I think Donald Trump should take some advice from one of his learned predecessors. Here are some quotes from Jimmy Carter:
“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”
“We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.”
“We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”
With specific reference to The Panama Canal, but with implications for any situation where two countries have competing interests: “the commitment of the United States to the belief that fairness, not force, should lie at the heart of our dealings with the nations of the world. If any agreement is to last, it must serve the best interests of both nations.”
Trump hasn’t reached the end of his presidency yet, but most quotes I find made by him are don’t have anywhere near the grace and insight of Jimmy Carter. Trump does generally come across as an insensitive, argumentative, crass, brute.
Some white supremacists sometimes feel that their rights as often indigenous citizens are being impinged on by an influx of people who don’t belong among them.
America see’s that one nation that develops a nuclear weapon, even though it has many times more nuclear weapons, is a threat to regional or even world stability.
Some Islamic countries see Christianity as a threat and try to suppress it, even though in “Christian” countries, Islam is allowed to be practiced freely.
African countries, from of old have had their rulers killed, humiliated emasculated and corrupted – some corrupt themselves, but it seems that whenever Africa want to asset itself as a continent, build itself up, to lose the image of being needy, that other powers in the world, simply don’t want to see that happen.
Insightful as always, Al Jazeera’s Shadow War in Sahara sheds light on the shady tactics and misinformation promoted by “the usual players” to keep African nations separate, in need, while they divide and exploit as has become their usual modus operandi.
Video courtesy Al Jazeera.
Scripturally, this comes to mind:
The Lord’s Answer
5) “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
6) I am raising up the Babylonians,
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
7) They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.
8) Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9) they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.
10) They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11) Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
Habukkuk Chapter 1, verses 1-11.
Well this is written in the language that described the terrors of millenia ago, yet it refers to today also, although the means of advance or transport may have changed, although America and the West may not be technically Babylonians in terms of their geographic location, their actions embody the spirit of the Babylonians written about in the scripture above. Which empire was the biggest empire ever to span the earth? Don’t people refer to the current day activities of The West as neo-colonialism? Hasn’t The West mocked, murdered and deposed rulers and taken over their lands, and to this day holds exploitative control over them?
Bob Marley said, who the cap fits, let them wear it.
The trick that The West plays is that it can never admit to the past and its devouring nature that has made it what it is today, and as an entity, it lives in a state of denial, where at the same time it is very aware if the need to deflect, mask, alter, and hide the past to justify its position and status in the present, maintaining a perpetual hegemony.
Computers work rely on binary, 0 = no, 1 = yes. There are only two options possible. However, with sophisticated programming you can make a computer consider multiple options through to billions of them if the programming is good enough and computing power is available. Even the most advanced programs which alow computers to learn (AI – Artificial Intelligence) still relies on binary concepts and carefully selected routines with the same endpoint, a no or a yes, 0 or 1.
It struck me recently, that we humans are becoming more binary in our thought, and that we are losing the subtlety which we should have as apparently God created us as rulers over all that is on the earth. We should have the capacity to consider more than two options, perhaps to arrive at the half way point between two opposites, or any where between those opposites within a wide ranging spectrum of opinion.
I guess the problem comes in to focus when we consider polarisation. When we consider clashes in ideology, for example, between Western Christianity and Islam (or at least some branches of the same), East and West, North Korea and America, Catalonia and Spain, and even the old chestnuts of Capitalism vs Communism. There is always an area where the two “sides” can meet in the middle and for a dialogue that brings them closer together and helps progress. However, that path is too often neglected, and what we find is that people become defensive, entrenched in their positions, moving further away from each other, stretching like an elastic band, thinning out the “area of consensus” in the middle – making relationships strained so that they stand the risk of breaking.
Well, I’m convinced that if we humans don’t kill ourselves with our own binary thought patterns, that we will accomplish the same thing by integrating ourselves with computers. We’ve seen it in the movies for 50 years or more – the slow technological procession, robots, androids, implants and chips, all heading toward the time when humans perhaps evolve into another species totally. Where we can be controlled, always on the grid, where empathy an emotion are banished and all that is needed from us is ordered subservience.
The American Dream is a construct which many people the world over believe is true. Refugees flee to America in search of a better life, and, given some of the countries where refugees come from, America can offer a vastly improved way of life, but not a dream. The reality is that a lot of American people never find that dream, and end up falling into the dissonance created by the reality of the construction of American society, a society built on exploitation, imperialism, and arguably injustice. People feel short-changed by the society they felt would be a new world for them, and this breeds its own malaise that feeds into the tensions already present in American Society.
So the AfD, the far right Alternative for Germany has broken into mainstream politics in Germany taking third place behind the German equivalent of New Labour and Merkel’s CDU. Some people are asserting that Angela Merkel’s policies have created the conditions under which the AfD gain legitimacy. However, what we have to remember, is that people with these far right views have existed all the time. The majority of Germans may have moved on from the brutality and insanity of Nazi Germany, but there is still a significant minority of people who fear the influx of non-German culture and cling to those ideals at least in part.
For me this doesn’t show some kind of mistake in Merkel’s policy, but rather this shows that the dark past in every society is still there, lurking, waiting for the opportunity to break out and expose itself, just like the mould you though you had banished that comes back to blight your possessions.
I don’t think Germany’s links with Nazism can be forgotten, let alone broken. I’ve seen the USA and the UK tripping over themselves to present this image of a new tolerant nation, which is probably largely true, but given time the mask will slip fully, and it is already slipping. Who can cure this sickness? Surely God alone.
Well, I wonder if this USA example is still true today, and how many other nations follow suit:
Health v Millitary Spending
The USA could save many more lives by focusing on the human needs of its polulace, than over-spending on security. The imbalance reflects the paranoia of those that rule the country, perhaps also the need for them to set in motion and keep running a social contract that keeps people enslaved to fear.
Interestingly, I read on BBC News this morning, that Moody’s, one of the credit ratings agencies, those organisations that give a countries currency reputation, has downgraded the British Pound in status to Aa2 from Aa1, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch both did a similar thing in 2016. Moody’s said the UK Government had “yielded to pressure and raised spending in several areas including health and social care.” so the exptra spending would lead to greater debt.
Seems like the world is truly run by those who care about balance sheets more than people for sure.
Well, it annoyed me, even though I like some of the content Netflix releases, that at such a sensitive time when black people are being shot by police in increasing numbers in the USA, that Netflix should hearken back to the 80’s Hip Hop band NWA.
It seems to me, that because for many black American’s, American justice is a failure. Not only that but the voices of intelligent change and rationalisation are not being heard load enough. Unfortunatly, the white controlled media outlets want to hold up a cathartic stereotype for black people to hark back to, but this stereotype is problematic for black people. It re-enforces the very prejudices white culture has about black people and violence, and serves only to validate the police’s destructive treatment of black people.
As black people we should have moved on past NWA and made a new narrative. Really, these guys were on the scene over 30 years ago! But unfortunately the program in question is trending on Netflix…
Sometimes we’ve got to wake up, and realise we need something new. Let’s not perpetuate the past!
Yes, the American system of justice reveals its blind, unjust and dehumanising face once again, as an Officer Jason Stockley is acquitted of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith after:
during the pursuit saying: “Gonna kill this [expletive], don’t you know it.”
Shooting Smith 4 times, even though backup was on the way.
Apparently planting a weapon in Smith’s car which didn’t have Smith’s DNA on it, only Stockley’s.
Apparently planting a package containing drugs Smith’s car which again didn’t have Smith’s DNA on it, only Stockley’s.
All this has happened in relation to Anthony Lemar Smith fleeing an alleged drug offence.
Video courtesy St Louis Post Dispatch
Black people are definitely under attack in the USA. The judiciary and The Presidency cannot claim to value all human life if judgements like this can be passed. It’s an insult to justice and people’s intelligence, plain and simple.
The Guardian has an insightful article on how in these times of austerity, the UK arms industry is booming.
And so the UK lays the seeds of instability, playing power games on far off shores, that will ultimately breed the next despot ruler we armed and then realised we had to overthrow, for the sake of humanity. What a farce!