Friday, January 13, 2017

Racism and Other Evils



 Since the presidential election, I have come to a point of mental rest and clarity: I am now convinced that the great division in our country today is simply between Good and Evil. After you weed out all the chaff and the noise, all the accidental aspects of specific issues, there remains one clear and simple fact: On one side are hatred, rage, racism, chauvinism selfishness, greed, violence, xenophobia, deliberate lies, deception and ignorance. On the other side are hope, compassion, acceptance, courage and goodwill. By and large, those who elected Donald Trump are on the bad side, and - yes, I’ll simply call a spade a spade - liberals are forever the good guys.

Flawed as we all may be, the political Right is immeasurably more evil than liberals are. The latter may often be incompetent, lazy, they may compromise their ethics and run for cover. Read more...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Petals

By Madeleine Kando

‘I don’t think I am drinking enough these days,’ said the rose petal to no one in particular. ‘I feel a bit dehydrated and it’s not good for my complexion.’ She looked at the petal over on her right with slight envy, noticing a marked difference in tone.

A ladybug, who was lazily crawling up the side of the rosebush overheard. ‘Don’t worry about it. Drinking is overrated, a fad if you ask me,’ he said.

‘It’s easy for you to say,’ the petal said, ‘you have legs but I am stuck here perched on a rosebush. Why they had to plant us in the sunniest spot in the garden is beyond me. Have they no compassion?’

The petal sighed which caused her to droop a little more. The brighter colored petal on her left looked at her with some disdain and said: ‘You haven’t used the treatment I recommended. Dew drops should be applied daily from left to right.’ She twisted a little to show off how rosy she still looked and started to hum with satisfaction. Read more...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gender: Is it a Thing of the Past?

By Madeleine Kando

My grandson's name is Marshall. A big name for a little 4 year old. His long curly hair is the color of pure gold; the shiniest, softest curls cover his sweet little face. His eyes are blue, with a twinkle of mischief when he is happy, a dark stare that makes you shiver inside, when he is not.

He is my little man and I am head over heels. I never had a little man of my own, so this is a free-bee for me. He has entered my golden years and I feel like I won the lottery.

Because of his long blond hair, people in the street exclaim what a cute little girl he is. It's the privilege of young children to not be pinned down yet by their sex. We treat them with affection not yet tainted with judgment. They are not yet saddled with the burden of gender identity and we treat them the way we respond to pets, without any expectations or prejudice. He has long hair? So what if he is a boy? Read more...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Hillary Clinton Campaign did Everything Right



The Hillary Clinton campaign did NOTHING wrong. As usual, the pundits and the media are wrong. Ever since Trump’s victory, it’s been nothing but Monday morning quarter backing. On December 26, it was David Axelrod interviewing Obama. They agreed that if Obama had been the Democratic candidate, he would have won. Since the November 8 disaster, the media have been saying - nearly unanimously - that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party botched it. Hillary and her Party didn’t listen sufficiently to the plight of struggling working-class white guys, they were too cautious, they were too much into identity politics, they were counting their chickens prematurely, etc.

What is so shameless about these so-called “experts” - and I mean pundits such as the York Times’ David Brooks, anchor people like CNN’s Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper, “analysts” such as liberals David Axelrod and David Gergen, and conservative Charles Krauthammer - is that WITHIN HOURS of the election result, they made a 180-degree about face: Read more...

Friday, December 23, 2016

Will there ever be Peace between Israel and Palestine?



My book club just discussed Susan Abulhawa’s book Mornings in Jenin (2006). I found it  gripping and convincing.

Jenin is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. It is also the site of a major refugee camp, and it suffered a brutal war in 2002.

It is important for people like me to read such a book: I have much sympathy for Israel and I am therefore not sufficiently attuned to the plight of the Palestinians. This book is a reminder of that people’s tragic circumstance over the past seventy years.

History:
The narrative begins in 1947, when the UN approved the partition of Palestine. This led immediately to conflict between Jews and Palestinians. The conflict escalated the following year, when Israel declared its independence, was attacked by, and waged war against the surrounding Arab states. Read more...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Benefits of Doubting

By Madeleine Kando

Doubt has gotten a bad rap over the course of human history. It has become the whipping boy in the arsenal of our emotions. I am not sure why, because doubt has a lot going for it. In a fair fight, it would win over certainty any time. After all, it has to fight on two fronts in an argument. Like an immigrant worker, it toils away; doing the dirty work that certainty feels too superior to take on.

Here comes certainty strolling down the street, briefcase in hand, stuffed with opinions whose ink is barely dry, immune to all the ugly stares from opposing views, so full of itself, so overconfident. That’s what I hate about it, it’s just too damn sure of itself.

In fact, certainty has caused so much suffering in the world, that anyone with an iota of common sense, should avoid it like the plague. It’s like the bully in the schoolyard, justifying all manner of abuse in its name. Religious fanaticism, Nationalism, Terrorism, they all hysterically wave their respective flag emblazoned with these dreadful words ‘We are certain of our cause’.

Some people will argue that the advise of philosophers like Descartes who tell us to ‘doubt everything’, negates itself, since we should also doubt that advise. Actually, the only thing you cannot doubt is doubting, since that would still make you a doubt. Read more...

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hillary: I Told you So!



Nearly two years ago I published the present article. At that time, it was titled: “The Persecution of Hillary Clinton” The gist of it was that Clinton should not run for the presidency, because she would only get hurt badly and there would be no gain in it for her.

Once again, I have been proven prescient. Of course, I could not have predicted the specific mechanisms of her defeat - for example the last-minute Comey letters, Russia’s role, etc. I did note the widespread use of lies and the fabrication of pseudo-issues by her enemies (Benghazi, the private server, the Clinton Foundation, etc.). I’ll admit that the rise of Trump, Trumpism, the post-truth society, fake news and the astounding advent of pure and unvarnished LYING as the new ACCEPTED norm in political discourse has exceeded my wildest imagination. Even so, I did have a sense of the direction which things were taking and, sorry to say, I have been vindicated. That is why I am (partially) republishing this two-year old article:

For Hillary Clinton, all hell has broken loose. Anyone with half a brain could predict that sooner or later, they were going to start her destruction. The only question was the choice of alleged “crime(s).” Read more...