Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Yes, the World is getting ickier.

Hi, folks. Not feeling like ranting about anything at the moment; it's pretty much all been ranted before.  I'm more interested in trying to share insights that might, just maybe, be useful in the years ahead.

I think the "world", in any and all of the senses of that word, has never been so unstable as it is right now.

Politically, socially, economically, and environmentally, we are at the edge of the cliff; and not moving away from the drop.  Rather we seem to be heading off the edge; faster and faster.

What to do- is a vast and variable conversation.  But one thing seems clear to me- you need to see what is going on with open eyes; and a mind well acquainted with History.  Politically, socially - we have been here before.

I'll give just one example that hit me today.  Japan has announced it will "form new bodies" to deal with "terrorism".  Below is their statement; and then my "in actuality" translation.


"Japan's government has launched bodies to counter international terrorism in the wake of last month's Paris attacks.

"A ceremony was held at the prime minister's office on Tuesday to open an intelligence unit in the Foreign Ministry and an inter-ministerial liaison body in the Cabinet secretariat.

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said strengthening intelligence gathering capabilities is urgent. He encouraged staff whom he called professionals in international terrorism-related intelligence to do their best to obtain vital information.

"The Foreign Ministry unit consists of 4 senior officials, each monitoring one of 4 regions -- Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and North and West Africa. They are to work with staff at overseas diplomatic establishments and exchange information with foreign intelligence services.

"The liaison body, headed by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita, consists of senior officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the National Police Agency and the Public Security Intelligence Agency.

"It is to consider anti-terror measures under the leadership of the prime minister's office."


So.  The message for public consumption is "We are working hard to make your life safer; because you should be afraid of the world now."

The reality of what is going on could be put this way: "Wow, guys, we've got a blank check to set up all the Secret Police we ever dreamed of; with no oversight by anyone, ever!  So; here is where we start! Our political opponents are so totally toast!"

Japan is not the only place this is happening right this second.  Historically; this kind of police action has resulted only in abuse, the destruction of political opponents and personal enemies, and long bouts of hell on earth.  Increased security for the common people - simply never happens this way.

What can we do?  Personally.

Should we vote?  Yes, because it CAN get much worse, much faster, if you don't.  Engage.  Get others engaged, too.  Although voting procedures are often corrupt around the world; we have multiple proofs that voting can still sometimes result in surprises - e.g. Greece and Myanmar most recently.  It's a mystery how the people sometimes prevail - but - sometimes we do.

It's worth a shot.  Because just staying out of it - historically - means losing for sure, every time.

Hang in there.  And if you've been thinking about making changes in your life- do it.  Now.

1 comment:

shadowfoot said...

Yes, we're making changes - not as fast as we'd like, but they're happening. Greenhouse foundation should be happening this spring, as well as solar panels. Both were supposed to happen this summer/fall, but health issues for my mother-in-law were a major factor (foundation being put in by brother-in-law, who was one of the people checking in on her in the hospital), and the consultant we had for solar "checked out" without letting his bosses know he was essentially out to lunch. And my mother died in November. So, it's been a year.

But - got diagnosed with sleep apnea and have been working on learning to live with a CPAP (what I need to do changes with the weather). Oxygen is good!

We're also going to get cabinetry that we can affix to two of the dining room's outside walls, both for more/better storage and to add some insulation to the house. We're lucky that we can finally do these things; it's been tough the past few years.

We couldn't have done the solar except that our town banded together with two other towns for a program where if we could get enough people we could get a company that would give better financing options; should be paid off in a few years. People in our little town continue to work to build relationships and partnerships, and keep our little volunteer programs going (seed swap, clothing swap, helping people stay warm in the winter, etc.). We know we can't wait on the government for a lot of things, so we figure out our own way to get it done.

And many more towns are banding together against a useless pipeline (for fracked LNG) -- that's on going thing, which we think is starting to go in our favor but the battle isn't over by a long shot.

But we're only a small area of the whole world. I don't know how much impact what we do will have on environmental issues. I'm thinking about how to make enough space in the basement for a work space, so we can cut down on using A/C (I have asthma and we both really need it some days). Will it make that much of a difference? How many people can I inspire to try to do the same? Will it be enough?

We'll keep trying.

Best wishes to you and yours.

Heather G