30 August 2009

Hold the Torturers Accountable

Hold the Torturers Accountable
Hold the Torturers Accountable

Video in which Cheney admits to criminal activity:

Here's another version of the video, direct from FNS:

Money Driven Medicine

I want to point you to this important film. It's called Money Driven Medicine, and it highlights some of the inherent and deep problems that are systemic in the health care industry.

Money Driven Medicine | Bill Moyers Journal PBS

20 August 2009

A Foot in Two Different Worlds

This is a rough dissertation. I am sick and tired of corporate power and socially/environmentally/spiritually destructive economic systems. Another way is possible...

I feel like I am living in two different worlds. One is the world of economic necessity, a world that for many people is cold, hard, cruel and oppressive. This is the world of bottomline economics. It is a world where profit motive is the reality. Yes, there are values here, but even the positive values of this world often times (and ever increasingly so in decades recent) get steamrolled by the sheer weight of motive for financial profit. This world is a world of fear. Fear of destitution. Fear of hunger, of alienation. Fear of scarcity. Fear of punishment for stepping out of line. Fear of termination from employment for political activity and/or political beliefs. In this world, hate and violence operate on a daily basis. People are corralled by big media into groups, where their differences are analyzed, and hostility and distrust are provoked.

Then there is another world. A world that exists to replace the current reality. A world of hope and love and care. There is a rainbow between these two worlds. A bridge. Let's walk it. Cross the bridge with me into this other world.

In the other world, which exists in the dreams of many people, and is, excitingly increasingly taking shape into a real physical and philosophical form, the principles of success relate to our abilities to co-exist harmoniously with each other, and the planet. Success relates to our abilities to care for one another, and to make provision and space for the meaningful and uplifting economic contribution from everyone. To work and to have health care is a human right. No one should have to struggle to find meaningful and positive work. No one should have to live without access to health care. Success can be measured by our abilities to care for each other.

Both of these worlds exist. The world of light, of kindness, of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance of personal differences, of cooperation, of equitable distribution of resources, of long-term sustainability, of uplifting and life-serving economic structures awaits. The rainbow bridge awaits. Join me in walking the path toward another world. A world that is human. A world that is benign. A world where care is among the pinnacles of human achievement.

Blessings. May Peace Be Unto You.

11 August 2009

Jodi Mitchell | Shine

here's another version. it's the same song, with different images interspersed throughout the video. this one is a little more colorful, and though it doesn't have all the lyrics.

06 August 2009

Some Brief Thoughts on The Richest Man in Babylon

Sun, Sky, Cloud, ContrailToday I finished reading The Richest Man in Babylon, by George Clason. Very interesting book, it is a fable, apparently based on some clay tablets, about the principles of gaining and controlling wealth (aka gold.) I have mixed emotions about the book. While it definitely delivers sound financial advice and principles, it leaves a lot to be desired when viewed from my perspective of concern about social and economic justice. I believe that hard work is important. Saving is important, and so is re-investment in socially responsible / life-serving activities. But the book has a decidedly "ends justify the means" approach to investing, that does not account for the present day realities of destructive technologies.

Although the ancient babylonians were (according to Clason's account) not a conquesting sort of people (and good for them!), they were not impervious to severe oppression, to dealing in slaves, and to amassing personal financial empires. I don't think that slavery can ever be rightly justified. No matter how much ambition, desire and determination a person has to succeed - it does not make it right to hold other human beings as property, to be ordered and subjugated in whatever way seems necessary or expedient toward amassing wealth. Dealing in human beings as a commodity is a very injurious and low-down way of economic operation.

A little bit of old growth forest beauty...This, of course doesn't absolve myself, (or anyone else) as an individual from working. It doesn't mean that as people we oughtn't take the initiative in order to provide for ourselves.

A lot has changed in the thousands of years since Babylon was an active and thriving society. The world is a very different place. While there is still great opportunity in the world, including the opportunity to gain wealth, there is a new need based on the ever increasing environmental impacts of a human population grown large, and grown powerful with technology, to ensure that our economic activities are not having a detrimental effect on others.

Black StallionIt's a new age. A new world. It is time for a new system of ethics. This is the Age of Aquarius. A new age. An age of humanitarian ethics. An age of innovation, invention, and tremendous opportunity - not to blindly pursue economic self-interest - but instead to pursue the common interests that we all share as part of the human family. This planet Earth is a beautiful and wonderful place. It is full of magic. We, as human beings, have important decisions to make about how we will choose to live in the future. Will we live in ways that are harmful to the planet and each other? Or will we live in ways that are beneficial, uplifting, and life-serving?

I believe that we, as a society, can make a transition to a culture that does no harm. And not only that! I believe that we can have a society that actually serves to improve upon our environment, promoting bio-diversity, ensuring for all that there will be healthy water to drink, healthy air to breathe, healthy earth to grow food and play... This is not too much to ask. This is only the right path.

01 August 2009

Hold the torturers accountable.

Hold the torturers accountable.

I had a conversation with my friend Sarah today about torture. I enjoyed it and I am glad that we got to talk. We talked about waterboarding. I think a lot of people don't understand exactly what it would be like to be waterboarded. She told me that there has been some good coverage in Time magazine, and also in Vanity Fair, which has taken a strong stand against what the Bush Administration has done. She also mentioned the work of Christopher Hitchens (in Vanity Fair,) who apparently went so far as to have himself actually waterboarded. I haven't gone through and looked at those news pieces, but it's promising that it's out there.

Waterboarding is very serious. If you can imagine being strapped to a board, and lifted up while laying on your back to have your head dunked under water until you can't hold your breath... and then gasping for air, only to have your lungs fill with water. Well, it is truly horrible to think about. No one, guilty or innocent, should be treated in such a barbaric manner.

We need to hold the torturers accountable. For the welfare of future generations; It's imperative.

To the Obama Administration: Please, take a strong stand against torture. Investigate to find out if US operatives are still conducting torture (in any form.) And if there is any torture occurring, then put an end to it immediately.

Also, investigate the Bush Administration, to find out who was torturing, where, when, how, and why. I believe that the people deserve to know the truth. We need a full accounting in order to heal as a nation.

Please watch this excellent interview with Christopher Pyle. It's by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!. It deals with the problem of military overreach into civil society, and the importance of holding the torturers accountable.
Christopher Pyle, Whistleblower Who Sparked Church Hearings of 1970s, on Military Spying of Olympia Peace Activists