by Mike Booth
Petroleum Money Changes Everything
Petroleum was discovered on the Arabian peninsula by the California Arabian Standard Oil Company in early 1938 and the Mideast plot thickened considerably. The 1938 strike turned out to be the first in what were to become the richest oil fields in the world. Oil meant money, both for oil companies and for Ibn Saud, the warlord who had proclaimed himself king of Arabia just six years earlier.
It is that Saudi windfall that has permitted us to see just how abject is the Western World’s slavish reverence for money. The Saudi regime, clearly the most retrograde in the Muslim world, has carte blanche in any Western capital, thanks exclusively to its gargantuan economic presence. Their egregious domestic human rights abuses are the least of it. What is more serious is how they sponsor Islamic terrorism so universally and so blatantly with every Western government looking bovinely the other way while giving top priority to their “defense” contracts. Continue reading “With All Due Respect–2/2”
by Mike Booth
There Was a Time…
There was a time—though nobody’s quite sure of when that was—when the culture clash between Christians and Muslims might have been avoided through mutually respectful conversations and compromises. But that time has passed and no amount of talking now will yield a quick solution. The issues are too encysted, the offenses too damaging, the retributions too exaggerated, the players too polarized. That said, something has to be done at least to try to begin some sort of détente with the Muslim world. The only alternative—an upward spiraling permanent war—would be infinitely worse.
Could some concessions to the Muslims, starting with an acknowledgment of and apology for the high-handed treatment the Christian West has always dispensed to them, serve to improve relations, if only marginally? President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo looked like a tentative step in that direction but was soon buried under the pressure of military expediency. Continue reading “With All Due Respect—1/2”
It doesn’t have to make sense, unleash the dogs of war!
Many things in this world, some of them of great consequence, don’t make sense. That’s because the world doesn’t run on sense. It runs on greed and lust. It runs on envy and revenge. It runs on ambition. And let’s not forget cynicism and falsehood. That said, a minuscule part of the world is actually driven by love and loyalty, truth and sincerity, altruism and generosity. Say Iceland…
For most of the rest it’s half-truths and false appearances, vested interests, bribery and chicanery. (Want to know how it works? Read John Perkins’s book in PDF here.) Cravings for fame abound, along with hidden agendas and false-flag operations. Pride and obstinance coexist at the highest levels. Good God, I can’t believe I almost forgot sex, money and power, the aristocrats in this senseless world. I was tempted to include examples of all these sins, but I decided not to. It’s not necessary. Examples abound. Choose your own. Continue reading “Sex, Money, Power, Nonsense and Killer Euphemisms”
Study the Art of Ageing
I wanted to write a piece on aging and the first thing I did was go to Google to check out images of old age. I was dazzled by what I found. More of the old people in the photographs looked more vital, interesting, engaging and actually beautiful than miserable for being old.
See if you don’t agree. Continue reading “I Was Surprised by Visions of the “Old””
Charlottesville Has Upset the Applecart
By Mike Booth
How Much of a Threat Is the Right to Bear Arms?
I’ve been following for most of my life, as I suppose most of us have, the debate/controversy/conflict over Americans’ second amendment right “to bear arms.” In the end I decided to shelve the issue along with cholesterol, transgenders in the military and monosodium glutamate in everything. It seemed to me, frankly, something of a tempest in a teapot. Sure, the odd teenager raised on Prozac would shoot his entire family and liquor stores would have to reinforce their security measures, but I couldn’t conceive of gun-toting Americans posing a life-or-death threat to their own country. Continue reading “It’s High Noon for the United States”
.I Think I Can Explain Why
Can anybody remember a time when the United States was not at war, in some form or another, somewhere, with someone? I can’t, and I’m 74 years old. They seem to be in a permanent state of military conflict. Is this eternal war due to mistakes, coincidences or deliberate policy decisions? I’ll opt for the latter. It’s unlikely for any person or country to be so wrong so consecutively over more than three quarters of a century. The trend looks even worse if it’s the same “mistake” over and over again. As for coincidences, the statistical unlikelihood of these events occurring coincidentally is utterly off the graph. There aren’t enough nines to express it.
So, we’re left with policy. Where can such a demented policy come from and how does it come about? I think I can explain it. Essentially it’s due to a misunderstanding regarding “democracy.” The Americans’ think it can be promulgated by the sword and harbor a missionary zeal for spreading it around the world and into outer space. Curiously this missionary fervor grows in geometric proportions when the Americans are dealing with countries that are strategically located (eg. Vietnam) or rich in natural resources (eg. Iraq and Venezuela) or both (eg. Iran). It’s the 21st century equivalent of “civilizing and christianizing our little brown brothers.” Continue reading “The Myth of “Permanent War” Pervades American Democratization Efforts”
President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America’s 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
President Trump’s Speech to the Boy Scouts at Their 2017 Jamboree in West Virginia Sounded Like a Hitler Youth Rally
His rambling, disconnected, lowbrow 38-minute talk, though wholly irrelevant and inappropriate for an audience of Boy Scouts, ages 6-14, did manage to establish some outstanding new negative moral and political benchmarks. This is a limbo contest in bad taste. How low can you go? President Trump has just reminded us that it’s time to lower the bar… again. Continue reading “President Donald Trump Redefines the Bottom”