Saturday, March 26, 2016

Back to HUAC? Bad Old Days Are Now New Bad Days

If you aren't inclined to read American political history, you
may be unaware of the U. S. Rep House Un-American
Activities Committee from the 1950s (HUAC), where many
careers and lives were ruined in "Red" baiting based on the
flimsiest evidence. The current crop of right-wing "republicans"
(they're not real republicans, but are much closer to fascisti)
want to throw the babies out with the bathwater YET
AGAIN, by proposing patrolling Muslim-American
neighborhoods (got $$$, support and manpower for that,
Crazy Cruz??), by strongly suggesting Muslims of any sort
from everywhere be barred from entrance to the USA, etc.,
courtesy of Trump. Then Ben Carson, that well-known U.S.
Constitution's "venerated legal scholar", said that Muslim
philosophy does not meet the federal documents' stipulations

Add to all that disgusting drek the assault on women's rights,
minority voters' rights (--remember the poll tax?), the
recent rise of white cop murders of young Black men, illogical
(therefore irrational) Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens
United vs. the FEC; what you must then surely see is an
evil witches' brew of ignorance, intolerance, intransigence,
fear--hate, period. The rise of the rabble (which the media
mentions in code --"we are so surprised about Trump's success")
has serious, negative consequences for anyone of us interested
in the survival of our republic (--No, we do not have a
democracy, we've got a representative republic).

Sadly, over decades and centuries, there are  "dark age-
like" down-swings which come to the fore--and we've been
in one for decades, as many including me have been tracking
and protesting it...

Bad new days, bad old days, aren't they all the same? Let's
bid them a not fond farewell; the work required is awe-
inspiring, but I hope, not exactly like the Myth of Sisyphus.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Egregious Errata, Excrescences, Etc.: Time for Spirited Critique, Caution and a Prescription or Two...


-An evil, prune-faced troll, Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell has long felt no compunction in abandoning
his state, his obligation to the nation, while blocking Barack
Obama at every turn--Mitch Mc DID say his only job was to
stop Obama; I saw and heard him do so, online and on TV.

McConnell probably possesses president-envy as well as
the "other noun's envy", a quality no doubt shared with other
confirmed racists. I don't see him yelling at press conferences,
but, betting on the dark side of human nature once again,
feel pretty certain he does so in not-for-broadcast settings.

-The USA's criminal justice system is spectacularly unjust,
from the Supreme Court down to Dogpatch, U. S. of A.
-Need I elaborate?? No, I think not; any literate, informed
reader can supply numerous examples from all 50 states.

-When surveying the public/private sphere, it's hard to avoid
an awareness of a key, sad reality: consciences have atrophied
or become blunted, so why the shock and amaze? Why would
we expect a marvelously, morally-emancipated society?


-We must not acquire the very flaws, faults and actions of the
evil ones we fight. If we were to descend to such levels, we
merely add more people to the dark side, scarcely what we
need here at home OR abroad. (-!)

Gov. Kasich is right: don't take the low road, take the high one.
He recently promised to do just that, one of  several reasons why
I'm voting for him, did so in the IL primary. This is a president I
could live with, a centrist with few ostensible behavior and/or
anger management problems; he also served in Congress, let's
not forget.

It's time for all the concerned, rational and educated folk to
unite in an effort to drive the violent, ignorant and hated-inspired
back down the putrescent rat holes they are emerging from.
--Frankly, I prefer the real rats, who can be more easily excused.

Egregious excrescences, BEGONE.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our World at War, 2016: Bloody Skirmish after Skirmish, Ad Infinitum

We woke up to another terror skirmish, this time in Brussels,
Belgium. The story coming out of Europe is fragmented,
anywhere between 13 and 34 fatalities, over one hundred
or two hundred injured, according to CBS, WGN and NBC.
An authority announced this a.m. on CBS as having discerned
the terrorists' motivations: a  concerted continuation of the
recently captured mastermind's planned attacks there, schedule
stepped up.

I'd add another, revenge. From time immemorial, it's been a
powerful incitement indeed. While we wage this war, death
by death, destruction by destruction, we shouldn't forget that.
Revenge, married to jealousy (The Middle East envies the
power and success of the West) has motivated military
maneuvers for centuries, continuing into today. Resentment
too, due to the West's imperialism and occupations has
hardened attitudes and resolve as well.

Be certain, caliphate control of the planet is these allied
radically murderous groups' goal. The testosterone terror
of these men would put back women's rights and respect,
so hard fought for, so recently, if tenuously, won. Would
most women, even in the very Middle East nations which
harbor these malcontents, want that? The caliphate dream
died a deserved death; many men themselves prefer a
more engaged, intellect-driven destiny.

Sadly, so many more shoes and pairs of shoes, boots
included, must drop before this attempt to recapitulate
a failed past is halted--if ever. The appeal here is to
other failures, personal as well as political, an effective
recruitment tool, one that has enjoyed a long history...

Skirmish after bloody skirmish may be ultimately
squashed, but not before many civilians meet an
undeserved end.  This is our world at war,
March 22, 2016.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Donald Trump and His Neo Nazi Supporter: Two of a Kind

March 17th, 2016: Shaun King, writing in the New York Daily
News, has exposed an even more alarming reality of the Donald's
drive to the White House. A certain Grace Tilly, shown on a
PBS screengrab, sports multiple tattoos known to be part
and parcel of  the largest white supremacist group website
on Earth, Stormfront.  Dr. Pitcavage, an expert on radical
extremism with the Anti Defamation League, described the
"88" on her one hand as code for Heil Hitler (H is the eighth
letter in the alphabet) and Odin's Cross, the Stormfront's
logo. --Just one more item for North Carolina's Wall of
Shame...oh. The state does not possess one, but it should.

Whether he knows it or not, Trump is a fascist. Recent
perusal of WWII documentary footage shocked me
with the utterly identical facial expressions between
Hitler and Trump, the hate-filled shouting, the leering
contempt stamped all over both of their less than
handsome faces. Then there are the always reliable
identity indicators of demagoguery, appeal to a ruthless,
unthinking chauvinism, exhortations encouraging violence,
overweening "patriotic" pride, ad libidinem, ad nauseam,
et al.

Trump is an embarrassing, error-riven menace.
A failure in many ways, always ambitious to the
point  of projects toppled by their own heedless
shortcuts, he would drag us back to the national
madness of Germany in 1940--if we don't offer
a spirited, determined resistance.

Donald Trump and Grace Tilly, just two of a
kind nobody needs, and relatively few of
us want.

Friday, March 18, 2016

I Now Know Why People Prefer Cars to Mass Transit

--Whew! I JUST might take up 70, look out,
world! After supporting walking and transit taking all my adult
life, I have reluctantly arrived at an unhappy observation:
too many train and bus users are thoughtless, selfish, heedless.
It has become so annoying and upsetting, I'm in a perpetual
snit most of the time I'm out.

Just today:

--a woman ate a full course meal, complete with chicken
and potatoes. Don't people know that Chicago's transit regs
forbid eating on their trains? A $300 fine was  enacted by
the Chicago City Council years ago.
--men left their feet and backpacks in the aisles. I
brought my cane down sharply to the floor, which wakes them
to polite reality. Females are also guilty of this, but less
--a young man blocked the "L" stairway, seating himself on
the steps to swap out his ROLLERBLADES for walking
shoes. He was accompanied by a talkative, useless friend.
These two could have easily found a corner OUTSIDE
the station to perform the footgear changeup.
--a woman balanced her full takeout coffee on a train
platform's railing high above the sidewalk, an always busy
one. That railing is 1 1/2" inches wide.

Last week:

--a woman, a stranger, grabbed my arm to detain me,
as she was dissatisfied  with me not knowing the answer
to her questions...really!

Keep your eyes open in public to study the many foibles
of the human race. My kingdom for a car!

Monday, March 14, 2016

An Anguished Anniversary: The Triple Tragedy in Japan, Five Years and Counting

March 11, 2011 has gone down into recorded history as the worst
natural AND man-made disasters Japan has so far experienced.
"Venerable" scientists had never deemed a "9" magnitude on the
earthquake rating scale was possible--why? For the inexplicably
irrational, utterly untenable reason that one so massive had never
been previously recorded. (--What??) The Tohoku Earthquake
inevitably fueled the tsunami, barreling swiftly toward the east
coast of Honshu...

So some 20,000 souls were killed outright; these are the natural
disasters creating  catastrophes with longer-lasting effects, the
man-made nuclear meltdown and irradiated countryside,
forcing mass evacuations and permanent population dislocations.
Vast areas have become permanently uninhabitable; Tepco,
the utility responsible for their nuclear industrial park,
Fukushima-Daiichi, admitted, finally, it would take about
FORTY YEARS to cleanup the massive meltdowns. That
equates to two twenty-year standard operating required
licenses for such said electrical plants.

My thanks go to free TV NHK, available across the USA and
here in Chicagoland. We can keep up with the Japanese
perspective  because of them. A few days ago NHK
broadcast programs about the survivors, what they must
do to keep body, soul and family together, having lost
most possessions, homes and employment. The Japanese,
I have observed time and again, are indeed a plucky bunch,
have to be, as all island people have to deal with hurricanes,
floods, the occasional earthquake, etc. Inspiring individuals,
rising above such harrowing, narrow strictures, were showcased,
as well as frequent sharing, cooperating, commiserating with
each other.

Japanese children drew pictures which went viral, an
invigorating, innocent artistry of hope, an ennobling
feature of  survivor grit. Congratulations to them,
and to the people from many other nations who
have gone to the stricken areas in  Japan to help
in any way they can. All of them made/make me cry.

If any reader is interested in more related information,
the BBC and  CNN, televised and online, are a
good source of information too. Please, let us not
forget the good people of Japan who did not
deserve such an overwhelming, off-putting fate.

It's been five years, an anguished anniversary of
multi-layered catastrophe: the earthquake(s), the
tsunami's meters-high floods, the disabled nuclear
electrical plants, their meltdowns causing harmful
radiation to escape the industrial park area, dispersing
widely enough to evacuate towns nearby. There
is an important cautionary tale here, with warnings
and prescriptions for the future:

Phase out nuclear power plants, as Germany is doing; do
not keep issuing more 20 year nuclear plant license extensions;
turn to renewables, solar, wind, geothermal, and other
naturally-engendering energy sources. Stop building so
close to the oceans and seas, as tempting as that has been.

Less anguish, more survival sensibility for families' futures,
all of Earth's, as well.