Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A Personal Thought on Netanyahu's Address To Congress

I listened to Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to congress today. I caught it on a TV installed in the lobby of a dialysis clinic, and on the radio, and where I could. It could be said that I caught most of it.

At first, I was simply interested in whether or not he would reveal secret elements of sensitive intelligence - the idea that a Presiding officer of another country is brought to our country to give a talk on such a sensitive topic as Iranian disarmament - without first being invited by the White House - is a strange thing for us , as Americans. It seemed as if those that invited him were interested in playing politics with intelligence data.

For me, that brought back bad memories. There was a theological-conservative group within a group that helped bring my country to war without justification - who addressed the United Nations with falsified data... that came to mind. Then there was the moment at which our sitting president said that the country we are to fight, has nuclear weaponry.

As an American, I do not like the fact that there is a military industrial complex whose existence depends upon destroying old hardware. Old Sherman tanks become obsolete. A war corporatist state simply chases after conflict so that the Shermans are delivered into war, and destroyed.

Israel receives massive amounts of money from the United States; nearly a third of its Miltary budget
comes from American donations. In return, 75% of that money given to Israel, is used to purchase American Military weaponry.

We live in a world where the Messiah came, and walked the earth. He brought peace to all. And yet, even as we speak - the very ground upon which he walked is war-torn. It seems clear that the goal of Netanyahu's speech was to continue business as usual. Iran , apparently, is on the verge of having harmful sanctions expire. They are also, apparently, on the verge of cheap nuclear power. But in this Middle East, the posturing and attack/counter attack strategies that continue to burn the ground are precisely where Israel, from a foreign policy standpoint, wants to keep things.

This in turn will continue to burn up military hardware.

The pursuit of peace is a noble thing. But what is the character of War Corporatism? Is it peace?
In some ways, yes. Because a war corporatist state seeks a level of conflict that continues the rapid rotation of military hardware, without the scale of devastation that would hurt the credit and buying power of its customers. It seeks, in essence, a state of eternal war - not unlike that of Orwell's Novel 1984.

And so, as a country, over the past few years, have been led toward diplomacy. This in turn, no doubt, hurt the economies of scale that exist around eternal, fabricated war.

North Korea , when addressing its citizens, reminds them of the evil that exists in the world. Their goal is to inspire fear - to in many ways, convince their citizens to continue to expend a disproportionate sum of their resources on a war machine that is still largely unused. And it is funded by a mechanism largely unchanged. This is similiar to the investment portfolio that Mr. Netanyahu holds, directed not to sell any stock before his speech.

With increasing sophistication, war is being across the public internet - with America continuing to be the target of very real,very focussed attacks. Israel’s National Cyber Bureau announced plans to include China in a Cyber Emergency Response Team to be created next year; North Korea's arm strength in their latest attack against our country has the markings of a Chinese sponsored attack.

In 2011, China gained a controlling interest in a major firm in Israel’s agrochemical sector on the back of $2.4 billion in investments by China National Chemical Corporation. Beijing has also gained access to Israeli nanotechnology via a joint venture between Tel Aviv and Tsinghua universities to operate a shared research center.

Israeli defense sales to China have lagged substantially ever since Washington’s strong objections forced Israel to cancel a $1.1 billion sale of a Phalcon early-warning aircraft to China back in 2000.

Mr. Netanyahu has said that if it must stand alone, it will stand alone. Having served as Finance Minister of Israel, he no doubt understood the financial impact of America choosing not to recognize the " the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements" in certain areas along the Gaza, and the successful inroads that American diplomacy , abstracted from war - have made. He has stood alone, in marriage - having had an affair with a woman, and divorced his first wife. Then a second. And a third.

And apparently, now, with America. This speech seemed to dictate to America, her course of foreign policy. And it did so with all the underpinning and hearsay of previous arguments the American people have heard, which were used as the justification for attack on Iraq.

Because of visible rifts between Netanyahu and members of the Obama administration, observers have characterized the relationship as having reached a crisis level by October 2014. The relationship between Netanyahu and the Obama administration had become problematic enough that Jeffrey Goldberg reported in November 2014 that his conversations with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials indicated Israel would wait until a new U.S. president is elected before attempting to repair the relationship with the White House.

The recent move by the speaker of the house, to invite Mr. Netanyahu - seemed apparently to lay the framework for a vituperative break. Mr. Netanyahu repeatedly broke peace accords during his tenure -
and on commitments made by previous Israeli governments as part of the Oslo peace process,,

American envoy Dennis Ross has stated taht "neither the President Clinton nor Secretary of State believed that Netanyahu had any real interest in pursuing peace".

And so, with his speech, I see now - that he does not. Conventional war is expensive, and the acquisition of nuclear technology is inevitable. There is a time and place for those who believe that the constant response to a world of escalating tension is to simply break out a weapon... and a very , very difficult case to make that over the course of time the most advanced weapons will not be acquired through evolution.

But there comes a point at which the smoking gun does not become a mushroom cloud. It becomes, instead, a profitable investment. We have heard a speech by a man who dissolved his own government, who expressed his contempt for our country in no uncertain terms. As much as he would quote our American Poet - perhaps he should hear the words of a great Jewish poet.

"Your faith was strong but you needed proof" - Leonard Cohen.

Netanyahu has placed his faith in a conventional, eternal, ground war. Cohen, however, was inspired by another Jewish leader - who was brought down to earth, and risked surrender of his authority - all due to a forbidden love.

Perhaps Mr. Netanyahu would do well to consider the risk of love. It may ultimately be the greater path to peace.

"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him" – 1 Samuel 16:23

I've told the truth. I didn't come to fool you.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Four kids
walk asynchronous step
across a rain desert

The first wears a shirt that says
Laziness is not a disease
It's my hobby

The second, walking through the dust
reminds you of the little rascals
but you're not sure which one

The third and fourth
have invented names
for each other

And they notice
their steps
leave indelible footprints
in the ground

And walk carefully out of step
around the neighborhood

Tracing a giant picture
of something

When you see them
you get the feeling
they're involved in deep mischief

Not just staring at a phone

And that they have within their group
secret words they can type into google
that , when you press "I'm feeling lucky"
result in things
google gravity
and do a barrell roll

But that they decided, finally, to walk away from the thing that was making them
something less than human

And now they are walking
like soldiers across a bridge

All over the streets and open spaces where we live
as it turns out

They're drawing something
that can only be seen
by drones

And people looking at us
from outer space

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#home @gain







Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Free Form Vent

1. I have no patience for a political party that supports a broken system that prioritizes corporations and billionaires over regular voters. Their basis for doing so is the tacit acceptance that a regimen of lawsuits - feeding legions of lawyers ... is acceptable to be employed by intermediaries in our government as a way of forcing change in legislation. This , in turn, is based again, on the incorrect and false premise that the intermediaries - are in fact necessary to amass large amounts of money during electoral cycles and are necessary.

2. I am disabused of the illusion that Washington is now a place where men go to represent their respective people. I see all too clearly that Washington DC has now (thanks to the money provided by lobbyism) become a sort of twisted university system in which party affiliation means little (most lobbyists hedge their bets as to which party will be in power and so constantly reach across the aisle to recruit the opposite party faction) ... and for which any time in congress is not seen as time spent to complete their mission but rather a sort of training grounds for which congressmen can stay permanently in a lobbyism network centered around Washington, by which they can amass large sums of money through its corrupting financial power.

3. I'm tired of all the accountants rising to the top. Whenever systems are corrupt or start to break down, the bean counters are always given power - mostly because the situation calls for people who can't see the big picture and those who wish to manipulate everything tend to try to push men into power beneath them that they can in turn control by financial ledgerdemain.

4. Same as (3) I'm tired of seeing great talent in America wasted on creating financial vehicles by which people can effectively steal money. Case in point - derivatives. There are armies of people who spend their lives designing complicated financial and numerical instruments whose sole purpose in life is to wrap up worthless assets and re-introduce them as something of value. These people are highly paid, and attain status in society while they perform a subtle form of toxic effect that they themselves see but choose to ignore.

5. On social media, I have lost all patience for people who cannot or will not express themselves because their company, or their school system, or their family or whatever other controlling interest they think exists in their lives - may disagree with their honest idea. I have not been here long (I actually prefer other platforms) but from what I've seen it's clear that there are people here who regularly cull the comments base from their postings so that they present a sanitized version of debate - and they are wary of doing anything other than either re-posting or not posting at all - their own comments or topics for fear of control having some disagreement.

6. On social media, I am not interested in people who are trying to work out their feelings for their father, mother, or family - by use of political statements that either attack heads of state, parties, or authority. You have feelings about your father. Figure them out. It's ok to hate your parents, too. Just honor them if you can and try not to let your personal feelings take expression through political memes. By that same token, realize that your need to have a constant political crisis is likely your own mind attempting to block some idea or thought that you wish to have permanently subducted beneath a layer of false controversy. The A in America stands for Apolitical. We are , myself included, largely apolitical and more interested in the pragmatic aspect of government and the preservation and defense (in 2014 the re-establishment) of representational governance than we are in some personal aspect or generalized personal attack on one or more people, or parties - that may or may not represent something you agree with. I'm southern - I know for a fact the mudslingers are the ones you're going to find in a pig pen . Don't bring them here.

7. I disabuse the concept that 'friendship' can be delivered, as a concept , in the whole cloth - as a means of companies farming your data. My children are distressed by flame wars, finding themselves to be "ghosts" aka people with no followers or friends and other means by which companies who exploit so called "social" media are attempting to increase their enrollment and farm yet more data out of you. If you like someone or something , like it. But it is patently unfair to have a platform in which people can only like things and not dislike them because being human is about applying choices, having thoughts and ideas that are your own and sifting through real and false ideas, friendships, and ideologies to find the one that best suits you and being only able to communicate the "likes" and having "friends" that are seen as part of, effectively - a game - is destructive to children and to empathy. Especially young men, who struggle harder with empathy than females. This is a dangerous social condition for a country such as ours and needs to be changed .

8. Finally, modern prohibition should be repealed. Marijuana is not a class one substance. It does not belong in a category that includes heroine, cocaine and methamphetamine. Our current and modern tobacco industry builds hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of revenue into our economy each year and I am of the firm idea that we should allow the conversion of this economy from carcinogen to psychogen, and not only shut down a major sector of an underground market run almost entirely by cartel and dark lord - but also create a viable competitor to the alchohol market from which only .01% BAC concentration can increase the risk of traffic accident by over 48%. The lessons of history are clear - the so called 'temperance' applied to alcohol in the 20's resulted in two things - one, people drinking primarily to get drunk instead of as a mild social device, and two, the mafia. Today, a competitor to alcohol would allow safer roads, and perhaps a more contemplative society, at the minimun - and the concept of marijuana as a gateway drug laid in the same resting place as bathtub gin. Our country spends massive amounts of time, money and energy prosecuting the production of a product whose environmental by products are oxygen and very, very happy butterflies. Better spent towards R+D, our schools, and healthcare reform as both a strategic and social end. When marijuana is legalized its use will become more normative and we, as a people, will change materially in both our culture and our outlook. The question "are you stoned" will become less rhetorical and in my view, the world needs more people driving fuzzy bikes around town wearing tickle me elmo backpacks.

9. Finally, I really hate long posts on the blogosphere. Who the heck does these kind of things? Isn't this the soundbyte place where we go to look at cute pictures of kids?? What kind of a conversation starter is this? Who can comment on something like this - it's like eating an elephant!! I say, onward townspeople, with pitchfork, torch and deadly weapon - towards the door of he who would do such a thing!