Fleeing The Asylum

by R J Adams     April 30, 2015 at 4:28pm


Jail


I have escaped.

Well, in truth, not quite. I’m hopeful of winging my way out of this madhouse they call America in a matter of hours. We’ve made it to Detroit airport without being apprehended. Our flight leaves for London, England at 2218 hours. From there, a car to France – and sanity!

Sadly, it’ll only be for three weeks, but even that short duration will be heaven, and there’s hope we may one day return there for good. This trip is a recce of the housing market and the delights Brittany has to offer. I hope to convince my good lady that life can be better elsewhere than America.

Until later…

Au revoir et bonne journee!


R J Adams     April 30, 2015 at 4:28pm     2 Comments

Going Clear…Out Of Our Minds

by R J Adams     April 4, 2015 at 10:25pm


going-clear1


The recent expose of Scientology by HBO (based on Lawrence Wright’s book) leaves many unanswered questions concerning human society and the way it is organised and regulated. Perhaps a more appropriate phrase might be, “…how it is disorganized and unregulated”.

The marketing of snake oil has never been an entirely American invention. Conmen and tricksters have been around this earth since time immemorial but it’s taken the United States, with its twisted Constitutional ideals of “freedom”, to really hone the art of snake oil marketing into an art-form so perfect it’s allowed Scientology to evolve into a multi-billion dollar entity sufficiently powerful to force the Internal Revenue Service into capitulating to its demands.

I know of no other nation in the Western world where Scientology would have been allowed to blossom as it has in the United States of America. It’s so obviously not a religion that a levy of taxes would have rapidly put paid to its leaders’ aspirations, as would have been the case in America had the First Amendment of the Constitution not been so successfully twisted as to allow this monumental confidence trick to take on and win its case against the IRS.

We are living in a world where the violation of religious principle for political power is only too evident. Scientology bears no more true adherence to a religion than Star Trek or Game of Thrones. ISIS has as little to do with true Islam as The Unification Church has with orthodox Christianity.

Everywhere, religious belief is under attack from those who would use violence and brainwashing to gain power over others. And, who is to blame for this situation? Can there be any other fault but our own?

The human ego has long refused to accept its mortality. How can we possibly be just another animal? After all we have intelligence, and abilities impossible for any other creature on the planet. We put great store by our intelligence. We’ve built civilizations – but, so do termites. We’ve learned to farm and harvest our food – but, so do ants.

We’ve studied the Universe and discovered our beginnings – while systematically destroying our only planetary home. We’ve harnessed the power of the atom – primarily to subjugate and slaughter our fellow beings. We’ve learned to manipulate the minds of our brothers and sisters – to possess power and riches at their expense.

Animals do none of the things mentioned in the last paragraph. They helped maintain the balance of nature, until we came along and disrupted it. They hunt only for food and will rarely kill their own species. They know not riches and power, for they have no egos.

Maybe our “intelligence” is not so beneficial as we like to think it is. Perhaps it’s no more than a quirk of evolution, a branch on that great tree of life destined to wither and die for no other reason than it just doesn’t work.

Scientology could be considered a pinnacle of human intelligence. After all, it’s persuaded hundreds of thousands of human beings to part with their money, give up loved ones and friends, and devote themselves to making the cult’s present leader, David Miscavige, a cool $50,000,000. And that takes some doing!

Of course Miscavige is not alone. There have been far too many so-called ‘pastors’ of mega-churches, TV evangelicals, and even tent-revivalist preachers living in million-dollar mansions, flying around in personal Lear jets, and enjoying a lifestyle that’d cause their Holy Benefactor to spin in His grave, had He not already left it and flitted up to Heaven.

Our intelligence and ‘superiority over the animals’ doesn’t seem to have done us much good long-term. We continue to prey on each other. We seek out and exploit the weaker in society for our own gain. After all, riches don’t come from Heaven, they’re the result of one man (or one group) coining in the hard-earned gains of thousands, sometimes millions, of his fellows.

We are, in fact, our own worst enemies. Our self-centered greed, fueled by the power of our egos, prevents us from working out a future for the whole of mankind. Instead, we work only to further our own individual needs and desires. We may believe in climate change, despite the ravings of lunatic politicians and fossil-fuel wealth creators, but we bury our heads in the rapidly-heating sand and choose the latest Ipad rather than a solar panel. Filling the tank of our gas-guzzler produces cries of woe whenever prices rise, and the glee of affording that new 70-inch TV screen when they drop.

Meanwhile, the pastors, popes, and Imams cajole us into believing their god will make everything right and lift us up to his/her bosom when our life on earth is over.

We think we are intelligent, yet the majority of humankind still believes such gobbledygook, and is prepared to take often violent steps to not just perpetuate, but forcibly propagate these ancient, twisted, myths.

If the human race is the pinnacle of evolution, then “God help” evolution. It has nowhere to go but down. But then, neither it seems has the human race.

Though, in all probability, the egos of David Miscavige and his ilk probably wouldn’t allow them to agree.


R J Adams     April 4, 2015 at 10:25pm     2 Comments

Loving America – A Prerequisite Of Citizenship?

by R J Adams     March 12, 2015 at 11:03pm

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president [Obama] loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

This was the recent quote of Rudy Giuliani at a ‘private’ dinner in aide of Wisconsin’s Republican governor Scott Walker.

There’s little doubt this speech was a pre-election spin designed to fire up the Republican base, in particular those whose in-bred hatred of President Obama is based on little more than prejudice -either racial or political, or both.

It does, however, beg the question as to whether loving this country is a foregone prerequisite of being an American citizen. Having lived in the USA for nearly thirteen years as a permanent resident, but foregoing any desire to swear allegiance to something I consider slightly distasteful, I find Giuliani’s comments somewhat disturbing at best, and at worst, downright threatening.

Being born in America automatically bestows citizenship. That’s the case in most countries, and certainly in my birthplace, the United Kingdom. I’m sure there are many like me, worldwide, who feel no allegiance to their place of birth, wherever it may be. So is this one of the many ways Americans are propagandized into believing their country is somehow ‘special’?

Let’s examine why Rudy Giuliani considers the incumbent president remiss, assuming he’s right and President Obama does not unconditionally ‘love’ his country.

After all, what is there NOT to love about America?

Well, time alone prevents me scripting a tome of Biblical proportions, but there are a number of reasons why America’s president may be less than starry-eyed about the nation he’s attempting to lead.

His efforts to provide a public healthcare option, similar to those maintained by the more civilized nations of the world, was cast out like the Gadarene swine, only this time by the demons themselves – masquerading as the well paid lackeys of the healthcare industry. The remaining piss-pot of relative uselessness, now derisively coined “Obamacare”, is still under attack, as those same lackeys work tirelessly to banish any prospect of an efficiently functioning healthcare service for all Americans, to the dustbin of history.

Another reason America may prove a difficult lover to woo is her innate desire to stick a gun in your face at the slightest provocation. Not to put too fine a point on it, America is a psychopathic killer and many of her citizens love her for it. After all, a trip to the mall is way more exciting when one can’t be certain a nutter with an AK47 won’t suddenly appear and blow you away. (I believe that’s the correct idiom?).

Despite numerous school massacres, multitudinous daily killings that never make the headlines, and a plethora of brainwashing by that firearms manufacturer’s bastion, the NRA, the good people of America are led blindly to believe the Second Amendment to the Constitution is their inalienable right to stock their living rooms with lethal firearms and pretend they’re being “Oh, so responsible”, as they “teach” their three and four year olds the rudiments of “gun safety”.

Perhaps most amazing of all is the look of surprise when their little darling shoots them with Mommy’s prize Glock.

It’s a sad fact that, while America refuses to satiate its desire for lethal weaponry, it can never stand alongside those nations that have, and call itself ‘civilized’.

Who can truly love a boor, whose only idea of culture is – the gun culture?

President Obama gave up any hope of introducing gun control to America long before his first term ended. It was made clear to him there would be no support whatever in Congress for such a matter.

It could be argued that while American culture is somewhat lacking finesse, the geography of the country is the best in the world, with its Grand Canyon, National Parks, vast deserts, plains, and three great mountain ranges – the Sierra Nevada, Rockies, and Appalachians. Surely, enough for any citizen’s heart to burst with love for ‘this great country of ours’.

However, with eighty percent of the nation only too well known as the “flyover states”, the negative side of the argument is at least equally strong. The vast majority of America is frankly boring in the extreme. Add to that the fact that most Americans will never get to see any of the ‘sights’ mentioned in the previous paragraph, and for most people their country of birth is flat and uninteresting, with vast areas turned over to the production of corn, soy, and other crops, stretching from horizon to horizon.

Is there anything worse than a lover who is at best boring, and at worst extremely violent, and likely to leave you to die if you become ill? It’s not my idea of a happy marriage.

The fact that President Obama made an effort to change some of these faults, shows he cared. Though, after six years in the marriage, with no success, who could blame him for wanting a divorce?

Maybe, after all, Giuliani is right. Any love President Obama once had for America has, perhaps, slowly ebbed away. If so, the Giuliani’s of this nation must take some of the blame. One has to ask whether, despite the flag badge worn prominently on his lapel, he truly ‘loves’ America, or has he just used it to become rich and powerful?

If so, he’s not alone. Frankly, I don’t believe for a moment the wealthiest who live in this land have any love for the country that helped them get that way. If they did, they’d pay their taxes to the US Treasury and not keep their millions in untouchable foreign investment accounts. They may pretend, but it’s a false love, for theirs is a love affair based on rape and pillage. While such acts would be considered disgusting and illegal for most people, they have made it legal and acceptable by cloaking themselves in an aura of respectability while robbing and abusing the less well off to attain their elevated positions.

One has only to study the plight of those once known in this country as the ‘middle class’ to realize the truth. We can all conveniently forget the lowest class, living hand to mouth in appalling, third-world, conditions, often in shacks, or even housing themselves in vehicles for a modicum of shelter. They deserve no better. In this country they’re regarded simply as ‘the losers’.

I have refused to become an American citizen for one reason only. I’ve never pledged allegiance to any nation, and I never will. I was born in the UK. I lived in Britain for fifty-four years. I was never asked to take any pledge.

What does it mean exactly – to pledge? To what is one swearing allegiance – the rocks and dirt of which this nation is composed? No, it’s a solemn promise to support the political system in power at the time, and those that grow fat from it. After all, no country can ever be better than its government, and one that’s spent the last six years quarreling and bickering, while holding the people to ransom for political gain, with threats of withheld wages if they fail to get their own way, can hardly be considered lovable.

This has proved the quagmire of President Obama’s tenure. Despite two landslide elections in his favor, the man has been hog-tied by a Congress unable to support a black president, so much so it has brought the nation to its knees time after time, rather than rally round a leader who, a few decades ago, would not have been allowed to drink at the same water fountain.

Thus, yet another reason not to love America raises its ugly head: racial hatred. Has much changed since the 1950s and 1960s? No. One has only to witness the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, to appreciate how little America has progressed since the days of the Klu Klux Klan.

President Obama may not be in a position to admit his love of America has dwindled somewhat since his inauguration in 2008, but while he may remain steadfast to the ideals of the nation’s founders (or, at least, some of them) his affection for the political system he’s tried to lead must surely be at an all-time low.

Personally, I wouldn’t blame him if this were the case. While the honest folk of America are no different from honest folk worldwide, the politicians and corporate greedmongers who now own this country continue to drag it through the gutter of international esteem.

Rudy Giuliani must surely be considered one of them.


R J Adams     March 12, 2015 at 11:03pm     2 Comments

American Culture, Or Just Gun Culture?

by R J Adams     February 17, 2015 at 4:36pm


There was a time when the term ‘sniper’ was synonymous with cowardice. Today, there’s no such thing as honor on the battlefield, and an American who can kill hundreds of fellow human beings, one by one at great distance, is awarded a medal.

One has to query whether the killer of “American Sniper” subject, Chris Kyle, will receive a fair trial, given the case is being heard in Texas, where Kyle is considered a great hero and the gun is probably more sacred than the Ten Commandments – less the one that states, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, of course.

Having viewed some of the media coverage of this case, I’m struck by an obvious fact that appears to have been totally missed by the media generally. It seems Kyle, and his friend Chad Littlefield, took Eddie Ray Routh, a former US marine, to a shooting range to help him overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder contracted during Routh’s time serving as a weapons technician in Iraq, and in Haiti during the 2010 earthquake.

Isn’t a shooting range a strange place to take an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD? Surely all the noise and explosions would only intensify the effects of this insidious disease on a mind already troubled and psychotic?

I love these words from the prosecutor:

The evidence will show that mental illnesses, even the ones this defendant may or may not have, don’t deprive people from being good citizens, to know right from wrong.”

I can’t wait to hear how he intends to prove that one!

Still, on the bright side, at least Kyle’s death mirrored the way he lived – shooting people in the back.


Hats off to NBC News for finally highlighting the shooting to death of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s a pity it took them three days to report it, and only then because of an uproar on the internet.

A hate crime against Muslims? Probably not.

It seems the killer, Craig Hicks, was no more than a George Zimmerman on steroids, patrolling the parking lot and intimidating anyone who parked their car in the wrong place. He was studying to become a paralegal (Zimmerman was desperate to join the police force) and obviously bestowed on himself the authority to patrol the local area, though not without his trusty firearm.

Hopefully, he’ll be put away, far from the weapon he used to commit his foul deed. But don’t worry, egos with firearms are like buses – you can rest assured there’ll be another one come by before too long.


Which leads me rather nicely to Mister Marcus Kaarma of Missoula, Montana whom, I’m happy to say, is just beginning a seventy year prison term.

Last April, after his garage was burgled, Kaarma set a trap to catch intruders by leaving his garage door ajar. His girlfriend even left her purse inside the garage as bait. Alerted by motion alarms, Kaarma went out and fired four shots from a 12-gauge shotgun into the garage, killing a 17-year-old German exchange student who was inside.

It’s not known why the boy was there, but he was unarmed.

There’ll be a some Americans who’ll support Kaarma’s actions. The law in Montana allows the use of ‘deadly force’, in some situations, to protect home and family. But, according to the judge, Kaarma was hunting when he killed his victim, not safeguarding his home.

I unreservedly agree. The arguments against gun control in this country are, frankly, pathetic. Here we have three separate incidents where six people might be alive today if guns had been subject to right and proper laws and controls.

The argument that the right to ‘bear arms’ is enshrined in the Constitution makes a mockery of the Second Amendment. That bit of old parchment is so obviously outdated it should be struck from the record once and for all.

There’s a lot of fear in American hearts. Fear of government, fear of loss of freedoms, fear of neighbors, fear of “the bad guys” (whoever they may be!). It’s all because of the gun culture. Americans may believe it’s in their nature to own firearms, but the truth is it’s the firearms that have molded the American character. Americans need firearms like an addict needs to mainline heroin, to fix the instilled fear those same weapons have imposed on them.

And if you don’t believe me, you should spend time living in a country that doesn’t allow firearms, and you’ll soon come to realize the citizens there live their lives free from all those fears endured by the good people of the United States, who can’t even trust their own police forces not to shoot them.

Aha, but that’s a whole lot more gun stories.

[1] “‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle said ex-Marine was ‘nuts'” BBC, February 11th 2015

[2] “Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Shootings: Parking Dispute Eyed in Killings?” NBC, Undated (probably February 11th 2015)

[3] “Man Sentenced To 70 Years In German Exchange Student’s Death” Yahoo News, February 12th 2015

R J Adams     February 17, 2015 at 4:36pm     1 Comment

One Human Trait Too Many?

by R J Adams     February 7, 2015 at 3:38pm


ego


There’s a problem with the human species. It affects us all, and for most of us it sits simmering under the surface of our characters like a quietly bubbling volcano. There are those, however, from whom it will inevitably break free and erupt with disastrous consequences. The catalyst for this reaction is money, power, and the inevitable, accompanying, arrogance.

The problem is Egotism. It’s the bane of politicians, media personalities, and tycoons the world over, often resulting in their downfall. It’s particularly prevalent among the not-so-bright politicians of our time. They may have scholared at Harvard, or Oxbridge, but success relies more heavily on ‘Daddy’s money’ than anything resembling intelligence. Common sense, once considered a prerequisite for success, has no abode in the brains of these individuals.

Perhaps one of the most famous political figures of late to fall foul of their ego, was 2008 presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton.


hillary


Her account of being ‘under fire’ while on a visit to war-torn Iraq was rapidly discovered to be false.[1]

In just the last few days, NBC news anchor Brian Williams has been forced to eat humble pie after “mis-remembering” his flight in a helicopter hit by RPG fire over Iraq.


brian-williams-fake-story

Click to enlarge


The chopper he was in was a full hour behind the one that was hit.[2]

Of course, there are psychologists and psychiatrists only too ready to tell us such ‘mis-remembrances’ are perfectly normal, and we can’t be blamed when we get it wrong.[3] Or, is that merely a way of suggesting that no-one ever lies, they simply ‘mis-remember’? If so, then Brian Williams is a true mis-rememberer. In 2006, after reporting for NBC from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Williams said in an interview:

“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country.”[4]

He went on to relate how he’d accidentally ingested some of the floodwater and contracted dysentery. Apparently, there was no flooding in the French Quarter (so no body floating past) and no known outbreak of dysentery resulting from the Katrina catastrophe.

‘Mis-remembering’ could be something of a handicap for a news reporter. Does this mean NBC might not be telling us the truth during their news broadcasts? Surely not?

Today’s politicians are not only known for mis-remembering, they’re also easily recognized by acts or statements of gross stupidity. Here, the egotistical are caught out because they try to think – a function of the brain they’re not well practiced at.

Take Republican Senator Thom Tillis, of North Carolina.


Tillis


He’s just stated that restaurants shouldn’t insist employees wash their hands after using the toilet. Actually, they don’t. Restaurant owners stick a notice in the restroom and leave compliance entirely up to the employee. Even that’s not sufficient for Tillis. His argument is simply that if sufficient customers became sick, then the restaurant would cease to be patronized, and go out of business.[5]

Across the pond, in my UK homeland, the ego reigns supreme among certain politicians who might do well to keep their mouths under firmer control. The present Mayor of London, for instance, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.


boris-yawn1


A distant relative of George II, and hence a cousin to the British prime minister, David Cameron, (yes, these bloody aristocrats keep popping up where they’re least expected) he was educated at Eton and Oxford. Does that make him intelligent? Well, not necessarily, in these days of top jobs having more to do with who you know (and are) rather than acquired qualifications, but it does allow the ego to trip one up rather easily when one’s trying hard to be clever, and failing dismally.

Only last week Johnson described members of the Islamic extremist group, ISIS, as “porn watching wankers”.

According to the Guardian newspaper:

Citing a report from MI5 on the profile of jihadis, the mayor of London said: “If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally wankers. Severe onanists.”

Johnson described British jihadis as “tortured” and “very badly adjusted in their relations with women”, something he said was a symptom of “their feeling of being a failure and that the world is against them”.

“They are not making it with girls and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort – which of course is no comfort.”

He continued: “They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong – like winners.”

Johnson, who is one of the leading candidates to be the next Tory leader, made the comments in an interview with the Sun newspaper a week after he visited the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil to see the Peshmerga fighters who are pushing back against the Isis insurgency in Iraq. The visit, during which he posed for pictures with an AK47, was interpreted as an attempt to demonstrate his credentials as an international statesman…”[6]

Being photographed holding an AK47 is now a prerequisite for statesmanship. Presumably, this would explain where Winston Churchill went wrong.

Johnson’s outburst against ISIS says more about him than it does about the Islamic extremist organization he criticizes. He’s in the running to be the next prime minister of the UK, and probably considers such base language a vote-catcher among the poor, ill-educated, British masses he imagines tip their forelocks to him as he passes. As a sop to his ego, this Eton pseudo-intellectual threw in the noun, “onanist”, just to prove he knows a word the peasants don’t. Etonians would readily recognize it, of course, given that the college is full of them.

Meanwhile, his cousin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, is endeavoring to bolster a flagging ego, not just among British voters but throughout the political landscape of Europe. Notable this week was his lack of invitation to peace talks taking place in Germany, between France, Germany, and Russia, over the future of Ukraine. Mister Cameron has taken pains to deny he was jilted over the affair, though observers have been quick to note a slight quivering of the proverbial stiff upper lip, precariously poised above his somewhat weak and flabby chin.[7]


cameron


Ukraine has been a godsend to politicians in the United States. They’ve taken every opportunity to spout egotistical rhetoric designed to quash their political opposition and win votes in 2016. Such are the political stakes that a full-blown war with Russia has already been hinted at, as good old American arrogance and bluster blast commonsense from the playing field.

Only today, according to the BBC, Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, upset NATO’s top military ego, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, by stating her opposition to Washington sending weapons to Ukraine:

The US is considering pleas to send weapons to Ukraine but Mrs Merkel said she could not “imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily”.

The statement put her in opposition to Nato’s top military commander, US Air Force general Philip Breedlove, who told reporters that Western allies should not “preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option”.[8]

All of this leaves one with an impression of today’s world controlled, not by wisdom and commonsense, but solely by the egotism of those in power. Unfortunately, the ego has no commonsense and merely flounders around making one bad judgement after another, its purpose to bolster the macho image of its owner, much as a cockerel struts with puffed out chest around the chickens in his farmyard.

I began this article by stating that the human species has a problem that affects us all. It’s not just politicians and people with power that suffer from the affliction. It’s all of us. Instead of standing up and telling our leaders how stupidly they’re behaving, our egos force us to take sides. We assume positions, usually along political lines, that bolster our own egos, and happily go along with the most ridiculous of ideas because, in some strange way, it makes us feel better and more powerful to do so.

One perfect example of this is American talk radio. The best known ‘radio-jock’ in the nation, Rush Limbaugh, can spout the most ludicrous statements, secure in the knowledge that his many listeners will cling resolutely to his words, without ever attempting to decipher whether they’re utter nonsense, or not.

Perhaps this is merely evolution in action. It seems we have a stark choice. Either, learn to control our egotism, or flounder to inevitable extinction while proudly waving our national flags and singing our anthems, as we sink into the bottomless quicksands of our own arrogance.

[1] “Clinton under fire: Video contradicts Hillary’s claim she ran from sniper shots in Bosnia” Daily Mail, March 26th 2008

[2] “US anchor Brian Williams apology for Iraq helicopter story” BBC, February 5th 2015

[3] “The science behind Brian Williams’s mortifying memory flub” Washington Post, February 5th 2015

[4] “NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ comments about dead bodies, Hurricane Katrina starting to gain attention, draw scrutiny” New Orleans Advocate, February 7th 2015

[5] “US senator questions forcing food workers to wash hands” BBC, February 4th 2015

[6] “Boris Johnson: jihadis are porn-watching ‘wankers'” Guardian, January 30th 2015

[7] “Cameron under fire in UK for not joining Merkel & Hollande in Moscow, Kiev talks” RT, February 7th 2015

[8] “Ukraine crisis: ‘Last chance’ for peace says Hollande” BBC, February 7th 2015

R J Adams     February 7, 2015 at 3:38pm     2 Comments