Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Peace Dividend Strategy

Pity the Palest Indians

Players in a Global Horror-Drama
The Palest Indians are the latest, and perhaps last, victims of a land deal rip-off of biblical proportions. As with the indigenous peoples of North America, say you and your people have lived on your land for well on 10,000 years and one day white men with weapons show up and tell you to move along. Suddenly you are transformed into a refugee desperately trying to keep your family intact. Sorry, but only you make it out the village alive and most of those you knew and all of those you loved are gone. But wait, it gets worse. Next you could be shoveling corpses into lime pits and praying every night for a quick release into death. It has happened before with alarming frequency and it is happening somewhere on the planet right now and it could happen to anyone.

The Global Dominator
The Palest Indians are only visiting territory that is extremely familiar to the Global Dominator. The previous victims of the ongoing holocaust are lining up to testify. Here, in no particular order, are the historically oppressed; Aboriginals of Turtle Island, Republic of Vietnam, the Philippines, Chile, Korea, Central America, Mexico, Canada, Norway, the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Australasia, and many more otherwise independent entities. Iraq and Afghanistan are the current global flash points but it's the same old war with the same atrocities following familiar genocidal patterns. Remnants of five hundred native nations in pre-colonial North America now demand reparations in synch with millions of descendants of slavery demanding a relative compensation from the homeland itself. These are only the latest symptoms where impoverished peoples of the wrong colour are caught in the gears of Dominator's military machinery and until the Internet Nation effectively puts a stop to such massive violence - it will continue to happen.

Obstruction of Expression
Too many victims to list here in the memory allotted but understand that not all of those called to testify will do so willingly or at all. For many entities the modern troika of oppression (Media, Commerce, and Government; the unholy Venn) has effectively prevented any form of genuine political expression. The Dominators' primary position is that anyone who would suggest any system other than their system is foolish and people who would think of such things are to be marginalized, their ideas mocked and maligned. For victims (see above) the shame of decades of imperial slave service has deadened their ability to think independently and only their children, or children's children, may be capable of a meaningful transition to independent thought.

The Balance Due...
The U.S., economy and currency, is threatened by their interpretation of the rules of global commerce which, unfortunately, are actually not as forgiving as those of diplomacy or even politics. The penalties for hubris, arrogance and imperialist dice-rolling can be extremely costly when the account is finally reconciled and the final balance due. Using war to bolster an imperialist economy is an ancient tactic used by the Roman Emperors when the coffers of the treasury went bare. Whipping up intensity in your homeland stirs emotion and inspires the worker to greater effort under harder conditions. Conquering your enemy means enjoying the spoils, or oils in our case, of war quickly transferring them to the homeland for safe consumption. These two aspects of our current conflict represent the traditional win-win scenario for corrupt leadership.

Chickens Finally Roost
For the past sixty years, ever since the A-bomb, the Dominator has been observed prohibiting, deluding, plotting, denying, stonewalling, disobeying, ignoring, delaying, assassinating, destroying, disavowing, intimidating, over-throwing, and generally trying to prop up their corrupt system and currency long past their dates of expiration. In fact, both economic system and currency are mostly rotten and the stench of decay has leaked out to a populace reeling from the sharp odour of loss and despair. Those choking on the bilge and bile can always start a new society in their spare time. It may be the only possible solution.

A Final, Final Solution
The final solution to the hebraic equation, post-WWII, was the creation of the State of Israel. Britain and the United States had, at the time, the biggest stick around and were obviously willing and able to use it. They had any number of possible locations in mind but fate would have none of it and demanded Palestine be reconfigured as the Jewish Homeland. There was anecdotal evidence, biblical evidence, that Israel had previously existed where the Palest Indians had been camping for 1000 years. At first it looked like both sides might get along, since no one after the Big One was looking for a fight. But then the black gold emerged in Saudi Arabia and the rest, as they say, is tragedy. The western industrialized countries started playing power-politics with the various Sheiks and Princes until everyone hated each other and they all hated Israel which having been used like a cheap tart in a side alley by the rough hewn forces of the Christian Dominator Culture (CDC) showed courage and determination unseen on planet earth in quite some time.

Once in a Very Blue Moon
Perhaps once in 25,000 years, over the course of one complete Procession of the Equinox, a tiny tribe can resist an enemy ten times greater in numbers, well equipped and ready to fight. Perhaps such a country would use smarts where others relied on strength and having read every book available for over 5000 years the tiny tribe had become very smart indeed. Perhaps even smarter than the Dominator culture itself which had, like all great empires, began it's descent into the corruption and decadence that signaled the end was beginning. The plucky little nation stood up to her enemies in any number of ways but in doing so angered the Dominator sponsor.

Where to go, What to do?
This history lesson is sponsored by a desire to see both the Palestinians and the Jews come to terms on sharing their reality. This would mean that all Arab nations that have vowed to, "wipe Israel off the map" will have to cool their jets and their rhetoric. This would mean that Jerusalem would become an "international" city under the control of the United Nations. Such a settlement is possible, only time will inform us when such an event will occur but in the meantime Israel has the 'Nuke and will not be threatened by blah, blah, blah... It is Israels' possession of a nuclear device, as revealed by Mordecai Vanunu, that will bring prolonged peace to the region. At first it will serve towards detente but, like the U.S.A. and Russia, things change when you have trade and shared economic interests.

The New President is faced with choices...
Now that the Dominator economy is fading, quickly, and the military-industrial complex is in danger of losing all four wheels, the new leadership has many choices available. All of these choices will greatly effect the Middle East and should be made in consultation with the inhabitants. The new President is faced with a series of choices as to how and where he must downgrade his positions. Certainly he cannot afford to lose position in the Middle East, where he is currently most exposed, so troops will stay in Saudi Arabia, etc. for a while longer. The Philippines is a possession long held and strategic control over the Pacific Ocean is hard to release from the talons. Most likely to be abandoned are Germany, Japan, Britain, and other smaller allies, that may once have been enemies, will be the first to feel the effect of separation.

The American Century is Over
As if the flip side to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the U.S. Peace Dividend is coming. For many of the same reasons, economic chaos, world opinion, political climate, internal pressures, the Dominator must relinquish the position as world policeman and now fall in line with a more collective vision of the future of humanity. The time has come , Mr. Obama, for you to show the world that, once again, the United States is governed by real humans with an eye for business, an ear for information, hearts filled with compassion, and brains governed by common sense. The way you sell this new reality to your fellow citizens is as "a Peace Dividend,during a time of war, so as to focus and concentrate on the Afghanistan mission." It sounds plausible and your compatriots might buy it.

© 2009 lrw

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tears Are Not A Bluff

Tears for Cheers?

Being a male in my Fifties I am, these days, filled with sorrow. This may seem incongruous to those much younger, almost a contradiction in terms. I am at this point in my life assumed to be the consummate power-player, adept in my skills and ruthless in my efficiency. When I costume myself in suit and silk tie mode, societal expectations and conventions are such that everyone shows respect for me as none dare do otherwise, whether I deserve their respect or not. And yet, lately, I am crying my eyes out over television commercials.

Last night my television told me that 29,000 children die, every day, on planet Earth. At first I digested the data as per usual and went on reading my computer screen, listening to the TV which went on to sell me a host of horror stories of the true kind. After a long series of tragic announcements concerning animals, orphans, and the environment I felt something wet against my cheek. Certainly, I have cried before in my life. When I was a child, if I skinned my knee or hurt a friend, I was ready to tear up and, occasionally, let go the flood. But rarely have I cried, just simply and openly wept, during my adulthood.

One exception was upon the death of my mother. That night I wept, bawled, and had a good messy cry as I let go of years of suffering, hers and my own, but as a rule I have kept stoic, as per a man's first rule of modern survival: never show/share your feelings as doing so reveals weakness! This rule has been firmly attached to males since around the time we began numbering our global conflicts. And, although mothers are sacred, we do not generally cry when we feel pain either physical, emotional, or existential. So naturally, my behavior of late has begun to concern the ego.

Why, so suddenly, have my tear ducts begun to discharge so much of the salty liquid? The sorrow I referred to earlier is a revelation to me. My life so far has been filled with its share of misery, but no more than most. My ecstasy quota has been occasional but I'm not complaining as there are far too many people who will never taste the delicate flavours and subtleties associated with any ecstatic perception. Upon further examination, the sorrow mentioned comes not just from a personal perspective, not just from my own source points, but from those global source spots that continue to surround and confound me.

Having lived the interesting life mentioned in the frontispiece, I originally decided to share a few stories and pass along my fair share of attained wisdom. The actual process of blogging has led me down the path of introspection and keeping a written account of ones life and times is as close to diary as it gets. And as any diarist will tell you, things do get messy when you are unearthing, and then recording, memories both pleasant and painful. The question becomes why?

The ultimate answer is, of course, death. No longer an abstract concept awaiting some far future date and destination, at fifty years of age living in the western world, you begin the process of examining the content and character of your own existence. The certainty of my continued existence, an absolute in my teens and twenties, is becoming more uncertain with every creak, slip, and moan. (Perhaps the immanence of my being has begun the hunt for new quarters and any new location means abandoning the real estate here about.) I console myself with the idea that my contributions have helped to inspire others but without progeny one tends to think of personal history as, excuse the set-up, relative.

Any regrets are mild when the history of my life is unravelled like a snakeskin, every inch a milestone in the ongoing story. Every millimeter representing accomplishment and frustration along the path of my process. My greatest joy has been in my ability to laugh at myself and the crap and insanity that surrounds. Without a crack in the facade, without a ripple in the pond, or a decent bend in the road the journey becomes stale and static. Celebrating the differences to me means seeing all the facets of a personality and accepting them once they are truly identified for what they are. Harsh judgements are those best left for people more experienced in passing their own opinion off as fact.

So why all the drama and tears when I am finally beginning to figure things out? Now that I am beginning to figure out things I accept and even invite the feelings to freely flow. The end reality of growing up and becoming more mature is recognizing the growth and using it to facilitate further positive change. The inevitability of accepting ones feelings, after years of what felt like emotional Rigor Mortis, is that the damn let burst will flood the fields. So at my golden age, after fifty years of cruising the terra, I have begun to accept and affirm my ecstasy and my sorrow, to celebrate my internal differences and integrate the extremes, and to own my experience for good or ill. And finally, knowing that all that I ever really needed is all that I have ever known.

This is not so much fatalism rather how certain experience leads down a variety of pathways, each of which leads to new integrations and innovations in idea and action. In a very real sense I feel as if I have arrived at a place I was never sure actually existed. But if I was not sure of it's existence, I always suspected it was a place of compassion. I just never expected it would be a place of compassion for ones own selfishness and shortcomings. That my heart has accepted those things I cannot change has eased many burdens on my mind. Perhaps the greatest gift that comes with living half a century comes in the measure of wisdom that highlights the value of perspective. So let the tears flow fiercely and let the sorrow fill me till I leak. I do so knowing the balance swinging back will bring fierce joy that will more than compensate. Knowing that, in a sense, is the beginning of wisdom.

© Leigh R. Wolf 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

We have arrived at our destination...

New Digs Means New Times

I have not blogged for a while and to make up for my absence I have a lot of stuff to share. I have recently moved, with wife and cat, into new quarters. We only moved a matter of fifteen blocks but in Vancouver a matter of blocks can make a world of difference. Our old place was located on East Pender St., a fairly notorious address to anyone familiar with Vancouver's Hastings Street and the Downtown East side. Local wisdom suggests that every block away from Hastings Street is a mile of psychic distance. Pender Street is one block away from Hastings and we were more than glad to see that end of town fade in the distance.

Our new place is located at the foot of Grandview Heights and faces due west. This brings access to amazing sunsets and one the best views in the city of the downtown core. From the picture window in my living room I can see from the new Diamond Healthcare Centre on Fairview Slopes to Cypress Mountain, Mount Hollyburn, and the North Shore. In between those mythic points I can see Science World, The Vancouver Hotel, the old Sun Tower, the Sears Tower, Canada Place and the cruise ship terminal. Even in the far distance I can see up Howe Sound towards Squamish. I imagine those folks on the sixth floor of my building can see all the way to Vancouver Island.

I owe such a magnificent view not to ingenuity or cleverness or even my own hard work. This accommodation took me six years of patient waiting and annual renewals of our continuing interest. This accommodation is provided by the Provincial government and was paid for, in part, using Federal government funds. This is Canadian socialism at its finest. My wife, who is a fundraiser for the Red Cross, and I are the new working poor and last year made a grand total of eight dollars above the official Canadian poverty line. Unfortunately, we made our meager amount in one of the most expensive cities in North America and clearly the most expensive city in all of Canada.

So after many years of dreaming, hoping, cursing, and nursing our dreams we have picked our patch of paradise and can finally begin to exhale when we breathe. The relief to our bank statement is immediate and obvious since now we are no longer paying 60% of our income on rent. In BC's social housing you are required to show income statements and then your monthly rent is set, yearly, at 30% of what you made the previous year. This is a most civilized solution and is the difference between having to scramble to pay bills, along with food and rent, and being able approach month's end without shuddering.

Both my wife and I realize it will take some time before the shock wears off and we adapt to our new situation. By adapt, I do not mean becoming complacent, with an "I'm alright Jack" attitude, throwing up my middle digit to the homeless or those folks being suffocated by unfriendly and unsympathetic landlords. The housing situation in Vancouver is cruel and unusual with one bedroom flats getting between $900 (very low end) to as much as $3600 for a one bedroom shoebox in the city's fashionable West End district. Housing prices are just one indicator and Vancouver regularly tops Canada's indexes on cost-of-living in real estate, taxation, and other hard costs like food and energy. It can be forgiven if you are asking, dear reader, why we continue to live clutching the tattered edges of this golden realm.

The answer to that question is less easy to answer every week that passes filled with increasing gang violence fueled by prohibition and the U.S. "war on drugs." At some point we will probably throw in the urban towel and move across the Straight of Georgia to Vancouver Island or head up north to the Sunshine Coast. The fact is that my wife and I are that local rarity, in that we were both born here. She at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver and I in the heart of downtown at St. Pauls' Hospital, sixteen blocks east of English Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Amusingly, from my new perch and with the aid of a zoom lens, I can see the 5th floor window of the old baby ward from whence I emerged . But the Vancouver of 1958 is an amazing distance from 2009 and the city of my birth has almost completely changed over the past fifty-one years.

Knowing a good thing, the physical beauty of the environment has been carefully preserved by visionary town planners and the magnificent coastal mountain view are not going anywhere soon. What makes Vancouver unique, the meeting between mountains, has surely been exploited in every imaginable way and yet the developers keep imagining new subdivisions halfway up the mountains. The forthcoming 2011 Olympic debt will inly raise the stakes by gambling on the cities future clean air and fresh water doomed by expansionist developers. So the place of my birth is becoming, in my later years, unaffordable, unbelievable, and unlivable and I am perpetually examining my options but imagining the future is cheap, easy and did I mention the absolutely amazing view from my new living room?