Time to stop playing victim?

Stephen Dedalus believed the cracked lookingglass of a servant made a good symbol of Ireland. If you had to name a symbol of the United States, what would it be? The Statue of Liberty? Men in underwear on crosses in front of McDonald’s? I think it would be this: the oil leaking from the battleship in Pearl Harbor. This ship, The Arizona, one of two still leaking oil in Pearl Harbor, is left there as war propaganda, as proof that the world’s top weapons dealer, top base builder, top military spender, and top warmaker is an innocent victim. And the oil is allowed to go on leaking for the same reason. It’s evidence of the evil of U.S. enemies, even if the enemies keep changing. People shed tears and feel flags waving in their stomachs at the beautiful site of the oil, allowed to go on polluting the Pacific Ocean as evidence of how seriously and solemnly we take our war propaganda. That war is a major way in which we destroy the habitability of the planet may or may not be lost on pilgrims to the site. Here’s a tourism website on how to visit the sacred oil leak.

— In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, David Swanson has published a marvelous compendium of war stories, wars instigated by the USA for fun and profit, for empire and world domination.

He realized the danger of centralized power while FDR was still giving it a good name

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

C S Lewis

The falling of a hoof

If the falling of a hoof
Ever rings the temple bells,

If a lonely man’s final scream
Before he hangs himself

And the nightingale’s perfect lyric
Of happiness
All become an equal cause to dance,

Then the Sun has at last parted
Its curtain before you –

God has stopped playing child’s games
With your mind
And dragged you backstage by
The hair,

Shown to you the only possible

For this bizarre and spectacular

Go running through the streets
Creating divine chaos,

Make everyone and yourself ecstatically mad
For the Friends beautiful open arms.

Go running through this world
Giving love, giving love…

Daniel Ladinsky, channeling Hafiz

Ulysses sez

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heav’n, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

Some Native Americans Mastered the Science of Productive Symbiosis

Some native tribes were not mere hunter/gatherers but engineers of rich ecosystems that thrived with little tending and were more productive than farms, as well as being self-sustaining, in ways that farms can never be.

The Amazon is the most productive ecosystem on our planet, and some say that the soil there was engineered by ancient peoples, and that the plentiful rainfall is as much a product of the jungle as the jungle is a product of the rainfall.


It is the most important topic on earth: world peace.

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

— John F Kennedy (1963)

Toward a de-centralized world

There is something in the wind, a subtle global emerging realization that there needs to be a different organizational model for world affairs. In my experience, when the time is right for a new idea or technology, it will often arise independently in many places all over the world. I sense an organically developing awareness that humanity should self-assemble under some form of a decentralized networked model which is different from what currently exists.


Window, window

Sometimes he thinks the earth
might be better without humans.
He’s ashamed of that.
It worries him,
him being a human, and needing
to think well of others
in order to think well of himself.
And there are
a few he thinks well of,
a few he loves
as well as himself almost,
and he would like to say
better.  But history
is so largely unforgivable.
And now his mighty government
wants to help everybody
even if it has to kill them
to do it — like the fellow in the story
who helped his neighbor to Heaven:
‘I heard the Lord calling him,
Judge, and I sent him on.’
According to the government
everybody is just waiting
to be given a chance
to be like us.  He can’t
go along with that.

Here is a thing, flesh of his flesh,
that he hates.  He would like
a little assurance
that no one will destroy the world
for some good cause.
Until he dies, he would like his life
to pertain to the earth.
But there is something in him
that will wait, even
while he protests,
for things turn out as they will.
Out his window this morning
he saw nine ducks in flight,
and a hawk dive at his mate
in delight.
The day stands apart
from the calendar.  There is a will
that receives it as enough.
He is given a fragment of time
in this fragment of the world.
He likes it pretty well.

~ Wendell Berry (via Joe Riley)