Current Events

Pumpkins and Prosecutions

 Current Events | History

This weekend happens to be right at the point before two significant events.


Photo by Javier Molina / Unsplash

Thought it appropriate to note the two and see what the hoopla is about with each. Halloween is the now familiar annual celebration of carving pumpkins into very eerie shapes combined with carving out big chunks of your bank account to deal with all the dental fillings that your kids develop from overindulging in sugar-laden treats that neither provides them sustenance nor gives them any long-lasting benefit. But, yes, by all means indulge away. Let's keep in mind where the tradition came from though.

In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns.


There you go. So that's all we need to say right? Not quite. There are a number of little known facts about the Halloween. For starters, the overindulgence in treats is not imaginary. As noted here, Halloween happens to be the 2nd most popular and commercialized holiday behind XMas. Depending on exactly how much parents are willing to outlay for their munchkins given the market situation in a given year, we are talking about $50+ dollars each year. If you consider the number of families in the country who participate, that is a lot of treats. As that article also notes, a quarter of all annual candy sales in the country takes place during this single event. So, yeah, it's a big indulgence! Protect those young pearly whites!

FUN FACT: pumpkins aren't the only thing that people used to carve: More Than Pumpkins.

Indictments in Special Counsel Investigation into Russia

Photo by Luke Michael / Unsplash

The weekend has been a raging inferno of speculation about what are thought to be the first criminal indictments coming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of all things Trump and Russia related. The simple fact as noted by Snopes is that the rumor mill is at the moment unproven. Why do we care as average citizens? Living in the USA, we obviously do care because of the potential impact to the very location we are in. Remember a sitting President of the USA who is accused, tried and convicted? Yeah, not ringing a bell here either. There have been only two who have actually been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 [1]. John Tyler came close to impeachment in 1842 as did Richard Nixon in 1974, with the former escaping because the impeachment initiative against him failed [2] and the latter escaping because he resigned. Impeachment is a political move to remove a sitting President.

So with the current President, what is different? As noted in the Snopes fact check, as a matter of law, a sitting President is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution, and no court has to date addressed the question. No one knows yet who the indictment targets. However, the fact that Mueller has taken specific steps towards a legal process means that things have gone beyond politics to rules of evidence and establishing facts [3]. In other words, this is quickly moving towards prosecution along the lines of what one might see with a mafia family or drug cartel. That is telling! So, what can we expect this coming week and in the weeks and months to come? Mueller once said:

Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity set the expectations for behavior; they set a standard for our work. More than just a motto, for the men and women of the FBI, Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity is a way of life.

Robert Mueller

He has also said:

I love prosecuting cases, and I love doing investigations, particularly homicide investigations and the like, and that's why I became a prosecutor.

Robert Mueller

So, we can expect that this may be only the beginning of a sequence of indictments and prosecutions that will stretch into 2018. We know what people in this country are losing sleep over. But even in other countries, the events unfolding at the top levels of the U.S. government must be a cause of concern. The leader of the free world is "frustrated" that the "witch hunt" has gone on for so long. The looming indictment(s) are likely to put a hole in the sails of an administration looking to unveil significant tax legislation, announce its pick for the Federal Reserve chair and launch a 12-day-long foreign trip to Asian countries [4]. The overseas trip includes a visit to South Korea at a time when tensions run high, as much as they ever have, fearing an attack by North Korea. Judging by the increased tweeting behavior of the twitter-in-chief over the past few days, something is up. Other strange activity taking place in the past few days include Roger Stone getting banned permanently from Twitter [5], the sudden resignation of federal prosecutor Boente [6], and this very interesting proposition in spite of Presidential immunity from prosecution [7].

The question now is how much the immune system of the governmental body can be compromised by the viral forces of all types that now attack it, all the while caught in the middle of an ever more chaotic environment? And when do we grow tired of all the venom, crassness, stupidity, hatred, anger and irrationality with plenty of blame to share all around? Had enough winning yet? Let's all lock those negatives up, far away from the inner peace of our own minds! May the covfefe be with you!

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