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Thursday, May 31, 2007

"The Seventeen Traditions" by Ralph Nader

I just finished "The Seventeen Traditions" by Ralph Nader and I recommend it. It’s not too political, it’s not too long (150 pages) and it’s about family. In fact, it has been said that it shows how Republicans don’t have a monopoly on "family values."

The book has a chapter for each of the traditions, such as listening, independent thinking, charity, patriotism, and civics. It’s very relaxing, with a long introduction just describing the small town where he grew up. I think we can learn from small-town life as we transition to Earth Community (and free ourselves from oil) as envisioned in David Korten’s book "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community." Here, Nader describes how everything was within walking distance:

"It was a walking town. In those days, youngsters didn’t have to rely on Mama or Papa to drive them around. Nor were there school buses, except for the really distant rural homes. You walked. I walked. It was a good town for walking, with its tree-shaded streets, well-kept sidewalks, and access to just about everything for our needs, wants, and whims. Just a brisk walk away—no more than fifteen to twenty minutes—were the schools, the playgrounds, most of the homes, the town hall, the movie theater, the shops, the factories, the daily newspaper offices, the library, the historical society, the hospital and churches, police and fire departments, dentists, doctors, lawyers, the railroad station, the post office, the electric and telephone companies, and the county courtroom." (pp. 5-6)

"The Great Turning" by David Korten

Toward the end of his book, "The Great Turning" (pp. 316-322), David Korten lists four convergent imperatives:

1.. Accelerate the awakening of cultural and spiritual consciousness.
2.. Resist Empire's assault on children, families, community, and nature.
3.. Form and connect communities of congruence.
4.. Build a majoritarian political base.

He writes: "These four strategic undertakings are sequential in that each prepares the way for the next. They are also simultaneous in that each is currently in play, developing at its own pace, and contributing to the birthing process."

Korten goes on to describe three Turnings:

1.. Economic Turning
2.. Political Turning
3.. Cultural Turning

While the economic and political successes he lists are mostly local, I noticed what he said about the Cultural Turning:

"There is evidence of an emergent global cultural turning associated with the widespread awakening of the Cultural and Spiritual orders of consciousness…. It is this awakening that makes the Great Turning possible. It finds popular expression in the many economic and political initiatives mentioned above."

To take away the economic power of Empire, voting with our dollars is "One of the most visible manifestations of global civil society," Korten writes.

If it comes down to a matter of survival from the threats of global warming and peak oil, our best chance may be to "be the change" and "walk away from the king."

"A Taste of Power" by Elaine Brown

I recently read Elaine Brown's book "A Taste of Power" and I thought it was fascinating. I am excited she is in the race, though I do want to hear her current thoughts on the Green Party Key Value of Nonviolence. The Panthers were pretty rough at times, but they also provided food, medical care, and schooling--doing "so much with so little" while the capitalists did "so little with so much." Ultimately she left the party because her life was in danger--many of the men "were even willing to cash in their revolutionary principles for a self-serving 'Mafia.'"

The book has interesting perspectives on people I had already heard about: Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Huey Long, Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, Louis Farrakhan, Ike and Tina Turner, and Jerry Brown. I also found it interesting that the first SWAT team was formed to surround Panther headquarters, and that Panthers believed the SLA was an FBI invention to make them look bad.

As I understand it, they started patrolling the streets to guard against police brutality, but it was mostly the Panthers who were assassinated. At one point someone observed they had lost 11 people without any police fatalities.

I also listened to her CD "Sieze the Time" which is pretty good. I have not yet read her book, "The Condemnation of Little B."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Privatizing Iraq's Oil

What Congress Really Approved: Benchmark No. 1: Privatizing Iraq's Oil for US Companies


Friday, May 25, 2007

Safe votes in a puppet congress

Clinton, Obama, and Pelosi’s votes against the occupation funding are what we call "safe votes." They had enough votes to pass the funding, so their highest-profile leaders could vote no and tell the voters they voted no. It’s a big sham and I hope more and more voters see through it.

According to the book "Who's Who of the Elite" by Robert Gaylon Ross, Sr., the Republicans and Democrats take their orders from the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission, most likely headed by David Rockefeller.

Here's what he said about the Bilderbergs:

"They decide when wars should start, how long they should last, when they should end, who will and will not participate, the changes in boundaries of countries resulting from the outcome of these wars, who will lend the money to support the war efforts, and who will lend the money to rebuild the countries after they have been destroyed by war."

Based on yesterday's sell-out, it's obvious somebody above them is pulling the strings.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We fricking told you so

I called "Minnesota Matters" on AM 950 today and told them the following:

On the occupation, the discussion of overriding a presidential veto is beside the point. Congress has the power of the purse, they don't need to pass any funding.

We told you so. We were right about global warming, we were right about the war, and we were right about the Democrats. What will it take before you walk away and vote Green?

Then the co-host said Greens would never win any major offices. I just asked him why he thought that was. I said they have a chicken-egg problem, and that working within the DFL is just as futile as they think working outside the DFL is.

We agreed on IRV.

There were supportive callers before and after my call.