The Blurb Blog

The Blurb Blog is a monthly summary of CSPAN topics, with some of the major ideas for discussion that have been addressed throughout the past month.  These are questions and topics discussed not only on the floors of Congress and in committees.  Many of these lectures and ideas from CSPAN television are found in books and lectures from renowned authors and professors who talk and think about the timely and most relevant issues of the day. There is nothing more pressing in our current life than the global pandemic we find ourselves grappling with on many levels. The discussions in hearings and in government seen on CSPAN often look for ways to deal with the crisis in the long term. That, and the problems that have popped up and were glossed over at times in our recent past are just some of the discussions and topics covered on CSPAN this past month. April in a nutshell   History of our Nation What is the history of the Boston Massacre?  The question asked is this: How did  we come to rebel against the British Empire?  What did our founding fathers originally fight about to create the new country? These are still relevant questions for us going forward. A Look at the changing views of death from past centuries:  People died early, they died young, and often they died in childbirth. The fact is they just didn’t live long lives. That is part of the difference we see as we look at past ways we viewed death.  In America, we didn’t have Social Security until after the New Deal in the mid 20th Century. We didn’t have social safety networks. We see older people now who are revered for wisdom with age. In the past they were still honored, but they were not as prevalent.  The Victorian era and pioneer life in America both ushered in repressive ideas. Stiff upper lips were required regarding the subject of death. In America, there has always been a reverence for a certain mental toughness to our characters.  Other countries who suffer from prolonged war in the 21st Century are places where we still find this stoic attitude towards death.  Iraq comes to mind after the invasion, or sub-Saharan African regions.  In wartorn countries we find fighting and death is still a part of everyday life. Reporting finds these are places where life is often very hard and very bleak.  Ideas & Innovation For Ideas and the birth of how a business or industry gets started; we have in the past discussed the idea of a lack of imagination in our country and how this lack can create problems.  Conversely, what can be done when imagination is allowed to thrive and create an entire industry? The  Information Stack is the book about this idea. It talks about why we need innovation in the forefront to create our new businesses of the future.  It’s about how competition helps but also hurts.  There’s a push and pull when creating business that is always there… Big Tech vs Govts around the world; What happens when big corporations stand in for government entities in negotiating deals with other countries?  This talk explores how and why the shadow of Big Corporations loom large in their global power and influence sphere. The American Dream is not dead:  Interesting concept to simply hear this as a book title.  How many times have we heard:  We are the greatest country…BUT. The fact is, we are not leading the world in health/in longevity/in happiness/ in citizens participation.In short, we are behind in most of the things that we measure to make up the best parts of a good quality of life.  The knock on our values and the way the term American Exceptionalism is applied is something we need to rethink. In many ways, America is still the shining city on the hill and harbinger of all things good and great. But there are many tears in the curtain and the pandemic has shone a glaring spotlight on our growing problems of health care and income inequality for all citizens. Politics & Democracy The controversy of Bernie Sanders as a Democratic Socialist, is put into context in the segment-We Own the Future. We can consider what the term Democratic Socialist means, as the history of Socialism in our own government is addressed. The irony of the ‘scary’ nature of what socialism means, and how we have incorporated socialist principles into our own government spending is explored. We have socialist policies, through Medicare and Social Security, both staples and treasured, valued programs.  The fact is that more people are now dependent upon government working well in the face of a global crisis. Does this make the idea of socialism seem less frightening? Presidents in crisis:  the question has been knocked around; How would OTHER President’s handle Covid-19? Specifically, Pres. Obama & Hillary Clinton would be the most recent or plausible alternatives. This is an interesting parlor game or cocktail party question. Unfortunately, we are living through the fruits of our own governmental failings. We have heard speculation over the past few weeks as to whether there could be a better way to handle this pandemic.  Or we’ve heard that other presidents would have applied much more planning and forethought, due to the lack of testing and some other notable problems that have cropped up in  the USA’s response. And the related matter for presidential leadership is to look at history: A look at how we handle crisis in the USA is called for. Specifically, the role of Presidents and Leadership, where we look for leadership in the presidency or in other leadership models to seek and emulate. We have had great role models in FDR and Lincoln and Washington, our heroes for centuries. This is, as historian Doris Kearns Goodwin acknowledges, No Ordinary Time- and we are living through this extraordinary time right now! ON COVID 19  About Covid 19: The way we handled pandemics in

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