Saturday, April 26, 2014

Global Warming For Dummies

©2014 Turtle Heart All rights reserved
When I was in the seventh grade, at Johnson Park Elementary School in Columbus Ohio, I argued in science class. We had a good science teacher that year. Can’t remember his name and I am sorry for that. His class was my favorite at that school.

I remember arguing at that time (1962, 1963?) that as we keep building cities and factories etc, etc., we are going to overheat and fill the atmosphere with toxic chemicals. I remember the science teacher thought my argument was a good one. No one in the class disagreed. I drew on the chalkboard a circle representing the earth and kept adding dots representing heat and emissions producing objects. The result was obvious. Case closes.

The arguments against grave climate change in the immediate future are made by people who get their paycheck for saying this is not true. It is that vile, that dangerously self-serving. Prominent voices in the rational arguments about climate change are targeted for sophisticated efforts to discredit them by any means money can buy.

Would “important people” sell out all life on earth tomorrow if they could make money today? You know the answer very well.

If global warming is not true, why have we outlawed smoking in public places and enclosed airplanes? Is not the earth a big bubble, a sacred container? 

Denial Science : 

North Carolina via “Duke Energy” has revealed it will take years and cost in excess of ten billion dollars to clean up the very toxic coal ash deposits piled all over the state. The day after this report was released, the four GOP candidates for GOP 2014 Senate race primary, when asked “Is climate change a fact”, in a packed hall named the Duke Family Center, funded by the Koch Brothers event, all said “No”. So that is where we are at. This little picture of Duke is the typical picture of GOP controlled regions of the political landscape, local, state and national. The keys to the country are officially in the hands of the strangest people in the room. And they have more money than anyone is history to keep them.

Stop Climbing Mountains

The old Indians, the old American Indians, rarely have approved of the sport of mountain climbing. Most tribal religious teachers feel that great mountains are repositories of  unique, some call them sacred, spirits and energies. Admitting sports activity by random people is very disrespectful, destructive and just bizarre. Mount Everest now supports a huge industry at its base to service all those who pay fees to “experience Everest”. It generates a lot of cash. The modern age has brought us Mass Produced Mountain Climbing. Long ago the whole experience has become laughable. The trash, death, insincerity and intellectualization that now accumulate the slopes of Everest have damaged, perhaps destroyed any and all of those quantifiable elements and attributes that give a great mountain its sacred spirit. It is a slow motion murder of the mother earth, complete with soaring profits and facebook pages.

Sedona is another example. This once pristine Arizona region boasted a great little river, stunning red rock formations to dazzle the spirit and a unique electromagnetic signature, called the “vortexes”. From tour guides to real estate developers, people flooded to the area. Thousands of miles of steel and copper cables and pipes were buried in the earth for water, electricty and toilet flushing. Naturally, any student of basic science would point out that introducing so much steel and copper into a magnetic field will alter, disrupt and change forever that field. So the vortexes of Sedona Arizona are long gone, but the people keep piling in.

These two example show another side of the devastation of climate change, which is climate indifference, environmental indifference. Both Sedona and Mount Everest have had their primal quantum, their actual chemistry and ecologies destroyed by recreational citizens and the industry that is built up to service them. 

Along with climate change denial, there is just the environmental destruction and ravishing that arises from the same mind set, the same attitude. Both of these negative forces are being accelerated by the Science Denial Industry which has set 100s of millions of dollars in motion to protect its own interests.

I lived in the geographic “great bowl”, the High Mojave desert for five years. The Great Basin, as the region is called, is filled with plants that are among the oldest living beings on earth. It is home to some of the world’s shyest, elusive and endangered species. There are places in the high desert where you can see where ancient American Indians danced upon the earth in ceremonies that lasted for many days. You can see a beer bottle dropped there in 1890. A tire track dug deep into the earth in 1947. The marks we make in the great desert stay forever. That world shows any observer that every step you take upon this earth is received by that same mother earth….and something happens, something changes.

The Shoshone American Indians lived on the Great Basin for thousands of years. It takes experts to see their trail. On the other hand you can see the trash, gouges in the earth and tire marks of every drunken beer party of the last fift years with your naked eye. You will have to step over it or go around it.

Modern human beings, indistrialied, participating in automated mass-produced jobs, entertainment, housing, schools and even cemetaries clearly have made an impact.

Tousands of species that I used to see myself as a young man no longer live where they used to live. Many of them extinct. All of the animals, each and every one of them, is on the run. They are murdered by plastic trash triwn into the sea and machines running day and night to pump oil and natural gas.

Every animal. Every species. Everywhere. All the time.

The oil corporations, collectively, spend one point five billion dollars per day (every day) in their search for new oil and its related products.

Listen To Your Soul

Your vote has enormous power. The right wing GOP believes they have gerrymandered perfection in their electoral base and plan to continue their infamy well into the future.

How is that possible? When need citizens who will wake up. People who will listen to their soul and understand that we are all part of a sacred creation….from the tips of our President to the the youngest child looking into his father’s eyes, we need individuals to wake up. And do the right thing.

The truth is always simple. Always. That is the one fundamental and absolute certainty I gained from my many years with the old Indians. The truth is always simple and the answer is always nearby.

We each need to do our individual parts. This requires conscious awareness of what your part is….your part in your family, in your own ambitions and your part as a member of the living forms of life on this sacred mother earth.

If you think the actions of one person, combined with the right actions of billions of other persons has no power, then you are not paying attention.

The secret to a good life, a righteous and satisfying life is to pay attention.

We buy and wear clothes mostly made by seriously oppressed and unhappy people in far away cultures we do not participate in. We eat food grown in the wrong season for where we live because some large food corporation wants to make money. Politically we sustain and support dictators, extremists and fools because it serves the paymaster best. We give more and more money to rich loggers, ranchers, industrial farmers and oil companies (the most profitable business in the history of the world), fire the school teachers and beat down the middle class while refusing to feed the hungry. Every animal on earth is nervous and looking over its shoulder wherever there are people. We do all of that and more every day right here right now. Protecting fully the interests of multinational corporations at every step.

Are you them? Are they us? One of the facts I most enjoy about living in Italy is that almost everything I buy comes from a small family business. That was rarely true in the USA…there it was just the occasional artist or farmer’s market with local produce. Over here, all the produce is local and seasonal. It took getting used to not being able to buy my favorite fruits and vegetables everywhere or anytime. Over here on the little island where I live you can only buy what is in season (while it is in season). Once I got used to it, it made perfect sense. Most of the money that changes hands stays local as well.

As far as “we the people” go, it seems to come down to what are you and I going to do with the power of choice that we have, each of us one by one? Just as you have power, one by one, each of these elements of the sacred creation, animals, plants, weather, climate, food, business, money, poverty, balance also, one by one must be in harmony. They are not. Stop.

Pantelleria Island

Sunday, April 13, 2014

50 years : The Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act : What Happened to the Indians?

"Why am I treated so bad"?....Doctor King's favorite song (Staples Singers).

American Indians are never included in any of these so-called historical events. These days, and rightly so, we are commenting upon the 50th year since LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. 

LBJ was an awesome figure. I sometimes wonder if some of the tribes down there in Texas had a name for him.Tribal drummers from a number of tribes did a memorial drumming for Nixon, down there as close to his funeral the government would let them get. About LBJ I never heard anything like that. And I have read the books written by Robert Cato on his life. A great work, an important work to consult for detailed information on this period. Like many others, I am waiting for the fourth volume. Keep going Mr. Cato.

The United States government is presented to us by a diverse media. What we see and read is prepared for us, like a meal on a plate. Some do a better job than others. In any event we are limited to their offerings, of which herein I add my own minor contribution.

How should we think about this issue right now?, for example. For American Indians, most of them feel left out and so have experienced some progress from within their status as “people of color”, yet remain dangerously at the edge of considered attention by anyone at all, much less the United States Government. Usually when people talk about “civil rights” it is always discussed in terms of “black people”, though “latino” people are more often included these days.

One could examine the portfolio of the extreme statistics that show how frequently American Indian women, children, elders, schools, medical clinics, police, food and jobs are an absolute disaster, far outside the bell curve in every detail. American Indian women, for example, are 80% more likely to face rape, domestic violence, or kidnapping into slavery, than all the other races combined. If so many white women were bing destroyed and victimized, the world would be at war levels of attention every day…the noise would be impossible to ignore. For American Indians, there is not much belief that their fate matters much. This view does not take into account the situation with the tribes that have casinos. Only about 5 per cent of tribes have a casino. Most of them signed terrible deals. Only a couple of them use the money made to actually help the tribes from this long list of problems. The casino groups are a strange subset dominated by a selfish, we only care about the money leadership that has never, to this point, showed much interest in their own tribes.

No one helps any of the American Indian tribes hold on to their sacred architecture, lands and materials, for example. The casinos give no money for this level of protection and advancement of their own sacred roots…which are really, in my view, the most important parts of the American Indian experience to be saved, salvaged, rescued, supported and praised. But they are not. No one.

In the face of such a fact is not easy to explain that for American Indians, the Civil Rights Act did not change much. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, most of the others in the leadership, never included American Indians in their arguments, in their staff or advisors. No blame exists for that. That is how it was. The only question is that it is still just like this? Yes.

One of the issues that always come up with any writing things down about the American Indians is that it is never very easy to find good news to share. The detailed picture, when each part is viewed in context with the other parts, is not good. Our sources may suggest there is some sense that the rate at which american Indians are disappearing from the world has slowed and appears to be less violent. Then again it is hard to say for sure. The American Indian world has gone quiet over the last few years. Not easy to get details.

Considering the fact that Mr. Obama is part American Indian by blood, as part of his “person of color” history, and that he allowed himself to be adopted by a Crow American Indian family, very little progress can be seen on the ground and in the lives of American Indians. At least so far. The opposition to almost every word out of his mouth by the GOP makes it likely that he has many ideas that he would act on if he felt these ideas had a chance. Most American Indians know that if Obama spoke out loud about some great new program for the “Indians”, all hell would break loose in this climate.

The Republicans (bastards to their bones) resisted, blocked, postured and raised money over the issue of adding protections for American Indian women to a popular Violence Against Women renewal legislation. This is what American Indians have come to accept whenever their problems come anywhere near the public forum. We can’t even get a professional sports team to stop using a racist insult as the name of the franchise. American Indians do not even have the right to arrest criminals in commission of felony offense on tribal lands…..and so this brings me back to the point about the nature of how American Indians probably view Civil Rights Progress Fifty Years Later.

As to the rest of society, there has been great progress in the advancement of the Rule of Law. This is commendable, very commendable.  Yet the toxic and hideous legacy and philosophy of the Southern Strategy is alive and well and deeply entrenched in the Republican Party of the United States. While the Rule of Law is never more clearly defined, the actual behavior of rich old white men is the same…and now it is Super-Sized by the most disturbingly activist Supreme Court in generations as the have opened the flood gates of the old white money to buy elections and suppress the vote in every corner of the land. As a strategy.

The one thing I remember, was an old white man; a man who called black men “niggers” to their face, a man who built his fortunes on segregation, the King of the Southern Strategy, signing, with great satisfaction The Civil Rights and Voting Act fifty years ago. That was progress. A memorial lead by and narrated by “a person of color”, one Barack Obama, President of the United States.

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