2018

Goodbye 2018

Well, yes, goodbye 2018! And what a year it has been! Herewith is My Own List of What’s In and What’s Out in my books:

IN: Merriam-Webster announced that JUSTICE was the top searched for word in 2018. The dictionary website said: “The concept of Justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice . . .” So, here is the simplest definition I found: Justice means that people behave in a way that is fair, equal and balanced for everyone. The fact that so many people have been asking and wondering about Justice is telling in itself, because it indicates that, as humanity, we feel its absence, and that is very problematic and, perhaps, the main reason why there is so much anger, frustration, inequality and strife in our world. Tragic! Could 2019 be better? For all of us, and for our planet, let’s hope so!

OUT: “Thought Police,” and Anyone who is attempting to curtail our human interactions by enforcing Their Own Speech and Behavior Codes on the rest of us. Included are the Social Media Platforms; Mainstream Medias’ so-called journalists, talking heads and hosts; Academies of all kinds; fanatical Conservatives and Progressives of all nations. This does Not mean that we are allowed to slur, smear, defame, hurt or belittle Anyone.

IN: Manners, Common Sense, Kindness, Coexistence and Balance.

OUT: Rudeness, Extremism, Radicalism, Bigots, Racists and Haters.

IN: Organic products! Good for our health and the environment.

OUT: Artificial ingredients in our foods and medications – pesticides, insecticides, additives, hormones, fillers, toxins, Monsanto and all its likenesses and derivatives.

IN: The new faces of ethnic and religious diversity that will be making up our incoming American Congress (except for their nonsensical rhetoric on immigration). Let’s hope that Bernie will stick to his principles and that the new faces will stick to their progressive ideals, as well as, urgently, sooner rather than later, firing Pelosi and Schumer! They are totally sickening!

OUT: All the phobic politicians – Left and Right – who have a passé cold war mentality that perceives enemies under every desk and chair, and an opportunity for war anywhere they can find it, as well as those politicians who are corrupt and who are passing legislation and laws that protect them, their wicked interests, lobbyists and the foreign governments that fill their off-shore bank accounts! Out!

IN: Sense of humor! Lots of that!

OUT: The Mainstream Media who have proven beyond a doubt that they are depraved, vindictive, vile and paid hacks with no Integrity, or Professional Pride whatsoever! I take exception with the following:

Christiane Amanpour, of CNN International, one of the most respectable journalists on the MSM.

Anderson Cooper’s: CNN Heroes program, which is inspiring. (Only that program, not his others).

Russian Television (RT), banned from our televisions – not from our computers. Not yet, anyway! The News with Rick Sanchez is Really Must-Watch Terrific, Lee Camp is hilarious and spot-on, Watching the Hawks is great programming! This station does real News, not Slanted Views.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Tucker Carlson (who is sometimes excitable, but, nevertheless, fun to watch), although they are Conservatives and I am not, and I don’t always agree with them, yet they are decent, balanced and polite journalists with no drama, or feigned indignation like all those others!

IN: The Intercept, with every one of their writers, investigative journalists and editors. First class news source and sensible analysis!

Truthdig.com, with all their journalists, writers and contributors. Terrific scrutiny on all matters!

There are also plenty of other alternative media sources to pick from.

OUT: NYT (New York Times) and WAPO (Washington Post), Time and Newsweek magazines.

IN: The many millions of American citizens whether they are black, or white, or with all the diversity of their ethnicities and religions who are decent, responsible, admirable, charitable and who, at the end of the day, make the correct gut choices. I think the same goes for most citizens of our world who are rising above divisiveness and hate and calling for fairness, coexistence and peace. May they continue to assert themselves over superficiality, trivia and the brain-washing from the MSM.

OUT: People who do not answer their emails! I don’t care how busy one is, all of us can acknowledge an email with a one-liner, or an array of emojis to suit any response. However, disregarding any person’s email is rude!

IN: Sensible Education for our kids and grandkids. Diane Ravitch, a respected historian of education said: Boycott Standardized Tests, they do nothing for kids but make testing companies rich. Opt out! Amen! Amen! Our kids and grandkids (in my case) are getting Nothing (Zero, Zilch!) out of their education, because no institution has managed catch up to the requirements of the 21st. Century! What will it take?

Lastly, I have a Fantasy to share. Background: Surfing between the various television channels I see all these women with bare arms (thanks a lot, Michelle Obama!), tight-fitting dresses that show off every contour of their bodies (some of them showing off cleavage, too. Incidentally, have they all had boob jobs, I wonder? It sure looks that way!) and short, short outfits so that sitting down with the cameras aimed at them, viewers can see their legs way up to mid-thigh! Is that really acceptable in these crazy days? Actually, I’d love to tell these women what Judge Judy (love that woman!) told one of the litigants: “I am not going to ask you to leave. But, the next time you come into my courtroom, dress more appropriately. You are not going to a beach party.” I’d like to say that to some of the women on my television screen! So, here’s my fantasy suggestion (if it can be done for just one week, people? Please?):

Women dressed in garments with short, or long sleeves; no contour-hugging outfits; length of clothes should be knee, or just above the knee, so that sitting down viewers are not exposed to their mid-thighs. As for the men on those same shows: sleeveless, body-hugging T-shirts; scooped neck to show off some of their chest hairs; tight shorts to show off their butts and hairy legs, and open-toed sandals on their salon pedicured feet!

The mere idea of this image in my fantasies is so incredibly amusing! After all, “what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander,” no? I mean, we women demand equality on all levels, right? Why not on the damn dress code? These poor guys coming in to the studios with their stiff collars and ties, suits, socks and proper shoes while the women are lolling about half-naked! Where’s the equality, people?

Stay Sane & Have a Terrific New Year!

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2018

Mon Dieu!!

Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu! Recapping events is sometimes more exhausting than living them! But, here goes: It seems that the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) in France are causing some major headaches for Macron resulting in the French Administration’s withdrawal of the fuel tax that it had imposed and which was the spark that ignited the protests. However, after high school students, ambulance drivers, trade unions, farmers, truck drivers, single mothers etc. joined the protest movement, the demands are now for reforms on many levels. The rise of fuel prices, electricity and gas bills, easing taxes on the wealthy and other “globalization” measures that the government has taken have exposed how out of touch politicians are with the hard-pressed middle class and blue-collar laborers. The recent taxes, said to be an effort to mitigate climate change by subsidizing cleaner fuels – essentially, a sound idea as our climate is in crisis – cut into the pocketbooks of ordinary citizens and seems to punish them rather than cause any discomfort on the wealthy by raising their taxes. (Sounds familiar?) These latest waves of protest, not seen in France since 1968, have wreaked havoc on Paris and have even caused soccer matches to be cancelled and touristic monuments to be shut down! Now they are saying that it was possibly Russian Meddling that boosted the upheavals??!! Sounds familiar? Really? Mon Dieu, Putin, mauvais garcon! In any case, Macron’s “atonement” speech fell kind of flat, didn’t it?

The violent and collective anger on the streets of Paris are merely a harbinger of worse to come not only in France, but worldwide, as politicians and governments are underestimating the despair of their citizens, and as ruthless runaway, unfettered capitalism continues to create deep societal fissures, uncertain futures and income inequality. While politicians and the wealthy continue to meet in the G7, G8, G20, Davos and all those other multi-nation gatherings where they feast, gab and pose for the memorial picture, they seem to be creating more devious ways in which to punish the laboring classes as they reap more and more wealth, resulting in the people of the world asking: why isn’t the education of our children getting better; why is our healthcare suffering; why can’t we make ends meet despite working so damn hard; why is it that whenever governments tell us that they have decreased our taxes they somehow manage to skim those so-called tax savings off our paychecks by increasing fuel, food and other essential needs costs? Why is it so hard for them to raise our measly wages and not so difficult for them to raise their own nauseatingly high incomes? The injustice and inequality are burning people up!

As one example amongst many in our US, the debate on pre-existing conditions and whether they ought to be covered by the health insurance companies rages on. How inhumane is that? This, as the combined earnings of the CEOs of the largest insurance companies were 342 Million in 2017!! Mon Dieu! Maybe we should blame Putin for this, also?

In any case, while the Paris protests were going on, Greece was witnessing its own protests, as was Spain, other European countries have their issues too, such as the anxiety regarding the unknown outcome of Brexit, then there are the US-China Trade Wars, OPEC lowering its oil output, our never ending wars and the question becomes: will the yellow jackets phenomenon be spreading its wings and gathering within its span all the world’s discontented? Moreover, if we couple these angry protests and events with the general angst people are feeling regarding the dire climate predictions – irrelevant of what you may think is causing them, they are actually happening; the ability of governments to warp and misuse every democratic law that they please at the expense of subduing dissidents and doing what cements their power; the increasing amount of mass murders in schools and public places; the new technologies and their ability to wreak havoc (disaster?) on our lives; cyber hacking/warfare; the greed of social media moguls as well as unethical gene modification experiments etc. etc. the future for us ordinary humans becomes frightening and very unsettling. I am not a specialist on anything, but I know that what is going on in France is simply the starting point for what is surely going to become, at some point or the other, mass protests and uprisings elsewhere as the middle and labor classes get more squeezed, and as the rich from Moscow to New York, and from Dubai to Beijing not only become richer, but more callous, out of touch and arrogant. Money is not Communist or Socialist. It is a Capitalist venture that unites all ideologies and religions within its corrupt and far-reaching net. It’s just not right!

As another Christmas season rolls around, I will leave you with the timeless and poignant anti-war lyrics of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s song: Happy Xmas (War is Over). It was my Mother’s favorite Christmas song, and its sentiment and authentic words, nowadays maybe more than ever, reflects what most of the world aspires for!

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very Merry Xmas
And a Happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Xmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (now)
And so Happy Xmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a Happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over now