From THOM HARTMANN
“The election is over. We won.”
Reporter’s voice: “How do you know that?”
“It’s all over but the counting. And we’ll take care of the counting.”
-Republican Congressman Peter King on July 4, 2003, speaking of the 2004 presidential election, interviewed by filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi for the HBO documentary Diary of a Political Tourist
On December 12, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court granted yet another gift to corporate power—and hammered yet another nail into the coffin of democracy in America. They did it in a strikingly dramatic fashion: by stealing the presidency.
In the process five members of the unelected third branch of government made sure that its majority
From TODD WALTON
“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting what you are doing. This is the ultimate.” Zhuangzi
Something happened to me a few days ago the likes of which hadn’t happened to me in eons. I was shooting hoops at the elementary school, playing alone, as is my custom now that I am deep into middle age and easily injured, when I became aware that I was caught up in an extraordinary flow of action involving my body, the ball, the air, the backboard, and the hoop. I think this was what sports commentators mean when they say a player is “in the zone,” playing with seeming effortlessness, yet playing superbly and flawlessly for an extended period of time. A frequently used adjunct comment to saying a player is “in the zone” is “he’s unconscious.”
That adjunct comment turns out not to be true, because the cool thing about being in the zone, and this has been corroborated by many athletes speaking about their in-the-zone experiences, is that they were not unconscious, but rather fully aware of being in the zone yet not consciously controlling what they were doing. That is to say, they were not conscious of making decisions about what to do next while they were caught up in the flow of action because they were, in essence, inseparable from the flow of everything going on.
[From JIM HOULE, Redwood Valley: I am a member of Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth, a national organization of 1500 professional A&Es and some 12,400 other technical experts and supporters. We are trying to organize locally in Mendocino County for the tenth anniversary of this disaster and hope to meet with local officials, put article in the newspapers, set up a table at the Court House and show a film. Our entire focus is upon questioning the evidence concerning how the three buildings at the World Trade Center came down. We have tons of expert testimony about explosives, and incendiaries and how they contributed to the destruction of these buildings and the loss of 2900 lives that sunny day in downtown Manhattan.
Are you a member? Would you like to get involved in this event? Check out the web site: www.AE911Truth.org. Give me a call if you want to help. We are not involved in spinning conspiracy theories, we are not involved in chasing the Saudis, the Afghanis, or the Al Qaeda. We have restricted ourselves to this very technical issue – how the hell did these three buildings come down in free fall in about 7 seconds each and well after most of the jet fuel had burned off and the fires were going out? We demand another investigation. We want to know the 911 Truth. ~Jim Houle email@example.com 485 8229]
9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out is the new documentary film by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Watch the four-minute trailer above. Then share it with all your friends
From CHRIS HALLER
Micro-participation is a term that’s been discussed within open government circles as a way to make citizen engagement more convenient, effective, and scalable. The idea is to fit civic activity and involvement into the everyday lives of the public, resulting in more small ways to collaborate and communicate. As this study demonstrates, it makes sense to consider micro-participation within the context of urban planning and development as well. This method may require a little more work for planners and policy-makers to implement at first, but it takes less work for citizens to get involved, which results in more feedback and participation for your projects.
Tim Bonnemann gave a great working definition of this concept in a comment on the PEP-NET blog:
…[provide] better low-level or “drive-by” participation opportunities whereby citizens can make (many) small yet valuable contributions without having to be involved over the full length of a participation project.
Imagine the practical applications of this approach within the urban planning space. The “drive-by” bit can be applied quite literally, by using signage that encourages citizens to give feedback on a project using their smartphones — right here, right now (but not while driving, of course). Technology can be a powerful tool for micro-participation efforts, but the main focus must be on ensuring convenience of the citizens.
From MIRA LUNA
While mainstream America is hoping for federal economic reform, some social justice organizations have a radically different idea, and are organizing low-income communities to build a new economy from the grassroots up. Tired of asking for change from the top down, they are taking their economy into their own hands. Social justice organizations, having a strong membership base rooted in community, are ideal spaces to cultivate alternative economic projects, as relationships of trust and solidarity have been nurtured over time through education and a history of taking action for justice. Here are some exciting examples of grassroots alternative economy projects for social justice.
Social Justice and Alternative Economics
Alliance to Develop Power (ADP) is social justice organization based in Massachusetts with a membership of 10,000 low-income African Americans and Latinos. According to Sally Kohn of the Nation, ADP has stated that “at the end of every issue campaign, our goal is to create an institution that our members control.” This a lofty goal for an organization that fights for basic necessities, like housing, on a regular basis. ADP is creating a 1,200 unit tenant-owned housing cooperative, a worker coops to provide landscaping, construction, building maintenance and weatherization for the homes, as well as four volunteer-run food coops for local health food access.
From BETH BUCZYNSKI
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) recently published an e-book (PDF) advocating complete democratization of the electric grid by abandoning a system that is dominated by large, centralized utilities for a 21st century grid made of independently-owned and widely-dispersed renewable energy generators
A democratized system for creating and distributing electric power ensures that the economic benefits of electricity generation are as widely dispersed as the ownership.
As long as communities still rely on centralized, fossil-fuel powered energy plants to generate power, democratization of the electrical grid will remain a dream. But the past 10 years have seen an exponential growth in the adoption of renewable energy alternatives, namely home solar and wind power, which presents an unprecedented opportunity for transformation.
As the technology and installation of these systems continues to drop in price, more private property owners are able to take advantage of their pollution and money-saving benefits. This increased accessibility makes it possible to turn any rooftop or open field into a mini-power plant. It is this level playing field that makes the dream of a locally-owned and managed electrical grid into a reality.
From SETH GODIN
There are a few reasons why one might not care what happens in the long run:
- You don’t intend to be around
- You’re going to make so much money in the short run it doesn’t matter
- You figure you won’t get caught
Short-term marketing involves using deception to make a quick sale, or using aggressive promises to get a quick hit. Having a price war counts as well. Linkbait is on that list as well.
Short-term architecture means putting up a cheap building, a local eyesore, something that saves money now instead for building something for the long haul. The guys who put up the Pantheon in Rome weren’t doing short-term anything. Hard to say that about a big box store.
Short-term manufacturing ignores the side effects of pollution, bad design and worker impact because it’s faster money in the short run to merely make the product (and the sale) in the most direct way possible.
Short-term investment banking invests in transactions that are unsustainable and eventually blow up (after commissions are paid).
Short-term sales involve spamming as many people as you can, as fast as you can.
Short-term hiring requires you to hire cheap, train as little as possible and live with turnover.