Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

History has a short shelf life, I am more and more aware.  A good friend is a fan of Newt Gingrich who brought the federal government to its knees in 1995.  He doesn’t remember the history, only the current press.

“In response to Clinton’s unwillingness to make the budget cuts that the Republicans wanted, Newt Gingrich threatened to refuse to raise the debt limit, which would have caused the US Treasury to suspend funding other portions of the Government to avoid putting the country in default.”  

This was the first time the republicans threatened to paralyze the government – fortunately there was no impending time deadline for the debt limit to be raised.

It’s a little unsettling to have history so quickly forgotten.  Another, younger friend, is in training to be a skateboard champion, but that may change after he’s old enough for a driver’s license.  Time marches on.

Anyway, it’s interesting to go back to the end of the worst period of the last depression to see how the nation felt after a decade of depression with no social safety other than a trash can from which to sell apples.  The depression was conquered by a war (WWII) during which more than 60 million lives were lost.

The industry spurred by the war put a lot of people to work making aircraft, tanks, boats and ammunition.  People forget how devastating an economic depression can be and how devastating can be its cure.  The war gave everyone a flag to rally around and shared sacrifice.

The following link is a window into the past, the year of my birth.  It is a short address made by Franklin D Roosevelt about what we should expect from the country we live in and, by implication, what we should expect to contribute.  Watch it and see if you can agree or disagree.

Perhaps we should be our our brother’s keeper and not leave our brothers and sisters vulnerable to life in the “State of Nature.”


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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2 Responses to Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

  1. clara garcia amaral fernandes says:


    Infelizmente não consegui me conectar com o link do discurso do presidente Roosevelt pois não tenho no meu pc o programa que me permitiria fazê-lo. Vou tentar fazer o “download” depois. Fiquei curiosa a respeito do discurso.

    Fiz a tradução do artigo de “Lembrança de Fatos Recentes — Noruega” e distribuí entre meus contatos. Should I send a copy to you?

    Um grande abraço,


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