The “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” Pledge Campaign

The Power Jill SteinVast numbers of voters are frustrated and angry!  It’s come down to Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump?  Can this be happening?  These are the two most unpopular candidates in the history of presidential elections!

Of course . . . there is an excellent alternative.  But understandably voters are afraid of “throwing their vote away”.

Here’s the solution:  We join together in a person-to-person pledge campaign, the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” initiative, supporting the presidential bid of Dr. Jill Stein.  And together we’ll elect the first female President of the United States, one who will do a phenomenal job of putting America back on track.  Here’s how . . .

Vote 4 Jill Pledge

Step 1:   After you take the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” personal pledge, just let us know by officially signing the petition at one of the sites listed below.  (The petition reads exactly as the pledge does.  We are “petitioning” every registered voter in America to join with us in rejecting the anti-democratic charade the two-party system has become.)

Step 2:   You find two other people who you respect and trust — friend, neighbor, relative — let them know about Jill Stein if they don’t already, get them to take the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” pledge, and make sure they let us know, just as you did, by going to one of the listed sites below to sign the petition.

Step 3:   These two people likewise will each solicit two others to take the pledge and add their names to the growing list of pledge takers.  The new ones will each find two more.

Step 4:   When and only when we reach our target of 50 million pledges, we will vote for Jill Stein.  Why 50 million?  Because 50 million voters will guarantee a victory by plurality for Jill, thus we will all know with absolute certainty we’re not throwing our votes away, that indeed our votes will go toward electing a great president!

50 million may seem like an impossible goal.  But it’s all in the math.  If one person tells two about this tomorrow, then the following day those two each tell two more, and so on and so on, how many days does it take to get to 50 million?

The answer might surprise you.  2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 . . . believe it or not, in ONLY 27 DAYS, we’ll have 67,108,864 pledges!  (Go here for a full explanation.)

It’s the power of numbers!

It’s the power of people!

It’s the power of joining together and declaring:  NO MORE LESSER EVIL VOTING!

Remember, there’s nothing at risk here.  We honor the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” pledge only if we get to our goal.

On the other hand, there’s an awful lot at stake . . . a better America for ourselves and our children!

It’s up to you.

Take the pledge.  Let us know by signing at one of the petition sites.  Then have two others take the pledge.  Make sure they go to the petition sites as well.  Here are the sites:

Sign at . . . MoveOn.org

Sign at . . . Change.org

Sign at . . . RootsAction.org

Or sign at . . . iPetitions.com

Sorry, Hillary and Donald.  The people will have spoken.

We intend to celebrate Dr. Jill Stein as the 45th President of the United States!

Posted in Banking, Climate Change, Corporatism, Democracy, Economics, Environment, Health Care, Political Analysis, Technology, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwing My Vote Away?

I'm With Jill Stein

The presidential election of 2016 — if you only consider the presumptive nominees of the two major political parties — is like choosing between being brutally beaten to death by a street gang and mercilessly Tasered to death by the police.

It’s a masochists game.  But I’ve never viewed voting as a game, no matter how minor the stakes or ridiculous the choices.

Maybe in the past, having a lower tolerance for deception and corruption, I’ve mirrored Ralph Nader’s decades-long warnings about and battle against the corporatization of our society and the tyranny of an oligarchic elite which would inevitably result.

Perhaps until now, this appeared to be driven by a heady, theoretical, ivory-tower world view, an approach distanced from day-to-day realities.

Perhaps such abstractions seemed frivolous or self-indulgent, even dangerous.  Need we revisit the spurious judgment that voting for Nader threw the election and set the stage for eight years of George W. Bush?

Perhaps all of my histrionics about the disappearance of democracy, the corruption of our Congress, the takeover of our government apparatus by self-appointed autocrats, the need for replacing at bare minimum 450 senators and congressmen, my railing at the duplicity of Obama, my warnings about the subversion of his allegedly “progressive” leadership, yes all of this may have been dismissed as hyperventilation and raving lunacy.

But with the treachery and abysmal hypocrisy of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president this past week, it couldn’t be clearer where things stand.

Nor could it be more evident how broken our two-party political system is or what a trap lesser-evil voting has been all along.

Don’t anyone dare tell me that by not voting for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton or presumptive nominee Donald Trump, I am throwing my vote away!

Voting for either of these privileged-class monsters is the definition of throwing away my vote, of surrendering my right of choice, of rendering voting a meaningless exercise.

Posted in Corporatism, Democracy, Political Analysis, Political Rant | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Hands-Down Ultimate Super-Bowl of Showdowns!

Avengers Captain AmericaHey, fight fans.

Here it is! 

The one you’ve been waiting for.

It’s going to be the battle of the ages!

Nothing like this has ever occurred in the history of the world.

Yes, folks . . . it’s a showdown that will reverberate till the end of time!

No, they’ll never stop talking about this head-to-head clash of the greatest titans EVER!

Are you ready to rumble?!! 

Have you got your seat belts fastened?

Are you wearing your rubber diapers?

In this corner, coming off two decades of undefeated combat with environmentalists and eco-scientists, teary-eyed tree huggers, Al Gore, and other addled acolytes of Gaia . . .

CLIMATE CHANGE!

And its opponent, veteran of decades of terror struck into the hearts of citizens across the globe, a warrior whose very name evokes visions of untold horror and suffering . . .

NUCLEAR WAR!

Which one will exit the battle triumphant, its opponent curled up in a fetal ball, savaged, humiliated, beaten by the overwhelming power and pitiless cunning of brutal competition?

Remember . . . This is a fight to the finish!

ChaosWhat’s at stake?  Ha!  This is not some girlie-boy contest, a phony reality show, another froofy sport like hot-oil wading pool arm wrestling, three-legged gymnastics team dancing, or naked Ken and Barbie ping pong.

This is serious business, lades and gentlemen!  As in . . . DEAD SERIOUS!

Only one of these ferocious fighters will lay claim to the ULTIMATE TITLE, and be able to say with the blood lust pride of a true warrior, a barbarian who embraces no moderation, a heartless amoral killer who knows no rules, feels no compassion, and has no conscience: 

“It was I who destroyed the human race!”

Will it be Climate Change turning the Earth into an uninhabitable pile of dust, dead fields of dried withered stalks, rotting corpses, extinct species, desiccating trees and shrubs — a barren wasteland where cockroaches frantically skitter looking for something to eat?

Or will it be Nuclear War turning the Earth into a radioactive pile of dust, dead fields of dried withered stalks, rotting corpses, extinct species, desiccating trees and shrubs — a barren wasteland where cockroaches frantically skitter looking for something to eat?

OH YEAH, BABY!  This is going to be truly awesome!

So stay tuned, folks.  Watch this battle AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!

And remember.  You can only get it here, exclusively on . . .

The Apocalypse Channel!

Apocalyptic Ending

Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Nihilism, Satire, Social Commentary, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“P. S. I Love You!”

P = Plunder

S = Steal

And yes, the insatiable moguls of the big banks and ravenous Oberführers of the multinational corporations love it!

We’re talking about people who don’t live and think like most of us.  For these folks, ‘more’ is never a question.  It’s an answer!  The only answer.

When the economy crashed in 2008, largely the result of an orgy of speculation and gross distortion of the investment market by the greed of these banksters and corporate hustlers, they were more than happy to line up to plunder the Federal Reserve to the tune of $16 trillion dollars.  Why not?  Money was like manna falling from the heavens into the accounts of major banks all over the world, so that their addiction to casino capitalism could continue without a pause and set us up for the next catastrophic meltdown.

Besides outright theft of fiat money in the form of capitalization subsidies, at another level the plunder takes the form of a lot of acronyms — NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, TTIP, TISA — and the gutting of any regulatory oversight.  These so-called “free trade” deals just lubricate the wheels for transferring the wealth and political control from the vast majority of citizens — the ones who actually work a living, producing things of practical value, products which are markedly more substantial and less diabolical than debt leveraging, collateralization, privatization, and monetization — to the already ultra-wealthy, ultra-powerful elite.

What will they come up with next?

Corporate greed and plutocratic avarice apparently knows no limits.  As if exporting our jobs to sweat shops in China and Bangladesh putting millions of American workers on the streets; gutting our manufacturing base by shuttering 50,000 factories; pursuing hostile takeovers to gain market share and even monopoly control; promoting predatory lending and liars loans to ravage families and small businesses; destroying unions and driving wages down to the point that a person can’t survive any longer working a 40-hour work week; yes, as if abusing the enormous resources and financial power of corporations and their brothers in crime, the Wall Street banks, to relegate the average individual during the long working years of his or her life to the status of a serf weren’t enough, now the rich are coming after the elderly.  Giving 45 years of your life to serving the “man” no longer means you are allowed to live a decent, comfortable life in your retirement years.  These criminals are now after employee pension funds.  And because any big pile of money is targeted for a P.S. I Love You blitzkrieg, regardless of who it rightfully belongs to, since 1985 using their pay-for-play puppets in Congress they have been raiding the Social Security trust fund.  Did you get that?  TRUST FUND, as in the fund of all of our accumulated contributions toward retirement, set properly aside and protected so that the money would not be used for anything else.  All the money is gone now.  It funded wars, bail-outs, every variety of corporate welfare and fiduciary abuse which has become standard operating procedure. The money the old folks in retirement homes in good faith paid into Social Security over their lives is just another asset for exploitation.

Just so you aren’t deluded into thinking that the mountains of money stolen via all of the unprincipled, anti-social, anti-democratic, coldly callous and cruel instruments of wealth extraction the ultra-rich have ruthlessly applied in the past is ever enough, consider this:

Over the past several years, while poverty rates in America continue to increase, while real wages have barely risen and many are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet, using a rather innocent-sounding device called quantitative easing, $3.5 trillion has been created out of thin air and made available to investment banks and our too-big-to-fail menagerie of casino capitalists.

$3,500,000,000,000!

Is there anyone out there who could use $10,000?  How about $1,000?

Actually, $500 would be a big deal for most of us.

Of course, none of the $3.5 trillion trickled down to you and I — I assume this is not being read by hedge fund CEOs or any other members of the exclusive .1% club — au contraire! Instead, it trickled up!

A lot of it found its way into offshore accounts and tax havens.

Plundered . . . stolen . . . socked away.

For what?

More yachts?  More vacation homes?  More private jets?

What else can they possibly buy?

Patience now!  Give them time.

Spending trillions of dollars is not easy.

It takes time and energy.

Arrogance and myopia.

Unfeeling and irrepressible selfishness.

A sense of entitlement and a disdain for the less fortunate.

Callousness, irresponsibility and a total lack of decency and compassion.

Fortunately for the rich, they won’t have to plunder and steal to get these.

They already have them in great abundance.

Posted in Banking, Corporatism, Economics, Political Analysis, Political Rant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Endorsement Bernie Should Have Given Hillary Clinton

“Historically the two-party system has a long and durable standing in our heralded electoral process.  Many believe this is the way it should be.  I myself chose to run my campaign for the presidency within this two-party framework, as a Democrat.

“The voice of the voters has been heard and honored.  That is to say, those who voted in the recent primaries have made their choice for who will be representing the Democratic Party in the coming presidential election.  I accept the implied wisdom of this choice.

“In my official capacity as a candidate, as a person who has faithfully worked within the mechanism the Democratic Party has in place for campaigning for the highest office in the land, I now address the voters of this country. 

“If you as voters see the presidential election as binary, meaning, purely as a choice between presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive nominee Donald Trump, I can say unequivocally and with conviction that you should vote for Hillary Clinton.

“Having said that, and being known for my candor and honesty — and mind you I am now speaking only as a private citizen but with the same privileges and responsibilities I share with other private citizens — when I step into the voting booth on November 8th to make my choice for President of the United States, I will be writing in the name ‘Bernie Sanders’.  Thank you and God bless America.”

Posted in Deconstruction, Democracy, Political Analysis | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kingda Ka, oh baby!

Kingda_Ka_Tower

I love my wife’s perspective on America. 

She recently drew my attention to Kingda Ka, one of the world’s fastest and probably most frightening roller coasters.  It whips riders straight up, then plunges them straight down, in a shrieking, brain-compressing drop of 418 feet.  Maximum speed?  128 MPH!  You can see from the POV YouTube video at the end of this posting, this ride is most definitely not for the faint-of-heart.

Kingda Ka is one of the main attractions at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ and has no shortage of takers.  These would be the same people who like base-jumping from the Eiffel Tower and bobbing for apples in a wingsuit in the jet wash of a 747.

Back to Masumi, my brilliant Japanese wife.

Her take on this?  Well, after I watched the video and read about this spectacular display of American ingenuity — an astonishing engineering achievement by any measure — she smiled and said:

“So . . . America can build a high-speed jet coaster [ roller coasters are called jet coasters here ] but they can’t build a high-speed train?”

Now, this was not America-bashing.  Masumi has no particular problem with America — that is, other than a couple of atomic bombs in 1945 and all of the raping and murders that go on in Okinawa because of the U.S. military base there.  Despite these minor caveats, she has no repressed antipathy toward America.

It was just a comment, an expression of astonishment at the incongruity of it all, as in:  “You can send a man to the moon but you don’t have any way of sewing buttons on a shirt?”

Maybe this comes as a shock to most Americans:  But trains as a form of transportation are completely taken for granted in most of the industrialized world.  China, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria, France, even South Africa, India, Malaysia, and Thailand, and of course Japan, are just some of the countries where I have personally used trains to get around.  In most places, trains are like flush toilets, running water, electricity, roads, and now WiFi.  They are a standard component of everyday life, just like cars in the U.S.  You want to go somewhere?  You take a train.  Every day around 7:30 am, the trains here are full of kids on their way to school and businessmen on their way to work.

Beyond regular train service, high-speed trains — high-speed is considered being able to sustain a speed of 200 MPH, though many go much faster — are, among other places, up and running in China, Spain, here in Japan, France, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Russia, Finland, and even Uzbekistan.  China leads the world with almost 12,000 miles of high-speed rail, Spain is second with over 1,900 miles, and Japan is third with over 1,650 miles.

jr500_shinkansenTo give you some perspective on the marvels and flexibility of travel by train just about everywhere in the civilized world:  I live way out in the country, in a small, traditional, rural farming community.  But if I want a mega-dose of big city life, I can leave in the morning, take a regular, then a high-speed train (called the Shinkansen) to Tokyo, go practically anywhere in the most populous city in the world by using the incredible subway system there, and be back here in my home town before sun down.  Note that I live almost 400 miles from Tokyo!  But using only my bicycle to get to the train station, I could have lunch in Tokyo and be back home in plenty of time for dinner.  No car!  No driving!  I could read a book or work on my next novel on my way there and back.

Yes, this is pretty standard fare.  In Europe and Asia, everything is connected.  All of the airports, both domestic and international, the trains, the subways, and the buses, are all engineered in vast intertwined and layered matrices to make transportation the least of anyone’s worries.

If you want to get technical about it, Masumi is not entirely correct.  The U.S. does have one high-speed corridor.  It is part of the Acela Express service between Washington DC and Boston.  It’s a 17 mile-long stretch where “theoretically” the train could reach the 200 MPH qualifying speed.  But the entire run is on rickety old regular railroad tracks and the train makes so many stops, the average speed for the trip is only around 65 MPH.  Good grief!  The normal everyday trains here in Japan go faster than that!

As if the U.S. were not already dismally behind just about every other advanced country — and some not so advanced — get this:  China and Russia are in the process of developing something called hyperloop technology, a system using magnetically-suspended pods to transport people and products across the expanses of their vast countries at — are you ready for this? — up to 750 MPH!  Seat belts are recommended.

“So America can build a high-speed jet coaster but they can’t build a high-speed train?”

Actually, it could.  It just doesn’t.

Until you can visit Six Flags Great Adventure personally, I’ll just leave you with the next best thing.

Posted in Economics, Living On The Edge, Political Analysis, Social Commentary, Technology, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just a little . . .

I Want AnswersLanguage is a funny thing.  It admits for all sorts of sins.  At the same time, it offers lush alternatives when making and rationalizing important decisions.  Naturally, we like to hedge our bets, walk a fine line.

We always cover our asses. 

At the same time . . .

Can you be just a little married?

Can you be just a little pregnant?

Can you be just a little upside-down?

Can you be just a little vaporized?

Can you be just a little raped?

Can you be just a little castrated?

Can you be just a little dead?

Can you be just a little extinct?

Can black be just a little black?  If so, what’s the rest?  Still black but not black?

Can white be just a little white?  Is the part that’s just a little white still white?

Can a ‘yes’ be both ‘yes’ but just a little ‘no’?

Can a ‘no’ be both ‘no’ but just a little ‘yes’?

Despite the headache you might now be experiencing, often there’s more at stake.  Every game is a thing but not everything is a game.

In these instances we need to be a little more precise . . .

Is war inevitable?

Is war good or bad?

Does might make right?

Are all humans created equal?

Is good health a basic human right?

Are food and water basic human rights?

Does a woman have the same rights as a man?

Can an individual be owned by another individual?

Do property rights take precedence over human rights?

Can any man claim life or death authority over another man?

Does the law of a higher power take precedence over human law?

When a person surrenders autonomy to the state, can he take it back?

Is freedom a natural and absolute fact or an artificial and relative artifact?

Are citizens answerable to governments or governments answerable to citizens?

How about this? . . .

Can humankind survive if there’s a limited nuclear war?

Assuming we’re in favor of the survival of the human species . . .

How much nuclear war is just the right amount?

Humans are very smart creatures.  We know this from hearing ourselves say it all the time.

World-War-3Now to figure out how much nuclear war the “good guys” should inflict on the “bad guys”, factoring in the carnage that will inevitably be experienced by a number of people who don’t precisely fit in either the ‘good guy’ camp or the ‘bad guy’ camp — these indeterminate types are sometimes called ‘collateral damage’ or more descriptively ‘innocent victims’ — using cost/benefit analysis and predictive models, we can fairly accurately determine exactly what level of nuclear war, rationally looking at the big picture, is most efficacious and laudable.

You know . . . strike the right balance.

Fine tune it.  Don’t go overboard.

Just a little . . . nuclear war.

Is my sarcasm showing?

Jean Paul SartreIt’s easy to scoff at my asking questions like these, then commending them as some sort of pseudo-philosophical exploration.  You might judge this as a thinly-disguised exercise in self-promotion, an attempt to portray myself as some deep thinker.  You might feel my frustration and empathize with my isolation and relative impotence, yet still dismiss all of this as the nonsensical ruminations of a confused and deluded quasi-intellectual — a Jean Paul Sartre wannabe.

You might have decided that this whole business of blogging is an unflattering display of infantile neediness; that indeed the urgent, aching lust for attention, which has lingered on from early childhood, being nettlesome and obnoxious even back then, but now ill-advised at best and loathsome at worst — I’m not sure I can put up much of a defense against any of these insinuations — is either pathetic or pathological, perhaps both, in spite of being the defining feature in our selfie-driven, “it’s all about me” contemporary times.

Or more innocently . . .

You may think that I have way too much time on my hands.

Frankly, I think time is running out.

Granted, some of the above are mental exercises.

But others are arguably very important questions.

Existential questions!

Am I so off-base?

We need answers!

Do you have the time?

Just a little?

 

Posted in Nihilism, Philosophy, Political Analysis, Satire, Social Commentary, Spiritual, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is this really happening?

I’ve avoided writing very much about the presidential election.  I know I’m in a very tiny minority, many of whom are housed in large buildings with locked doors and bars on the windows.  But I really see it as an entertaining distraction, a three-ring circus, keeping us all enthralled and on the edge of our seats, while out in the parking lot they are stripping our cars of anything that can be fenced to pawn brokers, body shops and used-tire dealers.

So while the photo at the head of this article would seem to suggest otherwise, I’m not going to add to the big noxious cloud of vaporous analysis and shock-jock commentary about who is up, who is down, where is Bernie, who is Jill, can you find Waldo.

Instead I’m staying the course here, announcing my latest initiative, and doing so, risking adding even more evidence to my public file that I’m masochistic and delusional.

Yes . . . I’m at it again, giving it one more shot, attempting to drive home my message.

“What is that message?” you ask innocently — your acting about as convincing as Obama on his visit to Hiroshima when he donned such a sad face and declared nuclear weapons a very bad thing, though he’s spending another $1 trillion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal.

Come on!  You know my message!  I’m more of a broken record than Bernie Sanders.

Bird BernieSpeaking of whom, isn’t it amazing how easy it is to marginalize and destroy a good man?  A little voter fraud here, some media bias there, well-placed dollars to lock in the loyalty of super-delegates, the nauseating duplicity of “progressives” like President Obama and Elizabeth Warren, the nomination victory manufactured by the pundits, and BINGO!

Bye-bye, Bernie!

That’s where things allegedly stand right now anyway.

But back to my message.  Which is built around this certainly vulgar but perhaps thought-provoking question:

WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK?

Because . . . (brace yourselves, folks, here it comes again) . . . regardless of who ends up in the Oval Office . . . 

IT’S CONGRESS THAT MAKES THE LAWS!

So this time . . .

I’m reaching out to progressive congressional candidates!

Anyone out there who is running for the Senate or the House, anyone out there who knows someone who is running for the Senate or the House, or anyone out there who knows what the Senate and the House of Representatives do, please look at my new activist website:

NO CONTRACT NO VOTE!

I have proposed this approach in countless blogs, published articles, and in three books.

It is a methodology, a strategy, a powerful political device for WINNING ELECTIONS!

Ha ha ha!

“Winning elections?  Why would we want to win elections?”

If you have to ask, you might want to read this.

Anyway . . .

In my left-of-left, radical-revolutionary dreams — or are they actually hallucinations? — I imagine pink-slipping the current crop of corporate suck-ups, the pay-for-play political toadies, plutocratic lapdogs, flunky footmen for the rabidly rich, insatiable plunderers of our economy and destroyers of the American Dream, the sycophantic Yes-men of Wall Street looters and the too-big-too-jail banksters, the sniveling servants of crony-capitalists and ruthless kleptocrats pillaging our national wealth, the cynical complicit despoilers of democracy who are cravenly turning America into a Third World banana republic (if it’s not completely obvious, I’m referring to the execrable frauds now serving in Congress), then replacing them with unselfish, committed, truly progressive public servants who honorably represent all of us, not just the rich and powerful.

And . . .

After completing my imagined shake-up of government and rooting out the corruption, installing a Congress of the people, by the people, for the people, a legislature serving the needs of all Americans, thereby assuring a healthy, safe, fulfilling, prosperous future for our children and our children’s children — YES! — at this glorious juncture I see all of us, united, delirious, grateful-beyond-words, turning to one another and asking . . .

Is this really happening?

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Update: Stairway To Heaven

Climbing_Serious Business_2Okay okay.  The title is hyperbole.  It’s not so much a stairway to heaven as a ladder to my laughing place.

Then again, I don’t really laugh up there.  I smile, feel good, enjoy the silence, daydream.

I guess that makes it more a non-pharmaceutical mood elevator.

Why do we seek high places?  We generally look up when we pray.  We don’t send our prayers into the dirt, we launch them out and upwards to float into the ether of spiritual space.  We certainly don’t ever aspire to the lower moral ground.  We don’t say, ‘I’m at the bottom of the world.’  We don’t declare, ‘I had a valley experience.’  When we smoke a joint we don’t get low.  In fact, quite a bit of what we do is to attempt to elevate ourselves to a higher level, a higher plane.

I guess we just assume that somewhere “up there” is some comfort.  Maybe some answers.  And if we don’t get the answers we need, at least we have a nice view or easy exhilaration.

Before I came to Japan, I thought — like I believe most Americans think — Japan was a concrete jungle.  Skyscrapers, lots of neon, bright lights, huge flat panels displays on the sides of towering buildings, set on an sprawling basin of cement and asphalt.

70% of Japan is covered in forests.  The forests cover the endless peaks and escarpments of countless volcanic mounds, hills, and mountains.  They don’t build structures on top of these elevations.  Certainly not buildings and luxury homes.  Thus the dominant motif is unspoiled natural beauty, just about everywhere you look, except of course the towns and cities.  For a small country, Japan has an abundance of breathtaking scenery, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, thousands of miles of back-country roads.

I’ve written two previous articles about my trek up the small mountain near my house.  As the seasons change, much about the trek alters enough to keep it fresh.  At the same time, it is what remains constant which is the attraction.  That and the convenience.  I literally ride five minutes from my home to the trail head on my bicycle.

I think of America.  Hard as I tried, I could hardly do anything without getting in a car.

How much my life has changed.

(Click on the pictures and they will open up full-scale.)

STH_Photo Pair #1STH_Photo Pair #2STH_Photo Pair #3STH_Photo Pair #4STH_Photo Pair #5Peace!

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In a land of pigs . . . bacon is a sacrament!

It’s easy to talk of American exceptionalism.

But what do we have to show for it?

An economy that’s on the verge of collapse.

A military that can’t win wars.

A democracy which is no longer a democracy.

A citizenry more divided than united about almost everything.

Except maybe . . . how exceptional we are!

Patriotic Hulk HoganThe U.S. is now considered the greatest threat to world peace on the planet.

I guess that puts us in a class by ourselves.

But . . . exceptional?

Disturbing yes.  Probably embarrassing.  Unprecedented perhaps.  Maybe shameful.

But exceptional?  To whom?  By what measure?

Aah . . . by our own exceptional standards!

In a land of pigs, bacon is a sacrament.

Oink oink!

 

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Nihilism, Philosophy, Political Analysis, Political Rant, Social Commentary, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments