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Posted by on Jul 14, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 0 comments

MSNBC: Mueller’s Latest Indictments Show That ‘Witches’ Are Very Real

 

 

Crediting the MSNBC website for this article (posted below), there’s absolutely NO DOUBT the so-called “witches” in Robert Mueller’s FBI investigation are indeed very real.

This is one of the clearest yet most comprehensive briefings on precisely where we stand at the moment in the criminal inquiry which is in the process of exposing the President of the United States as a criminal, and quite possibly a compromised asset of a hostile foreign power.  All the President’s Men are already being charged (Manafort, Flynn, and other liars) and some have pled guilty.  Manafort’s eating cold beans in jail right now for tampering with witnesses, a federal crime.  The dragnet is picking up the drudge.

Here’s the article from MSNBC re-posted in full, which I encourage everyone to read:

 

Mueller’s Latest Indictments Show That ‘Witches’ Are Very Real

 

Four vital takeaways from today’s charges:

Earlier today the Grand Jury for the District of Columbia charged twelve Russian intelligence officers with conspiring “to gain unauthorized access (to ‘hack’) into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.” The operation was sustained and sophisticated, and it targeted “over 300 individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, DCCC, and DNC,” according to the indictment.

Furthermore, the operation was consequential. When, in February, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office released its indictment of Russians involved in the effort to impact American debate through social media, there was some justified chuckling at the small scale and amateurishness of that effort. The messages were silly, and the spending was a drop in the ocean compared to the massive, sustained, and coordinated social-media spending of American political parties and their allies.

The hacking scandal was different. The hacking scandal mattered.

There’s no way to know if it moved enough votes in key states to swing the election, but the leaks of hacked emails dominated multiple news cycles, embarrassed key Democrats, and sowed a degree of discord within the Democratic party. Republicans, including Donald Trump, exulted in the revelations and sometimes explicitly called for more. “Russia, if you’re listening,” Trump said publicly on July 27, 2016, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Interestingly, it appears the Russians may indeed have been listening. “After hours” on July 27, the conspirators “for the first time” targeted “email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office,” according to Friday’s indictment.

There will be much more analysis and dot-connecting in the coming days, some of it valuable and much of it specious. But for now here are four key takeaways:

1. This indictment demonstrates why it’s important that Mueller be permitted to finish his work. Our nation needs to know what happened in 2016, and Mueller — through both the social-media indictment and the hacking indictment — has provided a clearer picture of the precise details of alleged Russian election meddling than any other source. This is a valuable public service, and to the extent that he can hold the actual conspirators accountable, it’s also an act of necessary justice.

2. It’s now becoming increasingly clear why intelligence agencies believe that Russians were trying to help Trump and hurt Clinton — the scale of the attack on the Clinton campaign, the DCCC, and the DNC was troubling. And while there are past reports that the Russians attempted to hack Republicans, this indictment outlines a comprehensive and sustained effort against the Democrats and is silent about a similar conspiracy aimed at Republicans. Perhaps more information will emerge, but the available public evidence at this point bolsters the intelligence agencies’ unanimous conclusion that Russia tried to help Trump.

3. The indictment practically screams, “More information is coming!” — including additional information about Russian communication with American citizens. For example, paragraph 43a of the indictment contains the first evidence of possible Russian collusion with an American candidate for public office — not President Trump, but an unnamed candidate for Congress:

Then there’s this disturbing detail about a transfer of information (including the personal identifying information of Democratic donors) to a “state lobbyist and online source of political news”:

Finally, there’s this partial record of communication between the newly indicted Russians and a “person who was in regular contact with senior members” of Trump’s presidential campaign:

Thus, while the indictment doesn’t establish collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, it clearly indicates that Mueller possesses evidence and information that the public hasn’t yet seen. Guesses about that additional evidence are just that, guesses, but we can make an educated presumption that there is more to come.

4. This indictment makes it even more troubling that Trump mocks, denigrates, and undermines the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt.” We now know that there was real wrongdoing; we just don’t yet know its extent.

We don’t yet know if Trump cooperated in any way with Russian schemes. But when we learn more about the extent of Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election (and aid Trump), when we remember that Donald Jr. actually tried to collude, when we ponder for more than a few moments the web of financial connections between senior Trump aides such as Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn and the Kremlin or Kremlin allies, and when we know that Russians contacted Trump friends and advisers to offer “dirt” on the Clinton campaign — well, Trump’s repeated demands that the investigation end become much less understandable.

Republicans were rightly outraged when Barack Obama opined about the pending Clinton-email investigation, and we have since learned that his gratuitous and public exoneration of the then–likely Democratic nominee created a headache for the FBI. Now it’s time for Republicans to be consistent. As Mueller reveals more facts about Russian interference and indicts more individuals for troubling crimes uncovered as part of his entirely legitimate investigation, it’s time for the GOP to tell the president that the hunt needs to continue, because the witches are very real.

 

Be sure and visit my Facebook page for more discussion on this article and other related topics.

 

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Posted by on Jun 24, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Politics, Restaurant Reviews, What's Left | 16 comments

The Fine Line Between Civility and Civil Disobedience

 

 

Should public figures, including people we despise, always be entitled to normal common courtesies?  For example — what if the most offensive human being you can think of suddenly walked into your place of business?  Would you serve him/her?

 

I’m torn down the middle by the Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Red Hen restaurant controversy.

In case you didn’t hear, President Trump’s federally-funded falsifier and simpleton stonewaller, otherwise known as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, planned to dine out over the weekend at a posh restaurant in Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains.  When Sanders arrived, she was firmly but politely told she wasn’t welcome by the establishment.  The Red Hen’s owner steadfastly refused to serve Sanders.  The decision was based purely on politics.  In other words, Sanders would have been welcome at the Red Hen had she been any lower-level employee, someone anonymous, or just about anyone else in the universe.  She was refused service for one simple reason — because she holds a high-profile position in the Trump Administration, which is viewed by millions of Americans as the epitome of evil and incompetence.

I’ll veer around the legal debate and skip obvious comparisons to wedding cakes.  Recall the recent Supreme Court decision which effectively now allows any business to openly discriminate against customers based on personal objections to their lifestyle (a gay couple was refused service at a bakery, leading to a lawsuit).  It seems that if a bakery owner can tell someone to “leave” because of some confusion about where certain body parts belong, then a restaurant owner can say “goodbye” to someone who’s unremitting lies to the press and the public have turned the White House into a laughing stock that’s no longer funny.

Predictably, Trump supporters were outraged by what happened.  Right-wing media bubbled over like an overflowing toilet.  No one would even have even known about the isolated incident, except that Sanders blasted out the following tweet:

That’s one perspective.  The other side had quite a different interpretation of events.  The restaurant owner called the refusal to accommodate Sanders an act of civil disobedience.  The owner-citizen had become so fed up with Sanders’ serial lies and constant deflection that he felt a moral obligation to take a stand given the unique opportunity presented when Sanders unexpectantly walked into his restaurant on Friday night.

Was Sanders treated unfairly?

How you answer is likely based on tribal reflexes rather than an objective evaluation of what refusing service to someone really means and most certainly ignores much broader and far more serious implications of carrying out such measures to the extreme.  Not only is humiliating people wrong in most cases, disturbances of the kind could very likely result in an escalation of hostilities and open season in what’s become a culture war.

So, if lines are to be drawn, where should we draw them?

I think most will agree that just about everyone should be entitled to fair treatment.  Otherwise, society can’t function.  The Sanders controversy aside, I can’t imagine any successful business owner refusing to serve a customer based solely on politics.  The reason for broad acceptance of differences and collective tolerance is simple:  Banning a customer is bad for business.

We’re also likely to agree that public figures, including political leaders, should be treated with common courtesy in everyday life.  This fundamental tenet is bipartisan.  No matter what we may think of an elected (or appointed) public official, governing in a civil society demands some degree of decorum.  People should enjoy the right to private time with their families and friends.  They should be extended the same level of service and professional courtesies as any typical patron.

But wait.  Are there limits to normal expectations of civility?  We’re about to pressure test them, now.

What if you’re a restaurant owner and this man walks in and asks for a table?

That’s David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, an avowed White supremacist, and the former Republican gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana.

Would you allow him to dine at your place of business?

Proving this is a non-ideological exercise, instead, let’s suppose this man walks in and requests a table.  Would you serve him?

That’s Louis Farrakhan, an anti-Semite, a Black Nationalist, and leader of the Nation of Islam.

Would you permit him to dine at your place of business?

Duke and Farrakhan may be on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  But consistency rather than hypocrisy probably demands that your answers be the same.  If you refuse to serve Duke, then you probably should also refuse to serve Farrakahn, and vice versa.

Here’s one more prospective “guest” to ponder:

That’s Martin Shkreli, the douchebag punk (and now a convicted felon) who bought a patent to a rare pharmaceutical drug prescribed as a matter of life and death for its patients and then hiked the drug’s cost 56 times the original price.  A few years ago, Shkreli even “won” a poll asking “who’s the most hated man in America?”  Obviously, that poll came out before Trump became a serious presidential candidate.

If you owned a restaurant and Shkreli walked in wanting a table, would you serve him?

What about Harvey Weinstein?  What about Bill Cosby?  What about the jackass who takes Safari selfies after shooting a giraffe?  Would they be welcome at your place of business?

Indeed, there are many cretins, crooks, and con men who go through daily life unmolested in public places.  There are countless racists and rapists who frequent fancy boutiques and upscale restaurants and receive impeccable treatment.  There are some moral and ethical ambiguities at work here when we admonish a partisan political figure and then give a free pass to others who have committed well-documented disgusting acts.

Of course, doing nothing is always the easiest option.  Non-confrontation is the easy way out.  Ignoring the evil deeds of the wicked and overlooking the terrible harm they do — often at the expense of the helpless who have no power nor voice — is a natural human instinct.  We’ve become subject to mass desensitization, to not only to our basic human responsibilities of decency but also willfully blind to awareness of misdeeds.  Sometimes, scandal has even become a cause for celebration.  We covet meeting anyone who’s famous — be they a mob boss or a Kardashian.  O.J. Simpson can’t go out in public without being hounded by gawkers waving smartphones.  Fact is — famous people never get turned away at restaurants.  It doesn’t happen.

Except now, for Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

I do wish we could return to a much healthier and more productive time when political differences weren’t obstacles, but opportunities.  Perhaps after the Trump nightmare ends, we can return to a culture of civility and cooperation.  I hope it’s not too late.

Unfortunately, Trump and his supporters have gutted all the rules as to how the political game is played.  Starting at the very top with a constant bombardment of impulsive tweets and petty personal attacks on just about everyone, from movie stars to Gold Star families, he and his sycophantic personality cult have annihilated the traditions of common civility.  Defaming, dividing, and ultimately destroying all opposition is Trump’s modus operandi.

Call what happened at the Red Hen what it is — a small payback.

Those, like Sanders, who not only carry out acts which debase the culture and willfully deceive an entire nation must be subject to the consequences of what they are doing.  Political protest isn’t pretty.  It’s not polite.  It’s not meant to be pretty and polite.  Political protest, through peaceful acts of civil disobedience, is intended to entice a broader debate and inspire others to take similar action.

Let the civil disobedience begin.  And let’s also remember — to keep things civil.

 

 

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Posted by on Jun 12, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Politics, Rants and Raves, What's Left | 0 comments

Trump’s North Korea Summit: A Fraudulent Photo Op

 

 

NUCLEAR SUMMIT SCOREBOARD:

NORTH KOREA – 3
UNITED STATES – 0

“I may be wrong. I may be standing in front of you in six months and say, ‘I was wrong.’ I don’t know if I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of excuse.”

— President Donald Trump speaking at press conference in Singapore

 

Yeah, Trump really said that. “I’ll find some kind of excuse.”

Wow.

Typical.

Trump just got played like a clueless dope at the ring toss of a rigged carnival game. He blew his wad and ended up holding a stuffed teddy bear.

Just days after pissing off virtually all America’s longtime allies following the disastrously embarrassing G-7 summit, Trump’s monumental ineptitude was on full display, getting punked at every juncture by a murderous dictator lacking any social skills, an adversary with no previous experience whatsoever in international negotiations.  The so-called great American dealmaker was out-dealt on every single significant policy issue.

Trump got Trumped. He behaved like a human wrecking ball who mistakenly pulled the wrong lever and knocked down his own house.

What did Trump and the United States get in return for concessions?

Answer: An empty, vaguely-worded 426-word “statement” with no specifics whatsoever addressing North Korea’s “denuclearization,” which was the entire purpose of the summit.

North Korea scored the following huge wins:

1. Kim Jong-un garnered rock-star treatment on the world stage for the first time and achieved superpower status for North Korea. Meanwhile, Trump flattered the murderous dictator with one of the worst human rights records in the world, who continues to imprison, torture, and starve hundreds of thousands of his own people. Trump did not say a word about human rights. Not one word.  Major fail.

2. North Korea got the United States to cease all joint military exercises in South Korea, which was a major concession and huge victory for dictatorship. Meanwhile, South Korea was reportedly totally “blindsided” by this announcement. They were not consulted. Oh, and the Korean War is still apparently going on.  Peace between the two adversarial Koreas wasn’t addressed.

3. The joint statement failed to address any kind of verification process, nor provided any timetable for “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. Both leaders, who have yet to demonstrate any trustworthiness whatsoever on any personal or political issue, promised to work towards peace. How nice. Maybe at the next summit, Trump will buy Kim an ice cream cone.  Two pals.

“I trust him,” Trump said, referring to Kim who has violated every single previous international agreement on nuclear weapons and testing.

Meanwhile, the United States got…..nothing. Zippo. Nada. Oh, Trump did get a handshake and a promise.

This wasn’t Nixon visiting China.  This wasn’t the Detente of the 21st Century.  This was a photo op ending with a scrap of paper signed by two men whose word means absolutely NOTHING.

The first World Cup match is over and done: North Korea wins 3-0.

Meanwhile, the American political Right, conservatives, and Trump sycophants guzzle more toxic Kool-Aid. The same crybabies who whined about the dangers of normalizing relations with Cuba (because that was an Obama thing) and tore up an effective (verifiably working) Iran nuclear agreement (that was an Obama thing, too) swallow Trump’s lies and fellate the hype.

Quoting Trump’s own hopelessly ill-prepared words at a post-summit press conference, six months from now when we evidence from clearly proves North Korea *still* has nuclear weapons and ICBMs capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, proving NOTHING was accomplished, perhaps Trump will “think of an excuse.”

No worries. Trump’s clueless cultists will believe anything they’re told. In this regard, Trump and Kim have so much in common.

__________

Footnote:

1985: North Korea signs Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty
1992: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#1)
1994: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#2)
1999: North Korea signs historic agreement to end missile tests
2000: North Korea signs historic agreement to reunify Korea! Nobel Peace Prize is awarded
2005: North Korea declares support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula
2005: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program and “denuclearize”! (#3)
2006: North Korea declares support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula
2006: North Korea again support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula
2007: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#4)
2007: N&S Korea sign agreement on reunification
2010: North Korea commits to ending Korean War
2010: North Korea announces commitment to “denuclearize”
2010: North Korea again announces commitment to “denuclearize”
2011: North Korea announces plan to halt nuclear and missile tests
2012: North Korea announces halt to nuclear program
2015: North Korea offers to halt nuclear tests
2016: North Korea again announces support for “denuclearization”

 

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Posted by on Mar 30, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments

Are the Family Members of Politicians Fair Game for Criticism?

 

 

Yesterday, the husband of Trump Administration spokesperson Kellanne Conway was caught deleting a series of personal tweets that were highly critical of the president.

My question is — why?

Why did Mr. Conway feel any need to delete something he believes?  Furthermore, why was this newsworthy?  Mr. Conway isn’t running for anything.  He holds no position inside the Trump Administration.  He’s a private citizen.

Doesn’t every individual have the right to an opinion and the freedom to express it?  If Kellyanne Conway’s husband tweeted out that President Trump acts like a chimpanzee, why does it matter?  His personal comments are no reflection on her.  It’s only a reflection on him and an honest expression of opinion.

I’m baffled as to why family members of politicians should be required to fall in iron lockstep with orthodoxy.  Does anyone really expect each family member of every elected official to agree 100 percent of the time on all the issues?  If that’s the case, then that’s not a marriage.  It’s blind servitude.

Politicians will say what they say and do what they do.  But the many wives, husbands, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers of those who run for high office should never be expected to subjugate themselves nor hide their views.

My opinion on this is non-partisan.  It doesn’t matter which family member of what politician belonging to whichever party is expressing an opinion.  Everyone should be entitled to their views.  Moreover, no action, no embarrassment, and no arrest should negatively reflect on the politician.  When President George W. Bush’s twin daughters were caught drinking while underage in the midst of his presidency, that shouldn’t have been newsworthy.  They were typical 19-year-old girls doing what most college students do.  Leave them alone.

Many years ago, actress Elizabeth Taylor was married to Sen. John Warner, a Republican from Virginia.  Taylor was widely criticized when she broke ranks with her husband and announced during a campaign interview that she was pro-choice on abortion.  She still loved and fully supported Sen. Warner.  She even campaigned at his side.  But the couple had an honest difference of opinion on that issue.  So what?  Taylor managed to deflect the criticism because, well — she was Liz Taylor.  The family members of most candidates and family members aren’t quite as lucky.  They’re muzzled.

I think it’s terribly unfair to attack the family members of most politicians.  This especially applies to the way they look.  Perhaps the most unfortunate recent instance of a family member who faced constant ridicule for her physical appearance was Chelsea Clinton.  If Chelsea had been anyone else but the first daughter of two controversial political leaders, she wouldn’t have attracted a second glance nor even a mention.  But since she was a Clinton, Chelsea even as a child became an inviting target.  I find resorting to such depths disgraceful.

What about the current administration?  What about President Trump’s kids?  What about his wife?  What about his ex-wives?  Are they fair game?

It all depends.  President Trump has appointed at least two of his immediate family members — daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared — to be advisors and adjunct diplomatic envoys.  Both have offices inside the White House.  Both have voluntarily assumed various responsibilities of leadership within the administration.  Hence, both became fair game.

What about more personal stuff?  Should Ivanka have been asked about her daddy’s dirty deeds as she was in an interview a few weeks ago when his serial peccadillos came up during a televised media appearance?  Absolutely.  She’s fair game because she’s a high-profile advocate for her father.

Trump’s two sons — Donald Jr., and Eric — are also fair game.  Why?  Both Trump sons have openly tweeted many times and frequently spoken out in the media on serious political matters, especially relating to their abrasive father.  They’ve also launched public attacks against critics and have even spoken at political rallies.  Even more pertinent — there’s clear evidence both are profiting handsomely from their cozy business relationships which are tied to their obvious association with the White House.  Both are completely fair game.

First Lady Melania Trump is a much tougher question to ponder.  Surely, grace and even some latitude should be extended to the person who’s married to the president.  Traditionally, first ladies have been expected to assume a certain role, and willingly become a servant.  Were she to face cameras and be interviewed, I’m not sure there’s any rationale for Melania to be asked about such a private matter.  Unlike Ivanka and Jared who are globetrotting the world willingly advancing the Trump agenda, Melania seems much less linked to policy.  That said, her “anti-bullying” campaign does seem ironic given the attack dog nature of her husband.

It’s hard to remember the last independent and outspoken first lady who deviated in any meaningful way from the president’s platform.  Betty Ford comes to mind on the Equal Rights Amendment, which was a hot topic during the mid-1970’s (President Gerald Ford was against the ERA).  But she didn’t stay in the White House for long (just two years) and became far better known for her advocacy of addiction issues after the Fords left the White House.

It seems at least two close Trump Family members deserve to be excluded from public criticism, and even matters of mass speculation — what’s often referred to in the media as “palace intrigue.”  According to my knowledge, daughter Tiffany Trump has kept her distance from all the turmoil.  She hasn’t given any interviews nor expressed her opinions on social media.  It seems terribly unfair to lump her in with political activism and thus subject her to criticism.  Secretly, she may harbor some serious concerns about the harm her father is doing to the country.  Who knows?  I say, leave her alone.

Barron, Trump’s 12-year-old son, also deserves a pass for no other reason than he’s way too young for scrutiny and shouldn’t be subject to the same spotlight as his older brothers.  During the 2016 presidential campaign, I found speculation about Barron’s mental capabilities to be quite disgusting.  Perhaps Barron will turn out as bad as his dad.  Then, maybe he’ll take another route in life.  But please — let’s give the kid a chance.

Sadly, President Obama’s immediate family was viciously attacked, especially by the far-Right.  Obama’s two daughters — Sasha and Malia — appeared to be excellent students and model children.  But that didn’t stop the racial slurs.  The ceaseless barrage of stomach-turning comments about the first family went on for eight years.  It was despicable.

Which brings me back to Mr. Conway, who made those nasty tweets about President Trump.  I say, leave him alone.  And let Kellyanne Conway do her job without being queried about her husband’s views.

It’s time we allow all individuals to express their personal views without regard to their last name and who they’re related to.  It’s also past time we leave those alone who, for whatever reason, choose not to be involved politically.

_____

 

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Politics | 4 comments

Another Brick in the Wall

 

 

The terrible costs of war are almost impossible to calculate.  However, let me try to give just a little perspective.

 

At first glance, this may appear to be a humorous column.  It’s not.

I’m building a cement wall in my backyard.  Yesterday, I unloaded 120 cinder blocks off a rental truck weighing 28 pounds each, plus ten bags of mortar.  Then, I carried everything into the back, two bricks at a time, which took me almost three hours.  In a few days, I’ll mix the cement, lift each block into place, make a huge mess, and slowly begin building my wall.

Total Cost:  $220.

Time:  16 hours (estimated)

Labor:  Backbreaking

Construction is hard work.  It’s brutal on the 56-year-old body, especially if you’re doing things manually (without machines and tools).  The weather is cool now here in Las Vegas, but it must be excruciating to do construction work full-time in the summer when temperatures soar to 116 degrees and everything gets so hot to the touch, your hand can get scorched.

I don’t like construction work.  I’d much rather be drinking wine and wasting time arguing politics on Facebook.

Construction work sucks.

_____

 

You’re looking at a photograph of someplace in Syria.

I don’t know the name of the city.  It doesn’t matter.

Take a closer look at all those buildings, all the walls, all the cement dust, all the destruction.  Then, multiply what you see in this photograph by 100,000 or 1,000,000 or 10,000,000.  I have no idea how massive the destruction is in that country.  It’s probably incalculable.

Think of how many walls in Syria and other parts of the world plagued by war need to be torn down.  Then, removed.  Then, new bricks and cement need to be trucked in.  Finally, each brick must be set into place.

Think of the cost.  Think of the time needed.  Think of the labor.

It’s almost unfathomable to contemplate.

But the work must be done.  One brick at a time.

_____

 

I’m building a wall which takes me two full days.  In some ways, I have it easy.  There’s nothing to tear down or remove.  No bombs are falling on me from the sky while I work.  No walls will collapse and kill me.  It’s a simple job.

I have the luxury of taking breaks.  I can grab a drink anytime.  I have my music playing in the background.  There’s a toilet just a few steps away.  I will enjoy a nice lunch and an even better dinner.  I will sleep in a comfortable bed at night.

Sure, it’s a tough job.  I will have body aches afterward.  But it’s a hell of a lot easier than what some people are faced with in another part of the world.

I’m not going to complain that my back aches.  Some people have it a lot tougher.

_____

 

As I was carrying all those bricks yesterday I thought of the people in Syria and other places in the world suffering the cruel fate of war — people I do not now and likely will never meet.  It’s always the innocent who suffer most, often women and children.

Most of those people who will end up doing all the heavy lifting and trying to rebuild their walls and lives did no wrong.  They committed no crimes.  They had nothing to do with the brutal hostilities which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the current refugee crisis resulting from millions fleeing the terror.  Yet those still in Syria and other places are the ones who will be forced to lift the bricks, mix the mortar, and construct a new society hopefully with a better future than the past.

My aches and pains will be multiplied a hundred-million times over by people who likely are not as healthy or well fed or safe.

Worst of all for those willing to work and build new walls is not knowing what will happen ahead.  I’m confident that my wall will stand.  Nothing poses any threat to its construction.  But what about those new walls built in that devastated faraway place?  Will they last?  If so, for how long?  Will another bomb fall?  Will there be a new war?

Building my wall gives me some perspective about the horrific costs of war.  Those who pay the highest cost of the destruction are often those who least deserve to bear the burdens, but always end up paying for the sins of the wicked.

_____

 

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