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Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [48:58 video]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  The Health Care Elephants in the Living Room
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EXPLORATORY ARGUMENT #2:

The Nobel Peace Prize and The Morality of Not Doing

by Publius*

Is there not an old Arabic saying that goes, ‘He who would tell the truth better have one foot in the stirrup’?

As a cheerful and combative atheist, I often chide my Abrahamist friends—the Jews, Christians, Moslems, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, and the like, that, “ . . . for God’s sake, if you have to be religious then be a Buddhist!” It’s certainly a religion for grown-ups, I remind them, concerned as it is for ending human suffering, not snatching souls for Christ. “After all,” I continue, “Isn’t it rather juvenile to persecute all who refuse to accept your pernicious superstitions and dogmas? You’re just a bunch of bullies!”

Of course, after my little speech, the usual fatwas and excommunications are cast and I am chased down the hall by torch-bearing mobs screaming, “My god of love, peace, and harmony is so powerful I’ll KILL you to prove it!” I scream back, “You can be good without God!,” but to little avail. After all, is there not an old Arabic saying that goes, ‘He who would tell the truth better have one foot in the stirrup’?

The zealots cheerfully ignore their word and action contradictions. After all, they can usually count on forgiveness for their sins, however frightful, and even understanding from their god if it means the further spread of the faith. And God cares not how illegal and immoral the land grabbing is. As long as your weapons are better.

One can only wonder how many more offshoots of the Torah humankind will come up with before the species nails itself on the cross of Superstition. Thus Abrahamism gives a whole new meaning to the phrase satanic spawn. Buddhists, by contrast, don’t proselytize: they figure if they don’t get you in this life then you’ll be one in the next. They don’t bother with witch burnings, apostasy, or nontheists. And we’ve heard nothing from the Dalai Llama about rejecting Darwin.

Meditation in all its serious forms come from this religion, and so we look to the tools it has developed as the most effective way to chill out the over-active mind. Indeed, the Buddhist view is that much of human suffering comes from thinking too much and being too anxious about everything but the Here and Now.

How best to relieve human suffering? The Buddhist starts with himself. Then, moving outward, he refrains from offering a whole bunch of unwanted and unasked-for advice while thumping some so-called holy text and threatening Hell and Damnation and Beheading if you don’t follow it. Or, worse, declaring that God hates you and what you’re going through is God’s Just Punishment. One is hard-pressed to think of something more psychologically vile to do to one’s neighbor. By contrast, let’s say the Buddhist’s neighbor is suffering through a hell of depression and anxiety because, I don’t know; say the robber baron banking class has stolen the neighbor’s house out from under him or her.

The Buddhist neighbor might simply sit quietly with the aggrieved, or massage the person's feet, or, if asked, give concrete and useful advice, especially as to how to meditate and calm oneself. This can lead to a non-emotional state where one can deal with the lack of money, the injustice of the world, and the sheer outrageousness and tragedy that is human life itself.

Which, in turn, can lead to a vastly more practical and effective plan of action for the future. It’s much less juvenile than chasing down one’s problems with a machete, pitchfork, and burning fagot. With much less to be sorry for . . . or forgiven.

Thus Buddhism teaches us just how to be. Here. Now. In this moment—beyond the regret and sadness of one’s past and the fear of ruining tomorrow. It’s not an easy discipline, but it works. Not bad for a religion that is, for the most part, free of the emotional claptrap and superstitious baggage that seems to plague all revealed Western religions. God as my Best Buddy just doesn’t work for them.

Now how might a less confrontational and calmer view have played out on the world stage between leaders, nations, and cultures in conflict with one another, we may ask, since Man himself is, by natural selection, a mischievous, murdering ape that has spread across the globe in the blink of an historical eye. Yet, having said that, we as a species have shown we can be so much more than mere beasts.

I’m thinking now about that great tug of war between the West and Communism, and especially between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

It is part of American conservative hagiography that Reagan’s vision of a global shield to render nuclear weapons obsolete bankrupted the Soviet Union and destroyed, as Reagan put it, “the Evil Empire.”

This dream of Reagan’s, called the Strategic Defense Initiative, has often been trumpeted by conservative historians as the driving force that reversed the arms race and ended the Cold War. Thus we saw at Reagan’s state funeral all the hysteria, sobbing, and almost cult-like mourning as if for the passing of Pharaoh.

Never a fan of Reagan or his destructive policies, I always thought that his Star Wars scheme was unworkable, juvenile, simplistic, and playing dangerously with everyone’s lives. The status quo was two tug-of-war teams of equal strength with a rope between them, so to speak, each side unable to pull the other over the line.

Reagan proposed to terrify the Soviets into building a whole new defense system to counter America’s, which he knew they couldn’t afford. It’s no wonder the Europeans satirized him as Darth Vader, not Winston Churchill.

How easy it would have been for the Soviets, under a psychopathic ruler, to send their missiles over before we could complete such an anti-missile defense system and take us out completely. Had we not refused to sign a no first strike treaty? Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, or Kim Jung Il might have done so, had they been able to, without regard to what would happen to their own people. Simply because they can, they’re paranoid, and they’re mean. And they’re bullies.

There is much in the ancient history of the human Id that overwhelms Reason and leads to the tearing down of the temple even at the cost of one’s own destruction. We may call this the Samson Syndrome, and we may yet see it play out with horrific results on the world stage.

There is much in the ancient history of the human Id that overwhelms Reason and leads to the tearing down of the temple even at the cost of one’s own destruction. We may call this the Samson Syndrome, and we may yet see it play out with horrific results on the world stage.

However, in contrast to Reagan’s pistol posturing, how refreshingly different was Gorbachev’s response in the long, sad history of humankind. It was as if he ordered his team to let go of the rope and the other side falls down clumsily, gets up, dusts itself off and declares victory over the enemy.

We congratulated ourselves over how clever our leader was. But, during the summit negotiations, Gorbachev had already said something very close to the following; “I will do something very terrible to you, America. I’m going to take away your enemy.” He did. And, in a way, we haven’t recovered our national sanity since.

The truth of the matter, now seen in documents from inside the Kremlin during the late 80’s and from diaries, memoirs, records of the Politburo discussions, and interviews by journalists with key participants, is that the conscience and will which wanted to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, not propagate them, was Mikhail Gorbachev’s, not Reagan’s. Gorbachev had decided not to compete with America on a missile defense system while at the same time he waged a fierce and courageous internal struggle against his own vast military-industrial complex. Gorbachev knew that the huge Soviet defense establishment was a monumental burden on the country; indeed, it was bleeding the Russian economy dry.

Does this not sound familiar in our own time and place about us? I hope so. Gorbachev reveals that the extent of the bleeding was concealed with such secrecy that even he had trouble obtaining accurate information. In the end the Soviet Union bankrupted itself because of belief in its own economic fallacies even as we in the States will by the legacy of Reaganomics, if we haven’t already.

Even so, the Cold War ended without either superpower making nuclear weapons obsolete. And with its end the world was no longer bipolar and stable with the superpowers’ foot on the neck of the Beta apes, so to speak, but with multipolar, out of control weaponry, and growing more unstable by the month.

One of Gorbachev’s greatest achievements is almost Zen-like in its simple, common sense morality; really, the mark of the best kind of ruler: the things he chose not to do

However, one of Gorbachev’s greatest achievements is almost Zen-like in its simple, common sense morality; really, the mark of the best kind of ruler: the things he chose not to do. He had been urged by his formidable military-industrial complex to build a Soviet Star Wars. He chose not to. He could have built a much cheaper, simpler, and massive retaliatory force. He chose not to. He said, “What is one missile, SS-18? It’s a hundred Chernobyls. In one missile.” And that is why, dear friends, Mikhail Gorbachev deserved, and got, the Nobel Peace Prize. And President Reagan did not.

I rest my case, Your Honor.

Gaius Julius Publius


*The author uses the pseudonym "Publius," as did the original anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers (among them were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay); these 85 articles, published between Oct. 1787 and Aug. 1788, were designed to explicate the philosophy and intent of the newly-minted U.S. Constitution. The series of articles began as a response to other articles (anonymously authored by "Cato" and "Brutus") being published at that time that opposed ratifying the Constitution. At that time, public figures often adopted Roman names as pseudonyms. Hamilton coined the pseudonym Publius, short for "Philo-Publius," meaning "Friend of the People." In the tradition of the original Publius, the Baltimore Chronicle invited the author of this essay to address the situation in which he feels the U.S. finds itself today.



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This story was published on November 19, 2009.
 

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