2020

Banality

In his book, The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw quotes a county executive who says: “Our system of local government has barely evolved over the past one hundred years and we are still governed by these same archaic institutions formed before the invention of the light bulb, telephone, automobile and computer.” And, I say, that this does not simply apply to local government, but to the Federal Government and to a whole lot of other ways in which we human beings do things. Banality!

It hit me when during the Trump Impeachment proceedings the Sergeant at Arms opens the court session by saying: Hear ye! Hear ye! This is an expression that was originally: Oyez! Oyez! It is from the era of Medieval England and France and was used by the Town Criers as a call for silence and attention in the markets and plazas when some proclamation from the rulers was issued. Why, oh why, in this modern age do we still need to use this banal expression? And the answer is that despite existing in this Information Age, we are still on so many, many levels doing, saying, thinking, applying traditions and rules, laws and regulations that are way past their time, and, actually, sound truly ridiculous these days!

It also hit me when Adam Schiff was orating during those same proceedings and was saying with passion and intensity: “America believes in Truth. She believes in Right and Wrong.” Oy vey! I nearly had a stroke when I heard him say those words: Truth. Right and Wrong. How many of those politicians, including him, are sitting in our Congress and applying those words while overseeing the nation’s business? How, when corporate lobbyists fill their coffers and dictate our laws, can they be adhering to these words? How, when looking after their own prosperity before anything else could these words ring true? How, in such a cutthroat and partisan atmosphere could words like Truth, Right and Wrong resonate? It is ridiculously banal and hypocritical! The epitome of corruption! Do, please, read the article I highlighted below to see exactly how corrupt our system is, and how corrupt our politicians are, and how while spewing lofty words they manage to screw us so well! Disgusting!

https://theintercept.com/2020/02/06/congress-exxon-mobil-eastmed-pipeline-cyprus/

Recently, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted to 100 seconds before midnight, the closest we have ever been to catastrophe. And, yet, efforts of politicians across our Planet are miserably failing to address our worldwide problems thus causing populations to convulse and to react in adverse ways making our situation even more dangerous and threatening. We have all abandoned our Responsibilities, Communality and Common Sense. We have been ceding them to those in power who, and especially during recent decades, have become even more corrupt than they have ever been! This is across the world! And it is simply because we have put Money Before and Above Anything Else! In that process we have trashed the Planet and are not stopping; we have abrogated every equitable and social contract that governments are elected to do in order to look after the people’s welfare; we have, and continue to, trample on every human value and any sense of justice that exists; we have enlisted culture – especially our shameful media – to corrupt, trivialize, commercialize and demean rather than elevate humanity. Yes, it is a very dismal picture out there for all those who elect to see beyond their own selfish cocoon while ignoring society as a whole.

How do they do that? How have they succeeded in this wicked endeavor for so long? Let us go back quickly to history – a history that our children and grandchildren are totally ignorant about due to the pathetic education that they are receiving – and let us take a look into one small area of our Planet centuries ago. (And, please, do not shrug your shoulders and say that you don’t need a history lesson from this old woman. We all do, because without historical perspective we are simply repeating the same damn mistakes all over again!) People existed in small enclaves where, generally, the “elders” were consulted and selected to resolve disputes and to see to it that there is harmony within their tribe. Pretty soon, a Strongman emerges from that small area and decides that he is the Ruler, King, Prince, Emperor, Ameer, or whatever title he chooses for himself. He enlists an army of followers, levies taxes, builds a bigger impressive abode and starts invading, killing and occupying the domains of other tribes thus enlarging his territory and accumulating more resources and wealth. That’s how Rulers came to be, and Not because God anointed them! Now, in order to continue being the Ruler he must have a fearsome army. As an example, the Romans dressed their army in shiny bronze helmets that had big red plumes attached to them in order to make them seem taller, more threatening and intimidating as they marched into battle with those headdresses reflecting the sun and endowing them with godlike splendor. They were also fed better than the citizens, paid well, allowed to loot all that they could from those they had chosen to vanquish, and licensed to rape and to acquire slaves. And, when they returned from the battlefields, the Ruler created ceremonies, parades and marches to hail and exult them and himself. Should any of the Ruler’s own Family, a General, or any Opponent decide to oust him, he was simply slain or, if that challenger was stronger then, he was the one eliminated. That was the process through which for thousands of years humanity has been ruled. This has not changed much these days, even though we speak of lofty ideals such as Democracy, Equality and Justice. These have always been the purview of the Rulers, Elites and Supporters, with a little bit trickling down to the citizens in order to give them the illusion of fairness. It has Never been fair. It has Always been unequal!

Once Kingdoms and Empires cemented their rule over their domains, they then expanded to conquer even wider, further-away territory. That was the dawn of the Conquistadors, Colonists and Settlers, which, primarily, expanded the wealth of the White European Nations, and witnessed the founding of White America. Two World Wars paved the idea on which the arrogant Europeans, and the new Americans, decided to continue with their colonist expansionism. Under the guise – utterly so! – of bringing Civilization to what they deemed to be an Ignorant, Backward World they have been ravaging the Planet. And, as should be obvious to anyone with enough sense, their ultimate Power Play is to Control the World’s Wealth and Resources through Military Power, Intimidation and by Creating New Enemies to satisfy the money-making Capitalist war-machine, because warring with someone else’s sacrificed children has always been easy for the Privileged. In other words, Bullying humanity into Submission, whether today it is Venezuela, Iran, Palestine, or any other through the ages. Forget Negotiations and Coexistence!

Therefore, Donald Trump is not any aberration to this doctrine. In fact, he personifies it, probably more overtly and brashly than any other White Western leader, but the doctrine has not wavered since Colonialism. If you need any proof, witness the near-silence over the Muslim Rohingya, the Chinese Uyghurs, the Muslim population of India (all due to Western Islamophobia), amongst other discriminatory practices such as homophobia, as well as the total disregard, disrespect, humiliation and abasement of indigenous populations (xenophobia) who are being decimated, and minorities all over the world whether they are black, brown, or purple, and whether they are Palestinians, or Arabs, Africans, Asians, or any other ethnicity that is non-White and, therefore, not allowed to be part of the Modern (or, Neo) Colonist Enterprise, but will remain the Vassals in the service of that Enterprise.

So, When do we Evolve and change this Unfair Formula? I do not have the answer, but, certainly, it seems that it will remain so for quite a long time to come – although there are definitely glimmers of hope here and there – unless, in the meantime, the climate crisis envelops us in its floods and fires, or, some ego-maniacal bully presses the red nuclear button after which it will be to all a goodnight! Scary enough? It really should be!

2020

On The Brink

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

Albert Einstein

And wasn’t Einstein, indeed, a genius?

“History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and mistakes of mankind.”

Edward Gibbon

This has always been evident, never more so than in Trumpistan!

“I think comedy and satire are a very important part of democracy, and it’s important that we are able to laugh at the idiosyncrasies or the follies of people in power.”

Rory Brenner

. . . and as the world perched on the edge of its seat these past two weeks, I, for once, and as such high drama was going on in the world, sat back and watched with great amusement. I am still amused, though fully aware that we might yet be edging toward the abyss as political follies and mischievous hands try to “create an incident” in order to precipitate the eruption of a conflict. It is a well-known evil tactic that was quite evident during the Lebanese, Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Nonetheless, it has truly been two weeks of Alfred Hitchcock worthy suspense!

After General Qassim Suleimani was assassinated by a US drone, some – not all – media personalities and “experts” told the American people that Suleimani was responsible for the killing of “many” Americans. Then, that became “hundreds,” and then that he was responsible for “thousands” of dead Americans. Thousands! Well! Was General Suleimani, the man who was fighting ISIS – the ones who are factually accountable for killing thousands –  responsible for all of those killed Americans? Or, was this just another highly inflated lie that Trump and some in the media, who claim that they do not indulge in fake news and hyperbole, forgot to fact-check, or, maybe to fully explain? The idea behind peddling “thousands” was to make the unjustified, unnecessary and dangerous assassination of an army General, who was a hero to many and is now a martyr, more palpable to the sheeple. It is an outrageous exaggeration from the President and the corrupt echo chamber! Mike Pence outdid that, though, by claiming that General Suleimani had aided and abetted “10 or 12” of the 9/11 attackers! Was this aimed at the Maga hats and extremist Evangelicals, or was it plain ignorance? Both are inane and shameful!

However, some in the media did say that the President had made an egregious miscalculation. And, on CNN and MSNBC – sounding slightly more balanced than usual – they now had another chance to beat the anti-Trump drums, while the “usual suspects” on FOX – but not all their talking heads, for a change – unduly lauded and praised the heinous act! I wonder, had the President been a Democrat if the media roles wouldn’t have been reversed? And, I believe, that they would certainly have been! Extraordinarily Shameful, though quite Amusing to see such hypocrisy right in front of our eyes!

The vaunted media, as well as the government, can also never get the spelling, and/or pronunciation of Arab names correctly. Soleimani, or Suleimani? Kassim, or Qassim? Moslem, or Muslim? Osama, or Usama? Khaddaffi, or Qadhafi? Mohammad, or Muhammad? Is this anything but utter disregard? Pick up the phone and call an Embassy, people, or the Cultural Attaché, or an Arab linguist! Not so hard, really!

However, the most disconcerting aspect to me, and to so many people like myself, is the utter disrespect with which our region of the world and its people are treated. Constantly. There seems to be no differentiation between terrorists, bad elements, bad leaders and the ordinary people who are made to go through extreme suffering due to US/Israeli/Colonist/Imperialist actions and policies and the counter-actions they generate. The fact that the US can saunter into the region in order to occupy, assassinate, install political leaders or remove them, and, generally, do this at its whim is extremely disrespectful, intrusive and infuriating. This is Not amusing! And, the amount of hatred that this is generating against the US is immeasurable! It could be different!

After the assassination of General Suleimani, and after the Iranians lobbed some harmless missiles on two American military bases in Iraq, and as the world held its breath for the umpteenth time during these past three years, and in the Grand Foyer of the White House, there stood the top Administration and Military Officials (looking quite constipated, as if they were reluctant and forced to attend?) at somber attention as the huge brown doors behind them opened and a dazzling aura of blue-tinged, glaring white light was seen through which in walked Jesus Trump looking very artificially serious while he delivered another speech meant to reinforce, yet again, his Omnipresence (either by Tweets, or in TV Person at least three times a day, every day in our faces!); his Omniscience (he knows Everything, but had never heard of General Suleimani until a few years ago, or maybe even seven months ago as, apparently, this event was put into motion?); and his Omnipotence (always stressing and flaunting how powerful is our military, and how that power lies in his hands and at his command only!). If that choreography was not absolutely amusing, then I don’t know what is!

And so began the spinning of a disgusting and dangerous assassination! General Suleimani went from being a circumspect General in the Iranian Army to a larger-than-life planner of “imminent threats” involving so many scurrilous incidents, the threat to our Embassy in Iraq – no, wait, American Embassies, in the plural! – being the one that prompted his demise! In any case, and as protests continue in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran none of us knows what all this will engender. It just might play in Trump’s favor, or it could take us to the precipice. Sidebar to all this, and after his airliner took an unintended missile and exploded killing all the “collateral damage” on board, my heart went out to Volodymyr Zelensky who must be wondering how much more Trump and his doings can damage him and his country??!!

All spinning aside, this assassination was an extra-judicial murder that might have caused another unnecessary war in a Middle East that we destroyed and devastated, and one that Bibi has been itching to do for a very long time, which is more proof that Bibi yanks some of our foreign policy chains! Be proud, America! Is there no more political spine left in this country to stand up to Bibi who’s government through the years has executed almost 80 extra-judicial murders of Palestinian leaders and activists? Or, do we only flex our muscles at those ragheads? However, I was surprised – pleasantly so – by how many more-than-ever brave journalists, and even a few in the corrupt mainstream media, were openly talking about Bibi’s nefarious role and contemptuous desires, despite their knowing how easy it is to smear and libel those who offer any such criticism with anti-Semitism! So, for those who dare to speak up about this, I say: glad that you’re not cowardly yellow-bellies anymore!

However, the Honor for Most Amusing goes to Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who pointed a huge – I mean HUGE – middle finger at The Firm and declared that they were Going Rogue! What an Incredible, Admirable leap of faith those two beautiful souls have taken! I wish them all the very best! Harry was always the little rebel in the family. I am sure that Princess Diana, his beautiful mother, always weighs heavily on his mind, as, I am certain, does his father’s desire to be a tampon up Camilla’s ass! As for our American Princess, Meghan, she has had enough of Palace Intrigues, of back-stabbing (by the corrupt, racist media and by her sister-in-law, too?) and of the restrictive life as a member of The Firm! I can’t blame her. Look, the Royals of today are no more different from the Royals throughout English history, whether they beheaded their Queens, banished them to the Towers, or exiled Edward and Wallis Simpson (the first divorcee, now being compared to Meghan?) to France, frolicked and committed adultery galore – gossip in this regard swirled for long around the Duke of Edinburgh! – and killed off their enemies – amongst other things. And, all this coming on top of the recent Pedophile Prince scandal? I can just see the Queen saying: We are not amused! I am, though!

Lastly, I imagine how Putin and Lavrov, were clinking their vodka glasses in amusement as they watched Trump’s follies playing out!

Stay tuned everyone as we await the next cliff-hanger. It’s probably coming soon on the Trumpistan brinkmanship screen!