Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Two Wrong Ways on a One-Way Street

This week, while Indivisible proposed its “consequential” plan, a three-point proposal to “beat” #45 (notice the language: beat) accompanied by a six-approach tool kit, it set me to thinking: where’s the other 42 million? The folks that give #45 a steady approval rating.  What about them? 

First of all, it occurs to me that response to #45 reflects a disconnect,  an inappropriate use of language: the language of rationality that consists in the procedural legalese of the law, congress and the courts on the one hand; and the societal response through the public and the corporate media—and those very few remaining independent voices on which we are still able to rely.

It is a language we might apply to normal affairs.  But what we have here is not normal; it is an altogether different phenomenon, a frenzied whirling about by a society obsessed around one solitary figure, and a refusal or inability to look at the broader problem.

Botticelli: Inferno
Whereas we might once have been justified in expecting a representative government, those days are long gone. The system as it exists today has variously been called corporatism in all areas of our lives from agribusiness to mass surveillance, or oligarchy, the rule of an unaccountable elite over non-elites. Occasionally, we are reminded that fascism looks a lot like this, but we still prefer not to get our skirts too muddy, because after all, we have a noble tradition of exceptionalism that’s hard to overcome.

It is hard to fully envision in what a more appropriate language might consist, but the language of rationality is NOT IT. And the language of 5150, directed solely at individuals, is too rudimentary at best, and serves its uses only in humbler emergencies, not a national one. (5150 refers to the California law code for the temporary, involuntary, psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or to others.)

Another disconnect

#45 is not an individual phenomenon; it has its ramifications in layers of no-longer representative government which cushions and replicates its many violences and atrocities. It is a phenomenon that extends as well to those 42 million people who keep those  approval rates steady. Who are they exactly? And do the iterations of American election year politics—whether by Indivisible or by Nancy Pelosi—even begin to take their plight into account?

Categorizing 42 million people is altogether impossible, but in general, they are white people, many of them with high school educations at most, who have been systematically left behind educationally and economically. Many of them inhabit decaying worlds: rural America, the grandsons and daughters of once thriving agricultural communities, now bankrupt, and of factory workers of the nation’s rust belts who were left behind when factories closed, and the initiative for retooling fell haphazardly—if it fell at all—into privatized hands.  Most of them are the products of a dumbed down public school system given to blinkering its students, never much given to critical thinking, and its second ring of sycophants, the media that gave up its practice of journalism in favor of gossip, greed, and entertainment many years ago.

They hold in common their need to grasp and exploit the last straws of demagoguery which promised them what they needed to hear as a better life, where their losses might be recouped and where their communities might be lifted from abject poverty and despair. But recent tax cuts have benefitted the oligarchs, and global warming has seen to it that Midwestern farms, those not yet bankrupt, are still water logged and not ready for planting.

To compensate their losses, they have been offered the demonization of migrants, more brown, more poor, more desperate than they (but far gentler) pouring in a steady stream from central America, victims themselves of global warming and U.S. meddling in their duly elected democratic governments. 

The mind-made-up characterizes them. Almost all are closed to any form of inquiry because they have to be. Their sense of victimization—or their greed for profit—require it. A minority form part of doomsday cults eager to see the planet’s warming end in a Walpurgisnacht, which they believe will usher in a Second Coming—a last desperate pitch for the Ur-Savior to correct their woes.

According to Chris Hedges, it is this susceptibility to America’s long tradition of cultism that has drawn them to a figure like #45, who represents for them many of the qualities cult leaders usually embody:

Immunity to the norms of established society, a quality their followers (and  the media) find endlessly fascinating and appealing.

Refusal to acknowledge impending disaster, such as global warming.

Insistence on fawning and total loyalty over competence.

Inability to tolerate criticism.

Grandiosity and bellicosity as covers for insecurity,

Use of those around them as objects to be manipulated for their own aggrandizement.

Unfortunately, any attempt to oppose rationality to what can only be identified as absurdity plays into the hands of the cult master.  Quoting Joost Meerloo in Rape of the Mind, “They never knew what [Hitler] was going to do next. [He] was never logical because he knew that that was what he was expected to be…” and illogic is impervious to the structures of logic. 

To these two linguistic disconnects, the first in the political sphere, the second in the public sphere there are answers, but they are far from easy ones. For starters, we might look to the sage advice of the Sansksrit puranas which counsel: Do not cultivate madness. In an age where all is madness, one needs to tread lightly, to question all, to examine how much of this culture we wish to embrace. And to come in contact daily with one’s imagination for living.

That requires the courage to live at the edge, to avoid what everyone else is doing; and to do what everyone else avoids.

And in our present existential dilemma, Chris Hedges offers us a choice:

“… organize the overthrow of the corporate state that vomited up Trump….We must, like liberation movements of the past, engage in acts of sustained mass civil disobedience and non-cooperation. By turning our ire on the corporate state, we name the true sources of power and abuse…. We give people an alternative to a Democratic Party that refuses to confront the corporate forces of oppression and cannot be rehabilitated. We make possible the restoration of an open society. If we fail to embrace this militancy, which alone has the ability to destroy cult leaders, we will continue the march toward tyranny.”

Sign international appeal to stop 5G on earth and in space at

Judge sets long timetable for Assange, facing draconian charges to prepare defense ag. extradition.

Millions of Brazils strike against Bolsonaro’s pension  “reforms.”

Contradicting US claim of Iranian mine attack, japan  ship owner says flying object caused explosions.

Hung Arizona  jury refuses to convict Scott Warren, a young humanitarian volunteer facing 20 years who kept bringing water and aid to desert drop-off to help migrants.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Changing the Holocene Mind from the Air

While the human race still remains at loggerheads debating whether “climate change is real” or not, we might consider designing a chart which would actually show how high the floodwaters of climate change have already reached our species, and where to position the marker: at the knees?  at the thighs? Because sooner or later we may be faced with the dilemma of where to go to breathe, a threat which is already impacting many of the Earth’s millions.

Squint to see last 23 seconds

This chart, a cosmic calendar of the birth of Earth and evolution of earthlings in the last 23 seconds of the cosmic year might suggest to the canny reader that maybe it’s time we got down from the trees. And how ironic is it that, not even quite down yet, we are faced with a challenge like none we have ever had to face—or will face. The challenge of climate collapse—the threat of famine now looming as Midwestern farmers are still unable to plant after massive flood waters inundated their fields; or the threat now driving multitudes of desperate people feeing drought into leaking rubber dinghies as they attempt a Mediterranean crossing, or crossing the Rio Grande into the receiving arms of the United States.

As an urbanite (one of the first dinosaurs to become irrelevant in the face of the new reality) I tend to overlook the whole picture addressing the source the Earth’s polluting gases—not just CO2. Three charts developed by Dr. Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, illustrate the point. Absent the charts themselves (which i couldn’t manage to download)  here’s the world-wide story (each country varies somewhat from these world averages): CO2 comes from 62% fossil fuels, 11% land use, that is agriculture and forestry practices, and 3% chemicals. Other greenhouse warming gases: 24%.

Source of world-wide warming emissions can be attributed as follows: Electricity, 25%, Food and land use, 24%, transportation, 14%, industry, 21%, buildings, 6%, other energy, 10%. So far, although I have certainly urged not driving and not flying, my attention has not focused readers on the imperative of looking at manufacturing, cement mixing, and where our food is sourced, and the farming practices which cause a full one quarter of warming.

On Dec. 17, 2018, after a long process of activism by land justice groups, the UN General Assembly finally adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and others working in rural areas.  These are the mostly landless peasants, many of them women, and fisherfolk, albeit often being food insecure themselves,  who have been feeding the world’s people for hundreds of years.

Why is this movement to recognize them important? Because peasant agriculture traditionally increases bio-diversity, and encourages a sense of community, and their growing methods sequester carbon in a way commercial agriculture, with its tilling practices, and its heavy reliance on fossil fuels, fails to do.

Here is an abbreviated statement of groups representing family and women farmers, dalits, landless poor, and fisherfolk as set down in the Kathmandu Declaration, a related document: “We…take our struggle forward for food sovereignty…as peasants of South Asia, [reiterating] our rights on land, water, and territories… against… discrimination, rights on seeds and livestock…and fisheries, right to fight agribusiness, transnational organizations, free trade agreements and WTO…. We consider Food Sovereignty and Agroecology as the only way to cool down the planet…and the only way of changing the current model imposed by agribusiness and transnational companies.” 

In 2011, I gave up driving or owning a car. So far, I know of only on activist who has done likewise, preferring to ride a bike. Only one musician that I know of has given up a brilliant career; she happens to be Malena Emman, opera singer, and mother of Greta Thunberg. But every morning as I wait for the bus, I see traffic streaming by me along one of my city’s major arteries, intent on global suicide and getting to it as fast as possible. And that’s only one city, and one thoroughfare. Now imagine the same phenomenon in all the world’s nearly 2000 major cities worldwide. And you see suicide on a massive scale.

What is being asked of creatures barely making their way down from the trees is to consider de-growth. What would that look like? How might we turn a fossil-fuel culture completely upside down. We have work to do, learning how to use a hoe, thinking to consider, and most of us are not even close to a mind like Einstein’s.

Here is Dr. Foley’s last chart: He titles it Fate of Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Long-term increase in atmospheric CO2, 45%, is the amount of green house gas remaining in the atmosphere, and contributing to global warming, versus that percentage that is absorbed by the oceans of 23%, and land-based ecosystems of 32%.

According to Dr. Foley, the Earth is already helping us to an overwhelming degree.  It is that 45% left to us that we must worry about. But are Holocene-intelligenced humans equipped to confront that challenge in time? Or will Earth turn into another Venus?

Add your name please to 314 Action’s Emergency Petition demanding we act on climate change now at

Please tell fossil fuel companies to end anti-climate lobbying at

Please sign petition demanding immediate release of activists jailed for protecting their forest at


European Parliament dodges far-right bullet in recent elections, although threat of autocracy remains real and growing.

Irish Senate stands up for Palestine.

German activists disrupt  Arye Shalicar, Israeli intelligence officer promoting his new book.

Activist Benjamin Ladraa walks from Sweden to Palestine to protest occupation.

Statement by Mecca summit slams US embassy move to Jerusalem.

Iran, Turkey develop pact ditching greenback in bilateral trade.

Injured yellow vests protest police brutality in Paris.

Assange won’t face charges over role in devastating CIA leak.

Protests in London and Edinburgh demand freedom for Assange and Manning.

UN warns against extraditing Assange to US.

UN recognizes Venezuela among top nations for right to housing.

China and Russia will support Venezuela against US aggression.

Brazil “uninvites” Gaidó’s envoi  amid reports of possible talks with Maduro.

Argentina warns Bolsonaro “Your hatred is not welcome here.”

Protesters set fire to US embassy in Honduras.

Cuban doctors raised for work in post-cyclone Mozambique.

“Dump Trump trade deal” banner dropped from Tower Bridge at start of state visit.

Following ongoing protests and pressure from activist organization, Extinction Rebellion, Welsh government declares climate emergency, along with Ireland, whose leader, Eamon Ryan states there must be action to back it up.

Mass demonstration against Saudi summit and US “deal” mark Quds in Yemen.

US up in arms  as Brussels continues to insist on cutting US weapons makers out of the bargain.

Tens of thousand flood UK streets protesting #45 and “everything he stands for.” (Please see Sunday Funnies.)

Warning of “surveillance capitalism nightmare, big tech investor-turned-critic Roger McNamee pushes Toronto to abandon ‘smart city’ waterfront development.

As more die at sea, EU is sued at ICC over Mediterranean migration policy.

In a crisis displacing 68.5 million people worldwide, Sea Watch flying the German flag, one of Europe’s last migrant  rescue ships defies political pressure to save a total of 37,000 lives.

Haem Zaghloul, sentenced to death as a child by Egypt, pardoned and freed.


Proving she knows lots more about the Grand Jury than the jurors do, Manning resistance aims at abolishing it altogether.

Pushback against 5G deadly wireless spreads to at least 7 Pacific Northwest cities: Eugene, Portland, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Gig Harbor, Seattle.

Oregon lawmakers vote to elect president by popular vote by 2024.

US cuts funds for propaganda Iran group, funded by the State Department, that was discovered trolling journalists and activists.

Former US ethics chief warms not to “underestimate the threat to our republic from within.”

Beyond Nuclear appeals against proposed national high-level radioactive waste dump targeted at New Mexico.

New Mexico governor says no to high-level nuclear waste.

California San Bernardino community helps hundreds of migrants border patrol drops off without orientation or assistance at Greyhound station.

Asylum-seeker falsely accused of gang ties by border officials reunited with kids—after 184 days.

Asylum-seeker separated from son for 378 days by  administration wins immigration case.

Florida launches probe into group behind private border wall.

Comcast ditches ties with ALEC

Responding to threats by management, American Airlines mechanics promise “bloodiest, ugliest battle’ in labor history.

Warren unveils plan to reverse policy, allowing DOJ to indict and prosecute a sitting “president.”

Ten Dem presidential candidates promise(?) to ban fracking.

Sanders hands over his social media accounts to Walmart Workers ahead of attending annual meeting to advocate for them.

Sanders blasts Walmart execs to their faces at annual shareholder meeting demanding “Pay your workers a living wage.”

Anti-democracy riders removed from House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.

California Dems back #NoMiddleGround with Medicare for all.

Doctors and nurses to march on AMA annual meeting demanding end to “rotten” opposition to Medicare for all.

In California’s East Bay local activists plan to erase over $1 million in medical debt using debt collectors’ tools.

Study claims ribociclib/Kisqali drug, funded by its producer, Big Pharm Novartrs, extends life of younger women with advanced beast cancer. Duh.

San Francisco joins national push to abolish youth prisons.

San Francisco to pay $400K settlement to mother of Mario Woods over fatal police shooting.

Oakland California votes to decriminalize magic mushrooms, the psychedelic fungus.

Fifty years later, NYPD “apologizes” for 1969 raid of Stonewall Inn.

Hollywood producer, Peter Chernin, plans to raise millions to fight anti-abortion laws.

California Act to Save Lives, designed to hold police accountable for needless  violence passes state Assembly with huge support.

California Assembly passes two bills helping people with old criminal records to access opportunities.

Rhode Island Sen. Elaine Morgan supports a study commission to review possible health impacts of 5 G wireless networks.

Texas Dems force resignation of voter-suppressing Texas Secy. of State.

Some prosecutors say they’ll refuse to enforce state abortion bans.

Overriding Gov. Sununu’s veto, N. Hampshire Senate votes to abolish death penalty.

Announcing the largest independent survey of black people in the US ever, Alicia Garza of Black Live Matter introduces latest project to survey more than 31,000 black people to determine “What Black People Want.”

Lonnie Bunch first black man ever to head the entire Smithsonian.

Across US and Canada, residents unite to fight displacement in Chinatowns.

Judge orders Feds to disclose climate impacts of fracking on public lands in Colorado and Utah.

Shareholders strongly support climate resolutions at Chevron and Exxon annual meetings.

Overruling GOP, House passes $19.1 billion disaster relief, for US and Puerto Rico.

House sets contempt votes for Barr and McGahn by changing rules to enforce subpoenas.

House passes latest DREAM Act, hoping to place millions of immigrants on citizenship path.

To honor her immigrant, farmworker parent, high school valedictorian carries basket of strawberries on state.

Protesters at Creech drone base and Nevada security site cross line for peace.

Clean school buses come to Maryland, Arizona, and Nevada.

Saying we have “national crisis in public safety,” Julián Castro’s proposes people first policing plan.

Threatening revolt, Republicans threaten to block #45 Mexico tariffs, while Americans for Prosperity also call on Congress to block them.

U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln hangs back outside Persian Gulf.

US lawmakers push back against #45 on Saudi weapons sales.

PA County sues Monsanto over chemical contamination.

Opioid maker Insys “Therapeutics” admits bribing doctors to push fentanyl.

South Carolina Public Service Commission slaps down outrageous Duke Energy fee hike.

EPA cancels registration of 12 toxic, bee-killing pesticides.

SEIU first national union to endorse Green New Deal.

Courts give endangered vaquitas glimmer of hope.

Court of International Trade issues preliminary injunction banning shrimp and other seafood caught in Gulf of California with gillnets.

DOJ exploring antitrust investigation of Google.

Judge denies Facebook’s motion to dismiss Cambridge Analytica lawsuit in DC.

Rhode Island farmer protests to shut down ICE, jailed.

Eastern Illinois conservative county stands yup to big coal.





And last but not least: 

House Dems propose $4,500 pay raise a year for Congress

Monday, June 3, 2019


I want to devote this issue of the newsletter to a matter having a wider reach than our current political discourse (and lack of it).

In a recent conversation with a friend, she speculated that I might not want to get quite so “dark” as she put it, compared to where I “have been going” lately. Indeed, she is not the first. One friendship has been lost around this very issue. The issue of “going there.”

For some uncanny reason (maybe it’s genes) I seem to have somewhat less trouble than some folks “going there.” That seems always to have been the case, from the time when, as a very young person, I accepted the mentorship of three people who in various ways, had experienced being Jewish, living in Europe through the years of the Third Reich, each of them having paid variously and dearly for their experiences. That said, I experienced one period of high stress when this gift deserted me for some time. 

I told my friend I was not without secrets, that I had some defenses up my sleeve. I think it may be helpful to some of the over 800 readers of this newsletter for me to try to share some of them.

The west is not the only fruit

While the western hemisphere basks in full sunlight, the eastern half of our planet lies in darkness. Without realizing it, most people of the west are completely in the dark about what the east has to teach us. Increasingly, our planet seems to have allowed itself to succumb to the lures of western culture, a culture based on individualism, competition, and the collapse of time itself, whereas for the most part, the east embodies in its cultures a slower pace of living, a more collaborative, collective view of work and life, and a sense of history rooted in the very distant past, a sense which lends opinion formation both perspective and humility.


And that seasoned sense of time allows the viewing of technology, certainly as the manifestation of the western, one-sided state of mind, with a certain skepticism, and to recognize in its single-minded pursuit, an obsessiveness which characterizes any other religion. That untempered pursuit has gotten us earthlings in a mighty fix, one we lack language and vision to encounter. At best we have the glimmerings of new birth, an awakening piloted by children. In our growing dilemma, we forget that Earth is custodian of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Shivkumar Sharma, Nikhil Banerjee, Jimi Hendrix, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Sophie Watillon, and the painting of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Matisse, Courbet, and the writing of Shakespeare, Kazantzakis, and Sam Beckett, and the theater of Peter Schumann, and such thinkers as Buber, and Levinas, and the mathematics of Ramanujan, and the mysticism of St. Francis, and that we earthlings are the guardians of such treasures, which perish when we perish.  


 Living Things 

What other folks sometimes refer to as Creation, namely all things that live (including the human) is cause for study, and celebration, and some of them are things I have learned to hold dear. Trees, especially, occupy that part of my landscape—which is why I continue living where I do. Whenever I find myself in their presence, I notice that the air feels different, which I experience as a freshness, a coolness I find no where else.  I am breathing the air the trees have breathed. We are sharing this air, and I am conscious of their gift, and their great beauty and majesty.


 Some time ago, when the East Bay Regional Park District announced their plan to clearcut thousands of trees along the East Bay Hills, I attended a hearing (a sham hearing as it turned out: the apparent jury declared at one point: “Oh, we’re not the commissioners! We are just the secretaries!”) I spoke. I testified, if you will, about what those trees meant to me after living under them for so many years. “I have put a lot of love on those trees,” I tried explaining.

The point here, is not whether or not I might have been heard by the secretaries, or their masters, but how I chose to encapsulate a feeling that is infinitely broader than words can ever express:  I hold trees—and all of creation—sacred.  In other words, awe is part of my life. I am not ashamed of it. I need it to lend dimension to the way I perceive human existence, and my own small place in the world.

 Commitment to Buddhism

At most, I am an accidental Buddhist. The story begins some 40 years or so, after experiencing two uncanny episodes, 15 years apart, of absolutely undeserved, and unearned serendipity. What I  appreciate about Buddhism is it allows you to think for yourself and progress at your own (sometimes pathetic) pace. It does not tell you what to think (although its amusing mythology attributes the Buddha’s birth to his mother’s encounter—not with a bird—but with an elephant)! For someone areligious, it appeals because it is not a religion; it is a path without absolutes, one adaptable even to slow learners. It offers few declarative sentences, and it poses its questions in the form of unfathomable koans. (All dharmas are inherently empty; form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form - from the Heart Sutra.)

Ajanta Cave - India
Over a great deal of time, in its mysterious way, little by little, its practice seasons the untamed soul. The small increments are barely noticeable at first, but over many years, they add up to a stronger sense of perspective, and balance, and strengthen one’s ability to count to ten, and above all to listen. It gives one the insight and courage to begin facing oneself. And to observe the distinction between saying “that’s good, that’s bad” vs. “I think that’s good. I think that’s bad.” In other words you give up any impulse to lay trips on other people, some of them ex-friends, and begin learning to take responsibility. And that growing sense of responsibility allows even willfully junglee people to grow up. A little.

What I especially like about Buddhism is one of its so-called noble truths: See things as they are. And that ability is essential if we are ever honestly to face the challenges coming at us thick and fast, and to become effective at doing something about them, not just smiling (that is the danger of over-Buddhism) and continuing on one’s placid way, but allowing the divine fire of anger to move us off our duffs.

Tile detail - Blue Mosque, Isfahan

Sunday, June 2, 2019


This week, we have been bombarded with a Persied shower of  bad news coming at us thick , fast, and unsustainably. Julian Assange, one 
of a handful of journalists to have penetrated the gold curtain to expose those elites who wield the power oppressing the planet’s peoples, showing signs of psychological torture, unable to hold a conversation; intensifying anti-abortion warfare against women. (In fact, I even considered a headline “Growing babies for Fun and Profit.”) But that is what is happening to women. Why? because the birthrate is falling and the captains of capital need new consumers and new cannon fodder to wage their perpetual wars, and operate their increasingly lethal technology.


And just this morning, I read 75% of congress, both houses demand #45 boost intervention in Syria, and pressure Iran and Russia. We know the military is responsible for 93% of the U.S. use of fossil fuel. Dahr Jamail writes we are now at 415 ppm, the hottest this planet has ever been in millions of years. Tornado warnings (two of them) were posted in New York City. The market has tanked over the tariff war being waged first against China, now Mexico. And the war makers are busy at their drawing boards preparing the next full scale military aggression, this one against Iran.


As a coping strategy, I sometimes resort to reading astronomy to gain a more distanced perspective. And it allows me to see that building walls, even privatized walls on private property on a small stretch of real estate bordering Mexico, indicates we have not yet come down from the trees in our ability to think.

What we still refer to as migration, caravans of desperate people, either crossing the Mediterranean, or the southern U.S. border is really a manifestation of the planetary response to global warming—as is a falling birthrate. I am reminded of a remarkable phenomenon I first read about maybe 20 years ago: a migration of tiny, finger-sized frogs stretching over one thousand miles marching across much of China.  At the time, what I found most remarkable is that that any humans had bothered to notice at all, let alone written about it.

Immigration is our migration of frogs, living beings fleeing one habitat, in search of a friendlier one. But we still imagine in our pre-historic mind set we can counter vast planetary movements by building walls, and forcing women to give birth.

How can we as the planet’s people begin to untangle our Gordian knot? We can learn to ask questions. For example when do such signs as a falling birthrate, and an uninterrupted migration stream become not just political phenomena, but transcended the political domain to take on planetary dimensions? Then we need to learn to address current political realities, not with baby carriages, rock concerts, balloons and pussy hats. The time of Mr. Nice Guy is over, especially when an  overwhelming 75% of congress proves itself to be warmongering. We need to engage in serious disruption of the status quo. We need a full blown peace movement asap. Sticking with old-style tactics in the face of rampant fascism is tantamount to political neurosis, and leads to planetary suicide.

Next, we need to imagine clear ways to think about our planetary dilemma. We can learn something from the predatory/prey cycles first described by Italian physicist Vito Volterra in the 1940s, who described the differential declines between sharks (the predator) and mackerel (the prey). Predators continue to thrive well beyond the point where prey experience a population crash. This concept is a useful one if we imagine human agency as predatory and the planet as prey. It is equally useful if we imagine the entrenchment of the elite as predator; and of the world’s oppressed people as prey.

And having  learned to think about the two domains, the political, and planetary, we need to learn to think more clearly about planets and their civilizations as users of energy.

Astrophysicist Adam Frank, writing in Light of the Stars: alien worlds and the fate of the Earth, proposes five planetary stages, all defined by the way in which a planet organizes its use of energy. He sees our present planetary dilemma as we pass now through our narrow energy use bottleneck into a Class 5 planet, as one in which we must learn to wring work and change out of sunlight. To that end he proposes what he calls an intentional, agency-motivated civilization.


That means that humans who speak nearly 8,000 separate and distinct languages, with their corresponding nearly 8,000 different cultures, must somehow find common cause which allows them to overcome their differences long enough to engage in a concerted, and coordinated effort to respond appropriately to our present global challenge. How might we accomplish that? As of now, we have embarked on a children-led crusade, but at present Earth is still without any coordinated plan to accomplish what it must. Technology alone cannot do it. It’s time to come down from the trees.

For starters, we must think locally, act globally. The planet you live on just might be your own.


Tell dinosaurs Pelosi and Schumer: Stop war with Iran talk at:

Tell congress to halt Saudi and Emirati arms sales now at

Urge congress to co sponsor H. Rec. 152 calling for formal ending to Korean War at:

Sign the petition to free the Kings Bay Plowshares peace-maker’s petition at:

End wasteful military spending (it’s a start) at:

Protect Undocumented Californians from ICE data brokers at:

Tell congress to support the Women’s Health Protection act at

Protect abortion rights at:

Tell Supreme Court “Don’t overturn Roe vs. Wade! Don’t criminalize abortion at:

Best news of the week: Pilgrim Mark I nuclear reactor, same G. E. model that exploded at Fukushima, on Cape Cod (where there was never any way to evacuate) shuts down for good.


Taliban claims progress made at Afghan talks in Moscow.
Glasgow City Council drops defense industry in new ethical events policy.

BirthStrike a UK online community declare decision not to bear children in the face of global warming and government inaction.

Israel’s settler railway runs into a snag when French trade unions and human rights organizations band together to celebrate Alstom’s withdrawal from Jerusalem Light Rail linking Jerusalem and West Bank settlements.

UN chief: Fossil fuel subsidies mean using public money to “Destroy the World.”

UN special rapporteur on torture calls for freeing Julian Assange, claiming that Assange would likely face a political show trial were he extradited to the U.S.

New Filipino law requires all students to plant ten trees if they want to graduate.

In Colombia, Jesús Santrich, a representative of Colombia’s new legal political party, Revolutionary Alternative Common Force (FARC) is freed, and no longer faces extradition to—yes, of all things—the United States.

German activists disrupt Israeli intelligence officer accused of painting all anti-Zionists as anti-Semitic.

Glyphosate now banned or restricted in 17 countries worldwide.


Tide of U.S. public opinion turns in favor of Assange.

Chelsea Manning’s legal team files motion to reconsider sanctions.

Renewable energy costs decline further, making fossils and their backers more obsolete than ever.

76 retired U.S. generals and diplomats warn #45 against war with Iran.

As global climate  crisis continues unabated, Alameda, California will be among first Bay Area cities to confront major sea level rise.

Judge Carlton Reeves temporarily blocks Mississippi fetal heartbeat law.

Sanders leads top 2020 contenders on Greenpeace climate scorecard (while Biden wimps out dead last).

“Enough is enough” at Town Halls nation-wide, Democrats get earfuls from constituents who demand impeachment hearing.

In Louisiana’s Death Alley, activists march for a Green New Deal Revolution, demanding end to petrochemical pollution in Black communities.

Just one day after airline sued them for an “illegal work shutdown,” mechanics at American Airlines, U.S. largest airline after merger with U.S. Airways, threaten “bloodiest, ugliest battle” in U.S. labor history

New York State Appeals Court recognizes farmworkers right to organize.

Colorado becomes first state to cap cost of insulin.

#45 sued to save eight species on the  brink of extinction.

Comcast dumps ALEC (but continues attack on labor).

Judge Timothy Hillman, in a federal Massachusetts federal court, finds that 14-year-old FCC guidelines do not bar claims by those having EHS sensitivity to cell phones or Wi-Fi can go forward.

Activists have yet more work to do as California State Assembly votes to pass AB 857, the local public banking bill with 41 yes votes, the bare minimum to keep the bill alive.

AOC calls for ban on revolving door as study demonstrates 2/3 recently departed lawmakers become K street lobbyists.

Johnson $ Johnson, the big pharma company that brings you tendon destruction, is on trial in Oklahoma for its role in the opioid crisis with production of fentanyl.

SCOTUS declines to hear challenge to inclusive Pennsylvania school district bathroom policy in victory for transgender students.

Maine becomes 17th state to ban conversion therapy.

More than 200 economists send letter to congress endorsing medicare for all.

As Pence warns U.S. “can more than double” tariffs on China, treasury note yield tumbles.

Unless Democrats develop spine to impeach, professor who correctly predicted last  9 presidential elections says #45 will win in 2020. 

Thanks to advocates and legislature support, Oklahoma passes bill expediting commutation process for misdemeanor offenses, and stops revocations back to prison for people still under probate for felonies no longer existing.

Border congressional members, among them Xochitl Torres-Small, and Henry Cuellar and Veronica Escobar send letter to House Appropriation requesting grants be made to FEMA to reimburse governmental and NGO groups along border providing humanitarian assistance to refugees released by ICE and CBP.

Pioneer Valley Workers Center announces formation by seven members of a new farm coop.

Following mass protests in St. Louis, Missouri’s last abortion clinic safe for now under federal judge’s order.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes rule limiting what debt collectors can do to pursue overdue bills.

Baltimore teachers manage to unseat sore loser incumbents.

Pentagon fails audit: Asks for a raise.

Man suspected of rhino poaching killed by elephant, and devoured by lions.

Climate-denying administration rebrands fossil fuels as "Freedom Gas" (like Freedom Fries but greasier).

Big tobacco funds McConnell, who pledges he won't get cancer.

Geographically challenged: Florida Gov. de Santis sued over state meeting in Jerusalem.