Alfred Tennyson: Ring out the thousand wars of old, ring in the thousand years of peace

Tennyson’s 1850 “New Year’s” resolution, worthy of deep, long consideration by humanity in 2015…

Antiwar literary and philosophical selections

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Alfred Tennyson: Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d

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Alfred Tennyson
Ring Out, Wild Bells (1850)

300_tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

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2015: Internet’s Potential Unlimited.

Posted on December 29, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

Galaxy1Alphabet As another page of the yearly book of human history comes to a turning, 2015 will soon arrive and many look back on 2014 for reflection and anticipation of what the future holds. Many people will remember the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the excellent competitions bringing athletes from around the world together more as human beings sharing the planet than any concept of “us” and “them”. Most will remember the poignant scene of the giant bear at the closing ceremony, shedding a tear because of having to say goodbye.

God only knows the exact reasons for the short amount of time between the moving Olympics closing ceremony and unfortunate events nearby in Ukraine. Near the end of February in the center of Kiev on the Maidan, more than 100 police officers and protesters perished by sniper fire, leading to Ukraine’s President leaving the country, a new government taking power, and a subsequent civil war claiming the lives of over 4,000 Ukrainians. The snipers who carried out the mass-murder have yet to become imprisoned. Malaysian airliner MH17 crashed killing 298 passengers and crew, and, like the “Maidan Massacre”, is still under investigation – the perpetrators have not become identified, arrested or imprisoned.

The situation in Ukraine is perhaps 2014’s most important news story. The people of Crimea held a referendum to rejoin the Russian Federation, or Russia “stole” Crimea – depending on which narrative one leans toward accepting, and many analysts, political veterans, and geopolitical observers have concluded that another Cold War has begun – while calling for cooler heads to prevail and prevent unnecessary escalation of tensions. Media differences in narratives of Ukraine events have grown into a major aspect of the situation, in what many see as an unprecedented propaganda struggle. The narratives coming from both “sides” have perhaps set a world record for unresolved differences.

Eastern expansion of NATO has become identified by respected observers as possibly the major issue which most urgently needs to become resolved.

Led by the United States, a number of nations have placed economic sanctions on Russia, widely acknowledged as harming the economy of Russia, yet some have developed the view that sanctions hurt nations in Europe to a greater extent since Russia has enacted counter-sanctions. The whole unfortunate situation has had the effect of increasing Russian actions of turning to negotiate major trade deals with China, Turkey, Latin American nations, Iran and others which are not participating in sanctions.

In what may have been an attempt by the West to slow down the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, etc.) group of nations’ increasing international influence, the opposite – acceleration of BRICS’ cooperation and growth – may have become the unintended consequence. It would not be an overstatement to assert 2014 – considering the significant events, economic factors and geopolitical movements associated with the BRICS phenomenon – will go down in history as a year of changing paradigms on Earth.

According to some reports, the reason for falling oil prices recently lies in the newly emerging West vs. BRICS international competition over world markets/customers, for the sole purpose of hurting the economies of Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other nations who may have chosen to embrace the new model BRICS economic philosophy. Starting in 2015, the international financial architecture may experience some major adjustments, in particular by the BRICS group of nations, to counteract intentionally harmful actions taken by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Federal Reserve, Wall Street, City of London group, in what could safely be termed an “economic war”.

What has become the most extremely worrying aspect of the current global scenario in the minds of many responsible, reasoned observers is the potential for tensions to transform from economic to military. Until now, although mature men and women with a great deal of experience in international relations have publicly stressed the necessity for resolution of differences through dialogue and diplomacy alone, solutions-based debate and discussion have yet to emerge on the large-scale which matches the potential outcomes and realities of this new paradigm. The reason for lack of solutions to this point could be described using the simple fact of the matter:  this new world development is in fact “uncharted territory”.

Life on Earth is becoming transformed from unipolar to multipolar. This is change of historic proportions, and change which will need wise, future-oriented leadership to navigate without catastrophically resorting to military force to stop it. In an article on another website, the writer shared a quote from American Professor Samuel Huntington, who apparently often praised the idea of America, which adds a lot of needed context at this point: “The West conquered the world not by the superiority of its ideas, moral values or religion but rather as a result of superiority in the use of organized violence”.

Huntington (1927-2008) was a Professor of International Relations who gained notoriety for his “Clash of Civilizations?” thesis of a post-Cold War new world order and coining the phrase “inevitability of instability”. The factors leading to future instability, according to Huntington, will come from cultural, not ideological, differences. He predicted that Ukraine would eventually split in two based on those cultural differences, perhaps in a manner more violent than Czechoslovakia but not as violent as what occurred in Yugoslavia.

Samuel Huntington was probably a very intelligent, well-read academic whose views most often were accurate and reliable. Nobody knows what his views were on the steadily increasing positive power and influence of the internet phenomenon. Mr. Huntington’s view of future events may have been limited to a large extent through non-recognition of the tremendous ability of men and women from around the world to join forces over the internet and literally shape world events.

Here one could make a slightly different prediction than the professor. The greatest example of how the future will look comes from seeing what occurred this past summer during Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” – and how humanity has responded. Millions of men, women and children marched in the streets around the Earth, demanding an end to Israeli bombing, occupation, apartheid conditions, war crimes – and an independent Palestinian State. Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France, the European Union and many other nations have called for the same. These actions came to reality as a result of good people communicating over their computers on the world-wide-web; quite possibly the greatest tool for positive social transformation in the history of the world.

Imagine the world accepting, advocating, and joyfully celebrating the new thesis of 2015:

“Cooperation of Civilizations”

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(Thank you to TEDx Talks at YouTube)

End The Unnecessary Suffering In Ukraine.

Posted on December 27, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

ocean11Alphabet For those men and women around the world who have followed events in Ukraine since November 2013, what has become painfully clear is the perhaps world record-setting distance between narratives coming from both “sides”. For people living in regions and nations where Western corporate news media has the largest number of viewers, they are being led to believe that Ukraine’s crisis came from actions taken by the Russians, in particular Vladimir Putin. For those people who get their news from independent news groups, foreign media, or directly from the mouths of persons involved with the crisis in Ukraine, people living there began suffering after a Western-sponsored violent coup in February 2014.

Western media groups fail to report or debate assertions made by the “other” media groups on events in Ukraine, including reports that people who took power after Viktor Yanukovych left office and the country were behind the sniper murders of 100 police and protesters, the new government in Kiev was behind the downing of Malaysian flight MH17, men close to both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden (in fact, Hunter Biden, Joe’s son) joined the Board of Directors of Ukraine’s largest private energy corporation – Burisma Holdings, and the rich mineral and agricultural resources of Ukraine. Throughout history natural resources have been the greatest cause of wars.

Ask most average Americans about Ukraine and most likely one hears responses like “yes, there’s some kind of war going on there” or, if they get their news from FOX, “yes, Russia’s – Putin’s – trying to take over Ukraine”. The problem with the propagandistic nature of news reporting about Ukraine is that most people, to some extent on both “sides”, are not receiving anything close to the full truth about events there. This condition, where media falls miserably short in thoroughness of investigation to bring the people real facts and news, is not something new when it comes to important geopolitical issues.

In an ideal world, Petro Poroshenko would appear for interviews in Russia, and Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Or even more beneficial would be Poroshenko and Putin appearing together on television for interviews – preferably long interviews.

Such a media condition is not new, but it is certainly nothing an “advanced, enlightened” civilization can point toward with any pride whatsoever. Media in an “advanced, enlightened” civilization would not settle for anything less than an accurate assessment of facts and causes, along with total inclusion of all credible voices when producing reports about major events. This is particularly important in the case of Ukraine, where men and women with great experience in government service, international relations, academics and diplomacy have expressed high concern over possible escalation of tension and the need to prevent unwise developments.

The first action necessary on the path to peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine is agreement by all stakeholders to make the sincere effort of identifying the true cause(s) of the conflict, and reporting those causes to the media for dissemination to the world’s people. In this important process of problem identification, total transparency must become recognized as the only path to an equitable and peaceful resolution. The same first-step effort not only offers the opportunity for peaceful resolution of differences in Ukraine, but in the Middle East, Africa, and any place on Earth where conflicts are occurring.

The key is willingness by all parties to strive for total transparency; between/with diplomats, negotiators, the public, the media, and – the entire world. It has become no longer acceptable that international relations are carried out through less-than-complete or slanted narratives. Out of the many diverse opinions and analyses of what are the true causes of the world’s conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel-Palestine and elsewhere, some come closer to the truth and some fall a distance away.

It is long past time that diversity of opinions and analyses based on mixtures of real and false facts becomes an extinct feature of the human condition, and the only opinions, analyses, and solution options remaining share the basis of reasonably, widely, and soberly agreed upon truth and real circumstances. Failure of world leaders, and the world’s media/communicators, to move in such a higher moral direction guarantees continuance of less-than-ideal outcomes in situations of potential violence or intensification of human relations problems.

Propaganda, obfuscation, secrecy, omission, half-truths and other intentional manipulations of public opinion/perception must become widely condemned for the extremely negative consequences such actions bring upon innocent men, women, and children. The most horrific consequences are those which become experienced when violence and war occurs.

In recent history, one finds the most striking example in the 2003 Iraq War.

Pray that true peace comes soon to the people of Ukraine.

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(Thank you to thomhartmann at YouTube)

Florida’s Alan Grayson: “TPP Should Be Put To Death.”

Posted on December 27, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

ocean55Alphabet Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida told Acronym TV’s Dennis Trainor that the United States did not go to war in Syria in September 2013 because the American public “rose up”. He says the same response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can prevent an unwise, democracy-killing trade bill from passing the Congress into law.

Although Mr. Grayson didn’t mention his theory of the TPP beyond, agreeably, the further concentration of corporate power at the expense of the people and their right to democratic actions in nations signing on to the trade deal, perhaps the real motivation behind TPP – plus the equally gigantic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – is corporate solidification of legal rules in their favor, before the people of the world can gather enough strength in unity to stop the trade deals. The reason both TPP and TTIP are so, so secretive is precisely to prevent the people of the world from becoming fully aware and rising in opposition – strongly enough for the people and democracy to prevail.

The feature of TPP which has outraged the most men and women, one of the few provisions which has become known – through “leaks” by Wikileaks and other avenues, is given the legal term “Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement”. This is how every dispute will become resolved among the signatory nations and their people. The angering aspect is that corporate tribunals – not traditional, neutral, government legal institutions – are given the power to make all the legal determinations.

A fellow in the following video gives an example of how this controversial feature of the TPP works. The people of Germany have decided to phase out nuclear power in their country, and a corporation whose business is nuclear energy has sued the German government for over $2 billion dollars for “future lost profits”. He notes there are 500 similar cases in litigation now. If Vietnam signs on to TPP, the trade bill passes, and down the road the people of Vietnam decide to raise their national minimum wage, corporations will be able to sue the Vietnamese government for “lost profits” as a result of wage increases.

The same holds when signatory nations take any of a wide number of normal actions that governments have taken seemingly forever. Think of genetically modified food, free-speech internet, banking regulations, environmental laws, military decisions/war and peace, etc. In essence, democracy will become placed at very serious risk in every TPP/TTIP country, with every action resulting in a possible lawsuit initiated by “harmed” corporations and their owners. According to Grayson, if the TPP becomes “fast-tracked”, members of Congress will be given only 88 seconds each to “debate” what can only be described as the most controversial, secretive, consequential trade agreement in history. The same situation pertains when looking at the TTIP between the U.S., Europe and other potential signatories.

When Texas businessman Ross Perot ran for President as an Independent in 1992, he delivered a line which has become remembered since as an unheeded, ominous warning about the millions of jobs which would leave America if the North American Free Trade Agreement passed – “Americans will hear a huge sucking sound (jobs leaving America)”. Unfortunately, Ross Perot was right but Americans didn’t hear his prophetic warning.

To the men and women reading this, think of Alan Grayson as today’s Ross Perot and hear the warning about TPP and TTIP.

“TPP (and TTIP) should be put to death”.

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For more information, please visit Public Citizen’s website at: http://www.citizen.org

(Thank you to AcronymTV at YouTube)