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Source: Book Towns: Part I
I’m afraid. Afraid of the upcoming results of this election. Afraid of what it says about our nation and our political process that we have come to this point, with two such undesirable options for the office of the President of the United States.
It seems that everyone in the world sees and understands this predicament. And the world is also very worried, as demonstrated by the prediction of many (relatively) unbiased think tanks regarding the domestic and international economic impacts and the political stability based on either outcome.
But that’s only a secondary worry. What frightens me the most is what each major candidate might bring to our domestic stability. More honestly, how they might critically destabilize it. Frankly, this is based mostly on how I perceive the relative intelligence of the two candidates. Or perhaps their thought processes.
Trump is clearly of (at best) average intelligence, and does not think things through. Hillary is of above average intelligence, and spends a lot of time thinking about issues, as evidenced by her preparation for the presidential debates. Do we want a president who reacts to issues in such ways as: “I’d build a wall. I’d bomb them. She should be in prison.” Yes, he has actually said those things. Or do we want a president who openly boasts about her political experience and having thought international events through? Yes, that includes admitting she spent many hours preparing for these presidential debates.
People who believe that Trump is at least economically astute, if not politically and socially, are wrong on that count. He has failed many times as a businessman, in spite of the incredible advantages that were handed to him by his father, and had to be bailed out several times. Clinton, although cynical and opportunistic, is much more astute in all regards.
Clinton is a politics as usual, corrupt egoist. But she clearly weighs her options before making decisions and reacting to situations. Trump is a shoot from the lip, I’ll take the cheap joke and the low road, and I don’t care who I alienate when I express my opinions sort of guy. Clinton is just as arrogant and entitled, but she is very aware that you do not deliberately alienate people, whether they are domestic or foreign.
Bottom line: Clinton is dangerous because she will not care about the average American, but only what the masses can do to enhance her power and ego. But Trump is more dangerous because he is actively encouraging hate in the form of racism, gender discrimination, white supremacy, and class consciousness. Moreover, he has openly courted Russian favor while denigrating our democratic process. Clinton will not improve our nation. Trump will actively work to destroy it.
This upcoming presidential election is, from my standpoint, clearly a no-win situation. However, it is also clearly a huge loss possibility. I have my hopes, but I am still very afraid of the lack of overall insight of the voters in this country. I am not so much afraid of Trump getting elected as I am about the people in this country who are eager to elect him.
This is much more important than Donald Trump bragging about his “locker room” powers. This is about the rape culture men in power feel they have over women.
For all of my fellow bibliophiles throughout the world, I offer you the El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Built as a tango theatre in 1919, at the height of the South American craze for that sensual dance, the Teatro Grand Splendid was transformed to become a cinema only ten years later. It had the distinction of being the first cinema in Buenos Aires to show sound films. Under threat of demolition due to a poor economy in 2000, it was transmogrified into its current existence by the Grupo Ilhsa, which owns 40 bookshops.
Today, more than a million visitors from all over the world ogle at its opulence and buy a few books. Check out the website below for more stunning photos.
Most people interested in history know something about the executions of the Czar and his family in 1918. However, the story of what led to their deaths, and especially what has happened to their remains since then, is somewhat bizarre. If you are interested, the below story is fairly long, but I found it fascinating!
Never been to Finland, but after reading this would love to go! Closest I’ve been is Amsterdam.
This morning we took an inter city train from Helsinki to Tampere. VR Finnish trains are very comfortable and smooth, run on a wider gauge than English trains and have an upper deck. We booked seats upstairs so that we could enjoy the best views along the 90 minute journey.
VR Inter City Train Tampere is Finland’s third largest city and is located 100 miles north of Helsinki. It is often referred to as the ‘Manchester of Finland’ due to its industrial past as the former centre of the Finnish cotton trade.
The Finlayson Mill today On leaving the station we strolled along Tampere’s broad main shopping thoroughfare until we reached the river. Here you will find the former Finlayson cotton mill which was established in 1820 by a Scottish engineer called James Finlayson. He originally produced woven wool but realising the climate was cool and damp and perfect for…
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The below link is to a great photo of the Grand Tetons, from the blog of Chloe Gonzalez. My wife and I visited seven national parks last October, including hiking up to the beautiful little lake (Lake Solitude, because not a lot of people hike up that far!) near the top of the Grand Tetons. My first photo is of the lake with the peaks in the background, the second is of Sandra enjoying the view. The last is of a shot of the valley looking toward Jackson, taken from a point about a third up the mountain. Some tough hikes up, but the scenery is worth it!