In this diary, I wanted to highlight some of the achievements of the former President of the United States — a man of unimpeachable integrity and decency who never stopped advocating for peace both domestically and around the world. In doing so, he became the most-consequential ex-President in history. Both critics and supporters would freely acknowledge that Jimmy Carter has set an example of how public officials should conduct themselves. The high standards that he has set for public behavior over many decades are unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.
Contrast this man of peace to the violent atmosphere that proliferates much of the country today. For the second time in three weeks, I am sorry to note that I have devoted almost an entire diary to senseless gun violence. The editorial cartoons express sorrow, disgust, anger, and a distinct sense of helplessness about the issue of gun control. Every mass shooting is followed by phony “thoughts and prayers” but nothing ever really changes. Political paralysis seems to have set in among our elected officials and no one, it seems, can do anything to stop this cycle of violence.
Shouldn’t our schools be free of terror, safe places of learning, and not some place where young students evade shooters with automatic weapons?
Will the killings ever stop?
A Man of Peace, Integrity, and Principle
In 2022, a biography by author Kai Bird, a Contributing Editor of the Nation magazine, re-evaluated the Carter Presidency.
[I]n retrospect the Carter political odyssey is a rich and human story, marked by both formidable accomplishments and painful political adversity.
As president, Carter was not merely an outsider; he was an outlier. He was the only president in a century to grow up in the heart of the Deep South, and his born-again Christianity made him the most openly religious president in memory. This outlier brought to the White House a rare mix of humility, candor, and unnerving self-confidence that neither Washington nor America was ready to embrace. Decades before today’s public reckoning with the vast gulf between America’s ethos and its actions, Carter looked out on a nation torn by race and demoralized by Watergate and Vietnam and prescribed a radical self-examination from which voters recoiled. The cost of his unshakable belief in doing the right thing would be losing his re-election bid—and witnessing the ascendance of Reagan.
In these remarkable pages, Bird traces the arc of Carter’s administration, from his aggressive domestic agenda to his controversial foreign policy record, taking readers inside the Oval Office and through Carter’s battles with both a political establishment and a Washington press corps that proved as adversarial as any foreign power. Bird shows how issues still hotly debated today—from national health care to growing inequality and racism to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—burned at the heart of Carter’s America, and consumed a president who found a moral duty in solving them.
Just yesterday, the Carter Family released a statement that elicited fond remembrances of the former President of the United States.
Married for more than seventy-five years, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter are the longest-married presidential couple in history.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff referred to President Carter as a “great, great, great man.”
Jimmy Carter in 1976 — his words are perfect for 2023:
"I want to see us once again have a nation that's as good and honest and decent and truthful and competent and compassionate and filled with love as are the American people."
— Michael Bescloss, February 18, 2023 Michael Beschloss @BeschlossDC
A Thoroughly Decent Human Being
The Way We Were
From One President to Another
No More Phony Thoughts and Prayers, Enough is Enough
An article in BBC News has a lot of statistics about gun violence in the United States. Here are some relevant facts.
According to a Gallup Poll taken a few months ago, 57% of Americans favor stricter gun control laws. You can read more about global gun violence in this Amnesty International Report.
Gun violence is a fixture in American life — but the issue is a highly political one, pitting gun control advocates against sectors of the population fiercely protective of their right to bear arms.
We've looked into some of the numbers behind firearms in the US.
- There have already been more than 70 mass shootings across the US so far this year, with California experiencing two of the most high-profile in January. Figures from the Gun Violence Archive - a non-profit research database - shows that the number of mass shootings has gone up significantly in recent years.
- In each of the last three years there have been more than 600 mass shootings, almost two a day on average.
- The US ratio of 120.5 firearms per 100 residents, up from 88 per 100 in 2011, far surpasses that of other countries around the world.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries of all causes during 2020, the last year for which complete data is available. And while mass shooting and gun murders generally garner more media attention, of the total, more than half were suicides.
While the US does not have a single definition for "mass shootings", the Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are injured or killed. Their figure includes shootings that happen both in homes and in public places.
An Average of Almost Two Mass Shootings Per Day for the Past Three Years
Attribution for the above sign: Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch @JeffreyStClair3. The title of this week’s diary is
borrowed from a comment made in the original thread for this Tweet. ps: the above is snark.
Somebody, Please Answer the Question
The NRA and GOP — As Always, Deflecting Attention
Children Should Not Have to Endure This In the “World’s Greatest Democracy”
PSA from the NRA: “We Gotta Protect Ourselves from Those Wild Animals”
So Much Freedom
It isn’t Freedom
“We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us.”
When Will it End?
Is There a Solution in Sight?
Focus More on Ground Threats
The Never-Ending Cycle of Destruction
Impotent Elected Officials
A Student’s Life Today
Why Has it Come to This?
Innocent Children and Adult Cowards
Can This Situation Be Reversed?
Will Politicians Rise Up to This Growing Challenge?
What We Have Become
Remember to take the poll.