I hate Edward Snowden

I’ll say it again, I hate Edward Snowden.  His whistleblowing has ruined my fantasies of leading the hidden, covert life of a doublecrossing secret agent.  I wish him a miserable existence as a man without a country, forever on the run from haters like me, worse off than Salman Rushdie with a bounty on his head.

It’s from me it’s for you. It’s from you, it’s for me. It’s a worldwide symphony

The U.S. president stood at the podium and looked at the camera.

“Earlier today I authorised a large-scale mobilisation of our naval and air forces to converge on Syria.

“I have not made this decision lightly.  In fact, I consulted with historians as well as your elected representatives on both sides of the aisle.

“Based on the advice I graciously received, I instructed our armed forces to take the following action.

“One, we have a brotherly and sisterly love for the Syrian people.  Our first order of business is to flood the cities and neighbourhoods of Syria with leaflets warning of our plans we are declaring in full disclosure to every country that wants to interfere with our humanitarian mission to prevent more senseless bloodshed, offering a peaceful solution backed by our military might to restore order.

“Two, a massive airlift is now underway.  We will soon drop air cargo loads filled with blocks of pure, nutritious American cheese from our country’s heartland to feed the Syrian people in dire need of real food.

“Three, to address the rumours of starvation driven by despair and depression and to prevent any chance of malaria or other tropical disease, we will spray the people of Syria and their beloved geography with a special formulated mix of pest-deterring organic cannabinoids and low-concentration psilocybin, which I have been assured by both scientific and medical experts will restore the appetites and happiness of war-weary inhabitants of the City of Jasmine and other metropolitan areas ravaged by over two years of civil war.

“Four, we will offer a trade-in program for citizens on all sides of the Syrian conflict.  Every gun, tank, missile, ammunition or other weapon not authorised for the strict use of American military to protect global citizens in Syria is eligible for this program.  If you turn in a weapon, we will provide you with enough food and clothing to last you a year.  In addition, we will send you to a nearby training centre to provide you the trade skills and business acumen to start your own business to compete in the world economy.

“My fifth and final announcement on this important issue.  We ask not only the Syrians but all the people of the Middle East to open their stores and shops to people of any race, creed, national origin, political or religious difference.  If you do so, your family will prosper.  At the end of the day, isn’t that what we want for ourselves and our children?

“That’s all that the United States of America is trying to do here, provide Syrians with a peaceful path toward prosperity, cementing a healthy relationship with the rest of the world.  No other country can offer or is offering you such a solution.

“My administration will keep our phones and doors open for Syrians.  Talk to us after you read our leaflets.

Thank you.  No questions.”

The president walked off the platform and turned to his closest advisor.  “Okay, now that that’s over, do you have the latest update on Tiger’s golf score?”

Hold your hand up if you think Syrians are human beings, too…

…anyone?  Scared of losing important fuel sources from Russia come wintertime, are you, EU members and your neighbours?

That’s what I thought.

When it gets down to it, Damascus be damned, gassed, burned and bombed by its own people.

And you wonder why the concept of individual countries is another one of those quaint ideas we futurists laugh about?

Ancient roadbeds

A colleague once observed, “Never put a clown with nothing to lose and nothing to gain in charge of the planet.  Society will quickly descend into comedic chaos.”

Speaking of which, a friend on Facebook said, “Did you hear one of the Boston bombing victims was five feet away from the bomb?  One of them was hers.  That’s why we should convert to metric.”

Another said, “The Boston bombing is just more proof that the combination of rap music and government welfare is a ‘gateway drug’ to violence.”

And another, “When Grandma pulls out her pressure cooker to make jam this fall, I’m gonna say, ‘Grandma, your jam is the bomb,’ just to see her reaction.”

Yet more, “Mercedes-Benz — Proud to present two high-lights.  One: made for police-hating, gang-raping rap stars.  Two: great protection for terrorists on the run.”

= = = = =

Whew!  These jokes and comments always follow major news headlines.

= = = = =

Now, back to serious pursuit of planetary exploration and settlement, where we decide whether to take seriously North Korea’s threat to launch missiles; the claim that Syria has used chemical weapons; the assertion that U.S. states will use Dept of Homeland Security funds to target abortion clinics and “morning after” pill providers as domestic terrorists; and if anyone cares about government abuses in Africa.

Congratulations or condemnation?

Tools are also weapons.

Just like rockets.

I first send my congratulations to the engineering/scientific team that designed, built and launched a multistage rocket from North Korea.

It is no easy feat, despite more and more groups launching hobby rockets from their backyards.

I have launched more than one multistage rocket but putting Estes model rocket tubes back to back is not the same as launching a satellite into low-Earth orbit.

We have come a long way from fireworks displays.

We certainly don’t need another atomic bomb dropped on a large population of humans.

Scud missiles are never a good idea as a weapon against the desire for freedom from tyranny.

Dare we go into the political ramifications of a hereditary dictatorship owning multistage missiles with nuclear warheads?

Can we feel the pulse of the finger on the trigger?

Why is China happy with having North Korea as a buffer zone between it and the capitalist/democratic country of South Korea?

Why are we using sanctions as a means of keeping North Korea in the socioeconomic past?

If Syria falls, what does that mean about relationships of North Korea and Iran with the rest of the world?

When Chavez is no longer in control of Venezuela, then what?

What is a repressive regime these days?

Who in charge of the economic and military might of a subculture has the right to protect that might against the desire of others to take their turn as King of the Hill?

How much can we trust an entertainer like PSY that previous anti-American views are no longer valid now that the entertainer is making money off the American people as a mainstream pop culture figure?

What does it take to forgive and forget?

My father hated Jane Fonda to the end of his life.  Should I?

Ticks and Tufts

To act the part of one who is insane, one can get to know the insane.

But what is insanity?

Have you ever visited an insane asylum?

What is the absence or opposite of insanity?

Two recent events have bummed me out — the loss of the political party of my parents in national elections and the recent spy movie called “Skyfall.”

Both imply that the generation which raised me has passed the torch to a generation that has been labeled the “Me” Generation and the Baby Boomers, allegedly including myself.

The next generation, as exemplified by a recent restaurant server of ours who reminded us of the character Mr. Humphries in “Are You Being Served?” and knows neither Benny Hill nor “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” will have to decide for itself what of my generation is worth perpetuating.

For them, a “war” on foreign soil must seem normal, having experienced sensational news headlines about the continuing war on terror in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc.

For some of them, the phrase “7/7” or “9/11” will seem as old-fashioned as “Remember the Alamo,” or “December 7th, 1941…a date which will live in infamy.”

The old wars of military might have not completely faded away but new wars — cyber, financial, cultural — pick up the pace.

With Stephen Covey dead and gone, will anyone in the new generation know what a win-win situation is?

What about insanity?

How much of any one generation (generation being a label, of course, that generalises, not always accurately) is insane and is carried on by the next one?

Questions up for debate

We can imagine the U.S. presidential debates to contain questions like these:

  • Do you consider the sense of global cooperation higher or lower than when you took office four years ago?  Examples: Middle Eastern countries considering formation of their own Internet after U.S. insult of historical religious figure; China/Japan/Taiwan tension; European economic/political unrest; a war in Syria that threatens peace in Turkey, one of our friends; al Qaeda still strong enough to surprise a consulate and kill our own…
  • You say you are for the people.  Which people?  For instance, were Wall Street banker bonuses smaller or larger after the bailout?  Who has benefited the most during your term in office?  Hasn’t it been the very same people you blame Bush for the recession?  What has fundamentally changed?
  • Reagan didn’t blame the economy on Jimmy Carter four years later.  Why do you keep blaming your predecessor four years later?  Doesn’t that mean you admit you don’t have the power base to make the fundamental changes this country needs other than plugging a few holes in a dam that’s still losing a lot of water on your watch four years later?
  • How many more Solyndras do we need until we can see your administration’s track record on picking winners is no better than throwing darts in the dark?
  • I am financially independent enough that I can make my own decisions.  You are a pure politician who has not united our government, let alone the real world.  Which one of us has the real global power to make the U.S. economically strong again?
  • They say you’re a quick thinker.  Okay, try this.  A preacher, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar.  Finish the joke, making sure a Buddhist priest says the punchline…

Having politicians to play with is like herding cats — open a can of food and watch ’em come running to eat, despite whatever else they thought they were doing that was important enough to pretend to ignore you.

When Sleight-of-Hand Gets Out-of-Hand Hands-Down

What’s the point of having a mercenary army at your fingertips if you can’t use it to achieve your goals?

Me, I’ve been here before so it’s time to remove myself from current events, letting people figure out how many ways the Iranian government, along with other partners, uses smoke and mirrors to achieve longterm goals.

Ever wondered why some people who call themselves white find a way to lament that their ideas and history would be so strong that, like a rare earth magnet, they attract people of all colours, shapes and sizes to want to experience/share/carry on the ideas and history, too?

Do they not see that the best way to prevent a worldwide war is to mix people together into a homogenous whole, where no one area on Earth has the exclusive right to foment war on behalf of out-of-date ideology?

In the meantime, any government in transition has a weak spot — it’s up to the dragon slayers to find the spot and act.

Are you willing to attack an indigenous mob and face further negative connotations/consequences in global mass media coverage?

When is a drone a liability rather than an asset?

How does a world police force maintain order when the crowd is mentally and physically armed against the force of police?

Which is the most violent ideology — Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Pantheism, Agnosticism, Non/Atheism, Capitalism, Confucianism, Communism, futbol, chess, disc golf or quilting?

Which is least violent?

Remember the three tenets of the new slogan in this blog: “Business. Science. Competition.”

And now, finally, after months…no, YEARS of waiting to reveal the next step, the natural progression, of the direction of this blog, let us move behind the curtain and see what’s really going on in the parallel universe where these symbols have no meaning.

The Illusion of Power

You fans of “The Art of War” know where part of this storyline is going, don’t you?

Yeah, I thought so.

That’s why I was going to label this blog entry “The War to End All Wars” but I knew you already had it figured out.

You see, some of my male friends think that giving women power makes us weaker overall, citing the decline of companies like HP and the weakening of the U.S. in the eyes of Islamic countries that have no respect for Hillary Clinton.

Well, there’s only one way to show them if their theory is correct.

Put Clinton to the test.

In other words, is she or is she not a puppet of the Saudis, the Israelis, the Chinese, the Indians and/or the Russians?

Or simply a corporate spokesperson?

Is she her own woman?

Can she stand up to a world turning against the U.S., which is quickly becoming an ignorant banana republic?

If not…?

Well, my male friends are only partially right to begin with because there are plenty of examples of women who’ve been successful, including the Australian (Gillard) and UK (Thatcher) PMs in politics (whether Rousseff, the president of Brazil, will be successful remains to be seen), not to forget others around the world like Indira Gandhi of India.

Meanwhile, the male-dominated societies in Muslim countries will be watching closely to see if the U.S. Secretary of State is for or against them and, thus, whether they should spread the word to their American colleagues in the U.S. to vote for Romney, who understands the needs of real men.

In a conversation with my group of diverse friends…

Finally, some real entertainment news for the U.S. election season to wake me up from the doldrums!  I knew my friends would produce stupendous headlines to keep me from nodding off into the morning bowl of oatmeal, drool running from mouth down the sides of the tablet PC scrolling international news because the tickle of my chin hairs felt like a finger swipe as I snored.

I spoke to a few sets of friends to get their take on what they’d like to see, the news behind the news…

In Republican-friendly news publications today, a documentary purported to have been recorded while Obama’s father was alive reveals that the ultimate plan of the Obama family was to work covertly with the bin Laden tribe to give Iran the capabilities to build a nuclear bomb, destroying Israel once and for all.

In Arabic-language news publications today, the Islamic leaders who, Allah be praised, believe that no man can purely be of two religions, asked their followers to prove, once and for all, whether Obama should have to demonstrate true loyalty to his professed religion, Christianity, or loyalty to the religion of his father, Islam, Allah be praised.

In science news today, a group of first graders asked President Obama to read a passage of one of his autobiographies to show where, in his youth, he was first inspired to want to put politics ahead of a promising career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The construction industry today announced a new plan to work with the Obama administration to boost business, including support for several legislative acts that reduce government spending to prevent the U.S. from receiving a lowered value from a bogus rating agency by eliminating all environmental, labour and other regulations that slow construction and force businesses to give highly-inflated wages, safe working conditions and allegedly competed contracts for government construction projects but, instead, will include enough bribesgraft…off-the-book fees to fill the government’s coffers without increasing taxes or imposing the need for ethical policies and procedures.

The Society for Creative Anachronisms announced a new category called The Crusades that re-enacts the European kings’ actions to placate their people in honouring popular religious practices such as Catholicism and worship of popular political figures like Obama by staging a series of Muhammadan protests in the old Ottoman Empire, making the U.S. military and its allies perform the role of the Crusaders by defending U.S. interests in north Africa and the Holy Land.

Zionist websites today decried the mistake of electing Obama president of the United States, seeing their worst fears realised as Obama makes a ploy to solidify himself as leader of the Muslims, perhaps even declaring Islam as the only true world religion, indicated in his obvious snub of Netanyahu as a pretext to announce Iran as a nuclear power in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that Israel may or may not have also violated.

Apocalyptic Christians started gathering at a secret commune in preparation for the end of the world as predicted would take place when war broke out in the Middle East, dragging the major world powers into mutual destruction.

The spirit of Carl Sagan sighed today while he waited breathlessly to see if his forecast for a nuclear winter would finally come to pass.

Baseball fans, clueless about world events, placed their bets on which teams would take the final wildcard positions before the regular season ended, a few wondering if Obama had a favourite team in America’s game.

Apple fanboys the world over sliced and diced the news about the latest cookie cutter phone labeled the iPhone 5, praising and condemning the new phone’s hardware specs at the same time that news about political uprisings and Obama’s responses/rebuttals scrolled by on their screens during Internet throughput tests.

Film producers announced the formation of a corporation to start preproduction on a movie titled “Trading Places 2,” where Eddie Murphy, now a retired multimillionaire, is conned into trading places with an out-of-work scientist who has a Nobel Prize in Physics, which the producers hope will inspire the next generation of kids to forgo a career in business for a STEM career much like the original “Trading Places” inspired kids to trade a life of street crime for a life of Wall Street crime, leading to the Great Depression by logical extension.