rn:comments on the left, poems too!


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,

Here are some recent postings to this list. Enjoy!

all the best, Jan
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 15:02:55 -0700
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: What's left of the leftover left besides a patch of left field?

What's left of the leftover left besides a patch of left field? It amazes 
and angers me that yet another issue has internally divided the left and 
externally marginalized us and the important issues we support. Why do 
right wing atrocities give strength to the right wing? What are the issues 
that can be employed to divide the right? On the optimistic side, though, 
it is clear that if the support for Bush's War is wide it is also thin and 
will sooner or later wane. Hopefully we can make it decline sooner, 
especially if we can work/write/organize/act in ways that resonate. In some 
sense the left is divided, yet in another we are more united. I see people 
from various walks of life, various ages and ethnicities, liberals and 
radicals, coming together to say, and sometimes scream, that another world 
is possible and necessary. We may lose this one politically, at least for 
now, but we may achieve a lot of cultural progress which, although it can't 
be measured or even seen easily, is very powerful. What's left? We are! 
Ever hopeful.---Dan

>Left Falls Apart as Center Holds
>by Rick Perlstein
>Fear the left, the center says.
From: "Marty Jezer" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A bit of context
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 09:52:43 -0400

Give us a break Jan. What Mosqueda says about U.S. foreign policy is almost
all true (I documented a lot of it in my history, THE DARK AGES: LIFE IN THE
USA 1945-1960) but also irrelevant to what happened 9/11. The terrorists
responsible are not fighting in behalf of the downtrodden of the third
world. They are not calling for debt relief, democracy, strong labor unions,
environmental protections. They are not freedom fighters; nor are they
fighting for anyone's liberation. Their issues are local, with the Saudi
kingdom and with the U.S. that props the kingdom up. They've said nothing
about American economic imperialism. What they don't like is our freedom,
our multiculturalism, our tolerance. They may have a point that American
culture dominates the world, but killing 5000 or so people doesn't really
address that issue. I despair at the way some on the left have reacted to
this disaster, knee-jerk tacking on our laundry list of grievances (however
real) like the generals that we oppose reacting, not to the current
challenge, but to the last war.

By the way, in 1948 the U.S just barely supported Israel. President Truman
broke with his State Department in supporting the U.N. resolution creating
the Israeli state. The State Department, corporatist and anti-Semitic,
didn't want to offend the Saudi sheiks who controlled the oil. The big
backer of Israel was the Soviet Union. Stalinist hoped the socialists in
Israel would be sympathetic to the USSR. The State Department was concerned
about that very same thing. I've publicly opposed Israeli policy since the
67 war (in the underground press, in the pacifist journal WIN Magazine, and,
more recently, in my own newspaper column for my local paper). But facts are

I hope you'll post this to the list. It's a partial dissent from the current
left-wing orthodoxy -- something a lot of folks simply do not want to hear.

Marty Jezer
Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words
Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel
Rachel Carson: Author, Biologist
The Dark Ages: Life in the USA, 1945-1960
Visit my web site http://www.sover.net/~mjez
Subscribe to my Friday commentary (by reply e-mail). It's free!
my reply to Marty:
Dear Marty,

I think your point, that some on the left can be too quick to tack our
"shopping list" onto the actions of the terrorists, is a good one. So, I
would be happy to post your message to the list.

Won't do it today because I have already sent 3 things, though!

There is another message I want to post to the list, which would go very
well with your point. I'll send it to you today so you can send me feedback
on it if you want. 

<snip> [I'll send that message out next, Hans Sinn's "A Personal View" which
Marty found really good, me too!]

all the best, Jan
PS I quickly reread the "bit of context" piece. I do not think he is really
arguing that the terrorists did what they did because they were upset by US
foreign policy. Indeed, he says they were fanatics, who COULD have
grievances with the US... and I agree when he says, essentially, that as
long as the US continues to use terror itself, it will invite further
terrorist attacks against itself (even if those actually committing the
terrorism are not able to articulate how US terror is behind their own
terrorist acts). Also, the author speaks as if we do not really know who
mastermineded the attacks, and that is the real truth, I think. Apparently
the ones who actually did the hijacking were Islamic fundamentalists of some
sort (although strange fundamentalists, if they drink, leave a Koran in the
trunk of their vehicle, etc.). But who mastermineded it? We don,t know. 
From: "rex.barger" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Renaissance Network" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Intellectual (or intelligent) self-defence for globalocal
community health
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 11:16:35 -0400

In his excellent "Written In Belief", Michael Rowbotham said "Personal
involvement is ~almost~ too great for us to analyse ourselves; as
individuals, we have so much difficulty in fairly evaluating our own
actions."   Almost?   It seems to me that we're all in the same leaky boat.
If we don't all help with the bailing out, we're going to sink.  The boat is
leaking because it was built by the imperfect people (us) who are in it.
Even though MR also said  "I suggest we do not have that time and have to
find out now, determinedly", he doesn't address the 'how'.   We need to face
our imperfectability.  Nobody's perfict, but let's not be blind to the
beauty in the beast!  I still have hope!

As individuals we all need to confirm each of the perceptions of our various
senses.  We can confirm the reality of what we see by touching it, the
reality of what we hear by what we see.  The more senses involved, the surer
we can be.  My hope springs from the fact that there are over 6 billion of
us flawed folks on this planet.  All we need to do now, "determinedly", is
to learn how to help each other augment our own flawed perceptions.  We must
see all of our conclusions as temporary, especially those in the abstract
realm.  Saying something is so does not make it so!  We desperately need the
humility to suspect that we may be wrong whenever we met someone with a
contrary opinion.  Arrogance always leeds to conflict!  Life depends on our
ability to be flexible in our caring for all life.

Let's do our homework.  Let's do lots of deep-see diving down into our
hearts in our search for principles that might help us all to life together
harmoniously.  Let's share our insights broadly.  Let's confirm or challenge
each other honestly & caringly.  LIFE is the only bottom line that really
matters!  We are all in the same WHOLE!

Rex Barger, Hamilton, Ontario

If all the people on this earth
became the same size as their financial worth
& if the average, white, American Joe
were 5'10 or just below,
90% of everyone else would be smaller by far
& easily covered by snow
& all of us could be easily squashed
by the richest person's toe!
Beware!  The bigger the gap,
the more terrifying the tornado!

Let's row, row, row our boat
toward our common dream
of community, harmony, peace & joy
on life's exciting stream!
If we don't our common boat
is headed for disaster
& I think we'll sink into the drink
unless our greed we master!
Let's stop our stupid wasteul ways
like wars & exploitation.
Let's solve our problems peacefully
with win/win situations!
Let's focus only on life's needs
& make sure they're all met.
Let's help all those in most distress
to get what they don't get!
Let's give-of-ourselves till no one hurts.
Let's give & do it gladly!
Since we're all earthmates on this earth,
let's show we love us MAD-LY!
here,s the one I wrote Saturday, wrote it for this Left Bio(centrist) list,
as part of our discussion on religious/spiritual beliefs:

Have you ever noticed how yellow autumn leaves, dancing in the breeze, give
an illusion of light?

And red apples, still heavy on their branches, an illusion of plenty
before the inevitable chills of winter.

There is "real" in this illusion though -
Falling leaves will mulch the forest and hedgerows,
And allow the winter sun to touch the earth.

I mourn, not just the end of summer,
But human failings, war, turning a blind eye, obtuseness.

Nature, please hang in there and bring spring!
Us? Please let us see our way clear,
Know we are, too, nature.
Neither our death, nor winter, are to be feared.
Nor our mourning. 
It is a sign of our love, and that, 
That spring of life winks at us
From behind all of nature's glory, ourselves as well.

all the best, Jan