Lunacy – Politics, Dictators (& Trump) and Race

It is now 2017 and we, as a global people, are facing more and more lunacy in the world.

In Turkey, we have Erdogan who constantly expands his political powers to where it is reaching dictatorial levels. When you:

  • Modify the political system;
  • Suppress journalists, military, educators, other political parties and
  • Control the media

— you are a dictator.

In Venezuela, we have Maduro with his recent critically gained presidency. Currently he is an authoritarian (some of us prefer the term ‘dictator’). He appears to be on a track to continue absorbing more power – by rewriting their country’s constitution, even while it is reported that 98% of the country’s people rejected that idea. Approximately, 3.6 million people voted according to an independent analysis. Here are a few of the actions he, Maduro, has implemented or rather, allowed to take place:

  • delayed elections,
  • jailing of opposition leaders,
  • increasing influence of the army, and
  • efforts by the government-appointed courts to curtail the powers of the opposition-held national assembly.

Note, he has the backing of Russian and Cuban leadership…

In Iran, Hassan Rouhani, won the recent presidential election to continue holding office. One item he ran on was to include women in the cabinet. That, as it turns out, did not occur – it is an all-male cabinet…  That is not progress. He ran on the platform of being a reformist.

In Russia, well, actually, do we need to add anything more on him than what we already know of him (and Medvedev)…? When you:

  • Control the political system (arrest opposition on false charges of embezzlement in order to label the person as a criminal, which under Russian laws, the person cannot run for certain offices);
  • Control the country’s media (to spread whatever propaganda is desired); put in a VPN prohibition (so citizens cannot have secure & private communication with the outside world);
  • Use your police force, your military & intelligence services to force how ‘protest rallies should be held (i.e. maximum of 250 people and constrained to protest only within a few block area)’; and
  • Control state conglomerates in order to line the leadership’s pockets with BILLIONS of dollars (& Swiss Francs, Euros, British Pounds and even Bitcoins)

— if that is not dictatorial, not sure what else it could possibly be.

In China, we have a country that wants to be capitalistic but is still hugely communistic. This is a country that:

  • Is also banning private citizen use of VPNs – sorry, correction, citizens can ‘apply’ for use of a VPN (but that means that citizen would have to provide a back door {or front door} into that VPN’s communication path…
  • Has a Communist party with significant control over the country’s media – with an iron fist.
  • HAS BUILT a man-made island in the South China Seas (Spratly Islands) in order to, ahhh what was it they stated (one reason) – to protect their sovereign rights and regional territories. Remember, that area is a hotly contested area for “centuries” by countries in the area (Taiwan, China, Vietnam, with Malaysia and the Philippines).
  • Wants foreign investors (tech) to give up source code to ensure there is nothing hinky or spying related in order for those foreign firms to do business in China.
  • Still has huge human rights issues (think Falun Gong and {two spellings} Uyghur & Uighur people of western China)
  • Wants to completely take over Hong Kong despite what China promised in 1999 (freedom to continue progressing)
  • Suppresses all (or as much as they can find) negative commentary regarding the country and the political leaders

In America, we have someone who may not be dictatorial but is clearly not of the right mettle (and state of mind) to run a country and grow.When we have:

  • An EPA that is relaxing/eliminating rules/regulations left and right to allow toxins into the air and water, it is a very bad sign.
  • A Dept of Education that believed that HBCUs were a wonderful alternative and is attempting to have more charter schools across the country AND not listening to the educators in her own Department – that is a bad sign for our children and future leaders.
  • An Attorney General that should not have been appointed to being with (there are all kinds of reasons to choose from if you wish to do a little research and analysis of your own) – that is a bad sign for the country’s law enforcement system.
  • A Commerce secretary who wants to relax rules and regulations (just recall the sweat shops and lack of workplace violations of yesterday) – we have a problem in that more business will start doing what they want to do without protecting their employees.
  • A secretary of State who does not talk to his own senior leadership nor allow press conferences – that is a bad omen of things happening behind closed doors.

So, that list could have easily continued but many of you know the shortfalls of our current administration. We now come to our president – a choice that the electoral college should never have made when the popular national vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the other candidate. We have a president who:

  • Listens to select individuals, who may not be qualified to provide those kinds of opinions
  • Says whatever he wishes without ANY deep thoughts or consideration, from what we observe – he likes to gain information and content from Alex Jones
  • Gives oversight and strategic control of the military to the generals – that is a bad idea (extrapolate down the road and into the future – you’ve got a big brain to do so)
  • Is a completely bad and wrong role model for youth growing up, who aspire to be someone important – do we want that kind of leader sprouting up everywhere in 10-20 years…? He is definitely not a role model for many of us.
  • Allegedly cooked the books for his Grand Hyatt hotel partnership in New York in the mid-80s (here is one link but please do your due diligence: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/trump-files-how-donald-screwed-over-new-york-city-his-tax-bill/) – Trump had ordered the Grant Hyatt to change its accounting methods to lower its reported profits. Check out what the city’s auditor general at the time (Karen Burstein) reported. And he, Trump, is well known for stiffing everyone he can, from lawyers to chefs in order to get out of paying for it.
  • Barely raises an eyebrow at the Charlottesville, VA white supremacist rally where James Alex Fields Jr, allegedly killed, via a hit & run, a female pedestrian and injured 19 others (ala, an ISIS style vehicle attack). And if I’m not mistaken, he was on the stage behind  and on Trump’s right at some Trump rally late last year or earlier this year. Some media outlet should do a facial scan for this person in the archives – to see what kind of rally he and his friends were attending.  And also, no, Obama did not raise the white racist, supremacist, Nazi spectre when the idiot, Dylann Roof, shot the people in the church. But that was a different scenario – this time (Charlottesville) it was a massive gathering the day after a Tikki firelight march by, hmmmm, individuals of a certain color. The tension and hatred was already at a known and anticipated high level (witness the police and state trooper presence). The Charlottesville situation was not a surprise but our president only gave a rather tepid response for this mass gathering and protest that many people have likened to Hitler and his brown shirts…

The U.S. has a president that is causing this country to waste more money and time on stupidity and inane actions, not just domestically but globally, than we should have to. NOTHING is really getting done and please do not tell the rest of us that he is bringing back manufacturing jobs, those numbers are not significant, especially not for the long run.

 

So, with that list above – definitely not an all-encompassing list of lunatic actions around the globe but it seems to be a glide path for disaster if we do not somehow come together to make change happen. Selfish racial beliefs are not beneficial for a society as a whole – it should be societal belief of everyone helping everyone (no, I’m not intimating that we should be become a socialist society, sorry). We should be working, together, around the globe to make life better for everyone. We, the U.S. cannot even:

  • Make health care affordable to everyone, from poor to middle class in this country when there are other countries who are making it work by using one form or another of Universal Health Care or a One Payer system.
  • Improve our infrastructure system.
  • Innovate and improve our educational system so that it is equitable for all, not just pockets of people scattered around the country.
  • And for sure, we are still leap years behind where we should be where it comes to diversity and dropping discrimination of all forms (race, gender, age) to historic lows.

Instead, we, Americans, have a president that seems oblivious to who he has selected to help run the country – oblivious to what he is saying to the world (where he is a laughing stock, check it out) and oblivious to the image he projects to others outside of his base (which appears to be shrinking, finally).

We should still be the leader of the free world, but that may be gone now in no small part due to our leader. And without having that kind of leader status, we may be a contributing (not root) cause to the rise of lunacy in the world – in race, politics and pop-up dictators.

 

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SHAME! ISIS & WEAK Support from Congress, Senate, EU & mid-East allies

Shame on our American Congress and Senate! I will come back to that.

It is sad to see the growth and atrocities of the terrorist oriented group known as ISIS (or ISIL or IS) continue, not unabated, but slowed down. It is not just Americans being beheaded; it is Brits and other mid-Eastern citizens too.

It is Syrians, Iraqis, Yazidis and Kurds being, not murdered, but exterminated!

Okay, back to that shame comment. Here we are with many of our Congress and Senate unwilling to make a sincere, heartfelt move to vote for allowing America to make strongER moves against ISIS. WAIT! I do apologize; let me revise that last statement.

It appears that many in our Congress and Senate want to “wait” until after this fall’s election cycle is over. In this manner, those who are reticent to vote for a move against ISIS can first survive their election race. This way, they would not have to worry about their vote being recorded on the books.

This, to me mind you, seems highly “un-American” that those affected (or afflicted) individuals continue to put themselves before anything else, inclusive of a better:

  • Health care system for all
  • Educational system for our children
  • Highway and bridge infrastructure system for all
  • Clean, green energy infrastructure to wean us off of gas and oil (not just from abroad but from within the US as well)
  • Etc. – it is a very long list that our Congress and Senate can work on.

But, those are episodes for other writings. 

What I currently understand is that these folks really are ready to fully engage – ‘after the elections, once they are voted in again.’

The problem here is, many constituents are very short sighted and selfish and do not look long term, down the road, for the country as a whole. So, we wind up with people in congress and the senate who are also narrowly focused on the short term…

In the meantime, ISIS goes on – very, very sad. 

Now, our EU and mid-Eastern ‘allies’ and “partners” should be even more ashamed. The U.S. did not single handedly create a growing ISIS, even though some snarky hot head will say we did.

This is a conflict of religion. A religious conflict of one extremely radical element with a desire to transform the entire region, if not the world, into what they envision the world should be – a strict adherence to Islam and Sharia law, no exceptions and with the death of all infidels, us. ISIS only wants one thing, a Caliphate.

 

Has diplomacy and communication failed America? Is force truly the ‘only’ answer and best method to curtail this type of situation? 

Maybe now is the time for us to pull back U.S. interests from the mid-East and possibly the EU, letting ISIS flourish and spread throughout the mid-East and into Europe and possibly even the western front of Russia?

If our EU allies and more specifically, our mid-East partners are unwilling to help quash this extremist brand of Islamists, should the U.S. realistically undertake so much of this fight any longer? We simply cannot be the primary force or the leading force in that region… 

Should we become the isolationists we once were prior to the beginning of the Great War (WWI)?

If we pull back all of our forces and much of our American interests as possible and resort to being isolationist again – we can focus on rebuilding America. We can help our own people to grow. We can stop dumping billions of dollars into the Middle East where centuries old tribal factions and sectarian consternation (or mayhem) continues on and on and on. And in the background, some mid-East countries (or leaders) continue to support the radicals.

If we pull back and become isolationists, we can focus on beefing up our airports, shipping ports, borders and coastal defenses to pre-empt any wannabe terrorist from entering the country, our home – where people supposedly stand together, for the American people…

And since there is only tepid overarching support from multiple coalition parties, should the U.S. just stand back in the distance and watch the Wahabis (or Wahhabis) kill off the Sunnis or watch the Shia kill off the Sunnis and Wahabis or some other configuration?

If we pull back, we can rebuild our currency coffers and reduce our national debt load. We can focus on making America great and wonderful!

 

Oh. Yes. You were saying, “What about the spread of ISIS and all the mass killings of men, women and children – and don’t forget the atrocities undertaken on the defenseless – and the wanton destruction of priceless historical artifacts?”

Well…. We can take the tack of Turkey, where they stated the U.S. would not be allowed to use any Turkish sites to launch American airstrikes. We could say in turn when ISIS becomes a bigger problem for Turkey that we prefer not to put U.S. troops in harms’ way by having them in Turkey, Turkey can fend for itself.

Or, we could take the tack of Egypt where they stated that they have their own terrorist problems to deal with. In that case, we could say that the U.S. has our own demons back at home to focus on, such as unhinged KKK members/groups, extreme sovereign citizens, out of control militias, etc.

As for Germany and France, shucks, I am not sure what to say about them. Maybe, we could just stand back and state we have our own problems as German/French ISIS members sneak back into those countries and cause mass casualties. Maybe the U.S. should just let Israel unload on Syria since Assad is unwilling to be a leader and step down from his dictatorial position.

I dunno….

 

In the meantime, tens of thousands of people will needlessly die or be forced to convert to that extreme religion. Along the way, women and young girls will be sold off and/or given away as unwilling brides. Or worse… 

Of course, our backing off and reverting to isolationist will not transpire. It will not happen because of oil in the mid-East and the great many U.S. interests throughout the EU.

Until we, the U.S., actually get to a clean, green energy economy and get people into congress and the senate who “want” to do the right thing instead of listening to the wild, vocal minority of their respective parties, well, we’re screwed basically and will continue playing a massive role of world policemen.

 

If other coalition partners are unwilling to do more to stop this heinous and cancerous growth of ISIS, it is only going to get worse and become costlier over time – in lives and the very, very tight budgets of all countries in the current state of global economy.

The biggest fly in the ointment is Syria, where everyone seems to agree is the nerve center for ISIS. If Assad is unwilling to allow strikes against ISIS and with Putin opening his yap (being Assad’s buddy and all) stating that any strikes into Syria is an act of war – then how will that region of the world ever get to a state of less terror???

 

We, the global community, are at a serious crossroad. How do we solve this ISIS problem if diplomacy has seemingly failed and religious differences continue to fester…?

Because it boils down to this, how does one deal with an unbalanced, unhinged person or group (ISIS)?