The cartoon refers to then Secty. of Defense Aspin but not much has changed, we can expect the same attitude administration to administration.
Lawrence Kolb's 6/24 opinion piece on the START treaty in the Atlanta Constitution/Journal was an unexpected bit of common sense in an area not noted for sanity. His support and that of the list of other cold warriors he supplies who also support it ought to be enough to convince even Georgia's Senators Issackson and Chambliss. We shall see, we can hope. The position he advocates is welcome but the reference he makes to "emerging threats" gives me pause. Martin Luther King's admonition that violence begets violence does not seem yet to have gained traction among the old, and new, cold warriors, the obviousness of its argument, that actions have consequences, not withstanding. This is no less true of the supposed "liberal" President Obama. One day, hopefully before we perish as a species, our leaders will recognize that so long as we use violence to resolve conflict, to seek some kind of perpetual safety through domination, we drift toward extinction.
I sent this text to someone awaiting diagnosis for cancer, hoping for good news, trying to impart what little wisdom in my possession, what i'd be telling myself if it were me:
this is from Eckhart Tolle who recommends practicing observing: the ego loves to ramble on, thinking this, thinking that, always thinking, mind chatter but this blocks us from the NOW and that's where we are, that's all that exists. Nothing ever happened nor will ever happen outside of the now. In the now one is connected to the whole universe, that is the true nature of reality, interconnection, wholeness, and when one FEELS this interconnection, not thinks it, FEELS it, the sensation is peace (some call this God).
Ego, which is that thinker up there in our heads, believes that we are separate which belief creates our dysfunctional world, of fear, war, bickering, competition, cruelty, environmental degradation etc;
The practice is to as often as you can throughout the day notice your thoughts and emotions, just notice them... that brings you to who you are, the observer not the thinker/emoter... when the mind chatter is suspended for that time one experiences the joy of being...
The practice of being the observer, returning again and again to wordless being, each time reinforcing itself so that you become more and more present, you spend more and more of your time there (here) in peace.
Oprah had ten talks with Tolle which are still available I think on her website and are a treat. The talk was divided into ten, the number of chapters in his book, A New Earth and of course he's on youtube. Good luck good luf
The CIA, since its inception in the late 1940s, has bought, corrupted and otherwise influenced individuals and governments across the world.* Their use of money parallels the way wealth corrupts, buys and otherwise corrupts and over-influences the U.S. government, electorate and other institutions.
Wealthy individuals and corporations make money available to those who serve a narrow, corporate, pro-capitalist agenda and those who will attack and otherwise undermine the efforts of those with a non-corporate, alternative agenda.
The CIA did it in Iran, essentially buying a revolution, over-throwing a democratically elected government, in the early 50s. Same scenario in Guatemala, same time-frame. Gangsters were used to intimidate and corrupt unions and political parties, in France and Italy after World War II., sometimes in exchange for allowing heroine smuggling into the U.S. I risk the obvious: the U.S. consistently chooses to ally itself with criminals against citizens innocently practicing democracy.
Oil-rich Texans influenced the direction of our "democracy" by funding right wing groups such as ex-CIA agent William F. Buckley’s National Review and other activities and other even zanier right wingers such as the John Birch Society. They did not restrict themselves to Texas, targeting “liberal” senators across the nation, lavishly funding their opponents, usually staunch embracers of the religion of anti-communism, meaning actually pro-capitalist privilege. Wealthy activists in other parts of the country may not have been as flamboyant but were no less commited in their determination to undermine democracy.
The ideology of anti-communism is not principled opposition to the lack of justice and democracy, its gulags etc; as is shown by the alliances mentioned above with gangsters, and in the enthusiastic support for brutal regimes world-wide practicing the very evils they, rhetorically, decry. The threat of Communism to these “patriots” is not in its corruption but in its promise of equality and condemnation of class privilege.
*Legacy of Ashes, a History of the CIA by Tim Weiner
Michael Parenti (his book called Superpatriot is excellent) argues that the people of Eastern Europe and Russia had guaranteed jobs, health care, housing, etc; With the fall of the USSR they had visions of suburban ranch, two car garage etc; but what they got is shit and corruption: gangsters running things, no real political input, more or less fake elections like here, malnutrition, no work, no food, no suburbia.... they become third world… and they wish they had back what they had before the fall (they don’t idealize it, they definitely lacked political freedom, due process etc but they had the basics and the basics are pretty important –try going without’em). The comparison isn't of "freedom and tyranny but of having the basics and not.
Noam Chomsky also points out in his curtain-lifting books that in the Soviet domains of Cold War days the people had the bare necessities, even high government officials lived in modest apartments, whereas in the U.S. domains, Central and South America, Indonesia, etc; a tiny elite were immensely wealthy (so long as they served U.S. corporate interests) while the majority population endured deprivation, malnutrition, poverty and were threatened by accusations of "communist", which made them targets of death squads, if they tried to organize to improve their lot. The U.S. provided much of the means for this oppression via “foreign aid”, CIA intervention, military training and arms – funded by U.S. taxpayers of course. So the bottom people of an affluent nation fund the oppression of bottomers of another nation. As the observation goes, the wealth is created by the workers and divided among the owners. The owners own/control the media so we get ministers of misinformation like Rush Limbo, O’reilly etc; keeping us distracted from the exquisite scam by demonizing immigrants, Islam, the homeless, dark-skinned people, gays, women… whatever works. This is one of my blog themes, power. The antidote lies in the other, being.