Editorials: National unity; and A great honor to be insulted

An unscientific poll. Surveys by experts show a closer division. But the trend is clear. Mene mene tekel upharsin.

A troubled nation pulls together

As it now stands, the votes to remove Donald Trump from office are not there in the US Senate. If horrible new events and revelations come into the picture and make it possible for that to change, late GOP defections will probably not save the seats of those who back down from their current stance out of fear.

But people are tired of all the lies, tired of all the cruelty, tired of the politics of systematic hatred and discrimination. It is finally dawning on many Republicans that their last best hope in next year’s elections is massive vote suppression. If Americans vote in great numbers, an era of American public life comes crashing down, and a nation that has had certain values clarified because they have been so egregiously flouted will sweep away the rubble, revive the most honorable traditions and start on building something new.

Whether you agree or disagree with this, if you are a US citizen living abroad, re-register to vote — federal law says you must do so every election year — and vote from abroad.




Legislator Sergio Gálvez, the self-proclaimed “Sexual Buffalo,” rises in the
National Assembly for a screed against radio journalist Edwin Cabrera.
Even is some of the bile spat at Mr. Cabera might be true, he should be
proud to have set off such an attack. We journalists love our colleague.
National Assembly video.

To be called a lush by the Sexual Buffalo

The big business raid on the Panamanian constitution has morphed into a smash and grab and hate crimes riot in the National Assembly. Even the original proponents and the president who went along with it are now backing away.

Ah, but the deputies say that with the endorsements of US-inspired right-wing Evangelical pastors, they have God and Donald Trump on their side. The displays of fake piety coming out of the political caste are gross and they have been increasing over many years. Perhaps, if they can guarantee the presence of enough teenage girls, they will bring in Judge Roy Moore to stump the metro area’s shopping malls for a “yes” vote.

This abomination is going down. Will it fail, as some deputies expressly fear, because the press hates it? Well, the press, plus the teachers, organized labor, the licensed professions, people with clear minds but little money and rich Panamanians who can accurately anticipate what cheap demagoguery does to the business climate over the long haul.

Perhaps the legislature’s travesty will end without it being submitted to the voters, by way of President Cortizo calling a carefully circumscribed parallel Constitutional Convention. Those who oppose both what the business lobbies tried to do and what the legislature is doing need to at this very moment come up with a counter-proposal. There needs to be a rival referendum on a constitutional amendment that would allow the election of delegates to a Constitutional Convention in a manner that does not allow the current power structures to steal the election or to shape the course of the convention’s work.




    Everyone is as God has made him, and often times a great deal worse.

Miguel de Cervantes

Bear in mind…


Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.

Siddhārtha Gautama, The Buddha



War has become a luxury that only small nations can afford.

Hannah Arendt             



The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.

Ursula K. LeGuin


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