Monday, May 30, 2011

Carbon Output Highest in Human History; USA, Russia & Japan Prepare to Reject A Binding Agreement. Meanwhile, Medicine Pervades the Earth We So Abuse



CATE BLANCHETT has dismissed attacks by Tony Abbott and other opponents of a carbon price, saying she will continue to do all she can to tackle climate change. ... Blanchett said she was undeterred. "Everyone will benefit if we protect the environment. There is a societal cost of increased pollution and that's what I'm passionate about as a mother. That's where it gets me in the gut," she said. "I can't look my children in the face if I'm not trying to do something in my small way and to urge other people." Cate Blanchett: I want to be able to look my children in the face, Sydney Morning Herald, 5-31-11

Carbon Output Highest in Human History; USA, Russia & Japan Prepare to Reject A Binding Agreement ... Meanwhile, Medicine Pervades the Earth We So Abuse

By Richard Power


This post to Words of Power is my one thousand and tenth. Several hundred of them have focused on the Climate Crisis. Here is yet another. "Despair," as Thom Hartmann says, "is not an option."

It is love we call out from, and love we must call out to; however it all unfolds.

Grateful for love, which like the Sun, only seems to rise and set; but does indeed shine uninterruptedly - inconceivably powerful, incomprehensibly ancient, unspeakably vast, utterly vital to all life. Grateful for love, which like the Moon, only seems to wax and wane; but which, in truth, leads all life in an exquisitely beautiful tango. Grateful for love, which like Space itself, simply abides, singing in its timelessness.

The United States, Russia, Japan and Canada will reject a binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at November's UN climate summit in South Africa, European diplomats said ... Agence France Press, 5-27-11

Yes, and in doing so, officials for the governments of the USA, Russia, Japan, and some of the other great nations, will engage in convoluted, disassembling prevarication. They certainly won't be rejecting an agreement just because it is insufficient or unenforceable. They will simply be rejecting it to protect the short-sight interests of the corporatist overlords who they serve. But consider yourself forewarned, if the great nations fail the future; the future will reciprocate.

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency ... The shocking rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius – which scientists say is the threshold for potentially "dangerous climate change" – is likely to be just "a nice Utopia" ... Guardian, 5-30-11

The years ahead will require degrees of both self-reliance and collectivity unprecedented in this so-called "developed world." We have little understanding of just how much we have taken for granted, and how deep in denial our societies have become mired. But within your lifetime, and the lifetimes of your children, we will become acutely aware of it all.

The three worst direct impacts to humans from our unsustainable use of energy will, I think, be Dust-Bowlification, sea level rise and ocean poisoning: Hell and High Water. But another impact — far more difficult to project quantitatively because there is no paleoclimate analog — may well affect far more people both directly and indirectly: war, conflict, competition for arable and/or habit. Joseph Romm, Memorial Day, 2030, Climate Progress, 5-27-11

There is powerful medicine for this ailment. It is all around us. It pervades the very Earth we are so badly abusing, it pours down on us from the vastness of the universe.

Solar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors within three to five years because of innovations, said Mark M. Little, the global research director for General Electric Co. (GE) ... Climate Progress, 5-26-11

Desertec is a multi-billion-dollar energy initiative that hopes to meet Europe's energy needs with solar power from the Sahara. The recent upheavals in North Africa have put the project in question. But many experts argue that the Arab Spring will actually help Desertec's grand vision become reality. Der Spiegel, 5-26-11

But however powerful the medicine, if it is not taken, it cannot heal; however powerful the medicine, if the stricken one does not have the will to embrace life, or the honesty to face the truth, the medicine cannot work its magic.

Of course, many among us are incapable of making a wise choice. They are what I call informationally malnourished. Oh, they are consuming a lot of informational calories, but those calories are quite empty, and also contain spiritually and psychologically carcenogenic elements.

Consider this recent reminder of how much Democracy Now! does with so little, versus how little CNN does with so much.

AMY GOODMAN: Bill McKibben is founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org and author of many books, including Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet ... Bill, your state [Vermont] is making history today, about to pass single-payer healthcare, and you’ve been doing that quite a while on the issue of the environment, as you travel the world to bring attention to two words that we don’t see screaming across our TV screens. We see "severe weather." We see "extreme weather." We see the horrible scenes of destruction. But we don’t see the words "climate change." Talk about these connections.

BILL McKIBBEN: Sure. Look, what’s happening is we’re making the earth a more dynamic and violent place. That’s, in essence, what global warming is about. We’re trapping more of the sun’s energy in this narrow envelope of atmosphere, and that’s now expressing itself in many way. We don’t know for sure that any particular tornado comes from climate change. There have always been tornadoes. We do know that we’re seeing epic levels of thunderstorm activity, of flooding, of drought, of all the things that climatologists have been warning us about. And of course they’re not confined just to our continent. You know, even in the last week, the Chinese have pointed out that they’re suffering through the worst drought in the center of the country that they have on record. In Colombia, the president went on TV last week to say, "We’ve gotten so much rain in the last year, it’s washed away so much of our infrastructure that it’s as if we haven’t been doing any development work for the last 10 or 20 or 25 years."
The scale of this stuff is immense. And as long as we just think about it as just a series of one-off, isolated disasters, we probably are not asking ourselves the most important questions. What can we do to stop this destabilization before it gets much worse?
Democracy Now! Interviews Bill McKibben: From Storms to Droughts, Devastating Extreme Weather Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change, 5-26-11

Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to 350.org for the answer.

Richard Power's seventh book, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself, is now available. Here are links to purchase it from Amazon.com, or from CreateSpace.

You can also visit Richard Power author's page at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joplin and Tuscaloosa Lie in Ruins; But the Edifice of Denial Still Stands. Our Circumstances Call for Massive, Non-Violent EVOLUTION



Human-induced climate change is contributing to the recent heavy rain and ongoing record flooding along the Mississippi River, and we can expect more extreme weather events in the future, according to scientists and adaptation experts on a teleconference held by the Union of Concerned Scientists. ENS, 5-20-11

A combination of climate change, overfishing, pollution and other threats is changing the world’s oceans at an “unprecedented” rate, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday. Climate Progress, 5-19-11

A sharp increase in forest destruction in March and April in the Amazon has led Brazil to announce the creation of an emergency task force to fight against deforestation. Agence France Press, 5-19-11

Joplin and Tuscaloosa Lie in Ruins; But the Edifice of Denial Still Stands. Our Circumstances Call for Massive, Non-Violent EVOLUTION

By Richard Power


Joplin devastated; 75% of its buildings destroyed. Recently, Tuscaloosa was demolished. Whole towns. Not terrorism. Tornadoes. In the next few days, you will hear a lot about FEMA; but not much (if anything) about NASA or EPA.

As with Tuscaloosa, the US political establishment and mainstream news media are responding to the tragedy, but neither responds to the teachable moment.

Do not be dissuaded by denials issued by overly-cautious officials answering the wrong questions. This is the savage face of the Climate Crisis. Just as surely the floods in Pakistan and the fires in Russia. Our failure to meet the Climate Crisis early and head-on is more than anything a failure of governance in Beltwayistan and Infotainmentstan.

The Obama administration does not deny the reality of Climate Change; that is a meaningful difference from the rule of the Zombie Cult formerly known as the Republican Party; and anyone who says it isn't is being foolish. But unfortunately, the Obama administration has NOT made a passionate effort to educate the populace or taken bold strides to lead the world; and these short-sighted choices are not only moral failures, they are political miscalculations.

None of this should be any surprise, of course. The failure of governance is systemic and apparently terminal. The BP Gulf Ecocide came and did not go, but Beltwayistan and Infotainmentstan still have not changed their self-deceiving consensus on deep sea drilling. Fukushima came and did not go, but Beltwayistan and Infotainmentstan still have not changed their self-deceiving consensus on nuclear power plant safety.

It’s far smarter to repeat to yourself, over and over, the comforting mantra that no single weather event can ever be directly tied to climate change. There have been tornadoes before, and floods—that’s the important thing. Just be careful to make sure you don’t let yourself wonder why all these records are happening at once: why we’ve had unprecedented megafloods from Australia to Pakistan in the last year. Why it’s just now that the Arctic has melted for the first time in thousands of years. Focus on the immediate casualties, watch the videotape from the store cameras as the shelves are blown over. Look at the anchorman up to the chest of his waders in the rising river. Bill McKibben, Making Connections, Washington Post, 5-24-11

It is not only the argument against human-induced Climate Change that is false; the very premise that there is any reasonable debate at all anymore is also false. Those who indulge in it or pander to those who do, simply want to continue to live within the edifice of denial. They will be trapped inside when it collapses of its own weight.

The truth is that despite current official caution, the relationship between Climate Change and these tornadoes, the Mississippi flooding, the Texas fires, etc., are far more substantial and far less speculative than the premises (mostly false) that underlie our war IN, OF, FOR and BY terrorism.

Bob Dylan is 70 years old. Amnesty International is 50 years old.

Where are we going? What difference has any of it made? These are worthwhile questions. But there are no answers. Only more questions.

There is wonder in this life. Indeed, wonder defines this life, wonder establishes the parameters of this life, wonder epitomizes this life.

Two UK astronomers have found that the giant black holes in the centre of galaxies are on average spinning faster than at any time in the history of the Universe. Science Daily, 5-23-11

The inner core of the Earth is simultaneously melting and freezing due to circulation of heat in the overlying rocky mantle, according to new research ... Terra Daily, 5-23-11

Tests given to an Amazonian tribe called the Mundurucu suggest that our intuitions about geometry are innate. Researchers examined how the Mundurucu think about lines, points and angles, comparing the results with equivalent tests on French and US schoolchildren. BBC News, 5-24-11

Science serves wonder, and so does our global heritage of sacred myth.

Durga has been calling to me.

The blue and green bounty of Gaia, the savage, purple-tongued dance of Kali Ma, the warm, radiant welcoming of Our Lady of Gaudalupe, the flowing red magma and black volcanic rock of Pele, the compassionate rainbow medicines of Tara - all are emanations of a mystery beyond all others, an incomprehensible, unspeakable presence that is, at once, beyond the universe and yet permeating the whole of it.

Perhaps Durga is closest to this greatest of mysteries.

According to legend, Mahishasura, a powerful demon was wreaking havoc throughout the three worlds. All the gods went to Brahma, the Creator, who could not slay what he made, so he led them all to Vishnu, the Sustainer, and Shiva, the Destroyer.

In their anger, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, along with all the other gods, emitted powerful rays of light, which coalesced into a sea of blinding light ...

Durga emerged from this sea of light, and told the assembled gods that she was the One who had created them all. She was supreme even over the triumvirate of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva. It was simply her lila to emerge from the sea of blinding light that their collective anger had brought forth.

Riding a great lion (in some versions of the tale it is a great tiger) into battle, she slayed Mahishasura and rescued the three worlds.

Remember, it was the collective light of all those individual consciousnesses that brought Durga from beyond the veil.

These are not the "End Times," these are "Beginning Times." Our circumstances call for massive, non-violent EVOLUTION.

Thousands of protesters in Madrid furious over soaring unemployment staged a silent protest and then erupted in cheers of joy as a 48-hour ban on their demonstration took effect on Saturday. 'Now we are all illegal' and 'the people united will never be defeated,' were among the chants of the protesters who crammed Madrid's Puerta del Sol square and spilled onto side streets. 'From Tahrir to Madrid to the world, world revolution,' said one of the placards, referring to Tahrir Square in Cairo which was the focal point of the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. Agence France Press, 5-20-11

Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to 350.org for the answer.

Durga Mantra (Om Dum Durgayei Namaha)


Richard Power's seventh book, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself, is now available. Here are links to purchase it from Amazon.com, or from CreateSpace.

You can also visit Richard Power author's page at Amazon.com.

Hard Rain Late Night: Sandy Denny - The Quiet Land Of Erin

Hard Rain Late Night: Sandy Denny - The Quiet Land Of Erin

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Incomprehensibly, Inexorably ...

Joan Miro - The Nightingales Song at Midnight and Morning Rain (1940)

Every new moon, the gong in the temple of life is struck; every full moon, its reverberations reach fullness and dissolve into silence.

Every sunrise, the circle of life is drawn again; every midnight, the circle is completed, and then the cycle begins anew.

Within these parameters of sound, light, time and space, our being evolves (both individually and collectively) into a greater love.

Incomprehensibly, inexorably ...

-- Richard Power


Richard Power's seventh book, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself, is now available. Here are links to purchase it from Amazon.com, or from CreateSpace.

Beats Antique - Egyptic (Blind Treshold, 2010)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life has No Meaning




Life has no meaning. Anyone who suggests one is either lying to you or to themselves. Your life simply is. To be embraced, to be explored. Sacred, profane, profound, mundane. To be followed wherever it leads. One gamble after another. If you find yourself desperate for meaning, you are not lacking meaning, you are lacking life. You are not cut off from meaning; you are somehow cut off from where your life is flowing.

Or you are exhausted, and need to immerse yourself in the lessons of sky and mountain, i.e., silence & emptiness. Without emptiness, fullness cannot overflow; without silence, music has no where to arise.

You could say love is life's meaning, or beauty, or truth, but they are synonyms for life; and yes, each has its opposite. But that simply underscores the power of choice: we can choose beauty over ugliness, & love over hate; and whenever life answers us with ugliness or hate; again, we can choose our response. And no, choice isn't meaning either. Choosing is simply living; and, indeed, life's most meaningful moments are often choiceless.

-- Richard Power

Richard Power's seventh book, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself, is now available. Here are links to purchase it from Amazon.com, or from CreateSpace.

You can also visit Richard Power author's page at Amazon.com.

Sacred Core


Within each of us is a sacred core.

This center encompasses the circumference. Drop into it. It is accessible in every moment and all circumstances.

Immersed within it, you expand limitlessly, in unconditional love. Immersed within it, you are forgiven and forgiving.

If you sing to the Universe from there, somewhere across the planet, a stranger will hear your voice, as if it is were the universe itself, and that person, too, will begin to sing.

-- Richard Power

Richard Power's seventh book, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself, is now available. Here are links to purchase it from Amazon.com, or from CreateSpace.

You can also visit Richard Power author's page at Amazon.com.

Caribou - Bowls (Swim, 2010)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Circle of Life, the Takedown of Bin Laden, & Why Bush Didn't Return to the Scene of the Crime

Salvador Dali, Colossus (1954)



A middle-aged nonentity, a political failure outstripped by history – by the millions of Arabs demanding freedom and democracy in the Middle East – died in Pakistan yesterday. And then the world went mad. Robert Fisk, Pakistan knew Bin Laden's hiding place all along, The Independent, 5-3-11

I applaud the extraordinary bravery of those American military personnel who participated in this highly-effective operation, the intelligence operation that made it possible and the leadership of President Obama ... It is impossible to predict the future, but I hope the death of Osama bin Laden and the growth of democratic movements in the Muslim world marks a momentous turning point, which leads the region toward peace and prosperity and away from terrorism, death and destruction." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Statement on Osama Bin Laden, 5-2-11

If we as citizens challenge the 'war' framing, if we refuse, a decade after the savagery of 9/11’s attacks, to allow 'war' framing to define the national psyche and our politics, if we demand our representatives stop couching virtually all foreign policy discussion in terms of terrorism, we have a chance to build a new and more effective security template. Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, 5-2-11

The Circle of Life, the Takedown of Bin Laden, & Why Bush Didn't Return to the Scene of the Crime

By Richard Power


I did not want to write about Osama Bin Laden again. But under the circumstance it would be irresponsible not to, after all that has happened, and after all that I have written about him over the years. I am trying as best as I can to tend to the Circle of Life. But to mend a tear in fabric of that web, sometimes you have to remove the object that has caused the tear.

If I seem to contradict myself in the course of this post, well, that's because I do. Truth is paradoxical. The greater the truth, the greater the paradox. Writing about Bin Laden is thankless, because I end up disagreeing with those that are wrong for the right reasons, and agreeing with those that are right for the wrong reasons.

For example, the great Noam Chomsky (whose clarity of mind and depth of conscience has been a beacon for so many of us in this long night) recently wrote: We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. (Guernica Magazine, 5-7-11) Reading this challenging statement, I confess, my initial response was (jokingly), "Hmm, let me think about that for a moment."

Shattering the Looking Glass, Instead of Looking Back Through It

The legend of Bin Laden is composed of sorry facts and insipid falsehoods, but at least it ends here. Yes, Bin Laden *is* dead, freshly dead. Dead once and once only, in reality, and forever. Shot in the head by U.S. Navy Seals, in an operation ordered by POTUS; his corpse consigned to Davy Jones' locker. And my response is "Bravo."

Alex Jones is a buffoon. And poor Benazir Bhutto, who told David Frost that Bin Laden had been killed some years ago, was misled. Even I knew Bin Laden was alive, not dead, and living in a villa in Pakistan, and not in the tribal regions. Ask yourself why Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Thom Hartmann, Rachel Maddow, and Robert Fisk are not talking about Bhutto's story. Bhutto was on Frost's show because she was going back to Pakistan to take power, and that is why she was killed, because she went back to Pakistan to take power. The people that misled her, the people that killed her, they are the same people that protected Bin Laden.

Bush-Cheney, in effect, protected Bin Laden too. They looked the other way before 9/11. They looked the other way after 9/11. The Bin Ladens were Bush-Cheney family friends and business associates. Bin Laden fit perfectly into PNAC, he gave Bush-Cheney their rationale for the foolish military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.

They looked the other way. They ignored warning after warning, not only from the previous administration, but from friendly governments, from the best of allied intelligence services, and from their own national security council staff. They looked the other way. It is hard to assume that they let it happen. The least they should be held accountable for is criminal negligence. Words of Power has chronicled this over the years. It is a matter of public record. People simply won't deal with it.

IF Bush-Cheney had wanted Bin Laden, they would have gone after him; but his sick plots served their purposes. However, when POTUS took office in 2008, he refocused assets onto him, and took him out within months of determining his exact location.

Once Bin Laden has escaped from Tora Bora, it should have taken at the most two or three years to track him down, determine the likely consequences of any action, weigh all the options available, develop a good plan of attack, and take him out. Well, that is what happened. As soon as someone sat in the Oval Office who understood the symbolic importance of capturing or killing Bin Laden, someone who saw Bin Laden's capture or death as a necessary grammatical punctuation with which to end a sentence and turn a page, someone who was not conflicted, someone who was not complicit.

POTUS took over in 2008, Bin Laden was killed in 2011.

Bitter Pill After Bitter Pill

I am deeply disappointed in many (if not most) of POTUS' actions (and inactions), e.g., his failure to lead on Climate Change, the disgraceful treatment of U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, his White House's abandonment of the public option in the struggle for healthcare reform, the two-year extension of the Bush-Cheney tax cuts for the rich, his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, etc., etc. etc. Nevertheless, the takedown of Bin Laden, is one of his worthiest accomplishments, along with ending of the "pre-existing condition" scam of the health insurance racketeers, and appointing Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Yes, it is slim pickings, but it is NOT Bush-Cheney or McCain-Palin, and while he is in office there is still hope.

To those who say Bin Laden should have been captured and brought trial, instead of killed on the spot, I say this: assuming that it was not the kind of split-second decision that a commando must be allowed to make in a fire-fight, assuming that taking him alive was an option, I ask you, why would we want to? To feel better about ourselves? It is too late for that.

Remember, POTUS attempted to hold a trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Manhattan, in criminal court. The political blowback from the ignorant and the cowardly (apparently predominant in our political kulchur) was too intense. Likewise, POTUS ordered Guantanamo shutdown as soon as he took office, but the procedural pushback and political blowback have proven too intense; the blight lingers on, though the worst of what happened there is over.

So I suggest to you that bringing Bin Laden back would have been a foolish move, at this point. If nothing else, POTUS' time in office has proven that our circumstances are much worse than most people have really come to grips with, and that the "Imperial Presidency" is just another false meme, unless, of course, the will of that "President" happens to be in sync with that of those at true apex of power in what Gore Vidal aptly calls the National Security State.

The War IN, OF, FOR and BY Terror

As much as I respect him, in this instance, I do not agree with Michael Moore: the U.S.A. has not "lost part of its soul" in this action. Although over the last decade, we have indeed lost large chunks of our soul in wreaking havoc and mayhem on millions of innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on the bodies, psyches and families of our own military and intelligence personnel, who after all were sent to battle chimeras and scarecrows in those cursed countries, when in reality, the enemy looked over our shoulder, sat at our table, and were trained in the use of our weapons; yes, elements within the governments of Saudia Arabia and Pakistan, "our strong allies in the war on terror."

But it isn't really a "war on terrorism" anyway, that term was not only a misnomer, reflective of our ignorance of what we have stumbled into, it was also a lie, reflective of a self-deceit at the core of so much of our agenda. Over and over for a decade, I have written that this was not a "war on terror" but a "war IN, OF, FOR and BY terror."

This "war" has not been a success, it never could be a success, it was not even designed to be a success, it was not even meant to ever end. From the beginning, it was an excuse to seize strategic position and establish bases in the Middle East and Central Asia, and to break the bones of the face of our republic and re-shape it into something hideous.

It has been a war on ourselves as much as it has been a war on anyone else.

Nevertheless, there were and are madmen who want to blow up our cities, and slaughter our innocents. Unfortunately, the means chosen to move against them serve the purposes of those madmen better than our own. Furthermore, precious little reflection on how this all came to be, and what its true causes are, is allowed to break through the insulation of ignorance that has plunged the corridors of power into darkness.

Bin Laden and 9/11

Over the years, another recurring refrain in my writing on Bin Laden, 9/11, etc. was "Bring me the head of Osama Bin Laden."

Because for so much of that bloody decade, U.S. blood and treasure was committed to foolish military adventures that had little or NOTHING to do with bringing Bin Laden to justice. Iraq had NOTHING to do it, as many millions of us knew, and demonstrated we knew, by protesting the invasion and occupation of Iraq in those desperate months BEFORE it was undertaken. And Afghanistan had little to do with it, after Bin Laden was allowed to escape from Tora Bora when Bush-Cheney denied a C.I.A. request for the green light, and the U.S. Marines, to run him down.

Was "9/11 an inside job"? I don't go there. I don't embrace it, nor do I refute it. I know enough from what is available in the public record to insist unequivocally that Bush-Cheney looked the other way. Were there demolition teams? Was the collapse of the towers a controlled demolition? I don't care. I know all that I need to know. The _resident and VICE _resident of the U.S.A. ignored warning after warning in the months preceding the event; they not only did nothing, they did less than nothing, they undid the good that Clinton-Gore had done in the 1990s and leading up to the Millennium.

Whether or not Bin Laden received help, coordinated or not, from dark extra-governmental elements within the military-industrial complex, it was Bin Laden's Zombies that commandeered those planes and fly them into the World Trade Center. (And U.S. citizens too often forget that, over the years, Bin Laden's operations also led to the slaughter of many innocents in London, Madrid, Jakarta, Bali, Mumbai, Istanbul, and elsewhere.)

The Real Reason George W. Bush Didn't Return to the Scene of the Crime?

So why didn't George W. Bush join POTUS at Ground Zero? It was not that because, as the official story goes, "his family believes we only have one President at a time" nor was it because, as the off-the-record story goes, he was put off by POTUS "beating his chest." Perhaps George W. Bush did not join POTUS at Ground Zero out of fear and shame.

Perhaps, like Lady Macbeth, he cannot wash the stains from his hands. Perhaps shame pursues him even if the U.S. Justice Department does not. Millions have been displaced because of the foolish military adventures of Bush-Cheney. Over a million have died. Furthermore, the fear must be intense. The action that POTUS ordered, and those U.S. Navy Seals carried out, was not supposed to happen. Bin Laden was not supposed to be caught, and the treasure trove of his personal files and communications was not supposed to fail into our hands.

The camel's nose has peeked under the tent within which some of the most ghastly of secrets have been hidden for years. But don't hold your breath. The truth does not come to light easily in the U.S.A., even in its healthiest eras, and this is one of its sickest. So it is not likely that too many of those ghastly secrets will show up in the media, or in congressional hearings, or in Grand Jury proceedings, but they will now have a life of their own. The U.S. Navy consigned Bin Laden's corpse to Davy Jones' locker; they flew his papers and computer files to Beltwayistan.

A Grim Fairy Tale

The U.S. body politic chooses not to feed on reality, it chooses to feed on fairy tales. "Once upon a time there was an evil man who killed thousands of our citizens, and now he is dead, and we all live happily ever after."

Unfortunately, a "happy ending" is impossible; there is, however, some hope for a better day.

Consider these brief excerpts from the commentaries of Pepe Escobar, Ray McGovern and Robert Parry:

So to symbolically kill the "war on terror" - which was invented because of 9/11 - Obama had to (literally) kill the (alleged) perpetrator, be it real or not, guilty or not, a clone or not. Thus the hit, the swift disposal of the body, no photos, end of the movie, no credits rolling; a tight cinematic narrative. The obvious holes in the plot, as in any Hollywood blockbuster, are deemed irrelevant; what matters is success at the box-office - and we move on.
Like a basketball-playing Freudian, Obama went for the kill, the reason of the whole trauma. He identified it as the only way to start anew - as in trying to end the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and start concentrating on what really matters for the US; investments in education and infrastructure, the dire state of the economy.
Pepe Escobar, Welcome to the post-Osama world, Asia Times, 5-6-11

Yet, despite the future risks for the United States and the Muslim world – and the fact that the U.S. assault was a fairly clear violation of international law – the killing of bin Laden paradoxically does offer a possible route back from the institutionalization of American lawlessness ... The first step in that journey would be a serious attempt to negotiate a political settlement in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of American and NATO troops. If enough public pressure is brought to bear, there could even be a full-scale reassessment of U.S. priorities, pulling back from the expensive garrison state that bin Laden helped create. Ray McGovern, What Has Bin Laden's Killing Wrought?, Consortium News, 5-5-11

Though it remains unclear what the long-term consequences of this action will be, Obama’s success – after years of Bush’s failure – does suggest one important lesson: U.S. officials would be well advised to ignore the special pleadings of the neocons who remain highly influential inside Official Washington. The neocons, along with other Bush advisers, exploited the 9/11 tragedy to justify a policy of inserting U.S. military forces into the heart of the Arab world to the detriment of bringing the masterminds of 9/11 to justice. That miscalculation did horrendous damage to both the United States and the people of the Middle East. It also allowed Osama bin Laden to remain at large for more than nine years, until Sunday. Robert Parry, Finishing a Job, Obama Gets Osama, Consortium News, 5-2-11

A Profound Ignorance

Just as a bitter reminder of how far from reality we still are, as a nation, and a kulchur, consider the code-name given to the operation: Geronimo. An incomprehensible stupidity? Or a willful ugliness? Either way, an unforgivable blunder in propaganda.

Chomsky comments.

The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It's like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk ... It's as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes "Jew" and "Gypsy." Noam Chomsky, My Reaction to Osama Bin Laden's Death, Guernica Magazine, 5-7-11

How can a people as ignorant and unconcerned as we are with the truth of our past ever find our way to a better future?

Meanwhile, the Circle of Life is in Peril

Report: Arctic Warming May Raise Global Sea Levels Five Feet, Reuters, 5-3-11

Climate Change Analysis Predicts Increased Fatalities from Heat Waves, Terra Daily, 5-4-11

World population to pass 7 billion in October - UN, Reuters, 5-3-11

Climate change has spurred food prices: study, Reuters, 5-6-11

The greatest national security threat of all, the Climate Crisis, worsens by the day, not only in Bangladesh, the Sahel, Bolivia and the South Pacific, but in the so-called "Heartland" of the U.S.A., with hundreds of tornadoes in one weekend, and floods that threaten to devastate farms and towns along the Mississippi. One of the tornadoes, fifty miles wide, destroyed the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (See Top Climate Scientist On The Monster Tornadoes: ‘It Is Irresponsible Not To Mention Climate Change’)

Ironically, if Al Gore had been sworn into the office that he was elected to in 2000, the Climate Crisis would have been properly prioritized as our greatest national security threat, and as a by-product of coming to grips with it, we would have diffused the geopolitical and macro-economic time-bomb of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Excuse me, what did you say? Oh, oh, the tornadoes and the floods are not due to the Climate Crisis? They are only a result of La Nina? Oh, OK, sorry to disturb your slumber, you just go back to sleep now. Do you want me to tell you that Grim Fairy Tale again, the one about the bad man and how we got him in the end?

Papantonio: Dick Cheney Helped Pakistani Terrorists



Thom Hartmann: What is Alex Jones Smoking? Bin Laden mission...a fake?!



Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to 350.org for the answer.

Richard Power's seventh book, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself, is now available. Here are links to purchase it from Amazon.com, or from CreateSpace.

You can also visit Richard Power author's page at Amazon.com.