Swans Commentary » swans.com December 14, 2009  



Perspectives: A Review of 2009


2010, The Make-Or-Break Year


by Martin Murie





(Swans - December 14, 2009)   Mary Walsh, using her Canadian TV persona, Marg Delahanty, approached Sarah Palin at a book signing and asked her about the Canadian Single Payer health system. Sarah replied, "Keep the Faith." She told Marg that nearly all of it has to be privatized.

"Keep The Faith" -- a deliberate intrusion into Canadian culture. Commentators pounce on this, treating it as an outrageous crossing of the border, forgetting the military intrusions into Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and military threats against Iran by the United States Empire.

Even a cloth-head like Sarah Palin must be aware of the vibrant critiques of her stand for privatization of Earth, Atmosphere, Oceans, and Water as our Greed System pursues its relentless and extremely narrow pathway to the future, "Market Economy." We all are becoming aware of this; I won't pursue it.

Getting back to Sarah, her tour of the United States must have, in spite of selected audiences, given her brief glimpses of hostility from Libs and Leftists. No doubt that confirmed her in the "Keep The Faith" doctrine, privatization of everything. But might there be a slight crack in her armor? I think that she will resume her tough Alaskan persona, and tell her husband to arrange another moose hunt. She will down a moose. Or a wolf?

By the way, the Alaskan moose is a bigger animal than our lower 48 states' moose, in accordance with the evolutionary doctrine that the further north a mammal species goes, the larger it must be to conform to smaller surface area in relation to size: hoarding of body heat. I'm wandering now, not sure how to treat the revolutionary actions in many countries of the planet that our media takes deliberate care to put on page ten or twelve, or nowhere.

Vicenza, a city near Venice, voted 95 percent to refuse the enlargement of the United States military base at the edge of their city. Okinawans turned out in the thousands to protest extension of a US airbase that would invade coral reef oceanside, the habitat of Dugongs, a sea mammal similar to our Florida Manatee. I don't assume that these protests are entirely environmentally based; the Okinawans have endured rape and takeover, favored by Japanese governments since 1945; they are getting sick of US occupation. Huge demonstrations in Mexico City's central square to protest the overnight privatization of the federal government's vast electricity grid, laying off thousands of workers, reminiscent of president Reagan's firing of air traffic controllers. Hugo Chávez issues a call for a Fifth International, and he insists that this move must be from the heartland of local organizations. In other words, Democracy. Chávez probably also had in mind a global movement to counter military threats and invasion from the United States' puppet state of Columbia. Bolivia has signed onto the proposal. Other nations will follow.

What will our war president do? Something terrible no doubt, covered by his habit of trying to please everyone, including the rabid right wing. No one can predict how 2010 will turn out. The planet is, in John Bellamy Foster's words, in a "socio-ecological decline." (Monthly Review, December, 2009).

One outcome is sure: the Copenhagen meeting in December will be a mish-mash of decisions that will condemn the planet to further delays in real actions to confront climate change. The American lifestyle must not be tampered with! This will be a planet-wide disaster. It might already be too late.

Sarah Palin whole-heartedly approves the granting of more oil exploration leases by corporate America on the very oceans and lands that walruses, seals, polar bears, beluga whales, and other endangered species fight for survival. Another example of profit and feel-good announcements about green intentions failing to coexist. The corporations will win. Collateral damage will win. Collateral deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan will also win. It's hard to be humorous when looking into 2010, but I do hope some of my colleagues posting on Swans will manage it somehow.

However, in spite of short-term wins by corporate rule, I still hold fast to People Power, the only force that takes into account the long-term sacrifices of women and men down through the ages. Power to the People will make progress in the year 2010. We in the United States, sheltered by our governments and corporations and military, have very scanty perception of the great upheavals that have already occurred and that will occur in the coming year. It is even possible that American citizens will join other nations who defy power by acts, not by smiling pusses showing well-kept teeth.

The Rubber Dodo Award, given once a year by the Center for Biological Diversity, has not yet been announced. The Center turned the vote to us tree huggers. There were three candidates, including the CEO of the Department of the Interior, individuals who refused to make moves to protect species of animals and plants. No matter who gets the award, it will be an occasion for celebration and planning for further actions. I will lift a fizzing glass of Canada Dry.


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Internal Resources

Years in Review

Activism under the Radar Screen


Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Martin Murie on Swans (with bio).



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This Edition's Internal Links

Some Lines In Favour Of A Troupe Of Buffalo Flying Over The White House Singing Pastoral Songs - Graham Lea

The Winter Of Liberal Discontent - Louis Proyect

Angry Men - Beligerent Women - Charles Marowitz

The First Obama Year: Business as Usual, but with a Friendlier Face - Gilles d'Aymery

Obama: Were We All Naïve? - Femi Akomolafe

2009: It Was What It Was - Jan Baughman

Notes From The Edge - Jeffery Klaehn

2009 And "Mooving" Ahead - Steve Shay

French 2009 Vintage - Marie Rennard

Failure Of Progressive Thought - Michael Barker

Year End Closet Sweep Out - Peter Byrne

The Official Policies - Michael Doliner

A 2009 Year-End Rant - Raju Peddada

Levi 1943 In Front Of Our 2009 - Multilingual Poetry by Guido Monte

Bilan Matin/Morning Appraisal - Poem by Simone Alié-Daram

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
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Published December 14, 2009