2021

Cicada Legacy

Their chirping is getting fainter, and we are seeing less of their swarms than two weeks or so ago. It is sad in a way, for we are witnessing their Swan Song, since they emerge – and in that process aerate the soil around the tree roots – fly around as wanton nymphs celebrating their life above ground, grope for a mate – their blindness making them not too choosy –  find one, connect, female flies back to the tree limbs, lays her eggs – which will drop and dig their way into the subterranean strata – and then males and females die. All in all, it is a cycle of four to six weeks. The next time they emerge will be in seventeen years (some of the cicadas cycle every thirteen years).

In the coming seventeen years:

Jimmy Carter would be around 113 years old. Doubtful that he would still be alive. Nevertheless, he would be leaving behind quite a Stellar Legacy – one that this nation can be proud of, but hardly ever acknowledges!  Unfair and Despicable!

And, assuming that they will be alive: George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump would be around 92 years old. Would Bush still be painting his guilt away for returning Iraq and Afghanistan to the Stone Age and distressing that whole region? Would Clinton be ruing his having tainted his otherwise quite Impressive Legacy with an infantile liaison thus giving Republicans a weapon to destroy him, or would he still be writing books with James Patterson, the ultimate write-for-profit machine? Tsk! Tsk! Would Trump still be frothing at the mouth for having lost an election and almost driven the US into a ditch because of his vindictiveness, ego and the ability to sway all those who follow him with his acquired, selfish, pseudo-ideology, lies and conspiracy theories? Important caveat: some of his sayings and doings were quite correct, and the Biden Administration is keeping those. Interesting to muse about the Legacy of these three characters, don’t you think?

Joe Biden would be around 96 years old. Would he be saying: I Preserved the US from succumbing to The Dark Ages; I made nice with the world and inspired Global Democracy, Peace, Harmony, Fair Competition and Prosperity? And wouldn’t that be a Terrific Legacy? After all, Biden might have evolved and left the war-mongering, corporatism, aggression and same old, same old of his younger days behind, couldn’t he? After all, many of us do evolve and change some of our previous stances and misconceptions, right? At this age, I am still proudly evolving!

Barack Obama would be about 77 years old. Would he have paused patting himself on the back despite some of the blunders of his Presidency and, rather, be promoting and living through a time of Justice and Equality that his Legacy as the first Black President had heralded? I sincerely hope so!

Vladimir Putin would be about 86 years old.

Xi  Jinping would be around 85 years old.

I truly wonder what would their Legacy look like seventeen years from today? Would history be writing about how Russia and China thrived in Peace, Harmony, Cooperation, Coexistence and Prosperity for their people and the world, and that they did Justice to their proud heritage, rich culture and civilization? I would truly hope so!

And what – Oh, what!!?? – would the Legacy of the Ogres of the World look like? Those Strongmen and Autocrats who are abusing every human right of their citizens? Those Dictators who have no regard for anything other than their petty whims, tyranny, depraved power and warped ideology; who have the audacity to lie, steal, imprison, torture, and kill their perceived Enemies and Opposition with utter impunity? Talk about Role Models! History, their People, and the World will not look kindly on them! In fact, every time that they are mentioned people will sneer with disgust as they remember those innocent humans who were thrown and forgotten in sordid jails; those who were tortured; the raped, the orphaned, the widowed and the traumatized. What a sorry Legacy! Disgusting!

And, after all the recent apologizing by Belgium, Spain, France and Germany etc. etc. (and, hopefully, other nations to follow) would Europe have atoned enough for its Genocidal History of Colonialism that ravished millions of people and their resources for centuries on end, and continues – yes, continues! – to do so? And, with more and more scandals of bigotry and racism that lasted up until the sixties, and, even to this date, regarding the British Monarchy what would that Legacy look like years from now?? I wonder! As for the recent photo ops and posturing of the G-7 Colonist Nations, I wonder whether they were consolidating their runaway capitalism, or whether they sincerely mean to change their avaricious and calamitous ways? Doubtful!

And, despite the efforts of this present Pope, would the Catholic Church (as well as other religious institutions) ever live down its Corrupt and Pedophilic Legacy (amongst many other wrongdoings) that has hurt thousands upon thousands of human beings, including children? What God will ever forgive them for these egregious sins?

As for many of the puffed up media personalities, grown old and doddering by then, would they be looking back at those tapes of their younger days and be wondering why they did not rely more on their conscience and their integrity, rather than on dictated and slanted talking points, greed and ratings? I wonder! Maybe we should suggest that C-Span give us an hour of News – Not Opinions and Hypocritical Rants! – delivered in their dead-pan no-nonsense style and that would be of unifying interest to the whole nation, not just to the Left, or to the Right? Simply the Facts? The BBC used to do that, and they still mostly do, except for those “Americanized” segments which are so artificial, pretty lame and ridiculous. No wonder people are buying into conspiracy theories, lies and deceit. They don’t trust the media at all! Sad, when the media’s weapon of choice is to yell: Free Press! How Free is their Free? And how True is their True? Really!

Would the world have reversed the damning effects of Climate Change and saved the Planet? Or, would the selfish, arrogant, money-driven corporations continue to ravish Earth, to plunder its resources, contaminate its air and waters and pretend as if all is well as they lure us into consuming more, medicating more and feeding ourselves with those processed and  poisonous food products that are killing us, while lethal Pandemics – that might be worse than the Covid Virus we have been suffering from – lurk around the corner? I wonder!

And, would the upright citizens of the world unshackle themselves from the slavery that they have been subjected to by the effects of Colonialism, as well as by corrupt leaders who pit them against each other for their own sordid ambitions? Would they rise up against their amoral politicians, ongoing colonialism and unjust systems? Would they ever become Free Men and Women? I wonder!

As this world becomes more and more complicated with so many dreadful issues arising from our Cyber Age, world leaders need more than ever to cooperate, to coexist, and to inspire and cease the belligerent confrontations and wars that are causing suffering, pain, tears and frustrations of citizens who know in their gut that all is not fair, or just, or equal, or right and are lashing out with irresponsible behavior, criminal venting and subjugation to False Prophets. Tragic, really! Very dangerous, too! I, certainly, will not be around in 2038 to find out the answers. For those who would be, I wonder if when the Cicadas reemerge, they would look back on those seventeen years and be proud of a Legacy of Activism that managed against all odds to Right the Egregious Wrongs that previous Leaders and Generations (mine, too!) had burdened them and the Planet with? I really and truly wonder and hope??!!!

2021

Another Day, Another Year, Another War

Joe Biden said: “We will lead by the strength of our example, not by the example of our strength.”

Were such beautiful words meant from the heart, or simply written by a speechwriter? Maybe the same one who wrote Obama’s Cairo speech, after which all hell broke loose and the Arab Spring became the Arab Winter? 

Biden also said that his Administration will make Human Rights a cornerstone of its foreign policy. Again, is that Across The Board, or will it be Cherry Picking as usual?

I don’t really have any answers. I am not very good at reading tea leaves. Time will tell. Meanwhile though, words have consequences, whether they come from Biden or anyone else. These past two weeks and as Israel’s war on the Palestinian people saw the utter destruction of Gaza once the bloody hell again, as well as upheavals all over Occupied Palestine causing more deaths, orphans, widows, physical and emotional injuries and distress, uprooting, incarcerations and homelessness, the MSM went into action reporting the events. After all, with Trump no more consuming all the oxygen in their studios and the nation, if not the world, they have to find sensational, salacious or horrible ongoings to keep us all rapt – not that they are achieving this as their viewer numbers are way down, especially among the younger generations. Nevertheless, did they manage to get it right after all those decades of undermining, marginalizing and ignoring the Palestinian Catastrophe? They tried, and, a few of them succeeded, most failed miserably, because no matter how “fair” they endeavored to sound there was always that underlying bias, racism and bigotry that was in their subtext and in their trotting out of those same tired pro-Israeli Government “experts” that they interviewed who were, as usual, manufacturing facts and evidence to show their righteousness and the Palestinian people’s wickedness. Nothing new here! Simply a repeat of the same damn scenario with no journalist/host to call them up on that as they do when it is a Palestinian being interviewed. Winston Churchill once said: “Eating Words Has Never Given Me Indigestion.” Our MSM get so many things wrong, but they Never, Ever Eat Their Words! Truly, despicable, disrespectful and arrogant!

Irrespective of that, the drama of the Palestinian Catastrophe was heard by many more people than prior decades as the massive pro-Palestinian demonstrations worldwide have proven, and as many journalists with professional integrity have written about. There is no sense repeating it to those of you who have lived it – as I and millions of others have – or, to those of you who are aware of this tragedy. However, if you are a biased, racist, supremacist, Christian zealot, and/or political right-winger it would be useless to reiterate the details of this Calamitous event to you that really started with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 when Colonist Britain promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine. Just like that, they decided to give away part of the Palestinian people’s homeland of centuries to a white, supremacist, European Jewish people. Ink on paper sealed the deal that resulted in this Catastrophe, which has only brought on: Another Day, Another Year, Another War . . . since 1948 and to date.

So, what now? The Biden/Blinken “quiet diplomacy” seemed to work in that the vicious assault came to a halt after eleven days of merciless bombardment. Moreover, both Biden and Blinken reiterated that there has to be an end game and a lasting resolution to this bloody conflict – one that ensured equal rights and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians, with emphasis on the “Two State Solution.”

Now, I really do not know what went on behind the scenes away from the microphones, as well as the conversations that went on between the American Administration, the Israeli Government, and Arab Governments. It did sound more even-handed, though, and the reopening of the US Consulate in Jerusalem might be an indication of restoring fair-handedness in US intentions – not that history has ever proven that even-handedness. However, what I do know is what I have been saying for many, many years: nothing short of the Two State Solution with full and independent sovereign rights will ensure that the Palestinian people could have part of their Dignity restored enough in order to assuage their immense sense of loss, humiliation and deprivation over the past decades. Otherwise it will only be:

Another Day, Another Year, Another War.

The injustice of this whole situation is not that it is complicated as so many Middle East “experts” have been parroting for decades. A Just solution is absolutely doable if the intentions of Israel, the United States and all the other Colonist Powers have the will to execute it. To date that will has been deliberately absent. Moreover, the many years of a Bibi Regime in Israel have managed to subdue the Progressive elements within the Israeli political system and subvert their pro-peace endeavors – an effort that began after Rabin was assassinated.

This past week with Blinken shuttling in the region aid has begun to flow into Gaza, rebuilding has started and many promises of more aid are in the pipeline. Does that mean it’s all over? Not by a very long shot, mainly because “The Peace Process” has been tabled by the US until there is a return to a semblance of normalcy. Shamir once said (my words): Peace Process? Yes, and I can stretch it for many, many years to come. That is exactly what actually happened and “Process” never became an executable plan, nor was it ever meant to be neither by Israel, the US, or the Europeans – disappointingly, as my own personal experience has proven. History often repeats itself. Will it do so again in this case? Sadly and reluctantly, I am leaning towards the repetitive, and the reason why I say this is that our world is ailing from a lethal Virus; from a Climate Change that will be unveiling numerous issues before – and if ever – we manage to get control of the deterioration; from the reprehensible and nefarious tactics of Despots and Strongmen in many locations on this sick Planet who have become brasher, ruder and crueler; and from what is a Trump Movement that seems to be expanding in its goals of Disruption, Chaos, Dismantling of Democratic Principles, Refuting of Science and Reason; Reverting Any and All Gains made by Women and Minorities in every aspect; sowing suspicion, mistrust and conspiracy theories that are confounding democratic governments wherever they are. All this is going to need Herculean Efforts to undo and enormous pressure on democracies simply to be able to function, which might make the issue of Palestine recede to the very back burner! All of the above is a recipe with the onerous heading of: The Dark Ages. What it sadly bodes is:

Another Day, Another Year, Another War . . .

. . . Unless: Sane Heads are able to navigate those muddy waters. In the meantime, we all need to fully support and uphold our American Democracy more than we have ever done before despite any reservations, criticisms and/or hesitations that we might have – and I have quite a few! – because the alternative is extremely dire and the forces of evil are hard at work to bring the demise of what is, at the moment, a seemingly fragile democratic system. The path ahead has never been clearer to me as I focus on the larger picture and not only on one, or the other of our numerous worldwide tragedies.

Meanwhile, Palestinians might be given a shot of Palliative Care now and then, while their Catastrophe tragically lingers and continues on. Ergo: It’s Not Over! Not by a long shot, especially because Bibi – and as our historical experience has proven time and time again – is capable of choreographing an “incident” to derail any efforts towards attaining dignity and peace. And, if I’m wrong – as I hope that I am – then I have no problem eating my words!