|Progressive Calendar 04.10.14 /3||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:07:25 -0700 (PDT)|
PROGRESSIVE CALENDAR 04.10.14 1. Midstream Reading - 4.10 7:30pm 2. Gary Engler -.To Save our Planet We Must End Wage Slavery and Rebuild the Commons 3. Harvey Wasserman - Winning the Green Energy Revolution 4.ed - Invisible hand; SubReam Court - haikus & graffitti --------1 of 4-------- Midstream Reading Series When: Thursday April 10, 7:30-8:30pm. 2014 Where: Blue Moon building, corner of 39th and (3820) East Lake. Upstairs. Entrance just west of the Blue Moon coffee house; up the stairs and to the left. Not wheel-chair accessible. Plentiful street parking. Best to arrive 10-20 minutes early to get coffee and food/dessert from the Blue Moon, and to be seated by 7:30 so we can begin on time. And, the venue will easily hold about 30; after that, standing or floor-sitting room only. The early bird gets the seat. Please occupy the up-front seats first. Be an up-front person. Original poems and stories read/performed by their creators: Kris Bigalk Rich Broderick Rebecca Paradis Brendan Todt Kris Bigalk is the author of the poetry collection Repeat the Flesh in Numbers (NYQ Books, 2012); her work has appeared in The Water~Stone Review, The Foundling Review, and Revolver, and is forthcoming in The Blue Earth Review, Paper Nautilus, and the anthology The Liberal Media Made Me Do It. Bigalk has been twice awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant in Poetry to attend Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and Sewanee Writers' Conference, and was the Writer-in-Residence at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. She serves as Director of Creative Writing at Normandale Community College. Rich Broderick has published a number of collections of poetry and fiction, received awards, etc., and has had work appear in several anthologies. But his biggest literary payday came when his poem "The Boxing Lesson" was chosen for inclusion in the reading comprehension section of the standardized test packet that will be administered to every high school student in Massachusetts for the next five years. Following his reading tonight, Broderick will quiz audience members about what is taking place in each of the poems he has recited, who is the speaker in each poem, what passages are metaphor, which are literal, and whether any incidents in the poems resonate with personal experiences in the listeners' own lives. Rebecca Paradis. Poet and Spoken Word Artist, Rebecca Paradis has performed poetry at the Turf Club in St Paul, St Cloud MN, Jerome AZ and Honolulu HI via ralo Heineman's "Earth Mother Mind Jam" festival. She has also participated in Maureen Skelly's poetry productions, including "Women and Water" at the U of M in 2012. Rebecca's poetry has appeared in The Tenth Muse, Milkweed Chronicle and Minnesota Monthly. Her chapbook is called "The Cat's Echo" She will be reading from her work in progress, "Waitress World." Brendan Todt's poetry and prose can be found in Ninth Letter, South Dakota Review, Roanoke Review, NANO Fiction, and elsewhere. His short fiction has been featured online as part of the Tin House Flash Friday series and his poem, "At the Particle Accelerator at Krasnoyarsk," was included in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. The Idea of Leaves within the Dying Tree, his chapbook of poetry, was named a finalist in the 2013 New Michigan Press/Diagram chapbook contest. He teaches composition at Western Iowa Tech Community College, which has temporarily stifled his poetry writing but cultivated his desire to explore the novel. Before and after: The Blue Moon, downstairs, has coffee, sandwiches, desserts. Merlin's Rest, a bar/restaurant 3 blocks west, has a full bar, good food, a late hours kitchen, some outside seating For further information: David Shove shove001 [at] umn.edu 651-636-5672 --------2 of 4------- To Save our Planet We Must End Wage Slavery and Rebuild the Commons by Gary Engler / April 6th, 2014 Who runs your workplace? For most of us the answer is a boss, who reports to a higher boss, who reports to an even higher boss, who reports to a ... all the way up to the "owner" of the enterprise. This is called a chain of command. The words "chain" and "command" are both suggestive of a fundamental truth: Today's rules about the power of bosses and workers evolved from a time of masters, servants and slaves. While many norms and expectations have changed over the years the fundamental truth that bosses give orders and workers are required to obey remains the same. This explains the use of the term "wage slavery" by some who oppose capitalism. It suggests that working for wages is similar to being a slave. The Wikipedia entry on wage slavery offers a good introduction to the subject, pointing out the concept is much older than capitalism and that even ancient Romans argued accepting wages for work put one into a slave-like position. The idea that giving up your free will for any reason or length of time makes you a slave is as old as wage work itself. Interestingly, the usage of the term wage slavery has diminished as a greater and greater proportion of us work for wages. The notion that most of us are effectively slaves is probably too uncomfortable to contemplate. And, of course, not talking about this serves the interests of those who profit from our labour. But I'd like to suggest there's another reason as well. As more and more of us work for wages it becomes more and more normal and we lose the sense of an alternative. I was reminded of this while reading Peter Linebaugh's stimulating new book Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance, a series of 15 essays "written against enclosure, the process of privatization, closing off, and fencing in." Contrary to the mythology of a modern, progressive and democratic capitalism replacing backward feudalism, most ordinary people had more say in their day-to-day work life before our current economic system came along. In fact, the rights and privileges of "commoners" (the majority of people, whose independent livelihood depended on the shared commons) were destroyed as part of capitalist expansion. To this day, everywhere capitalism goes the rights and privileges of indigenous people disappear as the commons are enclosed (become private property) so that rich people can steal their profits. When commons were common, through tens of thousands of years, people mostly developed technology and systems of usage that respected the land, ocean, river, forest, grassland and creatures that lived there. They did this because it was in their collective self-interest to do so. This was reflected in their religions and how their societies were organized, including the ways people thought of themselves. Mutual respect, independence, collective responsibility, reciprocity, community and what we would now call a sense of ecology were encouraged because all served a society that held its resources in common. As Linebaugh points out in Stop Thief, 200 years ago poets bemoaned the loss of these values as well as the ugliness created when capitalism enclosed the land and resources that people depended on for their livelihood. Capitalism waged war on the rights, privileges and ideology of commoners. Enclosure of the rest of the world (colonialism) was the logical next step. That war has continued ever since, with today's military interventions, as well as the mass marketing of never-ending consumption and individualism just the latest in a long line of assaults. But this is not just interesting history. People who work for wages today can learn important lessons from those who resisted, and continue to resist, the enclosure of the commons. We should learn that: -- Every enclosure of the commons is an assault on the environment. The point of capitalism is to exploit nature and other human beings for private profit. -- Our strength is always collective; it flows from the commons. As individuals we are weak and defeated. -- We must insist that everywhere people work together be transformed into a commons. The factories, the shops, the distribution systems, all the places of our employment -- the entire means of production -- are a commons enclosed by capitalists in order to profit at our expense. -- To create an environmentally sustainable, healthy, nurturing economy requires we no longer accept being wage slaves. We must take responsibility for what we do. We must understand that our world is a commons, not private property, and begin to act collectively to protect the resources that belong to all of us. -- We must re-learn the values of mutual respect, independence, collective responsibility, reciprocity, community and living in harmony with the environment that were once the hallmarks of commoners. During most moments of sudden, great change in human history people have been motivated by rights that were lost, insisting they be restored. To accomplish the great change necessary today let us demand that which requires social labour be recognized for what it is, the common property of all. Let us rebuild the ways of thinking, the social relations, as well as the rights and responsibilities that were lost when our commons were enclosed. The term that best describes what we would be fighting for is economic democracy. The commons was always an economic democracy. The term also helps explain a key flaw in our current so-called democracy -- power flows from control of the economy, which is "owned" by a tiny minority. The most successful social movements in the past two centuries have all pushed for an expansion of democracy. The fight for economic democracy would be a continuation of these movements. Let's build an economic democracy to rebuild the commons! Gary Engler is an elected union officer and co-author of the just released New Commune-ist Manifesto -- Workers of the World It Really is Time to Unite, an updating of the original designed to provoke discussion about the future of unions and the Left. Read other articles by Gary. This article was posted on Sunday, April 6th, 2014 at 9:12pm and is filed under Capitalism, Privatization. --------3 of 4-------- Winning the Green Energy Revolution by HARVEY WASSERMAN High above the Bowling Green town dump, a green energy revolution is being won. It's being helped along by the legalization of marijuana and its bio-fueled cousin, industrial hemp. But it's under extreme attack from the billionaire Koch Brothers, utilities like First Energy (FE), and a fossil/nuke industry that threatens our existence on this planet. Robber Baron resistance to renewable energy has never been more fierce. The prime reason is that the Solartopian Revolution embodies the ultimate threat to the corporate utility industry and the hundreds of billions of dollars it has invested in the obsolete monopolies that define King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas). The outcome will depend on YOUR activism, and will determine whether we survive here at all. Four very large wind turbines in this small Ohio town are producing clean, cheap electricity that can help save our planet. A prime reason they exist is that Bowling Green has a municipal-owned utility. When it came time to go green, the city didn't have to beg some corporate-owned electric monopoly to do it for them. In fact, most of northern Ohio is now dominated by FirstEnergy, one of the most reactionary, anti--green private utilities in the entire US. As owner of the infamous Davis--Besse reactor near Toledo, FE continually resists the conversion of our energy economy to renewable sources. Except for the occasional green window- dressing, First Energy has fought fiercely for decades to preserve its unsafe reactors while fighting off the steady progression of renewable generators. FE's obstinance has been particularly dangerous at Davis--Besse, one of the world's most profoundly unsafe nukes. To the dismay even of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other notoriously docile agencies, undetected boric acid ate nearly all the way through a reactor pressure vessel and threatened a massive melt-down/explosion that could have irradiated the entire north coast and the Great Lakes. FE's nuke at Perry, east of Cleveland, was the first in the US to be substantially damaged by an earthquake. Both Perry and Davis--Besse are in the stages of advanced decay. Each of them is being held together by the atomic equivalent of duct tape and bailing twine. A major accident grows more likely with each hour of operation. Small wonder the nuclear industry has been shielded since 1957 by the Price--Anderson Act, which limits corporate liability in any reactor disaster to less than $15 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to what has already happened at Chernobyl and Fukushima, and could happen here. Should either of those reactors blow, FE and other investors will simply not have to pay for the loss of your home, family or personal health. Should that federal insurance be removed, the reactors would shut soon thereafter since for the last 57 years, no private insurers have stepped forward to write a policy on these reactors. As for the wind turbines in Bowling Green, there are no such problems. With zero federal insurance restrictions, they initially came in ahead of schedule and under budget. They have boosted the local economy, created jobs and produced power is that is far cheaper, safer, cleaner and more reliable than anything coming out of the many nearby trouble-plagued burners of fossil and nuclear fuels. Throughout the world similar "miracles" are in progress. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 92 percent of the new electrical generating capacity installed in the US in the first two months of 2014 was renewable. That includes six new wind farms, three geothermal facilities, and 25 new solar plants. One of those wind installations is a 75 megawatt plant in Huron County, Wisconsin. Four solar arrays will produce 73 megawatts for Southern California Edison, which was just forced by agrassroots upsurge to shut its two huge reactors at San Onofre, between Los Angeles and San Diego. SoCalEd and the people of southern California are now in the process of filling that void with a wide range of renewable installations. Many home owners will be doing it by installing solar panels on their rooftops, a rapidly advancing technology that is proving extremely cost--effective while avoiding production of millions of tons of greenhouse gases and radioactive waste. By comparison, according to one report, new development in "fossil fuel -based infrastructure was almost non-existent for January and February, with only one natural gas facility brought on line." Across the nation, public opinion polls show an accelerating embrace of renewables. According to a Gallup Poll taken last year, more than 70 percent of Americans want more emphasis put on solar and wind power, well over twice as many as embrace coal (31 percent) and nearly twice as many as those who support new nukes (37 percent). And here Wall Street agrees with Main Street. Despite gargantuan federal subsidies and its status as a legal fiefdom unto itself, major investors have shunned atomic energy. The smart money is pouring toward Solartopia, to the tune of billions each year in new invested capital. There have been the inevitable failures, such as the infamous Solyndra which left the feds holding more than a half--billion in bad paper. But such pitfalls have been common throughout the history of energy start-ups, including all aspects of the fossil/nuke industry. And in solar's case, Solyndra has been dwarfed by billions in profits from other green investments. Ironically, one of the biggest new fields ---advanced bio--fuels ---is being opened by the legalization of marijuana and its industrial cousin, hemp. Hemp was the number two cash crop (behind tobacco) grown in the early American colonies. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were enthusiastic cultivators. Jefferson wrote passionately about it in his farm journal, and Washington took pains to import special seed from India. As a crop with many uses, hemp has been an essential player in human agriculture for 50 centuries. In early America, hemp's primary early service was as feedstock for rope and sails for ships. But it was also used to make clothing and other textiles. Ben Franklin processed it in his first paper mill. And it has wide applications as a food crop, especially thanks to the high protein content of its seeds, which are also a core of the bird feed business. Some of the early colonies actually required farmers to grow hemp. During World War II the military commandeered virtually the entire state of Kansas for it, using it primarily for rope in the Navy. But since then it has been almost everywhere illegal. There are many theories behind why, including a belief that the tree -based paper industry does not want to compete with hemp feedstock, which--- as Franklin knew--- makes a stronger paper, and can be grown far more cheaply and sustainably. China, Japan, Germany, Rumania and other nations have long been growing hemp with great profit. Canada's annual crop has been valued at nearly $500,000,000. Estimates of its domestic consumption here in the US run around $550,000,000, all of it imported. The US hemp industry is widely regarded as an innocent by-stander in the insane war against marijuana. (Some believe that because it threatens so many industrial interests, hemp is actually a CAUSE of marijuana prohibition). But because marijuana prohibition seems finally to be on the fade, the laws against hemp cultivation are falling away. The national farm community is in strong support, for obvious reasons. Hemp is extremely easy to grow, does not require pesticides or herbicides (it's a weed!) and has centuries of profitability to back it up. When Colorado legalized recreational pot it also opened the door for industrial hemp, with the first full- on crop now on its way in. Washington state is following suit. In Kentucky, right -wing Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell both strongly support legalization. The federal law against its cultivation in states where it's being legalized has now eased. Hemp's role in the Solartopian revolution is certain to be huge. The oil content in its seeds make it a prime player in the booming bio--fuels industry. The high cellulosic content of its stems and leaves mean it might also be fermented into ethanol. (The stalks and stems are also highly prized as building materials and insulation). There has been strong resistance to bio--fuels now derived from corn and soy, for good reason. Those are food crops, and their use for industrial fuel has pitted hungry people against automobiles and other combustion technologies, bringing on rising prices for those who can least afford them. Corn and soy are also extremely inefficient as fuel stocks (corn is far worse). In a world dominated by corporate agri-business, they are generally raised unsustainably, with huge quantities of pesticides, herbicides and petro--based fertilizers. None of those are required for hemp, which is prolific, sustainable and can be raised in large quantities by independent non-corporate growers. Along with on-going breakthroughs in other feedstocks (especially algae) hemp will be a major player in the Solartopian future. As pot inches its way toward full legalization, we can reasonably expect to see a revolution in bio--fuels within a very few years. Likewise wind and solar. Windmills have been with us for at least five centuries. Coming from the plains of Asia, they covered our own Great Plains in the Great Depression and have rapidly advanced in power and efficiency. Newly installed turbine capacity is far cheaper than nukes and has recently surpassed all but the dirtiest of fossil fuels. As at Bowling Green, installation can be quick and efficient. Actual output often exceeds expectation, as do profits and job-creation. But the real revolution is coming in photo-voltaics (PV). These technologies ---and there's a very wide range of them ---convert sunlight to electricity. Within the next few decades, they will comprise the largest industry in human history. Every home, office, factory, window, parking lot, highway, vehicle, machine, device and much more will be covered and/or embedded with them. There are trillions of dollars to be made. The speed of their advance is now on par with that of computing capability. Moore's Law ---which posited (correctly) that computing capacity would double every two years ---is now a reality in the world of PV. Capacity is soaring while cost plummets. It's a complex, demanding and increasingly competitive industry. It can also be hugely profitable. So there's every technological reason to believe that in tandem with wind, bio--fuels, geo-thermal, ocean thermal, wave energy, increased efficiency, conservation and more, the Solartopian revolution in clean green PV power could completely transform the global energy industry within the next few years. "Only flat-earthers and climate-deniers can continue to question the fact that the age of renewable energy is here now," says Ken Bossong, executive director of the Sun Day Campaign. But there's a barrier ---King CONG, the Robber Baron energy corporations. In fact, the Koch Brothers and their fossil/nuke cohorts are conducting a vicious nationwide campaign against renewables. It puts out all sorts of reasons for the bloviators to blurt. But the real motive is to protect their huge corporate investments. Because what's really at stake here is the question of who will control the future of energy ---King CONG, or the human community. Though it would seem it could also be monopolized, Solartopian energy is by nature community -based. Photovoltaic cells could be owned by corporations, and in many cases they are. But in the long run PV inclines toward DG (distributed generation). The nature of roof-top collectors is to allow homeowners to own their own supply. The market might incline them at various stages to buy or lease the solar cells from a monopoly. But in real terms, the price of PV is dropping so fast that monopolization may well become moot. As futurist Jeremy Rifkin puts it more generally his "Rise of Anti-Capitalism." "The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero." But that's what's starting to happen with photovoltaic cells, where fuel is free and capital costs are dropping low enough that the utility industry and its fossil/nuke allies can't quite grab control. When individual building owners can generate their own PV power, when communities like Bowling Green can own their own windmills, when small farmers can grow their own hemp-based fuel, who needs King CONG? We know this powerful beast will fight against the renewable revolution right down to its last billion, especially now that American elections are so easily bought and stolen. Defending the green -powered turf will not be easy. But sooner or later, if we can survive fracking, the next few Fukushimas and the oil spills after that, Solartopia must come. Our economic and our biological survival both depend on it. See you there! Harvey Wasserman edits www.nukefree.org and wrote Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth. --------4 of 4-------- Wise men ask, What is the invisible hand the hand of? Destruction. SubReam Court To be courted in the the SubReam way, just bare it, bend over, spread 'em graffitti Never take a shower with the SubReam Court For a good SubReam call SCOTUS ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Shove Trove
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