Monday, January 18, 2010

As My Heart Breaks

I've been consciously trying to avoid watching too much of the devastation in Haiti as every time I do I start to cry. Today I saw a clip of our soldiers giving water to kids that haven't eaten in days. The kids said a thank you that was absolutely believable. I am so struck by: 1) The contrast of these kids getting water and our kids who are so dissatisfied unless they have an iPhone with unlimited texting. and 2) How much of a better use of our might and money giving out water is than killing people in Afghanistan.
I'm watching the predictions that the Democrats might lose the senate race in Massachusetts. I must confess to a sense of gratitude about this. I hope she does lose. Not because I'm in favor of the Neanderthal that is running against her. But rather I hope it serves as a wake up call to the Obama administration. My very sad experience is that Obama has been only slightly better than "Bush light". He is indeed prettier and far more intelligent. He even knows how to speak the language. But in matters of real substance the Republican status quo prevails. There are now more Blackwater types in Afghanistan than in the Bush years. Wall Street firms have continued the same practices that brought about our devastation. Only now we're paying the bill while they get massive bonuses. The health care legislation is a bad joke that gives the major insurers 30 to 40 million more policies and forces people to buy them. The "financial reform" legislation is so watered down it is an insult. Democrats make really bad Republicans so I don't blame the people of Massachusetts for electing a real Republican. Obama promised us "transparency" in government. He promised us that the health care debate would be televised. While none of this happened it is becoming far more flagrant that it is the large corporations that are running the country.
I wonder what it will take to get the American people out of their comatose state. I still don't understand why people will vote against their own selfish best interests and exactly what it will take for us to stop the gross inequities in our system. It has been demonstrated that frogs will allow themselves to be cooked to death if the water is gradually heated around them. I wonder how bad it will have to get before us frogs begin to revolt.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gaia Housecleaning

I've just spent the last 8 days in Costa Rica. It is gorgeous and the people are quite friendly. They have a wonderful sense of humor and love to laugh. I will never cease to be amazed and reminded how much joy I experience in underdeveloped countries. Much of Costa Rica is geared towards eco-tourism. As I've gone through the rain and tropical forests my guides have pointed out the extraordinary ways that nature has of protecting itself. For example some trees have grown sharp edges to prevent animals from climbing them. Others grow poisonous leaves at the bottom to protect their foliage.

Our arrogance in the world causes us to think that we are somehow above the innate intelligence in the universe. We repeatedly make short sighted decisions without regard for the consequences. Global warming along with wasting so many natural resources are the obvious examples. Within every eco-system whenever an imbalance occurs, as for example, when one predator's population becomes too large and threatens the balance, another predator enters the scene and soon re-establishes the balance that is needed for long term survival. On a micro level the coming emergence of China and India may be the new predators that will put the United States back into a position of of one of the countries of the planet rather than the bully. I'm now starting to wonder about the macro level. The eco system of the earth will soon become threatened by over population and pollution. Our arrogance and ignorance causes us to think that it is only the "enlightened" among us that are concerned about "the solution". I'm starting to think that there are probably forces that we cannot even imagine that are already gearing up to take care of "the problem". For those of us who don't believe in life after death this might be a good time to begin thinking about getting a few extra charge cards and begin to max them out. For every one else, it might be a good idea to keep your spiritual passports up to date as we might soon be going on a trip.