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Martin Eden

Martin Eden's Journal
Martin Eden's Journal
October 29, 2023

Changing the Trajectory of the Arrow in Flight

The arrow may begin its flight well and true, but it flies through a world of good and evil and many things in between.

How can the trajectory of a child's life not be affected by the indescribable hardships of war and the emotional trauma of seeing loved ones grotesquely killed by death from the sky or enemies at the gate?

"we tend to recognize those who kill babies and little children as extremely repulsive beings" -- but every one of those beings was once an innocent child.

Should not the efforts and resources of a civilized society be devoted to guide those trajectories towards a better future for every child regardless of their race, creed, or national origin?

October 29, 2023

"We look to our Palestinian relatives who, like us, continue to demonstrate the power of resistance against colonialism"

That sounds an awful lot like an endorsement of the recent atrocities committed by Hamas.

Before citing the arguably much worse litany of atrocities committed against Native Americans or the atrocities committed by the State of Israel, I will argue that an unequivocal statement regarding Hamas is needed:
1. Hamas was justified in what they did, a legitimate course of action given the Palestinians' plight.
2. Nothing justifies the deliberate targeting and slaughter of civilians including women and children.

I underlined targeting because that is the most contentious aspect to the current unfolding tragedy.

Israel can claim, with some truth, they are targeting Hamas and its capabilities to commit more atrocities against Israeli civilians. However, I think it's fair to say they do so knowing full well that thousands of Palestinian civilians including women and children will be killed. Calling them "human shields" does not change this knowing slaughter.

All the arguments placing more blame on one side or the other with or without historical context since the founding of Israel and the many centuries before that do not bring us one step closer to ending the horrible tragedy unfolding on the world stage. There is no easy solution, and any specific proposal for peace will be met with a multitude of arguments why it wouldn't work and/or would be terribly unjust to one or both sides.

I do not have the expertise to come up with a solution, and I'm fairly certian the experts don't either. Nevertheless, the focus of the world very much needs to be on a peaceful solution that will endure.

Perhaps we can start with an unequivocable rejection of deliberately slaughtering civilians.

October 27, 2023

Antonio's aside to Bassanio can be applied to a number of modern day charlatans

The most prominent being the one who is

not just the most irreligious president in modern history. His entire worldview makes a mockery of core Christian values like humility and empathy and care for the poor.

The quote above is from the article linked below:
Half of evangelicals believe Trump is anointed by God

The article is based on an interview with Reza Aslan (a convert to Evangelical Christianity) and a number of surveys which add some nuance to the title of the article.

Very few things are entirely black & white and we should avoid painting with too broad a brush, but generalities can be necessary to explain macro trends which seriously impact our society. I would argue the near cultish attachment to Donald Trump -- a pathological liar, malignant narcissist, and very likely a criminal -- by "conservative" evangelicals poses a serious threat to American democracy and to the environment which is the subject of this thread.

On a personal basis these can by very nice people who donate to worthy charities and obviously love their children, but they vote in great numbers for politicians and policies which are terribly destructive to life on Earth and contradict the core teachings of Jesus Christ.

I'm agnostic while my wife is a practicing Christian. Religious faith is a very personal thing. Religious freedom is the freedom to practice one's own beliefs -- not to impose them on others. America's foundational separation of church and state is the greatest guarantor of freedom for all faiths or lack thereof. The "Christian Nationalist" movement gaining steam in the Republican Party is in my view un-American and fueled in no small part by the strain of xenophobia which has always been an undercurrent in this country.

I think Trump's popularity touched upon that undercurrent. He validated some of the worst impulses and prejudice which had became less acceptable as minorities (racial, gender, religious) formerly discriminated against gained more equal rights. He expressed their resentments, triggered their fears, broke norms with an in-your-face braggadocio, and they love him for it. From there it was a small step to believe he was anointed by God to save their America from all the perceived threats to their way of life.

Everyone is of course free to believe what they want, but we have a real problem when those beliefs endanger civil rights and the long term environmental health of this planet upon which we depend for life itself.
October 25, 2023

The vast majority of Republican voters don't believe their children are doomed

Because they believe the propaganda put out by the climate change deniers. Also there's a strong belief on the religious right that the End Times are coming soon, so Earth's environment doesn't much matter at this point.

As for the politicians funded by the fossil fuel industry, there's an old adage that you can't get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on him not understanding it. They want their office, their fame, and their fortune.

Human beings have an amazing though sometimes deplorable capacity to rationalize, compartmentalize, and hold contradictory beliefs at the same time. Short term rewards often take precedence over future consequences they conveniently convince themselves might not come to pass.

All you need to do is observe the rhetoric and the actions of the politicians and rightwing media figures who continue to dispute manmade climate change and government policies to combat it.

Are they all as ignorant as Tommy Tuberville? Most of them have enough brains to know that catastrophic climate change is very likely to have terrible conequences for their children and grandchildren, yet they oppose measures to diminish the severity of those consequences.


October 23, 2023

My takeaway from this:

TFG still has a firm grip on GOP voters -- which says more about those voters than it does about any of the candidates, TFG included.

It boggles my mind that any mature adult can listen to the orange creature speak for more than a few minutes and actually want this bloviating ignoramus to be President of the United States.

Even before the two impeachments, attempted coup, and four criminal indictments with more than ninety felony counts, it should have been glaringly obvious he is a malignant narcissist and a pathological liar with no moral compass other than feeding his insatiable ego, greed, and base desires.

I feel like we're living among pod people who've been taken over by spores from outer space -- or from a recessive gene from within that severely impairs judgement.

October 22, 2023

Strategically, the Rule of Law MUST be upheld

If our nation's laws are NOT enforced based on a calculation that bad actors might gain some temporary advantage by playing martyrs and riling up their base, they will have gained a tool for continually pushing the envelope of criminality without consequences.

When a judge feels compelled to issue a gag order to protect the integrity of the case and the defendant flagrantly violates that order, CONSEQUENCES must follow.

In THIS case especially, because the long term strategy of THIS defendant and the movement he leads is to undermine the rule of law and the instutions which are essential to preserve our republic -- if we can keep it.

July 1, 2023

Did Jesus rail against homosexuality and abortion?

I thought he was more about helping the poor and the sick, welcoming the stranger, and AGAINST the money changers in the temple.

I'm agonistic and accepting of personal religious beliefs, but it my view these rightwingers who call themselves Christians are using religion as a false flag of morality to justify their bigotry and greed.

Today's Republican Party, first and foremost, serves Mammon. They purport to be the champions of God and country, and have been very successful in deceiving tens of millions of gullible voters.

But actions speak louder than words. Those who hold sincere beliefs can nevertheless be duped into acting against the highest principles they claim to revere. In this era of Trumpism, that is painfully obvious.

Does the "conservative" SCOTUS majority sincerely believe they are serving both God and American ideals? If so, they and others like them who pull the levers of power are the most dangerous enemies we face.

July 1, 2023

I feel the same way, Nance

In the wake of 9/11, I too displayed flag symbols in the all too brief spirit of national unity. Then GW Bush and the neocons rode that wave and a systematic campaign of misinformation to launch their predetermined war of choice in Iraq. That's when I joined DU, a great source of information exposing those lies and the PNAC agenda ignored by the mainstream media. I remember all the flags displayed in my neighborhood in support of that war, and the conflicting emotions I felt seeing that proud symbol associated with something I passionately protested against.

But that was nothing compared to this era of Trumpism. Now my beloved American flag is most ostentatiously displayed by the MAGA hordes, sometimes alongside confederate and nazi flags. When their cult leader hugs the Stars & Stripes, I feel our flag is being assaulted like one of his female victims. When I see a pickup truck driving down the street proudly flying the flag I feel nothing but revulsion, knowing the driver supports the most un-American POtuS ever to threaten everything our flag is supposed to represent.

How did it ever come to this?

June 25, 2023

"invasion of ideology intended to destroy us from within"

The malefactors of great wealth who finance the Republican Party have long been crafting a poisonous ideology which cloaks unfettered greed in the American flag and claims the moral high ground by usurping the Christian religion to serve Mammon. Their politicians and pundits are skilled at manipulating the fear, bigotry, and ignorance of voters whose inadequate education and narrow minded culture made them useful idiots.

It was only a matter of time before a foreign adversary like Russia learned how to exploit and widen this rift in American democracy. Putin's asset Donald Trump, despite his ignorance and mental pathologies, boiled the poisonous ideology down to its base elements and beat all the Republican lackey candidates at their own game. This grifting con man spewed a cavalcade of lies his audience was eager to believe. He liberated their inner Deplorable, and they love him for it. The boundaries and norms which the GOP establishment had steadily been pushing rightward were utterly smashed and carried to new extremities which have since become the key to success in Republican primaries.

The American people have not been so bitterly divided since the Civil War. Putin's asset did not create the poisonous ideology, so the "invasion" was initially an inside job, but it provided an opening for the tool of a former KGB agent to further pry apart a divided America into a seemingly irreconcilable chasm.

A house divided against itself cannot long stand. The question is whether an ideology built on a foundation of greed and lies and hatred born of ignorance can survive long enough to tear the house down.

The answer depends on each and every one of us. Complacency is not an option. Voting is mandatory.

June 18, 2023

"Godly principles" and Donald Trump are 100% incompatible

Same goes for Constitutional rule of law and the highest ideals upon which our nation was founded.

George Washington set a vital precedent by rebuffing any suggestion he be made king and by conducting the first peaceful transfer of power.

Donald Trump is the first president in our nation's history to resist the peaceful transfer of power by conspiring to overturn the election and by fomenting a violent assault on our nation's capitol.

He seeks to place himself above the law and above our Constitution. His willful retention of highly classified national security documents belonging to our government and obstruction of attempts to retrieve them are further examples of his utter disregard for laws which protect our nation.

Others have been convicted and imprisoned for less egregious violations of the Espionage Act, a necessary means to keep highly sensitive intel out of the hands of foreign adversaries.

Those who support the former president in his attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power and the return of national security documents are at best misguided fools. Regardless of what they believe, they pose a very real threat to the Constitutional republic founded by true patriots.

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