Is Mueller the new Javert

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 Setting the scene – Mueller:

On May 17,2017 Robert Mueller was appointed head of the special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters. Robert Mueller was the sixth Director of the FBI from 2001-2013 , the longest serving FBI Director since Hoover.  The person who followed him in the Directorship of the FBI was James Comey who was subsequently fired by President Trump. Some say that Mueller may be a little biased against Trump in the investigation because of Mueller’s past association with Comey.  Mueller has a total staff of 36 individuals including lawyers and investigators. He has supposedly recruited the smartest and most seasoned professionals.

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Setting the scene – Javert:

Javert is a police inspector from the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo,who hounds an escaped parolee named Jean Valjean. Jean Valjean had been imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s children. Jean Valjean has subsequently reformed his life and is a model citizen trying to help others. Javert is obsessed with the pursuit and punishment of Jean Valjean and after nineteen years finally captures him but decides to let him go. Victor Hugo depicted Javert as rather tragic in his misguided and self destructive pursuit of justice. He was very legalistic in his approach, emphasising the letter of the law rather than the spirit. Legalistic as defined by Wikipedia, is putting the Law of Moses above the gospel; reducing the broad inclusive and general precepts of the bible to narrow and rigid moral codes.

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Is Mueller the new Javert:

Next month it will be one year since this investigation started and there has been no tangible evidence to link President Trump to any collusion with Russia interfering in the US elections. This despite the assembling of the smartest and most seasoned team of thirty six professionals, plus, you have to presume,using all available resources of the FBI. The bulk of the news flashes relating to the investigation now seem to resolve around a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had a brief affair with President trump in 2006. Really, is that how you want to bring down a President of the United States. That really says something about the dignity of the office and what may happen to future Presidents with like minded prosecutors.  In May 2017, 81% of US voters supported the special prosecutions investigation, by November 2017 this had been reduced to 58% ( mostly Democrats one would presume). Its time to move forward. End the special prosecution and let President Trump try to act Presidential without this obsessive and misguided investigation hanging over his head. Who knows, free of this millstone, President Trump may actually calm down, ease up on Twitter, lose his ego and do some good for the United States of America.

This has been a Canadian’s perspective.

My weekend

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There I was, Saturday evening in the restaurant, sitting opposite my wife, engaging in casual conversation. Warm bread was delivered by the waiter, which I ate with gusto, the bread not the waiter. This was quickly followed by the salad. I had forgotten to say dressing on the side when ordering, but resigned myself to the salad stew. After about ten minutes came the main course of steak, rice and vegetables. I finished the vegetables first, then some rice and proceeded to cutting my steak. The first bite was a mouthful of tender meat which I couldn’t taste because of the overpowering use of steak spice by the chef. After the second bite a warm glow spread throughout my body and reached up to my head. I put my knife and fork down and took some deep breaths. My wife asked if I was feeling okay to which I replied that I was feeling a little weird, but don’t worry it will pass. I sat there for the next ten minutes continuing the battle with my head while my wife finished her meal.

I felt like the left hemisphere of my brain was fighting with the right hemisphere, my head conflicted with trying to establish order over chaos. One part of my brain said close your eyes, give in to the feeling and just lie down, while the other half said stay alert, sit up and don’t look at the food. My conscious mind was absorbing all kinds of information. The partially eaten plate of food in front of me, which was making me nauseous every time I glanced down. My wife’s concerned look, the waiters hurrying by with their trays of food. Was that waiter giving me a strange look.  Do I look weird. I seemed to be an observer looking on far removed from the reality of the restaurant setting. This dream like state continued for the ten minutes that my wife was finishing her food. It made me think about the brain versus consciousness. My brain was sending orders to my body, to stay upright, to stay alert and to not look at the food or it will make you nauseous. But the totality of this experience was a lot more than my brain telling my body how to respond. It was quite a state of being. Which I hope won’t be repeated anytime soon.

It’s Monday and I’m almost myself again thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democracy, Freedom, Expectations

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” Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

George Santayana (1863-1952)

I have democracy on my mind these days. I renewed my membership in the Conservative Party of Canada in order to vote for a new leader in the Province of Ontario. My choice of leader did not get elected but I am supporting the new provincial leader and volunteering for the conservative candidate in my home city of Guelph. I’m trying to understand what it means to be a Conservative versus a Liberal along with many other issues concerning the democratic process. I’m conservative mainly because I believe in prudent fiscal spending and not in handing out money left, right and centre to buy votes which is what the Liberals seem to be doing.

I read a very scary statistic. While two thirds of Seniors, like myself, believe that democracy is the only viable form of government, only one third of millennials believe in democracy and are willing to try other forms of government. So in the future we may get what we wish for. I think of Venezuela as a great example of how things can go horribly wrong in a relatively short period of time. Venezuelans voted for a leader who promised them the earth with all kinds of government handouts and Chavez gradually erased freedoms and took control. Now Venezuela is spiralling towards bankruptcy and is rife with violence.  My thinking goes along these lines: a) What responsibility does the state have towards its people,   b) What responsibilities do people have for their own welfare and c) What are peoples responsibilities to the state. I’m still pondering these questions.

Here’s another thought. What will be the expectation level of future generations as jobs become harder to find? I can understand a minimum standard for food and shelter but how high should these minimum standards go. I assume ownership of fridges, stoves, TV’s, computers etc. are now considered minimum standards. Do future generations assume ownership of a car or a house to be minimum standards. What about higher level education which is becoming less affordable each year? Governments are so much in debt I can’t understand how this can be sustainable in the long term. Something has to give. It seems that people are looking more and more towards government for hand outs and governments are obliging in order to stay in power. There will be a reckoning.