Notes of an Agitated Citizen – September 2001

Fragments from various notes & email correspondences,
written between September 11 and September 27, 2001

by Alexander Hirka
born 22 December, 1951, New York City

Neo-patriotism has been in production for years. Steven Speilburg (one of the top 100 richest men in the United States and in less direct ways our own Leni Reifenstahl) and Tom Hanks (neo John Wayne) have been helping the nation forget the truths and painful lessons of Vietnam with versions of the more
distant and much more easy to romaticize WorldWar II. Male bonding through violence; celluloid heroes for truth, justice & the “American” way. It sells newspapers and boosts the economy too.

It entered my vision the day after the attacks on the World Trade Center with a “pass this on to everyone” e-mail, suggesting an “American Pride” day; that we all dress in red/white/blue.
Why was I even startled and repulsed?  Nothing new here… When The Tube was converting the Gulf War into the Desert Storm mini-series, the Topps company started making Desert Storm “Coalition For Peace” trading cards that were being sold everywhere, with pictures of Generals and war equipment. I have a pack as a reminder.

So many shaken citizens unable to get out of the emotional grasp of terror, unwilling to tolerate a discussion of the deeper issues that might challenge their complicity in how this nation operates.
Dissent is difficult.

The Nike sneaker sweatshop controversy (one of millions of glimpses into international “everyday-terrorism”) didn’t hold the TV viewers interest for too long.

Gone are the memories of Dow Chemical and their creative product – napalm. Et cetera.

Inner examination and questioning of authority and information are too complex when there’’s Dan Rather to tell us what is “really” going on (sic), and Congress to sing “God Bless America” to us.

Though there are pockets of depth and insight and truth-seeking, the internet’s promise of an Information Age has been mostly bought out by commerce. Shopping is the USA’s primary pastime; The Tube is it’s primary tool. Citizens shopping to silence that strange Kafkaesque anxiety… shopping to display social conscience … shopping because what else is there to do but accumulate the latest.

A few weeks earlier television’s infamous “popularity ratings” had indicated that everyone was noticing that an empty suit had bought it’s way into the White House … a vapid man displaying arrogant disregard for the rules the rest of the world was trying to agree to live by; a disregard for the poor, women, the environment … and now this was suddenly the “leader of the free world”, given a blank check by an unquestioning Congress, and we were expected to support him, and the silent, scared majority bought in.

The smirk glows – what more could he ask for to blur the past & “legitimize” his illegitimate power.

Absolutely amazingly it has worked. With a stunned, scared and patriotized population he can now perhaps steamroll onward all the other careless aspects of his and his cronies selfish agenda.
Nationalism is a faith, a belief in an abstraction, yet another faith that thrives on blindness.

Jerry Falwell, a religious (sic) man, blamed what happened on the un-religious. He blamed this disaster on “alternative lifestyles”, as if this freedom, to choose how to live one’s life, wasn’’t one of the main proposed freedoms here.

“Samuel Johnson’s saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has some truth in it but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means – that any blow, whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale denial of plain facts.” – H. L. Mencken

News is entertainment and entertainment is news. Didn’t take long for the nightmare to begin being packaged. Must package it to manufacture consent.

The gall to make up names like “Operation Infinite Justice”. “ As The World Turns”.  The medium is the message and in The Tube good and evil do battle.

Besides the training and weaponry we sell to the rest of the world to extend our reach, a favorite export to the rest of the world is sensually stimulating film violence.

But the “Brave New World” (Aldous Huxley) was suddenly startled a bit , almost awake, but unwilling to really open it’s eyes.

Virtual televisions shows and theme parks are so much safer than the unpredictable roads of life.
So there’s a rush to hide – behind flags and gods. More prozac, please.

The majority of the “American” people, until this event, knew virtually nothing of the people, culture, or politics of Iraq, Afghanistan, et cetera – and especially not of this government’s long and dirty involvements there. Why and how should they … The Tube certainly doesn’t really explore and teach, and that’s where the vast majority of their information comes from, the programmed rehashed universe where vast portions of their free time is spent.

And nothing should disrupt “business as usual”.

“An academic study that appeared right before the presidential election reports that less than 30 percent of the population was aware of the positions of the candidates on major issues, though 86 percent knew the name of George Bush’s dog. The general thrust of propaganda gets through, however. When asked to identify the largest element of the federal budget, less than 1/4 give the correct answer: military spending. Almost half select foreign aid, which barely exists; the second choice is welfare, chosen by 1/3 of the population, who also far overestimate the proportion that goes to Blacks and to child support. And though the question was not asked, virtually none are likely to be aware that ‘defense spending’ is in large measure welfare for the rich. Another result of the study is that more educated sectors are more ignorant – not surprising, since they are the main targets of indoctrination. Bush supporters, who are the best educated, scored lowest overall.”  – Noam Chomsky

 

Perhaps this is a time to look at pre-WWII German history, the economic and racist fears that were planted in the people’s hearts and how blind they were to what was being done in their name, the roar of patriotism and the way the government was allowed to increase it’s power by promising the people security and prosperity…

The terrorists were drunk on two legal substances – religion and patriotism – in self-righteously toxic doses.

The response here has been flag-waving and “god bless america”, in highly brain-numbing doses.

Osama bin Laden was the Frankenstein we helped built when his methods were useful to our world domination pursuits, and now we had to get the peasants-bearing-torches mentality behind us as we tried to hunt him down. (In Vermont, where I live, it’s automobiles-bearing-antenna flags!)

“Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism… Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all others.” – Emma Goldman

To wave a flag proudly at this point is to admit that you have consistently diverted your eyes from what this country has done to maintain it’s power and that you have believed the rhetoric that this government, and the media they hold by the brain, has & continues to feed you. And that you are scared and hope that daddy will protect and keep you safe (even if he does lock you in the closet to do so).

The United States doesn’t need to resort to vile bloody terrorism so it can make this
very methodology the enemy. It’s own vile methodolgies are usually much cleaner, utilizing CIA, Unilever, Lockheed, Disney, Exxon, Walmart, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, to attempt to dominate and subvert the world.

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” – George Orwell

I just came back from a couple days in New York City, where the street dealers are selling red-white-blue everything (3 foot inflatable red-white-blue hammers – that I assume we’ll hammer the “enemy” to death with)…Fear and a certain kind of emotional bankruptcy seem to love to hide behind this symbol…

“Patriot, n. A herd member who compensates for lack of self-esteem by identifying with an abstraction. An enemy of individual freedom. See also ‘Bootlicker.'” – Robert Tefton

I have hung up a black flag, which to me symbolized the grief, horror and multiple levels of shame and sadness in the situation.

If the orders come from a fancy office space, directives sent to have
buttons pressed that will pulverize pharmaceutical plants, jets to bomb civilians, sanctions to stop necessary survival supplies…if this isn’t terrorism, what is it?

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in a final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed – those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone – it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

On the religious aspect:

As a non-believer in gods or goddesses, the religious fervor and patriotism being stirred up during these times scares me…

It is the kind of fervor that stirred up those men to stop caring about innocent lives and fly airplanes into the buildings…

Of course we have missiles and bombs and are now armed with self-righteous indignation so whatever the government does will be okay.

To imagine such an entity or force as god/goddess, and then to ascribe very human attributes to it, whether loving or wrathful, seems an unneccesary abstraction and diversion from our own lack of comprehending this experience called “life”, and the admittance of which might bring us a bit of necessary humility…Within their groups it seems that everyone who believes in some kind of “god” character/force thinks that the other “believers” perceptions are skewed…god is hellfire, god is love, god is hater of homosexuals, goddess loves the earth, god lives in jerusalem, god is in a piece of bread and some wine, et cetera… To defend their god they will wage war… Millions have lost their precious short stays on this planet in the name of Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, etc etc etc…Many more, here and there, are getting ready to do more of it… In a war-like state the government increases it’s power. The history of our country is full of the abuses of liberty that occur during these kinds of times…from Honest Abe during the Civil War to the Japanese Internment (Concentration) Camps. Watch your back.

“Patriotism now means advocating plunder in the interest of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born.” – Leo Tolstoy

“There is always, in every nation, a body of citizens more intelligent than the average, who see the issues between their own and other nations more clearly than the ignorant patriot, and more disinterestedly than the dominant classes who seek special advantages in international relations. The size of this group varies in different nations. Although it may at times place a check upon the more extreme types of national self-seeking, it is usually not powerful enough to affect national attitudes in a crisis.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, seriously. There may still be time.

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October 2001 update

NOTES OF AN UNBELIEVER
(Oct-Dec 2001 updates))

 

 

“It is doubtful whether the sight and experience of monstrous suffering breed compassion. All the publicizing of the [Nazi] horrors have not made mankind more tender of humanity.” – Dorothy Thompson, 1945

 

* * *

I just received one of those pass-this-on-to-everyone e-mails. Here it is:

A movement has been started like that from Desert Storm. During Desert Storm we tied yellow ribbons anywhere we could.

Well, now the movement is to tie purple ribbons the same way.This is for two reasons:

1. In remembrance of not only the firefighters, police officers, paramedics who have died, but also for all who have died in this terrible tragedy.
2. Just as in the military, when a serviceman get injured, he is given the Purple Heart. Well, our country has been injured to its core.
Please pass this on to everyone you know, and let’s see purple ribbons everywhere.


And so I responded, with an alternative “movement”:

(It’s okay, you don’t have to pass this on to everyone.)
Forget jumping on the bandwagon for this mostly meaningless feel-goody gesture and do something
that might really matter. Save the purple fabric.
Instead, tell your friends and family that this Xmas you will be truly celebrating the supposed “spirit” of the holiday and you will take all the money you would have spent on trees and paper and presents and etc etc, and donate it all to relief organizations.
Instead you will gather together in quiet circles, around a candle perhaps, and eat some bread and water, realizing what a fragile fabric life is made of and that while we usually gorge and award ourselves on this shopping-orgy of a day, that people all around the world are struggling and suffering, often times because the fruits of thier almost-slave labor produce our luxury purchase.

“When hell freezes over” I hear the public respond, justifying their upcoming shopping stampede in
hundreds of ingenious ways.
Consumption is a national duty, without the performance of which, by every loyal citizen, our economy, and thus our culture and way of life, would collapse.

Oh well, just a thought.Just be aware that I suspect the original message was started by a few individuals who own stock
in a vast amount of warehoused purple ribbon that they’ve been trying to get rid of for years.

Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King/
I got forty red white and blue shoe strings

And a thousand telephones that don’t ring/
Do you know where I can get rid of these things?

And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son/
And he said yes I think it can be easily done

Just take everything down to Highway 61.

-Bob Dylan

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March 2002 update

Notes of an Unbeliever –

thanks Noah, for the idea of the pledge to the bag!
Flag & Patriotism Rants #12 & 35
How ironic that a law is passed here in Vermont against that particular type of symbolic criticism labeled “desecration of the flag” – just when it’s abuse is the most rampant everywhere else. Where are the laws against using it to sell everything on the mind-numbing TV box; from consumer products to a mass-media produced flamboyantly-arrogant patriotism that will numb the populace to their government’s, and it’s siamese twin – the global corporations, real interests and actions. At it’s best it’s the band playing while the Titanic sinks, at it’s worst denying the iceberg.

Flags hang from homes and cars 24 hours a day, tattered and muddied, basically ignored, representing a period of national history when after a disaster the flag was used as a blindfold for the masses to shelter them from dealing with their government’s past greed policies around the world, and to keep the eyes covered as the present administration used this new “war on terrorism” as a catch-all phrase to railroad all it’s otherwise unsupportable policies. (Shades of the “McCarthy Era” and pre-WW2 Germany).

What this new fear-disguised-as-pride motivated law will really add to is the current attempt to curtail all visible displays of criticism and opposition. The submissive “America, Love it Or Leave It” has again reared it’s pathetic ugly head. The thinking behind these symbol-idolizing prescriptions is not interested in changing this nation towards more real conscience, honesty and fairness – it’s all about keeping up appearances. (Like the photo-op of victims of Sept 11 getting together with victims of US bombing in Afghanistan. Not much discussion that what all these people share is that they are victims of the power/money/war game players on all sides. 49 christmas trees in the White House while billions of dollars in bombs fell in Afghanistan and many millions went hungry in the USA.)

We are told that what seperates this country from others is our commitment to justice and freedom. Justice continues to be a game where the Supreme Court elects a president, where Enron deals go on in multi-million dollar back rooms, where billions are sent to Afghanistan to cover up the tracks and begin to take control so the oil pipelines can begin to be built. And our freedoms are quickly disappearing, scariest of which is the freedom to speak out in opposition (often fueled by wanting to make this country a better place). Was Abraham Lincoln correct? You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.”

Or are things different, more akin to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World?! Are the majority of citizens tamed by the distractions and indoctrinations of the illusion box/industry (“Olympics, “Survivor”, ”Lords of the Special Effects & recooked e.t.’s”, “network news”, et cetera) while being bombarded by prescription drugs and manufactured consent.

“United they stand” at the checkouts lines at megastores, anxious for the latest technological gadgets, and resigned to thinking that the reasons for the current war are because of “evil ones” (over there, of course), parroting that it’s about the freedom of speech (in fact a rarely used utility) while it seems to be about the conehead freedom to “consume vast quantities”.

While occupying this state of sleepwalking/sleepshopping one can easily forget that the top one percent of the U.S. population owns sixty percent of the stock and forty percent of the total wealth, while millions live in poverty and hunger? (Guess which catagory’s sons end up on the front line?
When will it be time to snap out of this bad American dream” of capitalism-without-restraint. How many more mega mergers, with no real controls on
monopoly and dresed up in artificial competetiveness, and how many more Enron revelations will it take to make it clear that something is really wrong, and that it does nothing but feed the beast to drive around with flags and decals on the machines that consume the substance that much of this violence is really about.

When will the voices rise again to question this country’s arrogant multi-zillion dollar military empire which spreads it’s weapons sales and troops everywhere around the world (“he who lives by the sword…”) and confront the deep implications of the situation. When did the people in Germany begin to wake up and take notice what their government was doing to their citizens and in their name?

We are under the spell of a very ignorant, arrogant president (a useful tool for the real power brokers), a mostly spineless Congress, and a calculated and manipulative media, completely submissive to the powers that be, which is wrapping it all up in red, white & blue paper, and with the events of Sept 11 as guilt & fear marketing, the package continues to sell to those who have forgot how to question.

When will the voices rise again to question this country’s arrogant multi-zillion dollar military empire which spreads it’s weapons sales and troops everywhere around the world (“he who lives by the sword…”) and confront the deep implications of the situation. When did the people in Germany begin to wake up and take notice what their government was doing to their citizens and in their name?

By far, not “all” the people are fooled. It’s just harder to hear the thinking voices amidst the din of cranked-up blind patriotism, fear intoxicated emotional stupor that wants quick action and thinks war will do something other than perpetuate the cycle of violence.

Take the time to read. Go on the internet outside the big sound-byte news sources…try AlterNet, open your mind, open your hearts and open your mouths and dare to speak out against the madness.

“For too long progressives have walked fearful of their shadows, whimpering and whining about what’s wrong and fighting amongst themselves over crumbs. That time is over. It’s time to sing and work and build a new community dedicated to hope and real change. And good beer. – Jim Hightower

 

Soy Sauce for Heroes

 

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March 2003 update

Dissent, not Submission, as the Naked Emperor Marches On

State of the Mind rant

28 March 2003

It is one of those times in my half-century on the planet when I am particularly disgusted with humanity… especially the vast quantities of gullible and submissive McWalmart consumers here in North America; weather-beaten red/white/blue rags waving from antennas on their SUVs, radios transmitting idiots
blathering on about supporting our troops and name-calling as traitors anyone who doesn’t fit their shrunken-head agenda.

How different is it from the propaganda-radio that sold fear and promised security to the Germans as their government invaded country after country? Which country will be next in this endless game of domination that has left the trail of history, as far back as history books written by the victors distort it, drenched with human blood spilled over lies, illusions and false promises.

God bless America the parrots sing, their beaks tilted, their eyes lowered – a mask of a self-righteous sincerity that suggests that it should not be questioned. They sermonize that this is a time when all kinds of things are not supposed to be questioned. How dare they! I recommend & scream the opposite – jump off the bandwagon – begin to look beyond the usual sources, examine deeper below the surface…and – especially now – do question and dissent.

Jesus and Ghandi and Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King and Philip Berrigan certainly questioned and challenged. Women’s rights and civil rights and gay rights and labor rights and the end of the Vietnam war and the list goes on and on – freedoms and justices gained…by the people…who raised their voices in opposition and had to speak with demanding pressure to the
government – which in each case did not want to give in, owned as it was by the rich and the powerful whose self interests were challenged by these demands for sharing freedom and justice.

Question! – and speak out against the madness while you still can – before the jingoist orchestra is turned up so loud that your voice is drowned out. They talk of freedom, of killing and dying for it, but just don’t step outside the stunted parameters of where they’ve drawn the lines (not far beyond the box-store parking lots).
A few years ago I felt a similar nausea when the civil unions debate raged here in Vermont – everywhere I went there were the reactionary Take Back Vermont (from the new sinners for the old righteous) signs everywhere – bumper stickers on pick-up trucks that reflected the heightened intelligence of this movement: “In Vermont we spread shit, we don’t pack it.”

Mob mentality, when driven by fear of something new and different, and fueled by ignorance and hatred, is the worst human beings can be. It’s the antithesis of a Ben Webster sax solo, a VanGogh sunflower, a Rilke poem or a Woody Allen film. One brings me to despair, the other to a desire to live forever. When the nausea creeps up, when the landscape is polluted with these displays of human sheep I feel like I’m in the middle of a madness – a bad dream – no, a hallucination – because I am starkly aware that I am awake. Patriotism, that misdirected love for a territory within certain borders, gets confused with not questioning the actions of the government of that area.

With patriotism as drug, the mythologies of war are easily sold…..and religion…..there is always religion as part of the manipulative selling methodology – a vital part of the deadly elixir! – used to inflame visions of postlife pleasures in minds of hijackers with boxknives, as well as to inspire visions of blessings as marines charge out to kill or to be killed while the president spews forth: god bless America (not South or Canada.).

How they suck it all up at the teat of indoctrination and spit it all out again with arrogance and pride…emboldened by this thing that replaces, yet imitates, their dwindling individuality. As if these slogans, full of emotion and empty of reason, were something real, something worth killing or dying for. And the ideologues who wield power – be they Caesar or Bush or Hitler or Saddam or BinLaden or Clinton – they use their pawns…. be they suicide bombers or hyper-trained high-tech soldiers or servile journalists or just uninformed indoctrinated citizens – to somehow keep repeating the murders in the name of completely distorted usage’s of the words “justice” and “freedom” and “peace”. Hail Ceasar!
Jawohl, mein Fuhrer!! Yes sir, my Commander-in-Chief!!!
Once started, to keep up the roaring momentum of madness, all sorts of instruments conspire to orchestrate a roar to drown out dissent. The military comfortably moves into the corporate owned media news programs in the form of dried out old generals who provide technical and abstract analysis – war game goons who can talk in terms of strategies and victories, not the lives of the pawns in the game whose smiles will be missed by their loved one. The language gets politicized and distorted to suppress any thinking too far outside the box. When Michael Moore spoke out at the Academy Awards the crowd cheered and booed, and the orchestra roared in to drown him out. I understand the cheers – I know the release of pent-up energy at the boldest child’s acknowledgment of the emperors lack of clothing and arrogant pissing all over the house and on all our neighbors lawns, with total disregard for laws and agreements. Whatever the distortions, the publicized polls say that the majority still sees the clothes on the emperor. They booed because they did not want this pageant disrupted – this boldly broadcast Show of Denial – projecting out to the vast populace in front of their viewing boxes that celebrity and wealth remain for the most part untouched, that the culture’s illusions are stable even as the smell of blood fills the air above the tuxedos and thousand dollar dresses. Rebuilding the illusions of safety – projecting the horror and murder over there again, suggesting it is out of reach of the lives going on here. . . Slowly unlearning this country’s involvements and responsibilities in so much of the horror that goes on out there…Pushing it back out there – where it was always kept before those buildings fell over here.
The emperor and his tools must parade in public to reassure the populace that it is business as usual, that we are sitting on top of the world, that everyone is safe here in the homeland as long as those in power are allowed to do whatever they want anywhere else. In Baghdad’s homeland, with variations of cultural style, the same underlying themes are presented to the people.

But I too have to shout it out – the emperor is naked! and a liar – and a theif and arrogant and viscious and callous – and it’s okay for the people to loudly scream NO! when their leader stands at the polished wood podium and pisses on the rules of democracy – it’s okay…it’s necessary!…to say no to his plans of taking his arrogance, his high-tech terrorism, parading around the planet. It seems sometimes that in this country, because power is displayed in suits & ties and clean shaven (and has the upper hand so as not to get its hands too dirty; and the whitewash nearby to cover it over if it does), that people can’t see beyond the cosmetics that it is fancy dress terrorism.

Daily now the lies pour into homes through the idiot boxes – the media agencies of the US government, CNN and its ilk, provide some new evil from the other side (must keep our troops and citizens morale high, with lies and blinders, so they don’t look at themselves; because then they might want to stop the killing) – chemical weapons plant found, prisoners executed, opposition rising up to welcome the liberators (sic), and on and on. The next day the stories are of course discounted – oops, that didn’t really happen – but the residue of they-evil & we-good remains and we must go on, so here’s the latest propaganda, er, news.

The slight of hand was successful – those who wanted this war so badly got it. The goals were tightened and adjusted daily, to keep ahead of the resolutions and solutions as they progressed. Parallels were drawn with disregard to accuracy, links were implied with disregard for truth.

The boldfaced lie that got us to this stage of war is that everything possible was done. It doesn’t take much intelligence to see how absurd this is. This attack was based on assumptions and accusations that were never allowed time to be fully confirmed or denied. It was accomplished by turning up the heat on the Fear Projection Machine, by imagining vague scenarios of possible future attacks. Then, over-riding the most amazing global opposition, armed with the cliches that this would stop terrorism and provide security – the pre-emptive excuses were in place to begin the killing.

The war marketing departments jumped in to serve up a couple other side dishes – that this was being done to liberate the Iraqi people, and to install democracy [In fact the goal is to install a current US specialty: unchecked capitalism. If the goal was to install democracy, the US would have to start Operation Boomerang, and invade itself. ] The whipped cream on top, to dazzle the populace, suggested the high moral character of our emperor (Michael Moore did point out that we live in fictitious times), and the righteousness of this suddenly urgent cause.

Mumble god bless America here – while the sheep and parrots proclaim in chorus that now is a time to agree to the splendor of the emperors garments though we are quite clearly faced with the sight of his hateful flesh.
It’s a goal of mine to help my children learn to see through these veils and illusions, to question the
assumptions and peer pressures that would either blind them or just bend them into submission. To explore alternative resources, and inform themselves….to see that these uses of might and weapons are not ways of resolving conflicts, in personal life and most certainly in the larger world communities. They know that no god will somehow bless anything
American any more than Allah or YHWH or Ieyedigama will bless any others. Fantasies about after-life distort the life that we are in right now. The Pledge of Allegiance must at the very least be replaced by the lyrics to “Imagine”, the national anthem, if we must have one, at least be as democratic as “This Land Is Your Land”.

No matter how long it takes to happen – and maybe it never will, I daily fear – but the goal has to be there – to get over this particular waste of human energy and lack of creativity called war, to banish the people who are so uncreative, so stunted as to resort to these methods. My century plus indicates that this madness mostly originates in men and is upheld by women, but whatever the case, the addiction to the mythological drug of war and its derivatives has got to be kicked, the cycles of violence must be broken. And a Burchfield watercolor sustains me. Hamlet, and a Celine novel. I Am The Walrus, a Shostakovich quartet, a Greek folk melody. My Dinner With Andre, Wings of Desire. All the inspiring wonders humans have created over the centuries to celebrate and reflect life’s labyrinths – while greed, power and hatred feed and threaten to devour.

Sick to my mind’s stomach, the extent of my optimism is that this currrent military madness will turn upon itself, reveal itself once and for all for people to see it for what it is – a madness, a human flaw, in need of isolation and a cure. As they saw it coming, as they saw those who are most addicted to it lust for it and demand it, millions around the world raised their voices to say no. Those people are out there, that blood information of dissent and peace has flowed out to touch the world. The seeds are planted.

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen

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Hunger For Truth

Hunger For Truth


7000 children died from hunger on September 11 2001.
Nobody is reading their names to a Yo-Yo Ma cello suite.
(It would take more than a day just to read each day’s toll.)

No tributes, no remembrances.

No public officials, movie stars or religious leaders are performing public grief.

No tolling bells, no “Amazing Grace”.

No moments of silence, and certainly no delays in the Stock Market trading.

No speeches about grief, heartbreak, and mourning. No talk of heroes or victims.

No puffed-up pronouncements of waging a war on this nightmare.

No television broadcast extravaganzas, with picture-perfect emotion tugging
scenarios, costing in the millions, entitled perhaps “America Acknowledges”.

No mention that another Walmart store opens somewhere in the world every 2 days, or that the world spends $781 billion a year on weapons.
Not even a Commemorative Historic Starving Child Clock!

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History Reminder, for Perspective

History Reminder, for Perspective

Seems with patriotism-mania you have to preface… that this is not in any way whatsoever any kind of defense of recent terrorist actions, not for that matter, a defense of the Japanese war atrocities of World War Two. More, hopefully, a glimpse of the accomplishments of all the Masters Of War, the real enemies of life on earth, no matter what their flag, including the red white & blue one.

Hiroshima – August 6, 1945 – 8:15 AM – 100,000+ residents dead immediately…100,000+ more died later –
(bomb nicknamed “little boy”)


Nagasaki, 3 days later, killed 73,000 immediately…thousands more died later –

(bomb nicknamed “fat man”)

The attack on Pearl Harbor four years earlier was one of the justifications President Truman gave for his decision.
(Comparison: Pearl Harbor – a military base – 3581 military personnel dead)

(In more recent history information has come out suggesting that there might have been prior knowledge of the coming attack, but that it was ignored because the United States wanted to enter the war. This of course couldn’t be true.)

Panoramic view of Hiroshima after the explosion:

panoramic view #1

panoramic view #2

panoramic view #3

Translations of Two Leaflets Dropped on Japanese Cities
Shortly after the First Atomic Bomb was Dropped August 6, 1945 :

“To the Japanese people…”

 

The debate goes on to this day with the people who support the bombing arguing that it was morally justified because it ended the war.

(My take would be to drop the bomb somewhere where the enemy can witness it’s effects, with a warning; if necessary a couple of times. Shoot them in the leg first, not right in the face. We are talking hundreds of thousands of innocent lives!! And certainly not drop a second one, again on a civilian population, just 3 days later.Would we stand for any justification at all including ending the war if it was the population of Manhattan we were talking about? And to put this civilian massacre in the same sentence with the attack on the military base at Pearl Harbor is the worst kind of blind-patriotism driven historical stupidity.)

A few days before the bombing, this memorandumwas written,

by Ralph A. Bard, Undersecretary of the
Navy, to Secretary of War Stimson, June 27, 1945

MEMORANDUM ON THE USE OF S-1 BOMB:

“Ever since I have been in touch with this program I have had a feeling that before the bomb is actually used against Japan that Japan should have some preliminary warning for say two or three days in advance of use. The position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation and the fair play attitude of our people generally is responsible in the main for this feeling.

During recent weeks I have also had the feeling very definitely that the Japanese government may be searching for some opportunity which they could use as a medium of surrender. Following the three-power conference emissaries from this country could contact representatives from Japan somewhere on the China Coast and make representations with regard to Russia’s position and at the same time give them some information regarding
the proposed use of atomic power, together with whatever assurances the President might care to make with regard to the Emperor of Japan and the
treatment of the Japanese nation following unconditional surrender. It seems quite possible to me that this presents the opportunity which the Japanese are looking for.

I don’t see that we have anything in particular to lose in following such a program. The stakes are so tremendous that it is my opinion very real consideration should be given to some plan of this kind. I do not believe under present circumstances existing that there is anyone in this country whose evaluation of the chances of the success of such a program is worth a great deal. The only way to find out is to try it out.”

For more stories regarding the atomic bomb decision….

bomb or not?

Brief filmclip: The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

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