Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day 2012!

There are a lot of events scheduled everywhere for today. Hopeless for me to try and tell you about them all. Much easier for you to Google or otherwise search for the ones near you. If you can, take part!

However, if you can't or won't. Here's a list of 24 things to do for Earth Day that came from Fox News Florida. It's a good one!

1. Buy an e-reader
2. Walk around your town or city and pick up trash
3. Plant a tree
4. Start a compost pile
5. Prepare the ground to plant a garden so you can use your compost pile
6. Watch the sunrise or sunset
7. Take a walk on the beach
8. Take a hike in the woods
9. Ride your bike or walk to work
10. Pledge to start recycling
11. Go bird watching
12. Take a photo of nature
13. Eat one of your meals outside
14. Wear a flower in your hair
15. Attend a local Earth Day celebration
16. Buy some reusable shopping bags
17. Join your local Freecycle to pass along items instead of throwing them away
18. Swap out your light bulbs with energy efficient ones
19. Don't use any appliances for the day
20. Collect hazardous materials like paint and batteries and dispose of them properly
21. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
22. Dance in the rain
23. Watch an environmental themed movie like "Avatar" or Discovery's series "Planet Earth"
24. Get involved with your local environmental group

My own addition, which also sort of includes #24, would be to learn about Permaculture. Permaculture is a design system with ethics and principles that will work anywhere from a city apartment to a hundred acres in the country. Find out where you can take a class near you, or at least find and listen to an introduction. 

Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Occupy the Election!

    A probably bogus quote from either Albert Einstein or Benjamin Franklin says:
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." 
    Regardless who really said it, it has been quoted many times in twelve step groups and many other places. It does make sense, doesn't it? That's why it strikes a chord. 
    We're all familiar with it. 
    We all do that, more or less.
    Murphy only knows we have certainly done it every election year since George Washington. 
    Every time we get promises. "A new broom sweeps clean!" "I feel your pain." "Read my lips: No new taxes." You remember them. They come from both sides of the aisle. Republican, Democrat, Independent. Promises that can't be fulfilled, or at least haven't been. 
    I'm a bit jaded. 
    We all should be.

    You know, the Native Americans (of which I claim at least a little heritage) learned the lesson about the "American" government long, long ago. They never keep their promises.
Somehow, the rest of us aren't as smart as that. We keep expecting those different results.
    My grandparents often tended toward racist, sexist and actually mostly voted Republican. Still, they always claimed "we vote for the man, not the party."
That's a pretty wise statement, actually, if we revise that to "person".     
    But how do we know about the person?
    We can believe all those promises, or we can believe all that dirt that is dredged up about their past. I recently saw a good statement to the effect that "I think I'll run for office. They'll dig up all of my past. I'm trying to piece together my 20's anyway!"
    In spite of all the hoopla, whichever party gains whatever office, there is rarely much change.
    We can say that some of that is the effect of the checks and balances in place, etc. etc. 
    If we want to be really cynical about it, we can point to all the various powers behind the elections. 
    The fix is in.
    Both major parties are in on it. Hasn't it been obvious? I mean, really? Regardless of all promises to the contrary, whoever wins, it always degenerates to "Business As Usual."
    In my own opinion, the only thing that will ever upset the status quo is for a really large number of us to finally actually vote outside party lines. 
    Vote for someone who is truly independent. Vote "Green Party", the "Raza Unida Party", the "Independent Party",vote for whatever party you want. There are lots of choices.
    Just don't vote either Democrat or Republican unless you really and truly believe in them. 
    And don't vote for a Rep or Dem who's running Independent because he didn't make the major cut.

    I know the arguments. 
"Whatever we do, we must cast our vote for a major party so our vote will count against whomever. Don't wast it by voting otherwise!"
    Well, isn't that bogus? 
    It's time to stop buying it!
    It's time we, as citizens, take control of the process!
Occupy the election!
    Everybody Vote! Vote for real change!
    Maybe, just maybe, something will happen. Maybe it won't be the goal of an independent president.  Maybe the true process will have to become public so we see what is happening.
    It almost did in the infamous stolen election of the "Hanging Chad". Remember that one? It got pretty obvious, but in the end we all went back to sleep.
    A glitch in the matrix. Smoothed over. The drones (us) forgot about it.
    Remember "Transparent Government?"
     It's the only way I can see to achieve it.
    Vote the bastards out!