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Sat Jan 16, 2021, 06:55 PM

My sad expectation for our future

The deployment of 25,000+ military and law enforcement forces in our nation's capital seems more than prudent given the disastrous siege of the Capitol. I'm confident that these professional women and men will protect our capital and its people. But I have a fear for the longer term for our country.

In the mid-1970s, my high school choral group was invited to tour Romania as part of a United Nations cultural exchange program. We spent three weeks traveling around this beautiful country, performing American music and meeting many wonderful people and seeing fantastic sites including Dracula's Castle! At the time, Nicolae Ceaușescu was Romania's president and he was viewed somewhat favorably in the West because he didn't always toe the line with the Soviet Union. It wouldn't be until years later that the world would discover that he was a vicious tyrant.

There were about 40 of us on the trip and for many of my fellow students, this was their first trip overseas. Actually, for some of them, it was their first time on an airplane! When we landed in Bucharest, the airport was filled with people, just like any airport back home. But then some students discovered that there were armed military scattered throughout the airport. Some of them were emotionally shaken and the tour guide hustled us out to our bus. Later, I asked the guide about the soldiers and she said people had come to accept them and to give them a wide berth.

In the post-1970s skyjackings, we came to accept the intrusiveness of searches and metal detectors in our airports. In the post-9/11 era, we came to accept even more intrusiveness and the stationing of military and police in all of our transportation hubs and shopping malls. We came to accept government's intrusion into our phone calls and electronic communications.

We even came to accept torture.

What I fear is that D.C. will become a locked-down city where the Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court and all the other Federal facilities will have even more restricted access. These are the dangers that the right-wing terrorists are inflicting on our nation. The buildings that house our republic have to be protected from some of the citizens represented by the people working within those buildings! Who said that irony is dead?

I understand that these actions by our governments-- at every level-- are intended to protect us from the violence that permeates our society particularly from these right-wing seditionists.

But I remember D.C. when you could walk into many buildings without any security and the others with a tour or a guide. I remember airports without soldiers guarding them. I remember when flying was comfortable and even a little bit fun.

All of those days are gone.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply My sad expectation for our future (Original post)
PJMcK Jan 2021 OP
tblue37 Jan 2021 #1
PJMcK Jan 2021 #5
tblue37 Jan 2021 #16
Hekate Jan 2021 #2
PJMcK Jan 2021 #4
Karadeniz Jan 2021 #3
PJMcK Jan 2021 #8
Karadeniz Jan 2021 #17
Hortensis Jan 2021 #6
PJMcK Jan 2021 #11
Hortensis Jan 2021 #14
PJMcK Jan 2021 #18
Hortensis Jan 2021 #22
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2021 #23
PJMcK Jan 2021 #24
GoneOffShore Jan 2021 #30
StarfishSaver Jan 2021 #28
bdamomma Jan 2021 #7
onethatcares Jan 2021 #12
PJMcK Jan 2021 #13
Chin music Jan 2021 #9
PJMcK Jan 2021 #20
cilla4progress Jan 2021 #10
PJMcK Jan 2021 #15
cilla4progress Jan 2021 #19
Thekaspervote Jan 2021 #21
Klaralven Jan 2021 #25
BannonsLiver Jan 2021 #26
irisblue Jan 2021 #27
PJMcK Jan 2021 #29
Maeve Jan 2021 #31
Roisin Ni Fiachra Jan 2021 #32
nam78_two Jan 2021 #33

Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:00 PM

1. I spent summers in Franco's Spain in the early and mid 1970s. The Guardia Civil with their scary

weapons were everywhere.

I know just what you mean.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:14 PM

5. Weird, isn't it?

On that trip in the 1970s, one classmate grabbed me by the arm and thrusting her camera in my hands dragged me over to one of the soldiers. Using hand signs, she politely asked if she could have her picture taken with him. He laughed and assented. She was quite a contrast from our compatriots who were in tears!

That picture was part of the photo collage at her funeral last year.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:47 PM

16. Very weird!

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:04 PM

2. Thank you

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Response to Hekate (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:10 PM

4. Sadly, you're welcome (n/t)

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:07 PM

3. Here's my father's DC memory. He was going to Georgetown law school when

Prohibition stopped. I don't know when that took effect, but near Christmas or New Years... snow was on the ground... Dad and his roommate slogged their way right up to the White House front door and left FDR a present, a bottle of champagne.

We haven't seen that much public accessibility in ages...maybe it stopped during WWII.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:16 PM

8. Great story!

Did your dad get a thank you note?!

I think the accessibility got tighter during the 1960s when there was so much societal tension. Or perhaps it's just a continuous curve...

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:50 PM

17. I'm sure they didn't attach a gift tag. Personally, I always hoped the butler snuck it back to the

Kitchen for staff. FDR, as dad would've said, needed more booze like Custer needed more Indians!

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:14 PM

6. Sad lack of imagination. You're not even sleeping with your

family under a railroad overpass after going broke and losing the family farm, stealing veggies from other people's fields, of course no cell phone or computer, or national retirement program, which weren't invented yet.

At least those people had some excuse for imagining all those days for them were gone.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:35 PM

11. Well, we don't know one another's lives

Like far too many people, I've had some terribly bad times in my six decades. To be clear, my post wasn't about long-term history and the travesties in U.S. history.

My point was not meant to be reflect anything other than how things have changed in our country's society since my youth. We've accepted that our country has become a military state. Take a look at the materiel that police forces have and tell me we're not an inch away from a police state!

Your reference to an earlier time of crisis is not really apt but your point is spot on. There are far too many Americans who are hurting and need our governments' help. We all need better leaders and I'm hopeful that President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer will steer our ship of state on the right course.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:45 PM

14. I haven't "accepted" anything you imagine. You have a very

romantic notion of a time when people were better. I know better. Those who came before us had to defeat these sorts before and did, after coming dreadfully close to losing. We have become better people and society over the past 100 years, and I feel sorry for those who can only see problems and not realize that.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:56 PM

18. Okay, here are a few questions

First, do you ever fly on a commercial airliner? You say you haven't accepted anything I "imagined." When you go into the airport, what do you see and experience as you try to board your flight?

Second, do you ever go to a shopping mall? Notice the heavily armed cops? Why are they there?

It doesn't matter if we accept their presence or not. They are there. Period.

As far as your observation that I'm being romantic, that's your misinterpretation. I was commenting about my perceptions in my lifetime. Of course I know that lots of bad shit has been happening since before we were a United States! But that wasn't the point of my post.

To be clear, I was simply writing about how we never saw military and the police presence was minimal if at all.

Hortensis, I consider you an online compatriot and I've been avidly reading your posts for years. I'm not really interested in an argument with someone I think of as a colleague.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:15 PM

22. Not walking in your shoes. Look, these people have already

lost and don't know it. They're a minority of hard-core conservatives driven by fear and reacting furiously to changes in society's thinking that have already happened. What do you think it means that 77% approved of the peaceful BLM marches in over 700 towns and cities?

As someone put it, posted here this morning, this is "A funeral for white supremacy, for an outdated, outmoded male power. What we are witnessing is backlash. These people are not the future, they are the barnacles on the future that is going to happen with or without them."

It's a long funeral, and they have a lot of big changes to fear, not just racial and gender equality. But they're the current iteration fighting the "fundamental through line" that's run all through our nation's history. We've progressed enormously and a great deal of that progress has occurred during our lifetimes and in us.

Addendum: Here, I went and found this for you. Optimism and long views don't win ratings races, but now and then someone slips a little in.

https://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/the-january-6-insurrection-was-a-last-gasp-for-white-supremacy-99557445706

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:34 PM

23. " Second, do you ever go to a shopping mall? Notice the heavily armed cops? Why are they there?"

What heavily armed cops? Your lucky to find a security guard! Where the heck do you ship?

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 10:03 PM

24. New York City and its environs (n/t)

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 08:54 AM

30. I'm presently in the south of France and 'Operation Vigipirate' is very much in evidence,

with infantry, paratroop, or legionnaire squads walking the streets of Marseille, Aix, Montpellier, Nice, et al on a daily basis.

The Gendamarie and the police are all armed. And when there are demonstrations, whether large or small there is a police presence. Metal detectors at the entrances to live performance venues, museums and the occasional store add a layer of security.

I lived in the UK in the 1970's during the troubles.


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Response to Hortensis (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 12:36 AM

28. Thank you

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:15 PM

7. I don't think

we will ever look the same to the world again. We have a opening sore on us just from lies, greed and propaganda. All roads lead to Russia.

tRump should be held accountable and his guilty thugs and accomplices.

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Response to bdamomma (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:35 PM

12. I don't think we will ever look the same

to each other again.

The masks came off in the strangest ways as we got to see our neighbors hating our other neighbors for the color of their skin or the humanity of wanting healthcare insurance for us all.

and we have armed citizens on the streets, everywhere.

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Response to onethatcares (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:38 PM

13. Absolutely right!

I've lost friends and ended family relationships because of Trump.

He's a cancer. When President Biden is sworn in, I'll exhale.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)


Response to Chin music (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:02 PM

20. Our government is made up of a variety of characters

They span the political spectrum from Fascism to Anarchy.

Thankfully, the majority of them are somewhat patriotic and take their oaths of office somewhat seriously.

(What a pathetically sad but accurate that sentence was!)

I would never suggest that our governments-- at any level-- are flawless since history has proven that to not be the case.

Really, the only point I was making was that D.C. will probably be an occupied city from now on thanks to the seditionists.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:29 PM

10. I hear you!

I remember in about 1984 walking barefoot on the Mall including into the Washington Monument - after dark! It was all open and accessible.

My dear friend immigrated to US from Romania several years ago. I enjoy hearing her stories of life under Ceaușescu, comparing it to US, and I ask her a lot of q's about it!

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:46 PM

15. Romania is a fantastic country with a wonderful history

It has a remarkable diversity from the Romanian Alps to the Black Sea resorts to the cosmopolitan cities of Bucharest and Cluj.

One night, we stayed in a peasant village and it was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. These were people who had very little but they generously opened their village and homes to us. One fellow gave us a tour of the town and its particular highlights. He didn't speak English and we didn't speak Romanian but we were able to combine French, Spanish, Latin(!) and hand signs to communicate. It was fun as hell! Needless to say, we gave gifts to the families we stayed with. I stayed in touch with my host-family for about a dozen years following the trip.

I've always been a foodie so I really enjoyed learning a new cuisine. Unfortunately, my classmates weren't quite as open minded as some of us were and the tour guide had to arrange some changes to our diets, much to some of our regrets!

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 07:57 PM

19. I find their history

fascinating.

Are "gypsies" their indigenous?

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 08:13 PM

21. It won't always be that way

I tried to link it, but couldnít

Look up Anand Giridharadas statement on msnbc last word 1/15. Quite hopeful, and profound

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sat Jan 16, 2021, 11:34 PM

25. The US is somewhat peculiar. Most militaries have an internal security role.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Posse Commitatus Act of 1878 was passed in order to end the military occupation of the Confederate States. It mostly prohibits the use of the military to enforce the law within the United States.

Thus, we have the peculiar notion that the military should be restricted to remote training bases and used to enforce our laws globally outside of the US.

Other countries generally give the military the responsibility for assisting other law enforcement organizations and providing the ultimate assurance of public order. Their armies are garrisoned more widely and tend to patrol and train among the populations, as well as provide backup security. French soldiers were guarding the Eiffel Tower in the late '80s.

In the '70s it would be unusual to see tanks on the roads in the US. It was not so unusual in West Germany.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 12:24 AM

26. I still love flying and traveling.

Iíll be on a plane somewhere as soon as itís safe.

I expect the coming years will look a little like the troubles in the UK and Ireland. I think weíll see bombings and other attacks.

You will see RW terrorists supplant ME terrorists as the primary threat in the eyes of most Americans. Of course thatís nothing new for me. I live in the city that was the site of the worst act of terrorism in American history prior to 9/11, and it was a white dude from Niagara County NY that did it.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 12:33 AM

27. Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu were executed by their countrymen in 1989. We won't do that

Our civic and social structures are much older then Romania, we are not at current as damaged as Eastern Europe was in the 70s. I can see your point, but I disagree with the premise.

I'll pick this up tomorrow, with a fuller reasoning b/c I'm going to bed.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 08:26 AM

29. Your details are correct

I was not drawing a parallel between the U.S. and Romania. I was simply commenting how the U.S. has begun to look like a police state because we have armed guards nearly everywhere. That isn't going to change for the rest of my life because the political and social discord in the U.S. is too stark.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 09:21 AM

31. I began to feel that way after 9/11

We took a family trip to DC in the summer of 2001--easy travel, only minor hassles with security (and some of the strongest security was at the Holocaust Museum, because RWNJs were threats back then, too). It felt like the whole city was ours.
Then came the lock-down. They even took trash cans out of the Metro stations for fear of bombs (we'd snagged newspapers out of them when we were there--four kids, we were cheap!)

It will get tight, then better again when we get the domestic terrorists back in their box and nail that lid shut.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 09:28 AM

32. Ronald Ratf***ing Reagan

The enemy of truth, love, and kindness, who led our country down the dark path of lies and hate that led directly to Donald Trump and a nation almost half full of ignorant, confused, hateful fascist lunatics. Before Reagan, there was no Fox News, no Rush Limbaugh, no RW hate radio lies filling the heads of the gullible ignorant with violent, hateful Naziesque bulls**t.

The day that cruel, evil man was elected is the day the light began to gradually dim in our country, and brought us to this place of darkness, where violent, psychotic fascist lunatics literally urinated and defecated upon the citadel of American Democracy.

We must remain steadfastly unite against fascism, and push it back into bottom of the toxic cesspool that, summoned by Reagan, it crawled out of, until it is all but eradicated from the national consciousness. The reign of the narcissistic psychopath fascist President, the hateful, twisted, ideological spawn of Reagan, is in its death throes.

The dragon has been slain, and with new leadership, we must be the force that changes the dark and twisted path that Reagan set us on, and move forward to make America better than it has ever been, a place that is kind, and safe, and sane, for everyone.

Build back better than ever.

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Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sun Jan 17, 2021, 09:30 AM

33. K&R

I have no time to read this now but it looks interesting.

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