New Blog URL

Made some changes... moved the blog to a new URL + a new title...

If you followed In the Course of Events, (or even if you didn't,) then please consider following Peace is Possible ( Please check it out, it's the same in some ways, and a little different in other ways!

By the way, I was impressed with the transferability of posts and comments from the old URL to a new one. Google: strong and powerful technology - impressive.

I do remember getting burned the last time I changed URLs by someone who took the opportunity to make a mean comment after securing my former URL, so that I could not use it to re-direct traffic.

Earth-Shaking Transformation | Open Exchange of Mutual Self-Esteem

Earth-Shaking Transformation | Open Exchange of Mutual Self-Esteem

My Thoughts

Do Ecosystems Have Rights?

Why do corporations have rights when living ecosystems do not?

Please watch this very important, interesting, and powerful speech by Mari Margil.

Mari Margil speaks to the 2009 Bioneers conference in the spirit of The Lorax:
Protecting Against Environmental Degradation by Recognizing the Rights of Nature

I am also reminded about another set of important videos that have powerful ideas to share.

The Story of Stuff. And also The Story of Cap and Trade.

There are also a couple other videos in the production queue.

This is really really awesome work by Annie Leonard. Please also take time to see these important videos.

It's all good food for thought.

American Disillusion

I grew up with the idea that the USA was the greatest nation on Earth. That this is a land of equal opportunity, a land of altruism. It's easy to see why that story could get confusing in light of the historical realities of the enslavement of Africans and the virtual genocide of Native Peoples. It's hard to know what to believe, I suppose. But the reality on the ground is that America is a very violent place. Ranging from domestic violence to state violence against civilians. Ranging from harmful economic activities to colonialism and outright wars of aggression.

When Obama was elected, and inaugurated, it would have been hard not to feel hopeful. The rhetoric, if not completely correct, was in a pretty good place. But in what's now over a year since the Obama Administration assumed power, there has been a degeneration in the rhetoric, and certainly a widespread feeling of disappointment with the real politic. An example of degeneration of rhetoric is the difference between talking about opportunity and prosperity for all, to the more recent focus on propping up the "middle class." The degeneration has been gradual, like the flim-flam approach to Universal Health Care, and the Obama plan to increase military spending; and yet it has also been spiked with notable events, like the use of the Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech to advocate America's supposed need for war, and the dreadful showing at the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

The disillusion is driving home some simple and chilling truths. The socio-economic political system of the United States is broken. It is corrupt. I have been saying this for over 10 years. And articles like the following only make it more and more clear. So what to do...

The fact is that human activities - industrial activities - over the past 200+ years have done tremendous damage to the living systems of this planet Earth. Earth is our home. We would be wise to take care of it. After all it either belongs to all of us, or to none of us at all. The policies coming out of Washington D.C. and other locusts of political power in the USA (as well as other places in the world) make little to no sense. A drastic change in focus is needed. A change toward the direction of taking care of the planet, and taking care of each other. The adversarial, profit-oriented model of destructive competition endangers the future of humanity and most of the life on this planet. Change is due.

First, there needs to be a disruption of the two-party duopoly that represents the amoral corporate profit motive.

Then there is the need to remake the system anew - to make a system that is altruistic and grounded in the intention to serve life.

Yep. So, check out this article for more reason to challenge and oppose the unmanageable and amoral status quo:
February 9, 2010

Obama's "Change" Drops Its Mask

The Democrats are Coming After Social Security


It’s official: the Democrats are coming after Social Security and Medicare. All the backroom scheming and political conspiring is finally out in the open.

In an unusually long, 1,800 word editorial, entitled The Truth about the Deficit, published February 7, The New York Times -- cheerleader for neoliberalism -- gives its solution to the country’s debt problems. The main idea is summed up thus:

“To truly tame deficits will require serious health care reform [Obama’s plan slashes Medicare], the sooner the better. Other aspects of the long-term fiscal problem — raising taxes and retooling [reducing] Social Security — must take place in earnest as the economy recovers.”

read more:

A Social Transformation Toward Sustainability and Justice Would Benefit Everyone

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
the words of Mahatma (Mohandas K.) Gandhi

This quote needs to be framed in reference to the struggle by people native to the Indian Subcontinent against what was the tyrannous and incredibly violent and harmful colonialism that was waged under the auspices of the British Empire.

I also like the idea of altering the quote slightly so that it ends with "everyone wins" - because real social transformation toward justice and sustainability would benefit everyone. Real social transformation, justice and sustainability would prove to be a winner for everyone...

Wow!!! Humanity has done such a huge damage to itself and to the living systems of the Earth in such a short time since the advent of fossil fueled industrialization!

The following are thoughts which are cross-posted at OlyBlog, link below:

I would really like to see people from the various social and environmental justice movements working along more of a unified front.

The root causes of environmental degradation and ecological unsustainability; imperialism and wars of aggression; exploitative labor practices; societal oppression; and poverty and any other social injustice are the same.

I would like to see a broad based, inclusive and supportive social movement - a movement that is accessible to everyone regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, creed, and/or any other distinguishing feature - in order to effectively and successfully challenge the status quo: a status quo which is currently doing so much harm to all people.

Please imagine a movement to challenge the current establishment's enablement of a degrading and dehumanizing status quo of economic instability, ecological unsustainability, and social injustice...

Further thoughts and avenues for consideration on this topic include, but are not limited to, potential solutions and responses such as 1) permaculture: a resilient, sustainable and independent local/regional economic infrastructure, 2) socio-economic egalitarianism, 3) making health care a central and foundational economic feature ...and etc....

larger image

Evolution to an Altruistic Society

I am interested in an evolution of human societies to a place where people widely uphold the idea that it is not okay for people to hurt each other. I think it's remarkably phenomenal that we live in a society that is so far from, and in many ways the exact opposite of, the simple idea that it is wrong for people to do harm to one another. The modern economy is based in hurtful, divisive, derisive, destructive, exploitative and violent activities.

So I think the following passage, which comes to us from over 115 years ago, is striking in its relevance to the current situation of our modern day economy. People talk about progress. But we need a wake-up call, because in some very real ways, the economy is actually degenerating - and becoming more exploitative. When all is told, in many ways that are very real, the economy is getting worse and worse for common people, and for everyone—everywhere.

I believe that everyone deserves to be treated well. How about you? Do you agree? If you do, then I ask: where do we start changing this abusive and destructive socio-economic political system?

Passage from Voices of a People's HistoryMary Elizabeth Lease, "Wall Street Owns the Country" (Circa 1890)
from A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove

"This is a nation of inconsistencies. The Puritans fleeing from oppression became oppressors. We fought England for our liberty and put chains on four million of blacks. We wiped out slavery and our tariff laws and national banks began a system of white wage slavery worse than the first. Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master. The West and South and bound and prostrate before the manufacturing East. Money rules, and our Vice-President [Levi Parsons Morton] is a London banker. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us. We were told two years ago to go to work and raise a big crop, that was all we needed. We went to work and plowed and planted; the rains fell, the sun shone, nature smiled, and we raised the big crop that they told us to; and what came of it? Eight-cent corn, ten-cent oats, two-cent beef and no price at all for butter and eggs—that's what came of it. The the politicians said we suffered from over-production. Over-production, when 10,000 little children, so statistics tell us, starve to death every year in the United States, and over 100,000 shop-girls in New York are forced to sell their virtue for the bread their niggardly wages deny them.... We want money, land and transportation. We want the abolition of the National Banks, and we want the power to make loans direct from the Government. We want the accursed foreclosure system wiped out.... We will stand by our homes and stay by our fireside by force if necessary, and we will ot pay our debts to the loan-shark companies until the Government pays its debts to us. The people are at bay, [so] let the bloodhounds of money who dogged us thus far beware."

more information: Mary Elizabeth Lease, "Wall Street Owns the Country" (Circa 1890)

In other news, Fort Lewis Army Base and McChord Air Force Base have been merged into a join operations center. "Lewis-McChord: A giant military marriage"

Percival Landing Friday February 5 2010

Percival Landing

Economic Profligacy, and Disparity

5% of the World's Population Consumes a Third of Its Resources and Makes Nearly Half of It's Waste. That 5% is US.
Economic Profligacy and Disparity


I am profoundly affected by the environment. Environmental degradation makes me sad. Environmental degradation makes me sick.

I am signed up on an eco-psychology listserve, so I receive articles forwarded from similarly minded and interested people all around the world. That's how I was alerted to the following article in the NYT Magazine. I haven't read the whole article, but it's nice to see the field of eco-psychology in the somewhat mainstream press (not that the NYT Mag is exactly mainstream.) Well you get the idea.

Here's a link: Is there an ecological unconscious?

Olympia Harbor in 1856

view larger: Olympia Harbor

Washington did not become a state until 1889. Washington was the 42nd state to become part of the United States.

In 1856, over 30 years prior to Washington becoming a state, the landscape around Olympia was very different than it is today, in 2010.

I imagine that the environment was much healthier back then, with great flocks of wild birds, and a bounteous feast accessible for harvest from the waters of the Salish Sea.

Presidents' Day Rally and Lobby Day

Olympia, Washington State Capitol

Two weeks from today: Monday, February 15, 2010

More information: Presidents' Day Rally and Lobby Day

Letter to the Editor Published in Today's Olympian Newspaper

I wrote a letter advocating for a state income tax to the editor of The Olympian newspaper. More information about that, and additional commentary, here.
Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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