Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yes, Your Leaders Went to Davos, 3 Bare-Breasted Ukrainian Women; & Why You Will Soon Miss the Words, "I'm from the Government & I'm Here to Help You"

More than 1 million children in the Sahel are at risk of severe malnutrition and urgent action is needed to avert starvation akin to that in Somalia, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday. Reuters, 1-27-11

More intense heat waves due to global warming could diminish wheat crop yields around the world through premature ageing, according to a study published Sunday in Nature Climate Change. Current projections based on computer models underestimate the extent to which hotter weather in the future will accelerate this process, the researchers warned. Marlowe Hood, Climate-driven heat peaks may shrink wheat crops,, 1-29-11

“We love peace and we hope for peace,” the monk said, adding that mandatory “re-education” classes, often dominated by political and patriotic indoctrination, have been forced on his monastery. The government has said two Tibetans were killed in clashes in the towns of Seda and Luhuo ... Another Tibeten protester was shot dead in Rangtang county, rights groups said ... Agence France Press, 1-29-12

Yes, Your Leaders Went to Davos, Three Bare-Breasted Ukrainian Women; & Why You Will Soon Miss the Words, "I'm from the Government & I'm Here to Help You"

By Richard Power

The women of Femen are serious, and brave.

And if you doubt either, you do not understand the vital role of women in the massive, global non-violent evolution that must come; nor do you understand how profoundly exploited women are in the grips of predatory capitalism, particularly in Eastern European and the former Soviet Union.

Three topless Ukrainian protesters were detained Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world's poor ... After a complicated journey to reach the heavily guarded Swiss resort town of Davos, the Ukrainians arrived at the entrance to the complex where the World Economic Forum takes place every year. With temperatures around freezing in the snow-filled town, they took off their tops and tried to climb a fence before being detained. "Crisis! Made in Davos," read one message painted across a protester's torso, while others held banners that said "Poor, because of you" and "Gangsters party in Davos." Women of FEMEN Crash "Gangsters Party in Davos" Common Dreams, 1-28-12

(Videos embedded below.)

Imagine where we would be if we hadn't allowed Bush to gut the surplus with his tax cuts for the wealthiest (or simply not extended them when they were due to expire). Imagine where we would be if we hadn't spent the three trillion plus squandered on Iraq and Afghanistan, and instead, poured it into high-speed rail cross-crossing the country, and a new, smarter grid fed with solar power from the Southwest and wind power from the Midwest.

Oh yes, BTW, have you ever added up the externalities of fossil fuels? Oil, gas and coal are not cheap energy sources; and they haven't been for a long time, assuming you add in the real costs in terms of the destruction of the environment and the negative impact on public health (not to mention decade after decade of those tax-payer funded subsidies). And now they are threatening to cost us our world itself, i.e., civilization as we know it, and the global climate balance it has been predicated on for millennia. And yet the Chamber of Horrors and its Renfields in both major political parties just want more, and more, at whatever the cost; and so, instead of a Marshall Plan to turn our own economy green, we pursue mountain top removal, fracking and the tar sands pipeline. Madness.

Governments’ failure to regulate business effectively is having a devastating impact on the rights of society’s most vulnerable people, Amnesty International warned today, ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos. “The economic crisis, and how governments have chosen to address it, poses a clear and unambiguous risk to the rights of people in many countries,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty. “Davos cannot afford to be a congratulatory club for the rich and powerful. We must use this opportunity to challenge the orthodoxy of the policies being pursued and ensure governments meet their responsibilities.” Davos: World Leaders Protecting Business Over Rights in Economic Crisis, Amnesty International, 7-24-12

Do you remember how we fell into these circumstances? Do you understand? Here is all the history you need.

Despite Newt Gingrich's claim that "supply-side" economic theories have "worked," the truth is that America's three-decade experiment with low tax rates on the rich, lax regulation of corporations and "free trade" has been a catastrophic failure, creating massive federal debt, devastating the middle class and off-shoring millions of American jobs. It has "worked" almost exclusively for the very rich, yet the former House speaker and the three other Republican presidential hopefuls are urging the country to double-down on this losing gamble, often to the cheers of their audiences — like one Florida woman who said she had lost her job and medical insurance but still applauded the idea of more "free-market" solutions. Robert Parry, Selling the 'Supply-Side' Myth, 1-28-12

Flawed and conflicted as it was, ours WAS "a government of the people, for the people, by the people," otherwise they would not have been so desperate to demonize and destroy it from within. We will all have reason to rue the day, and many will not live much longer than that, as the Sixth Great Extinction overtakes the planet.

In the face of an unraveling climate system, there is no way that private enterprise alone will meet the threat. And though small “d” democracy and “community” may be key parts of a strong, functional, and fair society, volunteerism and “self-organization” alone will prove as incapable as private enterprise in responding to the massive challenges now beginning to unfold. To adapt to climate change will mean coming together on a large scale and mobilizing society’s full range of resources. In other words, Big Storms require Big Government. Who else will save stranded climate refugees, or protect and rebuild infrastructure, or coordinate rescue efforts and plan out the flow and allocation of resources? It will be government that does these tasks or they will not be done at all. Christian Parenti, Why Climate Change Will Make You Love Big Government; A Secret History of Free Enterprise and the Government That Made It Possible, Tom Dispatch, 2-26-12

But remember, this great duel was fought and WON not so long ago, in the land that the wood for the U.N. General Assembly came from (isn't it good, Norwegian wood?"), and the land that Lisbeth Salander and the Nobel Peace Prize came from too ...

While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different. George Lakey, How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ Waging Non-Violence, 1-26-12


Our first step in the USA is to declare that CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE, AND MONEY IS NOT SPEECH, and to rid ourselves of this abomination. Go to Move to Amend for more information.

Historic Effort to Recall Wisconsin Gov. Walker Reveals "People Power" After 1 Million Sign Petition

Three Very Short Videos (All Less than One Minute) of Femen at Davis

Stop Davis 1

Stop Davos! 2 from FEMEN Video on Vimeo.

Stop Davis 2

Stop Davos! 1 from FEMEN Video on Vimeo.

Stop Davis 3

Stop Davos! 3 from FEMEN Video on Vimeo.

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ancient Canyon

The journey is simply being. If you are, you are journeying. Our only choice is whether to consciously embrace the journey, or spend the preciousness of time in fantasies about the journey.

And the difference between fantasy and reality? You cannot leave reality behind, it will only stowaway in your psyche, in some haunting way. You will have to encounter it again sooner or later, and probably in pain.

The journey is being. Tenderness and clarity of mind are the great wings that spread, at dawn, in the ancient canyon that is the expanse of you.

-- Richard Power


Grateful for another day to live.

Grateful for work. Grateful for water. Grateful for shelter. Grateful for food.

Grateful to take nothing for granted.

Grateful for the power of the divine infusing the human. Grateful for the intimacy of the human revealing the divine.

Grateful for having heard the Dharma, and followed its echo into the wilderness.

-- Richard Power

Pathless Path

Nicholas Roerich - Hidden Treasure (1947)

There is a Pathless Path that weaves in and out of all the great mystical traditions, often surviving in spite of such traditions, rather than because of them.

It is not all that popular, of course, even among those who profess great passion for life, love and truth; perhaps because it leaves NO wiggle room for hiding within one's own fantasies about the human journey, and perhaps because it does not lend itself to the monetizing of spiritual relationships or the reinforcement of false ego through inappropriate teacher-student models.

Recently, I have been strongly reminded of how fortunate I am to have encountered this Pathless Path, and to have recognized it and made it my own.

I am so grateful to those who have kept this open secret alive and accessible, in and from every direction, for many thousands of years.

I am profoundly happy to dedicate my remaining life to the furtherance of this planetary heritage, through the revelation of its mysteries in my own experience.

-- Richard Power

Monday, January 16, 2012

In This Fractured Society, Lashed Together in Deep Denial, the Day After the Day After MLK Day is More Important

Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964 (Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram Staff Photographer, Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection)

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence, April 4, 1967

In This Fractured Society, Lashed Together in Deep Denial, the Day After the Day After MLK Day is More Important

By Richard Power

MLK came from the future, and brought with him a message so powerful that its delivery cost the messenger his life.

No monument could ever contain the greatness he conjured, but your radiant mind can mirror it, and your overflowing heart can pour it forth. Choose to live this truth. Choose to live from the future into the now. Choose indomitable compassion and dauntless courage.

"I agree with Dante, that the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who at a time of moral crisis maintain their neutrality ..." -Martin Luther King, Jr., Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam, April 30, 1967

The goddesses of love and justice call to you from the within your psyche.

"And of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with resignation of power, and power with the denial of love ... Now we have got to get this thing right. What is needed is the realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. And this is what we must see as we move on." - Martin Luther King, Where Do We Go From Here?, August 16, 1967

The journey is just beginning.

Remember that the visionary power of MLK's dream did not spring from some naive idealism, but from a profound grasp of reality and an extraordinary willingness to embrace any and all consequences of living a truthful live. Yes, and like him, each of us must approach tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, as if it were our "Last Battle on Earth" ...

"So I am happy tonight, I am not worried about anything, i am not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory ..." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 3, 1968

If MLK were alive today, he would have stood at the threshold of the corridors of power, and declared that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. No more efficacious cause could be rallied around on the day after MLK Day 2012, or the day after the day after, or the day after that ...

The Constitution of this country has served us well, but when the Supreme Court says that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. That is why I have introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Saving Our Democracy, Huffington Post, 12-8-12

Unlike the mainstream media, the political establishment, and the corporatist overlords that both serve, MLK would not have avoided the grave dangers of the Climate Crisis. Unlike the most of the progressive movement, he would not have allowed the Climate Crisis to be just one among numerous causes. Yes, my friend, accept it, the Climate Crisis is of another magnitude than Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or Iraq and Afghanistan, or just about anything else you could imagine. Food shortages, water scarcity and massive population displacements, that's what the Climate Crisis threatens us with.

MLK would have clearly understood both the challenges and the opportunities of the Climate Crisis - in the their proper context, i.e. economic and moral, and he would have seen Climate Action as a banner under which to unite yellow, brown, red, black and white, he would have recognized it as the penultimate moment, the crescendo of every battle for human rights and environmental protection from the dawn of civilization, and he would not have let this penultimate moment pass without seizing it.

Instead, from Kyoto to Copenhagen to Durbin, we have seen the greatest failure of governance in human history.

Naomi Klein: Personally, I think the greatest possibility lies in bringing together the ecological crisis and the economic crisis. I see climate change as the ultimate expression of the violence of capitalism: this economic model that fetishizes greed above all else is not just making lives miserable in the short term, it is on the road to making the planet uninhabitable in the medium term ... I think climate change is the strongest argument we’ve ever had against corporate capitalism, as well as the strongest argument we’ve ever had for the need for alternatives to it. And the science puts us on a deadline: we need to have begun to radically reduce our emissions by the end of the decade ...Naomi Klein and Yotam Marom, Occupy Wall Street: Why Now? What's Next?, The Nation, 1-10-12

Oh yes, and although he would have marveled at Occupy Wall Street, and all that it has already accomplished in terms of awakening the national psyche, MLK would be relentlessly reminding its participants that this economic injustice did not start with a war on the middle class and its children, no, it started with the war on the poor that replaced the war on poverty.

AMY GOODMAN: ... you have talked about how there are more African Americans percentage-wise imprisoned in the United States, more black people, than were at the height of apartheid South Africa.
MICHELLE ALEXANDER: ... we’ve become blind in this country to the ways in which we’ve managed to reinvent a caste-like system here in the United States, one that functions in a manner that is as oppressive, in many respects, as the one that existed in South Africa under apartheid and that existed under Jim Crow here in the United States ... Through the war on drugs and the "get tough" movement, millions of poor people, overwhelmingly poor people of color, have been swept into our nation’s prisons and jails, branded criminals and felons, primarily for nonviolent and drug-related crimes ... and then are ushered into a permanent second-class status, where they’re stripped of the many rights supposedly won in the civil rights movement ...
On Eve of MLK Day, Michelle Alexander & Randall Robinson on the Mass Incarceration of Black America, Democracy Now, 1-13-12

In the decades since his martyrdom, *they* allowed for the establishment of a national holiday in his name, the erection of a monument to him on the mall, and even the ascendancy of an African American to the Oval Office (albeit an Impossible Presidency) and yet, all the while *they* were dismantling everything that truly mattered, brick by brick and tear by tear.

MLK would have seen through it all. But he is long gone.

And you and I are standing here alone, and it is the day after the day after ...

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

I Am A Man: Dr. King & the Memphis Sanitation Strike

MLK's Last Speech

On Eve of MLK Day, Michelle Alexander & Randall Robinson on the Mass Incarceration of Black America (Democracy Now)

The Revolutionary MLK

See Also

Welcome to the Anthropocene Age; A Monument to MLK Now Stands on the Mall, Like Kubrick's Obelisk, Mysterious & Otherworldly

MLK Day 2007 -- A Call to Conscience in the Corridors of State and Media Power

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 and

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


‎"Human." "Divine." As if they were somehow how two rather than one. Similarly, "animal," "plant," "mineral." None of them exists separately from the others.

Consider your hand. What makes it a "hand"? The pulse that flows through it? The mind in which the image of it is held? If you removed the flesh, or the muscle or the bones, would it still be a "hand"?

Life is like your hand, it is not a sum of its parts, it is whole and indivisible. Joy, sorrow, victory, defeat, each a distinct thread but all taking on meaning only as the tapestry into which they are woven.

Live this way, and you will not short change yourself.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Ron Paul Serves the 1%, & In His Thralldom to Them He Throws Some Juicy Scraps to the Ugliest Anti-Social Elements Among Us

Salvador Dali - Leda Atomica (1949)

Ron Paul Serves the 1%, & In His Thralldom to Them He Throws Some Juicy Scraps to the Ugliest Anti-Social Elements Among Us - Ron Paul Would Have Protected Jim Crow, Wants to Free You from "Slavery" to Social Security & Medicare, & Of Course Revoke a Woman's Right to Choose

By Richard Power

If Ron Paul runs as a third-party candidate, it will not be to defeat the one-percenter Mitt Romney, it will be to ensure Romney's victory in a few critical battleground states by shaving off a few thousand votes from POTUS (or perhaps by offering cover for the shaving off of those votes by other more nefarious means).

Make no mistake about it, Ron Paul serves the 1%, and in his thralldom to them he throws juicy scraps of hate to some the ugliest anti-social elements among us.

If you are flirting with support for Ron Paul, as some kind of powerful statement on the threat to civil liberties, you are profoundly deluded.

Ron Paul has stated unequivocally that he believes the state should be able to dictate what a woman can or cannot do with her own body.

Ron Paul
You say you want to repeal Roe v Wade.
What makes you think the state has the right to control a woman's reproductive decisions?
You say you want every child to have a chance to live. How will those children eat when you eliminate essential programs like WIC and food assistance?
Where will those children live when you eliminate subsidized housing?
How will those children receive healthcare when you eliminate Medicaid?
How will those children get an education when you eliminate student aid?
Mr. Paul, you do not care about the children of the 99 percent. You do not care about the rights of women. You are a servant of the Patriarchy. You are a servant of the 1 percent.
Ron Paul Event Interrupted in Iowa, Huffington Post, 12-28-11

Paul has also stated unequivocally that the state should not be able to forbid a business from refusing service to a someone based solely on their race or ethnicity.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked the Texas congressman, “The ‘64 civil rights bill, do you think an employer, a guy who runs his shop down in Texas or anywhere has a right to say, ‘If you’re black, you don’t come in my store’?” And with that, Paul explained he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act, adding, “I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.” Steve Benen, Washington Monthly, 5-14-11

So you are a progressive, and you insist that Ron Paul has some moral high ground? Tell me, how does it feel to lie in bed with the denizens of Stromfront?

You are also seriously deluded if you are flirting with support for Ron Paul, as some kind of powerful statement of protest in regard to our foolish military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ron Paul's anti-war views are not grounded in altruism or even common sense; they are grounded in a crude, unthinking isolationism. Indeed, it is not far-fetched to surmise that the tale of Anne Frank's diary would have likely fallen on deaf ears in Ron Paul's house. Can't you hear him saying, "It's none of our business." (Think I am taking a cheap shot? Really? Some Republicans of the 1930s were not just isolationists, they were Nazi-sympathizers.)

After all, in Ron Paul’s warped mind, caring for strangers is just a way to enslave them.

Earlier this year, in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Paul declared both Social Security and Medicare to be unconstitutional, essentially saying they should be abolished for the great evil that they are -- just like slavery. Adele Stan, 5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution -- 'Cuddly' Libertarian Has Some Very Dark Politics, AlterNet, 8-26-11

But perhaps the most damning evidence of all is that Ron Paul named his son after the sociopathic cult leader, Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society....To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961 Bruce E. Levine, How Ayn Rand Seduced Generations of Young Men and Helped Make the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation, Reuters AlterNet, 12-15-11

His adoration of Ayn Rand, BTW, is something he shares with Alan Greenspan. (Yes, the former Chairman of the Fed.)

Ron Paul is either a profoundly confused individual, or an utter hypocrite. So where does that leave you if you are considering supporting him?

Megan Carpentier and Joe Conason provide some context

In fact, many of Ron Paul's newest supporters on the left look strikingly like the majority of the ones on the right who have been following him for years: the kinds of people whose lives won't be directly affected by all those pesky social conservative policies Paul would seek to enact as president, either due to their race, class, gender or sexual orientation. Megan Carpentier, Guardian, 1-6-12

The Nader supporters of 2000, a fraction of the liberal electorate, didn’t get the policies they so urgently desired, of course. They didn’t even get a viable Green Party or a lasting movement for change. Instead, they helped to inflict a political disaster from which America has scarcely begun to emerge. In the new year, we may discover whether they wish to revive that nightmare. Joe Conason, Could Ron Paul Be the Next Ralph Nader? Truthdig, 1-1-12

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Dripping with Countless Names, the Divine Namelessness ...

Dripping with countless names, the divine Namelessness emerges from the mysterious sea. The presence of this Namelessness is immense, yet intimate, timeless and yet immediate.

It holds the book of life in two of its eight arms, and opens the tome to you. You may glimpse a page, or read a passage, but you will not remember a word. Our stories are written in this book of life. But none of us is in control of the narrative.

The plot twists are a surprise even to the book's true author. Its nature is paradoxical; although it is a work-in-progress, every word was written before the beginning.

Within the book, the narratives of our lives flow on like raging rivers emptying into that mysterious sea, from which the Divine Namelessness emerges, holding open the book of life, dripping with so many names.

You are at once both the stream of consciousness within your own narrative and the true author of the book itself. How this is possible is the secret of creation. It is written in invisible ink on the parchment of love.