Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Archive for the ‘!ACTION CENTER!’ Category

Rosalind Peterson: Urgent! Take Action! Protect Our Marine Mammals, National Marine Sanctuaries, Recreation & Fishing Industries…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on March 6, 2012 at 5:45 am

Redwood Valley

I have sent the attached and/or same letter to our Senators and U.S. Congressman Thompson today. We need to send out as many letters as possible to all of our elected officials at every level of government. Please feel free to use this one or make any changes you deem necessary to make your wishes known. Toll Free Number for all elected officials in Washington, D.C. (1866) 220-0044

The closest event is in Fort Bragg, CA for us….see the links below for more information.

Right now we need a lot of pressure placed on our elected officials and others today.

March 6, 2012


  • U.S. Navy Open House Information Sessions under NEPA
  • U.S. Navy NEPA Violations
  • Formal Request for a U.S. Navy Formal Presentation & Q&A Period With Proper NEPA Notice
  • Protect Our Marine Mammals, National Marine Sanctuaries, Recreation & Fishing Industries

Dear                                                    :

On Saturday, March 3, 2012, I received a postcard from the U.S. Navy inviting the public to participate in the National Environmental Policy Act Process.  However, the U.S. Navy is only holding Open House Information Sessions in easily accessible places in California, Oregon, Washington (State), and Alaska.

We believe, for the following reasons, that the U.S. Navy is not following NEPA requirements: More…

I stand with Farmers vs. Monsanto…

In !ACTION CENTER! on February 21, 2012 at 5:04 am


On January 31, 2012, 55 farmers and plaintiffs traveled to Manhattan to hear oral arguments regarding Monsanto’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) vs. Monsanto.

At the heart of the lawsuit is the threat that family farmers face due to genetic trespass on their fields as a result of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GMO) seed and the aggressive enforcement of the biotech seed and chemical giant’s alleged patent rights.

In court, Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald declared that she would rule on the motion to dismiss the trial or move forward in the next 60 days or by March 31st. If you want to
support America’s family farmers, sign the letter to say, “I Stand with Farmers vs. Monsanto!”

Please take a moment to tell America’s farmers why you support them.

I support America’s farmers in their pursuit of justice and their right to grow food without fear and intimidation. It’s time for family farmers to have their day in court and put an end to this unjust harassment.

Sign here

Very funny romp through the lives of wanna-be, urbanite, country weekenders who think they’ve got what it takes to “go back to the land.”

Rosalind Peterson: Mendocino County Billboard Pollution…

In !ACTION CENTER! on February 18, 2012 at 6:53 am

Agriculture Defense Coalition

It is time for Mendocino County to take stock of the ever-increasing number and size of ugly billboards that are destroying the wonderful views here in Mendocino County.

If tourism is to increase we need to have a decrease in the number and size of unsightly billboards rather than increasing numbers. Thus, the County billboard ordinance, rules, and regulations should be upgraded in order to attract tourism here and also to enhance the beauty of Mendocino County.

Action Items:

  1. All current billboards should be inspected to make sure that the size of the billboards in our county have not been increasing with additions in the last 10 years. Any billboards that have increased in width, height or length should be brought back into compliance by fines levied by the County Planning Department. It appears that extensions on the sides, tops, and width of older billboards have been changed without approval by the Mendocino County Planning Department. (Note the height extension on the billboard in this photograph on U.S. 101.)

Billboard - back side

2. All billboards that have ugly backsides should be removed or upgraded. More…

Transition: As our civilization declines, it will increasingly be up to households and communities to provide the basics for ourselves…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on February 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

Post Carbon Institute

It is this contest between traditional power elites on one hand, and growing masses of disenfranchised poor and formerly middle-class people attempting to provide the necessities of life for themselves in the context of a shrinking economy, that is shaping up to be the fight of the century.

[Mendo Free Skool offers an alternative to traditional education. With classes like Bicycle Repair, Practical Permaculture, Demystifying Anarchism, and D.I.Y. Movie Making, it's a refreshing variety of completely free classes for people of all ages. Run entirely by volunteers, Mendo Free Skool gives the community an opportunity to share their skills and knowledge. Anyone can teach for the Free Skool, so the quarters take on the flavor of whatever people are interested in at the time. “Classes” take place in homes, cafes, and community centers. A quarterly calendar is available online and in print accompanied by the location and description of each course. Spring Quarter runs March 20th - June 20th. Questions, comments and class submissions can be sent to: -Will Parrish]

1. Prologue

As economies contract, a global popular uprising confronts power elites over access to the essentials of human existence. What are the underlying dynamics of the conflict, and how is it likely to play out?

As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features—corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries More…

Harris Quarry Project: ‘Something wicked this way comes’…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on February 6, 2012 at 4:49 am

LTE Willets News
Thanks to Janie Sheppard

Something wicked this way comes is, of course, the famous line from the Shakespearean play Macbeth, which forewarns of an impending ominous, dangerous and traitorous entity.

Fast-forward from the 17th century to a real threat we now potentially face in Mendocino County, which is perhaps no less insidious or alarming; with modern day wide-reaching consequence for the entire county.

The proposed Harris Quarry Expansion Project is the benign-sounding name of a determined push to install a 300-ton per hour asphalt manufacturing plant neighboring the LaVida Charter School, Christ’s Church of the Golden Rule and Golden Rule senior residential park, which are proximate to the famous Seabiscuit Ranch, former home of legendary racehorse.

The Bountiful Gardens research garden and cherry orchard also are nearby.

The proposal also seeks to ambitiously involve the entire county through zoning changes specifically allowing heavy industrial/manufacturing uses on land designated in the general plan as “RL-Range Lands,” which includes 90 percent of the private property in Mendocino County.

Everyone’s “back yard” in Mendocino County could potentially be vulnerable if the designers and proponents of this plan get their way.

There is legitimate concern the so-called Mineral Processing Combining District Overlay feature of this proposal is an add-on, benefiting special interests. Sooner or later this (ear-mark) may affect unsuspecting citizens countywide, in a very up close and personal way.

Many are concerned this movement which is portrayed ostensibly as a need for a single asphalt plant, is actually a much farther-reaching agenda “opening the door” to manufacturing related development of not only more asphalt plants around the county; but also possibly for the development of oil refineries (to accommodate off-shore drilling), natural gas, geothermal and concrete manufacturing plants, along with a whole host of other activities which could bring adverse More…

Occupy California: Single Update: Payer Health Care Urgent Action Needed Today Tuesday January 31…

In !ACTION CENTER! on January 31, 2012 at 4:14 am


[Update: Money again defeated democracy. These democrats get money from the medical/insurance corporations and they abstained again. Pitiful! -DS]

From Nurses for Social Responsibility
Santa Barbara Independent

There is a vote in the California State Senate on Senate Bill 810, Health Care for All today, and just two more votes are needed for passage. Four Democrats abstained from voting. We could turn them around if you decide to OccupySacramento and get insurance corporations out of health care!

Call these four California senators now, and urge them to vote for Healthcare for All. And call/email your friends, too.

Ca. Sen. Juan Vargas,, 916 651-4040

Ca. Sen. Alex Padilla,, 916 651-4020

Ca. Sen. Rodrick Wright ,, 916 651-4025

Ca. Sen. Michael Rubio,, 916 651-4016

The bill, Senate Bill 810, ensures primary care and preventative care to head off disease before it is too late to get well.\ It is comprehensive, because it not only includes short term care, like clinics, ERs, labs, etc., but it also covers holistic medicine, chiropractic, dental, and vision, and it does so without deductibles, co-pays, or added out-of-pocket costs.

If you are employed and have healthcare through your employer, your employer no longer has to go through an insurance company. This cuts your portion you pay because your employer will pay a lot less for health care. And the bill insures that those out of work More…

What to do? Take Action! Build the new economy by generating alternatives…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web, Mendo Island Transition on January 28, 2012 at 6:30 am

From The Economics of Happiness

Across the world millions of people are actively resisting the process of corporate globalization while simultaneously creating viable local alternatives in the here and now. This powerful emerging movement represents a radical departure from ‘business as usual’. In place of the imposition of a single, global world economy, the new paradigm seeks ‘a world that embraces many worlds’ – an adapting biocultural mosaic rather than a global monoculture. Proponents of this approach call for ‘small scale on a large scale’ rather than one-size-fits-all, ‘too big to fail’ blueprints. In turn, the kind of solutions that are being generated flow from diversity, are attentive to the ecological particularities of place, are more responsive to social needs, and are often far more equitable, participatory and democratic.

Help create the new economy from the ground up!

Support local independent businesses, cooperatives & social enterprises…

Buy local first

Keeping money circulating locally will help reinvigorate the local economy and generate desperately needed jobs. If you are a business owner, source locally for your supplies and services whenever possible and engage in fair and sustainable (‘translocal’) trade for those goods that can’t be sourced locally.

The 3/50 Project

Local Multiplier Effect

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

Start or support a “Local First” campaign in your town or city

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies – Local First

The New Economic Foundation’s Local Multiplier 3

Civic Economics

Crossroads Resource Center

Join, start or support a local worker cooperative

Help create more equitable and democratic local economies… More…

500 Referees to ‘Blow the Whistle’ today on Big Oil’s Corruption of Congress in Washington…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on January 24, 2012 at 5:00 am

From Real Time with Bill Maher: Bill Moyers discusses the importance of people power and popular support to help enable the President to do the right thing using Bill McKibben and Occupy Movement, as it relates to Obama not allowing the Keystone pipeline for now, as an example.

Chris Hedges, suing Obama, speaks to Occupy Movement…
500 Referees to  “Blow the Whistle” on Big Oil’s Corruption of Congress

Keystone XL pipeline protesters will go on the offensive this Tuesday with a rally on Capitol Hill featuring 500 people dressed as referees “blowing the whistle” on fossil fuel funded corruption in Congress.

Who: 500 referees, a marching band, Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Steve Cohen, founder Bill McKibben, Energy Action Coalition Environmental Justice Director Lili Molina, Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford, and peace and justice advocate Rev. Graylan Hagler.

What: 500 referees blowing whistles, throwing penalty flags, and holding signs that call out individual members of Congress for the amount of money they have received from the fossil fuel industry. After the event on Capitol Hill, protesters will march to the American Petroleum Institute to protest the industry front group.

Where: West Lawn, US Capitol Building

When: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, Tuesday, Jan 24

Why: Despite President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL permit, Speaker Boehner and certain members of Congress continue to push the pipeline, in large part because of the millions of dollars in campaign contributions they’ve received from Big Oil. This sort of bribery wouldn’t be allowed at the Super Bowl – let alone a high school football game – and it shouldn’t be allowed in our democracy. One day before Congress holds new hearings on Keystone XL (and two weeks before the Super Bowl), protesters will “blow the whistle” on this fossil fuel funded corruption and use Keystone XL to hold politicians accountable for their ties to Big Oil.

National Call to Action Made by the Portland General Assembly – January 1st, 2012

Occupy Portland calls for a national day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations.  We are rejecting More…

The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act

In !ACTION CENTER! on January 20, 2012 at 6:33 am

Organic Consumers Union

We are on the road to victory in California with coalition members, strategic allies, and key donors increasing their support all the time. We now have over 50 environmental, alternative health, and sustainable food organizations and businesses advocating for our cause. But, most importantly, we have over 1,500 dedicated CA volunteers trained and ready to hit the streets when signature gathering begins in February. You can go here to volunteer by gathering petition signatures in California.

This November 2012 California Ballot Initiative, which will require foods
sold in California retail outlets to be labeled as such, may be the most important GMO battle of all time. A win in California will mean radical changes to food labels everywhere. Producers will either have to change the way they market Frankenfoods or else stop using GMOs altogether. We think we can reverse the biotech strangle-hold on our food system in our lifetimes.

You don’t have to live in California to donate to this historic ballot initiative.

Consumers everywhere have a right to know what’s in the food we buy and eat and feed our children, just as we have the right to know how many calories are in the food we buy, or whether food comes from other countries like Mexico or China. In the past, we’ve successfully fought for labels telling us the country of origin of products, as well as whether foods have been irradiated. Now it’s time to stand up for our right to know which foods are laced with GMOs.

Efforts to enact labeling laws in Congress and in other state legislatures have been blocked by big food and chemical company lobbyists. The California Ballot Initiative will take the issue directly to the people. For more information about the initiative visit California Right To Know and the Organic Consumers Fund.

Action Center! Stop Walmart Expansion Today Saturday 11am 12/17/11

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on December 10, 2011 at 6:15 am

Redwood Valley

Join the “Occupy Walmart” demonstration, Saturday December 17th, 11 am at the grassy knoll area bordering the Walmart parking lot. We will not disturb Walmart customers. We will not block entrances or exits.

• Walmart plans to build a sixth super market in Ukiah in 2012.
• A Walmart expansion will likely drive at least two unionized supermarkets out of business and may force small local stores to close.

If you are opposed to Walmart’s expansion:

• Come to the Ukiah Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, December 14th, 6:00 pm at City Council Chambers, 300 Seminary Ave., Ukiah. More…

Transition: How To Start Participatory Budgeting For Our Towns

In !ACTION CENTER!, Mendo Island Transition on December 7, 2011 at 7:11 am


Have you noticed all the cuts being made to your city budget? To schools and libraries, fire fighters and social services, and other public spending? Think you could do a better job managing the budget? Soon, you may have that chance.

Through a process called “participatory budgeting”, residents of over 1,000 cities around the world are deciding how to spend taxpayer dollars. In October, four districts in New York City launched the second such process in the US. This article offers some initial tips for how you could start participatory budgeting in your city.

What is Participatory Budgeting?

In 1989, the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre developed a new model of democratic participation, which has become known internationally as More…

Occupy Movement offers ‘The 99% Declaration’… Sounds like a plan!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on December 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm


The 12-member congressional “Super Committee” failed, as we all knew it would, when Republicans stood firm in their craven, lickspittle fealty to the wealthiest Americans. Everyone knew, everyone paying even the slightest bit of attention to these clowns—and their Democrat “enablers”—that it was going to fail. No one was surprised. No one at all. Failure WAS the expectation from day one (Is there even a single dissenter to that opinion, on the right or left out there? Anyone? I didn’t think so).

The Occupy Movement has been criticized by small-minded types for “having no plans” etc, but what did they expect after merely a few weeks, anyway?

Today a full page ad appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle that led readers to this text online with the Occupy Movement’s plan for reducing spending, creating jobs and mitigating the wealth divide.

And then there is this extraordinary document (below) in which the Occupy Washington, DC peeps throw down the gauntlet in style. Reproduced here in full. I encourage you to read them both carefully and then share these documents with everyone you know, on FB, on Twitter and everywhere else.

WHEREAS THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION PROVIDES THAT: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the PEOPLE, shall elect and convene More…

OWS Today 12/6/11: National Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes

In !ACTION CENTER! on December 6, 2011 at 5:38 am


Banks took such high risks that they placed our entire economy in serious jeopardy. In return, they received trillions of dollars from the Fed and billions of dollars from hard working tax payers to get back on their feet. Homeowners take risks when buying homes; however, when they lose their jobs or are unable to afford their medical attention they don’t get bailouts, they lose everything.

With our current environment of corporate irresponsibility and greed, political impotence and corruption, all it takes is for you to lose your job or get dropped from your health insurance to lose it all. Just because it hasn’t happened to you, your loved ones or your neighbors yet, doesn’t mean the threat isn’t real.

This Tuesday, thousands will be standing up for their neighbors in a struggle against a system that places financial gain above the human need of shelter. Banks would rather let houses deteriorate than renegotiate loans with those who make them homes and build our communities.

Occupy Minnesota had taken this issue head-on shortly after their formation when a fellow Occupier called out for help in keeping her home.

This Tuesday, Occupy Minnesota will organize in neighborhoods to defend families facing foreclosures in the communities most affected by the financial crisis. They’ll expand their occupation to a second foreclosed home in South Minneapolis.



Rosalind Peterson: Protest mail delivery delay in Mendocino County

In !ACTION CENTER! on December 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

Redwood Valley

[More unacceptable, union-busting, privatizing tricks from the dark side... -DS]

December 2, 2011
The Honorable Congressman Mike Thompson
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

RE:  U.S. Postal Service – Mendocino County, CA – Mail Delivery Delay – Public Comment Deadline:  December 5, 2011 – See Public Comment Address + Telephone number below.

Dear Congressman Thompson:

The U.S. Postal Service wants to close our North Bay Processing and Distribution Mail Facility and send all of our mail to Oakland to be processed.  Those that have a ZIP CODE that starts with 954 or 940 will be negatively impacted by this decision.

If this closure is allowed to happen all of our mail will be delayed by at least one day.  It should be noted that our Ukiah Post Office is in danger of closing and that this North Bay Processing and Distributing Closure will further degrade More…

Richard Heinberg Speaks in Mendocino Tonight, Thursday, 12/1/11 at 7:00 p.m.

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on December 1, 2011 at 5:00 am

 A New Covenant With Nature At The End of Economic Growth with Richard Heinberg

 Mendocino Community Recreation Center, Donations Appreciated.  All Welcome.

  • As the availability of cheap, abundant energy and critical global resources increase in scarcity, what will this mean for Mendocino County if we keep business as usual practices? How can our communities adapt to these most significant changes ahead?
  • How will these changes to critical infrastructure impact all if outside corporate business continues to regulate and control our centralized food, health and transportation services?
  • How can we adapt much more self-sufficient, localized models within our local communities where we live to transition and thrive?
  • How can we develop new paradigms of greater conscious awareness to include Rights of Nature so that precious natural resources and wildlife habitats can continue to exist and flourish?

Richard Heinberg, PhD, is a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute More…

Tamara Wilder: Hands-On Friction Firemaking Class Launches Occupy Hendy Woods Friday 11/11/11

In !ACTION CENTER!, Local on November 9, 2011 at 7:52 am


Help launch this weekend protest at Hendy Woods State Park, Philo, November 11th, 2011, 5:15ish PM Occupation runs Friday, November 11 at 3:00pm – Sunday, November 13 at 2:00pm

We refuse to sit back and watch OUR park close in June 2012 when the fiscal year ends. We, as a local community, are dedicated to finding ways to protect and preserve the park’s natural beauty for generations to come, which is why we are planning to occupy it for a weekend. We hope to raise awareness in our own community and let the state know that we care about it too much to let it go.

See the event page for more information:

Join the conversation:


James Lee: David vs. Goliath —Who Has the Rights?

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on November 3, 2011 at 6:23 am

Anderson Valley

This article is in conjunction with the Rights of Nature events being presented @ 7:15 p.m. at the AV Grange on Wednesday, Nov. 9th and the Mendocino Community Center on Thurs. Nov. 10th.  Ami Marcus, Co-Lead of Mt. Shasta Community Rights Project and Shannon Biggs, author of Rights of Nature, will be the guest speakers. Donations appreciated, all welcome.

It may to be not only greatly symbolic, but critically fundamental that the gathering movement for local communities to assert their rights to self determine what goes on in the environment has begun at the foot of Mt. Shasta, where over half of our States water supply originates.Mt. Shasta City, California residents have been uniting for the past four years to assert their rights to self- steward the lands where the live upon. This local movement was begun in reaction to their discovering that PG&E had been seasonally seeding the clouds above their city using  “Precipitation Enhancement” operations. These operations carry no regulatory oversight or notification to the areas below where PG&E is seeding. The local residents derive no benefits since they get their energy from other sources than hydroelectricity.Last August the community was temporarily blocked by a technicality with the county Voter Registrar to put to ballot the right for Mt. Shasta City to decide for themselves what happens in the community. Included in Proposition A was a local ordinance proposal to: allow the rights of Mt. Shasta City residents the right to self-determine stewardship of their environment; ban corporate personhood  as well as the first ever legislation to give Rights to Nature to exist.

On July 23, 2008 the country of Ecuador historically became the first nation ever to vote into their Constitution the Rights of Nature:
“Nature or Pachamama [the Andean earth goddess], where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, More…

James Houle: Taking Action — Occupy Ukiah

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, James Houle on November 3, 2011 at 5:30 am

Redwood Valley

After the very successful march in Ukiah on earlier this month by a group of 300 activists targeting the three big National Banks, Occupy Ukiah is on the move.

Transfer Your Accounts: Beginning November 1st through November 5th  there will be daily demonstrations at the Ukiah offices of Bank of America, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase leading up to National Bank Transfer Day on Saturday, November 5th. The big banks will feel the movement’s strength as literally millions of the 99% majority around the country move their accounts to local banks and Credit Unions to protest the outrageous new service charges on accounts. The big banksters have started billing Debit Card holders $5.00 or more per month to allow you the privilege of accessing your own money held in their vaults.

Sit-In at the State street Bank of America Office: On November 12th there will be a sit-In at the Bank of America headquarters in Ukiah at 501 South State Street. We will sit outside the bank’s offices and encourage people not to do business with the B of A. Assembly is at 10 am at the Court House where we will make signs and organize for the march south 1 block to B of A. This demonstration is being coordinated with the Ukiah Police to assure it is non-violent ad respectful of private property.

Contacts: Jim Houle 485-8229,; Kathy Rippey:
See also:

Occupy Santa Rosa

Occupy Marin

Occupy San Francisco

Occupy Oakland

Occupy Berkeley

SHAME!… On the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and CEO Carmel Angelo for Creating Economic Instability in Mendocino

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on November 2, 2011 at 6:54 am


The employees are offering to make great sacrifices while the Board of Supervisors and CEO only care about playing politics!

SHAME ON THEM! The County’s brilliant budget stabilization plan is to remove $7million dollars from our economy so they can save $1.5 million for the County and put the rest in the trash! *The County wants to IMPOSE a 12.5% permanent wage-reduction on ALL 750 employees even though 63% of those employees are paid for by state, federal, and grant funds and the County cannot use that money at all!

SHAME ON THEM! County employees have proposed five (5!) settlement offers to reduce labor costs by 6.5-10% (up to $1.5 million) and the county has rejected every offer.

SHAME ON THEM! For using IMPOSITION as a strategy with every group of employees they have been obligated to negotiate with 2009-2011. Bad faith bargaining is not acceptable!

SHAME ON THEM! Employees offered to take Mandatory Time Off (MTO) a year ago and the County rejected the offer. In that year, the County *could have saved $28,000/week while in contract negotiations with employees.


When it comes to families and our community we need our elected leaders to approve sensible solutions to remedy the 25 years of mistakes! We don’t need another 750 struggling fami- lies in our community! It’s time for a new plan!

Call (707) 463-4441 to demand the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors VOTE NO ON IMPOSITION TODAY AND NEGOTIATE AN AGREEMENT IN GOOD FAITH IMMEDIATELY!

Over 200 Pissed Off Ukiahans Occupy Downtown! Boycott Big Banks! Move Your Money!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on October 17, 2011 at 6:03 am

Ukiah Occupied — Sunday 10/16/11

Move Your Money Movement Having a Revival


After passively accepting ever-increasing mistreatment from big banks, activists, community groups and even some politicians are jumping aboard a broad, multi-stage “move your money” campaign designed to transfer bank deposits into community banks and credit unions.

The twin inspirations for this have been the Occupy Wall Street movement and its focus on the lords of finance, and Bank of America’s announcement of a $5 monthly debit card fee, charging customers to use their own money. The latter in particular has sparked a great deal of activity. A petition to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan asking him to reverse the decision has over 223,000 signatures on the site And House Democrats have asked Attorney General Holder to begin an investigation into whether big banks violated antitrust laws by colluding with one another over increased fees after the implementation of swipe fee reform from Dodd-Frank.

But many are bypassing the idea of getting BofA or other banks to reverse its fees and moving directly to encouraging customers to move their money. Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) introduced a bill that makes the process of moving money simpler, and bans all exit fees on the customer for transferring out of a bank. The idea is to fight gouging with competition, and to make the ability to move money frictionless.

This policy-level reform proposal can also help remind people that they have a choice in banking. And activists have picked up that mantle. A Facebook campaign has turned November 5 into bank transfer day.

Bank Transfer Day was started by a 27-year-old Los Angeles art-gallery owner, Kristen Christian. She says she’s not affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street protesters but that many organizers of those demonstrations had reached out to her to express support.

Christian chose Nov. 5 because of its association with 17th century British folk hero Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the House of Lords but was captured on that date in 1605. In an interview with the Village Voice, however, Christian and Occupy Wall Street leaders who discussed the effort to get Americans to move their money from large banks to small institutions emphasized that they weren’t trying to create a collapse of the financial system. More…

Tar Sands

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on August 22, 2011 at 7:23 am


Josh Fox, creator of the award-winning film “Gasland“, has created a moving and informative new video about the Tar Sands Action in Washington DC. He joins a growing list of concerned scientists, authors, and celebrities (Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Mark Ruffalo, for example) who have voiced their support the 2000+ people who have signed up to take action.

Beginning August 20th, and continuing day after day until Sept. 3, citizens from all over the country will gather in front of the White House and participate in the time-honored tactic of peaceful civil disobedience. Why? Because President Obama has the ultimate authority to sign or not sign the authorization of the Keystone XL Pipeline, that would run from Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in Texas. This would allow oil companies More…

How to Start A Revolution

In !ACTION CENTER! on August 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

Shareable: Life and Art

[On September 17th an occupation is planned for Wall St in NYC and on October 6th one begins in Washington D.C.]

The protest camp proved a central part of the revolution in Egypt. It’s impossible to say where the movements built around the camps of Spain and Greece, which closed earlier this month, will lead, but it is totally clear that their methods are capable of transforming consciousness (particularly among millenials), radicalizing participants and making a better future seem not only possible, but plausible. Camps have sprung up all across the world, and have strengthened protest movements and community activism wherever they’ve appeared. These instructions are based on personal experience from camps in Barcelona and New York City, conversations with campers from Madrid and Madison, and research of other camps around the world.

The early stages of any camp involve intensive planning. Although the camps in Tahrir and Spain were largely improvised from the ground up, they emerged from protests that had been planned for months. The first thing to do is to hold a big protest, and bring all your friends.

Choose a date, a time (a Friday will probably be ideal), More…

Take Action! Vote Down This Debt Deal!

In !ACTION CENTER! on August 1, 2011 at 7:45 am


The debt ceiling deal struck last night does not tax the rich or even allow temporary tax cuts on the rich to expire. Nor does it defund any wars. Yet it requires cuts of $1.2 trillion now and $2.5 trillion over a decade.

Tell Congress to reject this deal.

Details of much of the cutting will be worked out by a new 12-member Super Congress empowered to cut any spending, and to force a rushed vote with no amendments on whatever it proposes to the actual Congress. And if that antidemocratic procedure fails, cuts will happen automatically. Half of those cuts might be to the military, but that should be seen before believed, and the devil will be in the details — details being rammed through under the gun of a manufactured crisis.

Will you take two minutes today and send this message to Congress before the vote?

The President gives us credit for solving his non-problem: “The voice of the American people is a powerful thing,” he remarked Sunday night. But has anyone in Washington heard that voice? Your efforts have added more Congress members to the list of those committed to protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

But compare how you would spend the federal budget to how it is spent. We guarantee the two are miles apart, and about to get much more distant.

This is a terrible deal. Tell Congress to reject it now.

RootsAction is supported by independent-minded progressives like Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former Sen. James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley… and you.
Another take on this: To Fight or Not To Fight here

Share or Die

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on July 26, 2011 at 6:40 am


Share or Die is the first collection of writing from Generation Y about post-college work and life in the 21st Century.

America stands at a precipice; limitless consumption, reckless economics, and disregard for the environment have put the country on a collision course with disaster. It’s up to a younger generation to rebuild according to new forms of organization, and Share or Die is a collection of messages from the front lines. From new growth in urban Detroit to backyard gardens, young people are finding ways to produce and share resources differently.

Editor’s Preface:

About six months ago, a weather-beaten, middle-age man asked me for money on the platform of the Mountain View Caltrain station.

I gave him three dollars. He thanked me, and asked what I did for work. I introduced myself, learned his name (Jeff) and we shook hands. I pulled out a card from my computer bag, and handed it to him as I told him that I publish an online magazine about sharing.

Jeff lit up, “Oh I get that, when you’re homeless, it’s share or die.”

That got my attention and I asked him to explain. Jeff said that a year earlier, his girlfriend drank herself to death alone in a motel room. More…

Mendo Island Action Center: Vote Yes on Libraries — Measure A

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on July 25, 2011 at 8:06 am


The countywide “Vote Yes on Libraries” campaign committee announced the start of its active organizing to make sure our county libraries have proper funding. It requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass the initiative, called “Measure A” on the fall ballot, so “Vote Yes on Libraries” groups are forming in every community within the county.

The money raised by the initiative cannot be used for any other purpose because state law, and the ordinance itself, says the monies raised “shall be used exclusively for preserving existing libraries, reversing the deterioration in services…upgrading facilities, services and collections…”  When approved, Measure A will keep all branches open five days per week and restore and expand the children’s reading programs.

“Libraries contribute to the health and vitality of our community. This is an investment in the future. The one-eighth cent increase in the sales tax will be 13 cents for every hundred dollars spent on taxable items which will cost the average household less than $2 per month,” said Valerie Frey of Fort Bragg, the president of the Yes on Libraries Steering Committee.

The library system is in jeopardy. Measure A will provide the money ($1.3 million annually) to solve its problems. Soon whole branches may have to be closed. Already library hours More…

Bill McKibben: The Time Has Come

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on July 13, 2011 at 9:12 am


Let’s do this.

Beginning in mid-August, and stretching for two weeks into the Labor Day weekend, you’re invited to Washington D.C. to participate in sustained direct action against the expansion of the Canadian tarsands. Yes, it’s likely to be hot and humid. And yes, it’s possible that you’ll be arrested. But it’s also possible you’ll make a big difference.

Here’s the deal. A group of big oil companies has proposed one of the worst plans the continent has ever seen: a huge pipeline taking oil from the tarsands of Alberta all the way to Texas. Along the route there’s been powerful opposition from indigenous leaders, and from farmers and ranchers.

But this is a project with global impact. The tarsands of Canada are the second biggest pool of carbon on the planet, after Saudi Arabia’s oil wells. If you could burn all the oil in them, you’d increase the planet’s co2 concentration by 200 parts per million.  If we keep developing them, as the world’s leading climatologist James Hansen said recently, it’s “essentially game over” for the planet’s climate. Which is why a group of indigenous leaders, scientists, and environmentalist on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border this month asked citizens to come to Washington for what may turn into the biggest civil disobedience action in the history of the climate debate.

Day after day we’ll assemble outside the White House in peaceful ranks. More…

The 10 Essential Rules Of Liberty

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on July 12, 2011 at 8:02 am

Information Clearing House

There is nothing worse in this world than an enslaved man who naively believes himself free, except, perhaps, trying to explain to that same man his predicament. You can lay truth after truth before his feet. You can qualify your every position with cold hard irrefutable data. You can plead and scream and raise veritable hell, but before he will ever listen, he must first become aware of his own dire circumstances. As long as he views himself as “safe and secure”, as long as he imagines his chains to be wings, he will see no reason to question the validity of the world around him, and he will certainly never invest himself into changing his own deluded destiny.

Unfortunately, there are many such men crawling and scraping about here in what was once a land graced with a self sufficient and independently minded public majority. The great lie that has been perpetuated in this country over the past several decades is that we can defer our responsibilities of vigilance and place our well being and our futures into the hands of others for the sake of “collective efficiency”, or leisure. We have been conditioned to live in a state of constant indifference, a society which prizes compromise over principle and steadfast resolve. More…

Smart Meters: This is about as Big Brother as it gets

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on July 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

Thanks to Elaine and Ed

[The smart meter issue is where many on the left and right agree. -DS]

The new smart meters are watching you. They sense all kinds of goings on. They see when you turn something on or off. They see how many watts your toothbrush pulls. They send the record of that little event over wireless networks, bouncing through your neighbors’ smart meters all the way to the power company where they keep a record of your power consumption volumes and patterns every minute of every day and store that data on computers that you will never get to see.

That data shows when you are at home, shows when you are sleeping, shows when you are on vacation, when you have visitors, when you use a lamp, a power tool, some extra computers, and if you look like you’re running a business out of your home. It even senses when you bootleg energy off the grid.

Your smart meter shows a vivid profile of your personal living patterns and if you were home on the night of the murder.

This is not electrical metering. This is personal surveillance. This is a search without a warrant every day. This is your personal private life More…

Rosalind Peterson: Fukushima Disaster 2011 — U.S. Receiving steady flow of radiation fallout [Updated]

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

Redwood Valley

[“U.S. is receiving a steady flow of radiation from Fukushima” — Media paying little attention to radiation in food, as if problem only involves Japan -DS]

[Update: Revealed — British government's scheme with Nuke companies to play down Fukushima]

[Rosalind Peterson has put together a comprehensive chronology of Japan disaster events on her website at Agriculture Defense Coalition. -DS]

Rosalind Peterson…

The Japan section is alphabetized and also in chronological order of events. I hope that you will find this information of value to you. There are maps, videos, documents, articles and other information on these two sections:

Each day brings additional bad news from Japan which is now rarely reported by the United States News Media. More Rosalind Peterson…

Michael Laybourn: Opt-Out of Smart Meters Now!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on June 29, 2011 at 8:49 am


[PG&E has a 'delay installation phone number' for customers who, for any reason, wish to delay their SmartMeter install. By calling this number customers can put off the installation of their new meter until the CPUC has decided on a non-wireless SmartMeter option. The number is: 1-866-743-0263. ~Dan Hamburg]

“The PG&E and Wellington Energy employees were a no-show this morning at the Wellington Energy Installation Yard, while 26 trucks sat there ready to (illegally) install in Santa Cruz County.  About 40-50 people showed up to demand that PG&E respect local laws and get their “smart” meter program out of the County. “

Some people are demonstrating to stop the smart meters. You are missing the point if you think that smart meters will save energy. Smart meters do not save electricity. They are a reason to cut jobs. To think they are some kind of gentle green good is nonsense.

Smart meters merely track electric usage, More Michael Laybourn…

Senator Bernie Sanders: Dear Mr. President, Do not yield…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on June 27, 2011 at 7:07 am


[PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW! Co-sign the letter and then send the link to your personal email list. Let's overwhelm Obama with the people's demands. Thank you! -DS]

Dear Mr. President,

This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. Decisions are being made about the national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American for decades to come. As we address the issue of deficit reduction we must not ignore the painful economic reality of today – which is that the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well while the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing.  In fact, the United States today has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth.

Everyone understands that over the long-term we have got to reduce the deficit – a deficit that was caused mainly by Wall Street greed, tax breaks for the rich, two wars, and a prescription drug program written by the drug and insurance companies. It is absolutely imperative, however, that as we go forward with deficit reduction we completely reject the Republican approach that demands savage cuts in desperately-needed programs for working families, the elderly, the sick, our children and the poor, while not asking the wealthiest among us to contribute one penny.

Mr. President, please listen to the overwhelming majority of the American people who believe that deficit reduction must be about shared sacrifice. More Bernie and co-sign letter…

Nurses Say: Make Wall Street Pay!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on June 22, 2011 at 6:10 am


Main Street Contract for America

Join Nurses to Protest Wall Street June 22

Nurses from across the U.S. will stand up to Wall Street on Wednesday, June 22 to demand the high rollers in the finance capital of the world pay to rebuild the economy of a nation they have done so much to destroy. —National Nurses Movement, 06/16/11 More »

What’s behind the attacks on working people?

The modest pensions and health benefits we have earned, the pay that supports our families, the improved conditions for our patients did not deplete public treasuries or jeopardize the survival of our employers. The banks and other financial giants did — and were rewarded with bailouts and bonuses while our communities pay the price. Over the past 30 years, while wages have fallen or stagnated and insurance premiums and other basic costs skyrocketed, wealth has been shifted from working families to Wall Street. It’s not shared sacrifice when only working people make concessions.

  • Corporate taxes are at historical lows. Yet $1.6 trillion, corporate profits for the third quarter of 2010 were the highest on record.
  • Hospitals nationally recorded $34 billion in profits in 2009, the second highest ever.
  • 42 percent of U.S. companies paid no U.S. income taxes for two or more years from 1998 to 2005.
  • The average CEO who was paid $27 for every dollar earned by an employee 25 years ago now gets a ratio of about $275 to $1. More Nurses…

The Machine Stops

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web, Books on June 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

Published: 1909

The Machine Stops is a short science fiction story. It describes a world in which almost all humans have lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual lives in isolation in a ‘cell’, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Most humans welcome this development, as they are skeptical and fearful of first-hand experience. People forget that humans created the Machine, and treat it as a mystical entity whose needs supersede their own. Those who do not accept the deity of the Machine are viewed as ‘unmechanical’ and are threatened with “Homelessness”. Eventually, the Machine apocalyptically collapses, and the civilization of the Machine comes to an end. –Wikipedia



Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the moment More Machine Stops…

Dave Smith: Democracy still works locally

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on June 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

To the Editors:

Democracy still works locally. Thanks to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for responding to citizens by, hopefully, pounding the final nail in the Monster Mall coffin, and preserving our farm land.

Despite the silliness of some who tried to confuse the issue by misinterpreting the overwhelming vote against the mall, the faithful souls of smart growth and environmental sanity have once again prevailed. Thank you all.

Dave Smith

Breaking the Chains Campaign

Breaking the Chains Campaign is focusing consumers’ attention on how each purchasing decision can lead to a safer, greener, and more equitable society. Millions of green minded consumers around the world have broken the chains of corporate control in their own lives, by supporting organic, Fair Made, and locally produced products and businesses.

It is time for these individuals to come together as a single voice to break the influence of big chains, corporate agribusiness, and sweatshop driven economies the world over. More Democracy Works…

Home-Scale Energy Now

In !ACTION CENTER!, Mendo Island Transition on June 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

The Archdruid Report

The logic applied in last week’s post to photovoltaic solar power can be applied more generally to a fairly wide range of technologies that can, under the right circumstances, provide a modest supply of electricity to power those things for which electricity is really the most sensible power source. I want to talk about a couple of those in tthe weeks to come, partly for the sake of completeness, partly because the options I have in mind offer some distinct advantages, and partly because touching on a series of examples will make it easier to grasp certain common themes that aren’t often addressed on those rare occasions when discussions of the future of technology manage to make it out of the realm of popular mythology in the first place.

I don’t mean that last comment as a joke, by the way. If mythology can be defined as the set of stories that people in a given society use to make sense of the universe and themselves, contemporary beliefs about the future of technology in the cultural mainstream of the industrial world fill that role, doubled, tripled, and in spades. Those of my readers who have More Home-Scale Energy…

Rosalind Peterson: Take Action! Social Security Alert!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Social Security on June 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Redwood Valley

There are currently seventeen [8], bills pending in either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate that are related to changes in Social Security [1-2].  This staggering number of Social Security bills, now being considered in various committees, where amendments will be added or the bills changed, shows how determined many elected officials are in either privatizing or killing two of the most beneficial programs to protect the public ever created (with the exception of the U.S. EPA and our Clear Air and Water Act Laws).

President Obama and members of the U.S. House and Senate have placed Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block in ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.  In these secret negotiations, far away from public enlightenment or debate, deals are being cooked-up to undermine, cut or privatize these important and highly beneficial programs.

The income cap, for example, in Social Security should be increased so that the rich pay their fair tax share of these costs.  Instead more payroll tax holidays are planned allowing the rich to escalate their riches by paying less in taxes. More Rosalind Peterson…

Call for Climate Direct Action [Updated]

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 7, 2011 at 9:09 am


Bill McKibben,
Phil Radford, Greenpeace USA
Becky Tarbotton, Rainforest Action Network

Dear friends,

In early March, a jury in Utah found Tim DeChristopher guilty for standing up to the oil and gas companies in an effort to protect our health and our climate.

If the federal government thinks that it’s intimidating people into silence with this kind of prosecution, think again. This is precisely the sort of event that reminds us why we need creative, nonviolent protests and mass mobilizations.

Over the last six months, we’ve witnessed big changes in the world that call out for creative, nonviolent protest, including: More Direct Action…

Calling All Seed Savers

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on May 25, 2011 at 8:54 am

About this project

Heritage Seed Co. is an organic farm collective and a online community building project.

Our mission is to bring back the lost foods of our country and teach interested gardeners the value of fresh. local, and heirloom produce.  We are also going to provide support and encouragement for more to plant gardens and seed save/trade. We are committed to preserving the past with the help of modern technology and social media.

Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato is one of the varieties we are saving.  But we are also saving the Paw Paw a fruit bearing tree that tastes kind of like a banana and is native to our region.  We have a diverse list of starters that will grow as the project grows but this is a slow process and it will take many years to root some of the varities.

Heritage Seed Co. has targeted 30 plants on the Slow Foods Ark of Taste endangered foods list that we are planting in our greenhouses More Seed Savers…

Martin Luther King, Jr. On Nonviolence

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web on May 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm

From MLK

In his speech on receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King Jr recognized that the prize was made as a response to violence: “I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeing to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered. And only yesterday more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned because they offered a sanctuary to those who would not accept segregation.”

“After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.”

In his speech, King refers to More MLK…

Howard Zinn on Democracy and Civil Disobedience

In !ACTION CENTER! on May 19, 2011 at 6:32 am



Seven guidelines for civil disobedience

  • Civil disobedience is the deliberate, discriminate, violation of law for a vital social purpose. It becomes not only justifiable but necessary when a fundamental human right is at stake, and when legal channels are inadequate for securing that right. It may take the form of violating an obnoxious law, protesting an unjust condition, or symbolically enacting a desirable law or condition. It may or may not eventually be held legal, because of constitutional law or international law, but its aim is always to close the gap between law and justice, as an infinite process in the development of democracy.
  • There is no social value to a general obedience to the law, any more than there is value to a general disobedience to the law. Obedience to bad laws as a way of inculcating some abstract subservience More Howard Zinn…

Here’s a Way to Eliminate the Regulators and Lawyers, and Build Community At the Same Time: Organize and Declare ‘Food Sovereignty,’ Like Sedgwick, Maine

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Mendo Island Transition on May 13, 2011 at 8:29 am


[...] On Saturday morning, Sedgwick became likely the first locale in the country to pass a “Food Sovereignty” law. It’s the proposed ordinance I first described last fall, when I introduced the “Five Musketeers”, a group of farmers and consumers intent on pushing back against overly aggressive state food regulators. The regulators were interfering with farmers who, for example, took chickens to a neighbor for slaughtering, or who sold raw milk directly to consumers.

The proposed ordinance was one of 78 being considered at the Sedgwick town meeting, that New England institution that has stood the test of time, allowing all of a town’s citizens to vote yea or nay on proposals to spend their tax money and, in this case, More Food Sovereignty…

Barry Vogel: How Many ‘Save Ukiah Post Office Meeting’ Mailers Delivered AFTER The Meeting?

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on May 5, 2011 at 7:46 am


[If you received your notice of the Post Office meeting after 4/21, please send a letter of complaint to Mr. Williams. -BV]

May 4, 2011

David C. Williams
Inspector General
United States Postal Service
1735 N. Lynn Street
Arlington, VA 22209-2020

Re:  Complaint of delay of the mail by USPS

Dear Mr. Williams:

I represent Save the Ukiah Post Office, an ad hoc community committee working to keep the Ukiah, California, downtown post office where it has been for 74 years. This letter is a follow-up to the on-line complaint that I filed on April 28, 2011 on the OIG website.

The unusual circumstances and the direct connection More Post Office Complaint…

Ukiah: Taking Control of Our Common Destiny

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on April 25, 2011 at 7:43 am


In this time of Peak Oil [link], Climate Change, and Disaster Capitalism, we Ukiahans will take democratic control of our own food, our money, and our energy resources, or others from elsewhere will surely succeed in taking that control away from us. Disaster Capitalism takes advantage of short-term social and financial bedlam and turns it into long-term privatizing schemes that convert our democratic control of crucial resources and services — such as schools, libraries, water and waste systems, prisons — into top-down, corporate-controlled, long-term cash cows for the very few. These schemes have utterly failed to become more efficient and save tax payers money. How could they? Profit-seeking constant-growth corporations privatize the profits and socialize the costs to our public detriment. And we citizens, instead of lower-cost, democratically-controlled resources and services, transfer our public money to the wealthy, and pay and pay and pay.

We also find ourselves continuously playing whack-a-mole… fighting off those who wish to impose their private will on our public community, leaving little time to think and act and build a positive inviting future worth fighting for.

There are several things we Ukiah citizens could be doing now instead of waiting for events that force us into decisions not in our common best interests:

1. Corporate Personhood: The state legalizes an activity – such as commercial water withdrawals, or factory farming, or big-box colonizers that take our jobs overseas – and communities are legally prohibited from saying “no” to it. Or, as may happen in our case, we reject by a huge majority vote a zoning change that protects a prime industrial parcel, and also reject by popular demand the closing of our downtown More Taking Control…

Social Security: Their numbers are bullshit, they’ll steal us blind, please pass this on!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web, Aw, ya selfish greedy bastards ya, BS Buzzer, Social Security on April 23, 2011 at 7:12 am

Democratic Underground

OK, by now we all know that the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted in 26 years, and only a portion of benefits will be paid after that. Actually, that “known fact” is pure BS, a product of cooked numbers. What they aren’t telling you is that this projection assumes that over the next 75 years, the US economy will grow at a far lower rate than it has in the past. (They weren’t expecting us to check the calculations, were they?)

Since 1960, US GDP growth has averaged 3.2%. Even in the decade before the 2007 crash, which included a recession and jobless recovery, GDP growth averaged about 3.0%. However, in creating its publicized projection, the Obama administration assumes that the future US economy will grow at a rate of about 2.1%, much lower even than the 2.9% rate in 2010, which most of us would agree was a tough year for our economy. Even in this very pessimistic projection, Social Security is still able to pay more than 75% of promised benefits after 27 years. (Note that we need about 2.5% growth just to break even with our increasing population.)

And what if the economy stays the same as in 2010, and we continue to lurch forward at 2010′s 2.9% growth rate? The same projection showed that at a 2.9% rate, the Trust fund would remain flush with cash as far as they projected (75 years).

So, unless the US economy is about to get even worse than today and stay that way, Social Security should pay full benefits for our lifetimes and beyond.

If you believe otherwise, then the bad guys have already won: they now have a pretext for stealing you blind More Social Security…

How Small, Mostly Conservative Towns Have Found the Trick to Defeating Corporations

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around the web, Aw, ya selfish greedy bastards ya on April 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

From Alternet
Thanks to Dan Hamburg

[The next logical step after we defeat the USPS' plan to gut our town by moving our Post Office to the freeway, is to ban corporate personhood at a local level. By hiding behind the privatized part of the USPS charter and refusing our requests to see the numbers they say force their decision, it is incumbent upon our citizenry to deny this subterfuge in the future by others intent upon killing our local democratic process and buying up everything in sight. Disaster Capitalism is in full sway and needs to be stopped NOW. -DS]

As the Right pushes privatization as a solution to the economic collapse, one organization is teaching communities how to defeat corporations. California’s treasurer just announced that the state may need to begin issuing IOUs if the governor and legislature can’t close the budget gap. And California’s not the only place that’s hurting. The Great Recession, hit not only businesses and individuals, but governments as well. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that 31 states are facing a combined shortfall for fiscal year 2011 of nearly $60 billion.

So, what’s being done? “Cities and states across the nation are selling and leasing everything More Corporate Personhood…

Mendo Island Transition: Reskilling Initiative

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Mendo Island Transition on April 21, 2011 at 8:08 am


[Maybe combine this with our Mendo Time Bank, Together We Can Mendocino, and Gardens Project?... -DS]


Peak Oil

Many people now believe that the world’s petroleum supply is at or near its peak production capacity. As it gets increasingly  difficult to maintain or expand the supply of this vital resource (aka “Peak Oil”), the economies that rely on cheap, abundant fuel  in increasing amounts will falter. As they do, we will need to devise alternatives to the industrial model we currently rely upon for basic necessities.

It’s not the purpose of this site to convince anybody of the reality and practical ramifications of Peak Oil. I encourage readers to do a search on it… there’s plenty of information available online…


Reskilling – the development of skills more directly connected with basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and recreation – is one practical response to the manifold problems that society may well face in the wake of peak oil and economic displacement and collapse.

Looking for a way to make it easy and practical for people to connect and share skills, I came up with the idea of the Green Helping Hands Reskilling Initiative.  Whether you’re a skilled composter/gardener or an artist with a pair of knitting needles, or if  you are seeking these or other skills, just post a sign with a green hand on it – or look for one near you.

Why a physical sign, one might ask, and not a website? After all, I’m promoting the concept through a website. The answer is, signs are cheap, fast and local, and don’t rely on high-tech anything to get started. More Reskilling…

Take Action Ukiah: Saving Our Post Office Meeting Tonight 4/21/11 6:30pm

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on April 21, 2011 at 6:50 am

Radio Curious

The United States Postal Service has plans to close post offices in cities, small towns and rural areas across America. This edition of Radio Curious is a case study of how the federal government plans to close the main Post Office in Ukiah.  The Postal Service says it operates under a “corporate model” and is not subject to public information requests, even from local government. It is unwilling to share the bases of it cost analyses or even let the City of Ukiah conduct its own evaluations. We visit with three members of the Save the Ukiah Post Office Committee: Ukiah Mayor, Mari Rodin, Alan Nicholson and Mike Sweeney. They discuss the community efforts to save Ukiah’s downtown post office and why.

Radio Curious Interview here

Letters to the Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal, from Joe Wildman, Richard Shoemaker, Janie Sheppard and Mike Sweeney…


A bureaucratic bungle

All of the folks I talk with are up in arms about the Postal Service proposal to close the Downtown Post Office, but several letter writers seem to think it’s a good idea.

These contrarians want to believe the line Postal Service management is dishing out about “financial necessity.” The Postal Service claims it can save $186,921 per year by cutting a hole in the heart of Ukiah’s downtown and remodeling the out of the way annex as a replacement. More Save Our Post Office…

Mendo Island Transition: Remember the Boycott…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Mendo Island Transition on April 19, 2011 at 8:17 am


[Yes, it is important to focus more on what we can do in positive ways to assist in transitioning our communities as the culture collapses around us, but there are also negative tools that can assist us in bringing about needed change on a local basis. For example, Branches Chop House Restaurant in Ukiah has been advertising “locally raised products” and as “specializing in locally grown products" which is not true (see our article here). A sustained local boycott could be organized to help change their ways just as some of us have participated in national boycotts. Stay tuned. -DS]

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a war. There are bullets flying and explosions all around, and I’m trying to organize people on my side to fight effectively, and instead they’re just standing around saying, “Look, they’re shooting at us! I can’t believe they’re actually shooting at us! Look at those bad, bad people doing that bad, bad thing! Shame on th- (takes bullet in head)”

There’s only one place for morality in this world, and that is that your actions must serve the greatest, widest good that you can perceive. Beyond that, it’s all strategy and tactics. Applying morality to the actions of other people is a strategic error. I think this error goes back to our tribal ancestors. If one person does something to harm the tribe, the others will use shaming to bring this person into line. If this feels to us like a moral action, it’s because it was easier for our ancestors to mindlessly throw righteous indignation at the wrongdoer, than to carefully discern why a behavior is harmful and how shaming will correct it. More Local Boycotts…

B of A Street Protest Ukiah 4/15/11: Behind the Line

In !ACTION CENTER!, Dave Smith on April 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

The usual suspects…

TED Talks: The Antidote to Apathy

Thanks to Sean Re

Mendo Island Transition: Community Seed Banks that empower women and protect biodiversity

In !ACTION CENTER!, Mendo Island Transition on April 16, 2011 at 7:59 am


For fifteen years, Muniyamma, a farmer in Karnataka, India, practiced agriculture with the help of agro-chemicals, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but in recent years she noticed a drastic decrease in yield.

After attending a village meeting conducted by the GREEN Foundation about organic farming, she decided to try their environmentally friendly techniques to grow bananas. When it was harvest time, Muniyamma’s plot was healthy and green, while her neighbor’s banana plot, which still relied on agro-chemicals, showed stunted growth, pale leaves, and thinner stems. That was enough to convince Muniyamma of the benefits of organic farming.

The GREEN Foundation works to preserve natural ecosystems and sustain rural livelihoods by teaching farmers the importance of agricultural biodiversity. Through village meetings, the foundation informs farmers about organic practices, such as creating fertilizer from organic waste, that are better for the environment and result in higher yields, at a lower cost, for farmers.

To protect the local biodiversity and preserve traditional seeds, the GREEN Foundation, in partnership with other NGOs, including the Seed Saver’s Network and The Development Fund, has created community seeds banks throughout the state of Karnataka, India. All villagers can become a member of a community seed bank by paying an annual nominal fee. Members, who receive seeds free of cost, sow the seeds, harvest the crop and return double the amount of seeds to the bank. To maintain purity of the seeds, farmers must follow rules – such as no chemical fertilizers and pesticides – when growing their crops.

Because these seed banks are managed by self-help groups (SHG) made up of women, More Seed Banks…


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