Sunday, August 10, 2014

American Dementia

de·men·tia
 noun \di-ˈmen(t)-shə, -shē-ə\
medical : a mental illness that causes someone to be unable to think clearly or to understand what is real and what is not real.

I think it is entirely possible that Americans suffer from a form of collective dementia. Certainly we have a problem understanding what is real and what is not real. First we seem to cling to the belief that we are a democracy (false), second, we seem to want to believe we are so exceptional we are indispensable to the rest of the world (we are now regarded, along with Israel, as the greatest threat to world peace), third, we believe that we have morality and right on our side no matter what), fourth, we believe we are the only superpower left in the world (having never won a war after WWII except, perhaps, over Granada), and fifth, we believe we lead the world in education, science, and economy (demonstrably demented as this is no longer true).
It is not entirely clear to me that dementia is necessarily a condition that affects all Americans, it could well be that it mostly affects those in politics, from the President, Congress, and down to the Supreme Court. There are, for example, hundreds of thousands of citizens all over the world, including many in the U.S., marching to protest what is happening in Gaza. The same thing happened prior to the Iraq “war.” The powers that be pay no attention to these demonstrations. A majority of U.S. citizens want stricter gun controls, they are ignored, just as those who are anti-war are ignored. Our “leaders” cling to the insane belief that what we do is right and what others do is wrong. The situations in Israel and the Ukraine are excellent cases in point, even though in both cases what we think is right is absurd (insofar as much of what happens has to do with oil, right and wrong are basically irrelevant, oil always wins).
We do almost certainly lead the world in sheer hypocrisy. For example, we are the first to demand that leaders in other nations be arrested and tried for war crimes, but at the same time we allow our own acknowledged war criminals to walk around freely boasting of their crimes. Our President had now reduced our war crimes to the simple homily that “we tortured some folks.”
Perhaps a more interesting case in point has to do with genocide. Isis, that growing bunch of murderous religious extremists, has chased thousands of Yazidi religious believers into the mountains and threatens to kill them if they do not agree to convert to an extreme form of Muslimism. So, to prevent this possible genocide the U.S. has intervened and is now bombing Isis in conjunction with Kurdish forces trying to defeat them. This is all well and good and no doubt necessary (obviously we cannot tolerate religious extremists who want to (and do) kill everyone who doesn’t agree with them. Genocide, however, is apparently acceptable when it comes to Palestinians. Israel has herded a million and a half of them into a narrow strip of land where they can be humiliated, starved, and killed at will, all with the blessings of our President and almost all members of Congress. Oh, I know, you will say the two situations are not comparable as Hamas is firing rockets into Israel, whereas the Yazidi are helpless. Basically the Palestinians in Gaza are helpless, and also deprived of food and water, power, and basic necessities, and have been for years as the Israelis control everything having to do with their daily lives. Hamas, and the Palestinians, want the siege to be lifted so they can live normal human lives, Israel refuses and the siege will apparently continue forever. Not only does the U.S. accept this terrible situation it actively encourages and participates in it. Our policy is clear enough, protect the Yazidis from genocide but not the Palestinians.
You may argue that Israel is not engaged in genocide. I do not believe it. More and more Israelis are arguing that it is permissible to kill them, some arguing that killing Palestinian women is justified because they will just produce more “snakes,” (where have we heard this before, “nits make lice.”) Israel argues that is has the right to protect itself from “terrorists,” even though they themselves were former terrorists, but the only way you can see their killing of innocent Palestinian women and children as protecting them from  terrorism is by believing the children will eventually become terrorists. It is no different than other feuds, if you don’t kill the children they will seek revenge for the killing of their fathers and mothers, and on and on. President Obama says he feels no sympathy for Hamas, fine, I feel no sympathy for Israel. Israel is the only entity that can end this horror. They can do it tomorrow by acknowledging that Palestinians are humans just like the rest of us, that they have legitimate interests that need to be met, and that they will do their utmost to be fair and reasonable. Don’t bet on it, and don’t invest much in the future of Israel.

The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. 
When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out "stop!"

When  crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.”




Monday, August 04, 2014

"Talk"

There is certainly plenty of talk going around having to do with the Israeli/Palestinian blood bath. The Israelis of course blame Hamas, Hamas blames Israel, the UN condemns both parties, and even the US, an active participant in this dreadful bloody event, has managed to complain about the attacks on what are supposed to be UN safe havens. There are apparently marches all around the world condemning Israel while Israeli defenders continue mindlessly reciting their mantra, “Israel has a right to defend itself from terrorists.” Hamas is condemned for being a terrorist group by Israel and the U.S. but is not necessarily so considered by others. Israel is increasingly condemned by most of the world. It is obvious that both sides have committed obvious war crimes.

Having tried to follow this slaughter as well as I can (not very rewarding these days), I know that most of the talk consists of lies, truly obvious and transparent lies. The Israelis and their supporters lie constantly whereas Hamas also lies. It is virtually impossible to believe anything we are told by anyone, least of all the U.S. MSM. The UN charges Israel with probable war crimes, even crimes against humanity, the U.S. claims to be appalled at some of the recent Israeli military actions, Hamas is similarly charged, the accusations and denials go on and on endlessly, as they have, in fact, for years.  

The problem with all this talk is not only that it is a never-ending pack of lies, the problem is, it is just “talk.” We have heard all of this talk before, several times now. Every couple of years the Israeli siege of Gaza erupts in a cauldron of violence and killing, every couple of years the UN condemns Israel for war crimes and violations of international law, every couple of years the U.S. slaps them on the wrist (gently, of course) for building more illegal settlements, or destroying another Palestinian orchard, or more Palestinian homes, or running over an American girl with a bulldozer for defending a Palestinian home, or killing a couple of children for throwing rocks, and so on, an endless cycle of violence and destruction in which the Palestinians invariably lose physically although probably slowly gaining politically.

Nothing ever happens as a result of all this. The Israelis simply ignore the UN and world opinion, confidant their great ally the U.S. will veto any attempt to seriously charge them with anything (after all, Israel has the right to defend itself from terrorists, as well as from nonexistent Iranian nuclear bombs). As long as this situation continues there can, of course, be no possible peace in the Middle East.  As long as “talk” is the only action talk will just continue to no end whatsoever. Talk is not what is needed, what is needed is action. As Israel is itself the greatest impediment to peace, as it is now obvious they do not want a peaceful settlement, a Palestinian state, or a change in the status quo, and seem to be more and more hinting at a “final solution,” it is Israel that must be made to change unless, of course, the U.S. and the rest of the world are willing to tolerate the slow genocide of the Palestinians. Without some major intervention this will inevitably happen as even the Palestinian children who are not being murdered will be slowly destroyed by their lack of education and opportunities, food, and the ordinary materials for normal lives, to say nothing of their lack of parents and rewarding family lives.

Perhaps this latest violence, far worse than the last outbreak or the one before that, will force the world to realize they must act to solve this ulcerous sore than never seems to heal. The main key here, of course, will be the United States. Will the U.S. continue to support the unprecedented, torturous, punishing siege of Hamas and the inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, or will we finally say enough is enough and return to some semblance of decency and morality? Don’t bet on it, that AIPEC money is powerful, fairness and morality be damned.




Saturday, August 02, 2014

"The Final Solution"

Well, the Israeli massacre of Palestinians continues, with the virtually unanimous support of our President and members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who seem willing, even eager, to supply more ammunition and funds to keep it going. Many members of Congress apparently do not even want a ceasefire, so eager are they to help Israel rid itself of Palestinians. Netanyahu piously claims (with a straight face) that they (the Israelis) have nothing against the Palestinian, it is only Hamas they are after (while continuing to murder more than 1500 innocent Palestinian men, women, and children who had nothing to do with Hamas).
There are increasing references in the written record to Palestinian “vermin,” “snakes,” and such, and one Israeli writer has even suggested the genocide of Palestinians would be justified (or legitimate), in an essay soon withdrawn for, I should think, obvious reasons. Those opposing a ceasefire and furnishing more ammunition would seem to think this continuing slaughter is also justified.

What the Israelis have done and are doing is UNFORGIVABLE, and is not going to be forgotten. Generations of Palestinians and other Arabs are not going to forget, and are highly unlikely to ever forgive, no matter what the Israelis do now (assuming they would ever do anything except go on killing).  And forget the pathetic bullshit about how Hamas started it when they fired rockets into Israel, or when they kidnapped three Israeli teenagers.  It started “way back when,” when Israel herded more an a million Palestinians into an outdoor prison and lay siege to them, slowly starving them, controlling every aspect of their lives, and also gradually killing them off. Where, by the way, came the authority to justify such a completely unprecedented act? Who gave Israel the authority to preside God-like over Palestinians? Why did the International community allow this to happen? More importantly for the moment, why does the world allow such a siege to continue?

Thus, far from protecting themselves from terrorists, Israeli greed, stupidity, and racism has guaranteed they will never be free of terrorists for many generations to come, if ever. Having managed to maneuver themselves into this impossible situation, If they want to be free of terrorists there is now, from their point of view, only one solution, “the final solution,” and they seem to be more and more embarked on it, both in their statements and their behavior. There is no other excuse for their massive extermination of thousands of innocent women and children, completely unjustified collective punishment for an entire population for the acts of a few. Why does protecting themselves from Hamas involve the indiscriminate killing of thousands of innocents? It doesn’t. And don’t buy into the crap about how carefully they are trying to protect civilians, a lie so blatant it betrays the obvious, they don’t give a damn for Palestinian lives.

Hamas has now made it clear, the siege must be lifted, they must be allowed to live normal lives like all other people, they would rather “die on their feet than live forever on their knees.” Obviously what Israel has done to the Palestinians should not be (or have been) allowed, a situation worse perhaps than even slavery. Israel has made it clear by now they do not want a Palestinian state and prefer to keep the status quo. This cannot continue if Israel truly desires “peace,” which they obviously do not. The outcome of this human predicament is not at all obvious. Are the U. S. and the rest of the world going to participate in the final solution? If not, what will they do? Unfortunately, and in fact, there may no longer be any other solution. Even if Israel agreed to return to the 1967 borders, apologized for their attempted genocide, even if they returned all the Palestinian lands and water they have stolen, even if they publicly repented for their outrageous behavior, and even if they made reparations and agreed to a viable Palestinian state, they still might not be forgiven . Remember the mark of Cain:  “When Cain spilled his brother's blood, the earth became cursed as soon as the blood hit the ground.” Genesis 4:12.

The Israelis may want to deny their basic brotherhood with the Palestinian “vermin,” but it exists in a higher morality they will be unable to deny forever. Although I may not be around to see it, their time will come, and it will not be pleasant.

“No one is more vulnerable to fear than a man who keeps another in bondage. He will do anything to prevent justice from rearing its head — for he knows well what he deserves at the hands of those he subjugates.” 
 


  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Not Much Hope

Even now I continue to resist concluding that all is hopeless. I fear hopelessness as that is the end. There is nowhere to go after hopelessness. But we are, I am convinced, certainly approaching hopelessness. We have a Congress that is so dysfunctional it does nothing. We have a President who is constrained from doing much of anything mainly because he is Black. And both our President and Congress have proven themselves to be morally bankrupt by their overwhelming and unconditional support for the blatant and continuing Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. Personally, I find this not only appalling but virtually unbelievable. As both parties are equally in favor of this ongoing theft, murder, and genocide, I no longer participate at any level in this morally bankrupt national suicide. Having now reached the state of a pariah nation, along with the totally evil Israeli government, it is inevitable that we will eventually collapse because of our own mindless, aggressive, short-sighted, greedy, racist, egomaniacal, and ethnocentric behavior.

I see very little hope for the future, little more than a bare glimmer, and the odds, I think, are not good. The coming elections will give us our usual choice of voting for the lesser of two evils. Thus about the only chance we will have is a bit of a long shot. If Democrats hold control of the Senate, and if they also gain control of the House, there is a chance that at least some of our more domestic problems may be at least partly alleviated. But who becomes President will also be critical. I do not think Hillary Clinton is the right person at the right time but she, of course, would be far better than any of the potential Republican candidates. Hillary is sooo 1990’s, and far too much of a Hawk, to say nothing of her being in bed with Wall Street and corporate America. Even so, if we can achieve a completely Democratic sweep, and if we can perhaps get a more progressive President, we may have at least a foot in the door towards some meaningful change, at least domestically.

But this, of course, would still leave the issue of our absurd Foreign Policy that still wants to maintain the charade of American exceptionalism and empire. Overcoming the power of the Military/Industrial/Political complex will not be an easy task, it could even prove to be impossible unless it collapses because of its own excesses. It is not unrelated to our collapsing infrastructure, educational, and economic systems. If a Russian/UK merger occurs, or even a Russian/China merger, the U.S. will find it impossible to maintain world hegemony as it so desperately is trying to do.

I see truly monumental changes shaping up in the world, with the U.S. fading and alliances in Europe, Asia, and South America becoming more dominant and independent of U.S. control. I doubt that I will ever see President Obama and the entire Congress of the U.S., along with “Bibi” and his barbarian coterie, being tried in the Hague for war crimes but, then, one can’t expect everything. One has to cling desperately to whatever sliver of hope remains.

“For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.” 


     

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten Years!

Where DOES the time go? Today marks the 10th anniversary of Morialekafa (a native New Guinea word meaning “insignificant little bug with no other name”). When I first began writing this blog I scarcely knew what a blog was but I thought it might be interesting to start one. It has been interesting. I have had readers from virtually every place on the globe, not because they look up Morialekafa itself, but because they are searching for some topic about which I happen to have written at some time, topics like sardines, pickled pigs feet, being an only child, deodorant, stuff like that.

Morialekafa was not intended to be particularly political although nothing was precluded. Because of the excesses of the Bush/Cheney years (the nightmare years) my blog became  increasingly political. Looking back on it I can scarcely believe all the things I wrote about, some of which I only vaguely remember and some that I don’t remember at all. I believe I have been reasonably consistent in my beliefs and values and I hope I have never been hypocritical (which seems to have become the most distinguishing feature of American politics).

I have no doubt that by far the best of Morialekafa was written in the first five years. If you look up “Five Years” in the archives (July 25, 2009), you will find an index of those years. At that time I was blogging almost every day as I continued to do for some time. In the past two or three years I have written less frequently and, I am sure, less creatively. The fact is, I have mostly lost interest in U. S. politics. It is pretty clear that both parties are very similar, they both no longer act in the public interest, favoring the wealthy and corporate interests almost exclusively. The hypocrisy and lying have become so blatant we, the public, no longer have any true idea of what is happening or why, and our voices are not heard by those who purport to represent us. Having been an ordinary democrat all of my life I have finally become a full-blown Democratic Socialist (in the mold of Bernie Sanders whom I very much admire). My limited creative powers have diminished as well as my interest in politics. I have thought seriously of just ending Morialekafa entirely (ten years is probably more than enough), but I know I will occasionally be motivated to write something, at least until my Journey to the West comes to an end.  

But frankly, I believe things have become so bad I no longer support either party. I no longer sign petitions (except rarely), I no longer donate money or time, I find I do not believe anything I am told by the media, and I have lost my faith in my country. Perhaps I am just getting old and cranky but I am sick of the whole business. More importantly, I do not want to even remotely be linked to the murderous, genocidal, colonial maniacs that currently insist on unconditionally supporting Israel’s attempt to rid the world of Palestinians. Our President and Congress apparently have no sense of either shame or guilt, just take the money, look the other way, and speak nobly of robbing the poor to feed the rich, killing the Palestinians and Russian/Ukrainians to feed the permanently greedy, and pretend that all is well with the world. After all, as we are constantly being told, it’s all Putin’s fault.

 “Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.” 


 “I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” 


Monday, July 28, 2014

The Irony and the Ecstasy

Ever since our current President, Barrack Hussein Obama, was elected, there have been those unwilling to accept him as a legitimate President. They tried to argue he was not a native-born American, he was actually a Kenyan, a socialist, communist, at least an alien of some kind, not one of us, an “other.”

Then they (Republicans) vowed to not cooperate with him on anything. They have kept faithfully to that vow, even shutting down the U. S. Government at one point, and frustrating his every attempt to improve the lot of working Americans. By opposing everything they have of course kept little of anything from happening. Now they criticism him for this predictable failure, hypocrisy raised to heretofore unknown heights. But nothing they have attempted has actually brought him down. Their attempt to make him a one term President failed, all of their smears and lies about him have failed, but they still have not given up.

During President  Obama’s tenure in office there have been growing mobs of angry White men, armed and potentially very dangerous. They proudly march with their weapons and have even threatened an armed march on the White House. Having failed miserably to discredit and smear Obama they have now turned to a last resort, a lynching (oops, sorry, I meant an impeachment). Some are ecstatic about the possibility. It is not clear precisely what he will be charged with but it will apparently be accusations of his abuse of Presidential power, his use of his office to accomplish things that Congress is failing to do, like immigration reform and such. If they actually attempt this impeachment it will inevitably fail, not the least because fully 67% of the public is opposed, but also because he has used his Presidential powers less often than any of his recent predecessors, has not actually violated any constitutional rights, and so on. If somehow Republicans manage to capture the Senate in 2014 they will almost certainly attempt an impeachment as a majority of Republicans apparently want him impeached, if only to smear his Presidency.

The fact of the matter is, Obama’s “crime” basically comes down to acting Presidential while Black. Because he is Black he’s not, in the eyes of angry White men, supposed to be the President. And not only that, he refuses to do what they want him to do, he does not obey as he should. He is “uppity.”His Black wife is also uppity. Black people, according to the dominant paradigm of the last 500 or so years, are not as intelligent as Whites, not as highly evolved if you will, not in a position to rule over White people, are supposed to stay “in their place.” Obama’s success is a violation of this widely held paradigm of White male superiority, not to be tolerated.  I do not doubt there are some who would rather have Obama lynched than merely impeached, but lynching Blacks is not as easy or as family friendly as it once was, and there are too many cameras these days.

Should Obama be impeached? I think so, but not for the petty reasons Republicans offer. Obama should have been impeached long ago for war crimes. Under U.S. law a President is legally required to prosecute known war criminals. Obama refused to prosecute Bush/Cheney, et al, and thus became a war criminal himself. One might understand why, politically, Obama did not attempt such prosecutions, it would have doubtless torn our country apart. But his own war crimes have continued and continue to the present time. His drone warfare is most probably a war crime, but his support for Israel’s blatant, never-ending war crimes is unforgivable, making him once again a war criminal himself. Of course prosecuting him for war crimes is not about to happen. It would be most interesting if it did as the Senate recently voted unanimously to support Israeli war crimes, they would hardly be in a position to impeach Obama for the same behavior.  Similarly, I believe he would also be guilty of war crimes with respect to the situation in the Ukraine. But this is now, law and morality no longer have any connection with reality, nor do truth and beauty.

“Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.” 



Friday, July 25, 2014

Attitudes

I am somewhat amazed, even taken aback, by the unexpected attitudes of some of my friends, although I suppose I shouldn’t be. We have a kind of informal club that meets every Tuesday evening. We think of it as “The Gentlepersons Club” as both males and females are welcome. There aren’t a lot of members and we play billiards, not pool, billiards, now known in the U. S. as carom billiards. We also of course have conversations about various topics sometimes but not always politically related conversations.

Last Tuesday in a conversation I casually observed that Vladimir Putin had recently married his girlfriend, apparently a one-time gymnast medal winner. I went on to observe that he had divorced his wife of 30 years with whom he had two daughters, but no one was sure where they were. One of the women immediately said, “Maybe he got rid of them.” I confess I was astounded. Why on earth would this woman, a perfectly bright, reasonably liberal democrat (I don’t have any other friends) say such a thing? Obviously her remark must have been prompted by an assumption that Putin must be a kind of Stalin clone, an evil person who would presumably not hesitate to dispose of the woman he was married to for 30 years plus their two offspring. Of course I don’t know where they are, but I would bet a lot of money they are well-off and living in comfort somewhere, if perhaps anonymously for their own protection.

And of course they all seem to believe that Putin is responsible for the situation in Ukraine, having aggressively moved towards that country. They are apparently unaware of the violent coup we promoted, along with the EU, that overthrew the democratically elected President (who was, granted, an evil, greedy son-of-a-bitch) with the aid of some neo-Nazi groups who happily joined in to help, and are now trying to destroy the Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

Anyway, the next day, in a conversation with another friend, I remarked that Hamas had offered a ten year truce to Israel provided certain (what I thought were perfectly reasonable) demands were met, and Israel had turned them down. My friend seemed to be confinced that Israel was right to do so because Hamas wouldn’t stop attacking them even if there was such a truce, another attitude that surprised me (Hamas, being Arab, was obviously untrustworthy). Of course he and the others also seem to believe that Hamas started the recent trouble by suddenly (and I guess for no apparent reason) firing rockets into Israel.

Now you have to understand that none of these friends are news junkies although they do watch some news on the MSM. None of them as far as I know watch Fox (non) News. They are liberal democrats, certainly not Neocons, and are all basically opposed to war, especially the ongoing troubles in both Ukraine and Palestine. I would describe them all as very typical American citizens, somewhat informed, but accepting whatever our MSM tells them. So I guess it is not surprising they have the attitudes they do, the attitudes that our corporate controlled media want them to have. If ordinary people in the U.S. believe that Putin is an evil dictator trying to re-establish the Russian empire, ruthless in his attempts to do so, and believe that Hamas has no legitimate reasons for firing rockets at Israel, both gross and false claims, what chance is there really to solve any of these problems? The powers that be have us brainwashed into believing their lies and gross oversimplifications so they can pursue their corporate interests and world hegemony. Putin and Hamas stand in their way, so Putin and Hamas are the bad guys and we, the U.S. and our allies are overwhelmingly the good guys. We have been fed so many lies and so much misinformation in recent years I truly believe that ordinary Americans now live in surreal webs of misunderstanding, divorced entirely from the events in the real world.

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”