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May The 4TH Be With You…

Posted in From The Editor's Perspective, and World Affairs

It’s amazing that the phenomenon of Star Wars still continues after 40 years, although I’m not that fond of the latest offering, I’m glad it exists as a distraction to what is happening in this galaxy. There are elections in France, where the socialists who have governed for more than half a century will no longer have a say in how France will be shaped. Will it be Macron or Le Pen? The fate of the EU will depend on the outcome, as one wants more integration, while the latter favors a referendum to leave the EU. It may boil down to which candidate the voters trust, although many don’t like either and have declared an abstention, which is their right, but doesn’t alter the fact one of the two will become next French President.

Meanwhile over the channel, the UK faces another general election on 8th June. Will it create stability? I doubt it as the remainers will continue to complain even when the UK leaves the EU. If Corbyn loses will he stand down, and it’s hard to trust a party when the shadow home secretary (Diane Abbot) can’t answer a simple question on how much it will cost to fund 10,000 extra police and gave a figure that meant they would get paid £30 a year. Even when she was given a chance to rectify her answer after the presenter gave her the calculations, the figure still came up short with a salary that would be less than the minimum wage. Will UKIP voters now go back to what they voted for before, and have SNP voters had enough of Sturgeon? Oh, if only Spitting Image could make a return now!

Now over the pond to the adventures of #45 and the goings on in D.C. where a protestor has been convicted of laughing (or as they say how she conducted herself) during the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions. I’m sure many were laughing around the world, but to call this a criminal offense is beyond ridiculous if you compare it to an actual crime of theft, or actual bodily harm. People know it’s illegal to strike another human except in self-defense, and that stealing if caught carries a punishment, but when did expressing a natural reflex action that harmed no one become a crime? The prosecutors claim the protestors aim was to “impede, disrupt, and disturb orderly conduct” of the confirmation hearing, yet I find it comforting to know that crime is so low in D.C. that they have time to pursue such frivolous cases.

Then we look at #45 who made a statement declaring Andrew Jackson (the 7th President of the USA) could have prevented the Civil War, which has led to many historians scratching their heads. It’s well documented that Andrew Jackson was one of the worst and unpopular Presidents ever, despite Jackson’s death 16 years prior to the Civil War. In brief, Jackson not only had a bigamous marriage (his wife wasn’t divorced), but is renowned infamously for creating the Indian Trail of Tears. As a slave owner he bought land that was Indian territory and when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Worcester v. Georgia he ignored the ruling. This prevented the state of Georgia from removing the Cherokee Nation from their land. Georgia did not adhere to the ruling, and Jackson defied the court stating that “Mr. Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it!” a clear defiance of his role in the Executive branch. In addition, the ‘petticoat’ affair led to the firing of most of his cabinet because he disapproved of how some of the wives were treating the wife of John Eaton, a favorite of his. Basically he let his personal feelings an beliefs get the better of him, and people were fired not because they were bad at their job, but because they didn’t like their principles. There was also the duplicitous tactics employed when he had a duel with Charles Dickenson in 1806. According to accounts, he knew Dickenson was a sharp marksmen, so allowed him to shoot first and in the knowledge protocol would allow him to take his time and shoot at leisure. Dickenson hit Jackson in the chest, and Jackson then took aim and killed Dickenson as he latter was forced to stand still. As a matter of honor it was not the etiquette as men were supposed to fire at the same time, as a result Jackson’s reputation as a devious, and vengeful man lives on to this day.

In a nutshell, the Civil War had been a long time coming as it revolved around the issue of slavery, and Jackson as a slave owner would not have pushed for the abolition of slavery. Some people get a little confused as he founded the Democratic party, but in those days it is what would be akin to the Republican party today. (Democrats back then advocated state power and defied federal power, whereas today Democrats support federal power and Republicans advocate state power).

To end it all Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh has announced his retirement at the age of 95, by stepping down from public service. Some may say what is the big deal, but he has supported the Queen for more than 60 years, and like most seniors they need to take it easy for their health. I don’t blame him!

It’s become a sad state of affairs when people sigh when there is another bombing or terrorist attack, and that it’s now considered the norm. This isn’t how a civilized society should be, and I hope this is a transitory period. However, no one should provoke North Korea or China, because that’s how wars begin with poor communication, a desire for power, and a conflict of cultures. In history these are the common denominators and that’s why historians are important as analysts and advisors. I’m not sure how many there are in the cabinet of #45, in fact I wonder how many understand the concept of international relations…At times I wish I was in a galaxy far, far away.

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