|1 Dec 2008 @ 11:01|
In mountain light, all sounds
return to silence.
All that remains, the temple
Unexpectedly you find it, welling upwards in the empty tree.
---Rainer Maria Rilke
The meadows were a-drinking at their leisure; the frogs sat meditating, all Sabbath thoughts, summing up their week, with one eye out on the golden sun, and one toe upon a reed, eyeing the wondrous universe in which they act their part; the fishes swam more staid and soberly, as maidens go to church,
---Henry David Thoreau
The Eye of the Artist, c. 1898
Victor Dubreuil, born in New York to French emigre parents
The administration of President Grant, who's on the 5 dollar bill along with the mysterious pyramid we stuck on our money, is remembered for its financial corruption.
There is only one rule of economics for me, and that is I pay my bills on time. I prefer to pay for anything at the moment I buy it, but that isn't always possible so I get bills. My wife and I argue about some things, but we seem to agree about politics and money. We don't borrow. There's a car payment and we have a second mortgage for environmental improvements to the house---which already are saving us money on energy costs. Ilona probably is going to college shortly, so we may need someone to make us a loan then. Otherwise we have lived within our means for 27 years---despite rocky times.
I've been broke and down and out in my day. I've had everything I own in my car, with nowhere to go. I've sat on a curb in New York City, without a job, and wept. I've been grateful for government programs. I support them gladly through taxes, now that I have some money. I celebrate economic simplicity in my life, which principles I probably learned through some hardship and a sound upbringing. I learned only the basics of how a capitalist market is supposed to work in theory, in the single required course on the matter in college. Quite frankly, I haven't been able to see that the market---take gasoline for instance---actually works that way. But then maybe, for the last 10 years, the market hasn't really been working at all. More >
|14 Aug 2008 @ 11:20|
...and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Yield to the willow
all the loathing
all the desire of your heart.
Shadow owes its birth to light.
The Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline
I was watching the Opening Ceremonies from the Beijing Olympics. I confess to remaining ignorant of what time and what day it is in China, but NBC was broadcasting it last Friday night at 8:00 Eastern Time. About half an hour into the spectacle, there was footage of President Bush and spouse in their box seats. The President had his suitcoat off and sleeves rolled up in the 85 degree heat of the open-air stadium. Matt or Bob commented that Russian Prime Minister Putin was calling to Bush, and we were seeing a shot of Putin, 3/4s turned away from the camera, shouting something the 10 or 20 feet between them. Bush turned around, scowling, and shouted back clearly, "NO!" The significance of the interchange became clear about an hour later when the commentators announced the Republic of Georgia had launched a missile attack upon the "breakaway province" (whatever that means exactly) of South Ossetia.
I had gotten to know a very little bit about Georgia because our town had been visited by a touring folk group from there last November. [link]
The program for the Zedashe Ensemble told us, "These songs have been forged by the flames of centuries of war and oppression, baptized by the free-flowing blood of our ancestors, blessed by the tears of our saints, who pray constantly for their burning motherland, and raised like a phoenix from the ashes by a nation that passionately seeks to preserve its voice." Sure enough, there was some very primitive, yet harmonically complex, music, somewhat Eastern European but with a Far Eastern mix, climaxing with a sword fight dance that had sparks flying literally from the clash of heavy metal. The language was Georgian, and they were adamant about it.
A couple days later there were news reports of fighting going on in that country, and I was worried as to whether the troupe would be stuck over here. We had a Georgian exchange student at the high school, and I had come to think of the place as remote but with great variety of mountains and the Black Sea. Indeed it is the crossroads between Asia and Europe. It is said winemaking originated in the Caucasus. It looks like a wonderful spot to explore. [link]
So besides the strategic location, what did these people have to fight about? More >
|8 Apr 2008 @ 10:03|
No more "evidence" of collapse is needed; it's happening here and now and with dizzying speed. I no longer feel a need to "convince" anyone; I'm simply sitting back and watching the inevitable unfold, and as I report the daily news, I can scarcely keep up with the events that have turned prophets into historians.
---Carolyn Baker, historian and psychoanalyst
www.carolynbaker.net , her valuable site
We Bring Democracy To The Fish
It is unacceptable that fish prey on each other.
For their comfort and safety, we will liberate them
into fishfarms with secure, durable boundaries
that exclude predators. Our care will provide
for their liberty, health, happiness, and nutrition.
Of course all creatures need to feel useful.
At maturity the fish will discover their purposes.
---Donald Hall, from White Apples and the Taste of Stone. © Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
The photo is called "Kelley's Tiger Lily," though that isn't what the flower really is, and can be found at [link]
The news about climate and economy are so disturbing every day, that even people who never talk to me about current affairs are doing so now. People acknowledge impending disaster and don't know what to do. What is there to do? Are we doomed?
This must be brief this morning, as I have taken so much time to read. But among the first articles to show up was something Carolyn Baker sent along to subscribers during her fundraiser. It's from a free magazine in Southern California apparently, which is called HopeDance. I couldn't find it at the actual site so I don't know when it was written. It is lengthy but it leads one through the "syndrome" of waking up from this lifestyle of convenience most Americans anyway have fallen into over the last 50 years. It's not impossible and in fact it ain't even so hard. Take the time and you'll feel better at the end~~~
[link] More >
|26 Jan 2008 @ 11:33|
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.
Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day. But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrations), too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.
For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure---one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
from his Memoirs, p. 405
The photo shows David Rockefeller at the 2005 annual Bilderberg conference held that year in the Dorint Sofitel Seehotel Überfahrt in Rottach-Egern, Bavaria, Munich, Germany. [link]
Poor Amy Goodman. People look to her, as we do to Bill Moyers, to speak unfettered truth to us. There are not many these days, who can punch through the myriad barriers to stand free and clear above the media storm. Like Moyers, Ms. Goodman has managed to get herself an interview kind of broadcast, which can be seen or heard in limited areas where demand is great. She's on the cover of The Progressive this month, and an interview with her is inside. Democracy Now! has a website where the programs can be streamed. [link]
One man who has supported her and Public Radio for many years is Sean Madden. He's an American expatriate living now in East Sussex, UK, where he maintains an interesting blog called Mindful Living. [link] His impressive credentials are listed there too. He blogs his concerns about the States, particularly political and economic, at Inoodle.com, and it was here yesterday that he unloaded a pile of frustrations in an open letter.
I think he is not so much attacking Amy Goodman here, as he is sending her, and us, a perhaps startling wakeup call. Mr. Madden is not alone in doing this. Many of us have been screaming about Iraq, Bush, Dubai, global warming and all that for years. But with the bursting of the American housing bubble, talk of impending recession...and maybe worse, and yet another opportunity to bail out some banks, the scratchy voices of economists are joining the chorus of doom. Madden's rant (and a rant it is) to Democracy Now! is along these lines, but without a lot of jargon for which you need an accounting degree. I've included a couple links which I encourage you to follow. There are more hyperlinked at the original, all of which should explain why David Rockefeller illustrates this article. More >
|1 Dec 2007 @ 10:42|
I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete. The earth remains jagged or broken only to him or her who remains jagged or broken.
The trouble is that you think you have time.
Clambering up Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The rushing creek, the dew-soaked grass.
The mossy rocks are slippery, though there's been no rain.
The pine sings, though there's no wind.
Who can leap the world's ties
And sit with me among the clouds?
Photo of Naomi Klein by Andrew Stern.
Let's say you just inherited a modest sum of $40,000. Instead of paying off debts, you decide to invest it---or buy something important for your home. You believe there's a climate crisis out there, and here's a chance to do something about it. Whether you want to make money off the situation or contribute in some small way, what would you do? Before you say you'd buy a solar array for your roof or check stock options in a windmill company, perhaps you should consider the gun industry. Which is the "better" investment? When the only water anywhere costs $3.25 a gallon, will some people have to fight over it? Will anyone come to get yours?
I know I'm not alone in thinking about this. Is there still time for human society and individual nations to prepare? Are people already doing it? Should I write on the Internet that I'm a peaceful man and have no guns in my house? Should I confess I have a huge stockpile in the basement? Would anyone protect my family if panic and riot break out over food and water? Would the Carlsons be treated like New Orleans or like Malibu? Is that kind of choice shaping up for our world?
One person who seems to think so is Naomi Klein. Over the last few months I'm seeing this woman's name somewhere nearly every day. Her 3rd book, The Shock Doctrine, came out in September, and is a best-seller. She's been on tour ever since. Almost immediately Amy Goodman scheduled a confrontation on her show, Democracy Now, between Naomi and Alan Greenspan, who also had a new book out. That transcript can be read here~~~
Apparently she was on Keith Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC Thursday night, discussing Shock Doctrine as it applies to Iraq. I didn't see the program but according to a comment at Naomi Klein's MySpace Profile, Olbermann called the invasion and occupation "a corporate takeover...with guns."
What the Shock Doctrine describes is a torture technique, taught in detail in CIA handbooks, on how to regress a "detainee" to a childhood state. This technique, she charges, can be used on an entire national population...and has been thus used historically. She gives examples of takeovers in Indonesia and Chile and rapid, radical economic changes that ensued. Where American investors and corporations have profited she calls the process Disaster Capitalism.
The book itself is a shock because one does not have to imagine that some mastermind might plan out a series of assassinations of national leaders but should something like that happen over a short span of time, could not a political party or coalition of economic planners take advantage of national trauma and grief? In the last 45 years, has it happened here, in the United States? Once a person or population is thus reduced psychologically, can it be kept there? Can world resources be dominated thus by figures in this kind of control?
On Thursday Naomi Klein published her regular column in The Nation and The UK Guardian. Her writings are picked up by other news services and also Yahoo News. The column is entitled Guns Beat Greens: The Market Has Spoken. It describes where the big investment money is flowing right now. Ms. Klein was born in Montreal in 1970, and studied at the London School of Economics. More >
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