How to Undermine Democracy – Curtail Civil Society Rights
By Cathal Gilbert, Dom Perera, and Marianna Belalba, CIVICUS
JOHANNESBURG, Apr 25 2017 (IPS) – Recent elections and referendums in a growing number of countries from Turkey to the USA and beyond are producing leaders and policies, which directly threaten some of the core principles of democracy. In an increasing number of established and fledgling democracies, we see ruling parties violating the fundamental freedoms to speak-out, rally behind a cause and get involved in a social movement.
Naomi Wolf, author, political journalist and cofounder of DailyClout: ‘Trump didn’t do this. You did this. Your own inaction brought us exactly here’
The first 100 days of President Donald Trump
Only 18.7% of the total US population voted for Trump and only 26.3% of eligible voters actually voted for Trump.
Proportional representation would be an improvement.
We must not forget that the electoral system in the US was a compromise between states rights and federal control. The battle still rages.
“With PR, (Proportional_representation) there are no “swing seats”, most votes contribute to the election of a candidate so parties need to campaign in all districts, not just those where their support is strongest or where they perceive most advantage. This fact in turn encourages parties to be more responsive to voters, producing a more “balanced” ticket by nominating more women and minority candidates. On average about 8% more women are elected.
Since most votes count, there are fewer “wasted votes”, so voters, aware that their vote can make a difference, are more likely to make the effort to vote, and less likely to vote tactically. Compared to countries with plurality electoral systems, voter turnout improves and the population is more involved in the political process.”
Scientists understood the climate 150 years ago better than the EPA head today
Posted on 31 March 2017 by John Abraham
Recently he (Scott Pruitt) claimed on CNBC that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming:
I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So, no, I would not agree that’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
“There are two undeniable ironies in this statement. First, taken at face value it would suggest that we actually need to do more analysis – but the current administration is proposing draconian cuts in our climate science research budget. They are doing just the opposite of what he recommends.
The second irony is that scientists have known about the importance of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas for well over 100 years. There is no debate among any reputable scientists that carbon dioxide is the most important human emitted greenhouse gas. Furthermore, humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 43%. These are facts.”
“The final stop on our way-back trip brings us to 1896 and Swedish researcher Svante Arrhenius. He became the first person (that I know of) to make predictions about how much the Earth temperature would change as we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The title of his work, “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” says it all.
Using measurements of the energy incoming from the moon, Arrhenius showed that changes to trace gases in the atmosphere can dramatically affect the temperature of the planet. He also discussed how gases are able to absorb specific wavelengths of light. Using experimental data from other preceding studies, he predicted global temperatures would rise approximately 5–6C in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”
“The knowledge that I am aware is awareness’s awareness of itself.”
The knowledge that we are the Earth is the Earth’s awareness of itself.
Isn’t it amazing that so few voted for Trump yet he is the President Elect?
This is what happens when so few of the electorate vote.
Why did so many not vote? Here are my suggestions:
(1) Many American citizens quit voting years ago because they were fed up with what they deemed a corrupt system.
(2) Many Republicans wouldn’t vote for Trump and couldn’t vote for Clinton because of party loyalty. So they just didn’t vote.
(3) Many people just didn’t like either candidate so in frustration just didn’t vote.
I’m sure there are other reasons but I’m all out of ideas.
It is interesting to speculate as to what sort of people were included in the just over 26% of the electorate. I’ll leave you, my friends, to think about that!
What can be more sacred than drinkable water?
Indian water settlements
Indian Water Rights Settlements
Charles V. Stern
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy
September 18, 2015
Congressional Research Service
“Indian water rights are vested property rights and resources for which the United States has a trust responsibility. The federal trust responsibility is a legal obligation of the United States dictating that the federal government must protect Indian resources and assets and manage them in the Indians’ best interest.” 1
“The specifics of Indian water rights claims vary, but typically these claims arise out of the right of many tribes to water resources dating to the establishment of their reservations.” 2
“Over the past six years, since Republicans took control of the House, Congress has failed to fund a single Indian water settlement- despite numerous settlement bills being introduced.” 3
“I’m tired, an exhaustion I can’t sleep away,” said Prairie McLaughlin, a 33-year-old protester, sitting inside the teepee in which she has been camping. She said that despite the brutality she and others have faced from local police, “I feel like failure is not an option.” 4
For more information on the United States’ relationship with Indian tribes, see CRS Legal Sidebar WSLG253, The
United States Relationship with Indian Tribes and Federal Indian Policy, by Jane M. Smith.
Separately, some tribes also have time immemorial rights to water resources based on tribal water uses that preceded the establishment of reservations.
Incarnational Opportunity and Creativity
27 September, 2016
“It is the testimony of the wisdom bearers that we come here from the realm of the unconditional in order to experience the conditional. Our original spirit nature is unconditional love, but apparently we set that aside temporarily in order to fully participate in the human experience. We are typically attracted to such an incarnational opportunity because it represents something so different than our actual state as light being souls, and hence is intriguing to us in our natural curiosity and trajectory towards infinitely expanding Self-awareness.”
From Bob O’Hearn “Self and Other”
The clarity of the description above has stimulated me to inflate my ego enough to offer an idea that has resided within me for many years. Firstly, I suggest that we are, among many other attributes, “reality structurers.” Reading Seth from Jane Roberts and in later years Vadim Zeland about Transurfing has supported my view that we not only in great part “make” our reality but actually can “choose” our reality in the sense of the life-path we are following. From Lynn Margolis I learned about the symbiotic theory of evolution that points to a basis of love and cooperation rather than random chance and deadly competition. From here, sprinkled with other bits and pieces of pertinent information my vision manifested as follows:
Creative development is a fundamental attribute of Consciousness. All of what we call “things” shine with some amount of this Consciousness and all things express Consciousness to the extent of their abilities. Parallel to the realm of what modern science calls aliveness has come a renewal of the Panpsychism or minds in a world of mind. I can now proceed to my hypothesis. Large organisms, such as a planet, contain almost unlimited potential and are largely limited by the level of consciousness they are expressed through. Lower order levels of consciousness strive, through what we call creativity, to expand their awareness and consciousness channels. To cut to the chase, we may desire to be a planet, our next higher holon in the holarchy of our known existence. Our experience must be immense and our ability to channel love greatly deepened. Our power is in the present, the dance, and it is dance all the way up and down.
“People knew long before I was born that the things we were doing were going to end really, really badly, and yet everyone just kept on marching ahead, making the same dumb decisions over and over again, convinced that if they just did the same thing one more time it would undo the bad results they’d gotten every other time they’d done it. If you discover that you’re in a hole, the saying is, the first thing to do is stop digging—but that’s exactly what nobody was willing to do, because they’d convinced themselves that digging the hole deeper was the only way to get out of it.
That was the thing that twisted like a knife.”
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2016
Retrotopia: The Cloud that Hides the Future
No, this you will not do!
“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources,” Roosevelt acknowledged in 1908, before adding, rather presciently: “But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.” Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve known for years that it was just a matter of time before the government set about pillaging citizen assets in the name of the God of profits for the few. I’m deeply saddened to realise that this is truly an eventuality. Even sadder is the knowing that this eventuality will become reality. When will the hundreds of thousands of people who love Nature speak out and proclaim “No, this you will not do!”
An analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2016/04/11/135044/the-rise-to-power-of-the-congressional-anti-parks-caucus/
has found that between January 2013 and March 2016, rightwing members of Congress filed at least 44 bills or amendments designed to undermine or water down protections for national parks.
A core group of 20 members of Congress, many of them Tea Party members, are part of what CAP calls an “anti-parks caucus” gripped by an implacable hostility to public lands.
The wider Republican party is receptive to this position – its official 2016 platform states: “Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government’s enormous landholdings and control of water in the west could be better used for ranching, mining or forestry through private ownership.”
Warding off Despair
“The Power That Preserves” Book Three of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by
Stephen R. Donaldson October, 1978
“Further, I tell you that there is no blame for us in the wisdom or folly, victory or defeat, of the way we have elected to defend the Land. We are not the Creators of the Earth. Its final end is not on our heads. We are creations, like the Land itself. We are accountable for nothing but the purity of our service. When we have given our best wisdom and our utterest strength to the defence of the Land, then no voice can raise accusation against us. Life or death, good or ill – victory or destruction – we are not required to solve these riddles. Let the Creator answer for the doom of his creation.”
The feeling of helplessness, reinforced by almost daily reports of another ecological disaster, can easily result in despair. Despair can also be the result of suppressed rage against those who cruelly and wantonly destroy our Earthly life support systems. A lot of us suppress rage over the knowledge and helplessness as we encounter more and more exploitation, especially economic. All too often, this suppressed rage descends into a deep despair and we find ourselves just adding power to the very dark spirits that we rage against. These dark forces, Vadim Zeland calls them “pendulums”, suck up our anguish and feed on it making the pendulum even stronger.
I think the quote above can assist us in realizing that we do not need to take on the blame and responsibility for saving the Earth. The burden is too heavy and will sink us into oblivion or what Christians call hell. Earth, as a living, loving and intelligent being needs our support and loving energy but does not and cannot expect us to carry the weight of guilt in not “fixing” the damaging attitudes arrayed against her. We cannot and need not take on the responsibility of a planet being.