2019

Scary Change!

And isn’t Rob Siltanen, the advertising genius behind the Apple slogan, speaking the truth? Isn’t it true that most of those who have pushed the human race forward have been “. . . the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.” Had there not been those daring Men and Women who realized that there was a better way for doing things from inventing the wheel to voting rights for women, and all and everything in between, we would have still been nomads living in caves? Think Rachel Carson and her version of the Green New Deal much before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ever became a star in our Congress. What if we had heeded her then and begun to reverse our trashing of the Planet that is becoming more ominous by the day? There are numerous other examples that I am sure you can think of!

And now, with an American Presidential Election Season in full gear, and being that our world is in a Free Fall that is rendering our very existence in jeopardy – no exaggeration! – how will the citizenry of this US vote? For whom? Because, we are not only voting for the President of this Republic, but for all his/her agenda domestic, and equally importantly, international. It should give all of us pause and deep reflection. Albert Einstein once said:

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” I love that one! And in today’s context, I mean it for all those who are terrified of Change; of looking at the world through a different Prism; of stepping away from the “sheeple” and forging Another Path and of not succumbing to Scary Change and Human Stupidity.

This brings me to our President who, according to Michael Cohen in his testimony before Congress, did not expect to be elected President. He was only going on an ego/business trip for the hell of it. Think of that! He simply saw an open door and walked in not knowing exactly what to expect. The closest illustration I can think of is: The Elephant in the China Shop, who walked in, and when he caused that first Ming vase to topple over and smash, he was startled, as was Trump when he won the election! However, when he turned to look at the damage, he caused another piece of china to break and that’s when he realized his power and was so very incensed by it! So, he went on a rampage and began smashing everything in sight, as is obviously happening! In the process Trump, who still fires up the massive crowds at his rallies despite all the past two years of chaos, made some decisions well, some so-so, and many pretty awful ones some of which are being challenged by Congress, by the Judiciary, by Governors, Mayors and Organizations, as well as internationally.

Frankly, I was willing to cut him some slack at first and allow him a fair chance (much to the disdain of many of my friends!), however, the MSM was not! And a disgusting melee broke out with both Trump and the Media feeding off each other and turning their street brawl into a despicable, sickening outright war whence MSNBC and CNN’s objective (and that of what is called the Deep State, whatever that is) was to perp walk him out of the White House, while his objective was to prove his power and legitimacy. In that process, he went low and they went lower. Meanwhile, they both succeeded in turning this republic into an inane laughing stock while our world was falling apart! Pretty dismal, dangerous and irresponsible! And, honestly, there are hundreds of sites and incredible American journalists and writers presenting us with a really Alternative, Fact-driven and Progressive viewpoint such as what is available on Democracy Now, Truthdig.com, The Intercept, RT and many others!! If only people will search for those and dump the corrupt MSM!!

Moreover, and in case you hadn’t noticed – and you wouldn’t if you watch/listen to only one outlet – there is a whole lot of pathetic mud-slinging going on amongst the MSM. They are calling one another “hacks,” which is so laughable, because they are so full of themselves that they don’t realize that All of them are paid hacks! Fox News is shilling for Trump and the Right-wingers, while MSNBC and CNN are shilling for the “Conservative Left.” What is that, you might ask? I call them the Conservative Left who are really Moderate Republicans parading around as Progressive Democrats and, inherently, supporting Corporations, Big Pharma, Health Insurance Corporations, the Military Industrial Complex, war-mongering, the saga of “Russian Meddling” in our elections, while Not admitting at any damn time that we are – and have been for decades! – meddling in every place across the planet as was the case in Iraq, Libya etc. and as is most recently obvious from our involvement in the Venezuela debacle. Are people that Infinitely Stupid that they don’t see this? How is that possible? The Media – all of them – by continuing to Lie and Obfuscate are doing a grave injustice to the Truth and to that Freedom of the Press that they insist is their Right. The only Truth is that they have abdicated that Right!

Also, I very much doubt that Putin or Xi are causing the College Admissions Scandal; the predatory Coaches in our schools and universities; the military rapes; the ignoble school shootings; the opioid crisis; the outright lies of companies such as the Boeing Corporation; going after courageous whistleblowers and jailing them; the attacks on churches, mosques and synagogues; the floods, fires and raging storms that are warning us of the Climate Change that our Pompous Pompeo calls a financial opportunity; the ongoing onslaught on women and their choices; the fact that there are hungry and homeless people in “the richest, mightiest” country on the planet; our use of sanctions as a weapon, which is criminal and immoral, as well as all our swashbuckling threats that are lighting fires left and right. China and Iran? Really? No, it’s not Putin and Xi. We are doing this to ourselves! If you’re not terrified yet, you should be!

Nevertheless, and as this Theater of the Absurd continues to play itself out, and nobody knows to what sordid end it will take us, we have an upcoming election in 2020, and so far The System seems to be promoting Joe Biden, as are the skewed Polls and corrupt Pollsters, and as are the corrupt Pelosi and Schumer who are definitely shilling for him (or for someone like that) as well. Biden is the embodiment of the Conservative Left! His track record proves it! Is that the best for this country and the world at this very precarious precipice on which we are standing? That, as it seems so far, is to where the sheeple are being herded. The rest of the Democratic contenders are, basically the same, except for Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders – whom the Democratic Party royally screwed during the last election – and “The System” that is seeking to trash and impugn them. Therefore, it seems to me that this might be the right time to elect “. . . the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.”

While there are still many months before we go and vote, and much could happen between now and then, I hope we do the right thing and vote with our brains, not with our Infinite Stupidity. My vote, your vote could very well mean a second Trump term – which wouldn’t surprise me at all – or the change that the country, and the world, need right now in order to address all those dire issues that threaten all of us.

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2019

Notre Dame, French Colonialism and Middle East Indignation

The TV was on when the news hit the world’s airwaves showing how the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was burning. I had been to that monument in 1996 walking through it not as a Christian, or as a Catholic – both of which I have for long foregone – but as a person who was awed at the exquisite esthetic beauty of that edifice. So, yes, I was very, very sad to be witnessing the unfolding disaster.

However, I was also quite perturbed when I checked Facebook later on (and since) to find an outpouring of vitriol that pointed to France as a Colonial Power with postings that chastised the world for its tears and sad emotions regarding Notre Dame while saying that no similar sentiments were expressed when equally historical and cultural monuments were destroyed in the Middle East, as well as hospitals, schools, factories, businesses, homes, utility plants and so much more. I call this Misplaced Indignation! Rather than bitch about how millionaires and billionaires are contributing to the rebuilding of Notre Dame, maybe we could, instead, demand that Middle Eastern moguls – of which there are many! – rebuild all the destroyed Middle Eastern monuments???!!! That would make more sense than the resentments of petulant Middle Easterners and French protestors! Yes, the amounts of money that the one percent have is obscene, but that is the way the economic systems of the world are set up. I don’t like it, however, that’s just a fact. The only way to change it is at the ballot box. Meanwhile, stop niggling!

Yes, France was, and still is, a Colonial Power. It has supported the egregious wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen et al, and stood silently by as Israel demolished Gaza killing and maiming thousands of human beings. France acted with racism and arrogance throughout the Colonial Realm that it had occupied, and whose effects are still reverberating throughout the countries it controlled. It’s crimes in Algeria are well-documented and blood-curdling, something that I, as a teenager at the time, will never forget, or forgive. After all, France was, and still is, an integral part of the Western Nations’ arrogant, racist, colonist and criminal enterprise throughout the Middle East. Indeed, that isn’t, and cannot be, overlooked by any patriotic Middle Eastern citizen. I, certainly, do not absolve France, the US, or any Western Power, including Israel, from their culpability and abetting of the past, or ongoing, crimes in the region.

However, feeling sadness over the destruction of any historical monument of culture and beauty wherever it is located on our planet is in no way finite. As human beings we have the capacity to feel sadness, empathy and compassion regarding multiple happenings and people. Grieving for all and any destruction wherever it happens to be is an indication of our humanity and reverence for our shared history, culture and civilization. It is the moral and decent expression of our heritage as human beings.

Having said all that, I have to point out that the Western Powers’  reactions of solidarity and grief when disasters beset them – whether it is the murder of fifty innocent people in New Zealand, the catastrophe of the 9/11 New York collapsed buildings, the criminal killing of innocent people by radical terrorists – as witnessed in the recent horrors of Sri Lanka and the Jewish synagogue in California – be they the so-called Islamic State, or right wing fundamentalists, all being morally reprehensible and an affront to any semblance of civility, or coexistence – are admirable qualities that we should all seek to emulate. We have seen time and again how people in such circumstances come together, step up to the plate, speak out and express their outrage. We all should.

And, yes, I also understand the indignation of people in the Middle East at the egregious fate that has for long been dogging them, especially since 9/11 and the Western Powers’ disastrous and indiscriminate forays in the region all in order to consolidate their resources and power at the expense of people’s lives and livelihoods. It is a travesty!

Yet, whether it is due to the puppet and authoritarian regimes that the West has installed in the region in order to facilitate their criminal enterprise, or whether it is due to fatalism, cowardice, apathy and/or the threat and fear of imprisonment and torture, the people of the Middle East have been intimidated from stepping up and speaking out, except – a huge exception! – for the valiant and courageous people of Gaza who have been risking limb and life in order to express their desire for freedom, dignity and the pursuit of happiness as the Western World, including France, turned a blind eye to their calamity. They are, indeed, worthy of the entire world’s respect had it not been for the fact that they have a racist, arrogant, bigoted and criminal Israeli enemy, as well as corrupt governments and rulers who continue to do the bidding of the West while foregoing their patriotic and moral duties. The Middle East people are sorely in need of a Nelson Mandela, a Martin Luther King, Jr. or any hero who will inspire them to turn their indignation into action; who will take the risks and the blows in order to secure freedom and a hopeful fate for the people, rather than continuing to cower in the corrupt comfort zones of their greed and immorality.

Personally, I love the French people, the British, the German, the American and all people, and I strongly believe that if there is a referendum by those governments on whether they should continue exerting their colonist powers, or whether they should allow the people of the Middle East to exist in peace, the results would be that they should cease and desist from continuing to smother the human beings of that region by giving them no chance at dignity and the choice of charting their own futures. It is heart-breaking, unjust and, yes, criminal.

As I witness the world’s sadness and generosity for wanting to restore the beauty and majesty of Notre Dame, I wistfully hope that one day, the destroyed monuments and historical sites throughout the Middle East would be resurrected to their formidable magnificence, their historical place on the planet and their centuries of cultural splendor. The arc of history is a long and patient one. What is up today, could very well be down tomorrow; what are the policies of today are not cemented and will not be forever. It is only wise leaders who realize this and who will act in order to secure not only their own personal legacy, but the legacy of their smart stewardship of the planet in every respect, as well as to be remembered with such noble figures as Mandela and King Jr. rather than the ignoble memory of a Hitler, a Mao, a Stalin, or other such hateful characters.

While we have the capacity to grieve for Notre Dame while not overlooking French complicity in the dismal fate of the Middle East region, we can also hope that there is a will and a future out there, somewhere, sometime, that will right the wrongs and that will allow justice, legality, dignity and coexistence to prevail. Hold onto Hope!