Friday, October 24, 2008

Ronald Reagan Endorses Obama

Oh my! This is brilliant! Straight from the mouth of the Republican hero Ronnie Raygun. I want everyone in this country to ask themselves the same questions Ronnie asked us in 1980. Simply look around and unless you are in the top 10% financially the answers are obvious. Poverty is violence. Think about it. Do some research and go to the polls as an informed voter.

A question for the Christians: Who would Jesus be in support of here?

A system created to terrorize and impoverish is unjust, immoral, and in need of overhaul. It is way past time to address this, but here we are, so let's start now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Truth About Acorn's Voter Registration

I'm reminded of a song by anti-flag called We've Got The Numbers. The Republicans have been aware for years that without trickery, they do not command a majority of the votes in this nation. Due to this, they use the levers of fear, hateful divisive religion, and racism, as well as outright lies and fraud to divide and conquer the citizenry and seize power. Think back to the shenanigans of the 2000 and 2004 elections (police blocking minority voters, hanging chads, too few or faulty machines in low income areas, etc.).

Steal Back Your Vote (movie)

Steal Back Your Vote! from Greg Palast on Vimeo.
If you are challenged at the polling station, challenge them back. If you lack a government ID please try to obtain one before November 4th. If all else fails, vote on a provisional ballot, and let the attorneys fight it out in the courts. Keep in mind that the attorneys did not do us much good in the 2000 election and do all you can to ensure you are prepared on November 4th. (Republicans, remember to vote on November 5th when you will be expedited and avoid the long lines.) I recommend going to vote with friends, as it is much more difficult for someone to intimidate a group than to intimidate an individual.

Yes We Can! Si Se Puede!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More inequality' in rich nations according to BBC News.

The gap between rich and poor in most wealthy nations has widened, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said.

Since 2000, income inequality had risen sharply in the US and Germany and declined in the UK, Mexico and Greece.

The size of the income differentials varies, with the greatest disparity in Mexico, which has a ratio of 25 to one, followed by Turkey and the US.

The most equal distribution of wealth is in the Nordic countries, including Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

"Growing inequality is divisive. It polarises societies, it divides regions within countries, and it carves up the world between rich and poor," he added.

"Trying to patch the gaps in income distribution solely through more social spending is like treating the symptoms instead of the disease," said Mr GurrĂ­a.

He urged governments to act to increase education opportunities and job prospects for blue collar workers and to offer welfare-in-work to working-class families to boost income.

(Excerpts from article, for full article click title link.)

Buddha/ Does it seem more than coincidental that the inequality in the U.S. spiked since the year 2000 when Shrub & The Neocons seized power in Washington and Wall Street? I just noticed a caption in the article stating that the gap began widening in the 1980s. Who was in the White House during the 80s? Oh yeah, Ronnie Raygun & Poppy Bush with their neocon buddies puppeteering backstage. It all makes sense to me. Follow the dollars and connect the dots.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This weekend I attended the Great Lakes Bioneers Conference in Traverse City, Michigan. Traverse City is one of the U.S. satellite sites for the main conference in California. There are plans to take Bioneers international soon. My friends set me up with a ticket and lodging as an exchange/gift. Special thanks to Seth & May, Sarna, and Buzz & Deb.

Bioneers is an umbrella for many groups and individuals working for positive social, political, and environmental change. The attendees tend to be a real mixed bag of nuts, but at least 99% are wonderful people. The event is a mix of classes, lectures, live performances, local organic food, and networking. It is an amazing opportunity to become exposed to a lot of material from the bleeding edge of the progressive movement, as well as many incredible people riding that edge.

I reconnected with some old friends, made some new ones (check out Lee Sprague at Clean Energy Now), and was able to help out a bit. The music was phenomenal as always, and there was even a concert Friday morning for 300 local schoolkids. Hopefully my networking will allow me to find meaningful and gainful local (or telecommuting) employment sometime soon, so I can continue being a 50% custodial parent.

[Neocons and their economic catastrophe =( ]

Friday, October 10, 2008

If the World Could Vote

Click on the title for the link. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video

Darkness cannot persist in the presence of light, and the stronger the light the further the darkness must recede. Please add your light and your gifts to the effort to push back the darkness and cynicism of recent years and replace it with the realized potential of a truly United States of America. Let's bring forth the untapped creativity and energy of the people who've been exploited by the establishment for so long now (we are much stronger united and cooperative than we've been under the neocons). We are on the brink of an historic opportunity. Will we allow the cynics to pull us down, or will we finally take the leap and soar? Whose vision of the future do we most want to create? For my future and that of my children the answer is perfectly clear. Move toward the light, it's really that simple. As my dear friend Daisy May says, "Shine On!!!".

Sarah Palin made victims pay for Rape Kits in Wasilla Alaska and wants to force pregnant rape and incest victims to carry offspring to term.

Sorry for 2 consecutive negative posts, but it is imperative that people understand the choice they are making on the 4th of November. Sarah Palin supports rape victims paying for their own forensic-exam kits. She also supports forcing rape and incest victims to carry any offspring to term (a minimum of 9 additional months of constantly being reminded of the attack). "My daddy, he's also my favorite uncle..." (WTF) She sure is maver(icky).

John McCain: I aspire to be dictator

Can this man be trusted with the federal budget, let alone the Nuclear Codes? You already know my thoughts on this.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rep. Wilson: Any Criticism Of ‘American Policy’ Is Unpatriotic

I guess according to McSame's political flack (see video through title link), even after 8 years of military service, which I believe included defending the U.S. Constitution (and consequently free speech), I do not have the right to criticize policies which I believe endanger the citizens of the world. Palin has also been upset about the press asking questions. Hmmm....

Well, I have a different perspective. I forfeited my freedom of speech for those 8 years and now that I have it back I intend to make the most of it. I believe that it is the right and responsibility of every citizen of this potentially great nation to become informed and involved. Here's the legal language defending this right. Give this a bit of thought please.

First Amendment
: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence
: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

61 Nobel Laureates Endorse Barack Obama

On September 26, 2008, 61 Nobel laureates announced their endorsement of Barack Obama. More info available by clicking title link. Obama is my choice for many reasons, not the least of which is his position on the global environmental change and what he proposes to do to begin addressing it.

A Fun Visual Guide to the '08 Pres. Election

I found a fun little piece on DailyKos this morning. A picture is worth a thousand words and this is 8 pictures, so I'll just shut up and let you think about it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Link To Voter Registration Deadlines

I found this site for Rock The Vote while researching likely voter turnout for the upcoming presidential election. There are only a few states in which the deadline has already passed. If any of the three of you who read this live in another U.S. state and are not 100% certain your registration is valid, here are the dates you need to take care of it by. We need to exhaust all legal options for progressive social and political change. Obviously taking the time to cast an informed vote should be part of every citizen's efforts to positively impact our collective future.

Just click on the title link.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Comfort Dollars

Posted to BoingBoing by rushkoff, October 3, 2008 6:21 AM/ Title Link

Here's a great example of what we could easily call a "local currency" - that doesn't involve any of the bloody, anti-corporate revolution that detractors of this idea seem to think will attend any such effort.

A great, tiny organic cafe in my town, Comfort, decided to expand to a second, larger location last year. The owner, John Halko, has been renovating the new space for a year, and - thanks to the credit crisis - has been unable to raise the cash required to finish and finally open. With currency unavailable from traditional, centralized money-lending banks, Halko has turned instead to his community - to us - for support.

Granted, this is a small town. Pretty much everybody goes to Comfort - the only restaurant of its kind on the small strip - and we all have a stake in its success. Any extension of Comfort would bring more activity, vitality, and commerce to a tiny downtown (commercially devastated in the 1970s by the chain stores and strip malls of automobile-friendly Central Avenue).

So Halko's idea is to sell VIP cards. For every dollar a customer spends on a card, they receive the equivalent of $1.20 worth of credit at either restaurant. If I buy a thousand dollar card, I get twelve hundred dollars worth of food: a 20% rate of return on the investment of dollars. Halko gets the cash infusion he needs to build the new restaurant - and since he's paying for it in 20% tab adjustments, it just comes out of profits. He gets the money a lot cheaper than if he were borrowing it from the bank, paying back in cash over time. Meanwhile, customers get more food for less money.

But wait, there's more: the entire scheme refocuses a community's energy and cash on itself. Because our money goes further at our own restaurant than a restaurant somewhere else, we are biased towards eating locally. Since we have a stake in the success (and the non-failure) of the restaurant in whose food we have invested, we'll also be more likely to promote it to our friends. And since we have already spent a big chunk of money on Comfort's food, we're more likely go get food there than dish out more cash for a meal somewhere else.

When it gets really interesting is when other businesses begin to accept Comfort's VIP card and dollars for their services as well. But even in its current, limited incarnation, it's easy to see how the math of an extremely simple alternative currency works, why its existence gets cheaper money into the hands of people who need it, and how it circumvents centralized control over commerce.

Admittedly, this isn't a Boingworthy phenomenon in itself. It's simply not "scalable" the way Internet and tech things are. It's a local activity. But it can be modeled by other communities, and the Internet is a great way to share these experiments in social hacking, measure their results, and mutate them further.

Posted to BoingBoing by rushkoff, October 3, 2008 6:21 AM/ Title Link

BUDDHA/ What a great and simple concept for rebuilding local economies and communities. This is reasonably similar to the way a CSA (community supported agriculture) Farm operates. How many other direct-investment opportunities exist in our own local communities?

We could begin very simply by diversifying our local investments, which spreads the risk at the same time it begins to engage investors in strengthening the businesses they support. Think of owner-operated companies and the way workers strive to improve customer loyalty and eliminate waste. With people directly invested in the economic health of the local scene they would have an incentive to work on improving things. This could be an expansion of the phenomenon of homeowners working for better schools, parks, trails, downtown revitalization, festivals, neighborhood watches, etc.

People involved in this would be inclined to assist the business owners by making suggestions and watching out for potential pitfalls. Some people with relevant skills may volunteer to sit on boards or offer their professional services at a reduced rate or even pro bono to increase the odds of their investment succeeding long-term.

There are numerous organizations which network business people to each other and reward them for referring business to one another. These organizations have mechanisms in place to ensure that people genuinely live up to their promises and provide quality and value with a high level of service. BNI uses the motto "Givers Gain" and I feel this sums it up well. These groups already provide the model. It would need some adaptation, but I believe it is a great foundation.

This model, over time, favors unique local businesses, which recirculate their money in the local economy. This is a fantastic step forward in a national landscape dominated by the suburban strip-malls and generic box stores of incomprehensibly large multi-national corporations, which economically strip-mine our communities. In a generation we could have truly unique and identifiable locations and culture replacing "Anywhere, USA".

In closing, we can and should be looking for ways of mutually supporting and uplifting each other. This should be the foundation of our economic bail-out: local networks of inter-dependent (even symbiotic) businesses and customer-investors recreating our national economy as countless interwoven local economies.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Obama Rally 2 October 2008

Let me begin by thanking Amanda Narvaes for my VIP ticket. 'Amanda, you are my hero.'

Barack took the podium at approximately 10:00 and spent half an hour on a message that addressed the serious situation we are facing, while coming across as optimistic and inspiring.

The economic crisis could not have occurred at a more opportune time. I hate that it has had to come to this, but..... People, even in the belly of the beast (West Michigan), have become so frightened by the possibility of a complete economic meltdown that we finally have a strong probability of breaking the Republican stranglehold that's been throttling us for so long now.

Obama pledged to stop hemorrhaging billions each month in Iraq and bring U.S. troops out. He spoke of 50 billion dollars a year pumped into transitioning the U.S. to sustainable energy. His other major points concerned world-class universal healthcare and education.

I met John McCain this spring and found him to be very creepy. In contrast, Barack Obama is someone that I was impressed by and trust to do what he says. Barack is a man that I would be happy to have as a mentor to my children, something I take very seriously.

We face a decision of almost incomprehensible magnitude in about a month. Do we, as a nation, continue to inflict more of the same on ourselves and the people of most of the rest of the world, or do we vote for change and someone who has a positive and progressive message and agenda?

Obama wants to stop fighting unnecessary wars and end the free ride for the corporations that have been destroying this country. He plans to redirect those currently misspent resources (human and capital) toward the healing and rebuilding of our nation. This is a necessary first step toward restoring us to a position of international leadership, both technological and moral.

He intends to utilize the currently misdirected energy and capital on setting our course toward sustainability and justice. We need to begin educating and caring for the people of this nation and Senator Obama recognizes and heartily endorses this reality.

We can create a radically improved future for ourselves and for the generations that will follow us. I am a veteran and I unhesitatingly and enthusiastically endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Indian ban on smoking in public.

India just finalized a ban on cigarette smoking in public places, except for open spaces. Why is India ahead of the U.S. on such an obvious issue of public health? My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that the U.S. has a very rich and powerful tobacco lobby in Washington D.C. This group is always working to ensure a 'friendly' atmosphere for domestic tobacco sales for the cigarette manufacturers. Again, if we follow the money we can get to the source of many of our largest societal problems.

We need to insist that our politicians begin cleaning up the greedy and cynical system of lobbying against the interests of the people of our nation, and in many cases by extension (think certain Defense Dept. contractors or Big Oil as examples) the people of the entire planet.

We can and should be leading on these matters. The U.S. should provide the example on issues of sustainability and social justice. It is a very dramatic redirection, but I truly believe we have the capability, we just need the individual discipline and political will.

(Title Link to BBC article.)