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Showing posts from March, 2013

Reflections on Beauty

Definitions of beauty have changed from the time of the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses, to the worship of a single male God, to today where we are confronted daily with images of feminine and masculine ideals urging us to improve ourselves.
However there are notions of beauty from deeper reflections by poets and philosophers.
Confucius says  “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  This implies that beauty is larger, more inclusive than the outline of a woman’s shape, that it is everywhere, in everything, and it is up to us to see it.  So if I call someone “ugly” does it reveal more about myself than the one I observe?
If Confucius were alive today, and could see the messages that come from the beauty industry what would he think?  
I remember many years ago, working in an office where a young man repeatedly put down women.  “She’s got a face like a dog” he would say as though a woman’s worth was contained in the shape of her eyes, nose and mouth.  Every time he opened hi…

Let Them Eat Guns: a glimpse of the future

How many people have been killed in the US by guns since Newtown? At the point of writing this post: 2, 519.  What does this mean in terms of years or decades into the future?

The proliferation of guns is only one part of the main story here. Really it tells of social despair and nihilism.

When "let them eat cake" was attributed to Marie Antoinette  it remained as an example of contempt for the public, the majority of whom were poor. Although there is no proof that Marie said those words, it reveals the power of words, of what they represent to the people. It reveals an attitude among the  ruling elite that sees commoners as a nuisance, like mice, rats or rabbits.  Something to trap and get rid of or turn into a resource, like factory workers or rabbit stew.

Since the 1700's we have survived cultures who taught that everyone who was not white, not male, not protestant, not rich - as the other, the enemy, the stranger.  Perhaps at one time violence was just violence but …

Nanaimo-Cowichan MP responds to UVA Letter

Dear Ms. Vickers,
Thank you for copying me on your letter to Stephen Harper about the proposed purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles (UVA) for the Canadian Forces.
New Democrats agree that this possibility raises concerns about unsolicited military spending. Like you, I feel these funds could be better directed at issues such as health care, the environment, and the development of social programs for all Canadians.
The government has currently dismissed the possibility of purchasing UVAs, New Democrats will continue to monitor the situation. As always, the NDP remains committed to the responsible use of public funds for the benefit of Canadians and will continue to hold the current government accountable for their actions, as we did in the case of the F-35 stealth fighter jets.
Again, thank you for taking the time to voice your concern in this important matter.
Sincerely, Jean Crowder, MP Nanaimo-Cowichan

Ceasefire and me: No Attack Drones

Subject: No Attack Drones [267]Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I do not support your government's plans to purchase armed drones for the Canadian Forces.

Instead, I urge you to cut wasteful military spending and use our tax dollars to support social programs, protect the environment, improve our health care and assist the world’s poorest people.

M. le premier ministre Harper,

Je n'appuie pas le projet de votre government d'acheter des drones armés pour les Forces canadiennes.

Au lieu, je vous demande de mettre fin au gaspillage de ressources à des fins militaires. Utilisez plutôt l'argent de nos impôts pour protéger nos programmes sociaux, préserver l'environnement, améliorer nos services de santé et venir en aide aux plus démunis de la planète.

Salutations sincères | Sincerely

Janet Vickers
CanadaThis email was sent by the signer through
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Crises in Power

When organizations, institutions, nations and global corporations have destroyed the means of democratic power that comes of thoughtful, intelligent cooperation among people, "Power" becomes a dirty word, and humanity appears only to be little more than vermin.

Murray Dobbins has illustrated in his post "The Tyrant's Poison Pill: the suppression of civil society" the way violence harms whole societies. But also, I suspect this mass violence permanently damages our capacity to survive by creating a new species incapable of nurturing life.

We live in a time of global, political, social and religious dysfunction. The age of pathology where  structure demands its members compete for power in the arena of zero sum games.  Politicians, CEO's, corporate representatives must, by default, divest themselves of anything civil and decent in order to play the game - where egos are isolated, alone, enemies among enemies, looking over their shoulder, in mistrust.

We are …