Saturday, November 5, 2011

the "personhood" wars

-- What is alleged to be a nationwide movement against abortion is looking for a ballot-box success in Mississippi Tuesday with a law that would declare a fertilized egg to be a person and destruction of that egg as murder. "Personhood" is the descriptive word chosen by the effort. I wonder if the same sincere people who back this cause would be willing to declare "personhood" for the young men and women sent off to war ... and describe their destruction as murder. But of course that would have vast implications ... not the least of which would be the calling into question of our various carefully-camouflaged double standards for killing. Sometimes murder is OK, sometimes it is not. The excuses are endless.

-- Today is the deadline for "bank transfer day," a largely fruitless effort by fed-up "personhoods" to send a message to the large banks with their usurous interest rates. The idea is to transfer money from big banks to credit unions and other more customer-friendly institutions. It is fruitless in the sense that big banks have millions of customers and are hardly likely to notice the defections. It is fruitful in the sense that if there is a group effort, banks may be forced to take some notice. I would like to see a similar effort (probably equally fruitless) in which a single day would be declared a no-shopping day. People could stock up a day ahead of time on necessities, but on one single, agreed-upon day, no one would shop. Since the economy (and the politicians who rely on its largesse) is based 60-70% on consumer spending, such a day might at least suggest that a number of people no longer wish to be taken as docile patsies.

In somewhat the same department, the local Unitarian Universalist church is in talks with the Occupy Northampton supporters in an effort to find an acceptable place for protesters to camp out. One of the mayoral candidates is aiding the negotiations.

-- And in other belief-system news, a small, largely-forgotten gold-mining town in Canada, business is enjoying a reincarnation. With "personhoods" pushing the price of gold to $1,700 per ounce, there is renewed hope in Kirkland Lake, a community sporting seven mines during its hay day. With unemployment knocking on so many doors, there is a touch of the fantastic and the ludicrous in the notion that gold has some value outside the mind.

-- And in the realm of golden dreams ... well, for every dream, there is a moment when wakefulness erupts. For every fabrication, there is a flash of reality. For example, another U.S. general has gotten his ass in a crack by suggesting that the leaders in Afghanistan need a reality check. Afghanistan receives enormous amounts of U.S. money and attention (in a war that cannot be won in any realistic sense), and yet Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller, a "personhood" in a uniform, has openly accused the Afghan power structure of being "isolated from reality." He got fired as the U.S. scurried to disavow his comments and insist that the emperor was indeed wearing clothes. Fuller follows in the footsteps of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, "who resigned as commander of US forces in Afghanistan in June 2010 after making critical comments about senior members of the Obama administration."

1 comment: