Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness ~ Power & Powerlessness

Dedicated to Marshall Slade Agresto Smith, who killed himself the day after his 22nd birthday. His family includes French, Spanish, Native American and Lebanese blood. The blood of his life is on all of our hands.

suicide, cultural ills, guns, Marshall Smith

Marshall Slade Agresto Smith candlelight vigil dedicated to his life, which he ended with suicide with his own gun.

He was an acquaintance whom i met at the bar where I asked to dj and incorporate my own music with the set. He hung out there from time to time, when he wasn’t working as a chef. Cooking was his passion.

Mashall Slade Agresto Smith

Mashall Slade Agresto Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spoke to him, commenting that the way he dressed, he looked like the carpenter apprentices in Germany who wear a particular uniform and only walk between their apprenticeships, Zimmerman. I couldn’t remember the name, and intended to tell Marshall the next time i saw him.

Zimmerman is a tradition that is hundreds of years old, still practiced in Germany and parts of France.

Zimmerman is a tradition that is hundreds of years old, still practiced in Germany and parts of France.

A Zimmerman is basically a journeyman.

I noticed the last time I saw him to my astonishment that he had a real gun in a holster carried on his belt, hanging at his stomach. He said “yeah, it’s legal here in New Mexico”. Bout a week later, i was swinging by the plaza of Santa Fe coming into town at dusk and saw all these people standing holding candles and ‘CANDELARIOS’ lined up around the center.

Candlelight vigil for Marshall Smith

Candlelight vigil for Marshall Smith

I thought to myself, which tragedy happened now around the world, a new bombing or flight disaster? I approached and tried to see in the darkness the picture setting there. I soon learned that it was a vigil for Marshall, who killed himself several days earlier. The day after his 22nd birthday he shot himself with his won gun. His family stated in the announcement of his obituary, to not let people who drink be near guns, and not let people with guns near alcohol.

I came across this article a few days ago and sensed it that it’s appropriate to the current zeitgeist.

Broken Open, Heidi Barr, grief

Broken Open Heidi Barr on grief

“Politics.  Human decency.  Disrespect for women.  Self hatred.  Governmental control.  Fear. Complacency.  Planetary destruction.  Stealing.   Dishonoring sacred sites.  Destroying nations.  The despair of the poor.   The despair of the rich.  Outrage.  Ignorance.  Brushing it under the rug.  Dishonesty.  Hope.  Hopelessness. Wondering.  Paying the bills.  Running away.  Feeling stuck.

So I don’t think we need more guilt, or rage, or powerlessness.  We surely don’t need more entitlement, self hatred, or shame.   But we do need to grieve that which has been lost, that which has died, that which we or our children will never have, and that which is at this very moment fading away.  Stephen Jenkins says, “Grief requires us to know the time we are in.  We don’t require hope to proceed.  We require grief to proceed.”

Marshall’s one grandfather had been president of a local college, St. Johns. The other, a Native American who’s a fantastic chef, bringing the family together through this ritual and art, which his grandson Marshall adopted with a passion.

I feel that this is representative of a sickness of our culture.

We’re all ‘expected’ – by whom – cultural norms and habitual responses – to conform; i.e. in our economic incentives, the way we dress, the appendages and material possessions we obtain, through the work we do, the way we express ourselves and how we view and even interpret reality. It’s a structural conformity, that filters down to our routines and habits, the ‘weekend’ celebration, the time allotted from our economic machine to gather… otherwise – put your head down and don’t question. French, Ukrainians…question. Americans are severely brainwashed. Noam Chomsky communicated how the media contribute to this structural conformity in Manufacturing Consent. “proposing that the mass communication media of the U.S. are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion, by means of the propaganda model of communication.”

Suicides, drug addiction are all representative of cultural ills. War is a condoned, anticipated and enculturated norm which is uncanny. War and artillery, weapons and the military industrial complex are viewed through the cloak of nationalism. It is your duty, and is equated with loyalty and honor to your country. I become so disgusted with this that I often feel just disappointment with my fellow man, and have more affection, adoration & praise for other animal & life forms, including plants.

This young man was not a conformist by any means>>>>and our culture screams for conformity. Consumerism overpowers the urge for genuine communication and cooperation. We all quickly assess and judge by clothes. How do you dress? What kind of automobile do you drive? What are these things broadcasting about you? What is your job or profession? How do you make your way in the world to pay for your housing and clothes…so that you have a place to sleep when your weekend respite arrives to spend some time at home enjoying these? We drive by one another insulated in our automobiles or interact while attending an entertainment event which we usually need to pay for. The entertainment standard is something we passively ‘watch’, rather than interactively participate in. I have been viscerally thinking about this and wrote while waiting to attend the ‘visitation’…that I’m disgusted with Marshall’s suicide, feel it is representative of cultural ills – not merely family.

fiery orange sunset

fiery orange sunset

The same day that I walked out of the visitation for Marshal and caught a glimpse of this fiery orange sunset which lingered pink on the horizon as I rode away, I later communicated the circumstances to a friend living in New Mexico who also saw this sunset. She said that just that day she had been reading about the Bridgend suicides, which were this sudden increase in suicides among mostly teenagers and young adults in the last few years in Wales. I found this article about it. The Mystery Suicides of Bridgend county

“The author talks to “cluster suicide” experts…Outbreaks like this are rare but not new…They have happened in Germany, Australia, Japan, the U.S., Canada, and Micronesia…Psychologists familiar with the phenomenon are saying that what’s going on in Wales is a classic case of the Werther effect, named for Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, about a young man who puts a gun to his head to end the agony of unrequited love and because he can’t find his place in the provincial bourgeois society of the day. The novel’s publication, in 1774, prompted young men all over Europe to dress like Werther and take their lives. It’s also called the contagion effect and copycat suicide: one person does it, and that lowers the threshold, making it easier and more permissible for the next…”

“These suicides are a symptom of a deeper societal malaise.”

This was just one individual, yet it prompted me to wonder how common suicides have been in history. It’s something I’ve never really wondered aboutinternational suicide rates. It appeared from my search that this has been on the rise in a number of different countries. I can’t imagine that this was common hundreds of years ago somehow.

International suicide statistics

International suicide statistics

About the same time that this occurred, George Monbiot – an environmental, social, economic and political writer – wrote this blog. “There Is Such a Thing As Society

Why should plagues of mental illness surprise us, in a world being ripped apart?

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 12th October 2016

“What greater indictment of a system could there be than an epidemic of mental illness? Yet plagues of anxiety, stress, depression, social phobia, eating disorders, self-harm and loneliness now strike people down all over the world. The latest, catastrophic figures for children’s mental health in England reflect a global crisis…There are plenty of secondary reasons for this distress, but it seems to me that the underlying cause is everywhere the same. Human beings, the ultrasocial mammals, whose brains are wired to respond to other people, are being peeled apart. Economic and technological change play a major role, but so does ideology.”

“Though our well-being is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism.”

Another article and preview of the film which it refers to also presented itself during these same last few days.
From Brexit to Donald Trump: welcome to the age of hypernormalisation in London

“No one talks about power these days. We are encouraged to see ourselves as free, independent individuals not controlled by anybody, and we despise politicians as corrupt and empty of all ideas…But power is all around us. It’s just that it has shifted and mutated into a massive system of management and control, whose tentacles reach into all parts of our lives. But we can’t see it because we still think of power in the old terms—of politicians telling us what to do.”

Hyper normalization Living in an Unreal World

Hyper normalization Living in an Unreal World

Hyper normalization, film, Adam Curtis

Still from trailer of Hypernormalization film by Adam Curtis

“The aim of the film I have made — HyperNormalisation — is to bring that new power into focus, and show its true dimensions. It ranges from a giant computer high up in the mountains of northeast America that manages and controls over 7 percent of the worlds total wealth, to the complex algorithms that constantly monitor every move and choice you make online- giant computer constantly compares events happening around the world to events in the past. If it sees a dangerous pattern, it immediately adjusts its trillions of dollars to keep things stable. That is real power. The algorithms on social media constantly look at the patterns of what you like and then feed you more of that—so you enter into an echo chamber that constantly feeds you back to you. So again nothing changes—and you learn nothing new that would contradict how you feel. That too is real power.”

In the meantime, Native Americans and a handful of white people are in North Dakota trying to defend their land.

In North Dakota, Dakota Pipeline, protestors, Water Protectors

In North Dakota, the Dakota Pipeline protestors are actually Water Protectors

By the way, I learned the other day from a man I met who had been adopted by a Native American family who is a Native American Literature professor, that in contributing to the writing of the United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was inspired by the Iroquois. The Six Nations: the Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth

“The people of the Six Nations, also known by the French term, Iroquois Confederacy, call themselves the Hau de no sau nee (ho dee noe sho nee) meaning People Building a Long House… The original United States representative democracy, fashioned by such central authors as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, drew much inspiration from this confederacy of nations. Together these peoples comprise the oldest living participatory democracy on earth. Their story, and governance truly based on the consent of the governed, contains a great deal of life-promoting intelligence for those of us not familiar with this area of American history.”

Iroquois, 6-nations, Participatory Democracy

Iroquois 6-nations Oldest Living Participatory-Democracy on Earth

Karl Marx was also influenced by the Iroquois in his political philosophy.

In fact, every kid in school is indoctrinated into this with the daily pledge of allegiance.

United States Declaration of Independence

Second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence

And yet, I don’t particularly feel that we are all created equal, especially when those who inspired the declaration are the very people who live in sacrifice zones – A sacrifice zone is a geographic area that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. These zones are most commonly found in low-income and minority communities.

Speaking of Democracy, wikileaks now reveals that it is not ‘we the people’ in a Democracy who vote for our representatives, but in fact just before the last election it was Citibank who were already planning even before Obama was elected, who were going to be taking the top posts in the Federal government. This New Republic describes The Most Important WikiLeaks Revelation Isn’t About Hillary Clinton

What John Podesta’s emails from 2008 reveal about the way power works in the Democratic Party.
BY DAVID DAYEN October 14, 201

“Michael Froman, who is now U.S. trade representative but at the time was an executive at Citigroup, wrote an email to Podesta on October 6, 2008, with the subject “Lists.”

This was October 6. The election was November 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama cabinet, a month before votes were counted. And according to the Froman/Podesta emails, lists were floating around even before that.”

 Is Compassion the Antidote to Neoliberalism

Is Compassion the Antidote to Neoliberalism

Meanwhile in his article addressing climate change and the disasters and devastation of the petroleum industries’, Monbiot writes in his blog “What Lies Beneath” – a nice play on words – is as biting and bold as his honest assessments always are.

“All this nonsense is a substitute for a simple proposition: stop digging. There is only one form of carbon capture and storage that is scientifically proven and can be deployed immediately: leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

“Their (governments in the pocket of the oil industry) choices are as follows. 1. a gradual, managed decline of existing production and its replacement with renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure, which offer great potential for employment. 2. allowing fossil fuel production to continue at current rates for a while longer, followed by a sudden and severe termination of the sector, with dire consequences for both jobs and economies. 3. continuing to produce fossil fuels as we do today, followed by climate breakdown. Why is this a hard choice to make?”

In the meantime,

Great Barrier Reef officially declared Dead after 25 million years

Great Barrier Reef officially declared Dead after 25 million years

The Great Barrier Reef is officially dead: http://www.theearthchild.co.za/great-barrier-reef-officially-declared-dead-25-million-years/

I am in the library with my laptop, the only place to come to, not having residual cash to pay at a cafe to sit and linger in communication with the rest of the world. I’m here among library patrons along with a regular homeless population, of which, I guess i’m sort of one. In Tucson, at the grandiose university student library, there were a lot of homeless people too. There are no places to congregate really, unless you have money to spend. I wish to continue writing blogs and doing the research to complete my book, wish to continue playing bass guitar and piano and composing music with computer programs. I am lost as to how to find an artist residency.

… I entertain myself through learning and reading and doing various creative projects, which except for the tools – is free – all the time and effort put in to it have returns in the delivery of delight and joy gained through doing something. It is empowerment through action, not through consumption.

I have been kicked out of numerous places over the last year; parent’s home in PA, the workaway on a ferry in Brooklyn, my friend’s house in PA, the WWOOF i had arranged in the middle of nowhere in Arizona, and then voluntarily from the place i could no longer afford by paying rent with my credit card…and a few other places among familiar people, because people need their space. In fact there are a lot of quite large homes here in Santa Fe and people with homes left vacant while they live in their other homes….and I now have even more stuff that I’ve aggregated to my side; a suitcase of clothes, my laptop, bass guitar, favorite piano book, camera, now a few more frisbees since I’ve joined in on local ultimate frisbee pickup games in each towns I’ve lived in…and yet am almost homeless again, as I’m living so far up into the hills – literally encroaching on the animal habitats of the animals that have no more space for their own territory to live and survive – that my back is started to feel the weight of carrying everything with me down the hill and then trekking back.

I’m going to attend the debates tonight again in a public forum, just to exchange with people around me in their loathing. I had found a place and exchanged a friendly conversation for almost two hours with the woman with whom i thought we had a lot in common, and she said she had to sleep on it, and then never bothered to call me to say she didn’t want me as a housemate. then i moved to this mountain home guest of a man living alone there whose dog I walk, and the other woman who i was going to move in with and had to wait 2 weeks + to move in, called it off at the last moment, after i’d taken down all my signs, stopped looking for housing. a day before move-in i received an email in blue ink, very comforting looking, saying that she wasn’t moving in. then i had my first day at a job substitute teaching and instead of the principal telling me that it wasn’t going to work while I talked to her about potentially exchanging positions with the music teacher substitute who didn’t know how to read music…didn’t bother to tell me to my face that the job was off, but i found a ‘system response’ later that night. Had i not seen it, i would have gotten up again at 5:30 am to get there. then last night, i went to practice bass with a band, and neither of the guys bothered to phone to tell me that this was off, in fact they were playing earlier together with another guy on bass, when the day before i was trying to arrange an alternative night to accommodate the one guys’ new job.

It appears to me that gay men control the fashion and the art industry and then a small percentage of people control everything else. I’ve put out housing ads, and there have been a few people who randomly contact me with obscure cryptic texts, and then there have been a few men who send me pics, practically sexting, to their abs in pictures.

In the meantime, An eye-opening flight over California’s dying forests
By Kurtis Alexander Updated: August 6, 2016 8:00pm

Dead trees sweeping across the Sierras, California's dying forests

Dead trees sweeping across the Sierras – California’s dying forests

The four crew members were halfway through two weeks of flights over landscapes shifting ominously from green to brown, and already they’d begun to draw their conclusion: The mind-boggling number of trees that have died in California due to drought — an estimated 66 million over five years — is only the beginning.

It’s creeping farther north, and to higher elevations, not only providing tinder for wildfires, but also obstructing the forests’ fundamental ability to provide clean water and absorb carbon dioxide.

All i want is an artist residency where I can physically contribute to learning about and maintaining sustainable living, while also helping to ensure animal habitat conservation. My dream; a community of people contributing this, who are also committed to completing new works on an ongoing basis, the work which blends into education and awareness of the fragile planet and interrelationships that need to be sustained. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHRE THESE EXIST? WITHOUT A WAITING LIST?

guess i'm going to have to adjust the sails

guess i’m going to have to adjust the sails

Le plus dur n’est pas de rêver, mais de ce réveiller

….the most difficult is not to dream, but to wake up…..

Carol Keiter, blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea | Stand for Trees | Severn Suzuki | Anjali Appadurai

I just came across these messages which echo in their empathy for the inhabitants of the earth affected by their environment and for the habitat loss of species; it’s about what we can and must do to actively engage in changes.

Dear Future Generations, Sorry, Prince Ea

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea

Prince Ea describes what a future generation may come across, when the Amazon Rain Forest becomes the Amazon desert…or when a tree is a thing of the past, yet stops himself to beckon the audience that it is not too late.

Dear Future Generations, Sorry, Prince Ea, I am not sorry, error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it

He urges to “look at the root, not at the branches of government…..we must globally warm our hearts….If we don’t all work together to save the environment, we will be equally extinct.”

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea. If we do nothing, regardless of racism, sexism, inequality... we will be Equally Extinct

Dear Future Generations: Sorry Prince Ea. If we do nothing, regardless of racism, sexism, inequality… we will be Equally Extinct

Prince Ea says he was inspired to write this piece after visiting Africa and witnessing the destruction of the rain forest, where animals are losing their habitat at enormous rates.

And with reference to sorry doesn’t cut it, because we still have a chance to act; he brings up Stand For Trees, what he has chosen as an action to offset carbon.

buy Stand For Trees Certificate, forest communities, specific forest, tonne, CO2, earth's atmosphere.

Every time you buy a Stand For Trees Certificate, you help local forest communities around the world keep a specific forest standing and prevent a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

Stand for Trees certificate

Stand for Trees certificate

Stand for Trees How it Works You Buy a Stand for Trees Certificate, offsetting a 'tonne' of CO2, allowing forest to stand

Stand for Trees How it Works You Buy a Stand for Trees Certificate – offsetting a ‘tonne’ of CO2 – allowing forest to stand

This will naturally help communities living within these local forests to protect and honor their trees and want to maintain the forest as well as maintaining the corridor of land for all the species whose habitat is within these forests.

I came across the speeches of two young girls who had the courage to extend their voice to adults meeting in two separate climate summit events.

One features the Words of Wisdom of the 12 year old girl at the time of here speech in 1992, uploaded April, 2008 onto youtube.

Severn Suzuki, Rio De Janeiro, Earth Summit 1992

Severn Suzuki in Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit 1992

Severn Suzuki was the ‘girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes‘.

I am only a child, and yet I know, that if all of the money that is spent on war, was instead spent on environmental policies, Severne Suzuki girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes. She claimed that her father informed her, “You are not what you say, you are what you do.” She was speaking at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992 – United Nation’s Conference on Environment and Development (1992)

Severn said that her father informed her, “You are not what you say, you are what you do.” Investigating, I found that her father is certainly saying and doing things to inspire us. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/sustainability-david-suzuki-creative-consciousness-same-name-but-different/

At that time, Severn Suzuki was speaking for (ECO) The Environmental Children’s Organization – which she and several 12 and 13 year old friends started to engage with the world to make a difference. She came 5,000 miles from British Columbia to Rio to tell adults how their actions were causing her to lose her future. “I am only a child, and yet I know, that if all of the money that is spent on war, was instead spent on environmental policies.”

Severn Suzuki, Earth Summit Rio 1992, if money were invested in education, solutions to poverty and environmental devastation,  rather than  war

Severn Suzuki speaking at Earth Summit Rio 1992 if all the money spend on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental solutions.

Severn Suzuki grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In her speech she said, “In my country we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share…

If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!”

Here is the full text of Severn Suzuki’s speech at the Earth Summit Conference in Rio, 1992.

She is since married with two children, intent still in making a difference through her education and activism. Think Global Green, listing Facts and Solutions about the environment.

19 years later, another young articulate and bold young woman spoke to a different climate conference, this time the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa in 2011. As a representative of the College of the Atlantic representing the Youth Delegation, Anjali Appadurai urged the dignitaries attending the UN summit for climate justice, demanding them to “Get It Done”!

Anjali Appadurai, Youth Delegation, College of the Atlantic, United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban, South Africa 2011, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

Anjali Appadurai, representing the Youth Delegation of the College of the Atlantic speaking to United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa 2011, covered by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

Carol Keiter the blogger with Tibetan prayer flags, Native American dream catchers and green plants

Carol Keiter the blogger with Tibetan prayer flags, Native American dream catchers and green plants

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Propose a “Humanity Without Borders” Commission made of Collaborative countries to Create Jobs & Place Refugees Worldwide into 1. Renewable Energy Production Operations 2. Affordable Elderly Care Positions

Propose a “Humanity Without Borders” Commission made of Collaborative countries to Create Jobs>Place Refugees Worldwide into 1. Renewable Energy Production Operations (Wind, Solar, Wave, Geothermal) 2. Affordable Elderly Care Positions

renewable energy wordcloud

renewable energy wordcloud

Given: there are as many opinions as there are fingerprints. Some are more molded into particular alignments with a given fraternity, community, language group or identification with a particular religious, political or economic regime. I’ve listened to a number of different opinions in the last 10 days, all pretty educated ones; ranging from the idealistic to the pragmatic. Each provide lessons.

helping hands elderly care

helping hands elderly care

I think that the whole world needs to make some radical, revolutionary changes in response to all of the things happening right now. There is no choice to maintain the status quo of how things are. People need to step out of their comfort zones and into more proactive than reactive stances. Step out of their insular communities and look and act with a larger incentive; that of recapturing a sense that there is more to life than merely the exchange rate and a particular point of view. What is happening now with the climate, the pollution, the higher levels of economic and racial inequality and the dissemination of species and the mass exodus of peoples from lands all over the world due to economic or political crisis, is unprecedented. And that this flow of migration away from the regions with such bleak circumstances is in many ways connected to and because of what is happening or produced and exported – directly or indirectly – from other more powerful nations of the world. This exodus from lower altitude lying countries, along with Carbon Dioxide levels, will only rise, unless we do something about it.

heart wordcloud ederly care

heart wordcloud ederly care

Everyone is going to have to face this challenge. A challenge beyond aeons of fraternal arguing, religious opposition, power mongering and basing everything on the GDP and finance. Man’s energy choices have resulted in the degradation of the earth and all of its creatures, along with more severe extreme weather patterns. And now, amalgamating into a flood of people from their bleak circumstances. The additional challenge is a growing aging population that also deserve the respect and dignity of having their needs met.

I propose “Humanity Without Borders

I say, create the room and motive to solve several crises with the same goal; to relocate people by establishing a Humanity Without Borders board made up of dozens of different membership countries. Their mission: to relocate refugees with dignity, and placement into work.

The world has been watching a flood of refugees from all over the world; central American towards their Northern neighbors, Syria, North, East and Central Africans into Europe, lured by smugglers, who like drug dealers, are mostly intent on making a profit, by any means possible. We’ve been watching as people have been herded into horrific conditions and treated with anger, fright and contempt.

This is something that is bigger than any one nation can handle, and once again, perhaps created because of these foreign lands that they are fleeing towards, indirectly from the financial model and directly because of the CO2 levels rising, affecting the weather patterns to such an extreme that their resources are depleting as the unrest and political turmoil rises. These small-time smugglers are profiteering on delivering people out of their sordid environments as if they’re fugitives.

Yet we could construct something to solve the tensions, perhaps even slow down the desire to abandon their own countries, by creating a global panel representative of a host of different ethnicities and governments worldwide, to join in this emergent “Humanity Without Borders” mission: to place refugees worldwide into working towards the production of renewable energy plants worldwide, and the service of the elderly in the growing populations of elderly and declining birthrates in several nations of the Western World including the USA and Germany as well as Japan and China in the Eastern Hemisphere, to be trained in healthcare.

This would be creating jobs and placing people into sustainable economic conditions, while helping with the crushing demand of restructuring our infrastucture towards renewable and clean energy to curb the pollution and destructive dirty energy practices of oil and coal, and fulfill the need for human assistance to elderly. Empowerment, a growth in quality of life, a renewal of the environment and a cross-generational reach to honor the dignity of life into old age, would be just some of the positive repercussions of this placement.

Perhaps, a mass transformation of building towards renewable and ecologically sustainable production and practices, would dramatically improve the quality of well, everything.

jobs 2012 renewable energy

jobs 2012 renewable energy

There is no shortage of jobs! There is a shortage of the means of funding a complete restructuring of the industries as we know them. But there are examples of great ingenuity and success stories of renewable energy everywhere.

There is no shortage of money! Just look at the amount of campaign money in the United States presidential race. A Choice of Billionaires. There are two categories in demand globally in goods and services: 1. restructuring energy production to put large scale renewable energy systems in place – solar, wind, geothermal, wave, etc. and 2. the service of care, particularly for aging populations in the US, Japan, China etc,

My idea to curtail and meet the worldwide refugee challenge: the creation of a non-denominational, non-politically or religiously aligned panel of members of the world community Humanity Without Borders, based at the UN Headquarters for example.

It can be done. China has exemplified achieving massive construction in an astoundingly short period of time. Though clearly not without experiencing the fallout of industrialization, they have also created some quite green enterprises.

This is my proposal, and if you want to read further, here’s how I arrived at this idea, what influenced me.

green planet renewable energy

green planet renewable energy

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

I listened to Annie Leonard’s Story of Solutions; her response to our Western consumer driven capitalistic mode. I’ve listened to the historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz talk of the growing trends that point to the systemic failures of the current model of Capitalism. His book discusses decentralizing alternatives, leading to the democratization of wealth and ownership. “If you don’t like capitalism or state socialism, what do you want?” He talks of systemic change nurturing principles of Democracy, Ownership, Community and Ecological Sustainability; a Pluralist Commonwealth.

I’ve listened to the Pope and read Daily Kos : excerpts of The Popes Encyclical. Time magazine September 28, 2015 issue with Bernie Sanders on the cover, has an article about the Pope by Elizabeth Dias, “The New Roman Empire”, http://time.com in which she describes his impact in the world. “The Pope’s activism will be put to the test on his visit to the U.S.…seen by many as a wellspring of some of the global ills he has attacked – corporate greed, colonial exploitation, economic inequality – and his pronouncements on everything from climate change to immigration…His climate encyclical scope was wide: it talked about everything from individuals’ air-conditioning use to how environmental degradation is causing poverty and migration…calling for a bold cultural revolution, for example, Francis said the rich and powerful were pushing a model of development based on fossil-fuel consumption that ended up hurting the poor.”

I’ve also learned of the Band of Sisters, the Universe Story & Ecotheology, a transformative view of Catholic priests which is becoming a movement, identifying the supremacy of nature and our place in it as ecotheology. Wherein the quality of life is based on our spiritual relationship to the Earth, as opposed to being economically based.

I listened to my brother in law, Graeam Cohen, a well learned British businessman and historian with knowledge and understanding of the conflicts occurring presently between different religious groups in Europe and the Middle East as well as an historic understanding of the roots of the world as it is today. His pragmatic understanding of the status quo, is that the hegemonies of the world are run through economics and power/money and military might. He points out that the history of western civilization stems back to the Greeks and Romans, in which the military was an irrevocable part of the larger scheme of rule and control. Today, corporations as any other business enterprises are ultimately protected under the sovereignty of the land in which they are incorporated. Corporations don’t have military to protect themselves, they have lobbyists, as do every other group.

He spoke casually of the fallouts of an occasional polluted stream or earth quake as being perhaps burdensome, but inevitable natural consequences of moving ahead with the production of the economic machine, which must, must keep producing and making a profit. This is measuring the world’s teetering economic balance with the stick of the GDP. Easier said, when you aren’t living directly next to a petroleum or coal based industry that borders your back yard. I can understand his points, and don’t doubt that they are exceedingly accurate in capturing what most businessmen would also be inclined to view as what is of utmost importance: economic strength, military might which protects the hegemony in a world which is heavily dependent on finance. A world of business that mostly responds to the urgency of making a profit and often with short-sighted, short-term goals and not much of an inspiration to think beyond that model.

Yet I believe, as the speakers at the New Economy forum and https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/economist-john-maynard-keynes-vision-of-the-wto/, that there are indeed alternatives.

What if, everyone would grow gardens in their back yards, along with town, community and neighborhood gardens. What if fruit and nut trees were planted everywhere – with plants and crops suitable climatically and geographically to that region – with the surplus going directly back into the community? what if a massive infrastructure for recycling, waste, water run-off and transportation overhauls were created > with the intention to create cleaner, safer, less polluted, ecologically sustainable and more attractive communities. What if there was an overhaul in creating green transportation alternatives; bike lanes, bicycles, hydrogen cell/solar/electric/salt water powered automobiles, maglev high speed train lines, clean and energy efficient interregional train systems.

And that a new expedient United Nations driven unilaterally representative group help to expedite the strategic placement of people all over the world.
What if it actually could be done?

Systemic Failure of Consumer-driven Corporate Capitalism births a New Economy

“This economic revolution isn’t being consciously driven, yet, however it’s an option that could prevail”, says Gar Alperovitz. It is spawning and evolving from the discontent and pains that our current system and its failures and lack of alternatives, is giving birth to. We’re at the pre-history, of something quite historic!

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I sat among the choir. A note about Annie Leonard speaking in Baltimore, an environmental activist whose Story of Stuff first sparked my attention, arrived in my inbox. We attended the “People and Planet First” IPS conference to educate ourselves, exchange information and spread the word. It was hosted at the University of Baltimore, September 19th, 2015. The final session was moderated by ‘Institute for Policy Studies’ Director, John Cavanagh.

The conference looked at our current challenges from a wider perspective; seeing the various systemic problems ensuing from our current corporate capitalism model, as quite interdependent. The environmental problems of mass extinction, pollution and rising carbon dioxide levels along with the social problems of inequality and injustice, are all tied to the current economic model; which maintains and concentrates its wealth by funneling it back to the source (the 1%), instead of redistributing wealth and power (and empowerment) among the citizens and the community. And spoke of an emerging business model from community gardens, composting, water run-off and waste management to setting up local business alliances, local banks, farmer cooperatives and student civic actions that join the local alliances to promote investments in local businesses.

Annie Leonard, US Greenpeace director of ‘Story of Stuff’ fame, presented her more recent informational video “Story of Solutions”. It points to the fact that we need to completely step out of what is driving the capitalism machine of quantity, to an entirely different game which seeks quality of life – equality and freedom for people and quality of life for all creation. A model beyond merely consumption.

Historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz presented his ideas amassed in the preparation for his latest book, “What Then Must We Do by Gar Alperovitz?”, talking of alternatives to Corporate Capitalism and Socialism, as clearly the American empire is in decay. On almost every indicator, there’s a deeper trend over the past decades which reveals that there’s a systemic crisis in the United States. The systemic design that we’ve lived with for a long time, in which corporations control the capital, reveal that the surplus is not being returned to benefit the communities and the people, but siphoned off to make the 1% who are the owners, more and more wealthy. This trend of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, of increasing inequality, increasing sickness within populations due to pollutants, decreasing prosperity among the 99%.

Corporate Capitalism and the American Empire as we know it, is giving birth to something new, which innovative Americans are creating all over the country. Gar Alperovitz mentions that this certainly isn’t anything the media is covering. In fact, many don’t believe that alternatives exist, until they see examples of what other groups and communities have accomplished. “Often we don’t know what our neighbors are doing”, says Gar. “Systems typically revolve around ‘who has control of the wealth’. The rule of royalty in the feudalism of the middle ages, in the present day manifests itself as ‘Corporate Capitalism’, of which the extreme is fascism, control by authoritarian rule.”

Sometimes noisily, but often times quietly, communities around the country – of which Maryland is an example of being ahead of the wave – are transforming our culture by decentralizing ownership. By democratizing the wealth through becoming owners of their own goods and services, they are able to maintain a number of things; circulating surplus back into their own operations and communities (rather than it being syphoned off to the 1%), empowering themselves, making conscious decisions to ensure that all aspects of operations have the lightest ecological footprint possible and generating freedom through participation in ownership and production and wealth.

We currently have a system of enormous waste, in which we continue to manufacture and create more stuff, because that is a NEED embedded in capitalism. Capitalism must produce more, to ensure profit.

Examples of alternatives are in cooperative enterprises, worker-owned companies, credit unions, 25% of American electricity is socialist in structure, social enterprises like CREDO (using profits for social and political purposes), neighborhood corporations, land-trusts that are socialized (to control land inflation and gentrification).

Following examples of success such as Mondragón in the Basque region of Spain. Mondragon Corporation networked democratized ownership where capital is being decentralized to empower and enrich the communities by circulating surplus back into local communities. Consciously making decisions to connect to all other suppliers and parts connected to the whole system, with conscientious efforts to localize and work within a ‘green’ system. It is just the beginning.

I apologize for any grammatical errors or gaps in information, however I must now leave to hitch to Washington D.C. to attend the People for Climate Justice Climate Rally in Washington D.C., coinciding with Pope Francis’ delivering his tenets of wisdom to the White House.