Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

Women contribute to society every day of the year.

Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

History In the Making

Women’s History Month 2022 is now behind us, but women’s contributions to society continue, so we are recognizing some of the Women’s History Month themes of previous years in honor of the confirmation of our first female African American Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.  The theme for 2022 is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”, which pays tribute to frontline workers, medical professionals, and caregivers.  The 2021 Women’s History Month topic saluted the strength of women in times of difficulty.

Glass Is Trash

During 2020, festivities for the centennial of women’s suffrage had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, therefore 2020’s theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”, was extended through 2021, as we celebrated the election of our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris. The intent was to pay respect to the ladies that paved the way for women’s voting rights.  Now that the second highest office in the land has had its see-through ceiling shattered, the view to the top looks clear for breakthrough when President Biden hands over the reins.  Ladies, we should make sure we are wearing cute shoes and watch where we step, as there is glass everywhere, and more to come.

Breakouts

Barriers are falling and walls are continuing to be breached.  As Douglas Emhoff put it, “I may be the first Second Gentleman, but I know I won’t be the last.”  The foundation for more is being laid in part by the man who wrote and pushed through the “Violence Against Women” Act.  Dr. Jill Biden has a doctorate in education. Ms Biden is the only First Lady to continue her career while her spouse has led the nation.  But there were leaders before them who led the way.  Shirley Chisholm was the first woman of color elected to Congress, then the first woman to run for the Democratic nomination for president.  Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to be a major party candidate for Vice-President.

Working From Within

The 2016 Women’s History Month theme was “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”  This sisterhood of political pioneers have opened the doors of diversity for our nation.  The National Women’s History Project for that year honored the often undervalued and overlooked women in government leadership and public service.  This collection of amazing women has stood on the forefront of change, and their dramatic influence on public policy and the assisting of building viable organizations and institutions have helped lead the way to a more democratic, safer, and stronger America.

Above And Beyond

These women have fought to insure equal opportunity for all.   With diversity of experience and tireless dedication to community service, each of these public leaders, have succeeded against seemingly insurmountable challenges.  This company of ladies and their ability to create non-partisan policies and all-encompassing solutions, in addition to their determination, art of collaboration, and amazing skill sets, will serve our nation today and inspire our future generations.  We applaud these women for their unyielding courage and faithful service.

Women In Front

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”.  Behind every successful woman is one or more women who succeeded before them, breaking ground or building up new progress.  And these were not always just in the advancement of women’s rights.  Most of us know of Madame Curie, and her ground-breaking radiation work.  But what about Tabitha Babbitt, a Shaker who came up with the prototype for the circular saw?  Or Nancy Johnson, who patented the original hand-cranked ice cream freezer.

Intrepid Inventors

Josephine Cochrane created the first dishwasher to achieve commercial success, with the first use of water pressure to scrub.  Sarah Boone improved the portable ironing board to the familiar wedge shape of what we use today for our pressing engagements.  Alice H. Parker created the first natural gas central furnace.

Men Don’t Have A Monopoly

Elizabeth Magie gave us “The Landlord’s Game”, the forerunner of what we now know as probably the most recognized board game ever, “Monopoly”.  In its design she made social commentary on property owners of her time in their treatment of tenants and materialistic priorities, as well as the benefits of home ownership.

Science This!

The first female scientist hired by GE, Katharine Burr Blodgett, developed the first method to put one-molecule thick coatings onto glass or metal.  This made possible non-reflective glass, which is used for lenses on common items such as eyeglasses, cameras, microscopes, and other optics, as well as picture frames and the like.  She also invented screens during World War II to protect troops from toxins in smoke.

Even More Data

In 1944, data processing pioneer Grace Hopper worked with Howard Aiken to create the Mark I computer at Harvard, then later came up with the computer slang “bug” and its companion, “debug”, after finding an errant moth had caused a system problem.  She was also on the team that developed COBOL.  Architect Eleanor Raymond collaborated with biophysicist Maria Telkes to build the first solar heated home in 1947.

She Didn’t Just Play A Spy…

And Hedy Lamarr didn’t rest on her acting laurels – her work with George Anthiel in 1941 created a “Secret Communication System” that depended at least in part on frequency-hopping for security.  These innovations and further work on her part gave us the beginnings of “spread-spectrum” technology, which became the basis for fax machines, cell phones, GPS, Wifi, and other related wireless communication advances.

Create Like It’s 1966

1966 was a bellwether year – in it Marie Van Brittan Brown patented the first closed-circuit TV security system. Again in ’66, Stephanie Kwolek invented-Kevlar. Kevlar is one of the most important synthetic fabric fibers ever created. She developed the process while working on strengthening material for auto tires. It is still used for tires, and brake shoe linings, boat hulls, flame-resistant clothing, and many other composite materials.  It’s most significant use has saved countless law enforcement and military personnel; which we are extremely thankful for – the bulletproof vest.

Dr. Jackson, Dr. Jackson…

The first black woman to receive a M.I.T. PhD, Shirley Jackson, helped develop modern communication technologies such as touch tones, call waiting and caller ID, and fiber optic cables, in addition to solar cells.  And she was the first woman to head one of the major technological institutions, in her case Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

They Figure In

Since this article is about women, we can’t forget women in American history; explorer Sacagawea, original First Lady Dolley Madison, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, women’s suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony, famed authors Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Red Cross founder Clara Barton and fellow super-nurse Florence Nightingale, aviatrix Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart, poet and author Julia Ward Howe, civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, just to name but a very few…

Wells, Wells, Wells…

Women have typically had to be multi-taskers – many took this to levels of great feats.  Ida B. Wells was a women’s rights and civil rights activist (one of the founders of the NAACP), while also wearing the hats of teacher and investigative reporter, particularly focused on the horrors of lynching.  She, working with Frederick Douglass and other African American leaders, orchestrated a boycott of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, since Blacks were not permitted to enter the exhibit areas.  Ms. Wells also advocated for school integration, and helped found many African American clubs, particularly for women of color.

Working It In

Contemporary to Ida B. was housing reformer, women’s suffragette, social work pioneer, and political administrator Jane Addams.  Harriet Tubman made a career out of multiple jobs – in addition to her famous slavery freedom trips, she was a spy for the Union, abolitionist, and political advocate.

Multi-mavens

Multiple talents aren’t just a precedent of years gone by – what about actress, director, and producer Penny Marshall?  Or dancer, choreographer, singer, and reality talent judge Paula Abdul?  Queen Latifah handles music (including songwriting), acting, and producing, equally well.  While we’re on the subject of entertainment, we can’t forget Cher and Madonna.  Then there’s the lifestyle mavens such as Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Ree Drummond.  And, of course, there’s one lady we only need one word for: Oprah.

Sporting It

Great women of sports also abound.  Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias excelled in baseball, golf, track and field, and basketball.  In the 1932 Summer Olympics, she received two gold medals for track and field events, then became a golf professional, and went on to win ten LPGA major championships.  In 1951 she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and she was married until her death in 1956 to George Zaharias.  Babe is seen as a lady ahead of her time.

They Have the Drive

Ms. Zaharias has been followed by other outstanding female athletes, such as a professional from Sweden who is considered to be one of history’s most stellar lady golfers: Annika Sörenstam.  She has received numerous awards, including H.M. The King’s Medal, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2003-2004, Bob Jones Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Nancy Lopez’ exemplary career was also precedent setting.

Tennis Anyone?

The dynasty of the Williams’ sisters in tennis is one of the great dominations of a particular sport.  And before them was the legendary Billie Jean King, who even beat out Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”.

Leading From The Front

The 2017 theme was “Honoring Trailblazing Women In Labor And Business”; these are ladies that have been successful in challenging women’s roles in the paid labor force and businesses.  Although women have always been part of our workforce, they are often been underpaid and undervalued.  One well known example was popularized by the movie “Norma Rae”, which was based on events in the life of Crystal Lee Sutton.  She was a strong labor leader who fought for unionizing as a way to gain better working conditions.

Do Something…

Here are ways we can continue to commemorate women’s history:

  1. Involve yourself with female supporting groups that empower girls and women
  2. Create a brand-new book or movie club on-line, or join an existing one
  3. Treat a special lady that you receive inspiration and friendship from to a mocha latte, lunch, or bouquet of flowers
  4. Invite female entertainers, speakers, writers, and other professionals to online events
  5. Utilize all social media outlets to encourage women
  6. Utilize intersectionality to understand women of all walks of life
  7. Take an online class that highlights women’s history
  8. Help involve children and teens in art, writing, performing, and reading women’s history related material
  9. Support STEM/STEAM initiatives targeted at encouraging young women in science and creative pursuits
  • Write a play, article, song, book, or poem about women, or read one

Color Purple And White

Let’s all wear purple, the international color which symbolizes women, and white, which represents women’s suffrage, to highlight those ladies who have contributed and continue to do so.  We will keep using our voices for the advancement of female equality.  For more information, visit www.womenshistorymonth.gov.  In the words of Elle Woods, “What? Like it’s hard?”

OPINION: America, Time To Wake UP

OPINION: America, Time To Wake Up

The U.S. claims it is more entitled to greatness than other nations.

OPINION: America, Time To Wake Up

By I.B. Freely and D. S. Mitchell

Myths

A recent crock of bullshit that has been pedaled is that the U.S. joined the Allies in WWII because of the holocaust. America entering WWII had nothing to do with the holocaust. Almost no one knew what was going on at the time, including several levels of the German government itself.  The only reason America joined, two years after the war started, I might add, was because of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The American Imagination

The vast majority of fighting by American personnel was in the South Pacific in its war against Japan.  Of the 16 million men and women who served in the U. S. military during WWII, only 2 million went to Europe. For some peculiar reason the war against the Nazis in their snazzy uniforms has taken on a supersized place in the American self-image. I will remind folks it would have been hard to kill Hitler from Guam. Not that it matters much.

Continue reading

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Black and Blessed

*Celebrating Black History Month

**At the close of Black History Month let’s take a look at ourselves and our country. DSM/Calamity**

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Black and Blessed

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 

A Black Mark Not On Our History

As Black History Month comes to a close, we must actively insure that the true history of Black Americans is told. All of it. The dark and the glorious. How this story ends will be a predictor of how our nation embraces our black brothers and moves forward.  We all recall as children eating peanut butter spread on crackers as we learned about George Washington Carver, but no other significant Black history was ever taught, at least any school I ever attended. African-American history remains mostly hidden and not taught in schools.

Inventors and Heroes

It is not a significant part of any school curriculums and it should be.  An accurate depiction of the history and culture of African-Americans must become part of American history classes.  Teaching a truthful history lends respect to those activities could over a generation change core attitudes. The history of blacks in America is our history, some dark and tragic, some brilliant and glorious. It is time we as a country accept that not all history worth being written down and taught was that of  white men.   The poem that became the lyrics of our National Anthem was written by an attorney who had little or no respect for Black people.   We now must educate about the atrocities of slavery and the important roles Blacks have played and continue to play in our history and our future.

Nothing New

Various peoples of Africa were brought to the “New World” as slaves, bought, sold, and treated like the property they were considered to be, not the persons of rich culture and tradition they had been.  The “first” African slaves brought to what is now the United States is typically thought to be a load of captives from what is now Angola, sold to Jamestown Governor George Yeardley and Abraham Piersey, the colony’s trade head, for food, near the end of August 1619.

Continue reading

Doug Emhoff A First Class Second Gentleman

**Calamity Politics thought we should tell the real life story of Doug Emhoff and VP Kamala Harris for Valentine’s Day.

The new VP and her Second Gentleman have a great love story

Doug Emhoff:

Our First Second Gentleman is First Class

By Anna Hessel

 Second to None

The United States of America has its first ever Second Gentleman. Apparently that is the official title of the spouse of the first female Vice President, the fabulous Kamala Harris. Douglas Craig Emhoff is an accomplished entertainment attorney in his own right. Another ground breaker, Doug happens to be the first Jewish spouse of an American VP.  Mr. Emhoff has stepped into his new defining role with ease, grace, and enthusiasm.  His dignified and quiet demeanor, enthusiastic support of his wife, distinguished good looks, and resplendent normalcy make him the ideal individual to become the first Second Gentleman.

Lawful Beginnings

Born in New York on October 13th, 1964. The 56-year-old Emhoff married Kamala Devi Harris in 2014, Their birthdays are only a week apart.  He spent his high school days at Agoura and Cedar Ridge. He attended the University of Southern California and California State University – Northridge.  He continued his education and graduated from USC Gould School of Law.

A Career of His Own

Doug has enjoyed a successful legal career as a partner and litigator with the law firm of DLA Piper, working from their District of Columbia and state of California locations. He specializes in intellectual property and entertainment law.   As an attorney, Mr. Emhoff’s achievements include defending a former well-known Olympic and NFL athlete in a civil suit instigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  He also represented those holding the rights to a well-recognized character of animation in trademark and copyright infringement.

Continue reading

OPINION: Propaganda and Intentions

OPINION: Propaganda and Intentions

propaganda is misused by governments to effect people's opinion and actions

OPINION: Propaganda and Intentions

By Trevor K. McNeil

As bad as they seem?

Meanings can be tricky. Some words taking on cultural coloring, in no way reflecting the actual meaning. One of the main examples is the notion of stereotypes. Generally, a neutral term for observable trends it has come to be used interchangeably with prejudice or racism, only one of which is actually bad. It might seem strange because of how it is now used, but prejudice isn’t inherently negative. All it really means, going to the Latin root, is to pre-judge. Pre-judging something negatively is what people now mean when they used the term. Completely ignoring the fact that it is just as possible to pre-judge someone or something positively.

And Now To Politics

The way this all relates to politics, aside from the fact that language is generally how people understand the world, and very much informs our world-view, is that there is a word in the political arena that has been both misused and misunderstood almost from its inception. Propaganda, like post-modernism, is probably not what you think. Used by the political set, in one way or another, going back to Ancient Greece, propaganda is the use of information mediums to advance a particular political agenda or world-view. This can be done in a particularly bias or intentionally misinforming way, as seen in China and  Russia, but such is not an inherent element. A bug rather than a feature, one might say.

Misuse and Lies

It is just such misuses and lies, particularly perpetrated by the Russians in the form of agitprop, that has led to the sullied reputation propaganda now has. In reality, everything from pamphlets for political candidates, to campaign ads, as well as certain types of billboards, books and even songs, plays and movies, count as propaganda.

Burn It Down

The main thing that determines whether something is propaganda comes down to the intention of the creator. Whether said propaganda is considered good or bad, is almost entirely left to one’s own distinction. A notorious case of conflict in meaning came with the film V For Vendetta. Based in the graphic novel of the same name by British author Alan Moore, the film set off a minor fire-storm both the left and the right saying it was hate-filled propaganda against their own side. Which is ironic, because the ethos of the original book, somewhat lost in the film, is apolitical. The work is still propaganda but of a much different sort. Rather than advancing a particular political ideal, it largely transcends politics, instead going into the realms of moral philosophy. The basic message of both the book and the film is one of autonomy.

Bringing It Down To Earth

Seeing governments as little more as methods to organize. It is individuals who are truly important. A sentiment most clearly shown in the line: “people shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” The government in both the book and the film is presented as fascist, but the general idea is that any government, of any description that gets above its station needs to be brought back down to earth.

In The Mirror Darkly

A case in which intention was presumed, came with the hit series Black Mirror. Premiering on British television in 2011 many, critics and viewers alike, presumed creator Charlie Brooker, known for his style of ‘satirical pessimism’ was an ardent Luddite. Assuming the show’s damning take on information technology to be a Boomer raging against the technology they don’t understand. Never mind that Brooker was 40 during the first season. There was an idea behind the darkness to be sure but one far from what was assumed. Brooker has gone on record saying he has no problem with technology.

Black Mirror

The horror elements in Black Mirror derive entirely from human causes. Basically people using what could be elevating technology to ruin their lives. The title is indicative of this. Brooker noticed that if you turn of a smartphone or tablet the screen becomes reflective, creating a black mirror. A darkened reflection of one’s true self. So, while there are certainly ideas and world-views at play in Black Mirror, they are so subtly present that most people missed it. Making it at most failed propaganda, rather than the anti-technology screed most assumed. Putting a different spin on the show and the incorrect use of the idea of propaganda itself.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2018/10/29/on-line-bullying/

OPINION: First Ladies of Style

OPINION: First Ladies Of Style

The First Lady is a style inspiration in the United States and around the world.

 

*Anna Hessel loves fashion. Anna wanted to write about our incredible array of fashionable and not so fashionable First Ladies. Her first article for the new year focuses on this cavalcade of stylish women. The incoming Biden-Harris administration is going to make history. The first woman Vice President Kamala Harris is an empowering image of the most diverse presidential administration in history.  2021 is going to be in part about breaking the glass ceiling. Go Team Biden-Harris. Enjoy. DSM

 

First Ladies of Style

By Anna Hessel

First in Style

For centuries, American women have looked to our presidents’ wives for style inspiration.  Of course, now we also have a female VP, Kamala Harris, with a unique look all of her own.  Dolley Payne Todd Madison is considered to be the first of the First Ladies, even though Martha Washington and Abigail Adams preceded her – they were then just called, “the President’s wife”.  She served as a hostess for Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, along with his daughter Martha.  Jefferson’s wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson passed away before he took office.  She is said to have been physically weakened by the bodily strain of numerous pregnancies.  Mr. Jefferson, at his wife’s request, never remarried.  Dolley Madison was an enormous help to him during his presidency.

Dolley In

She easily stepped into the First Lady role when her husband James Madison was elected president, serving from 1809 to 1817.  Dolley, a former Quaker, was thrilled to finally be able to wear high fashion attire.  Her inaugural gown of buff velvet worn with pearl bracelets was loved by the press of the time, securing her place in fashion history.  Mrs. Madison had a penchant for turbans and French style.  She was known for always carrying a book and having a colorful tropical bird as a beloved pet.  Dolley defined so many of the roles of the First Lady and White House conventions, including the State Dinner and the Easter Egg hunt.  A blue-eyed beauty, she has also been credited with introducing ice cream to the ‘President’s Mansion.’

Lincoln Togs

Although most historical records refer to her as Mary Todd Lincoln, she did not use her maiden name “Todd” after she married Abraham.  Rumor has it the Lincoln’s wedding cake was still warm when they cut it.  At 5’ 2”, Mrs. Lincoln was a petite powerhouse of style, preferring to wear flowers on her clothing and in her hair.  She was said to have once forced a former beau to wear a circle of flowers that she was fashioning upon his head for a walk around the square.  Mary was a stunningly beautiful and genteel First Lady from 1861-1865. She however was frequently criticized for buying and wearing extravagantly expensive ball gowns during the Civil War.

Taft And Teddy

From March 4th, 1909, to March 4th, 1913, Hellen Herron Taft served as First Lady.  Educated at the University of Cincinnati, Mrs. Taft stylishly wore tall floral brimmed hats, elegant gowns with frothy and billowing wraps, and even carried a fan.  She was followed by the first Mrs. Roosevelt, Edith, the second wife of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, for whom “Teddy bears” were named.  The adorable bears  were dubbed by a Brooklyn candy shop owner, with Roosevelt’s permission, in honor of an incident during a famous hunting trip the President took in 1902.  “Teddy” had refused to shoot a bear that hunting guides had corralled and tied to a tree.  While Teddy was running about the backwoods in hunting duds Edith delighted the fashion conscious women of the country with large hats and lots of lace.

Continue reading

Sam The Sham And The Pharoahs “Wooly Bully”

Sam the Sham And The Pharoahs

“Wooly Bully”

By D. S. Mitchell

Watching The Mailbox

My husband and I were married in 1965. My husband and I waited nervously every day expecting to find a draft notice in the mailbox at any time. He was in his junior year in college and did not want to disrupt his education. In those days there was a military draft and young men all over the country were being drafted. My husband and I were mentally preparing ourselves for that day we knew would come, and he would be sent to Vietnam. The United States had “advisors” in the country for at least a decade by that time. The Vietnam War was escalating in SE Asia, and the Cold War was growing hotter by the day.

Deployment

The rhetoric of the politicians described Vietnam as a domino piece and if it fell so would the rest of Asia. LBJ was president and he had been increasing the American presence in SE Asia dramatically. By the end of 1966 we had a young son, and my husband had finished his bachelor’s degree. After many long and tortured conversations he volunteered for the Air Force and deployed to the huge air base at Da Nang, South Vietnam. The year that he went to Vietnam “Wooly Bully” was screaming from every radio in America, and the American soldier took it to South Vietnam.

Protests Increase

There were major protests across the United States by 1968. LBJ sensing the country had turned against his conduct of the war announced he would not seek re-election. Richard Nixon said he had a plan to end the war. As Americans would see that was all a lie. And the anti-war protests grew. Seeing the people fill the streets outside the White House brought back those days vividly. Americans protest when American politics do not meet the needs and desires of the American people. When Trevor K. McNeil suggested “Wooly Bully” as the Calamity Politic’s Jukebox choice of the day, I said, “hell, yeah”. Here it comes, ready or not, Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, in the long version of “Wooly Bully”.

Wooly Bully” by novelty rock ‘n’ roll band Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs came out in 1965. “Wooly Bully” was written by the band’s frontman, Domingo “Sam” Samudio.” It’s all about the beat.

Guilt By Association

Guilt By Association

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Little Bit of History Repeating

History is more of a cycle than a straight line. Those who have looked at it closely recognize trends have a tendency to repeat. Themes and progress ebb and flow in the oceans of time. Sadly, there are some areas where the water is darker than others. One such dark spot in the ocean of time is the anti-Chinese sentiment in North America.

An Ill Wind

One of the more damaging aspects of coronavirus, aside from the death toll, is the misinformation being spread about it. One being the Anti-Chinese sentiment, fostered and fueled by President Trump and his surrogates. Attempting to redirect blame from his colossal mismanagement of the pandemic response Trump continues his attacks on China. Our boneheaded and close to illiterate president regularly promotes the idea that the virus “came from China.”

Historical Reference

Did it spread through China first? Yes. Do we know for a fact that it is where the virus originated? Hell no. In fact, the Chinese point an angry finger to the United States military. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is new and poorly understood. The prevailing theory is that the original carrier was a bat. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but bats fly. Over a fair bit of distance. As a historical reminder the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic did not originate in Spain, but rather Kansas and was spread by American soldiers.  Not that it matters anyway. The country of origin not nearly as important as how to stop the spread of SARS CoV-2 and cure the disease among those who contract it.

Continue reading

Lessons From History

Lessons From History

By Trevor K. McNeil

The Blink Of An Eye

Appeals to history are a common theme, particularly is modern American politics. Which is quite odd, because post-Columbian America actually has so little history. 1776 might sound like a long time ago, but there are nations in the world, where 240 years is a mere hiccup in time. China has a written history that goes back over 3,000 years. The Scots and the Germans were having border conflicts 2,000 years ago with the Roman Empire.

Historical Revisionism

Trump’s pronoucements that America is having the greatest whatever “in the history of the world” is dubious at best, and laughable at worst. France literally has toilets that are older than post-contact America. References to America’s long and glorious past, only one of these arguably being the case, is a sterling example of historical revisionism in the service of nationalist propaganda.

Sweet Land of Liberty

America’s founding was all about liberty. A term that can, and has changed radically with time and context. From a historical perspective liberty referred specifically and exclusively to the nationalist movements of the time. The term “nationalist” itself referring to someone who supported a geographical region becoming an independent nation. Exemplified today by the Scottish National Party and Bloc Québécois. George Washington, went from rebel to president. *He was the last American leader to represent such “nationalism.” It was this context in which Patrick Henry uttered the immortal “give me liberty or give me death.” Later echoed by Mel Gibson paraphrasing 13th century Scottish separatist Sir William Wallace in Braveheart. Showing just how far back such sentiments really go.

Continue reading

Bad Guys With Guns

Bad Guys With Guns

By Trevor K. McNeil

Gun Culture

America has a gun culture. More than any other country, Americans love their guns. The only other place in the democratic world that has as many guns in civilian hands is Northern Ireland. Most of those weapons, are imported from the United States. Intended for use by the Emerald Isle’s alphabet soup of republican and anti-republican paramilitaries. ‘Republican’ in this case meaning to join the Republic of Ireland. Not that having more guns than an urban war-zone puts most Americans off.

Rallying Anthem

America’s gun love is so strong it has led to a willful ignorance seen in few other cultures. John Lennon wrote a satirical song, directly mocking American gun culture titled Happiness Is A Warm Gun. Weirdly, that scoffing rebuke of the gun culture has been adopted by America’s horrifically powerful pro-gun lobby. An instance of sick irony rivaled only by the embracing of Tomorrow Belong’s To Me, a song from the famously anti-Nazi musical, Cabaret, by the American far-right as their rallying anthem.

Continue reading