Wednesday, April 26, 2017

At the crossroads

Nowadays, it is finally becoming apparent to many, both intellectuals and non-intellectuals, that democracy is not all that it is cracked up to be. It is not a guarantee of freedom or equality. And it is anything but a guarantee of economic security. The backlash we are seeing around the Western world... from the UK to the US, from Turkey to France... raises a shrill warning as to what may come if democracy is not replaced with a better political system soon.

Democracy thrives as the political system eminently suited to capitalism. But capitalism has proven itself a boon only to an ever-diminishing, wealthy elite. Progressive people, including humanists, must stop clinging to the fiction that giving everyone the vote (within a relatively liberal scope) is intrinsically healthy. The fact is that most people don't care to vote and might not do so, while most of those who actually do vote are uninterested and ill-suited to make choices for society as a whole.

I've mentioned the solution before, and I'll no doubt say it again. The only way I see to maintain a healthy and united society is PROUT (Progressive Utilization Theory).

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hypocrite-In-Chief

The mind boggles at what the immature and deranged Donald Trump has done. The mind boggles at the possible consequences of his military adventurism.

No humane person would condone the use of chemical weapons against the civilians of one's own country (or any country)... or even against the non-civilians. But who gave the president of the United States the right to invade another "sovereign" nation? Who appointed the United States as a world government and Donald Trump as the world dictator?

Trump has disqualified himself from acting on the world stage as anything but a negotiator for American interests. He openly takes a stand of "America first", so he clearly does not represent anyone other than Americans. So what gives a man who would not let Syrian children enter the USA as refugees the right to send missiles into Syria when those same children suffer from the entirely foreseeable security risks that Trump's own policies tend to exacerbate?

Even if we leave aside the numerous times that Trump has flip-flopped on the question of military action in Syria, he still stands out as utterly unworthy and unqualified to make a decision about anything outside the United States. The thought of this man holding life-and-death powers is truly chilling.

Monday, March 27, 2017

And the answer is...

Though Passover is still more than two weeks away, here in Israel the advertisements for Pesach sales are everywhere; and people are already wishing each other a happy holiday.

Pesach is coming. And Pesach is the holiday wherein all children get to ask the big questions weighing on their mind... like "What makes this holiday so damned important that we can only eat crackers" and "Where the hell is the afikoman". But there's one other question that is so momentous that even children are wary to ask it. And what is that question... the question that is bound to be added to all haggadahs everywhere sometime in the near future? That question is: "What makes a fish gefilte... There are many fish in the sea - or so my parents tell me - but I've never encountered a gefilte fish, so what makes a fish gefilte?"

Unfortunately, the answer is not so funny, but that's par for the course on Pesach. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gefilte_fish.

A happy Spring to you all.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trump's last tweet

Why are they torturing the Donald with three setbacks in just one day?!
  • Strike 2 on his attempted Muslim ban
  • Scoffs by Republicans regarding his allegation of being wiretapped
  • Round rejection of Trumpian populism by the Dutch electorate
Perhaps Donald should swipe a line from Tricky Dicky's last press conference, taking one last, pouty jab at the media: "You won't have Trump to kick around any more, because this will be my last tweet."

Monday, November 14, 2016

And there's a bright side too

Better to have the people who supported Clinton out on the streets demonstrating than the people who supported Trump. This gives hope for the future. And though it's clear that Trump won't carry out even a small fraction of the hate crimes he pledged himself to – he's already walked back most of them – still protesters have every right to oppose his presidency for the words he used to win it. And, hopefully, they have learned how to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the "news" and fan the flames of progressive change.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

President Trump

Those are two words I didn't expect to hear together. I just didn't think that Trump had the numbers to win the election. But then I didn't support Clinton (or any other candidate in this election or the other elections that I recall). All in all, this was a very interesting election that once again demonstrates the weakness of political democracy. The person who won the election lost all three of his debates, making one wonder about the wisdom of the electorate. And now it's quite amusing to hear various commentators and political leaders lauding a system that might better be called 'foolocracy' – and, in particular, the peaceful transition of power – thereby implicitly admitting that they only give lip service to the ethical principles they avow.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Critical mass

The Trump campaign's meltdown now seems to have reached critical mass. Not to suggest that Donald Trump is anything other than a despicable human being... though, like anyone else, he must have some redeeming qualities... at this stage, just about any woman who may have met the man could start to have memories of Trump molesting her. That is not to suggest that those memories are not real or even that Trump did not do what is remembered. But memories are not always trustworthy. Indeed, they are often no more trustworthy than Trump (or Clinton). The problem for the Trump campaign is that these allegations tend to be substantiated by Trump's own undeniable, recorded words. So there is really nothing at all that Trump can say that will alter people's readiness to believe the worst about him. And that, in my opinion, is why Trump stands no chance of winning the election. Indeed, even his business interests may end up suffering. Arguments that Trump has not been running for office as pope but rather as president are simply idiotic. Both popes and presidents are role models who also have considerable executive authority. As such, both are expected to embody at least a minimal degree of human decency.