Tag Archives: war

Why Does No One Tell Israel No?

"Why?" Anne Frank

“Why?”
Anne Frank

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Semitic. Neither am I pro-Genocide. But as the body count rises steadily in Gaza, whole families wiped out with one missile, I wonder if I aided and abetted, if any of my tax dollars went into the manufacture of the arms we’ve sold to Israel over the years. Did I pay a penny or two? A finger or an arm? A whole life? What is that worth these days, or does that depend on what country you live in and who you’re killed by? Does anyone ever stop to think of that? How many people are killed by American made weapons? Strangely, it hadn’t occurred to me until I was asking my boyfriend in tears why no one is telling Israel to stop this genocide of the Palestinians, why does everyone tip-toe around them? I think it was because it has all been such a fuzzy mess to me, the whole war over there in the Middle East (not to mention the other ones) I suddenly realized, “Wait a minute, but they’re Jewish, why are they trying to kill off a different group of people?”

If I have my math about right, World War II ended roughly, in the European Theatre, sixty five to seventy years ago, and resulted in the deaths of approximately 6 million Jews–roughly 2/3 the Jewish population of Europe. And there are people that deny the Holocaust ever existed. How, I have no idea. But that’s not what this is about. This is about a country and people who are using their religion the same way their religion was used against them, and seem to have no problem with it. A country no one questions. A country young men leave America go to be “lone wolf fighters” for on the side of Israel to honor their ancestry. That was what started me on this rant tonight, a quote from one of the “lone wolf fighters.” I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, I just really don’t understand. How could one group of people who have suffered so much at the hands of another turn around and do it to other people? How? The UN is finally speaking out, but it’s not enough.

I think Anne Frank would be wondering the same thing if she had survived Auschwitz and was still alive now. I read her diary at the same age she wrote it. In many ways she and I were the same. In many ways I thought she was much wiser than I was. One girl in my class couldn’t read it because it gave her nightmares. I have always thought it so tragic that Anne Frank died so close to the end of the war, days within their camp being liberated. Again, why?

I thought once I could change the world. That was when I was naive and didn’t realize the gargantuan web the troubles of the world were contained within, the threads snarled and tangled beyond comprehension into some facsimile of a Gordian knot. How there are bullies in the world just like bullies in school, and how everyone tip-toes around them as well. Only the stakes are higher and dead is “for reals.” All those children killed will never grow up, never fall in love, never have families, never contribute to the world. One of them, several of them, could have had an answer to some of the world’s pressing problems. One of them could have saved all of us. But we’ll never know now. Because they’re dead. For reals.

I considered abandoning this post, but then there was a breaking news flash that an Israeli missile had hit a UN run school also being used as a shelter. That brings the total, according to BBC News, to 750 Palestinian deaths and 33 Israeli deaths. And just to reiterate, it was a UN facility.

Enough is enough, Mr. Netenyahu. Does “regretting the civilian deaths” but blaming the Hamas help you sleep better at night? I don’t support extremists of any kind. But I support the Palestinians right to live.

There are some truths I believe in:

Germany today is not responsible for killing the Jews in concentration camps. People need to let that go. Forgiveness is the path to healing.

America today is not responsible for what happened with Native Americans or Slaves. I’m very, very sorry it happened, but I didn’t do it. I hope I’m more enlightened than those who did. I try to help advocate for those who need help advocating from themselves. I try to realize when the person who needs help being advocated for is me. I know how hard that is.

And there are some things (well, many things) I question:

Why are there Neo-Nazi groups popping up? Do you realize what you’re emulating is Facism at its most horrible, the perpetrators of the worst Holocaust in modern history, the worst qualities of human beings as a whole, and you think that’s “cool?” Wow. I can’t even name how many ways that’s so messed up.

Why are people letting religion take over Congress? Once upon a time, and I believe it still does, our Constitution separated the two, for very good reason. Religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Religion messes things up. There are too many religions, too many “chosen” people, too many “our God says,” just too many.

Are we ever going to learn from history, from our mistakes? Anne Frank hoped so. She was a very smart young woman, very thoughtful. Her diary did change the world. She had hopes and dreams, just like the young Palestinian teens her age who have been killed. Because at heart we’re all the same.

Anne Frank Picture

 

 

Diary 2

Diary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictureI live in a crazy time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mila d'Opiz Australiz

Mila d’Opiz Australiz

 

 

 

happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peterlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

who has inflicted this upon us?monsters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

annefrank

 

 

anne-frank-quotes-2

 

 

 

 

Anne Frank improve world

 

 

www.zazzle.co.uk owns the rights to this

http://www.zazzle.co.uk owns the rights to this

 

 

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Can Everyone Just Stop Talking, Please

There are times in my life when I feel so frustrated, so small, so unheard, so forgotten as a citizen that I want to stand on the tallest building I can find and just scream until someone pays attention to what I am saying. How are people, little people like me, heard in this country of Freedom of Speech, the right to arm bears (a much better choice, if you ask me–give those bears in Alaska a chance against Sarah Palin and her helicopters), the conservative right who literally make absolutely no sense. I don’t mean that they’re just illogical, the words that they string together to form sentences do not answer questions, they give no answers–they are a Möbius strip. I’m really not just saying this–look for this article on The New Civil Rights Movement’s web site: Sarah Palin: Atheists Are Suing Private Citizens Over Nativity Scenes ‘On Somebody’s Law.’

Why, I ask myself, do she and other people like her end up being heard? Because they’re stupid? I know I’m not the one with all the answers. I know I can’t solve all the problems. I know things can’t be fixed overnight. I used to want to work in International Relations when I was a kid, because I wanted to make the world a better place. I’m so glad I didn’t follow that path, because I would have ended up a disillusioned puddle of an adult. I don’t know what is wrong with the world. But today for the first time in a long time, because there’s a part of me that’s hardened to the daily horror that is the world, if one is paying attention–today I had to stop because I started to cry. I simply could not take any more. Any more illness. Any more famine. Any more war. Any more oppression. Any more GOPs smearing Nelson Mandela’s name and comparing the American national debt to apartheid. What? Any more of Syria, the Ukraine, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and whoever else I left out.

And the white elephant has turned into an animal of a different color, a giant brown bear.

I do not hate or hold grudges against any country for what happened in their past. If you do that, you end up like Israel and Palestine, or Ireland and Northern Ireland, fighting wars that have been going on for far too long. The point is that what happened has already happened. I am not religious, but nor do I believe the “sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.” We have been told, over and over, that the point of history is to learn from the past. Well, we’re all doing a pretty damn poor job of it. We haven’t learned a blessed thing. People are more interested in political maneuvering, the next election–I speak for the US, the only country I have experience to speak on. The usual rounds of mudslinging and defamation. And hatred, true hatred, growing against the LGBT community within our love thy neighbor religious institutions, the lovely christian right.

When I was growing up in the 1970’s, I had nightmares about nuclear war, the utter and complete devastation of the world. It seems many of the writers of dystopian young adult fiction didn’t grow up under that shadow–many of them are half my age. Maybe that’s why dystopian, apocalyptic fiction doesn’t appeal to me; for me, growing up, that was a true possibility (not that it isn’t completely out of the question now, but it doesn’t hang over us everyday like fog). My nightmares are changing. And again, they emanate from the same source; the bear is up and busy these days, passing some terrifying laws, one in particular. In my nightmares, it’s as if there’s a curtain and we can’t be sure what really is going on in Russia. We know they run propaganda–oh, wait, news, every two hours with their head of telecommunications telling millions of Russian citizens that people who are gay have “unsuitable hearts for living.” It’s pretty clear what the implication is. Whatever the means, they should die. But he quickly added that he has gay friends. Not anymore, I would imagine. I think “Who needs enemies when you have friends like that,” applies here. I don’t believe the bulk of the Russian people feel this way. Again, it’s the loud, brash, I-can-talk-over-everyone-else people who run the show. Whoever runs the media holds the power. What are they doing? I ask myself. Is this just the beginning? What do they intend to do? I don’t want to look at their past. There’s a history of many, many people ending up dead. And this scares me. Very much.

And the timing, with the Olympics. There’s the rub. What to do about the Olympics. Have countries boycott them, and the athletes who have been training all this time not compete? But tell me–what is worth more; precious metal on a ribbon around your neck, or knowing that you have made a difference, you have made a mark far bigger than a name that goes into Wiki with what place you won. You have made a statement about not just humanity, but the fact what is happening is not moral, it is not ethical, and it should not be condoned. Right now no one is to talk to children about people who are gay–how long before they actually start disappearing so the children don’t see them either? That is my fear, that is my nightmare; the mere possibility that could happen to someone I love.

And out of the darkness there is a small bright light.  A political figurehead who supposedly has no power in the political system. President Joachim Gauck of Germany announced he will not be attending the Olympics in Sochi next year. A politician with a conscience. Are there any others? The goliath that is Coca-Cola folded under one of the seven deadly sins. What I would ask, if I could shout and yell until people listened, is will the politicians around the world make a stand and follow President Gauck’s example, or will they crumple?

And after that I would dearly appreciate it if someone would bring me a glass of water.

Sleep well.

Children and Vaccinations

I would like to dedicate this post to an author I am editing right now (and should be editing right now) for causing me to do some fact checking on Smallpox (trying to find out if it was referred to as smallpox or small pox in Victorian England). Smallpox was horrible, much worse than I’d thought. In a city like London, which was filthy, death rates were high. I discovered from wiki that Lady Mary Wortley Montague, wife of the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, helped introduce the vaccine to Britain in–this is amazing to me–1721. In China, references to smallpox ‘vaccination’ were first mentioned in 1549, and history of ‘innoculation’ was shown in India from 1000BC. When Lady Wortley Montague was in the Ottoman Empire, she had her children vaccinated.

A smallpox epidemic hit London in 1721, and the Royal family were afraid of contracting the disease, and had heard of Lady Montague. They didn’t want the process tested on themselves, first, of course, but the condemned occupants of the Royal Prison provided test subjects. Most of them survived (there was still a small percentage of people who did fall ill and die from the innoculation, but it was not as high a chance, by far, of contracting it and living). Lady Montague pushed to get as many people vaccinated as possible, and vowed she would fight any doctors who argued with her.

The World Health Organization eradicated smallpox in 1977.

I’m not exactly sure what to start with next. I’m sure there were people who weren’t having their children vaccinated before this, but the emergence of autism–which first was recognized as a neurological difference in 1910 by a Swiss psychiatrist named Eugen Bleuler while he was trying to define symptoms of schizophrenia–and used the phrase autismus to mean “morbid self-admiration”– “autistic withdrawal of the patient to his fantasies, against which any influence from outside becomes an intolerable disturbance.” Kuhn R; tr. Cahn CH. Eugen Bleuler’s concepts of psychopathology. Hist Psychiatry. 2004;15(3):361–6. doi:10.1177/0957154X04044603. PMID 15386868. The quote is a translation of Bleuler’s 1910 original.

The word autism first took its modern sense in 1938 when Hans Asperger of the Vienna University Hospital adopted Bleuler’s terminology autistic psychopaths in a lecture in German about child psychology.[180] Asperger was investigating an ASD now known as Asperger syndrome, though for various reasons it was not widely recognized as a separate diagnosis until 1981.[178] Leo Kanner of the Johns Hopkins Hospital first used autism in its modern sense in English when he introduced the label early infantile autism in a 1943 report of 11 children with striking behavioral similarities.[34] Almost all the characteristics described in Kanner’s first paper on the subject, notably “autistic aloneness” and “insistence on sameness”, are still regarded as typical of the autistic spectrum of disorders.[49] It is not known whether Kanner derived the term independently of Asperger.[181]

I have to give the wiki link because the actual citations simply won’t format correctly, despite my having tried multiple methods, calling them some not very nice names, and then the blue boxes came, and that was it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism

I only give this information because many don’t know the origins. Or that for a very long time, mothers of children with autism were blamed as causing the condition themselves. Refrigerator mothers, they were called. The psychiatrists couldn’t find any cause, so they blamed the parent. Autism is such an individual, all-pervasive disorder, I don’t blame parents for jumping at any straw of hope. So when the article appeared in The Lancet, Britain’s leading and very well respected medical journal, by Andrew Wakefield, linking vaccinations to autism in 1998, I imagine parents stopped having their children vaccinated in droves.

As a result of that, in the United States (I can’t speak for other countries, and this blog has gone in a direction I hadn’t predicted, which I should have predicted), measles is on the rise, and there are occasional outbreaks large enough to draw attention by the Center for Disease Control. Meningitis turns up in colleges and high schools. Whooping cough I got to witness first hand when my boyfriend’s daughter caught it. She was coughing for over three months. It was horrible. But that’s on the rise again. Tuberculosis is coming back. Polio breaks out in little areas. Ah–here are some cases of outbreaks:

  • A 2002–2003 outbreak of measles in Italy, “which led to the hospitalizations of more than 5,000 people, had a combined estimated cost between 17.6 million euros and 22.0 million euros”.
  • A 2004 outbreak of measles from “an unvaccinated student return[ing] from India in 2004 to Iowa was $142,452”.
  • A 2006 outbreak of mumps in Chicago, “caused by poorly immunized employees, cost the institution $262,788, or $29,199 per mumps case.”
  • A 2007 outbreak of mumps in Nova Scotia cost $3,511 per case.
  • A 2008 outbreak of measles in San Diego, California cost $177,000, or $10,376 per case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy

Unfortunately, that’s more concentrated on money than the number of people involved. Not listed here are outbreaks in Ireland and the UK.

 

Did You Declare War?

war-games1In 1983 a movie was released called WarGames. It starred Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, and a host of other good actors. I thought it was a great film, and seeing it years later, I still like it. In the early days of hacking, home computers, and what computers were capable of, it was an excellent film for preying on the fears of those unsure of what this new technology would bring.

All the young man played by Matthew Broderick wants to do is find new games to play, and he enjoys the challenge it takes to find them. As usual with my posts, I had no intention of talking about this movie. I wasn’t even thinking about it. Certain events that happened today encouraged me to do a search with the two words in it, and lo and behold, there was the movie.

Shall We Play a GameOnce he’s hacked into a military computer, the now well known words light up the screen.

A game. Of course!

gamesThere are some interesting choices, and honestly, who wouldn’t want to play Global Thermonuclear War?

The “game” starts to look suspiciously real, and Matthew Broderick’s character asks the computer what the point of the game is.

to win the game

This is the point when he panics and turns the computer off, the computer calls him, and chaos ensues.

It’s also the point where I started making imaginary connections.

n-GOP-CRAZY-large300However, they weren’t playing a game. They were waging war. I don’t think they got congresses’ approval beforehand, either. In their, let’s just be polite and say somewhat delusional minds, they were at war with the President. Congressmen at war with the President? That sounds incredibly iffy to me. I don’t think they had a bottle to stand on.

Yet they had their “tactics” and their “strategy,” and openly said it was a war. Their goal? To win. For who to win? They can feed whatever they want into their gopbabble, it wasn’t for the people of the United States, it was for themselves. They wanted to win.

Apparently, they pay attention to neither the news, nor have they ever seen WarGames.

A lot happens–now that I’ve pulled up a quote from the movie, I see Matthew Broderick’s character is David and his girlfriend, Ally Sheedy, is Jennifer. They go find the reclusive Professer Falken who created Joshua, the computer who is now running on its own, and bring him back the the military base. David finally figures out a way that he thinks the computer will figure things out, while the military commander thinks this is all real, and the nuclear missiles really are preparing to launch at the then Soviet Union. David teaches Joshua how to play tic tac toe, then tells it to play all games.

wargames tic tac toeAll Screens[They are in NORAD, watching the computer WOPR playing Tic-Tac-Toe and Global Thermonuclear War at the same time]

Jennifer: What is it doing?

David Lightman: It’s learning.

That_scene_from_War_Games

Are we still playing

The only winning move is not to play. Exactly. When you are a member of congress, representing the people of the United States of America, you are not there to play. You are not there to wage war. You are there to make arguments and decisions based on facts and truths, not what you want them to be, but what they are. You are there to work for the best interests of the people, the rich (you) and, more importantly, the rest of us, who might not have a “nice home” to make payments on–we have rent to pay. We don’t complain about how dirty our spa is because we’ve furloughed the people who work there. We don’t harass people who work at parks you have closed (are you really that stupid?) and tell them they should be ashamed of themselves. That woman is completely in the right when she says she isn’t ashamed, she shouldn’t be. She is doing her job. She deserves a medal for standing up to insensitive, idiotic representatives. That was despicable behavior. I’m so glad someone actually got a video of it.

But this whole time, while you have been waging war, it’s been against the American people. The women and children who couldn’t get food for themselves and their babies. The veterans who couldn’t get their services. The veterans who did wage war, at congresses’ permission to the President. The hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers who couldn’t pay their bills or buy other necessary items. See, unlike those people in congress who make approximately $174,000 a year, and are already millionaires to boot, many people live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe more congresspeople have advice such as taking out loans?

People need health care. Do you think because people make less money they don’t get sick? They don’t need surgery? I really believe in this case it may be a case of affluency acting as blinders, the “let them eat cake” syndrome. Congresspeople don’t have to worry about health insurance. They need to go to the doctor, they go to the doctor. Many of us, if we need to go to the doctor,  have to find out if they take our insurance, if we have insurance, if they’re an approved provider or an out-of network provider, do we pay a co-pay that is set or a percentage, if we need a prescription, how much is that, is it a drug that’s on the approved list on our insurance, and so on. And then we have bills we have to make payments on stretched out over a year or more. It’s a whole process. So, we have a president who wants to try to provide health care for all Americans: it isn’t going to be perfect, and there are going to be snags and wrinkles that need to be ironed out. However, it is a start, and I don’t care if conservatives and tea partiers think it’s communist, socialist, Marxist or fetishist, it’s the first time it has been done in this country, and it’s about time.

Yet this is what this imaginary “war” was against. Sort of. It was the excuse John Boehner used to wage his war against President Obama, a personal, ideological war, in a situation that should never have arisen, should never have taken place at the expense of the public Rep. Boehner pledged to serve, and should never have resulted in a shutdown of the government while you were still paid. It was a grudge match carried out in full sight of the entire world, who we at least managed to amuse, and I’m sure now we appear much less threatening. An entire country held hostage by a small bunch of right wing conservative extremists? Hell, Boehner probably has fan clubs in some parts of the world. And the tea party? They should cringe every time they think of the name they chose for themselves and truly be ashamed. This is not the American Revolution, and they are not the self-modeled heroes they purport themselves to be. The American Revolution was fought by people willing to die for their country, to fight for was was really freedom. They denigrate the purpose of the Boston Tea Party as the truly revolutionary act it was by claiming any association with it whatsoever. They are not of that caliber. What gives them the right to usurp the name of an incident of far greater import, consequence, and reckoning than they will ever accomplish through misinformation and distortion of the truth?

War as Boehner and his cronies see it is an odd thing again. As Joshua the computer says, “What a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” It wasn’t a game, and Boehner sulks that he didn’t win, but says the fight isn’t over. Did he learn nothing from this? Did any of them? What fight? No, he didn’t learn anything. If only when he heard “Shall we play a game?” it meant sticking him in a room with a game console to fight his imaginary wars there. Where no one gets hurt. In the movie, the world is saved because Joshua learns through playing all the scenarios in his “head.”

John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Maybe Rep. John Boehner needs a processor. I think there’s a place to go for those. All he needs is a companion…

jackalope copy.jpg.2013_10_05_21_49_23.0

And he’s all set. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

Meanwhile, we can finally go back to government pages without getting stuck here:

government-shutdown---murica-404_o_2293279

I want to thank all of those who made the use of these pictures possible, including MGM, United Artists, and Sherwood Productions for making such an awesome movie. The Jackalope is mine. And I found another picture while looking for these I found particularly funny:

government-shutdown-034-10022013

Enough said.