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 missybeat@gmail.com.



More articles by:

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: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes
John W. Whitehead
Say No to “Hardening” the Schools with Zero Tolerance Policies and Gun-Toting Cops
Edward Hunt
UN: US Attack On Syrian Civilians Violated International Law
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Outside History
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Long Hard Road
Victor Grossman
Germany: New Faces, Old Policies
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion
Binoy Kampmark
Amazon’s Initiative: Digital Assistants, Home Surveillance and Data
Chuck Collins
Business Leaders Agree: Inequality Hurts The Bottom Line
Jill Richardson
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Free Trade”
Eric Lerner – Jay Arena
A Spark to a Wider Fire: Movement Against Immigrant Detention in New Jersey
Negin Owliaei
Teachers Deserve a Raise: Here’s How to Fund It
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
What to Do at the End of the World? Interview with Climate Crisis Activist, Kevin Hester
Kevin Proescholdt
Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke Attacks America’s Wilderness
Franklin Lamb
Syrian War Crimes Tribunals Around the Corner
Beth Porter
Clean Energy is Calling. Will Your Phone Company Answer?
George Ochenski
Zinke on the Hot Seat Again and Again
Lance Olsen
Somebody’s Going to Extremes
Robert Koehler
Breaking the Ice
Pepe Escobar
The Myth of a Neo-Imperial China
Graham Peebles
Time for Political Change and Unity in Ethiopia
Terry Simons
10 American Myths “Refutiated”*
Thomas Knapp
Some Questions from the Edge of Immortality
Louis Proyect
The 2018 Socially Relevant Film Festival
David Yearsley
Keaton’s “The General” and the Pernicious Myths of the Heroic South