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Monday, August 14, 2017

The speech Trump could have made (but didn't)

"My fellow Americans:

"Seventy-six years ago, our great nation went to war against Nazis and the forces of Fascism. Brave young men fought and died in Europe, in the South Pacific, and in many other theaters of war to stop this great evil from spreading across the face of the Earth. Men and women on the home front made significant sacrifices to support our armed forces in this effort.

"Seventy-two years ago this week, that war came to an end. The forces of Imperial Japan joined Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Fascist Italy in defeat. The notion of a 'master race' was consigned to the dustbin of history.

"A few hours ago we witnessed the shocking tragedy of a brutal and senseless attack on American soil. We now know the identities of the victim - and the perpetrator. The life of a beautiful young woman, a life full of both accomplishments and promise, was brought to an end by a self-proclaimed Nazi sympathizer who drove a car at a high rate of speed into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesters who had come out to take a stand against Nazis, Fascists, and white supremacists - the very same forces that our forefathers in The Greatest Generation fought against in World War II.

"Make no mistake about it: This was an act of terrorism. The tactic used was the same as we have seen used in Paris, in Germany, in Great Britain, and elsewhere, a tactic promoted by the terrorist group ISIS. This act of terrorism was carried out by someone looking to silence opposition to his own hateful political ideology.

"To the parents of Heather Heyer, the young woman murdered in this terrorist act, I make this pledge: The government of the United States of America will do everything in its power to see that your daughter's murderer is brought to justice. Her life and her work will not be forgotten.

"To the Nazis, fascists, and white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, and in dark basements and hidden places everywhere, I tell you this: There is no place for you in the United States of America. If you raise your hands against this great nation and its citizens, you will be defeated and utterly destroyed.

"To the people of America, I say this: Stay strong. Stay united. Stand against the forces of hate and division. Honor the sacrifices of our forefathers in the Greatest Generation. Do not let those sacrifices have been made in vain. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America."

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A dream of war

Had a war nightmare last night.

I was at work, we heard a loud noise, looked outside, and saw that the sky had turned black - or at least part of it had, since the sun was still shining and you could see edges to the black. I realized that this was a dust cloud, rapidly approaching, and I yelled for everyone to duck and cover.

What happened immediately afterwards I don't know, but I think all electronics were knocked out of commission - something I believe will be an opening gambit in any future international war, a ploy that would disable all modern communication and put us on an  even playing field with, say, North Korea. What I do remember is the practical upshot: your wealth, your ability to buy things - food, specifically, the only thing people were buying - was reduced to the amount of cash you had available to you. No credit cards, no ATMs, no way to get more money other than to take it from someone else. I was able to get groceries for a few days for myself and my mother, but beyond that, I had no idea what we could expect.

I woke up feeling uneasy. I wanted to write this down before I forgot.

(One other detail: the trading tables where people could hand over their cash for a box of oatmeal or some cans of food were, for some reason, set up in space commandeered in my house.)