Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

This week’s blog entry comes from the NYTimes “Your Friday Briefing” newlsetter

Today, the word impeachment is associated with the most powerful public officials, but the Latin word it evolved from, “impedicare” (meaning “to fetter, to fix shackles on the feet; to hinder”), evokes a prisoner.

Old French turned it into empechier, from which sprang the Middle English empechen, meaning to physically hinder something (“an impeached ship”) as well as to bring a formal accusation.

Senator William Blount in 1797 became the first American politician to face impeachment, for plotting with the British.

The first recorded use of impeachment in the English Parliament occurred in 1376 with the removal of Baron William Latimer. Having created other levers of accountability, Parliament held its last impeachment in 1806 and now considers the procedure obsolete.

But the term had already been written into the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin pushed for its inclusion because he feared that the alternative to the legal removal of a corrupt official would be assassination.

Congress first held an impeachment in 1797 with the trial of William Blount, which was, until now, its only impeachment inquiry concerning foreign policy.

I have just begun to read a book of quotes from Mother Teresa. This one stood out because of what is currently happening politically in our country:

“I believe that politicians spend too little time on their knees. I am convinced that they would be better politicians if they were to do so.”

Many people in our great country are suffering because of the government shutdown. What will happen to the poorest of the poor when rent subsidies are cut off and food stamps disappear?

Just think of all the good she did in this world. Maybe our egotistical president along with our representatives should follow this advice from Mother Teresa. We’d all be better off.

Malpractice: Professional impropriety or negligence. Usually we hear this word in connection with medical lawsuits and other legal issues. However, I recently came across a very interesting use of it in relation to President Trump. Some politician, whose name I failed to catch as the news station flashed the Tweet across the screen, used it in conjunction with Trump’s attempt to override the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment with an executive order. The Tweet said that he would be practicing “political malpractice”!

 

Regardless where one stands on the issue of whether or not a person born in the US to parents who are aliens should be given citizenship rights, the problem here is the fact that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Yes, its amendments have been open to interpretation (i.e. the right to bear arms issue), however, we have a system of checks and balances in our legal system and there is a formal process of how to go about changing or adding an amendment. An executive order cannot do that. Trump should know this as he swore to uphold the Constitution when he was sworn in as president! The Constitution will always, pun intended, trump a Trump!

Thanks to president Trump, the phrase “Fake News” has become part of our everyday vocabulary. Is it something new? Is it something pseudo journalists have cooked up, a current conspiracy, to dupe the public? Are we more gullible now than we were in previous times? Strangely, no. The idea of fake news has been around for centuries.

138 years ago one Canadian priest by the name of Fr. Charles Chiniquay, tried his best to promote an outrageous fake news story. He had been a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, who when he was a lawyer, had successfully defended him in a liable suit in Chicago Illinois. In 1858 Fr. Chiniquay left the Catholic Church and joined the Presbyterian Church. After Lincoln was assassinated, he believed and stated that Jesuit priests and the Vatican were the masterminds behind Lincoln’s assassination. Of course facts in stories in credible newspapers debunked this but I’m sure this “plot” appeared true to anyone who had a dislike for Catholicism!

That story has mostly been buried by the passage of time. But just think about the more “recent” assassination of JFK. All the “fake” facts that still float around, all the fake plots that were behind Lee Harvey Oswald’s motivations, live on decades later.

And for how many decades have we had the National Inquirer and newspapers of that ilk, print fake news too outrageous for a sane person to believe? Yet people do think those stories are true. So fake news has been around ever since humankind could talk, ever since the vice of gossip reared its ugly head. It’s just that “Fake News” is a more catchy name for it! I think CBS News This Morning has a great tagline for its show: “More Real News”…as if anyone can tell the difference at 5 am in the morning!