Activism: politics, world affairs and what we can do

I am posting this web page to give readers some information about current issues. Please read any of these articles or web sites you wish and pass them on to all your friends on the web.
Eric (E. Alan) Meece

All material posted for non-commercial purposes only.

http://philosopherswheel.com/activism.html
Please update if you came from the old sfo address.

Election 2012 poll averages and results in swing states

Get involved here (see links)

Original 10 Key Values of the Green Party

The Plague of Free-Market Ideology by E. Alan Meece. Read about the greatest and most-powerful ongoing threat to our lives today; the biggest delusion ever perpetrated on America, and the root cause of our failure and decline. Unless we break its grip on the American mind, all other causes will suffer profoundly. Let us get back to an approach to our lives and society where we cooperate and work together for the good of all; where we understand that each one of us is special and divine. Competing against others for money for ourselves alone is only at best a means to an end. What fulfills us is a society full of life and culture, where we feel we belong. We need to switch to ideals that support, promote and provide for this.

Bruce Bartlett on Where the Right Went Wrong from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Bruce Bartlett on Where the Right Went Wrong with full text


Climate Change and Global Warming

Scientists forecast more extreme weather

Read about it here

Never before 2011 have so many extreme weather disasters occured. We have had unprecedented devastating floods in Pakistan, Thailand, Phillippines, China and the Mississippi River, among other places. We have had huge fires in Austrailia, Russia and New Mexico. Droughts in Africa and Texas and all over the country. And much more! How many Joplins and Katrinas does it take before we start taking action? How long before the glaciers and ice caps melt and we have no more water and food? How long before our beautiful beaches erode? How long before our land is inundated? And we have to suffer all this just so that a few energy and car company executives are not inconvenienced? All this because we don't understand that the alternatives to fossil fuels exist, and could be available to all virtually tommorrow if the money were invested there instead of in more oil wells, tar sands and pipelines?

Let us act now to preserve and protect this beautiful unique planet for ourselves and those who come after us. Celebrate and revere our Earth home. Ask your representatives to act now. Vote out Republicans, so we have a congress willing to act when it IS asked! Require the car and energy companies to switch. Is this America, if we have only one American Big 3 car company making one inadequate hybrid electric car? If and when you can, buy a Tesla or Nissan Leaf! Let's keep the Earth beautiful, while we still can!


Watch "Heat"-- an excellent Frontline special on global warming

Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, expanding deserts -- the world is changing faster, more dramatically than ever was anticipated.
America's growth, consumption has produced record CO2 levels; India, China are right behind with oil, coal, natural gas demand. Is the planet doomed?
With the IPCC issuing ever more urgent reports on climate change, there's a growing momentum in the U.S and the world for real change.
We get 52 percent of our electricity from coal-fired plants. They emit 2 billion tons of CO2 a year. Can clean coal technology be developed -- and in time?

Click on the link above to watch the full program. The 4th chapter shows our huge addiction to coal and the danger it poses to us.
In Chapter 5, watch how car companies resist dealing with the 2nd largest greenhouse gas source.

"Can Coal Be Earth-Friendly?" from the Program NOW:

David Roberts on "clean coal"

The reality is this, folks. Some politicians, fossil-fuel apologists, and petty-minded pundits say that we can't stop producing energy from coal, and that we can't quickly convert to electric cars. But the vast majority of scientists like Dr. Hansen say that as of 2008 we have about 10 years to do just that. We'd better tell these people to smell the coffee and change their tune, right now. We can't afford to lose our water and our food, nor our beautiful beaches and thousands of living species. Inform yourself on the issues, and don't be deceived by the lies put out by the fossil fuel companies and the right-wing conspiracy wackos. And whether or not you like Al Gore has absolutely nothing to do with this.

HERE is a good article that summarizes the climate change issue

Bill McKibben on Letterman explains why and how to save our planet from global warming

The great race: Coal vs. the Climate by Ken Ward Jr.

Pew Research Center page on global warming science

Climate Change Science 101

Help, at Stop Global Warming.org

Home: popular new video on our endangered Earth


We really need a new progressive movement in America.

A movement that will reject the free market as the utopian solution to our economic problems, and instead advocate a mixed economy.

A movement that advocates, as Mario Cuomo said, no more government than we need, but all the government that we need.

A movement for campaign finance reform and lobbying reform to take money out of politics, and to stop defining political spending as "free speech."

A movement to end corporate personhood, regulate dealings by big financial companies, reduce corporate influence in government, and end corporate welfare when it is not constructive investment for the people.

A movement to protect human rights as well as keep us safe from terrorists.

A movement to end the religious right's culture war, and instead support tolerance and women's rights and protect freedom of speech and religion.

A movement for an internationalist foreign policy that is multi-lateral and peaceful, and supports advancement of freedom instead of corporate and fossil-fuel interests.

A movement to end global warming and other pollution, and supports new laws and energy sources to quickly clean it up.

A movement that supports and protects efficient social programs that help the poor and middle class, and to invest in vital infrastructure.

A movement to lower the cost of living by bringing down the high price of education, transportation and health care, now being driven up by greedy free-market policies.

A movement for much greater pay equity at work.

A movement for a fair and progressive tax system instead of a flat tax or other tax breaks for the wealthy. A movement to reduce the debt in sensible ways, instead of using it as an excuse for the government not to do the things we need it to do.

A movement to create and foster a climate of free inquiry, creativity, the arts, idealism, health and fitness, relationship and connection, ethics, community, local economies, sensibility, spirituality, and cultural ferment. A true attitude and cultural shift to match a true political program-- even involving the government where appropriate!

Finally, a movement that is willing to use any effective and ethical means necessary to achieve these goals, not declare up-front that it refuses to use any of these means in order to protect its "purity" from feared co-option.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Let's revive the vision!

-- E. Alan Meece, Jan.3, 2012, revised


The Destruction of Radio

In Jan.2010 I was forced to resign from our local community station after 24 years, because of the treatment of its staff (including myself) by its poor management and Board of Directors, and mainly because they wanted programming they felt (without any justification) would make more money for this non-profit station. This Board of Directors has become dominated by people from the corporate sector, and therefore they now have a corporate mindset.

In December 2011, an even greater catastrophe happened to our local SF Bay Area radio, when its leading station for many years, KGO, abruptly fired all of its best talk show hosts. Only the most conservative and non-news oriented weekend hosts remained. The format was switched to all news, even though San Francisco and the Bay Area has at least two all news stations already. Gil Gross, Gene Burns, Ray Taliaferro, John Rothman and probably others were all fired, leaving only the most politically-conservative and annoying morning host Ronn Owens on the air, plus a few weekend-only mostly-non-news talk hosts. They fired all the liberal-leaning hosts and kept only the most conservative one, as fits the corporate agenda. This mass firing and abrupt "flip" in programming was carried out by its owner, the corporate conglomerate Cumulus. Their excuse was that ratings for KGO had fallen a few points, so that they were no longer #1 as they had been for decades. The same conglomerate is also flipping and destroying the local liberal talk station Green 960 too, leaving us no alternative on our radio waves to the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

I call for a boycott of KGO. Those of us who listen to news on the radio should listen only to KCBS and KLIV. We need also to write to KGO and let them know we will not be listening, and that we are part of a boycott. Ask them to hire back all the hosts that they fired. Tell them that making wholesale firings and flips is unethical and that you won't stand for it. Tell them they ought to sell the station to owners who are interested in the community and the needs and feelings of its listeners. A temporary drop of a few rating points does not mean the people of the Bay Area do not support the programming by the former KGO hosts whom we supported and relied on for years. Their email address producers@kgoradio.com is the only one listed on their website. I will also no longer contribute to its Thanksgiving Charity Drive, which had been spearheaded for many years by recently-fired host Bernie Ward, and instead I will donate directly to local charities.

Radio should be "occupied" the same way Wall Street has been occupied. There should be boycotts and demonstrations. It is obvious that our corporate media is as corrupt as any other corporate institution, and that it does not serve the public. Corporate media only serves the interests of a few rich people who own all the stations in America. The law allows one company to own 8 stations in a single market, in as many markets as it wishes. This means radio and other broadcast media is limited to what a small number of huge companies want us to see. There is no diversity or breadth of programming, whether in news, talk or music. Only the most safe, economically reliable, convenient programming is allowed; that which does not upset the greed and seflish interests of these few corporate folk to make as much money as they can. Meanwhile, our media has been destroyed. We are lucky to know what is happening in America. Network news, for example, is mostly commercials to begin with, and is not even aired at a convenient hour. Our culture is the trashiest and shallowist it has ever been. There is no opportunity for new entrepreneurs, broadcasters, hosts or artists to get a foothold in this corporate monopoly. even public TV and radio, the only thing left, now spends about half its air time selling self-help books and pop music collections.

We need to take our media and culture back. We have so much potential, if only we would reclaim it and express it. The law needs to be changed, just as soon as we can get our congress back (I hope this Nov.2012). Republicans need to be tossed out of office on their ear, and then Democrats need to be told in no uncertain terms that we will vote third party if they do not repeal this law, and once again restrict ownership of radio stations to two or three stations per market the way it used to be before 1996. The airwaves supposedly belong to the public, and yet now they actually belong to a few super-rich people who care nothing about it.

more info here: I am not listening to KGO anymore on facebook

Boycott KGO. Tell your friends. Contact KGO and tell them.


Isn't it time we woke up to the reality of guns in America?

These days, a deadly drug war is being waged along the US-Mexico border. Big guns are easily available in America, but not Mexico. So the drug gangs smuggle them over the border from the USA. If this isn't a perfect demonstration of the strong effect of gun laws in Mexico, and the deadly effect of lax gun laws in America, then I don't know what would be.

Is is really "American" to let greedy and violent people do whatever they wish, in the name of "individualism" and the misguided ideological belief that "government is the problem?"

On April 20 1999, at 11:19 AM, the Columbine High School massacre began. Twelve students and a teacher were killed and twenty-five more were wounded. On April 16, 2007, at 7:15 AM, the Virginia Tech massacre began. Thirty-two students and teachers were killed and twenty-three more were wounded.

Those images are seared into our minds. Now there is a steady drumbeat of new images. New tragedies. The American Civic Association in Binghamton, N.Y. where thirteen people were murdered and four wounded on April 3, 2009. A paranoid young man in Pittsburgh who believed his guns were going to be taken away, killed three police officers and then himself on April 4. The list of killings and injuries by guns goes on and on. And what has the U.S. Congress done? Virtually nothing. For a decade.

The Columbine killers used two shotguns, an assault rifle and a TEC-9 assault pistol. All four guns went through sales at gun shows. A friend of the killers bought three of the guns for them from unlicensed sellers at a gun show. After the massacre, the friend stated that had she been required to undergo a Brady background check, she would not have purchased the guns.

Urge your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to Close the Gun Show Loophole. Tell them our national policy should be: No Background Check, No Gun, No Excuses.

Contact the Brady campaign here for more info



Message to the Tea Party - What took you so long to get angry? (author unknown)

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy ....

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us. You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in taxbreaks. You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

No.....You finally got mad
When a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick...Oh, Hell No!!


Original 10 Key Values of the Green Party


Later versions omit the more-spiritual and cultural aspects of the green revolution which were alluded to in the original statement, which was posed as a series of questions. Since the original is hard to find on the web now, I am posting it here. I copied it from this website:
http://www.radicalmiddle.com/ten_key_values.htm
It is also still retained by the Green Party of California: http://www.cagreens.org/ten-key-values

It is a great guide to the future direction that politics needs to take, and an outline of what I call the "Green Revolution," which is the latest cycle of Revolution that began in 1966 (and the 60s).

THE ENTIRE ORIGINAL TEN KEY VALUES STATEMENT

Introduction

This list of values and questions for discussion was composed by a diverse group of people who are working to build a new politics, which has kinship with Green movements around the world. We feel the issues we have raised below are not being addressed adequately by the political left or right. We invite you to join with us in refining our values, sharpening our questions - and translating our perspective into practical and effective political actions.

Ecological Wisdom

How can we operate human societies with the understanding that we are PART of nature, not on top of it? How can we live within the ecological and resource limits of the planet, applying our technological knowledge to the challenge of an energy-efficient economy? How can we build a better relationship between cities and countryside? How can we guarantee the rights of non-human species? How can we promote sustainable agriculture and respect for self-regulating natural systems? How can we further biocentric wisdom in all spheres of life?

Grassroots Democracy

How can we develop systems that allow and encourage us to control the decisions that affect our lives? How can we ensure that representatives will be fully accountable to the people who elected them? How can we develop planning mechanisms that would allow citizens to develop and implement their own preferences for policies and spending priorities? How can we encourage and assist the "mediating institutions" - family, neighborhood organization, church group, voluntary association, ethnic club - to recover some of the functions now performed by government? How can we relearn the best insights from American traditions of civic vitality, voluntary action and community responsibility?

Personal and Social Responsibility

How can we respond to human suffering in ways that promote dignity? How can we encourage people to commit themselves to lifestyles that promote their own health? How can we have a community-controlled education system that effectively teaches our children academic skills, ecological wisdom, social responsibility and personal growth? How can we resolve personal and intergroup conflicts without just turning them over to lawyers and judges? How can we take responsibility for reducing the crime rate in our neighborhoods? How can we encourage such values as simplicity and moderation?

Nonviolence

How can we, as a society, develop effective alternatives to our current patterns of violence at all levels, from the family and the street to nations and the world? How can we eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth without being naive about the intentions of other governments? How can we most constructively use nonviolent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and in the process reduce the atmosphere of polarization and selfishness that is itself a source of violence?

Decentralization

How can we restore power and responsibility to individuals, institutions, communities and regions? How can we encourage the flourishing of regionally-based cultures, as distinct from a dominant monoculture? How can we locate the power of our political, economic and social institutions closer to home in ways that are efficient and practical? How can we reconcile the need for community and regional self-determination with the need for appropriate centralized regulation in certain matters?

Community-Based Economics

How can we redesign our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy? How can we develop new economic activities and institutions that will allow us to use our new technologies in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological, and responsive to communities? How can we establish some form of basic economic security, open to all? How can we move beyond the narrow "job ethic" to new definitions of work, jobs and income that reflect the changing economy? How can we change our income distribution pattern to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal, monetary economy - those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardening, doing community volunteer work, etc.? How can we restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation?

Postpatriarchal Values

How can we replace the cultural ethos of dominance and control with more cooperative ways of interacting? How can we encourage people to care about persons outside their own group? How can we promote the building of respectful, positive and responsive relationships across the lines of gender and other divisions? How can we encourage a rich, diverse political culture that respects feelings as well as rationalist approaches? How can we proceed with as much respect for the means as the end, the process as well as the product? How can we learn to respect the contemplative, inner part of life as much as the outer activities?

Respect for Diversity

How can we honor cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity within the context of individual responsibility toward all beings? While honoring diversity, how can we reclaim our country's finest shared ideals - the dignity of the individual, democratic participation, and liberty and justice for all?

Global Responsibility

How can we be of genuine assistance to the grassroots groups in the Third World - and what can WE learn from such groups? How can we help other countries make a transition to self-sufficiency in food and other basic necessities? How can we cut our defense budget while maintaining an adequate defense? How can we promote these ten Green values in reshaping our global order? How can we reshape the global order without creating [the equivalent of] just another enormous nation-state?

Future Focus

How can we induce people and institutions to think in terms of the long-range future, and not just in terms of their short-range selfish interest? How can we encourage people to develop their own visions of the future and move more effectively toward them? How can we judge whether new technologies are socially useful - and use those judgments to shape our society? How can we induce our government and other institutions to practice fiscal responsibility? How can we make the quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking?


Bruce Bartlett on Where the Right Went Wrong

Learning From Europe by Paul Krugman

Lakoff on Congress' abdication of authority on Iraq

powerful Bill Moyers June 2005 speech on our sordid economic situation and grim future if Bush and Co. get their way, and what we can do

It's Tough Nowadays Being a Republican (22 basic self-contradictions)

Iraq Attack, by E. Alan Meece

War Issues including the Israel/Palestine issue and its solution

Environmental and other Domestic Issues

Election Watch: polls, results, predictions

Let the Golden Rule Overule the Rule of Gold, by Swami Beyondananda

Holistic Politics of Peace, by Marianne Williamson of Global Renaissance/Peace Alliance

Bringing God Into It, by Rabbi Michael Lerner

My Spin on the election disaster of 2004, by E. Alan Meece

Some pithy quotes

Check back as I add more articles and info to these pages!


Organize! You can get involved here:
moveon.org
Green Party
Common Dreams
Truthout.org
Avaaz.org
Bill Moyers program website
People for the American Way
Democracy for America
Democratic Underground
Repower America.org
Greenpeace USA
Our Future.org
Democrats.com (progressive Democrats)
Health Care for America.org
Bushwhacked America



Horoscope for the New Millennium
Meece index and editorials