Watching History: “I Got a Baaad Feeling About This”

Luckily, I keep a diary. My entry for the 9th of November was thus.

“The election was yesterday and Trump won.  It reminds me of when Bush won, except that Trump is a different animal.  Bush could pretend to be decent, Trump is seen as their savior but he’s a mean-spirited bully. Oh well, start saving money, I got a couple of things today.  I’m still trying to put together the Blog post on it. It’s too fresh and painful. Yay, I finished my blog. More important, I went into photoshop and threw in a lightsaber on my favorite selfie. It looks noice. Gilles says it’s like the new Mona Lisa.” Not exactly pithy stuff but it keeps me sane.

This is an illustration of the denial and “self-care” that people in blue states, insulated by media predicting a Hillary win, have been dealing with.  In another class, I’m doing a project on Anne Frank, of whom I’ve been obsessed since I was a child.  My mother made sure I read her book as soon as I could comprehend the words and knowing my mother lived as an allied’s child in Germany after the war, it gave me an understanding of the aftermath that her six-year old mind struggled to grasp.  It was through Anne Frank that I learned the true meaning of empathy as I cried to my mom, “Why would anyone kill her she was just a young girl?”. My mom didn’t have any answers and we watched every History channel WWII documentary back when the History channel actually taught history instead of making popular shows about truck drivers and aliens.  We wanted answers, we wanted to know how Hitler (an obvious madman in hindsight) gained power.  We ate up every documentary which explained his tormented childhood and tried to spot the moment when history could have turned a good corner.  We listened to my grandpa (when he had drunk too much port) and he told us what he went through as a soldier fighting at Die Burenhaus, in Villengen-Schwenningen (known as “the Brown House” by my grandpa and the English Allies).  His closest friend shot dead next to him, he had to wrap him in a blanket and put his dog-tags around his feet so that he could have a chance at being identified and maybe sent home to his loved ones. Two Polish boys from the Ghetto, barely in their teens, who joined the Allies when their entire village was murdered by the Nazis.  Grandpa said that when the war had turned and the Allies were taking in the lower-level privates and the drafted Germans who were surrendering in droves, the two Poles notified the Sergeant in charge that one of the lower surrendering officers was in fact the S.S. Officer who they watched murder their entire family and village.  Grandpa’s Sergeant then asked for TWO volunteers to “interrogate” the prisoner.  The rest of the unit understood and only two hands went up.  Grandpa: “Those Polish boys interrogated him within an inch of his life.” He admitted to being the S.S. Officer in question and provided more intel after that.  While what the Sergeant did was probably against the Geneva convention, it earned him the undying respect from his men as a fair leader.  That is the line I walk every day. I understand the draw and the attraction of unorthodox methods that fly in the face of convention, however, I also understand spin and ultimately how it can make monsters out of the ordinary man. Others have been feeling the same. On Youtube there are videos of everyday people expressing and processing this moment in history. I found this man’s sentiments lovely.

I hope that President Trump proves me wrong, but history leads me to worry about his methods and whether he will uphold the Constitution of the United States or look at it as another legal contract to weasel out of and get around.  Many dictators before him have done this as soon as being elected.  Whatever happens, we should all keep on journaling.

Eye Across the Pond: What Does England, Scotland, and Ireland Think of This Election?

World leaders are reacting to the triumph of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election.
World leaders are reacting to the triumph of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election.

Well, this is embarrassing! The British Isles seem as perplexed as we are about the outcome of this election.

The BBC has looked to world leaders for a reaction to Donald J. Trump’s winning the Presidency.  On their Political Blog- Trump wins US election: How world leaders have reacted

UK- Prime Minister, Theresa May

In her message of congratulations, Prime Minister Theresa May focused on the “special relationship” between the two countries. She said that she hoped that Mr Trump’s win would mean a continuation of shared values, including “freedom, democracy and enterprise”.

“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence,”

“I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”–UK Prime Minister, Theresa May

The United Nations- Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that “in the aftermath of a hard-fought and often divisive campaign, it is worth recalling and reaffirming that the unity in diversity of the United States is one of the country’s greatest strengths”.

“I encourage all Americans to stay true to that spirit. Today’s global challenges demand concerted global action and joint solutions. As a founding member of the United Nations and permanent member of the Security Council, the United States is an essential actor across the international agenda,”–UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Mr Ban added that “people everywhere look to the United States to use its remarkable power to help lift humanity up and to work for the common good” which included the battle against climate change, advancing human rights and “promoting mutual understanding… to achieve lives of peace, prosperity and dignity for all”.

Trump in Front of Turnberry Clubhouse
Trump in Front of Turnberry Clubhouse

I love that this is how America is viewed officially on the World Stage.  However, to get a little bit more info on Trump’s interests overseas and some of the problems he’s going to have Worldwide,  Scotland’s The Scotsman Newspaper has a more personal take.  You see, he has business holdings in Scotland. His portfolio in Scotland – comprises of Trump Turnberry, Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, and DT Connect Europe, a helicopter operations firm.  While his legal battles with locals protecting their land has earned him a bad reputation in Scotland, that’s not where it gets sticky.  “Such a scenario has invited widespread speculation over how the controversial magnate would reconcile a political life with his multifarious business interests. As an executive, trustee, director or member of around 480 corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, Mr Trump’s corporate empire would pose a unparalleled ethical dilemma in the 227 year history of the presidency. It is a network that spans the globe, with his interests and holdings in countries such Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey sure to be seen as particularly sensitive given they could clash with – or indeed, shape – future US foreign policy under a Trump government.”-
What Would Happen to Trump’s Scottish Businesses if He Wins?- The Scotsman Newspaper

The one legal hurdle Mr Trump would face is the emoluments clause, an obscure provision in the US constitution which prohibits officials from taking money or gifts from foreign governments without the consent of congress. In practice, this could extend to bank loans extended to Mr Trump’s businesses by the likes of the Bank of China.

However, the emoluments clause also extends to banning payments from entities controlled by foreign administrations, meaning that Mr Trump’s dealings with Prestwick, owned by the Scottish Government, would invite close attention.

Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer under the administration of George W Bush, the last Republican president, told The Scotsman that Mr Trump would effectively have to run his businesses side by side with the nation. “The problem is, he can do pretty much whatever he wants as president, even though he has financial conflicts of interest,” he said. “The statute that applies to everybody else does not apply to the president.”

Such arrangements, Mr Painter said, would have to come under the microscope. “Every one of these holdings outside of the US would need to be scrutinized to make sure that money was not going getting into them via the front door or the back door from a foreign government,” he said. “Any effort to get money into his pocket from foreign governments or corporations controlled by foreign governments would be a violation of the clause.”
Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/what-would-happen-to-donald-trump-s-scottish-businesses-if-he-wins-1-4281303

Give this article, by MARTYN MCLAUGHLIN,  a look-over, it’s fascinating stuff. Apparently, the emoluments clause could see Trump tied up with legal battles on all fronts from his overseas businesses while he should be “Making America Great Again”.  Also, his idea of letting his kids run his businesses is in violation of the emoluments clause since they are his heirs. That won’t fly. This could get really nasty and really embarrassing.

I’ll leave you with a Tweet and a link from The Irish Times, the only of these countries I’ve visited and who have the Craic to call it how it looks.

What must they think of us.? Oh, yeah. :-/
What must they think of us.? Oh, yeah. :-/

¯\_(ツ)_/¯   Sorry, World!

 

The U.S. Embassy in London Posted the Most Wonderful Video for Day of the Girl

The Most Wonderful DotG Video

This picture shows girls, of different faiths and backgrounds attending an assembly at the Mulberry School in Tower Hamlets, London. The all-girls’ school is rated as “outstanding” by The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED).  This is especially important to girls whose families might come from parts of the world where the importance of educating girls is traditionally forbidden.  Girls like Malala Yousafzi , whose attempted assassination by the Taliban in 2012 made her an outspoken advocate of girls’ education worldwide. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring education to her native Pakistan and the world. That is why the girls in U.S. Embassy video is so powerful. Historically, there has always been backwards fundamentalists trying to keep them “in line” and subserviant, using tradition and religion to keep them from reaching their true potentials.  No matter their background, each of these girls is like Malala, willing to change the world, one girl at a time. #LetGirlsLearn #whengirlsgraduate #DayoftheGirl

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai reads a card as she recuperates at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, in this undated handout photograph released to Reuters on November 8, 2012. Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, was flown from Pakistan to Britain for specialist treatment after the Oct. 9 attack. REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY EDUCATION) NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai reads a card as she recuperates at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, in this undated handout photograph released to Reuters on November 8, 2012. Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education, was flown from Pakistan to Britain for specialist treatment after the Oct. 9 attack. REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout (BRITAIN – Tags: CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY EDUCATION) NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS

Why Would Anyone Want to Vote? Show up, Stand Up, It’s Your Right!

When looking at our major party candidates this election, one may be more enthusiastic towards picking their favorite flavor of cough syrup.  The red (cherry flavor) or the green (doesn’t taste like anything a human would ingest unless on death’s door): they both do about the same things and are really neither palatable.  However, guess what?  You’re a grownup now, if you’re 18 and over and not registered to vote by the 14th of October, you’re like the benched kid on the softball team that never plays and doesn’t really wanna be there.  Apathy is understandable under these situations.  Hey, I get Facebook updates from Anonymous too (they do not forgive, they do not forget). Do I believe some of it? Yeah, probably most of it. But I’m still gonna hold my nose and take the medicine come November 8th. It’s not so bad.

civil-rights-protests-black-vote-1965

These guys and gals seemed to think it worth fighting for, not metaphorically either, I mean actual fisticuffs and throw-downs with police and various old white dudes, over their rights to put a piece of paper in a box and be counted equal to said various old white dudes.  Sorry old white dudes, nothing personal, it’s just yall’s history is not pretty.

doris-stevens

This lovely lady, Doris Stevens, spent 60 days in jail for women’s suffrage.  That’s two months, in the early 1900’s.  Do you have any idea what jails were like then? If you want to know, She wrote a book chronicling it, which is still sold on Amazon today. You can even get it in Kindle.

arlington-national-cemetery

Then there’s these military folks. Many of my family are among them, and it is my heartfelt belief (and maybe a little superstition) that if I ever missed a chance to vote in a major election, said family members would come back and haunt my dreams. Ain’t nobody got time for military ghosts.Incidentally, this lovely pic of Arlington National Cemetery is from a CBS article of a rule which prohibits female WW2 pilots from being buried there. I gave you the link just in case you wanna feel outraged all over. The article is from December 2015, last year. So you see, in so many ways, the fight for equality continues to this day. Vote for who you think will do a good job, vote for who you think sucks less, heck, even a protest vote is a vote for or against something! It’s your right to do so, and a right which women and minorities have fought for you to have. So whether you’re female, male, straight, gay, trans, the many colors of the rainbow, black, Hispanic, Asian, or white; children, take your medicine and register to vote, now. Cause, they, historically speaking (sorry old white dudes, calling a duck a duck) didn’t really want your ancestors to.  theskimm.com in conjunction with Rock the Vote, have put together a fast, easy site to help everyone get registered.  Oh yeah, and November 8th, VOTE!