Discussion Group Issues Bill Schrader Pavilion 1 February, 2016 12 noon to 13:30

Discussion Group Issues

Bill Schrader Pavilion

1 February, 2016

12 noon to 13:30


A – Trump is offering unequivocal support for Israel. Since we are the only country other than Papua New Guinea that doesn’t condemn Israel for its 50 year occupation and land grabs of Palestinian territory, we share Israel’s  moral standing. Our new Secretary of Defense  echoes the warning of other Generals that said our backing of Israel costs American lives as well. Is there any hope that boycotts and disinvesrment by countries not politically captured by the Israeli lobby can turn this situation around?  (Mac)

B – A recent article on Netanyahu opens with “where there is no vision, the people perish. … it would never be morally or spiritually sufficient for the Jews to build for themselves the perfect ghetto and then wash their hands of the often-merciless world,”. One is tempted to pin this fault on Trump, but before doing so let us admit that Trump’s vision of an “old, white ghetto” won.  Obama was a master visionary, but his support of Clinton failed to get her to the White House.  In fact many Trumpistas mocked his vision. With reference to the following page, tell us if you believe a national vision is essential, or not.

C – How do we feel about the condition of the world we have left for our grandchildren?  With our current level of life experience, how do we like what we has been left behind after our generation’s years of being in control of affairs? (Gary)

D – I found this long article very interesting.  Some scientists are manipulating ant genetics and hormones to identify how evolution developed social behaviour.  Reading this will enable you to amuse all but the dullest over communal coffee.  But think, sociability, unlike a wing or a fang, does not operate on “things”: it must actually change the brain and nervous systemic ways that influence family and society?  Is this not a great idea because it is so obvious once proposed.

E – Many Canadians thought that al cars would runoff hydrogen by now, They were wrong.  What will cars be like in 2035?

F – Facing the consequences of unacceptable teen alcohol and drug use, Iceland developed a activity- centred approach.  “Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 percent to 7 percent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 percent to just 3 percent.”  Will this magic work elsewhere?



Issue B

Action Framework – Vision or Fear

The Netanyahu article is echoed by David Brook’s, The Politics of Cowardice.  His key quote, “It’s not that the deals had changed, or reality. It was that Donald Trump became the Republican nominee and his dark fearfulness became the party’s dark fearfulness. In this case fear is not a reaction to the world. It is a way of seeing the world. It propels your reactions to the world.”, because the parallels with Netanyahu  are clear.

Another article, compares Gorbachov and Trump – The Threat of Moral Authority.  Here Gorbachov’s ruthless bullying of the aged Andrei Sakharov (Nobel Peace Prize – 1975) is compared to Trump’s tweets against averted civil rights leader – Congressman John Lewis, has vowed to boycott the president-elect’s inauguration.  The theme of the article is that the Achilles’ heel of the demagog is moral authority.

And this fear drives their attacks on anyone with moral authority like Lewis, McCain, and an independent judge; those who stick to the truth like a free press, and civil servants who refute key claims.

Stating a vision beyond defending the past, requires elucidating a desirable future and placing ones actions into a framework that can contribute to vision achievement.  It makes it harder to camouflage special interests by political showmanship.  Like banning Muslims and passing tax breaks for the super rich.