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Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 09:41 AM
Number of posts: 6,818

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On Staying Sane in a Suicidal Culture

It was February 2005, and after several months of front-line reporting from Iraq, I'd returned to the US a human time bomb of rage, my temper ticking shorter each day.

Walking through morgues in Baghdad left scenes in my mind I remember even now. I can still smell the decaying bodies as I type this, nearly a decade later. Watching young Iraqi children bleed to death on operating tables after they had been shot by US military snipers has left an equally deep and lasting imprint.

My rage towards those responsible in the Bush administration bled outwards to engulf all of those participating in the military and anyone who supported the ongoing atrocity that was the US occupation of Iraq. My solution was to fantasize about hanging all of the aforementioned from the nearest group of light poles.


In one of her books, Macy addresses, precisely, how the corporate consumer culture we live in works to propagate the message that everything is fine: "Even if we have inklings of apocalypse, the American trance functions to discourage our feelings of despair and, if they persist, to reduce them to personal pathologies. Though we may respect our own cognitive reading of the signs, the spell we are under often leads us to imagine that it is we, not the society, who are going insane."


This article is old--published in June of last year--but still relevant. In fact, it's ever more relevant, considering the pernicious ennui that keeps most of us frozen in denial. Written by Dahr Jamail, the article is a paean to Joanna Macy--eco-philosopher and scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory and deep ecology--whose anti-nuke activism is legendary; and an acknowledgement of the futility of "saving the planet" from our species' relentless and rapacious greed.

For the rest of this essential article, go here.

For those of you who are still unclear,

or prone to respond dismissively or derisively about sexism and harassment:

Why do I still see OPs that are posted by individuals on my IL?

Not that I read them, but is there any way to expand the IL option so that those individuals' posts are also hidden?

Alana Massey: Taking Christ out of Christianity

Alanna Massey writes:

When I tell my socially progressive, atheist friends that I’m “culturally Christian,” they’re momentarily concerned that I have a latent preoccupation with guns and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Using the term with devout believers gets me instructions that I just need to read more sophisticated theology to come around. I’ve tried hard to accept my fully secular identity, and at other times I’ve tried to read myself into theistic belief, going all the way through divinity school as part of the effort. Still, I remain unable to will myself into any belief in God or gods — but also unable to abandon my relationship to the Episcopalian faith into which I was born and to the ancient stories from which it came.

Although I am without a god, I am not alone.


I have not heard the term "culturally Christian," but I recognize the pull of thousands of years of history and tradition. This, I think, is why my adjurations are laced with "oh, God!"s and "Jesus H. Christ on a Cracker!" (I still don't know whence came that one...), and why it is certain isolation for me when I acknowledge that I do not believe there exists some jealous, vindictive, old, white guy in flowing robes holding forth in the heavens and watching (judging) our every move. (Actually, I count among my friends quite a number of "non-believers" whose honesty about their atheism gives me the courage to be more "out" with my own.)

I think the insistence that we are all born in sin was the first chasm I chose not to span. There have been others, but this is the most salient from my childhood. Now, with nieces and nephews who cling vociferously to their own versions of christianity--as well as a few who are creeping towards their own versions of atheism--I am reminded of my own journey away from the pervasive and persuasive minions of the fear-based fallacies of religious mythologies.

Like Ms. Massey, I miss the sense of community and support I found in the one church I attended for a wee time. However, I am finding my own sense of community and support with my fellow atheists. This new-found community with kindred spirits is proving far more enriching and intriguing.

I remain hopeful that our younglings will continue--in ever increasing numbers--to relegate fear-based mythologies to the dust bins of history, even as I recognize that our imminent extinction event will likely render such intellectual freedom moot. If you are interested in reading the rest of this article, you can find it here.

Being gay is not “a behavior”

From Salon, an article written by Mary Elizabeth Williams:

These must be very troubling and frustrating times for you, homophobes. A majority of Americans now support marriage equality, and face it, if it’s not fully recognized where you live yet, it will be and soon. A majority of us also support gay political candidates, and we seem to be able to watch gay people on television and movies and listen to them as we drive around in post breakup sadness without the fabric of society crumbling — probably because if you look across the population, it’s composed entirely of people who either are LGBT or who know someone who is. And yet, bless your tenacious, confused, chilly little hearts, some of you still don’t get it. And you just cannot stop talking about it.

Well worth the read, except for the aforementioned homophobes...

What BP and TEPCO Don't Want You to Know

The Tragic Consequences: BP Five Years Later...

On my way home from the market, I happened to tune in to an interview on a PROGRAM that airs on our NPR station called Making Contact. The topic of discussion was titled BP Five Years Later: Deepwater Horizon and the Cost of Oil...

Journalists, scientists and residents were interviewed about how BP’s Deep Horizon, (“Deep” is a reference to offshore deepwater drilling) that exploded into raging flames on April 20th 2010, the largest and most devastating oil catastrophe in HISTORY, created a crisis of Biblical proportions. Beneath the Gulf’s seafloor is one of the most dangerous places to drill. BP has done more to establish that fact than any other oil company.

The blowout literally transformed an ocean that was teeming with life into a toxic, dead zone. BP is not the only oil company to blame. The oil industry, with the help of their paid-off political officials, has committed egregious crimes of pollution, and irreparable damage with their oil pipes and spills to rich habitats, pelican and turtle sanctuaries, marshes, wetlands and coastal ecosystems since the 1930s. But BP’s blowout was by far the last deadly nail to the Gulf’s coffin.


A Perpetual Crisis: Fukushima Four Years Later…

Meanwhile, off the Pacific coast, a strange phenomenon is occurring that I wrote about in my last Buzzflash-Truthout commentary. Scientists are mystified by the growing warm water called the “blob” that has radically altered the jet-stream, resulting in erratic weather patterns that could explain why Californians are facing the worst drought in HISTORY.

The obvious question that has been completely omitted from the research and reports is: Could the tons of radioactive water that TEPCO has been releasing into the Pacific Ocean since 2011 be the primary reason why this so-called mysterious “blob” was recently formed?

What I find astonishing is that there were three, possibly four, nuclear cataclysmic meltdowns that happened after Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami, and we’re all supposed to pretend that it’s over, no big deal. Just as corporate network weather REPORTERS never talk about climate change in relation to extreme weather disasters, so too, no one remembers the terrifying fear about relying on nuclear power for energy.

For the rest of this provocative editorial by JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT, go here.

Pumps at Fukushima plant halted, toxic water leaking into ocean - TEPCO

Source: RT

All the eight water transfer pumps at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power station have been shut down due to a power outage, leading to a leak of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the plant’s operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) REPORTED a power outage on Tuesday, according to Kyodo news agency. It follows the line of the toxic leaks that were reported in February, when at one point around 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one the plant’s tanks.

The February report prompted TEPCO to launch a pumping process at the site; this began just last Friday. The pumps were CONFIRMED to be working Monday afternoon, but at 8:45am on Tuesday they were found stopped.

The incident and the amount of water already leaked are being CHECKED, according to the company. The pumps are used to transfer tainted water from a drainage channel to a channel that leads to an artificial bay in front of the station, enclosed by a fence.

Read more: http://rt.com/news/251637-fukushima-plant-toxic-water/

This report coincides with a report of an emergency shutdown of West Coast Fisheries, citing a catastrophic decline of 91% in sardine populations.

Sardines, like honey bees, don’t seem important to the casual observer. But just like honey bees, which are experiencing their own colony collapse, they are critical to the propagation of the global food chain. The immediate effects can be seen on the creatures next in line...

Bank of America tries to seize widow's home while forgetting to mention that her loan was insured

Laura Coleman Biggs and her experience with Bank of America is absolutely criminal. When her husband George Mitchell passed away, 12 years ago this month, Ms. Biggs CONTINUED paying off her mortgage.

George “Kenny” Mitchell had taken out a SPECIAL lender-pushed insurance policy to pay off most of his loan if he died.
But when he passed away on April 26, 2003, the subsidiary of Charlotte-based Bank of America did not ARRANGE a payoff of the $100,000 policy and CONTINUED to charge his widow an insurance premium every month along with her mortgage payment.

Pretty bad. But the story is even worse than you ALREADY know it is. See, the only reason Ms. Biggs even found out that BOA had royally screwed her was a mixture of desperation, luck and a pro bono lawyer.

If anyone needs further proof of the unfettered hedonism of BoA, read the entire article posted on DailyKos here.

Victims of Fukushima

A large group of dolphins stranded near the Fukushima Prefecture have died. Scientists have determined that the dolphins died of radiation poisoning.

Fukushima Diary, Apr 12, 2015: According to National Science Museum, most of the inspected 17 dolphins had their lungs in ischaemia state… The chief of the researching team stated “Most of the lungs looked entirely white”… internal organs were generally clean without any symptoms of disease or infection, but most of the lungs were in ischaemia state. She said “I have never seen such a state”.

For more information, go here.

Fellow Liberals, Please Stop Claiming Jesus Accepts LGBT People

From the article, a useful passage:

The next time someone tells you that the Bible condemns your entire EXISTENCE, consider responding: "You're right. And I, along with millions of OPEN and affirming people across this great country, do not care. You shouldn't either."

For the entire article, go here.
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