July 24, 2017

We Are Not Amused

While we are amused or horrified by the latest vulgarity, Trump's generals and intelligence strategists have been unleashed in the Middle East, beginning their war with Iran and Russia in the poor little country of Yemen, where 300,000 people now have contracted cholera. Cholera! Nineteen million, nearly half the country's population, have been declared by the U.N. to be in imminent danger of "severe famine," as a result of the incessant bombing of civilians and infrastructure which has destroyed the water and sewage systems, pump stations and wells, hospitals and schools, the electrical grid, the waste disposal system, the entire health system, and the defenseless population of the poorest country in the region. It is a proxy war paid for and weaponized by tax paying citizens of the United States, with Saudi Arabia playing South Vietnam, and the same scenario: the U.S. didn't care what became of Vietnam because it was "only a pawn in their game" of the Cold War against China and the Soviet Union. We are seeing a re-play, Yemen as a pawn in the war against Iran and Russia. While we may be amused or horrified at the latest outrageous lie or vulgar insult...Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian assistance and an internationally-supervised cease fire.

Wake Up!

I fail to understand what it takes to get the American people off their butts to stop this despicable WAR CRIME in Yemen. Nineteen million people--nearly half the country's population--are at risk of severe famine, according to the U.N. and assorted NGOs. More than 300,000 people, many of them children and aged, are infected with cholera. Cholera! 

Incessant and merciless bombing of civilian infrastructure like water lines, pumping stations, and electrical grids has poisoned the water, making it unfit for drinking, cooking, or bathing. This is germ warfare, which is a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war and a crime against humanity. Germ warfare is forbidden! 

The U.S. Government is behind it all with strategy, weapons, and deadly ammunition. Saudi Arabia is our new little South Vietnam, a puppet seeming to pull its own strings. It is costing BILLIONS! Where is the accountability? Where the debate in Congress? Where is the cowardly Media? Where is the antiwar movement? 

Donald Trump, completely bereft of military knowledge, has given the generals authority to do just about anything they like, and is seeking more than $55 billion in new Pentagon spending. But Trump isn't the only one. For too long the disorganized Left in the United States has given Barack Obama a pass on this very same war. It did not start with Trump, although he has made it worse. Just as President Obama ramped-up the war in Afghanistan that George Bush started, the repulsive Trump has ramped-up Obama's deadly drone warfare.

However and why ever Yemen has become a horror story of war crimes equal to and exceeding war crimes that the U.S. committed in Vietnam, it has gone on too long. It is clear that Yemen, like Vietnam, is "only a pawn in their game" against Iran and Russia, as Vietnam was only a pawn in the Cold War game against China and the Soviet Union. 

Yemenis need humanitarian assistance and relief from this war of genocide. The American people must wake up and show up to stop this monstrous madness now.

May 28, 2017

Trump Is A Dunce

Think of all those young men dying out there in the sand and blood; and for what? Trump? This posturing wannabe dictator, this know-nothing on a vandalizing mission to destroy the social supports that are the creation of legal compromises between liberals and conservatives for the last 100 years. These men died to save us from the sacrifice of our freedoms to men like Trump and his cronies, billionaires with an extreme lust for power. They are fascists, Nazis, and slavers, and they would return us to the 18-hour workday with child labor included. On Memorial Day, we should remember not only the fallen, but what they died for. My father fought from Normandy to Germany and came back a mustang Captain with a Silver Star. He would roll over in his grave to know that the Nazis are taking over our country.

Nobody ever expected (Cheating) Donald Trump to play by the rules. He never has. He brags about how he doesn't pay taxes, because he knows how to "use" the loopholes. He pays lawyers and accountants to find them (and probably stiffs them too.) He files repeated fake bankruptcies in order to cheat contractors and builders, craftspeople, and suppliers of their legal profits.
The thing that this over-stuffed ignoramus doesn't know or appreciate is that this is all a piece of his legacy; how he will be remembered. The outline of that future memory already is clear : he will be seen as a monster and a harbinger of even worse times that followed, and someday his name will mean "disgrace." To be Trumped will mean to be disgraced. He is worse than Nixon, who, his presidency failed, his dishonesty proven, his freedom imperiled, at least had the grace to resign.

May 5, 2017

Texas, Goddam

A few years ago, I found myself hitchhiking from Brownsville, Texas, to San Antonio for a bus connection to Arizona. I'd just returned from a year in Oaxaca and Chiapas, it was Sunday, banks were closed, and a predatory border capitalist with his trigger finger on the exchange-rate had ruthlessly siphoned too much of my funds; hence the hitchhiking to San Antonio, where I could afford a ticket at least to the border. 
I'd sent a heavy sea bag full of books and notebooks ahead to El Paso, where I hoped to pick it up, saving myself from lugging a year of writing across half of Texas, but costing a lot too. In addition, I rolled a 40-lb suitcase and wore a 40-lb pack. It took 24 hours to reach San Antonio, during which I had to defend myself with a two-by-four at 3 a.m. in gangbanger country, against a disturbed pit bull. Later that day, in scorching, desert-like temperatures, thousands of newer cars and trucks filled with white Texans sped by me with jeers, hoots, obscene gestures, and other insults. Some threw cups and cans, and one or two even swerved threateningly toward me. 
Now, I've been hitching easily and fearlessly since I was 12 in Lake Charles, La. It was always easier and a whole lot cheaper than buses and trains. Although I've owned a dozen vehicles, I've been hitching occasionally, from necessity, for a long time. I was 72 at the time. Finally, with the timely help of a black over-the-road trucker and some dough from an old friend in New Jersey, I made it to San Antonio, had to hang on the streets for 24 hours, and bought a ticket to El Paso, picked up my sea bag, and then to the first town in New Mexico, where everything changed for the better.

In more than 60 years of hitchhiking all over the United States of America, I had never encountered the hatred, scorn, disrespect, or gratuitous insults that I experienced in 2013 in South Texas. And I was clean, well-dressed, and only trying to get to San Antonio. 

Just saying.

April 18, 2017

Immoral On the Face of It

We're all looking for the key to fighting the dictator and his billionaire, fascist cronies. I've settled on the narrative that ours is a moral struggle, and our strategy should be to fight them on the battlegrounds of morality. What they are doing, and what they propose to do, is immoral. Cutting Meals for Wheels, denying the aged their one hot meal, dumping childcare, pre-school care, and after-school care, and destroying public education generally, by putting a dummy billionaire in charge of education with zero experience in education, is immoral. The attack on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is immoral. Ruthlessly rising drug prices is immoral. Congressional complicity with the lobbies of the billionaires is immoral (and illegal). Sending 11 million people back to Latin America is immoral. Building a wall to separate our peoples is immoral. The attack on science is immoral. Restricting the Internet to squelch communication and throttle democracy is immoral. The neglect of the environment and horrendous, factory-like slaughter of animal and ocean life is immoral. We are not the only species with rights on planet earth. Neither were we meant to harvest everything on it simply because we can. It is immoral to foul Mother Earth.
And that is only the beginning. Their war in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa, is immoral. Thousands die every week under our bombs, some that we drop, some that we pay others to drop. This is immoral. Murder is immoral. Torture and the war on terror are immoral. The growing threat of war in North Korea and the Baltic is immoral. All wars are against the law, and truth is the first to die. It is immoral to lie. Hypocrisy is immoral. These Republicans and their fascist-Nazi friends have been staking out the high ground on morality and "family values" for decades. It is a wonder that anyone at all believes it anymore.
And let us remember, when the top one percent owns more than the bottom ninety, it is immoral on the face of it.
At the same time, we must check ourselves and see where we also have done or proposed or supported immoral acts, and correct them if we can, or else we have no moral weapon to fight with. We must not equivocate. We must clean up our act to have a moral ground to stand upon. We have said with certainty that Trump and his administration is unethical. But ethics are derived from moral values.