Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Statue of Liberty and current events, winter 2017

Above is an illustration on Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper of July 2, 1887, showing immigrants on the steerage deck of an ocean steamer passing by the Statue of Liberty.  With everything going on here in our house it usually takes me a week or more, at night, to write a monthly post.  I had the current events section at the end of my Chinese Rooster Year post, but it became too long, so had to separate the posts.  In addition, I did not think roosters and Lady Liberty went well together.  Below is a political cartoon published in Puck magazine in 1880.

January 20, 2017 was the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States.  Some friends from overseas asked me how come Hillary Clinton did not win the election since she gained almost 3 millions more votes (an unprecedented figure in the history of presidential elections.)  In most countries she would have won - one person, one vote, but not in the USA because she won the "popular" vote and D. Trump won the "Electoral College" vote.  I read about it to explain to my overseas friends.  The Electoral College was established more than two centuries ago and is outdated, but still stands.  In a way it subverts the will of the voting majority.  A. Amar, a constitutional law professor at Yale University, states that the main reason for the origins of the Electoral College was to protect the Southern slave states.  A great part of the population of the US South was made up of slaves who could not vote.  The Electoral College allowed the Southern states to count each slave they owned as 3/5th of a vote.  It worked, as the first 8 presidential races out of 9 races were won by a Virginian.  Future president James Madison (1751-1836) a slave-owner from Virginia, had said he needed the Electoral College vote because in the South he "could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes."  (Below is an early painting of a US President with slaves - Library of Congress.)

In 2016, restrictions were placed by Republicans on over a dozen states.  They placed strict new voter ID laws that hurt many voters, for example older citizens who do not drive anymore and have outdated driver licenses were not allowed to vote.  They also decreased the number of polling places in black and poor areas to discourage the people from voting - North Carolina had 178 less polling places in 40 heavily black counties.  The Republicans would not have lost anyway because of what is called "gerrymandering."  Gerrymandering is defined as to "manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class."  The USA is the only country in the world where the redistricting process is done by self-interested politicians.  Below is a chart, adapted by Stephen Nass, explaining the gerrymandering process in the States.

As an example I am showing below two districts that have been gerrymandered excessively for the benefit of politicians - Republicans and Democrats.  There are many counties such as these in the USA.  In North Carolina for example, Republicans secured the majority of congressional seats even though half of the state's voters cast Democratic ballots.  This is the "legal" way voters can be disenfranchised, and will be for many years .  There is a lot more to explain about the evolution of the Electoral College and gerrymandering but this is not a political blog; more information on US voting can be found on the Web.

Donald Trump was unhappy that photos were circulated showing smaller crowds at his inauguration than at President Obama's inauguration.  In D. Trump's first speech at the CIA Headquarters he moaned about the media's reports but still mentioned how many times his portrait had been shown on magazines.  Luckily for him, he had brought along 40 supporters so they could cheer and give him a standing ovation ...  Afterwards he had his White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, declare on television that: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period" even though his words contradicted available data.  Later, Kellyanne Conway, a Counselor to the President, called Spicer's statement "alternative fact."  As the saying goes "a picture is worth a thousand words" - see pictures below, at left the crowds in 2009, and on the right the crowds in 2017.  In center, is the crowd along Donald Trump's inaugural parade, and in the bottom, vice-president Pence walking in the parade.

The day after President Trump's inauguration was The Women's March on Washington, DC., Saturday 21 January, 2017.  It was the largest single-day demonstration in the history of the United States with marches in over 600 US cities, large and small.  For example 30 people in Stanley, Idaho, marched out of a population of 63!  It also became a worldwide march with over 81 countries participating in "sister marches."  It was estimated that 5 million and more marched in this anti-Trump protest.  It was to demonstrate against Donald Trump's offensive statements on women and to protect policies on women's rights, to counter Islamophobia and rape culture, to protect immigration, healthcare reform, the natural environment, racial and LGBTQ equality and freedom of religion.  Below are some of the marchers in Washington, DC, and New York City.  Congressman John Lewis of Georgia lead the march in Atlanta, GA.  (I talked about Congressman John Lewis at the end of my post of September 8, 2013 - click here to see it.)

In Paris, Marseille, Strasbourg and other French cities people marched in "solidarity."

Overseas the march swept the globe: they marched from the Antarctic Peninsula, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean Netherlands, Cayman Islands, Chili, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithania, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, St Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Vietnam, Zambia and a dozen more!

Since his inauguration, President D. Trump has nominated billionaires to his Cabinet (combined net worth of 14 billions,) has eased fiscal regulations (that will hurt consumers,) has added his chief strategist, Steve Bannon (an ultra-right white nationalist) to the Security Council, has called for an immediate construction of a wall between the US and Mexico border, has signed an executive order to complete a controversial pipe line, has signed an order to start appealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which would strip millions from healthcare insurance, suspended a scheduled insurance rate cut for homeowners and more.  I was wondering why so many Trump supporters seem pleased with all these restrictive executive actions.  Then I read that America is the most frightened nation on earth.  If somehow you can convince the public that they have something to fear from foreign people, or poor people or people of other colors, they can easily be controlled to agree to anything - it's good brainwashing.  They will applaud as their freedoms are taken away.  The New York businessman and reality TV star, Donald Trump, has known this for many years, and that is - fear is an overriding emotion, with fear you can easily manipulate people in surrendering their democratic rights.

 The country and the world have been bewildered by all this activity and have been watching with worry and foreboding all this flurry of presidential directives, contra-directives, facts, alternative facts and so forth.  Now with the latest executive action banning Muslim refugees and immigrants from some Muslim majority countries (but maybe letting Christians come in,) world leaders have condemned the Trump regime.  What would US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) say now?  In 1938 he said, while talking to the Daughter of the American Revolution: "Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."

In the country that boasts of freedom for everyone "equality and justice for all" D. Trump has now banned the resettlement of refugees, children and sick people.  "There are tears running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight" said Chuck Schumer, the US senator from New York.  He is right, and the Statue of Liberty does not represent America anymore - an America of days gone by, maybe, but bigotry and fear have taken over now.  She might as well be fired by President Trump, as a resident alien from France.  Nowadays Europe is taking in seven times as many refugees as the United States does, so shouldn't she rather be in Europe?  Earlier I had seen ironic tweets from France such as this "tu peux nous renvoyer la Statue de la Liberté par post stp ? Merci.  "(Can you return the Statue of Liberty by post, please? Thanks.)  Here is a new one: "y'a moyen que la France récupère sa Statue de la Liberté? Elle leur sert pas à grand chose là." (Is it possible for France to recover her Statue of Liberty?  She does not seem to be of much use over there.)  Initially, it was a gift to the USA by the French people as a symbol of freedom for all.

There is a small replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris on the border of the Seine River.  Not long ago someone placed a black veil on her head and wrote at her base "freedom in mourning."  The Paris Police and a Paris Fire Brigade had to come to remove the shroud.

All these executive actions have been quite negative.  But, on the flip side, it has proven great material for comedians.  D. Trump said in his inaugural address: "From this day forward, it's going to be only America first.  America first."  This has appealed to comedians everywhere.  After the "America First" speech, the Dutch TV made a satirical show asking that the Netherlands be "second" (click here) then Denmark (click here) then Belgium (click here) then Luxembourg (click here) then Kazakhstan (click here) then Portugal, Lithuania, Finland, Italy, Bosnia, Morocco and more are coming up (I can't keep up.)  Croatia is asking to be third (click here) Below is the message from Switzerland:  

Well, that is where we currently stand in the former country of freedom for all.  As D. Trump would say "so sad."  Comic relief helps - It's Great!

But let's return to the Statue of Liberty, and her beginnings.  As you may know it was designed and built by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (French, 1834-1904.)  Bartholdi was a young sculptor from the region of Alsace, France.  When he was 21 years old he made a long trip (1855-56) to Egypt and Yemen with his friend the painter Jean-Leon Gerome (French, 1824-1904.)  They both were in awe of the colossal statues in Egypt.  Gerome wanted to show them in his paintings, and he did.  Bartholdi, after visiting the Nubian monuments at Abu Simbel, where immense statues guard the tombs, had developed a passion for colossal statues and huge public monuments.  Below is The Colossi of Memmon by Gerome and the portraits of Gerome, top, and Bartholdi, bottom picture.

The Suez Canal in Egypt (this has a connection to Bartholdi) was constructed between 1859 and 1869 thanks to a giant fund raising on the Paris Stock Exchange under the direction of retired French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps; Emperor Napoleon III of France (nephew of Napoleon I) was a big sponsor of this huge maritime project.  The Canal was inaugurated by his wife, French Empress Eugenie, on November 17, 1869, with a performance of the opera Aida by Verdi.  Below are portraits of Emperor Napoleon III (1808-1873) and his wife, Empress Eugenie of Montijo (1826-1920) both painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873.)

Below is a painting showing the inauguration of the Suez Canal by French painter Edouard Riou (1838-1900.)

In 1865 Frederic Bartholdi had agreed to come up with an idea of a monument to be given to the USA from the people of France.  (You can read about this history in my post of July 4, 2009 "4th July and Statue of Liberty."  There are more posts mentioning the Statue of Liberty, see her name on the side of my blog)  But first, Bartholdi thought of designing a gigantic female fellah (Arab peasant) statue that would be placed at the entrance of the Suez Canal and serve as a lighthouse.  In April 1869 Bartholdi went back to Egypt and brought his statue prototype to Ismail Pacha, the khedive of Egypt.  His statue was a freed Egyptian female slave, rising, unshackled, above the Suez Canal, holding a glowing torch to announce that Egypt was a country of freedom.  He called it "Egypt brings Light to Asia" (as it opened a faster transit to Asia.)  But the khedive, who was short on funds, declined.  Below is a water color of the proposed statue of this Muslim Lady of Liberty offered to Egypt for the Suez Canal (courtesy Bartholdi Museum, France.)

Next Bartholdi started working on the monument to be given to the USA that was to be representing "Liberty Enlightening the World."  He went back to his original Egyptian statue and, based on that design, worked on several sketches to redefine the statue as a goddess, changing its oriental dress with a classical toga and naming it "Libertas" or "Lady Liberty" as it had been decided that this gift should be representative of "liberté" the French word for "freedom."  

Now you know the rest of the Statue of Liberty's story (or its beginning) and why she started as a Muslim freed slave.  This story is not well known in the US and would not please the anti-Muslim supporters; but can you grasp the irony, though?  (Below Currier and Ives print.)

In 1886, the people of France gave the Statue of Liberty to the USA in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of America's Independence.  This was given in friendship and in honor of the Franco-American alliance as well as the friendship built during the war of American Independence.  Below is Statue of Liberty's Celebration by Frederick Rondon, American (1826-1892.)

The statue was dedicated on 28 October, 1886, with a 21-gun salute from warships in the New York harbor.  President Grover Cleveland was present on Bedloe's Island for the dedication ceremony.  Liberty had her torch raised to the sky and the tablet of the law inscribed with the date of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence: 4 July, 1776.  Below is the painting of Edward Moran, American (1828-1901) who was present that day - Unveiling the Statue of Liberty.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"  
- Emma Lazarus, 1883

Donne-moi tes pauvres, tes exténués
Qui en rangs serrés aspirent à vivre libres,
Le rebut de tes rivages surpeuplés,
Envoie-les moi, les déshérités, que la tempête m'apporte
De ma lumière, j'éclaire la porte d'or !



Linda said...

Great post of these events and lovely illustrations. Thank you so much for sharing.

Nadezda said...

Wow, Vagabonde! Great post! Finally I understood the complicated system of votes in US. Your illustrations show clearly the world's opinions on first days of the new president.
The history of statue of Liberty creation is amazing, I've not known it before. The statue's pedestal reminds me something Egyptian. The very impressive statue is there.
Have a nice week, good health to you and Jim.

Jenny Woolf said...

Thought provoking post. I hope that things sort themselves out, we do indeed live in weird times, I am still trying to get my head around it. I didn't know all that information about the Statue of Liberty, although I have seen the old photo of it in the artist's studio when it was being made.

Colette said...

Many thanks for writing this. It is a post I will read many times.

DJan said...

I didn't know all that about the history of the Statue of Liberty, although I knew most of the rest of this, as I was one of the marchers in the Women's March in my own home town. This is a very enlightening post, and I've watched most of the spoofs from other countries. Thanks for giving me the rest. As you said, humor is about the only thing that helps me get through my days. That and friends. Thank you for this post, VB.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your post was beautifully put together. These are very sad days for many of us, and it is hard to believe that this is happening in the US,

donna baker said...

Thank you for the hard work. We need to keep up the good fight for many voices will be heard. We simply cannot let up/give up, but shout it from the rooftops if need be, that Trump is an abomination to free thinking people. I only hope the press continues to show he is lying and not tiptoe around that fact. I have never despised a person as much.

Pondside said...

What a well-researched and well-written post. You are the first American blogger on my reading list to speak out. The whole situation your country has come into is frightening. Here, in a bordering country there is a lot of fear. We don't understand how Mr Trump could have garnered such support. He is the antithesis of all the good and great Americans of the past and present. I saw the cover of Der Siegel and thought 'how true'.

David said...

Vagabonde, I didn't know all of that history about the Statue of Liberty, much less that she was based on a design for a lighthouse in Egypt! As for President Trump, time will tell and record his missteps and any positive results as well. I do wish that he could control his ego and his tweets! We do have to live with him, baring unforeseen circumstances, for the next 4 years. I am definitely in favor of immigration as without it, our birth rate would not sustain our economic growth not to mention the rich diversity in the USA. However, I'm all about legal immigration and allowing for a path to citizenship for those 'illegals' already in the country. The 'ban' or 'pause' from those 7 countries should have never impacted those who already had with green cards or Visas. That was poorly thought out, that's for sure. I hope that you don't get too many crazies attacking your commentary... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Jeanie said...

Wow -- thought provoking, well researched and fun! I knew some of the statue's history but not all. Your photos, terrific and as usual well conceived and delivered. Four stars, my friend!

Moving with Mitchell said...

Excellent job. Thanks for your well-considered writing. I'd never before seen early Statue of Liberty designs. Interesting how much more sensual she looked. That little thrust of the hip. It's still so moving to see her in New York Harbor -- well, a lot more moving now considering how much American and world liberty is being threatened.

Nathalie said...


Vicki Lane said...

What ab excellent post! I'm so glad you have an international readership -- this appalling regime is NOT the choice of the majority of US voters. Thank you for all your research and for bringing together all these facts.

Kay said...

What an incredible post! Donald Trump said that in 1998? Sheesh.

Kay said...

Yikes! I just checked Snopes and it said that the 1998 Trump claim is actually false. It's so easy to believe though.

Vagabonde said...

Kay - you are right - I forgot to check Snopes as it had been sent to me by a friend. I took out the pic from 1998. Thanks.

Down by the sea said...

It must have taken you so long to write this post. I learnt so much too about the Electorial college and the statute of liberty. There has been many protests too including concerns about his proposed state visit. Sarah x

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent, excellent post! Thank you so much for writing this and thank you for all the research that went into it! I learned a lot!!! Big Hugs!

Pixel Peeper said...

I didn't know about the origins of the Statue of Liberty...indeed, the irony!

I've been enjoying all those spoof videos about "America first, our country second." You are right - scary times, but what fodder for comedy!

rhymeswithplague said...

I said in a comment on the preceding post that your posts are always wonderful. I fear I may have spoken too soon, as this one is not completely wonderful. There is so much incorrect information regarding the U.S.A. that I hardly know where to begin. Gerrymandering has nothing to do with a presidential election. Gerrymandering affects only the members of the House of Representatives, while members of the Senate and of course the Pres.-V.P. are elected by each state as a whole -- congressional districts have nothing to do with it (except for part of Maine and part of Nebraska). It is a bit ironic that the two extreme examples of gerrymandered districts that you gave -- the Maryland 3rd and North Carolina 12th -- were made so by their respective state legislatures to ensure that black Democrats, not white Republicans, would win the seats. Florida also has an equally notorious gerrymandered district with a black Democratic congresswoman and I believe that Texas does as well. But the only black member of the U.S. Senate currently is a conservative Republican, Tim Scott, elected statewide, not from a gerrymandered district, from the southern state of South Carolina. This sort of fact makes liberals' heads explode.

Also, there is not one national presidential election; there are 51 separate, individual elections (the 50 states and the District of Columbia). The results or turnout in one state have nothing to do with any of the others states. Each state is independent and self-governing. The framers of the Constitution did this because the states are considered to be equal as entities to one another regardless of their population. equal. The 13 original colonies, which became the first 13 states, declared their independence in 1776 and together created the federal government in 1789. The federal government did not create the states. Each state is sovereign and governs itself. A huge win by a Democrat in California affects Calufornia's vote only (or New York, New York's). A state's electoral vote is the number of congressional districts a state has (based on its overall population as determined by census growth or loss every 10 years) plus 2 more to represent the 2 senators each state elects statewide (not based on population), just as the House of Representatives is based on a state's population but in the Senate of each state is equal with 2 from each state regardless of population -- because the states are equal. The 10th Amendment to our Constitution reserves to the states all powers that are not specifically given to the federal government. You have unintentionally misinformed your readers with the first part of this post.

joared said...

Another fascinating post filled to the brim with interesting information and entertainment. Hadn't realized all those humorous videos associated with different countries were available, so enjoyed them. We certainly can use some humor to lighten the mood. Coincidentally, last year my book club selected a book about the statue of Liberty architect which was a much more interesting read than I had expected. So much drama getting to the point of its construction. The years of effort he devoted to achieving his goal. We all agreed it seemed unfortunate that his name was so little known after all these years. You certainly covered that whole history well. Thank you.

Dewena said...

I had to keep reading further and further back in your posts, astounded by the work you must put in them. They are impressive and your blog is unique. An amazing job!

Marja said...

Thank you for a fascinating post. We share here in NZ all the sentiments expressed regarding Trump. Love the videos America first but can we be second. New ones are still coming out all the time. I know the website is taken down but you can still see them on youtube and facebook.
Luckily democracy still works as the court put Trump back into place. Let's hope that the combined strength of law, love, fairness, logic etc. etc will continue to counteract what is happening

BeachGypsy said...

Thank you for the compliments and so glad to see you had stopped in. Enjoyed all the history here about our beloved statue, you did a great job! I love history so enjoyed it so much. How have you been? We haven't chatted in a while.

O.T. Ford said...

This is in response to Rhymeswithplague. And I want to disclose before responding that La Vagabonde is my aunt. Hopefully what I have to say is objective enough that that does not matter.

You are right that, in her piece, she conflates what allowed the Republicans to win the White House this time with what allows the Republicans to win in general, including to win more seats in Congress; only in the latter case does gerrymandering apply. Of course, the Electoral College is like gerrymandering in that a particular geography leads to an undemocratic outcome; but gerrymandering is deliberate and recent, whereas the Electoral College effect was deliberate in the past, with recent effects only being the result of a system we are stuck with. Republicans resist changing the Electoral College, since it has benefitted them twice recently with no cost; but they did not create it. But the gerrymandering of congressional districts is in fact an issue in presidential politics, because other states are considering using their own gerrymandered districts in the way Maine and Nebraska do currently; all such states are Republican-controlled and would do so for partisan advantage.

There is a problem with your own presentation of gerrymandering. You imply that majority-black districts are the work of Democrats. This is almost entirely wrong. The main driver is the Voting Rights Act, and its interpretation that, in jurisdictions with a history of discrimination (mostly Southern states who discriminated against blacks), if a majority-minority district can be created, it must be. So a district is gerrymandered to give black voters a better chance to elect a candidate they feel represents them. Black voters and black candidates may support this, but they are not making it happen; the VRA is.

In states where control is divided during the redistricting process, maps may be drawn to protect incumbents of both parties. This is not the case for most congressional gerrymandering, though. Most is done for partisan advantage. Partisan gerrymandering first attempts to win every available seat, as Utah did in dividing up Salt Lake, which otherwise would elect a Democrat. When that is not possible, the partisan gerrymander will concentrate (“pack”) opposition voters into the fewest districts possible, so as not to lose many districts, or threaten the other seats. In such a case, a majority-black district would be the product of Republicans packing black voters (presumed correctly to be mostly Democrats) into districts. Democrats would actually want to spread them out, to help win more seats.

(As an aside, Tim Scott is not the only black Senator. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a Democrat, is black, as is Kamala Harris of California, also a Democrat. And there would be a black Democrat from Illinois right now if he hadn’t been elected president. As it is, there are three Republicans (with Rubio and Cruz) who are racial or ethnic minorities, and six Democrats (with Duckworth, Hirono, Menendez, and Cortez Masto). And I think you should ask yourself honestly how likely it is that South Carolina Republican primary voters would have chosen Scott were he not first appointed to the seat.)

Your second paragraph, in support of federalism, is historically accurate, but no more than opinion with regard to the present day. The states are not sovereign in practice and have not been for some time. The Tenth Amendment is not applied much at all, and hasn’t been. You can argue, if you like, that they should be, but then the Vagabonde is justified in arguing that the person who gets the most votes should be the president. And then readers can consider for themselves whether they prefer fidelity to the Framers’ view of the Constitution (supposing we know it) or fidelity to democratic principles.

rhymeswithplague said...

Thank you, O.T. Ford, for your response. I do enjoy and appreciate a vigorous and civil exchange of opinions. You are correct about Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and brand-newly elected Senator Kampala Harris of California; I forgot about them and do apologize for having done so. There are a few black Republicans in the House of Representatives such as the newly elected Mia Live of Utah who probably are not entirely welcomed with open arms into the Congressional Black Caucus, which is mostly, if not exclusively, Democratic.

You say gerrymandering is recent but it actually is not, having been first done in 1812 in Massachusetts when Elbridge Gerry was governor (hence the name combined with the fact that a state senatorial district resembled a salamander!)

If our country were a direct democracy like Switzerland there would be more reason for the popular vote for President nationwide to have sway, I think, but our country Is a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. That could get unwieldy. I read recently that in the U.K. (I hope I have the numbers right) each member of Parliament represent something like 68,000 people, whereas in our own Congress each of our 435 representatives now represents around 750,000 people because of our huge population growth (whereas in 1790 each of the 120 congressmen represented around 30,000 people) and for us to achieve even the U.K. ratio would require our Congress to have something like 90,000 representatives, a truly unimaginable and thoroughly unworkable scenario.

In closing, let me just say that any friend (or relative) of Vagabonde's is a friend (though not necessarily a relative) of mine!

Gloria Baker said...

Hi. Thanks by stopping by! Love your blog ! Now I added in my favorites !!

Al said...

Don't get me started - I'm so disgusted with Trump. He's totally unfit to be our president, as he's already shown many times.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I still wake up hoping it has all been a bad dream. I am so sad for our country (and for the world) and still can't quite imagine how all this actually happened in our country. I can't be proud of it right now.

Helen H Trachy said...

Merci pour le petit cours d'histoire! C'est très intéressant. Sans compter tous vos commentaires sur les dernières élections et votre nouveau président ! Comme le reste du monde, je souhaite que les États -Unis gardent leur ouverture d'esprit. I find your blog quite interesting
J'ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à feuilleter quelques-uns de vos articles précédents. Je serai sûrement de retour pour en lire davantage.

Nance said...

The attribution of Governance By Fear to this president is not entirely correct. It was done with great success by George W. Bush, whose Patriot Act abrogated many of the freedoms of the United States citizens. It allowed, for example, increased wiretapping of private citizens, along with subpoenas of other records, such as library usage.
The republican party, although they like to say they champion individual freedom and decry Big Government, seem to want to control more and more.

As Sallie, above, laments, I love my country, but I am sorely ashamed of it right now. I do not support this buffoon in the White House, nor the opportunists of that party who are selling out this nation.

And if you want to see some horrific gerrymandering, take a look at my state, Ohio. I have so much to be sad about.

our life in france said...

Hi Vagabond, I realised that I was no longer getting email for your blog posts and so I searched you out to find this amazing post, I am not a good reader, in that I mean I dont always like to read for long and so I sometimes get lost in your posts, that said they are always well written and factual, this one puts everything straight about what is happening in your country at the present, politics is never an easy one to understand and I have never tried to be honest, we have much the same in UK with the dillusional PM and her followers, to be honest it is all a real mess the world over one I fear we will not get out of now, thank you for explaining everything.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Wow, what an interesting post from beginning to end!

Nadezda said...

Vagabonde, happy Women's day, dear!
Wish you health and happiness with your family!

claude said...

Coucou Vagabonde
Malheureusement mon anglais est trop pauvre pour comprendre tout mais en ce qui concerne l'élection de Trump, cela m'a laissée consternée. Après 8 années de présidence Obama, je ne voyais franchement pas Trump à la tête de ton pays. C'est un grand malade et il est dangereux pour le monde entier.

Glenda Beall said...

One of your best posts. I love to read your blog. I learn something every time.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

While I loved how you tried to explain to ua outsiders what system there is in US what really failed here is freedom of fair media to all people. Brainwashing began with the Clinton server issue that really was petty when one considers the behind closed doors deals that a wealthy businessman was and has been making globally regaredless of sanctions. Russia's Putin has played the US and it is shocking that the poor undereducated and underpaid Americans allowed themselves to believe that Trump cared for them when it was always clear he only cared for TRUMP and getting in the highest office wpuld allow him to trump all. He has already made that very clear. Now how soon can he be tossed out by some legal misstep? And then His VP??
The medium is the message. Let's use it to trump what is all wrong.
The weak are being weakened more and it is just wrong.
What about some other wealthy people pushing for what is right and fair?
Or do they also have stuff to hide and protect?

Linda said...

I had to come back and see this post again. One of the signs "Paris Contre Trump" needed no translation for me, as I am fluent in French. I couldn't help but smile and think, "You are not alone!" Thank you so much for sharing.

Carola Bartz said...

It's ironic that the "home of the brave" is the most frightened country.
I agree - humor helps a lot. However, most of the time I'm bewildered and still wonder how this could happen. I've stopped to have any sympathies for Trump voters, may they suffer or not (and many of them will), after I've learnt that they still would vote for him again.

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