The Congressional ‘War Hawks’ and their Profit-Monger patrons are at it again. That most American of Poets, Carl Sandburgh called them the “Hoodlums!” “This is the hate my father gave me, this was in my mother’s milk, this is you and me and all of us in a world of hoodlums—maybe so.”… he wrote, “…it has always been so, it will always be so, there is nothing more to it.” “Let us do this now…for our mothers…for our sisters and wives…let us kill, kill, kill---for the torsos of the women are tireless and the loins of the men are strong;” he wrote in 1919, after the first World War. But in 1936, on a note of hope, he wrote: “Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.”
Probably nothing has roiled the hoped-for response to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s unprecedented address to the joint houses of The U.S. Congress, like the arrival on-scene and subsequent pained demeanor, of Nobel Peace-Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel. The coincidental arrival of an unanticipated Spring snow storm also provided excuses for the large number of members in both houses, who shunned the Prime Minister’s highly controversial speech, arranged by House Speaker Boehner, without any previous notice to President Obama; a glaring and intentional insult.
This dispirited pundit has learned that patent and pointless race prejudice, plus spiteful political pandering are too poisonous a mix for any communicator to endure. Now, however, this ‘Pro Patria’ veteran is assailed by a more urgent concern: Multiple efforts by entrenched adversaries of our honest but overwhelmed President, to disarm him for the remainder of his term. Outnumbered by paladin politicians, this pundit has donned his ‘bard’s-armor,’ to do battle with verse rephrased but still relevant in color and outlook to the original, he created more than seventy years ago. Different venue, same vice.
From the end of this month, through the next two that follow it, we find the most intense succession of religious holidays on the American calendar. For one of the first popular democracies to guarantee personal religious freedom but bar all formal ties between officials and offices of government and any entity of organized religion, is truly an anomaly but a crucially purposeful one, at that. Though most of this nation’s founders were either deists or adherents to some religious belief, all had seen or suffered enough of the iniquities of ultra-orthodox fanaticism to imbue determined opposition to any tie that might deny believers or nonbelievers unfettered freedom of choice. This resistance was embedded in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
The dawn of Presidents Day 2015 found the northeastern United States frozen in place by the worst frost in the 218 years since the first President, George Washington, took office in 1789. 33 years later, England’s Lord Tennyson would memorialize Washington, noting that self-reverence, self-knowledge and self-control lead life to sovereign power. He also warned that “The jingling of the Guinea helps the hurt that honor feeds." which describes the state of our nation’s self-respect now, when all three of these political necessities are frozen out by Congressional quarrels, just when they’
President Barack Obama delivered his two thousand/fifteen – State Of The Union – Address to a Joint Session of Congress, in which victorious mid-term Republicans were determined to make even his concession of this reality a moment of impotence, best kept to him-self. His refusal to accept this belittling has set all else that follows in a somber sense of gridlock. Seemingly impelled by this impetus, House Speaker Boener unceremoniously announced that he had invoked a ‘Joint Session’ of Congress, which he’d invited Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to address. This apparent insult on Speaker Boener’s part may also be more seriously seen as an effort to force the President into an embarrassingly impossible position, between two devilishly difficult political choices. Favoring liberal-Jewish-American Democrats over strongly-pro-Netanyahu conservatives (or vice-versa), is surely bound to provoke the ire of those with seemingly less clout.
On the eve of the most difficult and demanding chapter in this democratic republic’s history of having to mount and maintain military defenses of absolute necessity, it’s distressing to learn that those responsible for providing the financial support , our defenders can’t do without, are trying to force them to do it, ‘on the cheap.’ What this really represents, as outlined in a recent issue of the New York Times, amounts to a phony alibi for breaking a vow made to all combat veterans, who’ve literally put their lives at risk for our nation, that no matter the cost, funds needed to treat their resultant disabilities would be found and allocated, to restore their limbs and lives to reasonable levels of independence.
On this One-Hundreth anniversary of the ‘Yuletide Peace, undeclared but observed by ordinary soldiers on both sides of the field of slaughter, in World War I, this grizzled but grateful, WWII Veteran turned ‘Pundit,’ thought it an apt time to examine our progress toward a peaceful and permissive world or the lack of one…, and try to fathom, why not?
This aged iconoclast has found a hauntingly apt adage, that appears in scriptures of all the world’s major beliefs, to flat-out decry the disgraceful sham by which the Cheney/Bush duet conspired to deliver the safety and security of this nation and its citizens, into the grip of corporate contractors, without a shred of conscience for consequence. They did this, not only to beat the rap for the bucks ultimately banked by them all but also for the venal viggerish, now available in lavish amounts shoveled into the coffers of shifty politicians, who lack the self-respect to refuse such shoddy blood-soaked sugar.
In frequent past circumstances, this currently dispirited paladin was moved to remind certain ‘Second Amendment’ advocates (who’ve had what more of us should believe are misdirected objectives), about its starkly restrictive preamble. Few of them seem, either to have read and /or correctly interpreted it. In his first inaugural address, after being elected the third American President, in 1801, Thomas Jefferson said that the sum of a good government is to restrain its citizens….”from injuring one another.” He said this was necessary, “…..to close the circle of our felicities.”