Korea And Nobel Criteria


Lest we forget as we are loath to, Maureen’s instincts often dissemble.

In two missile attacks, costing millions, launching hundreds of warheads, Trump hasn’t killed a single enemy combatant or solider. His big attacks had no human costs and were essentially training runs. One took place as Trump ate chocolate cake with China’s President at his private estate. After, his staff mingled with the dinner crowd and took selfies.

Are his expensive fake attacks worth a Nobel Peace Prize? Not if Peace id to be genuine–an honest endeavor, not rendered as fake victories.

His first SEAL team attack telegraphed its arrival, flooding the village skies with drones. The night fighting (over thumb and hard drives we’ve heard no more from!) killed civilians, including an 8-year old American girl, fatally wounded in her bedroom.

We have no ISIS casualty list. What’s the body count? Are the relationships with Russia and Saudi Arabia efforts to promote Peace or regional spoils in energy and proxies?

His followers’ cathexis is sturdy. But is turning away the displaced as the country calls for low-income workers (Trump employs them) and high STEM skills wise? They support and create new jobs!

The Peace Prize must also consider the Income Gap. The widening disparity between rich and poor in the world’s largest economy and public treasury is a non-violent form of disruption, an attack on the lives of workers and families.

Peace is more than the absence of war, or the silent threat of weapons.

Maureen calls the hand of the clock on the correct hour, good time keeping—even thoough tge hands have failed to run! The clock gets credit: broken as it was, it called this hour correctly! Actually, the series of South Asia summits culminating in a US-North Korea face-to-face with its national leaders offered something they could not resist and bigger than war and peace—their vanity! The story was theirs; they created it, hyped it, spread it on social media, and sounding like the WWF. turned the hype into the biggest international story of the year.

The lesson is missed by citing Trump’s belligerence. Not threats, but constant recognition forwarded Kim into the keig lights. He had no way of getting there until Donald came. The perfect foil and nemesis, Donald spotlighted Kim (as he gaslighted Justice and Intelligence). Kim responded and took the shortcut to international fame. Trump says China helped; actually China stayed out of the way. If China opposed the Summit, it would not hve happened. Kim is smart. He wants dollars. Witness Iran’s return, his surround by wealth: he has to grow his economy and stop being marginal.

He’s about to collect pride and cash! With China’s advice mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmbmbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbce (China slyly shifted development costs to the US), Kim remade his image by crossing a wartime line in the sand. When Trump comes, he should bring Dennis Rodman.

 

 

 

Addiction Cynics


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Suspicion, blame, and stereotypes block the value of a simple procedure, needle exchanges, but there is also a hidden moral component: a new morality that continually suggests doing good has bad consequences–that every effort at help, in fact, makes things worse!

It is a cynic’s view, a debased view of humans, even addicts, but one we hear repeated from local and national leaders, including the President. I suggest the reverse is true! Cynics are hiding their greed, deflecting by blame. As indifference spreads, enabled by narratives that help is hopeless and wasted, these attitudes narrow the path to death–which seems to be the unspoken outcome of these narratives of help-doesn’t-work, that corrupt the theory of tough love.

So the sickest among us are left without support, out of fear and a falsely justified cruelty. It is these attitudes that drive and support addiction, not the desire to help!

Democracy Under Attack


Honestly, I thought just today that democracies are experiencing non-violent struggles for expanded powers that reflect ideologies, partisanship, or personal beliefs. These struggles, often non-violent, nevertheless compel societies and states (citizens and institutions) to follow paths that abridge their liberties, limit opportunities and control national resources through cabral-style fiats and edicts–through the use of law, budgets, enforcement powers and other authorities, including public opinion and selective enforcement and targeting whole communities.

Mature democracies are discovering their constitutions and governments have lots of room within democratic structures for tyranny, corruption, theft, privilege, and punishment, in violation of law and liberties or equal rights and opportunities.

It is happening not only in the national (federal) executive branches, but in states as well. The states, in the US and elsewhere, are passing laws that permit secession, create currencies, and take on federal tasks, in some cases. The wholesale rejection of expanded healthcare coverage for seniors (paid for in the bill’s authority) is an egregious US example of states denying its elder citizens affordable healthcare. A present benefit was denied by an uncertain claim about the future. Another example, outside the US, was the suing of Argentina by hedge funds to collect on its bonds–a case the hedge funds won.

We are witnessing the first wave of global attacks against expanded liberties through democratic structures in both mature and developing economies. Modernization, huge capital growth, global markets have all played a role, but in the US, the attacks on the rule of law and fundamental principles are accelerating in the name of security, a dictator’s ploy.

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The Extraction Economy


 

In an political economy built as an extraction economy, on wealth extracted by producing vast waste, the carnage on people mirrors the impact on the environment. Mountaintop mining destroys entire ecosystems. Offshore drilling nearly took out the Gulf and has lasting effects in Louisiana. Globally, fish stocks are being depleted from the oceans. In Africa, blood diamonds are another example. Diseases and viruses affect millions of food products globally, millions of items are thrown away in health scares. Pig farms and coal generating power produce untenable waste. Waste is the byproduct of modern wealth.

The impact of this structure especially hits the poor; their statistics scattered within a mature economy, as human slurry. The Times featured a homeless wedding recently; blame competed with love in the comments. The problem is not in character, however; left to their devices the homeless and the poor create their own societies that are little different than those in the middle class–except for the absence of material things and protections.

The issues of the poor are structural, as Paul Krugman describes. How infrastructure acts as a barrier to their integration; how services are reserves for wealth when policy makers need to find a few billion by cutting healthcare funding, raising rents to pay for tax breaks.

Structurally, the poor have few advocates; their voices do not sit at the roundtables, aren’t quoted on business shows. Their cohesion has weakened.

They are a source of wealth: think Detroit. Once thriving, with rows of family homes and great buildings, it is a shell!

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The Jesuit Resignation


The God Paul Ryan believes in is in a higher tax bracket. Maybe that’s why he fired Jesuit priest, The Rev. Patrick Conroy, asking him to submit a letter resigning as Chaplin of the House, at Speaker Ryan request. Why?

Some say (including the Msgr.) it was because of this prayer:

As legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.

Who knew it is not politically correct to pray for the poor? That not even a word should be lifted to God for their fair treatment! So among the martyrs of Christianity now stands a Jesuit priest, a 7-year Chaplin of the House, a priest who Ryan claimed with Trump-like slime failed to offer spiritual counseling, according to words reaching Ryan’s ears. Uh?

Put aside a plausible conspiracy the firing is some sort of Illuminati/Knights Templar feud–this murder of the Chaplin was non-violent, he survives his term of office–but does it express a division between Protestants, esp. evangelicals. (A House member immediately submitted a bill to require all future chaplins to have adult children, something impossible for a Catholic priest.) Or maybe  a tribute of hegemony to the Kremlin (Russia) or the Erga Palace (Saudi).

Folk press on, searching for a political explanation for this latest, self-imposed expedition into the wilderness, but perhaps besides international or domestic politics and the church, it is easier to look toward another possibility: always on its cusp, perhaps Ryan simply succumbed to evil.

Not the mistake kind or the unintentional kind. But the evangelical kind–complete with Satan directing his actions! Just maybe he was complicit in following the fallen angel, tumbling into a moral abyss. To the applause of the devils who had been tempting his soul with desires and sins. Having inflicted pain on the poor and denied the least of among us, Ryan was lead to slay a defender of the faith by firing him. Always vulnerable to flawed logic, still frozen from the early death of his father (His reason for leaving the House, to be with his own children), he has forgotten the true meaning of righteous sacrifice. In the ever-present delusions of lost souls, they never witness their own fall.

My comment–revised and edited.

Thousands fewer children die in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to regular antibiotics | Science | AAAS


“Giving children in sub-Saharan Africa antibiotics saves tens of thousands of lives. That’s the conclusion of a new study, in which researchers gave infants and toddlers from Malawi, Niger, and Tanzania broad spectrum antibiotics twice a year for 2 years. Overall, the antibiotics slashed death rates by nearly 14% and particularly helped 1- to 5-month-olds, whose mortality rates plummeted 25%, researchers report in The New England Journal of Medicine. Now, the World Health Organization will decide whether to advise routinely giving antibiotics to newbornsThe New York Times reports. Though some are concerned about the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the study’s authors say that risk is low.”

Read more:

Source: Thousands fewer children die in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to regular antibiotics | Science | AAAS

The New White Supremacy


White supremacy is perennial and has many forms. Like DNA, its favorite is a double strand of spiraling beliefs–a degenerate form of DuBois’ famous “double consciousness.” Its “two warring souls.” are not “searching for a truer self.” Instead, white supremacy is built and based on perennial belief in conflict and ugly, violent competition that ignores the truth of the world.

That division in the black psyche DuBois identified is informed by a culture of oppression, a culture promoted by white supremacy of systemic barriers often invisible and loudly denied even as they are revealed—every dead black kid shot by police is a victim of this denial, an imagined threat that occurs in the minds of those who have the power of deadly force (name the last black kid shot who had a gun), Even the limited, unjustified use of that power affects the whole and changes hope.

White supremacy continues to put structures in place to protect its privilege and power. Structures created by legislation (voting restrictions), by criminalization (arrests, judges sentencing), by inferior education, by the absence of community development (food desserts, transportation, jobs). But white supremacy also implements a racism that depends on single decisions hard to reverse. The poisoning of Flint’s water was one such structure put in by the state. Dylan Roof’s single act of mass killing in a black church’s bible study affected a historic city and state.

White supremacy is broadening its reach. Our era is witnessing a change in its narratives. The new forms no longer use stereotypes (they still exist), or bias (it remains), or hatred (more popular than before!)–the new, expanded narrative is built on denial. In the new narrative, racism is a reversed. It exists only in the minds of victims who append guilt without cause, refusing to acknowledge their own insufficiency. Its xenophobia is also in the minds of women and children who want to dethrone white men–who are now victims themselves. White supremacy is protected by free speech, by good citizens, by wrong on both sides, by employment that ignores the wage and wealth gap, by higher rents on the poor to pay for tax cuts to the rich. White supremacy protects the country from those who just can’t cut it. From the dangers of putting power in their hands.

That this power is a special privilege is denied. Instead, blacks and others should be “thankful” (especially sports pros and actresses) for their success (not earned but given). Its denial is exemplified in an all-white White House which is a beacon for a racist reclamation project that expels, restricts, and ignores the death and pain its silence and voices deny.

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Oh God who we witness in thy Son and Holy Spirit, we see your strength everywhere. In the world of harmony and life around us, fill us with love and bring us peace and forgiveness.