Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Land in Disarray

I am often taken to task for not writing more frequently in my blog. But increasingly, I no longer know what to say.  As I age, I am increasingly aware of the limited time I have left. And I find our world increasingly difficult to comprehend.  All over the world, we see vaguely crazed people imposing their will, to the detriment of ordinary folks—see Vladimir Putin.

The Middle East seems to have come totally unhinged, with the crazy ISIS/ISIL people defining what we think of as Muslims. That they most closely resemble the Thugs of the old Thugee bands of 1300-1800's India, seems not to matter to most observers. They kill with impunity, but more to the point, they act in crazed and excruciatingly cruel ways towards seemingly ordinary folks. The cruelty being expressed throughout the Middle East, under varying names, makes me wonder why the formal religious leaders in the region—the Mullahs and Ayatollahs do not express formally their judgment that these acts are not part of Islam and the people who carry them out are explicitly not Muslims, but rather evil forces masquerading as Muslims.  For ordinary Muslims, living around the world, their very existence as people is now threatened, since the non-Muslim world has begun viewing all Muslims through the lens of ISIS killers.

And then we have stable, boring old Europe, currently looking like a jigsaw puzzle coming apart. The economy of the region seems vaguely in the crapper, but then we also observe movements to disassemble the region and return to the Europe of old—squabbling tribes periodically hating the other tribes to the point of shooting at one another.  That Great Britain escaped its own demise with the Scottish vote seems only an accident of timing. Who knows what might happen should there be another vote in a year or two. And what will the Brits do now to placate the Scots? And whatever they do, I imagine Wales and Ireland will be paying close attention.

And then, if we head to the West, across that large body of water known as the Atlantic, we come across another Crazyland—the good old United States of America. We have begun drifting into some NeverNever land, ever since we elected a black man as President.  Apparently that national act was simply too much for the party in opposition.  Having subjected the country to Ronald Reagan and then Junior Bush, the republicans decided that they could not tolerate such an act of outright defiance. The Chutzpah of us voters—electing an intelligent, articulate black man as President. Heaven forfend as George Will might say.  So, the republicans all crept off into a permanent whiny corner of the world, vowing to have nothing to do with this man, regardless of what he might like to do, and regardless of the consequences to the nation.  What that meant was that they committed themselves to opposing whatever our President wanted to do. They wanted him out—a one-term president was their spoken goal.

Then they let loose their barrage of money through the ultra-moneyed set—the Koch’s of the world, allowing the Koch’s and others of their ilk to essentially buy their party, lock, stock, and barrel. That they have become destructive goes without saying. But what has begun to baffle me is that our voting public seems ok with all that. Obama has something like a 48% approval rating by the public, whereas Congress has about a 15% approval rating. Despite those ratings, the public seems poised to hand over majority control of Congress—both houses—to the republicans, that party now owned by oligarchs of the Koch-ilk—the destroyers of our country.  What are we to make of such a bizarre outcome? It is as though the Middle East had voted to elect to power the ISIS thugs.  I can find no rational explanation for why the American public would choose to vote Republican in this coming/ongoing election.

Except that we are now living in Bizzaroland. The America of old—that nation that secured the freedom of the world from the 1940s terrorist regimes in Germany and Japan; that nation that sent the first men to the moon in the 1960s; that can-do nation, seems no more than a shadow of its former self.

And that is why I have been having trouble writing in my blog. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Global Messes and Our Inattention

Listened to Bill Clinton talk about his global initiative on The Daily Show the other night. It was enlightening, listening to an intelligent person speak about the world’s events, instead of the babble-speak that masquerades as political discourse across the land.  It made me think about all the conflicts and that we never seem to have the patience to try to understand the root causes. We seem to want the world to operate on autopilot, and everyone to act as though they understand that we are the greatest people on Earth.  So, when someone “misbehaves” and interrupts our beer and football, we get testy. Our first instinct seems to be—bomb’m. If that doesn’t work or is simply inapplicable, our next big idea is, build a bigger wall.  We never seem to have the time or the interest to attempt to actually understand root causes, so that we might devise solutions that stand a chance of producing the desired outcomes.
For example, on our southern border, we have flocks of folks, including a bunch of little kids, hurrying across the border, seeking safe haven. That makes us grumpy. How can we drink our beer and watch the NFL with all these little kids scurrying across and around our fences? So, build an even bigger, more impenetrable wall, one with guards and electronic devices, and guns, and all kinds of nasty things. If that wall fails, build an even bigger one.  But stop for a moment, folks. Why do these people keep coming when they know we despise them?  Well, clearly, their lives suck in their home countries, and they are so desperate that they are willing to run huge risks to cross that border. Partly, they are running to escape organized crime gangs—you know, those gangs with whom our global banks work closely so as to launder their drug monies, and set them up with offshore bank accounts outside the reach of international laws.  They are also running here to escape lives of desperate poverty, caused by the inaction of the governments and cartels running their countries. They can’t get jobs to support their families, so they leave.  You know . . . the same reason many of our own forefathers left their countries and came here 100+ years ago from Europe (I know it’s why my grandparents left Scotland in the late 1800's to come to the US of A).
So do we do anything about the root causes? No. What could we do? Well, maybe we could begin working with the countries from which these folks are leaving.  Arguably, it might be less expensive to provide stimulus funding to the countries to encourage economic development, than to continue erecting fences and arming our borders with bigger and more guns. I do not suggest that there are simple solutions, like throwing a few billion at them. But when economics is the problem, we might try economics as a possible solution. Yes, there are large political problems and corruption in such places, but those factors exist here and we seem to be able to cope.
And then there’s the Middle East, or rather all those countries with Muslim tendencies.  Yes, George W. Bush created a hell storm when he fabricated reasons to invade Iraq, thereby destabilizing the entire region and firing up (literally) a host of groups who all wanted political power. Invade, kill off the extant power structure, and then leave—that was the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld strategy.  We are now paying the price—or rather millions of folks living there are paying the price. Idiots like Krauthammer are blaming Obama for pulling out, but we managed that a long time ago on Bush’s watch.  ISIS is the fairly direct result of our idiocy in 2003.
But what can we do now? I understand that there is great reluctance on the part of many people, Americans, Brits, and many Europeans, to begin re-invading, or even to bombing. But, we really need to defeat ISIS. They are a 12th century group of barbarians, pretending to hold a religious perspective.  So, we need to hope that our military, working with the UN and with the Middle Eastern regional countries, can figure out how to rally rational people and how to militarily defeat ISIS.  They simply cannot be allowed to succeed.  But we also need to return to the days just after 9/11. Then, we had a moment when we might have been able to rally the regional governments and the world governments to the cause of justice. Many folks were actually on our side at that point, unlike now. But, with ISIS, perhaps we get a “Do-Over”.  Maybe, by enlisting the world’s governments, including some who don’t like us much (Iran comes to mind) we can actually move the world a bit closer to a more rational state.
Maybe . . . only maybe.
And here on exoplanet Carolina, we also need to think really hard about whether or how fast we wish to move our state to the bottom of the nation’s fifty. We have an election coming up.  From examination of our local sample ballot, it is difficult to discern the fact there we have a two party system in this country. Most of the ballot slots have only one party running. The Dems have simply given up, especially at the state and county levels.  But there are a few races still contested. The US House has both a Dem and a GOP’er running—Antonio Blue vs. Robin Hudson. And the Senate has Kay Hagan vs. Tom Tillis (oops, I forgot, we also have a Libertarian running).  Much of the future of our fair land, both locally and nationally may hinge on this election.  Nationally, giving the GOP the upper hand in the Senate is a knockout blow to rational government policy, ceding control of our country to the Koch’s, and others of that ilk.  The GOP has been purchased, lock, stock, and barrel by the 0.1%.  Tom Tillis wants to be one of the Barons of the land, doing the bidding of his Kochmasters. We would then see a rapid slide for our state, down to below Alabama.
From what I can see, the GOP has a policy platform that is simply the opposite of whatever Obama wants to do.  I commented on this “what would Obama do?” approach before, but it seems to be their actual platform.
·         Obamacare is bad – folks without health care? Rum go.  
       Poor folks can't buy bread? Let'm eat cake.
·         Climate change – climate changes every day . . . check your weather forecast folks. Ain’t nothing need be done there.
·         Fracking?? Never met a Frack we didn’t love.
·         Public education – bad, bad. We need more private and more religious schools.  Actually, maybe we need to just give up on funding education. Educated folks tend to think, and we can’t have that, can we?
·         Social Security?? Turn it over to our beloved hedge fund managers. Let the old folks move in with their kids.
·         Gun control?? Second Amendment, Second Amendment, etc. We all have a God-given right to a full armamentarium.  
·         Equal rights for women, minorities, LGBT communities? Hmmm, I don’t think so . . .
·         But you can recite the rest yourselves.

So, get out and vote folks (well some of you . . . wouldn’t want to have everyone vote would we?). We are in a race to the bottom with Alabama. Start your engines people. We are off to the races . . .

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What's Going On?

It’s been a while . . . since I wrote anything. Nothing going on??? Well, no, there’s perhaps too much to grasp. The upcoming election, for example. Because of Tony and the Supremes (see Citizens United) the election process in America has turned into a money chase. Whoever spends the most money at the end wins. Gee, thanks Tony. I knew you were corrupt ever since you appointed Shrub to be President—remember Florida Tony? But Citizens United—corporations are people??? Really, Tony, that’s the best you can do?  So, now I get 30 e-mails a day asking for $3-5 . . . or more of course . . . more is always nice. And sorry guys, but I can no longer contribute.  We’re fresh out of three dollar bills.  So, I suppose, since the Cocks have an unlimited amount of money and are using it to completely corrupt our formerly nice democratic system, the Repubs will win the day and take over the Senate. Won’t that be fun for Obama?  I mean, he’s had such a nice long run of completely supportive Congressional colleagues that he will have to learn how to run the nation without Congressional support.

And then there’s ISIS/ISIL, or whatever that band of thugs wants to be called. They want to establish a 12th century Caliphate, or maybe a 3rd or 4th century Caliphate. Maybe Attila the Hun is their role model—ruling ruthlessly over a vast swath of territory populated by varying ethnic tribes who paid attention to him because otherwise they would lose their collective heads. I’m always amused at the notion that ISIS-the Taliban-Al Qaeda—all make believe they are governed by some formal religious beliefs. It was amusing, except for the inhabitants, for example, that the Iranians overthrew a king, only to replace him with a king—for what is the Ayatollah but a king dressed in pseudo-religious garb?

And what are we to do about ISIS? Even Al Qaeda and the Iranians think they are grotesque. Too violent for Al Qaeda . . . wow. But whenever we (the West) tries to intervene, we seem to make a bad situation even worse. Look what happened when we intervened when the Russians foolishly tried to imitate the British by invading Afghanistan.  So, we, of course, armed the opposition, in that case the Taliban. We gave them all kinds of nifty weapons, including Stinger missiles. Man that was clever of us.  So, then when the Taliban took over Afghanistan after the Russians retreated with their tails between their legs, they inevitably turned on us—remember 9/11 and those guys hiding out in Talibanland?

Now, we are pretending we can defeat ISIS by bombing them, and, arming the “moderate” opposition. First, bombing really doesn't work to defeat a local resistance—see Vietnam. You need troops on the ground. So, our fallback is to “train” the Iraqi army . . .hahahahahaha. Apparently, the only thing more useless in a combat situation than a French army is an Arab army.  They’re only really useful against unarmed women and children folks.  So, it’s hard to know what, if any solutions exist. I suppose, were the UN an actual functioning body, it could declare the entire Middle East and all of Northern Africa as an anarchic region in need of protection and governance by the UN.  And when that goes over as well as the proverbial turd in the punchbowl, then maybe we can all play pick up sticks.

So, I don’t see any good paths forward. I don’t know, we could try talking, but there really isn't anybody with whom we could talk—they all seem to want to cut off our heads.  So, back to bombing it is, I guess.

And back on planet earth, we attended a meeting last evening of the Cabarrus County Commissioners.  It was supposed to be just a regular meeting . . . nothing special. And we attended because the cretins who pretend to be Commissioners have been playing havoc with our county budget lately and slashing anything that moves.  Apparently, they don’t like books and the idea of folks reading. So, they have been doing the slash and burn thing on the library system.  So Carol and a few other folks were going to speak, asking the Commissioners to take another look for ways to extend the library hours. Just a thought, guys. But then, when they were finished, the local NRA/GOP reps took the stage and began testifying about guns and how terribly important it is for everyone to be armed at all times.  They apparently see no boundaries.  Schools, churches, supermarkets, our local parks, and even the County fair. They want everyone armed and carrying. One local minister even testified that we all had a God-given right to bear arms . . . wow, I did not know that.  Made me wonder whether Wayne (of the NRA Waynes) had spoken directly with God, and whether God speaks in Waynesque. That would have been interesting being a fly on the wall, huh?

So, they seem to want everyone carrying everywhere they go.  They seem vaguely threatened, and just on the edge of violence.  Happily, local ordinances prevented them from entering the meeting hall fully armed.  They were doubtless annoyed at such restrictions.

So, I guess, if they get their way, we will have a return to the 18th century when everyone carried.  I know, maybe we could have a new Fair entertainment—a redo of the Shootout at the OK Corral. Only this time, instead of those wussy Civil War re-enactments, where they fire blanks, we could have guys actually shooting at one another with their pearl handled six shooters. Oh, I can’t wait. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I just finished a YouGov survey, this one on politics. And it occurred to me, as I was checking boxes, that, even given their wide range of choices, many of the questions are too complex to answer by checking a box, unless you check all the boxes, “Unsure”.  Like, “how would I rate the job Obama is doing on Immigration?” Well, none of the boxes say, “Obama and the larger world needs to engage the countries from whom all the illegal migrants are coming, and get those countries to quit fucking around and instead become actual functioning democracies.” It seems to me that, whenever you see streams of people walking/running through national borders, something awful is going on within their respective countries.  It doesn’t really help to build bigger walls (remember the Berlin Wall??).  It doesn’t help to post armed guys at the border, unless you really don’t care and are willing to shoot poor folks with little kids who are trying to escape being shot at home.
And then there’s health care. There were a lot of questions about the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. Well, first, I’m on Medicare, so of course I want it protected from the Republican hordes.  They want to kill it and Social Security, by both giving you vouchers and allowing you to “shop” for your health care, or, in the case of Social Security, to kill it by turning it over to the national institutes of gambling, aka, the bankers and hedge fund managers.  So, how can I respond to simple boxes? Health care is too complicated for checking off simple choice boxes. This part is simple. Everyone a citizen should have health care insurance (ergo, a single payer system). We left health care to the private sector and the private sector punted, by a variety of devices (the simplest being to hire only part-time workers).  The private sector may indeed the best option when you want automobiles designed and built (although even that seems arguable at times). But the private sector isn’t too good when what you want is some kind of fair treatment of the citizenry.  That’s why we invented government.
Oh, and then there was the range of questions about foreign affairs. So, it turns out that Obama isn’t really too great at the foreign policy thing. Maybe it’s just a lack of experience. But then think about some of our past presidents, who were thought better at that game—Nixon comes to mind. He was good at many things, mostly domestic as it turns out, but he screwed up a lot at the foreign affairs thing. His plan to get us out of Vietnam turns out to have been that we should bomb Cambodia and then keep shooting for another five years or so. And then, of course there’s Dubya. Obama looks like a genius compared with that wrecking crew. But nonetheless, the foreign affairs scene is bad and getting worse almost daily. Between the Middle East, or perhaps all of Islam-Land, killing off local folks just cuz, Central America where people are streaming out to anywhere they can to avoid being killed, Africa now being consumed by Ebola, or Russia where Vlad is acting out his dream of becoming a Czar, there’s just killing/dying everywhere you look. Obama simply isn’t up to it, but then who would be?  St. Ronald? Hmmm . . . I don’t think so. He is best known for trading arms with terrorist regimes and invading . . . where was it . . . the Grenada medical school??
But finally, the survey failed to touch on our central political problem—the takeover of one party by the very rich, shifting that party to the right of Attila the Hun and invoking the racists of the country in support of preventing our first Black President (well he’s really mixed race) from getting anything done. How to create simple boxes to check to describe that phenomenon? Maybe in the near future, we will become a new system, somewhere in between a full royal system and a democratic society. We will be bribed into electing a king who will then appoint a Congress of serfs, who will in turn pass laws that are “good for us”.

Won’t that be fun??

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin, We Miss You Already

Every once in a while we lose someone who seems genuinely good, however troubled. Robin Williams seemed one of those good people.  He made us laugh and that’s a good thing in this increasingly absurd world. I really know little about his personal life. He has three children and as many wives.  He had addiction problems. But many have such problems. It is also not surprising that a comedian of his stature was troubled—Laugh clown laugh comes to mind. I often think that the true genius comedians, like Williams, are troubled folks and they use comedy as a way of communicating with a world that is, at best, troubled.

One can look almost anywhere in this place we call home—Earth—and find trouble. All over the Muslim world, from all of the Middle East and Africa to those sections of Asia that celebrate Islam, and you will find riotous behavior, even murderous behavior. In other parts of Africa we find disease—Ebola comes to mind—and such economic deprivation that people are desperately trying to leave to other parts.

In this section of our globe, we can observe children desperately trying to leave Central or South America to avoid being murdered by the anarchic gangs who roam there, virtually unhindered by any civilized force.
And here, in our wonderland called the US of A, we find the so-called 1% and their GOP serfs attempting at every turn to dismantle the structures that have made us the envy of the world. We can observe wealth so disproportionately distributed that we begin to run the risk of revolution by the masses.

So, Robin Williams observed all this weirdness and this nastiness and used humor to counter its most toxic effects, until perhaps he was overwhelmed by our global insanity. Maybe, he could take no more of it and declared OVER, FINISHED. It is at an END.

He was perhaps too civilized and too caring to continue living amongst us. He leaves behind many folks who cared about him and who now grieve their loss at his cessation, not the least his family, but also his adoring fans. We never met him, or even saw him personally, yet we were touched by him as by few others.  We will miss him. We know that all good things eventually end, but the endings are nonetheless sad.

Thank you Robin. We will miss you. You have now entered that night for which there is no morning. Goodbye old friend.

And Richard Vine of the Guardian compiled the following Robin Williams gags, which I reprint here as perhaps the best tribute to this comic genius.

 "Do you think God gets stoned? I think so … look at the platypus."
• "In England, if you commit a crime, the police don't have a gun and you don't have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say: 'Stop, or I'll say stop again.'"
• "If it's the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone number?"
• "People say satire is dead. It's not dead; it's alive and living in the White House."
• "Cocaine is God's way of saying that you're making too much money."
• "I want to thank my father … the man who, when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said: 'Wonderful, just have a backup profession like welding.' Thank you."
• "We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture."
• "I suffer from severe dyslexia – I was the only kid on my block at Halloween to go trick or trout."
• "Cricket is basically baseball on Valium."
• "Politics: Poli, a Latin word meaning many; and tics meaning, bloodsucking creatures."
• "What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong."
• "I wonder what chairs think about all day: 'Oh, here comes another asshole.'"
• "They call it freebasing. It's not free, it costs you your house! It should be called homebasing!"
• "Dubya doesn't speak while Cheney's drinking water. Check that shit out."
• "I walked into my son's room the other day, and he's got four screens going at the same time. He's watching a movie on one screen, playing a game on another, downloading something on this one, texting on that one, people say: 'He's got ADD.' Fuck that, he's multitasking."
• "Is it rude to Twitter during sex? To go 'omg, omg, wtf, zzz'? Is that rude?"
• "Death is nature's way of saying, 'Your table is ready.'"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nickel & Diming

E-Mail, thinking about it, and how it used to be a communications system. In the old days, when dinosaurs still roamed freely, I used to communicate with my colleagues using CompuServe. My PC used DOS (Disk Operating System for the uninitiated) and I relied on WordPerfect and Lotus 123. I only had a few colleagues using PCs to communicate, most still insisting on that gadget called the telephone—remember them? I’m not certain, but I think my telephone had by then graduated from a rotary dial to push buttons.  It was 1986, and the world was young. There was no “E-Mail” and the closest anyone came to a little portable phone was called a “bag-phone”.

Then the Internet came into its own, and stuff called E-Mail became commonplace. In the beginning, E-Mail was mainly a communications system among the computer-literati.  Then gradually, as more folks acquired PCs, they too joined the E-Mail revolution. They still used that telephone thingie of course, since E-Mail was still not reliably in use by enough folks.

Using the PC to gain access to big peoples’ mainframes was also a lot of fun. Having worked some with the National Institutes of Health, and being therefore at least familiar with MEDLARS, the NIH biomedical research online data base (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System), I was thrilled when they established that wonderful system they called Grateful Med. Grateful Med made the Medline, or MEDLARS system readily available to relative novices.

And so it began, this Internet revolution, and on-line communications thrived and began to replace that telephone. When E-Mail first started (its starting point is somewhat in debate—some say the early 1970s, others the 1980s) it was of course a DOS based system (I ignore Apple, which I have been doing successfully since the Lisa came out), resembling perhaps today’s text messaging. In its early stages, I still sent and received e-mail from close colleagues. Slowly, that system grew to the point that I began sending and receiving to friends and family. At some point, I realized that the telephone had grown silent for most purposes. My E-Mail grew slowly and then rapidly, until it encompassed most of the people I knew.
At some stage, not sure when, I began receiving E-Mails from corporate entities. I would hear from Hewlett-Packard, for example, because I owned HP printers.  The system was still a closely held system.  Then, much like the telephone became a device for corporate entities to try to extract money from you, E-Mail joined that fraternity of money grubbers.

Now, I receive perhaps 50 E-Mails per day (it could be more; I have long ago stopped counting).  Of that number, I think I can count on two or three from actual people—friends and family. Now, most of this is my own doing of course. I get my news now through E-Mails. I subscribe to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Manchester Guardian, the Charlotte Observer, the BBC, the ABC (Australian), the CBC (Canadian), something called the Local News (from Germany), the Thai-India News, and now a host of Internet news outlets unrelated to formal newspapers or TV-Radio systems.

But also, I receive, and here I am not sure, dozens of E-Mails from political entities, from the White House the Democrat National headquarters, to the Al Franken, or the Kirsten Gillibrand web sites.

And since Barack Obama discovered that he could raise millions, perhaps a billion or more, by asking local folks to donate five dollars, I am now inundated with daily calls for $3-5 dollars. Everyone now relies on the E-Mail system to troll for money. I am guessing that I receive maybe 30 E-Mails per day, from entities asking for $3 to $25. It’s all quite reasonable, unless you begin adding up the totality of it all.  I’m being nickel and dimed to death. It is now to the point where I simply delete at least 50 E-Mails per day without reading them, because they always, always end with a request for money.  Apparently, everyone has decided that E-Mail solicitation is the true path to riches. Organizations whose missions I fully support have now adopted the same method (wildlife preservation organizations send me 3-5 per day, which I no longer read.

Now, the only actual friend-family communications I receive is through texting (no, I have not yet joined the Twitterati, although I have an account, unused). I have begun getting texts from corporate entities also, but few. Verizon, for example, sends me an E-Mail and a text to tell me that my Verizon bill is now available on-line.  I am counting the days until corporate world completely takes over the texting systems, rendering them completely useless.

I am thinking that, maybe we will return to the old days of telephone conversations. Is that possible, I wonder?? Maybe in this best of all possible worlds, the telephone will resume its honored place as a method whereby I can actually speak with one of my family or friends.   Wouldn’t that be nice?

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I’m reading with wonder and amazement the various articles and, even more, so the commentary on those articles, about the Israeli actions in Gaza.  It appears that the Israelis have managed to piss off many folks around the globe. The disproportionate Palestinian death rate is of course to be expected since Hamas fighters don’t really fight. When approached by troops with guns, they fade into the shadows and push unarmed civilians out into the open. No, Hamas is at its best when firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel. 

Or, perhaps when they convince some young thing to don a dynamite vest, walk into a crowded marketplace and detonate the vest.  Makes me wonder what the relative death toll is—Israelis killing Muslims, or Muslims killing Muslims?

I have always been struck by the strategic calculus in play. At the beginning, in 1947-48 when the world agreed to establish a Jewish state after the Holocaust, the formal armies of the opposing Middle Eastern states—Jordan, Egypt, Syria, et al began attacking with regular army troops, tanks, planes, etc. That went on for about 20 years—say 1967 and the six-day war. It seems that those nation-states finally awoke to the cold reality that, each time they attacked Israel, they got quite bloody and generally lost some of their territory.  At some point, they must have decided collectively that attacking Israel frontally and with formal armies was a losing proposition. So, they withdrew their pseudo-armies from the field and elected a different strategy—throw civilians into the fray. Give civilians some arms and, especially, some rockets and let them harass Israel by firing indiscriminately so as to kill Jews wherever they could.  That game continues. 

And of course, throughout the Middle East, the anarchy continues with “civilians” using dynamite vested individuals, and now real arms, planes, tanks, missiles, to destabilize not only Israel, but all of the other states.  As a result, the entire region could best be described as anarchic. Adults no longer seem to be in charge anywhere, including Israel.

I wonder, how many people have to die before we conclude that too many people have died??