Friday, December 21, 2012

An Open Letter to VP Joe Biden on Gun Control

Honorable Vice President Biden,

Now that you have been appointed to create a new gun policy, I have a few suggestions.

1) As long as we have an imperial President who can carry out extrajudicial assassinations from a "kill list," then the culture o
f violence in America will grow worse.

2) As long as the NDAA allows our imperial President to detain whomever he wants indefinitely without habeas corpus or due process of law, then the President will lead the culture of violence with injustice.

3) Why do corporate "persons" get due process of law under the 14th Amendment, but NDAA detainees don't? Yet corporations are killing more American citizens every year than any terrorist has ever done by polluting our air, soil, water, and food supply while many of the NDAA detainees never killed anyone, and none to the magnitude of corporate culpability.

4) In Australia, they passed a ban on ownership, importation, manufacture, and sales of assault weapons and had a mandatory buy-back program. I think this is a good idea except for the fact that the citizens of the USA no longer trust our government to represent us for the best interest of the Common Good. Therefore, if weapons are to be removed from citizens, then the police should be equally disarmed. The 2nd Amendment was written to prevent a repeat of imperial power like King George had in Great Britain at the time, and allow a free and sovereign people to insure that we continue to have a government that represents us.

5) Senator Feinstein's assault weapon ban doesn't address the weapons that are currently in circulation and also includes 900 exceptions. Her proposed legislation is a Red Herring to toss a bone to the American People but retain a brisk market in lethal weapons. Senator Feinstein is a war hawk and corporate sellout; I don't trust anything she does.

6) We had a more prosperous economy when taxes were high and manufacturers were prohibited from moving their factories overseas. Now that corporate "persons" have the liberty to create jobs overseas using workers easy to exploit and governments easy to bribe, the middle class in America has shrunk while the disparity in wealth between the 1% and the 99% has increased upward. Tax cuts have robbed municipalities of the money they need to effectively serve the American People. And have robbed our children's futures by underfunding public schools. Budget cuts have shrunk public education; where will cash-strapped schools find the money to hire armed guards?  Even the Sheriff had to cut his staff!  

7) And finally, private armed militias like Academi nee Xe nee Blackwater, should be prohibited from having bases on American soil.   And are we going to buy back their assault weapons? 

Now that the American people have been robbed, toxified, and public property is exploited for private profit at the expense of the People, we may need our guns when the corporations come to enslave us. Which side are you on, Joe?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Buddhist meets Evangelist

At the Post Office the other day, I met a tall man beside me who was tossing his campaign literature into the recycle bin.  I urged him to vote yes on F, and explained what it was.  He hadn't sent in his ballot yet so I also promoted No on 32 and Yes on 37. 

He started up a conversation about beliefs.  We often assume a lot about strangers that we meet.  Little did he know what a learned and graced tzadik that I am.  It turns out that he was a devoted Christian, and tried to convince me that the only way to Salvation was through Jesus Christ. 

He asked why not? 
My first example used the sin of coveting your neighbor's wife.  With Christians, a lusty thought of your neighbor's wife will send you straight to Hell and the only way out is through Jesus' forgiveness.  In Buddhism, there is no control over your stream of consciousness because it is Pure, being of the mortal body, but rather the "sin" comes when you get up and go do something about it, like grab your neighbor's wife.  In Buddhism, watching the stream of thoughts and impressions is all just a passing show. 
The tall Christian rolled his eyes that I would even compare Christianity with Buddhism. 

Then I gave an example involving the Mormons.  He glared and interrupted, "What do the Mormons have anything to do with this?"  I continued my example, but he didn't see any analogy.  He declared that the Mormons are a cult thus any evidence relating to Mormons is relegated to the dust bin. 
I replied, "No more a cult than people who think Mary was a virgin." 

When I mentioned 1500 years of genocide of Jews by Christians in the name of the Prince of Peace, he again rolled his eyes with a sigh and said that the 297 years of the Spanish Inquisition was by CATHOLICS, not Christians!  And the Holocaust by the Nazi's had nothing to do with Christianity.  He said people who do things like genocide are not "real Christians."

On the sidewalk in front of the Post Office he asked me if I had sinned.  It was only a few weeks since Yom Kippur when we had fasted and thrown our sins into Lake Mendocino, taken mikvahs, and chanted our sins, then I turned, and was turned, and returned to the One. 
He asked if I ever stole, and I thought of my little food stealing problem.  In Buddhism, you can only take something if it is given.  Anything less is unskillful action.  But when I am hungry on my job, I will take someone else's food, and I know it is stealing.  I don't take a whole lunch, just maybe a slice of bread from a loaf.  So I told him yes, I steal food.  He was delighted.  He asked if I lie, and agreed that I have been known to exaggerate. 

Vindicated, he declared that only Jesus can forgive my sins. I looked him in the eye and said, "I look in here (tapping my chest over my heart) for the answers.  I don't need Jesus to forgive me."  He asked if I hate, and I confidently declared no.  I saw before me a man who considers himself a cut above all others justified by his heartfelt faith in Jesus; to me, that kind of divisive arrogance is borne of hate.  Then retorted, "It is your own choice to hate the Mormons if you wish, and Jesus will forgive you, but I don't hate."  He denied that he hates Mormons. 

He towered over me by at least a head, and was dressed casually in a T-shirt and pants.  I looked up and noticed for the first time the emblem on his T-shirt was the River Church.  I asked him, of all the Christians in the world, what percent qualify for being what he called, a "real Christian"?  He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well.  I know at least one.  Me!" 

And there you have it!  Of the millions of Christians in the world, only one qualifies for being a real true Christian.  Yet I know many people who walk the path of integrity and have advanced in their virtue to the level of tzadiks.  I am blessed to live in a community of spiritually advanced people from many schools of thought. 
The Rainbow sister inside me gave him a big hug and said, "I love you, brother.  God bless you." and we parted ways, me on my bike. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Crime of Vaccinations For Profit

When I was a child, we were vaccinated for small pox and polio, which were world-changing humanitarian miracles of science.

Now the corporate controlled media promote fear of pandemics and then help profiteering pharmaceutical companies sell their vaccines on contract to the government so that Public Health will vaccinate everyone at the taxpayer's expense. The vaccines used have been fast-tracked through the FDA investigation period, which department was defunded in the Bush era. It now has to rely on the corporation's own research to make safety decisions in the public best interest. Vaccinate against the perceived epidemic vs. the inadequately researched vaccine?

A School Nurse is a Public Health Nurse, by definition. Therefore, as a School Nurse, I represent the government when working in a public school. If the government is recommending full vaccination programs like the Tdap program for 7th grade in California, then it is my role to promote Tdap vaccinations for all 7th grade students.

I have traveled all over the world and was very thankful that I had taken various vaccinations like cholera. If only there was a vaccination for Hep A back then! But when Corporations have taken over the Government, and the FDA is defunded, and drugs are Fast-Tracked based on skewed Corporate provided research rather than an independent research, then I distrust everything that the Government is doing right now. Public Health vaccination programs may have once been a world changing public health miracle, but right now it has become a For Profit nightmare.

On Wednesday night at meditation group, one bright sexy young man asked, "When considering Right Livelihood, what if you work for a company that may not be totally virtuous?"  

After the group ended, I approached him up close and saw the gleam in his eye and his scent.  He sat in a chair, and I felt uncomfortable looking down on him, so naturally, I kneeled at his feet, Vajrasan.  I looked up at his young Italian-like face, his bulging biceps, his hopeful smile, the monk passing behind me in ochre robes, and felt the quickening of kundalini.  I remembered the 12 Dependent Originations and the place where the chain can be broken, the Uppadana.  Therein is where the Judeo-Christian lies Free Choice.  And there is lies the ethical question of what to do.  I choose to bathe myself in the wonder of it all, and remain as reserved and neutral on the surface as possible.  I focused on what he was saying, listening.  Every word he said bathed me in ever increasing pleasure.  I was awed at the natural response of my body to the sights, sounds, scents, and Buddhist concepts spouting from a male human.  

I told him that ultimately, it is what your hand does, and the intention behind it.  I should have added that the results may not be what you intended, but there is no karma if you had the best intentions.  Just do your best, and then you won't have regrets.  

I relayed my own ethical issues as a nurse.  I said that I always faced this conflict while I worked in the hospitals.  The hospital was run for profit, yet the role of a Nurse is generally considered beneficent.  Even the monk had mentioned "making compromises..." in his answer.  I said that sometimes you must be a paragon of Virtue in the midst of a quagmire.  

The young yogi seemed to like that answer because he lit up and began waving his arms frantically up and down bulging his huge biceps over and over.  Unfortunately, I was so shocked by the response of my body to the sight of his biceps and shoulders that I missed what he said! 

I digress....  
Fortunately for everyone, no one can give a vaccine without a signed permission. Public schools have to require vaccinations for enrollment, but also provide an opt-out by signing a Waiver. This is what saves me ethically. I frame vaccinations as an ethical choice for parents. Other School Nurses feel it is their obligation to coerce parents into compliance and downplay the waiver option. But I disagree.

And for our school Secretary, the one responsible for collecting the vaccination records to keep the school in compliance with State mandates, and with the school's Charter renewal depended upon it, having reluctant parents signing waivers is a school saver and a job saver. But now the Government with the support of the California School Nurse Organization (CSNO) has signed into law a new mandated obstacle to a parent signing a Personal Belief Waiver. Governor Brown just signed the Communicable disease: Immunization Exemption, AB 2109. This requires that a medical professional advise the parent of the risks and benefits of the vaccinations before they sign a Personal Beliefs Waiver.  It takes effect in 2014. 

The CSNO was in favor of it, because they are always trying to legitimize School Nurses. They succeeded in lobbying Sacramento into including School Nurses as one of those medical professionals. Therefore, it was a victory toward the legitimizing the School Nurse Profession. Considering the suspicious nature of placing obstacles in the way of pharmaceutical profiteers sucking off the taxpayer tit is just the price you pay when you play the game of politics. Its always give a little, and take a little. 

I mention this also in light of GMO's and CA Proposition 37.  Many of the vaccines are or come from GMOs, including the Tdap.  The "ap" stands for Acellular Pertussis.  In the old days, they used actual attenuated Pertussis cells for the vaccine.  But now, they use recombinant DNA technologies to clone the PT gene, express it in bacteria, identify the amino acids that are important for the enzymatic activity and toxicity and mutated PT gene  to produce an inactive protein. This genetically modified PT was non toxic, highly immunogenic and able to protect mice without documented harm.  Labeling Tdap as containing GMO's, will not be in the best interest of the pharmaceutical profiteers.  They will do anything to prevent a decline in their profits from lies, to marginalization, to planting evidence, to "accidental deaths."  

Last night, at the Resilient Livelihood working group meeting, Ron Cole said that the Requisites of life should all be free, food, housing, education, and health care.  If so, there would be a thriving economy based on tons of money to spend on the wants and desires.  I agree with him wholeheartedly regarding education and health care, but being a landlord by profession, I was surprised that he, himself depending on rentals for his income, would include housing in the list.  I believe, that once properly regulated, there can be a mixed economy including Private Enterprise, Cooperatives, and Collectives.  I think like in the example of free healthcare for the indigent, that there would also be free housing for the indigent.  I can't imagine giving up my private property to the government in order to provide universal free housing at government's expense.  Anyway, as long as the Constitution protects the Right of Private Property, then they can't take it away from me except by exercising Eminent Domain.  So I'm safe for now.  

And I can't imagine for the farmers who toil to provide everyone with food, that his labor should be given away for free.  Perhaps Ron meant that the Government would use tax dollars to pay farmers to produce food.  Does that mean all farmers or just some farmers?  Does that mean all grocery stores would also be on the government's doll?  Or does it mean that the Food Bank, Free Community Dining Rooms, and the School Free Lunch programs would get supported with tax dollars, and would receive fresh fruits and vegetables from designated government-supported farmers every day?  That doesn't sound too bad! 

And even further, I take JuicePlus+, which is a mix of 17 different fruit juices known for their beneficial phytoenzymes, and my immune system has never been stronger.  To me that means that Food is Medicine.  And when you eat the right foods, your own immune system is strong enough to fight invasive pathogens without vaccines.  

But the Corporations have taken over the food industry and strips the nutrients out of food, and worse, invent new and "improved" foods with dire unintended consequences.  From the hydrogenation of vegetable oils leading to an epidemic of cardio-vascular disease, to the epidemic of Childhood Obesity & Diabetes, to the dramatic increase in Autism with Leaky Gut Syndrome, to the btCorn fed to all the livestock resulting in the bt gene being found in the cord bloods of newborns, the for-profit Corporate food industry is not in the best interests of the People.  In other words, if people ate healthy, they wouldn't need all these vaccines anyway!  Healthy nutrition is part of the standard curriculum of the Waldorf School where I work.  Many of the families in this school are also suspicious of the government these days and want to do the best, most natural thing to protect their children's health, by signing the Personal Belief Waiver, and I respect their courage to make a difficult choice. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What the hell are the "conventions" for?

My friend asked: What the hell are the "conventions" for?

My reply: They used to be for deciding which of the candidates would be the nominee chosen by the delegates. But now the delegates have already been chosen by the media and the polls before they get to the convention, so the sets of various delegates arriving and voting is a redundant formality. 

A gala waste of money. A coronation.
A nauseat
ing waste of good money.

If the campaign was limited to 12 weeks, then the convention would be meaningful.

And it all doesn't even matter, because all the swing states still use electronic voting machines that can be hacked in a couple of minutes by an experienced hacker. And the voting machines are produced by avowed neo-Cons. Just another way to CON their way into power.

And the swing states are often states with low levels of education and high levels of obesity who can be swayed on hot button issues that are used at every election like abortion, gay marriage, and liberty. And they systematically eliminate their competition, suffocating any voice of dissent.  They want a homogeneous society with them writing the rules.  If they can't win on issues, then they will win using dirty tricks.  They will CON their way into power. 

They are sucking away our sovereign power, and we let them! Because it is easier than fighting for justice.  But We the People are more numerous, if we all woke up and joined together to take our power back from the millionaires and corporations that are buying our elections, we together would overwhelm them.  
I assure you that they won't give our power back easily.  They will take out the big guns which is how they solve all problems, and there will be martyrs.  Hopefully, only a few and none fatal. 

I don't want to live in an homogenous society with armed guards on every street corner. That reminds me of communist China. I want to live in a pluralist society where we all respect and celebrate our differences, and we work together for the benefit of mankind rather than to exploit the natural and human resources for profit. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Counting My Blessings for Solstice

This Solstice, I take a moment and invite myself to count some of the things I am, at the moment, abundantly grateful for. So, in no particular order, I begin.

I am abundantly grateful to my Creator for Life. Your hand has lifted me from the jaws of Death so many times and graced me with abundance in spite of my shortcomings.

I am grateful for the good luck that I have managed through employment and unemployment to maintain enough cash flow to keep a safe, dry, warm, and beautiful house above us with all the conveniences of modern times. I am grateful for my bountiful garden, for fresh raspberries, and eggs.

I am grateful that my old body still can run, jump, ride a bike with no hands, and climb a tree. I am abundantly grateful for my mother with whom, at 95, I will spend a few weeks in August, and that we can still have substantive talks about anything. My mother gives me everything unconditionally.

I am abundantly grateful for my 2 handsome, intelligent sons, Moses Sunbeam & @Ari Sunbeam, who now both live with me. I am grateful for their good health and how they pitch in and help me around the house and the rental units. It is such a relief to not have to do it all alone! And it is a pleasure to cook for them, eat together, work and play together. I am grateful for the renewed opportunity to guide my adult children with mothering.

I am grateful that I live in such a vibrantly rich area which is not only low crime, but also is filled with overlapping communities all actively striving to make the world a better place. I am grateful to the River Oak Charter School community to which I have contributed for 7 years, and will soon lamentably be moving on. I am grateful to the Kol Ha'Emek community who are my extended family. I am grateful to the political activist community with whom we fight a non-violent uphill battle to Heal the World,
תיקון עולם tikkun olam. And I am abundantly grateful to Yoga Mendocino for providing the nourishment I need for my soul.

I am also grateful for the many friends with whom we have shared our lives, and for the amazing adventures past, present, and future. Family and friends are the 2 greatest treasures and I have them in abundance. I am also grateful that I have a warm and friendly relationship with my X.

Most of all, I am grateful for the level of consciousness in which I dwell where every person is loved, and I am very rarely provoked by my children. My needs are few and so are my disappointments. I am so filled with gratitude that petty upheavals don't rock my boat, and I surf the crest of the tsunami when it arrives.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why Germany is ahead of the USA in green energy

One friend sent me this cartoon depicting a for-profit corporate dirty energy mogul emphasizing his monopoly power over the energy sector except for solar, which he touts as not feasible. 
I replied: Riggggghhhht!
    • Linda said:  It seems to be in Germany.
    • I replied:  Speaking of Germany, their industrial output has increased in the last decade unlike the other Western nations which lost the bulk of their manufacturing base to overseas. Germany has accomplished increased success in industrial manufacturing by 3 things: socialized health care which saves business from having to pay for medical insurance, a well educated workforce (socialized education), and pro-manufacturing government policies. While unemployment rose in much of the world, it dropped in Germany in the last decade.
    • I added: And Germany leads the world in percentage of energy derived from solar, nearly 50%. One would presume that Germany's lower unemployment and higher manufacturing rate may be related to how busy they have been converting their nation to sustainable energy. Obama tried to jump start the economy with the conversion to green energy, but the corporations that own our Congress blocked most clean energy legislation. That's because the ultimate plan of the corporate powers that run our government is to bankrupt the nation, subvert the Constitution, then foment a revolution that will put them blatantly in power and turn the once golden USA into a banana republic for them to exploit for our rich natural resources. LISTEN! Our government is already selling off public lands to make ends meet. That's because tax cuts reducing government revenues doesn't leave enough money to pay for essential government services. Thank you Howard Jarvis and Grover Norquist! Dumb down the public and they'll buy whatever lie you tell them.
      Buddha Al said: Sure beats eating radioactive contaminated food!
      I replied: Exactly! Or having so much air pollution that 50% of all children have asthma.

      • Buddha Al said:  I have an electrical engineering degree and have done work in solar power and similar projects and might jump back into it again. Love the concept of non-polluting energy which helps free us from relying exclusively on fossil fuels or dangerous atomic power plants.
      • Allison brought up an interesting point: I'm no expert on solar panel construction and development but as I understand it, they are very expensive to produce. Not only in money but also in the resources that go into making the solar panels. A lot of pollution and non-recyclable things are produced while making solar panels. I know that it has been discussed about making gigantic areas in the desert for panels but the result was that it would be so cost prohibitive to produce the panels in relation to the electricity that they would produce in return. How Germany did it? I don't know.
      • I replied: Germany has a Parliamentary type of government in which the Green Party is very powerful. Note: there are no members of the Green Party currently in the US Government. Germany also has free, high quality primary through university education, and therefore has a well-educated electorate, unlike the USA where we have an astounding number of adult illiterates. The free education system in the USA has been progressively underfunded so that public school don't produce a well-educated electorate. The current US Government believes that public school funding is "government waste," and is trying to transfer public school funding into private, for-profit schools. 
        Shakti Das chimed in with: Quite correct, Robin. The US Greens have advocated "proportional representation" for over 20 years, but there is a media blackout. However in my county there are Greens in government, but not in federal office. The closest thing that we will get this year that smells like sanity is to elect Norman Solomon for US Congress. He's on the June ballot as you know and has strong Green values.
        Allison added:  I think solar energy is a great idea but it would have to be 'better' in terms of pollution/money/materials for the benefits returned.
      • Buddha Al replied: Yes unfortunately silicon wafers also produce some pollution when being manufactured. However I don't believe we are going to stop using electronic devices because of this.
      • Shakti Das said: As with any investment, one should look at the cost/benefit ratios as well as the long term return on investment both in terms of personal expenditure and in environmental terms of sustainability. pollution, and natural resources. If one looks at a solar panel 20 year plus life cytcle it is a huge plus when compared to coal or other fossil fuels both in terms to personal costs(utility bills) and environmental/pollution costs. However every location needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. For example in the Northern California one needs some south facing exposure (as the sun is always south). Sunny locations pay back faster than cloudy regions, etc. Another renewable source is solar that is not home located but generated at a central (sunny) location. A third consideration is a hybrid system utilizing solar, hydro, and/or wind either co-located or at a remote location. These studies have been done in Germany and elsewhere showing that solar is very cost effective. It also does not have the health risks and health costs that are associated with coal, fossil fuel, and nuclear production. Another major advantage is that solar is an unlimited resource, while the costs of fossil fuels will continue to rise as supplies dwindle.

        Shakti Das added: In every calculation Nuclear Power always comes out last in terms of costs. It's a loser for the taxpayer and consumer, always winds up subsidized by the government.
      • Allison replied:  One thing that amazes me is this. When I point out to people that how power plants 'make' electricity by using nuclear, coal or other fossil fuel, is to make steam! Simply that. Heating up water to make steam to turn turbines to generate electricity. Some people simply don't believe me. They actually think nuclear power plants 'make' electricity from nuclear power. It astounds me that many many people don't understand that the purpose of burning fossil fuels or using nuclear power rods it just simply to heat water into steam to make turbines turn.

        Allison added: Yes, Shakti, you are correct, we do need to look at the long term costs/returns in these different power generating sources.
      • Shakti Das replied:  Good point Allison. Only 100-160 years ago, most people understood their technological support structures; i.e., food, shelter, energy, transportation, water supply, and medicinal systems; hence, this created a sense of security/control as if survival was not complex and was at the same time earth based. Withe the relatively new advent of big cities, Big Ag, mono-crop agriculture, Big Pharma, industrialized urbanization, and centralized power producing grids, people in general have lost knowledge and control over these basic survival mechanisms. That disconnection not only fosters a sense of dependence upon "the system" and a lack of self-reliance, but also negatively influences our ability to make wise economic and political decisions at the polls, because we are not cognizant of the factors behind such. Strangely those who are cognizant (the cognizanti) are deplored and feared because they dare to question the confused paradigm; hence new information (such as alternative energy, environmental sustainability are feared and rejected -- do not compute. It is to Germany's credit that such fear does not rule. Even their electoral system has over 90% turn-out ratios of eligible voters, compared with the US 40%. I think it is very valuable to continue to question past assumptions and apparent contradictions. Our children will thank us for doing so. BE WELL!
      • I replied:  I am proud to say that the City of Ukiah produces their own electricity. 44% comes from local geothermal wells. Another 36% comes from large and small hydroelectric. Another 20% comes from coal & natural gas. Less than 1% comes from nuclear, solar or wind.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some thoughts about Capital

I am currently reading the autobiography of Fidel Castro, pub. 2005. Castro amazingly predicted a worldwide financial collapse based on the way the USA just kept printing up more and more money. Fidel keeps referring to the USA as the "empire." And regarding brutality, the hypocrisy of our nation taking the moral high ground while promoting terrorist attacks against Cuba for 55 years, is appalling. Castro's viewpoint, based on ethical values and honor, has really opened my eyes about who the terrorist really is, and what is Capital.

Castro says that capital is the product of your labor. In other words, capital is the food that farmers grow, and the land that produces food. Capital are the sweaters made in Irish villages, and embroideries made by Hmong grandmothers. Capital is what we produce by our labor, which is equal to wealth.  Does that make every knitter a capitalist? What is a Capitalist, anyway?
cap·i·tal·ist   [kap-i-tl-ist]
1. a person who has capital,  especially extensive capital,  invested in business enterprises.
2. an advocate of capitalism.
3. a very wealthy person.

So, I’m right.  #1 says anyone with capital.  So it would include a whole cottage industry of women that knit sweaters, right?  Is their stock if knitted sweaters, and their storehouses of yarn, and their sheep and their meadows, the means of production of all those sweaters, are all capital?  If so, then are those Irish village knitters capitalists? 
According to this dictionary meaning, the answer would be YES. 

Let’s see what the dictionary defines as capital. 
cap·i·tal     [kap-i-tl] Show IPA
4. the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
5. an accumulated stock of such wealth.

So number 4 requires that the cottage industry knitters must be in the business of making sweaters.  In other words, they intend to sell the sweaters, or use them as barter. 

The reason I am pondering these facets of meaning, is that we usually think of capital as something had by only rich people living in mansions. 

But the concept of capital being the products of my own labor personalizes it and gives me a sense of control of my own capital. 

Suddenly I see the classical capitalists as climbing on the backs of the workers who they depend upon to produce capital for the benefit of the few. 
I realize that no one can be truly poor if they can produce capital as the fruit of their own labor.  Even if you live in a rammed earth home with a flimsy thatch roof, if you can produce spinning tops or handspun fabric or woven baskets or rubber tire sandals, you have wealth and capital. 

So now, what is Capitalism?
Here’s the same online dictionary again:
cap·i·tal·ism   [kap-i-tl-iz-uhm] Show IPA
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
Origin: 1850–55; capital1  + -ism

Note:  public service and co-ops are excluded from this meaning of Capitalism even though state owned businesses and co-ops may produce capital commodities.  As such, then capitalism is dedicated to the greedy enrichment of the one at the expense of the many. 

The Capitalists hate the Communists, right?  Here is how our information is whitewashed.
As seen in this dictionary passage, the word “capitalism” originated in the mid 1850’s.  Please give credit where credit is due.  It was Karl Marx who coined the word in his book, The Communist Manifesto in 1848. 

Marx defined Capitalism as an economic system in which subjective moral value is separate from objective economic value. Subsequently, economics became divorced from ethics.  I’ve noticed that in many investor friends; it seems like perfectly moral and upstanding citizens of the community can invest in the most toxic and destructive industries and never have a flicker of a qualm about how they made their profits. 

So in Capitalism, the capitalist is the one who buys up all the land where the sheep graze, take ownership of the livestock, and provide wool for the knitters who work for a pittance to provide the capitalist with sweaters to export.  The capitalist figured out that he could get more money if he bought a million Irish sweaters, and sent them in a packing container to Boston, rather than selling them locally where the market was already saturated with home knitted sweaters. 

Before the capitalist arrived, all the village knitters labored together for the benefit of the whole village.  Once the capitalist takes possession of the means of production, knitters work for the capitalist and the capital wealth is transferred out of the village into the coffers of the capitalist.  Oh yeah, Ayn Rand; I bet it makes you HOT just to think about transferring all that wealth from the worthless peons who let it happen.  I think I’m starting to understand what Marx and Castro were talking about. 

Which begs the question of how did the capitalist wrest the means of production away from the villagers in the first place? 

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Unarmed, non-violent Truth tellers are a threat to the Tea Party

For nearly a year, I had been attending the monthly meetings of the Ukiah Valley Patriots, our local Tea Party.  My original intention was to forge a coalition between activists who want to bring about a more representative government, and Tea Party activists.  Since both myself, and the Tea Party, hold the Constitution in high regard, I thought we had a lot in common. 

At first, I was appalled at what I heard and saw there, and wrote letters to the editor about it.  But then, the UVP leader, Duane, asked me to stop writing bad things about them in the newspaper.  I explained that I only write the truth the way I see it, and Duane couldn’t disagree that what I wrote wasn’t true.  He was mainly concerned with the UVPs being portrayed badly in public, and so I stopped writing anything about them while continuing to silently attend the meetings, observe, and take copious notes. 

Granted, we may be on different sides of many issues, but in a free republic, we can disagree with our neighbors and still be friends.  I continued to be appalled at the reactionary propaganda fed to the attendees, and the militant language they used to face every issue, but admired the very organized grass-roots techniques they were using.  Without even hearing what I believe in, Duane stated that we have nothing in common.  He threatened that if I didn’t stop coming to the UVP meetings that they would have to make it a members-only event.  Considering that many members of the UVP are licensed to carry concealed weapons, and pack heat at all times, I'm lucky they didn't shoot me. 

Well, the steering committee of the Ukiah Valley Patriots met and changed their bylaws to make it a member-only group, and presented their proposal to the general membership in January, which approved the change.  They passed around a mission statement, and an allegiance form.  20 attendees signed the allegiance form; I, and another courageous man, didn’t sign, and we were promptly asked to leave the meeting.  The reason was to not “discuss tactical actions with the enemy.”  When they say “enemy,” they mean me. 

The UVP state they organized in order to preserve the Constitution, and their core values, which include fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.  They write that the architects of the Constitution stated that the Creator endowed us with the right to own property along with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Oops!  I guess I missed the part about the Creator giving us the right to own property.  Ask a Native American if the Creator gave us the right to own property. 

I am totally impressed that an unarmed, non-violent little old lady like me, dedicated to the Truth, and motivated to listen to what others believe in, trying to find commonalities, could be such a powerful “enemy” that a group would have to change their bylaws to get rid of the threat I pose to their membership just by my presence.  Although I avoid pride and don’t seek power, that still makes me feel very powerful.  I observe the feeling of power, and let it go into the stream of phenomena. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

Some thoughts about Fidel Castro

I have been listening to the audiobook autobiography of Fidel Castro.  It was in the form of an interview in 2005 between foreign journalist Ignacio Ramonet, and Fidel himself.  The transcript had to be approved by Castro first before publication, and was translated into English, and performed by 2 actors for my enjoyment.  I borrowed it from the Public Library. 

One major theme throughout the tale was ethics.  Fidel explained that there is subjective and objective ethics.  Subjective ethics are about honor, protecting the innocent, being able to sleep at night.  Subjective ethics are about seeing international corporations coming into a nation and exploiting the human and natural resources to depletion for their own profit, and seeing the indigenous people being robbed of their capital legacy. 

Another shocking realization that has lifted the wool from my eyes is that the USA, the land I was raised to think had the moral high ground, has been sponsoring terrorism on the sovereign nation of Cuba for 55 years starting with our beloved JFK.  The fact that the microscopic nation of Cuba has persisted this long in spite of the acts of aggression from its giant nearby neighbor only attests to the validity of Castro’s assertions. 

And why should giant USA be threatened by the tiny little Caribbean nation of Cuba?  Why not be friends and trading partners like we are with Communist China?  The obvious reason is that the validity of Castro’s philosophy of ethics is so infectious, that it threatens the corporate oligarchy, which has been in control of our government for longer than we think. 

Castro actually admired JFK for withdrawing from the 1961 Bay of Pigs and admitting defeat.  He understood that Kennedy had inherited the plot from Eisenhower.  Castro’s forces had taken 1200 prisoners of war, which they ethically exchanged in 1962 with lawyer James Donovan for $53 of private medical supplies.  On the other hand, the non-violent Cuban 5 in the USA unethically all got life sentences, and Luis Posada Carriles, a convicted terrorist, lives free in luxury in Miami. 

Once again, our media portray Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as dangerous maniac armed revolutionaries.  But when you read their writing, they were totally rational and ethical.  They both saw the corporate machine robbing every resource possible if not stopped by persons with ethics.  They heroically stood up to the plate, but corporate censorship and spin have rewritten history to make the corporate oligarchy the good and moral side, and Castro and Guevara were on the bad and destructive militant revolutionary side. 

What Fidel & Che began to fight is upon us all with spades now, worldwide.  We are drowning in the toxic wastes of the for profit corporate depletion of our natural and human resources.  We are fed up with governments that serve corporate interests over the interests of the electorate, and enable our nation to descend into a banana republic.  Let We the People unite to non-violently create a “wall of separation between corporation and state” by amending the Constitution to define a person under the law as a human being, and money is not speech.   And with another amendment to mandate public funding of political campaigns with an eight-week campaign limit. 

We can solve the issue non-violently with a constitutional amendment

The new fire in the growth of Liberty and Democracy initiated by the Arab Spring and OWS has accelerated the process of our sovereign People taking back control of our government from the corporate oligarchy. We will non-violently take back our government from within the system set up by our Founding Fathers by amending the Constitution.

The Supreme Court never actually ruled in their Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad 1887 that corporations are persons under the Constitution. The justices actually REFUSED to rule on that issue in this decision. Yet, the court reporter, a schill for the railroad barons, wrote it into his headnote, and as such, a century of court decisions have been based on this false precedent.  This is a 115 year-old corporate farce! 

In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Valeo that political money is speech and is protected under the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court made their worst decision to date, even worse than the Dred Scott decision. In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court legislated from the bench that if corporations are persons under the Constitution (1887), and money is speech (1976), then corporations and trade unions have the right to free speech under the First Amendment and can spend unlimited amounts of undisclosed money to influence elections. This decision overturned a century of campaign finance reform, and was certainly the most anti-democratic decision in history. 

The Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for international corporations to buy our elections. It drove the final nail into the coffin of Democracy, which is now dead. We no longer live in a Republic with government by the People. Our elected representatives are beholding to the special interests that financed their election campaigns, and not to the electorate. The whole system is seriously, seriously flawed. 

We need to take our government back. The Declaration of Independence 1776 says, “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Short of an armed revolution, many people have concluded that we may be able to solve the issue non-violently with a constitutional amendment. A sudden rash of amendments have been proposed to Congress in both Houses. Most of them concern campaign finance reform. A couple of the proposed amendments go right to the crux of the issue. They propose that only human beings are persons under the law, and money is not speech.

The Sovereignty of my Body and Fukushima generated cesium-137

On 20 February, 2012, Jon Letman wrote in Thruthout: Radioactive or Not, Tsunami Debris Could Seriously Impact US's, Canada's West Coasts.  The author assured us that the tsunami debris washing up on our shores was released before it became contaminated with radiation. 
The following are some thoughts I had about Letman's article. 

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, I monitored radiation levels around the nation.  Without regard to alpha, beta, or gamma designations, but rather simply by counting Geiger counter beats/minute, the highest (nearly critical) amount of radiation hit, not the western shores, but rather the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. 

A significant level of radiation landed on California, Oregon and Washington, and contaminated the grasslands of the western states so as to contaminate the milk supply.  So I stopped drinking mammal milk for about 4 months, and bought iodine pills to have in stock in case a nuclear disaster was announced here in the USA.  Iodine-131 has a half-life of only 8 days, so there was nothing to worry about there.  But cesium-137 has a half-life of over 30 years.

Of course, we can't expect our government to announce a radiation disaster unless there is profit to be made.  Otherwise, our government will cover it up in order to keep people pacified and continue shopping for consumer luxuries.  Anyway, it would damage big Agra-business if folks found out their food supply was contaminated with cesium-137. 

After entering the body, cesium concentrates in muscle tissue. The biological half-life of cesium hydroxide is only about 70 days.  Accidental ingestion of cesium-137 can be treated with Prussian blue, which binds to it chemically and reduces the biological half-life to 30 days.

That brings up the issues of private property and sovereignty of my own body.  Like with Monsanto patented pollen, if the radiation falls on the grassland of an organic dairy or organic grass-fed beef or bison farm, the meat/milk is no longer organic, and the farmer's business is destroyed for 30 years.  And as has been recently proven in court, the industrial polluter will win the case and the organic farmer loses. 

And if I am sovereign over my own body, and I choose to live far away from industrial pollution so that the air I breathe is cleaner, and then I am forced to inhale radioactive iodine and cesium because an industrialist far away made choices that I oppose and ended up contaminating me exactly as I had anticipated, what recourse do I have to uphold the sovereignty of my body?  NONE! 

That's why we have entered a new Dark Age.  And it will become much darker when the US & Israel invade Iran and begin a nuclear winter. 

Thursday, February 02, 2012

An evolution of Government Waste - The transfer of public wealth into private hands

    Looking at a graph of job growth since 2008, Allison said:     I wonder, though, how many of those new jobs during the Obama presidency were in the government sector? Not saying that that is what it is, just wondering.  
    Lisa replied:     A job is a job is a job. Lots of folks would be very happy if they could get a government job.
    Allison:     Yes, that is correct, Lisa. Problem is, with all the 'government' jobs, that just adds to more of our tax money being used up on payroll for those jobs. Please don't misunderstand me, I don't mean to make it sound like people don't deserve jobs, but we all know how much waste there is in our government. We all know how much 'overpayment' is gone through in giving jobs to 'special interests', paying back favors, etc. "A job is a job is a job" is an incorrect way of looking at it. Yes, I'd be happy to get a government job, too. Especially if I could get paid mucho bucks for doing essentially nothing worth the pay. [author note: government jobs = union jobs]  Again, I'm not saying that all, or even 'most' government jobs fall into that category, ok?
    Bodhi commented:   There is waste and corruption in both private and public sector jobs. Our government has only very few means to raise revenues to pay for jobs, and levying taxes is one of those means. If we want police, firefighters, roads, infrastructure, public health, unemployment, public schools, social safety net, etc., then the government needs to raise taxes to pay for these services. Left to private companies, the CEOs would be making $M's while the workers may not be earning a living wage. Either way, the assumption of "government waste" measured against private greed, corruption and waste, which can be documented in spades either way, is a weak argument. As far as I understand, Obama only talks about "private sector" jobs. The graph in question doesn't specify public or private.
      Allison:   Right, Bodhi, that's why I wasn't trying to 'blame' government jobs for waste. Nor was I trying to 'blame' private sector jobs. But, when there is an overload (or unneeded) abundance of 'supervisors' of 'supervisors' of 'supervisors', that doesn't help raise taxes, nor does it (in my opinion) help improve the country. As in 'private' sector jobs, waste is wanton...and unnecessary (well, unnecessary unless you're one of the 'supervisors of supervisors, Assistant-VP to the Sub-Associate-Jr VP, and so on). But, in government sector jobs, it steals money (as wages) from something that might actually be getting something done instead of cushy jobs created in return for favors or paybacks. Hell, what did I just say? That applies to private sector work, too!
    Right! You are assuming that your taxes pay for people in government jobs who do nothing. Let's take CPS, Child Protective Services, as a hypothetical example to explore the concept of do-nothing government jobs. Reagan began to shrink government by cutting taxes, and this became the Neo-Con dogma. In 1980, CPS had a staff of people serving the public need. When the Neo-Con revolution convinced the general public that private is always better than public, and the Constitution never said anything about protecting children, CPS became expendable as "waste."

    Then, year after year, budget after budget, "waste" was cut out of the budget in order to "shrink" the government. The obvious long range plan was to cut funding for government agencies to disempower them, and then prove how useless they are, and get rid of them.  Now, 30+ years of budget cuts have left an underpaid, understaffed, overworked, workforce which appears to be doing nothing because their hands are tied with no funds. The next step in the Neo-Con plan is to have a massive sell-off of government assets. Government assets are OUR ASSETS. Because WE are the government. WE are the People! And all government assets belong to us! I heard they had to cut the budget and closed a lot of parks. Today, our government is auctioning off OUR ASSETS, closed parks, to private interests. I'm telling you, it is ANOTHER NEO-CON TRANSFER OF PUBLIC WEALTH INTO PRIVATE HANDS.  (Neo-Con = new con artist.) 

    Saturday, January 21, 2012


    The new fire in the growth of Liberty and Democracy initiated by the Arab Spring and OWS has accelerated the process of our sovereign People taking back control of our government from the corporate oligarchy.  We will non-violently take back our government from within the system set up by our Founding Fathers by amending the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court never actually ruled in their Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad 1886 that corporations are persons under the Constitution.  The justices actually refused to rule on that issue in this decision.  Yet, the court reporter wrote it into his headnote, and as such, a century of court decisions have been based on this false precedent. 

    In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled that political money is speech and is protected under the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights. 

    On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court made their worst decision to date, even worse than the Dred Scott decision.  In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court legislated from the bench that if corporations are persons under the Constitution, and money is speech, then corporations & trade unions have the right to free speech under the 1st Amendment and can spend unlimited amounts of undisclosed money to influence elections. This decision overturned a century of campaign finance reform. 

    It opened the floodgates for international corporations to buy our elections.  It drove the final nail into the coffin of Democracy, which is now dead.  We no longer live in a Republic with government by the People.  Our elected representatives are beholding to the special interests that financed their election campaigns, and not to the electorate.  The whole system is seriously flawed. 

    We need to take our government back.  The Declaration of Independence 1776 says, “…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.  That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."   

    Short of an armed revolution, many people have concluded that we may be able to solve the issue non-violently with a constitutional amendment.  A sudden rash of amendments have been proposed to Congress in both Houses.  Most of them concern campaign finance reform.  A couple of the proposed amendments go right to the crux of the issue.  They propose that only human beings are persons under the law, and money is NOT speech.    

    Don’t miss David Cobb, the very knowledgeable speaker sponsored by Move to Amend – Ukiah, who will be speaking in 5 cities around Mendocino County.  I’ll be there at the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse on February 13 to hear him.  You should go too.