Thoughts to ponder during Year of Horse

By Edo Heinrich-Sanchez

The Year of the Horse has galloped in proving to be a turning point in Okinawa with the on going controversies and mixed expectations.  The parallels between politicians and Pinnochio is nothing new since the Roman times where even the word democracy has become light and porous.

Remembering Mandela R.I.P. and JFK’s 50th anniversary as his daughter is now the Hon. Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador to Japan, I decided to look up famous quotes from the Camelot clan.  I would recommend those involved at the helm of the Ryukyu/Okinawa-U.S.-Japan issues to do the same.

Returning after the new year break, I was surprised to find in the mail a letter from Europe that shared a message from the Pope that supports this demand from a global network:

“We want a democratically legitimated elected body within the United Nations that is in a position to develop international solutions for international threats to peace, human rights and the environment and to enforce these by non-violent means!”

I would like to share the Pope’s message here:

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shall not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality….

“But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. …In this system, which tends to devour everything that stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market. … With due respect for the autonomy and culture of every nation, we must never forget that the planet belongs to all mankind and is meant for al mankind; the mere fact that some people are born in places with fewer resources or less development does not justify the fact that they are living with less dignity. …

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems….If we really want to achieve a healthy world economy, what is needed at this juncture of history is a more efficient way of interacting which, with due regard for the sovereignty of each nation, ensures the economic well being of all countries, not just a few.”

Supreme Pontiff Francis, 24.11.2013 (evangelii gaudium)

Sustainability leader Alan AtKisson has listed “Six Shocking Trends to Keep Watching for in 2014”:

1. The slow-motion debate on the surveillance state

2. The shale gas revolution and its impact on global geopolitics

3. A growing flood of refugees is being met with a rising tide of meanness

4. The problem of violence against women is finally getting (somewhat) more systematic attention.

5. We are outsourcing our minds to the internet.

6. We are all becoming brands.

For the expanded commentary on these six points go to Alan’s blog “Words and Music”

I would like to add No.7:  Okinawa.  When in doubt, read a quote from JFK and think 22nd Century.

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05:01 15 Jul , 2024