Washington and Trump

On the 30th of April 1789, George Washinton said in his Inaugural address:

“No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States.

………. the foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free Government, (will) be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its Citizens, and command the respect of the world.

……… there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity:

……… the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

Compare that with these words from the text of Donald Trump’s Inaugural address:

“…….. today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

……… What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

……. a nation exists to serve its citizens.

…….. We are one nation ………. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

…….. The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

……… we are protected by God.

……… In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

……… And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:

You will never be ignored again.

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.”

Different times. Very different styles of English.

The first guy wrote long, complex sentences which sound like Jane Austen to me.

Potus 45 reminds me more of Wordsworth.

More direct and more communicative to more people.

Perhaps more democratic.

Geoff Fox, 2020, Down Under

Obeying The Law But Staying Free To Be As Smart As We Can

The Corona-virus is a new and astonishingly difficult challenge.

No one really knows what to do now.

President Trump was ridiculed for asking if we could inject disinfectant.

And, on the surface, it wasn’t his best moment. But if you rephrase it to ask “Can the property or properties in disinfectant which kill the virus be isolated to be used medicinally?” then it is a much smarter sounding question. It is a creative guy thinking on his feet, thinking freely. This is what thinking outside the square is all about. And it needs genuine freedom of speech to work. Freedom matters. Especially when the entire human race does not seem to know what to do about a very real threat to the lives of very many people.

“Shelly” of San Diego has written this to me:

“I personally will be abiding by the social distancing measures until they are lifted because a) I am a law-abiding citizen. I believe in rule of law even when it’s inconvenient for me. and b) I don’t think we are past the danger yet. ………. Before we reopen as a country a couple of things need to happen: we need to have enough tests available for everyone, whether they show symptoms or not, and we need to have a reliable contact tracing program in place. I hope we will have those things soon but I’m living like the shutdown will go into fall just in case.”

I agree with Shelly about not breaking the law.

She is well aware of how hard it is to get both the economic and health issues right. (“It is a very delicate balancing act that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.“)

But I make the following comments about easing the restrictions.

America is now leaving its flu season and approaching summer. So if the shutdown is still going in autumn, then only what would be perhaps the fastest produced vaccine in history will save America from a very terrible winter.

I am not sure that this pandemic is a danger we can get past in one or two or even more winters.

We may just have to get used to a reality where current life expectancy for human beings will be substantially reduced by this virus.

Most of the fatalities of Cornavirus are around my age (62) or older.

Is God the Father working with Mother Nature here to create a human cull on an over populated planet? Sparing the young but taking the last years away from people who have already enjoyed most of their lives?

This is a question from me not knowledge.

Only God is omniscient.

Geoff Fox, 29th April, 2020, Down Under.

 

Sam Houston and Herd Immunity Heroes

Sam at San Jacinto

 

The world does not know what to do about the Coronavirus.

“Shelly” a Millennial thinker from San Diego, California, writes this about the Opening America dilemma facing President Trump and many other leaders:

“Opening America up again is certainly a risky political move. Open too late and the economic consequences will be dire. Open too early and ICU’s get overwhelmed, with dire economic consequences anyway. It is a very delicate balancing act that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. All I can do is pray that President Trump will be guided by God and science to do what is best.”

It doesn’t hurt to look to the past for inspiration about what to do in the present.

On April 21st, 1836 ,the Texas army lead by Sam Houston engaged and defeated the Mexican army to win independence for Texas in a battle that lasted 18 minutess. Quick decisive victories can reduce all the terrible costs of war.  They are the hallmark of a leader who cares about people. Houston’s own definition of leadership is consistent with what he achieved that day: “A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.”

In order for leaders now to achieve that goal, I believe we have to change the way that we think about the disease which has turned today’s human world upside down.

I do not like calling what is happening a war. It is a health crisis. It is a crisis for us because large numbers of people are dying and the possibility of these numbers increasing terrifies people. In seeking safety because of this fear, people are willingly destroying the economic social order by making social interaction illegal.

But since frightened people are using the language of war, I want to ask some questions.

First, who are the real heroes?

For me heroes are those who contribute to the cause of seeking victory unselfishly. What will victory look like and what actions will get us there?

The economic impact of lock-downs already seems worse than anything since the Great Depression. As a 62 year old I would rather take my chances with the Coronavirus and my God-given immune system than the risk of an economic catastrophe worse than the Great Depression during my final years on earth.

Is it any sort of victory if we further destroy the economy in order to avoid a disease which primarily kills many sick elderly people? Would that be good for people in any age group, including the elderly themselves? Current Texas Lieutenant-Governor Dan Patrick does not think so. On March 23rd he told interviewer Tucker Carlson, that he was willing to risk his own life to avoid an economic shutdown. On April 7, he announced a task force to look at reopening the Texas economy.

I would like to call Dan Patrick a Herd Immunity Hero.

To me his example looks like heroic leadership. What Sam Houston honoured when he said, “Do right and risk the consequences.”

I don’t trust the modern nanny state to give me a good life but real freedom can.

Pharmacology might give the world a vaccine next year. Any earlier would be a miracle.

As “Shelly” so wisely suggests, we must respect both God and science but perhaps all we can do is pray.

Geoff Fox, 10 a.m., 21st April (San Diego time), from Down Under

Remembering Mark Twain and Media Driven Fear Of Death.

Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910.

He could call out crap like few other writers in history.

What would he have said about the Coronavirus lockdowns?

We will never know.

Here is his risk analysis response in 1871 to an attempt by a railroad ticket seller to sell him insurance for a train trip:

“I hunted up statistics, and was amazed to find that after all the glaring newspaper headings concerning railroad disasters, less than three hundred people had really lost their lives by those disasters in the preceding twelve months. The Erie road was set down as the most murderous in the list. It had killed forty-six—or twenty-six, I do not exactly remember which, but I know the number was double that of any other road. But the fact straightway suggested itself that the Erie was an immensely long road, and did more business than any other line in the country; so the double number of killed ceased to be matter for surprise.

By further figuring, it appeared that between New York and Rochester the Erie ran eight passenger trains each way every day—sixteen altogether; and carried a daily average of 6,000 persons. That is about a million in six months—the population of New York city. Well, the Erie kills from thirteen to twenty-three persons out of its million in six months; and in the same time 13,000 of New York’s million die in their beds! My flesh crept, my hair stood on end. “This is appalling!” I said. “The danger isn’t in travelling by rail, but in trusting to those deadly beds. I will never sleep in a bed again.” (1871)

Two years later here is what Mark Twain had to say about the newspapers of his era: “It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals. Where we have one newspaper that does good, I think we have fifty that do harm. We ought to look upon the establishment of a newspaper of the average pattern in a virtuous village as a calamity.” (1873)

And: “It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people — who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations — do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies.”

Perhaps what Mark Twain was doing in these quotes was calling out Fake News.

God Bless America, Freedom from Fear and Truth,

For me these are bastions for The Word in the modern world.

Geoff Fox, 21st April, 2020,for  Terra Nullius

 

The American Revolution – Freedom

Minuteman

The American Revolution began on this day 245 years ago.

The great gift to the world of this revolution is a profound commitment to freedom.

As Walt Whitman put it: “What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior?”

Whitman’s vision was was not of a totally anarchic freedom but of a Mighty Union: he believed that shallow people “consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.”

To this very day the British culture, which the American revolution rejected, has in it a cringing fear of dictatorial authority which America cannot stomache.

Neither can I.

When Boris Johnson called on his people to embrace Herd Immunity, he was shouted down and he then retreated.

Donald Trump is supporting his people in calling for the freedom, which fear is attacking, to be restored.

God Bless America.

And freedom from fear.

Geoff Fox, 19th April, 2020, Terra Nullius

Opening Up America Again

 

Donald Trump believes in freedom and he loves America.

How will his “Opening Up America Again” announcement work?

 

Whether the Corona-virus shutdowns are right or wrong, they are a massive reduction in freedom.

They also probably constitute a massive reduction in any nation’s chances of quickly developing herd immunity to the virus.

I believe that the nations which will come out of this crisis strongest are those which develop herd immunity first.

That will take strength, courage and sacrifice.

 

I don’t believe mankind has a better weapon against this virus than our own God-given immunological systems.

IMHO

In My HUMBLE Opinion.

(I am not God. I am not omniscient. I admit this is an opinion not knowledge. But I don’t believe any mortal human being knows for sure where the right balance is between the demands of economics and “safety” here.)

 

Is the race for herd immunity the real race between America and China now?

Geoff Fox, 17th April, 2020, Australia

Gender Balanced Football

Tayla Forward

Australia’s fledgling elite women’s football league, the AFLW, is here to stay.

Though it may move backwards, like many other things, in the monumental economic crisis nations like Australia are now inflicting on themselves, too many people want it to succeed for it to fail.

As a believer in gender equality in all things except pregnancy, giving birth, breast feeding and which toilet an individual uses, I offer the following suggestion for the future of the game: a Hybrid Version with half the players men and half the players women. 11 men and 11 women in each selected side and nine of each gender on the field at all times. My guess is that rules about tackling, bumping and other body contact could have to change.

A mixed gender competition wont happen immediately. Since women have never been as well resourced or played as often as elite and many other male footballers have, they are still playing catch-up in terms of standard of play.

But based on what I have seen this year and last, the gap is narrowing.

In the long run, would Gender-Hybrid Footy make the Great Australian Game even greater?

Geoff Fox, 15th April, 2020, Down Under

“….. America On A Ventilator.” – Pat Buchanan

PJB balance

I am a poet, a Word Artist.

I consider Patrick J Buchanan the world’s greatest living writer.

I offer this brilliant metaphor alone as proof: “To save Americans from contracting a virus that may kill 1-3% of those infected, we have put America on a ventilator.”

What will we lose and what can we save?

Shutdowns are man’s way to fight a disease.

Herd Immunity is God’s way.

God Bless American Freedom.

And save us from us.

 

Geoff Fox, Down Under, 14 April, 2020

Happy Birthday, Tulsi Gabbard. Peace.

Peace Tulsi Peace

Happy Birthday Tulsi.

Late on America’s Easter Sunday, I say that I miss your candidacy.

It should have been a resurrection for your party.

You gave the Democrats what my political heroes Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul gave and give the Republicans: uncompromising modern anti-war integrity.

But only a tiny number of Democrat primary voters embraced your presidential bid.

Why has the party of Bobby and Jack Kennedy become a party for Hawks?

I wish you well, Tulsi.

Peace.

Geoff Fox , Down Under, Easter Sunday,, 2 p.m. Hawaian time.