Saturday, October 31, 2009
The A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives Petition to Conservatives and Republicans was created by and written by Michael Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org). This petition is hosted at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service.
To: Conservatives and Republicans
I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:
1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.
2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift.
3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.
4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.
5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.
6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.
7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.
8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.
9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.
10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.
11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.
12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.
I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans -- and for the rest of the world.
View Current Signatures
Jon Stewart devoted half his show last night to the Fox News / Obama "war" sparked either by White House Communication Director Anita Dunn or the cable network's constant attacks on the president, depending on how you see it. The former accused Fox of acting on behalf of the Republican party, the latter accused the president of being Stalin. Apples and oranges.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|For Fox Sake!|
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In a world of diminishing resources and increasing stresses on natural and social systems we must rapidly implement strategies to restore degraded landscapes, shelter and feed displaced and hungry people, and convert our energy-wasteful infrastructure to holistic and ecological systems that meet their own needs and the needs of those who manage them. This course lays the foundation for understanding the workings of natural systems and for designing human environments that produce food, shelter, and energy. It also provides participants with models of community development and extension by which they can create networks of support for themselves and empower others to do the same.
"To my mind the very act of enrolling for a permaculture design course is one of the most political acts most people ever engage in. Since I have certified over 3,000 people I feel that I have helped create a small village of active, engaged and aware folks who now have the tools to change the reality around them - and many of them are very busy doing just that.
The very act of reading "Permaculture - A Design Manual" is extremely radical and political as the information and realizations sink in of the ultimate outcome of following the permaculture path. The beauty of permaculture has always meant, to me, that I can travel all over the world, in some of the most brutal dictatorships, espousing a revolutionary system of design and I am considered harmless by the powers that be. That is an incredible advantage in a world that has become increasingly polarized by the paranoia of rampant capitalism and lack of ethical guidance.
Within the ethical guideposts of permaculture are contained all the political guidance one could need."
Scott Pittman, Permaculture Institute, NM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Both working people and environmentalists have a stake in building the new, green economy. Transforming our economy through renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit and rail, a new smart grid and other solutions to global warming, has the potential to create millions of jobs, while reducing global warming emissions and moving America toward energy independence.
The Blue Green Alliance is a national, strategic partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.
The Blue Green Alliance works on issues ranging from energy and climate change to transportation to workers' rights and green chemistry. Specifically, BGA is working to:
- Pass comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation that is based on two overriding principles - the best scientific advice on reduction targets and solutions that create and save millions of American jobs;
- Restore the rights of workers in the United States to organize and bargain collectively;
- Establish a 21st Century trade policy that promotes growth and prosperity across all sectors of global society, and embeds enforceable labor, environmental, and human rights standards in our trade agreements; and
- Create an informed 21st century policy on toxic chemicals that protects workers and communities from dangerous chemicals, enhances public health and promotes safer alternatives.
The Blue Green Alliance accomplishes this work through:
- Comprehensive Climate Change and Energy Legislation. BGA advocates for its recent global warming legislative principles, which expresses support for an economy-wide cap-and-trade system.
- Renewable Electricity and Energy Efficiency Standards' Campaigns. In partnership with dozens of other advocacy organizations and businesses, BGA promotes the passage of state and federal legislation mandating the production of renewable electricity.
- Employee Free Choice Campaign. BGA advocates for the expansion of workers' rights in the United States through passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
- Transportation Act Reauthorization. BGA advocates for transportation investments that create green jobs in freight rail, high-speed rail and other infrastructure projects that contribute to solving global warming.
The Blue Green Alliance Foundation is working to educate the public about the job-creating potential of environmental investments, including solutions to global warming, with programs including:
- The annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference, which took place in Washington, D.C. in 2009, brought together labor, environmental, business, academic, political and social justice leaders to share research and ideas for achieving a refashioned, green economy.
- Labor Climate Project. In partnership with former Vice President Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, the Blue Green Alliance Foundation is working with union members across the country to educate blue-collar constituencies about the urgency and solvability of global warming and how its solutions can revitalize our economy and create good, union jobs.
- State-based Blue Green Alliance Chapters. The Blue Green Alliance Foundation and the local chapters of its national partners are working in states around the country on climate change, workers' rights, clean energy job creation, fair trade and green chemistry. For more information on chapter work go to our State Pages.
- Economic Development Programs. The Blue Green Alliance Foundation works with cities and states on implementing green-jobs strategies, such as the Twin Cities' Mayors Green Manufacturing Initiative.
Here's the list of thirty legislators who were brave enough to stand up in defense of rape and vote against Senator Al Franken's anti-rape amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill. We applaud these courageous men! Roll over the portraits with your mouse to see the Senator's phone number, or click on a portrait to visit the Senator's contact page. We encourage you to send your kind words to these gentlemen!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Though he maintains "many environmental activists regard this approach as politically naive and unrealistic, or simply too slow, there are sound political, historical and ecological reasons for this emphasis …".
Holmgren cites four reasons for the importance of personal responsibility.
Firstly, that rapid energy descent makes our current behavior potent on the future, and therefore we must act ethically, and make moral decision against the culture of growth. Secondly he suggests that when decadent cultural institutions decay and fail, “individuals and small groups come to the fore to adapt and carry culture.” He cites the example of the Pythagorean link from the ancient Egyptian “mystery schools” to Greece, eventually the origin of Western civilization. Holmgren is therefore critical of the delusion of a durable and permanent multi-nationalism.
His third reason concerns feedback mechanisms. Globalization prevents this with calamitous consequences, but personal responsibility enhances it. A raised consciousness and “awareness of the whole and our relationship to it”, is “followed by the reorganization of our lives to close the circle of cause and effect so that our needs are provided closer to home”.
Finally he equates the self as a whole system that must develop whole system thinking that is central to design for energy descent.
Bottom up is also the self-reliance strategy which boycotts consumerism while it fosters and stimulates new local forms of economic activity. Yet, as its amorphous and informal nature makes it difficult to measure its effectiveness in undermining dysfunctional and dangerous economic systems, its invisibility confounds the efforts of the media, corporations and government to subvert it.
Holmgren states that, "(T)his resistance to subversion is one of the great strengths of apparently unorganized movements, which might be described as anarchistic in strategy if not in conscious philosophy".
Thus self-reliance is political action. Hence, Holmgren’s solution to modern industrial society setting itself up to play out Atlantis is to reorganize, that is, to build permaculture systems both individually and in groups, and in doing so becoming a new Pythagorean link at the fore, adapting to a new culture. Holmgren states elsewhere that Chaos theory and especially the concept of punctuated equilibrium confirms that gradual evolution is the exception, and that long periods of stable traditions, law and institutional forms have experienced rapid and apparently chaotic change where individuals and groups create new forms. This chaotic change is the vortex of multiple paradigm shifts, where the new forms have adapted and become a new culture. Examples of the fragility and collapse of established systems abound.
(Holmgren describes this as a recognition that energy descent futures will lead to, "the faltering and reversing of globalization. A revitalization, of some form, of local community economy and politics should follow".)
His most positive scenario for adapting to post-modern cultural chaos is that of generational slow decline, as fossil fuels run out and people customize to the emergent properties of available energy. It is change culture to which modern society has increasingly been thrust into, only now it is to be a very much different change, to low energy futures.
Holmgren proposes that gardening becomes agriculture. He sees a re-ruralization of cities and large settlements by introducing gardening and urban agriculture and posits the relentless suburbs as the place to start. Energy accounting informs that we must all become producers.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Secretary of the Treasury Tim Giethner propping up a zombie banker from http://www.zinasaunders.com/pages/politics/index.html
Friday, October 2, 2009
Politics in the Past Tense
Can America be Salvaged?
By DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which proposing a new and better version of corporate-plunder masquerading as national healthcare gets you burned in effigy for being a socialist stooge by gun-toting angry mobs.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which the same people who hate you for being a socialist simultaneously hate you for being a fascist.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which angry mobs of supposed anti-socialist demonstrators scream at their congressional representatives to “keep your government hands off my Medicare”.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which claims that the government is going to start killing off seniors are taken seriously by tens of millions of people.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which people are all worked up about government czars, but sat silently while the Bush administration destroyed the Bill of Rights and used a thousand signing statements to write Congress out of the Constitution.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which deficits have all of a sudden become the source of enormous anger among people who said nothing about them previously, as the tax cuts for the wealthy, off-budget wars based on lies, and unfunded prescription drug Big Pharma giveaway transmogrified the biggest surplus in American history into the biggest deficit ever.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which politicians can rant incessantly about other peoples’ sexual morality, get caught screwing prostitutes, and then still be reelected to the highest ranks of government by trashing the president.
I could go on and on, but what would be the point? The positions of so many Americans on so many policy questions are truly inane – yes, for sure. I wish that was all that concerned me. But it all goes so much deeper than that.I doubt anyone has ever reminded us of this ongoing danger more eloquently than did the famous American diplomat, George Kennan, when he wrote: “The counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain. And so the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way: plucking the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of democratic institutions. And until peoples learn to spot the fanning of mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as crimes in themselves – as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done to the cause of popular government – this sort of thing will continue to occur.”
"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple"
“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.
Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.
The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands.
It is past time to tax lawns (or any wasteful consumption), and to devote that tax to third world relief. I would suggest a tax of $5 per square metre for both public and private lawns, updated annually, until all but useful lawns are eliminated.”
“Order is found in things working beneficially together. It is not the forced condition of neatness, tidiness, and straightness, all of which are, in design or energy terms, disordered. True order may lie in apparent confusion . .
Thus the seemingly-wild and naturally-functioning garden of a New Guinea villager is beautifully ordered and in harmony, while the clipped lawns and pruned roses of the pseudo-aristocrat are nature in wild disarray.
Neatness, tidiness, uniformity, and straightness signify an energy-maintained disorder in natural systems.”
Permaculture politics is almost an oxymoron as far as national and international politics are concerned. Most national politicians are owned by their pimps, the multinational corporations whose "solutions" are the ones that benefit the few while exploiting the many. I suspect that the majority of Americans, left and right, would prefer a smaller government that messes less with their lives AND HABITATS ('scuse my shouting, but where would we be without a place that feeds, shelters and supports us?). The more we care for a place the more it cares for us. The PLACE we are, lest we forget, is here...
Notice that it doesn't have lines drawn upon it and that it is all connected to itself by great cycles of movement and flow. Some would have us believe that our real LIFE begins AFTER we leave this place. I personally don't think we would be welcome anywhere if we persist in wrecking this place.
Permaculturists learn, usually during the Design Course (if not sooner), that we, people everywhere, have been putting too much faith and trust in monolithic institutions (e.g. economic, political & religious) that do not have our best and immediate interests / needs at heart. We've simultaneously been putting way too little faith in the fecund power of the polycultural biodiverse reality in which we actually arise and upon which we actually depend. What would (will?) our lives look like when we can say, like this fictional fellow below...
Think about those to whom your independence and intelligence is a threat. Think about those who are threatened by the revelation of their secret-behind-doors actions. You will identify, by doing this, most of the sources for the problems we now suffer. Are we really willing to divest ourselves from the systems that make us more and more dependent or will we really, actually and literally work locally to help each other get what we need? We could, y'know?
The main reason that my 2/3 Acre in southern Indiana has 40 fruit trees and hundreds of species of plants, most of them edible is that I think well-fed neighbors are an excellent defense against those threatened by my freedom. The reason I teach others to do the same is that I think a locally-well-fed community is even better defended.
Caring is supposed to be a common spiritual practice promoted by every religion but our monolithic systems sell us the lie that we will be loved more for what we own and acquire than by what we share and produce. That is not caring. It's abuse.
Caring for our places takes intelligence, long-term observation, study, and disciplined practice to realize. It's also a LOT more fun than the divisive polarizing propaganda of the corporate-owned media since now we make our own news...and it could be good. Those who benefit by our fear pay enormous sums to keep us stressed out and fearful. We're easier to manipulate when we're frightened.
We're in an age and time when fear (and anger) seems like a fairly reasonable response to the multifaceted challenges we face. Fear serves our awakening to the need for actions that yield results. But if we feel fearful AND powerless we have not yet identified the help and allies we need to make real change. The good news is that there is help...and there are allies who are looking to the awakened for help.
Permaculture gives us the tools to be helpful, supportive, productive, healthy, and satisfied on many deep levels...and it's communicable. I hope to communicate some of that help in these pages.