WHAT CAN WE DO? | LET’S DO SOMETHING! | How can we Organize the Human Community?

Democracy is Dying and it's Startling, Few Worried, Paul Mason

Democracy is Dying and it’s Startling How Few are Worried Paul Mason

I have been in France just under a month. I found out not even two hours ago through a conversation on skype with my sister who lives in England and France, that during the time we were back in the United States of Apathy, that ICE (i hadn’t know what this was, i thought ICE was simply In Case of Emergency) However I learned from my sister today about the other version. (ICE) Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

I hadn’t known what ICE meant, I had to google it. http://www.newsweek.com/immigration-immigration-and-customs-enforcement-ice-donald-trump-628896

ICE had come into the town of Lebanon, PA into a catholic church on a Sunday, and rounded up dozens of people, probably mostly men, of darker skin, and packed them into a van to take to another town to sit in jail, awaiting trial, perhaps a 1 or 2 year wait.

Newsweek, ICE raid, Risk, Deportation

Newsweek ICE raid Who Is At Risk Deportation.

While visiting the USA just a month ago, my sister befriended a guy from El Salvador who stayed in the motel room next to her. He’s been in the USA for 25 years, has a green card and has several kids and a wife in Virginia. Presently he’s been in central Pennsylvania working in construction to support his family. He was one of the people rounded up and loaded into this van. My sister attempted to stay with him, holding his hand, went into the van, and the police officer warned her with a tone of reproach that she better get the hell out of there if she knows what’s good for her.

The El Salvadoran gave my sister his phone and the number of his wife to call in VA. My sister said that his wife was screaming when she heard the news. Her life support money-earner for herself and her kids, disposed of.

War Zone Desperate and Dead Mondediplio

War Zone Desperate and Dead Mondediplio

I knew nothing of this. I was just reading headlines last night about 500 people in Turkey under questioning or worse, for attempting to overthrow a dictator. I know nothing of this Turkey official and hadn’t read the story yet.

500 in court, Turkey Coup Attempt 2016, CNN

Nearly 500 in court Turkey Coup Attempt 2016 CNN

Yet I thought to myself, can not the world step in and change this situation? That was before I knew what was happening in the neighboring town while I was sleeping on a Sunday morning. WTF.

 

 

What can we do? Sit back, crack open a beer and hang out with friends, watch a TV show, get ready to arrange the schedule of picking up the kids from their practice…..when before our eyes a military dictatorship fascist embarrassment of a President is enforcing this sweep of people across the country who have been living and working here, taking jobs that Americans haven’t wanted, and who were brought here to do the dirty jobs that help our system to run efficiently, are suddenly afraid to leave their homes to go to the grocery store?

Stop Swooning over Justin Trudeau, Climate Disaster, Bill McKibben

Stop Swooning over Justin Trudeau Climate Disaster Bill McKibben

McKibben writes for the Guardian, “Yes, 173bn barrels is indeed the estimate for recoverable oil in the tar sands. So let’s do some math. If Canada digs up that oil and sells it to people to burn, it will produce, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, 30% of the carbon necessary to take us past the 1.5C target that Canada helped set in Paris.

That is to say, Canada, which represents one half of 1% of the planet’s population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth’s remaining carbon budget. Trump is a creep and a danger and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite.”

Out of Wreckage, A New Politics, Age of Crisis, George Monbiot

Out of the Wreckage A New Politics for an Age of Crisis George Monbiot

Monbiot writes, “A toxic ideology rules the world – of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better world.”

What are we going to do?

Immigrants from Syria and other parts of the world, war/climate immigrants are escaping deplorable situations to come to the West, which has been living amply, to be treated with hostility and turned away with barbwire. Black market money to stuff people on rickety over-loaded boats, taking peoples’ life savings, to flee situations, only to find that the rest of the world is not helping to organize their safe transport.

This is very, very wrong. We can use the money from the enormous profits from banks, international corporations who make millions and billions in profit, to set up communities, and renewable energy enterprises to re-esatablish safe havens.

This is not right. We can’t read news and do nothing like it isn’t our problem. In some countries people are having 12 to 16 babies. A large part of the problem of GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE IS due to over-population. We are sucking up the soil, destroying habitats of other animals who have a right to life.

Humans need to be accountable.

We need to be accountable for what is happening ALL OVER THE WORLD.

We Are Humanity Film, Jarawa documentary

We Are Humanity Film Jarawa documentary

We need to intercept. I’m sorry, but we need to educate and infiltrate, not remain passive, saying it’s not my problem. Not my problem if some people are cruel to other humans or animals or their actions are knowingly or unknowingly destroying the habitat and polluting some creatures’ environment.

I don’t think any living being can just sit back and let all this happen without having a conscience and wanting to help.

I don’t know where to begin, except for expressing this. I think the world needs leaders who will actually step in and shut Trump and other dictators down. People can divest – take their money out of banks and institutions that support dirty energy and dirty politics. There are numerous ways that people working together could SHUT DOWN OPERATIONS AS THEY ARE through organized actions like; those working in public transportation or truck drivers to not work for a day, or three…We can all work together, educate one another, demand new structures and create them together, IMMEDIATELY.

There are plenty of people with the wisdom and insights and contacts to know how to lead and guide a worldwide REVOLUTION. Not a violent one, a movement with people stepping out of their routines and giving a little time and effort and action to make their voice heard. We can’t let more dictators destroy peoples lives. We can’t let peoples religious beliefs just allow people to pop out 13 babies and pretend that it’s okay. We live in one world, one with limited resources. I refuse to just take on business as usual, and pretend that it’s okay for Mr. Orangehead Chump to push his grey suits around and whimsical notions of what he thinks needs to happen. It’s time for the fucking world intelligence, artists, teachers, scientists and leaders to step in. I still have to read about what’s happening in Turkey, or Venezuela, because I can’t keep up with all of it, but it just IS NOT OKAY ANYMORE, to think that “It’s not here next to me in my community, so it’s not my problem.” IT IS ALL OF OUR PROBLEM. WE NEED LEADERS WHO CAN STEP IN AND INTERCEPT, AGENCIES TO EDUCATE, GUIDE.

I thank all of the environmental, social, ecological groups who serve as watch dogs and educate the rest of us, but somehow, i think something much more brilliant has to take place to begin lighting up the whole world to working together. If we are the people – in a Democracy – choosing our leaders, then we should have the military industrial complex working with us, not in militarized suits, against us.

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Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

carol keiter blogger card

carol keiter blogger card

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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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!

earth_digital_flow copy

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.

The Truth ‘Earthlings’ | Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh | Kumi Naidoo Greenpeace – Saving the Earth from Ourselves | ‘Only After’ Cree Indians

street are by Banksy I Don't Believe in Global Warming

street art by Banksy
I Don’t Believe in Global Warming

My previous blog stated my angry sentiments regarding human greed and how it has affected our earth and all of its creatures. This blog introduces the paradigm shift in consciousness and understanding needed by all of us. Wayne Dyer mentions in his talk, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. We need to change the way we see and interpret our relationship to the earth, the cosmos and to all humans and inhabitants of this earth.

In this blog, I’m bringing together three mediums that compliment the same subject, our relationship to the earth. A film, a book and an interview, each revealing that we are inextricably linked to not only all humans, but all other species and to the earth itself. Just as all of the cells in our bodies are working together to create the whole, the earth itself is also an organism. The parts can’t be separated from the whole, nor can the whole exist without the parts.

• “The Three Stages of Truth” is a short video excerpted from the earth-shattering 95 minute documentary film “Earthlings”, about the fact that ‘We Share this Earth’ with all other creatures who are also, of this Earth.

The Three Stages of Truth

The Three Stages of Truth

Earthlings  Make the Connection

Earthlings
Make the Connection

It was narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby, was directed by Shaun Monson, and co-produced by Maggie QWe need to change the way we see and interpret our relationship to the earth, the cosmos and to all humans and inhabitants of this earth.

Buddha Nature – Our Relationship to Mother Earth is an article reprinted from the book “Love Letter to the Earth“, written by the Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh Zen Buddhist Monk

Thich Nhat Hanh Zen Buddhist Monk

Love Letter to the Earth

Love Letter to the Earth

Saving the Earth from Ourselves, an interview of the Greenpeace International Director Kumi Kaidoo by Bill Moyers  in Moyers & company.

Moyers & company interview September 2013 with Greenpeace International Director Kum Naidoo on Saving the Earth from Ourselves

Moyers & company interview September 2013 with Greenpeace International Director Kum Naidoo on Saving the Earth from Ourselves

Humans, along with every living thing, are inseparable from the earth and the cosmos. From the perspective of both Native American Indians and Buddhists, when we recognize that the Earth is our Mother and the Sun our Father, we see that just as our biological mother and father and ancestors are within us, inside us, so are the earth and the sun. We need not pray to some abstract god or deity, but realize that the gift and miracle of life and all that we require, is available here and now. All living creatures, regardless of gender, race or species, are children of this planet. Each have the right to life, freedom of movement and lack of suffering. We need not merely recognize that our planet is in peril, but realize that we CAN do something about it. It is possible. It is a choice. Yes We Can. We need to reorient how we see ourselves and our relationship to the earth – as if our lives depended on it – because they do. Money is an abstract concept which appears to be scarce, yet it IS available to invest in the renewable energies and technologies that will help to reduce global warming.

Trillions of dollars became available to ‘bail out’ the large bankers who gambled with the investments of millions of people. Money is there to phase out fossil fuel dependence and reinvest in a global economic campaign that would create jobs in renewable energies worldwide. This economic and spiritual revolution CAN happen. As I mentioned in a former blog, https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/notch-up-the-governments-role-with-obamaworks-a-version-of-roosevelts-wpa/ just as Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 orchestrated the “New Deal”, implementing the (WPA) Works Progress Administration in response to the depression following the 1929 stock market crash in the USA, Obama could create an ‘ObamaWorks’ plan. He could join with world leaders to implement a massive global renewable energy investment plan; to introduce jobs utilizing clean, renewable technologies that would grow economies AND ensure a cleaner and sustainable environment. This can be accomplished by making the choice to step outside of the status quo of fossil fuel dependency; which corporate leaders in the industries culpable for environmental destruction, manipulate legislation through their lobbyists to impede. We have this choice. Our lives and those of future generations depend on it.

Each of us are centered in our own worlds, in which we hold certain things and people precious. Sometimes we forget their value, until after an event threatens to take them away; our health, freedom, rights, a child, parent, partner, project, home…When we cultivate mindfulness and recognize the miracle of life, it is clear that we actively create each moment of our lives by how we interpret, think, speak and act. Through gratitude and the recognition of our responsibility, we can harness the power that we have. To do this, it is vital that we are aware. We always have the choice to smile, to accept and to love.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In the film Earthlings,

Earth from a satellite image

Earth from a satellite image

Spiraling weather system by satellite on Earth

Spiraling weather system on Earth viewed by satellite

The point is that all creatures which inhabit the earth are ‘earthlings’. There’s no sexism, racism or speciesism in the term. Humans share this world with hundreds of millions of creatures. This encompasses each and every one of us; warm-blooded, cold-blooded, vertebrate and invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mammal and human. Humans share this planet with millions of other creatures, as we all evolve here together.

We all share the desire for food and water, shelter, companionship, freedom of movement and avoidance of pain.

Humans earthlings crowding the street

Humans earthlings crowding the street

fish earthlings crowding their waterway, working in unison

fish earthlings crowding their waterway, working in unison

Chimpanzee caring for child

Chimpanzee caring for child

Cheetah with cub

Cheetah with cub

However, it is the human earthling that tends to dominate the Earth, often times treating other fellow earthlings and living beings as mere objects, which is what is meant by ‘speciesism’. Speciesism, by analogy to sexism and racism

Sexism Suffragettes in Boston, USA in 1920 demanding right as women

Sexism Suffragettes in Boston, USA in 1920 demanding right as women

Sexism

Sexism

Racism Hitler at Rally in Nuremberg, Germany 1929

Racism Hitler at Rally in Nuremberg, Germany 1929

Racism_Ku_Klux_Klan_Georgia_USA_1950

Racism

reveals the domination of one over another who is different, violating the principles of equality and overriding the greater interest of others. In each case the pattern is identical.

Speciesism as demonstrated by the sport of conquest

Speciesism as demonstrated by the sport of conquest

No matter what the nature of the ‘being’, the principle of equality implies that the suffering of one is counted equally with the suffering of any other being. The moral imperative is respect. Humans who have power, tend to exploit those who lack it, including other beings with whom we share this planet.

Like us, animals embody the mystery and wonder of consciousness. Like us, they are not only in the world, they are aware of it. Like us, they are the psychological center of a world which is their own. We have a psychological kinship with them. Nobel prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer 1904-1991, expresses this through the character in his novel “Enemies a Love Story”. Herman states “In their behavior towards creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.” In comparison to the Holocaust, one group of living beings anguishes beneath the hands of another.

Caged animals in horrific conditions, going to slaughter

Caged animals in horrific conditions, going to slaughter

Baboon within cage

Baboon within cage

In his book “The Outermost HouseHenry Beston writes http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/308220-the-outermost-house-a-year-of-life-on-the-great-beach-of-cape-cod that  “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In “Love Letter to the Earth“, Thich Nhat Hanh has a passionate appeal for ecological mindfulness and the strengthening of our relationship to the Earth. He reveals that it is vital that we recognize and respond to the stress we are putting on the Earth if civilization is to survive. UTNE Reader features a reprint of the message of his book in the article “Buddha Nature and Our Relationship With Mother Earth“. Summarizing his points, Hanh writes “At this very moment, the Earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything … outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth. We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us

Realizing this, we can see that the Earth is truly alive. We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth. That is the relationship each of us must have with the Earth if the Earth is to survive, and if we are to survive as well. In fact, the earth will survive with or without us.

Elephants

Penguins

He identifies one key issue as having the potential to create a tipping point. He believes that we need to move beyond the concept of the “environment,” which leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet only in terms of what it can do for them. Rejecting the conventional economic approach, Thich Nhat Hanh shows that mindfulness and a spiritual revolution are needed to protect nature and limit climate change.

The Earth Contains the Whole Cosmos

When we look deeply into the Earth, we can see the presence of the whole cosmos. A lot of our fear, hatred, anger, and feelings of separation and alienation come from the idea that we are separate from the planet. We see ourselves as the center of the universe and are concerned primarily with our own personal survival…But we need to do more than use recycled products or donate money to environmental groups. We have to change our whole relationship with the Earth.

When we look deeply at a blade of grass or at a tree, we can see that it’s not mere matter. It has its own kind of intelligence. For example, a seed knows how to grow into a plant with roots, leaves, flowers, and fruit…A dust particle is not just matter; each of its atoms has intelligence and is a living reality.

In the Buddhist tradition, we say there is mind and there are objects of mind, and that they manifest at the same time. We can’t separate them. Objects of mind are created by the mind itself. The way we perceive the world around us depends entirely on our way of looking at it. If we understand the Earth as a living, breathing organism, we can heal ourselves and heal the Earth as well. When our physical body is sick, we need to stop, rest, and pay attention to it. We have to stop our thinking, return to our in-breath and out-breath, and come home to our bodOur mind is the consciousness of the cosmos.

In his book, “The Lives of a Cell”, biologist Lewis Thomas describes our planet as a living organism. His essay focuses on how connected humanity is to nature and how we must make strides to understand our role. He arrives at the insight that the whole planet is like a giant living cell whose parts are all linked in symbiosis. He likens the Earth to an organized, self-contained being, a “live creature, full of information and marvelously skilled in handling the sun.”

We can think of the sun and the earth as our true parents. The Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus Christ and all our wonderful teachers are children of this planet. Just as we carry the DNA of our biological mother and father within us, we carry the sun and the Earth in each of our cells. It’s easy to think that this highly creative force could have a human form. Yet rather than God being an old man with a white beard sitting in the sky, God is not outside of creation. God is inside every living being. What we call “the divine,” is none other than the energy of awakening, of peace, of understanding, and of love, which is to be found not only in every human being, but in every species on Earth.

In Buddhism, we say every sentient being has the ability to be awakened and to understand deeply. We call this Buddha nature. The deer, the dog, the cat, the squirrel, and the bird all have Buddha nature. And what about inanimate species? The Earth herself has Buddha nature, therefore all her children must have Buddha nature, too. Every blade of grass, every tree, every plant, every creature large or small are children of the planet Earth, and therefore have Buddha nature. Everyone has the capacity to live happily and with a sense of responsibility toward our mother, the Earth. Once we have this insight of interbeing, we can have real communication with the Earth. This is the highest possible form of prayer. We don’t need blind faith to see this. We don’t need to address our prayers or express our gratitude to a remote or abstract deity with whom it may be difficult or impossible to be in touch. We can address our prayers and express our gratitude directly to the Earth.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In Saving the Earth from OurselvesBill Moyers interviews the Kumi Naidoo, the South African human rights activist and International Director of Greenpeace.

Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo

Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo

Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo homepage We Share Our Planet Help us remind those who forget

Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo homepage We Share Our Planet
Help us remind those who forget

They discuss the politics of climate change and the urgency of environmental activism. The recent actions of Greenpeace International environmental activists are mentioned as they attempted to climb an oil platform in the Arctic to protest the drilling for fossil fuels in this fragile ecology. They were confronted by gun carrying soldiers of the Russian Coast guard. The following day, a Russian helicopter landed on the Greenpeace ship ‘the Arctic Sunrise’ and seized it. Some of the Arctic 30 Activists have been released. Greenpeace is posting continual updates on their website. Greenpeace has often confronted governments and corporations head-on with civil disobedience.

In fact, as of December 26, 2013, news headlines claim that 14 of the 30 activists have been given approval to leave Russia.

Born and raised in South Africa, by his teenage years, Kumi Naidoo was such a vocal and prominent opponent of the racist policies in South Africa of apartheid, that he was beaten and jailed many times by the white regime. He finally escaped to Great Britain, where he was awarded a attended a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. With the end of apartheid,

KumiNaidoo together with Nelson Mandela at the end of Aparthed

KumiNaidoo together with Nelson Mandela at the end of Aparthed

he headed back to South Africa where he became head of Greenpeace International, bringing his negotiation and advocacy skills to lead an organization with 3 million members.

Naidoo mentions that what happens in the arctic affects the globe. Drilling there has not yet started and they are doing everything they can to prevent this. History teaches us, that all of the struggles and injustices, whether slavery, a woman’s right to choose, apartheid move forward, until decent men and women say ‘enough is enough’ and are willing to put their lives on the line. Moyers points out that Greenpeace owes some of its heritage and DNA to the Quakers; a religious society of friends started in 1660. They are witnesses for peace. Quakers share a refusal to participate in war, oppose slavery, encourage prison reform and social justice. Naidoo mentions that the most important thing that we can take from the Quakers is their commitment to peace, justice and a notion their notion called ‘bearing witness’. If there is an injustice in the world, those of us who have the capacity to witness it, document and record it in order to inform the world about it, have the moral responsibility to do so.

There is Incidentally an also a human’s rights watch group called “Witness”, an international nonprofit organization that has been using the power of video and storytelling to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. They empower people to transform their personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.

Kumi explains that the Arctic serves as the refrigerator and air conditioner of the planet. It helps regulate the temperatures globally by deflecting the harsh rays of the sunlight. Massive melting glaciers cause the sea levels to rise. He mentions that our leaders don’t connect the different issues and challenges that we face, with the reality of what is happening environmentally. The genocide in Darfur, in western Sudan, was reported by the media as an ethnic or quasi religious conflict, when in fact it was the first major resource war brought about by climate impact. Darfur neighbors Lake Chad.

Lake Chad in 1972 within NIger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon

Lake Chad in 1972 within NIger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon

Lake Chad used to be one of the largest inland seas of the world.

Lake Chad in 2007 shrunk to the size of a pond

Lake Chad in 2007 shrunk to the size of a pond

It has now shrunk to the size of a pond. Therefore, water, land and food scarcity as the result of the absence of this lake, were the toxic mix that caused this war to occur.

Obama’s words and slogans during his first election campaign were, “Yes We Can”, “the Fierce Urgency of Now” and  a “Planet in Peril”. Kumi states that we are playing political and commercial poker with the planet. The planet doesn’t need to be saved, the planet will come back. What is at stake, is humanities ability to live in coexistence with the planet for centuries to come. Any leader has the ethical imperative and responsibility to act in a way that does not imperil your children and grand children’s future.

350.org  demonstrates that we must write off 80% of fossil fuel reserves completely, and reinvest  in renewable energy; wind, solar, wave technology, to allow sustainable life on earth.

Naidoo mentioned the The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world through mobilizing business and political leaders and engaging academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The World Bank issued a report: Turn Down the Heat

World Bank study Turn Down the Heat Why a 4 degree waker world MUST be avoided

World Bank study Turn Down the Heat Why a 4 degree waker world MUST be avoided

Kumi’s deceased mother imprinted him with some very compelling ideologies. She often mentioned that “It’s much better to try and fail, than to fail to try”.  As well,   that “We have the option to be part of the problem, or part of the solution”. She said to him that “when you see God in the eyes of every human being that you meet, then you will live your life seeing  humanity in everyone”.

I’ve already blogged about the subject of economic might in the midst of environmental plight, it’s an illusion and paradox comparing the two. I mention in this blog the (GDP) the Gross Domestic Problem compared to Bhutan’s (GNH) Gross National Happiness. http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/gross_domestic_problem_-why-measurement-of-wealth-depends-on-a-healthy-environment/

Kumi mentioned in the interview a prophesy, or rather proverb of the Cree Indians, Native Americans living in various parts of North America. Their territory stretches over the geopolitical borders of the United States and Canada. The Cree Indian Prophecy,

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,

Cree Indian Proverb Only After

Cree Indian Proverb Only After

when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

― Cree Indian Prophecy,

To sum up the message of all three, I add, that if you see the gift of creation in all of creation, in every person, every creature and in every form of life and inanimate parts of this planet as the gift of creation, and feel gratitude for every breath that you take, you will recognize that God is everywhere, and we have the responsibility to take care of it.

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

I write to follow my bliss. Among various spiritual guides, Deepak Chopra has teamed with Opra Winfrey to bring to you the  21 day meditation challenge. Though it is already underway, there is always time to pause and step out of one’s mind and into one’s heart and breath. Their messages are about connecting within yourself to find out who you are, to discover why you are here on this planet in order to discern your own path.  I’m doing my best to follow mine.

Although my entire post is prompted by my abhorrence of materialism and greed, I nevertheless personally need money. In the process of researching and writing my blogs, to complete my first book, to continue to compose music (that will incorporate various animal sounds) to give these creatures a voice,  I need to pay my rent, to have shelter,  electricity, a desk and food. I make no money doing this and have a very small ecological ‘footprint’. I mostly ride bicycle. Because I’m currently not under ANY umbrella, corporate or otherwise, nor have funding or grants, I’m asking that if you read this far, either to make a donation yourself, or ask a friend with more capital (more disposable income) to make one on your behalf! I’ll take .001% of any billionaires that might happen to be reading this. ha ha! So I’m campaigning for myself and asking you to contribute, if you can !-)) This button leads will feed my PayPal. Any credit card or direct deposit transaction will be secure! thanks. Any feedback is always welcome as well. With love!

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mind closed eyes wide open

mind closed
eyes wide open

mind open  eyes wide shut

mind open
eyes wide shut

Greed & Profit-driven Aims to Protect Wealth & Power = Path of Destruction

This blog was incited by having read a comment on someone’s Facebook page, regarding a man’s decision to NOT give a TED Talk, because he wouldn’t be paid.

The idea of some kind of monetary compensation for presenting a TED talk never occurred to me. Of the many excellent presentations I’ve seen, shouldn’t the fact that one’s ideas are considered worthy enough to present them to an audience of potentially hundreds of millions of people, suffice? I was under the impression that the point of TED Talks is to spread ideas, for the good of humanity and all of the other species that cohabit this planet. Through the education and perspective I personally received through my family heritage and genetics, I have been granted a great deal of wealth; health, intelligence, analytical skills and an abundance of creativity. On top of that, I am physically fit, allowing me to move through this world unencumbered. I have education and knowledge, and the resourcefulness and curiosity to obtain more. Yet, I am teetering on the edge of financial poverty. Not because of poor planning, but because of my adventurous spirit combined with idealism, which leads to risk-taking. The wisdom I follow is from those who genuinely care about humanity and all of the other species with whom we share this planet. People like Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl Gustav Jung, Deepak Chopra among others, including the wisdom coming from Native American Indians and literary and spiritual guides from the Middle East and Asia. I wish to continually create possibilities to learn and develop my skills, to be the best that I can be in order to give something back to the world. Reading about a person complaining because the TED talk doesn’t pay the presenter, irked me. It made me stop everything else, to comment. It ignited the fuse of my annoyance regarding the injustices I see presently in the world today.

Our world is corrupted by money, and the greed and drive of people to make a profit and protect their power, no matter the consequences. It is the large, incorporated manufacturers of the world, those who have invested in the extraction and transport of non-renewable energy, telecommunications, technology, pharmaceutical industries and those who control information, that often are responsible for the careless and myopic profit-making, resulting in the path of destruction of the environment and eradication of many of the species. The imbalance of wealth, lack of education and instability of the planet (human industry-induced global warming) are all a result of this misplaced greed of a small percentile. The vast majority of people and species, are all suffering from overpopulation and economic misfortune, driven by sustained ignorance.

Many of the scientists, teachers, artists and people with creative insights and ideas who genuinely help to guide people and make the world a better place, are NOT the movers and shakers. Presently, the “leaders” of the United States government are not elected for their insight and desire to do good and justly represent the people, they are corporate sponsored actors who tug the line, speak the voice of those who place them in these positions, for an inflationary cost that is disproportionate to what democratically chosen elections should cost. In the world today, those who have more wealth, are more easily able to carve paths that slide around the rules that everyone else must follow, making deductions, avoiding taxes through all sorts of loopholes, while the vast majority are just getting by. I am absolutely disgusted with the idea of people protecting their wealth and power, at the cost of others.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Do you think that Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who passionately wants to improve the condition of women in Pakistan, by voicing the right of girls to receive an education (which will ripple to affect many other parts of the world) who was shot by the Taliban because of her courage and honesty, is driven by profit? I could go on, but I’ll share this in another forum – my own blog, for which incidentally, I earn absolutely no money, but am driven by my own passion to recirculate ideas and events, purely because of their value and the wish to share. Thank fucking DOG, because even the concept of GOD, by most religions, has been distorted and compelled by those wishing to sustain their wealth and power.

Nick Vujicic’s Empowerment message vs. Income Realities of Expat & DE’s Harz IV | Chomsky ‘Profit over People’

This is the second time I’ve encountered a video featuring this man’s message, an Australian motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic, who has no arms or legs, yet manages to make the most of every moment of his life. Nick_Vujicic_inspirational_speaker “We become so preoccupied with what we don’t have, that often we forget what we DO have.”

Kids responding to Nick's positive message

Kids responding to Nick’s positive message

Well, after seeing his message, being engulfed in my own sense of worth and well-being, concerned with how I’m going to make my next dollar, seems petty. Yet, after trying to screen (after putting out online ads) who is sincerely responding with legitimate offers for work and who is trying to scam me, it is rather daunting. The majority have been scams, from asking ‘how old I am’ – after listing my skills and offers for numerous types of honest work – to sending a pdf form asking for my bank account and yes, a signature to send back to them as well.

Per Nick’s video message, what is important in life is not how much money one has, or power, or beauty…but one’s attitude. Yet, I, as everyone else, am inextricably part of a matrix of what we’ve all decided is a currency, exchanging the work that we do. Living in a foreign country, in a WORLD in which ‘nationalism’ prevails, doesn’t make things easier. All the German bureaucracy ( no doubt all Western European countries & US ) put up roadblocks to offering one employment. Yet in the three months that I’ve been here, I’ve encountered a LARGE number of young, healthy capable people from 20’s through 50’s in age, who are willingly committed to the German Hartz IV program. They obtain money from the government while unemployed, ‘arbeitslosgeld/unemployement compensation’ and go through the motions (as if) they are looking for work – just enough – to keep this flow of money coming; just enough to pay rent and buy food. It turns out to be more attractive to some people (a substantial number of people), than to actually push ahead in the work force to develop their crafts. I’ve been informed that this is not at all representative of the rest of Germany, but predominantly happening in Berlin. Reflecting Berlin’s unique history as an island of capitalism existing within the clench of a Soviet dominated fist.

Besides the fact that many inhabitants of the developed world have comparatively a great deal of wealth, at the same time, many of these people have a lot of ‘issues’. Issues which lead to unhappy, unfulfilled lives, resulting in various addictions and distractions. We live in a finance, commercially driven time with a lot of brain-washing, regarding what to strive for. A world which holds up false/photoshopped images and ideals of beauty and promises from material acquisition and power. Messages which are based on false ideals, to stay on top of the game, that actually lead to pitting people against one another. Nick’s point, is to forget about feeling ‘not good enough’. There will always be people who are drop dead gorgeous, or with incredibly brilliant minds, others with fabulous wit, extreme dedication…to compare ourselves to. Yet, each of us has something to offer through our love and genuine joy of doing what we love. Our responsibility is to follow our hearts and find what it is that we love to do, and therefore do well, to offer to others.

To me, seeing all of the kids listening and receiving this man’s message, is wonderful. It reminds me that we do all genuinely feel better when we are kind and compassionate and loving, and can care for what another human being feels. And we all do feel better exchanging positive energy and prompting smiles in others. This has absolutely nothing to do with how one looks or how much money one has in their bank account. Because yes, it is each and every one of us that have the gift of life, and we forget just how precious this is. Nevertheless, I still have to make 150 euros in 2 days, because I am challenging myself to do it. I am also down to no milk, no vegetables or fruits, used up the potatoes, the oatmeal is gone, still ample onions and garlic left. Great that I drink a lot of water primarily anyway, rather than buying anything else. ‘-)) I don’t know if I just love a challenge. Or, if by genuinely following my heart and speaking what I feel, is so against the grain of the consensus of modern society, that not to accept these ideals, appears to be naive and foolish. I say consensus in the context of Noam Chomsky’s messages about ‘Neoliberalism and the Global Order’ excerpted from his book “Profit Over People”. “The “principal architects” of the neoliberal “Washington consensus” are the masters of the private economy, mainly huge corporations that control much of the international economy and have the means to dominate policy formation as well as the structuring of thought and opinion.Chomsky has been a highly influential academic figure throughout his career, and was cited within the field of Arts and Humanities more often than any other living scholar between 1980 and 1992. His work has influenced fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, logic, mathematics, music theory and analysis, political science, programming language theory and psychology.

This stage will pass, but it is now a bit scary

Halloween Geist

Ghost Figure for Hallowee

 

 

 

– good thing that Halloween is coming.

 

Scary halloween pumpkins

Carved Halloween pumpkins