Harry Potter and What We Are

Reading time – 2:40; Viewing time – 3:44  .  .  .

  • “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J.K. Rowling, from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.

Let’s imagine that Rowling has offered a valuable insight – that it’s our choices that show who we truly are – and consider these points:

  1. Donald Trump has refused to say anything to suggest that he fully agrees with his 17 national security agencies that the Russians hacked not just Hillary Clinton’s and John Podesta’s emails, but also sought to affect our national election. He has compounded that by offering no leadership to counter this ongoing invasion of America by a foreign adversary. He’s dismantling our cyber security oversight and has had more friendly involvement with covertly hostile Russian officials than he’s had with anyone else.
  2. Trump brought top Russian officials into the Oval Office, this in the absence of an American translator. While there he passed top secret espionage information to them, which put Israeli intelligence people in peril.
  3. Trump met for an hour at the G20 dinner with Vladimir Putin. The only other participant in the conversation was Putin’s translator. That means that Trump doesn’t know what was relayed from him to Putin, nor can he know what Putin actually said.
  4. Rex Tillerson is incrementally dismantling the State Department. You know, the people who conduct U.S. diplomacy.
  5. Betsy DeVos is working to dismantle public education.
  6. Scott Pruitt is dismantling the EPA, including the Clean Water Act. Drink up.
  7. I don’t know what Rick Perry is doing to the Department of Energy, about which he knows next to nothing. What we can be sure of is that he wants to eliminate the department, this according to his “Oops!” moment at a Republican debate in 2016.
  8. Trump and the Republicans pound the blatantly false drum beat that Obamacare is dead. Now Trump wants to eliminate it, provide nothing to replace it and leave millions of Americans – 1 in 10 of us – adrift with no access to medical care but the emergency room.
  9. Trump continues to blow off our allies and cozy up to Putin. This is particularly vexing because the Republicans have spent decades telling us that they are the muscular protectors of America against the bad Russians and that the Democrats are weak-kneed and can’t be counted on to stand up to the bad guys. Now, though, the Republicans seem to have Kryptonite strapped to them and they’re mute about Trump’s “love-the-Russians” behavior.
  10. The Onion had a touching and troubling take on what we’re doing about immigration. Watch it here.
  11. Now we hear that Trump is investigating presidential pardons for his staff, his family and for himself, even though nobody has officially been charged with a crime. He’s also working to discredit the Special Counsel and his team and has threatened to fire Robert Mueller. All we’ve heard has come from eyebrow raising pundits. We’ve heard nothing from members of the President’s party. Where is the outrage?

There’s more, of course. The point is that our choices – our actions – declare what we are, just as J.K. Rowling said. What are we saying about who we are?

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

YOUR ACTION STEPS: Offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe and engage.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Harry Potter and What We Are
  1. Joni Lindgren Reply

    Here’s a few more to add to your list….
    12) The president’s disregard for the role of the press and the public’s right to information, his barrage on the press, journalists, and the truth, plus his administrations mocking of the U.S. press corps threatens the very foundations of our democracy if allowed to continue unchecked!
    13) Trump has now signed an Executive Order threatening the Giant Sequoia National Monument with drilling, mining and logging….meaning, you could see, hear and smell coal mines and oil wells!
    14) Trump’s infrastructure plan is to privatize our National Parks, National Monuments and public lands to the billionaires! That includes our waterways, highways, rivers and charge us to death with high tolls or fees! 95% of Americans say that National Parks are worth protecting and 80% say they would pay higher taxes to do so! Regardless… In other words, the PEOPLE’S National Parks, National Monuments, public lands and rivers, highways, water aquifers will belong to the RICH!!
    15) Trump secretly signed a bill that invades your internet privacy (browsing, ss, financials and health).
    16) Trump signed a bill that allows mentally handicapped can buy guns.
    17) Paul Ryan pushed a bill through the House that would undo Dodd-Frank….which means, Wall Street can gamble with your savings and retirement accounts again by putting them in risky investments like they did to tank the economy in 2007 where people lost their homes through foreclosures because they couldn’t pay their medical bills. This recklessness means: It can happen again now!!!

    We have reached the point where the “elites” in Washington are determining our worth….who gets clean air and water, who can afford healthcare and who won’t have safe savings and retirement accounts!

    I seriously don’t know how we are to deal with this tidal wave of chaos for the next 3 1/2 OR, God forbid, 7 1/2 years!! God help us all!!

  2. dominickpalella Reply

    Jack, this is who we are. We are brainwashed citizens who believe we have a political system called a democracy, completely oblivious to the fact that it operates as an autocratic republic. We have no right to interfere with those who are elected to office in this political system, as clearly stated by that 1984 Supreme Court decision interpreting the autonomous privileges they have under our US Constitution. This simple fact seems to be beyond the intellectual comprehension of most voters, although it is redundantly displayed every day in the mass media and both conservative and progressive Internet sites and programs.

    We continue to act against our own interests by listening to politicians during elections to see if they support our own personal views of progressive or conservative values. Then complain, protest and plead with them to keep their promises, ignoring the fact that they have no obligation to listen or respond to us when they take office. Trump, and others with power, who disregard our political “traditions” should provide anyone with common sense the naked truth of how our political system functions. However, years of political propaganda still obscure our role as servants to those elected to rule over us.

    We are responsible for this government by not using the critical thinking skills we have as human beings. In a delusional fog, we keep repeating the same behaviors and ignore the results of trusting politicians to give us the benefits we desire as progressives and conservatives alike. While the main concept of our political system is sound, we allow people to run it with abandon, and foolishly believe we can hold them “accountable” by having a chance to replace them after damage is done to our health, safety or financial wellbeing.

    In sum, we are a nation of followers, who are too blinded by entrenched political beliefs to take personal responsibility for electing honest and competent people to office. Perhaps only a few of us can come out of this trance state and apply some common sense to stop engaging in self-defeating behavior, and vet candidates for office who will listen and respond to us as they should. http://TrueDemocracyNow.org