Sunday, April 9, 2017

War - What Is It Good For?


Greetings again...What are we to make of this saber-rattling?  To me it is unbelievable that ANY folks would support this, applaud this, and even say this makes our nutjob "Presidential" ( I'm glad Rather and some others aren't going along.).  If THAT'S their definition of "Presidential" we all need to say what a CROCK that is!

Shouldn't a President show leadership in seeking a BETTER world.  So I ask, how does war advance that?  Shouldn't a President show more thought and care in making decisions than impetuous missile strikes? So I ask, why wasn't this happening in this case?  And and shouldn't a President show respect for our own Constitution and international law? So I unequivocally state: our nutjob-in-chief has not.

Glenn Greenwald tweeted: US goes to war so often & easily that a good number of Americans believe raining down Tomahawk missiles on a country doesn't count as "war"     and

Cites Rep. Justin Amash tweet: 
Airstrikes are an act of war. Atrocities in Syria cannot justify departure from Constitution, which vests in Congress power to commence war.

And it's not just the offhandedness of the strike authorization  or the flaunting of the Constitution. We need to ask again and again, "War - What Is It Good For?"  If you know the song, or if you know in your heart how bad war is, you know the answer!

"It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it."  was said by, of all people, Robert E. Lee, whose first-hand experience in the horrors of our Civil War surely let him to that conclusion.  With the even more devastating weapons we have now, we should take heed of this thought.

War is NOT something to be entered into so cavalierly as this administration has.  It is very serious business, requiring  cool thought and deliberation.  Lives are at stake, not just those of active combatants but increasingly of civilians

War in this technological age is NOT some video game or global virtual chess match.  Real lives are still involved.  We must insist that the media keep reporting this honestly and NOT just become echo chambers for the government.

So War - What Is It Good For ---- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!  And if you've read along with me, I think you deserve the song!

                                              War - Edwin Starr


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Friday, April 7, 2017

Is There a Shred of Hope?

Greetings.  I'm not sure exactly what to say, but I'm just too emotional and heartsick not to write something.

I want to scream at people - look at the harm that's being done!  I just cannot see how ANYONE of ANY sort of good will could be party to the mess that we're in.  And it's a huge one - that even a certain nutjob's supporters should have seen coming. Our very democracy is under severe attack, there are missile strikes, civil liberties continue to be attacked, and we haven't even touched on climate concerns yet.

I was half expecting bad news about the nefarious SCOTUS nominee - and yes, it was bad. Commondreams.org listed the 4 Dem. Senate collaborators in voting for cloture, and I posted a link to that article in my twitter feed.  The GOP keeps showing us that they have no thought or care for anything but their own power.  Is there any line they won't cross?

But I was NOT prepared for the horrible news of the missile strikes on Syria.  This is wading in to very deep, dangerous territory ---- and it ignores our Constitution and international law. Trevor Timm in his twitter feed  (he's @trevortimm ) tweeted a video where Brian Williams called these strikes "beautiful" numerous times.  I'm sorry, but destruction and loss of life are certainly not MY idea of beauty.  Timm also has several tweets which show the msm for the most part has failed to be even a bit critical and just be submissive in reporting this.  Sounds a lot like Orwell, doesn't it: "War is Peace."  My mind and spirit are so troubled by this development and I can't help but also wonderalong with Peter Van Buren (see his tweet  in the commondreams article in link above) "No one knows where this ends."

That's certainly bad enough.  And there's more.  The  gov't wants to unmask an anonymous "rogue" twitter account user who has been critical of the admin..  And get this, according to an ACLU spokesperson, "on the face of the summons the government has offered no reason for seeking this information."  As a new twitter user, of course I'm concerned; and everyone else should be as well.  Free Speech needs to apply to ALL!  I'm glad that twitter is filing suit and that the ACLU is defending the user.

I know there's quite a resistance around, but is there hope for getting us out of this mess?  The stakes are too high and I'm concerned as I've never been.  The dangers are real, folks.  I'm not sure about answers, but I AM doing a LOT of praying.

And do remember, if you find this post or any post here of value, please do comment (they're GOLD, remember) and/or share.  Thanks!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Let's Aim For Mutually-Supportive Relationships

Greetings again, Readers!  You really never do know when something will spark a bit of inspiration.  I was watching a nature show and the host at one point spoke about predator-prey relationships in nature. Yes, in nature we expect this, but amongst us humans?

Now please don't say you have not heard of predatory loans or predatory capitalism. I've tried to find a definition of "predatory capitalism," and I think the closest I've come to finding a succinct encapulsaion of the concept is in an interview with John Perkins (some may know him as the author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man). He said: " As expressed by famous economist Milton Friedman, it is based on a single premise, a single goal, and that goal is to maximize profits, without taking into account social and environmental cost."   Noam Chomsky, in the book Chomsky on Anarchism by Chomsky and Barry Patemen, said of predatory capitalism: "It is incapable of meeting human needs that can be expressed only in collective terms, and its concept of competitive man who seeks only to maximize wealth and power, who subjects himself to market relationships, to exploitation and external authority, is antihuman and intolerable in the deepest sense."

 It's not solely economics, either.  When I settled on this topic, I remembered an excellent 'views' article I had read at commondreams.org, The Predatory Presidency by Roy Eidelson.  He points out the need to reject calls of fearmongering and bigotry, then come together to strategize ways to protect ourselves against political predators.

I hope that it is becoming clear that a predator-prey relationship for humans needs to be rejected. I say we need to find a better way. We need to aim for relationships that are more mutually-supportive.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What Did Our Nobel Laureate in Literature Once Say?

Greetings, Readers!  Hmmm...didn't our latest Nobel Literature Laureate once say something about "the times..."?  Well, changes do come for sure. I'm not always the most eager to embrace changes, but if you notice on the sidebar on right (or wherever in mobile view) there's a link to follow me on twitter. WHAT?

Yes, over this past weekend I joined twitter.  It's really been quite an adventure getting set up and figuring out how things flow.  The learning curve does keep one on one's toes for sure.  So what does this mean for this blog (and Daisies and Diamonds)?

Well, I'll still be blogging.  Bur just probably not as often as before.  The plan is to use twitter to tweet alerts/links, short takes, or brief thoughts.  More involved and developed posts will be ---- right here at TVFH. I'm working a post that should be ready soon.

So - hope to have more folks participate.  Comments here will be very welcome, and so will tweets :-)


Sunday, March 12, 2017

What Tools?

Greetings.  It's still hard to look at current events and not be ready to go into hibernation or something until things start looking up.  We have challenges to our civil liberties here in the U. S., challenges to our social safety net  (what's left of it), and even to our democracy itself.  On top of that, there are concerns we are putting our entire Planet in danger by ignoring climate change and raising the threat of a nuclear arms race. 

I often feel it seems we are looking at a Gordian Knot of interconnected problems. Whatever means Alexander the Great used to cut or untie the legendary knot, we need to think of what tools we have to slice through our own problems and work toward solutions.

As I was thinking of this post, a song came to mind.  "If I Had a Hammer," written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, a protest song (and do we ever need them now!) which needed Peter, Paul, and Mary to make its big splash.  Here are the lyrics with some really great notes about the song.   How about a video? I really like the version by Trini Lopez!  I'm not sure about the Hammer, but it seems fairly clear to me that the Bell would be our Liberty Bell, reminding us of our founding principles. And the Song? Well, maybe the Allman Brothers' "Revival" might do!

So what tools do we have?  

How about the key to freedom we hand off to others, especially those who may be different from us?
How about the ladder of opportunity we help build for others to rise?
How about the globe we need to always keep in front of us to remind us to care for Planet Earth?

And as for song... how about this?    Get Together

So, what tools do YOU have?  Do share in comments!

Do comment and/or share if you find this post or any post here of value! Thanks!





Monday, March 6, 2017

Alerts If You Haven't Heard...

So here we are again.  The way things are now, there are probably alerts we should pay attention to EVERY DAY.  This tends to make one just a bit tired.

We do, however, need to keep our eyes open, know what is going on, and ready ourselves to resist.  Not that I'm much into marches these days, but there are many forms of resistance and each should do what he or she can. Commondreams.org (see link in my 'Great Sites to Visit' list...) has been having a daily "Resist Day#(whatever day of the current nightmare admin. it happens to be)" there are definitely some ideas there.  FreePress.net also has an e-mail list of "100 Days, 100 Disruptions,"  that you can check out.

Our first alert: Mr. Khizr Khan, who spoke so eloquently at the Dem. convention, now has his travel privileges "under review," leading to his reluctant cancellation of a speaking engagement in Toronto, Canada.  WHAT IS THIS?  He is an American Citizen!!!  This totally reeks of vindictiveness and retribution for his views.  This is NOT what America should be about, nor does it follow our own Constitution!  This also ties in with one action on today's resist list: oppose the 'Muslim travel ban 2.0.'

Our second alert:  Internet privacy (what little there actually may be) is  now greatly at risk.  The new FCC Chairman " has blocked new requirements that Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast apply common sense security practices to protect your private data.(emphasis mine)Whatever happened to standing up for consumers? There is also a move by GOP members of Congress to make it illegal for ISPs to protect online privacy AND (get this:) prohibit the FCC from enacting "substantially similar" privacy rules going forward.  These moves definitely need to be opposed.

Our third alert: The Fight for 15 Memphis Chapter is alleging that police surveilled and used intimidation tactics on protesters and ----- "police claimed they had 'authorization from the president of McDonald’s' to arrest protesting fast food workers."    I think the surveillance state, the gov't and corporate interests are waaaaaay too seamless now.  The right to peacefully protest and dissent is supposedly enshrined in our First Amendment.  Let's all stand to protect that right!  (And while that Amendment is on your mind, why not check out:  A Little Thing Called "The First Amendment - Updated! )

So, I hope these alerts open an eye or two.  And it would really be a boost to hear from someone in comments! Don't be shy.  I don't bite, but, being a good kitty lover, I have been known to hiss at miscreants in power who abuse authority.

If this post or any post here you find of value, please do comment and/or share.  Thanks! 



Friday, March 3, 2017

Heartlessness

Greetings again.  I really thought I'd let the last few posts sit a bit, but in reading the news (yesterday now) I knew I just had to post something about the heartbreak so many immigrants are undergoing. And it's not just here in the U. S., but in other places around the world as well.

I just can not fathom how these people can live with themselves while treating other human beings so cruelly.  I suppose the Milgram Experiment  and the Stanford Prison Experiment explain some of it.

You can read about the "Dreamer" so recently taken into custody by ICE after speaking out.  She's not even the first case that is outrageous, not even the first Dreamer case.  This story details the case of an undocumented women detained after seeking a protection order against an abuser, along with mentions of some other cases. There are some who see the damage these heavy-handed crackdowns are having on the targets and their families.  WHY DON'T MORE OF US?

Since Brexit, there have been many stories of folks having problems staying in the U. K. or being deported.  Here is a very striking example.  This woman is even in a better position than most who find themselves with similar problems, believe it or not.  In the op-ed, Irene Clennell tells her story of being forced to leave her family.  "I’d been in the UK since 1988, married to a British man for 27 years. Yet I was forced from my family, without legal advice, and left in Singapore with just £12."  Further, she adds:  "The authorities have shown their willingness to treat foreign-born people as second-class citizens, no matter how integrated we are – and, worse, treat us like criminals... During my removal from Britain I was treated like a terrorist: I was restrained by the arms, my every word written down, and there were guards on the door when I went to the toilet."

But there is more outrage to come.  I think taking today's low-down prize in heartlessness is the mayor (she has so dishonored the title that NO, I won't capitalize it) of Calais, France.  She is determined to put an end to folks feeding the immigrants that are coming to the area and struggling to survive.  This, the article points out, will particularly hurt young people.  How heartless are you when your lack concern for fellow human beings going hungry is such that you don't even want anyone else to feed them out of concern for their plight?  What kind of heart, what kind of mindset is that?

This really is a challenge for all of us.  Shades of "I was only following orders," one has to wonder about how folks could be so unfeeling (maybe there was something to those experiments after all...). This fine "Views" article from commmondreams challenges all of us.  What would we do?  And this one, also pointed out something I certainly was not aware of;  Nazi death camps were right in urban areas!  Joe Engel, a Holocaust survivor on the tour which gave rise to the article, said: “People say they didn’t know. All the camps were so close to the city. How could they not know? You could smell the ashes, the flesh.”  In his conclusion, the author of the piece also challenges us: "What kind of witnesses shall we be?"  Indeed, each in our own way, WE MUST NOT LOOK AWAY.

If this post or any post here you find to be of value, please do comment and/or share.  Thanks!