Dear Peace Warriors,
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As we watch sur-agog at the sursurreal events in N’Orleans and surround, I try to draw what lessons I can for the Yet Longer Battle for a world that defaults to peace and to saving its treasure, élan, ingenuity, and worldriotic (cf patriotic) zeal for building and re-building.
We see in the streets all at once the people we allow to be gruelingly poor while we give pornographically obscene tax cuts to people with sickening amounts of money festering in their bank accounts – as some Supreme Court Justice said once ‘I know pornographically obscene amounts of money when I see them.’
Please do me a favor and tell one person in your family or at work or at the pool hall today that we are spending $200,000 per minute in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iraq. (And an additional $680,000 per minute for the rest of the core Military Budget.)
The amount of money the Congress is so beneficently allotting to re-build the obliteration of the Gulf Coast in our HomeLand is about a month & ½ worth of Iraq. The Emperor with No Clothes striding like a Phantom (& Naked) Colossus over this heartbreaking giga-event on the Gulf Coast is the combined out-poured costs of Iraq and the monstrous tax cut to the FatHoggists bestriding their bank accounts with contumely and codpieces a-jut.
It is sad to contemplate that even with the $200,000 million spent on the quagsands in Iraq, there has been so pathetically little building. We are, re building, (minus one very rotten dictator), in much worse shape than we were on the day before we went into Iraq a-shockin’ and a-awein’.
We need to grok the present costs of indulging in war before we can unconditionally demand a quantumly new model where war is seen as abject shameful failure. Where no war can be perpetrated without the children or lacking same, the nephews, the grandchildren of the Bush, Rove, Condi, Rumsfeld, Cheney-Equivalents of the time being deployed at the grunt level to the front lines. Believe that this shameful (because war will be held as hideous failure of leadership and societal ingenuity) route is the only solution? Put your own daggone kids, your own skin in the dangerous game.
At this moment we are simply ignorant of the costs in terms we can grok¹. (I was ignorant until I grokked that one billion was one-thousand million.)
I think they depend on our ignorance. They think we’ll go “10.5 billion for hurricane relief – what lovely caring people rule us.” Well, in addition to the $200,000 per minute for the Iraq debacle, the tax cuts for those making over a million dollars will be 32 billion this year.
Also enter into your reeling mind that 3000 people were (horribly) killed on 9/11. In that same year, 425,000 Americans died from tobacco-related causes. What really endangers Americans?
[I would suggest actually that what really endangers Americans is that pesky Far Looney Left Extremists’ Agenda of universal healthcare; a superb K-College education; a treasured and revered environment; a robust living wage; and nation-wide wireless broadband. Well, the lack of that Looney Left Extremist Agenda, actually.]
So, with some of these things in our reeling minds, where does our thinking as Peace Warriors go? Let me be up front. I have become a Peace Extremist, a militant pacifist, a fierce pacifist – because I know that that’s where we get before Y3000. Because peace is actually the most practical way to run huge numbers of created-equal citizens of the planet, each of whose life-time is just as valuable to them as yours is to you.
I also know from talking to a valued friend that militant pacifism and the actual abolition of war are a leap too far for most folks in this time. A lot of folks are still Jeffersonian – schizophrenic about slavery – it’s pretty oxymoronically an ‘awful necessity.’ Many good-hearted people are schizophrenic about war – it’s awful, but we need to have it as a more truly last resort, they say.
So I’m suggesting tactically – or is it strategically? – that we go for changing the language to a greater truth. We don’t go to war, we go to mutilation. It is a grotesque and shameful failure to have to resort to mass mutilation. If we need to have massmutilation as a last resort, the kids of the Leaders are bond that it really is the last resort to them.
Then we take the cathedral view. (People who follow pogblog know I’m a ragin’ pagan in so far as you must label me.) Cathedrals took 400 years to build². You started the sacred project with no hope of seeing it completed yourself. You made your whole-hearted contribution, carved your gargoyle, because it was the damn right thing to do. The abolition of war is the right thing to do. I am happy carving my obscure gargoyle knowing that it’s a part of an astonishing whole that will be a song-in-stone generations down the silver river of time.
///I've been feeling a tad abandoned by the universe of late — I mean I've had it with the Spending $200,000 Per Minute on the quagsand in Iraq and other universe misbehavior and petulance. But just when you're about to write off the universe as intractable, it vouchsafes you a tidbit to let you know that the real universe, the one that makes parrot wings and tiramisu gelato, has been kidnapped by some ShrubCondiRumsChenRovian Entity. It sends out a message in a bottle that you can't mistake, a quirk of obsidian humor that says, “Hang in there, pals of the rambunctious universe, irony does prevail.” This time it sent me a note through pogblog Commentator yogaartnat saying that the anagram for Evangelist is Evil's agent. And, like Pippa Passes which nobody probably reads anymore, I know that all's right with the world. Evangelist = Evil's agent — now that's swell.
ps. fema was having money sent to Pat ‘The Assassinator’ Robertson.
http://www.sploid.com/ (Sploid entry 09/01/05, 2:45 pm Eastern)
The mind really reels. Do you think if *I* call for the assassination of a foreign leader, I can get on Fema's links? I could call it Operation Stressing — which I thought I was because not just having lost my darling 1970 Dodge and being wheelless &c, now the housemate killed his car this aft after I lent him $850 bucks to get a new clutch last week. However, after N'Orleans, one would like to hope that one never complains again. Tho the splinters I got to the quick under the fingernail of my right thumb while sanding a stick for the new Protest Sign did hurt.
I swear I was saying all evening (Thurs) while I heard those reports of the evil snipers that I bet it was a rump-covering planted story to get the blame off their Gigantic Incompetence & there it was on Sploid. (09/01/05, 8:57pm)
In quantum bemusement, quantum amusement,
pps. Remember Sat Sept 24 for the Big Peace rally near you.
² The Cathedral Within by Bill Shore (passim) years ago amplified my life-long use of the cathedral image.
If you know an agent, editor, publisher person who would handle this kind of rage for justice, rage for peace material, please let me know at .. firstname.lastname@example.org
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2 Cane . Ben . Reed . East tzol 93 . 09.02.05 fri
the pro-peace world begins today with you