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!

2021

Cicada Legacy

Their chirping is getting fainter, and we are seeing less of their swarms than two weeks or so ago. It is sad in a way, for we are witnessing their Swan Song, since they emerge – and in that process aerate the soil around the tree roots – fly around as wanton nymphs celebrating their life above ground, grope for a mate – their blindness making them not too choosy –  find one, connect, female flies back to the tree limbs, lays her eggs – which will drop and dig their way into the subterranean strata – and then males and females die. All in all, it is a cycle of four to six weeks. The next time they emerge will be in seventeen years (some of the cicadas cycle every thirteen years).

In the coming seventeen years:

Jimmy Carter would be around 113 years old. Doubtful that he would still be alive. Nevertheless, he would be leaving behind quite a Stellar Legacy – one that this nation can be proud of, but hardly ever acknowledges!  Unfair and Despicable!

And, assuming that they will be alive: George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump would be around 92 years old. Would Bush still be painting his guilt away for returning Iraq and Afghanistan to the Stone Age and distressing that whole region? Would Clinton be ruing his having tainted his otherwise quite Impressive Legacy with an infantile liaison thus giving Republicans a weapon to destroy him, or would he still be writing books with James Patterson, the ultimate write-for-profit machine? Tsk! Tsk! Would Trump still be frothing at the mouth for having lost an election and almost driven the US into a ditch because of his vindictiveness, ego and the ability to sway all those who follow him with his acquired, selfish, pseudo-ideology, lies and conspiracy theories? Important caveat: some of his sayings and doings were quite correct, and the Biden Administration is keeping those. Interesting to muse about the Legacy of these three characters, don’t you think?

Joe Biden would be around 96 years old. Would he be saying: I Preserved the US from succumbing to The Dark Ages; I made nice with the world and inspired Global Democracy, Peace, Harmony, Fair Competition and Prosperity? And wouldn’t that be a Terrific Legacy? After all, Biden might have evolved and left the war-mongering, corporatism, aggression and same old, same old of his younger days behind, couldn’t he? After all, many of us do evolve and change some of our previous stances and misconceptions, right? At this age, I am still proudly evolving!

Barack Obama would be about 77 years old. Would he have paused patting himself on the back despite some of the blunders of his Presidency and, rather, be promoting and living through a time of Justice and Equality that his Legacy as the first Black President had heralded? I sincerely hope so!

Vladimir Putin would be about 86 years old.

Xi  Jinping would be around 85 years old.

I truly wonder what would their Legacy look like seventeen years from today? Would history be writing about how Russia and China thrived in Peace, Harmony, Cooperation, Coexistence and Prosperity for their people and the world, and that they did Justice to their proud heritage, rich culture and civilization? I would truly hope so!

And what – Oh, what!!?? – would the Legacy of the Ogres of the World look like? Those Strongmen and Autocrats who are abusing every human right of their citizens? Those Dictators who have no regard for anything other than their petty whims, tyranny, depraved power and warped ideology; who have the audacity to lie, steal, imprison, torture, and kill their perceived Enemies and Opposition with utter impunity? Talk about Role Models! History, their People, and the World will not look kindly on them! In fact, every time that they are mentioned people will sneer with disgust as they remember those innocent humans who were thrown and forgotten in sordid jails; those who were tortured; the raped, the orphaned, the widowed and the traumatized. What a sorry Legacy! Disgusting!

And, after all the recent apologizing by Belgium, Spain, France and Germany etc. etc. (and, hopefully, other nations to follow) would Europe have atoned enough for its Genocidal History of Colonialism that ravished millions of people and their resources for centuries on end, and continues – yes, continues! – to do so? And, with more and more scandals of bigotry and racism that lasted up until the sixties, and, even to this date, regarding the British Monarchy what would that Legacy look like years from now?? I wonder! As for the recent photo ops and posturing of the G-7 Colonist Nations, I wonder whether they were consolidating their runaway capitalism, or whether they sincerely mean to change their avaricious and calamitous ways? Doubtful!

And, despite the efforts of this present Pope, would the Catholic Church (as well as other religious institutions) ever live down its Corrupt and Pedophilic Legacy (amongst many other wrongdoings) that has hurt thousands upon thousands of human beings, including children? What God will ever forgive them for these egregious sins?

As for many of the puffed up media personalities, grown old and doddering by then, would they be looking back at those tapes of their younger days and be wondering why they did not rely more on their conscience and their integrity, rather than on dictated and slanted talking points, greed and ratings? I wonder! Maybe we should suggest that C-Span give us an hour of News – Not Opinions and Hypocritical Rants! – delivered in their dead-pan no-nonsense style and that would be of unifying interest to the whole nation, not just to the Left, or to the Right? Simply the Facts? The BBC used to do that, and they still mostly do, except for those “Americanized” segments which are so artificial, pretty lame and ridiculous. No wonder people are buying into conspiracy theories, lies and deceit. They don’t trust the media at all! Sad, when the media’s weapon of choice is to yell: Free Press! How Free is their Free? And how True is their True? Really!

Would the world have reversed the damning effects of Climate Change and saved the Planet? Or, would the selfish, arrogant, money-driven corporations continue to ravish Earth, to plunder its resources, contaminate its air and waters and pretend as if all is well as they lure us into consuming more, medicating more and feeding ourselves with those processed and  poisonous food products that are killing us, while lethal Pandemics – that might be worse than the Covid Virus we have been suffering from – lurk around the corner? I wonder!

And, would the upright citizens of the world unshackle themselves from the slavery that they have been subjected to by the effects of Colonialism, as well as by corrupt leaders who pit them against each other for their own sordid ambitions? Would they rise up against their amoral politicians, ongoing colonialism and unjust systems? Would they ever become Free Men and Women? I wonder!

As this world becomes more and more complicated with so many dreadful issues arising from our Cyber Age, world leaders need more than ever to cooperate, to coexist, and to inspire and cease the belligerent confrontations and wars that are causing suffering, pain, tears and frustrations of citizens who know in their gut that all is not fair, or just, or equal, or right and are lashing out with irresponsible behavior, criminal venting and subjugation to False Prophets. Tragic, really! Very dangerous, too! I, certainly, will not be around in 2038 to find out the answers. For those who would be, I wonder if when the Cicadas reemerge, they would look back on those seventeen years and be proud of a Legacy of Activism that managed against all odds to Right the Egregious Wrongs that previous Leaders and Generations (mine, too!) had burdened them and the Planet with? I really and truly wonder and hope??!!!