You Deserve That!

Do you remember that lovely song by Guy Mitchell at the very end of the fifties – and after him by so many artists – titled: Heartaches by the Number, Troubles by the Score? I loved it back there when! However, I am not waxing romantic on you this morning even though it was just Happy Valentine’s day yesterday. It’s just that there are so many Heartbreaking events and Troubles going on that made me recall the opening lines of this song. I sometimes feel that my heart can’t contain them all anymore!

Where do we start? The catastrophic Earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria with thousands dead, thousands homeless, starving and cold? Heartbreaking stories! However, amidst all this catastrophe, good Samaritans, Volunteers, Organizations, Associations and many Nations stepped up to help, and even poor Lebanon opened up its ports and airways to facilitate aid getting to the stricken. How Heartening!

And shall we continue on to the Raging Fires in Chile? The Unprecedented Snow in the Northeast of the US, plus hurricanes, raging storms and fires shattering people’s lives, over and above the daily shootings and crimes, the latest in Michigan? Unconscionable! The Ilhan Omar Racist, Bigoted Vendetta orchestrated by the Radicals in Kevin McCarthy’s Congress? Environmental Activists and Investigative Journalists being continually targeted and murdered in some places? Trey Nichols and that senseless horrible crime committed by Cops? Really? The Balloon, which the hyperventilating media said that China was spying on us? And then another “object?” and others yet? Notwithstanding that no country should do that to another, isn’t Spying in all its forms something that almost every nation is indulging in? Let us simply hope that Sane and Mature Minds will prevail, and that incidents like these won’t throw us all into a disaster?!!

And then we have a bigoted State Department that has been throughout every Administration mouthing words from both sides of its mouth, as after Blinken had told both Israelis and Palestinians to “de-escalate,” and hardly had he got on the plane and fastened his seat belt when the Israeli Government resumed mowing down young Palestinians. Oh, wait! Aren’t those Fed up, Despairing, Frustrated, Colonized Humans? Not according to Israeli Government Spin that designates them all as Terrorists and Militants! Are they not fighting for their Freedom from Oppression and Colonization, like, for instance, the Ukrainians? Right Blinken? Right Biden? Stop your Obfuscating! Take Moral and Just Action! I have been witnessing and living this saga since I was five years old. I am now nearing eighty and it still goes on? How can that be? It is simply horrific! Nevertheless, why should I be shocked that this continues to go on? That Palestinian Humans continue to be shot, incarcerated, their land expropriated, their homes demolished, their aspirations suffocated and still far from achieving their Human and Legal Rights? During this Black History Month of February when minorities in these US are still far from achieving their Human and Legal Rights and are still being discriminated against and Colonized by White Supremacists, I should not be Shocked. However, It is Just Plain Wickedness that continues inflicting this pain on Palestinians and on Minorities in these United States, as in so many other places! Will it get better? Sadly, I am not holding my breath!

Heartaches by the Numbers, Troubles by the Score!

I know that You, who are reading this, probably know Facts, however, the approximately 142,000 Voters who elected George Santos (and the millions like them across this nation who vote for such specimens) obviously do not, but were only swayed by a glib tongue that spews out empty promises and lies galore! Or, a Solomon Pena who lost his Republican candidacy and decided to order a hit on four of his Democratic Opponents? Are such sorry examples our Representatives in Congress? No theatrical flop could be worse! Ordinary Humans from the Left, the Right and the Center – not Politicians, not Experts, not Journalists – are basically fed up with the same issues of Inequality and Inept Politicians who cannot seem to Rethink and Reset the Same Old Ways of Conducting Themselves and The Policies that affect our Very Existence. Ridiculous!

I have two small booklets that I read now and then and weep. Yes, weep. They are the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” as adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948, and the “Constitution of the United States of America.” Should you take the time to read them, you will not only Weep, you will Bawl Your Eyes Out, because there is No Nation on this Sorry Planet of ours that is applying the stipulations mentioned in these two important documents! Not even in this Bastion of Freedom and Democracy: the United States of America where we continue to haggle, re-interpret and mis-interpret our Constitution! Seventy-five years after the UN Declaration was adopted, and Two Hundred and Thirty-Six years after the US Constitution was written! Think of that!

You, and I, and All of Us Deserve the Rights, the Dignity and the Respect outlined in the above mentioned documents. We certainly Deserve Those! Everything else that we are told by Runaway Consumerism and Capitalism and by the Marketing Sharks that write their Come-ons to continue peddling their Mostly Useless “Stuff” are only Feel-good things that we might Like, or Want, or even Need, but None of Us are Special Enough to Deserve Them! And, thank you Bernie Sanders, the one Selfless Hero amongst our mostly rotten Politicians for talking about this and about Runaway Capitalism and all the Inequalities in our system! We all Deserve Values that Elevate Us, not simply those Outlined in Speeches, Written Documents and Constitutions, but Applied! Actually Applied! Tangibly Applied!

And, thanks to all the Activists, Organizations, Associations, Lawyers, Moral Police (not all of them were trained on Israeli tactics!) and ethical FBI Agents who continue to fight every day against those who want to sow bigotry, chaos, hate and disruption. They, too, are Heroes and Heroines! They are also a resoundingly terrific manifestation of how despite it all, our Democracy, frail and faulty though it is, Works! It is Alive, Strong and Well! I hope we can keep it that way! We all Deserve its Protections!


Lies, Deceit and Violence

Back there in time, one of the first bulky industrial computers was installed at one of the Lebanese banks with techies behind a glassed wall fiddling with the contraption as it blinked its lights and made purring sounds. One day a smart alecky fellow saunters by and asks the techie through the microphone: “What does this thing do?” The techie answers: “You can ask it any question and it gives you the answer.” So the fellow says: Shoo fee ma fee? (What’s going on?) There was a short period of silence after which the blinking lights and purring stopped and the computer Crashed! I have mentioned some version of this joke in one of my old posts, but thought it very applicable to our state of affairs nowadays!

Along these lines, and as she was scrolling through her phone and reading the news, my smart daughter says: It is as if the World is a Septic Tank that exploded and all the Poop is overflowing and engulfing us! Of course, I would have used a more expressive word than Poop, but my daughter is polite! Anyway, all this frothing going on while the Talking Head Yentas in our media pretend to relay the News with mostly frivolous, superficial yakety yak. Nothing with Honest Context; nothing to make you Really Think; no Dissenting Views; Willful Blindness; Censorship galore and Rah-rah-rah for Joe Biden’s war mongering efforts in Ukraine where we are, in fact, facing off with Putin. And are we planning to face off with Xi over Taiwan? Really? Facts are that we have a legacy of about 196 Interventions and Wars just in the past 70 years, and, prior to that, we had an almost equal number of wars, massacres and interventions mainly on Mexicans and Native Americans proving, once again, that we, as a nation, are a Merciless and Violent People. Shameful and Preposterous!

Do you remember the several articles during the Pandemic’s height that portended how Humans will become more Compassionate, Kinder and Nicer after the Virus recedes? Well, for one the Virus is still around, and for another there seems to be Less Compassion, Mean and, actually, quite Evil behavior. Example: the over thirty-five mass shootings that have occurred since January of this year (Gasp!) don’t even seem to faze us anymore! What’s up with that? Frankly, inept Political Leaders here at Home, and Across The World, are putting all of Us at great Peril as they conduct their malfeasance behind closed doors and then lull us into complacency with consumerism and nonsense! In some cases, they are portraying the Totally Bizarre and Ridiculous, as in the Insane Behavior of many of our Congressional Representatives who are under the Leadership of Kevin McCarty, and a Congress that has been overtaken by Radicals who are Anti Everything except their wicked agenda: Anti Science, anti-Books, anti-History, anti LGBTQ and Transgender people, anti-Abortion, anti-Jews and Muslims, anti-Reason and Progress, anti-Ethics, Morality and Honesty. Pray tell me what is the difference between them and the Taliban, because they seem to have a lot in common!

Yes, I’m Ranting! Can’t you see how Political Leaders in many places across this world are behaving like Schoolyard Bullies rather than Mature Adults? That instead of Talking they prefer lobbing Bullets and Bombs at their perceived Enemy, or their Own Citizens if they deem that necessary? Hello? Are we living in the Jungle? No, wait! I shouldn’t say Jungle and Insult the Animals!!

This is why I found myself tearing up on January 16 as I was watching Democracy Now and the remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While King’s Mountaintop speech is the most well-known and quoted, the speech I was listening to was one he made on April 4, 1967: Beyond Vietnam. In that speech he chastised the US involvement in Vietnam and our war-mongering efforts throughout our existence as a Republic. It is a mesmerizing speech that I urge you to listen to (https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2023/1/16) And here we still are: warring and meddling all over the globe and pretending that we are fighting to bring Freedom and Democracy to the World! That hasn’t panned out quite well so far, has it? To the contrary, we have supported Political Leaders who are Thugs and Oppressors, created orphans, raped girls and women, uprooted and traumatized Humans, corruption galore, destroyed and dysfunctional cities and communities and a whole lot of resentment and chaos. How can we continue on this path of the Powerful versus the Powerless?

I had contemplated voting to re-elect Joe Biden as President for a second term. I hereby withdraw that statement. True that he restored a certain sense of respectability and decency to our White House and to the country as opposed to the previous chaos and disruption. However, his war mongering efforts in Ukraine have left me totally turned off and quite disgusted! We all know that only Negotiation will end that devastating war which shouldn’t have taken place at all to begin with. There are no Winners here! And the only Losers are an Innocent Ukrainian People. Isn’t that the case in all wars, while Politicians remain unscathed? While all the Military Industrial Complex with its entire gamut of lethal weapons production, its corporate nabobs, its retired cold war mentality military advisors and experts, all the connected and well to do and their coterie of rah rah rah talking heads and media hosts remain unscathed as well? A few thousand will die? A million? More? Who cares about such people anyway??!!

Meanwhile, and as most Politicians prove their ineptitude every single day and across the world with their Lies, Deceit and Violence, we have to cope however we can, dodge the bullets – literally, in some cases – and hope that the computer – which we have rebooted multiple times already – doesn’t Crash again, and that the Poop from the Septic Tank doesn’t continue engulfing us until we somehow manage to Vote the Corrupt Politicians out! Out!