Progressive Calendar 10.19.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:07:31 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.19.09

1. Peace walk        10.19 6pm RiverFalls WI
2. Rethink Afghan/f  10.19 7pm
3. UHCAN-MN          10.19 7pm
4. Free energy stuff 10.19 7:15pm

5. NWN4P vigil       10.20 4:45pm
6. Ed/now/should be  10.20 5pm
7. Choice banquet    10.20 5pm
8. Katch klatch      10.20 7pm
9. UN trivia night   10.20 7pm

10. Marcus Harcus  - Barb Johnson has to go!
11. Jennifer First - Dear Mr President
12. Glenn W Smith  - Corporate supremacy and the rape of a human girl
13. Gary Corseri   - Now, let us stand for the pledge of allegiance
14. Chris Hedges   - A reality check from the brink of extinction
15. Chuck Burr     - Wealth is a system of concentration
16. ed             - CEO zombies  (haiku)
17. ed             - The ruling crass  (haiku)

--------1 of 17--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 10.19 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022


--------2 of 17--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Rethink Afghan/f 10.19 7pm

Film Screening: "Rethink Afghanistan"
Monday, October 19, 7:00 p.m. Hamline Midway Library, 1558 West
Minnehaha Avenue, St. Paul.

"Rethink Afghanistan" is a new hour-long documentary by Robert Greenwald
(maker of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," "Iraq for Sale," and
"Outfoxed") that examines the reality behind the war in Afghanistan. The
six parts of the documentary examine the impact of military escalation in
Afghanistan, the staggering costs of the war, the horrifying civilian
casualties from U.S. and NATO airstrikes, the war's impact on Afghan
women, and the ultimate futility of U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan, "the
graveyard of empires."

Sponsored by: Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace. Endorsed by: WAMM.


--------3 of 17--------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org>
Subject: UHCAN-MN 10.19 7pm

UHCAN-MN organizing mtg
Monday Oct. 19th, 7PM
Walker Church, 3104 16th ave s,on corner, Mpls, (1 block from Lake str.
and Bloomington Ave).

discuss upcoming actions, the Nov Retreat ( fun, food, & creative
trainings) Bring your ideas. we usually have hot tea and snack.


--------4 of 17--------

From: media [at] ci.stpaul.mn.us
Subject: Free energy stuff 10.19 7:15pm

Saint Paul residents in Saint Anthony Park, Thomas-Dale and
Summit-University neighborhoods are eligible for up to $400 worth of home
energy saving goods and services through a funding provided by the
Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, with additional
funds from the Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation.

The Neighborhood Energy Service brings together neighborhood organizations
to offer residents an energy efficiency program that includes a free
workshop on saving energy and money, provides home visit with a Home
Energy Squad that will install the energy-saving materials for a $30
co-pay, and provide a one-year of personalized home energy reporting.
Neighborhood Energy Service coincides with the launch of the Energy
Innovation Corridor, a first-of-its-kind clean energy and transportation
model extending from downtown Saint Paul to Target Field in downtown
Minneapolis.

To qualify for the Neighborhood Energy Service, homeowners need to attend
one of three free workshops where residents will receive a starter kit and
information on current home energy use and steps improving energy
efficiency. The workshops are:

 7:15-8:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at St. Anthony Park Library, 2245
Como Ave.

 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5., Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461
Dale Street North

 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, at St. Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como
Ave.

To register for the workshops, contact the Saint Anthony Park Community
Council at green [at] sapcc.org or 651.649.5992; Thomas-Dale Planning Council
at tait [at] d7mix.org or 651.789.7480; or the Summit-University Planning
Council at Irna [at] Summit-U.com or 651.228.1855. To complete the registration
for the Neighborhood Energy Service, homeowners will need to return a
completed utility data release form signed by the account holder to a
council office before the workshop.

The Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) and the Metro Clean Energy
Resource Team (CERT) are teaming up with other non-profits, businesses and
government to pro¬vide this program in Saint Paul. Partners include The
Center for Energy and Environ¬ment, Xcel Energy and the Saint Anthony
Park Community Council. James Lockwood Saint Paul Info about City of Saint
Paul: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/6p4bJ6zjvedmSeySUdjjK7


--------5 of 17--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P vigil 10.20 4:45pm

NWN4P vigil every Tuesday.
Corner of Winnetka and 42nd Avenues in New Hope. 4:45 to 5:45 PM.
All welcome; bring your own or use our signs.


--------6 of 17--------

From: EXCO <excotc [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Ed/now/should be 10.20 5pm

Education as it is/should be discussion
Tuesday, October 20th, 5-7pm
MCTC, H0150
All are welcome!
www.excotc.org http://www.excotc.org | excotc [at] gmail.com | 651-696-8010


--------7 of 17--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Choice banquet 10.20 5pm

October 20: Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Faith
and Freedom Banquet.

5 PM: Silent Auction and Wine Reception. 6:30 PM: Dinner. 7:15 PM: Keynote
by Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker, president and professor of theology at Starr
King School for the Ministry and Faith & Freedom Awards presented to The
Association of Universalist Women, Camphor United Methodist Church, Mary
Gates, Debby Jewett, Rep. Frank Hornstein, and Sarah Stoesz.

Mt. Zion Temple Banquet Room, 1300 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. $60. Low
income/student rate: $25. RSVP.


--------8 of 17--------

From: Peggy Katch <peggy.katch [at] gmail.com>
From: Independence Party of Minnesota <info [at] mnip.org>
Subject: Katch klatch 10.20 7pm

Invitation to fill this room next Tuesday and replace Lisa Goodman
with Mike Katch

You are invited to a wonderful gathering for Michael Katch next Tuesday,
October 20th at 7PM.  We welcome you to the beautiful Semple Mansion on
Franklin Avenue. The Minneapolis firefighters are now supporting Michael
and they have good reason. It is time for real change in our central ward.
Michael is the real candidate for reform and we can all put him office:

Tuesday, October 20th at 7PM
Semple Mansion, 100 West Franklin Avenue (corner of LaSalle Ave and
Franklin Avenue)
Suggested Donation: $20
Accomodations: wonderful appetizers and finger food as well as drinks.

The Semple Mansion <http://www.trailblz.info/mnip/gateway/60.854512.aspx>
is a beautiful location.  We will be filling this beautiful room:

[A new broom sweeps clean. Consign Lisa Goodman to the dustbin of history.
-ed]


--------9 of 17--------

From: Juliana Junqueira Panetta <julianaj [at] unamn.org>
Subject: UN trivia night 10.20 7pm

Come join the United Nations Association of Minnesota and the UNA-MN YPIC
for an exciting evening of internationally themed trivia in celebration of
UN Day and for a chance to win prizes. ALL ARE WELCOME. Event is free,
donations are encouraged.

October 20th at 7 pm
Brit's Pub Clubhouse Lounge, 1110 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN, 55403

ypic [at] unamn.org or 612.280.8090
Juliana Junqueira Panetta, Global Classrooms Program Coordinator YPIC
Co-Chair United Nations Association of Minnesota 612.280.8090
julianaj [at] unamn.org www.unamn.org


--------10 of 17--------

From: Marcus Harcus City Council Committee <marcus [at] marcusharcus.org>
Subject: Barb Johnson ahs to go!

Northside, STAND UP!!! The status quo is unacceptable - Barb Johnson has
to go!

Election Day is in 15 of 'em!  Gotta deliver 8,000 flyers in 2 weeks, with
a big toe that feels broken.  If you can help, please call or email me to
schedule a time to join me on the campaign trail... the finish line is
near.  I'm looking for dozens of people to help me rally on street corners
on Election Day. I'll be out in the streets warming them up during the
next 15 days, so please join me or honk when you drive by!

I'll be screening a promotional campaign DVD this Wednesday evening:
http://www.marcusharcus.org/news/DVDscreening.htm This is a FUNdraiser,
but please come even if you can't afford to donate.  No pressure!  Any
manner of contribution is deeply appreciated.  Your presence and voice is
priceless.

If you're able to make a donation: http://www.marcusharcus.org/donate.htm

If you're curious to know what it's like to be Marcus Harcus, the
candidate?  Read my BLOG:  http://www.marcusharcus.org/blog/?p=122

Here's my Case Against the Incumbent:
http://www.marcusharcus.org/casefortherace.htm

Thx for your support!
mh 612.600.0155 marcus [at] marcusharcus.org


--------11 of 17--------

Dear Mr. President
by Jennifer First
Dissident Voice
October 17th, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

On October 5, 2009, I witnessed my mother, a 55 year old grandmother, be
assaulted by your Secret Service right in front of your house. It was so
frightening for me, and what your protectors did in your name destroyed
any faith that I had left in your willingness to listen to your citizens
to end the violence being committed by our country.

My mother, Joy First, is the most peaceful, loving person that I have ever
met. She has always had a completely selfless altruism that has led her to
take care of others, even when it puts her own personal comfort and safety
in jeopardy. As a mother and grandmother, she has always given up much for
her children and grandchildren, in an effort to see us not suffer. In the
past several years, my mother Joy has extended this mothering and
altruism to all of the children of the world. She has put her comfort and
safety on the line countless times in an effort to stop the killing of the
world's children and grandchildren. On October 5th, my mother, Joy, went
to your front door to plead with you to stop bombing and shooting of
innocent children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

My mother, Joy, was joined by a group of almost 2 dozen other peaceful
civil resisters who were asking you to end the senseless killing in the
Middle East. Instead of engaging in civil dialogue with these resisters,
someone from the house where you live with your family sent out around two
dozen armed secret service agents to assault these peaceful people. So, as
I was watching what I believed to be a demonstration of our American
democracy, I saw the scene descend into what frighteningly became much
more like a scene from an Orwellian novel than from the America I had
learned about in Social Studies. And then all of the sudden, people were
being dragged, and then there was my mother, being bounced around like a
ping pong ball and being pushed violently by members of your Secret
Service.

I ran over to where my mother, Joy, was finally pushed on the ground, and
she was sobbing as she was being helped up by her friend. Her friend was
so angry that he began to yell that the Secret Service was pushing
people's mothers; they were pushing grandmothers. And I felt the anger
swell up inside of me as I saw my mother crying, and I looked at the
large, strong men who had been violently pushing my 55 year old mother to
the point of tears. Resisters and their supporters wisely moved to a park
across the street to process what had happened and decide what to do next.
And in the park, I comforted my mother, as I sat next to her in shock.

I don't mean to make this personal, but you have made this personal to me
when your Secret Service attacked my mother, and you have made it personal
to the families of the world when you have killed their relatives. How
would you feel if your daughters Sasha or Malia witnessed their mother
Michelle being assaulted by armed guards? How do you think your daughters
would feel? What would it do to Michelle? What would the world say? Well
then, please imagine how I felt and how my father felt when he heard when
happened right in front of your house where your family lives.

Mr. President, I voted for you in November because I believed in you. I
believed that you would put an end to the policies and unjust wars of the
Bush administration. Since you have been in office for the past 9 months,
I have listened to the excuses that people have made for your continuation
of the wars, and I have felt torn between feeling sympathy for your
situation and a childish expectation that you will rise to the occasion to
protect the children of the world from harm. But on that day, Mr.
President, you stole my youthful naivete and innocence. I left Washington
without faith in my government or in my president. It was instead replaced
with fear. I am lucky that I have seen such strength and resolve in my
mother and her community of peaceful resisters. So I have faith that this
senseless killing will stop, but I know that it will not be by your hand.

Jennifer First
Jennifer First is an antiwar activist.


--------12 of 17--------

Corporate Supremacy and the Rape of a Human Girl
by Glenn W. Smith
Sunday, October 18, 2009
FireDogLake
Common Dreams

We are fast approaching the time of the next great battle over evolution.
The Neo-creationists will be corporations, and they will argue that they
could not possibly be descended from human beings.

This isn't science fiction. Just the other day 30 Republicans voted in the
U.S. Senate to deny justice to a human victim of rape in order to protect
the so-called sovereign rights of corporations.

I'm not much for slippery slope arguments, but when we're buried in mud at
the bottom of a slope, it might be prudent to see what we slipped on. In
this case, as Thom Hartmann and others have pointed out, it was a court
reporter's memo attached to an obscure 1886 Supreme Court case. The memo
summarized the court's alleged opinion that the 14th Amendment applied to
corporations. Corporations were people, too.

The rape case of Jamie Leigh Jones was just a logical step forward in the
long-standing Republican effort to lock Americans out of the nation's
courthouses, an effort undertaken on behalf of corporate supremacy.  A
woman is gang-raped by her fellow employees at government contractor KBR.
The company says her contract prohibits her from seeking justice in court.

Thirty Republican U.S. senators voted to safeguard corporations from
lawsuits in rape cases. You read that right the first time. The amendment
they voted against, by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, would withhold
government contracts from corporations that block employees from going to
court when raped or sexually assaulted on the job.

The case - and the vote - stirred a little outrage, but not enough.

Jones, of Houston, was drugged and gang raped while working in Baghdad for
KBR/Halliburton. She was locked in a shipping container by the company and
warned to keep quiet. She didn't keep quiet. Franken and Senate Democrats
took up her cause.

The crimes of the rapists and their protectors in the Republican Party
reveal "tort reform" as one of the great political cons in U.S. history.
Tort reform is the not-missing link in the evolution of corporate
supremacy and human inferiority.

The decades-long GOP campaign against civil justice was just part of the
effort to place corporations above the law and corporatist elected
officials out of the reach of voters. Republican voter suppression was
another front in the war on popular democracy.

This is the populist issue of our time. Well, it was the populist issue of
bygone times, too, but too damn few took up the cause and the GOP ran away
with a victory built on fake field goals, double-reverses, stolen signals
and rigged referees.

It sickens me that Republicans could generate faux-populist resentment of
wealthy lawyers to seal the public out of the public sphere so
corporatists could steal, maim and kill with impunity.

Also, too many progressive organizations stood idly by as the values at
the core of democracy were attacked. Where were environmentalists, civil
rights groups, women's groups, consumer associations, and campaign finance
reformers when Republicans campaigned to give corporations greater legal
rights than people? They were sealed away in their silos, their
consciences eased by their single-mind focus on their particular issues.
It didn't seem to matter to them that their ability to actually achieve
anything was being undermined by the attack on democratic institutions and
core American values.

Now that we have reached the point where Republicans can argue with a
straight face that rape should be overlooked in favor of corporate
protectionism maybe this will change.

I think American businesses are waking up to the excesses of the extremist
assault on democracy. When all the courthouses are closed, they can't get
their business-to-business contracts enforced.

I fear, though, that in many places progressives and their allies are
stuck in old habits and personal grudge matches. Moderate business
Democrats should finally understand that lawyers did not cause any of the
policy problems they care most about:  the collapse of public education,
support for higher education, a safe environment, a predictable regulatory
environment. Progressive advocacy groups should wake up, too. When the
public is sealed out of courthouses and capitols, all their earnest work
for the environment, civil rights and health care will come to nothing.

It is a sign of our moral confusion that we are forced to have a
conversation about whether a woman who has been gang-raped can go to court
against her assailants. It is altogether disagreeable that we have to have
it with inhuman entities that want us to grant them legal superiority in
laws meant for humans.


--------13 of 17--------

Now, Let Us Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance
by Gary Corseri
October 19th, 2009
Dissident Voice

Maybe that's what it's all about... Maybe all that happens is, you get
older and you know less.
 - Frank Sinatra

Children:

In Amerika today we have two parties - the Fascist Union (also known as
the F.U. party) and the Phony Cooperative Baloney party (also known as the
P.C.B.).

The F.U. party stands for wholesome, Amerikan values - what we used to
call "rugged individualism". We don't use this term anymore because today
we understand the dangers of "individualism" - especially among the lower
classes. We know that smart and crafty people always get together to form
cartels, meshing economic, political and social lives to pursue their own
best interests - and to hell with everyone else! This is a law of Nature
known as "survival of the fittest". It's also known as the "invisible
hand" of the market. Even the great slave-holder, Thomas Jefferson,
understood this when he wrote about "liberty" and the "pursuit of
happiness". Notice that he did not write about "justice" and the "pursuit
of truth". Today we know that "justice" and "truth" are in the eyes of the
beholder. Each person has his or her own idea of what those words mean and
you can't run the New World Order with a lot of loose threads hanging out,
can you?

The P.C.B.-ers pretend they serve the interests of the "common people".
You can tell how much contempt they have for us right there - we are
"common," but they are not. Well, children, there is nothing "common"
about me! And, I hope, nothing "common" about you! I am proud to be part
of the crew that powers the ship. Let the captains decide where the ships
are going. They have all the information and we couldn't begin to
understand it even if we tried. They tell us what to do and think through
the mass media - including education -, and life is certainly a lot easier
when you know what to do and think. Don't be confused by idiots like
Michael Moore. There are always some crackpots who believe they're too
good to be conditioned like everyone else. In one of the renegade Moore's
classic movies, Capitalism: A Love Story - a classic example of
mis-alignment, one might say - he tries to make a distinction between
capitalism and democracy! Yes, you are right to snicker! There really is
no distinction. Democracy is rule by the people and the people obviously
want capitalism or they wouldn't keep this system in place year after
year, decade after decade - as far back as any of us can remember, even
back to the glorious Roman Empire of the sanctioned history books.

To prove that we are a capitalistic democracy we have to put up with the
PCB crowd. They like to parade the old platitudes like "fairness," and
"government of the people, by the people, and for the people," and all
that Martin Luther King blather about "all God's children," blah, blah,
blah - but everyone knows they are "in on the take". They have to raise
huge amounts of money to run their silly campaigns. A lot of them are
"filthy rich" themselves and they get into politics as a hobby because
they're not clever enough to make more money and create jobs for the
"working poor" they're always crying over like spilt milk. If, perhaps,
they don't have their own money, they go hat-in-hand to the corporate
bosses, cut deals - wink! wink! -, promise "the people" this, that and the
other while all the time knowing they can't or won't deliver. Sometimes, a
PCB-er breaks through. Remember President Obama? Yes, you can "boo"  -
it's all right. Some people say now that he actually believed his own
rhetoric.  "Change we can believe in!" (Yes, you can hiss!) Would someone
tell me what the hell that means?

Today we know that the people cannot change anything; only the elite, the
elect, the select and the carefully groomed Guardians of the New World
Order have the Intelligence necessary to ensure success. They gather
Intelligence from everywhere - from every corner of the globe, from every
nook and cranny. No one can escape. Resistance is futile. That is why we
have these cameras and microphones in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in
the halls, in the library, in the lockers, in the gym, etc. - so what we
say, what we do, what we think, can be constantly observed, monitored,
heard, vetted, discussed, dissected, appraised, and, if need be,
corrected. If need be, deleted. Remember the saying: "Our predator drones
are ever watchful, vigilant, never sleeping". (A word to the wise is
sufficient!) That is why there are cameras and microphones in your homes,
in your computers, in your phones, in the watches you wear, the products
you buy - in the streets, in your vehicles - in fact, everywhere. It is
all designed to make us better citizens of the glorious New World
Order - better soldiers in the armies, better, uncomplaining workers,
better
consumers of so-called "junk food," so-called "junk information". Today we
know that the Guardians are watchingand, - if they want us to die sooner,
well, we should all be prepared to "win one for the Gipper," stiffen our
backbones and do what's necessary because they see the bigger picture,
they know our best interests. It's because they are watching us - and
watching out for us! It's because they know our hearts and minds and very
souls - .and what is good and proper for all of us - better than we do.

Now, let us stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Gary Corseri has had his work published at Dissident Voice and hundreds of
other venues, performed at the Carter Presidential Library, had dramas on
Atlanta-PBS and elsewhere. He has taught in prisons and universities. His
books include Holy Grail, Holy Grail, A Fine Excess, and Manifestations
(edited).


--------14 of 17--------

A Reality Check From the Brink of Extinction
by Chris Hedges
Monday, October 19, 2009
TruthDig.com
Common Dreams

We can join Bill McKibben on Oct. 24 in nationwide protests over rising
carbon emissions. We can cut our consumption of fossil fuels. We can use
less water. We can banish plastic bags. We can install compact fluorescent
light bulbs. We can compost in our backyard. But unless we dismantle the
corporate state, all those actions will be just as ineffective as the
Ghost Dance shirts donned by native American warriors to protect
themselves from the bullets of white soldiers at Wounded Knee.

"If we all wait for the great, glorious revolution there won't be anything
left," author and environmental activist Derrick Jensen told me when I
interviewed him in a phone call to his home in California. "If all we do
is reform work, this culture will grind away. This work is necessary, but
not sufficient. We need to use whatever means are necessary to stop this
culture from killing the planet. We need to target and take down the
industrial infrastructure that is systematically dismembering the planet.
Industrial civilization is functionally incompatible with life on the
planet, and is murdering the planet. We need to do whatever is necessary
to stop this".

The oil and natural gas industry, the coal industry, arms and weapons
manufacturers, industrial farms, deforestation industries, the automotive
industry and chemical plants will not willingly accept their own
extinction. They are indifferent to the looming human catastrophe. We will
not significantly reduce carbon emissions by drying our laundry in the
backyard and naively trusting the power elite. The corporations will
continue to cannibalize the planet for the sake of money. They must be
halted by organized and militant forms of resistance. The crisis of global
heating is a social problem. It requires a social response.

The United States, after rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, went on to increase
its carbon emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels. The European Union
countries during the same period reduced their emissions by 2 percent. But
the recent climate negotiations in Bangkok, designed to lead to a deal in
Copenhagen in December, have scuttled even the tepid response of Kyoto.
Kyoto is dead. The EU, like the United States, will no longer abide by
binding targets for emission reductions. Countries will unilaterally
decide how much to cut. They will submit their plans to international
monitoring. And while Kyoto put the burden of responsibility on the
industrialized nations that created the climate crisis, the new plan
treats all countries the same. It is a huge step backward.

"All of the so-called solutions to global warming take industrial
capitalism as a given," said Jensen, who wrote "Endgame: The Problem of
Civilization" and "The Culture of Make Believe". "The natural world is
supposed to conform to industrial capitalism. This is insane. It is out of
touch with physical reality. What's real is real. Any social system - it
does not matter if we are talking about industrial capitalism or an
indigenous Tolowa people - their way of life, is dependent upon a real,
physical world. Without a real, physical world you don't have anything.
When you separate yourself from the real world you start to hallucinate.
You believe the machines are more real than real life. How many machines
are within 10 feet of you and how many wild animals are within a hundred
yards? How many machines do you have a daily relationship with? We have
forgotten what is real".

The latest studies show polar ice caps are melting at a record rate and
that within a decade the Arctic will be an open sea during summers. This
does not give us much time. White ice and snow reflect 80 percent of
sunlight back to space, while dark water reflects only 20 percent,
absorbing a much larger heat load. Scientists warn that the loss of the
ice will dramatically change winds and sea currents around the world. And
the rapidly melting permafrost is unleashing methane chimneys from the
ocean floor along the Russian coastline. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25
times more toxic than carbon dioxide, and some scientists have speculated
that the release of huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere could
asphyxiate the human species. The rising sea levels, which will swallow
countries such as Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands and turn cities like
New Orleans into a new Atlantis, will combine with severe droughts,
horrific storms and flooding to eventually dislocate over a billion
people. The effects will be suffering, disease and death on a scale unseen
in human history.

We can save groves of trees, protect endangered species and clean up
rivers, all of which is good, but to leave the corporations unchallenged
would mean our efforts would be wasted. These personal adjustments and
environmental crusades can too easily become a badge of moral purity, an
excuse for inaction. They can absolve us from the harder task of
confronting the power of corporations.

The damage to the environment by human households is minuscule next to the
damage done by corporations. Municipalities and individuals use 10 percent
of the nation's water while the other 90 percent is consumed by
agriculture and industry. Individual consumption of energy accounts for
about a quarter of all energy consumption; the other 75 percent is
consumed by corporations. Municipal waste accounts for only 3 percent of
total waste production in the United States. We can, and should, live more
simply, but it will not be enough if we do not radically transform the
economic structure of the industrial world.

"If your food comes from the grocery store and your water from a tap you
will defend to the death the system that brings these to you because your
life depends on it," said Jensen, who is holding workshops around the
country called Deep Green Resistance [click here and here] to build a
militant resistance movement. "If your food comes from a land base and if
your water comes from a river you will defend to the death these systems.
In any abusive system, whether we are talking about an abusive man against
his partner or the larger abusive system, you force your victims to become
dependent upon you. We believe that industrial capitalism is more
important than life".

Those who run our corporate state have fought environmental regulation as
tenaciously as they have fought financial regulation. They are responsible
for our personal impoverishment as well as the impoverishment of our
ecosystem. We remain addicted, courtesy of the oil, gas and automobile
industries and a corporate-controlled government, to fossil fuels. Species
are vanishing. Fish stocks are depleted. The great human migration from
coastlines and deserts has begun. And as temperatures continue to rise,
huge parts of the globe will become uninhabitable. NASA climate scientist
James Hansen has demonstrated that any concentration of carbon dioxide
greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible
with maintenance of the biosphere on the "planet on which civilization
developed and to which life on earth is adapted". He has determined that
the world must stop burning coal by 2030 - and the industrialized world
well before that.if we are to have any hope of ever getting the planet
back down below that 350 number. Coal supplies half of our electricity in
the United States.

"We need to separate ourselves from the corporate government that is
killing the planet," Jensen said. "We need to get really serious. We are
talking about life on the planet. We need to shut down the oil
infrastructure. I don't care, and the trees don't care, if we do this
through lawsuits, mass boycotts or sabotage. I asked Dahr Jamail how long
a bridge would last in Iraq that was not defended. He said probably six to
12 hours. We need to make the economic system, which is the engine for so
much destruction, unmanageable. The Movement for the Emancipation of the
Niger Delta has been able to reduce Nigerian oil output by 20 percent. We
need to stop the oil economy".

The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we still have a dryer in
our basement. It is because corporations look at everything, from human
beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is
because consumption is the engine of corporate profits. We have allowed
the corporate state to sell the environmental crisis as a matter of
personal choice when actually there is a need for profound social and
economic reform. We are left powerless.

Alexander Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of Russian anarchists
working to topple the czar, reminded his followers that they were not
there to rescue the system.

"We think we are the doctors," Herzen said. "We are the disease".

Copyright  2009 Truthdig, L.L.C.
Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.



--------15 of 17--------

Wealth is a System of Concentration
by Chuck Burr
17 October 2009
http://www.culturechange.org/go.html?532

Wealth is not what we are taught. Wealth is not stuff; it is a fiercely
protected system of concentration. Wealth is a verb, not a noun. It is the
act of the hoarding, and is a key pillar of our culture.

   The Agricultural Revolution: The "Dominion Revolution"

This system was invented by one tribe in the fertile crescent 10,000 years
ago during an event called the Agricultural Revolution.

This historical event has been grossly misnamed. It should be called the
Dominion Revolution. The change had nothing to do with farming. People
were farming and eating way before then. It had everything to do with a
complete reversal of the story we live by from, "we belong to the earth,"
to "the world belongs to man."

This is the point where our modern Taker culture was born. Until the
Agricultural Revolution all of humanity were indigenous Leaver peoples. We
were just one of thirty million species -- we were simply part of the fire
of life. One universal shared animist spirituality shared across thousands
of cultures.

Once we saw the world as our own, and that we can take from and apart
regardless of the consequences, a whole new set of possibilities opened
up. It started with denying our competitors access to food and privatizing
the land. If the world belonged to man, not only things but all life
including people can be possessed or at least exploited. Every social
justice problem directly stems the dominion story that perpetuates our
modern mono-culture or civilization.

  The End of Nature's Peace Keeping Law of Limited Competition

Once you extended the logic of dominion all the way out, you were now
allowed to wage war. A lion only takes one gazelle, and the rest of the
gazelles go back to grazing because they know the lion follows the peace
keeping law of nature or law of limited competition: only take what you
need to survive, no more. However, since the world belongs to man, he may
take all of the gazelles, or trees; he may wage war on the forest or even
his fellow man.

         Living the high life at Telluride, Colorado

Since it is too disruptive to wage war all of the time to get what you
want, a lower level system of violence needed to be invented to get what
you wanted. The solution was privatization and locking up the food so
everyone had to work within the hierarchical, consumptive, Taker system to
survive. If you did not work or at least behave within the system you did
not get fed.

By having everyone living within the hierarchy, you can have dozens or --
with technology -- thousands of people doing the concentrating for you.
The way to get rich is to direct your way part of the concentrating flow
from as large a network as possible.

That is why our system embraces large corporations -- they enable the
largest concentration network possible. We don't need a transnational
corporation to flip hamburgers, but with 31,000 restaurants, you can
concentrate $23.5 billion a year. Wealth is not the $23.5 billion, it is
the system that allows something that does not really exist, a
corporation, to operate a chain of 31,000 restaurants exploiting 1.5
million employees world wide.

This can be yours for just $12.9 million

                  Protection of Hierarchies

Our modern Taker system is fiercely protected. You can't end private
property by taking the property of the wealthy. Hierarchies maintain great
defenses from attacks from below. McDonalds grows where McDonald-Douglas
goes, now Boeing.

Government especially exists to enforce the system of private property and
wealth, along with the infrastructure and markets that enable
concentration. Make no mistake about it: government is not here to feed
you, as most naively believe. The regulations, laws, zoning, finances,
markets, inspectors, police, and military are here to make sure no one
messes with private property or the market.

Further, if we want another country's natural resources, first we send in
the corporations, then the jackals if necessary, and, if they didn't
succeed, the military. No ifs, ands, or buts. The system will try to
continue and expand at any cost. This meme is taught to us since childhood
by "father culture" that civilization is the end of history and must
progress at any cost.

This system of protection of the hierarchy is far more than overt force.
It includes deep stratification of education, social cliques, and access
to capital. Before my awakening I had all three and played within the
system. I interned for President Reagan and had seen the inside of several
Fortune 100 companies all by the time I was 35. With a little luck, it
worked.

Now I am trying to give it all back through one of the country's few
really sustainable models and education. Restoration Farm builds topsoil,
biodiversity, community, and educates. Show me a list of companies that do
that.

                       We Need a New Story

After being on the inside, and through traveling, I know how it works for
the very few, and does not work for everyone else -- human and our
non-human relations. I also know now that you cannot reverse the system
from within the system. You have to get far enough from it to develop a
new story. There in lies the solution.

More and more of us want a new story, a new way to live. We want to make a
living that does not end in insecurity, a life of bad food, not thinking
for oneself, poor health, wage slavery, no retirement, and a death
detached from your family. What are those things but civilization?

                Tribal Solution to Making a Living

A tribe or a smaller band is a group of people who want to make a living
together. A "community" today may be no more than a grouping of Yuppies in
close proximity. These are two very different things. More tribe-like or
band-like is a circus -- literally. In a small circus, everyone has
decided to throw in their lot, and make a living together. No one is
higher or lower. Being the "boss" is still just a job that someone may
have to do, but comes with no privileges. Decisions are made by consensus.

A tribe is group of people who are land locked and combine what they have,
be it land, tools, or skills, and then make a living together. A tribe
also has a sense of place in their watershed or bioregion. That is
important, but is not the focus of this discussion.

The trick is to carve out enough space to be able to detach ourselves from
the modern Taker world. The Amish call this avoiding entanglements with
our culture. That is why the old order of Amish drive wagons with
wood-steel wheels that they can build and maintain instead of rubber
wheels they can't. The point of creating some level of autonomy as a group
is to gain the freedom to live your own culture and stories such as,
"humanity belongs to the earth." If you are married to modern culture you
can't live a new story or imagine a new vision.

Now, the Amish do and do not live tribally. They live in a grey area in
between. Each family still owns its own land, but work together
cooperatively in another sense.

We have to end private property and hierarchical government, and replace
the failed story of dominion. Concentration, wealth, poverty, every global
crisis, and social injustice are the end result of the story we tell
ourselves about the nature of the world we live in, "the world belongs to
man."

We will lose a lot of cool stuff in this new world or "earth culture" as I
call it, but peak oil is going to do that for us anyway.

                   Natural Wealth and Permaculture

Real wealth is the resilience of nature and her ecosystems measured by
biodiversity, topsoil, and cooperative connections. Ecosystems cooperate
and have synergies that are not about competition.

Real human wealth is your community, education, and the cradle-to-grave
security that results. Real wealth results from giving security to get
security; it does not come from making things to get things.

If you are not taught to think, it's hard to think. We teach people in my
local community, students, and interns from around he world to see with
whole-system eyes. I am finding a huge divide in the education between lay
people and those who study permaculture. Permaculture helps people see
holistically, something we are not taught in school. Each department is
separated in our educational system, very little is taught as a whole
system. Your typical economics course does not tell you that for every
dollar made, the planet is trashed somewhere and a bunch of people are
exploited along the way. It is more important to learn how a whole
ecosystem works, than it is to split atoms.

               The Consumption of Population

The final word goes towards the ultimate expression of dominion. The story
that Adam chose Eve is misunderstood because the word Eve is
mistranslated. Eve means life, it does not mean a person or a woman. Adam,
choosing unrestrained life, means he is choosing abandoning Nature's
peacekeeping law of limited competition, and accepting unlimited
procreating supported by totalitarian agriculture.

Taker peoples have always been able to overwhelm Leaver peoples because
they had more people from a greater food supply. Again, we return to the
misunderstanding of the Agricultural Revolution: Because the Takers
decided to take all of the land for human food production and uses, they
simultaneously denied their fellow species' access to food, and so built
their human population. They made the choice to consume the world, start
the food-population race, and literally convert the natural world to human
flesh.

This all stems from the choice of dominion or taking, which birthed our
system of concentration and wealth. Wealth is not wealth, it is the Taker
system of dominion.

--
This essay appeared on CultureQuake on Oct. 12, 2009 and has been slightly
edited. - JL, Culture Change

Visit www.culturequake.org to read the blog as a whole work, visit the
Culturequake amazon.com book store, and learn more about the book
Culturequake: The Fall of Modern Culture and the Rise of Earth Culture.
2009 Chuck Burr LLC.


--------16 of 17--------

 Corporations need
 soulless zombies to lead
 them. They're bred in-house.


--------17 of 17--------

 Wars and police states
 are the ruling class with its
 mask off and pants down.


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