Forgiveness Is As Natural As Breathing, But It Takes Work

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In a single act — forgiveness — anchors our strength, clears our way, and removes blocks put in our way by others and by our reaction. Through it, we honor our martyrs, and . . . → Read More: Forgiveness Is As Natural As Breathing, But It Takes Work

Charleston: A Diary of Death In My Hometown

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Again, bad news has shaped the mourning and pain of a community.

Again, bullets have found innocent targets, shredded bodies and left them lifeless.

Once more, something . . . → Read More: Charleston: A Diary of Death and the Evidence of Faith, In My Hometown

Meet Three From The Deep Republican Bench

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The Republican “deep bench” of Presidential candidates includes a former pastor turned television personality who claimed President Obama was born in Kenya, then lied about what he said—and later claimed the President . . . → Read More: Sandbag These Three From The Deep Republican Bench

Freedom and 17 Corollaries of Psychological Dissonance Assigned To Republicanism

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Inherent in any freedom is responsibility. A cautious, well-founded concern for a freedom which does no harm is the bedrock of freedom’s exercise. Those who assert freedom has no limits . . . → Read More: Freedom and 17 Corollaries of Psychological Dissonance Assigned To Republicans

The Dangers of Thinking We Live In A Dangerous World

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A hierarchy within digital media acts as a firewall to shut down much of the internet’s openness, especially communication with the media and political elite. For the elite, the internet . . . → Read More: The Dangers of Thinking We Live In A Dangerous World

The Killing Of Those Who Raise Their Hands

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As the harvest season of politics opens and the fundraising of early seed money begins, let’s not forget the the massive piles of money raised will be built on binary structures. Binary . . . → Read More: The Killing Of Those Who Raise Their Hands

In US Politics, Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?

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“Keep It Stupid” is the media meme for all of the announced Presidential campaigns. Hillary walks into a fast food operation in Maumee, Ohio and a Fox host calls it “Hispanic . . . → Read More: In US Politics, Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?

Going Rogue: The Boehner-Netanyahu Subterfuge

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Behind the objections to the Iran framework is a new alliance of power politics.

The Boehner Invitation to Japan and His Current Visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel

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DDIn the mighty vigilance of the national news media to cover the important stories that shape our world, the events of war and peace, from battles to meetings, big diplomatic stories taking place in the open are sometimes missed.

For example, where in the world is House Speaker John Boehner? How is he spending the Congressional recess? Boehner organized a junket for himself and a few loyal House members on key foreign affairs, military, and defense committees. They hopped a plane and flew off to the Middle East.

But not before, on March 26th, the man third in line for the Presidency continued his international lyceum series by inviting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to speak to a joint session of Congress on April 29th. Boehner’s office released this statement:

“As the United States continues to strengthen our ties with Japan, we look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Abe to the United States Capitol. His address will provide an opportunity for the American people to hear from one of our closest allies about ways we can expand our cooperation on economic and security priorities. That, of course, includes working together to open markets and encourage more economic growth through free trade. Prime Minister Abe will become the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress, and we are proud to host this historic event.”

The third in line is acting like a co-President for foreign policy. Boehner, ever the patriot, is fuzzy on the looming details of another important Abe speech later this year, Abe’s remarks in August about Japan’s role in World War II and the use by Japan of Asian women as sex slaves, as “comfort women” for its troop force. Abe has at times signaled he might revise an earlier apology by a former official. US veterans groups, including those concerned with prisoners of war, are demanding Abe clarify his views and his controversial earlier statements about Japan’s war role before he speaks to Congress.

For Abe, Boehner’s invitation has intensified Japan’s domestic debate over the impending speech. Politicians and others want to revise Japan’s role in the world and reject the constitution put in place as a part of the peace.

Some Japanese conservatives now claim “charges” of  Japan’s forcible use of Asian women as sex slaves in wartime military brothels are “fabricated in South Korea.” Others say the Japanese constitution implemented after World War II deprives Japan of its sovereignty and military. Their view of World War II is that Japan fought a war of self-defense.

In his effort to tighten the stakes of the brinkmanship of embarrassment with President Obama, Speaker Boehner has raised added tensions for Prime Minister Abe in Asia, created protests by US veterans groups, increased the scrutiny Abe’s speech to Congress and his August remarks will be given by China, South Korea and other Asian countries, and stirred up domestic dissent by Japan’s conservatives who want former Japanese cabinet secretary Koon’s remarks of apology revised and will watch closely for how Abe positions Japan in relation to the US. Boehner’s invitation resonated in and outside of Japan and has the potential to reawaken historic animosities.

After extending another invitation to a foreign leader that has the potential to disturb the balance of power and diplomacy in Asia and within Japan’s domestic affairs and cause Japan’s external relations to suffer, Boehner exited the country for the Middle East.

Why is John Boehner traveling to the Middle East with a large Congressional delegation to meet with the Saudi foreign minister in Riyadh? Who cooked up this foreign visit in the middle of the legislative term while House Republicans are splintering into dysfunctional special interests, with chasms so wide that ordinary bills descend into dark holes from where they cannot be retrieved? Has Boehner become King? The Imperial Speaker? The white Dauphin? The white shadow President? Continue reading The Boehner Invitation to Japan and His Current Visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel

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Race As National Policy Potpourri

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DDIn philosophy, where the ideas and logic that are mental models for appropriate acts and policy reside, a single person and a single idea have driven American elections since 2008—President Barack Obama and race. These two factors have influenced policy, changed political ethics, and revealed a new American challenge: a fight for truth and a new future opposed by bedfellows of special interests, wealth and hate. Conservative voters and candidates speak of freedom but really fight for power: to weaken the Presidency, the executive agenda, and seek to affirm the wrong and rich as the strong.

Votes are justified and driven by anger and fear. Every GOP official trumpets or complains the President’s agenda is driven by race, expense and incompetence. At state and national levels, elected officials claim every idea President Obama proposes is a threat to America and American lives (whether death panels, debt, immigration, Ebola, ISIL, food stamps). Every judgment and pronouncement is distorted by a lens colored with racial prejudice (labels of “buckwheat-in-chief,” posters of bones through Obama’s nose, nasty “nigger” jokes, lynched chairs swinging from nooses strung over tree limbs). The Democratic rearguard retreat in the last election reinforced these jaded reasons by not revealing their ridiculousness.

So political stupidity grew exponentially. In South Carolina, a retired school teacher loudly, publicly accused—in fact was assured and certain—the President attempted to explode Charleston with a nuclear strike during a military training exercise. Because of Obama’s orders, she claimed two generals retired. Rick Santorum stood stoically, listening, when he knew it was all a lie.

The oppositional conditioning is so pervasive that the opposition no longer cites the kinds of examples of myths and mistakes that Ronald Reagan famously employed. Now, officials declare the power of winning as the power to turn back, turn over, turn in, turn out, citing the actions and examples of progress that their change seeks to reverse.

Gay marriage. Out. Affirmative action. Ended. Rape. Harder to persecute. Taxes. Lower (for the rich!). Higher education. Cut. Education, K-12. Privatized, underfunded. Government services payments. Billions given away (ask Rahm about Chicago’s parking meters). Abortion. Denied. War. Endorsed. Air and water. Unregulated. Income. Stifled. Immigration. Unaddressed. Safety nets. Cuts lurking. Healthcare. Barack Obama. The source of all evil. Race. The source of all waste. Denial: “I am innocent of all blame.”

I recently realized a valuable lesson watching Jimmy Stewart westerns. The more the Native Americans defeated the cavalry and settlers who precipitated the attacks against them, the more they were hated, mistreated and dehumanized. With each victory, the natives were condemned for lacking honor and virtue, even when their efforts were in self-defense or intended to promote peace. As the Indians won, hate reached a fever pace and objectivity and morality were abandoned. Think: the Iran agreement being negotiated to halt its development of nuclear arms, hasn’t it attracted a rising swell of voices whose accusing judgment is based on a desire for power rather than justice?

Haven’t those same voices, in the name of security, created the outlines for a global and local alliance, well funded internationally by Sheldon Adelson, the modern counterpart of Augsburg’s Jakob Fugger or England’s Baring brothers for funding geocentric, xenophobic ruling alliances. Adelson’s work in building a supra-alliance that tacitly benefits the Chinese and that is a loose but well connected ideological cult of eugenics is deeply (and darkly!) rooted, a part of the history and world view of the family policies of the Koch brothers and their father, who marginalized and expressed stereotypes for global ethnic groups, and propped up ideas of ethnic superiority for European genes by pointing to individual gaps and the failures of social programs fighting sophisticated neo-colonial structures and directed wealth flow.

Barack Obama is their evidence of what happens when one slips through the cracks and refuses their bidding, and wins despite their sustained plans for his defeat and collapse, their desire for his being driven out of office and humiliated, his character and intellectual virtues destroyed, his humanity stripped without apology or defense. Continue reading Race As National Policy Potpourri

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