Separating Migrant Children
June 20, 2018

To Condemn Israel
May 16, 2018

Sanction And End Aid Until Israeli Policy Changes for 1 Year

Regardless of how one entity instigates and provokes another, it is still the other’s responsibility as to whether it reacts violently or not; this is ever more so the case in terms of responsibility when the other is more powerful and even more egregiously when an occupier. The ‘he made me shoot him’ alibi is always an admission of culpability and it is up to intellectually honest and mentally healthy people to say so.

The policeman who shoots the perpetrator, the teacher who smacks the annoying student, the parent who beats the recalcitrant child, the prison guard who abuses the troublemaker inmate, the owner who does the same to his dog; all are to blame in the end.
I, myself, in poems and speech and essay have blamed the Arabs for behaving the stupidest in the universe, for verbal, physical and military provocation – taking their side! – agree that they should remain peaceful and maintain the moral high ground, which they own bar all arguments to the contrary – and could keep if they would not attack their oppressors, but the final result is what matters. The bully is killing the annoying bullied – and must be condemned, regardless the reasons.
Israel is wrong for its genocide-like policies toward the Palestinians and anyone who sees it otherwise is engaging in identity politics, disinformation and lies at worst and is ignorant and in-compassionate in the least. In either case, they are unfair and wrong.
We don’t live in the past, a fantasy and a recollection of dead times, so the wars Arabs prosecuted against Israel are not the issue anymore. Israel won and has taken Arab land and has abused Arabs on it for far too long.
While it is true the Arabs there have attacked Israel and this is wrong and stupid, it is at least as justifiable if not more so than Israelis attacking Palestinians with sophisticated weapons who stand near a fence and throw epithets, slogans and even rocks.
If a group mounts a paramilitary attack, shoot at them, but only at them. Once you kill even one person who was only speaking, you are wrong and morally culpable. The Israelis and their American-backed (and now -directed, in some cases) war machine have killed thousands in this way and have made life in the territories a prison sentence of privation and desperation. Were you or I there, we would be tempted to be protesting – perhaps even violent – too.
Men and women in fully outfitted military hardware, carrying the latest in sophisticated weaponry and overseeing the people they are self-appointed overlords of have a greater responsibility than the average national in a far off land at odds with an enemy; the Israelis must act like the parent, the pet-owner*, the prison guard, the school teacher, the baby sitter, the doctor, the police officer; instead, they are the new Nazis and must be condemned, and I would even say sanctioned for it and cautioned they risk losing their place in the UN. To do otherwise makes us partners in their axis and is morally reprehensible.
CA
*The reader fully understands what is meant by this choice of words and will only misinterpret this choice of words to deliberately leverage an intellectually dishonest agenda, which will not be recognized. the remaining body of this piece and the other writing done by this author is ample evidence of fairness and compassion, respect and care for all human beings. Any malicious, ethniphobic or otherwise insulting interpretation taken from this writing is the fabrication, authorship and responsibility of the reader.
Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

 

The Importance of Honesty
December 31, 2017

In a time when fake news is an issue, this is the antidote ー in a manner of thought.

Someone asked why lying is wrong, and this was my answer:

Honesty is the kernel of spirituality, all higher perception and related reason, self-knowledge, mental health, cognition, and relationships ーincluding with the self. 

If you lie to yourself about anything, especially your about your observations, feelings, or beliefs, you will lie to others, which in the case of those who trust you amounts to a human rights abuse. People who trust you, in private life or in business, depend on your honesty to understand the world that you reveal to them. If you lie, you paint a false image where they depend on you for an accurate one; this is deception. It makes a fool of them in the worst way, because it makes a fool of them in such a way as it facilitates their making a fool of themselves–because they decided to trust you. That is the heavy answer to your question and the one that matters most.

The light answer is: Honesty that is self-serving is a vice or a tool for self-aggrandizement; honesty for the benefit of others is a virtue.

In conclusion, dishonesty is the root of all problems as a factor in one’s not loving oneself and thus others. The only time lying is virtuous is when it saves lives and promotes righteous justice (which never, ever includes harm to anyone, for any reason (not even to facilitate punishment, which is pmitive and which will one day be done away with).

©Carl Atteniese 2018 All rights reserved

Photo: “Kendrick Lake” by Carl Atteniese

Blame Tradition And Religion for FGM
August 24, 2016

Tradition
All around the world, in traditional cultures, female genital mutilation is a violent, terrifying, painful and medically problematic issue. Traditionally, if you were not cut, you could not be married. In some places this is changing as human rights and modern modes of fairness, compassion and reason seep into formerly tradition-run societies–and in this context, tradition equates to religious leadership, clerics, tribal chiefs, and male dominance.

The Fingers of Control And Marriage
I am not an expert on this issue, however, I can say that there are fingers of the concern that brought FGM to the world in many communities of the non-traditional (or still semi-traditional) world. Those fingers belong to long arms that connect to still-male-dominated or tradition-laden semi-male-dominated cultures where ethnicity and DNA expression (read “race”) are of paramount importance and status is right up there with that primitive concern. In such places, fathers–and mothers, perhaps to a lesser degree–insist their daughters–and sons–marry inside the ethnicity, the religion and the nation. I have seen and heard of this multiple times in my travels, and experienced this kind of traditional prejudice first hand. However, where FGM is concerned, it is an issue of reducing a girl’s and a woman’s amorous desires, and this is what I want to talk about. I will make a tacit mention of the issue of male genital mutilation, too — but as men have a more arguably superfluous protrusion of skin to be removed–beyond the human rights and sensitivity issues inherent–it is not as invasive or deleterious a procedure as that performed on women.

Teaching Love Instead of Marginalizing It
In my opinion, a lot of the traditional minds in the religious parts of the world could be relaxed and their concerns about promiscuity allayed if a practice of love were taught–even here, in the West — especially here.

Love is left to the realm of sex, “fantasy romance,” luxury and poetry — to tales of adventure in legend and in Hollywood, and that is, in my opinion, because it was taught that way in ancient religions.

Love (or mating — insofar as it is or was a part of marriage, by some association), has also been left to the realm of fiat, on the part of parents, clerics and royalty. In other words, mates have been — and still are — chosen by the authority other than that which should choose mates: love. This still happens jn most of the Muslim world, in India and in parts of Asia–most notably in South Korea, where it is becoming less and less common but is still done–not so much with parents making the outright choice, but in their having the prerogative to pressure their adult children into “Seon” meetings of blind dating–and in refusing some suitors and choosing others.

Religion And Love
In the Bible there is a passage that warns that the desires of the heart will lead one astray; this is terrible nonsense, and it is there because in ancient times — when male dominance protected bloodlines, fortunes, property and power — love could not be allowed to get in the way — and because humanity seems to have had a very primitively developed concept of what I call “the precepts of love,” which when understood and developed can foster very strong bonds of physical, emotional and honor-bound attraction, dedication and sustainable romantic states of mind such that a need to curb promiscuity can be made to be almost non-existent; but this depends on virtually sanctifying love, freedom and personal choice, not curtailing these virtues. However, traditional cultures have a long historical history of not liking freedom of choice.

Demonizing Sex
Finally, and perhaps most succinctly, that passage was in the Bible (the Torah or Talmud), because love was not truly respected or understood as both a bonding force in human relations that renders chastity rules virtually unnecessary, and because love was largely separated from the desire of sex, which was demonized; we continue to do both, today: “it was just sex.”

The desire for sex is actually the beginning of what can be love, but society teaches us not to honor that, because — ‘mommy and daddy (and traditionally, king, queen, prince and princess; cleric, Bishop and Pope) don’t want you to love this one or that one or to love at all right now; love is for later….’ This is the beginning of the parental and societal guidance toward the habit of “promiscuity” and why we have FGM and parental meddling in nature.

Carl Atteniese

To Those Who Quit Smoking
August 5, 2016

Congratulations
You are a hero

You now are no longer
One of the most radioactive people
You now are cleansing
Instead of toxifying
You now are not a threat
To the global environment
Simply because of your body
And because of unnecessary emissions

You are in defiance
Of the most insidiously evil
And stupidly legal
Homocidal and DNA-destroying
Profit motive

And because of you
Others can breathe as they should
A little more

Thank you

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