Friday, February 25, 2011

What I Cannot See

Alone among friends, the hand of God, barren
contrasting shadow ends against the chalkboard sky
Statue search majestic, on the morning crisp horizon
In the end upon departure, all we can is simplify

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Dealt, played, and discarded; cards, each with a corresponding value based on the utility served towards the end goal. The relative value of each card shifts respectively as its utility increases or decreases, but always with the final step of being discarded.

This analogy can be applied to many different situations, circumstances, and relationships. For my purpose here, however, the analogy is confined to explain and understand interactive familial relationships.

One is born into a family and thus, the cards are dealt. Over time, or based on a predetermined hierarchical protocol, there is an acceptance of the role that determines cardholders and cards. The cardholders, as they grow into and accept their role, hold the power, with the ability to give and take, value and devalue, hold and discard. The cards, as they grow into and accept their role, are held in servitude, will honor the cardholders, and will subject themselves to a lifelong purpose as defined by the cardholders.

Thus, the cards are dealt, and the game begins. A good cardholder, playing effectively, will recognize the necessity of a compliant card, and will accordingly manipulate the card’s self-perceived value based on such simple attributes as affection and bond, while consistently utilizing a secondary play of manipulation between the cards, alternately distributing value between them and gaining a compounded benefit drawn from the interactive relationship between the cards. Advanced cardholders will utilize advanced forms of manipulation such as philosophy, theology, and sociology to firmly hold the cards in their place and to keep the card readily available for various plays. When the time is ripe, when sacrifice is necessary, or when a card has simply lost its value, it can ultimately be discarded and, if all the cards have been used and the deck has been flipped back over, the cards can be drawn and used again. In relationships, particularly familial relationships, the game can be infinite, provided all of the parties initially and continually recognize and accept their role.

A primary and transcendent component to the familial game, although seldom recognized, is choice. The reason I say that it is both primary and transcendent is that the game is generational. The parties to the game, both cardholders and cards, are usually born into the game. They are, in effect, acting on the choice of the cardholders who have developed from inherency to choice. As the parties enter the game, they grow into roles that are accepted and assumed in such a sublime manner that they seem almost natural or inherent to the sociological establishment of the family order. This acceptance manifests itself into the patterns required of each role, cardholder or card, subsequently resulting in the card’s willing acquiescence to the cardholder.

As the parties mature and the interactive behaviors develop, as time goes on, however – and this is the part that is so rarely recognized – the roles become an absolute matter of conscious choice. The reason the mold is so seldom broken, is that the realization of choice never occurs and the parties move on through life as master and serf, leader and follower.

I must insert here two notable exceptions (and I’m sure professionals of the field can insert more): First, I have been witness to families that seem to have been built on such a foundation of healthy relationship that this game and its characteristic boundaries simply did not exist and interactive behaviors that might otherwise have been expressed in hardship, rivalry, or power, have rather been embodied in compassion, unique character, and democracy. Second, I have witnessed individuals who have been born of such a predominant will that, regardless of the existence of the game and its inherent boundaries, they could not be contained in such base confinement and have soared where another of less fortitude might have been bound.

And this mention of the predominant will brings us back round to the matter of choice. For the ability to choose is driven by the power of the will, which is driven by the overall value of self. As one’s character is developed and shaped into low self esteem, the willpower is diminished, and the ability to make positive choices along with it.

In the case of rare occurrence, where one has moved through the game as a card, had his affection played upon, had bond feigned and disguised, had what would be common truths that in a perfect world should be held as self evident exposed as the most horrific lies, and finds himself on the receiving end of an epiphany, one must choose to break free of the game, to break the generational cycle of dysfunction that is the game I’ve described. To accomplish this, one must, once and for all, with absolute irreversible finality, remove himself as a card. The result is a shockwave to everyone involved, as the concept of utility is lost and each party to the game is suddenly forced to be taken at current face value. Without choice, and yet as a result thereof, the hand is folded and the game comes to an end.

The final stage of this interactive process can be tragically heartbreaking or earthshakingly beautiful, and is very often a combination of the two. Regardless, it must here be examined as two possibilities.

The first possibility is that the cardholder is not in truth, that he has long ago recognized the self-searching desire of the card to grow beyond the boundaries of the confined relationship, and that he is playing along to more deeply confine the card because there is yet a value he must attach to accomplish a utility in the play at hand or in the future. In this case, as so often occurs, the cardholder feigns that he has recognized the fault in his position and has recognized the true value of the person he has, throughout the relationship, been playing as a card. If the card buys into the counter-play, he eventually finds himself heartbroken, for not only has he been duped by the cardholder, he has betrayed his own instincts and has inflicted upon himself an often irreversible fate. This is the process by which the card is repeatedly played, sinking further into the role each time. Having once tasted the fresh cool water of epiphany in the desert of desperation, however, the fate is now shaped in a mold that is encased with bitterness and sorrow. The self deprecation becomes more damaging to the will than even the wounds inflicted by the cardholder, and the card is never again able to move even a small step, even one play closer to choice.

The second possibility is that two people, facing one another, finally understanding and accepting what has taken place, possess for the first time the ability to see things as they were in contrast to how they are, and experience a single opportunity to assess the relationship at its true value and determine whether it will move forward or be relegated to memory. It is in this circumstance that there is both heartbreak and elation, as the raw vision of the reality of the past stands out in such stark contrast to the promise of the future. The card looks upon the cardholder in such a state of devaluation, recognizing that while he held this person in such high esteem, the person had perceived him as nothing but a card in the hand to be played and unceremoniously discarded. The cardholder, however, finding himself in a position of equal astonishment, now sees the tragic fault of his prior disposition and experiences an enlightening shift in his paradigm of relational value. He now recognizes in his counterpart a new light that shines on the unique value of all relationships. This startling vision holds within it the possibility, the promise, indeed the absolute requirement of confession and redress. And as both hearts break together, from opposite ends of the spectrum, they find themselves looking at a past that wounded, a present that scarred, and a future that heals. Then, accepting the relationship for what it has been, with the wounds it has caused, the two move forward in the shared experience to cauterize the wound, creating the scar with which both will forever be reminded of this revelation. This finds them at a door called closure, and from here they can embrace the potential of the promised healing that will forever characterize the relationship in the future. Both parties can now, through true love and forgiveness, turn into the new horizon, together or alone, having grown into a new being.

In parting from this thought, in asking that your attention and energies be given to one final consideration on the matter, I find the knowledge firsthand of having experienced this game and of having reached an epiphany, a moment of truth, which was not reciprocated. In the interest of the very survival of my soul, I turned and walked away, ever so sadly. I felt the cold winds of bitterness blowing through my life and felt the anguish of unresolved sorrow threaten to freeze shut the encasement of my life.

It was in these times, drawing back inward, considering more deeply, that I abandoned the object of my belief and allowed my faith to take over. It was at these moments that I did not seek to pray, but prayed from within my heart with a depth that words could not find. And if prayers are answered, it was this that I heard. It occurred to me that all of this, the cardholder and the card, the game, the epiphany, the walking away, the turning, has been a part of the process we call love. And too often in life, for the sake of self defense, of survival, of retaining the best parts of ourselves, the ability to love, the ability to give, the ability to hope and to promise and to cherish, we abandon the responsibility to shine that very light on the person from whom we have turned. And this person passes on, and there is emptiness, a void that can now never be filled. Too often again that void is filled with a sad, subconscious realization that the only cause to which our dedication was applied was self.

If these epiphanies, these astonishing moments of cataclysmic truth, are real, then they must within them contain the recognition that there is a responsibility of giving of ourselves, at a minimum, one last truth. If the party from whom we have turned, no matter what ill character we feel they possess, was someone for whom we ever truly cared, then we are required to forgive; and within that forgiveness there is an action. It is not what is commonly called closure, the ability to tell someone they have harmed you, to purge yourself of the wounds you feel they’ve inflicted, but to tell them nothing more than that you love them; not that you did, not that you once held for them something which they never returned, but simply that you love them – then, now, and forever. Then you can rest, assured that you are not just playing the same game that you claim to have abandoned.

There is a very realistic possibility that, by actually growing beyond the wounded child you once were and sharing the truth of unconditional love, you have been able to open the only door in eternity through which they may have passed to do the very same thing. And you do not know if it isn’t possible that their bitterness, the shut-cold-encasement from which they inflicted your wounds, was not born of having never applied the same hard dedication to forgiveness.

These things are true. There are doors through which people are waiting for us to enter. There are hearts that are waiting for us to heal. And the doors through which we walk into these hearts are doors through which only we can enter. They exist for no one else. No one else can do our work, no one else.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Generational Genocide

This was written in response to Selena, a Facebook Friend who commmented on the shared post regarding the US veto of sanctions against Israel for their continued settlement objectives on the West Bank.

You are absolutely right ...

(and) when you consider the economic sanctions, embargo, military support and more that the US has put in place to punish the citizenry of countries who failed to 'democratically' elect the right candidate, you see 'indirect' political intervention that is equal to nothing less than violations of every statute relative to the Geneva Convention(s), the Rome Statute, and multiple United Nations resolutions. What is tragic is that there is no international legal forum that has not been rendered impotent by the United States. The result of these actions has been counted in terms of civilian deaths of millions throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South America, Eastern Europe; add to that the countless deaths by starvation, cancers and generational defects due to chemical and biological weapons, concomitant death by the destruction of medical facilities, and we are talking about nothing less than absolute immediate and generational genocide.

Hegemony has been on the agenda and has been the driving force behind the doctrinal statements of every administration, particularly since World War II. The US, the only country ever to have used a weapon of mass destruction, strutting about the world with arrogance and indignation, telling others about terror and condemning those who fight back with all they have for the only thing they have left to lose; their dignity - their humanity. It is literally Goliath calling David a terrorist.

What Bush propagated with his 'War on Terror' created an open global field for warfare in what I believe is the US's final push for global domination.

I have been a political realist for many years and did not believe that I could be disillusioned by a disingenuous politician. I was wrong. What Obama has done is effectively marginalized a mass segment of voters who stepped up because we believed in change, we believed in hope. Now we have a presidential cabinet chocked full with corporate kingpins and military vultures. The gap between poor and rich, on a global scale, is going to swallow generations of our citizens, while our neoliberal neoconservatism blows the global gap even wider and thrusts countries into absolute slavery. I almost want to thank him, because we needed the final slap in the face with such a blatant political hand of hypocrisy. We need to gather the hope for change within the very heart of who we are as a people and join with the world in a united revolution for the hope of all humanity.

The US is being politically alienated throughout the Arab world, as it has been throughout South America. Until we, as a public, recognize that we can no longer remain complacent; until we recognize that we can no longer rest in the lap of apathetic luxury; until we recognize that we must make a stand - we are complicit in the crimes of our government.

I worry for the future of our sons, daughters, grandchildren - the future generations that have to live with the legacy of the vast population that buys into the lies that are fed through the mainstream corporate media.

I could go on and on, but you are absolutely point-on, and our only hope is to speak out, to educate ourselves, our children, and anyone within our sphere of influence, and pray that the revolutions of the world set spark and enflame humanity to the better part of each and every one of us and of all of us as a whole, that we might bring about a better world and that those whose worlds we have burned are more merciful and humane than the country to which we have wrongly pledged our allegiance.

Random Thoughts from a Morning Run

Running through the streets of a concrete casket
Stranger on a bridge had a question, wouldn't ask it
Do you keep your beliefs always just in one basket
Do you call yourself a thief or do you steal and then mask it

Sitting on a train with the world passing by
Floating down a river 'neath a pale blue sky
Do you think that life is set up just so you can die
Or do you think that maybe this is just an alibi

For something we might say is opportunity
As we slip and slide away from commonality
No better than you, and no better than me
are the hearts that we embrace in our humanity

These are just random thoughts from a morning run, abstract, through fleeting glances of light shining through dark spaces, smiles and frowns on passing faces, cars, trains, voices, birds, flowing water, and time escaping from our lives. What will mean something, anything, in our last moments - in that last breath; rhetorical, for thought, contemplation, searching, wondering and wandering.

I have heard a story of a man, dying, waiting for one last glimpse of his wife, his every breath drawing shorter, every moment knowing that when he lay down it would be his last. So he sat on the edge of the bed, looking towards an open door that gave way to a long hallway with hard tile floors. He knew that he should hear steps. He knew that he should hear whispers. He longed just for that one last meeting of their eyes, that one last touch of her hand. Then he could lie down. Then he could pass. His energy waned. To even sit on the edge of the bed in that lonely hospital room was like the most strenuous physical strain of a youthful man, holding onto the bottom rung of a ladder, hands slipping, wrists pulling, shoulders tearing. Then, he could wait no more. The time had come. She was not there. He lay down, his eyes fading into their final loneliness. Had it all been for nothing? Was he to die alone? He was. And he did. And as he slipped away, perhaps he considered the moments that had been given to things less worthy than her love. The shadows overtook the light. The heart slowed. A tear found its way from the corner of his eye, welled, and made its way slowly down his cheek. He felt it ever so faintly and wondered, in his last moment of life, if she would come.

Monday, February 21, 2011

U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution Calling Israeli Settlements Illegal

U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution Calling Israeli Settlements Illegal

For a clear history of relative 'diplomacy' around the Israel/Palestinian issue, see the Palestinian papers on Al Jazeera; much like the Wicki documents, it shows the deceit that is propagated on all sides. The common ground is the end goal, the destruction of the Palestinian people - American style.

Coffee at St. Mark's

Light, Shadow, Shade
Bicycles, Dogs, Fade
Cups, Alcohol, Jade
Light, Shadow, Shade

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The expression of discontent by a country's citizenry does not translate to an invitation for US intervention, military occupation, or financial exploitation.


I have received such a wonderful return on my investment; the installments of dedication, the moments more precious than gold, have paid dividends greater than profit and have built treasures of memory that can never be replaced.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Hear the sound of your laughter mixed with that of a loved one. Treasure it, hold it inside, remember it; for one day it will be gone and you will need the memory. It will turn the laughter to tears, but the smile will remain.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Noam Chomsky on Civil Rights, Obama, Latin America, and the History of the U.S. in the Middle East

Noam Chomsky on Civil Rights, Obama, Latin America, and the History of the U.S. in the Middle East

This is an excellent interview on Democracy Now!  Very insightful comparisons between Latin America in the past ten years and what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa.  Clear, concise, and to the point; well worth the time.

The Warmth of a Winter Chill

There are times when I'm prepared to cancel a run, but my inner voice tells me to lace up the shoes and get out the door. I've never regretted listening to that inner voice, but rarely have I been as greatly rewarded as I was this morning....

There was a gentle calm about the city as it lay beneath the silent shroud of fresh snow. The trees reached out, as though in thanks, towards the gray slate sky, an airplane invisibly scraping at the clouds from the other side. All the different houses found a common hue beneath their soft white roofs, with an occasional chimney calling attention to the scent of a winter fire warming the inside of its house, making it a home. A 'hello' from an unexpected passerby with a familiar face reminded me that I too was home.

And it made me think of those who were not.

A crowd of men and women, huddled beneath the awning of an old single story warehouse on Twenty-Seventh Avenue, called out the goodness of the morning to me, and with the strength of their humility gave the thought its cause. I stopped and they welcomed me, sharing with me the warmth of their being; everything they possess and perhaps more than many.

They wondered aloud at the world and its course, and openly offered the bread of their experience through a reminiscence of what has been. They quenched the thirst of the conversation with a lesson they've earned and carried with them into each day.

They were a mixture of races, genders, and nationalities, and varied just as much in terms of the shades of pride they have, of necessity, left behind and of the very pride they have, of necessity, retained; the former to accept their course, and the latter to protect their dignity.

They offered thoughts and advice on keeping the warmth of the body, as they wordlessly illustrated how to retain the warmth of heart and soul. And as I left them huddled beneath their blankets in the gentle winter morning, they blanketed me with blessings to take along.

As I continued on my run, I wondered at my own struggles in life and pondered times when my own house felt like anything but home, and times when I felt more as though I had a home when I had none. Then I thought of times when I have indeed been blessed with the paradox of being a stranger among friends and, as I was today, a friend amidst complete strangers.

More than ever, I was relieved at having abandoned the temptation to cancel the morning run. I was rewarded by being welcomed into the home of the homeless and was given gifts that were meant to be shared.

It was on my heart to share these blessings and gifts with you this evening, lest I leave the call unanswered and fail to share the warmth with someone who might well be feeling a sad or lonely chill in a moment or more of life's winter season.

A Season of Hope

It's about 9 a.m. on a crisp, cool, January morning in Denver. About fifteen men from the Denver Rescue Mission's New Life Program show up at the REI store at Confluence Park, downtown, for an eight mile training run.

I can't count the times I've told the story of what AIR does; training men from a long-term residential drug and alcohol treatment program to run marathons. That's an accomplishment in and of itself, but when you consider that many of these men were homeless less than six to nine months ago and that all of them have struggle(d) with life altering problems such as addiction, substance abuse, and incarceration, it's an even more phenomenal goal. Now consider that the training season is only six months. You could call it 'from less than zero to super hero'. The fun is just beginning. Tomorrow is the first ten mile training run. This is where the season gets tough.

How many people do you know that hang their dirty laundry on that brand new treadmill or exercise bike they purchased and used twice, or can't log in to that online training program that they purchased three months ago because they haven't used it since they bought it and don't remember the password?

Some people might say the men from this population are quitters. And perhaps there have been seasons in their lives where that's been the case. But I will also tell you that we are sharing a season of new hope, new inspiration, and new accomplishment with a group of men who are choosing to opt back in, who are applying themselves to the task of taking a new direction, and who are finding a way to believe in themselves and one another as perhaps never before in their lives.

Stay tuned. Be a part of it. Use the inspiration as the impetus for true change in your life. Share the experience with someone you care about. You will find, if you step outside the box, if you dare to share this season with us in any way, if you choose to believe, you too can join us in being a force of change in a new season of hope.

Personal Vision

There is a better part of us that can be given without thought to a vision that has grown from the time before we were and extends to a time beyond our own; that part of us is the transcendent truth of our humanity, that which we have in common with all others, and that which is unique to us which we share with all. 

As we walk through each moment, each hour, each day, each passing season, we find that the better truth of each and every passing breath is the unique hope that has been shared with us in relationship with others.

It is not always so simple as it might seem, to be the best that we can be, but it is in finding that we are attaining to that vision that keeps us true.  It is in the understanding that we have not and will not arrive, but that we must strive for a Belief and Faith that live within every moment of our lives. 

Belief and Faith, without becoming objectified, leave the object of our belief and faith to find us, and so it always has, always does, and always will.

When we think we have found our way we will see a bend in the road, just ahead; and if we are true to the journey, we will discover that we have yet to arrive. Relieved, we move on, and the destiny to which we are called, alone believes in us for who we are to become.

Humanitarianism - A Work in Progress

In a time when we have, as a people, been bought and sold, convinced that our freedom comes at the cost of the blood of our fellow humans from all around the globe -

In a time when neoliberal economics have created private subsidies of mass segments of humanity
In a time when less than one percent of the world's population controls ninety-nine percent of the world's resources
When, as a people, we have

-watched from afar and turned a blind eye to the suffering of humanity -
-turned a deaf ear to our government's lies -
-become convinced that money is a resource and a solution and we have done our part through a monetary donation to a 'worthy' cause -
-been told that to question this in any way is unpatriotic -
-become apathetically complicit in our government's crimes -
-allowed ourselves to descend to 'believe' that our 'choice' is exercised along with our freedom to vote for this or that corporate politician who belongs to the current structure that is established and maintained by the wealthy elite -
-descended to mass consumerism that is nothing less than cattle to slaughter -
-allowed ourselves to believe those who would silence the voice of dissent by telling us that if we do not like things as they are we should leave, that we have no voice or right to raise our voice in light of all the things that strike us at the core with the conviction to act -
-looked upon the world, to Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, and others, and have been moved by the action they have taken to again Believe as they move in unity in the Faith of humanity -

It is in these times, as a people, that we must find a common vision that looks to the future, a true foundation on which to stand, and a way to functionally exercise the active process of Belief and Faith - For each of these concepts, Belief and Faith, standing alone, stand more together with the other, and are the process by which we come together and take action.

We stand to Believe that we have, through the common gift of our humanity, been given the Faith to stand and to determine and to act upon these convictions:

-that there is such a thing as an absolute truth
-that there is such a thing as an absolute lie
-that we have the ability to know the difference and the responsibility to act accordingly
-that our weakness is not our strength
-that our strength is not our weakness
-that if we love, it is better than to hate
-that if we give, it is better than to take
-that if we hope, it is better than to give up or give in
-that the world's resources are available for all to benefit
-that we have the ability to create focused solutions
-that there is no problem which cannot be solved
-that there is no hunger that cannot be fed
-that there is no thirst that cannot be quenched
-that there is no flood that cannot be dammed
-that there is no house that cannot be built
-that there is no crime that must go unpunished
-that there is no abuse that cannot be discovered
-that there is no justice that cannot be served
-that there is no lesson that cannot be learned
-that there is no prejudice that cannot be unlearned
It is with these things in our minds and on our hearts that we watch our government send out its envoys from the darkest corners of the world to the aforementioned various points of light in an effort to 'solve the world's problems' or, rather, to silence the world's voices.  It is with these things in mind that we seek first to require the simplest things of our government:

-to abolish corporate fundraising for and donation to political campaigns
-to abolish lobbying
-to establish public financing for political campaigns
-to establish and engage in referendum political structure

Consider Revolution

In a recent interview with Democracy Now (, Robert Fisk, a renowned journalist (The Independent) whom I read frequently and whom I admire greatly, made a gracious statement about what  ‘ordinary Americans would like, .. multi-party elections, .. true democracy, etc.'.  I call it a gracious statement and, while I do understand its context, end up considering the statement inaccurate. 

It is the theme of what I call the American tragedy, the fact that 'ordinary' Americans believe that what we have is democracy, when we vote out one liar, and vote in another, when there is no transparency in government, when the country is essentially owned by corporations.  This is the model that US democracy proposes, implements, and maintains in all its client states, with democracy being supported if it results in the 'right' person being in power. 

US democracy is a sham.  The only hope is for the US to implement a policy of immediate global disengagement in terms of occupying forces, remove all corporate lobbying systems, remove any possibility of corporate donations to political parties or campaigns, implement public financed elections, implement long-term referendum politics, to cease allowing the privatization of military, utility, high-tech government functions, to completely, not just rhetorically or theoretically, reverse the tide of imperialism and the quest for hegemony. 

No, the American compliant apathetic horde has become a complicit partner in the global destruction that is US foreign policy.  The term patriotism is now translated as 'shut up or get out' and people consider themselves to be doing their part if they buy a ribbon sticker that says 'support the troops', paste it on their car, head to the local fast food restaurant by themselves in their SUV, purchase the $80 sweater that has been made in a third world country by slave labor for $.03, go home to their overpriced mortgage, pay the interest on their credit card debt, and watch the rest of the world burn on Fox News. 

I have to agree with Ms. Beckford and the others and say the tide is turning, Thank God. 

I will also say that we Americans can pledge allegiance and stand in pride when there is something to stand for.  Until then, I'm not getting out and I'm not shutting up.  This is our country, we have not only the right, but the responsibility to speak out, to shout from the tops of mountains, that what our government is doing is wrong, the problems are systemic, and that the lies must stop.  We have more necessity, more reason, more responsibility to revolt and we should look to the courage of the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, various countries in South America, and do what we must to change the country for which we are called to stand.

The sad truth is that we won't.  The profit margin for the wealthy elite is too great, the comfort zone for the middleclass is too cozy, and the poor are too busy struggling to fight off the growing gap between themselves and everyone else who is busy taking their hard earned dollars.  It is the youth, tomorrow's leaders, who will be left to pay the price and to whom it will fall to break the atrocious mold that has been so carefully and horrifically created by the leaders of the world into which they have been and will be born.  This leads us right back to the courage of the youth movements that have mobilized the Egyptian population.  Rise Egypt, Rise Revolution, Rise World, Rise true America, Rise Humanity.

The remainder of the Fisk interview is point-on in terms of the extended tragedy of America/Britain/French colonial/imperial history and the corresponding history of military/political leaders in the MENA, South American, Indochina, and other regions.  This is the sad truth about what we are seeing and it begs a larger question.  Does the revolution, as it were, have a voice; and if so, does that voice speak for the unified mind of not just the revolution of Egypt, but the voice of the Arab people, regardless of their division? 

Remember, one of the most powerful ways for despots, oppressive governments, etc., to keep a controlled unity is through uniform religious, political, and social division.  Indeed, this is the way America is 'united', through absolute division; it is an outrage to speak in terms of Democrat/Republican, Right Wing/Left Wing, Secular/Nonsecular.  These are simply filters through which the consent of the public is managed.  ‘Would you like your corporate military politician, who will drive the same machine regardless, in red or blue?  Will you vote for the oppression of the Palestinians if we cover your politician in a 'pro-life' flag, or do you prefer 'pro-choice'?’ The point is that there isn't an issue on the agenda related to this topic, but the 'democratic' structure understands that the public will be bought and sold through that filter - one of many, many filters; it's marketing 101.

Returning to our 'revolution', I believe it is fair to say that the voice of the revolution would say that there is a set of criteria on which the people of the world, aside from 'ordinary Americans', would agree; and the larger focus of that criterion is based on the economic structure of the world.  For example, do the Saudi Arabian people agree that 99.9% of their population should be ruled by .01% - moreover, do they agree that that .01% should give the lion's share of the nation's wealth to the United States?  The answer clearly is 'no’, the majority would not agree to being oppressed or sold out by the wealthy elite. 

This example is the illustrative truth of the entire MENA region.  A step further and we might ask whether the people of the MENA region agree that the Palestinians should be kept in the captive, oppressive position that is the result of genocidal US/Israeli policy and practice?  Again, clearly the majority of the population would not agree to this.  The rebuttal by the wealthy elite, parroting that of the US/Israel alliance is that the alliance (the Empire) is the only force in the region that represents stability, civilization, and averts total factional, divisive war.  Hence, the necessity to exercise the argument presented herein; 'keep people united on their knees by keeping them divided'.

So, having determined that the voice of the revolution, agreeing on a basic set of principles, is 'united' or that they obviously are coming together for a reason, leaves us here: 

Do they understand clearly that for this 'revolution' to truly stand, they must be prepared to turn away neoliberalism in all its shades, corporate and military political systems, privatization of resources, socialization of costs and privatization of profits, etc.  If they do, do they understand that waiting for the hand of the west, or even pandering to it, let alone soliciting it, is counterproductive and will completely and wholly undermine their purpose. 

Do they recognize the complete and total sacrifice they must be prepared to make.  Are they prepared, for example to remain in Tahrir square until Mubarak, Suleiman, and the ENTIRE regime are thrown out; do they have representatives prepared to take a role and put the country back on its feet? 

Do they recognize the investment of US corporations in the region that has resulted in and will continue to demand the exploitation and manipulation of their people, their political process, the wealth of their resources, military acquiescence, etc.? If so, are they prepared to stand against it? 

Side note - this is how ridiculous it all can be - a hot button question has been 'what about the tourist industry?" - This exemplifies the disparity between moral and capitalistic value; we are talking about issues as deep as the indomitable human spirit, and it is measured in the wealth gained by catering to the wealthy elite -

How are they preparing to deal with Israel, who is in the wings, not waiting, but preparing for 'all out' war?  And many, many more unanswered questions that cannot be lost in the fervor of revolution, lest the revolution itself be lost in a fervor of sentiment and sacrificed to the west - and this is already in motion.

All of this to say, the West is a crafty master.  It has long enslaved populations by their own means, leading them down a primrose path of revolution, telling them what they want to hear, and buying them and selling them for generations.  Indeed, the American public is itself the best example, what a sad compliant horde we have become, shedding a tear within the consensus of compassion, but not coming together as a people to guide the massive behemoth that our government has become.  Now here come Obama, Suleiman, and Netanyahu, in the wake of Bush, Mubarak, and Sharon.

If we are going to talk in terms of empirical knowledge, we must consider the past our experiment, and we must then consider that the results of our experiment are what we call true history.  Operating from this premise, our revolution must consider that:

we know the US/Israeli alliance (we have left and will leave some other obvious players out of it for now) are not honest; indeed, the term ‘rhetoric’ is used so often that it is clearly a substitute for the word ‘lie’

we know that there is such a vast wealth of transnational corporate investment in the region that true change isn’t going to come without a (literal) fight

we know that the best common practice of the US/Israeli alliance in the Arab world is to keep the regional powers embroiled in conflict amongst themselves

we know that the terrible gnashing teeth of the unified military(ies) has yet to show its teeth

we know that the ‘diplomatic solutions’ offered up stand only to support the status quo

we know and the appearance that any true change is taking place is more likely a sign that the players being brought to the table are being set up to fall into the teeth of the awaiting machine that is the wealthy elite of the world, led by the US/Israel alliance and the compliant MENA governments (allies), and that the plan of the allies is to set the other players against one another

I hope and pray that these issues, these truths, are in the heart and minds and, more importantly on the lips and the pens, of the voices of the revolution.  And I hope and pray that there are factions, grass roots elections, referendums, and ideas being developed to counteract and counter demand and fight off the temptation of falling into the vacuum of Western ‘leadership’.

Clearly there are greater minds than mine at the table, and there are certainly greater hearts with bountiful courage and hope that have brought to bear this mighty resounding voice, this revolution.  And I watch, wait, and pray that the gates that have been opened do not fall shut, that the voice of the revolution is carried by the body of humanity that must follow its call with action, and that the higher spiritual truth wins the day and the future for Egypt, for the MENA region, and for the world.

Breaking Free

Such a vast array of indistinct possibilities lay before us. On a spectrum without ends is the delineation of obtuse and abstract reality, containing all that is, that which has been, much that might have been, and all that is ahead. We are told there is no truth other than perception and thus we are kept in the shadows of every perceivable truth.

Ah, the paradox of power and control, driven by the very insecurity, indeed absence, of its foundation. As long as it is kept looming before us, with our heads bowed to its will, our eyes fixed below, and our hearts forever bound to its foreboding, lying promise, we will continue to be enslaved and will maintain our conformity.

Let our gaze rise first to the horizon, without so much as a movement of the head, let us fix upon the reality that there is nothing between us and its ever reaching promise. Let us look left, right, then shifting our eyes below to where we have been, and above to the point above our brow from where we have been pulled headlong to slaughter, and return our gaze then to the horizon. When we looked right I saw you, and when we looked left, you saw me. On your right was another brother and on my left another sister. And as our gaze now returns its focus to the horizon let it culminate in the acknowledgement of the power of One.

Let us recognize that we have been shackled by our division, that we have been kept a unified ignorant mass, a willing conformant, a criminally compliant horde. The endless rhythm, the deep, steady rumble of pulsing humanity, the interconnectivity, the synchronized beating of the heart of one, is the power that lay in the unity of all humanity, beyond borders or boundaries, affiliations or parties, theologies, religions, denominations, philosophies, status or wealth; an ethnicity identified by our singular human nature, a body perfected by our compensatory whole imperfection, a belief devoid of its object by necessity, thus epitomizing the paradoxical truth that the only object that is true defines itself by the subsequent action that is the natural effect of the believing cause; and that Belief, that predominant cause, is the active process, the perfect attainment of the ever fulfilling eternal existence of Faith.

Sanctify with precision the necessity of cutting out the cancer that is capital, the yoke that is burdened consumerism, the very heart of which is fear. Take that which was defined as mine and make it yours, and all that was ours, make it theirs, and the suffering which was bestowed upon them, let us share, that we might know the sanctity of our promise and the truth of our conviction.

Trample disbelief, extricate confusion, illuminate darkness, visualize blindness, unify separation, disempower weakness, humble all pride, reinforce desire, fortify dominion, embrace one another, diminish division, focus vision, gather hearts, intensify love, bolster foundation, and Believe.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Believing in Change

Slightly more than a year ago, significant legislation was passed in the US Supreme Court that removed any barrier from major corporate contributions to political campaigns, meaning that we now have a government that is overtly funded and subsequently managed through corporate contributions that create and employ corporate politicians.  Justice John Paul Stevens, in his dissenting remarks stated:

'At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics'

As we look at the budget for the fiscal year 2012 and see social programs slashed, while the defense budget tops out (again) at $671 Billion Dollars, we needn't wonder why.  Transnational corporations, transglobal wealthy elite, defense contractors (military industrial complex) have taken an aggressive stance and will move ever more quickly towards manipulation to accomplish complete and total control over the world's ever growing poor.  The result of all of this is the final stages of the US becoming a plutocracy surpassed by none other historically and one which will become ever more difficult to replace or systemically change.  What Bush sought to accomplish militarily, Obama will accomplish economically.  Between the two schools of thought, which are united in their mission through policy over the term of several executive political terms, the binding root is imperialism that concludes in unchecked hegemony.  And with the US operating as the current metaphorical and literal vehicle, the true imperialistic master is as it has always been; the wealthy elite, which is now embodied more globally than nationally through the system known as neoliberal economics.

We find ourselves witnessing an administration that was elected with the overwhelming popular vote through the mobilization of a previously marginalized segment of the population that had either opted out of the political system years ago or who had never voted at all.  The about-face that has taken place since this administration took office will do more to alienate the vast majority of the very voters it generated, thus succeeding in marginalizing the majority and allowing the canyon between the wealthy elite and the struggling poor to grow ever more deep and wide.  True change was promised and then cast aside, while the very agenda against which the politician stood is brought in on a red carpet to take our country firmly in its grasp.

The ability for the US political system to convince you that you have exercised your ‘democratic’ choice is inherent in your belief that this politician is any different than that, that you belong to this or that ideology, that you are represented by a blue donkey or a red elephant, etc.  Consider the possibility that they are two parts of the same system, one dependent on the other for its survival, with a unified view that has very little to do with the box, the shade, the hue, the tone, the rhetoric or propaganda, if you will, that caused you to exercise said ‘democratic’ right in casting your vote.  Indeed, by exercising your ‘choice’ and casting your vote, you have removed yourself from the process that would be available in a true democracy, and you may now take your assigned place on the sidelines, at the margin of the page, and fulfill the role of a spectator, better yet, a ‘consumer’.  And if you don’t like the results, you can vote for ‘the other guy’ next time or even more radically change your position and vote for a blue donkey rather than a red elephant, or vice versa.

The beauty of the system for the political structure, the device for public management that is economically manipulated and managed by the wealthy elite is that it does, in fact, marginalize the public while allowing enough room for executive administrative doctrine – a guideline for policy, and executive administrative ideology – a comprehensive vision of history’s progress and destination.  Keep in mind, the combined term ‘a policy for historical destination’; and the administrations rarely, if ever, head in a direction that actually embodies the comprehensive and ideological shift or change that the vast majority of the population deems necessary.  Indeed, the members of the population who might represent such change rarely, if ever, make it to the forefront of our ‘democratic’ process.

The conclusive result of all of this is that it, the singular (albeit duplicitous) system has now culminated in a government that has achieved the goal of being profit driven.  This leads the spectator in the arena to ask ‘but how can that be?  What of our ever increasing national debt, unemployment rate, etc?’  And this is where the basic education of neoliberal economics takes its turn.  The cost of the system is socialized.  The profit is privatized. 

The playing field is made up of a fairly consistent group of players, interchanging roles as lobbyists, lawyers, legislators, corporate executives, politicians, generals, mass media personalities, all of whom impact such ‘reforms’ as policy, regulation, and laws.  All of these roles have the quasi-purpose, in literal or metaphorical value, dependent on which role is being played from which position, of public servant, while truly serving the immediate and/or eventual master of profit, which is in turn the ‘policy for historical destination’.

As for the aforementioned throngs of voters mobilized in the most recent presidential election; they take their assigned seats on the sidelines of history, the old reverting to the pattern of complacency or apathy, and the young settling into ignorance while awaiting their shift through the generational turnstile. 

Let me digress briefly and take just one of our subjects and walk with him through his season of life:

The tragedy of human mortality in this scene is that life goes on.  The spectator, all the while becoming a complicit party to the actions of the wealthy elite political/military machine, works and vacations, is well and falls ill, loves and loses and loves still, is young and grows old; discovers prosperity, perhaps winning and losing, giving and taking; and, for our scenario, at this and then that point along his own historical destination, embraces or abandons a personal or social doctrine and ideology, vacillating over the years between various forms of actual internal change and its subsequent truths, until one day there is an actual choice; either a subconscious final commitment to stay seated on the sidelines, in the margins of life, and accept the role of the ‘consumer’ or a conscious actual choice to leave the metaphorical arena and set sail for a far off destination that is deep within.  If our subject finds himself at the latter destination, he has either not yet gone through the generational turnstile or turns around and goes back through it, and he finds that he is in the active process of belief and faith, walking towards something that lives in each of us, but which he feels is absolutely unique to him.  It is a revolutionary concept in his being; it is hope. 

This is where our most recent US President captured him.  Our subject was either new to the arena, had perhaps taken his seat of ignorance and had not yet passed through our generational turnstile, or indeed found reason for hope and turned back through the turnstile and proceeded on his journey and found himself with his fellow voters.  Together they climbed into the vessel and set sail on a new journey.  They had been called to be a part of the action that results in true change.  They had been called upon to believe.  They had been inspired. 

Now, two years down the path of that journey, they consider the very real possibility that the calling was disingenuous.  The wind dies in the sail of the human vessel of hope.  There is a sad calm as the people look about, recognizing that they only boarded this vessel because of a deep desire to believe.  And although history had taught them, generation upon generation that they were too small, that they were too naive, that they were insignificant, that they were too poor - a deeper faith had called them to that shore and they set sail.  Now, as they look about, even the shore of discontent is far off and seemingly unreachable.  They consider the possibility that it was an illusion, that perhaps they had never left the arena at all and that the very best they can be is a consumer and the very best hope is a hazy daydream.

And then there is a distant voice, as the hope of a new generation in a far off land stakes its claim with a torrent of belief that is the true foundation of the indomitable human spirit.

It is this voice to which we must listen, and it is our experience and abilities which must be brought to bear.  We cannot allow ourselves to become the passing generations that have once again become disenchanted and subsequently marginalized, lest we sink upon the lost vessel of hope for which we stand.  For although we heard a voice of truth and reason, we saw but another man, apparently another politician in a man's skin, inherently flawed at the core, integrity only feigned. 

But the voice, the words that were spoken, called out to something that is true, something that we cannot relinquish, something that is the very fundamental rhythm of truth, hope, belief, and faith.  It is now that we watch from afar as Egypt rides the wave of a new revolution, which stands in the balance, with all the outside influences beginning to press upon it, asserting their power, their wealth.  Only time will tell if the people will succumb to the transnational influence that propped up the Mubarak regime for thirty years.  As the Mubarak regime is toppled, as the Parliament is disassembled, the US/Israeli influence leverages its position with the Egyptian military that now holds the purse strings.  Over thirteen million dollars per day has been lost, and the pressure is great for things to return to the status quo, and for the people to fall back into apathy, complacency.  'We have not the resources for the general public to be caught up in the fervor of revolution and for them to expect to be the very fabric of change; we must maintain the status quo.'  And with this deceitful sentiment behind the nature of their words and actions, martial law is implemented, curfew is established, and the pressure of 'economy' is brought to bear.

It is this very sentiment that threatens the integrity of the revolution itself by inserting the prioritization of capital over reform and social justice, as neoliberal economics, a vicious double-edged sword wielded by the wealthy elite of not just Egypt, but of the world, demands its due and sets to establish its mendacious form of democracy. 

And yet, just as the resources were there for the people to camp in Tahrir Square, providing food, medical supplies, calling upon the common utility and resource of the group to provide for the common need, the resources are there for the people to stave off the temptation to leave their task undone, their goal unaccomplished.  The people must demand that the assets of the Mubarak regime, of the man himself, of the Parliament, of the Nation, are captured.  There is a surplus.  And if the people do not demand it, the surplus will be swallowed up by the powers that fabricate change while establishing a puppet regime that wears a 'democratic' facade.  Beyond the monetary and material assets of the regime, there is enough of a political structure to develop the civilian interim government for which they call, and an infrastructure and economy that will easily carry the country through its period of transition.  And if the priority of social justice maintains its rightful position, the country will thrive as the result of a pregnant economic pause, and the pains of the revolution will give birth to new life in the very breath of humanity as a whole.

At both the very least and the very most, this moment in history cannot and will not pass without the passion and courage of the people being duly noted at a level that serves as the spark which can potentially ignite true change that is born of pure intent, and that results in a form of social democracy that has at its core the priority of caring for the world's people, regardless of their wealth.  The world's people must stand at this time, at this moment, and with indignation and rage cause the powers that be, throughout the world, to understand that their position of power leaves them no less vulnerable than the small regime that for thirty years tortured, raped, murdered, and pillaged a small North African country called Egypt.

It is the active process of disembodied belief and faith, operating through the heaving undulation of humanity at this critical moment, that must bring the resources of the world to the people in need, that must seize the political and social structures that exist, grasping and utilizing what is systemically good for humanity, while amputating what is systemically corrupt, and cauterizing the wound with systemic resolve.