The Year of Living Dangerously

W.J. Astore

In 2023, let’s embrace the Vulcan salute, not military ones

2022 has been the year of living dangerously. The Russia-Ukraine War escalated with no immediate end in sight. U.S. government officials, most notably the Democratic Party, have gotten behind Ukraine as if it’s the 51st American state. Aid to Ukraine, mainly in the form of weapons and other war materiel, has approached $100 billion in less than a year. Zelensky has been touted as a “wartime” leader akin to Winston Churchill and lionized before Congress. President Biden, meanwhile, has called for Putin to be removed from power, joined by Republican voices like Senator Lindsey Graham. Biden, with Armageddon on his mind, as in nuclear war, nevertheless persisted in rejecting calls for diplomatic efforts to end the war.

As we turn toward 2023, wars and rumors of war persist. Fear of possible Chinese moves against Taiwan helped drive a record Pentagon budget of $858 billion, $45 billion more than Joe “Armageddon” Biden requested. The Air Force requested 100 new B-21 nuclear bombers and hundreds of new Sentinel ICBMs at a projected cost of roughly $500 billion. That the Pentagon yet again failed an audit, its fifth failure in a row, is no reason to cut or even to control massive military spending, so Congress has collectively concluded.

The so-called leftist or liberal Democrats have emerged as America’s war party; Republicans, meanwhile, are torn between calling for yet higher military spending and trying to curtail military aid to Ukraine and runaway spending on “Ferrari” weapons systems like the F-35. No one of any prominence in either party is calling for peace and for serious reductions in spending on wars and weapons. 

Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value, Biden once said. Obviously, the Washington elites value war and profits from the same. It’s an anti-democratic commitment that fosters greater authoritarianism and repression in the so-called homeland as well as abroad.

I wish I could say 2023 promises change. It doesn’t, at least not from our government and its leaders. The change will have to come from us.

I have an old polaroid from 1/1/1980. In that photo, I’m caught rendering the Vulcan gesture of welcome with a high school friend. Recently, I got together with another old friend and gave the same salute:

Your author, out in the wild

The message, of course, of the Vulcan salute is “Peace. Live long and prosper.” The Vulcans, those eminently logical aliens of “Star Trek” fame, did their best to change their warlike nature, adopting logic and emotional control in place of violence and mass murder. While I doubt America is prepared to adopt logic and emotional control en masse, surely we can find a way to cultivate peace. We have the means as well to “live long and prosper,” assuming we can ever stop wasting so much of our energy and efforts on war and weaponry.

There is much wisdom contained in the Vulcan salute. May we learn to embrace its message in 2023.

Happy New Year, everyone.

5 thoughts on “The Year of Living Dangerously

  1. Waiting to see if RT publishes this comment? Sometimes they delay and eventually publish. The Washington Post just deletes so no one else can see and consider?
    Writing it, I see I may be living dangerously if I continue to refine the Vision?

    It was Trump who 1st approved lethal aid to Ukraine BEFORE the WAR started. Trump put Economic Sanctions on any Private Company in the Democratic European NATO Nations who dared defy US dictats in the effort to drive a wedge between Russia and it’s European neighbours, if they continued to complete the work on final miles in NATO waters connecting Russia and Germany in a deeper Economic union through Nord Stream II.

    Watching from CanaDa and subjected to the incessant US/NATO Nations proscribed WAR Propaganda, there are just too many SINS of Historical OMISSIONS. It was Ukraine that escalated the War, directed by the US/West, attacking the Kerch Bridge.
    Blowing up Nord Stream II destroyed infrastructure bringing warmth and comfort to the masses of Civilians at a price they could afford. Which side is escalating the WAR?

    What I have discerned paying attention, the trains transporting Ukrainian troops throughout Ukraine are electrically operated. As the US has done in it’s many WARS against mostly poor, 3rd World Countries since WWII setting the example, degrading the electrical grid is a legitimate target in WAR.

    What is extremely threatening to ALL People’s, Nations, and Tongues, the US/WEST Propaganda surreptitiously conveys to their side, they are all GOOD, and those against them are all BAD. I would hope that even the simple minded would recognize This MATERIAL Earth has arrived at the Time in the Revelation of Jesus Christ described in 16:13-16 forewarning of a Future Time when this Material World Mirrors the spirit of this letter: “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty.”

    This whole Earth, from the Greatest to the Least, Believers and Unbelievers, now find themselves in this place recorded in Scripture, “Multitudes! Multitudes in the Valley of Decision. The Day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision!”

    The thing I like about RT is they just report the basic factual story without political slant, unlike Western Media. This report is on Tony Blair after meeting Putin in 2000, called for his inclusion with the West then.


  2. ALL OF US are born into this Material World toothless, dependant & vulnerable, having to wear diapers.

    We then grow children’s teeth, lose them, and acquire the Teeth that are the only ones we have until Old Age for those who make it.

    The Reality of the Human Condition for the majority, not the minority that do reach Old Age ready to leave this World, is finding ourselves in the same condition as when we entered this world, toothless, dependant & vulnerable, having to wear diapers.

    Caitlan Johnstone writes about the struggle in this World between having child’s teeth or speaking as an informed Adult with teeth at THIS TIME when Life and Death Decisions of WAR and PEACE, are in the hands of a very small minority among ALL the People in this World, and that small minority have ALREADY made the DECISION to ESCALATE to WAR, that will kill MILLIONS if not BILLIONS of the rest of us, “WE, THE PEOPLE!”

    Most people never grow up. Not really.

    Growing up means maturing. It means becoming independent. It means developing into your own person and standing on your own two feet.

    Few people really do this. Because few people ever get around to extracting all the beliefs that were placed in their heads by other people.

    Most people have similar beliefs to their parents about life, society, politics and religion. If it’s not their parents it’s other influential figures in their lives like friends, teachers, or the media pundits they follow. 

    More significantly, most people hold a lot of beliefs about themselves and their place in the world that were put in their heads by people they care about. The average person goes from cradle to grave without ever seriously examining their beliefs about who they are, what they’re like, or any of the other ideas about themselves that get inserted into their minds by the verbal and nonverbal communications of the people around them.

    For most people, a huge amount of their personality is pretty much locked into place in early childhood by the life experiences that they have with other people during that time. They’re still essentially who they were when they were kids, but we call them grown ups just because they’re a certain age and can have kids of their own.

    Really growing up means doing the hard, earnest work of extracting all the bullshit that was placed in our minds over the course of our lives by people who were just as immature, traumatized and confused as us. It means really excavating our beliefs about ourselves, about life, and about our world, all the way down to the old subconscious beliefs that are buried so deep inside us that we don’t even normally notice them……..


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