The city council members of the recently incinerated town of Paradise, all of whom lost their homes in the conflagration, voted to hoist American flags for Veteran’s Day along their devastated main street. We still haven’t reached bottom in America, but we’re way beyond the problems of this small country with its small president.
As a contemplative and philosopher long asking questions with respect to the human prospect, I cannot help but inquire into the metaphysical aspects of this terrible tragedy. Why is this happening? Is there a ‘why?’ And why am I here, so close to the fire, but not seriously threatened by it?
Is it because this is what the entire world will look like if we don’t begin to think together, ignite insight, and act from insight to bring about a breakthrough in human consciousness?
While the ‘Camp Fire’ still rages, Vice President Pence is in Singapore giving China an ultimatum. The Veep creep said this is China’s last best chance to avoid a cold war with the United States. That is unfathomably stupid. It won’t be like the Cold War with the Soviet Union, but could easily spin out of control into a nuclear war.
Trump is set to meet Xi in Buenos Aires at the upcoming Group of 20 meeting, which starts on Nov. 30. Pence menacingly harrumphed: “The president’s attitude is, we want to make sure they know where we stand, what we are prepared to do, so they can come to Argentina with concrete proposals…We’re convinced China knows where we stand.”
Someone in Paradise said, without a hint of the bitter irony, that the devastation “looked like Iraq.” Even a limited nuclear war, which is what Trump and Pence are pushing the world toward, will make what just happened here in northern California look like a campfire.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is all over the news peddling her book, “Becoming.” She speaks of her devastation at Trump’s victory, following years when the malicious Donald milked and rode the wave of birtherism to the White House, which undercut Barack’s legitimacy and threatened harm to her daughters from “wingnuts and kooks.”
Tellingly, Michelle describes in glowing terms how cordial and helpful George and Laura Bush were when the Obama’s entered the White House.
Continuity is way overrated. There was a smooth continuity from the malignant Bush Administration to the wasted Obama Administration, when there could and should have been a discontinuity, a true break setting America on a new course. Barack could and should have risked it, but he played it safe, stuck in the old patriotic and partisan script.
Michelle describes the total discontinuity she has felt since Trump was elected, but in reality, Trump is merely an extension of the malevolence of the Bush years, with suave and too-smart-by-half Barack smoothly passing the baton from George W. to the Donald.
At the World War I commemoration in Paris, for which Trump was essentially a no show, Vladimir Putin gave him a thumbs up and tap on the shoulder as they briefly met in a lineup. Trump looked pleased, even though it was a deliberate slap in the face to every freedom loving person in America and Europe.
“The millions of soldiers who died in the Great War fought to defend the “universal values” of France, Macron said, and to reject the “selfishness of nations only looking after their own interests. Because patriotism is exactly the opposite of nationalism.”
That’s rubbish. Nationalism is defined as “loyalty and devotion to a nation.” Patriotism is defined as “love for and devotion to one’s country.” That means patriotism and nationalism is a distinction without a difference.
And once again, why is it necessary to point out that we don’t have a ‘global order,’ but a collapsing international order? Macron is a multilateralist, believing that an international “order based on liberal values is worth defending against those who have sought to disrupt that system.”
That’s a reference to Trump and Putin, who seek to destroy the largely American-made international system, Putin for obvious reasons, Trump for less obvious but no less malevolent personal reasons.
Macron defended the United Nations, declaring that its “spirit of cooperation” has “defended the common good of the world.”
That’s true up to a point with respect to the UN, but the nation-state system on which it is based is history.
This is a very dangerous moment, when an old order has collapsed, but leaders refuse to see it and call for the creation of a new order. One way or another, there will be a true global order, because there will be no humanity without it.