Good for Nothings

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History Lesson

A lot of buzz is occurring regarding Ken Burns and the upcoming 18 hour exploration of the Vietnam War on PBS starting Sept 17. I will certainly watch it, although reading some of the comments per a Washington Post article on it being designated must-see TV, the younger generation of today seem a bit tepid on the topic. Vietnam? What’s that? Ask an uncle or grandparent, eh?

A number of Vietnam veterans opine that actually being in the war, the program can’t provide any insights upon those who were there, fighting it. I can respect that. As a veteran of the Vietnam era, somehow never shipped over to Vietnam while serving in a M.A.S.H. unit training for many months for just that purpose, I absolutely have an intense interest in Burns’ attempt to provide an insight or two upon which to chew.  While the 27th Surgical Hospital did finally get sent to Chu Lai, up near the DMZ between North and South Vietnam I, along with a few others, were kept stateside owing to our being barely a few months away from the end of our two-year active duty obligation (I was drafted).  It was a surreal swirl of emotion watching most of the 90-some other surgery techs and other medical corp personnel lined up, duffel bags bulging, soon to be marched onto buses that would be the first leg of their several thousand mile journey into the jungles where the war, already several years long and no end in sight, awaited them.

While I felt relief that day, I have come to feel some hazy guilt about not remaining with the unit (should I have demanded to be sent, short-timer be damned!)  even if I’d only have a relatively brief encounter in-country before the end of my active tour of duty date would arrive. Besides the “should have gone,” in the ensuing years (decades now) I began sensing that, in some counter-intuitive way, I was unwittingly denied that select, direct exposure to this tumultuous war–thus now possessed of those first-person insights–into a conflict for which Burns’ film tries to make sense of all these decades later. Would I have somehow–existentially?–been better for it if I had gone? Would I have been wounded (surgery tech/combat medic duty as needed) or possibly now been stone dead for nearly 50 years? Or even if I came out of it physically unscathed, would that rock and roll war have rendered me a unrelenting and unregenerate drug addict filled with contempt for what we all now should realize was an absurd waste of human life?, fought seemingly for reasons having nothing to do with protecting the American way of life, that modern-day meme used to justify deploying our current all volunteer military. Would I have debilitating  PTSD? Would I be even more cynical than I am currently?, and I mean I am VERY cynical about a lot of life-at-large without having left for Nam with the 27th way back when. Vietnam, though never seen directly during my active duty is, regardless, an indelible part of my life.

I do hope the film is watched by all generations. It appears to be a sincere attempt to understand what, for many, will always be an incomprehensible, significant part of U.S. history, part of a turbulent era when assassinations of a President, a presidential candidate, civil rights activists both non-violent and militant-minded, the nascent women’s movement, and the ultimately influential and quite divisive anti-war movement all transpired. For those who did the fighting in Vietnam, following orders meant to assure victory (though it didn’t) who when arriving at stateside airports and in public settings who were reduced to social pariahs to be cursed at and accused of being “baby killers,” rather than in the facile fashion of today wherein all our troops are considered warriors or heroes, this is a film that might just explain the whys of not just then but now. As in, right now.

I doubt it will settle the controversy of the Vietnam War. However, by pursuing it from participants from both sides of the conflict, it might possibly teach all of us, of any generation, why war is always hell, and why no war ever really ends, even after the fighting does. It’s called history. The past, as some say, can be a prelude to the future. For better or worse.

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What Happened; Hillary apologists edition.

 

What’s that caveat about angering a woman? Oh, yeah, something like hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I’ve had my share of personal encounters that lend credence to that aphorism, but the “scorned” (whether man or woman venting their wrath at a perceived slight) carry the burden of justifying their “fury”. I mean, some people are always pissed off, right? Hell, I may be one of them, and admittedly this blog entry is indeed a case of my being somewhat put off by a bit of newsflash this September 5th, 2017.

What caught my eye and pushed my WTF! button? Certainly, there’s no dearth of dyspeptic triggering stories scattered amongst the daily doses of seemingly dreadful current events, and so while I could invoke a laundry list of perceived offenses, I pick the aforementioned particular “newsflash” item to make comment upon.

That being: Hillary Clinton. What has Hillary, now  gloomy footnote of epic failure in American politics, based on losing last November’s election to you-know-who, done to warrant even mentioning her name? She has “written” a book. The book’s title is What Happened. Please note, there is no question mark in that title, making a statement of “what happened”.  Does anyone who was even marginally following the 2016 election need to be told what “what” refers to that “happened” in the election? I didn’t think so. Add “happened,” and the clear answer is “Hey, Hillary. You lost”. In stunning fashion.

The news piece, by the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, refers to certain passages in the book, wherein Hillary unleashes her scorn on Bernie Sanders. I read the excerpts and immediately reacted with disgust and contempt for Ms.Clinton. I don’t know about you, but Hillary blaming anyone but herself for managing to lose a contest against a bombastic, profoundly ill-mannered, sexist, racist, self-absorbed, pathologically lying, inarticulate buffoon is quite the FAILURE. Ya think? And so, she now has a book that attempts to deflect the blame of that failure as not wholly owned by her and the DNC’s Mount Everest sized ineptitude.

I know, I know, there was the voter suppression. There was the “interstate cross-checks”. There was apparently tinkering and tampering by Putin’s digital assassins and so forth. Regardless, the overwhelming opinion by the mainstream media and that part of the public not in a pop culture coma was that she would garner enough votes in key states to win the day. Instead of doing that, she managed to turn off just enough–say no more than a million Democratic leaning voters, collectively, in those key states–to hand the election to President Pussy Grabber (he is captured on video saying he could grab that part of the female anatomy with impunity granted by his “celebrity”). Yeah, he said that on camera!

But as her opponent kept verbally assaulting minorities, women, Muslims and even a disabled person, AND saying he shoot someone dead and fans wouldn’t abandon him, he improbably kept attracting the hearts and minds of the mindless and heartless, Hillary Clinton’s poll number s, oddly, kept sliding down. Again, she and the DNC knew about the external forces on the right that always suppress voter turnout, and desperately needed to speak TO potential voters about relevant and urgent issues they were wanting to hear; instead she took the bait and kept responding to the blatant attacks by the sinister spin-masters of the GOP. It was obvious to millions of uncommitted would-be voters what a cretin her opponent was, so why focus on his flaws so much?  Saddled with her political history of being a corporatist, a friend of Henry Kissenger and someone who foolishly and irresponsibly voted for the Iraq invasion, her lack of a coherent campaign strategy for real and meaningful change was hard for many people to buy, especially with Sander’s vigorous and authentic populist message of “enough is enough” causing her to at times blatantly hijack some of  his ideas! So transparent…

 It was always her election to lose (even before DT threw his hat into the ring) and in stupefying fashion, she went out and lost it. To that buffoon. A classic case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

There is no excuse for that loss. None. Not the above noted voter suppression, or the email blather or any other un-democratic devices tossed into her campaign machinery caused her loss. And certainly not Bernie Sanders, who she accuses of being “sexist” and not caring about the Democratic Party, or his not being able to cite an example of her flip-flopping on an issue tied to her Super Pac monetary mojo. All those barbs ring hollow, and how could they not? Sanders, remember, ran as a Democratic Socialist. He was, as such, an ipso facto 3rd party candidate (who was undermined, it has been clearly shown, by the DNC) making her book all more galling today for 23 million Bernie voters. Saying he was sexist is simply playing the gender card. Yeah, he’s male. She’s female. Any criticism is thereby sexist. Fallacies of reasoning abound: The “straw man,” strategy,  ad hominem attacks, the false cause, the “either/or” gambit. These fallacies work on non-critical thinkers (can you say DT supporters?) but they were used at the expense of the aforementioned need for an imaginative campaign strategy.

Ms. Clinton, if you want to know “what happened” that resulted in not just losing to that guy but also taking most of the “down ticket” Democrats down in flames too, thus handing the White House and congress over to the thuggish GOP, you simply need look into a mirror. You, and you alone, in the final analysis of your loss, are What Happened.

If it’s any consolation, however, your die-hard supporters are showing up for your book signings. You need to be liked, I get it. If only you were liked by a not even those combined million voters in a few key “swing states,” this national nightmare of the new normal would be simply that, a post-election snoozeville bad dream. Alas, it is a reality that should have been so easily avoided.

To be clear, I have the Sander’s book Our Revolution. Unlike Clinton’s revisionist trope, Bernie’s book is a positive, forward thinking rallying cry to the American public that the fight isn’t over. It’s refreshing, and seeks unity. It’s about what can happen.

 

 

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Go Figure

Okay. So, after the “hiccup” of losing 33 points the day after our illegitimate Prez essentially threatened nuclear attacks  on North Korea, the DOW has lost another 200 points. As I wondered in a recent entry regarding the bellicose rhetoric of our speak first then let everyone else explain to him–and the country/world–what his words may have, could have, or indeed did convey, why didn’t Wall Street’s fat cats freak to the tune of a massive market free-fall? The media make note of the whopping 5-day loss of 230 points and draws a lazy line between the belligerent babbling of our resort-embedded, Golfer-in-Chief, and the DOW drop. Actually, August has been a historically unstable month for Wall Street. My guess is Monday will see a rebound (that is, barring nuclear World War III preempting the opening bell).

Rebound, yes, just as Small Hand’s ratings have experienced since his metaphorical muscle flexing intended to intimidate the rotund ruthless ruler of North Korea. Yes, the orange-ish Day Glo, bait-and-switch Tweet Master now can brag of a whopping 45% approval rating, up from 39% before his you want some of this, Un? posturing. Hmm.

Go figure.  

There is no underestimating the American public’s penchant for illogical thinking.

Forget the DOW numbers, as that relates virtually to only the well-heeled, deep-pocketed, privileged–and as Franklin Roosevelt famously called them back in his day–economic royalists. As shown by way of the Great Depression and the more recent Great Recession, they seem immune to market implosions, always able to ride out the storm and come back buying low and gaining back what was lost and more. Meanwhile, the working stiff pays the ultimate price by being crushed beneath the collapsing edifice that inevitably cannot withstand the forces of economic monetary tinkering, deregulation, fraud and greed. As I said, right now, even with the nuclear clock getting closer to midnight really is not affecting these Wall Street elitists any more than a bad serving of  sea urchin at their exclusive Michelin rated restaurant. It’ll pass. Burp…

However, why would another 6% of respondents in an opinion poll gives the Strangelove their approval? I know, I know, we’re a macho country these days, with guns being the most typical arbiter in any dispute, and a seeming never-ending ground game fight for–I’m not sure what, exactly anymore, if ever at all–in Afghanistan, plus military bases in scores of other countries. Okay. I lived through the Cold War. I get the military, congressional and executive branches reluctance to not let our perceived enemies forget we have plenty of power, if not always the best thought out military strategies when we send our troops into harm’s way. But there’s been that mutual assured destruction spectre always haunting the hearts and minds of any 5-star General, Commander-in-Chief and the public-at-large. This atomic logic says if one nuclear missile is shot off, and lands in anger, there is an almost absolute certainty that much, maybe all!, of the rest of the 21st Century “nuclear club” will be forced to respond. And of course, because that “club” isn’t a homogenous geo-political crowd. So, if North Korea’s quite apparently aggressive “leader” follows up on his threats to Guam via missile attacks, then it won’t take the Don-Father to influence the Pentagon to retaliate. In a domino dynamic, China and Russia, foremost, will have to protect their global turf and respond to our response, and then the United KIngdom, France, India, Pakistan likely will be drawn in. There are almost 16,000 nuclear weapons among the U.S. and these other countries. So, the first missile, in accordance with the grim logic of M.A.D., will spell the beginning of then end for everyone. What people the nuclear blasts don’t kill immediately, or are even nowhere near a direct hit, there’s that “fallout” factor. Radiation’s poison will be carried far and wide by the winds. All the post-nuclear apocalyptic narratives will no longer be science fiction. Have a bunker ready? I hear bomb shelter’s are going fast at Apocalypse Now Is Us stores.

There you have it. Our two looney-tune taunters-in-chiefs don’t appear to possess the word diplomacy in their vocabulary. Those 16K nukes are no joke. The threat of the once unthinkable nuclear endgame narrative, from the satirical Doctor Strangelove to the somber and chilling Fail-Safe are no longer cinematic cannon fodder. It’s right in our faces, folks. Especially those 6% who evidently think being a tough guy who just happens to have the launch codes and likely has no idea what consequence his words can have, I have to wonder about all of you. Because you’re all fucking nuts.

We’ll see. Maybe the financial markets will collapse related to the escalating war of words between the two most apparently dangerous men in the world at this moment. I’d rather have economic, rather than radioactive fallout. Then again, I don’t have much skin in the money game. But I do have actual skin I’d prefer not to have melted or slowly rotting away after the mushroom clouds dissipate. Are you thinking I’m an alarmist? I suppose if you’re quite young, that might seem the case. We shall see.

In the meantime, is there a bomb that only kills the war mongerers but leaves the rest of us unscathed? 

There should be. But there’s not. Go figure.

 

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Eclipse! end of the world edition

The eclipse is coming, the eclipse is coming! Pack up the car and make a run for it. It’s some sort of attack by alien forces that control the celestial dome above our heads. No, forget that. There is no escape! We’re all doomed! No, wait. Just get a pair of those special glasses and you’ll be safe. But make sure you don’t buy the counterfeit ones that will permit the sun’s rays–prior to the eclipse taking its complete blockage–to burn your retina and maybe blind you. Yeah. That’s the world we live in. A virtual once-in-a lifetime event and the scam artists are finding ways to exploit it for profit over people’s vision health. 

Wait. Someone is trying to put profits before public health? Big deal. That’s called free-market Capitalism, no? Just ask our congressional right-wingers who seem determined to kill millions of Americans so that insurance companies are kept as the money skimming predators of public health. It’s business as usual. Profit. What else matters? Wall Street is being taken care of. Record high DOW numbers! In fact, things are going so well now for the running dog lackeys of those bull market profiteers that when President What the Fuck Did He Say Now?! just yesterday threatened nuclear war as in “fire and fury like the world has never seen before” regarding North Korea, did the markets freak? Did the DOW drop 700 pts.? Did the hedge fund managers pack their cars and head to their well-appointed bomb shelters? It hiccupped, as in losing 33 pts. Really? Investors didn’t cash out and bug out? We’re talking nuclear holocaust. Hmm. I guess President Strangelove’s blithering have proven to be so much hot air that even posturing so irresponsibly about nuking another country didn’t rattle our financial markets. 

That eclipse, though. In long, long ago times, early Homo sapiens certainly cowered in terror. Great fiery ball in sky! It gone! Or maybe they grunted to that effect. Now? Seriously, what can truly shock anyone anymore? Mass shootings? 15 year-olds committing suicide? Genocide? Serial killers? Terror attacks in crowded public places? Scapegoating minorities? Bald-faced xenophobia? Stolen elections? The fish-stinks-from-the-head-down corrupting? Different day, same stories. Craziness is the new normal. Science is dismissed as a hoax a la climate change is “fake news,” and vaccinating your children causes autism. Is it any wonder that very young opioid users even infest pristine suburbia while refugees flee their countries in order to avoid getting their heads lopped off for embracing a certain religion or being of a certain ethnicity. Or having their limbs scattered far and wide due to conventional or drone bombings hitting those high value targets. Or just fleeing for simple survival. Drought, starvation. No clean water. Not a leaf to eat. Does this fact shock anyone?: nearly half of the world’s population of 7+ billion live in dire poverty, even if they aren’t dodging bombs or bullets.

I’m thinking a total eclipse of the sun might not be too memorable an event  for such a beleaguered people, existing as they do on the ground floor of Maslow’s pyramid, where simply getting enough food, water, warmth and rest is each day’s business of the day. They can only dream of making it to the next floor of that pyramid and find security and safety.

However, if we all get nuked, the financial markets or simply finding legit eclipse glasses won’t matter. All those junkies out there? One wonders, why the spike in users? Maybe they’re ahead of the rest of us non-users. Reality bites. A sort of opioid beam me up attitude.

The towns that are in the direct path of the total eclipse are anticipating mobs of people invading hamlets large and small. Good for local business. Eyes to the sky, folks. Got those glasses? And no doubt the carnival barking doomsayers are preaching the sun won’t come back. Repent! Save yourself! All the while selling doomsday T-shirts from roadside stands. $20 a piece. Two for $35.

Yes, something REALLY BIG is coming! Only those who have the time and money to indulge it as a road trip will get to appreciate its totality. Once in a lifetime, ya know. Then again, if it turns out that before August 21st, there’s another extreme event having to do with a don’t look directly at it without protective glasses comes first, well…. That would be the one that ultimately takes the shape of a mushroom. Uh oh. Refugees, opioid addicts, hedge fund billionaires, science-deniers, jihadists, Game of Thrones junkies, artists, or whatever one’s mojo is will be about to a go-go. 

Then its back to sticks and stones, as Einstein famously noted. Old Sol may “disappear” momentarily in a week or so, but it’ll come right back, casting a blinding light on darkest parts of humankind’s rapacious, belligerent and blockheaded tendencies.  One way or another, Earth seems on the brink of a burn out, be it a nuclear ash end-game, or human activity-assisted climate collapse. I doubt there are any special glasses that will mitigate the effects of either of those dire events coming to pass. Just in case, check eBay or Amazon. You never know…

 

 

 

 

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Small Fish, Big Pond

To all Trump voters, especially those who still mindlessly support him, you are reaping what ye have sown.  Evidently many duped dopes have engaged enough of their brain cells to realize, by way of the GOP healthcare agenda that was tucked into the basket of horrors that came with voting for the con artist blowhard, just what fools they were back on November 8th, 2016. As for the hillbilly idiots who still think the flim-flam man is making America great again, well, you certainly have an odd notion of what “great” connotes when invoking your stupendously incompetent, unqualified, mentally unstable and profoundly self-absorbed, and worst of all, dangerously reckless “leader”.

Assuming many, many of the 60+ million who voted for Trump still are “informed” by Fox so-called news, or some down-the-dial right-wing hate-mongering mouthpiece for the ultra far Right wing nuts, I doubt any of you have noticed what a sad-sack persona Trump projected at the recent G-20 Summit. Long story short, Trumpians, your guy was bluntly shunned by the other 19 leaders of economically powerful countries, especially on the matter of climate change science. Maybe, just maybe, even Fox so-called news has mentioned that your Feckless Leader has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement regarding a multinational effort to curb what has been scientifically proven to be a deterioration in our planet’s environmental health, caused primarily by a willful sense of self-indulgent excess, mindless consumerism, waste mis-management and political recklessness. The verdict on the G-20 confab in Hamburg, Germany is pretty much that, thanks to our Fake President, the U.S. is anything but great in the eyes of those other 19 countries, that in fact, the U.S.’s influence on the world stage has now been reduced to a very insignificant supporting role. But take heart. On our U.S. national stage, we are now in an ongoing, bombastic, farce, with your Twitter-in-Chief the biggest “star” in an absurdist political reality TV program. 

Internationally, we are something of a political joke, and but of course. After all, Trumpsters voted for a buffoon. The eye-rolling responses by other world leaders to Mr. In-Over-His-Head have been documented. He may hold the highest office in our country, and as such has all of its inherent political gravitas, but he can’t even get his own party to fall into line, owing to his over-inflated ego and impulsive ways of expressing his entangled, tortured psyche. He has managed to cause fractures and fissures in the GOP’s desire to create a neo-con utopia for the uber rich, in spite of the GOP controlling all three branches of our government. So, I guess that President Stragelove is actually good for something, a small consolation to those of us who never doubted he was an obviously cringe-inducing, flawed joke of a candidate in the first place.

Make America Great Again, eh? Agent Orange is now the very small fish in a very big international pond. Whether anyone voted for him, or against him, or didn’t vote at all, the reality is there’s nothing great about being “led” by the likes of Mr.T, who while being dissed and eye-rolled by his counterparts around the world still insults and denigrates in Twitter-ville, and though he might ignore climate science, seems to believe in rocket science, and has those launch codes at his command. Wait, are we in The Matrix? This can’t be real, eh? So small fish might be compelled to boost his mojo with his politically alienated international big fish counterparts by continuing to prod and poke at another similarly mentally unstable, paranoid leader with possible nuclear launch codes: Kim Jong Un. If one or the other of these loose cannons decides to go nuclear, then the G20, the Paris Agreement, the environment, healthcare, education, women’s reproductive rights, immigration issues or Putin, or Clinton, or Manafort or Ivanka or the rest of his spawn won’t matter.

Game over. Winner takes nothing.

Small fish, big fish, no fish. No pond. Nada. How GREAT will that be?!

 

 

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In Search of Intelligent Life

Nasa’s Kepler spacecraft–as reported recently “in a grand finale of planet spotting prowess” tracked down 219 new planets outside our solar system. Included amongst these distant neighbors in deep space are 10 such new planets that “could have the right qualifications for hosting life”.

How exciting! Other planets, orbiting a star other than own precious sun that might host life. Possibly life forms that–dare I dream?–might even exceed a level of intelligence than demonstrated by the Homo sapiens now numbering over 7 billion on planet Earth.

Now, I  know humankind has made great advances in science and technology, cured once pernicious and widespread diseases, sent other humans to our moon and back, and is now working on driverless cars and digital devices in which one may bark out a command for information and said digital assistant spits out the needed response to the lazy-ass delight of its owner, who can’t even now bother to do a quick internet search of his or her own. Of course they can’t; he or she is too busy, with–hmmm, what? Uh, waiting for the latest social media postings from their 3,794 “friends” or the latest tweets from cyberspace debating on sports issues or what a particular pop diva is up to, or what the fuck Dennis Rodman is doing in North Korea again. Basketball diplomacy anyone?

If there is any life of any form on any other planet, no matter how far away it may be, I’m wanting to believe at least ONE of them has its shit wired much better than what passes for intelligence on Mother Earth, here in the crazed and vicious 21st Century, with its fictional or factual historical points on a planet asserted by rigorous Earth science to be about 5 billion years old.  However other “experts” assert the 3rd rock from the sun is no more than 6,000 years old. And these true believers are willing kill and have done so, to defend their non-scientific  assertion.

Did someone use the word kill? Oh, right, that was me. In my humble opinion the history of humankind (kind!) is a history of virtual non-stop violence, possibly since the first incarnation of a bipedal known as Sahelanthropus or if not that Miocene dude, then likely the earliest stone tool-making version of we the people, Australopithecus dude (and dude-ettes). If not some bashing and bruising waaay back then, well, certainly our penchant for aggressive, deadly behavior was inherent and hot-wired into humans by the time fire was discovered by homo erectus. Bash-in a skull or two of some rival erectus thug trying to muscle in on that that early version of a cook out and “erect” becomes  not so erectus.

Fast forward to, say today, and what is happening in our world crowded with modern human existence? Let’s see. Endless wars, border conflicts, religious conflicts, (hey, my imaginary guy in the sky is the one true imaginary guy in the sky!) ethnic conflicts, racial bloodletting, especially in the U.S. where a possible summary death sentence is carried out on a motorist of a certain color daring to drive around with a broken tail light. Or the disgruntled spouse who dispatches a former “loved” one and perhaps decides to whack their three young kids as well, then set the house on fire,  and maybe figure, after some demented self-reflection that, what the hell, time to blow my own brains out.

Currently, the most egregious evidence that planet Earth is infested with dispassionate, socio-pathic, power-hungry humanoids, is the civil war in Syria, where the non-combatant inhabitants of the city Aleppo have been getting bombed by their country’s military, many left dead instantly while many are doomed to slowly succumb under the ruble of what once was their home. As if that isn’t despicable enough, then the same military of those non-combatant citizens, will get a”double tap”; the same bombed buildings are bombed again at  the very moment the so-called “White Hat Brigade” digs furiously among the rubble and ruins for a any sigh of life that they may rescue.

As sickening as that scenario (documented) is, it is sadly but simply an extension of the aforementioned centuries of carnage and, much of the time, arbitrary murders of people who are unfortunately of the wrong race, the wrong ethnicity, the wrong religious belief, the wrong gender, the wrongly sexually oriented or wrong opponent of a very, very wrong lunatic at the most WRONG time and place. Genocides have been conducted since who knows-when?, most notoriously on about 6 million Jews by the Hitler regime, and long before that, on the native American Indians, the indigenous inhabits of virtually every state in our U.S. of A. Our elementary school history books essentially call that bit of business an unavoidable necessity.

In more subtle ways, pernicious death-dealing is a product of legislative process, where historical, political, financial, cycles have seen the “robber barons” exploiting the working class, to the Great Depression, a result of deregulation of financial markets that had the Roaring Twenties become the Abysmal Thirties for vast numbers of the U.S. population, to the more recent 2008 meltdown that caused havoc and ruin for many more middle-Americans by greedy, heartless banksters.

At this very moment, the U.S. Senate is attempting to pass legislation  that, if successful, will doubtlessly lead to millions of Americans facing early deaths or long lingering downward spirals by gutting Medicaid, Planned Parenthood and more, in a blatant, shameless, reckless, desire to transfer even more of our country’s vast wealth to the already richest of the rich (and the wealthy have already done just fine already over the past 35 or so years).  This type of behavior is, unlike a bomb dropped on a neighborhood in Aleppo, or carnage of the Crusades, or the Killing Fields of Cambodia, or the systemmatic gassing of Jews during WWII, or even the bullet in the head of that motorist of a certain color with the broken tail light, just as viscous and heartless in its end-game.

So, a visitor from another planet, and maybe someday such a visitor may come; but as in the great 1950’s sci-fi cautionary tale about how seemingly reckless and thoughtlessly dangerous a species Homo sapiens have become, that being The Day the Earth Stood Still, such a “far out” visitor would likely be met with fear, mistrust, and aggression. Hopefully, as in that movie, the hypothetical visitor will survive and, like the one in The Day the Earth… pronounce an ultimatum to the leaders of our world, that if we cannot stop our murderous, aggressive ways, and with nuclear weaponry that could threaten other life forms in our galaxy, that the powers beholden by that visitor’s planet, and its allies, would have no choice but to reduce the earth to a smoldering, burnt out cinder.

Okay, that’s not likely to happen, but this planet’s “leaders” and far too many of its various citizen-voters are becoming too dumbed-down or gullible to know what is really good and what is not good at all. The here and now reality is a disturbing, dangerous and rather depressing matter. We have all the carnage, the hate, simple-mindedness and divisiveness, be it owing to the color of one’s skin, or one’s lifestyle, one’s ethnicity or simply one’s beliefs, in spite that we all belong to the same species. In the immortal words of Rodney King, can’t we all just get along?

Most alarming is the fact that now we have tens of thousands of nuclear weapons scattered here and there by various countries, and like a global turf war in waiting, there are missiles pointed at various perceived enemies. Fear and loathing via the Ultimate Weapon. Much saber-rattling is going on now to add to the anxiety of basic everyday life. If the best we can do to try a bit of warm-fuzzy rather than cold and callous, is have Dennis Rodman bring a goofy smile to the cut-throat North Korean dictator’s face, we’re in real deep trouble. There’s technically “intelligent” life on planet Earth, but that intelligence seems to be used far too nefariously and carelessly. So, we don’t need any alien visitor, say Mork from Ork, to tell us to knock it off or he’ll knock us out for good. More and more, I’d say we’re on our way to doing that to ourselves, one way or another. In the meantime, thank Bog for The Onion and Mad Magazine. There’s never enough snarky humor to get us through this sick and twisted place we Earthlings call home.

Wait, aren’t there plans to get some Earthlings on Mars? I can suggest a number of heartless, greedy, control-freak honchos I’d love to see sent packing, one-way to the Red Planet.

That excludes Matt Damon, of course.

 

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