Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel kills humanitarian aide workers in international waters

Soldiers move wounded people from ships trying to reach Gaza,
that were stormed by Israeli forces. Photograph: Roni Schutzer/EPA

A flotilla of aid en route to Gaza was attacked by the Israeli Defense Force early this a.m., with 19 fatalities reported by some sources. At least 10 activists are reported dead, and dozens injured.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon stated in a press conference that the flotilla was delivering weapons to Gaza, specifically to Hamas. He accused the organizers of the flotilla of committing a "premeditated and outrageous provocation." He described them as being "well known for their ties to global jihad, Al Queda, and Hamas." Further, he said that "On board we found deadly weapons, prepared and used against the [Israeli Defense] Forces."

Now, was that before or after the IDF came out of the sky by helicopter and shot up the activists, who were still in international waters? From the news reports I've seen, here was no time for the IDF to ascertain whether or not there were weapons on board - so spare us the "practice nonviolence" rhetoric.

The purpose of the flotilla was to deliver humanitarian aid like water purification systems, and reconstruction supplies like cement.

Yes, the flotilla was meant to mitigate the illegal blockade of Gaza, the stranglehold of oppression that Israel maintains with tacit and overt approval from the United States. Although there is worldwide outrage over the incident, Israel will get away with a light slap on the wrist from the U.S., who supplies loads of weapons and money to Israel, for this brutal act to keep Palestine under siege.


Guardian UK


Al Jazeera

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not giving up

Tourism trade impacted.

Collapse of fishing industry.

Environmental disaster.

Extinction level event.

I'm no more optimistic now than when I wrote my blog entry on May 2 that the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has a solution, or that it ain't as bad as we all thought. From all the chatter I heard on KBOO and NPR this week, it is precisely as bad as I read and imagined, and then some.

The difference is that now I feeling less "sucker-punched" than I was, and I am not ready to give up on all efforts and hope to fight for Earth.

Friends Tyler and Karly and Ink all recently visited our family. It was a pleasure to see them and to touch base with these like-minded individuals. In an email to me about my feelings of despair and of wanting to give up, Tyler's words were helpful in restoring the strength to keep speaking up for our planet. He said, in part,

"I am just one red blood cell in a body so large I can't even understand the way the whole thing works, but I will continue to serve the larger body until I'm suffocated or dried up by the shutting down of the body's pump. As long as I am still able to take in food and oxygen this community of life is not so dead that it can't provide for my needs and I am not so dead that I can't do my best to provide for the needs of the community of life which is still alive enough to feed me what I need to survive.

When I can no longer breathe the air, that is when I will know it's too late. Until then, even if the majority of the Earth turns to moonscape I will cling to and fight for my little corner of the community of life in hopes of preserving it and encouraging her spread."

As long as we have breath to draw, fight for life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First hand account of GOM disaster on LATOC

If you haven't clued in to the Life After the Oil Crash Forum, you should do so right now. Warning: If you want to continue to "hope" for the survival of industrial civilization, don't go there.

On the LATOC forum today, there is a first hand report from a medic who was aboard a ship skimming up some of the oil. He posted photos, including this one, with the caption, "A bird, covered in oil on the lower half, showed up on the second day to take a moment of respite on the deck. It would later die."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Self-Indulgent Post

When I lose perspective sometimes I check in with all that is to find direction again.

Last night I read my cards (Motherpeace). Never before have I had all major arcana cards, but last night I drew the Fool (past), the High Priestess, reversed (present), the Star (future), and a Wheel of Fortune to clarify outcome. The reading offered some assurance that I'm on the right path.

A dream last night helped, too. I was visiting a wonderful old woman who lived in a stone house with stairs. She was under threat to be moved. When you looked out her window, you could see Multnomah falls. It was such a beautiful place. I felt sorry for her, but she told me she was fine, and that her house was worth millions of dollars, and no one could move her.

The end.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Requiem for Mother Earth

For the past two weeks I've lived under an oppressive cloud of depression.

This depression was triggered by unhappy circumstances in my personal life. The depression oozes on and over everything I see. It is an anesthetic to feeling anger, joy, pain. And so it serves a purpose. Yet, two weeks is a long time for me to not find coping mechanisms to renew my enthusiasm for living.

As a hospice nurse, I considered that the deaths of four of my patients inside a week's time might have taken a toll on my psyche. I understand the reality of the terminal status of my patients from day one when I meet them, yet I grow attached to them before they die. They teach me about the impermanence of our lives, even if we live to 105 years like one patient whose hand I held as she died.

Then I heard that April 2010 has gone on record for Portland, OR as having had the most days with rain ever. This I interpreted as more evidence of global climate change. No doubt, this contributed to my persistent downcast mood.

Yesterday, I considered another possible factor in this depression. I was shopping at a place on Alberta St. that sells "hippie" clothes, pipes, essential oils, and so on. On the counter was a basket of buttons. The one that caught my eye had some Indian images and the slogan "Honor Mother Earth." Right up my alley, and I considered buying it. But, as I held it in my hand, I looked up at the young woman behind the counter and asked her, "Do you think it's too late, with the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico?" She looked at the button, and as somberly as I tell someone her mother has died, she nodded and said, "I think it might be too late."

I think it might be too late.

I think it might be too late.


Having received this terminal diagnosis, the stages of grief have begun to wash over me in rapid sequence, wave upon filthy wave:

Denial: No! "They" can fix this. It's not as bad as "they" are saying.

Anger: Damn the greedy corporations! I would like to shoot every CEO in the head and turn off the oil supply!

Bargaining: If we can just stop this one disaster this time, I promise to stop driving a car or using anything oil-based. We'll band together and demand that our Earth stop being exploited. Everyone will find other ways to live, without demanding oil. Please?

Depression: See above.

Acceptance: This is it. The oceans are completely ruined. Life on earth as we know it is over.

"And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." No longer will we need to belabor the point of whether or not we humans have the capacity to ruin all the ecosystems on earth. We do.

Life as we know it is over with the disaster of British Petroleum's exploded oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The well was under 5000 feet of water. The pressure from tapping into a "reserve" (notice the language of exploitation - it's a "reserve", just waiting for humans to use it) between 18,000 and 30,000 feet below the surface of the earth caused the safety valves to fail. Now we have, by some estimates, 200,000 gallons of oil flowing in to the water every day.

The oil is being picked up the the Gulf Stream, and is moving around Florida.

Can you see the implications?

Here are some sites with enough details to satisfy a mind demanding facts, and not just the ranting of a depressed, middle-aged woman.

"Size of Spill in Gulf of Mexico Is Larger than Thought" New York Times, April 28, 2010

"Gulf oil spill could eventually foul South Florida beaches" Miami-Dade Breaking News, May 2, 2010

"UF Expert: Spill may spread to east coast" The Gainesville Sun, May 1, 2010

"Oil spill approaches Louisiana coast" The Boston Globe, April 30, 2010

"It's Worse Than You Think" Daily Kos, May 2, 2010
(Disclaimer: I don't recognize Daily Kos as a news source per se)

The oil making its way around Florida
Can't remember from where I lifted this phot0