RE-ELECTING HERBERT HOOVER

13 12 2020

Suppose that, in 1932, in the depths of The Great Depression, a fascist demagogue had contested Herbert Hoover’s re-nomination as the Republican Presidential candidate, and succeeded, thrusting Hoover aside? Suppose, in 1932, the Democrats had decided that, with the country in such perilous shape, New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt’s proposals for social programs and some kind of pie-in-the-sky “New Deal” seemed just a little too, well, socialist? So, instead of nominating Roosevelt, who was wildly popular, the Democratic leadership smeared him as “Moscow’s favorite,” and gave the party’s nomination to Hoover, endorsing his conservative strategy of stimulating the economy by offering financial stimuluses to banks and large businesses, and avoiding large-scale government handouts to impoverished families and individuals. Suppose that, in spite of their disappointment with this choice, a majority of Americans voted for Hoover over the demagogue, even as they hoped that Hoover, once in office, would see the wisdom of Roosevelt’s approach? Does this scenario sound at all familiar?

(Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

I’m not going to take that metaphor too much further, but what I will do in this essay/talk is lay out some of the many ways Biden has always had fairly Republican policy goals and intentions,look at the conflicts this will engender and whether they might cause any kind of reassessment, and try to lay out a scenario or two about where all this could be leading us.

So, here we are. We’ve just re-elected Herbert Hoover, er, elected Joe Biden. In  either case, we’re looking at a President whose policy priorities are Republican. I’m not the only one who sees that–there’s a whole website devoted to demonstrating its truthThat website starts with his record on Social Security, and goes on from there:

  • 1983 Joe Biden floats the idea of raising the retirement age.

  • 1984 Joe Biden partners with Republicans to co-sponsor a freeze on social security.

  • 1995 Joe Biden says he’s tried four times to freeze Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits.

  • 1995 Joe Biden votes for Balanced Budget Amendments that cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’s benefits

  • 1996 Joe Biden floats the idea of chained CPI cuts to Social Security.

  • 1997 Joe Biden votes again for Balanced Budget Amendments that cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits.

  • 2007 Joe Biden brags that he’s proud of his support for a Social Security age increase.

  • 2007 Joe Biden tells NBC’s Meet the Press that cuts to Social Security and Medicare should “absolutely” be on the table.

  • 2018 Joe Biden says Social Security and medicare “still need adjustments.”

So, we have a President who, while spouting rhetoric about making things better, seems firmly committed to doing things that will make matters worse. The country is incredibly polarized, not just between the privileged few and the dis-empowered many, but between those whose response to our difficulties is to retreat into authoritarianism (as long as the authority shows some deference to them), those who envision a better way, and those who want to stick with what we’ve got because it would work if you ne’er-contents would just stop your complaining and drop your perfectionism and be grateful for what you get. Yes, that’s a three-way polarity. American politics tends to be extremely bipolar, but reality does not, which may help explain why our political system seems so poor at figuring things out. Read the rest of this entry »





AND THE WINNER OF THE UNPOPULARITY CONTEST IS……

8 11 2020

As Donald Trump prepares to have his servants pack his bags and sends scouts out to locate a nice villa in Brazil, there are a couple of distinctions and numbers in which he can take some satisfaction. One is that he won the unpopularity contest, not just for this election season, but, at least so far, for all time: a record-breaking seventy-three million Americans, and counting, do not want him to be President any more. On the other hand, he can take some comfort in being the third most-popular Presidential candidate in American history, and the most popular Republican Presidential candidate of all time,  with only Biden this year and Obama in 2008 ahead of him, as the votes of a not-quite record-breaking sixty-nine million, and counting, Americans, attest.That’s eight million more votes than he received in 2016. But Biden, um, scared up the support of eleven million citizens who hadn’t voted in 2016–or should we say Trump scared them up for Biden?

It’s worth noting that the real winner of the election was “neither of the above.” Election turnout is estimated at around 67%, which means that eighty million eligible voters didn’t vote, down from a hundred million in 2016. That’s the base we in The Green Party are attempting to tap into. We’ve got a long way to go. Howie Hawkins received around 330,000 votes, making him a very distant fourth in the Presidential race. Considering the complete media blackout and the big push to hold your nose and vote for Biden, even in “safe” states, that’s actually pretty good, far better than the Green Party did in the years between Ralph Nader and Jill Stein.

Speaking of he Green Party…I just played “Solidarity Forever,” and I have no doubt that, if any Democrats who know me bother to read or listen to this, they are shaking their heads in disgust, saying I’ve got some nerve playing “Solidarity Forever” after stiffing all their arguments, pleas and threats to me to get in their One Big Tent and vote for their candidate. So many other “leftists” and “socialists” did, after all! What’s wrong with me? Am I some kind of privileged purist? Read the rest of this entry »





CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER

18 10 2020

Last month I concluded with these words:

Survey after survey reveals that the peoples’ wishes are far more radical, and fair, than what our corporate parties are willing to enact. These tensions, and others, are building to a pitch in the US, and I am not the only one who sees our current situation as tending towards a civil war, if not an outright revolution. The November election this year, far more than in most years, is looking more and more like a doorway into unknown territory rather than a solution to the national debate, no matter whether Trump or Biden wins, orif  the outcome is debatable. That’s a complex topic, but I’m out of time for this month. Unless something breathtaking occurs between now and mid-October, let’s take that as the starting point for next month’s show.

Well, here we are, five weeks later, two weeks and a few days ahead of Election Day, and sure enough, yet another black swan has landed, introducing a twist I, and others, are calling “The Republican Party’s Masque of the Red Death.” If you are not familiar with Edgar Allan Poe’s 1842 tale, it’s the story of a prince who, with a large contingent of his uninfected friends, isolates himself while a plague ravages his country. In the midst of a big costume party, an infected individual breaks into the castle and, with incredible stamina, lives long enough to infect, and kill, the prince and all his friends.

Our current version of this tale has two twists–the first being that the plague involved is rarely fatal, although it does seem to come with debilitating long term effects in many cases. The other is that, in our case, it is the prince himself who is infecting his friends, as he tried to bully his way through  a dangerous, highly infectious illness while promoting his Supreme Court nominee, who has exactly three years of judicial experience and who seems to have stepped out of the pages of Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale. She has also already had covid, meaning she is unlikely to be reinfected, but Trump succeeded in infecting enough of the Republicans involved in her nomination process to slow it down, but not to stop it–unless there are further unforeseen developments, of course.

There’s a lot going on here. In the last year of the Obama government, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority leader, declined to move forward on Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, “because it’s too close to an election.” But, when a Republican President makes a Supreme Court nomination right before an election which it’s starting to look like he could lose, it’s vitally important to damn the torpedoes and ram the nomination through, even knowing that it’s enraging millions of voters (who weren’t going to vote for Trump anyway) and possibly contributing to a Biden victory in November.

The Trump regime’s notably inept handling of the virus in the US has been a world-wide scandal that, unlike many of his violations of common sense, seems to be turning some voters off on him, but his egregious carelessness in infecting members of his own staff and the leadership of the Republican Party  may well have cost him dearly in the eyes of voters. And, win or lose, there is a good chance that he, as an older, overweight, high-blood pressure coronavirus victim, may encounter, according to The Mayo Clinic, “organ damage to the heart, lungs, and/or brain,” “blood clots and blood vessel problems”, and “problems with mood and fatigue.” They warn

Even in young people, COVID-19 can cause strokes, seizures and Guillain-Barre syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis. COVID-19 may also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, our bull elephant of a President is now a wounded bull elephant. If he dies, or becomes obviously incapacitated, and Mike Pence becomes the GOP standard bearer, before or after the election, win or lose, we’re looking at several different uncharted territories. To deal with this, the Democrats have been playing “war games” as part of what they call “The Transition Integrity Project.”  According to Microsoft News, Read the rest of this entry »





WHEN AN ABSTRACT PRINCIPLE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN VERY REAL LIVES

13 09 2020

In a social media conversation I was involved in recently, somebody made this comment:

Voting 3rd party is a good way to let marginalized groups know that your abstract principles are more important than their very real lives.

I thought it was B.S. at the time, and said as much, and did my best to reply “on the fly,” as they say. Since it’s a meme I’ve encounter several other times, it seems worth exploring the role “abstract principles” play in politics, as well as the effects they have on everybody’s “very real lives,” whether they are in a “marginalized group,” or one of the marginalizers. So that’s what I’m going to be addressing here.

The Green Party’s “four pillars” are ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence. Ourten key values“add to that list “decentralization,” “community-based economics and economic justice,” “feminism and gender equity,””respect for diversity,” “personal and global responsibility,” and “future focus and sustainability.” I suppose you could call these “abstract principles,” but, at a level, that’s what being a political party is about–a group of people agree that, if certain principles were applied to the way societal decisions are made, the results would be an improvement on the current situation. In those places where Greens have governed, mostly in foreign countries, but in a few lucky cities and towns in America, we have done our best to apply these principles, and I think that, by any reasonable standard, the way we have applied our “abstract principles” has improved the “very real lives” of not only “marginalized groups,” but the whole community.

Democrats, and the Republicans as well, also govern by applying an abstract principle. Yes, they share the same principle, although they differ in the details of applying it and the rhetoric with which they surround it. Let’s take a look at what that “abstract principle” is, and how it has affected the lives of not just “marginalized groups,” but most Americans–because here, in late stage capitalism, everybody outside of the top 10% of wealth holders has been, or is about to be, “marginalized.”

The first thing to do, obviously, is name and define the “principle.” Its name is “neoliberalism,” and here’s the beginning of Investopedia‘s fairly extensive definition/discussion:

Neoliberalism is a policy model that encompasses both politics and economics and seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. Many neoliberalism policies enhance the workings of free market capitalism and attempt to place limits on government spending, government regulation, and public ownership.

Neoliberalism is often associated with the leadership of Margaret Thatcher–the prime minister of the U.K. from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990–and Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the U.S. (from 1981 to 1989). More recently, neoliberalism has been associated with policies of austerity and attempts to cut government spending on social programs.

I think there’s one qualifier that needs to be added to this definition: neoliberalism likes to place “limits on government spending” in all areas except for military spending. That said, let’s look at how the Democrats and Republicans have applied neoliberal principles to America, and the world, and see what kind of results neoliberal principles have produced for “marginalized people.”

Way back in the nineteen eighties and nineties, in accord with the neoliberal principle of “transferring the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector,” the Democrats, led by Joe Biden, changed the way we help college students from a being mostly a grant and government loan program to a private loan program run by for-profit banks, with loans that cannot be renegotiated by declaring bankruptcy. This has sunk a whole generation of college students into a lifetime of debt, leaving them unable to buy houses and making it difficult for them to marry and raise children. For what reason? As Joe Biden said at the time, Read the rest of this entry »





TRUST ISSUES

9 08 2020

One of the big headline stories  recently is that Dr. Anthony Fauci and his family now need bodyguards because there are people making credible threats against them. The covid epidemic has sparked a lot of distrust and division. Some people call it “the planned-demic,” a tool that the Democrats are using to make Trump look bad, that Dr. Fauci and others are inflating the danger in an attempt to demoralize the country (thus the death threats), and thus the right thing to do is to ignore all the warnings about wearing a mask. “It’s killed 0.04% of our population,” one commenter on my Facebook feed wrote. “Yeah, this is getting serious.” Yeah, it’s only about four times as many Americans as got killed in the Vietnam War, but instead of being drawn out over a decade, it’s in the last five months. Nothing serious. But the point is, a whole lot of people don’t trust that the government and the media are telling them the truth about what’s going on.

Their distrust is both irrational and rational. First, here’s the irrational part. If you step back far enough to take in what’s going on all around the world, it’s clear that covid is a real threat, and that our government has botched its response, and that botched response has been amplified by the skepticism of so many Americans. But their distrust is also rational, given that the American medical system and its advocates in media and politics have told us that it is the best medical system in the world, even though it’s clearly failing us right now. Even before the current crisis, there was widespread awareness of the many faults of our system–wildly inflated prices, overtreatment and overbilling, misdiagnosis, a tendency to focus on minutiae and miss the big picture.

At the same time, America’s medical system is the most expensive in the world, and has used its wealth to prevent any kind of universal health insurance coverage, let alone a national health system that would lower the cost of that health coverage by removing the profit motive. The US is the only “developed country” in the world where one of the most common side effects of a cancer diagnosis is bankruptcy. Indeed, this is the only country in the world where “medical bankruptcy” is even an issue, and where chronic disease is a pretext for the extortion of wealth from the sick person and their family to doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and other already fabulously wealthy “health care providers,” such as, here in Tennessee, the Frist family and Phil Bredesen.  So gee, why would anybody distrust the word of the medical establishment?

Along similar lines, there is strong bipartisan support among the people of this country for some kind of universal-access public health system. The Democratic Party has had to pull out all the stops to prevent an advocate of universal single payer health care, and a lot of other very popular reforms of our society, from becoming its Presidential candidate. So, does the Democrats’ platform acknowledge this incredibly popular, demonstrably helpful idea? No, in large part due to the influence of money from for-profit medical businesses. The Dems nominated a candidate who is not afraid to state publicly that he would veto “Medicare for All” if Congress, by some miracle, passed it. And Bernie Sanders, the guy who campaigned so valiantly for “Medicare for All,” says he will support that vetoer, the burned-out husk of Joe Biden, for President. Yet another reason not to trust the medical establishment or our political system–or even alleged “insurgents” in our political system.

If you are African-American or otherwise of non-European origin, or if you are a low-income Euro-American, you know you can’t trust that the police will not, at any moment, swoop in and kill you. There was a story on the news as I was writing this about an African-American family that included an autistic young adult, Kobe Dimmock-Heisler.

Kobe Dimmock-Heisler

Kobe’s mother

His grandfather called 911 for help because Kobe was waving a knife around. By the time four police officers showed up, he had calmed down, and the family told the police they didn’t need their help and asked them to leave. The police didn’t leave. They forced their way into the house, which got Kobe agitated again. In response, the police shot him a total of six times, murdering him in the presence of his horrified mother, grandfather, and other family members. Read the rest of this entry »





A CURIOUS CASE OF CENSORSHIP

23 07 2020

This is not a radio show blog post. It’s an evasion of what seems to be totally unwarranted Facebook censorship. I originally went to the “Untold Pacific” website for an interview with Ray McGovern, which he advertised on his website because Facebook has banned Untold Pacific.  If you try to post a link from that site on Facebook, you get this message:

Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.
This makes no sense to me. Ray McGovern is a former National Security Adviser to the President of the United States. The interview was respectful, in the sense that the language was polite, although certain “sacred cows” of the corporate state were certainly not respected. As a bit of further research, I listened to this interview with noted scholar and peace activist Michael Klare, attempted to share the link to Facebook, and got the same message. I reported the apparent discrepancy to Facebook a couple of weeks ago, but, as of today, you still can’t share Untold Pacific links directly to Facebook, so this is my way of getting Michael Klare’s censored interview out. It is respectful and informative. I will check out more of James Bradley’s interviews, and, if I find anything peculiar, I will let you know.
music: Wovenwar, “Censorship




WHEN THE BLACK SWANS COME HOME TO ROOST

12 04 2020

Here in Nashville, our county-wide governance body has district representatives, whose main job is to be the intermediary between the citizens of their district and the city, and “At-Large” council members, whose serve more of an oversight function, kind of like deputy mayors. In 2015, I ran for  that office, largely on a platform that the city was acting like the good times were just going to keep on rolling, but that was not really the case, and we had better do everything we could to prepare for the collapse that was coming. Two of my suggestions were  that we ought to foster local food production and create co-operatively run local industries that would produce a great many of the essentials of life that now come from far away, like shoes, clothing, and tools. I’ll talk about the relevance of those planks of my platform a little later.

I confess that I didn’t campaign very hard. I showed up at the candidate forums, figuring that I was unlikely to win, but it was important for the winning candidates to hear what I had to say, and figured I would get my message out to the general public in an interview with The Nashville Scene. The Scene, unfortunately, chose to belittle my candidacy and mostly dwelt on what a peculiar guy I am, rather than on what I had to say.

I chose not to run in the most recent Metro Council election. I had thought about this a good deal in the years since the previous election, and realized that, given the genuine technical legal complexities of writing legislation, if I were going to run again, part of my platform ought to be that I would spend much of my salary to hire a lawyer to assist me in framing my proposals appropriately. But I don’t know any such lawyer, and, even if I did, it seemed to make more sense to cut out the middle man–me–and just help the lawyer run for office. So, I contented myself with expressing my concerns to all the candidates, and got fairly sympathetic responses back from several of them, as I detailed at the time. I figured it was preferable to have council members in office who are at least aware of our long-term possibilities, and was gratified that most of those who won the multi-seat election were candidates who had responded somewhat sympathetically to my concerns.

Let’s fast-forward to our current situation. Although I have mostly been staying home (which is what I usually do anyway), last Monday afternoon at around five o’clock I found myself driving on some of Nashville’s major commuting routes, which are usually jam-packed with cars at that time of day. There was hardly anybody on the road. I stopped by “The Produce Place,” a locally-owned store that specializes in selling local produce. It was closed, because the store has cut the hours it’s open due to the pandemic. I picked up a very skinny copy of “The Nashville Scene,” no longer fat from entertainment and restaurant ads, and read that the free paper is on the ropes financially and was hoping its readers would form a financial support group so it could stay in business. The Scene, which once prided itself on tweaking the sensibilities of “the bizpigs,” as the editors called the city’s elite, is now owned by one of the wealthiest people in town, and caters to “the bizpigs,” a phrase that has not appeared in The Scene since long before they dissed my Metro Council run. I’m not sure whether I should be sympathetic to their plight or not.

But, I digress….From our home, we can often hear the roar of rush hour traffic on another major thoroughfare. Not lately. We live a couple of miles from the private-plane airport in Davidson County, and are used to having frequent low-flying small planes in our soundscape. They have grown rare. Of course, another factor there is that a tornado blew through the airport a few weeks ago and did millions of dollars worth of damage, destroying hangars and the airplanes parked in them. The upshot is, private air travel, like automobile travel, is way down. I’m glad. I’ve often wondered why it’s OK for one person in a private airplane to destroy the peace and quiet of the thousands of people who have no choice but to hear the noise.

I certainly didn’t foresee that the economic shutdown of Nashville would be due to a pandemic, but here we are, right where I ‘ve been saying we’re going. Such an unforeseeable, catastrophic event, is called “a black swan.” One definition of “black swan” that I read says that “they are obvious in hindsight.” It’s true that worldwide flu epidemics have become an accepted part of modern life, although they have never been this severe before, so yes, we should have seen this coming. In fact, disaster planners in our government did see it coming, but were ignored for the same reason the concerns I raised in my Metro Council candidacy were brushed aside:  anybody who suggests that there’s anything dangerous in our future, whether it’s a pandemic, an economic collapse (which might be set off by a pandemic),nuclear war, or climate disaster, gets short shrift from those who run our society, who are engrossed with making money and exercising power nowWe are a species that is wired to deal with immediate threats and gratification, not the long-term results of our short-sighted actions. We are going to have to change that to survive as a species. In the interest of raising human consciousness, this post is going to examine the effects of this particular “black swan,” and also note a couple more that seem to be circling and getting ready to come home to roost. Read the rest of this entry »





revisiting TRUMP, LOOSE NUKES, THE RUSSIAN MAFIA, SEYMOUR HERSH, AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING LINK

8 03 2020

Recently, I went looking for something authoritative about Russia during “the lawless years” that followed the fall of the USSR. After doing some internet searching, I found that Seymour Hersh, whose reputation is reasonably impeccable, had written a story, entitled “The Wild East,” on that subject in 1994. Yes, I know there are those who attack Hersh, but if you’re reporting on things that annoy those in power, or who aspire to power, you will be attacked. Hersh has won plenty of recognition for his work, and this particular piece was published in The Atlantic, which, in those days, at least, did not put its support behind dicey reporting.

The page was so discouraging to look at that I almost gave up without reading it. It was in that old-style 90’s internet format–wall-to-wall words, no margins, no pictures, no skipped lines between paragraphs. At the top of the page were an underlined 1 and a 2, indicating that it was the second page of an article, since the 2 was black and the one was blue. Might as well start at the beginning, I said to myself, and jumped to page one.

Hersh began his story with an account of the unsolved murder of a staff member of the American Embassy in Moscow:

On November 13, 1993, Michael Dasaro was brutally murdered in his apartment in a fashionable neighborhood in central Moscow, a ten-minute walk from the American embassy. Dasaro was on the verge of being a classic American success story. He grew up poor and streetwise in a public-housing project near Boston and managed to escape, with the aid of a scholarship, to Harvard University, where he became immersed in Russian studies. It seemed inevitable, after his graduation in 1981, that he would find his way to the Soviet Union and put his love of Russian culture and his fluency in the language to work. By the late 1980s he was a valued and much respected contract employee in the economics section of the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Last fall he was hired——at high pay——by one of the many American accounting companies now administering State Department contracts and Agency for International Development (AID) privatization programs throughout Russia and the former Soviet republics.

MoscowEmbassyCmpd

The US embassy in Moscow

Then Hersh broadened his focus to the way “law and order” had deteriorated in the former Soviet Union, to the point where the country’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons and fissile materials might be sold by desperate military personnel (who were not getting paid, or getting paid so little that it amounted to not getting paid). Here’s a part of Hersh’s transition from the specific to the general: Read the rest of this entry »





COME YE AMATEURS OF WAR

12 01 2020

I want to start with The Green Party’s official press release about the murder of  Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani.

Greens joined demonstrations in at least 80 cities in 38 states over the weekend in response to the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassim Suleimani on Iraqi soil, which the Green Party has called an act of war and an unconscionable escalation of hostilities in a region where the U.S. has already wreaked immense devastation over decades.

Lisa Savage, seeking the U S Senate seat from Maine and Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, spoke at a demonstration on Saturday in Portland, ME.

“U.S. military aggression serves war profiteers, not the people,” said Savage in a recent statement. “We cannot bomb our way to a peaceful resolution of the conflict zone our nation has created in Iraq, nor is deliberately provoking Iran in our best interests as a nation. Diplomacy and the restoration of congressional authority over the president’s use of the U.S. military are urgently needed. We need senators and congresspeople willing to stand up to the Pentagon and the executive branch of government to say no to more warmongering.”

Suspicion among peace advocates that the drone attack was designed to move Iran, Iraq and the U.S. even further to the brink of all-out war has since been borne out by President Trump’s abhorrent threat to destroy Iranian sites that are “important to Iranian culture.”

Greens are also alarmed by reports that the Department of Homeland Security has ordered Customs and Border Protection to “’report’ and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the country who is deemed potentially suspicious or ‘adversarial,’ regardless of citizenship status” (source: Council on American-Islamic Relations).

Several state Green Parties also issued statements and calls to action.

The Green Party categorically opposes measures ‘authorizing’ preemptive or illegal military actions, or delegating to the president sole power to commit acts of war. Greens have called for the repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) 2001 to restrict the president’s ability to direct more attacks.

A great deal has already been written about this, much of it pure dissembling. The Democrats are outraged, not so much about the murder and the effects it is likely to have, as about the fact that they weren’t consulted first. Only few deeply principled Dems have denounced it wholeheartedly–Bernie Sanders and his deputy Ro Khanna, Tulsi Gabbard, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar, mostly. Some of the more libertarian Republican–Mike Lee and Rand Paul, f’rinstance–are also not pleased.

Corporate media have mostly framed Soleimani as a “terrorist with blood on his hands,” conveniently ignoring the fact that part of the job description for “general” is “being wiling to get ‘blood on your hands’ by ordering the soldiers under your command to risk their deaths in order to kill other people.” Every general in the world–Iranian, American, wherever, has blood on his, or, these days, her hands, or at least has indicated a willingness to do so. Disparaging a general for having “blood on his hands” is like criticizing a farmer for having dirt under hir fingernails. It comes with the territory.

Generals are willing to “get blood on their hands,” but generally recognize that it’s better not to–it’s better to outmanoeuvre your  opponent, and better still to find a way to make peace. That, in fact, is what Soleimani was doing in Iraq on the day he was murdered. According to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Soleimani was on his way to meet with him about getting together with the Saudis and de-escalating tensions in the region, and the US government knew it–in other words, all those top US government officials who are braying that Soleimani was “planning the deaths of more Americans” are either lying, or haven’t done their homework. The US has given the rest of the world yet another in the long list of reasons not to trust Uncle Sam.

Read the rest of this entry »





“I, THE LORD THY GOD, AM A JEALOUS GOD.”

8 12 2019

 

Let’s start with a disclaimer. What I am about to say is not based on any position debated, adopted, or endorsed by The Green Party, which takes no position on the existence, let alone the disposition, of Jaweh or any other deity. The only statement the Green Party has made about religion, as far as I know, is in the Ten Key Values, under the heading of “diversity,” where you can find this sentence:

We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across the human spectrum.

It is my view that having “a respectful relationship” involves knowing not only how any given belief system, and its believers, view themselves, but also having an understanding of the context of that belief system. This essay/talk is part of my attempt to understand the full context of the three “Western” religions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

I call my blog “Deep Green Perspective” because I do my best to take the long view on the events of the moment. My intention has always been to focus on the deep roots of those events, rather than getting caught up in the push and pull of the short term. I don’t think it gets much deeper than looking at a culture’s conception of the divine. Even if you don’t think there is any such thing as “the divine,” it’s like Russiagate. Enough people believe in it so that our overall culture’s concept of Russiagate, or God, is a “real” thing.

jealousgod

Yaweh, jealous

The phrase “I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God” occurs six times in The Old Testament, a book I read repeatedly as a child. I was not being “Bible-banged.” I was genuinely interested in knowing what that book had to say. The “jealous god” phrase has been floating around in my mind ever since. Yaweh’s warning has been a central meme in our culture for the nearly two thousand years since the Judeo-Christian/Muslim world view attained dominance over the earlier, more tolerant, pantheistic cultures of Greece, Rome, and  the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »








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