Yesterday’s McCarthy – our alternate reality

 

STYestEnterprise

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C. Image from Wikipedia

 

Guinan: “Families. There should be children on this ship.”
Picard: “What? Children on the Enterprise? Guinan, we’re at war!”
Guinan: “No we’re not! At least we’re not… supposed to be. This is not a ship of war. This is a ship of peace.”

(from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” episode 63, Yesterday’s Enterprise, February 19, 1990)

 

As the US House Intelligence Committee questions FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers on the “possible ties” between “associates” of Donald Trump and “agents of the Kremlin,” do you get the feeling that members of the U.S. political class and media are sweeping us into some bizarre reality?

Listen to this interview of Stephen Cohen (professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University) by John Batchelor, March 22, 2017, on “How the New McCarthyism grows stronger.”

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Peace on Earth (please?)

 

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The Philharmonia Orchestra (London, UK) plays In the Bleak Midwinter.

Recall the homily of Pope Francis on November 19:

We are close to Christmas: there will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war. The world has not understood the way of peace.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?

What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims: and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers. Jesus once said: ‘You can not serve two masters:  either God or riches.’ War is the right choice for him, who would serve wealth: ‘Let us build weapons, so that the economy will right itself somewhat, and let us go forward in pursuit of our interests. There is an ugly word the Lord spoke: ‘Cursed!’ Because He said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’ The men who work war, who make war, are cursed, they are criminals. A war can be justified – so to speak – with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war – piecemeal though that war may be – a little here, a little there, and everywhere – there is no justification – and God weeps. Jesus weeps.

Peace, please?

 


 

In the Bleak Midwinter
Text: Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
Music: Gustav Holst, 1874-1934

Last verse:

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him –
Give my heart.

Climate Change Chronicles #1

fractal sunsetThis was written in 2007 when a prospect appeared for a collaborative art project on climate change. Nothing, however, happened, except for more weather.


There was a blinding flash. All I could see were streaks of coloured light and the Transsiberian click-clacking into the horizon. “W-a-a-a-i-t,” I shouted. “There’s something I have to tell y-o-u-u-u-u.”

As I stared into the fractal sunset, gigantic flakes of velvety snow began to fall. In the uncanny silence, a single thought punched like a can opener into my resisting mind. Al Gore — Al Gore is back!*

I tried fruitlessly to start her motorcycle. While I was pumping like a demon, a semitrailer pulled up beside me.

The driver’s eyes gleamed in his dark face under a black sombrero. “Where you wanna go?” he asked. I pointed wordlessly down the lone highway.

“Put the bike in the back and get in.”

I hoisted the bike into the insulated trailer full of strawberries and climbed into the cab beside the driver. Rachmaninov’s third piano concerto pounded from the speakers as the truck raced into the driving snow and gathering dusk.

I tried to gather my random thoughts and shape them into a recognizable form. Al Gore — on a television screen.*

Jazz notes began to fill the glasslike clarity of the night.


* This line is changed from the original. Al Gore was interviewed on CBC’s National news on July 09, 2015.

World’s Most Charitable

Bill Gates pledged to give away half his fortune and persuaded Warren Buffet to do the same. In 2010,  the duo started The Giving Pledge  to sign up other billionaires to their cause.

In 2010 Gates’s net worth was $54 billion, and Buffet’s $45 billion. In 2015, today, Gates’s net worth is $79.2 billion, and Buffet’s $71.3 billion. Way to go, Bill and Warren. You prove that great generosity garners great rewards.

Original poster sighted in La Bodeguita, Havana, Cuba, 1979

Original poster sighted in La Bodeguita, Havana, Cuba, 1979