Monday, March 03, 2008

The Invisible Civil War Within: Part IX

Can We Wake Up From the Nightmare?

That is a good question and the answer is, "I don't know." The answer will be "No" if the American social and political environment don't change, but it will take years to repair the damage done just in the last seven years and really for the last few decades. Regardless, I kind of feel like I've been waiting for the cavalry to arrive but they aren't coming because they all got slaughtered right over the next hill. That leaves the task to us.

Some people out there have done some good things and supporting those people is worthwhile. Here are a few:

Floating Down Denial - This is a great site for learning about what is going on with Peak Oil and for focusing on local solutions for gearing up for the coming crunch on resources.

David Ray Griffin - Griffin is a theologian turned into a 9/11 sleuth. Although some people are trying to make a business from the omissions and lies surrounding the 9/11 attacks, Griffin is relentlessly trying to get at the truth of it. Even for those who don't buy his thesis, his research is worth looking into.

Peter Clark - My old glaciology professor at Oregon State is presenting people with the evidence and the future impacts of global warming. He is a very smart guy and he is worth listening to.

EFF and EPIC - The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center are both tireless advocates for keeping the Internet "Net Neutral" and protecting individual freedom in the electronic realm.

Current and Former Representatives and Senators: Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, and Russ Feingold - These people have been the minority representing the majority when it comes to sanity regarding American Iraq policy and defending individual freedoms. Their numbers are small, but their voices are important.

I've been thinking about what a person can do when the Republicans have gone crazy stuffing their pockets with money with DoD dollars and the Democrats do the same with corporate money and both seem oblivious to our actual problems as a nation. I've got ideas. I don't know if they are good ideas or bad ones and I confess I haven't acted on them, but I am going to throw them out there anyway and see what you think.

1. An Antiwar Rally for the Rest of Us - Raise money, advertise, and get prominent speakers for an event or several of them focused on getting a plan on Iraq; a sort of Call of Competence. Rather than a parade through the streets, this would be in a central location that solely focused on the single issue of getting out of Iraq. Speakers would run the gamut with a minimum of a military strategist, an Iraq veteran, an Iraqi (if we could get one over here) and with someone from the Democratic and Republican side who could present the case that it is time to get out. No guerrilla street theater, no skateboard anarchists, no defacing public property; just people that are trying to get a task accomplished. Done properly, I could see a 6 digit attendance even in fairly small cities like Seattle. Unfortunately, I could also see about 50 because I have no experience with this kind of thing.

2. Engage the Authorities - Stand outside your local precinct or the FBI/CIA/Federal Court building and hand out flyers to state that human rights violations and spying on your own countrymen is immoral and criminal and suggest ways for them to stand up against it. They have our freedom in their hands. We should ask them to use it wisely.

3. Mass mail marketing - Raise some money and buy a list of mailing addresses in your local area. Raise the issues of Peak Oil, 9/11, Global Warming, Iraq, and Civil Liberties in the mailing. One issue per mailing. Get neighbors thinking and talking along the lines provided. Maybe they will start waking up.

4. Start a think tank to get things going around the nation - Nationalize the local efforts found above. Start the Center for American Reality or something like that. State the principles up front so you can't be controlled by political venture capitalists (the old money or the new).

5. Live differently - Plan for the future ahead so it doesn't ruin your life. Untrain the tendency to consume and work towards living in ways that promote your neighbors and don't require energy. A million drops in the bucket fills the bucket.

Wow. It is over a month and 9 parts later. For those who slogged through this whole thing, thank you for caring enough to hear me out. I think most people I know are struggling with at least some of these same issues and, just like the Blues, it helps to get them out there so we can walk in each other's shoes for a while. I was tired of keeping it all bottled up, so now I can move on.

I am interested to hear of resources and people you know about that fit the half dozen or so main issues addressed in the extended blog post. Wider and wider the circle expands, Viva la compagnie.

10 comments:

The Moody Minstrel said...

And thus we arrive at the climax. *whew*
There's an awful lot to think about there...and it's clear you've done an owful lot of thinking yourself. I'm not sure how much help I can be here on the wrong side of the ocean, but...still...

BTW, on a completely different note (G#?), you and Ladybug have both been tagged. Check out my site for details.

Isis said...

Thank you for the kudos and the link. You place me in pretty heady company.

We face many challenges which are literally unprecedented in human history. They are the culmination of our path of the last 10,000 years perhaps - since "we" chose agriculture and created civilization. There is no guarantee that we are up to the task, as evolution is replete with dead ends, and unless one has a religious bent that blocks reason, there is nothing to say we are not part of one.

We have no other choice open to us but to face those problems if we are to survive. If we sit back, yes, the problems will solve themselves, but not in a nice way.

If one looks at a graph of fossil fuel production overlaid by global population, the meaning cannot be more clear.

One response is voluntary cooperation, community building, and lowering of our energy use in the way we live. Another option is to instill fear, create a police state, and enforce a low energy, slave labor society so that a few can live high on the hog. There are people already working toward each of these scenarios.

I know which path I wish to pursue and will resist the alternative with everything I've got.

Thank you again for honoring me on your blog and thank you for sharing the others that we may all explore and learn from each other.

Arkonbey said...

"Plan for the future ahead so it doesn't ruin your life"

Too true. I have a friend who, while not looking at it in terms of survival, he is doing it. He's got 10 acres in upstate NY with pigs, chickens, sheep, two dogs. He's also growing wine grapes, tomatoes and makes his own beer and cheese. He works from home two days a week to save gas and is saving up for a wind turbine.

Me, I've only got an acre and a half of trees and I'm saving up for solar and some laying hens.

Hypatia said...

Snabby,

All your suggestions are excellent!

I have a couple of my own common sense suggestions for regular folks
as well:

Your local State/County Extension Service office (the folks that bring you 4-H!) Everything, and anything you'd want to know about basic Home Economics..and beyond!
Here's the link for Oregon
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/

Another Blog about positive living beyond Peak Oil. John Michael Greer is a Druid practicing sustainable, (i.e. PRACTICAL) life skills near Ashland, Oregon. Check out his list of links, and previous posts.
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

I hope this will be helpful!

Don Snabulus said...

I am deleting the following post as spam:

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8:02 AM

-------------------------------

After reviewing the site, I found it uses plagiarized articles as posts and lots of ads to click to. Since there was no real contribution to our discussion, I am going to get rid of it.

Pandabonium said...

Excellent series of posts on some of the most important issues of our times. A lot of bamboo to chew on as we Pandas say. Thank you.

The activities to work on getting the US out of Iraq is a great idea. Often the reason such things are rerailed, marginalized, or end up as street clashes with police is because government agencies (state and federal) infiltrate them. One only has to read the history of the FBI's COINTELPRO activities to see how far they will go in such efforts.

You may want to contact IVAW - Iraq Veterans Against the War - as one group to network with. Coordinating several groups would be a challenge, but if you could find someone with the organizational experience to do it, I think your idea could bear fruit.

Today, large corporations own most of the politicians, so the politicians are very resistant to actually acting according to the will of we the people. Excercising what is left of free speech is also more difficult than it used to bed, especially getting the news media to report it. The large corporations own most of that too, so even when thousands of people demonstrate it is a non-event as far as the news media is concerned.

Perhaps protests need to be directed at the news media itself, bringing attention to what they are not covering, targeting key sponsors with boycotts.

The internet, as you say, cannot solve problems, but it certainly can be a useful tool for organizing and fund raising.

Perhaps Americans (the US variety) are still too comfortable to care at this point. They sit like frogs in a pot of heating water adjusting to every new infringement of their political, economic, and personal lives. It is a massive challenge to alert them to the fact that if they don't jump out of the pot, they will soon be "cooked".

Having spent the better part of my life being politically active, I'm not optimistic, and have focused on your point number five - living differently. If a sizable enough number of people in the USA stopped all spending for one day, it would send a message that would be heard loud and clear.

The trick in all of it is motivating people to act. That is the most difficult task of all.

Pa've said...

Just a couple of points. Peak oil may or may not be a myth depending on what you read. First there is the abiotic oil theory, that oil is produced not by fossils, but by chemical reactions deep in the earth's crust. Second, according to some, we have more oil reserves in Alaska than has been led to believe. I think I may have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. I think someone has critisized wrongly last time I said it.

Thirdly, the last year we saw a global temperature drop of one whole degree according to four very top climate agencies. This point is a statistic which should be some what verifiable. So, the global warming court is still in deliberations.

As far as activism goes, one can make a very small dent by publishing on the web. But I wouldn't recommend hanging out at federal buildings handing out leaflets.

Thanks to the money of special interests and lobbies, the common man has very little if no impact whatsoever about what politicians actually do. With a few exceptions, politics is not about building a better future for the country. Politics is about building personal legacies, power and control, and developping personal wealth at the expense of the tax payer.

Dean Wormer said...

I don't have much to add except to say again that this has been a great series, don.

One other glimmer of hope is that self-delusion, maintaining a facade that the earth is flat or global warming isn't real, takes enormous amounts of energy. I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't mind working had to maintain that self-delusion but I have to believe the vast majority of those people are going to have to cede to reality at some point in time.

Don Snabulus said...

Wow! Lots of great input. I am too frazzled by a self-inflicted computer disaster to respond individually, but I appreciate the responses.

Swinebread said...

Heavy but worth it. When you hammer out ideas you really bring it into focus.

Also, this post brings a little hope to all the gloom and doom.

thanks snab