Broker Check

Both Sides Now

October 23, 2023

Joni Mitchell penned this ‘70s song that is of some interest today.


         ‘Both sides’ is an old newspaper process. Give the readers both sides of a story. As if there were only two sides to every tale. Very Hegelian. And very simplistic.


         The news from ‘the Western Asian Front’ is being subject to such a perspective. Many find such ‘news’ repulsive. The terrorist actions by Hamas removes them from the pale of humanity. Their views are irrelevant given such atrocities. Did we listen attentively to the Nazis as they conquered most of Europe and exterminated millions of Jews, Catholics, homosexuals , Poles and Ukrainians?


         Yet I persist in reading many news sources. I try to read from a wide variety of global sites. I want to know what is going on in the world. From viewpoints outside of the US. (Yes, I do read US sites, too.) Particularly the financial world and events that may impact it. My responsibility to each of you is to remain informed without prejudice.


With a site aggregator such as  [http://www.kadaza,com]www.kadaza,com, I can type in ‘World News’ and view the ramblings from across the globe. You can do so for virtually any subject matter: movies, games, music, art, health, etc, much like all other aggregators. Ramblings is an intentional word: most of what I read is far less news, far more editorializing.


But I digress. This weekend I spent more time than necessary reading from other points of view on the Israeli issues. Al Jazeera and The Cradle stood out in their perfidy.


I spent much of my college years living in a worldview significantly different from those I hold true today. I read Mao, Lenin, Marx. These guys are among the worst, most boring authors I have ever read. Pedantic. Ideological. Fact devoid. The media that supported them were hagiographic in every detail. That means they were ‘egg sucking’ dogs’ to use a Southern expression. Dogs that would rather raid a chicken coop than go out on a hunt.


Particular words and phrases recurred: freedom fighter; oppressors; occupied lands; party cadres; recidivism; revolutionary dialectic. I could list hundreds of these archetypal phrases.


You read them today in the press from the Moslem world, particularly Iran, Palestine and Syria. ‘Freedom fighters emerged from well crafted tunnels to attack the oppressors in Occupied Palestine, killing and capturing many imperialist soldiers of the Zionist regime.’ ‘Brilliant exploitation of capitalist technology to wipe out the illegal occupants of oppressed Palestine.’


There is no ‘moral equivalency’ between the horrors of Hamas in Israel and the military attacks in Gaza. Gotta love the ‘knock-knock bomb’ – a small bomb is dropped on a building. Gazans know from experience (and leaflets dropped by the millions) that they have 10 minutes to evacuate the building. Exactly ten minutes later the building is evaporated. The Palestinian terrorists use no such warning. You have only to look at the news feeds in disgust to realize the difference. The total lack of moral equivalency.


And the youth of today is exploited by the same party hacks as we were in the 1960s. Cannon fodder. Useful idiots. Drug addled camp followers. Ignorance is currently the highest and best condition of humanity. A complete absence of critical thinking. ‘Rational thought is exploitive of the oppressed.’ Or some such nonsense. The internet was meant to enhance global knowledge – today it simply demonstrates the incredible depths of human ignorance. Shame on Silicon Valley for their assumption of rational thought and behavior. A nonrational assumption.


So much for both sides now. There is only one side. The right of all people to live in peace. To work as they wish. To educate and offer health care to every member of society. To own capital, land and treasure. To live a fruitful life that is wisely passed on to the next generation and to culture. To agree to disagree with words rather than bullets, knives or bombs.


All else is pranking. Lying. Red lining. Ghosting. In Spanish, ‘me cagar in diez!’


Enough said.


Wealth is good. Caring for others is good. Healthy living is good. Beliefs are good. Family, faith and community are all good. I have a responsibility and interest in maintaining an extensive global knowledge base. You have the responsibility to do well, to help others, to love.


Eat wisely

Sleep well

Love with Abandon!




John Graves, AIF, CLU, ChFC                        

Registered Principal
The Renaissance Group, LLC



805.652.6942  fax 805.652.6930
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