MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
March 4, 2004
Hybrid Series #19: May Peace Prevail On Earth
This will be my last compilation for this week and for the next couple weeks as well as I won't be available to prepare any compilation, nor to review any email. So please wait until you hear again from me before emailing me anything. Hoping you will also enjoy this break ;-)
Until then, I wish you all Peace, Love and Harmony.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
Free subscription to such compilations by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2004/Hybrid19.htm.
The World Says No to War!
Worthy of your attention
Environmentalists Against War
Environmentalists Against War is a network of environmental organizations and individuals that opposed the US attack on Iraq, and which continues to oppose the social and environmental impacts of war and militarism, in the US and internationally.
Progressive Webgroup Alliance
A Web Board created by John email@example.com> from the UK.
Check also http://geocities.com/progressivewebgroupalliance/
Sound Track: I AM DECLARING PEACE
Sound Track: AFTER THE REVOLUTION
Both tracks recommended by DaVid Lightparty@aol.com>
COMMENTS RECEIVED BY MICHAEL JOSEPH ABOUT HIS BOOK
"LOVE FROM DIANA"
Your book has brought me such joy and hope for the world. The most extraordinary thing is the way in which it brings Diana into the room, at the highest level of her being, with a sense of roses. Im sure that it will affect profoundly the heart of everyone who reads it, and do much to help our struggling race. It is also beautifully written: my favourite section is the credo, We believe. . . Thank you and Diana for this precious gift.
- Grethe Hooper Hansen
A book which must be read: wide as the world, touching every level, and on up to higher realms and dimensions. Diana in her spiritual awakening, now fully aware of the role she has been chosen to play in the healing of the Universe. . .
- Gwynneth Reed
I was trying to find one word to capture the essence of this exquisite book, and the word luminescence came into my mind: Luminescence, the emission of light. Or in this case, the emission of enlightenment. My dream would be to see Love from Diana made available to the 2.5 billion people who attended her funeral via television - and then to the rest of the world! God bless you for the wonderful gift you and Diana are giving the planet with this book.
- Laura Iverson
Neither science nor religion is satisfying our soul-searching. We look beyond these disciplines for enlightenment; we look beyond conflict for harmony; we look beyond prejudice for compassion. We find Love from Diana. And we are not surprised by the spiritual wisdom of one of the most beloved and respected women who ever walked on Earth. Through her co-author, Michael Joseph, Diana - forever the radiant princess - still graces us with her love, the most powerful energy in the Universe. Thank you, thank you, Diana and Michael, for this treasure you have given us. Its very essence already has made our world a better place!
- Suzanne Ward
FIND OUT MORE AND ORDER "LOVE FROM DIANA" AT
1. Why they had to crush Aristide
2. Ramsey Clark Statement on Haiti
3. 8000 Sacred Drums to Sound on March 21 at noon
4. Peace, Power, and Politics
5. A CHARTER FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
6. Excerpts from WEEKLY GRIST
7. Bush Puts Giant Sequoias on the Chopping Block
8. Sustainability within a Generation: A new vision for Canada
9. Treachery afoot in Australia
10. The Evil That is Walmart
Democratic frontrunner declares he will be stronger war president than Bush (March 2)
In a speech Friday in Los Angeles, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the likely presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, attacked the Bush administrations management of the war on terror and declared that he would be a more effectiveand more aggressivewar president. The bulk of Kerrys criticism of the Bush administrations foreign and military policy was from the right, not the left, a clear indication of the type of campaign the Democratic Party will wage for the November election. He referred disparagingly to armchair hawks in the Pentagon and White House, implicitly contrasting the lack of personal experience in warfare on the part of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz with his own experience as a Vietnam combat veteran. I dont fault George Bush for doing too much in the war on terror, Kerry said. I believe he has done too little.... (...) In his Los Angeles speech, Kerry outlined a foreign policy posture hardly distinguishable from the Bush doctrine of unilateral preemption, as the prospective Democratic nominee termed it. He said that he would, if necessary, order direct military action against terrorist groups, with or without international support. Allies give us more hands in the struggle, he said, but no president would ever let them tie our hands and prevent us from doing what must be done.... As president, I pledge to you, Ill never wait for a green light from abroad, from any other institution, if our safety and security are legitimately at stake. Kerry boasted that George Bush inherited the strongest military in the world from the Democratic administration of Clinton and Gore. And I know and members of the military know ... that George Bush has in fact weakened that military by overextending it. He called for increasing the power of both the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies, with an additional 40,000 active-duty Army troops and a spy apparatus centralized under the control of the CIA director. He supported involving the CIA directly in domestic police spying, which he described as an effort to break down the barriers between national intelligence and local law enforcement. (...) What makes Kerrys contribution so valuable, in the eyes of the ruling elite, is that his campaign will deprive the American people of any significant choice on the most basic issue, war and peace. There will be no fundamental change in US foreign policy if Kerry wins the election. (...) In an interview with the Los Angeles Times after the speech, Kerry said he would be potentially more aggressive than past Democratic presidents when it came to deploying military force abroad. CLIP (!!!)
Israel, US 'main beneficiaries' (March 3)
The head of Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah said Israel and the United States were the main beneficiaries of the deadly attacks in Iraq and pointed to the al-Qaeda terror network as their author. "Israel and the United States are the principal beneficiaries of the attack that killed dozens of people in Baghdad and Karbala," Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said at a ceremony in southern Beirut marking the Ashura holy day of mourning. "The objective is to sow discord among Muslims, between Sunnis and Shi'ites," a visibly shaken Sheik Nasrallah told a crowd of more than 100,000. "Israel, which wants to destroy Iraq, has provided a lot of money and agents and formed sabotage networks in Iraq," he alleged. "The American administration wants to dominate Iraq and pillage its oil and other resources." Sheik Nasrallah also speculated about the political nature and program of the Iraqi "resistance" which, he said, "kills more Iraqis than Americans". He indirectly accused the al-Qaeda terror network of Osama bin Laden of attacking Iraqi civilians. "Groups exist which act under the name of Islam, who live in the Middle Ages, deprived of all reason and who spill the blood of Muslims. That is the big danger," he said. A leading Lebanese Shi'ite cleric, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, warned another gathering in southern Beirut against a US plan to create divisions in Iraq. "The United States is working to provoke major hostilities on the Iraqi scene in a bid to prolong its occupation," he said.
NOTE: The execution of this so-called "terrorist attack" precisely timed to happen on "Super Tuesday" along with the hyped announcement by NASA that the presence of water on Mars is "proven" - BTW the 8th times NASA announces there is water on Mars - isn't a coincidence... Very convenient to obliterate Kerry's victory from the front page, which it mostly did succeed to achieve...
Gangs Of America: The Rise Of Corporate Power And The Disabling Of Democracy
Corporations are the dominant force in modern life, surpassing even church and state. The largest are richer than entire nations, and courts have given these entities more rights than people. To many Americans, corporate power seems out of control. According to a Business Week/Harris poll released in September 2000, 82 percent of those surveyed agreed that business has too much power over too many aspects of our lives. And the recent revelations of corporate scandal and political influence have only added to such concerns.
Chavez Calls Bush 'Asshole' as Foes Fight Troops (February 29)
CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush an "asshole" on Sunday for meddling, and vowed never to quit office like his Haitian counterpart as troops battled with opposition protesters demanding a recall referendum against him. Chavez, who often says the U.S. is backing opposition efforts to topple his leftist government, accused Bush of heeding advice from "imperialist" aides to support a brief 2002 coup against him. "He was an asshole to believe them," Chavez roared at a huge rally of supporters in Caracas. The Venezuelan leader's comments came as fresh violence broke out on the streets of the capital, where National Guard troops clashed with opposition protesters pressing for a vote to end his five-year rule. Military helicopters roared in low runs overhead as soldiers fired tear gas and plastic bullets to repel several hundred opposition demonstrators who threw stones and set up burning barricades in eastern Caracas late into the night. Troops and opposition activists also skirmished in other cities.
Israel / Palestine Separation Wall Photos
These pictures are horrific and defy any "reasonable" explanation. They represent acts of thievery and genocide against a "defenseless" (as in military resources) civilian population. This relentless systemic provocation against the Palestinians via Israeli state terrorist campaigns, with state of the art,high-tech weaponry, plays out like a reenactment of the classic biblical tale of David and Goliath. Then when the underdog, Palestinians fight back, after years of provocations, by throwing stones at their oppressors, or resorting to homemade bombs-projected by desperate, suicide bombers, THEN the Palestinians are called TERRORISTS and THEY are blamed for the "CONFLICT." Heads Israel wins Tails Palestine loses. Of course, this is a futile and a desperate response/reaction to the ongoing pillage, plunder, despotism, and murder perpetrated against them on a regular basis. So regular, in fact, that suffering/terrorism itself, has come to powerfully shape and define the Palestinians as a people more than any other factor. In this way they've been reduced to a survival mode of living and being. Of course, this is a planned MOSSAD psychological Operation to defeat them; it's the mental counterpart to physical beatings and torture. It's the formula used to colonize and break the spirit of an occupied people. Anyone who cares to ferret out the facts around this so called "conflict" can unravel the carefully woven blanket of lies back to its very first thread. CLIP
RFID Tags in New US Notes Explode When You Try to Microwave Them (See pictures!)
US/UK Invasion Killed 10,000 Civilians
(Also from http://www.envirosagainstwar.org/edit/index.php?op=view&itemid=1109)
The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths - UK and US authorities discourage counting of deaths as a result of the conflict. But academics are monitoring the toll and have identified a grim new milestone. (...)The Largest Civilian Casualty Count Since Vietnam - Iraq Body Count's co-founder, John Sloboda, said: "This official disinterest must end. We are now calling for an independent international tribunal to be set up to establish the numbers of dead, the circumstances in which they were killed and an appropriate and just level of compensation for the victims' families."(...)Some Estimates of Total Deaths in Iraq Invasion 'As High As' 200,000 - Several other groups have attempted to make educated guesses of the war's true total of dead and injured. Among them is Medact, a organisation of British health professionals, most of whom are doctors. In November, it published a report on the war's casualties and health problems in post-conflict Iraq. Omitted from this report was a suggestion that the total dead and wounded on both sides could be as high as 150,000-200,000. But in the end, it was felt that the lack of scientific basis for this figure would undermine a carefully worded report. One of the issues confusing any attempt to arrive at an accurate figure for the war's toll is the unknown number of Iraqi military who died. This is in marked contrast to the precise records of coalition service fatalities and injuries, which are kept by service arm, age, circumstance, and, in the case of wounded, by severity. Meanwhile, no one knows Iraqi military deaths to the nearest 20,000. Iraq Body Count concentrates on quantifiable civilian deaths. On its website, the organisation says: "So far, in the 'war on terror' initiated since 9/11, the USA and its allies have been responsible for over 13,000 civilian deaths, not only the 10,000 in Iraq, but also 3,000-plus civilian deaths in Afghanistan, another death toll that continues to rise long after the world's attention has moved on. "Elsewhere in the world, over the same period, paramilitary forces hostile to the USA have killed 408 civilians in 18 attacks worldwide. Adding the official 9/11 death toll (2,976 on 29 October 2003) brings the total to just under 3,500."
Study on DU Cancer Risks in Iraq 'Suppressed (Feb 22)
Radiation experts issued a warning in 2001 that the use of Depleted Uranium weapons by US and UK troops in Gulf war posed a long-term health risk to the civilian population of Iraq but, the lead author now says, the report was ordered to be kept secret by the World Health Organization. (...) Hundreds of thousands of DU shells were fired by coalition tanks and planes during the conflict, and there has been no comprehensive decontamination. Experts from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have so far not been allowed into Iraq to assess the pollution. "The radiation and the chemical toxicity of DU could also act together to create a cocktail effect that further increases the risk of cancer. These are all worrying possibilities that urgently require more investigation," he said. Baverstocks anxiety about the health effects of DU in Iraq is shared by Pekka Haavisto, the chairman of the UN Environment Programmes Post-Conflict Assessment Unit in Geneva. "It is certainly a concern in Iraq, there is no doubt about that," he said. UNEP, which surveyed DU contamination in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2002, is keen to get into Iraq to monitor the situation as soon as possible. It has been told by the British government that about 1.9 tonnes of DU was fired from tanks around Basra, but has no information from US forces, which are bound to have used a lot more.
Russian Air Force Ready to Strike Worldwide (March 2)
The Russian Air Force is rebuilding its strenth with a new generation of strategic bombers that will give it the capablitiy to project force around the world.
WMD-gate: A Gathering Embarrassment
Greenspan Testimony Highlights Bush Plan for Deliberate Federal Bankruptcy (March 2)
The Gore of the Christ (March 4)
Mel Gibson's 'Passion' makes for an entertaining, gory action film, but that's it.
Question to ponder: Why is it that this year the Academy Awards show was moved a month earlier? Last year it took place on March 23. Do they know something we don't?
Why they had to crush Aristide
Haiti's elected leader was regarded as a threat by France and the US
March 2, 2004
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected president of Haiti in November 2000 with more than 90% of the vote. He was elected by people who approved his courageous dissolution, in 1995, of the armed forces that had long terrorised Haiti and had overthrown his first administration. He was elected by people who supported his tentative efforts, made with virtually no resources or revenue, to invest in education and health. He was elected by people who shared his determination, in the face of crippling US opposition, to improve the conditions of the most poorly paid workers in the western hemisphere.
Aristide was forced from office on Sunday by people who have little in common except their opposition to his progressive policies and their refusal of the democratic process. With the enthusiastic backing of Haiti's former colonial master, a leader elected with overwhelming popular support has been driven from office by a loose association of convicted human rights abusers, seditious former army officers and pro-American business leaders.
It's obvious that Aristide's expulsion offered Jacques Chirac a long-awaited chance to restore relations with an American administration he dared to oppose over the attack on Iraq. It's even more obvious that the characterisation of Aristide as yet another crazed idealist corrupted by absolute power sits perfectly with the political vision championed by George Bush, and that the Haitian leader's downfall should open the door to a yet more ruthless exploitation of Latin American labour.
If you've been reading the mainstream press over the past few weeks, you'll know that this peculiar version of events has been carefully prepared by repeated accusations that Aristide rigged fraudulent elections in 2000; unleashed violent militias against his political opponents; and brought Haiti's economy to the point of collapse and its people to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.
But look a little harder at those elections. An exhaustive and convincing report by the International Coalition of Independent Observers concluded that "fair and peaceful elections were held" in 2000, and by the standard of the presidential elections held in the US that same year they were positively exemplary.
Why then were they characterised as "flawed" by the Organisation of American States (OAS)? It was because, after Aristide's Lavalas party had won 16 out of 17 senate seats, the OAS contested the methodology used to calculate the voting percentages. Curiously, neither the US nor the OAS judged this methodology problematic in the run-up to the elections.
However, in the wake of the Lavalas victories, it was suddenly important enough to justify driving the country towards economic collapse. Bill Clinton invoked the OAS accusation to justify the crippling economic embargo against Haiti that persists to this day, and which effectively blocks the payment of about $500m in international aid.
But what about the gangs of Aristide supporters running riot in Port-au-Prince? No doubt Aristide bears some responsibility for the dozen reported deaths over the last 48 hours. But given that his supporters have no army to protect them, and given that the police force serving the entire country is just a tenth of the force that patrols New York city, it's worth remembering that this figure is a small fraction of the number killed by the rebels in recent weeks.
One of the reasons why Aristide has been consistently vilified in the press is that the Reuters and AP wire services, on which most coverage depends, rely on local media, which are all owned by Aristide's opponents. Another, more important, reason for the vilification is that Aristide never learned to pander unreservedly to foreign commercial interests. He reluctantly accepted a series of severe IMF structural adjustment plans, to the dismay of the working poor, but he refused to acquiesce in the indiscriminate privatisation of state resources, and stuck to his guns over wages, education and health.
What happened in Haiti is not that a leader who was once reasonable went mad with power; the truth is that a broadly consistent Aristide was never quite prepared to abandon all his principles.
Worst of all, he remained indelibly associated with what's left of a genuine popular movement for political and economic empowerment. For this reason alone, it was essential that he not only be forced from office but utterly discredited in the eyes of his people and the world. As Noam Chomsky has said, the "threat of a good example" solicits measures of retaliation that bear no relation to the strategic or economic importance of the country in question. This is why the leaders of the world have joined together to crush a democracy in the name of democracy.
· Peter Hallward teaches French at King's College London and is the author of Absolutely Postcolonial
New Scandal Rocks Bush Administration - Aristide Confirms Kidnap and Coup
US Troops arrested and Deported Aristide (March 1)
More U.S. troops to go to Haiti to quell populist Sandanista-style populist revolution
International troops secure key Haitian sites (March 1)
A rebel convoy today rolled into the centre of Haiti's capital, encountering no resistance and stopping in the plaza outside the presidential palace where half a dozen US marines could be seen within the grounds.
MEDIA ALERT: BRINGING HELL TO HAITI - PART 2 (March 2, 2004)
MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
Forwarded by "Jean-Pierre Caron" firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "A.N.S.W.E.R." email@example.com
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004
Subject: Ramsey Clark Statement on Haiti
International Action Center
Founded by Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark
39 W. 14th St., NY, NY, 10011
A Message from Ramsey Clark March 1, 2004
The Bush administration has worked towards the removal of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office for three years. It has enforced a unilateral embargo and cut off humanitarian aid to the poorest country in the hemisphere. It has sought to undermine support for President Aristide while supporting his opposition. It has waged a relentless propaganda campaign to force him out of office. It has supported calls for elections in violation of the constitution and laws of Haiti.
Most recently the U.S. has forced regime change by armed aggression supporting former Haitian military officers, FRAPH leaders and criminal elements who entered Haiti with heavy firepower. Though only hundreds in number they easily captured Cap Haitien, Gonaives, Hinche and Les Cayes, killing the police who were untrained in warfare, or in defending against commando units, armed only with pistols.
This small force could never have entered Haiti if President Aristide, a man of peace, had not abolished the Haitian army, a praiseworthy act. Unfortunately, this left the country defenseless against armed aggression.
The international organizations, CARICOM, OAS and the UN should have acted to protect the democratically elected government of Haiti. After Costa Rica abolished its army, President Somoza (who U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt called "our SOB") of Nicaragua, twice threatened invasions of Costa Rica, only to be stopped, once by the OAS and once by Venezuela.
The U.S. consistently acted to force President Aristide to leave Haiti, abandon his constitutional duties, repudiate democratic processes and desert his people to the tender mercies of the Old Regime. The army, the paramilitary FRAPH, criminal gangs and the old oligarchy that supported Duvalier terrorism against the Haitian people with U.S. support for 30 years. When in 1986 Baby Doc Duvalier was forced to leave, his repressive forces no longer able to contain the anger of the people, it was in a U.S. Air Force plane to the French Riviera with millions of dollars wrung from the sweat of the poor people of Haiti.
President Aristide consistently refused to leave his people, to resign, to subvert Haitian democracy and constitutional government under enormous pressure from the Bush Administration. He was under that enormous pressure for months as violence was again threatening his presidency as it did in 1991, nine months into his first term as the first democratically elected president of Haiti, the first and only country in which a successful slave rebellion took place. That revolution was begun by Toussaint Louverteur in 1791 and ended under Jean-Jacques Dessalines and others who defeated Napoleon's legions, 20,000 strong, and win independence for Haiti in 1804.
In his autobiography published in exile in 1992 first in France, Aristide wrote, "In Haiti, we are watching the ascent of a rebellious people who are revolting against slavery. I am only the reflection, an echo of that movement?they are the principal actors. I simply try to exist in their dimension, to show love and non-violence, through and beyond all the difficulties of life, as the only thing that will enable us to go forward."
President Aristide listed in the final chapter of his autobiography, "The Ten Commandments of Democracy in Haiti," first spoken by him before the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 1991. The commandments of President Aristide, the political faith of a priest, scholar and person of, by and for the poor, included: liberty; democracy; fidelity to human rights; the right to eat and to work; defense of the Haitian diaspora; no to violence; fidelity to the human being and the highest form of wealth and fidelity to Haitian culture; everyone around the same table.
This is the man President Bush has deposed.
If the Bush administration policy of unilateral wars of aggression, violations of international law and the U.S. Constitution and regime change is to be stopped before the U.S. loses its last friend and creates a wave of terrorism that will engulf the planet for years, the U.S. Congress must investigate:
1. The role of the U.S. in forcing President Aristide from Haiti.
2. The support the Bush administration gave in training, financing and arming the aggression against Haiti.
3. The acts the Bush administration took to destabilize social order in Haiti, to support the old army, the FRAPH and the wealthy oligarchies.
4. The role the U.S. played in President Aristide's sudden departure from Haiti, contrary to all his public statements, and his transport to a distant country.
5. Any explanation the Bush administration has for its failure to demand the former military, FRAPH and other violent groups lay down their arms, arms the U.S. provided, until the eve of the president's coerced departure.
6. Why Washington placed every pressure at its disposal to force the democratically elected President of Haiti to surrender his constitutional powers.
7. Why President Aristide was kidnapped in fact, even as Toussaint Louverture was kidnapped to imprisonment in France in 1803 and Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo was kidnapped by U.S. soldiers to end the Philippine-American War in 1901?
The Western Hemisphere cannot be a safe or happy place until U.S. military and economic intervention and regime change end, justice for all is assured, reparations for past offenses to Haiti are paid and until President Aristide returns for Haiti to serve his people.
March 1, 2004
New Book: Haiti A Slave Revolution is a powerful anthology. Fredrick Douglas, Edwidge Danticat, Mumia Abu Jamal, Ramsey Clark, Ben Dupuy, Maude LeBlanc, Paul Laraque and others document 200 years of U.S. interventions, blockades, invasions and occupations against the first successful slave revolution in history. 250 pages, photo section, index. Order from http://www.leftbooks.com Read chapters from the book at: http://www.iacenter.org/haiti/index.htm
William Rivers Pitt | Aristide Kidnapped by U.S. Forces?
President Aristide: 'I Was Kidnapped'
From: "Flora Ruth" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: 8000 Sacred Drums to Sound on March 21 at noon
Date: 2 Mar 2004
EIGHT THOUSAND SACRED DRUMS
FOR THE HEALING OF THE MOTHER EARTH AND ENSURE LIFE AND PEACE
WORLDWIDE CALL TO
The Indigenous First Nations, Peoples, Communities and Organizations of the World and all Humankind
According to a Prophecy Revealed at the Otomi Ceremonial Center by the Otomi Elder Sages to the Indigenous Peoples and all Humankind and a Vision of our Venerable Ancestors, the day when the Sounds of Eight Thousand Sacred Drums join together will be the beginning of a true Healing of Mother Earth, of All the Species and of the Human Family - which is now in total disequilibrium - in order to be able to live together on the road to Sacred Peace, in harmonious union with the Universe, Mother Nature, the Community, the Family and our own Hearts. It is time to re-unify ourselves and rediscover for ourselves all the Seeds of the Four Directions in order to reactivate cosmic energy, heal historical wounds and heal our Mother Earth by respecting life and the liberty and dignity of our Peoples.
The Otomi Nation, through the Council of the Elders and the Guardians of the Otomi Tradition, the Dänguu Mfädi Mähki Ñuu (Grand House of Otomi Knowledge), and the International Indigenous University invite to:
* Indigenous Keepers of the Ancestral, Ceremonial and Medicinal Sound of the Sacred Drums
* Councils of Elders, Sages and Leaders of all Indigenous Nations, Peoples and Organizations
* Indigenous Guides, Guardians and Spiritual Leaders
* And All Traditions of Humankind to come together at the Grand Indigenous Ceremony of the EIGHT THOUSAND SACRED DRUMS FOR THE HEALING THE MOTHER EARTH AND ENSURE LIFE AND PEACE .
Which will be held at the Otomi Ceremonial Center in Temoaya, State of México, Otomi Nation, México, and at Ceremonial Centers and Sacred Indigenous Sites around the world at 12 noon on March 21, 2004.
Universidad Indigena Internacional
1. Blessing of the Sacred Drums.
It will be a great blessing for Traditions from around the World to be represented by the Drums at the Otomi Ceremonial Center in Temoaya, State of México, Otomi Native Nation, México, taking part together in the Grand Ceremony of 8,000 Sacred Drums to cure Mother Earth and ensure Life and Peace (March 21, 2004) and the International Indigenous In-Gathering of Sacred Drums (March 18-20, 2004).
2. The Spirit of 8,000 Sacred Drums.
The prophecy of the ancestors of the Otomi Native Nation, the Sacred Civilizatión of Silence, Sound, Time, Space and Corn (Ñätho-Ñähñu-Ñuhmu-Ñuhu-Olmecas-Toltecas-Teotihuacanos), is an Awakening of Indigenous Peoples and of All Humankind. We will come together to make the Sound of 8,000 Sacred Drums (the number may be 8,000 times 8,000 worldwide) to enable the Vibration of All the Sacred Drums to generate Mähki Ñithi (Powerful Sacred Medicine) and Ts¶edi Pa (intensified Healing Energy) to Heal Mother Earth.
The messages from our wise elders (both men and women) also speak to us of the need to transform drums of war into Drums of Peace and to recognize the importance of the work for harmony and the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.
To leave a message of Love and Respect for all forms of Life on the planet. Life with Liberty, Justice, Dignity and Sacred Peace. To recognize that Everything is Sacred, and that our mission is to work to ensure that our life is in equilibrium with our families, communities, peoples, humanity, plants, animals, air, earth, fire, the Cosmos and our own heart.
To present the option of Mother Earth and for Life and Peace as a legacy for present and future generations.
3. Meeting Place.
Notwithstanding the In-Gathering, the idea is that those that cannot attend, in their thousands or millions, can connect with this Grand Indigenous Ceremony. This is why, with all the love and respect of our heart, we are inviting your Family, Group, Council, Collective, Association, Community, or Native People or Nation of all regions and countries worldwide to meet at some Sacred Place (a Valley, Desert, Jungle, Island, Lake, Forest, Mountain, Cave, River, Waterfall, Ceremonial Center, Temple or special Site of your own, at the Altar in your Home, your Cultural or Educational Center or some other Meeting Place, such as a Public Square, Garden, or any other space conducive to a Meeting.
4. Time and Date of Ceremony.
The purpose is to join the Sound of the Sacred Drums for an hour (60 minutes) at 12 noon (local time at every location on the Planet) on March 21, 2004. Depending on your local capabilities and conditions, you can begin your activities for one hour or 12 hours any time between dawn and dusk, or activities may continue all day (for 24 hours).
5. Ways to Connect and Share.
You can play and thereby connect with the sound of the Sacred Drums or other similar percussion instruments. You can also connect through other musical instruments, dancing and sacred chants; you can hold a ceremony or rituals; you can meditate or pray in any language. You can unite the drum of your heart with the drum of all Humankind. May all the power and sacred medicine of the Sacred Drums come to us, unite us and bring us together, reconcile us and heal us and bring joy to our hearts.
6. For the Earth, Peace and Life.
Every Sister, Brother, Family, Group, Council, Collective, Association, Community, Native People, Native Nation or any other Tradition from every area on the planet can have activities before, during and after the Grand Ceremony of 8,000 Sacred Drums. These activities may be focused on the defense and respect of Mother Earth (jungles, forests, ceremonial centers and sacred sites), Peace (for the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples and of all Traditional Societies worldwide) and Life (Equilibrium with animal, plant, mineral and human Life. Life is sacred and in harmony and dignity with all living things).
7. Be in Touch.
We ask you to be in communication with us. Let us know how many Sacred Drums are involved from your home areas; let us know that we are connecting with every place and region so that we will know about the ceremonies, meetings, festivals, workshops, meditations, and ceremonial, cultural and fraternal activities being held around Sacred Drums. May the shimmering of light bathe us and may healing energy spread among everyone so that we can feel, experience and share in peace and love at all times.
8. Sacred Ceremony.
For those who would like to attend, we will share this Sacred Ceremony of March 21, 2004, with you. As a gesture of love and respect, you may begin as follows:
* Dawn Ceremony (Greetings to the Four Directions, the Heart of the Sky and of the Earth and Our Heart)
* Offering to Father Sun
* Ceremony to Bless and Consecrate the Drums
* Harmonious playing and cosmic sound of the Drums (12:00 noon)
* Messages to heal Mother Nature and ensure Life and Peace of the Four Directions
* Sacred Convergence (Music and Song)
* Farewell Ceremony (Greetings to the Four Directions, the Heart of the Sky and of the Earth and Our Heart)
Other resources on New Information:
Tradiciones ancestrales amerindias
The sounding of the 8000 drums will be at the Otomi Ceremonial Centre of Temoaya, Mexico State, Otomi Nation, March 21, 12 noon local time. Information on: http://www.globalmeditations.com/mexico.htm
Peace, Power, and Politics
By Louise Diamond, Ph.D.
The Peace Company
Im a war president
.I make decisions here in the Oval Office
with war on my mind. So said President Bush, in his Meet the Press interview of February 8.
This war president and his advisers (and their special interest friends) have unapologetically taken the United States into an open-ended state of war. Worse, they have claimed this war as their core domestic and national policy.
The intense beauty of American democracy is that we can choose our leaders, and the choice in this 2004 election season could not be clearer. We have war leaders, who are leading us on a warpath a path guaranteed to generate more and more violence, militarization, and human suffering. Now we must choose peace leaders, who will make the peace path their primary goal.
Peace is more than the absence of war. It is an active presence in society of a way of life that honors life. We need leaders who will address the root causes of terrorism, injustice, and oppression not their symptoms. We need leaders who will put our prodigious resources toward establishing the conditions for peace, at home and abroad. We need leaders who are willing to take responsibility for our own actions, before pointing the blame at others.
What we give our energy to, we create. In this election year, we are choosing the shape of our future. We are deciding who will decide for us on issues of life and death; war and peace; blood and treasure. It matters who our political leaders are; it matters profoundly.
Peace, power, and politics are intimately related. A society rooted in peace requires conscious leadership. Peace does not happen by accident; it takes vision, commitment, and creativity at all levels of society, including and especially at the top.
For peace to flourish, we need leaders who understand and can act on the following:
1. We are one family of life. A peace leader sees beyond the narrow interests of any individual, group, or nation to the good of the whole web of life, and fosters cooperation to that end.
2. Right relationship requires open-heartedness and a commitment to nonviolence. A peace leader uses dialogue and moral suasion, not violence and threat, as the tools of relationship. S/he leads for compassion and healing, not dominance and divisiveness, and refuses to collude with oppression.
3. We create together the world we share. A peace leader practices power with rather than power over. S/he chooses partnership rather than supremacy in relationships, and assures that opportunity, participation, and information are available equally to all.
4. Peace entails change. A peace leader helps people learn new habits and release the old so we can make the many changes in our worldview, institutions, behavior patterns, and norms required for moving from the warpath to the peace path.
5. Peace leadership comes from the inside out. Real peace leaders demonstrate the greatest integrity of values and vision; they generate love, not fear, and inspire others to do the same.
These principles are a blueprint not just for new leadership in 2004, but for a new kind of leadership. Imagine if such a peace leader had been president during the last three years. Some highlights of such an administration might have been:
- On September 12, 2001, even as we were preparing a military strike against Al Qaeda, we would have also been initiating a massive dialogue between Christians, Moslems, and Jews to speak honestly about the burdens of history, to explore our current differences, to find common ground, and to build a shared agenda for how we can live together in peace and mutual respect.
- The president would have launched a public interest campaign and legislative initiative, in the name of national security, to address the rapid depletion of fossil fuels (especially oil) by transforming our patterns of consumption and developing renewable sources of energy.
- The president would have addressed the continuing racial divide in this country by initiating a nation-wide conversation seeking to heal past and current wounds and root out all forms of racism personal and structural that linger in our society.
Picture our world of today and the possibilities for our future if such policies had been pursued.
A Wake-Up Call
We dont, alas, have such a peace leader; we have a war leader, whose administration is using the incredible power at its disposal to take us down a very dangerous road. Having worked in war zones around the world, I am acutely aware of where this path can lead. I see four very strong warning signs:
1. The Concentration of Power
Its important to know who benefits from ongoing conflict, and who suffers. Those who are advantaged by the misery of others, whether we call them war profiteers or prime contractors, will use their power to continue the status quo and increase their own gain. The defense contractors, energy companies, and the Halliburtons of the business world continue to expand their bank accounts and their voice within this administration.
Meanwhile, millions of Iraqis and Afghanis still have no jobs or electricity; are mourning their dead and binding up their injured; and face an uncertain future. American soldiers (and their families) live with the daily threat of where the next suicide bomber will strike. At home, as the people foot the bill for our military adventures and the deficit rises, it is the everyday citizen who finds affordable health care, quality education, and decent jobs harder and harder to attain.
In other words, the military-corporate-political nexus of power benefits from our ongoing state of war, while the people disproportionately women, children, and the poor bear the burden.
2. The Manipulation of Fear
In Rwanda, genocide was promoted through an insidious tactic: community leaders broadcast warnings that essentially said, They (the other group) are planning to destroy you. You must get them before they get you. And so people did unspeakable deeds, believing they were acting in their own defense. The Bush administration is using the same argument regarding Iraq, claiming we had to stop Saddam Hussein before he gained the ability to harm us. Indeed, he is enshrining pre-emption as the jewel in the crown of his foreign policy.
Wars are fueled by fear. When the people are harangued continuously on the dangers that face them from the enemy, they close down their ability to think for themselves, to find creative solutions, and to keep an open heart and mind. This puts more power in the hands of the leadership, who can manipulate that fear toward a variety of ends, not the least of which is to maintain and increase power and wealth for themselves and their cronies.
3. The Tightening of Social Control
The only way to sustain power in this scenario is to deny the people the ability to object. Thus the tools of social control are used to repress alternative views, facts that do not conform to the official line, or outright opposition to current policies. The media, for instance, does not show images of soldiers returning from Iraq in body bags, to avoid incensing the public. Nor does it cover the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic nomination for president a candidacy that is based firmly in a commitment to peace as the organizing principle of society, and in uncompromising opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The government itself now tracks and subpoenas citizens engaged in peaceful demonstrations, holds people in indefinite detention without access to lawyers or family, and labels dissidents as unpatriotic.
Democracy the power of the people to determine their destiny depends on a free inflow (of information) and outflow (of diverse opinions). When information is limited, and when people are threatened with punishment for speaking their minds, democracy is hobbled. When taken to the extreme, these conditions give rise to tyranny, as was the case in Bosnia. There, dissidents were silenced through intimidation and threat, allowing the fratricide to unfold, while the warlords and profiteers became ever more powerful.
4. Framing the Story
The ultimate tool of leadership for good or for ill - is the ability to define the terms of the story that then becomes our collective reality. Once the story line is laid out, and labels are apportioned (freedom fighters for our friends; terrorists for our enemies), the people forget there is another way to interpret the data and understand the issues. Constant repetition further closes off possibilities and dialogue, and insures that any dissent seems radical.
Our war president is organizing his administration around a story whose central plot is a war on terrorism. Indeed, the threat of Al Qaeda and a network of similarly-minded organizations, is very real and, I would submit, growing in part because of our policies. However, the use of the terms terrorism and national security to justify a whole range of incursions into the civil rights and liberties of the people (in this country and, under cover of the Bush administration policy, in other countries as well), is a tactic that erodes and ultimately destroys the underpinnings of democracy. (Read more about the use and abuse of the word terrorism at http://www.iht.com/articles/130006.html)
Where True Power Lies
I believe we can still change the direction of this country and the world. To do so, we must take responsibility for the political leadership of our nation in every contest for school board, mayor, governor, state lawmaker, congress, and presidency. We must articulate our vision for a world at peace in clear and practical terms, and then insist that our leaders lead for that vision. In short, we must overcome lethargy, despair, and indifference and wake up to our true power to shape our future, starting now.
For true power is not power over others, but power with others to shape our collective reality. True power is our innate ability to write our own story to set our goals, focus our energies and resources on those goals, and manifest our dreams through action and skill. This is co-creativity, the power of creation at work throughout the entire web of life. If we remain unconscious of this power, others can manipulate us to their narrow ends. When we are aware of, and responsible for, this power, we can pro-actively determine how we will be together on this one earth we share. It is an awesome responsibility to know that our thoughts, our words and our actions (or inactions) really do make a difference. To abdicate that responsibility in this political season with a president who makes decisions with war on his mind is to court disaster.
The choices are stark, and the consequences vital. We are called to step into the power of the people that defines our precious democracy, and use these elections to turn the course of history toward the peace path, while we still can.
Here are five ways to do this:
1. Define a Peace Agenda
The peace path is new territory for humanity. We must articulate its vision, its values, its norms, its practical benefits, and its institutions. We must frame the peace story, and lay it out before the people so they can see the alternatives to the war story being promulgated by our war president. Just as peace is more than the absence of war, so this election is more than just stopping a war leader. It is about identifying what a nation and a world premised on peace and nonviolence would look like, and laying out the strategic and tactical plans for getting there.
Elsewhere I have described a brief Peace Agenda that I believe is a good litmus test for all candidates for elective office. (Click here to read A Peace Agenda) You can use that document, or one that you create, as a way of inviting candidates and voters into the discussion. You can also use it to help clarify what is important to you in your own life, remembering that peace begins with me.
2. Identify and Support Existing Peace Leaders
In the presidential race, I believe Dennis Kucinich is the true peace leader in the pack. His sponsorship of legislation to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace sets him apart as one who understands the need to institutionalize the principles of peace and nonviolence at every level of our society. Dennis has consistently opposed the war in Iraq, supported multi-lateral efforts on that and other global problems, and crafted positions that honor and value the well-being of all the people, not just the influential and the wealthy. I encourage you to go to his website (http://www.kucinich.us) to learn more about and support his candidacy.
3. Seek Out and Educate New Peace Leaders Including Yourself
Every seat in the House of Representatives is at stake in this election, and a third of the Senate seats. There are local positions on the ballot as well. All of these are potential peace leaders or not.
If you dont find candidates that you consider to be suitable peace leaders, find those who are closest to your values, and educate them. Dont just listen passively to what they have to say tell them what you want. Show up at events where they are speaking, send them emails, call them, sign on to their website dialogue or blog sites. Remember that they are running for office in order to serve you. Tell them how you want to be served, and how they can serve peace.
In this process, you too become a peace leader, magnetizing others toward your vision of peace. The true secret of effective leadership in these times is that is does not reside in the one but in the many. Each one of us is a peace leader in our homes, in our communities, our workplaces, and in our world. Each one of us is crafting the story that will shape our future. Every action, every word, every thought, even, is a paving stone along the peace path or not. (Click here to learn more about Peace Leadership.)
4. Engage the Media
We need to get a peace agenda out in the public view. Be pro-active in using the media to frame the issues by submitting op-eds, letters to the editors, news briefs, and press releases. Make yourself available to local outlets as a speaker or commentator. Insist that the media cover your preferred candidates and issues. Respond to the coverage that is given; hold the media accountable for limiting information.
Make news yourself, by initiating activities that get coverage, and alerting the media to key events. Your local weekly community press or public access station reaches many people. Check out alternative media and use its resources
Participate in mass email actions
Create your own email actions, by sending articles and action opportunities to your email list and asking that they be passed along to others.
Use the medium of your own voice to promote a peace agenda. Talk with your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues about what you are thinking and doing to support peace leadership, and about why peace is the critical issue for you in this election. Form a small peace circle that meets regularly to think, learn, and act together. Seek out even those you most disagree with, to engage in constructive dialogue and to discover common ground.
Participate in online dialogues, and post your thoughts on various websites. In short, use every possible medium to inform others and to receive good information about peace and peace candidates. If we are silent on these matters, we cede the commons to those who are waving the standard of war to rally the people. With no options, the people will follow what they see before them.
The vote is our voice. Sadly, one-half or less of our citizens exercise this right. If we understand that we are casting our votes for peace as a way of life and an agenda for governance rather than for a particular person we realize the critical importance of every single ballot.
To lift our voice for peace leadership, we need to vote at every opportunity local and national; primary, special, and regular elections. We also need to encourage others to vote, helping them to register, and offering rides to the polls.
Further, we need to make sure the voting process is safe and fair. New touch-screen voting machines have inherent flaws that may make them neither. Talk with your states Secretary of State to find out what safeguards exist in your polling place. Insist on verifiable paper trails.
If your peace candidate doesnt win at the polls, continue to support their presence on the political scene. Encourage them to continue to carry the peace message. Sometimes being out of office can be a strong platform for speaking truth to power.
The intersection of peace, power, and politics is leadership. In Native American worldview, a good leader is a walking stick the one who goes ahead yet is guided by the hand of the people. When we take our hands off the stick, we shouldnt be surprised if it becomes a cudgel. Only our constant vigilance can insure the true course of our leaders, so we can walk a good road, the peace road, together.
Now is the time for each and every one of us to take a firm hold of that stick, and insist that those we choose to lead us step out in the direction of a nation and a world where peace is the guiding light and war becomes a distant memory. Now is the time when we test ourselves on the old adage that the people get the leaders they deserve. We deserve our children deserve a peace-full tomorrow. This election season is when we finally stand up together and say so.
Louise Diamond, Ph.D., is a professional peacebuilder and the CEO of The Peace Company. She is the author of The Courage for Peace and The Peace Book: 108 Simple Ways to Make a More Peaceful World. Please go to http://www.thepeacecompany.com to learn more about how you can help humanity choose the peace path in these challenging times.
Please feel free to share this article as widely as you can. No copyright permission is needed to display it in whole or in part on your website, your email list, your newsletter, your classroom, or other venues. We ask only that you cite the author and source (Louise Diamond, The Peace Company).
A CHARTER FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
This is based on leaving the past behind us: men should stop killing each other for whatever reason!
Practically, this implies the seven following measures:
1) A formal ban on the manufacture, sale & use of weapons, going hand-in-hand with the conversion of war industries to factories producing useful consumer goods.
2) The compulsory handing-in of all existing weapons and their destruction, save for those rendered harmless & exhibited in a museum of horrors, so that future generations may know what they have been spared.
3) The dismantling of all national armies. This public cleansing process will enable an increase in the number of guardians of the peace entrusted with the protection of security for the citizens. In a society where arms are prohibited, this will be a relatively easy task.
4) The formation of a supra-national police force to deal with terrorists, arms-dealers, drug-traffickers and prostitution and other Mafias. As with Doctors without frontiers, these police forces without frontiers will, also, intervene wherever Human Rights are ignored.
5) The use of so-called National Defence Budgets to definitely eradicate poverty and restore the natural environment already seriously affected by pollution and all kinds of destruction. According to experts, just half current global military spending should suffice to achieve this target.
6) Education of children based on a respect for life and human dignity, the final aim of education being the production of free citizens who are respectful of other persons freedoms.
7) During all coming elections in every country to only vote for those candidates who have approved the present Charter and who abide by it in deed as well as in word.
This is no pious or vain rhetoric, but realizable measures which will enable humanity to enter the Third Millennium under favorable hospices.
DISARMAMENT = SECURITY + PROSPERITY
N.B. If you agree with the 7 points of this Charter and wish to see it adopted some day on a planetary scale, you can photocopy and distribute it as widely as possible.
Contact Address: George Krassovsky, The New Humanism P.O. Box 164
75664 Paris Cedex 14, France Fax: 01 45 40 08 06
Translated from French by Emmanuel Petrakis, French coordinator for the Universal Alliance
The above leaflet has been prepared as a e-document by David Allen Stringer
International Coordinator of the Universal Alliance, Angel Cottage, 84 Par Lane, Par, Cornwall PL24 2DW U.K.
Tel: +44(0)1726 817080
My Own Personal Comments of the Above 7 Proposals
On (1) When I was a child near the British steel city of Sheffield, near the outskirts I saw huge heaps of decommissioned World War 11 tanks and other armaments heaped up so as to help reboot the local steel-industry for peace-time reconstruction for peaceful purposes, so as to cut the costs that would have been incurred by importing more iron ore. If we could beat swords into ploughshares then, why not now? This would also save the environment from further devastating effects of mining. Electric Ark Bessemer Furnaces can use power from ecologically sound as well as fossil fuel sources!
On (2) Such exhibitions could go together with blown-up, journalistic photographs/video shots of their impact on both individuals & entire towns and cities, like a Mutual holocaust memorial.
On (3) As this would lead to a certain amount of short-term unemployment amongst those hitherto employed as soldiers, an interim transition stage could be to retain armies, as armies for peace under the UN to act as emergency relief task-forces in the event of catastrophes such as earthquakes or work on major environmental reclamation, pending their ultimate redeployment in peaceful, civilian alternative industries for which training could be given, fear of job-losses would be removed by this means.
On (4) We would need a World Constitution as put forward by the World Constitution & Parliament Association as based in Colorado USA to be able to make such a proposal operational check out their website at http://www.wcpagren.com
On (6) Education in respect for (all) life, should extend beyond humans to all our fellow creatures, which means that all officially provided school meals should be vegetarian so as to teach by example as the example of eating the slaughtered flesh of our fellow creatures contradicts the mental idea of non-violence in philosophy as an ideal which, thereby, loses its credibility, not being matched by deeds.
On (7) What happens if, in ones particular country or region, there are no such candidates as are committed to this above Charter? Should we take the old anarchist line of dont vote, no politician can be trusted and leave the field open for election victory by dodgy candidates or, more constructively, make sure that there actually are candidates everywhere for whom we could vote A Charter Alliance?
David Allen Stringer
25 Feb - 02 Mar 2004
THERE'S COAL IN THEM THAR HILLS
New Coal-Fired Power Plants on the Horizon
Coal, for decades the reviled stepchild of the U.S. energy family, is about to become the prodigal son. Stoked by easy availability, the rising costs of other fuels, and a growing desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil and gas, coal is roaring back: Plans are in the works to build some 94 new coal-fired power plants in 36 states. Because most plants are still in the private planning phase, not yet open for public comment, the impending coal rush has thus far come in under the radar of most environmental groups and state officials. The burning of coal produces more airborne mercury and greenhouse gases than any other single source, and those levels could increase dramatically when the new plants come online. Says Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's energy program, "I think most Americans would be shocked that utilities are dragging the 19th century into the 21st century."
The Christian Science Monitor, Mark Clayton, 26 Feb 2004
LOOK FOR THE GM LABEL
Battle Over Genetically Modified Foods Rages On
It's been an action-packed couple of weeks in the ongoing global dispute over genetically engineered foods. Just last week, a conference of 80 nations agreed on a strict set of labeling rules for international commodity shipments of GM foods -- rules which will form the basis of the biodiversity-protecting U.N. Cartagena Protocol -- over strenuous objections from the U.S., the world's largest source of GM foods and a fierce opponent of labeling. Meanwhile, Mexico announced that it will ban the import of GM corn designed for non-agricultural (generally chemical or pharmaceutical) purposes, in an attempt to protect its domestic corn industry and public health. Over in the Philippines, scientists investigating a mysterious outbreak of illnesses issued preliminary findings blaming GM corn for introducing new viruses. The findings were immediately challenged by Monsanto, the world's leading GM company, and the Philippine government. The battle rages on ...
MSNBC.com, 27 Feb 2004
Terra Daily, Agence France-Presse, 26 Feb 2004
The Guardian, John Vidal, 27 Feb 2004
Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment
by James Gustave Speth
This book will change the way we understand the future of our planet. It is both alarming and hopeful. James Gustave Speth, renowned as a visionary environmentalist leader, warns that in spite of all the international negotiations and agreements of the past two decades, efforts to protect Earth's environment are not succeeding. Still, he says, the challenges are not insurmountable. He offers comprehensive, viable new strategies for dealing with environmental threats around the world. The author explains why current approaches to critical global environmental problems--climate change, biodiversity loss, deterioration of marine environments, deforestation, water shortages, and others--don't work. He offers intriguing insights into why we have been able to address domestic environmental threats with some success while largely failing at the international level. Setting forth eight specific steps to a sustainable future, Speth convincingly argues that dramatically different government and citizen action are now urgent. If ever a book could be described as "essential," this is it.
Bush Puts Giant Sequoias on the Chopping Block
March 02, 2004
Under the guise of forest fire prevention, the Bush Administration's Forest Service has proposed logging in California's Sequoia National Monument, home to some of the world's tallest and oldest trees, reaching ages of 3,200 years or more. Also at risk are the Pacific fisher, the California spotted owl, and many other threatened species dependent on ancient forest habitat.
Established by President Clinton in 2000, the Monument designation was the culmination of years of work by environmentalists. But in its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for management of the Monument, the Forest Service chose the most environmentally destructive of six alternative management plans, the one calling for the most intensive logging.
Under the Forest Service's "preferred alternative," 80,000 acres would be opened for logging, including trees up to 30 inches in diameter, a size not permitted in most National Forests throughout the Sierra Nevada. The Forest Service's proposal calls for 180 clearcuts, producing 10 million board feet a year.
The Forest Service plan is based on the idea that if the ancient Sequoias aren't logged, they will be vulnerable to catastrophic fires (despite the fact that they have somehow managed to survive for thousands of years on their own). But the real motivation may lie in a sentence buried deep in the EIS, which says logging in the Monument "might make the difference between continued operation and closure of the one mill available to serve the Monument."
If fire prevention is actually the Forest Service's agenda, experts cite better ways to accomplish this, such as thinning the forest near homes and businesses, and increasing the number of prescribed burns.
Logging in the Monument will actually increase the likelihood of severe fires, since removal of the large trees reduces the cooling shade of the forest canopy, and because highly flammable brush accumulates in open areas where logged trees once stood.
In a final insult, the Forest Service plan will actually be subsidized by taxpayers, to the tune of $34 million. Much of that will go toward road building, even though there are already 900 miles of roads in the Monument. And nearly $14 million of taxpayer money will be spent for "mechanical thinning of conifer" -- otherwise known as logging.
Sustainability within a Generation: A new vision for Canada
Despite our reputation, Canada is struggling environmentally. In an extensive OECD study (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Canada finished 28th out of 29 developed countries in categories such as air, water, waste and climate change. Canadians are known for their love of nature, but there is a large gap between our environmental values and our environmental record.
To close this gap and put Canada on a true path to sustainability by the year 2030, the David Suzuki Foundation has developed an action plan called Sustainability within a Generation: A New Vision for Canada. Written by lawyer and leading environmental thinker, David Boyd, the report clearly outlines the solutions to Canadas environmental challenges.
Over-consumption of natural resources and energy are the root causes of Canadas environmental woes. But reducing consumption does not mean reducing our quality of life. To shift to a sustainable economy, we need to focus on generating genuine wealth rather than continuing to measure progress exclusively in financial terms. Genuine wealth is a much broader concept that focuses on five key asset areas: human, natural, social, manufactured, and financial capital.
Canada has the ability to become a world leader in sustainability and environmental conservation. We can do this by:
* Improving efficiency: Canada has a poor record of resource use, and over 90 per cent of material extracted for use in manufacturing goes to waste. We can improve by applying energy efficiency standards to appliances, passenger vehicles, homes and commercial buildings. Improving water efficiency standards, shifting to renewable energy sources like wind, solar and micro-hydro would also help us achieve this goal.
* Eliminating waste and pollution: Eliminating waste means designing production and consumption processes and patterns so that waste is not created. In addition to reducing environmental impacts, reducing waste can produce economic opportunities, create jobs, and save money.
* Building sustainable cities: We can promote regional and national planning that integrates transportation, land-use and environmental planning; and ensuring municipal infrastructure is sustainable and based on smart growth. Its also important to put an end to urban sprawl, which causes air pollution, water pollution, habitat destruction, gridlock, and loss of productive farmland.
Download a copy of the report as a PDF for free.
download the executive summary:
or the full report:
Hard copies can be mailed to you for $15. Click here for ordering information.
For more information about David Boyd, visit http://www.Unnaturallaw.com
Environmental sustainability possible within a generation (Feb 05, 2004)
Dr. Suzuki tells Prime Minister and municipal leaders
From: "Joe Bryant" email@example.com>
Subject: Treachery afoot in Australia
Date: 3 Mar 2004
March 2, 2004
The bill to give the Howard Government's Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, the fascist power to unilaterally ban organizations will be tabled in the Senate tomorrow, following a dirty back-room deal between John Howard and Mark Latham.
Latham's deal has both sold out the ALP's longstanding opposition to this fascist power, and kept the bill out of the public eye until the very last moment, to ensure minimal time for any opposition to mobilize.
The bill will empower Ruddock to proscribe (ban) organizations simply if he is satisfied that the organisation is "directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of terrorist acts".
La Trobe University Associate Law Lecturer Joo-Cheong Tham analysed this new power: "Besides being unnecessary, this Bill carries serious dangers because it confers arbitrary executive power. The arbitrary character of the power to proscribe stems, firstly, from the fact that it is based on reasonably vague criteria. Secondly, it can be exercised on the basis of secret and untested evidence. [WMD anyone?] Thirdly, a weak standard of proof applies with the Attorney-General only being needed to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities."
The man to be given these far-reaching powers, Attorney-General Ruddock told Parliament less than two weeks ago that "the conventional criminal law/due process model [innocent until proven guilty, the right to a fair trial etc] is not only inadequate but inappropriate."
The parallels between this fascist Bill, and the so-called ASIO Bill and the infamous Notverordnung (Emergency Decrees) and Enabling Law passed by the German Reichstag in 1933 gave Hitler his dictatorial powers, which he first used to ban the very opposition political parties he had cajoled to pass the laws!
Australia, Please, urgently contact Senators and air your concerns about legislation designed to give government dictatorial powers. Regards Joe Bryant.
Forwarded by "Flora Ruth" firstname.lastname@example.org> on March 3
The Evil That is Walmart
What every American needs to know about Walmart
The owners of one of America's premiere retail corporations is comprised of five of the ten richest people in the world, all from the same family. Their personal wealth eclipses $100 BILLION dollars. Last year the companies CEO was paid a cool $11.5 million, more than the annual salaries of 765 of his employees combined! The company's profits are over $7 BILLION annually. In these difficult economic times how do they do it?
- This company runs ads featuring the United States flag and proclaims "We Buy American". In 2001 they moved their worldwide purchasing headquarters to China and are the largest importer of Chinese goods in the US, purchasing over $10 BILLION of Chinese-made products annually. Products made mostly by women and children working in the labor hell-holes China is famous for.
- Their average employee working in the US makes $15,000 a year, $7.22 per hour!
- These employees gross under $11,000 a year.
- The company brags that 70% of their employees are full time, but fails to disclose that they count anyone working 28 hours a week or more as full time.
- There are no health care benefits unless you have worked for the company for two years.
- With a turnover rate averaging above 50% per year, only 38% of their 1.3 million employees have health care coverage. -In California alone it's estimated that the taxpayers pay over $20 million annually to subsidize health care benefits for these employees who get none from this behemoth corporation.
- According to a report by PBS's "Now" with Bill Moyer, their managers are trained in what government social programs are available for these "employees" to take advantage of so that the company can pass on those costs to you and me. It allows them to not only keep their $7 BILLION in annual profits, but to do so by substituting benefits they refuse to provide with benefits paid for with taxpayer dollars.
- This company holds the record for the most suits filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A lawyer from "Business Week" (not exactly the bastion for supporting Labor) said, "I have never seen this kind of blatant disregard for the law." They had to pay $750,000.00 in Arizona for blatant discrimination against the disabled! The judge was so incensed that he also order them to run commercials admitting their guilt.
- The National Labor Relations Board has issued over 40 formal complaints against the corporation in 25 different states in just the past five years. The NLRB's top lawyer believed that their labor violations, such as illegal spying on employees, fraudulent record keeping, falsifying time cards to avoid paying overtime, threats, illegal firings for union organizing etc., were so widespread that he was looking into filing a very rare national complaint against the company.
- Nearly 1 MILLION women are involved in the largest class-action suit every filed against a corporation. Although women make up over 65% of this corporations work force only 10% of them are managers. The women who have become store managers make $16,400 a year LESS then the men.
- The corporation took out nearly 350,000 life insurance policies on their employees. They did not tell the employees and then named the corporation as the beneficiary. They are now being sued by numerous employees, and although the corporation has stopped this practice of purchasing what is known as "Dead Peasant Policy's", a company spokesperson stated, "The company feels it acted properly and legally in doing this."
- They force employees to work after ordering them to punch out. In Texas alone this practice of "wage theft" is estimated to have cost employees $30 million per year. Wage theft or "off-the-clock" lawsuits are pending in 25 states. In New Mexico they paid $400,000.00 in one suit and in Colorado they had to pay $50 MILLION to settle one class-action case brought against them. In Oregon a jury found them guilty of locking employees in the building and of forcing unpaid overtime.
- With 4,400 stores they practice "predatory pricing." They come into a community and sell their goods at below cost until they drive local businesses under. Once they have captured the market the prices go up.
- Locally owned and operated businesses put virtually all of their money back into the community which helps keep the local economies vibrant. This corporation sucks the money out of the local community, decreases wages and benefits and ships the profits out of state.
- This company doesn't buy locally or bank locally. They replace three decent paying jobs in a community with two poorly paid "part- timers".
- In Kirksville, Missouri when this company came to town, four clothing stores, four grocery stores, a stationary store, a fabric store and a lawn-and-garden store all went under. Eleven businesses are now gone.
(The above information can be found in "Thieves in High Places", James Hightower, The Penguin Group, New York, NY, 2003 p. 166 - 193.)
Now you know how they can claim, "Always low prices." Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the world, larger than General Motors and Exxon Mobil. Wal-Mart will reap over 250 billion in sales in 2003, which is larger then the entire gross national product of Israel and Ireland combined. It has over 1.3 million employees. It sells more groceries, jewelry, photo processing, dog food, and vitamins than any other chain in the world. Wal-Mart is owned by the Walton family. They will also never see a dime from my wallet again.
Please feel free to circulate this memo to everyone on your email lists. Only we, the citizens of this great country can stop this race to the bottom.
"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
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