink of an eye, Donald Trump’s presidency, or at least his first term, is suddenly over. Of course to many American citizens it was much longer and daunting of a wait and term. To some it was not long ago that it began and was stolen in a rigged election, a belief that was in the air long before election night. Trump’s entire presidency was filled with his every day man persona, painting himself as an outsider, a true representative of the people, one who listens to the working class, and a usurper of the elitism in the government, in both parties to be more specific. His appeal to obtaining the office was based upon varied concerns of moderates, conservatives, citizens from all walks of life and backgrounds, and from even many liberals. These varied people felt a disenchantment with both parties’ perceived lack of care and concern and exhaustion of corruption. Trump ran with these feelings, feelings which Sarah Palin worked with to grow her influence after the late Senator John McCain’s lost 2008 campaign to Barack Obama. Trump was able to represent this movement even more so than Palin, perhaps due to his wider likability and perceived stronger ways.

Once he lost his second bid for the office, it was easy to understand the anger, resentment and paranoia that ensued from his supporters. Trump’s biggest fears came to be: fears of losing and embarrassment. In order to alleviate these feelings, or possibly even reverse the results, Trump invigorated his non based assertion that the election was rigged from the start by Democrats and elitists. When investigators and judges ignored these claims (‘The Last Wall’: How Dozens of Judges…’, The Washington Post), Trump resorted to a mass protest outside the Senate to pressure his own Vice President Mike Pence and the Senate to halt the certifying of the electoral vote for President elect (in less than 24 hours, President) Joe Biden.

House speeding to impeach Trump for Capitol 'insurrection' – KGET 17
(Photo obtained from KGET.com)

Either he attended it or not, the protest resulted into the biggest insurrection on the capital since the War of 1812, only this time its was committed by the American people. What happened was violence, two deaths, an entire evacuation of the Senate, and destruction. It embarrassed and undermined American prestige, democracy, freedom, the people’s will, power and security. It took hours before the President ordered it to be peaceful. A devil’s advocate would state, as many protesting and supporting the Insurrection will claim, the protest was in the true spirit of American freedom, akin to the American Revolution, a righteous act against tyranny and fraud. These men and women they believe, were the only barrier and militia against an unlawful and tyrannical fascist or oligarchy excuse for a democratic government.

The protest did not yield what the protesters or Trump wanted. Within a few hours, the Senate reconvened, clearly shook, but determined to not show weakness or defeat. They continued their democratic duty and process. Seven Republican senators, who were in fact against Biden’s victory, reversed their stance following the attack. Two were Kelly Loeffler (she promised her allegiance to Trump in person just two days prior) and Jim Lankford (“Some GOP Senators Reverse…”, abcnews.go). Trump likely did not want an actual attack or such a display, but he did want to undermine and pressure the Senate. What happened lost him some support among future voters, and made more Republicans show less neutrality. However, Trump will still be quite relevant, perhaps even more since he lost his second election. He has the experience, networked in the capital and government, has a massive base, now perhaps even more upset and angry and feeling disenfranchised since a perceived stolen election. He does not like to lose or loose relevance, and will thus continue to fight his claims, and what his base wants to hear and to pressure the government in carrying out. Trump will likely be a major player in the mid term elections to untangle the newly Democratic dominance, to belittle and banter with Biden. Trump will also be a strong force or pressure for Republican senators and congressmen to appease or be neutral with, so they can maintain or gain votes from his massive base. Trump states he will run for a second term come 2024. He might, but his decision to or not will hang heavily on how strong his base continues or if he loses interest, passion, or another similar voice arises in the three years. One thing we all know, Trump does not like to lose or be embarrassed, if he can see there is another massive likely hood he will suffer another loss, he will not bear to resurface that defeat, and such a second blow will likely disheartening his base and influence. He is a true businessman and now politician, he know when to slow down or disappear before he loses it all.

In order to avoid more chaos and paranoia in our streets, homes, and government, we need to listen to all citizens , lawmakers and regular taxpayers alike. Trump was and is relevant and influential because he listens to and represents a growing unhappy, worried, non trusting, and resentful Americans. We need to work with all, not assume his supporters are all racists, sexists or extremists. His core base is filled with all races, backgrounds, desires, concerns and ideologies. The group that began the Insurrection were a minority of Trump’s supporters. We cannot give up on his base, and instead, more than ever before, listen and incorporate their desires and ideas. Either we carry this out, or there will ferment and fester yet a greater divide and feeling of separation and disenfranchise.

Trump 2016 and 2020?

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Why he did and could easily win again and no, most of his voters are not racist


(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)


President Donald J. Trump could very well be a two term president tonight, but he could also lose…It honestly is any mans’ (back so long ago in 2016, you could also say man and woman’s) game. If we think there will be a clear, immediate winner, we are mistaken. The United States is far more polarized, confused, angry and disunited since Trump unexpectedly won against a more uniting and experienced the anticipated and experienced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Just enough of his original voting base will keep him strong, but just enough of loyal Democrats, Hillary fans who seek revenge, losing his only supporters due to disillusionment, the massive rise in racial and economic tension, a massive record amount of new voters who seem emboldened and angry for the past four years, and a new challenge you may not of heard of, wait for it…Covid-19,  will come out as well to vote for Joe Biden. It is anyone’s game. We should have known this almost four years ago, which of course leads to my original content for this article: How and why did Trump win 2016?

This article has been in the making for more than three years following Trump’s unexpected and disputed victory. We still feel the loss or, in the case of Trump and his voters, unexpected victory. My last article was posted right before the 2016 election results. About a month or two following businessman mogul and celebrity Trump’s unexpected, surprising and confusing victory over Clinton, I began to write a reactionary article explaining how he won and the nation’s reaction. However, said article was not completed, let alone any article due to my many personal reasons, and to be frank, my time and management. The last few years have been quite polarizing as predicted by most experts and citizens due to the polarized views and methods of the White House and growing racial and economic tensions, and of course, not to mention the swing card of the new decade’s very first year, Covid-19! 

It can be difficult and frustrating for many to accept, but Trump’s victory was quite simple. Yes there were a variety of elements to his victory, but they were all truly simple. The main element is his mascot persona: Although Trump was seen as a joke, controversial, corrupt, and crude by the majority of the nation, including by many of his backers, he was and still is, seen as an authentic, non career politician, a businessman, a man who could be the voice for many who had no voice in the government, a mascot, to fight and yell at the establishment, left and right, who they thought no longer cared or fought for them. This appeal was and is most wildly felt understandably by working class men, particularly white men. This is not a generalization or meant as a way to single anyone out, but common knowledge and understandable, something we should emphasize with and not be upset by. Something that should have been addressed more and taken seriously. Voters, candidates and campaigners, we all should have seen this coming, especially following Bush and Obama.

For the past 40-50 years, the United States was quickly changing, becoming rightfully more equal and liberal. Much of the nation was indifferent or embraced it, but during the past decade, many, particularly the middle class white men, felt ostracized, made to feel guilty for their ancestors’ actions, or simply ignored. Many felt the government overall, no matter the party, was concerned more with broken or partial promises to get elected. In regards to the Republicans, they were concerned more with the rich and businesses, and in regards to the Democrats, more concerned with minorities and the poor and overspending taxes to meet these needs.  These feelings continued to grow, particularly during the presidency of Barack Obama (2009-2017). Here was a man who was clearly a minority, America and the government was clearly becoming  more diverse. Many white middle class men felt this was the official start to a completely new America, different from what they grew up to, and an America that would continue to be more concerned with other people and social reforms. Many other Trump supporters may not fear these earlier concerns, many are not even white, many were also liberal or moderate, but like most of America, want a genuine, non career politician, strong leader. Trump persuades many he is that leader with his persona.

When Obama’s presidency was ceasing during the 2016 election, there were plenty of white men who could have replaced him to bring back the status quo or what was familiar, and who were also conservative, such as Jeb Bush or John Kasich. Trump was just like them, right? NO. However, the majority of his voters, again not even just white, conservative men, did not want the status quo anymore. These men did not stand out so much, were viewed by many as yet another same old politician who failed them in the past with broken or repetitive promises,  part of the “Swamp”, a phrase Trump loved to use during his campaign. They were not as exciting, strong or authentic as Trump. Even when he spoke less formal, made mistakes or seemed to make light of accusations, he swung back. Even when exposed using explicit sexual phrases or comments, ie With Billy Bush while off the set of Access Hollywood (https://apnews.com/article/ 965ccf46090f4221b977 95bd7b746ab8) he painted himself as just a regular guy who would not act fake or formal, and thus a true American and one of they guys. Even when Trump was caught lying and asked about his inexcusable past dealings and corruption, he simply evaded answering them or simply excused them as “Fake news” or part of a elitist, government , career politician lies or a witch hunt. In the end, I do not think his base or moderates cared, they figured that was the past and he was the best one to rally behind, their only option and mascot. This could be their last chance for a familiar all American strong leader. 

I must also remind readers that Trump is also a man. Many will fight till their dying day, that having a man or woman in office is not the concern, but then why are there still no women in office. Trump was and is seen as a strong, powerful manly man, Clinton could never please especially his voters; she was either too emotional or too manly and strong and thus unnatural. This sentiment of unnatural, not familiar, is related to a fear or uncertainty which Trump knew was rising and a threat to his opposition.

When the election was finally between Clinton and Trump, most of America still believed she would win. This assumption is a major key to her loss.  Her base, which was quite large, went to vote, but others who did not want either she or Trump, but assumed he would still lose without voting for her, chose to not vote or voted for a third candidate. Those who had strong feelings against Clinton winning, went out of their way to vote for Trump out of fear and anger. This confidence Clinton was going to win, was also a reason why her campaign team did not work as hard or focus too much on the key states that helped him win; Wisconsin and Michigan (https://wwwfreep.com /story/news/politics/2016/11/09/how-clinton-lost-blue-wall-states-michigan-pennsylvania-wisconsin/93572020/ ). These two states were historically Democratic. Clinton and her team were confident they need not focus too much on them and thus set out for regions and states that were more leaning and swing states. Unfortunately these states’ middle class white voters were becoming more and more disillusioned with both parties, and viewed Trump as something new who would help them. Clinton’s absence strengthened their views on the loss of a voice or care for them.

Scores of people lost hope while scores of others felt emboldened with Trump’s win. Quite instantaneously there have been over three years of controversial Trump tweets, endless, daily worrying and corrupt and scandalous Trump news coverage. Although most would agree there is much fishy, polarizing and abrasiveness when it comes to Trump, the media coverage has over emphasized and covered out of sheer dislike, fighting back at his attitude towards them, and for ratings. Scandals and corruption went so far that the President was officially impeached, but not removed from office. His victory under this impeachment has no doubt polarized and intensified his already chaotic term. 

Yet after all the turbulence and constant negative coverage , corruption and speciousness of Trump, how could he still win another election? What about the growth of racial tension, BLM, police black shootings, fear and growth of Covid? All these mentioned fears and tensions were ignored or addressed by Trump, arguably his persona created to gain votes, unintentionally grew the tension.  There is yet another simple answer; he continues to paint himself as the average all American, authentic, non career politician. Often he continues to blame these accusations as “fake news” or a witch hunt by scared, greedy career politicians. Trump and his voters claim the government or liberals use these events to bring him down. This is a fact, but they ignore or do not want to agree his persona has likely intensified the events. Many Republicans and moderates have shifted away from Trump but it may not be enough (https://www.axios.com/republicans-not-voting-for-trump-in-2020-9e2f02fa-0f36-418d-bedd-ed53181dd99c.html) Trump can easily paint these men and women as deserters or elitists who fear his crusade. His base still fears a new America where they will not be heard or not given enough help as minorities often do. 

There is still a high chance Trump could win tonight, but it will be a hard and close vote indeed. Many fear Biden will ruin the economy by locking down America in order to fight Covid, Trump says he will keep America fully opened and functioning, Many voters, due to all the tension, economic challenges and decline, and social wars, feel  having the same leader and not a transitioning government during the height of all the tension, will be best. Biden is also painted as an elitist, career politician who has done  little, and who is tied in with the Obama and Clinton years. Since the election of 2016, Biden’s Democratic Party has been pressured to shift more to the left in order  to appease younger voters and new civil rights leaders and activists, particularly after Bernie Sanders ran and BLM’s growth and significance. This shifting and pressure has been a  gift to Trump, who can further create fear and concern to his base, and to even more moderates and Democrats, that their old America is forgetting them. However we must remember, due to Clinton’s loss, rise in racial tension, women empowerment, diversity in the government, records mount of young and older voters alike, disunity, and constant negative and loud news coverage of Trump and his personality, many on the left and right are just tired. There may be enough people and new voters just tired and who simply will vote him out of sheer disillusionment and for quite time.

If Trump does happen to lose, we will continue to hear from him. He will, as he already has begun months in advance, belittle and question the authenticity of the ballots and early voting (https://www.usatoday.com/story/ news/politics/elections/ 2020/09/30/2020-debate-trump-makes-outrageous-claims-mail-voting/3586836001/). He claims he will not leave office until the election is found to be valid (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/ 9/26/21457193/trump-leave-office-loses-election-ballot-scam). Even when or if out of office, he will continue to speak out, perhaps even one day run again. Trump has no doubt created a new level style of governing . He questions everything, every protocol and procedure to appear more authentic, his own man, or to evade something that will weaken him. This vacuum he has opened may very well continue if he loses, so to convince the government to stay in office, and it will most likely be replicated by new leaders to gain power or influence. I fear there will be much more tension and possibly a social or civil war no matter who wins, but far more intensity and angry should Biden lose. Far too many people now feel fearful of the government, unheard and belittled, and another Trump term and victory will be too much.

What we all need to remember though is, all Americans just want security, peace, a voice, their hard work to be recognized, affordable health insurance and to retire. We do not want wars, riots, a virus, we all want the same results. Many feel Trump is their only mascot, warrior, that no one else cares or is authentic like him. Trump is a wake up call, we need to hear all Americans, not just the less franchised or assisted, all must be heard and feel secure. This does not mean we cannot and should stop funding and fighting for assistance programs or civil rights and equality, but we must hear and help all.  

The Amazing and Surprising Clinton and Trump Year

rtsrii7-1024x682Presidental nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the start of the presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct. 9. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Few, I correct myself, little to no, citizens in any corner of the earth, could of predicted Donald Trump’s amazing and seemingly invisible rise and popularity for the White House. His climb and battles to the presidency are historical and, although I am no particular fan, quite impressive. I must admit during the Republican debates, it was quite amusing and I secretly rooted him above the rivals. He was an outsider, seemed strong and independent, and just did not care what the more politically connected and powerful men did or said.

However, that was then and this is now. Politics and the election are far more serious and with complete shock and disbelief, the election season has now almost ceased and come to an end! We must first analyze how a real estate giant and personality has reached this far, is now battling the one and only and highly experienced and prolific politician Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton? How could Jeb Bush, another highly experienced connected politician, and younger and yet more experienced politicians in the Republican Party, lose to such a loud, expressive and controversial man?

The answer is quite simple yet serious: American citizens are tired, we want more changes to the economy and carried out faster, many are weary about cultural or racial issues or changes, he is blunt, loud and entertaining, and a great many men and even women are quite frankly uncomfortable about a woman president due to the traditional male led society we have or jealousy. We have witnessed many economic progressive changes since the 1960’s, yet many will argue that it is too slow or too akin to a roller coaster. Trump promises swifter changes and with his charisma and upfront and entertaining speeches,  convinces massive amounts he will do as stated. He argues he is honest and being himself, and that his rival, Clinton, is non authentic, hiding many truths, and has “bad experience” with nothing to truly show she has helped or protected our nation (Trump: ‘Hillary Has Experience, But It’s Bad Experience’, http://www.cnsnews.com/).

We are living in a very testing and dangerous time. We need to truly stop and think, who do we want to lead our nation?  We have a man with a lack of political experience, but extensive and expansive business experience and success. Trump argues his lack of experience are one of his top three grandest assets since thus he is authentic, relatable and there for the people.  Clinton for the past thirty years has been assisting or fighting for civil rights, children and education, affordable healthcare, foreign diplomacy and peace, and creating and overseeing the Clinton Foundation?

We need to stop and truly think who can truly stay cool and collect and reason with varied peoples and governments without bullying or blatantly acting more superior or above. There is nothing wrong with being confident and blunt, but when we want a leader and role model of any country, but especially the world’s leader and superpower, we need and can only continue to lead with respect and humility. I do not know if Trump will embody this.

Like any human, especially often times ambitious (not that ambition is evil or corrupt) figure heads or politicians, are not perfect. Often times their authenticity or sincerity is questioned. Trump and Clinton have flaws and often times are questioned, but are we voting for a demigod, religious leader, or a ruler of the world? No, we are voting for a leader to help our nation succeed and to preserve our rights, laws, freedom, and safety. No, there is no one who is perfect and there will always be dirt uncovered from anyone who decides to run. We want the most capable, sincere and well ironed. The email and Benghazi scandal all stemmed from misunderstandings, exaggerations, and lies on whether Clinton chose to not help or to do little to secure the compound. It has been proven that while Secretary of State, Clinton was not made aware of the low level security.(Fact-checking Benghazi: The rhetoric hasn’t matched up with reality, http://www.politifact. com/). Benghazi was a terribly sad and unfortunate invasion that no one expected or would of desired. In regards to her emails, other politicians have also used their personal servers and not until after her term, did it become illegal. Furthermore upon setting up her email account, she was asked to choose between her work or home email as her main account (Updated: The Facts About Hillary Clinton’s Emails, https://www.hillaryclinton.com).

Lastly, Clinton has been declared by many Republicans and Trumpists (Trump supporters)as corrupt and questionable.  Trump claims the Clinton Foundation supports corrupt nations in order to collect charity money and has directly grown her wealth. Her organization has in fact organized seperate charities to provide relief for millions in need around the world and is for non profit. About 80-90% of all money goes to chariety and the Clinton family receive zero in income or taxes from their foundation (Fact-checking the Clinton Foundation controversy, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter). Trump has also been scrutinized for his own Foundation, the Trump Foundation. There have been claims of fishy procedures and for him taking personal credit despite a lack of personal donations since 2008. One one side his he and his family are not payed by the foundation like the Clintons and between the years 1987-2008 he has personally donated $5.4 million (Comparing the Clinton and Trump foundations, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter).

The Republican nominee has found himself  under further fiscal fire for avoiding tax payments during the past 18 years. He argues this was done so he could bring back his business and that paying taxes is unfair, foolish and that if elected he will fight for the same beneifits he has exercised (Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades, The Times Found, http://www.nytimes.com). Other opponents, including the almost equally impressive phenomenon Senator Bernie Sanders, have attaked her for making profit off speeches (The truth about Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches, http://money.cnn.com/). Personally I can see why this does not seem honarouble or noble, yet this is a capitalist nation where the dream is to find success and wealth. These speeches and the money involved were perfectly legal and not transparentand and are a common practice for many speakers, including former Secretaries of State (The truth about Hillary Clinton’s ).

Opponents and members from all parties have said in past times Hillary is using the woman card, yet how is this true? Clinton is constantly put down for not being friendly or warm enough, for acting too strong or bossy, for not smiling enough and when she does, for being fake, yet I have not heard once this being said of any other politician male, let alone Trump. I am not personally advocating it should be Clinton, but we need a woman president sometime in the next 10 years to show that the presidency is not a man’s job but equally a woman’s, not one gender is less capable or intelligent. We are all humans and there have been plenty of women presidents, prime ministers and queens throughout this world. America is the land of the free and opportunity and equality should probably join by now. Even nations where there are far less equality and that we do not see eye to eye, such as Russia, have had women leaders.

I am not trying to sway any votes, but I am trying and asking you to simply stop and think, really think when you are alone in that voting poll, who truly is capable. Both have flaws and are politicians even Trump at this point, but who above the other turly deserves this awesome and great power? Who truly is capable of helping, of wanting, of having the temperament and civility to make peace, progress and change for the better for all? We are no longer laughing or being entertained, this is serious and no longer the Republican debate or final debate. This is serious, who truly wants to and can help?.

 

 

 

King Killers: Fate or Madness?

drama_picture
 Romanov family execution, (http://www.romanov-memorial.com/drama.htm)
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Following the death of Charles, (https://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/artists-a-z/u/artist/unknown/object/charles-i-1600-1649-reigned-1625-1649-the-execution-of-charles-i-pgl-208)1793-execution-of-louis-xvi
Following the beheading of Louis in Paris, ( http://thisisversaillesmadame.blogspot.com/2013/04/execution-of-king.html)

Throughout history mankind has witnessed and read about great toppling of empires and government, coup d’états and revolutions, none so much as in the past 400 years in Europe during the English Revolution in the 1600’s, the French Revolution during the later years of the successive century and the Russian Revolution during the early 20th Century. These were (particularly the later revolutions) arguably one of the most dramatic, tumultuous and influential stately transformations of mankind.  The fall of powerful monarchies was without a doubt a progress to mankind, yet begot terrible violence and the brutal termination of royals. Did the murder and complete termination of royal power (the latter not in England) justifiable and necessary? Could it had been possible for these “royaless” nations or nations like England who killed one, to have avoided these actions and still had the improvement, rights and influence they sought?  Was the bloodshed required to have revolution? What justification was there to murder these said nations’ rulers? Was it truly destined to happen?

These events solidified the idea that man and woman can be their own rulers and figureheads, that commoners can also take power or vote. Surprisingly, there are in fact still many royals in power or as heads of state, but far fewer than in the past 700 years, and the majority wield far less hard power today (e.g .the UK and Spain), or are strictly ceremonial powers e.g. Japan. This relatively new reality was inconceivable to most contemporaries of the Ancient Regime, particularly in reference to France, Tsarist Russia or China.  Yet again we must ask ourselves, were the deaths and violence in vain and could had the wonderful results been obtained without them?

King Charles II of England and the son of King James, the king who inherited the throne from Elizabeth I, carried on the tradition of the French monarchs and sought to hold autocratic power. This led to much disputes over his will and of shutting down Parliament to get his way. England at that point had slowly grown into a democratic monarchy thanks to the Magna Carta a few hundred years past under the reluctant King John so famously depicted in Robin Hood movies and books. This smaller mode of power was unacceptable to Charles. A little known Oliver Cromwell, descended from a minor noble family from the country, led Parliament into a revolt and waged war against the King and his allies. Cromwell never originally intended to demolish monarchy or to execute the King, but after years of war and the King’s perceived arrogance and struggle with the people over power, he strongly felt demise was needed.

King Charles grew up with very little expectations from his family, as he was both not the first in line (his older brother Henry would die at the age of 11), was weak, small and developed his speech late (http://bcw-project.org). Charles worked very hard to overcome these challenges and to prove his worth as a king. These low expectations and challenges probably played a role in his refusal to bow down to Parliament. Furthermore, Charles was very religious and believed that kings ruled with the Divine Right of Kings, a belief which will soon be revisited in our next subjects of France and Russia. This belief would force Charles and government to fight over power until his dying day. Another major crippling aspect between king and country was his seemingly neutral view on the Catholic Church. This standing can be seen with his marriage to the Catholic Henrietta Maria (the daughter of Henry IV the first King of the Bourbon line), his preference to a more lavish and decorative Anglican Church, and opinion that the power and hierarchy of the bishops and priests were important (www.britpolitics.co.uk/). This was not a smart move in a kingdom that which recently became protestant after suffering much deaths and war between Catholics and Anglicans. A branch of protestants, the Puritans believed the Church should be more pure and simplistic and without icons. They also believed people had a personal relationship with God and thus did not need bishops. Their religious views and influence would certainly play a role in actions against the King.

Prior to utter unrest and revolution, Charles dissolved Parliament three times over disagreements of influence. Upon ascending to the throne in 1625 one of Charles’ primary act was his first dissolution of Parliament. He was then was pressured to intervene against Spain and other Catholic powers in the religious wars in Europe (the Thirty Years War, 1618-48). Charles had the Duke of Buckingham direct foreign policy oversees but his work proved disastrous. Subsequently Parliament tried to impeach the Duke and in turn in 1626 the King dissolved Parliament again. However he had to bring back a third parliament once he needed funds for his war policies (bcw).  In 1628, many members created the Petition of Right, which limited the King’s power. Hoping Parliament would help fund him, Charles grudgingly accepted the Petition. However, he simply ignored the Petition, and when Parliament critiqued his religious policy a year later he dismissed Parliament for the third time and ruled alone for eleven years. This sole rule was seen by many as a gold age of peace and prosperity, for Charles ended war in Europe and British economy grew and stabilized by 1635. However Charles still needed Parliament to grant legal taxes, and without it in session had to gain income through unpopular means such as forced loans, the sale of commercial monopolies and ship-money (bcw).

Eventually in November 1640, Charles in need of support so he could collect taxes to finance a war on Scotland, reinstated Parliament. Cromwell from then on emerged from obscurity, became a leader and persuaded the government to not head to the request. Parliament would soon create the Triennial Act, guaranteeing that Parliament be summoned a minimum of once every three years (Cust, Richard, Charles I: A Political Life). This was a major step and began a greater more fierce collision between the people and King. A King or Queen could no longer do as pleased by finding a loophole around the Magna Carta and government. On January 4, 1642, the King stormed into the House of Commons and attempted to arrest five ministers to no avail. No king had ever entered the House let alone arrest its members, and thus this was perceived as a “grave breach of parliamentary privilege” (Loads, David,Politics and the Nation,). The King could no longer portray himself as a figure of order or a civil and just ruler. Parliament soon took control of the government and Charles fled London six days later. About eight months later, on August of that year he declared war on Parliament and thus began the English Civil War (Britroyals.com). Cromwell successfully led the crusade with his Model Army against the King and for democracy. After years of civil war, Parliament was able to arrest the King. Charles was taken to Hampton Court palace where his fate was discussed. Charles secretly plotted a Scottish invasion and escaped by November. Unfortunately, the ill-fated king was recaptured and although a Scottish invasion materialized in 1648, his plotting was all lost and in vain (Britroyals).

While in custody Charles continued to ignore the new courts and Parliament’s legitimacy and refuses to make a plea (http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com). Consequently, he stripped himself of any hope and was voted guilty and sentenced to death. This however must be noted was done undemocratically, an action Cromwell had once so strongly championed for. To be specific, all royalists were removed from Parliament and the House of Lord’s voices and opinions were ignored (www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item103698.html). This is very vital to note as the King’s death was clearly carried out illegally and without everyone’s opinions and beliefs. After championing for democracy and fair rule, the court designed a breach in law and order and simply adhered to one opinion.  The new regime feared that democracy could have been fought and died for in vain and thus believed that in order to preserve it, one had to postpone it. However, how can one hope for democracy if it is only utilized and upheld momentarily or for when it is in one’s favor? Adolf Hitler used democracy for his favor to become a legitimate rule, yet abolished true law and order once in power. Governments cannot forfeit law and order at any given time, otherwise we have an anarchic, dystopian, chaotic and unreliable rule. Interestingly enough, after King Charles was condemned as a traitor he was cleared of all charges once Cromwell died and Cromwell was instead convicted of treason after his death. Nonetheless from that time on a more authentic and powerful democracy ruled the kingdom and we do have Cromwell for that to thank in large part.

Across the English Channel, a new government also voted for their own king, King Louis XVI’s death, but they went further, the entire royal family. The young king was caught in a terrible time period for an ancient relic. He had little experience or voice for leadership and barely sat on the throne before his wife Marie Antoinette and he faced frustrated and angry Parisians who pressured much economic change. Further fuel to this anger was the fact the French kings, akin to Charles I, believed in the Diving Right of Kings and ruled as autocrats since the time of Louis XIV. Thus, it was harder for the King to understand the needs and influence the people deserved. To address the budget crisis Parliament in 1787 Louis proposed a series of major reforms concerning taxes and expenditures. Furthermore the nobles and government pressured the king to call back the Estates General in the fall of 1788 (chnm). This would open Pandora’s box and allow more frustrated and tired and ambitious people to bring about big change from the Third Estate, the estate of commoners and the least respected and lowest.

The King agreed to transform his Kingdom into a constitutional monarchy and to construct a constitution with the new commoner players, but was hesitant in recognizing the Third Estates new self proclaimed “National Assembly”(chnm). A month later on July 14, the National Assembly began framing and writing a constitution, working for two years until the summer of 1791. It is important and interesting to note that the King was cooperative and popular during this time and seen as the only hope for reform. This period saw little to no desire to extinguish monarchy as many may assume today. Sadly this attitude would soon grew sour, a similar situation as in Russia our next grim subject. While the constitution was nearing its completion, Louis began to notice how it greatly limited the King’s and Churches power.  Furthermore, three major radical leaders, the most influential and famous Maximilien de Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins and Georges Danton, desired an even more republican. For instance, the King held the power of veto and ability to appoint ministers in the new government, power they viewed as not republican enough. These men would also soon become the leaders behind the trial of the poor fated King and monarchy itself  (http://www.history.com/topics/french-revolution).

After two years of resisting calls to desert his kingdom, on June 1791 Louis finally retaliated against the liberal constitution and agreed to escape and join an invasion with his French supporters and with the support of  his brother in law, Habsburg Emperor Leopold II (his wife’s brother). The family narrowly escaped at the small border town of Vareness, and when news let out of the foiled escape, many Parisians were furious (chnm). Louis apologized and claimed he only wanted to prove to the outside world he was not a prisoner of the National Assembly and thus avoid any exterior invasions to rescue him. Most members accepted this apology, fearing any punishment would upset order and welcome invasions from other Kings of Europe. Without surprise this angered many radicals including Robespierre and his friends.

This would prove to be the last straw for the young government, however. The Girondins, a party within the liberal Jacobin Club, which was itself a branch within the new National Convention (a replacement to the National Assembly) would start a war. On impulse they attacked the threatening Hapsburg Empire which would soon prove a foolish decision for the French fought poorly. By late summer of 1792, fearful of being blamed for such losses, the Girondins claimed the royals were “subverting the Revolution from within” and thus to blame for the defeats (chnm). The leaders of the Convention overall opposed holding a trial, owing to the fact it was unclear who exactly was to be tried and how: Louis or the monarchy as a whole, and for what? However “evidence” of documents that were “locked” showed the King was corresponding with pro monarchial exiles who were plotting against the Revolution. King Louis could finally be tried before the Convention for “malfeasances and crimes” (chnm).

Although the Girondins was comprised of many members who sought the end of monarchy, most did not seek to assassinate the king or even carry out a deadly or heavy consequence. However a more radical faction of the Jacobin deputies, the Mountain, which not all Girondins were members of, took the lead. Members included Robespierre and he had long ago severed ties with the monarchy. Many months later this group would eventually overthrow the more moderate Girondins and take lead of the government (http://www.britannica.com). Robespierre claimed that as long as the king lived the livelihood and future of the revolution and all that was gained for the common citizen would be jeopardized. The moderate delegates, “The Plain” would help seal the deal once they supported the Mountain. On January 15, 1793, King Louis XVI was found guilty with a close vote of 361 in favor of death out of a total of 700 deputies (https://www.mtholyoke.edu).  The Convention voted to send King Louis to the soon to be famous and dreaded guillotine for treason and in the name of preserving “revolutionary justice” (chnm). His entire family would soon follow with their own grim endings in isolation and fear. A new monarchy related to Louis would reemerge following Napoleon’s reign, but eventually the institution of monarchy would end by the late 1800’s. The murder of Louis was out of fear and the desire to create from anew, yet was not the true goal of this revolution. Terrible circumstances and fear of losing the revolution played the sole part.

Fearing the reemergence of a ruling Tsar, rescue of him, consequently European support for his power, and thus the collapse of the revolution, the Communist guards assassinated him.  No one truly knew what to do with the Tsar once on trial, it could risk everything the longer he remained close to being saved. Crowned in 1896, Nicholas was shy, neither trained addecuatly nor inclined to rule, characteristics which did not help the autocracy he sought to preserve among a people desperate for help and change. The disastrous outcome of the Russo-Japanese War led to the slow emergence of the Russian Revolution of 1905, which ended only after Nicholas approved a representative assembly–the Duma–and promised constitutional reforms. The Tsar soon retracted these concessions and repeatedly dissolved the Duma when it opposed him, contributing to the growing public support for the Bolsheviks and other revolutionary groups who promised help and a voice for the people. In 1914, Nicholas led his country into another costly war, World War I,– a conflict Russia was far from prepared to tacle. Discontent grew as food became scarce, soldiers became war weary at the devastating defeats at the hands of Germany demonstrated the ineffectiveness of Russia under Nicholas.

In March 1917, the first revolution broke out on the streets of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and Nicholas was forced to abdicate his throne later that month, and in order to ensure safety from the rising revolution, he and his family along with their loyal doctor and a few servants, were first house arrested, and then, in the midst of a growing revolution, sent to a former governor’s home in Tobolsk. That November, the radical socialist group the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized total power in Russia from the provisional government in what is now known as the Second Revolution and brought power to the “people”. This claim is now an ancient and tired claim too many revolutions incorrectly claim. Subsequently the new government had the royal family imprisoned in the western Siberian town of Yekatinburg a mighty journey from any political power or scene.

Countering this revolution civil war broke out in Russia in June 1918, lasting until October 1922. This devastating war added further strains on the economy, on the livelihood of the people, and many more horrific deaths numbering at about 9-10 million (http://necrometrics.com). It is important to realize that this conflict consisted of various nations, including Japan, Italy, the United States and Britain. The majority of key players wanted to rid Russia of communism, but not all sought the return of the Romanovs. In July 1918 the anti-Bolshevik “White” Russian forces, with differing motives and political views on the nation’s future leadership, advanced on Yekaterinburg. Local authorities who held the responsibility of guarding the royal family were ordered to prevent a rescue of the Romanovs in fears of a return of royal power and collapse of communism.  Following a secret meeting of the Yekaterinburg Soviet, a death sentence passed on the imperial family (http://www.history.com). The Ural executive committee claimed Nicholas was guilty of “countless bloody crimes”, perhaps alluding to Bloody Sunday, a massacre that led to the first Duma, and also perhaps the two recent wars). The committee also voiced fears he would eventually run away and avoid any trials or punishment (Radzinsky, Edvard, The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II).  It appears a quick and sudden execution was “necessary” under such theories and fears.

It is highly disputed on what and on who’s authority the Romanovs were given such a sentence. Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov, theBolshevik party administrator and chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, are often painted as possible criminals in the deaths. Of course they never admitted such as charges, no one with an ounce of sanity allowed any ounce of red paint painted on their hands for many reasons; retribution from European royals and a stained image on the “righteous” freedom fighters. There in fact exists a void of any “reliable document proving the instigation of Lenin or Sverdlov. Although no one took full responsibility Lenin and Sverdlov later endorsed the execution and did not bring forth punishment, in fact the executioners were later to be well decorated by the Soviet Union

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/).

What is known however is the method and by whom they were physically executed by. In the midst of the nearing White army rescuers, the royal prisoners and their companions were told to wait in the cellar room while a truck would transport them was arriving to the Yekatinburug home/prison. A few minutes later, an execution squad of secret police was brought in and the head of the prison Jakov Yurovsky read aloud the order given to him by the Ural Executive Committee:

 

Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you

(Clarke, William (2003). The Lost Fortune of the Tsars. St. Martin’s Press. p. 66)

 


Today there exists no question that these three rulers had many opportunities to avoid the dissolution of monarchical power or their own life, yet this does not merit a bloody, merciless name for “democracy” or “justice”. Such murders were 
au contraire counterproductive, immensely hypocritical, cruel and not a result of destiny or necessity. There is much evidence the murders were committed out of fear of a lost revolution or retribution and perhaps by some en lieu of vengeance.  Nonetheless each revolution and struggle from there on lost its true purpose, virginity and forever in time memoriam were demoted and branded as controversial and as reigns of terror. Democracy and law and order does not call for vengeance, jealousy, law breaking, but rather fairness, justice and rule of the people, not simply a handful of committees or oligarchs. Allowing such injustice and hypocrisy will only further agitate progress and faith in democracy. Let this be a warning to present and future revolutionaries, Recently during the Arab Spring two leaders were murdered, and yet was that justice or simply fear or vengeance?This half-logical justification for any murder bears resemblance to the revolutionary Committee of France and its argument that Louis posed a threat to the security of the revolution by means of supporting the invading outside forces.

 

 

Europe’s Woes: When Immigration is frowned upon

Europe is a small continent with a European Union many of its members see Germany and France being the main beneficiaries and leaders. Currently due to worldwide economic hardships and challenges there is high unemployment and unsurprisingly frustration. Beginning a few months earlier, there has been much troubling coverage and discussion concerning the mounting influx of migrants or refugees into the continent. These peoples hail mainly from the Middle East and North Africa where there is much hardships and war with Muslim extremists, ISIS, poverty and the Syrian civil war. This has in effect escalated xenophobia and frustration in Europe towards foreigners and Muslims, particularly in Germany, and countries bordering between Germany and Southern Europe such as Hungary and Serbia.  Furthermore the latter countries are feeling quite resentful of more fortunate and northern nations whom again the EU views as the main beneficiaries and leaders.

This immigration is not new, it has been occurring from the same areas for a few years. However this current year there is far more than before and it continues to grow. Last year 280,000 migrants arrived, compared to the staggering 350,000 migrants that were at the EU’s borders between only the months of January and August this year alone. This estimate, conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) does not include the many more who have arrived undetected (“Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum?”).

The media mainly categorizes these arrivals as mainly “migrants” and at times as “refugees’ and this uncertainty has created more angst and frustration as for the fate for them. There is a core difference between migrants and refugee. Refugee singles one who is fleeing from danger or atrocity, while migrant is one who goes mainly for work to another country or area and may return or send money back. Officially not even people who are clearly refugees are welcomed as such unless they undergo a process if they are lucky enough to squeeze into a desired country, mainly Northern Europe. Using the noun migrant until such matters are determined makes it very challenging for many of these people who are in fact refugees to seek help and asylum. The utilization of the word can be used as an almost dehumanizing way to make light of many of these people who are escaping atrocities or war.

According to the EU statistics agency Eurostat (http://ec.europa.eu/), in 2014 “45% of first instance asylum decisions were positive”. Nearly 104,000 received refugee status in the EU, nearly 60,000 subsidiary protection status and just over 20,000 authorization to stay for humanitarian reasons. This statistic did not include Austria. Germany at 48,000, Sweden, 33,000, France and Italy, 21,000 and the UK, 14,000, offered the highest positive asylum cases. These nations offered the highest positive decisions due to their wealthier and more successful economies. They can afford to accept more immigrants and could utilize more manpower for their industries

While Europe is mapping out those who need immediate safety and help, and where they can be relocated, thousands more are banging at her doors. These main doors are Hungary, Serbia and Greece. These three nations, particularly Hungary, are very outspoken and feel they are feeling the brunt of the friction. Hungary fears that this continuous immigration will upset the whole of Europe  and like many other less wealthy or powerful EU members, believes there should be a more even distribution of immigrants.

Germany and England have been the most welcoming and able bodied nations during this chaos. A few weeks ago British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his country will accept thousands more, and that “Britain will act with our head and our heart, providing refuge for those in need while working on a long-term solution to the Syria crisis,”  (“Cameron Says Britain to Take Thousands More Syrian Refugees”, Bloomberg.com). Cameron insisted Britain was doing its part, saying it had already accepted about 5,000 Syrian refugees, but would now take in more vulnerable Syrians from camps in neighboring countries. Germany, which receives by far the most asylum applications in the EU, is expecting 800,000 refugees to arrive this year.

This year alone more than 2,600 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, trying to reach Greece or Italy, the IOM says.” Some of the worse tragedies in 2015 include two boats carrying about 500 migrants sinking after leaving Zuwara in Libyaon. On August 27 there were 71 people, believed to be Syrian migrants, discovered in an abandoned truck. An estimated 800 perished off Italy’s Lampedusa island on April 19 took, and at least 300 migrants were feared to have drowned after crossing the Mediterranean in early February. Furthermore those who do survive often report violence and abuse by people traffickers whom many migrants pay thousands of dollars to.

Europe’s question of immigration, refugees and migrants shows the world’s ever enduring turmoil and uncertainty concerning immigration and the world economy. Every major nation faces high numbers of immigration, many being described as illegal. With this ensues frustration, anger and xenophobia towards outsiders and a form of hypocrisy and entitlement. Were not many of our ancestors, particularly in the United States, fleeing their homeland for a better life, to survive? It is extremely frustrating and difficult to not have a one answer in this world. Both sides have valid points, both are trying to survive and excel. However we the fortunate have a human duty that triumphs all values, we must assist and save the less fortunate, especially when life and death is at a threshold.

In Europe, however hard it may seem, those who are there or at the border should be given shelter and the basics of life until they are given more attention and their status determined. What is further, perhaps the most frustrating, is the fact that the West unintentionally produced the majority of this influx and chaos. More than likely, more than half of the migrants and refugees are fleeing a Syrian Civil War we watched ensue. Of course the West, particularly the United States, is as we should be, tired, scared and worried about beginning or colliding into another Middle Eastern conflict. However humanity once again speaks volumes, we needed to and still do verbally or sadly militantly persuade Syria to end its atrocities and war. Although we may have been in another costly conflict, there would have been far less civilian tragedy and loss. Life and justice is without question an undeniably more valuable goal. When civilians die or are threatened by war that is when soldiers sacrifice their lives to protect, it is a basic duty.

To those who proclaim the large flow of peoples to Europe or in fact to any border will devastate the economy, there is some reason. It will make it harder for some to find work, but a majority of these people will obtain labor or less desirable work as in the case of Central Americans who are to some stealing American jobs.  Sadly yes many more poor or less educated Europeans will face a more difficult challenge in finding employment, yet having employed immigrants will keep crime lower, help stimulate the economy, help them support themselves and pay for their own food and housing, and will most importantly help them stay alive in a more safe and stable nation.  Eventually and justly of course, Europe will have to send many back to their nation of origin once the troubles die and those who truly want to be citizens, have a job and support their new country are determined. Sadly Europe is a small continent and friction and fear will ensue. What is most important is that these unfortunate people can survive and be assisted and saved for as long as possible despite the immediate consequences or feelings.

Who Cares about the Nigerian Elections?: Concerning Its Relevance

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What ever happened in or occurs in Nigeria? What is so interesting or relevant about the recent presidential elections in Nigeria, and where for that matter is this county in question of Nigeria even located? These are the common questions anyone curious enough to ask will ponder.
 Our country in question is a large west African country located under Chad and Niger, which the latter itself is directly under Algeria. Nigeria is to the upper left of Cameroon, and east of Benin and Ghana. In regards or relevance to the United States, a portion of slaves to the Americas hailed from portions of Nigeria during the mid 18th and 19th centuries (“Where in Africa Did Slaves Come From?”, http://www.ibtimes.com).
 Again, what does this all matter? Why for weeks did Western news focus on Nigerian elections? What do they mean to us Americans and the greater West? We hardly focus on European elections, why does this merit such press?
 Akin to most events or affairs, one must consult history and a nation’s profile to truly have a clear understanding. History after all helps us realize why society, politics, views and actions are the way they are and where we may be headed.
 The nation of Nigeria has been plagued with coups, rigged elections, Christian and Muslim tensions, and regional tensions since its independence from the British in 1960. Currently the nation is also heightened violence and tensions with the rise of the Islamic militant group of Boko Haram (See article “Boko Haram). This group is strongest in the north yet has abducted diplomats and is vying to expand and form an Islamic state that bans Western thinking and women education. Nigerian citizens are looking for a strong leader to keep their country afloat and progress through all the tumultuous and unstable uncertainties. This characteristic is without question a major asset a victorious candidate needed. Muhammadu Buhari was one such individual who the people found.
 The new president elect, Muhammadu Buhari, was originally a military general and ruler during the 1970’s. In January 1984, due to a miserable economy and the military’s belief of a corrupt state, the military staged a coup and unanimously chose Buhari as head of state. Under his rule he fought corruption, having hundreds of politicians and business officials tried and convicted. He also instituted that “War Against Indiscipline” program to promote positive values in the country (Muhammadu-Buhari, http://www.britannica.com). Unfortunately it sometimes utilized authoritarian methods leading Buhari to institute restrictions on the press, political freedoms and trade unionists so to avoid dissent (britannica.com) Subsequently the military decided after less than a year in power, to  overthrow his regime and had him jailed for over a year.
Buhari has continued to defend his coup of December 31 1983 explaining in 2005, “The military came in when it was absolutely necessary and the elected people had failed the country ” (BBC, “Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari in profile”). In other words, his rule and coup was for the best of the nation since the government was unable to function properly. Had he not stepped in, he claims, the nation would of crumbled. This is an interesting reasoning and emergency rulers have been known throughout history.
The very word “dictator” originally contained no negative connotation and meant one who had absolute power in a time of crisis. He or she (There in fact was one known female dictator, Indira Gandhi of India from 1975-77) would dictate what to do so matters and issues were resolved more swiftly and efficiently. This privilege often happens during a time of war or a threat of power struggle where it becomes more difficult to accomplish tasks or run the state.
This history and profession certainly demonstrated he can rule with an iron fist, could perhaps be strong enough in leading a nation facing violence and a hostile military group. Buhari previously ran in three unsuccessful campaigns, clearly the people found use in him this time around. His victory is the first time an opposition candidate has won in Nigeria. He promised that he would  help the nation fight off Boko Haram and campaign fairly and void of corruption. An opposition victory is a possible sign of a stronger Nigeria heading towards a more fair and democratic nation. Buhari won by 2 million votes over his predecessor, and was able to obtain Christians votes ( CNN, “Nigeria’s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari says he will fight corruption”). This is noteworthy owing to the fact that Buhari,if his first name did not already hint, is a Muslim leader from the poor north; Nigeria’s region that is most ravaged by Boko Haram. He was able to persuade the religiously divided to have confidence in him and obtain the opportunity to protect the people.
A final approach to understand the relevance and importance of Nigeria, one must take a look at the national profile of Nigeria. Nigeria is Africa’s largest nation by population. In 2013 it’s population was at 173.6 million people, which is quite large compared to 318.9 in the US and just 66.03 in France (http://data.worldbank.org)
The nation is also the continent’s largest GDP (502 billion in 2013) and boasts a large reserve of oil, one that has dominated the economy since the 1970’s (nationsonline.org).
 These characteristics demonstrate the global potential and value of Nigeria. Knowing where the country is headed, the type of government that functions, and who’s authority and influence it is under, are vital information we need to know how secure a massive amount of a population is and how our mutual diplomacy and business is and for neighboring nations. Currently it appears Nigeria is heading towards a more free and promising path, perhaps even safer from militants who threaten education and freedom. Even if our focus was not Nigeria and her elections, but of another non Western or famous or strong nation, one will still be able to dissect vital and relevant aspects. All nations no matter its size or apparent relevance have an impact and importance. It will connect to the larger world or even effect the West. One need only study the once quite Afghanistan, little island of Cuba, or a once seemingly harmless and isolated Japan, to see proof.

International Women’s Day: A Forgotten Day

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This past Sunday was International Women’s Day (IWD), yet I wonder just how many non Europeans or Asians are aware? I myself sadly am only aware after relearning Russian where one of the words to learn was “Mizdorozni Zensky Dien”, literally IWD. Perhaps most Americans have had a fleeting moment where we momentarily learned about it in school or online or simply heard the name. Nonetheless including with my case, we did not further investigate or our informers did not emphasize the day or it’s important significance to humanity and equality. There are at least three main reasons why this day is less popular or even known in the United States: We live in a more male dominated nation, IWD is not an official holiday in most nations and  seems to be more popular more social or formally Communist countries. IWD emerged from the era of early 1900’s European and American Women equality and Suffrage movement. Women were considered barely equal or acceptable enough in society to be granted voting rights, social treatment, fair wages and living and working standards. In our era we hardly notice or witness this, yet women, especially in non Western nations, are denied many of these inalienable rights! People today do not take enough time or care to realize the severity of this and how disheartening it is. To be denied simple and seemingly basic rights is hard to realize unless one experiences the void or takes time to imagine. Prior to IWD the US, with the leadership of the Socialist Party of America, created the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) to be observed across the nation (Internationalwomansday.com). The first day to globally commemorate women took place on March 19, 1911.  The 19th day of March was chosen to remember March 19, 1848 when the King of Prussia promised, without fulfilling, woman suffrage (Timeanddate.com). About 50 years later this day was successfully recognized and celebrated in Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria. About 1 million people attended rallies demanding suffrage, work training and public office opportunities (International). Before and during the Russian Revolution, Russian women were prominent players in demonstrations against what the Tsar did or did not do. They famously demanded “bread and peace” in 1917 in response to the high deaths of Russian soldiers in World War I (International) which encouraged a feeling of resentment and revolution. The new government that followed the Tsar’s abdication granted women the right to vote. Once the Soviet Union established itself and reigned over Russia and eventually its formal empirical lands, IWD was declared an official holiday. This day has subsequently become official in later communist nations such as China and formal Soviet satellites and republics in the latter half of the 20th Century (America.aljazeera.com). Clearly in Europe and communist nations where there is a deeper and more recent socialist tradition, do we find a stronger and more prominent recognition of IWD. Sadly due to our strong masculine mentality and anti Communist and socialist attitude, we seem to be less vocal or supportive of this important day. The US is one of the most vocal and prominent nations of freedom, opportunity and equality. It is a shame this day is compromised, but thankfully it exists and we can slowly spread its vital message: Celebrate, commemorate and recognize women success, heritage and suffering from the past and today. Yes I reiterate we need to remember or even realize that women are still suffering , not only in Latin, Asian or African nations but under our own noses. Women are still payed less than male counterparts, are abused, denied certain healthcare and viewed as lower or unworthy of business or leadership roles. International Women’s Day should not simply be day to remember the past but also today’s achievements and struggles.

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER, Leonard Nimoy

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I remember being an avid Star Trek movie and tv series fan since a young child and being particularly particular to the original series. Spock ( played by the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy) of course was one of my favorites, and even though I am not as big a fan today, it definitely hit home and brought some sadness to hear of Nimoy’s passing this Friday.

Most fans and people in general will mainly envision Spock when they hear the name Leonard Nimoy, he was as I recently discovered, a very active actor, director, writer, poet, philosopher and photographer. Furthermore the man felt and  showed a conflicting attitude for being viewed mainly as Spock. After all he worked on numerous projects prior to and after his Star Trek years.

Like it or not, he should be extremely proud and happy to see the influence his role has had and the reverence fans and regular audiences had towards him, both which will last so long as memory remains of Star Trek or incredible souls.

On board the Enterprise his Spock demonstrated wisdom, loyalty, humor, logic and unwavering friendship. Off set Mr. Nimoy mirrored Spock; it was incredible. I feel sad and unfortunate I did appreciate his time on earth as I often lack in doing with many living legends or friends and family. I feel a good many people lack appreciation or recognition even more so than I, we truly need to change. People would be more happy and rich realizing how fortunate they are after all.

As the poet, actor,philosopher, Spock once wrote:

“Rocket ships
are exciting
but so are roses
on a birthday.”
― Leonard Nimoy, Come Be With Me

Live long and prosper,Shalom.

Argentine Drama

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Reading the news on the sudden and mysterious murder of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman and its possible connection with Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner reminded me of a “Bourne” movie starring Matt Damon. The coverage of the death of Nisman began with speculation that Argentine agents were behind it. President Kirchner pledged to disband the intelligence body (BBC World News) which had been in power since the Peron era, claiming that rogue members were behind the untimely death.

The government has reported the cause of death as presumably self-inflicted (Forbes, Agustino Fontevecchia ), while many have speculated death or a forced suicide. Nisman informed his friend he was told by a spy that his life was in danger. In response several guards stood watch outside his apartment, locked himself from the inside and borrowed his friend’s pistol  A small nook used to gain access to the apartment’s air-conditioning unit had a footprint and a smudge(New Yorkers, Blitzer). Perhaps this was the only method a spy or assassin used to mirror or force a suicide. This has certainly without question become a very suspicious, questionable and strange death, with very little adding up.

Prior to his death, the late Nisman accused several senior government figures-including the nation’s one and only President and  Hector Timerman, the Foreign Minister-of involvement in a plot to cover up the alleged Iranian role in the fatal and largest terrorist attack on Argentinian soil. This attack was the bombing of the AMIA, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries in 1994 that left 85 people dead in (BBC). Nisman believed the cover up would in effect guarantee oil or monetary gains or deals with Iran if fulfilled. This accusation was to be formally brought before court the day before he died.

This was quite a scandalous and stunning accusation and revelation, that did not help with the President’s already not so stunning ratings and popularity(“Argentine Judge Halts”, Ryan Dube). Kirchner’s late husband was the previous president and her own son has been seen as a possible future leader as well.This event has certainly made her family and ruling “dynasty”less popular and as future reality.

In the past two day on February 26th, in favor of the President, Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas dismissed the case. The Centre for Judicial Information explained that “The judge believes the minimum conditions to launch a criminal investigation have not been met, based on what the prosecutor presented” (Buenos Aires Herald). Of course there will be an expected appeal likely heard by the Federal Criminal Appeals Courts in the next few weeks (Bueons Aires)

Before and prior to the Judge’s decision, there have been thousands of Argentine supporters for Nisman and marches. One such event was on February 18, where despite a “torrential downpour” thousands of people marched silently through Buenos Aires in honor of Nisman (The Guardian, Uki Goñi).

This entire uncertain and suspicious story resurfaces the fear and notion that, even if President Kirchner is innocent, governments or those in charge can often be untrustworthy, corrupt or have more power or influence than we know or want them to yield. It also sadly reminds us that there is still much corruption and many nondemocratic-democratic leaders or governments. We as citizens of the free world and those in less fortunate and less just or opportunistic nations, must question, investigate and rally for justice.  This is our inherent and natural right and it must never be stripped or denied by the government, militias, rogues or by ourselves.

Our Timeless Middle East Interest: Both as Children and Politicians

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Since the birth of Civilization there has been an interest in the Middle East. Starting with Mesopotamia, the Garden of Eden, Egypt, the Hebrews and the Kingdom of Israel, Bethleham, Istanbul, and so on.  Today this region still grips the interest of the religous, the traveler, and archaeologists and historians from every single corner of the world. We hear about the region and the numerous peoples in the Bible, in adventure and action movies and even in fairy tales (e.g One Thousand and One Arabian Nights) often even before we can read and write.

This ancient fasination makes sense, but not so much when we hear about it being amongst politicians and world leaders. Why do they have it? I highly dobut they are looking for new tales or for the Temple of Solomon. Most iritated teens and adults often presume it is for strickly oil and land. Yes, I completly agree but this a too general and overconsumed motive. Western nations, particularly The United States, are attempting to support and befriend more Western and Democratic friends in the Near East. This friendship in turns brings a higher chance for the following rewards: American economic interests can expand and honestly, what many of us truly believe is the best and most effective way of governing, will save many unfortunate and tired residents of the region. With this friendship and partnership we will be more safe at home, our businesses can flourish more fruitfully, and there can be more peace and stability in the world as many Americans truly do want.

This is why we are in good terms with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel and to an extent with Turkey. These nations are much more tolerabe and Western in thinking. Sadly our earlier reward is a more celebrated and more intended motive. The 2004 invasion of Iraq under formal president George W. Bush intended to show we would not allow terrosism and to find a key to opening more access for the select few fortunate American busnisses. Supporting Israel was to please and finally assist the unfortunate Jewish diaspora and to help maintain a Western state in the heart of the entire reigion, the Holy Land. Israel has many ligitimate reasons to exist yet has also confronted many critisisms that are sound and also ligitimate. Many non Jewish Americans support Israel for good hearted reasons, but they too  cannot deny the benifits of a Western allie in the Middle East. With the recent passing of the late Saudi King Abdulla the past couple of days ago, the West had been watching and waiting more than anything else to see who his predecessor would be. Would he be pro Western, or Succumb to pressures from ISIS in the north and al-Qaeda in the south (“World Leaders in Saudi Arabia”, BBC). The late absolute and conservative King was seen as a reformer in his short 10 year reign  who supported religious tolerance, women influence and equality, peace throughout the Near East (“Obitutary: King Abdullah” BBC). Unfortunatly the King is also known to have negative aspects of his reign (such as human rights violations and torture), and had also disagreed with certain U.S actions, yet we preserved our alliance (“World Leaders in”, BBC)

The Middle East is a perfect example of foreign, federal, if not diplomacy of any kind. There is always going to be an underlying, hidden or bonus benefit that is favorable to the nation, capital or individual who leads the diplomacy. With this in mind, we need to be less hostile and agitated when we criticize domesic or foreign dimplomacy. In this world we cannot expect to have a perfect and ideal agreement or diplomacy. The world is populated by people who have to be pleased or need to find a silver lining before they can agree or instate a more positive or peaceful solution. Israel largely exists because the West finds her benifitial, yet again the region now has more Western values, there is a Pro Western and reforming nation yet with questionable acts such as Saudi Arabia, and the West is working towards  an entirely “liberated” Ukraine from Russia, but this brings forth a hidden benfit of a less influential Russia as a while, not really just in Ukraine.