Monday, July 17, 2017

The Desperate Need For Believable Leadership

Recently a listened to  young American express his support of President Trump and his displeasure with some of the policies of DJT's predecessor and those who worked in the previous administration. Interestingly, he expressed these opinions and also simultaneously invoked some of the values implicit in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

While it is true that Clinton has pursued a neo-conservative, regime-change agenda with regard to both Libya and Syria and Obama carried out a relentless assault in the so called war on terror in a variety of countries with whom we are not at war, it is a serious mistake to conclude that Trump is somehow a practitioner of peace. Within the first six months of DJT's presidency, we have been responsible for the massacre of at least 30 civilians (children included) in the failed attempt to capture a 'leading operative' in Yemen, killed scores of non-combatants in the bombing of a mosque in Syria, murdered perhaps as many of 100 citizens of Mosul in Iraq, and detonated the largest explosive device since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Afghanistan, leaving perhaps hundreds dead in its wake. Add to this, Trump's ongoing support of Saudi Arabia's relentless and merciless attack on the rebel forces in Yemen which has incurred the onset of famine for an otherwise innocent population of long suffering civilians. Hardly the work of someone dedicated to deescalating the use of violence in the conduction of foreign affairs.
As for Trump's efforts to counter the MSM...his dissatisfaction with corporate media has less to do with attacking the corporate underpinnings of how information is framed, packaged, and delivered to the American public and much more reflective in his personal angst regarding unfavorable characterizations inconsistent with his own inflated and pathetically tenuous self image.

The TPP deal's demise to the contrary notwithstanding, identifying the president as a representative of positive, progressive, or sustainable future change is a bit like employing the arsonist to oversee and administer fire safety for an emerging community.

What was significantly reveled in this young person's statement was a deep dissatisfaction and mistrust of establishment politics and the people who have extolled the virtues of maintaining the status quo in its many and varied forms. Democrats who believe that they are destined to inherit the anti-Trump sentiment and be automatically elevated back into office seriously misread the prevailing and persistent need by a new generation of voters who long for genuine and authentic confrontation of the issues at hand and a voice of leadership which is reflective and responsive to the real challenges of the coming years. It is sad and perhaps a bit frightening to contemplate that, for at least this one young citizen, Donald Trump represents this abiding need for change.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Golden State Warriors and The Way Forward

Last month the Golden State Warriors ascended once again to the top of the basketball world with their five game victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and in so doing also claimed their second championship in  three years. Their impressive on court display was complimented and augmented by the internal organizational elements of selflessness, commitment to collective effort over individual achievement, perseverance in the face of adversity, mutual respect and acceptance, and the active and unashamed application of love in the often callous, impersonal, and valueless world of professional athletics.

Coach Steve Kerr perhaps best embodied the value of perseverance as he endured a season long struggle with the ill effects of two separate neck operations which resulted in painful fatigue, frequent nausea, moments of imbalance, and eventually led to his withdrawal from the sidelines for a significant time during the playoffs. Kerr reacted to this otherwise disappointing circumstance by seamlessly and unselfishly relinquishing the on court coaching duties to his very competent assistant coach Mike Brown who, in turn, graciously returned to his supporting role during the finals. This was made possible by a genuine spirit of respect and acceptance of each individual as equal contributors to a larger collective effort, a spirit which permeates throughout this remarkable organization.

General Manager, Bob Myers', close relationship with power forward Draymond Green further illustrates the special bond among various members of the organization. When Draymond was suspended for a critical game in last year's final, it was Myers who spent the evening in Green's company as they watched their team play on TV. Instead of creating an environment of punitive isolation or recrimination, Myers embraced Green as one might a valued family member in a moment of crisis. The ethos of mutual respect, acceptance, and love can also be seen in the impact an otherwise lowly third team player might have on the group. As stated by Kerr in his remarks at the recent victory celebration in Oakland, James Michael McAdoo was proclaimed as perhaps the most influential player on the team. Swingman Andre Iguodala, for example, refers to McAdoo as his spiritual leader.

The value of collective effort and achievement over individual accomplishment and accolade is best exemplified by team leader Stephen Curry's total acceptance of Kevin Durant as a coequal as he joined the team prior to the start of the season. This gesture, in turn, was reciprocated by the ex-Thunder superstar with humility and grace rarely seen and quite uncommon in today's world of ego-inflated and self interested professional players. Similarly, the endlessly hardworking off-guard, Klay Thompson, never refers to his own accomplishments but rather defers to his teammates' efforts in the achievement of the team's common objective.

The result of this subjugation of individual glory in deference to the value of working for the good of the collective speaks for itself...the Warriors are champions and their victory provides a template for other professional teams to emulate thereby signaling to all who might choose to see that the organizational values of unselfish effort, acceptance, respect, graceful endurance through difficult circumstance, and love can prevail in an seemingly indifferent, sometimes hostile and often contentious environment. The Warriors have shown the way forward to a new day of cooperation and success with broader implications for the world beyond the hard court.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Oil That Binds

Amid all the endless back and forth regarding whether or not Trump believes the Russians interfered in the recent US election, the MSM has assiduously avoided any real or in depth discussion about the underlying issue which might explain the tie that binds Russia and the Trump administration. They both have a major stake in the lifting of the sanctions which have prevented the development of Exon's oil holdings in Russia and which have otherwise hamstrung the Russian economy. Imagine their mutual consternation when it was revealed and later confirmed by US intelligence agencies that indeed there had been extensive contacts between the two parties. The implicit quid pro quo here would have been a difficult finesse under normal circumstances but the Flynn debacle made it even more problematic to realize. An optimistic hope is that the ongoing investigations into this whole sordid affair will bring to light the true and abiding intentions of the principals involved. In the meantime, it would be refreshing to hear an honest and open discussion of the genuine motivations of the major players by members of the MSM.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Special 4th of July with Dylan

This year's traditional playing and singing of Dylan's It's All Over Now, Baby Blue on Independence Day had special significance and irony in light and in the grips of the current attempt to assert authoritarian and tyrannical rule over an otherwise free citizenry. Many of us are still 'crying like a fire in the sun' and are ever vigilant and on watch for 'the saints coming through'!!
If we collectively look hard enough we might be able to see the life and future of this potentially great nation 'come shinning, from the west and to the east...any day now, any day now...we all shall be released'!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Trump's Myopic Vision

Trump's persistent and rather tiresome use of coal miners as a prop for the foolhardy decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords is very much like bemoaning the loss of gas lamplighter's jobs while denying the existence and validity of the electric light bulb. Lamplighters became electricians; coal miners are future clean energy technicians.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Memorial Day Opportunity

This weekend of remembrance affords us the opportunity to honor all the victims of war...for those sacrificed in the noble effort to forestall the forces of international fascism as represented by the National Socialist Party in Germany and, in the ensuing decades, those made to pay the ultimate price of allegiance to governments not reluctant to employ pretext and prevarication in the pursuit of perceived gain for political elites and certain economic benefit for the corporate masters whose self interest fuel the ongoing insistence on the invocation of violence as a matter of first choice.

We also might bow our heads in recognition of all who continue to suffer the lingering and devastating effects of exposure to war the trauma of which lives on well after the fact. While the bottom line of Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, et al continues to grow in this new age of perpetual conflict and strife, other lost souls continue to pay the ugly price for the enrichment of a select few who reap the tainted benefits of an economy grounded in and based on a permanent war footing.

Would it be so that all the misery suffered by those sent into harm's way and the millions of innocents sacrificed at the alter of this barbaric institution would, at the very least, result in the immediate safety of humankind and the likelihood of a peaceful future. Sadly, however, with each bomb that falls and with each drone strike carried out by a hidden hand, our collective security is threatened; not enhanced by an endless cycle of violence and retribution.

On this solemn occasion, we might now lift our heads and envision an alternative future where the admirable dedication, loyalty, bravery, and integrity abundantly displayed by the vast majority of service members throughout time will join forces with enlightened civilian leadership to form a coalition of purpose dedicated to the proposition of a peaceful resolution to dispute, respect for the implicit value of all human life, and the institution of a defense based on the active implementation of principle, and creative solutions to human conflict rather than the application of ill-conceived, self-defeating, narrowly defined, and destructive modes of response.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Perspective Amid the Terror

As we mourn the tragic loss of innocent life in the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, let us also acknowledge and mourn the equally tragic and horrific slaughter of the children in the recent state sponsored acts of terror in Yemen, Syria, Mosel, and Afghanistan. These mothers grieve with no less pain and with the same heavy heart.