Archive for ‘Politic’
One might think that one might surmise from the general nature of my work and my posts that I’m not a particularly political minded person. I almost wish that were true. What is true is that I pay attention to the politics. By that, I don’t mean just the ‘political figures’ but ALL of it. In my opinion, it’s all politics. Since man first understood the connection between ego and a sense of power there have been politics. Unfortunately, today there is a deeply rooted connection between money, politics, and power. This quality is a sad thing to watch and yet it is what shapes the most important affronts to our health and well being from an entity outside of our own minds that exists today.
And it comes at us from all fronts – from the health care to the war mongers to the internet freedoms to the agricultural debacles to the religious pandering… it doesn’t seem to end.
I’ll be honest: I can live in my own bubble. It’s not that difficult. I live in California where it’s easy to forget the rest of the wold exists. The weather is beautiful, food is aplenty. I have a rood over my head, a happy marriage. Why should I be concerned? Why should I not just spend my time whiling away the hours painting pictures of my surreally visionary flowers? Because I care.
That said and the reason I started this whole piece of writing, there’s a place a find some of the most focused political writing – writing that mirrors not just my ‘opinion’ but also my sort of cynical raised-eyebrow approach. It’s Rolling Stone.
Ha! Didn’t expect that now did you? Well, Alternet is good and Mother Jones is interesting but they often don’t cut to the chase as quickly as Rolling Stone. While Rolling Stone might get lost in the fluff when it comes to music these days (who wouldn’t – mainstream pop is all autotuned fluff! Imagine if Nirvana has been autotuned!) they have rarely ever failed to have quality political commentary, exposes of political goings-ons, and all sorts of political insights. They are to politics what Playboy was supposedly to interviews.
So, here’s a few recent links to some stuff you should read if you care about the current political climate. You should though: if you’re a woman, the ‘establishment’ is always looking to take away your rights. If you’re not for war, the ‘media’ is always war mongering. If you’re for… well, you get the picture…
Here are a few articles to get you started.
How this country is framing it’s march towards war with Iran (which would be idiocy)
The war on pot that wasn’t supposed to happen (and although I’ll probably lose style points with some, I don’t even smoke pot. I just believe in personal freedoms… and hate seeing people fined and thrown in jail for stupid reasons)
A wonderful story about the truth of the war in Afghanistan (ok, it’s not all that wonderful. A friend told me that her husband who is stationed in Iraq stated that no one is leaving Iraq or Afghanistan – they are just repositioning things for another war)
How the GOP transformed itself to serve the rich (The republican party is a pyramid scheme, as any poor republican that I know would attest to is they would get their heads out of their asses…)
OK. That’s enough for now.
I’ll tell you though: in the end, love is the only thing.The monk in jail will tell you this. Love is the only thing. If you, by the end of your day, find the very direct path of love, of compassionate and wise love, then I would suggest that you get to work.
You see, we exist in this so-called “secular” world. Here we are. Speak up for freedom but, most of all, speak up that each individual on this planet may experience happiness. When I see my fellow man caging another’s potential for happiness, that causes me to ask – WHY? If someone else has created a simple method to, say, send a letter to my congress woman to ask her to keep that person in mind, to pass a bill to defend her or his rights, free him or her from the legislative chains, then I should do so.
In a sense, it’s an agreement that I entered into when I said: “I wish all beings to be happy.” If I can’t click a few buttons on my computer that might just make a difference, what good is that wish?
As a kid growing up in the 80′s there was this beast, interspersed between grammar school doldrums and the Transformers, that simmered half a world away and it was called Communism. It threatened to nuke us all if we didn’t nuke it first. Ronald Reagan gave speeches. We hid under our desks or out in the halls to prepare for possible nuclear war. (Like that’d ever help….) This vague threat loomed in every movie we watched and every cartoon – always as some vaguely caricatured Russian or German speaking in terms of “Comrade” and wearing a hat with earflaps because we all knew it was cold in communist Russia and the Commies had to keep their ears warm.
Like a shot in the dark, in 1990,and just before we all sank into the national teen angst of grunge rock, there – plastered across our TV screens – the Berlin Wall, that one barrier between Us and Them, fell. Or, rather, it was knocked out with pick-axes and shovels and bare hands; the result of diplomacy, politics, and changing tides. From the comfort of my living room, at the age of 14, images of people celebrating a newfound sense of freedom flickered across the television screen. This was momentous for them and, for us, a new vague sense emerged: that something had changed and we were all a little more free and could breathe a bit more peacefully knowing that not so many nuclear warheads were trained on us. I’d grown up wanting my MTV just because that’s what MTV told me I wanted. They grew up wanting their MTV because they couldn’t even turn it on when their parents weren’t home. They weren’t allowed it at all. Now they could scream it out loud if they wanted to. Now they had the freedom to voice their opinions and excel at their dreams, should they choose to. With that freedom of choice, we have far more than we realize.
What most of the world’s citizens desire is this basic sense of freedom: to say what they want, when they want, to dream out loud, to buy the jeans they want to buy (should economic freedoms allow), to listen to the music they want to listen to, and enjoy their lives without a sense of threat. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (without anyone defining what “happiness” ought to be).
20 years later, a new vague threat has emerged (as they do: our minds are always busy creating external threats that mirror our own iniquities). The general populace has been swept up with the Middle East fear. For some, the fear of a black president with a progressive bent is directly related to the Middle East fear. They are afraid he’s Muslim, he’ll kill us all, he’ll impose nasty laws, whatever... But the Middle East: many of these are countries who have lived under 30 or 40 year dictators or some kind of royalty rule that has simply passed from father to son for generations or maybe there’ve been elections but they are so fraught with corruption that they are more like puppet theater than even our own US version of the electoral puppet theater. These are people who have never had a say in government and there are multitudinous restrictions on their freedoms. That said, it’s no surprise that, after a while, the disenchantment and anger comes to a head. While this isn’t the first time that tensions amongst populaces in the Middle East have reached a boiling point, the populace is better educated (many of these countries offer free university schooling), has tools like Facebook and Twitter and, amongst the younger crowds at the very least, are more tolerant of each others differences and stand united in a desire for freedom for everyone and not just a select religion or sect.
The point I’m trying to make here is: it is an innate desire in people t0 desire freedom. They want, at least, to have a sense of general freedom. The uprisings in the news – the bloodiest of which, thus far, is in Libya – are the result of years of oppression that echo the burst of freedom that spread across Hungary, Poland, Germany, and, finally, Russia back in the early 90′s. (Interestingly, Iran and China, while standing with the rest of the world in condemning Kadafi, are quickly squelching the budding fires of dissent that are fomenting in their own countries.) Ultimately, the shift in the Middle East is turning out to be much bloodier and violent than the Eastern European turn 20 years ago but the point is that tides shift and here, again, is a shifting tide.
Here in the good ol’ United States people rant against the government. People rant against health care while taking their Medicaid prescriptions. They rant against environmental laws while savoring their clean air and national parks. They rant against taxes while enjoying their smooth, well-engineered highways. They rant against the fairly elected president. Recently, in Georgia, an elderly man asked his congressman during a Town Hall style meeting “Who is Going to Shoot Obama?”. The congressman, while flustered, moved right along. This elderly man, who is likely on Medicaid, didn’t like Obama’s healthcare program. I’m all for a small government but, unfortunately, humans, while inherently good, can also be inherently greedy and selfish (because they have this belief in the solidity of the Ego). Many of our laws help keep people in check: don’t kill people, don’t steal, don’t dump toxins in the river, etc. Other laws: anti-abortion legislation, the immigration laws of Arizona, etc – these sorts of things impinge upon people’s basic freedoms. Some laws suck and there is power to change them. The thing is: we have the power to do this, however much we cry that we don’t, and we often take for granted, without a shred of gratitude, the beautiful freedoms that we do have.
Some laws are fought down. Some win. We have a history of winning and losing and winning and losing. We have a history of being able to go say what we want, shop at well-stocked grocery stores, fill up our gas tanks, and know that, for the most part, no one will shoot at us or bomb us. No tanks will suddenly come rumbling through our streets. No measles outbreak will tear down our neighbors. The conditions of our lives support the pursuit of our happiness far greater than many because of that basic sense of freedom and basic lack of fear. Far more of the fears that we live with are self-created: economic fears, fear of death, fear of not being loved.
While it’s true that all fear is in the mind and it’s possible to experience mental freedom regardless of whichever regime is in power: it still sucks to be shot at for what you believe whilst living under the eye of a politico who has been in power for 40 some-odd years. It sucks to not be able to follow your dreams, should you choose to. That’s the freedom people desire: the freedom to choose to follow dreams. Many people in the so-called Free World drift away from those dreams but that is their choice. The conditions for realizing the dreams are there: there are ways to start businesses, go to college, travel, be self-propelled, make it happen. It is simply the freedom to choose that most people desire.
I would rather live with working through the little dictator in my head that keeps me from following my dreams than have to live under the thumb of the big dictator ruling my country. I would rather live with working through the basic mental fears – the ones seeded by death and love and desire – than the fear of being shot for disagreeing with my government. Some might call this the middle path: too much intensity and it’s tough to just get down to the basics inside of ourselves. Too much comfort and we never have the impetus to do the inner work.
We are very blessed to have the basic freedoms we’ve been granted. Never shun someone just for wanting those basic freedoms. Maybe you had the freedom to choose what jeans you wore today. You had a hundred different stores you could have gone to and you settled on the pair you are are wearing. Don’t shun someone for not also wanting that freedom. We all know that all sorts of trouble ride on the back of that freedom of choice. Once people have the freedom to sit on the couch with a twelve pack of shitty beer and eat twenty McDonald’s hamburgers, while watching monster trucks crush small cars – well, some will choose that path. Others will grow their food in their gardens. Others will go to school and learn to think. Others will protest injustices. Others will make music. Or paint paintings. Or dance. Or work together to create a better, healthier world. And while we still have to put up a fight sometimes to maintain the right to do any of these things, no one is stopping us from doing so and, as we’ve seen: we win far more than we lose.
I truly hope that all the people pushing for this sense of freedom, for freedoms of election, free speech, freedom of movement, the freedom of choice, can have those dreams realized and live more comfortable lives that allow for deeper growth and higher rewards. All beings want to be happy, free, and awake, and it is the tendency of the human spirit to move towards this light, regardless of oppression. While our own 200-year old democracy has become, in some ways, rather bloated, I look forward to seeing what a fresh start, half a world away, might blossom into.
Many blessings, comrades.back
Globalization is a movement – a force – that is sort of rolling along and, at this point, cannot be stopped, whether or not protestors want to admit it or not. If you use the internet, look for deals on things from far away, read blogs by Indian authors, enjoy Manga comics, anything really – then you are a part of it as well and to look backwards is to get nostalgic for a cultural museum. I bring this up because I’ve been reading a very interesting and illuminating book on the topic. I can’t say I agree with everything the author has to say and it is certainly coming from the direction of the more right-wing Republican doctrine of less government/tariffs/trade restrictions – more free market economy than I can agree with – but it puts forth a lot of interesting information that is helpful in illuminating how we got to where we are in this economic "meltdown" today.
The book is called "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" by Thomas L. Friedman and was published in 2000. Friedman draws some very clear parallels between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Communist structure itself and the rise of the internet and the global marketplace. In a post-WWII/Cold War world, markets were closed off to one another, communication was limited, and countries were able to put safe curtains around themselves. You never knew what was going on in another country, other than what your government told you and, as far as they were concerned, you were better off because of that. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening up of communication lines between nations, investors and individuals, people began to realize that they could expand their trade and, subsequently, improve their lives. We might want to say – oh the Amazon tribe or the African Bushman is better off without the TV or the cell phone or the computer but that is only because we have some kind of retrospective thinking and, while we are immersed in it one way or the other, the more technologically advanced cultures want to keep these "cultural museums". As he says:
"With all due respect to revolutionary theorists, the "wretched of the earth" want to go to Disney World – not to the barricades. They want the magic Kingdom, not Les Miserables."
Truth be told, whether we’ve seen the ugly face of consumeristic capitalism or not, of Mickey Mouse and Coca-Cola, we all saw it once for the first time and really really wanted to go there. Tell the shoeless hut-dweller in some remote region of the world that they are better off without your Chacos, ipod, Levi’s and Oakley’s and suddenly you’re going to look a whole lot like those "oppressors" that you rail against.
There are, of course, up sides and down sides to this emergence of a global market place. A down side: an oil company, because of loose trade restrictions, goes in and destroys some remote village, dumping toxic chemicals while veritably looting their raw materials. The good side: while this probably happened before the internet and cell phones – today we hear about it. Now there are bloggers and watchdogs and petitions that circulate within a matter of days and we can, with some effort, hold big business more accountable than ever before.
So this book goes on to talk about these sorts of things and just what happened when the mid-80′s brought about this complete planetary perspective shift. We who grew up then might not have realized it at the time, immersed in Transformers and MTV as we were, but the rest of the world was also looking at that MTV saying – I want a piece of that. So regulations got stripped, little by little, to give investors some elbow room so they could really move their money around and "get a piece of that".
There was a Harvard economist on Jon Stewart the other night who talked about how we got into this global mess that we are in today. She likened it to slowly pulling the threads out of the regulatory system one by one. The checks and balances, the regulations and oversight, to the point where everyone was trading willy-nilly in this new free market economy that, free of ALL regulations was bound to crash. Basically, governments pulled the rug out from underneath capitalism and didn’t replace it with anything. So it fell. Now, I could rant for a while about how the unchecked growth that is the backbone of capitalism is, in a world with finite resources, doomed to fail, but that is another story.
Friedman goes on to discuss the trading of assets across borders and there is a bit of exuberant propheticness, as he goes on excitedly about how we can now trade anything including home loans:
"Lesley Goldwasser… explained how it works: ‘ Suppose you are a home mortgage company and you have a hundred home mortgages out in the local market at an outlay of a hundred million dollars bringing in a return of 1 million dollars a month in interest and principal payments. That mortgage company can issue them as bonds that you and I can buy for a thousand dollars each. The advantage to the mortgage company is that it can get its hundred million dollars back right away without having to wait for all these people to pay off their mortgages over thirty years. The advantage for the bondholders is that they are paid off by the cash flow from the interest and principal payments that come in each month… what’s more, the bonds will be backed up by actual homes and since there are usually several hundred in each bundle, even if a few default the odds are that most of the others will pay off their loans accordingly.’"
Sounds like a beautiful plan if you want to gamble with people’s homes! But people are inherently greedy and with regulations out the door, credit available like a disease and each guy just wanting to pass off his mortgages, bonds, or what have you to the next investor, this system began to tumble. Many people did default on their loans since, with credit so available it was easy enough to jack the price of the home up fair bit beyond its market value. Next thing you know – bigger companies had invested in this system and it was the driving force behind their business. As people defaulted, so did the money dry up, and so did businesses begin to fail. A big downside to the global market is that cheap labor elsewhere means no jobs here. No jobs means little income and little income means that, in the end, you can’t pay your mortgage an you won’t be paying off that new flat screen HDTV, the new Hummer or the credit card debts.
Globalization and the internet has created a sort of wild beast that we are only now beginning to gauge the scope of. There are plenty of good points – for myself, I can share my artwork with someone in Azerbaijan or Outer Mongolia – but the downside is that, for people who let money rule their lives, the quick and easy trading, the seemingly instantaneous results, and the lack of government oversight, has allowed them to lead the global economy into a pit that seems to be quite difficult to climb out of.
They say that Egypt was built on the backs of slaves for rich and powerful pharoahs. We marvel at their feats. These days, rising out of the desert, Dubai glistens like some sort of mirage in the desert. It too is a city being built on the backs of slaves, quite literally. over 300,000 slaves to be exact. Working and toiling under the ho desert sun, not begin paid, fed barely enough to survive… for the Shiek. Not much different than the ancient Egypt we learn about. And who is to stop it? It seems the slowly crumbling world economy is grinding the building and construction to a halt but…
I’ve learned about this from a truly well-written and interesting article here: The Dark Side of Dubai
I was recently talking with a friend about a few different businesses he is involved with. I’m not going to say what businesses or which friend as I don’t want to personalize it or create a sense of scapegoating. One business he spoke of as having a model based on a local/eco-friendly approach. Conversely, other business interests of his had no such vision. In this case the local/eco-friendly approach is done based simply on economic sense. People like to pay a higher price for the local/eco-friendly business instead of from a different business that doesn’t take the same sustainable approach. Being eco-friendly, in this case, is a matter of capitalist convenience. If more product could be sold by not being eco-friendly, such as other business interests of this same person, then there wouldn’t be a point in being eco-friendly in the first place.
It’s difficult for me to want to support such businesses. I have various reasons for wanting to support local, eco-friendly businesses when I can and if it’s not a local business then I hope for it to be conscious about it’s environmental impact and ecological footprint. The world is getting more crowded every day with fewer natural resources to sustain our consumption heavy lifestyles and the effects of our rampant consumerism are being felt in every corner of the globe. To take responsibility for this and change our business practices because it makes ethical sense rather than business sense is an important distinction.
I realize there are a lot of businesses who see the eco-friendly market as a giant cash cow eagerly being let to slaughter and I am glad for those businesses who at least make an effort to engage in sounder environmental practices, for whatever reason. However, it feels sometimes like people are simply waiting for when they are allowed go back to consuming willy-nilly at a discounted price with disregard for the consequences. Ignorance is easy while being responsible for our actions take more effort.
I’ve read about people claiming that this “recession”, this “economic slump” has gotten them to consume less. They are cutting back here or there; less buying, more repairing what they’ve got. Great! We’re being a little more frugal with our natural resources. But is this a period of agreed upon abstaining from gluttonous consumption or simply a forced diet that, the minute the economic tourniquet is lifted, the masses flood back to the stores in energy hungry vehicles and wallets burning holes in their pockets?
I go back to my friend – engaging in an eco-friendly business on the one hand because it is the business model of that enterprise and working on more environmentally mindless projects on the other hand because they make money and being eco-friendly is not a part of that business model. In my own opinion, any possible positive results of the first are outweighed by the disregard for responsibility of the other. At heart, he is a capitalist first and a responsible citizen of the earth second.
We are all in this together, as we like to remind ourselves over and over. Capitalism is about stepping on heads, deregulating trade, and every man for himself using whatever is a viable business model to get ahead. It’s ugly, destructive, and unsustainable. I welcome compassionate alternatives. An environmentally conscious business model is one that takes stock of it’s ecological footprint and does it’s best to trim the excess and find sustainable solutions not because it makes economic sense but because it makes ethical sense. When we look inside and examine those choices in the light of Awareness, hopefully they make it burn a little brighter, stretching our compassionate heart just a little wider. There is no room for compassion in a capitalism. Capitalism hardens our hearts. It’s hard to be compassionate when we know that our paycheck was earned by poisoning the planet just a little bit more. It’s always our choice and I’m hopeful that the compassionate spirit wins out, learns from it’s mistakes, and creates a healthier environment.
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water. The water is
clean because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum quality
standards. With his first swallow he takes his daily medication, safe
because a commie wannabe fought to ensure that it works as advertised.
All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical
plan since liberal union workers fought for paid medical insurance.
He prepares his morning bacon and eggs, which are safe to eat because
some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing
industry. In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo, properly
labeled because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what
he was putting on or in his body.
Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes
is clean because environmentalist wackos fought for laws to stop
industries from polluting. He walks on the government-provided sidewalk
to the subway for his government-subsidized ride to work, which saves
him money in parking and gas because some fancy-pants liberal worked for
affordable public transportation.
Joe begins his work day at a good job with excellent pay, medical
benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation thanks to liberal union
members who fought and died for those working standards. If Joe is hurt
on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get worker compensation or an
unemployment check because some lazy-ass liberal didn’t think he should
lose his home due to temporary misfortune.
It*s noon and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some
bills. His deposit is insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal
wanted to protect his money from the unscrupulous bankers who ruined the
banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has a Fannie
Mae-underwritten mortgage and below-market federal student loan because
lefty elitists thought Joe would be better off if he was educated (at a
state-funded university) and earned more money over his lifetime.
Joe drives home on taxpayer-funded roads. His car is among the safest
in the world because flag-hating liberals fought for safety standards.
He plans to visit his father at his home in the country. His was the
third generation to live in the house financed by the Farmers’ Home
Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The
house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck
his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.
He’s happy to see his father, now retired on Social Security and a
union pension thanks to cheese-eating liberals. On the ride home Joe
turns on a radio talk show whose host chants endlessly that liberals are
bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that Republicans
have fought every protection and benefit Joe has enjoyed today. Joe
considers himself a self-made man and agrees: “Everyone should take just
care of themselves, just like I have.”
-Reprinted from an email sent to me, at one time or another. But worthy of reprinting…
“Under current copyright law, in effect for the last 30 years, your
visual art is copy protected whether or not it is registered or carries
the copyright symbol.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to introduce
the Orphan Works Act of 2008. If you care about protecting your work,
you’re against it. It will have the effect of wiping out any copyright
on visual art now in existence, throwing your work into the public
domain. If you wish to protect your work (each and every separate piece)
you will have to digitize it and register it with private sector
registries as yet uncreated, for a fee as yet unestablished. I say
registries because this bill places no limit on how many separate
registries there could be.
The fastest, easiest thing is to sign a petition here:
It gets worse. Anyone can submit images, including your images. They
would then be excused from any liability for infringement (also known as
THEFT) unless the legitimate rights owner (you) responds within a
certain period of time to grant or deny permission to use your work.
That means you will also have to look through every image in every
registry all the time to make sure someone is not stealing and
registering your art. You could actually end up illegally using your own
artwork or photo if someone else registers it.
Please read more in this excerpt from illustratorspartnership.org; I
know it’s long, but it’s worth reading. Also, note that while their
site is geared to illustrators, everything they say applies as well to
photographers, musicians, filmakers, painters, writers, etc:
Since the last bill died in committee in 2006, the advocates of this
legislation have promoted the creation of private commercial registries.
On January 29, 2007, a lead attorney for the Copyright Office warned us
that under their plan any work not registered with a private sector
registry would be a potential orphan from the moment it was created.
This means you would not only have to register your published work, but
— Every sketch or note on every page of every sketchbook;
— Every sketch you send to every client;
— Every photograph you take anywhere, anytime, including family photos,
home videos, etc.;
— Every letter, email, etc., professional, personal or private.
This Would End Passive Copyright Protection: Under existing law the
total creative output of any “creator” receives passive copyright
protection from the moment you create it. This covers everything from
the published work of professional artists to the unpublished diaries,
letters and family photos of the average citizen.
But under the Orphan Works proposal, none of this material would be
covered unless the creator took active steps to register and maintain
coverage with a commercial registry. Failure to do so would “signal” to
infringers that you have no interest in protecting the work.
The Registration Paradox:
By conceding that their proposals would make potential orphans of any
unregistered works, the Copyright Office proposals would lead to a
registration paradox: In order to “protect” work from exposure to
infringement, creators would have to expose it on a publicly searchable
registry. This would:
— Expose creative work to plagiarists and derivative abusers;
— Expose trade secrets and unused sketches to competitors;
— Expose unpublished and private correspondence to the public on the
Orwellian premise that you must expose it to “protect” it.
Yet registries will not be able to monitor infringements nor enforce
copyright compliance. Even after you’ve shelled out “protection money”
to a commercial registry to register hundreds of thousands of works, you
still won’t be protected. A registry would do nothing more than give you
a piece of paper. You would still have to monitor infringements – which
can occur anytime anywhere in the world; then embark on an uncertain
quest to find the infringer, file a case in Federal court, then prove
that the infringer has removed your name or other identifying
information from your work. Meanwhile all the infringer will have to do
is say there was no such information on the work when he found it and
assert an orphan works defense.
Coerced registration violates the spirit and letter of international
copyright law and copyright-related treaties. And because this bill
would effectively eliminate the passive copyright protection afforded
personal correspondence, family photos, etc. it would tear one more
slender thread of privacy protection from the fabric of fundamental
rights we currently take for granted.
We urge Congress to carefully reconsider the unintended consequences of
this radical copyright proposal.
— Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators’
So, what to do about this? More from the Illustrators Parnership
March 19, 2008
We expect a bill to be released after the Easter recess. Sources say it
will be introduced in the House and Senate simultaneously, and
fast-tracked for a vote in the House by mid-May. Advocates hope for
swift passage before the summer recess.
The decision to introduce such a radical bill so late in the session is
ominous. Because of fall elections, this will be a short Congressional
year. Any bill not passed by the end of Congress will have to
re-introduced in the next Congress. That means the bill’s sponsors must
know they have their ducks lined up.
So, I urge everyone to:
GET ON ORPHAN WORKS E-MAIL LIST
To be notified of the latest information on the Orphan Works bill and
when to contact your legislators, send an email to
email@example.com and ask to be added to the Orphan
Works list. You can also visit the IPA Orphan Works Resource Page for
Artists for more information, because I didn’t even detail all the
disgusting facets of this shocking legislation:
And… please act!
The fastest, easiest thing is to sign a petition here:
Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to quickly find the phone
number, address and e-mail of every U.S. senator, U.S. representative,
and state legislator. In the meantime, please feel free to forward this
to all the artists you know.”
“Officials from 113 countries agreed Thursday that
a much-awaited international report will say that global
warming [is] “very likely” caused by human activity,
delegates to a climate change conference said….
Four participants told The Associated Press that the group
approved the term “very likely” in Thursday’s sessions.
That means they agree that there is a 90 percent chance
that global warming is caused by humans.”
When we can stop dealing in “percetages” and “cost value” and “economic feasability” and instead deal in “responsibility”, “ethical behavior” and “awareness” then maybe we will be able to start doing something.
Violet proposed to me the other night that the problem we face, as far as how we decide to label our environmental problems is this: Because we are so busy deciding what is ecofriendly and what is not, what is environmentally responsible and what is not, we exacerbate the problem by choosing sides and fall to the sickness of the labeling disease. What we ought to seek to do is not live more ECOconsciously or ENVIRONMENTALLYfriendly, instead, we just need to live more consciously, plain and simple. We could sit and masturbate all day to the sound of percentages and profit margins but until we simply take things for what they are, take responsibillity for ourselves and our actions, we will never change anything.
If i was 90% responsible for killing my neighbor, would i go to jail? What would take the other 10%? The fact that the knife was sharp? The gun dangerous? It’s simple: I’m guilty! An argument like that would NEVER hold up in ANY court.
Human’s are 90% responsible for climate change? Are the true believers we holding out for 100%? (which it will never be, any statistician can tell you that…)
But what about the jobs… ? The cost of creating new infrastructure…? It has been suggested that it is more cost effective to adjust to the change rather than implement new technologies and alternate ways of living… That is like saying, well, I’m OBESE. I might as well just be obese than put in the extra effort it will take to heal myself. But then, people like to live with their wounds… Isn’t that what Christianity is all about: we are supposed to live with our guilt. So maybe the Christian Church has been preparing us for this all along: one more cross to bear… one more wound to lick. So much for heaven on earth and all that…
Well, that’s it… some food for thought…
I do love you.
This is a major issue for those of us who love our apples…. the ipod… the ibook… so many i’s and so much waste! Apple actually rates a 2.7 on Greenpeace’s polluter scale. That is way low. Companies like Dell and HP are taking steps to reduce their toxicity levels (computers are super toxic… sigh…) but NOT Apple! Why not? They market themselves to young people and the young people are the ones who are the most concerned about the environmental issues facing us today. I won’t get into why that is (but for one: so many people like to live by the adage “can’t teach an old dog…” but that is just a way of copping out…) but– here is a site put together by Greenpeace to raise awareness and support on this issue. Use the form on the Greenpeace site to send Apple an email.