Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ports in the Storm

I must admit I was taken aback by the news that an Arab country would be taking over six major US port terminals. I guess that makes me a racial profiler if I am to believe my cherished leader and his apologists. Now that I've had some time to think about it and read a few things about it and hear some from the experts on things like the PBS News Hour, I think I'm in a slightly better position to say this makes absolutely no sense at all to me.
Now it's not like I don't know about Globalization. I understand that. And I understand about multinational corporations and how sovereign nations (like the United States) pose a real problem for them in terms of interfering with their acquisition of the world's resources. I've written about those things on multiple occasions. I understand Bush's perspective when I think of this deal as a simple multinational corporate deal. It's all about unrestrained money and power.
But it's so "pre-9/11" to me. Handing over control of major east coast port terminals to the Arabs just has no "post-9/11" flavor to it whatsoever. And I'm pretty sure that's the reason why so many Americans feel so betrayed by Bush. Bush has been using this "You got to think post-9/11" thing for political gain for years and all of a sudden post-9/11 thinking has nothing to do with it? Why? Because this is just a business deal?
What ever became of the War on Terror and national security and Islamic fundamentalism and the threat posed by countries that have ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda? Not only that, but is the UAE a democracy? I think nearly all of us are all of a sudden wondering these things. In fact, the only ones not wondering are the political apologists for Bush. Most Republicans even get it this time.
I expect that the deal will go through. Congress will blindly accept it just the way they usually do. All the real security concerns will remain classified behind closed doors in the White House and the Pentagon and the CIA and the DHS and a dozen or so think tanks here and around the world.
But the American people won't soon forget the betrayal.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Puppet Show

Sometimes I get the impression that American politics are just a puppet show, that we are all just characters on strings and our beliefs and actions play out some higher form of theatrics, serve some other political agenda. Recently I've discovered that that agenda's primary stage isn't United States politics at all. It's the world stage for Israel.
OK so you just blew your top about that anti-Semitic jab. How dare I say something like that and all that jazz. Cool down a second or click the Close box on this window if you can't take it. I'm exercising my right to free speech as an American citizen so if you decide to stay and read this, then relax and smile and read it with a grain of salt. Allow me that freedom.
On the Jewish political stage that I'm referring to are two major ideologies. One is liberalism. The other is conservative Zionism. Jewish liberalism has played out over the decades or centuries as socialism, communism, the American political left, and even the neo-liberal trade movement. Zionism, though, is the movement to focus Jewish power in the state of Israel through financial, industrial, and military strength. Zionism capitalizes on the Holocaust and joins forces with such political theories as the Christian end-times movement and countless ancient secret religions and organizations, the fodder for so many of the legitimate conspiracy theories. Zionism uses the political and religious divides around the world to concentrate Israel's power and importance.
By suggesting that we are merely the puppets, I am referring to the debate raging in America between the political left, the Liberals, and the political right, the Conservatives. In reality that split doesn't exist. We know we are all Americans and we are all proud defenders of the U.S. Constitution. We all believe that our armed forces exist for the defense of our nation's sovereignty, not for some imperialistic cause and not for the promotion of a New World Order of corporate power. We know that America doesn't exist to further the cause of Israeli Zionism and we know we aren't a Christian nation with a mission to bring about the apocalypse.
Yet throughout the media, and especially in conservative media, we are thrown into this raging debate whose stated goal is the elimination of liberal politics. To see the link between this American political stage and the Jewish debate, take a look at this interview with Jewish author Edward Alexander about his new book The Jewish Divide Over Israel: Accusers and Defenders. In this interview, Alexander describes the worldwide political battle between Jewish liberalism and Israeli Zionism, in the process belittling and demonizing Jewish liberalism.
That is precisely the political debate being acted out on the American political stage by non-Jewish puppets, that is, by you and me. (Forgive me for assuming that you, my reader, are not Jewish.) I am not, yet I am thrown onto this puppet-show stage and forced to confront the powers of Zionism merely to defend freedom and liberty here in the United States. As much as I don't want to be a puppet in this Jewish-dominated show, I have no choice. Somehow Zionism has come to dominate my opponent in such a way that to be a moderate American has become synonymous with being a liberal Jew and I either debate from that stage or am completely off the stage sitting in the audience, not a participant at all.
Am I complaining? I don't know. Maybe. Am I rebelling? Maybe that too. But no matter what I am doing, I'm still merely a puppet acting out a much bigger political battle that far transcends simple American politics. Do I resent it? You better believe it!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Who Done It

Am I alone in noticing that nobody in the media seems to be asking the question "Who done it?" with reference to the Wednesday morning bombing of the gold-domed Askariyah shrine in Samarra. It is Friday morning in America now and all I hear on Public Radio with respect to this incident is the hope that it won't lead to civil war. Nobody is asking who did the bombing. But Iraq's leaders are assuring Iraqis that it wasn't done by anyone representing the Sunnis. Go figure. One would naturally assume that the Sunnis did it and that's why the Shiites have been rioting against Sunnis ever since Wednesday morning.
But think about it. Imagine yourself as an American news reporter in Iraq. Would you ask anybody to analyze who might have done the bombing and why? I sure as heck know that that's the question that would dominate my curiosity. I mean, here we have a virtual Shiite 9/11 and in Iraq there are rumors flying all over the place about the events at that mosque late in the night prior to the bombing, namely Iraqi and American troop activity. You have rumors of uniformed men spending hours preparing the mosque for the bombing. Now you have Iraqi leaders saying who was not responsible. And to top it all off, now you have the Shiites, not the bombers, being blamed for the violence all over America's mainstream media. Whoever did the original bombing is, for some mysterious reason, getting off scot-free.
So what the hell is going on here? Am I the only one wondering?
Well what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't add my two cents worth, right? So here it is. This and a buck might buy you a morning cup of coffee in a 24-hour gas stop somewhere in America...
When you think back prior to the beginning of this week, which I realize breaks all the rules of being an American but there you have it, but if you do that you might recall that the Bush administration has been trying to drum up a case for war with Iran. Iran is Shiite. Anyone who has followed the Neo-Conservative agenda knows that Iran is on the list of the nations most in need of overthrow. Iran know this, of course, and is working to prevent it. The recent ordeal with Iran's nuclear ambitions offered the pro-Israeli American Neo-Cons some hope, but the process of drumming up a war this way might take years. Anything that has to go through the UN and the sanctions period and who knows what else would take years, or even decades, to play out. The Neo-Cons and President Bush are ready now for the war. They don't want to have to wait.
The absolute surest way to start a war with Iran is to offend them religiously with an offense so insulting that they simply can't ignore it. When you think about it, the demolition of this sacred and ancient Shiite mosque by forces traceable to the US occupation forces in Iraq is just that kind of insult. In fact, when you think about it, it is a miracle that the war hasn't begun yet. It is a miracle that Iran hasn't launched the attack.
My take on all this is that Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites and Iran's Shiites know very well what is going on over there. They know that the United States and Israel are goading them to start a religious war not between Jew and Muslim, not between Christian and Muslim, but between Muslim and Muslim, between Sunni and Shiite. If that kind of war can be initiated while US troops are still in Iraq, the US will have no choice but to join in the fight in the name of defending the "democracy" in Iraq. That is precisely what Bush and the Neo-Cons want.
So that all makes sense to me, but it isn't necessarily true. I'm just speculating. So if you have another rational explanation, I'm all ears. Let's hear it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Compass

I've been away for awhile working on a project for my mother-in-law, but she kicked me out the other day so I'm back now among the "unemployed and not collecting." I again have time to read and write.
A year or more ago, a blog friend of mine, Dacia, the real inspiration for by blog here, introduced her blog circle to a little test designed to measure a person's "political compass" on a dual-axis spectrum where the horizontal axis represents the standard Left/Right political spectrum, but the vertical axis is represented to show the person's orientation with respect to the Authoritarian (up) verses Libertarian (down) spectrum. If I recall correctly, I scored in a region shared by Nelson Mandela and the Dali Lama, but it was long enough ago that I may have that fact wrong.
In any case, ever since I took that test, I've had this new political dimension to deal with in my political thinking. It surprised me that there was a strong political leaning in common between a diverse left/right spectrum of political leaders. That leaning is the tendency of many political leaders to be authoritarian as opposed to being libertarian. The Bush administration fits not just the conservative (right) mold but also into the authoritarian mold.
I've been trying to read a book ever since early last summer titled Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. The main theme of that book is about how conservatives use the authoritarian father model for the basis of their political philosophy while Liberals use the nurturing parent model. but that's like comparing up on the political compass to left, not opposite poles.
While it's easy to see the authoritarian influence in today's various governments, it isn't so easy to see the libertarian influence. I'm not quite sure why that is, but I think it has something to do with the way we use the word "liberal" in politics today. That word has become a slur, slander, when it is used by the controlling power, the Republicans. It is virtually synonymous with "socialist" but socialist has become a word almost never spoken. Whenever we wish to speak of the social agenda - the nurturing parent model - we say "liberal" and "left" instead of the synonym "socialist." So in that climate, "libertarian" has virtually no connection to the word liberal. In fact, libertarian is viewed in our culture as something that exists on the far right, the extremes of conservatism. Yet I recall being taught somewhere that the far right is where fascism resides. How can anybody suggest (nobody that I know of ever has) that libertarians are fascist?
I have no doubt that fascists and the Nazis are far right. But I also have no doubt that they are authoritarian. Using the political compass, that puts them in the upper right quadrant of the compass, the same quadrant that holds most of the politicians in America. Is it any wonder that I'm feeling a little out of place in my own home country?
The opposite of liberty is authoritarianism. Liberty itself is freedom from authority and authority derives its existence from the submission of liberty, the submission of free people to authority. Socialist authoritarianism is Communism. Conservative authoritarianism is fascism. So why is it that authoritarianism is oriented on the positive Y-axis on the political compass? And why is it that both on that axis and in our own heads, libertarian is negative?