It would be productive to force a debate over a Law prohibiting guns near Polling Places and Government offices

David Frum:43>
There has been an increasing habit of brandishing weapons near polling places and stage legislatures.

We are facing a challenge of violence and people trying to intimidate. It would be a helpful argument to isolate these people at a state level.

G-7 Meeting Ends in Disagreement Over Coronavirus Name

U.S. wanted a statement referring to the coronavirus as the ‘Wuhan virus.’ Other nations disagreed.

WASHINGTON—A meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations ended Wednesday without a customary joint statement because members wouldn’t agree with a U.S. request to refer to the novel coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus,” according to an official familiar with the matter.

The U.S. chaired the meeting, which was conducted virtually due to concerns about the outbreak of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. The State Department is using the hashtag #WuhanVirus on Twitter.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who represented the U.S., declined to comment when asked about the disagreement during a briefing with reporters on Wednesday.

Top agenda items for the meeting included preventing further crises in the world’s most vulnerable countries and keeping global travel routes open to ensure citizens can return home.

“This isn’t a time for blame; this is a time to solve this global problem. We are focused on that today,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters.

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported the disagreement among the seven industrialized nations earlier Wednesday. The Trump administration has drawn criticism for its description of the novel coronavirus, which some critics said has stoked hostility toward Asian Americans.

Mr. Pompeo reiterated his previous criticism of China for what he called a disinformation campaign about the virus. He also said that Chinese authorities still were withholding information about the outbreak that started in Hubei province.

The Chinese embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other participating G-7 nations released their own statements about the outcome of the meeting on Wednesday, though didn’t refer to the novel coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese virus,” a term used by President Trump.

The G-7 consists of the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany and France.

“Today, I’ve agreed to work together to intensify international cooperation to support vulnerable countries, pursue a vaccine, protect the world economy, and enable our citizens who are stranded to get home safely,” the U.K. foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said in a statement.

An Open Letter to Dennis Kucinich on Peace in a Military State

I don’t know how you read this, but I know what the correct reading is . . .

THESE ASSHOLES WILL NEVER LISTEN!  THEY WILL NEVER EMBRACE PEACE!

Therefore . . .

THEY MUST BE REPLACED!  There has to be almost a clean sweep of Congress or the march to war and annihilation will continue.

THAT’S why we need 200 million people on our side.  It’s that simple.

Are you offended yet?  Are you still reading this?

Civil Discourse in Decline: Where Does It End?

The shift away from politeness, decorum and respect is real—and its consequences visible every day

Republican congressional candidate body slams a reporter. A Democratic party state chairman hurls obscenities at both the president and dissidents in his own party at a public meeting.

Speakers are chased off college campuses by those who disagree with them. Lawmakers in both parties find they can barely hold town hall meetings in their own districts because they are so likely to be shouted down by hecklers. Social media has become a forum where insults are the norm and outright threats not uncommon.

Such is the state of (un)civil discourse in America today.

.. Athletes ostentatiously celebrate their achievements—even the most routine ones—by mocking their opponents. It used to be called bad sportsmanship. It’s now normal.

.. President Donald Trump has to shoulder a lot of the blame. He ran a campaign in which publicly insulting his opponents—“Lyin’ Ted Cruz” and “Crooked Hillary”—was a regular occurrence. He introduced obscenities to public rallies, at one point saying he would bomb the “s— out of” Islamic State.

.. But now it isn’t just Mr. Trump. In their new “resistance” mode, Democrats have become just as nasty.

.. “I’m told by politicians that it doesn’t help you to be civil. You want to appeal to your base and to fire them up and all that. I understand that. But at some point, some leaders are going to have to rise above and show us a different way and call us on these things.”

What is the long-term effect of Donald Trump?

“He is distinct only in being someone of such prominence saying such things. I think the real change was Facebook and Twitter in 2009. Trump is just a symptom.”

.. In this view, the Trump effect is not unique to the man, but is a natural, almost inevitable result of economic and social forces unleashed by swift, powerful technological change that had, even before Trump’s candidacy, made the country meaner, more confrontational and more divided.

.. Previous bursts of populism have usually burned through in less than a generation, fading away as economic expansion, war or political reform eased people’s sense of insecurity.

.. The tea party, the Occupy movement, and Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign all demonstrated a popular hunger for thoroughgoing change and a realignment of the political parties.

.. Buskirk, 47, said Trump’s blunt rhetoric and coarse language would have been startling decades ago but today only mirrors a society in which many people feel stifled by new limits on what can be said at work or school. “We’d all like a high level of public discourse,” he said, “but a 3 a.m. tweetstorm isn’t among my worries about the next generation.”

.. Trump supporters see not his coarseness or vulgarity, but a sense that an ordinary person can rise up and make a difference.”

.. and in a way, it’s even better for Trump if he loses because then his policies never have to be tested.”

.. Pop music, which often reflects the mood of the country, has been trending slower and darker, following a period of much more energetic hits around the start of the economic recovery in 2009

.. “This was the summer of unhappy popular music,” Ross said. “There’s an almost complete dearth of up-tempo, major-chord happiness. There’s no tempo right now in country, pop, R&B, anywhere.”

.. Ross said the current popularity of slow, low-energy songs is the most striking run of such music since the early 1980s — also a time of severe economic stress.

.. “There will never be a sports talk show called ‘You May Be Right,’ no TV roundtables called ‘Point Well Taken.’ ”

.. “Early on, people were horrified by his offensive statements,” Luntz said. “But as time went on, they came to enjoy it and absorb it. There’s no filter anymore. I hear Trump’s words over and over: ‘We have to keep them out.’ Trump has liberated their inner voice, and I’m shocked at what I hear now.”

.. Luntz sees no indication that the rougher rhetoric is a passing fad. “The more coarse language gets, the more coarse it stays,” he said. “We don’t go back. We don’t suddenly become civil and good to each other.”

In Luntz’s focus groups recently, the tone of disagreements has deteriorated into the kind of attacks that once would have silenced the room. “ ‘You’re an idiot’ has become relatively common,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where I cannot stop people from yelling at each other.”

.. Luntz has seen a sharp increase in parents telling him that their children are using Trump-inspired smears at school. “It’s ‘Lyin’ Thomas’ and ‘Little David’ in fifth or sixth grade,”

.. One boy brought me his cellphone to show me Trump’s tweets. They know his insults by heart. hey’re scared.”

.. In a culture in which characters on reality-TV shows lash out at one another for sport, in a society in which bonds of trust have frayed as relationships become distanced from physical proximity, “along comes Donald Trump to give us permission to say out loud the things we’ve been saying anonymously online,”

.. “He’s closer to how a lot of people are living than Hillary Clinton. A lot of men talk exactly like Trump online; he’s just the first person to do that while running for president.”

.. “People are immersed in their own worlds now. We were already being horrible to each other on social media, so we were kind of ripe for someone to come along and further dehumanize us.”

.. Even before Trump came along, cable news had morphed from traditional reporting to “mainly people yelling at each other,” as McGrath put it.

.. “He has obliterated the idea that tone matters, . . . that there is such a thing as going too far. For the next person who tries it, it will seem less shocking because this has been accepted by the media who report it in detail (mostly without shock or complaint) and by the rest of us who grumble but keep watching.”

Trump Time Capsule #143: Rigged

The American fabric of peaceful-transfer-of-power is taken for granted in the U.S. and elsewhere but is more fragile than it seems. As I noted back ininstallment #139, nearly every presidential inaugural address through U.S. history has emphasized how unusual and crucial this civic ritual is. For an example you might not have been expecting, I give you Richard Nixon, in the opening of his first inaugural address in 1969:

My fellow Americans, and my fellow citizens of the world community:

I ask you to share with me today the majesty of this moment. In the orderly transfer of power, we celebrate the unity that keeps us free

.. Gore had every reason imaginable to challenge Bush v. Gore and the whole circumstances of the election. He was half a million votes ahead in the nationwide popular vote, and for more than a century the popular-vote winner had become president. The Florida secretary of state, who was in charge of the recount, was co-chairman of the Bush campaign in Florida. The governor of the state, Jeb Bush, was his opponent’s brother! The reasoning of the Supreme Court’s ruling was so nakedly results-oriented that the Court itself said that it should not be taken as a precedent in any future rulings.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.

I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.

.. The logic of “birtherism,” with Donald Trump as its most prominent exponent, was that Barack Obama had an illegitimate claim on office.

.. A textbook example is provided by President George Bush Sr., whose concession speech included the following statement: “Here’s the way we see it and the country should see it—that the people have spoken and we respect the majesty of the democratic system. I just called Gov. Clinton over in Little Rock and offered my congratulations. He did run a strong campaign.”

In making this statement, President Bush signaled that the election was over and he lost fair and square.

Burning Down the House

Here’s his lesson for young minds: If you’re rich and boorish enough, you can get away with anything. Get away with sexual assault. Get away with not paying taxes. Get away with never telling the truth. Get away flirting with treason. Get away with stiffing people who work for you, while you take yours. Get away with mocking the disabled, veterans and families of war heroes.

.. Trump has made compassion suspect. Don’t reach out to starving refugees — they’re killers in disguise. Don’t give to a charity that won’t reward you in some way. Don’t pay taxes that build roads and offer relief to those washed away in a hurricane. That’s a sucker’s game. We’re not all in this together. Taxes are for stupid people.