Everyone knows the miracle of caterpillars turning into butterflies or moths. Consider what the world might look like to a cell in that caterpillar.
Everything is going OK in the caterpillar's world until it folds up into its pupal cocoon for what might look like a nap. Except that what happens next is internal organization transforms and cells move around like soup forming new structures. Some disintegrate, freeing resources for the growth of new cells forming brand new things like wings, huge eyes and long, hard legs.
The decay phase of a civilization might be somewhat analogous, with old structures becoming arthritic and eventually decaying outright. But the organism lives, and most of the cells live too except that, in this metaphor, the cells of civilization are the people who create them.
Butterflies are much more beautiful than caterpillars, and can do dramatically new and fun things like fly. And reproduce. And migrate thousands of miles by some magic of navigation no one has figured out yet. I hope the signs of decay we see all around us are signs of a nascent reorganization, driven by a higher power or maybe an elevation of our collective consciousness which is so depressed by the life-threatening denials of the old system. I pray that the suffering of the poor, and the fear among so many far beyond the poor, will not be too great. I pray those fears will be relieved by a growing awareness that our problems really are quite solvable if only we will allow new and better ways to be born. We shall see, because the vortex quickens.
... I struggle to make sense out of the abundant nonsense that is this election. The people spoke, and it remains to be seen what the long-term implications of their vote will be...for them. We seem to be a soceity that needs to blame somebody other than ouselves for certain happenings. So, Tuesday is the President's fault. That is a dominant narrative I hear and sense from all sides. He's a good, visible target.
Perhaps the President didn't do enough change quickly enough...or too quickly. If so, was it wise to pretty dramatically increase the power of the party which not only had created the disaster in the first place, but had blocked all attempts to make needed change in our national infrastructure after our near economic collapse in 2008? Somewhere in there is the very definition of national insanity...
By Dick Bernanrd
As you are undoubtedly now aware, Peter Erlinder, a professor of law at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, was arrested in Rwanda on May 28. Mr. Erlinder’s purpose in going to Rwanda was to discuss the defense of a client, Ms.Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who is accused by the Rwandan government of the vague charge of promoting “genocide ideology.” He has now been accused of the same crime. It so happens that Ms. Ingabire Umuhoza is an opposition candidate for the presidency of Rwanda, opposing the incumbent, Paul Kagame, who is himself widely believed to be complicit in genocidal activities.
While the Minnesota Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions, of which I am president-elect, takes no position on the guilt or innocence of any individual Rwandan in respect to that country’s tragic genocidal past, we do strongly believe that the rule of law requires that all persons accused of genocide--or any other serious crime--are entitled to defense by competent attorneys. Further, we believe that the arrest of any attorney acting in such a capacity will serve to inhibit other attorneys from performing similar services. Such actions inevitably undermine the rule of law and must be resolutely opposed.
We therefore call upon the Minnesota Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen to urge the State Department to demand Mr. Erlinder’s speedy release and assurance of his being permitted to carry out the mission for which he came to Rwanda.
Joseph E. Schwartzberg
Distinguished International Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota
President-elect, Minnesota Chapter CGS-MN
(The transmission of this request to the Minnesota Senators and congressional representatives was approved at our CGS Chapter Board meeting of June 3, 2010 and was subsequently sent out as a chapter communication by the current president, Claude Buettner.)
The current test of United Europe to stay the course of economic integration is, to my mind, the most important development in internation law. At the core of the problem is the legitimacy of any body of bureaucrats to dictate economic prerequisites to individual countries. The quest for legitimacy has lead to proposals for the European Parliament to evolve into more than an advisory body.
There are proposals to extrapolate this concept to help legitimize UN decisions by creating an advisory UN Parliament which would eventually evolve into a true representative legislative body for international law: http://en.unpacampaign.org/index.php
Claude Buettner-President CGS-MN