Sunday, November 30, 2008
It's interesting to see this topic finally printed in a Tulsa newspaper. We the People's full page ads asking the courts to require he produce an original birth certificate come out Dec 1st in the Chicago Trib. I can't imagine what will happen if it turns out Obama is ineligible, but if I was a communitarian seeking to cause chaos to the established government of the US, I'd see this as the perfect opportunity. A good way to rile up the Dems is to take away their victory. Fomenting revolution among the "right" is easy if you blame the fiasco on all the high ranking, top level Muslims in the White House who surround President Bush. Making a global (final) mockery of the American system is assured if the first black president is a fraud. Is that ultimately Obama's role?
The Great Birth Certificate Scandal/Cover-Up of '08, By Joan Swirsky, Tulsa Today, Monday, 24 November 2008
I planned on writing back, but wanted to wait until I had a chance to properly respond. I do remember thinking it very odd that the Cherry Hill Seminary severed all ties with the Communitarian Church the same exact month I started trying to locate the church. As far as I know there are no records of this church anywhere online. My next step was going to be contacting the state officials who authorized the program and the ministry.
Dear Tent Lady,Now I'm getting hits from this:
I just happened to stumble across your blog today, "Living Outside the Dialectic," at http://nikiraapana.blogspot.com/2008/03/communitarian-church-of-vermont.html . I realize the post is an old one, but would like to respond to some of your questions in the column titled, "Communitarian Church of Vermont."
The original founder of Cherry Hill Seminary thought that the school had to be associated with a church of some sort in order to meet state requirements. He founded the Communitarian Church, but I rather doubt he has ever read Etzioni (I have, btw). The logo is a cherry tree. The board of directors severed all ties with the Communitarian Church of Vermont on March 1, 2008. You will find no reference to it on our current web site. The seminary was privately owned by the founder in the early years, but is now a 501©3 charitable organization. Students have never been required to join the Communitarian Church, though in the early years they were told they must be a member in order to matriculate or be ordained. This was, again, an erroneous assumption on the part of the founder, which he supported changing when the board of directors determined it to be both unnecessary and a conflict of interest. The founder is no longer connected with us.
Regarding your reference to "Macha’s 2000 church," Macha NightMare has never been connected with the Communitarian Church other than through her involvement with Cherry Hill Seminary. She continues to serve as the Chair for the Department of Public Ministry, and is indeed a respected member of the Marin Interfaith Council, and frequent guest lecturer both here and abroad. Many of our Pagan colleagues, and some of our Cherry Hill faculty, are involved with the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the United Religions Initiative, and other interfaith projects, including service on boards of directors. A core requirement of all Cherry Hill Students is our Introduction to Interfaith course, because we feel it is vital to engage with our local religious communities in a positive and productive way.
Should you have further questions, please contact me any time.
Holli S. Emore, CFRE
Cherry Hill Seminary
"Distance Education for Professional Pagan Ministry"
P.O. Box 5405
Columbia, SC 29250-5405
[Chsadcom] FYIThe global Communitarian Religion portion of our studies remains the most neglected. I never even started an ACL topic page. I meant to because a lot of people ask me what I think the new religion will be. My guess has been leaning towards Ba hai or some other new "benign" mixture of Earth Worship with Christianity, Buddism, Islam, Judaism, Kaballah and freemasonry.
Judy Harrow judyharo at comcast.net
Thu Sep 4 17:33:51 PDT 2008
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Well, now I've looked at the site. This appears to be the ravings of a paranoid, right-wing nut case. I;m not sure I would have dignified it with any sort of response at all. Holli, be sure to wash your shoes and pants thoroughly after wading into that muck!
warmly / Judy
There is ample evidence that there will be a new global religion to go along with the new global political and judicial system. It doesn't make sense that the participants wouldn't know exactly what their group's ultimate goal is. As Holli said, "Many of our Pagan colleagues, and some of our Cherry Hill faculty, are involved with the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the United Religions Initiative, and other interfaith projects, including service on boards of directors."
The Parliament's Board of Trustees is worth a read through...
The Parliament's International Advisory Committee is the Who's Who List of major world religious leaders. The opening graph on their page tells us: "Each member of this committee is an exemplary figure in the movement for peace, justice, and sustainability."
I wonder if Holli and Judy know what sustainability means. Holli says she's read Etzioni. That puts her in a very elite group of players. I guess Judy was too busy going to charm school with Sarah Palin. She's the Chair, Dept. of Pastoral Counseling. I'm sure she'll never understand communitarianism, but if she's gonna pursuade me she's all for peace and justice, she needs to repeat her Introduction to Interfaith Course after she licks the muck off her own boots.
Holli also informed me their symbol is a Cherry Tree (alluding to my assuming it was a Tree of Life symbol). The Cherry Tree is a pagan symbol of death and rebirth. How closely related are witchcraft and freemasonry? Freemasonry also has a death and rebirth ritual that can be explained using the cherry tree:
Wiki has an overview of the global religion's history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Parliament_of_Religions
Maybe the founder of Cherry Hill Seminary arrived at his idea reading John Goodwin Barby?
Doesn't it seem as if a lot of roads lead to Chicago lately?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Composting Toilets, by Aric McBay
Composting is an aerobic process—it takes place with the presence of air. That means that properly operating composting toilets do not produce unpleasant smells or gases. The temperatures reached inside the compost, along with the time the compost spends “curing”, kill the disease organisms that might be present. Composting toilets also conserve the nutrients in the feces and urine, so that they can be returned to the land. Compost itself contains valuable organic matter that does wonders for soil life and gardens, a topic which will be expanded on in future writings on gardening.
Some people are worried about the fact that one might have to handle material containing human feces. This is a valid concern, but it shouldn’t be a problem if proper handwashing and other simple precautions take place. After all, most of us are quite literally full of poop all the time, and use the toilet on a regular basis, and it doesn’t harm us. As long as you wash properly, a composting toilet is no more dangerous than any other kind of toilet.
Read full article here: http://www.inthewake.org/b1latrine2.html
Here's another upgrade "option":
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Dear friends of the Jean Monnet Center,
We are pleased to announce the online publication of the ninth paper in the 2008 Jean Monnet Working Paper series. We include the abstract of this paper below:
Stavros Tsakyrakis, "Proportionality: An Assault on Human Rights?"
(JMWP no. 09/08)
Balancing is the main method used by a number of constitutional courts around the world to resolve conflicts of fundamentals rights. The European Court of Human Rights is routinely balancing human rights against each other and against conflicting public interests and has elevated proportionality to the status of a basic principle of interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The paper examines the debate on balancing in the context of American constitutional law and the Convention, and discusses theories which claim that some form of balancing is inherent in human rights adjudication. It argues that proportionality constitutes a misguided quest for precision and objectivity in the resolution of human rights disputes and suggests that courts should instead focus on the real moral issues underlying such disputes.
We invite you to access this Working Paper on the Jean Monnet Center website at www.jeanmonnetprogram.org.
BBC Profile: European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights homepage
The European Court of Justice and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in the European Community: New Developments and Future Possibilities in Expanding Fundamental Rights Review to Member State Action, by Darcy S. Binder
Community vs. Democracy Communitarian Theories and the Israeli Settlers , Prepared for delivery at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 28 - August 31, 2003. Copyright by the American Political Science Association. presented by Avia Pasternak, MA The Department of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
"The communitarian critique of liberal thought, which defied the liberal conception of the autonomous subject and the neutrality of the liberal political sphere, attracted much criticism for its vagueness in what regards the practical implications of communitarian politics. More specifically, critics of communitarianism argue that communitarian philosophers, when shaping their proposed political model around a rather obscure definition of the community, do not consider the possibility that ‘ communities’ may have some negative implications as well, if they impede individual autonomy. Accordingly, these philosophers fail to provide a sufficient explanation as to how the political models they propose can be disassociated from anti-democratic communities. 1 This paper aims at reinforcing such a critique on communitarian thought by comparing the communitarian theory with the praxis of an actual community. Focusing on the thought of Charles Taylor and Alasdair MacIntyre it strives to show that there are distinct similarities between these philosophers’ ontological premises and those of the Israeli Settlers, 2 and that such similarities raise doubts as to level of 1 Buchanan Allen, "Assessing the Communitarian Critique of Liberalism” Ethics, 98(3), 867; Phillips Derek, Looking Backward (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 7-8; Holmes Stephan, The Anatomy of Anti-Liberalism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 178. 2 The Israeli Settlers are Israeli-Jews who reside in settlements in the occupied territories (Gaza Strip and the West Bank). They are motivated by a strong religious ideology, claiming that the settling of the biblical Land of Israel is a divine commandment; and hence they strongly object any territorial concessions to the Palestinians."
I found the above ruling after Pete sent me this:
EPA ISSUES FINAL RULE FOR CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS (CAFOs)
News Date November 10, 2008
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on October 31 issued final regulations on Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting requirements for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The agency has been working on the regulations since 2003 which will set new pollution prevention standards for CAFO operations.
The regulation requires that an owner or operator of a CAFO that actually discharges to streams, lakes, and other waters must apply for a permit under the Clean Water Act. If a farmer designs, constructs, operates, and maintains their facility such that a discharge will occur, a permit is needed. EPA is also providing an opportunity for CAFO operators who do not discharge or propose to discharge to show their commitment to pollution prevention by obtaining certification as zero dischargers.
For the first time, EPA is requiring a nutrient management plan (NMP) for manure to be submitted as part of a CAFO's Clean Water Act permit application. Previous rules required a CAFO operator to use an NMP for controlling manure, but the new regulation builds on that by requiring the NMP to be submitted with the permit application. The plan will be reviewed by the permitting authority and conditions based on it will be incorporated as enforceable terms of the permit. The proposed NMP and permit will be available for public review and comment before going final. In addition, the final rule includes technical clarifications regarding water quality-based effluent limitations and use of best management practices to meet zero discharge requirements.
EPA worked closely with the USDA during the development of the rule and will work closely with states during implementation. The rule deadline for newly defined facilities to apply for permits is February 27, 2009. Information on the concentrated animal feeding operation rule is available on EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/caforule. (Contact: Charlie Ingram)
From the September 2008 Idaho Observer:
NASDA: Secretly blurring the lines between public and private while erasing international borders
Pictured is the press button RBN host Chris Hinkley was provided by NASDA at registration and his RBN press pass. It turns out that one must agree with NASDA objectives and have press credentials to report on the globalist activities of NASDA.
By Chris Hinkley
On August 13-16, 2008, the Coeur d’ Alene Resort hosted the 18th annual 2008 Tri-National Agricultural Accord conducted by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). The event drew numerous U.S. officials including Idaho Governor Butch Otter and "dignitaries" from Canada and Mexico. As a local member of the press I decided to cover the event.
The conference was held under cover of an ominous, near media blackout. Though Idaho Gov. Butch Otter spoke at the conference on Thursday, none of the local mainstream press outlets carried the story. In fact, aside from this article, the only media coverage of this Idaho event to date was published in the Capital Press of Salem, OR, the North Texas e-News; gratuitous notices from the Idaho Dept. of Agriculture and the province of Saskatchewan, Canada were also issued.
Conference events open to the public and press included a "Report on Climate Change Meeting" and "Rural Development and Harmonization Tri-Lateral Group Reports" on Thursday, August 14. "Closing Ceremonies" and "Remarks" on Saturday, August 16, were also open to the press. Golfing at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and optional Tri-lateral Working Groups on Wednesday, August 13 and Friday’s Bi-Lateral Meetings were closed to the public and press.
I arrived at the resort on Wednesday to register. I had recently moved and did not have my press credentials as a host with the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN) handy so, while registering, I specifically asked if I needed to bring additional credentials other than the conference issued press badge I received. I was assured by registration staff the badge I was provided would be sufficient.
Thursday’s events began with the Report on Climate Change Meeting and I was anxious to attend. Upon arriving I was immediately descended upon by several conference sentinels including; NASDA Consultant Jennifer Yezak, NASDA Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Amy Mann, ID State Dept. of Agriculture Market Development Division Manager Laura Johnson, ID State Dept. of Agriculture Chief of Staff/Communications Director Pamm Juker, to name just a few. After repeated batteries of pressing questions as to my interest in the conference, what information specifically I intended to cover and why the conference and its subject matter was of interest, including demands for additional press credentials, I was finally left to my seat. This interrogation process lasted about 20 minutes, with groups of two conferring in whispers and then buzzing over to me for further questioning, then reporting back only to repeat this process.
As I finally settled in and adjusted my conference provided multi-lingual headset I was once again swiftly descended upon and asked to have a word outside the conference room. As I was grilled with the same battery of rhetorical questions including demands for additional credentials which I repeatedly obliged with contact information for the Network, I finally responded in exasperation, "Did I do something wrong? I was under the impression this event was open to the press. Is that accurate?"
The response to which was, "Yes, some of it is."
I was then instructed either to provide further credentials or leave the conference. I obliged to leave and returned to my seat to gather my things only to turn and see a hulking security guard standing in the door. I wonder what they were expecting.
All in all, I was at the conference for 45 minutes—just enough time to hear remarks on "carbon sequestration," "the spread of invasive species," and questions such as, "is there another venue where agriculture is addressed? If not, we have a problem" and "…whether we use the ‘accord system’ of dialogue or the means we’ve discussed among ourselves...Or maybe we use the accord membership as a dialogue process."
Based on these remarks alone in conjunction with the complete media blackout of the event, it is easily discernible to even an untrained eye it would appear that elected officials and private parties from the U.S., Canada and Mexico are plotting to undermine their nations’ national sovereignty. Could our state departments be planning, in relative secrecy, to further extend and solidify the NAFTA/CAFTA/GATT/WTO/NAU/SPP/Agenda 21/FAO/ WHO/ Codex Alimentarius Orwellian dystopia?
Brief history. NASDA was founded in 1915. According to the NASDA website, the current arrangement is rooted in a U.S./Canada exchange dating from 1984. When efforts to expand the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to create a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) got underway in the early 1990s, it was decided to invite Mexico to participate in the Accord arrangement. The first trilateral accord meeting took place in Puerto Vallarta in 1992. Since that year, an annual accord meeting has rotated among the three countries. The United States hosted the 2002 Accord in Nogales, Arizona. The theme of this conference was the management of border issues.
Its stated mission is to represent the state departments of agriculture in the development, implementation and communication of sound public policy and programs which support and promote the American agricultural industry, while protecting consumers and the environment.
NASDA is governed by a 10-member board of directors consisting of a five member executive committee, one at-large member and the presidents of the four NASDA regions. Executive committee members are the officers of the association and serve five-year terms (Each region has at least one member serving on the executive committee). The regional presidents serve a one year term. The At-Large member is selected by the Executive Committee.
To learn more about the NASDA, and the Tri-National Agricultural Accord including meeting minutes, attendees lists, and much more, visit; the 2008 Tri-National Accord page, the "Accord history" page, and the NASDA homepage.
Chris Hinkley hosts "Road Warrior Radio," shortwave talk radio program from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific on the Republic Broadcasting Network (www.republicbroadcasting.org)
To learn more about the NASDA, and the Tri-National Agricultural Accord, including its meeeting minutes and attendees lists, visit the website at www.nasda.org
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
From Peter Meyer's elist:
(5) Mexican Special Forces units have gone over to the drug cartels
From: EagleRevisionist@aol.com Date: 19.11.2008 09:12 AM
THE MEXICAN NARCO-REVOLUTION
By Dr. Harrell Rhome
My 2006 article about a possible coming revolution in Mexico was both correct and incorrect. At that time, I focused on the highly emotional and heavily contested presidential election. I thought the forces of the left might launch a national revolution, but they did not, seemingly content to work within the system, at least for now. Nevertheless, an ultra-violent, albeit somewhat quiet, heavily armed insurgency is already well under way. The key players are the drug cartels and the rightist Calderon government. On one front, the cartels are warring among themselves for dominance in the lucrative multi-billion dollar drug trade, made possible by ridiculously inappropriate and ineffective U.S. laws. On the other front is the war against the Mexican government, the cartels hoping to dominate, or at least to intimidate and coerce the system to make their work even easier. This is just what has happened in Colombia and other drug-producing countries, and is resulting in what many are calling the Colombianization of Mexico.
What is happening is largely ignored by the American “mainline” media. Since I live in South Texas, I occasionally look at Spanish language newspapers. I wish I could relay some good commentary, but other than matter-of-fact reports on the violence, little is said. The American press has chosen by and large to ignore the issue as it might impinge on tourism, oil imports, the lucrative outsourcing of our industrial jobs, etc., but the Mexican media has a better reason for avoiding it. Some of the main targets for narco-assassins are journalists. Of course, the stories that doomed them most often involved clear and direct exposés of criminal activity and widespread public corruption. Let’s pause a moment to honor these brave reporters and commentators. How many writers, including myself, would be willing to risk death to make a statement? Not only that, some of them continued even after the deaths of their colleagues. Of course, the narco-terrorists eventually had their way.
On a related front, how many American police officers would keep on going against the seemingly untouchable cartels after their colleagues are openly and brazenly slain? Scores of police officers and public officials have fallen to the bullets of the narco-terrorist forces. Naturally, prudent resignations have been rampant, leaving police forces short of personnel. With the overall climate of corruption in Mexico, the few brave officers who wanted to enforce the law and get rid of the narco-terrorist gangs never really had a free hand or any assistance. So, who would want to be a cop, other than an opportunist or an infiltrator? Even then, very few recruits are coming forward. It’s the same thing with the military. Always held to a higher moral standard by the Mexican people, they too are losing to the narco-revolution. No, not on the battlefield, but within their own ranks, from top to bottom. Highly trained Special Forces units with heavy duty weapons and intelligence gear have gone over to the cartels. The best known, but certainly not the only one, are the Zetas. This is the equivalent of U.S. Army Rangers or Green Berets deciding to join the enemy in Iraq! Sometimes we hear reports of Mexican Army troops crossing our border or even firing at the Border Patrol. I believe that most of this involves rogue units or cartel gunmen who simply donned the garb. And, the corruption spreads across the border as well. Down here in South Texas, some sheriffs, other law enforcement people and county officials have already been arrested and indicted for conspiring with and aiding the traffickers.
This may remind you a bit of what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same Fourth Generation Warfare non-traditional tactics are being used. No flags or marching troops. No uniforms, or even if you see them, you really have no idea who is wearing them. No car bombs or Improvised Explosive Devices so far in Mexico’s narco-wars, but they are not needed. The narco-terrorists are well-armed and well-equipped. By the way, almost all of their sophisticated state of the art weaponry is smuggled in from the U.S. A rocket propelled grenade or an assassination in a hail of bullets is just as effective as a car bomb or an Improvised Explosive Device and the perpetrators rightly feel they can act with virtual impunity. The Mexican police and military only rarely seem to be around, even though almost all of the assassination targets have been openly warned by whichever cartel they had offended. In Ciudad Juarez and other border cities, cartel gunmen routinely and randomly fire at their enemies on main public streets! Mexican troops are stationed along the border as well as in other areas to augment the police, but there is little positive impact. A year or so ago, Army and Federal Police units were sent to Nuevo Laredo, a border city I used to visit often. Several police chiefs and other officers had been killed, so the feds were there to “protect” them. Shortly thereafter, the people of Nuevo Laredo openly complained that all that the soldiers and the Federales really did was get drunk, eat for free in the restaurants and get the local girls pregnant! Did you know that drug cartel violence took over 4,000 lives in 2008? I remind you, both in the Mideast and in the narco-wars, there are no “civilians”.
And, there is another important likeness. As we know, the new police and army forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are not very effective because they are heavily infiltrated and corrupted. It’s the same thing in Mexico. In a Nov. 2008 article about the resignation of the national chief of the Federal Police in a corruption scandal, the Associated Press tells us more. “Last week, five officials in the federal attorney general's organized crime unit, which is separate from the federal police, were arrested for allegedly passing information to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. The Reforma newspaper reported that officials had found a list of soldiers who were allegedly being paid to work for the drug lord. And on Friday, the Defense Department said four other officers and one enlisted man are under investigation for alleged links to one of the country's most powerful drug cartels. The scandals are the most serious reported infiltration of anti-crime agencies since the 1997 arrest of General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, then head of Mexico's anti-drug agency. Gutierrez Rebollo was later convicted of aiding drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes. President Felipe Calderon has long acknowledged that corruption is a problem among the federal police and soldiers charged with leading Mexico's anti-drug campaign, but this week's announcements were nonetheless a major blow to his nationwide campaign to take back territory controlled by cartels.” What chance does the government and honest Mexican officials have? Modern-day warfare techniques and widespread corruption seem to be an unbeatable combination, both in the Mideast and in the Americas.
Likewise, it is not just corruption at higher levels; not at all. A NY Times News Service makes some apt observations. “And [the corruption] raises a question that is on the lips of many Mexicans: How does one know who is dirty and who is clean? ‘I’m convinced that to stop the crime, we have to get it out of our own house,’ said President Felipe Calderon, who has made drug trafficking a crucial part of his presidency. That house is clearly dirty. There is ample evidence that Mexicans of all walks of life are willing to join the drug gangs in exchange for cash, including the farmers who abandon traditional crops and turn to growing marijuana and the accountants who hide the narco-traffickers’ profits.”
Drug trafficking on this scale is a very big business, requiring the same personnel and skills just as it is with any large corporate structure. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, computer techs, office workers, maintenance people, chemists to work in the highly equipped drug labs, janitorial workers and any other categories you can imagine are involved. In a country where many of the people live on a third world scale, one sees the truth about what is going on. The people of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Mideast nations are even more in the same position. In another gruesome parallel, the narco-violence in Mexico already involves numerous beheaded victims, just as it is in the Mideast. Why oppose various militias and power brokers when you can preserve your life and those of your family by cooperating, not to mention earning money when most of your compatriots cannot? Is this an almost unbeatable combination? The results say so.
Of course, by this time in reading my article, you may already be bored, wondering what any of this really has to do with you, here in the great American superpower nation to the north. Blasé and dumbed-down Americans care little about Latin America and its problems, even though we are at the heart of most of them. But, get ready for a change in attitude and awareness. Again, as in the Mideast, Fourth Generation Warfare knows no borders. Another short but scary AP report comes dateline McAllen, Texas, a rather nice city in the Rio Grande Valley, less than 200 miles from where I live. An FBI intelligence report says the Gulf Cartel, one of the main protagonists, “may be preparing for possible confrontations with U.S. law officers.” This comes right in the middle of an effort to strike at South Texas drug smuggling routes. And, the rogue Mexican army special forces, the Zetas, are said to be “moving reinforcements to Reynosa, Mexico, across from McAllen, Texas”. An FBI spokesman said that “the Zetas are a significant problem in Mexico and have the potential to pose a significant problem to law enforcement on this side of the border.” They are armed with heavy assault rifles bulletproof vests, grenades and other powerful weapons, not to mention sophisticated surveillance and intelligence gathering devices. In other words, they are better trained and completely outgun any Texas police forces. Not only that, the Monitor newspaper story tells us that the narco-forces “are occupying safe houses throughout the McAllen area”!
Did you get that? Forget about “effectively patrolling the border” and most of all, forget about building the damned silly border wall! At best, it might deter a few would-be illegal immigrants, but most will just find other routes, as will the cartels. If you haven’t noticed, we have a huge porous border under the best of conditions. But beyond all of that, the Zetas are already in the country! What is more, if they are already here in South Texas safe houses, then they are in other U.S. cities as well. Why wouldn’t they be? I say it again. Fourth Generation Warfare knows no borders. Are you worried about terrorists and homeland security? The elite of the narco-forces, the very best they have, are already in our midst! Just as they act with impunity in Mexico, they will do the same thing here, when and if the need arises. And as we well know, there are no such things as civilians, a group in modern warfare with the heaviest casualties. It is already happening in Mexico, Colombia, etc., where civilian deaths from the narco-wars number in the thousands each year. And, as in the Mideast, it’s pretty hard to avoid the bullets, bombs and random violence once it begins. Is it on the horizon here? Well, its surely not impossible, to say the least! Drive-by shootings and other gang violence are already common in many of our cities and towns. Of course, all U.S. gangs are potential allies of the cartels.
Of course, all of this begs the question of how this situation came to be in the first place. Just as in the Mideast, we are mostly at fault. Let’s face facts. Americans love drugs, consuming billions of dollars worth of legal and illegal ones to ease our various aches and pains of the body and the mind. We use drugs to stimulate ourselves, tranquilize our widespread depressive neuroses, to sedate ourselves so we can sleep, to have more and better sex, lose weight, to create ambience and attitude and much more. And, I haven’t even mentioned alcohol! The stupid moralistic Prohibition debacle of the 1920s did nothing more than put lots of money in the hands of organized crime, making them a powerful force in our nation. Nowadays, the drug laws make it possible for billions and billions to flow into the coffers of the cartels (and their allies) because our drug laws are outmoded, old-fashioned and worst of all, rather ineffective. In another article, I proposed decriminalization of drugs, getting the feds out of the picture, leaving it up to the states under the tenth amendment. This was the position of most conservatives until the early twentieth century. But this will probably never happen because so much money is involved. Not only in the drug trade itself, but in the private prison systems that hold tens of thousands of non-violent offenders. This is a big money making enterprise, just as are the various treatment programs, which are often ineffective and expensive. Among other things, decriminalization would clear many American prison systems, and the money saved could be used to provide the finest and latest treatment programs, free to anyone who chose them. We don’t need the ever-growing “nanny state” to oversee our every move, but probably none of these populist reform efforts will ever take hold. Why? The answer is simple. It’s all about the money. Outside of some obscure state legislators and the Libertarian Party, no politician will touch these issues.
So, dear fellow citizens of the Superpower, through our ill-chosen leaders and ill thought-out policies, we’ve made quite a mess in the world! Through our misdeeds in the Mideast, we have made eternal and implacable enemies of the Muslim world, even among the more moderate factions, and created wars that may go on for decades. But much closer to home, our equally flawed and failed drug policies have mostly Colombianized Mexico, and now have brought the narco-terrorist revolution across our borders. It is possible that dedicated Americans could bring about some badly needed change. We can only hope so, but where are the forward-thinking lawmakers who dare to propose such things? Both in the Mideast and in Mexico, more people will die and most Americans will look away in disinterest. That is, unless the violence comes even closer to home, which it is doing while you read these words. Sadly, our track record is rather poor, so only time will tell.
From SIPAZ, The International Service for Peace Blog : http://sipazen.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/guerrero-12th-anniversary-of-the-communitarian-police/
On November 16, 17 and 18 the Communitarian Police celebrated their 12th anniversary in Zitlaltepec, municipality of Metlatónoc (the mountain area in Guerrero). The System of Communitarian Security and Justice extends across an area which includes 53 communities in the Coastal and Mountain area and operates from three headquarters.
It is estimated that crimes such as assaults, burglaries, homicides and sexual violations against women have decreased by 90% in the region as a result of the system. According to the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Centre, the failure to address these crimes before the creation of this system in 1995 had generated a climate of injustice and impunity for the indigenous peoples and farmers of the region.
By returning to their traditional forms of conflict resolution, these peoples found not only an efficient means of combating violence but also a way of recovering their own identity.
Nevertheless, since its foundation the System of Communitarian Security and Justice has been persecuted, undermined and criminalized by the Guerrero government. Almost 20 arrest warrants have been issued against the leaders of the Regional Coordinator of Communitarian Authorities (CRAC) and against the founders of the Communitarian Police, and investigations have been launched against several communitarian policemen.
More information in Spanish:
At the 12th anniversary of the Communitarian Police, they demand unconditional respect for the Communitarian Justice system: En 12 aniversario de la Policía Comunitaria, piden respecto irrestricto a sistema de Justicia Comunitaria (CDHM Tlachinollan, 19/11/2007)
This entry was posted on November 21, 2007 at 1:13 pm and is filed under Guerrero, Human Rights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Monday, November 24, 2008
If the US Congress or their global banker buddies had a way to stop the Lakota Nation from achieving financial independence wouldn't they have stepped in when they declared their independence in 2007? Hmm. Was not issuing our own currency and forming our own national bank the first step Washington's administration took? Wonder if the Lakota need to worry about international bankers infiltrating their nation's bank too. Sure would be nice if the men and women starting this bank truely exist independent of the whole banking system. Of course I have no idea if it's "legal," and if it's not, then I'd need to decide if I recognise the authority of law that outlaws an independent nation from creating currency with value.
This may not seem like the "right" path to take, since it recognises the "right" of the Lakota to de-invite the U.S. But anyone who's ever been to Pine Ridge can testify that the Souix deserve their freedom now, and who has the authority to deny them every inalienable right they claim? Unlike many Americans, this is not begging for handouts. They want to take control of their lives and their people's financial future. How many generations of Indians must pay for their ancestor's crimes against the white settlers? (How many generations of Germans must pay for Hitler?) Are these people to suffer infinity for what some people from their same tribe or village did several generations past? When do the grandchildren get to say "the debt is paid in full?" to bad deals, bad treaties and bad blood passed down from their great-great-great grandfathers?
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: People of Lakota Launch Private Bank for Only Silver and Gold Currencies
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 11:22:11 -0500
From: RTR Press Release
To: William Jeffrey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
People of Lakota Launch Private Bank for Only Silver and Gold Currencies
Hill City, Lakota - November 24, 2008 - In a stunning development, the Free & Independent People of Lakota announced today the introduction of the world's first non-reserve, non-fractional bank that accepts only silver and gold currencies for deposit.
"Today is a great day for us, a day that we begin to exercise our rights as a sovereign people with strength and pride," comments Canupa Gluha Mani, Tetuwan Council Judicial Member of the Cante Tenza "Strong Heart" Warrior Society. Mani's 2500 member warrior society has contracted to provide private security services for the Free Lakota Bank.
"We invite people of any creed, faith or heritage to unite in an effort to reclaim control of wealth. It is our hope that other tribal nations and American citizens recognize the importance of silver and gold as currency and decide to mirror our system of honest trade." Mani, also known as Duane Martin Sr, is a member of the delegation that declared Lakota independence on December 17th, 2007.
The launch of the Free Lakota Bank is also an incredible victory for StrikeForce Technologies, the access control experts providing depositor Out-of-Band Authentication. As the Free Lakota Bank does not require a name, photo identification or social security number to transact, StrikeForce's technology met the challenge of limiting fraud without requiring controversial biometric technology.
The People of Lakota invite depositors to establish accounts and invest in the Free Lakota Bank's General Investment Fund, the fund it uses to develop profitable free-market enterprise inside Lakota territory. Mani comments that the nation despises donations and charity, and instead insists instead on "earning our wealth by creating value for those that place their faith and trust in our system."
The Free Lakota Bank issues an American Open Currency Standard Approved currency, making it readily accepted for trade by over 10,000 merchants and businesses across the continent.
For more information, visit the Free Lakota Bank website at http://press.freelakotabank.com
Canupa Gluha Mani
P.O. Box 512
Hill City, LK 57745
RestoreTheRepublic.com, 3149 Dundee Rd #176, Northbrook, Illinois 60062, USA
The Irish have a Stop Common Purpose now too:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"The court of international opinion now charges 21st century Germany with crimes against traditional European standards of justice and free scientific enquiry. These standards were inherited from Classical Greece, which valued the inseparable four virtues of wisdom (with scientific attitude), temperance, courage and justice."
I haven't spent a lot of time on the Holocaust stories, just enough to see it's too much like 9/11 to me. Lots of questions but only "official" answers are allowed.
(2) Reply to James Zogby: Rahm the Mechanic Goes To Washington, by Hesham Tillawi
From: Sami Joseph <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 24.11.2008 02:12 AM
Rahm the Mechanic Goes to Washington
wordpress.com/2008/11/23/rahm- the-mechanic-goes-to- washington/#comment-1938
Rahm the Mechanic Goes To Washington
Posted November 23, 2008
Every day, I am assaulted by something that amazes me and makes me say to myself, ‘Well I guess I have seen it all now’, only for it to be outdone and replaced the very next day by something even more outrageous.
Politics can do that to people. Power and the opportunity to play on the ‘big field’ is like a drug that makes people do crazy things, things that defy reason, logic, and sometimes decency.
Take for example the most recent article by Arab American Institute James Zogby in his defense of President Elect Barak Obama’s decision to appoint Rahm Emmanuel as White House Chief of Staff. In his piece entitled “Rahm Emanuel and Arab Perceptions” he writes “The emails and calls to my office were both troubled and troubling because much of the reaction was based on misinformation”. The “misinformation’ in this case dealt with Rahm Emanuel, the “brilliant strategist” as he puts it and his many “proven” political skills which led to him being “tapped” by Obama. No more no less. That is, as Jim calls it, “First, the facts.” I just wonder if Rahm’s ‘proven politics’ is also what dragged Obama to AIPAC’s conference this past summer to deliver that infamous shameful speech, as well as the meeting afterwards with the board of AIPAC where he was accompanied by Rahm Emanuel. I don’t think Rahm being born to an Israeli parent who once ran guns for the Irgun Terrorist Organization, his faith as a devout Jew or his being a staunch supporter of Israel had “nothing” to do with his appointment as the conventional wisdom would like us to believe. Of course not, it is his ‘brilliancy’ that got him there. “Its that simple” says the spokesman for the Arab-American community Jim Zogby. Maybe Arabs lack thinking brains to be in positions of power.
Ok, Emanuel maybe not be an Israeli Citizen, even though many American Jews in high power position are dual citizens. One such is Douglas Feith, who ran the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon, and who concocted the ‘Yellow Cake’ theory giving George Bush the ammo he needed to invade an Arab country. Another one coming to mind is Michael Chertoff, our Director of Homeland Security whose father fought in the Bitar Brigade, a Jewish terrorist group during the Palestinian Holocaust which by the way, started way before the so-called ‘Holocaust’ of Europe and which continues to this very day. No doubt the reader is inclined to call me an ‘anti-Semite’ despite the fact that there is more ‘Semitism’ in one of my eyelashes than there is in the whole of the Ashkenazi Jewish community throughout the world because I said the “so called” Oh well, I guess I am one of those ’self-hating’ Semites.
Jim goes on to defend Rahm’s service in the Israeli Army saying: “Emanuel volunteered for a few weeks, as a civilian, doing maintenance on Israeli vehicles.” Is he a mechanic? So, not only is he “brilliant” when it comes to politics, he is ‘Rahm the Mechanic’ as well. Talk about a real Renaissance man. Not only is Rahm “brilliant” in banking and finance, “brilliant” in the way he stabs a steak knife into a hardwood table repeatedly when talking about ‘enemies’ who must be dealt with, but “brilliant” with cars too, especially the ones used by Israel’s military. There is something so familiar between this and the whole “Joe the Plumber” business we heard so much about during the campaign.
Ok, let’s get back to that then–What vehicles Jim? What is a civilian volunteer in the Israeli Army? Did you know that there are no ‘civilians’ in Israel? If someone volunteers to go help a country at a time of war, one can safely assume he will be involved in some kind of a defense position. Was he greasing up the Israeli Tanks before they took positions on the Northern border with Syria and Lebanon in 1991? Or did he just write some nice love notes on Tank Shells? I am not sure, but this “brilliant” American found it necessary to go and join the Israeli Army- ok in a civilian capacity, god don’t be so uptight on technicalities- but yet, he did not join the American Army fighting two wars. It makes you wonder what country comes first in Rahm’s mind. Is he one of those Israel’s Firsters bunch?
As an aside (although one of supreme importance) what should be noted is that if Mr. Zogby–seeing his homeland of Lebanon being bombarded by Israel as it was in July 2006–decided to don his US Passport and go to Lebanon in order to volunteer in protecting another country, he would be arrested upon re-entry into the US and charged with a whole assortment of crimes related to terrorism. However, when it is a Zionist Jew doing so for Israel, he is offered the highest position in the president’s cabinet and the rest of the world is not supposed to think anything of it.
Oh yes, this is the killer, I almost left it out. Jim wrote: “The truth is that Emanuel is an effective leader in Congress. He is a strong supporter of Israel. But then, how many members of Congress are not?” Its no big deal, he is just one of the many in Washington who are supporters of Israel. Well Jim you forgot one fundamental difference between “Rahm the Mechanic” and others, namely that the other members of congress prostitute themselves for power, influence and money, but they really don’t get much enjoyment out of the deal. On the contrary–just like prostitutes they want the ordeal to be over with ASAP because deep down they feel so ashamed of themselves seeing Palestinian children dying from Israeli bullets fired by Israeli settlers as well as Israel’s imposed starvation and hunger on innocent people and they can’t do anything about it. “Rahm the Mechanic” however, Mr. Jim Zogby, enjoys what he is doing for Israel. His father, his family, and his “mother country” are proud of what he has become. Israeli Newspapers said “one of us in the White House.” He is doing it because he enjoys it. The Arabs are the sworn enemies of Rahm’s father and his last name is a reminder of that. Emanuel actually is not the last name of the family they changed it when Rahm’s uncle, Emanuel was killed by Arabs before the establishment of Israel, and the family changed their last name to, Emanuel. Now do you understand why Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and all freedom-loving people around the World are disturbed by Rahm’s appointment? Can you take your democratic hat off for a second and voice your concern about Rahm? Can you, Uncle Tom?
I saw you turning the world upside down for a comment that John McCain did not make-even though, we made a big issue out of it- I for one made the biggest stink about it, but I did not see you doing the same when Rahm’s father actually, and factually insulted ALL Arabs, dead, alive and yet to be born. Thank God for Mary Oakar and the ADC who forced an apology out of Rahm for what his father had said about how his son will “surely influence Obama’s decisions on Israel” while following it with the comment that “he wasn’t Arab” and therefore will not be going to the White House to “mop floors”. The funny thing in the whole episode is Rahm’s apology, and especially when he said that the comment made by his dad did not “reflect the way he was raised and did not reflect his family values”.
That was his father who said it, the head of his family, the very same man one who ran guns to the Jewish terrorists to massacre the poor souls of Deir Yasin.
Dr. Hesham Tillawi, Ph.D
Friday, November 21, 2008
Early on during my first efforts to understand Seattle's community assets data gathering programs, I was accused of adhering to "individualism." I was familiar with Ayn Rand and wasn't bothered by the individualist label even after I decided the Libertarian Party USA was a brilliant communitarian ruse. My work has since been included in dictionaries under the "individualism" heading. But, when I finally looked into it again, I found the accepted academic definition of individualism does not really define me or my principles, although some parts of it do ring true to me. The problem with allowing them to put their label on my anti-communitarian stand is it forces me into defending something I may not actually support.
My primary objection to communitarianism is that it changes constitutional law without a legal admendment process. Our constitutions are based in the government's duty to "protect and maintain individual rights." Communitarianism has no legal authority in the United States. This is not an ideological argument. Our entire objection is based in the established rule of U.S. law. Amitai Etzioni would prefer that balancing U.S. law against community "values" remains an ideological, circular, Hegelian argument. He would also prefer that we never make the connection between his lofty, ideological religious theory, called responsive communitarianism, and the reality of communitarian legal supremacy in European integration, CAFTA, and the WTO.
My secondary objection to the individualist versus communitarian debate is that THEY get to define both sides and then argue against their own skewed version of my objections. Their assumption that I am a selfishly motivated, greedy bitch is a hoot. I volunteered to help my landlord defend his property, I volunteered to work on the Dawson lawsuits. I voluntarily provided reduced cost housing to several of the Dawson clients. As a matter of fact I've fed and clothed and housed hundreds of needy people in my lifetime, and for too many years I was also a listening ear to lonely people who had no one else to listen to them. I have numerous character flaws, but greed and selfishness have never been on my list of things I need to work on.
I'm working on cleaning this up and will add my own comments where I think it deserves an explanation or to emphasize where our ACL arguments apply. Anyone who seriously wants to understand communitarianism needs to see how good they are at defining the debates. Notice Etzioni never once adresses the American legal system in this attack on our inalienable rights.
This is the html version of the file http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps/etzioni/A292.pdf.
Amitai Etzioni is the first University Professor of The George Washington University and editor of The Responsive Community: Rights and Responsibilities, a communitarian quarterly. He has served as the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Professor at the Harvard Business School, as a Senior Advisor to the White House, and as a guest scholar at the Brookings lmtitution. He is the author of nineteen books, including The Limits of Privacy (1999) and The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (1996).
INDIVIDUALISM-THE "-ISM" INDICATES A DOCTRINAIRE, dogmatic overboard commitment-has been so soundly and repeatedly defeated that one must ask: Why is it standing at all? It is a concept so intellectually defective and morally misguided, that one cannot but wonder: Why do people still hold onto this fool's gold?
Possibly individualism feeds on its being a highly flattering view of human nature, certainly compared to most, if not all, other views.
Individualism promises those who believe in it that they are free-standing agents, able to formulate their own conceptions of the good, pursue a life that is guided by reasonable deliberations, and render rational decisions in their self-interest. And, as bearers of inalienable rights, they have a long list of entitlements, but no inherent duties or obligations unless they choose to embrace them.
Compare such a view to any determinism-whether biological, ecological, or sociological-and the difference could not be more striking. In deterministic views, people are like marionettes who might believe that they have a say over the course of their stars. The champion of determinism discloses the fools they are. Factors they do not understand, are not able to control, and cannot escape, determine their fate, set their ways, render their decisions, and make them march for some cause other
than their own. People have at most but a small degree of freedom, whether they are aware of it or not. To speak of their rights or duties is not to recognize that they are free agents. Like ants rushing about, they are bound to be queens or workers, by their very nature.
Even the moderate communitarianism to which I subscribe, which recognizes the importance of rights and responsibilities, is much less flattering than any form of individualism. It recognizes that our selves are,to a significant extent, culturally and historically constituted. We are born into communities and cultures that initially form us, including our conceptions of the good and our "choosing" selves. As we grow up, we can labor to gain some measure of freedom of action, especially if we labor with other like-minded persons, rather than seeking to act as an Atlas, as a sheer individual. For those gullible enough or unable to face the constraints reality imposes, individualism is indeed a soothing daydream and lullaby.
Another reason individualism has more than nine lives is ideological. Since its inception it has served the new classes well, and through them the public at large. It still does in large parts of the world where liberty and rights are not well established. It has been working so long to roll back overbearing governments, opposing authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and religious fundamentalism, that it seems hard to recall that it is not a universally valid position for all times and for all societies. It is
not above or out of history.
Nowadays, many in the West take the concept of the individual as self evident, natural, and given. This is in sharp contrast to concepts such as community and society, which are often contested as ill-defined or even declared to be fictional.! Most people are unaware that what they
1 Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (New
York: Doubleday, Doran, 1935) 8.
see as individuals are behaving bodies that can just as readily be thought of as members of groups of people guided by some shared bonds rather than merely by inner selves. Indeed, in earlier periods, people had no concept of self and saw themselves as an organic part of a tribe or community. Above all, the power to control one's acts was not presumed to lie mostly with the person but was in the hand of luck, nature, the monarch, the tribe, or some supernatural or magical force.
True, spme limited recognitions of the individual and her importance can be found throughout much of written human history, in many cultures. However, the celebration of the individual as the sun, moon, and star of humanity-that is, individualism-is a far newer concept and is closely associated with the decline of the old regimes. As the control of feudal lords, kings, and churches weakened due to the rise of merchant, and later industrial, classes-the bourgeoisie-the stage was set for the appearance of an ideology that legitimated the removal of power from established authorities. The very notions of individual rights and individual autonomy were served up to restrain the powers that be-the government. Similarly, the rise of science and secular humanism served to roll back traditional religions, established churches, and their dogmas.
As new (or responsive) communitarian analysis recognizes, individualism played a significant role in the history of Western societies. It loosened the excessive bonds, oppressive structures, and largely monotheistic values of traditional, ascribed communities. I am not suggesting that individualism as an ideology was the only, or even the main, driving force. Economic, technological, and social processes played major roles in these developments, but individualism provided a major source of legitimation for these developments. -'
One need not travel back in history to see the ideological role of individualism at work. In large parts of the world where government and communities are still overbearing and/or religious fundamentalism is governing, individualism is still a major, if not the main, normative antidote. It justifies the drive for universal recognition of basic human rights; it favors liberty; it labors for the introduction of constitutional deocracies; it legitimates the actions of supranational courts, such as the International Criminal Court; it justifies interventions in the internal affairs of independent nations, such as in Yugoslavia and Iraq; and it feeds oppositional forces and social change in numerous countries, especially in Asia and Mrica.
Indeed, whether one uses the size of the territories covered or the billions of people involved, most of the world still benefits from individualism. The main reason for this last statement requires elaboration because in it lies the reason individualism, which had such a liberating force in Western history and still does elsewhere, has become a detri-mental force in the West, especially for American society.
To put it succinctly and in very simple terms, the excesses of individualism (even if unrecognized or unacknowledged) pose little threat in places where individuals are not free and their rights are not well respected. Here, to worry about this "-ism" is akin to fretting about gridlock where there are no cars. It is quite a different matter when one adds cars to roads already overcrowded.
There is a strong tendency to assume that if individualism champions the individual, then its critics, communitarians, must champion the community. They must extol social order instead of liberty, duties instead of rights. Granted that communitarians vaty, like all philosophical camps, responsive communitarianism must be understood nonetheless as seeking a synthesis between individualism and communal collectivism, a carefully crafted balance between liberty and social order, rights and responsibilities. It is a synthesis that takes the "-ism"but not the "individual" out of "individualism."2
One can assess whether a given society, during a specific historical period, deviates toward collectivism or individualism. In societies that tilt heavily in the first direction, individualism is not a problem because it serves as a corrective. But in those societies most prone to atomization, where the social order has been undermined and self-centeredness is 2 See Arnitai Etzioni, ThNew Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Dt'mocratic Socity (New York: Basic, 1996);
rampant, to promote individualism is to add fuel to the fire. Thus while a major dose of individualism would not hurt Japan, it undermined Reagan's America. Ergo, individualism should not be considered a universally valid theory, morality, or ideology, but must be seen within its historical and sociological context. This is the case not only because of its exaggerated, one-sided nature, but also because of its champions' utter disregard for the damage it causes when it is considered a universal approach, when it is applied where individuals are already cut off from their social moorings, their sense of identity, and the social bases for being free.
Mountains of data, recently reviewed and augmented by Robert Putnam and Francis Fukuyama, show that when there is little or no community, people suffer physically (e.g., are more prone to have major illnesses) and psychologically (e.g., are more prone to be depressed).3 Moreover, communities reinforce our moral commitments and provide a measure of voluntary social order, greatly curtailing the state's need to
provide it through its often coercive resources.
Ironically, it is communities that can secure the basic well-being (broadly understood to include psychological fortitude) of individuals, supply the source of essential identities, and provide the social bonds that make us relatively free agents and rational individuals. As Erich Fromm argues in his Escape from Freedom, and as numerous studies of crowd behavior have shown, isolated people tend to become irrational, impulsive, and open to demagogical appeals and totalitarian movements.4 In contrast, as Tocqueville and the enormous literature on civil society holds, people who are well woven into communities (including families and voluntary associations) are able to resist pressures by governments and demagogues. They are much more likely to have the psychological 3 See Robert D. Putnam, "Health and Happiness," chap. 20 in Bowling Alone: The Co//apse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000); and Francis Fukuyama, The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Soda I Order (New York: Touchstone, 1999). 4 See Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1941); and Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd. A Study of the Popular Mind (London: Unwin, 1908).
integrity that individuals need in order to be able to participate in reasoned deliberations, to make rational choices, to act on judgment rather than impulse, and to act as relatively free agents.5
This is especially obvious when we consider our condition as children; without those who cared for us, we would not have developed into "individuals," but instead would have crawled on all fours and barked, inarticulately and aggressively snarling at each other.6 Even as mature adults we require continued bonding with others to sustain attributes associated with what liberals consider civic virtues (e.g., thinking critically) and communitarians consider social virtues (e.g., caring for others), as studies of the numerous ill effects of social isolation have shown.?
Social bonding also sustains our ability to be reasonable andfacilitates the development of our initial moral compass. One may overlook individualism's sycophantic nature, disregard its misplaced universalistic ambitions, even its ahistorical and decontextualized nature, but one cannot make light of the fact that it is morally damaging in well established, liberal democracies. One may ask if thoughts can ever be damaging; after all, the premise of our strong commitment to free speech is that only acts, not words, can hurt us.
However, one can fully support the idea that allowing unlimited speech is a much preferred alternative to censorship, to the governmentrestraining speech, while also recognizing that throughout human his
5 I write "relatively" because even under these conditions people can only approximate the liberal ideal, and not very closely, but they cenainly cannot do so outside panic-ular relations. See Amitai Etzioni, Tht' Mora/ Dimt'nsion: Toward a Nt'W Economics (New York: Free, 1988) pan I.
6 See Susan Curtiss, Gt'nit': A Psycho/inguistic Study of a Modt'rn-Day "Wild Child"
(New York: Academic, 1977); Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, Tht' Wild Boy of Avt'Jron,
trans. George and Murid Humphrey (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1962);
Harlan Lane and Richard Pillard, Tht' Wild Boy of Burundi: A Study of an Outcast
Child (New York: Random House, 1978); J. A. L. Singh and R. M. Zingg, Wolf-
Childrt'n and Ft'ra/ Man (London: Harper, 1942); and Douglas Candland, Ft'ra/
Childrt'n and Cirot'r Animals (New York: Oxford Universiry Press, 1993).7
See Putnam, "Health and Happiness"; and Leo Srole, Thomas S. Langner, Stanley I.
Michael, Marvin Opler, and Thomas A. C. Rennie, Mmta/ Ht'a/th in tht'Mt'tropo/is:
Tht' Midtown Manhattan Study (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962).
tory much damage has been done through ideological fanaticism and rigidness. Thus, even if one does not favor suppressing individualism where it is most damaging, one need not deny that it can inflict considerable human costs. Moreover, just as the best way to protect free speech is to correct its excesses by counter-speech, so individualism is best corrected by counter-speech, and communitarianism may rise to the challenge.
One brief example illustrates the ill effects of individualism. Economists tend to assume that people will "free ride" if they think that they can get away with it. That is, they will slough off, not work, and pocket the benefits of others' work, if they work in a group and it is hard to determine how much work each member does. In a famous experiment carried out by Gerald Marwell and Ruth Ames, most participants did not free ride, but students in economics did. Other data similarly suggests that although people are not naturally selfish, they can be so made if enough individualism is drummed into them.
Individualists argue that their ideology does not promote selfishness, that the focus on self-interest is fully compatible with benefit for all others, as any textbook in neoclassical economics is all too happy to elaborate and extol. Much has been written about how poorly such a theory accounts for basic economic facts. But even if it explained to perfection the workings of the free market (another illusion), it would provide a very damaging theory of society. Society requires a measure of social commitment to shared values and bonds, a concern for one's fellow human beings. Such commitments, already waning, are further undermined as millions of students are taught each year that a "rational" person would try to free ride when he could get away with it, and that the notion that it is better to give than to receive is "irrational,"
along with other such self-centered, hedonistic lessons.
Individualism leads to arrogance where humility is called for. It presumes, indeed preaches, that if we merely put our mind to it, think things through, plan well, conduct open and rational deliberations, then we can move mountains, solve problems, and make the world around us work to our purpose. Overlooked are the tragic limits of our capacity to understand and to act. We have a hard time coping with the
basic facts that our movements forward cause major counter-currents (for instance, the destruction of the environment) and that there are billions of us but only a finite pile of resources. Generally when one of us consumes, there is less left for others-Adam Smith notwithstanding. In the market individual acts do not necessarily complement each other but often conflict, depriving some while enriching others. Ergo, we need to be committed to community, to common goals, to elementary justice, and to restraining ourselves from focusing solely on our own success while depriving all others.
Arrogant individualism led us first to make nature our instrument, putty to our plans to increase production. We then turned this activist orientation on our inner selves, as we tried to reconstruct our psyches in line with one psychoanalytical theory or another. We are now about to face the most challenging and potentially devastating result of this lack of humility, as we turn to re-engineer our bodies and genetic codes in line with individual tastes and designs. The coming revolution propelled by biological engineering will push to its limits, and beyond, the gnawing lag between our technical and eConomic developments ("for the sake of individuals") and our moral capacity to come to terms with the social and ethical issues posed by these developments. If nothing else, biological engineering may force us to realize that the era of indi-viduals seeking to maximize themselves for themselves must come to an end. The reintroduction of a strong measure of caring and sharing, of concern for community, is vastly overdue.
I don't know how many people want to read Etzioni or study his theory. I admit I would rather read anyone else in the world, even Hegel. I think it's funny how in the 1950s Etzioni and Fromm's teacher was Martin Buber, whose "I v Thou" communitarian theory was pushed hard in academia because the airplane had revolutionized the way we see the world. Then the internet revolutionized the way we see the world. Then Buber's star pupil, Etzioni, decided biological engineering revolutionized the way we see the world. I wouldn't be suprised to find the communitarians believe indoor plumbing was a seed of revolution.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This is making me want to spend more time on defining the term sustainable for us and think about what being green could actually mean in a more honest world. Maybe I'm way off base here but wouldn't a good example of sustainable lifestyles be the local tribes that have existed for 30+ thousand years in the same place? They sure know how to protect their land and resources for future generations; they're living proof. But they don't live that way anymore, very few tribes worldwide have escaped the lure. So is that the justification for asking the advanced nations to work for change? Is returning our people to the Stone Age the only answer? Hmm. It's been my experience that most Native Alaskans embraced snow-machines, tape recorders and sattelite TVs as soon as it was made available. I also notice most of them hunt with rifles.
Tim Redington told me that when he grew up on their Knik homestead in the 1950s that his family "lived more like Indians than the Indians." One of the reasons his dad started the Iditarod was to bring dog mushing back to the villages, because sno-gos had almost replaced the dog teams by then. And years ago my carpenter friend Hank Ketzler from Nenana was shocked at my reaction to his pictures of his hunting cabin. I expressed amazement that it was so modern. It had a long screened in porch full of furniture, lovely tiled countertops and a jennair grill. He thought it was funny that I assumed he wouldn't want a nice, comfortable place, because he was Indian.
Rich western greenies are promoting a phony communitarian ideological version of earth's sustainability, and their version requires green laws and green police.
Here come the Green Marines! Green police: Recycling in the workplace, By CORILYN SHROPSHIRE Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle, Oct. 15, 2008, 3:00PM
Cow tax proposal would threaten agriculture viability
"With the economy in bad shape and the possibility of a deep recession looming, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to levy new taxes-on cows and pigs," American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Regulatory Relations Rick Krause told Wyoming Farm Bureau members at their annual meeting. Krause spoke in Sheridan on Nov. 7.
"This is no laughing matter," Krause said. "The cow tax and the pig tax are parts of a larger scheme by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act."
"Under the proposal, if a state charged the "presumptive minimum rate" from the EPA, the cow tax would be $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head for beef cattle and a little more than $20 per pig," Krause explained.
Krause explained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that a producer with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs would emit more than 100 tons of carbon and be subject to the permitting requirements. "These thresholds would impact 99 percent of dairy producers, over 90 percent of beef producers and 95 percent of hog producers in the United States," Krause stated.
According to Krause, the EPA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in preparation to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). "The regulation of automobile emissions automatically initiates other provisions of the CAA," Krause explained. "One of those provisions requires permits from anyone who emits more than 100 tons of a regulated pollutant per year and there are millions of sources that emit more than 100 tons of carbon."
The Title V permits, that are essentially a cow and pig tax, are supposed to contain provisions designed to reduce or eliminate the emissions of the regulated pollutant. "Cows and pigs methane emissions come from natural and biological processes," Krause stated.
"The economic costs to producers from the cow and pig tax would be great and could cause the cost of beef, pork and dairy prices to rise," Krause continued. "The cow and pig tax would impose severe penalties on livestock producers in the United States without effectively reducing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere."
The comment deadline for the cow and pig tax is Nov. 28. Visit www.wyfb.org to find the link for information.
In other national issues, Krause addressed endangered species issues, including the wolf.
"I remember back in 1993 we were talking about how they will continue to change the numbers of wolves required," Krause said. "Unfortunately, our assumption was accurate and even though there are five times more packs than needed for recovery, it has come down to a federal judge in Montana."
"They are arguing there is no genetic exchange," He said. "Well, the whole reason in the first place they were introduced is because they could not get here on their own. How are you going to have genetic interchange?"
"So what are we going to expect from the Endangered Species Act in the next four years?" Krause asked. "While only time will tell, we can expect no amendments to the ESA as those who are opposed to common sense management will work to keep it as is."
The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general agriculture organization. Members work together from the grassroots to develop agricultural policy, programs and services to enhance the rural lifestyle of Wyoming.
Does the EPA know global warming causes more sex? (Thanks Pete)
Nordica bought me a copy of The Simpsons Movie, where the EPA saves Springfield from a environmental disaster. The Simpsons run away to ... Alaska! "where you can't be too fat or too drunk." Homer is saved by an old Eskimo woman who lives in a yurt!!!! Clap for Alaska! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpqxJbFN4Jg
"You have to keep pounding it home, pounding it home, pounding it home," he said. (John Kolata, Hilton Americas-Houston "Green Marine.")
From the Wyoming Farm Bureau website http://www.wyfb.org/:
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO—
EPA has requested public comment on this advance notice. You can send comments to:
Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T,
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0318
Or submit your comments online to EPA at www.stopepa.com
Comments are due by Friday, November 28, but EPA has said that the docket will remain open.
Write or call your Representative in Congress and/or your Senators and tell them to prevent the imposition of a cow tax and a pig tax that would occur by the regulation of greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act
Contact: Ken Hamilton
Contact Phone: 307-721-7712
Contact Email: email@example.com
Click here for more Info
Wonder how far away we are from being taxed on the air we breathe. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/03/taxing_us_for_breathing.html
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Charting a New Course for Puget Sound
The Action Agenda represents a paradigm shift in Puget Sound recovery. While efforts to clean up Puget Sound have been going on for decades – with significant improvements made throughout that time – the overall approach has been fragmented and failed to address the causes of many of the problems. In addition, many well-intended regulations aren’t properly monitored to ensure they even work, and some conflict with other mandates, reducing their effectiveness.
The Action Agenda incorporates these lessons learned into a long-range, broad-based, strategic action plan for the entire Puget Sound – from the mountain caps to the white caps. It will prioritize cleanup and improvement projects, coordinate federal, state, local, tribal and private resources, and ensure that we are all working cooperatively.
I took Action Agenda's link to the 2008 International Low Impact Development Conference. We left Seattle in 2003. Apparently it's been "on with the show" ever since we left.
Thinking a lot about infiltrating their bureaucratic system with our own subversive agenda. I'm considering the whole idea of the way they use Fabian trained change agents to undermine our nations. They are such experts at hiding the real agenda behind a lovely smokescreen. What if we began creating our own phony green companies and NGO's and used all their doublespeak language to take back control that way?
If the globalists game plan is to deceive and mislead us to embracing change we know nothing about, could we not adopt their winning tactics and proceed with our own devious opposition? Couldn't we then bury constitutional enforcement mandates down a few dark levels below our vague surface promises? Our elected reps do NOT read the plans because they're too long and they're too busy. Neither do our citizens. So what effect could a small group of like-minded people have if they created a group called Green Alaska to be the umbrella for a lot of sub-groups and partners who expertly bury our hidden gold agenda inside 700 page pdf documents, only available for a high fee?
Nobody would ever read our actual plans, and if one knowledgable communitarian did accidentally read our "vision for the future" and started freaking out or tried to expose us as infiltrators, we could dismiss them with a wave of our hand as "conspiracy theorists." We'd have to be justifiably "more moral" somehow too. We'd likely have to start our own confusing religion with rituals, secret signals and handshakes, and that would be just too weird. Oh well. Back to the drawing board.
But yeah, I like trees too. http://www.treehugger.com/food_health/
And here's a perfect example of why the dialectic between the left and the right remains strong enough to keep most of the world captive. What's it mean to the debates when Fidel Castro provides the best analysis of the G20 Financial Summit?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
(1) James Zogby defends Rahm Emanuel, praises role in Oslo peace accords
From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)
Date: 18.11.2008 06:33 AM
[from SN: Perhaps Mr. Zogby can tell us what Emanuel's views on Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine are...and what he thinks Emanuel's advise would be to President-elect Obama on reversing it totally. The BBC news report on the utterly inhuman eviction of a Palestinian family from its own home in East Jerusalem can be multiplied a thousand-fold. The appalling daily sufferings and indignities inflicted on the Palestinians with calculated perversity by the Israeli government and illegal settlers are dismissed or simply treated as part of the landscape]
Washington Watch, November 17, 2008
Lessons That Should Be Learned
Dr. James J. Zogby, President, Arab American Institute
On November 5th, my office sent an email to tens of thousands of our members and contacts congratulating President-elect Barack Obama. In our message, we noted the historic transformation his victory represented and commended the thousands of Arab Americans who participated in this winning campaign.
The initial and near universal response was heartwarming, with many sharing moving anecdotes of their campaign experiences, their reactions to the victory, and their hopes for change.
One day and one announcement later, the tide turned.
With the naming of Congressman Rahm Emanuel as Obama's White House Chief of Staff, the euphoria of some, not all, turned to despair. The emails and calls to my office were both troubled and troubling because much of the reaction was based on misinformation and because of what the entire episode revealed about the larger political dynamics involved.
First, the facts.
Rahm Emanuel is a brilliant strategist and a practitioner of hard-ball politics who in campaigns, his time in the Clinton White House, and more recently in Congress has demonstrated that he knows how to get a job done. Because there will be critical legislation the President-elect will need to move through Congress, from an economic recovery package and health care reform to a comprehensive approach to alternative energy, Obama has tapped Emanuel for his proven political skills. It is that simple.
This, of course, was neither the content nor the concerns raised by the emails I received. Some charged that Emanuel was an Israeli citizen or a dual U.S.-Israeli national (he is neither, he was born in Chicago in 1959); or, they alleged that he served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and lost his finger confronting a Syrian tank during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon (he did not serve in the IDF, and lost his finger in a freak accident while working as a teenager in an Arby's restaurant). A few accused Emanuel of skipping U.S. military service to join the IDF in 1991 (also not true - in the midst of the 1991 Gulf War, while U.S. forces were manning Patriot missile batteries in Israel and the Arab Gulf, Emanuel volunteered for a few weeks, as a civilian, doing maintenance on Israeli vehicles). The most recent story alleges that Rahm Emanuel was fired from the White House in 1998 after being implicated by the FBI, together with Monica Lewinsky, in a Mossad plot to spy on then-President Clinton (a total fabrication, compliments of a shady character who claims to have been a U.S. intelligence official and is a purveyor of many bizarre tales).
That stories such as these have been circulating, and have taken hold, is as reprehensible as the "Barack Obama is a secret Muslim/Manchurian candidate" tale, or the anti-Arab anti-Muslim canards to which I and many of my colleagues have been subjected over the years.
Putting aside the fiction or, more accurately, the slanderous myths, the truth is that Emanuel is an effective leader in Congress. He is a strong supporter of Israel. But then, how many members of Congress are not?
Emanuel is Jewish and his father is an Israeli. Arab Americans should be especially sensitive to attacks on anyone based on religion or ethnicity. He has worked closely with and is liked by the Arab American Members of Congress from both parties, and he was the architect of the 1993 White House lawn signing ceremony for the Oslo Accords that brought Arab Americans and American Jews together. When, in 1994, Rahm accepted my invitation to a luncheon with Arab American community leaders, those who met him were impressed by his openness and honesty.
Beyond these facts, however, there are two concerns that must be addressed.
It is deeply troubling how quickly, for some, the excitement of Barack Obama's victory was eclipsed by cynicism and suspicion, and how receptive some were to wild tales. This could only occur, on one level, because the victory itself was not understood. If it had been, the excitement would have been tempered by an appreciation of political realities.
Obama's victory, no doubt, demonstrated that change is possible - but incremental change. Pressures remain, from the right and the left as well as the interest groups of all sorts that continue to have influence, limiting political options. The economy is in free-fall and, after eight years of Bush neglect and recklessness, dangers abound in the world. An Obama victory doesn't alter those realities. And so our excitement was justified, but our euphoria should never have taken us so high as to lose our grounding and understanding of the limits of what is possible.
My concern is that, for some, the need for change became so great as to make them susceptible to wild swings - from unrealistic expectations to unwarranted despair and, therefore, to become prone to believe the worst.
But the fault here should be shared. I am concerned by the slowness of the Obama camp to respond more quickly or effectively to address the situation. Modern political operations have learned the need to confront false stories, to manage perception, and to anticipate problems -- and, here, the Obama team had been especially masterful.
During the campaign, for example, they repeatedly demonstrated how tuned-in they were to public perception - and in particular to matters that might have created discomfort in the Jewish community. They knew that these stories needed to be shot down quickly. (American Muslims understood much of this, despite feeling slighted, at times.) But in this most recent instance, the Obama camp displayed both inattentiveness and tone-deafness to Arab misperceptions about who Rahm Emanuel is, and what role he will play. (Aside from the flap over the comments made by Rahm's father, for which Rahm, himself, has now profoundly apologized.) As a result, the situation festered.
The campaign is now over, and the President-elect is playing on a world stage with more than one audience at stake. And in the Middle East, especially, sensitivities are as great and (perceived) sleights are felt as acutely as they are among any people in the world. With feelings having been rubbed raw by decades of U.S. policy miscues, with U.S. favorability ratings at all-time lows, and with extremists preying off resentment and fear - perceptions matter.
If we are to succeed in making changes in U.S.-Arab relations - and I believe that an Obama Administration can - greater attentiveness and sensitivity is in order.
Bottom line - there are lessons to learn and work to be done. Arabs and Arab Americans need to ground their expectations in political realities and be wary of slanderous attacks smacking of anti-Semitism, and U.S. political leadership must learn to be as attentive to Arab sensitivities as they are to the concerns of others.
Mr. Zogby makes an interesting observation that carries a lot of weight behind it: "Obama's victory, no doubt, demonstrated that change is possible - but incremental change." ACL research shows incremental change is the objective in the Marxist London Fabian Society's mission statement, and that Amitai Etzioni (Israeli founder of US Communitarianism) is also a Fabian Socialist. Is there a tie between London, Israel and the Muslim-Arab World? Does Mr. Zogby also have an opinion on The Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem's position regarding UN Local Agenda 21 for Palestine. What can he teach us about the emerging Middle Eastern Union (based on the EU model)? Does he understand EU supremacy concepts?