General

Let’s Talk About This

Do you get the feeling some mornings that you dread getting out of bed and seeing what new disasters are happening in the world? Any new fires, floods, famines? Any dictators shooting, or incarcerating, or murdering protestors and opponents? Any more heartbreaking events? Any new war? Security threats? Has Covid gone berserk? This agnostic finds herself calling on God often these days, because so much seems to be out of control and who do you call on since no one on Earth is listening??! Could it simply all be Karma? Some days I would like to think so, because it is easy to shove it all on something beyond my control, but on most others I know that our disasters are human-made (mostly man-made!) and that aside from the Climate Changes – which Climate Scientists have been talking about for decades, but politicians ignored until this one minute to midnight? – that will be bringing on more and more misery, uprooting, displacements, immigrants, starvation, disease et al, the political upheavals that our Planet is experiencing seem more as if they are coordinated and orchestrated attacks by evil doers who have been planning all this for quite some time and that came to a crescendo during the Trump years. In fact, I sometimes go back to Sarah Palin and her voicing of: “We Need To Take Our Country Back” when she was running as McCain’s Vice-President against then President Obama and Vice-President Biden. At the time, we didn’t quite know exactly who she wanted to take the country back from, however, Trump and his world-wide ilk have cleared that up, right? Horrors! And it’s not over! Not by a long shot! In fact, every day our discourse and behavior are becoming coarser, brasher and ruder driving the population into a frenzy whose consequences could be nothing but disastrous! Heavens!

Also, doesn’t it seem that this churning is being augmented by some Political Leaders who’s Ignorance and Arrogance – a deadly combination! – could be driving us all into hell? They have obviously mismanaged the Lethal Virus – let alone everything else – which invaded this Planet so badly, so chaotically that I dare not even think of what else we will be encountering tomorrow, next week, next month, next year as a result of that and all the associated misinformation and conspiracy theories? Scary stuff . . .

. . . so dreadfully scary that we could end up in a “Real Shooting War” as Biden said referring to a significant cyber-attack on the country from China, or Russia. However, with more places than one heating up in the world – Taiwan and Iran as examples – that “Shooting War” could blaze up very quickly, because it doesn’t take much for it to manifest itself.

. . . So Let’s Talk About Afghanistan 20 years later and our Defeat – because one cannot describe it any other way – and how what we succeeded in doing was to enrich our Afghan political puppets, a few Afghan NGOs and Organizations, our American Contractors and our Military Industrial Complex altogether to the tune of billions of dollars, while raising the hopes of some of the Afghani people and then smashing them so mercilessly! Nothing else! We ended up Retreating and Losing the Hearts, Minds, Respect and Trust of the entire region and beyond. My heart breaks for every military person we lost, as well as their families, in this futile endeavor which Obama should have ended, but he wussed out of that as he did of other issues; Trump wanted to and he was right, as he was on some other stuff; and Biden made a smart decision, because otherwise our continuing with “The Stupidity of War” – which is the title of an excellent book written by John Mueller describing “Man’s Proclivity For Violence” – thus allowing for our Arrogance and Ignorance to stubbornly persevere with Shooting Wars rather than to seek the extremely – Extremely! – arduous, strenuous, stressful, and drawn-out Compromises needed for Peaceful Coexistence and Cooperation.

Nevertheless, and looking away from all those dismal possibilities for a moment . . .

. . . German Gymnasts at the Olympics decided to take a stand against Sexualization by wearing comfortable Unitards rather than the standard revealing bikini-like outfits and leotards. This is a Hallelujah statement, and only the beginning of positive changes in that domain! Moreover, I heard that the there are also changes going on in the corporate world where women are discarding those disgusting spiked heels and choosing to wear flats? Another Hallelujah! The MeToo Movement ought to celebrate these changes realizing that we, women, can look alluring and elegant without being scantily dressed, or strutting around in uncomfortable footwear just because it is “sexy!” Moreover, we have much more to offer the world than our physical attributes! Last year I was more than ecstatic when I heard that Victoria’s Secret had decided to end their yearly highly sexualized show, and now I am awaiting the moment when high school cheerleaders will choose a different attire than the sexualized one that is meant to titillate athletes and onlookers, and, for celebrities on the red carpet displaying their stardom without exposing all their body parts – the real ones, and the fake!! The Weinstein, Moonves, Cosby, Lauer, et al, et al generation of men – having grown up with an entitlement problem in which sex goes with the “territory” of fame and fortune – belong to the past, or, should! They will be dying off pretty soon, and some enlightened parents – not enough, obviously! – are doing a better job of rearing modern MeToo generations of sons without emasculating them. More Hallelujah! This prompts me to think that Maybe? Perhaps? we can yet turn things around by encouraging Real Equality amongst the sexes, and all humans; that we can redirect “Man’s Proclivity for Violence” towards a more Peaceful Existence?

. . . and Let’s Talk About Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka! Such sweethearts! I am delighted that they chose to speak up about the stress, pressure and outright abuse that they have been subjected to and have been silent about for far too long. Change does not happen unless there are “whistle-blowers” to expose the wrongs whether we are talking of cultural, social, political or any other wrongs. Our Homeland Security Department tells us that “if we see something, we should say something,” and that goes for all of us whether we are “Observers,” such as myself, or Activists in the trenches who are fighting on all our behalf, as well as more Brave, Moral, Ethical people. Our Sports have become another consumer, money-making endeavor where we are raising Gladiators rather than encouraging Sportsmanship, whether we are discussing the Olympics, College Sports, Soccer Moms, Helicopter Parents or any such organizations and behavioral extremes which are driving little kids and children to become cutthroat competitors rather than simply enjoying themselves. Why are we doing this to children who are already overwhelmed with so much? Why are we adding to their stress? Why are we allowing intimidation and fear to silence them? I am so happy that Simone and Naomi spoke up, and I hope that they will be joined by many others in the field of sports and everywhere else, because all this nonsense will not go away on its own; someone else will not solve it. I also hope that this very disconcerting period of history will not do any more damage than it already has, especially to our children, both male and female.

Oh, my! We Definitely Need To Talk About This and so much else . . . Right? I think I’ll go back to bed now before my brains get all messed up again, and continue reading the absolutely delightful and amusing “Super Host” by Kate Russo!

General

Houston, We Have A Problem!

It seems to me that those who read my posts, or the hundreds of available other posts, op-eds, columns, essays etc. etc. are already in agreement of most of what they are reading – that is: if they are reading at all, because many seem to have tuned off – and, hence, our writings are only Preaching to the Already Converted, in which case: Houston, We Have A Problem! (A rephrasing by Ron Howard in the movie Apollo 13 of the original quote by US Astronauts when they had a problem on their spacecraft. The phrase has been used for about fifty years to depict when there is a serious problem!)

And, we do have a problem, because Facts and Truth have become so muddled, so confused and confusing that we, humans all across this Planet, are living in The Tower of Babel about which my post published on August 15, 2016 (Tower of Babel) is as true today as it was then, that is: we do not speak, or understand the same language. Did we ever? Generally, yes, because most of us at least agreed on certain indisputable Facts and Truths. No more, it seems!

Hence, the Biden/Putin summit that came as the finale to our President’s “America is Back” European week was interpreted and analyzed ad nauseam by the Left, the Right and Everyone Else each with their own take on the Truth and Facts! And, None of them know Diddly of what really went on away from the cameras and the gaggle of screaming, hyper-ventilating press, to which Biden wisely, sensibly and truthfully said: we will know the results in six months to a year. Therefore, the hyper-ventilating media gaggle can take a chill pill and stop making their non-sensical assumptions and vapid analysis! Trust me, President Putin is not losing any sleep over this . . .

. . . neither is President Xi, despite all the saber-rattling towards China who’s freight carriers are supplying the whole world with consumer goods ranging from toys, to medicines, to food products, to computers and to anything and everything you can think of, which is ample proof that for businessmen and corporations all across the world the bottom dollar is much more important than the US muscle-flexing and demonization that Biden and the US Government, supported by a feckless press and the war-mongering hawks are exhibiting! Such nonsense, such hysteria simply because we always need An Enemy to prove how Wonderful we are, and how Wicked everyone else is! Oh, yes, Houston, We Do Have a Problem!

Shouldn’t we be more seriously worried about the numbers of Teachers, Nurses, Police, Food Production and Agricultural Labor and Workers in all sectors who are choosing not to go back to work, let alone all the hands we will be needing to fulfill all those infrastructure projects that the Administration wants to execute? Even pilots and airplane crew are in short supply! Are we going to be importing Immigrants to fill these staffing shortages? How will that affect our non-existent immigration policies?  How will the Trumpists react to that? Biden “whispered” that businesses should raise their wages – way to go, Joe! – as one way to lure the recalcitrant back to their jobs (some of whom prefer working from home), which a few businesses are already doing rather than waiting for the obdurate Republican Legislators to enact bills that will do so. If I was an honest politician this is one of the problems that I would be seriously tackling rather than the utter nonsense they are engaging in!

And, if I were an honest politician, I would also be seriously addressing the antagonism, indignation, suspicion, frustration, anger and hatred we have been generating for decades all across the world by our militaristic behavior, meddling, mischief, wars, coups and appointing of puppets to execute our policies. I don’t think that our superficial politicians even realize that the world is aware of all that and all our other subterfuges. Are we so transparent and not even aware of it? And all this hoopla regarding our withdrawal from Afghanistan? The writing has been on the wall for twenty years! Didn’t we see it? Did we pretend not to see? Did we believe that defending Kabul and our Puppets there while the rest of the country was seething with resentment due to our terrible, misguided behavior, was an achievement? Afghanistan is a very sad situation (as is Palestine, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Ethiopia, Congo  etc. etc.), and with the Taliban in control things might get pretty dismal. However, what is rarely mentioned by the MSM are all our young military people’s serious issues whom we send over there to die, to lose limbs, to suffer PTSDs, to commit suicide, to slowly die from exposure to burn pits and a host of other issues while we shout: God Bless our Troops. Are they simply, nonchalantly collateral damage to please the Hawks and the War Mongers? (Thank God for Jon Stewart who has now espoused the victims of Burn Pits!)

Oh, yes! Houston, We Have A Problem! We have a Democracy and Hypocrisy Problem!

It is not only our relations with Russia and China that need a re-set. The entire Planet needs a re-set, and we’d better get to it before it is too late and before we lose more of the world because of our hubris! I say that with a heavy heart, because I really do believe that the promise of our Democracy is an Inspiration and a source of Hope for billions of people across the world. Restoring that Ideal is what we need to be working on! Not Today, but Yesterday! The tragic aspect of this is that while this goal should by Unifying the Nation, it is not doing so as Republican Extremists and Trumpists (He’s Back! Rallying and Lying!) sow more Chaos, Disruption, Suspicion and Divisiveness! How do they ever justify this futile and wicked endeavor? It is befuddling and plain evil!

Yes, Houston! We Do Have A Problem . . .

. . . however, Houston, the Good News is that the Biden Administration is diligently and doggedly striving every day to find solutions for our Problems here at home, and across the world. Will it all be a bed of roses? No, not at all. It hardly ever is. Nevertheless, it seems to me, as one example – and I am not an expert on this, or any other issue – that our Supreme Court is once again functioning Independently and going by the Law rather than Ideology. Terrific! It also looks from my vantage point that our Justice Department and FBI are also functioning Independently and are hard at work every day, hour and minute to restore confidence in that institution. Another Terrific! All the other parts of our Government also seem to be hard at work, including our State Department that is trying to put out the many fires here, there and everywhere across the world, rather than ignite new ones, which, hopefully they won’t. That, too, is Good News! The only non-functioning, irresponsible, unconscionable part of our Government seems to me to be the Republican-controlled Senate! How utterly shameful! Despicable!

So, Houston, while we still have a myriad problems to deal with – tornados, hurricanes, fires, collapsing buildings and bridges, mass shootings, drug addictions, homelessness, poverty and on and on and on – it seems to me that the work is seriously ongoing to hopefully guide this spacecraft to a soft landing, and, so far, it seems quite promising.

And That Is Good News Indeed! Yes it is!