21 December 2012

Solstice Message

As the sun was rising in the east we heard the swoosh of large wings, 7 beats and then silence, 7 beats and then silence, 7 beats...we watched as three crows flapped in unison, flying in formation...the sounds as those of one set of wings...the silence was when their formation crossed, their pattern was that of a figure 8, infinity...

We came in to read this:

"Crow is an omen of change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time. The Ancient Chiefs tell us that Crow sees simultaneously the three fates---past, present, future. Crow merges light and darkness, seeing both inner and outer reality...Remember that Crow looks at the world with first one eye, and then the other. Cross-eyed. In the Mayan culture, cross-eyeds had the privilege and duty of looking into the future. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and "caw" the shots as you see them."

Happy Solstice, Yule Tidings to all.

To us it seems like the beginning of a New Year.

17 December 2012


‎"Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building
collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his

'Did we just kill a kid?' he asked the man sitting next to him.

'Yeah, I guess that was a kid,' the pilot replied.

'Was that a kid?' they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

Then, someone they didn't know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. 'No. That was a dog,' the person wrote.

They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?"

A surreal article about life as a drone operator in a war that is being waged more and more like a video game.
My story:
As a liaison responsible for clearing areas for fire in VietNam I constantly heard chopper pilots call requests for "3 military aged males with packs and weapons evading, request permission to engage"...too pat...after months of war and witnessing carnage it finally 'grabbed me' the wrong way...I asked, "What's your altitude"...When the pilot responded with 2000 feet (or maybe it was even higher) I asked him to check it out further and get back to me with a better ID...he radioed back "Disregard previous request"...I asked the nature of the target...he said it was a mamasan and two babysans by a river doing laundry...my heart exploded...my mind exploded...how many times had I given clearance to engage military aged males with packs and weapons who were children and mothers carrying laundry to the river, carrying rice back from the fields...it changed my life...and the rest of my tour I changed what was happening in my area...some appreciated it...some hated me for it.

I still awaken to the sounds of my own screams...in a cold sweat.

16 December 2012

This goes much deeper than 'gun control'...

We need a "disarmament" of our souls...of the soul of this nation and all others. An end to violence of all forms, extraction industries, species decimation, acidification of the oceans, monocultures of GMOs, an endless litany of our violent 'humanity'...

...from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away...

... We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

(thanks Leonard)

15 December 2012

Our Culture of Fear, War and Division

 Twenty-two children were stabbed in a violent knife attack by a man in China. The difference is no child was killed in the knife attack. This isn't a gun control issue in the 'strictest' sense. It is a culture of violence and divisiveness we have here in the US. There is not necessarily a correlation between gun ownership and gun violence. Switzerland has 44 weapons per 100 citizens...with few acts of gun violence. There is a culture of numbness in this country. Would we be mourning and weeping the loss of the 20 children who were killed by a drone attack in Pakistan? What about the troop in Afghanistan who went berserk and snuck away in the night from his base to murder the children, women and old men in the small village near the base? Yes, it gets media attention...for a moment. But we do not mourn, not as a nation. We do not become fixated. Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control measures in the nation...yet that did not stop this violence. I suspect that our culture is to blame...the culture of violent video games...the culture of testosterone filled movies and competition aimed at and for children and adolescent mentalities...the culture of bullying and power over others in all aspects of our political and 'civil' discourse.... This is all so complicated that we cannot discuss it as one singular issue.

We live in a constant state of fear and 'war for peace'...we militarize and weaponize the world...we mourn our losses and yet so many peoples suffer losses because of our actions.

An example...from personal experience. I mourn the loss of the 58,000 US KIAs in our war in VietNam, we built a wall to remember...but I have nightmares and never forget the 3 to 5 million people we killed in SE Asia...there is also a wall we put up, collectively, to conveniently ignore those losses.

"Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die."

Teach your children well...and make good decisions for them and for yourselves. Teach by doing. The best political statement you or I can make is how we live our lives

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