Monday, September 30

Point of View

"Do you want this fixed?" Our contractor touched a gaping crack over our stairway that had irritated me for so long that I had learned to ignore it's ugliness.  The obvious flaw was still there.  He was touching it.  But, I had to really adjust my eyesight and my thinking to acknowledge that it was there and needed to go away.

My view of world affairs, especially American politics, is very similar.  I've been irritated with its ugliness for so long that I've effectively blocked the flaws until one or more of them resonate with other people outside my mental bunker, then things become interesting.  Just yesterday on the PBS Moyers & Company show, Moyers interviewed the head of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, in an interesting episode titled, Saving the Earth from Ourselves.   My 90+ year old mother in law was watching and became agitated and outraged that big oil companies are now drilling and polluting the fragile Arctic - taking advantage of the shrinking ice sheet due to global warming.  She had never heard of Greenpeace and was grateful that at least one organization in the world can see past the short term economic advantages of tearing up the North Pole

We both wondered how the seven countries which claim this vast frozen space can overlook the dangers of destroying one of the lynch pins of human life on earth, and wondered if they believed their own propaganda. From our point of view, the earth is a precious resource for supporting human life.  From the corporate point of view, the earth is a vast money pit waiting for a drilling rig or giant fishing net so it can benefit stockholders.  Everyone knows that the corporate and political rhetoric of jobs, cheap energy and "don't-worry-we'll-clean-it-up-when-we-are-done-destroying-it" overlooks the long term dangers of such a massive undertaking.  Ask the oil rig workers families killed in the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill about the jobs available and ask American consumers about cheap energy at the gas pump and in our homes.   When the oil companies say they'll take care of mother nature, most of us understand them to mean not in a good way.

I've ignored the ugliness of oil production and it's termite-like destruction of American life for so long, almost as long as Greenpeace has been around until Moyer's Arctic drilling expose.  I can't say that the problems of relying on oil have completely escaped my notice.  Who can ignore or deny the damage of oil spills which occur on a regular basis around the world.  (I reluctantly raise my hand.)  Do I want to fix this problem?  Yes.  The next question is how do I fix it.  

Saturday, September 14

Violators Will Be Crushed

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, now,
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain you would not understand
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

"Comfortably Numb" song by Pink Floyd 

On days like today, when the talking heads give their opinions about dropping $900,000+ tomahawk bombs on real people, whether they live in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Yemen, I am sickened of this war porn.  I shut down and wish I had a kitten or puppy to distract me for a few minutes.

Speaking of being distracted, apparently Secretary of State, Kerry, distracted by a reporter's question about what Assad must do to avoid war with the USA, smirked his way into a possible diplomatic solution and despite his backpedaling, the rest of the world in the form of Russian President Putin, called his bluff or blather.  Maybe there is a god who loves little children and wants to stop the suffering - maybe not.  Either way, there is hope of a non violent solution and that's a good thing.