Well, you all know by now my quirky definition of health: EVERYTHING is health! Bad things impact us at many unseen levels and cause stress.
Government lies and oppression are the greatest plague to Humankind at this point in time. It’s our BIGGEST health and wellness issue by far. The worldwide plague is getting WORSE, not better. We could be entering a new Dark Ages.
Just to remind you, if you are feeling complacent: there is no vaccine for injustice, brutality, war and destruction of resources. An outbreak of evil could occur anywhere, any time, as it did in Germany in the 1930s. Good diet, nutritional extras and regular exercise will not protect you. The gun seems to be the only thing that will work against the insane individuals who are working hard to bring history to an end.
I’m definitely not among the New Age “fairies”, who think it will all come out right and this is merely a corrective action by Nature. We are talking about some of the most shameful of human behaviors, at a time when we know more than ever before in history about the workings of the mind. A lot of what I see in the world today makes me feel physically sick. I do NOT think this is all part of a growth process.
It’s the end of history, as we know it. The Arc of History, so-called, is turning back on itself. Let’s stop kidding ourselves that this is “best of all possible worlds” as Candide described it (Voltaire’s bitter 18th century satire).
Think I’m joking or just ate something disagreeable for dinner last night? I kid you not.
According to a new report from Freedom House, the level and quality of freedom in the world has been eroding steadily over the past decade and 2015 marked the sharpest decline yet.
More and more countries, it seems, are backing off from civilized values, like freedom, justice and equality and marching instead on religious dogma, bigotry, dictatorship and twisted ideology.
We have seen, for example, the imprisoning and murder of journalists, the shooting of protesters and brutal beheadings at the hands of extremists and governments. And, of course, we have seen the waves of millions of refugees fleeing the violence in Syria and beyond. The Middle East is now judged the “least free” region of our planet.
Freedom House describes itself as an independent democracy watchdog, which rates dozens of indicators, including real-world assessments of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, whether there is a level playing fields for opposition parties, equal opportunity for women, the rule of law, transparency of government operations. The resulting score, from 0 to 100, produces three categories: Free, Partly Free, and Not Free.
Worldwide, of 7.3 billion people, only 40% live in countries judged Free. That’s down from 46 percent a decade ago. Of 195 countries, only 86 are rated Free.
In 2015, the level of freedom deteriorated in 72 countries, and advanced in just 43, undoing the enormous advances seen in the last quarter of the 20th century.
Even in countries rated Free, the report notes, there’s another damaging change: Leading democracies are experiencing a crisis of confidence. Instead of leading the way and encouraging democratic progress, they have grown divided and ineffectual on the world stage, unwilling to inspire and unable to develop a coherent, united policy to tackle many of these global challenges.
The U.S. is an example of “democracy” gone horribly wrong. The “Land of The Free” is now a virtual police state, where citizens are likely to be arrested and jailed for exercising their (non-existent) right to express their personal views. Anyone who doesn’t toe the rigid line is labeled as unpatriotic or, even worse, a subversive.
The End Of The Arabian Summer
The freest regions in the world remain the Americas and Europe, along with India, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
But in the Middle East, only Tunisia and Israel rank as Free, (the West Bank, unsurprisingly, is rated Not Free). Fourteen countries in the region were designated Not Free. Only 5% of the population of the Middle East and North Africa enjoys what I would call full freedom.
The Saudi Royals (Bin Laden’s family) still just about head the world for oppression and brutality. It’s incalculable wealth is used to acquire weapons at home and finance fundamentalist movements abroad, which cause havoc in distant societies, transforming native forms of Islam into Wahhabism, which bears little relation to the universal declaration of human rights.
Did you know, that in 2015 Saudi Arabia beheaded more people than ISIS? The executive director at UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, called Saudi Arabia’s appointment to the UN Human Rights Council “scandalous”. This is a country so medieval that a young writer named Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes, merely for blogging about free speech.
Although the Middle East and North Africa (mainly Islamic countries) are considered the least-free regions overall, Russia and China also stand out as being very poor on individual rights.
For all the sloganizing, Putin does not seem to believe in human rights, except for himself. Apparently he has the right to control any country and do down its sovereign citizens, if he so chooses. The only other country with such a bad recent record is the USA, which thinks nothing of invading foreign territories.
As for China: well, what can one say? Despite growth in economic freedom (thousands of citizens abroad as tourists, outspending even the Japanese these days), the Beijing government relies on political repression to maintain its grip on power.
This is a country that has Saturday night entertainment on TV, being the live executions of criminals. It’s a grotesque abuse of media and basically a terror tactic.
Latin America might be the place to go live, if you can tolerate the Catholic Church dogma. Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica, for example, are seen as models of individual freedom, while the rest of the region is classed as mostly free.
Cuba appears to be an exception — despite reestablishing relations with the United States last year, it appears to have made almost no progress toward democratic reform.
If you had the bad luck to be born a woman in anything but a Western world democracy, you might find “freedom” a hollow concept.
It is worth reminding readers that women only got the vote in the 20th century: [New Zeland 1893], Australia 1902 (Aborigines, male and female, did not have the right to vote until 1962). 1918 for Germany, 1928 Great Britain, Spain 1931, France 1944, Italy 1944, and Switzerland 1971!
The United States finally began allowing women to vote in 1920, after the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It was 2011 before women were allowed even trivial votes in Saudi Arabia.
Islam, of course, is notably down on women’s rights. Yet ironically, Saudi Arabia—the home of religious dogma as well as political oppression—has inveigled itself into the position of managing womens’ rights at the United Nations (Women’s Rights Agency). Doesn’t make sense, does it?
People Of Color
I don’t know what the term is these days; I heard “black” is out. Is that true? But what I call black guys have lost ground here, since the heady days of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement.
In 2013 The Supreme Court struck down the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, freeing nine states, mostly in the South of course, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. There was a rush to start disenfranchising black people (African Americans).
The excuse was that the coverage formula in Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, recently updated by Congress in 1975, was “unconstitutional”.
Martin Luther King addresses the Washington marchers
Why Am I Even Interested In Politics?
Because, as I said from the start: toxic politics and government lies are the number one plague of our time. It goes way beyond bribery and corruption, meddling with votes, shaky economics, or so-called covert ops.
Corrupt and/or stupid politicians are allowing, even encouraging, the rape of our world, the depletion of resources, the abuse of science by commerce and Big Pharma and even the control of our societies by giant international cartels that are answerable to no democracy.
Already humans are being killed in the millions by the toxic effluvia of our chemicalized society and pharmaceutical industry crimes. Instead of protecting us, governments mainly protect the murderers and violators.
I have to warn you, as others are doing, that if we don’t act soon—very soon—the doors will close and trying to reverse the trend will get you locked up for life, or very likely killed.
If there is a last hooray for freedom and democracy, make sure you make your views felt. Because the signs are that these freedoms won’t be around much longer. The pain we will all feel will be far worse than a migraine or a headache. It will be misery unto death.
Phew! Sorry it wasn’t cheerful this week. This got triggered by the Freedom House report, not an attack of bile!
Here’s to a healthier future.
Ghitis, F. (2016, January 30). Freedom going into reverse. CNN Opinion.
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