Curtain Raiser

In Need of a Better Year, Colltalers

‘Marshall Islands’ contribution to climate change is only 0.00001% of the world’s emissions,’ says youth activist Carlon Zackhras. Yet it may become the first nation to evacuate its homeland due to it. It’ll get worse as the U.N. conference’s failed to broker a global agreement on carbon emissions.
Two articles of impeachment of the U.S. President will go to a full vote in the House, and then to die an undignified death at the Senate. Even to many under-rock inhabitants, the testimonies did prove Trump’s guilt. But that apparently means nothing, according to GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
But let’s start off with the world’s two most populous countries, China and India, home of almost 40% of mankind. One is known for dominating world trade and soon for overtaking the U.S. as its largest economy. And the other, for being the biggest nominal democracy, but with emphasis on nominal. They share another scary fact though, besides their colossal stats: they’re ruled by authoritarian leaders who’ve had their unchallenged ways for years.
They’re also twins on their hatred of Muslins. Under P.M. Narendra Modi’s direct sway, India’s just passed a law that all but cancels citizenship to 200 million of them, in a betrayal of so many of its own citizens, and a rebuff to next-door nemesis Pakistan. The law throws the region into turmoil and brings up India’s post-war years when Pakistan was founded as home to Islam followers, in 1947, and 1948, when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.
Modern China, of ‘Paramount’ leader Xi Junping, was founded a year later, but Islam has been a factor in Chinese society for at least 1,400 years. That hasn’t helped ethnic Turkic minority Uyghurs: reports about detention camps, persecution, and death have only confirmed the regime’s authoritarian bent. But with China more engaged than ever in world trade, the U.S. and most nations have shamefully ignored the many claims of rights abuse.
Arsenal’s Turkish-German soccer star Mesut Özil, who follows Islam and Tweeted about it, – ‘Despite all this, Muslims stay quiet?’ – faced criticism even by his own club: when it comes to China, it seems, business opportunities fare better than human rights. It’s an unwritten rule that Hong Kong protesters have learned the hard way. Granted,

Turkey’s Recep Erdogan was a guest of honor at Özil’s wedding, but still: his comments were spot on.
Speaking of staying quiet, nothing has done more to bury any prospect for hope we had to heal the U.K.’s self-inflicted wound than Boris Johnson’s landslide win. For the second time, but with much fewer excuses, Brits chose to believe in the unbelievable: that Brexit is their best bet to the future. Thus amid the grief of such a recurrent error, it’ll take time for some to begin seeing what’s already clear to most of the world: this will not work.
As Scotland has announced that it’ll vote to split up from the U.K., Northern Ireland will likely follow suit, possibly to finally rejoin Ireland. That could turn into a perilous journey that may sink the Good Friday agreements, and awaken, knock on wood, the Troubles. And Wales? it’s fine, thanks.
But the news bombshell of the week happened last Monday when the Washington Post began publishing excerpts of a 2,000-page trove of secret government documents on the Afghanistan War. And as most reports not compiled for the public at large, it doesn’t look good. It actually confirms what many already suspected, that we dove into our longest war – 18 years and counting – without preparation, purpose, or a long-term exit strategy.
After 2,400 U.S. troops and over 30,000 civilians dead, we’re stuck in a barren land, wasting taxpayers’ money into an unwinnable conflict. No change is expected, not at least till a new president moves into the White House. Some are reminded of Daniel Ellsberg and his Pentagon Papers which were crucial to end the Vietnam War. But others are concerned about Americans’ lack of outrage about their government spending trillions in endless wars.
The U.N.’s efforts to orchestrate global action against climate change is doomed if it can’t achieve what it was created for in the first place: to offer the table for nations to agree on solutions for issues affecting everybody. But for as long as pollutant corporations, oil, gas, and coal industries have a seat on that table, they won’t allow any progress to be made. Almost surely, Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ Greta Thunberg won’t be there next time around.
The three cages stand apart from each other; inside, Joseph and Mary try to look after an also caged Baby Jesus. The display by Claremont’s United Methodist Church has raised hell from those to whom Jesus was a blue-eyed blond promoting luxury real estate at the ‘Kingdom Not of This World.
There are plenty of Christians ashamed by the Trump administration’s criminalizing of its immigration policy, though. To them, the scene memorializes nameless families, victims of the border crackdown, who will spend the holidays either detained or worse, missing their children. Merry merry? Not.
Trump’s war on immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, along with his dismounting of environmental protection laws are two relevant issues not to be in the impeachment articles. That makes the whole process, albeit necessary and inexorable, also ineffective and apart from reality. Let’s hope that Congress wraps it up, book the results, and gears towards what’s important: pass the Green New Deal, fight the climate, and save the planet. Adiós. WC

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2 thoughts on “Curtain Raiser

  1. unclerave says:

    Excellent, Wes! — YUR

    Like

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