SPOILER’S ALERT

Red Theater Curtain

SPOILER’S ALERT!!

Even though it missed the Golden Globes, ROGUE ONE was a lovely film, full of spirited relationships and sparkling techno special effects.

The movie’s final moments are incredibly sad.  At the end, the bad guys win.  And the good guys decide to hold onto hope, although they will always lose.  This way, the opportunity for a sequel is on-going.

How ridiculous to have hope when they are scripted to lose, again and again and forever.

In other words, the movie is very real.  The transportation and the weapons are only an arm’s reach into the future from our present technology.  The battles are no different than those in the news, now and in the past.  Men – and sorry to say, women too – like to do battle, flexing, trying to control, feeling in charge – and rationalizing it all.

The bad guys believe they are taking actions for humanity and progress.  The good guys think they are fighting for humanity and progress.  The difference between the good and bad guys depends on whose team you happen to like, because everyone thinks, “I’m right and I’m doing what’s necessary.”

Outside the movies, the U.S. asserts its decades of American air strikes in the Middle East are Islam’s fault.  “We had to fight back after 9/11,” the government says.  “They make us hunt and kill their leaders when they commit horrors like public beheadings and terror attacks.”

Middle East extremists blame the U.S. for its terror attacks and killings.  “We must fight back against the U.S. in any way we can.  Since the 1970’s, their government has tried to dominate us and manipulate our elections, bombing communities and military targets from planes and drones in order to control oil availability.”

Throughout history, aggression is always someone else’s fault, i.e., the aggression is only a “defensive” measure.

So, ROGUE ONE is a box office hit because the fighting continues.  We never get tired of the story.

ELECTRONIC COUP D’ETAT

Just over a week before the electronic coup d’état in the United States is a fait accompli.  No bullets were fired but a new regime is taking power, which is a different proposition than someone coming into office.  New world allies are already aligned; old agreements are nullified; precedents, traditions, protocols, and respect are shattered.

Once in full power, the new regime will have an easy time rounding up its enemies.  The fastest list to assemble will come from all those on Facebook and Twitter who have criticized the rise of the new regime.  Proof of their treason is etched in cyberspace, along with their contact information.  Then friends of those enemies will be added to the list, and so on.  Safeguards will be put in place to watch and limit these threats, neutralizing their poisonous outreach.

Beware.  Keep your eyes lowered and your voice muffled, or you may be targeted as a security risk.

The Logic of it All

Telephone Lines in Modem PortsIt’s quite logical for a man to shrug off the importance of electronic interference in an American Presidential election by a foreign government, if the interference is what allowed the man to be elected.

Donald Trump is many things, but he is not stupid.  If he can divert attention from the Russian interference, he will take power.  Once in power, then of course he will neutralize investigations and the election manipulation will have been successful.  He will owe allegiance to the country which helped him to be elected, and the maneuver will have worked nicely for both sides.

Mr. Trump excels in diverting attention from important issues until they are moot.  For example, we have forgotten he refused to make public his tax records.  He will do the same with election tampering by Russia.

The USA has interfered in elections of other countries, “promoting” a candidate which it prefers for political and economic reasons.  Interesting karma.

 

THE DAY AFTER

President Donald Trump.  Imagine.   mp900309544

On Facebook, in response to someone who lamented the finality of the Electoral College vote, a writer scrawled, “Don’t be such a liberal whiner.  Hillary wouldn’t have been any better.  Get over it.”

I do not agree with this writer, though I did not respond.  He would not have listened to me.  One who so easily uses ad hominem arguments is not one who listens. 

Otherwise, I would have replied, “whining” is the wrong word.  At least for me, I try to speak my mind as clearly and logically as possible.  Yes, my “mind” often includes my feelings and reactions, but analysis is the basis for what I say.  What I say is not personal.  I keep personal attacks to myself. 

I do not think Hillary Clinton would have been as bad as Donald Trump.  Factually, not whiningly, Senator Clinton has a solid and extensive education, she has broad governmental experience, and she has the respect of international governments.  Hillary Clinton received more votes than her opponent.  She has never been indicted for a crime, nor convicted.  Though she has been investigated often, there has never been evidence found against her.  She speaks and acts respectfully toward others, of all races, all social and economic groups, all genders and ages, regardless of their health or status.  She understands the law and the United States Constitution.  She understands economics, enough that she was part of a thriving foundation which collected millions of dollars, duly reported to the IRS with open accounting books, to make improvements in the lives of people in underdeveloped countries.

In my opinion, Hillary Clinton is too much of a hawk; she leans toward military solutions for some international problems.  This is proven by her voting record in the Senate, and by her work as Secretary of State.  Some people like this about her.  Not me.  Also, although she believes in the dangers of climate change, she is not an environmental activist as I would like her to be, according to her voting record.  She believes in and votes for equality of pay for the sexes in the workplace.

The facts are thus.  Clinton has a record that is open for all to see.  Accusations abound of her lies.  But I have not found this to be backed up by facts.  Yes, her husband lied about his sex life, but she has not.  She has been a wife to one man throughout her life.  She has not appeared nude in any magazine.  She has not worked as a call girl or escort.  She was born and bred in the United States and married an American.  She is protestant.  She pays her taxes and makes her tax documents public.

Stating these things is not whining.

Nor is it whining to speak facts about Donald Trump, the President-elect.

Donald Trump is called a con man by his business associates, such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  He refuses to make public his tax returns.  The one return which became public against his wishes demonstrated great financial losses, amortized into tax breaks of many millions in subsequent years.  He has been bankrupt 7 times.  He lied about the amount of money his father gave him to begin his first business; he received 70 million instead of 1 million.  He and his children use foreign workers in foreign countries to manufacture their products.  

Trump has never held a public office.  He received fewer votes than his opponent, fewer than 25% of registered voters.  He does not know the protocol of government.  He does not know the law and he does not observe the Constitution or USA sanctions and trade agreements.  These things are on record, as are his many indictments (both personal and corporate) which have rarely ended in conviction because he has made very big payments in order to settle out of court.

Donald Trump does not respect other human beings.  His actions on this matter are clear.  He does not respect workers, union members, people of color, poor people, rich people, women in general and very much not his 3 wives nor the parade of women with whom he has had affairs.  He does not respect religious people, foreign people, or handicapped people.  Sometimes he respects his children, and other times not; he often speaks degradingly, sexually, and insultingly about them.

Trump’s opinions on hot political topics are not clear.  He changes his opinion depending on his mood and on his audience.  He has no record on such topics, except for his various interviews in which he does not present a consistent point of view.  He is reactive rather than analytical.  He is unable to control his reactions and his temper.  He blames others and does not accept responsibility for problems.  He is unable to prioritize issues, spending the same amount of energy and time on insignificant topics such as TV shows as he does on matters of state such as relations with China.  One tweet seems enough to him.  He has verbal skills at the 4th grade level and does not like to read.

In my opinion, Donald Trump has excellent native skill at promotion.  Although he is not charismatic, he grasps the soft spots of individuals and is able to aim at these spots with precision.     

To compare Donald Trump negatively against Hillary Clinton is not whining.  It is logical.  It is factual.  It is incomprehensible that any other evaluation could present itself….

….except through the influence of propaganda, manipulation, and money.

And so, we now live in a world where propaganda, manipulation, and money have won in the United States of America. 

I am left feeling impotent.

I give English lessons to a young French woman.  In our vocabulary lessons, I review words that are easily confused:  through, though, and thorough; their, there, and they’re; whether and weather; and finally, important and impotent.

She likes the word “impotent.”  She giggled over its dual meanings the first time she studied the word. 

I do not know how a man feels when he is sexually impotent, but I can testify to the bleak, numb, hopelessness of impotency.  Despite everything, Donald Trump was elected.  While every intellectual, activist, and respected news source in the world alerted Americans to the facts about Donald Trump, he is the President-elect of the USA because of sinister influences, corrupt misinformation, and foreign string-pulling.

Nothing I said changed the 2016 election.  I am only a voter.  No one listened to me.  No one will listen to me.  I am labeled a whiner, as are all the others who think and read and evaluate, hoping to improve the world rather than to control it.  I believe that the course of history will change for the worse when Donald Trump takes control of the USA.  There will be no going back to a time when vulgar superficiality was less potent than mature effort toward a better world.  Our loss will be Trump’s gain.

Growing up Fast in America

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In the last week, on different days, 3 friends stepped into the conversation about Trump.  One was Russian, another Iranian, and lastly a French person.  Each said Trump will not be a problem because after 4 years someone else will take over.  They only shrugged at the fact that a fascist was going to be President of the most powerful nation of the world.

They assumed they knew politics in America as well as, or better than I.  They did not ask my opinion, nor did they listen to me, but merely continued detailing what they assumed was the truth about my country and the election as if they were the experts.

I tried to explain that the election of Trump is not like any other event in American politics.  I have often voted for candidates who lost.  That is something an American gets used to; it is part of our system.  I may be disgruntled or disappointed or even ticked off about the loss, but it is “just politics,” and of course, “the majority rules,” so I accept the outcome as do my compatriots in their own turn.

But Trump is different.  He is a danger.   He does not know, or does not care, about American law.  He does not understand, or does not care, about international protocol and negotiations.

His character and education are not fit for the complex and important position of President of the U.S.  His attention span prevents him from reading. His temperament is manic-depressive and aggressive.  His language, his ability to debate, and his expressions are childlike, not even adolescent.  He attacks people, rather than ideas, and cannot control his anger, often speaking without thinking.  He has the potential to initiate nuclear war on a whim.

He is narcissistic, always blaming others, accusing others of faults which are his own, diverting attention from serious matters with shouts over minor crises.  He is greedy, in the extreme, to the point he does not mind defrauding others.  He lies with pleasure, this man who received 25% of the ballots of registered voters.

We all know Trump degrades people, anyone and everyone, the high and the low, without shame, apparently believing his insults are entertaining rather than reactionary and hurtful.

These are facts rather than my opinion.  He has proven these things by his behavior and words in the last year, and by his decades of business life.

Trump is a white supremacist.  That is to say, he believes white people are better than others.  This is the basis of fascism, which the free world recently fought against.   One must add, the designation of white people includes only white men.

My friends agree with this assessment of our President-elect.  Even my acquaintances who voted for Trump agree with the appraisal.

So why do these 3 foreigners assume that there is no problem?  Why do they think they know so much?   These 3, who are usually rather nice and smart, they talked insistently and incessantly about their viewpoint on the Trump election, condescendingly and arrogantly.  Why?

I would never assert that I know more about the politics of Russia than a Russian, more about Greek politics than a Greek, or more about the workings of Kenya than a Kenyan, and not even about Canada or Mexico, my neighbors.  I could not pretend that my education, my contact with people from another country, and my travel, give me the same insight that a native person has about his or her country and culture.  Reading newspaper headlines does not qualify me as an authority on situations in another country.

The USA has been in the international limelight for its entire existence because of its unique naissance and influence.  This celebrity has bred a sense of familiarity in the hearts of foreigners, a familiarity somewhat based on movies, headlines, soundbites, and 6 weeks of history class.  I cannot be certain that the majority of American citizens have more knowledge than this about the basics of the USA, but at least they have a lifetime of intimacy with the country’s systems.

It took me several days to move beyond my naiveté and realize that the reactions of the 3 people signified that they like Trump’s perspectives.  They are not worried about his presidency because they too are racist.  They too want a white elite class that rules, and they imagine themselves as the elite.   Call it fascism or alt-right, it is the same thing that the Allies fought against 75 years ago.  It is a world-wide disease that is spreading again.

When I withdrew from each of the 3 conversations, trying to preserve the friendships, trying to dampen the rising anger in my chest, I was told in separate ways that I was being so “American” to refuse to discuss politics.  They added, “It’s cultural.  Americans don’t know how to argue.  They take everything personally.”  And voila!  By using a stereotype, I was dismissed as unimportant.

Actually, I know how to argue quite well, though I cannot always do it.  It requires one to stick to the topic without descending to character assassination.  One must listen.  One needs details and excellent background information.   And one has to avoid sweeping generalizations and stereotypes.  I am willing to participate in this type of argument.  It is the basis of American free speech.  I have never heard this kind of argument from Donald Trump, the man who mocked a paraplegic, the man who thinks he can lead my country.

The day after the election, if one can call it that, I wrote that I would silently withdraw from the new world that was forming itself.  But I have changed my mind.  I cannot stay silent.  Perhaps I cannot change a thing, but I can fight.  I will fight for love.

“Fighting for love” sounds romantic and ridiculous, not to mention oxymoronic.  But to stand silent while hate grows is not something I can do.  Maybe I will actually have to fight and die, but for the moment, I am old and not so powerful, and I will fight by speaking.  I would fight for my child because I love him, and so, I will fight for my beloved country and its principles against fascism, stupidity, and hatred.

What do I do about 3 fascist friends?  This is new for me.  I will have to discover the right actions.  But first, I must not be naïve about who they are.

The Year of Irony — 2016

mp900262554The Christian right, the Republicans, the family values people chose Donald Trump to be President of the United States, a man without family values.  He is on his 3rd wife, each a trophy wife, two of them immigrants. He has sexual affairs often.  He brags that he can sexually assault any woman he wants because he is a rich celebrity.  He has been indicted for child rape.  He publicly demeans people with vulgar language and insults.  His children go on safaris to kill large animals around the world.  Donald Trump lies, ignoring facts, using ad hominem tactics.

He is a millionaire who was elected by the lower middle class.    These people think he will look after their interests.  He refuses to share his tax records.  He has been legally bankrupt 7 times.  He is worth less now than when he inherited his fortune.  He is elitist and mocks poor people.  He does not have a voting record on issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps, or minimum wage because he has never had an elected position.  He often does not pay his employees or the contract help he engages, and he says this is his right.  His social contacts call him a buffoon, a con man, and a cheat.  He lies about making donations to charities in order to gain respect and tax breaks.  His university was a scam.

He is openly cruel to veterans, handicapped persons, rape victims, refugees, the obese, the poor, immigrants, women, non-whites, and workers.  And yet, these people elected him.

The voters call him their chance to escape the establishment.  This is biggest irony of all.  Donald Trump IS the establishment.  He is the rich man that the poor people are fed up with.  He is the giant who blames the little person.  He is the husband who likes women barefoot and in the kitchen.

Yes, he is a white, but he is the MAN, the one with his thumb on the head of all beneath him as if he has the right to squish them.  And they look up and lick his balls.  It is the most disgusting irony I have ever witnessed.

And I can do nothing about it except let my broken heart cry about what has happened in my lovely country.