A NEW AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW

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Sincere and Romantic

This latest collection of Western short stories from Lloyd Fonvielle presents six tales that are poignant, sometimes humorous, often with a bittersweet tone. My favorite story in the collection is “Hidden Canyon”, set against the backdrop of a silent film production, which Fonvielle depicts in colorful detail. Another standout is “Young Love”, which is quite touching without being overly-sentimental. That describes what Fonvielle has achieved here with these stories, which are sincere and romantic without ever hitting a false note.

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Six Western Love Stories

CALAMITY

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The greatest calamity to befall America in the 21st Century was not 9/11 but the collapse of the world economy in 2008, a collapse instigated by outright criminality, blatant fraud, on the part of Wall Street financial institutions. This calamity ruined the lives and brought misery to millions of people around the world. In terms of scale, the depredations of al-Qaeda pale by comparison.

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The perpetrators of this calamity not only acted with impunity but received remarkable rewards for their infamy. They made money from their crimes, some of it at the expense of American taxpayers, the victims of their outrages. It was one of the greatest scams in human history, almost beyond imagination.

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Obama’s unwillingness to bring the Wall Street criminals to justice, or even to enact measures to prevent similar crimes in the future, represents the second greatest failure in American Presidential history — the greatest being James Buchanan’s failure to deal in a meaningful way with the issues that led to the Civil War.

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Both Obama and Buchanan can be described as decent, weak, cowardly men whose dearest wish was to kick the can of disaster on to the next resident of the White House. We’ll be lucky if another Lincoln arises to fill the moral vacuum Obama, like Buchanan before him, created.

THE SPEECH

This speech given by Elizabeth Warren recently on the floor of the Senate has been compared to Barack Obama’s speech to the Democratic Convention in 2004 in its potential to influence her future political prospects.

In retrospect, Obama’s 2004 speech was fluff — feel-good stuff that showcased his eloquence, his supposed ability to bring America into a new unity of purpose by rhetoric alone.  It was long on vision, short on practicalities.

Warren’s speech, by contrast, was pure brass tacks.  It more resembles Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech of 1860, the speech that made him a national and not just a regional phenomenon.  Lincoln was not a candidate for the Presidency when he made the speech, but the speech in some ways made his candidacy inevitable.

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Lincoln’s speech was long and minutely technical, touching on the Federal right to regulate slavery in Federal Territories.  Warren’s was short but equally practical.  She reminded us of irrefutable facts — that Americans of both parties resent the bail-outs of Wall Street firms in 2008, necessary, so we were told, because these firms were “too big to fail” . . . that these same firms are bigger now than they were in 2008, just as capable of crashing the world economy again, and that Americans will still be on the hook if they do so.

Warren’s speech is less than ten minutes long — listen to it.  It’s important.  It may be the only important political speech delivered in America this year.  One thing is certain — if malfeasance on Wall Street crashes the world economy again, this speech will be remembered, and those who didn’t listen to it will rue their recklessness.