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Juneteenth
Last Post 06/21/2022 08:03 PM by Frederick Jones. 7 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:2994

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06/19/2022 10:09 PM
Until a couple of years ago, I never knew it existed. Then I learned of it and the history of Tulsa at the same time. George Floyd. Now Juneteenth is a National holiday.

Yesterday I rode to Portland's Juneteenth parade (and learned it was celebrating its 50th year!). As parades go, it was small but had as much heart as probably any I've seen.

Saw a T-shirt "Freeish since 1865". Sadly true. Got thinking that holiday we celebrate in a couple of weeks is about independence and freedom from taxation without representation. (Not from that T-shirt, from Juneteenth as a whole.) For wealthy colonists. That Juneteenth is about real freedom from a far deeper bondage than taxes. I doubt I'll ever look at the 4th of July the same again.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4019

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06/20/2022 04:02 PM
I recently finished reading / listening to Washington: A Life ....it was, although still somewhat reverential, a revealing look at the first President.

He was certainly not the near-perfect hero we were taught in our youths, but definitely had very strong principles. He fought a constant internal battle about slavery....recoiling from the concept while at the same time recognizing its "necessity" for his own economic benefit. Even his final act of freeing his slaves upon his death was couched in the need to protect Martha financially.

At the same time, kicking the slavery can down the road was critical to getting the colonies to unite as one nation....while I would never say a "greater good" was served (it most certainly was not and millions suffered), I understand the political realities of the time.

July 4th was more than freedom from taxation without representation....it was the establishment of an entire new nation with democracy as it core principle. However flawed it was in implementation (and it was deeply flawed), it was an important development on the global political stage.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:4130

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06/20/2022 04:20 PM
I always like to joke that American independence was based two fundamental notions (1) tax dodging (2) distrust of government. Joke aside, it still filters through to current realities.

The notion of democracy as a core principle was admirably but the institutions put in place to serve that goal while they may have been useful long time ago, have outrun their purpose and merely lead to a perpetual political stalemate (political trench warfare) in which nothing ever gets done. Which then just emphasizes points (1) and (2) above. Concentric circles...
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4019

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06/20/2022 04:39 PM
have outrun their purpose and merely lead to a perpetual political stalemate (political trench warfare) in which nothing ever gets done.


I think that is accurate, but also a relatively new phenomenon. Up until the emergence of Newt Gingrich (and arguably Lee Atwater before him), bipartisanship was still alive.

I have a longer theory about how the tipping point for our current situation was Watergate, but that is a different thread subject.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:4130

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06/20/2022 04:56 PM
Watergate seems fine as a tipping point but I would not call it new/recent. That's 50 years ago. Pretty much our entire lifetime.

As to old democracies done right and that still work, I'd offer New Zealand. Scale is important though, the Greeks already knew that democracies are best suited for relatively small communities.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4019

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06/20/2022 09:46 PM
Sorry, wasn’t clear….the lack of bipartisanship disappeared in the 90’s with Newt. But the genesis for that strategy was Watergate. They just weren’t able to enact until the 90’s.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:4130

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06/20/2022 11:09 PM
I’d disagree there. The drift started in 1970s, nicely quantified in link below, and incidentally also when Newt entered politics. By the 1990s partisanship was already entrenched to degree that allowed Newt to take it mainstream.

https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1057/pol.2014.10
longslowdistance

Posts:2624

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06/21/2022 08:03 PM
I was a Senate intern many years ago, so I have a clue about that era. Pork gets things done, you help me I help you, let's make a deal. "Earmarks" is the genteel term.
It's starting to make a comeback. I'm all for it. 0.5% of the budget goes for stuff that makes the whole place work.
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