Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Our Burning World


On Sunday, I awakened, went to my living room, and thought: This looks like a funeral parlor.

Exhausted by bedtime, I’d removed the heavy red drapes, wooden rods, all the hardware, and I used one-woman ingenuity?placing a small rug under one side of a piece of heavy furniture to push, push, push to another area in the apartment. I almost felt like I’d given birth.

Got up Monday, took the bed out of the second bedroom, rolled up the rug, dragged it to another place, moved furniture to get to the rug in the family room and put it in the second bedroom. (Bet you thought I was going to tell you I got up on Monday and undid Sunday’s work.) Then, I loaded the Lesbaru and took stuff to a donation center.

My plan: to change my home environment. I want to make my living space a place of serenity, a haven from the craziness and violence of the world.

This is not escapism, advocating incuriosity and bowing to what our government wants each of us to do. Access Google News and take a look at “Top Stories”. Generally, these include the latest from American Idol, something about Justin Bieber or Lindsay Lohan, subjects we’ve been programmed incrementally to believe are important. What’s Bristol up to? Snookie?

Meanwhile, our world is burning.

Congress passed a bill Thursday to renew three provisions of the Patriot Act, continuing the erosion of our civil liberties under the guise of security.

Regardless of our protests, the corporate-owned mainstream media provide minimal coverage.

The wars wage on under the Nobel Peace Prize recipient who is using more drone power than George Bush and speaking similar platitudes about peace and the spread of democracy. The hypocrisy is stunning.

Again, regardless of our protests, our voices are unheard.

Bradley Manning remains imprisoned, informally charged with releasing documents with information that should scald the conscience. Among the revelations are the killing of civilians by U.S. forces, the truth of Guantanamo, the murder of journalists, and the nature of imperialism. For his bravery, Manning faces life in prison.

Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing Congress on Tuesday, used the term “painful compromises” multiples times. The Palestinians, though, have made the compromises in something ironically called The Peace Process. Injurious to our country, the Palestinians, and to Israel, Netanyahu’s goals are racist, yet Congress, orgasmic over this extremist, lined up like fans at a rock concert to show adulation, reaching out to touch him, his clothing. (Remember, power is the greatest aphrodisiac, according to war criminal Henry Kissinger, one who knows well its influence.)

The cooling system at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant has failed. Radioactive water still may be leaking into the Pacific. Barack Obama has just stated that harmful radiation isn’t expected to reach the United States. Where’s the concern for the people of Japan? Surely, this is a catastrophe worse than Chernobyl. Further from Obama: “Nuclear power should remain a part of the U.S. energy matrix.” Of course, the nuclear industry was/is a huge donor to the Barack Obama presidential campaign.

Again, our voices remain unacknowledged. Because the multinational corporations own our political system.

Recently, I spoke with a friend, someone who supported Obama and believed his message of hope and change. His disillusionment was palpable. His solution is to do what he can, individually and within his community, to be a positive force for peace and justice. I agree. And to accomplish this, I’ve started with the confines of my little environment, creating a place of tranquility where I can feel the balance needed to continue to work in opposition to war and a government descending to fascism.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Reach her at



Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 27, 2016
Paul Street
An Identity-Politicized Election and World Series Lakefront Liberals Can Love
Matthew Stevenson
Sex and the Presidential City
Jim Kavanagh
Tom Hayden’s Haunting
CJ Hopkins
The Pathologization of Dissent
Mike Merryman-Lotze
The Inherent Violence of Israel’s Gaza Blockade
Robert Fisk
Is Yemen Too Much for the World to Take?
Shamus Cooke
Stopping Hillary’s Coming War on Syria
Jan Oberg
Security Politics and the Closing of the Open Society
Ramzy Baroud
The War on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is Illegally Occupied
Colin Todhunter
Lower Yields and Agropoisons: What is the Point of GM Mustard in India?
Norman Pollack
The Election: Does It Matter Who Wins?
Nyla Ali Khan
The Political and Cultural Richness of Kashmiriyat
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“It’s Only a Car!”
October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases