Issues Seen and Not Seen

26 Aug

You could safely wager that those guys expressing racism in Charlottesville, VA have a second issue that both precedes and equals the racial hostility demonstrated there.  Both issues result from failure to successfully deal with a form of competition that is troubling them. The other issue, although entering one’s life earlier on, doesn’t lead to street demonstrations.  It can instead, if not harmonized, fester and torment and add to a propensity for racism and hatred.

I submit that both of these plagues on civil behavior have the same root cause: competition.  The human beast has not been known to behave well when dealing with competitors.  The racism aspect, of course, has a social and physical presence that makes it highly visible. The other has a camouflage of normalcy so effective as to be almost unseen if not carefully explored for involvement.

It’s doubtful if the human propensity for prejudice (read, preconceived preference) often leads to this kind of active and overt racial hatred without being linked with the other issue.  If competition with different races or ethnicities can trigger such distress; we can readily grasp the trauma of competition with the opposite sex. Here the personal aspect is incredibly older and firmly rooted. This competition is so basic and so visceral as to defy solution if there is a lack of will to successfully manage it.

Most large historical cultures have a legacy of sexual tensions and distortions which cast a long shadow.  If you have issues with the females in your life you just might be prone to also have issues with minorities. Competition is insidious and if allowed to overpower reason and harmony can be destructive. How to convince someone attacking a racial target that mother, wife or sibling issues are fueling the assault is quite another task.

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Let’s Get it Straight

20 Aug

The Civil War was not about racism and initially not really about slavery.  Financial competition between the sections and a profound disgust on the part of Southern elites for Yankee materialism and cupidity were much more important factors.  Visitors from New England were not warmly welcomed in the South after the Mexican War.  The election of Abraham Lincoln, a former railroad lawyer and therefore anathema, was the final insult.

Slavery is not about racism, it’s about money. Racism is not about race, it’s about competition turned deeply personal.  Racism exploded when the Civil War ended and millions of freed black slaves who possessed significant marketable skills were forced to compete in the ruined South with poor whites who often had fewer skills. No need for teamsters, tanners, weavers , mechanics;  the list is endless of skills for which little employment was available. The elites possessed even fewer attributes for rebuilding the devastated regions.

The genesis of racism in the Americas was competition. Competition for land and resources; the settlers wanted it: the natives had it.  The natives fought for it, ergo, they were racist savages, redskins etc etc.  Later the Mexican War, also about land, produced another form of racism that endures.  Overseas adventures began with our conflict with the Moslem Barbary Pirates which fueled an additional racism element.  The 20th century abounded in a legacy of racism resultant from centuries of colonialism where competition for land and resources kindled racism worldwide.

As the US moved onto the global scene, we were the inheritors of institutional racism courtesy of the British, Spaniards, Belgians; the list is long and sordid.  Much of the profound racism exhibited by and towards the Japanese during the second world war was fueled by the malignant racial history of Britain and Japan. Competition for dominance in the Pacific resulted in Pearl Harbor, internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and Hiroshima. Now that’s racism!

If Damned we are Then Damned we be

16 Aug

My country ‘tis of thee                        

 ‘fore sliding low in infamy. 

Sing not for her with patriot glee

 she now lacks such quality.

 

One grand nation untimely rift

 shown abroad as meanly split. 

 From that chasm comes a whift

 of loathsome and unseemly grift.

 

A people unhinged seek out a faction

that heeds a more chaotic fraction.

Bountiful whole once clasped for traction

we’re shunning now as poor attraction.

                                      

At early morn this does unfold

that fragile center will not hold.

The shrill voice of every scold

seeks approbation to withhold.

 

We fail to see what others espy

writ bold then told with every lie.

The sin lies elsewhere we oft decry

when found in us we lamely sigh.

.

Concealing fear that has us in hand

we trembling take one final stand.

There we dissemble and there we cant

to stave off some judgmental rant.

 

We go about with face so brave

masking well we courage crave.

But if caught out we rant we rave

and dismiss all with scornful wave.

 

For it is my country that you see

steeped in dauntless history.

If damned we are then damned we be

but proud as hell from sea to sea.

 

Should we flounder should we fail

none can say we did weakly quail.

Alas tho’ soldiering manly toward the grail

our long search for wisdom did not prevail.

 

near end

 

Sage words outflowed the page when victors’ prose

told how and why the better standard justly rose.

The globe was wrapt with our colors round ‘til when

mad red splat others’ blood on white and blue. Amen.

 

 The world aghast did gape dumfound as we leaked out energy

in battles lost the cost unpaid as if no great emergency.

Our final end came slower on then any seer knew to say

still when it came the pundits cried ’we knew it was today’.  

                                               

end

 

 

 

Americans Cannot do Equations

13 Aug

After 200 years of public education and a higher education system with gross revenues now rivaling Amazon or Ali Baba, Americans have yet to master simple equations.

For example:

20 to 26,000 Iraqi military personnel and 100,000  civilians killed

plus                                     +

92 per cent of electric power stations + 80 percent of petrochemical complexes, + 135 telephone networks + 100 bridges  +  roads, highways, railroads, hundreds of locomotives and boxcars full of goods, radio and television broadcasting stations, cement plants, and factories producing aluminum, textiles, electric cables, and medical supplies destroyed..

plus                                            +

Permanent military presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia after the 1st Gulf War was one of the stated motivations behind the 11 September attacks.

 

Equals    =

 

2996 deaths + 7 buildings destroyed or damaged in NYC, 1 in DC. + 4 airliners destroyed

DOES NOT COMPUTE

———————————————————————————————————–

 

Another Example:

 

2996 deaths + 7 buildings destroyed or damaged in NYC, 1 in DC. + 4 airliners  destroyed.

Equals     =

1,033,000  violent deaths from the conflict in the 2nd Gulf War.

Plus                                        +

Cost to the US of $3 trillion to $6 trillion, including interest rates, by 2053. The upper ranges of these estimates include long-term veteran’s costs and economic impacts.

Plus                                        +

Over 100 million Iraquis displaced.

Plus                                   +

al-Qaida established in Iraq. ISIS everywhere.

Plus                                   +

U.S provides political, military and logistic support to the opposition as well as rebel groups in Syria throughout the Civil War.

*DOES NOT COMPUTE

(All statistics from Wikipedia)

What’s wrong with these equations? How could people fail this simple math? Time to rethink our conclusions.

 

A Doomer Crank Tale

6 Aug

Two amazing events occurred at almost the same time and radically changed the future for humankind.  In and around the Fertile Crescent  in Western Asia and other equally promising edens, agriculture was developed . In the eastern steppes and the southern deserts animal husbandry was perfected.  These two events introduced food surplus into the lives of humans for the first time.

With this surplus (none dared call it capital) an element of control of future events came within the grasp of humans. No longer totally subject to the vagaries of the hunt or caprices of nature, these Late Bronze age stalwarts yearned to leap forward after a million years of restraint. Great possibilities were presented them for trade, for travel, for smiting and smoting of rivals and nothing could hold them back

Nothing, that is, except human biology of the female kind.  The distaff  members were  proud of accomplishing,  mainly through their efforts, the bountiful crops that filled the newly built granaries that had sprung up all about them.  They noticed a tendency for males to be impatient now of needs that are mammalian in nature and part of reality.  The high flying gents were annoyed that the ladies still had a certain something that kept the guys from lording it over them and all of creation.  Why, oh why, must we go to them for our needs and let them make decisions.

So a relationship that had been fair and equal between the sexes since they labored together to evolve in the wilderness and then learn to build permanent settlements was compromised.  Males were to be lord and master and females lesser.  The species long equal partnership was thereby dissolved and females were to become chattel.  The battle was on and the outcome soon settled and the gender relationship remains to this day  a Stockholm Syndrome in which a captive, in time, comes to be fond of and even love her captor.

The fundamental natural relationship which exists between the sexes in all of animal life is now missing in action in humankind. The balance, harmony and respect of gender differences  is gone from us. From that fateful time until now, through these thousands of years of human existence, all major decisions affecting humankind, including life and death matters, are decided by males. Even the simple courtesy of inclusion of females for the appearance of equality is not deemed necessary.  The notion of changing this imbalance rarely reaches the level of serious discussion in male circles of influence. So…

 The tale ends here.

{Narrative to be resumed when the species, by default, nears extinction.}

My America: A Critical Mess

22 Jul

I’ve lived in America all of my eighty five years and my family has lived here much longer.  Back in the day we did all the early American stuff.  Kept slaves, killed Indians, Red Coats, Moslems, Mexicans, Yanks and/or Rebs, Spaniards; you know the list.  We wrote the history books so it all seemed to make good sense; somehow.  It’s just what one did, hereabouts, back in the day.

Closer to my time we started to raise the ante a bit.  That business with Spain gave a taste of what we could be if we were to expand the franchise a tad; maybe more than a tad.  Those pretty, and lucrative, little Spanish islands we took over were tempting us to have more; ever more. Why be stay-at-homes; forget G. Washington!  There’s a big world out there. The entire century, the 20th, was an American  strategic effort with mostly poor results. Insularity exerting itself unbidden; George’s revenge ?  Perhaps.

Enter the coming of age century. The big 21st! Can we handle it?  Grow up at last? Fat chance.  A few guys blow up our stuff. Oh my, tantrum time.  Ongoing, ever ongoing. Wet work all over the place.  Mideast in shambles. Overspending big time.  Domestic pain.  DC  resembling the Pol Pot on steroids.  Half the GDP now in dead or zombie money locked up in midasville until doomsday. Tomorrow?

Then, a national election i.e. the rug being pulled from under a sand castle mounted on lemon jello.  Oops! Didn’t know it might all fall apart.  Should have known about the odds. We were  told of only 17 years of peace in the 241 years since 1776 and hoped maybe 2017 would be the lucky number 18, but no.  In my time I’ve run the gamut of red, white and blue emotions.  Old fashioned patriotism, worry, hope, despair, doubt and pride of country. Now my most solemn emotion seems  to reflect the national scene as it doubtless appears in the eyes of the world …embarrassment.

The Penis Ain’t But a Big, Swollen Clit or/

20 Jun

What Not to Shout Out in a Biker Bar

Here’s an example of another conversation that has probably never occurred in human history. She, wide-eyed and trembling with anticipation, says to him that she has never seen such a wondrous phallus. He replies that it was given him by his mom on his birth day. An acknowledgement or even the understanding of such reality is beyond the capacity of most men. That their prize possession was given them by a woman, OMG!  But then, they often spend half a lifetime trying to give it back

Because our species is mammalian, one segment is capable of taking advantage of a surplus of biological time not available to the other; i.e. the time females spend in menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. These mammalian requirements could, and apparently did, lead to the male segment’s use of this unearned surplus of leisure time to the detriment of the female and ultimately shaped all human destiny.

We have increasingly become aware of FGM, female genital mutilation, and in regions where prevalent it is said to have originated in Africa.  Indeed that apparently is the case.  During the era when Arabs were hunting and capturing Africans for the slave trade, they stumbled upon a tribe in South Africa, the Khoi, also called Hottentot. Those upstanding true believers were stunned by what they found.  The Khoi  women manipulated the genitalia of female infants from birth. In time the clitoris might attain a length of 2, possibly 3 inches and the labia grew accordingly.  The results were threatening enough that the macho Arabs were sore afraid it might influence their women. The rest is history but history twisted so as to have female genital mutilation seen as having sacred aspect and not as being a terrified male invention.

Ten millennia of increasingly complex human behaviors have been superimposed on a primeval, stunted, near crippling imbalance between the sexes. One result is male control, ranging from near to total, over the actions and privileges of females.  In modern terms what has happened to females is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. In it captives acquiesce over time to fondness, even love for their captors. At no major societal level, where input could decide outcome, is the female given equality.

But sadly, this statement or any other expressing similar opinions, receives outright rejection from a huge portion of male society. Males, who on other subjects are receptive, even progressive in their attitudes concerning fairness and balance, cannot accept true equality between the sexes. Therefore we grope about blindly layering more societal complexities on a skewed system with predictable results.

Every human undertaking thus far attempted thrives for a time and then fails.  Nothing lasts and probably nothing will under these biased circumstances. A glance at history should convince anyone that we are not behaving at all as an admirable, wholesome species; we are at best a clever one. Our sincerest efforts fail and the result is to attempt ever more of the same. A species out of balance with its own nature should not expect to be successful.