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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

An Adminstration and President in Dysfunctional Free Fall

Sadly, it's not surprising that, in the aftermath of the Washington Post's article chronicling Trump's disclosure of highly sensitive and classified information to Russian officials, the White House response is to immediately focus on the disloyalty of the source of the leak to the Post rather than on the implications of jeopardizing the viability and safety of a valuable intelligence partner. Moreover, this ill-advised breech of protocol and security renders as problematic any future relationship with a hard wrought intelligence asset while also giving information to a government with motives and intentions often in conflict with our own objectives in Syria and elsewhere.

Indeed, the presence of such a disclosure from within the White House is evidence of serious concern and growing mistrust within the ranks at a rather high level. In spite of this internal warning, once again we see deflection, evasion, and obfuscation employed in lieu of accountability, clarity, and responsible statesmanship by an administration and a president experiencing implosion and free fall created and propelled by their own dysfunctional hand.

Friday, May 12, 2017

An Unfortunate Combination of Arrogance and Stupidity

It's difficult to determine whether if it was an act of extreme arrogance or just garden variety stupidity (or perhaps an unhealthy combination of the two) that led to the decision to host the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador in the White House yesterday and allow it to devolve into a photo session which was well covered by Tass for worldwide distribution. In any case, but especially amid the current tumult and controversy regarding the possible collusion between the Trump administration and the Russian government not only involving the 2016 election but also with respect to the future development and possession of Russian petroleum resources, it is cringeworthy to see our president being played by Putin like a finely tuned Stradivarius to a standing ovation in Moscow.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Brian Williams and Lost Irony

Still attempting to unpack the layers of irony implicit in MSNBC's Brian Williams invocation of a Leonard Cohen lyric ('I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons', from First We Take Manhattan) as he glowingly described the recent US missile attack on a Syrian airfield. Not only was the irony of Cohen's original poem completely lost on the awestruck Williams but he then further compounds the farce by giving a literal reference to the poetic line when applying it to the film footage of the missiles' flight pattern. At this moment, my guess is that Leonard sat up from his grave, gave an ironic nod to the hapless mortal, and gently lowered his head.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The War Is Over

Did you hear the latest?; it came in a dream, delivered by an echo of Phil Ochs; the mindless repetition of murderous folly in our endless war against terror is, at last, over! To this day, the echoes remain: 'pardon me if I refrain'!