Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Day After the Day After the Equinox: Kali is Not Neo-Con. Gaia is Not Corporatist. The Madonna is Not Christo-Fascist. You Have Been Warned.

Gaia, The Primordial Being of the Earth. (Anselm Feuerbach, 1875)

The Day After the Day After the Equinox: Kali is Not Neo-Con. Gaia is Not Corporatist. The Madonna is Not Christo-Fascist. You Have Been Warned.

By Richard Power

The Equinox. Yes.

Spring in the North, Fall in the South.

Can you experience both at once, as Gaia does?

Don't cheat yourself of the fullness of this moment. Embrace both hemispheres of the planetary psyche, and you are whirling in sync with Gaia.

Today is also another New Year, Iranian New Year: Nowruz 2571.

So 2012 has begun yet again. First, with the Gregorian calendar, in January, and then with the Chinese and Tibetan calendars, in February, and now with the Iranian calendar - the Spring Equinox is the Persian new year.

There are several more to come.

Can you feel these beginnings within one greater dance of beginnings and endings, as Gaia does?

For all of us this is another moment of truth. Seize it.

And for the Iranaian people in particular today, my prayer is that they throw off the yoke that has bound them to the brutal ignorance of the mullahs, and that whether they do or not, we all avoid a war which would only further debase our common humanity.

Let 2012, with each of its numerous New Year's days, and both of its seasonal cycles (north and south), be the moment of origination for a new spiral of human consciousness, reaching higher and deeper at once. Yes!

At this powerful moment, I draw your attention to three great issues, all of which are bound together, impact one and you will profoundly impact the other two, impact all three of them and you will have changed the world, in ways that would bring tears of joy to your eyes.

Circling the Drain

Day in and day out, season after season, year by year, and accelerating at every turn, the great barge of civilization is swirling closer and closer to the edge of the abyss.

Yes, we are circling the drain.

Pressures on Earth’s ecosystem are now so great that future generations could be doomed to falling living standards, the OECD said ... “Providing for a further two billion people by 2050 and improving the living standards for all will challenge our ability to manage and restore those natural assets on which all life depends,” it warned. “Failure to do so will have serious consequences, especially for the poor, and ultimately undermine the growth and human development of future generations.” Agence France Press, Environmental crunch ‘worse than thought’: OECD, 3-15-12

The world's water supply is being strained by climate change and the growing food, energy and sanitary needs of a fast-growing population, according to a United Nations study that calls for a radical rethink of policies to manage competing claims.
"Freshwater is not being used sustainably," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said ...
Reuters, Climate, food pressures require rethink on water - UN, 3-11-12

Disaster-prone Asia Pacific will see a surge in climate-induced migration this century and governments need to start planning to avoid humanitarian crises caused by millions of people fleeing their homes, a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned ... Reuters, Climate-induced migration a growing humanitarian threat - report, 3-13-12

Let Them Eat Nuance?

You realize, of course, that Sudan, and in particular, Darfur are the bloody tip of the Spear of Longinus. And that spear tip is annointed in oil and water, as well as human blood.

Yes, Sudan is the scene of our first Climate war.

This is a very inconvenient truth.

For more than a year and a half the Obama administration has been engaged in a callous and largely surreptitious disengagement from the ongoing human catastrophe in Darfur. This disengagement has taken many forms, and had various articulations. In August 2010 the phrase of choice was “de-emphasizing Darfur” in U.S. Sudan policy. In November 2010 a senior administration official spoke of “de-coupling Darfur” from considerations of whether Sudan should be on the State Department list of terrorism-sponsoring nations. Darfur, home to hundreds of thousands of in desperate need, now commands no significant policy attention in the Obama administration. For example, this week Dane Smith, Obama’s senior adviser for Darfur, declared in Pittsburgh that the Obama administration believed that “regime change” in Khartoum would be counterproductive ... Does it not matter that Darfuris are being asked to negotiate with a regime whose president and defense minister are under indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide? Eric Reeves, Darfur and the Diplomacy of Abandonment, Dissent Magazine, 3-16-12

Why does a Hollywood star have to lead in the struggle against the human rights abuses of the Sudanese government? The same reason NASA's leading climate scientist has to get arrested outside the White House instead advising POTUS inside the White House. We have a craven political system besotted with the fossil fuel industry's money and enthralled to the Risk game board fantasies of the military-industrial complex, and oh yes we have a President who has failed to lead on both of these vital issues. The one crisis exposes our conscience as a nation, and the other defines our future as a civilization.

The Hollywood actor and sometime political activist, George Clooney, was cuffed with zip-ties and taken away in a police van after being arrested during a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington DC ... Joined by his father, journalist Nick Clooney, US Representative Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP president Ben Jealous, the actor blocked the entrance to the Sudanese embassy ... "Stop raping them and stop starving them," he said. "That's all that we ask." George Clooney arrested in planned protest at Sudanese embassy, Guardian, 3-16-12

And do not be misled by those who want to denigrate the actions of Clooney and other men and women of conscience.

The American Taliban is Not "Pro-Life"

No, the American Taliban, is not "Pro-Life."

indeed, quite the contrary, just like their mad Islamic brothers, the American Taliban, i.e., the base of the Zombie Cult Formerly Known as the Republican Party, is Anti-Nature, Anti-Science and Anti-Woman, and that all sums up to Anti-Life.

A barrage of recent legislative initiatives spearheaded by Republicans on the national and state levels – collectively dubbed the “war on women” by Democrats and women’s advocacy groups – threaten to roll back U.S. commitments on the international level on gender equality and human rights. Nat Parry, ‘War on Women’ Breaches Global Norms, Consortium News,

Remember that silly book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Well, in the reich wing of 2012, Men are from A Handmaid's Tale and Women are from Stepford Wives.

Elections have consequences. Dire consequences.

Here are five ways the GOP is continuing its onslaught on women's rights ... 1) Women are losing ground fast on abortion rights in states that were previously neutral ... 2) The assault on birth control isn't over, and some want to deny women the right to use it at all ... 3) Violence Against Women Act is under threat in the Senate ... 4) Abortion doctors and pregnant women are being targeted ... 5) We're defending ground we shouldn't be defending ...
Sarah Seltzer, 5 Right-Wing Violations Against Women That We Must Crush, AlterNet, 3-15-12

Fighting this attack on women's reproductive rights, and crushing it, will go along way toward winning on the Climate Crisis and on crimes against humanity. It is all inter-twined.

We need to look outward to non-western feminisms – as well as back to a hidden wellspring of our own true inheritance. I would say the "truest" intellectual heritage of western feminism – though one often buried or misunderstood – is the Enlightenment. The same impetus that led Mary Wollstonecraft to write Vindication of the Rights of Women is the same wellspring that led Tom Paine to write Common Sense, and Jefferson to phrase the declaration of independence in terms of natural rights bestowed by God, making all men (sic) equal. This antecedent places feminism as a natural position on the spectrum of rights in the global struggle for freedom and democracy. Naomi Wolf, How we can connect with feminism's global future, Guardian, 3-14-12

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 is the author of seven books, including Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself and True North on the Pathless Path: Towards a 21st Century Yoga. He writes and speaks on security, risk, human rights and sustainability, and has delivered executive briefings and led training in over 40 countries. He blogs at http://words-of-power.blogspot.com and http://primalwordsofpower.blogspot.com