Inspiration: the posting of the URL to a story about Idlib, Syria and the deflection of the same back to HIM (whose presence looms so large it no longer needs HIS name).
From the Awesome Conversation
Defenders of the Nation might be especially interested in its abuses or darker spaces. Even with 300 million souls, it’s hard to account for 490,000 missing between the ages of 12 and 21 (FBI statistics, 2017). Perhaps I’m missing the meaning of those numbers and need a briefing on their potential meaning, but even so, it’s a hefty number.
The number of homeless, about 554,000 American (or other) souls at one point included about 60,000 American Veterans. That niche has been getting attention (along with post-service suicides at this time), which is good, but how did these numbers develop? Behind each data entry, there is someone’s personal story.
I know you’re a good egg, but our national character, once the world’s hope for democracy as a defender and leader in relation to the human treatment of human beings — WE don’t bomb hospitals into rubble; WE don’t even think of destroying World Heritage Sites; WE do not believe we are here to fully despoil Earth; WE don’t keep slaves; WE consistently endorse responsible and responsive governance; etc. — has appeared a bit challenged of late.
Active Measures — The collection of Russian Agitation, Disinformation, and Propaganda Methods made evident through covert or subtle Influence Campaigns applied to wrecking the political coherence and cohesion of EU/NATO for the purpose of reestablishing Political Absolutism in the same and then using the most thuggish of feudal and medieval methods to leverage loyalty and wealth from them for contribution to the Greater Imperial Glory of Moscow, the Russian “mafia state” it has come to represent, and the immense enrichment of its oligarchy.
Indeed the west, the melange of classically liberal democratic open societies built and structured around fair dealing, freedom, and integrity and related humanist and liberal ethics, principles, and values has been unprepared for covert agent provocateur, e.g., covert agitators Far Right and Far Left, disingenuous publications, false front organizations, trolls, etc.
I’ve chosen to demur from producing “long copy” and a lengthy reference section for this post. Awareness of “Active Measures” — the kernel of Russia’s covert campaign to degrade and ruin the democracies of the west — should suffice for both the interested and the unwittingly vulnerable.
Through the Cold War Era and now with Putin leading the Russian Federation, the purpose of Soviet / post-Soviet “Active Measures” has been to fragment EU/NATO for the purpose of Russian expansion and its feudal practices. A video like this one — the same as above on this page — will help a little bit with understanding the greater east-west politics and the tension between the worlds of “Absolute Power” and the open democracies of the west.
Active Measures” represents an international (RF v EU/NATO) dispute over the future, not only an American one.
If we are at one the other’s throat, Moscow will have succeeded in exploiting our natural political arguments and issues by heightening them and undermining our national political cohesion and coherence, thereby weakening our state and degrading our democracy.
Regarding “Far Out Left” and equally distant Far Right tendencies, the related foreign and disingenuous domestic manipulations of political perception targets us all.
Who in support of our Democracy can afford to be neutral about a President who appears to be operating on an authoritarian basis using rules of his own? It has been one thing to “let the horse run”, see how he works, and watch what he does. It’s another to turn our back on a hard-won — fought for, died for, paid for — nation devoted to fair play and integrity right beside the principles and spirit that produced our foundational documents.
Admiral McRaven knew his business and his country and what he represented every day as a four-star admiral. That’s not an Obama thing or, particularly a Democratic or Republican thing. It’s an American thing unless the Nation has forgotten why it exists as a unique and now long-lived democracy.
This President shrugs off resignations by the most competitive and experienced professionals in their fields: diplomats, investigators, intelligence executives, military executives, prosecutors. He believes everything we do happens by way of political chicanery and force — or “clevers” — and not much has to do with anything worth believing in, much less dying for.
These pieces by Harbough and McRaven tell of a different America, one more admirable, more noble, more deserving of extraordinary leadership and sacrifice.
When I have figured out how to address unutterable greed and jealousy, I’ll be certain to produce the Nobel-winning results of that cogitation here.
A Little Wisdom From the Awesome Conversation
There are differences between empirically explored histories (and their debates) and what people believe in relation to their own cultural, religious, or spiritual histories. With that much noted, I have long believed that the Jews chose to stand against Pharaoh, a tyrant, and in this day a figure representing the “Malignant Narcissist”, a term of art for the general affliction in psychology associated with those who represent Absolute Power Systems. The Jews — or God through the Jews — were to separate the power of God (“Master of the Universe”) from Pharaoh, a source of torment to the Jews and others — note: the Exodus involved not only the Jews but a “mixed multitude”, i.e., all who would join the Jews in flight from Pharaoh.
Then comes the “Promised Land”.
For the Jews, Israel is the authentic Land of the Hebrews. There is in history no other Jerusalem nor Israel. Christian and Muslim recognition of Israel and “The Holy Land” has been legend and as widespread — and accepted (by Muhammad, no less) — as the supersessionary competition by the same for proof of the direct imprimatur of God.
The position — that of demanding to be shown God’s exclusive favor — has been always absurd, God (or the idea of God) being always the greater entity in the relationship.
For those willing to give a little in the interest of greater love and greater peace, Earth at this moment supports the following human inventory: fewer than 7,000 living languages; about 4,300 religions. I should look into the number of ungodly dictatorships (and mafia states) in relation to the number of modern democracies struggling to sustain common public political consensus while delivering rule-of-law and the greater development, justice, peace, and prosperity that is known to follow from both.
Inspiration for the author of this blog: a nice patch of short observations related to the Middle East Conflict, i.e., “Israel v Palestinian ‘Leaders'”.
Regarding the Framing of the Conflict: Notes on the Treatment of Time in Arguments About Control and Ownership of Contested Space
Time has been the New Space for a while, DM, and I have found two kinds of people plainly dangerous: 1) those who cannot keep themselves from dwelling in the past 🙂 ; 2) those who want to get to the end of their civilizational story as fast as possible!
One is too far behind and the other way too far into the future — and both may be too attached to ancient and medieval dogma.
For the purposes of Administration and Adjudication, issues (real estate disputes) that can be worked in the courts have been submitted as such, and those that cannot be worked out in a civil fashion may be better set aside for what good may be achieved for everyone.
There are leaders, other personalities, and organizations invested in sustained conflict, and as long as the “middle east conflict” is around (forget about the others in the ME), they’re good to go.
Add the thieves who have factored in their own corruption in their estimation of personal revenues given conditions that don’t change.
I see no reason for either Israelis or Palestinians to remain subject to animosities that supposedly drive one or the other to violence while actually benefiting those who would manipulate them most for their own aggrandizement and enrichment.
Everyone should see how Time is used to frame issues and OBSTRUCT their resolution in exchange for political gain, and neither for the betterment nor welfare of Israelis and Palestinians but primarily for themselves and often in service to their own image.
For what is not already in the courts, there are no legal remedies — only political ones!
Feudalism and Tribalism figure highly in sustaining the conflict, but neither today offer healthy benefits to anyone but those institutionally invested in sustained conflict.
I believe Israelis would be happy with the cessation of Palestinian or related violence (within as well as without) and modern Palestinians might finally appreciate moving on with decency in employment, freedom, and prosperity. I also feel certain that both “options” or channels into the future are real.
By dwelling Back There in Time, Arab Palestinians and Jewish Israelis delay their own potential experience of reconciliation, resolution, and peace and security — and those who benefit are those who perpetually care about themselves at the expense of caring about others.
While my own sweet words belie difficult questions — e.g., what to do with civilizational ambition, greed, and pride? — there’s truth to them in relation to broader regional development plus improvements to be realized in Qualities of Living for Israelis and Palestinians.
It hasn’t been a white man’s world for a while either.
It hasn’t actually been a neatly demarcated world either (sorry, Putin, but Russia is immensely multicultural), and while some believe nature favors cultural and racial “purity”, both the history of war and the biological domain in natural history would argue the opposite: our cultural and natural biological worlds prefer immense experimentation — and woe to the crops that have no genetic alternatives in their own defense when a blight or pest co-develops with their own most ideal but perhaps restricted and unprepared features.
It has been a world representing about 4,300 religions and fewer than 7,000 living languages — and by way of modern communications, trade, and transportation, it is all irrevocably interconnected in one place: Earth.
The New England set, once “WASP”, much less western Europe, may no longer define history quite as it did through the ages of exploration and feudal — and colonial — wars and every sort of migration.
What we once called “history” (Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian AKA Northern Mediterranean and later “European” (western) but north of the equator, west of Asia, apart from India, not including the views of . . . . well, point made —
We are, for better or worse, all “In It” — boy, are we ever! — together.
Now here’s a problem with boundary adjustments in space and time: how do We — the global — preserve one the other’s unique cultural and ethnic attributes and heritage while trading — and possibly over-producing — like crazy?
That’s a “Q” for an “A”: respect thy neighbor; refrain from expansion; seek improvement in “Qualities of Living” in one’s inherited cultural, ethnic, and historic space, and, with some defenses for sovereignty, see what can be done with that.
Reject fascism, Hobbes, and nationalism.
Embrace Humanism but know where ye come from — and appreciate it.
I don’t think the answer for nations is to retreat to the 19th Century – or early mid-20th — and their parochialism and wars but rather to grow together into the 21st Century, and, as soon as the collective American and global “We” clear out the idiots with the bad habits of the past convincing themselves that they are the future — they’re not — then we’ll take a great step forward but not without some issues as we do.
I’ve come across two development projects from seemingly unlikely spaces that may have more to say about the future than any present popularized political condition or stance.
Taking place in the Palestinian Territories today: Rawabi, a $1.4 billion Planned City in the West Bank.
Today, most of the businesses operating in Rawabi are owned by or invested in by Masri. The main company is Asal Technologies, a software development company that outsources developers. It includes Microsoft, Intel, and Israeli tech giant Mellanox among its clients.
There may be lip service involved as regards The Preoccupation With The Jews — I hope that’s all it will be for now — but you are welcome to suggest to BackChannels what the development of Rawabi will do to the so-called (once Soviet-propelled) “Middle East Conflict”. Intel, Mellanox, and Microsoft, as modern corporations and as Asal Technologies clients, have probably little patience for either the promoting or sustaining of anti-Semitic animus.
NEOM is a bold and audacious dream. It is a vision of what a New Future might look like (in fact, NEOM means, “new future”). It’s an attempt to do something that’s never been done before and it comes at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions. NEOM is being built on the Red Sea in northwest Saudi Arabia as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship and innovation will chart the course for this New Future. NEOM will be a destination, a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living, working and prospering.
NEOM will include towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. It will be the home and workplace for more than a million citizens from around the world.
Complexity in all endeavors — and practically by definition — requires greater cooperation, coordination, integration, and stability between all of the elements involved, and with these ginormous projects, whether Rawabi in a future Palestine or Neom in The Kingdom, investors will not want to lose their money or see their projects ruined by essentially emotional and narcissistic outbursts certain to lead to their destruction.
What we often call “news” and read for the flash and the fire belies this other reality quietly developing behind the rancor and smoke. Have a look at it because what we have been calling “reality” — the whole miserable stew of injuries, jealousies, and resentments — will fade as this other reality becomes more and more apparent.
From Dubai With Ambition
So it’s not a White Man’s World.
It’s a White (Aussie) Woman’s World!
It has just been illustrated that way – and for some (with perhaps that Aussie-German-Nordic-UAE thing goin’ on — and that’s for those who might wish to think that way), that bit of pride may count for everything, but blood is 99 percent the same the world over (and intermarriage in a small pool invites illnesses).
The world’s wealthiest person of African descent (according to Wikipedia): Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO, Dangote Group. Have a look (Wikipedia also has a list of “Black Billionaires“). Now, for the sake of argument — i.e., supporting Yale’s overhaul of an art history survey course — let’s have a glance at the smallest nibble of Nigerian art history and contemporary art —
Yale’s Art Deparment would seem to have its work cut out for it, for there’s a whole world of art due for another look and appreciation.
Whose art should be left out of an art history survey?
The people of which color, culture, ethnic background, language community, or income level should be denied both access and presence in relation to all of the regions of information considered of public value?
In the development of new dreams, solutions to challenges confronting our species (and our planet), and technologies, which portions of the world should not be included in the fashioning of the good things to come in the Next World being born out of the present?
There are many evil answers to such questions, but there is only one good one to be applied to all of them: leave out no one.
The proverbial “boat” is Earth herself.
Best advice: stay.
WE are already living together, and if we pull together, we can and will do better.