“Evil Empire”

“Evil Empire”

Henry's Views

Reagan called the Soviet Union the “evil empire”. But if you look at the international relations of the United States in the last 70 years, the litany of terrible outcomes and consequences is almost breathtaking — Vietnam, El Salvador, regime change in Iran, second Iraq war, Afghanistan. I’m sure this short list is missing other significant fiascos. So the bottom line might indeed be that today’s “evil empire” is not them but us — we are the evil empire!

At the very least, I think it is time that the United States government seriously reevaluate its goals relative to international affairs, and make the key objectives not exploiting weaknesses of other countries for some illusory gains for the US, but instead rectifying potential areas of conflict between nations so that peace and prosperity world-wide are assured.

Instead of jockeying for some questionable advantages, a more high-minded diplomacy on the part…

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“Evil Empire”

Reagan called the Soviet Union the “evil empire”. But if you look at the international relations of the United States in the last 70 years, the litany of terrible outcomes and consequences is almost breathtaking — Vietnam, El Salvador, regime change in Iran, second Iraq war, Afghanistan. I’m sure this short list is missing other significant fiascos. So the bottom line might indeed be that today’s “evil empire” is not them but us — we are the evil empire!

At the very least, I think it is time that the United States government seriously reevaluate its goals relative to international affairs, and make the key objectives not exploiting weaknesses of other countries for some illusory gains for the US, but instead rectifying potential areas of conflict between nations so that peace and prosperity world-wide are assured.

Instead of jockeying for some questionable advantages, a more high-minded diplomacy on the part of the US would be, for instance, to seek ways to peacefully unravel the conflict between North Korea and South Korea so that that potentially explosive issue just melts away. Ditto the issue of China and Taiwan. Not gain specious advantage from these situations but actually solve them so they go away.

Wouldn’t it be a huge sea change if US foreign policy were to pursue goals that were on the side of the angels rather than policies that, in the last 70 years, have led inevitably to the death of millions, devastation of whole nations, and terrible unintended consequences — the heritage of our evil empire.

So this brings us to the present moment and the Ukrainian situation, which isn’t fundamentally about Ukraine at all, but instead the uneasy relationship between an expanding NATO and a Russia with security concerns, having been invaded by Europe twice in history.

A high-minded diplomacy on the part of the US would have the US seek to bring these two parties together to work out an agreement that would leave both feeling secure and respected, so that the world could breathe easier and enjoy peace and prosperity.

But what has the US done instead? It has elected to exploit the Ukrainian situation in a proxy war to debilitate its supposed enemy Russia. The end result is not hard to see. Ukraine will be decimated, many there will die, and the relationship between NATO and Russia will deteriorate, perhaps to the breaking point, with the specter of nuclear war rising up once again.

All of this because the cognoscenti in the US see Russia as the enemy, even though, around the world, there are actually very few points of direct contention between the United States and Russia — the Arctic region being the conspicuous exception. That this is so is probably a consequence of geography, as the two countries are, after all, on opposite sides of the globe. And there are many similarities between the two countries — both are threatened by Muslim extremists, both are principally Christian, both are ostensibly democratic, with elections, both are capitalist.

Yet we are led to believe by our leaders in the US that Russia is the enemy. Why? And what will be the net result, but another decimated country called Ukraine, decimated as much by the narrow-minded and short-sighted diplomacy of the United States as by Russia.

Add yet another country to the list of countries victimized by the current evil empire, the United States.

Nuclear Umbrella 

My Brown, Not Green, Smoothie

I consider the smoothie I make in a large Vita-Mix that lasts up to 3 days one of my most nutritious meals.  That smoothie and a huge salad that also lasts days are the basic infrastructure of my overall diet, as they are both done virtually every week.

The ingredients that go into this smoothie have been added incrementally over the years so that now making one is quite a complex operation where I have to keep many things in store and ready to add.   The same is true of the salad, but with the salad there is much more variability, as I like to eat at least a slightly different version each time.  Here using different dressings helps that variability.

I think most people should do the same, that is, develop a complex and super nutritious smoothie as well as a complex and super nutritious salad, and make these two staples the mainstay of your diet.

My Story

Fruit

I think my enjoyment and pleasure in eating fruit stems from a mild deprivation from my childhood. For some reason, we never seemed to have much variety in my home when I was a child. Oranges, bananas, and apples and that was about it. So now, all the other types of fruit available seem to me a kind of pleasant luxury that I can partake in, even though these other types are actually quite ordinary. Such is one of the gentle ironies in my life.

The thing about fruit is that, while it is comparatively high in sugar, it is also high in fiber, which mitigates the sugar issue to an extent. So a moderate amount of fruit in one’s diet, if one is a typical, non-diabetic individual, is excellent despite the high sugar content.

Carbs Not The Devil

Vegan “Cheese”

How to make vegan cheese. Can of Goya Organics Chickpea low sodium. Keep the liquid. Add 1.5 tbs Walnut oil. 1/2 cup nutritional yeast. Large dollop of Cashew butter. Garlic powder. Almond flour. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (amount here determines how thick or thin you want your “cheese”). Tapioca powder. Touch of Bragg Liquid Aminos.

Crush in a pot with a potato masher.

Cook in the pot until it is cooked enough.

I like to have it with Ronzoni Garden Delight Veggie Trio Italiano (made with vegetables), i.e., vegetable-oriented, not wheat, pasta.

I pour the “cheese” over the Trio Italiano and then top it all with a mound of mixed, organic leafy greens chopped into small pieces. Almost every meal of mine looks identical with this mound of chopped leafy greens on top and the goodies hidden underneath. All you see initially is this mound of finely diced leafy greens. Usually I add drops of real lemon juice to the leafy greens, but not when I have my “cheese”.

Minimal saturated fat in this “cheese” versus the real stuff.

Diversify Your Diet

Bird Song

On a quiet stroll, when there isn’t any wind to drown out their sound, listen to the bird calls as you walk along. You will walk from one original bird call to the next, and each will be unique and musical. If you keep your mind focused on the bird songs for the entire walk, you will hear quite an orchestration of musical notes. How many of these musicians would you overhear in an hour’s stroll? 25? 50? 100? But you have to stay focused.

Cool