The Dark Ages (486-1085) are filled with intrigue, murder, minor kingdoms warring against their neighbors, treachery and torture. While some individual leaders may have been educated, (Leo VI, Constantine VII, and most particularly, Charlemagne) the Durants’ overall description of the Dark Ages can only be imitated, not improved upon:
“In other aspects it is a sorry spectacle of generals climbing over slain rivals to imperial power, to be slain in their turn; of pomp and luxury, eye-gouging and nose cutting, incense and piety, and treachery; or emperor and patriarch unscrupulously struggling to determine whether the empire should be ruled by might or myth, by sword or word.”
Wow. That was fast. From boy wonder, full of hope, audacity, and smarts, to a lame duck unwilling to get his hands dirty, and unable to stand up to the slightest bit of opposition – unless it comes from the center or the left. No, make that the moderates or the left. When the Center (Lincoln, Lieberman, and others) tell Obama to squat, he politely asks what color.
A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both. – – – James Madison
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference. – – – Thomas Jefferson
Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide. – – – John Adams
– – – – – – – – – – –
Maybe it is just his style. Maybe he is so much smarter than the rest of us, that he bides his time and surprises people with his chess-like end game.
For the rest of the world, our present arguments about health care reform must be a source of amusement, if not confusion. How can America, of all places, pretend that health care is a commodity, and not a right? Who else (except US corporations) would dare try to profit by denying coverage to those who already “paid for it?” Sigh. “Inane” does not even come close as a descriptor.
Most of our news coverage has centered around a Baucus plan that seems intent on maintaining the worst parts of both the status and the quo. Every day we see Democrats caving in to the slightest, weirdest, and most offensive GOP slight and complaint. So far, the only thing that is guaranteed is that no one will be happy with the final result.
At a ripe, young age of 52, I have experienced both the quick, unexpected loss of friends and family, as well as the slow, lingering, painful, disgustingly slow, (did I say slow) and agonizing death of many elder family and friends. Frankly, if I were in their shoes, I choose the former.
When you look into the eyes of a terminal case, knowing that pain wracks their bodies every single minute, and that current FDA rules preclude their doctor from providing large enough doses of opiates to deal with their pain, you know our system is fucked up. The FDA’s response? THEY WILL BECOME ADDICTED!
On April 26, 1986, the world changed. It wasn’t immediately obvious, nor would it be for five more years, but the early morning explosion at the #4 reactor operating in Chernobyl, Ukrainian SSR, killed thousands almost immediately, caused tens of thousands of cases of deadly radiation poisoning, irradiated 600,000 survivors, and eventually forced the forced evacuation of more than 350,000 Soviet citizens. More than any other factor or event, Chernobyl also caused a fatal split between the Soviet State and its citizens.
At the tender age of 19, Newt Gingrich married Jackie Battley (26), his former high school geometry teacher. One wonders what Mary Kay Letourneau would think. The angle of the dangle? Newt allegedly served Jackie with divorce papers while she struggled with illness in a hospital in 1981, a clear indication of the strength of his family values.