2018

East & West

Rudyard Kipling wrote “If” which remains one of my favorite poems. Some of our esteemed politicians should read it, although the more corrupt ones wouldn’t even get the gist of it! Kipling wrote many other pieces, and “The Ballad of East and West” is another gem.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

Here is the critical analysis from Wikipedia: “it is indisputable that geographic points of the compass will never meet in this life, but that when two strong men (or equals) meet, the accidents of birth, whether of nationality, race, or family, do not matter at all – the mutual respect such individuals have, each for the character, prowess, and integrity of the other, are their only criteria for judging and accepting one another. Any differences in ethnicity between such individuals are never even considered.”

And don’t many of us from the East and from the West; from the North and from the South feel that way? And wouldn’t it be lovely if all of us did? I guess, at this divisive, polarized and dangerous point on our planet, it is mere wishful thinking!

East and West also comprise many other barriers that are dividing us within nations, as well as with nations against each other, thus creating a bubbling cauldron of our earth. The examples are numerous. One of the many things that are contentious is pervasive corruption. Here is an example that caught my attention on July 30. It was a headline in the Tucson News, originally published by the Associated Press: “No prison for grandson of ex-Virginia governor (Republican John Dalton) in rape case.” Apparently, the young man involved raped a fellow student and got off on a plea which “acknowledges sufficient evidence for conviction without admitting guilt.” Well! The grandson of an ex-governor getting a free pass that no ordinary bloke will ever get? It happens every single day when ordinary people are thrown into our for-profit jails with no recourse, and for years on end, for a much more minor offense than rape.

Besides the 2.3 million humans in US jails (figures from March, 2018), there were 2705 inmates on death row (figures from July 25, 2018. The number changes with new convictions, appeals etc.). Pope Francis recently declared that the Catholic Church is categorically against the Death Penalty. I am too, I consider it as Murder by the State, especially when it is being botched and the victims are invariably dying painfully. While he is to be applauded, Pope Francis has been trying to clean up the messes and wrongdoings of a Catholic Church that is rife with historical and current atrocities. For instance, recently, the Eminent Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, was defamed as a sexual predator and has since been ejected from his position; 5 Chilean bishops resigned over abuse and cover-ups; 71 priests who had led the Church for the past 70 years in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and who have been accused of child sex abuse, have been likewise discharged; Australian Archbishop, Wilson, resigned after failing to report sexual abuse of a priest, and on it goes. The purging of these predators will continue, as it must, when more and more victims speak up.

The Catholic Church is also coping with many other scandals that are coming to light. Paul Redmond, as one example, who was interviewed on the BBC’s Hardtalk, wrote: The Adoption Machine, about nuns (both Catholic and Protestant) in Ireland, who ran homes for pregnant unmarried girls. After delivering their babies these girls were thrown out, their snatched infants put up for adoptions, actually, more were sold, and those “unsold” babies were then neglected and most died. Redmond, himself, was adopted from a Catholic institution. There were many such establishments in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the US, some run by Churches, others by private institutions. Horror story after horror story from Churches across time preaching piety while sanctioning evil.

However, and despite all the efforts of Pope Francis, his Church is still into meddling with the political affairs of nations, most recently in Nicaragua, and I still remember clearly how President Reagan and Pope John Paul II fomented and supported the revolution in Poland. Irrelevant of whether we are for or against the outcomes of such behavior, it is a fact that the Church was politically involved, as it is in other situations. Therefore, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church cannot speak from both sides of their mouth. They cannot condemn Capital Punishment, while supporting political killings through meddling in other countries. That makes them no different from the Imams who are supporting murder and chaos all the way from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia and Malaysia, or from many political leaders and nations meddling in other countries. Hypocrisy and Corruption seem to be endemic!

Recently, and with the ongoing Mueller Investigation in the US, many of us followed the Manafort and Gates scandal. The corruption of these two characters is astounding. They are into bribery, lies, tax evasion, cover-ups, money-laundering, theft, and the shocking list goes on. What is even more astounding being how they would have gotten away with their wrongdoings had it not been that the Mueller Investigation shed light on them. How many “uncaught” like them are there amongst our rich and famous? Our politicians?

There are many culprits in our world. The Catholic Church is just one of these institutions and organizations; the Justice System in these United States, as well as in many countries on the planet, is another example. However, we are now in the Twenty-first Century with the ability and the tools to dredge up any and all cases of historical and current injustice and misconduct and the power to right them. The religious, governmental and private institutions indulging in evil, as well as gangs, mafias, traffickers, drug cartels, cyber criminals and numerous individuals must be exposed and brought to justice. If you look, you can find examples almost daily on local, national and international news outlets. Such stories are not being disseminated by Russia, China or anyone else in order to divide us. They are true, not fake.

At the end of the day it all goes back to leadership, and the world’s leaders have to decide whether they are to direct and elevate their flocks to a more moral and just path, or whether they will continue speaking from both sides of their mouths as usual; whether they aspire to change the world for the better and really “drain the swamps,” or whether they will continue supporting and fomenting unsavory conduct. Justice cannot be a matter of choice as it often is these days. Picking and Choosing on who gets a pass and who doesn’t is injustice personified. It cannot be one yardstick for the East and another for the West. The gavel has to come down on All Equally: An ex-Governor’s grandson, a bishop, a Manafort, as well as on any of us who commit crimes. It is also up to us, the people, to stand up for what is moral, just and peaceful, rather than continuing to live in our own selfish bubbles and being passive citizens thus, indirectly, abetting the corruption and injustice. We do have a choice! So, too, do all the world’s political, corporate and religious leaders!

 

 

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2018

Trump the Trump!

Frankly, I am the last person who should be defending President Trump as, it seems, he is getting ready to throw us, the Palestinian people, to the Israeli wolves, and I should probably be joining all the haters in bashing him. While I had decided to reserve judgment on this subject, it doesn’t look good, does it? It is also obvious by now that Bibi has been given free rein, untethered, unharnessed to rampage across the entire region as he pleases, which means that it could all go up in flames again continuing the tragedy, heartache and injustice. Nevertheless, what I am defending is not Trump, per se, in as much as I am wondering what the American anti-Trump hysteria is really all about, and who but the war-mongering Conspiracy is to gain from it?

This anti-Trump, anti-Russia hysteria that is gripping the nation is beyond anything that I’ve ever witnessed, and it is sweeping people into a mindless insanity. There is no doubt that President Trump’s style is jarring, to say the least, plus he is often offensive and abrasive, and back-tracking/misspeaking has become another one of his signature traits. It is also obvious that he trusts very few people, and I can’t say I blame him in this odoriferous cesspool that is Washington, DC. I wonder, sometimes though, does he mean all that he says and Tweets, or does he simply want to continue sucking the oxygen out of the planet and keeping us all focused on Himself? Nevertheless, what is going on is beyond criticism and opposition. That is why I absolutely believe that there is a Conspiracy (you can call it the Deep State, if you wish), with our vaunted MSM being the leading tool of this heinous Cabal which is yanking the chains of the “sheeple” (people who think they are smart humans, while in reality they are being herded like sheep) and impelling them towards this acrimonious and disgusting display of rage. They get away with it, too, because we are living in the No Filter Era where there are no manners, no boundaries, or any sense of responsibility. Where do they want this to go when there is so much unrest in the world already, our planet is ailing dramatically and injustice is being overlooked? We can all disagree with Trump, we can all be against the doings of his Administration, we should definitely voice our dissent, but it is terribly immature, sleazy and dangerous to go to this raucous and low – very low! – expression of our feelings. Behaviors have consequences, and, in this case, they could be very dire!

Unfortunately, the political leadership, so-called Democrats, Progressives, and Leftists who are anti-Trump, are not behaving sensibly or responsibly either. They are all hypocrites and war-mongers driven by pure opportunism, vengeance and malice.

I am very wary of some of the things that Trump and his Administration are doing and at the oftentimes bawdy way in which they are conducting themselves. However, I have not come across one single intelligent reason as to why these are grounds for: High Crimes and Misdemeanors? Treason? Impeachment? Perp walking him out of the White House? Hyped slogans, full of hate and not grounded in any convincing argument. What is even more bewildering is how otherwise smart people and otherwise respectable writers and journalists have jumped on this outraged bandwagon with an unprecedented venom.

Why are they against a rapprochement with Putin, with Kim and with any so-called “enemy?” This is Treason? Really? Those losing their brains over this are idiots and war-mongers and are encouraging those same nefarious elements that want to see this country in a perpetual state of war. And is Russia the only threat out there? Seriously? “They meddled in our elections” is the most banal, bizarre slogan that I have ever heard, especially when we are the foremost meddlers in every election of almost every country on the planet, while continuing to deny this proven fact. Just last week the exposures came out about our meddling in resource-rich Cameroon, and we are still haranguing Venezuela – they sit on a lot of oil, baby, and Exxon wants it no strings attached, and there’s Nicaragua, Iran . . . and . . . and! The other flimsy argument is that they occupied Crimea/Ukraine. Anybody who says that is ignorant, because Russia would not have occupied Ukraine were it not for our beloved Allies, the Europeans, and NATO with their malicious creeping up to Russia’s borders. Maybe the MSM should tell us the real story about that, not the propaganda? But wait, what for? They prefer us to remain Ignorant! Incidentally, when will we set in motion the plot to topple, defame and smear the new “Leftist” Mexican President, as we did so many other “Leftists” going back to seventy years ago of our choreographed coups, assassinations and more??!! And then we get indignant about Russian meddling? Seriously?

Moreover, we blamed Putin, Russia and Assad for a chemical attack in Douma, Syria and were about to start WWIII over the incident as our MSM went cheering and urging an invasion, when recently the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) ruled definitively that there were no chemicals at all? Did any of the MSM even mention this? Retract? Apologize? Not on your life! They are burgeoning with deceit, smugness and corruption, while wailing that Free Press is vital to a democracy. What Free Press when they are all paid hacks?! Absolutely disgusting!

Maintaining a defunct status quo with NATO, or anyone else, is oftentimes detrimental to the whole world. Colonialism was such. Apartheid was such. Slavery was such. Women being second-class citizens was such. And the list goes on. So, maybe, Trump is onto something here? Let’s get this straight: NATO is an alliance whose sole aim is the preservation of The Continent, its Wealth, its Power and its Interests. They were, and will remain, tacit Colonists. The US role is merely serving its own interests of domination across the world by whatever means necessary, not that this is working anymore. That era is over!  There are other world powers who will not bend to NATO’s, or America’s will anymore. WWIII? The next few years will be interesting in this regard as re-alignments, reconfigurations and shifting alliances come into play.

Despite all the efforts of the Conspiracy, life goes on, the world goes on, and I have yet to witness the cataclysmic shocks as a result of two years of Trump. I will say again that I remember quite clearly the Reagan years and how the sky was falling then with all of Reagan’s terrible policies, and then, how it didn’t? It’s not going to this time either, so chill! Chill at least until Mueller comes out with his report and possibly then all the anti-Trumpists might – just, might! – have grounds for their lunatic behavior. Otherwise, go vote him out! Trump the Trump! Meanwhile stop this insanity and hysteria. There are vital issues besetting this nation and the world which are being totally underreported. All this drivel spewing out of radios, televisions, newspapers and social media simply because any hater can spew their toxicity, plus the huge media profits to be made, as well as sleazy Conspirators to satisfy is utterly sad and unbecoming of the richest, most powerful and exceptional(?) nation on the face of the planet, with all its educated(?) citizens!!!! I am all for a Real, Authentic, Fact-based Opposition to Trump. I am not for the nefarious entities yanking the slavish yokes of a nation gone berserk! Wake up, America’s sheeple, before it’s too late!