Saturday, January 31, 2004

Well, I lied. Not a good way to start a blog about the truth. It's not getting any warmer in Calgary. It was supposed to be -2C last Friday and it wasn't even close at -28C. However, the news on Friday said it will get up to 2C by Tuesday. Now we're all going to stay in this -20C deep freeze all next week.

So why no quote today? I have lots of quotes from smarter people than I but the whole reason for a blog is kind of the whole pointlessness of it. Even the word- blog- sounds like a word to which no rules can be ascribed. I decided that I would do a short profile of a website; that is Project Censored. Their goal is to highlight the biggest news stories that you never heard. The program has been run from Sonoma State University since 1973. This is the link to their top 25 stories that never made the cut for the main stream news in 2002-2003. A very enlightening read. I just saw a reindeer and a polar bear fighting over a hot chocolate in the street in front of my house. It is very cold.

Friday, January 30, 2004

The cold is finally lifting from Calgary. I just arrived home from listening to a wonderful mezzo-soprano tonight. I was also fortunate to be accompanied by a very pleasant and interesting womyn who first told me about the performance. So now, sitting in front of my computer, being warmed by my branded Starbucks/Nike/Google spaceheater I will again bring out the convention of a quote to spur the conversation. This time from Dr. Martin Luther King:

"My third reason [for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision] moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent." -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967

I have immense respect for Dr. King because he was out-right and completely non-violent, just like myself. Some think that non-violence is only for the weak. But the way he was harassed showed that he was what can only be characterized as a powerful man. He was not perfect but he probably would have been the first to admit it. The ultimate weakness of violence, this is, why violence never does solve anything, is that violence leads only to more violence. The most pressing and explicate example of this viscous cycle today is the Israel vs. Palestine conflict. There are counter arguments, at the deepest level mostly that destruction must always precede creation and that violence is inherent in nature. I must go from my gut and say I truly do not feel this way. Why must I blindly be lead by an academic? I have the view that humans create there own future and that the world is what we make it (Hegel's Philosophy of History studies this phenomenon). However deeper probing into this augment must be quitted for another day.

Some readers may be struck by how true the quote sounds even today. Has nothing changed from when Martin Luther King was shot? This is troubling but I am not discouraged. Noam Chomsky was asked what steps the USA should take to reduce global terrorism. He simply replied that the USA should stop taking part in terrorism and that this step in itself would reduce terrorism (examples of state sponsered terrorism by the USA since WWII are too numerous to state here). Why should the Vietnamese, or truly my generation's Vietnam: Iraq, want democracy when we are bombing and terrorizing them, or futhermore when we can't even promise that we've perfected democracy (or capitalism?). I want to reach further than my grasp.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I though this quote from Noam Chomsky was very enlightening and a good jump off point for today. The man is clearly ahead of his time. He voices his fears of America being a fascist state. And while many would concede that 2004's America does fall squarely in the category of a fascist rouge state(Ill try to find a source for this), what is ground breaking about Mr. Chomsky is he was revealing this as early as 1969.

"No less insidious is the cry for 'revolution,' at a time when not even the germs of new institutions exist, let alone the moral and political consciousness that could lead to a basic modification of social life. If there will be a 'revolution' in America today, it will no doubt be a move towards some variety of fascism. We must guard against the kind of revolutionary rhetoric that would have had Karl Marx burn down the British Museum because it was merely part of a repressive society. It would be criminal to overlook the serious flaws and inadequacies in our institutions, or to fail to utilize the substantial degree of freedom that most of us enjoy, within the framework of these flawed institutions, to modify them or even replace them by a better social order. One who pays some attention to history will not be surprised if those who cry most loudly that we must smash and destroy are later found among the administrators of some new system of repression." Source: Introduction to American Power and the New Mandarins(1969), pp. 17-18

Why is it important for a Canadian to worry so much about the USA. While, simple put, they have amassed the largest, most violent, military in the history of man kind and so I feel it is in everyone's best interest to watch this superpower. I watch the movements of this dragon because I am not distracted but the glitz of TVs or the glam of movies nor the scandals of celebrity. I know of many others that feel this way and want change. So stay tuned to this blog for examples of real democracy. The Revolution will not be Televised.