January 26, 2019

I Am A Citizen Of The World - Diogenes

Diogenes Looking for An Honest Man
Attributed to JHW Tischbein


I am a citizen of the world.
Diogenes of Sinope

404-323BCE


Friends,

People often refer to our political "leaders” here in the U.S. when in fact our politicians are “followers.” They follow, in descending order: their wealthy patrons; the polls and votes of the people; and activist groups that are powerful enough to threaten their money, polls and votes.

Democrats are the lesser of two evils. Both major parties are “broken.” That is, broken to the bit and saddle of crony-consumer capitalism. Voting is a necessity. But the only real power the people have to influence politicians to do humane, responsible things beyond what serves the wealthy and powerful, can only be had through activist groups that vie for control of the saddle and bridle.

Power to the people! Power to support progressive, non-political groups that take the politicians by their vote-sniffing noses and pocket books, and make them do the will of a reason- and evidence-informed, activist public!

I support the following efforts in my home country and globally:
  • Bringing about greater economic, social and legal equality
  • Improving the quality and spread of cross-cultural, science and critical thinking education
  • Strengthening the protection and conservation of the environment
  • Assisting refugees
  • Reducing racism and diversity intolerance
  • Strengthening globalism over nationalism, pluralism over theism and tribalism

I do so by making recurring financial contributions, monthly where possible, to the following organizations. I kindly ask you to join me in supporting these and other similar groups. JEL

American Civil Liberties Union

“For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

American Association for the
Advancement of Science

“AAAS works to advance science throughout the world for the benefit of all. We advocate for STEM access for students and for diverse, inclusive workplaces. We promote science’s place in our national conversation and evidence-based policymaking. And on the topics that matter—like climate change, habitat loss, and species extinction—we fight to make sure the experts have a say. Help us:
  • Advocate for science's place in society and policy making
  • Build and strengthen a diverse and inclusive community of science professionals and enthusiasts
  • Inform members about the latest science news and research
  • Empower the next generation through STEM education for all"

January 13, 2019

Letter to a Friend

Photo: Ann Kreilkamp

Dear Friend,

Here is a short read for you:

Ann Kreilkamp
Exopermaculture
January 6, 2019

 “And thus, a few years later, was Green Acres Village born, first as a neighborhood garden, and then fully fledging as a potent little human community in communion with our Mother Earth. It has been evolving, organically, for over a decade now, starting on the mental plane in 2007, when I took the permaculture design course, and was astonished to recognize in its principles real hope for a transformed world...

“It was just then, just when I had worked my mental/emotional system into a frenzied intensity, that I heard a little voice in my right ear: ‘No need for that. Just change perceptions in your neighborhood.’”


Here’s some folks doing something other than violent revolution or trying to reform our dead-end, powerful and wealthy-controlled way of living. They see what’s coming, like what happened in Cuba when the USSR collapsed and cut the Cubans loose.

Hope

Roxanne Cooper
AlterNet
January 12, 2019 

“But if TED and the 19th century lecture circuits—the new lyceum and the old—can offer us anything, it’s a reminder that science and research offer more than new knowledge. They come with a kind of aesthetic, and they invoke certain emotions—among them thrill and hope. ... [A] certain fuzzy optimism takes hold. There’s a promise here that would be familiar, I think, to anyone who’s been moved by a great motivational speech or sermon. It’s a sense that, faced with the grind of daily life, and the intractability of its problems, somehow, through some flash of understanding, the basic terms of our struggle will change.”

“Thrill?” I’ll pass. “Hope?” Okay, but not based on “fuzzy optimism” or “somehow” or “some flash of understanding.”

I am not dark, gloom and doom, or nihilistic. I am not a hedonist or an Epicurean. I am a realist, skeptic and flawed practitioner of Stoicism. I am only optimistic and have hope when there are reasons and evidence for being hopeful.