National Commentary

It’s Going to Be A Bumpy Night

nfbenton-mug“Fasten your seatbelts,” she said. “It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

The Greek debt is the tip of the iceberg, with Puerto Rico’s debt and American student loan debt also ready to explode.

Beyond the bursting of its speculative market bubble, China’s economic slowdown is contributing to a huge drop in world demand for oil, sending the price of that commodity careening far below the break-even point that American producers of shale oil require to stay in business.

Amidst all this, Obama is frustrating America’s dogs of war, its military-industrial-Wall Street complex, by refusing to rekindle a U.S. ground war in the Middle East. These forces for war see escalating, perpetual war in the Middle East as the only way out for them.

The louder these dogs pound their drums out in front of the White House, the more Obama needs to be reassured that his anti-war convictions are historic and need to be maintained. For whatever else he’s done, this so-far-firm refusal to go back to war is the best among many good things he’s done as president.

If elected, Hillary Clinton would follow a similar path, I believe, although she needs a lot of shoring up of her left flank, thus the need for a strong challenge from Bernie Sanders as her stalking horse. She is far smarter than most are willing to concede, and beneath her civility she burns a white-hot hatred for the “vast right wing conspiracy” that has been out to get her and Bill from the start.

Future historians could consider her presidency, following on Obama’s, as the biggest turning points in American history since its founding, and that is how she would like it. She wants her name up there with FDR as a champion of the disadvantaged and menace to the ruling class.

Our problem is that we often can’t see the forest for the trees. Stepping back for the sake of perspective helps, whether for political or personal insight.

Of course, most anyone who sees it is blown away by NASA’s high-resolution Hubble Telescope photo of the Andromeda galaxy that was taken this January and has gone viral online. It affords humanity a look that it has never before in all its history been able to see.

The millions upon millions of stars shown in just one slice of that galaxy redefines the whole notion behind the word “awesome.” It is majestic, showing this universe to be far, far grander than we could possibly imagine.

How unfortunate that petty arrogance by small-minded human beings on this planet has contributed to blocking our ability to comprehend this.

If this particular planet makes it without killing off all its life forms, then I am sure it will rank ahead of many that failed to do so through the eons, because if there’s anything we can see from our current state of affairs here it is that survival is far from guaranteed.

It is amazing that as individual centers of consciousness in this universe, as incredibly vast as it is, we as human beings retain the capacity to grasp, in some non-linear fashion, the issues that give forth life over extinction for the universe as a whole.

These are the choices: life over extinction, not death. Death is a factor of life. But extinction is more related to a biosphere, than to an individual lineage or a species. The issue for the universe is for life to prevail.

It is further amazing that we, far from being mere spectators in this (we haven’t even been able to see but just a small portion before this year), we are determinate components of it. Our choices to “choose life” on a daily basis critically contribute to the outcome for this universe as a whole.

Life, always in contrast to its ever-present nemesis extinction, always takes the form of love, of increase, of lifting the poor and disadvantaged, of providing the gifts of laughter and joy, things which can seem to be so simple, yet in our hearts we feel their life-giving power.

The music of the heart is the music of the spheres. To magnify it is what it’s all about.