Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #1: Of Trump, Snowden and Sanders

A terracotta sculpture of Hanuman, the Monkey God, in Panchamukhi (i.e., five-faced) form. Hanuman took this form to slay an evil sorcerer who had captured Rama and Lakshmana and taken them to hell. To defeat this evil sorcerer Hanuman would have to simultaneously extinguish five lamps all shining in different directions, so he took this five-faced form, extinguished the five lamps, slayed the evil one and freed Rama and Lakshmana.
(Source: Wikipedia / Photo Credit:

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others - the living - are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it's In." -- Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: Strange and Terrible Saga of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966)

According to the Tibetan (yes, and Chinese) zodiac, this is the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey. Enough said. And according to the U.S. Constitution, this is an election year. The Executive branch and both houses of Congress are all ripe for the taking; and thanks to the death of the deeply disturbed Antonio Scalia, so is the Supreme Court. The 2016 campaign cycle is already proving to be one of the craziest and most dangerous we have ever endured. And it is likely that the nation will either go very fast in a good direction (and possibly very good), OR we will go even faster in a very very bad (or even worse) direction, depending upon what happens on the way to November. There is very little chance of anything in between. I won't really have all that much to say about it. But Words of Power is, after, all an ongoing narrative. So when I feel compelled to add something to the record, I will. More often than not, I will just share excerpts from (and links to) some important pieces that you might have missed. From time to time, I will editorialize, although I will not endorse any candidate. The vital context offered will speak for itself, and lead any sane, responsible citizen to the right choices.

For now, here are three important items for your consideration.

First, an op-ed piece on the abomination of the Trump candidacy by the great Eve Ensler, founder of One Billion Rising.

Second, an interview with a true hero, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (U.S. Army retired), former Chief of Staff to Secretary of Stone Colin Powell. (If you use this blog's search function, you will find numerous instances, throughout the Aughts and beyond, in which Wilkerson spoke courageously and forthrightly concerning our national insecurity.)

Third, a report (and an accompanying You Tube video) documenting a remarkable moment in the political revolution being led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Yes, during a massive rally in Portland, Oregon, Sanders and his legions were visited by a small but powerful emissary of the self-organizing planetary intelligence itself. Apparently, Gaia wants "a future to believe in."

-- Blessings, Richard Power


Donald Trump is not a leader or a presidential candidate. He is an outcome, a viral manifestation of a serious malignant illness. He is the mirror of our emptiness, the emptying out that has been happening to our country for a very long time ... He is the outcome of the rich being able to buy anything, including our democracy. He is an outcome of centuries of underlying unaddressed, massively denied and metastasized racism. He is the hatred of the poor and the needy, the denigration of immigrants and those seeking refuge from the devastation of US wars and imperialism. He is the outcome of an insidious exceptionalism – the bedrock belief that American lives are more precious and valuable than any Others, those that we stigmatize, bomb, torture, murder, control, invade and whose economies we trash, whose resources we devour, whose futures we steal. He is the outcome of fear which masquerades as bullying. He is the manifestation of patriarchy and the endlessly indoctrinated belief that only a father will save us even though the mainly men who have been determining reality for this country and the planet have led us to near ruin. He is the outcome of high tech fantasy, virtual disconnection, TV reality shows. He is proof of the duplicity of corporate sponsored media that claim 'neutrality' while reaping profits from propping up racists, tyrants, fascists, haters and those that would seek to destroy the country. -- Eve Ensler, Let Donald Trump Be Our Unifier, Common Dreams, 3/23/16


A retired Army colonel who served as the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, Wilkerson has established himself as a prominent critic of U.S. foreign policy. He sat down with Salon for an extended interview, discussing a huge range of issues from the war in Syria to climate change, from ISIS to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, of whom Wilkerson spoke quite highly. “I think Snowden has done a service,” Wilkerson explained. “I wouldn’t have had the courage, and maybe not even the intellectual capacity, to do it the way he did it.” ... Breaking with establishment political figures, Col. Wilkerson commended Snowden for his work and the way in which he carried it out. “There’s a logic to what he has done that is impressive,” Wilkerson told Salon. “He really has refrained from anything that was truly dangerous, with regard to our security — regardless of what people say.” “He has been circumspect about what he’s released, how he’s released it, who he’s released it to,” he continued. Snowden worked with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill, and published the revelations in renowned international newspapers, including the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel. “It’s clear to me from listening to his personal statements — I think those are important — that he did have a genuinely altruistic motive for doing it,” Wilkerson explained. “Snowden seems to me to be pure as a driven snow,” he laughed. “You can be dangerous if you’re that way, but you can also be helpful. And I think he’s been more helpful than dangerous.” -- Ben Norton, “Snowden has done a service,” Former Bush official Lawrence Wilkerson applauds the whistleblower, Salon, 3/24/16

The presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders received its smallest (though not least consequential) endorsement yet on Friday as a very small bird took to the podium while he delivered a speech to thousands of people gathered at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. In the middle of discussing education and the crushing economics of student debt, the crowd and the candidate were made to pause by the appearance of a small bird on the stage. As he acknowledged its presence on stage, the bird pressed its case further by flying up and landing directly in front of Sanders. As the crowd roared, a large smile crossed Sanders' face. "I think there's some symbolism here," said Sanders of his surprise guest. "I know it doesn't look like it, but that little bird is really a dove asking us for world peace. No more wars!" -- Jon Queally, This One Bird for Sanders: World Peace, Political Revolution, and the Sparrow, Common Dreams, 3/25/16

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.