POWAQQATSI

POWAQQATSI
A word
A concept
A perspective

From the Hopi language:
Po.waq.qatsi = sorcerer life
An entity
A way of life that consumes the life forces of other beings in order to further its own life.

The third world exists primarily to feed the glut of the industrialized nations, who themselves are spiraling out of control in a technological free for all.
(Koyaanisqatsi)

Mother Earth suffers from our greed first hand.
But she suffers even more at the hands of the poor and oppressed who struggle not to lift themselves from poverty so much as they struggle to feed the machine.

More than half the world has become enslaved in a time when we feel so self righteous as to condemn the act of slavery itself.

We bring technology to the third world, but for what purpose?
The railroad is not built for the improvement of their society or to aid in the transportation if their people
It is built to bring their resources and raw materials from the mines and the forests to the coast.

When you slip that diamond ring on her finger – do you think about the fingers on hands that dug it from the earth?
Do you think about the people who die in the diamond mines every day?
Bauxite, cobalt, zinc, tin, ebony, mahogany, emeralds, diamonds, selenium, amethyst, pitchblende, gold…
Do you ever stop to think about where these things come from?
How are they collected, how do they get here?
There is a sinister side to the wonders of modern society, a side we choose not to see.

But the rest of the world not only sees it, they live it.
If we are to breed contempt, we should not be surprised when it comes back to us in the form of hate.

Mr Bush and his cohorts contends that the terrorists attack us because “They can’t stand freedom”
He wants you to think that their hatred is irrational and unfounded
He wants you to deny their humanity, and to fear them.
Powaqqatsi is their god – they worship it and sate their greed on its trappings, growing richer, more powerful and more deluded every day

Yes I am afraid – but not of the terrorists of which Bush speaks
I fear the terrorists here within

The Bush administration is using FEAR in an attempt to control our behavior.

So I ask you – WHO are the terrorists now?

I will combat that fear, with knowledge and understanding.

Shock and Awe

Estimates of Iraqi deaths due to the invasion of the US now total over 650,000. This is an estimate because aparently an Iraqi death is not worthy of being counted.
Many of these uncounted casualties in the post Saddam era if the nation are women.
Acts of brutality abound a month-long investigation by The Observer reveals

Horrific as it is - it is time we face the consequences of our actions.
I believe America is ready to face the situation in Iraq. The people need to know going forward that if we are going to even start to clean up the mess we have made then we must do so with our eyes wide open.

My heart is heavy but still I press on, what other choice do we have?

We must accept responsibility for the damage done in Iraq – in HUMAN terms above all else.
We must salvage what is left of America and restore its compassion before all is lost.

I did not want this blood on my hands
Like millions of Americans – I screamed and spoke out against this war
I did so not just because it was wrong and based on lies, but also because I foresaw all of the tragic events that are occurring now.

It seemed fairly obvious to me, I assumed it was fairly obvious to anyone who took the time to look past the lies and consider the consequences of going to war.
However Bush used fear as a weapon against his own people and soon all we cared about were non existent WMD’s and the “Axis of evil”

This is without a doubt the most malevolent and incompetent act of any president in our history.

Ever.

“On to Baghdad “- “Mission Accomplished” will go down as the epitaphs of one of the most petty, blind and brutal propagandist leaders in world history.
Weather or not Bush, Cheney and the rest actually believe in their own festering rhetoric matters not.

The crimes they have perpetrated against Iraq and against our own people will, in the long term, make Saddam Husain look like a dignified and commendable world leader by comparison.
When Bush promised us a campaign of “shock and awe” the situation we see today is what came to my mind. And I hoped and prayed that the inevitable would not come to pass.

So here I now sit, drenched in blood.
Blood I shall never be free of.
And though I have never heard them, my soul reverberates with the horrific screams of the women, raped brutalized and murdered.
They haunt my dreams and I don’t sleep some nights.

All this for the blind lust for wealth and power of a man we ourselves elected to be our leader.
Shame on us all for allowing this to happen – to ignore not just one, but two elections stolen.
And now Bushes god has been imposed on us all – like it or not.
We are a secular nation no longer.
May the great Bush god have mercy on our souls.

The Voice of Dissent

You do not have to agree

As I watch this country slip daily closer and closer towards becoming a totalitarian state I find myself, for the first time, living in fear.
In the past I have been angry, surprised, shocked and disappointed with our leadership at various times.
Now I am simply afraid.
No, I do not fear the terrorists.

My fear comes from our own willingness to allow the terrorists to win, through our willingness to dismantle our constitution and brush aside the democracy we have fought for and believed in for so long.
Are my children going to live to see their liberty taken from them?
Will my grandchildren be born as slaves to a totalitarian machine dedicated to the cause of a handful of zealots, rather than to a nation dedicated to the highest ideals of humanity?

But I still have hope.
I hope that it is not too late to stop this madness long enough to remember why there is an America in the first place, and begin to take it back.
This hope is not ill founded it would seem, for there are still some people willing to fight for what is left of the American ideal and hold their ground.
One such man has been using his access to the media to raise the alarm and call things the way he sees them.
His name is Keith Olbermann and he has been using his pulpit as a journalist to speak out almost nightly about what he believes are the biggest threats to America.

I am not asking any of you to agree.
I am not asking any of you to believe what he has to say, or to rally behind him as a champion of freedom.
I am not asking any of you to be inspired by his eloquent words or his well thought out arguments.
I am not asking any of you to cheer at the passion with which he speaks.

I am asking you to recognize that he is the embodiment of the voice of dissent, without which there is little real proof that the freedom of speech, perhaps the most precious of our supposedly guaranteed rights, is still in place.

I am asking you to remember that dissent is one of the most powerful and profound of all the freedoms which form the foundation of the American ideal, and that without dissent we have no means to consensus and a government that is truly “of the people, for the people and by the people”.

I am asking you to be vigilant.

For the day that they silence this commentator and others like him will be the day that America is lost, the point of no return from which democracy will only be a memory.
From that point there will be no turning back.
Once democracy is lost America will have to fight another long and bloody revolution to even attempt to get it back.

I am reminded of Francis Scott Key, surveying the battle of Baltimore in 1814 with uncertainty from his perspective in the harbor, taking comfort in the light of the exploding shells overhead, reassuring him that the flag still flew proud over Fort McHenry, and that America was not yet lost.
For I now look out from the safety of my living room with uncertainty and take comfort in the light from my television and computer screens, as they broadcast to me the voice of dissent, reassuring me that our freedoms live on, and that America is not yet lost.

And so my fear is contained for now, and I hope for better days and a better America.

Thank you for reading this

And what of the Children?

I felt heaviness on my heart as I began my day, and my sweet dreams were replaced by the harsh reality of the world without.

As I sit here and try to work I cannot hide from the news unfolding before my eyes.
Five children murdered in Pennsylvania, all young girls, and for what?
Last week in Colorado, children taken hostage, sexually abused - one murdered
And a congressman from Florida, resigning because he has been caught preying upon young congressional pages - all young boys.

I know that children everywhere meet with tragedy every day - but sometimes I cannot shut out the horror and the pain that radiates outwards from their suffering.

The past few years I have felt the increasingly bittersweet feeling of freedom as my children outgrow their need for my parenting and become more and more independent.
It's hard in many ways to see them so grown up – but in some ways they will always be my little ones.

So I am up early this morning – getting my son off to his new job with a warm bagel in his hand and a kiss on the forehead, like it was his second day of school and he is five again.

You can't help this as a parent, it is instinct.

And as I relive these feelings, watching him drive off, the news is on – and it is oh so ugly.
Every disappointment he has ever faced – every skinned knee and lost dream came flooding back through my heart.
The time he punctured his eardrum, or when his new bicycle was stolen. The first time he had his heart broken…

All those tears I witnessed and endured over 22 years as I stood firmly by his side giving what comfort a father can give; suddenly fell upon my heart once again.

For a moment I am the parent of every child on earth, and the pain of the children is my pain, and it is more than I can endure without breaking down.
And so I did. I cried my heart out.

I feel guilty for being wrapped up in myself and not seeing the big picture – not loving myself enough, not appreciating how good I have things.

And so I will avoid the news for now – and thus I will recover
It's a beautiful day, the river awaits.