The US Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake this morning with its epicenter near Wasilla, Alaska, the probable result of Sarah Palin opening her mail box to find the latest issue of CounterPunch magazine we sent her. A few moments later she Instagrammed this startling comment…
The lunatic Right certainly has plenty of problems. We’ve made it our business to not only expose these absurdities, but to challenge them directly. With another election cycle gaining steam, more rhetoric and vitriol will be directed at progressive issues. More hatred will be spewed at minorities, women, gays and the poor. There will be calls for more fracking and war. We won’t back down like the Democrats. We’ll continue to publish fact-based critiques and investigative reports on the shenanigans and evil of the Radical Right. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.
Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Wake the Grandma Fletcher Up
Hello, Earthlings. Because I’m inclusive, tolerant, I nod acceptance to all among the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z, whatever, whomever, and I shout out,“Kumbaya”, despite its bad rap. We are the world.
I’m extremely anxious and agitated though, worried about the future of this world that we are. Some say we’re at a pivotal moment, even past. Earth is rattling death.
The fever blister on the right side of my upper lip feels as if I’ve been kissed by a hot frying pan, smoldering validation of my distress. The small tube of Zovirax was obscenely expensive, despite the costly prescription plan.
I’m encouraged however that aid organizations insist Typhoon Haiyan is a wake-up call, that Filipino negotiator Naderev “Yeb” Saño pledged a hunger strike to draw attention to climate change, and that more and more of you are calling for action to reverse energy policies that are leading to our planet’s extinction.
Now, I’m going to detour: I’ve been considering signs lately. My private/personal signs are lowercase and not far-reaching. I hear a whisper, my conscience offering advice but instead of listening, I do something else, like open the door to a stray, a mistake for which I pay painfully—fever blisters/gastritis. Okay, then there are SIGNS, the uppercase, different in magnitude, often having catastrophic consequences and affecting wider swaths—land and life. Along comes the gastritis and familiar tingling that intro’s a fever blister.
There’s yet another category, from the lost and found: I was running, spotted something on the asphalt, and scooped it up. A pendant—Christ on a cross. I clutched it tightly and then gave it more room, caressing it with my thumb. Initially, I thought, sign. Then, bauble, sign, bauble, sign. Finally, not really a sign—an un-sign. I slowed to examine the extended arms, the lowered head. I imagined suffering, sacrifice, salvation. This contemplation led to questions about our purpose here, my purpose. Then, selfishness assaulted. “Hmm, is this real gold? Is this 14K or maybe even 18K?” That’s when I knew I had to give it away, that I could not take it home and magnify its hallmark. Musty memories of Baptist guilt panted at my back. I looked for the man who smiles at me, the one to whom I flash my fingers in peace. Usually, he’s leaning against a wall in the area that reminds me of the East Village. Saw him and handed the gold deity to him. “Thank you,” he said, taking it.
Okay, back to SIGNS. They should be wake-up calls. No, they should be wake-the-Grandma-Fletcher-up screams.
These monster storms are SIGNS.
That cataclysmic typhoon is a humanitarian crisis. A million children are homeless, emotionally scarred. An estimated four million people have been displaced. The exact death toll may never be known.
On November 19th, the Italian government declared a state of emergency in Sardinia after a cyclone struck. In just a 24-hour period, more than a year’s rainfall swamped the island.
Those who repudiate the science that supports global warming can’t deny the reality of rising sea levels. And rising sea levels translate to more flooding when superstorms strike.
The gods must be very angry. And they aren’t sparing America. Maybe they haven’t heard about American exceptionalism. Maybe they don’t care. I mean, calamities aren’t just occurring in the Philippines, and Haiti, those less exceptional places. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy wreaked havoc in the USA. And on Sunday, November 17th, 81 tornados were sighted across the Midwest.
So, Earthlings, what say those of you who haven’t been affected yet? Look at the numbers among our species who have. Millions are traumatized, hungry, thirsty, without access to food, water, medicine, shelter. They are you—possibly in the not so distant future, when there may be nothing to eat, nothing sanitary to drink, no electricity, gas, anything. No aid. Nothing.
Missy Comley 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 Baltimore. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.