Sunday, August 13, 2017
I’m not alone when it comes to experiencing the inexplicable mysteries of life. Thought I’d share a few today.
During 1988 at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, I took a shortcut one afternoon through an established neighborhood in the northern part of that city to encounter what’s become the most bizarre minute of my life. Ahead on the left, I saw a still-smoking burned vehicle with two charred bodies in the front seats.
It was a horrible sight as I drove slowly past and snapped a mental image through the side window. Returning to the paper, I called the police and fire departments to ask what happened there. Both insisted they’d received no calls from that area. Yet I certainly knew what I’d driven up on.
The following day being a weekend, I drove back to the area then back and forth down intersecting streets for well over an hour looking for the spot. There was nothing. By then in this unfamiliar neighborhood I could never be certain which street I’d been on the day before.
The other day Jeanetta removed her earrings and laid them together in her usual spot only to find one missing the next morning. Searching the house, she finally found it on a counter in the bathroom. A few weeks later, both earrings vanished only to be found after several days lying together in the kitchen’s soup tureen. Most recently, her necklace vanished. It has yet to turn up.
My son and granddaughter came for a weekend visit last month. They settled into the guest quarters downstairs, which has a ping-pong table.
In the predawn hours, recessed lighting in the shelves suddenly came on and stayed that way until he arose and flipped the wall switch to off. The following morning, they awoke to find the ping-pong net unscrewed from both sides and lying on the floor. That took some undeniable intention.
I exited the bathroom one night to find Jeanetta beside herself over the “bird or a bat” that apparently had gotten into the house and had been almost sailing in smooth circles over her head as she lay read a book. Its circles dropped ever lower until she said it finally was hovering just above her face before it suddenly made a sweeping arc as I approached the foot of the bed. An exhaustive search of the room (three times) found nothing. “When birds get in a house, they flutter and flap, trying to escape,” she said. “Whatever this was did graceful loops coming closer to me with each one. It was definitely real. And it took off in a flash just as you were walking in.”
Yet nothing, not even a feather. Had experiences you’d like to share?
Becoming a dragon
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche warned that he who fights the dragon too long risks becoming a dragon. How long has our American government been jousting the elusive supposed Russian dragon?
Following month after month of daily headlines in the mainstream media alleging “the Russians” somehow interfered and/or colluded in our last election by hacking computers and using social media (yet didn’t affect its outcome), I now read we are evaluating openly violating international agreements to change the outcome of the recent Venezuelan election.
Yes, that nation’s elections do appear to have been grossly rigged. And yes, they have a harsh, brutal dictatorship that wants to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution, an oppressive band of good ol’ boys that, for the benefit of the population deserves to be overthrown and replaced.
But is that our problem to resolve, or anyone else’s other than the good citizens of Venezuela?
The Institute for Public Accuracy points out that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said this: “We are evaluating all of our policy options as to what can we do to create a change of conditions where either [President of Venezuela Nicolas] Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution.” At least Tillerson is honest about our intentions.
Interfering in another country’s elections violates the Organization of American States Charter, Article 19 of which says: “No state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the state or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”
Then comes Article 20: “No state may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another state and obtain from it advantages of any kind.”
So what we appear to have here, seems to me, is the long-standing practice of various nations ranging from the Middle East to South America, Asia, Europe and our own United States all regularly exerting pressures that hopefully prompt outcomes favorable to the pressurer. Actually, I prefer to call it international politics as usual.
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Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas
journalist. Email him at mmasterson@ arkansasonline.com .
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