I have a problem with children’s entertainment from my childhood to today. While the increased inclusion is great in the diversity of stories being told there is a singular theme and message. That doing what you want is the most important thing in life. Often framed in the protagonist making the world better that doesn’t translate into real world application. We don’t have protagonists in reality just fellow people. No one person’s dreams is more valid than another. Most don’t come true or do at the expense of others. Where’s our message of community? What happened to George Bailey?
Bibi and his Israel are a threat to America. His incendiary manner which Trump stole in his campaign led directly to the assassination of PM Rabin who was one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Rabin’s vision for peace was hard earned after a lifetime of war rational and fair. Bibi derailed the peace process then in 1995 and hasn’t let up 20 years later. Why should America suffer for his career?
For Bibi has never truly believed or if he does then hasn’t worked to the two state solution. He moves towards a Jewish state who lords over poor arabs who regardless of how you define their nationality (or the origin of which) have lived in the region during and before the return of the adherents of Judaism. Not a soul considered righteous has claimed South Africa as a city on the hill for human rights but many a good person has been indoctrinated to support any action by Israel. Democracy cannot exist alongside theocracy. Bibi questioned Rabin’s commitment to Judaism that’s not democracy. Perhaps Bibi is playing the right but under him peace has begun to slip away.
If the zionist claims are to be believed then Italians of Roman descent have more than a valid claim to most of Europe and the Middle East. The dual claim of Judaism as both a religion and jews as a people is unique. The Arab people while most are Muslims are defined by their geographical region and have and do hold many different faiths. Just as Muslims come from all ethnicities and share in worship. This paradox in Judaism stems from the inability to convert to an ethnicity. E.g. Rachel Dolezal can’t chose to be black. Catholics who leave the church but still identify with their upbringing are their geographical ethnicity and a former Catholic. The persecution of the Jewish faith is just that: an attack on a religious faith. The race laws of Nazi Germany and Russia should not be considered valid any more than the prejudices behind them.
The Holocaust is an event of horrific portions and that will never change. I do not think I or any non survivor can comprehend two out three of our community being slaughtered like cattle by our former neighbors. Imagination truly has its limits. The UN creation of Israel in 1948 out of the former British Palestine was the last grasp of colonialism and European empire. An age that ended when Nazi Germany showed the weakness of the Conquerors. Like many former colonial lands, the borders were not chosen by the people. The creation of Israel in the Middle East allowed both Germany and France in particular to avoid sacrifices for their sins. Their land should have been given to the Jews. The Vatican is the best example for what should have been the fate of Jerusalem. A city a country to itself that would be devoted to the three faiths that call the land sacred. The short term vision of post war Europe wishing to move past the destruction and rebuild has haunted not themselves but the US.
The notion that Jews only have the birthright to return to the region is incomprehensible. As Americans know demographics shift and the left routinely dismisses their own majority as having any validity culturally and politically. To encourage refugees is not a modern western belief mostly due to the treatment of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. It is a hypocritical stance by Israel but one of many. In 1994, they provided arms during the embargo on Rwanda during the genocide. An action their Supreme Court ruled should remain covered up. Their blockade of Gaza is a war crime. Over half of the two million who call the Gaza Strip home need aid to survive from the Nov 2016 UN report. Aid frequently denied by Israel. Israel wages war not against Radical Islam but all Arabs regardless of their religion or age. The settlements strive to carve new Ghettos for the destruction of their enemy. I don’t support the violence inflicted on Israeli citizens but under no righteous view can the brutal reprisals on Palestinian citizens be ignored. Even in peaceful conditions of Palestinian protest of their treatment Israelis use lethal force even on children. The problem with peace is one side sought the complete annihilation of the other. Originally it was the Palestinians with their Arab allies but in the past two decades it switched to the Israelis and by default us as their American allies.
We are compliant in the oppression of Palestinians. I’m tired of the Israeli useful idiots in America who claim any rebuke of Israel as anti semitism when Israel’s war crimes are the source of continued hatred. Any Palestinian born after 1968 (Gen X, millennial, and now Gen Z) grew up in occupied territory. Born to treated as a criminal in their ancestral home. Allowed to be slaughtered by Israeli settlers. They are taught to hate Israel not by fellow Arabs but by Israelis themselves. We must cut all aid and impose sanctions until Israel returns the stolen land and moves its capital to Tel Aviv. The refusal of Israel to join the Iraq coalition proves their is no true friendship not even any acceptable alliance between our nation. We are the leader of the free world not them and the UN vote was a balanced measure after decades of enabling. Colonialism has gone the way of the Dodo. I’d prefer America to avoid that fate.
I don’t usually agree with Senator Tom Cotton. I certainly thank him for his service in the armed forces and respect the sacrifices he made. Yet his opposition to Obama frequently came off as personal rather than philosophically. I do agree with his op-ed in The New York Times on his vision of an immigration system inspired by Canada rather than short term profits.
“Children of Men” is a great movie but I disagree with the notion it is representative of 2016 is wrong or more accurately why the left says it is accurate is wrong. Just like the 2016 election, Brexit, and the anger of the poor. Especially the Vulture article, as much as the author claims that the solution can only come from new ideologies. I cannot disagree more.
We have a crisis of humanity. The Global Elite to which a majority of critics belong to point the death of compassion on the white poor and religion. It is simple and easy to label their fear as xenophobic or racist. First xenophobia is a medical condition and to be an armchair doctor from high without certification or actual medical knowledge never has cured a soul. Second the modern refugee is not the professional class Jew of antebellum Germany, they are a manual skill laborer. A class that the Western professional class has waged war against for 46 years. Robbed of living wages, the current wave of rage began in earnest with the election of Clinton in 1992 who pandered to the deindustrialized people on the campaign. Once in office, their quality of life was ignored for the P. C. culture wars. Now the few jobs that they are allowed to work due to the investment in their communities that makes the cost of college and credit rating needed for fair loans out of reach. Even jobs that don’t require education or specialized skills such as data entry are reserved for the privileged conferred degrees as a consolation to the damage digital disruption is wreaking on our world. Now the professional class wants to further dilute the opportunities by increasing working class competition without sacrifices of their own.
The worshipped tech “geniuses” who take from those with the least to trickle up luxury to the anointed upper class look at us from their environmentally friendly manors sitting on their hoards. They bestow gifts on those who believe in their dogma without question or defiance. Charter schools selective in the children to be saved and the majority go to global causes to expand their influence and control on new populations. They ignore the communities who raised them because we are not islands. The false interpretation of the enlightenment as the individual above the world ignores the wisdom of our predecessors. Kings exist beyond job titles and the tech and financial worlds have returned aristocracy and fiefdoms into our lives long before Trump declared his candidacy. It is the loss of morals not the inadequacy that created this moment. Cuaron is not immune to luxury take “Gravity” a decadent experience that was not revelatory as much as indulgent.
There are no quick solutions to the challenges of climate change and overpopulation but some of the most inspiring innovators live by traditional values like Elon Musk. Investing in the future rather than paying out short term profits. Will the critics who spend their days judging mostly forgettable entertainment that needs no comment ever use their existence to better humanity? Of course not they would have to give up their celebrity chef curated tasting experiences and gilded bars with bartenders who frame themselves as scientists. Television and amusement in all forms especially pop culture academia have narrowed our worlds. There is no global pillars rather the peoples of the world were sold snake oil. Bending the knee and toppling the temples that carried them through the ages for the false idol that is cosmopolitanism. Falsely accused of being the true vision of enlightenment cosmopolitanism is the antithesis. Consider the difference between “Yes, We Can” vs “I’m with Her” and “Make America Great Again”. To the contrary of Trump’s later speeches his slogan is a call to action that offered an ignored people a hand in their faith. Clinton’s slogan was a pledge of fealty that asked people to give into the will of the elite, perhaps even further degraded a fashion statement.
The modern elites to which every member of the mainstream media is apart of (important note: local media such as small circulation newspapers are not the same as much as the titans of attention try to frame them as such) view us the people as malfunctioning machines. Think about how the jargon the media uses to explain psychology and sociology is borrowed from tech. We are “programmed” beings “wired” to “function”. We are not machines but souls born. We are not “designed” to serve but created by God to live and exist. Even the notion of the individual stems not from writing but the shift on architecture and technology. In the age of Socrates ideas needed more than one to be thought through discussion. The advance of the written world through the convenience of the printing press created a new medium of conversation. Rooms began to separate us. Our ancestors shared a space with each other and their livestock. The individual bedroom made the self which found itself in writing. The expansion of the world that writing allowed for was far beyond the seven mile radius that existed in the feudal villages. This new world connected by ideas allowed the new individual to group and create without the intimacy of proximity. That was the birth of the Enlightenment. Film continued the same, premeditated images shared.
Television ended the Enlightened world no longer was the audience separated by time from the idea and image. We all could share the events of the world as they happened disconnected from location. McLuhan’s global village. More than 90% of Americans knew that JFK died within 2 hours. Most of the country watched the live coverage of his funeral 3 days later. A moment almost literally shared by the nation. Now with smartphones and the livestream have completed the village. We are no longer ever alone. We are no longer selves as in the Age of Enlightenment. Our actions known to all as we act. The elites have used this to prey on the people for profit. Now the people understand the new age and have come for control of the village.
Trump has shown that he doesn’t believe or understand the two state solution with his nomination of not just a pro settlement ambassador to Israel but his bumbling effort in meddling with the UN resolution. Israel illegally stole Palestine land and continues to encroach. There cannot be peace until this has been addressed.
The Israeli claim that the settlements are their only bargaining chip disregards their massive power through their “friendship” with America. They were not apart of the Iraq coalition instead they needled Iran with black ops. For 50 years they have destabilized the Middle East and while many of the early attacks on the nation were unprovoked today it is a hell of their own making and we are paying.
I feel for the plight of the moderate Israeli and for the innocents affected by the violence. I don’t believe Trump will bring them relief but the resolution will. Without two states there cannot be peace for Israelis or Palestinians.
On this day 25 years ago an empire dissolved. Before that the American president received a call from his counterpart. The leaders of two opposing empires speaking of endings and the best for the stability of the world. The New York Times published a transcript of the phone call. It is a conversation that I can’t imagine between Putin and Trump.
I pray for a better peace.
This time of year and particularly on Christmas Eve I revisit two monumental works that aren’t defined by our celebration of the birth of our savior by actually define how we celebrate this joyous occasion when God became man. Those works are Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Created a hundred years apart in the birth and the peak of the industrial age. In light of the election, I’ve relished my reviewing this season.
I was in TJ Maxx and came across the attached image of Ivanka Trump’s, the woman behind the throne, fashion line. The Trump family has no morals no values. They have spent their lifetimes nickel and diming us the people. Profiting from questionable chinese labor and then inciting the same people they made unemployed to lash out. They are a family of Potters and Scrooges.
I’m reminded of the case against Abacus Bank, a relatively small community bank based in Chinatown New York that never peddled subprime mortgages or sold securities of dud mortgages. The crime as seen by the NY DA office was acting like a community service organization. Abacus used community connectedness rather than solely income and job title. Their default rate was a tenth of the national during the peak of the crisis. What else is a bank if not the financial heart of our community? The DA’s comments certainly supports the view that our modern financial institutions exist to enrich the already wealthy.
We were founded on the idea capitalism tempered by our morals gave us the most free economic system that supported the citizens that was less inclined to create an aristocracy. It was a mean to the end. Large profit an occasional bonus not the goal. Generosity was as important as being informed to the founders. Kindness and compassion were paramount to the functioning of the republic.
The Trumps and the other transnational elite have left our American community. They have abandoned our values. They created a mockery of the lives we hold dear. We hound combat veterans to pay back an accidental overpay long after the payment was made but Trump can write off a shitty decision on his civic duty.
The UN resolution condemning the Israeli settlements passed by the security council thanks to the US abstaining from the vote. A few days previous, Trump spoke with the Egyptian president, who then cancelled the original vote that his government called. A coalition of nations reintroduced the resolution after.
Last week’s controversy with China over an underwater drone. Trump again contradicted Obama’s policy publicly.
Not to mention the courtship between Putin and Trump. All and all, these situations are traditionally unheard of because the president-elect doesn’t attempt policy before the official transition on 1/21. The simple reason is we only have one president at any given moment. Trump’s win doesn’t change the constitution. I can’t imagine he will want his successor undercutting his final months but maybe he isn’t worried about that day coming.
The challenge facing America is both Trump and the void of authority in society at large. If Trump is the representation of the far right need for absolute order then the modern “SJW” represents the far left need for absolute harmony through conformity. For those who balk they should consider what a philosophy with one right thought told to us by the anointed professors of America’s campuses. The growth of these mentalities worries me.
The danger of dogmatic thinking is that any valid reason for the thought is lost over time. This is wrong because of x becomes this is wrong because Y told me so becomes Y said you are wrong becomes that data isn’t right because this and you are always wrong. When reason is removed from our interactions we become more defensive and the opinion becomes more important than solving the original problem. Student protests and the 2013 GOP government shutdown are two examples. The side that chose reason whether it was the school administration or the House Democrats suffered afterwards for their lack of dogma. When the ends justify the means and a candidate who is unqualified and possibly will be unconstitutional upon being sworn in won we must question our methods and our values. If we cannot accept nuance and reality, we will never resist or escape Trumpland.
I know many on the left will give this post title an eyeroll but I must speak about the two wars on Christmas: one waged by the secular leftists and the other from Radical Islam. The left has long sought to undermine the separation of church and state by submitting religion to federal control. People must petition Congress for religious exemptions. That is not what this country was founded on. The government does not grant us rights. Our religious institutions Christian or other are not granted passage by Big Government. This is why battles over the building of Mosques disturbs me. It isn’t for the President or the selectmen to decide. We do not have the right to stop peaceful worship if they own the property or at least have legal access. I believe both the the left and the right have assaulted our religious rights.
The war on the Western world from Radical Islam is a clash of civilizations. Christianity and Islam can and do coexist in Western Civilization. Not that there aren’t conflicts between religious groups under liberal order but our values as a society push us towards unity and respect. Radical Islam under its strict literal theology cannot exist within the West. It’s practice goes against all of our values. If the West is defined as uncertain and fluid then Radical Islam is defined by the opposite. The temptation is it promises a known purpose in life. In the West, religion and work (our institutions of purpose) have been under attack by the political elite. The resulting society promotes unlimited freedom by removing dedication and devotion as values. Purpose limits choice. True freedom is being adrift in space without a footing to stand on. People want to have a purpose, at some level we need it. As the work that gave employee’s pride is automated, a pillar of society teeters. We don’t need more stuff to throw away, we need more purpose in our days. I have been told of a notion where freedom from work allows us to achieve higher purposes. I don’t agree with it. An attempt by the left to marginalize people’s lives. Autowork gives more back to the community than art and is no less noble. That’s the problem with the Progressive goal to achieve the end of history. People want to be a part of their lineage, not escape it.
The converts to the radical civilizations (Radical Islam and Neo-Nazis are just the most aggressive) flee the increasingly inhuman West shedding its values without replacing them. Multiculturalism isn’t a value as much as the absence of one. The American Melting Pot wasn’t a place where you kept your way of life as much as subvert your rituals to the American way. You came to America to be American. Immigrants make America great by becoming American. Entangling the threads of their traditions into our quilt. The american ethnicity is multiracial and our DNA is global but at our heart we are all brothers and sisters under and for the Republic and all for which it stands. In reading the Atlantic review of “Silence”, one would assume Art was created outside of religion when until recent history it was a tool of faith. The reviewer believes taking religion seriously is radical. I find that to be belittling to say that the ancient mysteries of religion especially the inevitability of suffering were not a legitimate source of Art. The left has turned tradition radical. Until the liberal order reclaims its history it will be on the losing end of a war they refuse to admit exists.