Front: US Army soldiers installing a razor wire fence along Anzalduas International Bridge near the US-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, Nov. 5, 2018. Source: https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-11-09/migrants-face-even-tighter-asylum-restrictions-trumps-new-order. Credit: Delcia Lopez/Reuters
Back: Tom Sawyer and Ben Rogers painting a fence. https://searchengineland.com/googles-mark-twain-birthday-logo-tom-sawyer-fence-102907
A Tale of Two Fences
Can Trump understand the joy of painting a fence?
Has Trump ever known the joy of painting a fence? Hammering 2X4s to build his family home? Fixing his own car?
Can he fathom the joy of sitting on Mother Earth, sharing a hearty vegetarian meal with family and neighbors to celebrate a successful harvest – sickles in hand, songs on lips?
Following the wheat harvest, Buddhist family lunch in field. Likir, Ladakh
Does he have what it takes to understand the satisfaction of writing a poem? Drawing a picture? Improvising a piece of music? Discovering or learning something new?
Is he too desensitized to enjoy the smell of flowers, a whiff of fresh mountain air, an evening breeze caressing his rough skin, the simplicity of holding hands with a dear one?
Or having a real friend?
(Sorry, Mr. Zuckerberg, but I meant a real friend…)
(Ironically Mr. Epstein went to a junior high school named after Mark Twain…)
There are clearly different summits to conquer in this life with different types of joy:
The wonder of islands
I wrote elsewhere about my love of islands:
If I could, I would just travel from one island to another world-over, settling in each for a while, hopefully with a wonderful partner. Tropical islands, desert islands, cold windswept islands – they all have a call on my spirit.
Specifically in the Carribean, I lived and did biological research on “Women’s Island” – Isla Mujuers, Mexico. Local legends have it that pirates used to hide their women there (nothing new under this sun…). According to Wikipedia, the name actually has to do with the many Mayan goddess figurines the first explorers found on the island.
I have also been to Cozumel and the car-free Isla Holbox in Mexico, the Nicaraguan Corn Island, and to Isla Vieques, Puerto Rico.
But it has never crossed my mind to want to buy an island…
Enjoying does not mean owning
I guess my brain does not think American. I did not grow up in a country where you could purchase what should unquestionably be common land for everybody to enjoy – people as well as the other beings inhabiting it. The few small islands Israel has are bird nesting sanctuaries and getting there is restricted.
Arik Sharon, Israel’s former prime minister was one of the few people in the country to actually own a private ranch! He was involved in the so-called “Greek Island affair” when a businessman tried to bribe him by paying his son an inflated salary to help him buy a Greek island. Unsurprisingly, that ended up in a major scandal and the project was discarded, but thereafter Israeli politicians have not served as the examples of the modest, unpretensious living style as they used to.
“Pursuing the American Dream”
Here is an exceprt from an ad for selling private islands in the Caribbean:
ISLANDS FOR SALE IN CARIBBEAN
US VIRGIN ISLANDS
For island buyers with profit on their mind, the US Virgin Islands are a great place to start a business. Opportunities still exist in USVI for hotels, stores and dive operations. If you’re interested in pursuing the American dream, the generous tax incentives and magnificent coastlines of this Caribbean dream land are certainly good motivators. Just ask Richard Branson of Necker Island fame. The three main islands and 60 small cays that comprise the US Virgin Islands aren’t entirely American; they are the only US territory where traffic drives on the left.
Anything new under the Carribean sun?
Most interestingly, the Virgin islands were named by Christopher Columbus after Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers, who were killed around 383 AD by the Huns in Cologne because they “refused to copulate or marry them”. Saint Ursula herself was shot with an arrow by the Hun leader.
The martyrdom of Saint Ursula, German art, 16th century. Source: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/01/22/the-legend-of-saint-ursula-and-her-11000-virgin-followers/
Skipping ahead a few good centuries, the islands still carry a feminine energy, though a far cry from the veneration the ancient Maya bestowed on their goddesses.
Jeffrey Epstein – “Stripping” an island to strip his victims
Land abuse and human abuse, and in particular women’s abuse, go hand in hand.
It seems that an inseparable part of realizing the American dream is to strip the natural land of its “messy” native vegetation and impose on it an artificial look. Even “Earth”, a sacred entity (“Adama” in Hebrew, where Adam came from), is called “dirt” in common American usage. “To soil” means to make dirty…
Pedophile Island, Jeffrey Epstein’s private island. Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-12/jeffrey-epstein-s-private-island-in-the-caribbean-has-gone-quiet. Potograph by: Photographer: Marco Bello/Bloomberg
Has Mr. Epstein ever realized the vegetation on “his” “virgin” island (nicknamed “pedophile island”) had an intrinsic value before stripping and replacing it with decorative plants?
The islands, of volcanic origin, are 40-70 million years old. It had taken aeons for the unique flora and fauna to get established there, build soil, the base for terrestrial life, evolve ecosystems. [On soil building see my post about Vermont’s natural preserves].
Located between the North American and the South American biozones, the nearby St, John’s Island, for example, has been blessed with thousands of species of native flowers, trees, bushes and plants.
Land abuse, human abuse
The abuse, as we all know, did not stop with the island (these behaviors almost always have both an environmental and a human element):
Can Mr. Epstein comprehend that the girls he was trafficking have souls? That Humanity is not waiting for his sperm to “seed” it with his good looks? That his wealth does not entitle him to own people and abuse them?
Brave New World
The joys of bullying, shaming and humiliating
So what do these filthy-rich outliers and their buddies actually do with the money they loot from the rest of us? With our dwindling planetry resources? It seems that their undertanding of what life is about finds its ultimate expression in orgies with porn stars or vulnerable teenage girls, in scaring other people into obediance, in bullying and shaming, hording gold and posting yes-men and sycophants everywhere they go.
Pursuing the Muslim Dream? ISIS and the American rich
Hearing about “pedophile island” brings to mind images of Daesh (ISIS) and the Muslim 72-virgin heaven.
From the British Guardian about the Muslim Jannah (heaven):
The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 ), Koranic commentator and polymath. He wrote: “Each time we sleep with a houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [ie Muslim] will marry seventy houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetising vaginas.”
Epstein, on his part, would have three massages a day on his island or other properties with the girls he was trafficking, often culminating in intercourse.
Are we to deduce, then, that orgiastic pedophily is actually a common, normal aspiration, not a perversion, of male sexuality? Given enough money, status and freedom to discard civilizational yokes, it seems that both pirates and modern American billionaires share this Muslim fantasy. One really starts wondering, but I prefer to believe that most men today, including most Muslims, are past this stage in their sexual-emotional-spiritual development.
Brave New World?
Looking at the overall general scene, it sometimes seems we are fast tracking backwards to the eras of the Pharaohs, Genghis Khans, Neros and “Great Leaders”, who fully relished controlling a faceless, duped, brain-washed and often impoverished humanity to support their personal delusions of grandeur.
Or, worse, that we are now living in a brave new world where the 21th-century variation on that ancient theme is empowered by the best of science and technology in the service of a few narcissistic megalomaniacs.
We, the Enablers
And We,the People?
And what is it about us, humanity, that we somehow keep enabling these men, knowingly or unknowingly, not only in the North Koreas of the world, but even in our so-called free democracies??? Have we developed the lemming instinct for running towards the cliffs? Does the “right” to an indefinite amount of private assets override/trump any other human or spiritual value? Is this what we have learned from our torturous histories as we kept striving for freedom and justice?
It is painful to watch religious organizations, who presume to speak on behalf of the poor, bend themselves backwards and tie themsleves in knots to justify all this.
It is time we seriously internalize the fact that individuals can now buy not just islands, but whole countries, that they have more money in their private coffers than many nation-states. We must realize that they can – and do – use this money to manipulate us, and that oftentimes, and unsurprisingly, the sources of their wealth are very dubious. Though the U.S. still has the largest number of billionaires, it is not the only one – China trails not far behind, and then India, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong, and others. Even Israel has some representatives in this exclusive club.
Perhaps we haven’t fully comprehended that demolishing the evil empire of communism does not make pig-capitalism and corporatocracy right; that there is no real fair competition in our monopolistic “capitalism”. Moreover, there is not much freedom for political parties or elected national leaders to act outside the interests of their sponsors.
Sacrificing the planet for their childish whims?
Are we all now toiling, if indirectly, to compensate for these individuals’ abusive, authority-ridden childhoods? Their frustrations because a girl rejected them in high school? Are we all tools to satisfy their alpha male genes for domination, or “just” their greed, power-mongering and perversions?
And worse – are we allowing these unscrupulous individuals , to destroy our common planet for their ridiculous, childish and criminal fantasies with our tacit permission, ???
There might be another explanation. It is possible that we, the average reasonably-moral people, simply cannot grasp the enormity of some people’s evil, and – even more surprisingly – the total banality, superficiality, ignorance and stupidity underlying it…