During the months leading up to the World Cup, here in Japan, the media, which is a bit more inclined towards education than entertainment, gave an extensive look at Africa. It started with South Africa and the history and fall of apartheid. In the days and weeks to follow, NHK (the national television network) focused on nearly every country in the continent. Instead of the usual images we see in America, there were stories of renewal and hope, growth and progress from all segments of society. They gave tribute to the African spirit and determination in spite of incredible hardship and economic obstacles, stories of artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, government leaders, reformers, and athletes from every segment of society and every age group. This went on several hours a day for nearly two months. Bet you didn't know there was so much positive going on over in the 'dark continent," and so much material out there. Obviously the only thing the corporate controlled media in America is interested in is tragedy and bad news. Anyway, I learned a lot. Now, at the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, the media here has turned to an even more serious subject...the tragedy of war, the insanity of war, the destruction that results from war and the sheer horror and inhumanity of war. The started with WWI and are working their way through many of the major conflicts. Documentaries, packed with scenes of devastation from Europe through the Middle East, along with movies from Hollywood and Tokyo. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hank's "The Pacific" is being shown episode by episode every Sunday night. The story of the Pacific and the unimaginable carnage that took place there is mind-blowing. Of course the stories of the men who went to war have become familiar to many of us, but there is a side story that rarely gets told. Since 1918 every major war has resulted in far more civilian deaths than troop deaths. Who tells the story of families and communities that are destroyed? And in America now with over 70 cents of every dollar going to war, maybe its time to start asking ourselves how long are we going to continue to bankroll this bullshit. More about me later. Just want you to know I'm still alive and awake. PEACE and blessings!