Talking About Solutions: Practical Actions Big and Small – Part 2

The Challenge for Our Movement – Dissident Voice 10/1/07

How to put an end to the American empire – via MParent 5/27/08

“My assignment here today, as I understand it, is to enlighten you all on how to quickly end the war in Iraq. And how to prevent the United States from attacking Iran. Or Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia. In short, how to put an end to the American empire.”

The Real Power of the Social Movements – Mabblog 10/13/08

Deconstructing The Power of the Global Elite: Brute Force, The Power to Hurt, and Psychological Control – Global Research 10/8/08

Grassroots Movements, Global Elites and Political Economy in Times of Panic – Dissident Voice 10/3/08

It Is Time to Change from Fighting Against Something to Fighting for Something – Alternet 11/7/08

To do that we need a broad effort of wise, compassionate forces in society and the enlightened self-interest of the green business community.

The Most Civilized Country. – via Metafilter 5/18/08

Article challenging conventional notions of how best to have a society.

Why We Need a Revolution – Alternet 8/27/08

Efficiency tweaks won’t save us. Even if every car in the world were a hybrid, growing demand would dwarf savings.

What Americans Really Want: 10 Policies We Can All Agree On  – Alternet 12/13/08

Here is an agenda that the majority of Americans support, whether they vote red, blue, green or something else.

Re-establish Respect for the Constitutional Separation of Powers – Miller McCune 12/22/08 

The Problem Is Simple: Too Many People, Too Much Stuff – Alternet 8/7/08

But an equitable and humane solution to overpopulation and overconsumption may actually be possible.

If We Want to Survive the Climate Crisis We Must Change– Alternet 3/15/08

Either we build real community — with mass transit and local food — or we will go down clinging to the wreckage of our privatized society. 

Mankind at the Turning Point: Interdependence is Totalitarian  – Global Research 3/3/08

“Challenging Authority” : The Role of Social Movements  – Global Research 5/15/08

Ziga Vodovnik : Rebels Against Tyranny: an Interview with Howard Zinn on Anarchism – CounterPunch 5/12/08

Psychological Control: States of Mental Disempowerment – Global Research 10/25/08

Video: Jared Diamond on Why Societies Collapse – Treehugger 10/30/08 

Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, ­Human Renaissance – Global Research 10/7/08

Michael Pollan: Eating Is a Political Act – Alternet 11/8/08 


Broken Agriculture: It will take more than gardening to fix our food system – Counterpunch 5/31/08

Robert Jensen: Beyond Peace – CounterPunch 3/17/08

Talking About Societal Solutions: Actions Big and Small – Part 1

“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.”  – Jerry Garcia

The Transition Handbook: Community Resilience in the Face of Peak Oil – Treehugger 2/27/08

Building Resilience: Meeting Peak Everything With Systems Thinking – Treehugger 3/17/08

Bioneers: Groundbreaking Ways to Save the Earth: Interview with Kenny Ausbel – Alternet 10/19/07

10 Ways YOU Can Fight Fascism Around the World – Brainsturbator 11/17/07

Green “How-To” Community of Creative Citizens Launched – Treehugger 5/27/08

A Handbook for Guerrilla Gardening – Treehugger 4/28/08

Community Environmental Health Toolkit Now Available Online – Treehugger 7/30/08

A Community Guide To Environmental Health (Guide), published by Hesperian and now available online, is one of the most comprehensive guides empowering communities to deal with environmental health issues in the 21st century.

How to Address Humanity’s Global Crises? Challenge Corporate Power, Embrace True Democracy – Vandana Shiva on Alternet 10/1/07

The physicist, activist and author outlines the scope of the “triple threat” represented by the end of cheap oil, human-induced climate change, and resource scarcity.

Post-apocalypse without the militias: the OutQuisition – BoingBoing 7/13/08

Renew The Social Contract – Dissident Voice 11/18/08

When change isn’t enough: revolution – Raw Story 2/22/08

Why We Need the 28th Amendment to the Constitution: Separation of Corporation and State (VIDEO) – Alternet 11/11/08

Marine biologist, author, fisherma’am, and Exxon Valdez survivor, Dr. Riki Ott has a new vision that can help save American communities.

Become an Un-Consumer, Join The Compact, Save Money, Reduce Your Eco-Footprint – Treehugger 11/19/08

Felice Pace : The Big Change: Can “Civic Unreasonableness” Save the Earth? – CounterPunch 10/30/08

Turning Your Lawn into a Victory Garden Won’t Save You — Fighting the Corporations Will – Alternet 6/23/08

The corporate agriculture industry would like nothing better than to see us spend all of our free time in our gardens and not in political dissent.

Simple Steps Towards Change – Dissident Voice 4/28/08

The Amish Technological Vanguard – Forbes 10/31//08

The really radical alternative technology is living off the grid–and who knows how to do it better?

Ecotopias in Forbes Magazine – Treehugger 4/18/08

Forbes Magazine, “the capitalist’s tool” as it is known, runs a surprising series of articles on modern utopianism, with coverage of eight modern utopias

Transition Towns and Cities Emerge in the US Too – Treehugger 10/22/08

The “Greater Depression” Can Be a DIY Renaissance [DIY] – LifeHacker 9/28/08

There Is an Alternative to Corporate Rule – Alternet 9/1/08

Transition Town Training – Coming to a Continent Near You – Treehugger 11/21/08

Principle Confronting Power – Global Research 3/1/08

Protesting Power – War, Resistance and Law – Global Research 2/28/08

Surviving Peak Everything: The Guardian on Community-led vs Individual Responses – Treehugger 5/4/08

Mass Media and Social Movements – Global research 4/22/08

The Delusion Revolution: We’re on the Road to Extinction and in Denial – Alternet 8/15/08

Our current way of life is unsustainable. We are the first species that will have to self-consciously impose limits on ourselves if we are to survive.

How Many Earth Days Do We Have Left? – Alternet 4/22/08

Lester Brown, author of Plan B 3.0, shows us how we can change in enough time to save life on earth, as we know it.

We Are What We Do

We’re not another charity. We’re not an institution. We Are What We Do is a movement. Our aim is to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world. Whoever they are. And wherever they are. And that includes you.

We live by the maxim small actions X lots of people = big change. It’s not rocket science but it does work!

We started back in 2004 by bringing together 100 simple, everyday actions that can improve our environment, our health, and our communities and make our planet and the people on it much happier. We believe that if enough of us do these actions we will start to make an impact on some of the biggest problems we are all facing. And in joining together in this way, we will create a new community of like-minded “do-ers”; people united by a belief in the possibility of change and our individual responsibility in making it happen alongside that of governments, corporations and other institutions and networks.

Inspiration and Motivation: For those feeling powerless, hopeless or burnt out – Part 2

“This is the way of peace:  Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” – Peace Pilgrim 

Ten Steps to Personal Power in Trying Times – Natural News 10/8/08


Defying the Nazis – BBC 9/26/08

Uncovering one woman’s inspiring Resistance memoirs


Rare MLK speech on civil disobedience – Boing Boing 9/22/08

Life After the Economic Collapse: How Having Less Will Make Us Happier – Alternet 12/11/08

Ralph Nader : Turning Crisis into Opportunity: Who Will Seize the Moment? – CounterPunch 12/4/08

Noah Baker Merrill : We Can Do Better – CounterPunch 8/18/08

Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green – Metafilter 6/13/08 

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”  – Mark Twain

You are the river: An interview with Ken Wilber – Salon 4/28/08

The integral philosopher explains the difference between religion, New Age fads and the ultimate reality that traditional science can’t touch.

EXCERPT: “Ken Wilber may be the most important living philosopher you’ve never heard of. He’s written dozens of books but you’d be hard-pressed to find his name in a mainstream magazine. Still, Wilber has a passionate — almost cultlike — following in certain circles, as well as some famous fans. Bill Clintonand Al Gore have praised Wilber’s books. Deepak Chopra calls him “one of the most important pioneers in the field of consciousness.” And the Wachowski brothers asked Wilber, along with Cornel West, to record the commentary for the DVDs of their “Matrix” movies. A remarkable autodidact, Wilber’s books range across entire fields of knowledge, from quantum physics to developmental psychology to the history of religion. He’s steeped in the world’s esoteric traditions, such as Mahayana Buddhism, Vedantic Hinduism, Sufism and Christian mysticism. Wilber also practices what he preaches, sometimes meditating for hours at a stretch. His “integral philosophy,” along with the Integral Institute he’s founded, hold out the promise that we can understand mystical experience without lapsing into New Age mush.

Inspiration and Motivation: For those feeling helpless, hopeless or burnt out – Part 1

Jim Hightower, Raising Hell  – Alternet 8/20/08

The Texas populist’s new book shows how ordinary Americans can in fact make a difference, and have. 


How Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things – Metafilter 7/5/08


Appalachian Residents Have Found the Antidote to Coal – Alternet 7/9/08


Organic Aspirations: A Tale of Two Turkish Villages – Treehugger 11/9/08

Why does failure inspire some and demoralize others? – Boing Boing 11/25/08 


12 Warriors, Adventurers With Really Loud Green Messages – Treehugger 10/30/08


Those Who Dared: 30 Officials Who Stood Up For Our Country – CREW/Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington 7/16/08


Water for All: The Leaders of a New Revolution – Alternet 8/20/08

A gathering of international thinkers, artists, and activists is inspiring a new revolution in the right to water and what belongs to the commons.


Swim Against the Current: Ordinary Americans Can Make Change Happen – Alternet 3/7/08

The fight for our country’s future is still in our hands. Grassroots movements are breaking free from corporate control.


The Secret Library of Hope: 12 Books to Stiffen Your Resolve – ZMag 12/18/07

The Protest that Turned the Tide of Global Green Opinion – Alternet 7/2/08

Twenty five years ago a band of protesters blocked the construction of a dam and their success inspired a generation of environmentalists.


How an Indigenous Community Defeated a Logging Giant – Alternet 6/23/08


Let the Doers of the World Inspire You – Treehugger 10/20/08 

The Do Lectures were held this year for the first time. Started by a couple who live in Wales who “wanted to know what to Do about the things they cared about.” They had an idea that “the Doers of the world can inspire the rest of us to go Do something.” So they came up with a list of 22 inspirational speakers from a wide range of backgrounds: business, science, politicians, environmentalists, authors, bloggers and beekeepers.


“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”  – Ray Bradbury

NO PEACE, NO WORK – May 1 Strike for International Labor Day

International Longshoreman’s and Warehouseman’s Union to shut down West Coast ports on May 1st, international labor day – Internationalist.org

More from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “On Thursday, May Day, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will declare an eight-hour strike to protest the war in Iraq. Since the ILWU controls every port along the U.S. Pacific Coast, including Seattle and Tacoma, this strike demonstrates the collective power of workers willing to use it… The ILWU is highly democratic. A caucus of more than 100 longshore workers representing every union local establishes policies for the Longshore Division. It was this caucus that voted to declare the May Day strike.  Dockworkers, including those in the ILWU, have a proud tradition of political action. For example, in the 1980s the ILWU respected the strike of British dockworkers by refusing to unload a ship worked by scab labor. Just last week, union longshoremen in South Africa refused to unload a Chinese vessel carrying military supplies destined for autocratic Zimbabwe — a tremendous example of solidarity….Other American workers who want to support our troops by bringing them home can make their voices heard by joining with the brave men and women of the ILWU and taking the day off.” 

More from the San Francisco Bay Guardian; Solidarity from the Vermont AFL-CIO


Brief origins on the history of International Labor Day, which started in the US in the 1880’s, in a show of worldwide solidarity after the Haymarket Square Massacre – Int’l Workers of the World


More on the Haymarket Square Massacre from the Chicago Historical Society and Anarchist Archives


Looking for some good news?
October 28, 2007, 12:26 pm
Filed under: good news, news, politics, Uncategorized

 “There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening.” – Marshal McLuhan

WalkScore.com scores your neighborhood’s walkability and lists the closest businesses in various categories. 

Awesome – you can find locally owned businesses close enough to walk or bike to!

Harper’s suggests a general strike starting November 7, 2007 to force impeachment

DCA, the cancer drug that companies had no interest in testing : Ordinary folk step up to fund first trial (CBC, Canada)

EXCERPT: Even though the drug shrinks cancerous tumours, no pharmaceutical companies wanted to fund human trials because they couldn’t make enough money selling it.”

Typical.  There’s probably cures for all cancers, and AIDS too. 

Mexican President Calderon vetoed a law to boost the biofuels sector (Treehugger)

EXCERPT: “Mexican President Felipe Calderón recently vetoed a law meant to boost Mexico’s biofuels sector, on the grounds it gives too much emphasis to corn and sugarcane production. According to Calderón, the law doesn’t give enough attention to new technologies like seaweed, bacteria, enzyme and cellulose that could be more sustainable sources of biofuels.”

India’s Barefoot College Revolution: Hands-on, bottom-up and community-driven (Treehugger)

Project for a Participatory Society, UK (ZMag)

Pedestrians unite! : Walkers urged to take the streets (German Press Agency via Raw Story)

Must Read: The Corporate State of America – Widespread Crime, Corruption and Fraud

 Good news first:

First Ever Fine for Fake News (PRWatch)

It’s a start; thanks Center for Media and Democracy!

EXCERPT: “The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on September 21 that it was fining Comcast Corp. $4,000 for its cable channel CN8‘s broadcast of fake TV news, a video news release (VNR) without disclosure.

The Comcast fine is the first-ever sanction for airing a VNR, a sponsored PR video that mimics the structure and style of television news reports. The fine is a direct result of Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) investigations, and of a joint complaint filed with the FCC by CMD and Free Press.  The FCC’s action against Comcast is precedent setting. It firmly rejects the public relations industry‘s argument that no disclosure is needed if television stations are not paid to air VNRs. Hopefully, the FCC will soon address the nearly 140 other undisclosed VNR broadcasts that were documented in CMD’s two reports, “Fake TV News” and “Still Not the News.”

US Attorney General orders Monsanto to reveals secrets (Mathaba)

Includes list of recent actions against Monsanto


Corporations’ cross-country extortion racket (ZMag)           

EXCERPT: “Corporations have grown expert at forcing race-to-the-bottom competitions between states, reducing tax revenues by billions of dollars. States are all too willing to play along, spending millions of dollars of their own competing for new business, or trying to swipe existing businesses from one another, under the guise of “economic development.  It’s a phenomenon that’s hit home here too: Among other instances, in the late 1990s, the New England Patriots – emblem of regional unity – played Connecticut against Massachusetts, threatening to move from Foxboro to Hartford. Connecticut offered the Pats a $500 million stadium financing package, but the team ended up right back where it started – with the Massachusetts footing the bill for $70 million in “public” infrastructure improvements. 

While in individual instances one state wins and another loses, in the aggregate we’re all worse off, as net public good decreases with each such maneuver, and cash-strapped governments devote limited time and resources to stealing – not creating – jobs.

As states sprint to the bottom, the perpetrating corporations aren’t disdained, aren’t vilified by the jurisdictions giving up millions or billions of dollars to nab them: They’re greeted as heroes at celebratory press conferences and ground-breakings, in editorials and campaign literature.  It’s time for the states catch on – to work to change the logic of the dynamic, and stop celebrating these robber-barons.”

The end of the Wal-Mart era (Wall St Journal via MSN)

Who is profiting from the Iraq War? (MSN)

The Corporations’ Court (Alternet)

News from the “war racket”:

Bribery charges for Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) (MotherJones)

“Buried at the bottom of page A-6 in today’s [7/21/07] Times is news that Halliburton spin-off KBR and its subcontractor Eagle Global Logistics built bribery charges into the cost of delivering basic supplies to U.S. troops in Baghdad. An Eagle executive pleaded guilty yesterday to bribing KBR employees to continue to hand Eagle the lucrative subcontract. Eagle then took 50 cents in overcharges per pound of food, fuel, and other necessities it delivered to troops. KBR is officially claiming ignorance, but it takes two to commit bribery, and five KBR employees are included in the indictment.

Question is, how is this not also treason? After all, the well-placed companies refused to deliver basic necessities to American troops on the ground in Baghdad without first lining their pockets with taxpayer money, even as the taxpayers and their congressional representatives searched for a way to end the war without stranding the troops in dangerous territory.”

The People vs. The Profiteers (Vanity Fair)

EXCERPT: “Americans working in Iraq for Halliburton spin-off KBR have been outraged by the massive fraud they saw there. Dozens are suing the giant military contractor, on the taxpayers’ behalf. Whose side is the Justice Department on?”

Royal Dutch Shell and the Struggle for Iraqi Oil (World Socialist)

British Petroleum (BP) drilling for oil in Tibet (SaveTibet)

Boeing developing truck-mounted laser cannons for U.S. Army (The Register)

Lawsuit alleges price fixing by Shell, Chevron, and Saudi Refining (Int’l Herald Tribune)

Murphy Oil seeking Nearly 700% Wisconsin Refinery Expansion (Treehugger)

Boeing delays delivery of first 787’s (NYTimes)

I noticed there’s no mention in this story of the massive safety issues made public by a whistleblower last month.  The fuselage of the 787 is entirely unsafe!

Lawsuits in the financial sector:

Sentinel charges with “long term, massive fraud” by SEC (Chicago Tribune)

J.P. Morgan sued over role in Dow Chemical talks (NYTimes)

Morgan Stanley, the second-largest securities firm, will pay $12.5 million to settle regulatory claims it wrongly withheld e-mails in arbitration cases by saying they were lost in the Sept. 11 attacks, the company’s third sanction since 2002 for mishandling the records.  (Bloomberg)

EXCERPT: “The firm’s Morgan Stanley DW subsidiary failed on “numerous occasions” to produce e-mails for plaintiffs and regulators, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said in a statement today. The accord is the first of its kind, providing $9.5 million to claimants affected by the lapses, said Finra, the Washington-based brokerage regulator.”

Mortgage finance company Freddie Mac will pay $50 million to settle federal charges that it fraudulently misstated earnings over a four-year period. (CNN)

EXCERPT: “The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Thursday. Freddie Mac neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the accord but did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws. Four former Freddie Mac executives settled the SEC’s negligent conduct charges by agreeing to pay a total of $515,000 in civil fines and to make restitution totaling $275,548.”

Freddie doesn’t ‘confirm or deny’, but doesn’t making restitution imply that you took something to begin with?

Banks have already hauled in over $19 Billion in overdraft fees this year (Consumerist)

Up 85% from 2004

Citi, the nation’s largest bank, is issuing 3.5 million credit cards to department store customers who didn’t request them – a step that consumer groups say raises privacy concerns and could expose consumers to identity theft. (USA Today)

Beazer Homes faces up to $15 Million fine for loan violations (USA Today)

Sallie Mae chairman says student loan company has been approached by would-be buyers if $25B buyout craters; posts $344 million loss. (CNN)

Countrywide CEO may face probe into sales of stock (CNN)

EXCERPT: “According to the times, Mozilo has had gains of $132 million since starting the October 2006 plan and expects to sell his remaining shares by the end of the week. Each day this week, he has exercised roughly 140,000 options with a strike price of $9.94 and sold the stock at prevailing market prices. With the stock trading around $19, that means Mozilo has generated gains of roughly $4 million in the last three days”

Connecticut’s attorney general is suing the world’s second-largest reinsurance broker, claiming the company violated Connecticut’s antitrust and unfair trade practices acts and raised rates for consumers.” (USA Today)

Crimes in the pharmaceutical sector:

FDA orders Eli Lilly to halt Cymbalta campaign (CNN)

EXCERPT: “The letter said a mailer for the fast-selling drug overstates effectiveness and “omits some of the most serious and important risk information associated with its use.” The letter was posted on the federal regulator’s Web site.”

The Curse of Cymbalta (Counterpunch)

Also includes discussion of Eli Lilly’s #1 drug Zyprexa’s ongoing scandals

New FDA research facility will be paid for by Big Pharma (MSNBC)

Bristol-Myers Squibb to pay $515 Million settlement (Boston Globe)

An incredible list of violations of FDA regulations, patient safety and just plain ethics.  Worthwhile reading.

Pfizer faces $8.5 Billion lawsuit over Nigeria drug trial (Bloomberg)

EXCERPT: “Nigeria alleges Pfizer was responsible for the deaths of 11 children and permanent health problems for many others. It says it failed to obtain all the required approvals for the test and did not get proper consent from the patients… Trovan had already been tested on 5,000 people before it was used in Nigeria, Edozien said.  It was licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use on adults a few months after the Kano trial, and briefly became one of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs. However, the authorities imposed severe restrictions on its use three years later when it was found to cause serious liver injuries in some patients.”

Taxol doesn’t treat common breast cancer (AP/Yahoo)

Scandals in chemical industry:

DuPont said Monday that it has learned it will not be facing criminal charges arising from allegations that the company hid information about a toxic chemical used to make the non-stick coating Teflon.” (USA Today)

Indiana is moving to scrap, relax or omit limits on toxic chemicals and heavy metals dumped into a Lake Michigan tributary by the sprawling U.S. Steel Corp. mill in Gary (Chicago Tribune)

Scandals in telecom:

Verizon admits it turned over data without court orders (Washington Post)

Did AT&T, Verizon, sway Bush’s net neutrality ruling? (FreePress)

Verizon sues to limit open airwaves (Reuters)

Cisco’s Brazil scandal (GogaOm)

40 arrested on tax evasion charges, including current Cisco Brazil president

Consumables / retail:

Video of Wal-Mart spreading across the U.S. like a germ culture (BoingBoing)

Wal-Mart owes millions in back state taxes (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EXCERPT: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has avoided millions of dollars in state taxes by paying rent on 87 Wisconsin properties in a way that the state Department of Revenue calls an “abuse and distortion of income.  As a result, state tax auditors say, Wal-Mart owes more than $17.7 million in back corporate income taxes, interest and penalties for 1998, 1999 and 2000. More could be due for later years.”

Wal-Mart to sell only concentrated laundry detergent by May 2008 (Treehugger)

Wal-Mart aims for RFID in every North American store (EnGadget)

Protestors tell Wal-Mart to quit India (Business Week)

Wal-Mart short changes public schools (Alternet)

Wal-Mart CEO defends low-cost imports (CNN)

“”Lest anybody forget, 20 percent of Wal-Mart’s customers don’t have a checking account and they do not have the economic luxury of making a broader social statement”

Chiquita’s U.S. court settlement over paying terrorists sparks outrage in Columbia (Int’l Herald Tribune)

Chiquita Banana: Tales of the Octopus (Virginia Quarterly Review via Mother Jones)

The Return of the Banana Wars: Corporations and ParaMilitaries in Latin America (Mother Jones)

Starbucks open first Russian store (Agence France Presse via RawStory)

Starbucks to begin sourcing coffee from China (Reuters)

Starbucks recalls 250,000 Chinese made children’s cups over safety concerns (RawStory)

Coca-Cola’s Raid on a Sacred Mountain: Huitepec, Mayan Hill of Water (Counterpunch)

EXCERPT: “The neo-liberal icon that sucks up Huitepec’s bountiful water, the Coca Cola Corporation of Atlanta Georgia, is a powerful political player in Mexico – former president Vicente Fox was president of Coca-Mexico before he became president of Mexico. Mexicans drink more Coke per capita than any other nation on earth and Chiapas and its Indians are an important market. One reason for heavy sales in Los Altos: Coca Cola is often the only option to scarce or undrinkable local water.”

AOL to layoff 20% of global workforce (Reuters/Yahoo)

D.R. Horton orders plunge 39% in feeble housing market (USA Today)

Third death in a year at Indian factory for Gap and others (Guardian, UK)

DaimlerChrysler is getting divorced (German Press Agency via RawStory)