Nov 272015


by Alex Symington…….

I cannot begin to register the depth of my disgust with those of our elected officials denying sanctuary to men, women and children that have lost everything, except for their lives, in the Syrian civil war. The post Paris fear mongering has surpassed 9/11 proportions of hysteria and, is as misguided and wrong headed as was the focus of our retaliation for that event. In point of fact, that baseless reaction created the very thing that today is causing us to go off half cocked again, which seems to be the USA’s default modus operandi.

Just as in the 9/11 attacks NONE of the perpetrators were Iraqi, but we went after Iraqis with a vengeance, so it is in the Paris attacks there were no Syrian refugees, as claimed by propagandists and corporate media. They were all French or Belgium nationals, yet once again we are punishing the wrong people.

I spoke of history last week in regard to the Middle East and Western, specifically American, ignorance of the past being the root of our pain. With the short term memory of a gnat, we can’t even remember 2001 and our misplaced myopic focus on the wrong guys. Reading about how many politicians and civilians alike are reacting to the Paris killings it is clear that these folks prefer to emote rather than think. Any fool can be angry, but it takes intelligence and critical thinking to find more effective paths to even a temporary solution.

There is no magic shiny red button to press to kill ISIS or make them vanish. The real world is not a sterile video game, despite the similarities to it with our remote control drone killings; it is still very messy on the receiving end. For every kill we make there will be reciprocation in kind. ISIS does not want the West to take in the refugees in the hope that some of those refugees will join them to express their anger. ISIS propaganda might sound like this, “The infidel speaks of freedom and democracy, but when challenged, will not deliver.” The West is doing everything ISIS wants it to do. Bomb more Muslims and deny sanctuary to those fleeing chaos and death in order to radicalize more Muslims. Plainly stated, we are idiots playing our parts.

Contemporary urban poet, Eminem, has accurately dubbed the US, “The Divided States of Embarrassment” and a “Democracy of Hypocrisy”. All the strutting and posturing and propaganda are reminiscent of every historical scenario of what happens when the people choose false security over basic human rights. It happened in this country in the forties with Japanese American internment camps and the fifties with the McCarthy “Red Scare”. (It also happened in Germany in the late thirties.) I doubt very much if many of our elected in congress could pass a simple high school civics exam. Judging by the un-constitutional xenophobic vitriol being spewed by right wing POTUS contenders they would also get a big “FAIL” on the test. Perhaps our ignorance of how our government is meant to function, i.e. Civics, is due to the fact it isn’t being taught much anymore.

Whatever happened to us?! What happened to the “land of the free and home of the brave”? Clearly freedom and bravery are subjective concepts these days. Comedian, George Carlin, rest his soul, coined the word “pussification” that very succinctly sums up what has happened to us. We have been “pussified” to the point of being paralyzed by fear of “the other” coupled with an unrealistic demand for security. Come on! Get a grip, be pro-active and not knee-jerk. Stop living your life in fear. As Carlin once said, “Take a chance, live a little! What?! Are you going to eat at Wendy’s and read People Magazine until the end of time?! Take a chance!”

News flash, America! These poor souls from Syria cannot go home. Their homes and jobs and businesses and water plants and roads and bridges and schools and hospitals and libraries and parks and movie theaters and shops and car dealerships and restaurants are God damned rubble! Take a chance! Do the right thing. Be a real bad ass American and grow a pair and help these people out. Is it such a stretch of your imagination to put yourself in their place? Think. Realize and work your Christian ethics and beliefs. “There but for the grace of God, go I”. Talk is cheap.

By the way, the vetting process for refugees to enter the US is no picnic. Refugees must undergo an 18- to 24-month screening process, minimum, that the United Nations’ refugee arm oversees. And that’s before individual countries even begin to consider a refugee’s application and conduct their own additional interviews and background checks.

Throughout that process, U.N. officials and local government officials in temporary host countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon look to determine the legitimacy of asylum seekers’ claims and ensure that they meet the criteria of a refugee, including that they are not and have not been involved in any fighting or terrorist activities. Refugees also have their retinas scanned and have their fingerprints lifted. Christopher Boian, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, called the process “stringent” and “long and complex.”

As congress and about twenty-five governors freak out about people trying to enter the country as refugees, there is a much faster, easier method for would be terrorists to get into the US; the visa waiver program. If you’re a citizen of one of thirty-eight mostly European countries, including France and Belgium, the travelers from those countries don’t even need to first apply for a visa to get into the United States. They just buy a ticket, grab their passport, and undergo the usual screening from U.S. customs officials when they land in the U.S. They are still checked against security databases before they get on the plane and upon arrival.

The fact that some of the Paris attack suspects were European citizens who would have had access to the visa waiver program is setting off some alarm bells. U.S. national security officials said at least one of the eight Paris attackers likely would have been able to travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program. Bearing that in mind, our lawmakers are strutting around congratulating themselves, but lying to the American people, WMD style, that they have made us safer by denying deserving and harmless people access to immigrate here, yet are ignoring the real threat of the “visa waiver method” of terrorists arriving on our shores. I’ll say it again…idiots.

With thousands of Syrian families suffering through no fault of their own, here we have an opportunity to show terrorists and the world what America and Americans are made of. Do we repeat those fearful dark moments of our past or create a future and a history where we and our descendants can hold our heads high and say, “Yes, we took a chance, but we saved the lives of thousands of people and in turn became better people ourselves”, or was Carlin right about us?

All beings tremble before violence.
All fear death. All love life.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do?

~ The Buddha ~

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 November 27, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am Alex Symington, Issue #142  Add comments

  15 Responses to “The Divided States of Embarrassment”

  1. The vast majority of people in this country live in a state of irrational fear. It seems apparent to me that this fearfulness is intentionally induced- possibly by Ray Jason’s “malignant overlords”- via mainstream media both directly and I suspect subliminally. I notice that the people who spend the most time in front of the “boob tube” seems the most afflicted. Add a healthy dose of fluoride to the brain in the form of drinking water additive, dental “protection” products, and prescription medications, and what has resulted is the perfect petri dish for manipulation and subjugation of the populace: laziness, apathy, ignorance and fear. Independent thought is a rarity and demonized. Like the slide down the mountain scene in “Romancing the Stone”, there may be no hope now of altering course or speed. If people still believe the official conspiracy theory promulgated by the feds of a few Muslim terrorists with little box cutters and no meaningful flight experience hijacking commercial passenger flights and effecting the controlled implosion of 3 buildings (including one at distance and two specifically designed to withstand heavy freight airplane impact and fire), then people are naive, lazy, apathetic, ignorant and fearful enough to believe whatever tripe they are told by an “official source.” I have learned that whatever reason is given for anything, including refugee rejection, is seldom the real reason. The real reason can invariably be tied to money and power and never to compassion or empathy. The power structure is psychopathic and feeds its own needs only, although it may feign otherwise as a manipulation tactic. If one considers all possibilities objectively, usually only one possibility has a truly logical explanation. It is tough to analyze objectively when fearful. Panic kills. Stop. Think rationally. Act accordingly, even if that means no action, like not trying to outswim a shark or outrun a bear and thereby invoking an innate predatory response. George Carlin was a true visionary. A little harsh and blunt at times, but it was tough love. He could have been funny without telling it how it is and offending much of his audience, but he took the chance, God bless him. Watch some of his performances on Youtube. I wish he was still around to make sense of the current chaos, general idiocy, and emotionalism.

  2. The magic bullet is to stand up to the Islamic terrorists, we must have the necessary tools to find the Islamic terrorists hiding as Syrian refugees. Perhaps, if the civilized world had stood up to Hitler and Hiro Hito, it would not have been necessary to fire bomb German cities and drop two atomic bombs on Japan.

    Muslims must realize that Shari law has no place in America. The principles of freedom must be upheld, after all, that’s why they came here.

    We are all the same under our skins, that’s why ALL lives matter, there is no place for inhumanity.

  3. I think we may not be divided enough, and I wish The People were more “bovine,” as you put it. I watched a snippet of a Trump speech, where he got fervid cheers for approving waterboarding, and going further, and even if torture does not get useful information, we should do it because “those people deserve it.” The people are less “bovine” than “tiger shark.” I think Osama won. He broke America’s moral compass, and we are lost on a sea of immorality.

  4. Alex, I think we should get one thing straight here: the people who attacked Iraq KNEW there were no WMD’s there. Faulty intelligence? Lies, lies, all lies. God stuff, ciao, Jerome

  5. Again, it is mind programming that creates black & white divisions of humanity. Maybe it starts with competitive team sports and the associated mock (or real) aggression? We hear the voice announcing results: The Beavers annihilated the Bullfrogs 21 to 6, the Polecats squashed the Squirrels 18 to 7…” It starts as “My team is better than your team”, then as Dr. Geno says, “My tribe is better than your tribe”, then further division through “My religion is better than your religion” and further division through “Republican Catholics are better than Democrat Catholics”. Once a sufficient sense of separateness can be generated in conjunction with real or irrational fear of “the other”, then support for the extermination of the threatening “subspecies” is easy. First it was the false flag attacks of the Bush regime that mimicked destruction of the German Reichstag in 1933. Then renewal of the Patriot Act and establishment of Obama Youth as the re-embodiment of Hitler Youth. But clever orator Obama could not pull it all off. Now heil the hate mongering charisma of such as Adolph the Donald- perhaps the final metamorphosis of a beast from a beautiful beginning in 1776. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion- reminiscent of the scene from “The Fugitive” where all you can really do is try not be crushed.

    • JW, Your mention of sports, especially sports in our schools, rings a bell for me. America is just about the only country that develops its athletes in its educational system. In other places there are generally local sporting clubs where all this begins, not in the schools. I’ve always thought this sporting competition in our schools is our earliest indoctrination into mindless patriotism. Think about it: the school colors (flags), the school fight song or alma mater (the national anthems), the loyalty and dedication you are supposed to have, and for your whole life, to your school, etc. Each school and its teams are a workshop in patriotism, a dumbed down kind of patriotism. Thanks, Jerome

  6. Excellent article, Alex, and right on the money. This country is not the one I grew up in. We are lied to by our government on so many levels, and many of these lies perpetrate fear in those unwilling to think and read for themselves. As much as I will blame Fox News for cramming these fears down the throats of their viewers and spreading their slimy version of “the truth” , sometimes the “liberal media” isn’t much better. I have a lot more I would like to say but I have to cut this short for now. I just wanted to tell you “thank you and well done” for this article.

  7. Alex,

    Your articles are always beautifully written.

    W’s was a failed presidency. His desperate blunders and ignorance prepared the way for the democratic nominee.

    As an orator, promising real change, along with his inspirational presentations and eclectic message; I wanted Barrack, with all my heart and soul to succeed. Given my walk in life, I found myself too often in the mist of racial strife and hatred. It sickened me. I believed for once, “a change was gonna come”.

    During the preceding 7 years, the changed promised hasn’t happened domestically or internationally.

    The refugee problem, would not be a problem, if this situation occurred under the reign of a president who had worked, via his dedication and commitment to develop bi-partisan policies, which brought success into the lives of Americans and the nations of the world. Many citizens of all races wanted this new president to unite our country, as he garnered trust and respect from his constituents and world leaders.

    In these unsettling times, perhaps not experienced by my co-patriots in Key West, leadership, based upon the integrity and credibility one has built up while in public office; is lacking.

    Demanding that immigrants are screened, vetted and cleared for entry into the U.S. is not un-American.

    Given the world’s realties, a certain degree of caution and thoroughness are appropriate.

    It’s reported that Syrian refugees in Honduras with Greek passports, with alleged ties to ISIS, on their way to America, have been detained. These detainees are reported to be young, strong and healthy males.

    A country without immigration laws and a systemic process to control entry through its boarders, is not a nation.

    This ‘unnecessary immigration problem’ did not occur in a vacuum. It’s resultant from a leaderless nation, which has ignited the fears and discontent of a weary people.

    Blessings & Respect

    • John, I don’t think it’s correct to blame our president for the racist residue lingering unaddressed in the hearts of perhaps even ‘most’ of Americans. A person cannot lead those who refuse to be led by him.

      Despite the above, he actually has gotten quite a bit accomplished. Also, internationally, he has to remain flexible as to how to combat the ISIS residue leftovers of the BUsh-Cheney years, and domestically, the Tea Party anti-government insanity resultant from the treasonous Grover Norquist influence.

      Please, keep in mind the incompetence rife in our once respected fourth estate. They repeat what is popular, ignoring their responsibility to focus on the factual news.

      This, IMO, of course.

      :/ pip

  8. Alex, the excellence of your article is ‘dampened’, let’s say, by the lack of validity in, and ‘off the wall’ variety of, opinions from your readers. And, that is a shame; actually THE shame, that in so important a subject so many are so driven by personal emotion in grasping the important nuances.

    Of course, this is my opinion, not necessarily more valid than others. But, where is the self-awareness? How can intelligent minds be so scatterbrained?

    Your opinions are well thought out, well sourced and well written. And, should bring well considered comments.

    My comment –
    The problems of the world: In a word ‘education’; We are not taught that self-image is the root of our behaviors; We are not taught that our focus on nation, religion, race, ethnicity, and a few other ‘identities of separation’ rather than on ‘our common humanity’ is self-sabotage; We’re not taught that our individual wants and needs for ourselves and our families are virtually identical; We’re not taught what we need to know to keep and survive upon our commonly ‘owned’ and beautiful planet; Most importantly perhaps – we’re not taught to deeply question the motives of ourselves as well as all others in an honest and ‘evolving’ way, keeping in mind that we change, and they change, as we all live and acquire information.

    We’re born into our families, our communities, our nations, our races, our religions – all by random chance. Each individual of us could have been born into entirely different circumstances, mentally challenged or genius, driven by aberrations or relatively sane. I’m decidedly not religious, but for those who are – “There, but for the grace of God, go thee”. How does one see and judge another in an automatically negative way when you could actually have been that person yourself?

    I could have been born as a religiously leaning person, but, as random chance would have it, I was born with a too logical bent. Yes, we are each born into a nature nurture existence with directionality to our behaviors.
    But, that does not mean we cannot learn self-awareness and the skill of free will to see ourselves mainly as members of humanity, just as you have, Alex…

    🙂 pip

  9. What has been going on in Syria for the past 4+ years has NEVER been due to a civil war.

    Perhaps this essay from a fellow Floridian will help you to understand the true cause of the hypocrisy in this world. Fail to publish, fail to read…consider yourself part of the problem.

  10. John, I agree with Mr. Piper. The only thing I can blame Barak Obama for with regard to race and such is that he was not a strong leader. He failed to galvanize people. He did not capture the hearts and minds of the American people, but … the failures you speak about are almost exclusively the result of an opposition not interested in doing anything positive, of an opposition that cannot be considered “loyal”, which is the foundation of a democracy. It can almost be said that the opposition during Obama’s presidency was acting almost with treasonous intent. ciao, Jerome

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