Irish Stew # 64…

[As most readers of this blog know, I use the “Irish Stew” format when I want to comment on many news items. It’s been a while, but this last week seemed like a news tsunami!]

International…

Saudi Arabia. Their new leader is consolidating his power. His excuse: he wants to make the reclusive and longtime reincarnation of a caliphate before ISIS even thought of it more “open.” Give me a break! “Consolidating” is a code word for “becoming more fascist.” And Trump isn’t the only one holding hands with the fascist Saudis. Corporate America in general, and tech industries and the military-industrial complex in particular, are just tickled pink with this consolidation. Nothing like a dictator to ensure a stable marketplace.

I wonder if any of the dictator’s reforms will end those religious schools who teach hatred for the West in general and anything not radical Sunni in particular….

Backing down? How’s it feel, Mr. President, to back down? I think some Trump aides are trying to convince him that starting World War Three isn’t a good idea. War should always be a last resort when nukes could be involved. Not only that, Japan and South Korea would have millions of casualties even in a more conventional battle against the evil North Korea and their psychopathic leader, Kim Jong-Un. Trump is talking diplomacy on this trip to Asia. For how long? Maybe only to the next tweet.

There are military solutions. None of them are good. There are interceptors that might protect the U.S. against nuclear-tipped NK missiles. None of them are reliable. If an arrow is arcing down towards you, would you be confident that another archer can target it and knock it away?

The only thing that can possibly work with the paranoid and psychotic NK leader is economic strangulation. That requires China’s cooperation, and that can only be achieved by diplomacy. If you believe Mr. Trump has a diplomatic bone in his body, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you!

National…

Gun Control. The Air Force dropped the ball on informing the FBI about the Texas assassin’s proclivity for violence: he should have been put on that FBI list maintained for background checks on gun purchases. That’s a major glitch in the system—you can bet the armed forces are checking all their records right now! But that snafu detracts from the issue. Texas allowed that sporting goods store to sell those kinds of guns. All military-style weapons should be banned in this country—semi-automatics as well as automatics.

In its article on 11/8/2017, the NY Times had an interesting graphic on what sets us apart from the rest of the world with respect to mass killings. Answer: too many guns! Overall the U.S. is the worst in the world for recent mass killings: there are 270 million guns in the U.S., almost one for every man, woman, and child, and 90 mass shooters. No other country has more than 46 million guns or more than 18 mass shooters, and the U.S. is far worse than Yemen. Even adjusted for population, the U.S. is the worst case, and again only Yemen comes close. We’re worse than Yemen! (OK, maybe Yemen would be worse if one counted all the people Saudi Arabia has killed in their ethnic cleansing of non-Sunni heretics.) Along with the Times, I’d say the only explanation for mass shootings in America IS guns!

So sorry, Mr. Trump, guns are the problem!  These two indictments and stats fly in the face of your denials after the Las Vegas and Texas massacres, and make your pathetic plug of your immigration program after the NYC truck attack seem like a delusional political response. The Texas massacre is a gun control issue!  So are Las Vegas and Orlando. So is Colorado and Connecticut. Etc. Etc. Stop playing politics and do something right for a change!

Dark web and all that. Saipov, the New York City truck assassin was radicalized by ISIS websites and their propaganda on the web. Dark web or not, can’t we do something about this?

Immigration reform won’t help much. The terrorist immigrated here legally and became radicalized IN THIS COUNTRY. That has to stop. With all the smart hackers in this country, can’t we block evil propaganda that radicalizes psychotics? I can already hear the ACLU and other wackos screaming about First Amendment rights and free speech.

Sorry, folks, with freedoms come responsibilities and the courage to protect those freedoms. The only responsible solution is to shut down radical terrorist propaganda. Why should we give ISIS and other terrorist groups licenses to spout their hate-filled ideology? Why should we even allow them on the web?

By the way, Mr. Trump’s comments about the death penalty for Saipov will actually help the terrorist because the court will wonder if he can get a fair trial in this country.  Maybe Gitmo is the better place for him?

Hollywood perversion exposed. No longer can Hollywood moguls give a wink and a nod to the pervasive sexual harassment and rape that goes on in tinsel town. There’s been a tsunami of exposes. I don’t buy the label “nonconsensual sex” for “rape” any more than I buy our pervert-in-chief’s excuse of “locker room talk.” Although we have yet to see cases come to trial, they will. Rape is a crime, but so is sexual harassment and exploitation. Let’s hope the tsunami washes away this awful aspect of Hollywood and Washington D.C. culture.

The Ten Commandants don’t ban sexual perversion. I should be fair: it’s not just Hollywood! The Alabama GOP Senate candidate, in a special election to replace disgraced HHS Price, has been accused in an expose backed up by thirty people. When asked if he “dated” young girls, Roy Moore (no relation, thank God!) answered, “Only with their mothers consent.” Some defender of that Ten Commandants judge (kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice) said that Mary was a teenager and Joseph was a thirty-year-old carpenter and their son was Jesus. Maybe the most original excuse for sexual perversion I’ve heard, but just as sicko as Roy Moore himself.

Local…

Campaign ads. Now that the election is past and the dust (or should I say mud?) has settled, was it just my impression? Are campaign ads now worse than ever before? Has Mr. Trump and his minions set a new and insidious level of sleaze in American politics?

A candidate in Long Island was accused of cozying up to the MS-13 gang. A candidate for governor in New Jersey was accused of promoting “sanctuary NJ” in order to protect a double-murdering immigrant. In two towns in New Jersey, racist verbal attacks on Indian and Asian candidates occurred. In another town, a Sikh candidate for mayor was targeted with a flyer displaying his picture and the campaign slogan “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town!” A woman in Southern Jersey, angered by a pol who said in a Facebook post about the Women’s March that it would soon be over so they could be home in time to cook dinner,” ran against the misogynist. All the attacked candidates mentioned above won their elections, which represents a repudiation of the president’s campaign tactics.

Campaign organizers seem to be taking lessons from the Russians, using racism and bigotry and hate to go after opposing candidates. Mudslinging has always been an American pastime when elections occur. Whether they work or not, how can candidates and their ad agencies live with themselves? This is big league sleaziness! It didn’t work here in the tri-state area.

Nitpicking addition. I know campaigns paper everywhere trying to get their candidates known. But there’s an aspect of this that really turns me off…and is dangerous! They left flyers and door-hangers at our house and many others. Where’s the danger in that besides adding to landfills as the persons in the house toss them into the waste?  They announce to all the burglars and other miscreants that no one is home! And if a sick or invalid person is home, that person is in danger.

My sample ballot is all that I need, thank you. Because we live in the tri-state area, I also pay attention to races in NY and Connecticut too, not just NJ. But my locally oriented sample ballot gets me started on digging into the candidates’ backgrounds—hard to see what they’re hiding at times, but I trust no one. But I also like my home to be safe.

Sports…

Colin Kaepernick’s campaign against racism. Now the Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft is involved. He made an even trade of QBs with SF and ignored Kaepernick, the better QB of the three. I thought the NE coach might want to take a step up. NFL owners are more to the right of Trump, and their toady Goodell kisses their butts (maybe not enough for the Dallas owner?). Kraft joins the Dallas and Houston owners in displaying public aversion of anyone putting roadblocks on their road to more riches. Time for a boycott of the NFL?

***

Rembrandt’s Angel (a mystery/thriller from Penmore Press). To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece? Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone goes the extra mile. She and paramour/sidekick Bastiann van Coevorden, an Interpol agent, set out to outwit the dealers of stolen art and recover “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a Rembrandt painting stolen by the Nazis in World War Two. Their efforts lead to much more, as they uncover an international conspiracy that threatens Europe. During their dangerous adventures, their relationship solidifies and becomes a full-blown romance. This book is available in ebook format at Amazon and at Smashwords and its affiliate retailers. It’s available as a print version at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore (if not there, ask for it). See the review and interview at Feathered Quill. Happy reading!

And so it goes….

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