Remember 9/11 + The Global War on Terror

Just thinking about this lately…


How quickly we forget what happened on 9/11.


After 2001, we said:


9/11 was “the day that changed everything” and we shed blood and treasure on a global “war on terror”


In 2019, radical American politicians are:


Referring to 9/11 as “Some people did something”


Laughing at Americans for fearing ISIS


Refusing to condemn terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda or Sharia practices such as female genital mutilation


Calling for Open Borders and Sanctuary Cities, including not cooperating with Federal law enforcement


Promoting Socialism over Democracy, including healthcare for illegal immigrants and forgiving all student loan debt


Urging the release of jailed Muslim Brotherhood terrorist leader 


Endorsing corrupt Venezuelan dictator, Nicholas Maduro rather than the democratic opposition.


Blaming the U.S. for “thousands of Somalis killed by American Forces” during Black Hawk Down


Saying “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby” and supporting anti-Semitic, anti-Israel practices like BDS


Comparing Immigrant Detention Camps to Concentration Camps


Reflecting on a “calming feeling” when thinking about the Holocaust

I hope all Americans will realize the absolutely frightening enemy within that our nation now faces and votes accordingly in 2020.

The New Faces Of Hate

Representative Illhan Omar claims Congressional lawmakers are bribed to support U.S. friend and ally, Israel:

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby”.

Representative Rashida Tlaib said about congressional representatives supporting Israel in a bill  that would punish companies that participate in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) to further Israel’s destruction. 

“They forget what country they represent.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated about Israel’s defending their sovereign border with Gaza amidst terrorist organization, Hamas-led violent protests, terror attacks, and infiltrations into Israel:

“This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state is absolved of the mass shooting of protesters.”

“Silence” around the Palestinian cause “has been a little interesting to me.” 


Perhaps, the most concerning thing is where is the Democratic Party leadership in calling out these anti-Semitic hate-mongers in their ranks?

Unbridled Government Spending

I liked this notion from Margaret Thatcher:

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. 

And from the Wall Street Journal:

The problem with resisting socialism is that until the money runs out free-spending progressive politics are remarkably seductive. 

In other words, we love to spend what appears as “free” government money–more and more entitlements, bigger and bigger government…basically, we can’t resist the candy in the candy store.

But the problem is that the money eventually runs out and by then we have gone too far and are left eating our own flesh. 

 Why can’t we spend our precious money and scarce resources prudently and also save wisely for a rainy day–why do we have to act like pigs in the poke?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ending Up As A Rock

fidel-castro-jpeg

So some people would say ending up as a rock is not a bad thing. 


A rock symbolizes strength and something that weathers time itself. 


However, it’s one thing being alive and a rock and another being dead as one. 


Fidel Castro, the authoritarian Cuban President of 50 years, the revolutionary who defied the United State and brought us and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war, the dictator who violated the human rights of millions of the Cuban people…and where does he end up?


Dead at age 90, cremated, with his ashed placed inside a 15-foot tall rock. 


That’s what’s left of the man. 


Of course, there is his legacy in Cuba that includes high literacy, universal health care, environmentalism, and competitive sport’s teams. But there is also mass poverty and economic dysfunction, gross repression and human rights abuses, and Island isolationism. 


So perhaps with Fidel gone, over time, Cuba will find itself on a path of greater moderation and reform. 


In the meantime, Fidel is gone–like every other living thing comes and goes–no matter how strong he acted or how repressive he ruled, what is he now but a big useless rock with a nameplate affixed.


(Source Photo: Associated Press Via Wall Street Journal)

The Political Spectrum

political-spectrum-jpeg

Even though the election is over…divisiveness in America is as high as ever, if not at all time highs.


We’re seeing it hurtfully in terms of bias, bigotry, and hate all around us:


– Protests, outright hostility, and violence (some sponsored) between left and right.


– Murders of police officers and African Americans betwixt the rise of Black Lives Matter.


– Calls for justice to “Lock her up” and defiant calls of “Not my President!”


– Labeling of people as bigots and racists amidst calls to “Make America Great Again.”


– Conspiracy theories of links with Russia juxtaposed with Wikileaks of collusion against Bernie Sanders


– Powerful political machines, operatives, media handlers, fundraising, advertising, and big data to “get out the vote” for your candidate. 

– The blue wall falling in the election as working-class whites abandoned the party they felt abandoned them.


– Gender glass ceilings, pay differentials, and inequality going up against the hope of a first female President of the United States. 


– Growing income and wealth inequality of the elites and trade imbalances with other nations amidst Occupy Wall Street and a nostalgia to return our manufacturing, jobs, and main street to America. 


Divisiveness of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, wealth and more are showing up in the positioning of people along the broad political spectrum. 


This spectrum spans from ultimate control and dictatorship to outright chaos and anarchy, and with lots of options in between. 


So where do you fall on the political spectrum yesterday, today, and how about tomorrow? 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Cool Is Being Oppressed

Eyes

So we were having this discussion with this lady in synagogue who prides herself as an activist and participates in numerous groups for social justice.


What was most striking to learn is how these days everyone is vying for the title of most oppressed. 


It’s no longer “cool” or “in” to be part of the elite privileged rich, strong, and powerful.


If you are any of these, you are part of the corrupt 1%–that have more wealth now than the other 99% of society combined–and you are leeches that feed off of the legitimate working, middle class society. 


The privileged are the bullies, the racists, the occupiers, the unjust, the thieves, and the liars. 


Today, people and groups are arguing to be put on the pedestal for who is underprivileged:


The poorest in society


– The ones with the greatest inequality


– The most discriminated against and oppressed


– The smallest of the minorities


The prize for those that attain the marks of distinction for worst status can hope to achieve:


– Sympathy (protests, petitions, and actions for boycotts, divestitures, and sanctions)


– Economic Assistance (donations, grants, loans, scholarships, and advanced technology)


– Preferential treatment (college placement, training programs, hiring, promotion, business awards, and board seats)


– Votes (elections, laws, resolutions, decisions, and court awards)


The super underdog has it way up over the superpower. 


Discontent by the masses, supercharged by social media, is leading to an overturning of society from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street.  


Socialism even for presidential candidates is no longer a dirty word in Democratic America and terrorists around the world are now “freedom fighters.” 


Regimes such as Iran that sponsor terrorism, abuse human rights, and build weapons of mass destruction now just need to be “opened up” to the outside world and sanctions and non-proliferation is just more western bullying and infidel occupation.  


Other countries like Syria that are ruled by tyrannical leaders that besiege their own cities, starve and torture their people, drop barrel bombs indiscriminately, and use chemical weapons are no longer crossing a “red line”, but are simply in need of a political settlement and even can enjoy two or more years of continued rule. 


Small but flourishing Democratic countries like Israel–the size of New Jersey and the only Jewish state in a world of 50 majority Muslim countries–is demonized as Apartheid oppressors of the Palestinians–those very people who are sworn to their destruction and to throwing them into the Sea–just 70 years after the Jewish Holocaust. 


Back in the United States and in Europe, waves of mass immigration across borders is perfectly fine and perhaps even desired to file the ranks of needed employees, obtain desired future voters, and alleviate the aggrieved hearts of those that committed past atrocities or closed their doors to refugees in the past, while those that speak of vetting, border control, and homeland security are Nazi fascists.


Moreover increases in taxes and spending is in vogue, while general fiscal disciple, paring the national deficit and debt, and sequestration are lunatic concepts by those seeking to suppress the middle class and destroy America. 


Don’t get me wrong, we as a country can and should go a long way to decreasing inequality and improving the lives of everyone with a living wage, universal healthcare, paid maternity/paternity leave, free or reasonably-priced advanced education, and decent retirement benefits.


However, when we call everything and anything discrimination, racism, and inequality, take away individual accountability, make every grievance into a revolution and opportunity for a lynching or guillotine, things have gone from one insanity to just another. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

In Every World, The Haves And Have Nots

Haves And Have Nots

So no matter the time nor the society and their particular philosophical, economical, and social creed, there are ALWAYS the haves and the have nots. 


You have your upper caste and lower caste, your rich and poor, your religious elites and laypersons, your Harvard-educated and community college grads, your executive suite and your day laborers, you masters and your slaves, your ruling elite and your plebeians, your hunter and hunted, your VIPs and your Joe Shmoes.


In India, you still have an extensive caste system even today.  In Russia, you have the KGB, the Politburo, and the Oligarchs. In China, you have the Communist Party, the Military elite, and the venture capitalists/billionaires. In Europe, you still have The Queen and vestiges of the old guard monarchies, although gone are the Feudal lords and serfs, instead replaced by the Church and successful business and political elite. In America, ah…money and political power make the country go round. 


Last evening, I watched the movie, Elysium, taking place in a dsytopian future where the Earth has become overpopulated, polluted, and sick, but the elite are riding high on a large circling space habitat called Elysium, where everyone lives in a mansion with pool and lush grounds, eats exquisitely, and has the finest healthcare in machines that can cure everything from lymphoma to do full facial reconstruction in a matter of seconds. 


Whether in the future or the past, the only difference between the haves and have nots is how much the haves have, and how little have nots have not.


Is this societal makeup preordained or is their a way that we can raise the standard of living for everyone AND make it more equitable (unless you consider it necessary for Bill Gates to have $80,000,0000,000 and the homeless person on the street not a dime in his pocket)?


Over and over again, I read how the disparity between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, becomes ever more pronounced:  

– Now for example, CEOs generally earn 331 times (yeah last year it was 354) the amount average workers do and 774 times as much as minimum wage earners!

– Studies that show that Presidential and executive powers continue to expand with eleven reasons why.

– And the richest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world.


In Elysium, after a lot of sci-fi thriller action and fighting, the protagonist manages to make EVERYONE a citizen of Elysium, so they can all partake of the largess, and at the end the med ships arrive to cure all the sick. 


That’s the movies, but in real life, maybe we will see this only when the Messiah comes or there is a complete shift in the way we think and treat each other. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)