The news has not been quite as stupendous of late with Trump hunkered down trying to figure out what spin to put on a pretty unproductive first 100 days, no bombs released and the box offices regurgitating the same sort of stuff. But it has been eventful in less bombastic ways. A new version of the Declaration of Independence cannot fail to strike an interesting chord. There will be a runoff in France between a Trumpian right winger and an independent centrist sort. Finally a reminder that division can exist anywhere and everywhere, including the Muslim community.

Portentous parchment?

The debate noted in the tweet above is basically the same one as now, whether states have the lion's share of power or a national government does. This discovery appears to address the conflict but is unlikely to change minds in the toxic climate that exists today. The document was found in England. Several mysteries related to it are noted in the NY Times account accessible via the tweet above.

Meanwhile in Paris

Well, actually France was the location of today's Special election, the results of which are provided below.

The big news is that Marine Le Pen did not win. In fact, her Run-off partner in May is a gentleman named Macron and he ran slightly ahead of her among a larger field of candidates.

Syria changing the world

The West has not been unaware of tribal conflict among Muslims.

It was, after all the war between Iran and Iraq that gave rise to the conditions that produced the US involvement which persists to this day And Al Qaeda had no reticence in terrorizing Arabs. But the exceptional actions of the Assad regime, even going so far as to attack doctors for tending those who fell to Assad's forces, raises a poignant question.

After seven years of horrible conflict are we any closer to stopping this barbarity?

An insoluble problem

No problem is finally beyond solution because of the passage of time and changes in conditions. Surely if we had the benefit of hindsight we might have concluded that the tribal animosities through all the Middle East were beyond our capacity to mitigate. But we have been in the soup all over. In some respects, the culture of life in that region is enviable and in others not so much. The treatment of women and the lack of democracy are gaping wounds. The values that make for progress are universal and include tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy. In some respects merely laying that out as a basis for making foreign policy makes more sense than to try to force any value on any party.

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