opinion

I am puzzled about how life simply seems to go on while there are so many ongoing wars and wars within wars. I ask, “How do I go on with my daily life blinded to the manifestation of so much suffering…so much destruction of lives, hopes, dreams and procreation of anger, trauma, and rejected/negated refugees?” “Do I have an unconscious belief in an impenetrable barrier between those in unknown parts of world and I?” “Does identifying people as those and them serve to further eradicate them from humanity…to lessen a moral imperative?” “What kind of world would it be if humans were forced to silently pause during the duration of pounding missiles? or maybe…during frozen moments of time between bombings?”

multi-tasking: cell gazing while protesting

no war

“The US and Britain have been making war in the Middle East for 18 years without pause. The “conflicts of 9/11” must rank among the cruelest and most costly and senseless of the post-imperial age, says Simon Jenkins.

Unknowable thousands of civilians have died, and billions of pounds’ worth of property been destroyed. Christianity has been all but wiped out in the region, and some the finest cities in the ancient world have been bombed flat. No audit has been made of this. The opportunity cost must be unthinkable. What diseases might have been eradicated, what climate crisis relieved. “

cited: the guardian, 11/15/19

Caution Blind Corner

…If we don’t have journalism, we don’t have democracy. ~Barbie Zelizer, director of Penn’s Center for Media at Risk

The fabric of press freedom in the US has been frayed and weakened by political stigmatisation of journalists and cries of “fake news”, but it risks much greater, and more permanent, damage from other forces, including harassment, detention and criminalisation. (cited: The Guardian The biggest risk to American journalism isn’t posed by Trump)

Nikon D750….Caution Blind Corner

In the context of this new world order of dramatic political, social, and unparalleled technological change, the role of media has never been more important, and it’s also never been more dangerous…Foreign reporters in war zones, as well as domestic reporters and journalists like me in war zones of our own here at home, are facing angry people and the threats of violence.” (cited: Multichannel Don Lemon: Role of Journalists Vitally Important in Today’s Divisive Political Environment.)

Who Will Write Our History

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary. Written, produced and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, Who Will Write Our History mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon – the truth – and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.

in the shadow…homelessness

This abandoned house

shining

in the mountain village–

how many nights

has the autumn moon spent here?

~Ono no Komachi (J Hirshfield & M Aratani, The Ink Dark Moon)

streethomelessness
Lumix GX85   f/5.6   1/400 s   32 mm   200 ISO

Just a few words about today’s homelessness from the AP:

A homeless crisis of unprecedented proportions is rocking the West Coast, and its victims are being left behind by the very things that mark the region’s success: soaring housing costs, rock-bottom vacancy rates and a roaring economy that waits for no one. All along the coast, elected officials are scrambling for solutions.

“I’ve got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I’ve got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can’t afford housing,” said Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien.

cited:  Amid booming economy, homelessness soars on US west coast, Gillian Flaccus & Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press, Nov. 9, 2017

Homeless advocates and city officials say it’s outrageous that in the shadow of a booming tech economy – where young millionaires dine on $15 wood-grilled avocado and think nothing of paying $1,000 for an iPhone X – thousands of families can’t afford a home. Many of the homeless work regular jobs, in some cases serving the very people whose sky-high net worth is the reason housing has become unaffordable for so many.

cited: ‘We still need to eat’: Tech boom creates working homeless, Janie Har, Associated Press, November 8, 2017.

And in the shadow of homelessness, tax havens for the wealthy:

The fundamental lesson of the Panama and Paradise Papers is twofold. First, the people everywhere, regardless of whether they live in Russia or America, are being oppressed by the same minuscule social circle of wealthy elites who unduly control our governments, corporations, universities and culture.

We now know without a doubt – thanks to the incontrovertible evidence provided by the Panama and Paradise Papers – that there is a global plutocracy who employ the same handful of companies to hide their money and share more in common with each other than with the citizens of their countries. This sets the stage for a global social movement.

Second, and most importantly, these leaks indicate that our earth has bifurcated into two separate and unequal worlds: one inhabited by 200,000 ultra high-net-worth individuals and the other by the 7 billion left behind.

cited: Why aren’t the streets full of protest about the Paradise Papers?, Micah White, The Guardian, November 10, 2017.

and…continued denial of basic human needs over political and corporate greed

… over the past few weeks, several Republicans have indicated that the tax bill would boost the wealth of the already rich and ensure that their political donations keep flowing to help the GOP hold power in 2018.

“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), himself a millionaire,

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Thursday that a failure to pass tax reform would fracture the Republican Party and lead to more far-right wing primary challengers. “The financial contributions will stop,” he added.

cited: Republicans Admit that CEOs and Donors Really Need the Tax Cut Bill To Pass, Paul Blumenthal, HuffPost, November 9, 2017

How much money does one person really need?

In closing

Little is known about Ono no Komachi’s life, “and the stories about her are drawn from a blending of historic fact and suppositions drawn from her writings.  In The Dark Moon, Hirshfield and Aratani noted that historians believe she was the daughter of the lord of Dewa and served the court in the middle of the ninth century.  Legends, folktales, and songs paint her as the outstanding woman poet of her time and the most beautiful and desirable of woman.  Legend also tells us that towards the end of her life, she lived “in anonymity, isolation, and poverty, an ancient, half-mad hag living outside the city walls, though still writing poetry and possessing a deep understanding of Buddhist teachings.

Can we look at each other and recognize ourselves in each other?

This youtube video is drawn upon Thich Nhat Hanh’s poem Please Call Me By My True Names.