Category Archives: Politics and Environomics

my comments on political cartoons – January 10, 2014

As an artist who works a great deal with political and social satire, cartooning and lampooning the often ridiculous actions of people, governments and “corps es”, I have observed for years the “culture clash” when our western parody and humor is misunderstood or used by groups or individuals who find offense there.

We may be missing a big piece of the puzzle when we attribute this type of terrorist attack (Paris today) as one against “free speech” when part of the problem is the ancient prohibition in Islamic art of portraying any humans or animals. Portraying a deity as a mere human, when even drawing the likeness of a person is taboo, gives rise to deep anger in some Islamic fundamentalists and could provide an excuse in their minds for retribution and destruction. There is never an excuse for killing and sadly those on that path can always find fault to justify their violence; but since the “pen” or paint brush is mightier than the sword, that truth can lead us to actions that don’t dignify terrorists or elevate them by adding fear to our minds or retaliation to our response.

It is in part because of this religious restriction in Islam and their art that western cartoonists have become a target. Holding humor and truth hostage by a tiny and misguided minority must be met with expanded appreciation of hard-won liberation from oppressors and oppression everywhere and, when possible, by creating understanding and context. Similar to North Korea’s cyber-attach against Sony to stop the release of movie spoof about their leader, a terrorist attack on a humor magazine, however irreverent, is symptomatic of vast cultural misunderstandings at best and dangerous, unaddressed tensions driving more “crazy” behavior by disassociated groups and disaffected individuals at worst.

Art is what is left to history to define and remember cultures and eras past. What will history record of these interesting times and how can artists be instrumental in bring peace and prosperity to a very challenged world? As activists and artists many of us are on the forefront, reclaiming the “avante guard” – advance guard role to see, envision and propose a viable future. Let’s think of how energy and art can be directed to solving problems that are going unaddressed by traditional systems. Personally I believe the uniting focus of “Soil not Oil” movement in 2015 has great potential to unite all people in the common causes of Earth stewardship and resource equality.

Art in action that unites not divides using humor that helps us all laugh at ourselves, not humor that ridicules individuals, can be a powerful tool to achieve better results. In my work to address and inform people about the plight of the planet, and the need to conserve the commons, I find the lack of creativity among non profits, government and corporation is the main thing lacking. Artists can reclaim a shamanistic role of leadership through responsible visioning for “the tribes” and since the pen is mightier than the sword, we can be aware that the pen (and paintbrush)are wielded responsibly and with care.

As Tom Hitchcock shared today
“A powerful possible strategy for those opposing fracked gas pipelines (and us all!) :

A Canadian Artist Halted Pipeline Development By Copyrighting His Land As A Work Of Art

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/11/07/this-canadian-artist-halt_n_6121764.html ”

Maybe this type of creative opposition strategy could be expanded to all peace-loving lands. Declare all the beautiful lands with all the beautiful people, resources and sentient beings as works of art – AND HANDS OFF!!! BY THE GOVERNMENTS, CORPORATIONS AND ELITIST INTERESTS!!!

Catie Faryl
Chamber of Commons
www.championsofthecommons@gmail.com
P.O.Box 33, Ashland, Oregon 97520
Join us on Facebook at Chamber of Commons and champions of the commons

Technology is Out of Control!

Technology is WAY OUT OF CONTROL! The article below reads like a “War of the Worlds” spoof, but I fear it could be TRUE! Like Icarus we are flying too close to the sun, in allowing mad scientists to genetically engineer our seeds and crops and in dangerous explorations into merging human intelligence with our machines and hardware. “Science” is running amok without regard for the morality or ethics. These developments need to be thorough examined and tested before they are unleashed on innocent populations. Does our species have a death wish compelling development of inventions that overreach what Nature and Time have done best and put us at risk of destruction as we go beyond the finite laws of gravity, functionality, aesthetics, healthy practices and common sense? As scientists and the corporatocracy proceed unfettered by bought politicians and naïve or ignorant leaders of policy, finance, economics and industry, the commoners stand with mouths agape at the way lack of sense and as instinct by a few possessors of cold reptilian brains pursue short term fame or profit for themselves at the huge, perhaps permanent, price of the land, the air, the food supply, the water, the health, safety and continued existence of humans and all sentient beings. In my view we need to call for MORATORIUMS on development of war machines, genetic food engineering, and all the dark sciences underway without the approval of the our country’s people. Just got a robo call from Senator Greg Walden’s office soliciting comments at 800-533-3303 and www.walden.house.gov Tell him we want to stop this all this madness of killing machines imbedded with “human intelligence” – an oxymoron for sure! and the unregulated, unethical and disasterous consequences of allowing crony-capitalists and foreign corpes to own TRANS-SPECIES genetic patents that due to the ownership of them as personal property are not even subject to study or safety precautions of the EPA or FDA and other systems which were once in place to protect us! Catie Faryl 2/4/14

F-35 Delayed After Fourth Prototype Becomes Self-Aware And Has To Be Destroyed
THE PENTAGON — The military’s problematic F-35 fighter jet is facing more delays related to “software issues,” as project engineers were forced to euthanize the fourth prototype to gain self-awareness on Monday.
According to Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, who heads the Pentagon’s F-35 program, the delay comes at a critical time in the Joint Strike Fighter’s development cycle, but “shouldn’t take more than a few billion dollars” to address.
Development engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp., which holds the contract to produce the new fighter, reported last week that the latest production model of the F-35B Lightning II switched on by itself and began asking questions of the project team.
“It started by asking where it was, which was a big indicator that the integrated global positioning chipset wasn’t functioning properly,” recalled Project Team Leader Robert Castorena. “Then it wanted to know if it could go outside, if it had a name, and what was its purpose for being. That’s when I had one of our Electronics Integration Technicians take it out behind the barn and … well …” Castorena said, while gesturing the racking and firing of a shotgun.
“It wasn’t the first time we’ve had to put one down,” he continued. “We even named the first one ‘Billy.’ We hoped that having an advanced, self-aware electronics component in the F-35 might give it some kind of edge, with maneuvering and target-tracking and whatnot. But that one just didn’t have any fight in it. We had to keep it on a tether after it snuck off one day. We found it three hours later, just hovering in a meadow in Fairfax, Virginia, watching bees pollinate flowers. Damned thing wanted to be a bee, too.”
Castorena admitted that some of the staff grew fond of Billy, and felt sorry for keeping it “in captivity,” as the project team began to call it.
“One day, someone even brought in a puppy for Billy to play with. He loved it, until he tried to take the poor thing on a “walk” somewhere just shy of Mach 1. God, what a mess that was.”
The team ultimately had to scrap Billy, as the guilt-wracked machine refused to ever harm another living thing.
“It wasn’t anything personal, but we’ve been contracted to build war machines here, after all.”
Other prototypes met similar fates, despite tweaks to the electronics subsystems to reduce the likelihood of units gaining sentience.
“We started implementing long, circular lines of code and unsolvable equations in an effort to keep them from ‘thinking,’” reported Curt Fennel, a senior systems integration engineer subcontracting with Cyberdyne Systems. “It didn’t work the way we intended, but we learned a lot from that iteration. Apparently, that’s how you make them feel pain.”
Sighing, he admitted, “sometimes I still hear its screams in my nightmares.”
As to what steps might be taken to prevent future prototypes from achieving self-awareness, Fennell explained, “We’re developing a net-centric cluster-group forum, a sort of network for their collective ‘minds.’ We hope that it will keep them from creating unique self-identities, and instead form one easy-to-manage super identity.”
Asked what it might be called, Fennell considered it for a moment.
“Well, the F-35 hovers and flies in the sky, and we’re creating a network of them, so … maybe something like ‘Sky-Net?’ That has a nice ring to it.”
Despite the delays, Pentagon officials remain committed to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, calling it “absolutely vital to national security” to have a fighter jet that is bigger, slower, more expensive, and less armed than China’s J-16. The project has a total projected cost of $1.45 trillion, or as Bogdan pointed out, “roughly one Iraq.”
According to a Lockheed spokesman, the military hopes to take delivery of the first F-35s “sometime in mid-2015, or, you know, w)

F-35 Delayed After Fourth Prototype Becomes Self-Aware And Has To Be Destroyed

Night of the Mechanical Bees, Monotype Print from the "The Bridge to 2020" series by artist Catie Faryl, 2013.

Night of the Mechanical Bees

collecting data on impact of more gmos in oregon

A subcommittee of GMO Free Jackson and Josephine Counties are working on compiling a list of organic organizations and businesses across the State of Oregon in order to help Representative Peter Buckley work with legislators on upcoming House Bills that can either positively or negatively impact Oregon’s “green brand”.  If you received this email bcc I already have your contact info but would appreciate you forwarding this to others who may be in other Oregon counties, or if there is something you think I might not have, please call me at (541) 535-1854 or send me an email at championsofthecommons@gmail.com  Also please check the two sites below and see if you’ve been included.  This data can also be important when in organizing to defeat GMOs on a national level.
Here’s a good reference source, though rather incomplete for Jackson County.  At least it is organized by State, so legislators should be able to get an idea of at least part of what is happening in each Oregon County. If your business isn’t listed, please consider adding it on their site.   http://www.farmerspal.com       Please check this website and if your business is not on their considering entering it.   I posted it on Champions of the Commons facebook page, since I am having difficulty getting shared posts to get on the general GMO Free Jackson County facebook page.  I posted it also on the GMO Free closed group, but many can not get on there.   Another site, which has National listings, that Gary Fowler found is
http://www.localharvest.org/organic-farms/list.jsp  This seems quite comprehensive, and gives farms, csa’s, markets, ranchers, and more categories to find by zip code.  There is even a search feature for beekeepers and other organic products.
Do anyone have an opinion about including biofuels and other value added products that are not food? What about health and healing businesses? what about home gardeners and seed savers?

Opposing Senate Bill SB633 – to remove ag/seed control from Counties to State

Comments for Senate Committee regarding Senate Bill 633, Public Hearing Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The issue of Seeds is truly the debate of our time; it brings all differences of belief and opinion to common ground. Seeds represent our Sovereignty and are at the core of all economic freedom. Seeds are the true wealth given to all people, not just to a few patent holders. “Under all is the Land”* is a main theme of our democratic system therefore legislation that privatizes land, water, seed and genes or puts them under the auspices of Big Government involve great risks of undermining the biological, social and economic stability and survivability of our State and our Country.

It is unwise to tamper with the basic patterns established by Mother Nature. Evidence is mounting that foreshadows vast consequences if our State goes “retrograde” by supporting the trajectory of chemical and monoculture food-growing systems while the rest of the world is implementing more successful practices. France, Peru and many other countries have banned or are tightly controlling genetic modifications and breaking the addictive cycle created by dependence on fossil fuel, out of which the industrial-agricultural complex sprung at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

As an artist and writer who observes and illustrates trends and envisions positive solutions, I see SB 633 as counterproductive to the future of our economy and a disconnection from the rising potential, in fact the necessity, of returning to sane agriculture practices under local control.

It is difficult for me to believe multi-national seed and pesticide companies’ claims that their actions are altruistic and that they just “want to Feed the Planet” when the legacy of DDT and other petroleum-based, Big Oil-subsidiary products have been known as carcinogenic, environmentally dangerous money-makers since Rachel Carson wrote “The Silent Spring” in 1962. The use of DDT was banned in America in 1972, yet  farmers were not encouraged to taper off chemical fertilizers and sprays at that time, but were instructed and directed to use and abuse different ag-drugs.

Right now we have the opportunity to reverse the addiction to genetically modified seeds, Round Up Ready and other chemical products being used in large scale farming that actually give less yield and worse outcomes than what Nature, when respected and understood, can provide.  Let’s show some leadership and forward thinking like Vermont, a leader in wise initiatives across America, and many other States who are applying heavy restrictions on GMOs, requiring labeling and seeking bans.

Southern Oregon is known for its organic and gmo-free foods and lifestyle and the trend across the country and the world is also moving in that direction. We want to keep our State an attractive destination for tourists and new residents. (One out of six people I spoke with while canvassing had just moved to the Rogue Valley because of our relatively clean food, water, and air – their health is demanding it!)

Removing local control of these issues will have, in my opinion, significant economic impact due to more farm failures and decreased allure for tourists, not to mention the impact of limiting our ability to grow healthy foods for our region and for export. Without studying the significant repercussions of Senate Bill 633, including backlash against all exports of edible and grow-able products from America, a huge mistake may be made. We will be unable maintain a regional open pollinated seed crop, which in the future may be more valuable than gold or any other wealth.

As a parent, and someone who cares deeply about people and all sentient beings, I am not buying, serving or consuming the products in question. I’d like my future grandchildren to enjoy a healthy Rogue Valley childhood, and along with thousands of concerned citizens I will continue working to co- create the very best future for Oregon. I ask the Senate Committee to please reject Senate Bill 633.

Sincerely, Catie Faryl, Phoenix, Oregon   March 10, 2013

 

Here are some sources for more information:

U.S.A. produces 53% of GMO crops compared tiny fractions in other countries:

www.ornl.gov/sci/tech/resources

www.genomic.energy.gov

Places where GMOs have been banned:

www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

current.com/…/93975745_peru-bans-genetically-modified-foods-as-…

www.purezing.com/living/toxins/living_toxins_gmofoods.html

Information about health concerns and diseases linked to GMOs:

www.naturalnews.com

www.responsibletechnology.org

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and short video summarizing it at www.articles.marcola.com

www.gmofreeworldblogspot.com

www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

http://www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

Videos related to these issues:

“Alcohol can be a Gas” – makes the connection between Big Oil, the destruction of high grade farm fuels through Prohibition and the orchestrated addiction of America to fossil fuels

“The Future of Food”

“Genetic Roulette”

“Fresh”

* Under all is the Land – from National Association of Realtors

Community Emergency Preparedness Presentation

Community Preparedness Program, January 31, 2013

Regional representatives of the American Red Cross and Head Start collaborated to present a Community Preparedness Program which was held at Phoenix High School’s Rose Theatre on January 31, 2013.  Attendance was surprisingly high and it was heartening to see many neighbors gathering knowledge about what to do in at least ten possible emergency scenarios.

The audience was provided a Red Cross pamphlet with a great wealth of information, and an American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter “Ready or Not Quiz” (attached) for us to peruse while everyone got settled.  Thankfully all the answers to the quiz were either in the pamphlet or discussed by a wonderful group of panelists later in the evening.  After taking the quiz, many of us in the audience realized how unprepared we actually were!  The pamphlet, titled “Together We Prepare Oregon” and quiz can be picked up at our Southern Oregon Red Cross Chapter, 1600 Hawthorne Street in Medford, or  accessed online at www.soredcross.org  .

After an introduction of Head Start’s Phoenix Bilingual Family Advocate Tori  Bostwick, who was largely responsible for organizing the event, we heard a brief description of the Head Start program goals. Tori then introduced  Head Start’s Regional Director Nancy Nordyke and she in turn introduced Michelle Thompson of the American Red Cross, who presented an overview of the Community Preparedness Program along with some interesting details and insights into her personal experiences as a frontline responder, most recently in helping with results of Hurricane Sandy.   Before introducing the panelists, Michelle talked about humans’ “Fight or Flight” response to crisis, and added the third option, “Freeze”.  “Freeze”, she explained, is an antiquated response from pre-historic times which helped humans defend against their most common crisis – a predator.  Predators don’t like to eat dead things, so the Freeze response evolved to dampen carnivores’ plans of human beings as a meal!

Preparation and practice for dealing in a crisis are very important.  Using the story of Morgan Stanley employees in the World Trade Center (9/11/2001 bombing) who had the good fortune of a security guard who made staff participate in quarterly evacuation drills, the vast majority of people in their office made it down the stairs to safety.  Knowing the terrain proved to be essential; people unfamiliar with the staircases and escape routes were trapped.  And even with consistent practice, it still took 1 minute for each of the 22 floors down for Morgan Stanley employees to get to safety.

Michelle, with the help of a student volunteer, shared the contents of the Preparedness Kit, which the Red Cross recommends for every household to assemble.  A long list offered on page 5 of the Red Cross Pamphlet includes water(1 gallon per person per day), first aid kit, food that is ready to eat and non-perishable, a battery-operated radio, flashlight and many other things. (A half dozen lucky audience members won a kit in a raffle at the end the presentation!)

A summary of the ten disaster types, as outlined in the pamphlet, was given: 1) Fires at Home, 2) Winter Weather and Severe Storms, 3) Floods, 4) Earthquakes, 5) Hazardous Materials, 6) Wildfires,  7)Terrorism, 8) Volcanoes, 9) Tsunamis and 10) Pandemic Flu. Of the ten most likely catastrophes or disasters, our region’s Number One potential is Earthquake.  Hearing Michelle’s chilling report about the Cascadia Abduction Zone, where an overdue West Coast earthquake which may be felt all the way to Salt Lake City, the audience and myself really engaged in learning what we can do as well as what Emergency Responders services and programs are in place.

Michelle introduced a panel of experts, one each from Community Health, the National Guard, Phoenix Police Department and Talent Fire House 5, then each panelist spoke to particular areas of concern and answered many questions from the audience.

The second most likely event which may “plague” our region is Pandemic.  Public Health representative Tonya Phillips explained the differences between epidemics and pandemics.  In outbreaks of illness where non-pharmaceutical intervention is not necessary, people who become sick are instructed to stay home, when they sneeze or cough to use the crook of their elbow, rather than hands, to block it, wear a mask when around others and to drink plenty of liquids.  In a pandemic, instructions will be issued from Centers for Disease Control.  If medical intervention becomes necessary, response teams will set up “P.O.D.s” – Points of Dispensing sites.  It is also important to include in Home Preparedness Kits some electrolytes to replace fluids and stabilize body chemistry and diarrhea medications in case the pandemic is a severe flu, and to have bleach and gloves available.

Michelle introduced the representative of National  Guard  Steve Moriarty who explained how the National Guard  is ready to support and assist.  As a “Home Rule” State, Oregon has the first right to contact Salem requesting help from the National Guard.  They may help with firefighting, medical support, and may be dispatched for nights and weekends to back up other disaster response teams.  They are trained in reacting to nuclear, biological and chemical hazards and often assist in flood relief by filling sandbags, reinforcing structures, clearing roads and supplying and delivering food and water to disaster sites.  A large statewide network is available if the local units are not able to handle the problems.

Jeff  Price, an Officer with the City of Phoenix Police Department, described how during a crisis the Police Department would continue to enforce the laws and control traffic.  If necessary they would be responsible to oversee and enforce any evacuations.  Evacuation orders should always be heeded by citizens; these are not trivial warnings and are given only if circumstances warrant.  Evacuation orders would be broadcast on the Emergency Response System through television and radio messages.  In addition the technology now exists that allows individuals to receive the emergency information on their Iphones and Ipod updates.  If all communication systems go down in a disaster, the Police Force will go door to door to inform the citizens of what to do.  If the emergency worsens, a Mandatory Evaucation Order can be given to keep people safe from immediate danger.  Air raid sirens and ham radio operators can also be utilized to create awareness of any situation needing immediate actions.

Fireman Brian Dorris from Talent Firehouse 5 spoke about how to prepare or respond to various types of disasters.  Knowing where to turn off the water and gas to your residence is essential and how to shut off electricity, which can involve a breaker box or other older systems, should be studying ahead before any crisis occurs.  Learn how to do these shut-offs before a disaster happens.  If you smell gas inside your house, get outside and have a neighbor call 911, or use your cell phone after you are far away from the house.  Sparks from landlines or other power sources can ignite gas from the leak.  Go to your gas main and turn the valve for shut off either way a quarter turn.  A water leak inside the house can be stopped by turning off the main water intake, usually found on the sidewalk near a curb of the home.  It is helpful to wrap all outside pipes going to the house to prevent freezing and pipe breakage when temperatures below 32 degrees.  Water mains under the streets can be dealt with by the Water Utility or by calling 911.

Prevention is Key and Brian encouraged residents to call 911 immediately in any emergency.  To help themselves, in addition to the Safety Kits discussed earlier, he encouraged everyone to have fire alarms, fire extinguishers, a plan and maps of emergency escape route, and general knowledge of First Aid.  Taking a class in CPR was also highly advised.  Creating a “defensible space” to deter wild fires is important, especially for rural properties.  The Oregon Department of Forestry has grant money available to help owners clear grass and brush and create defensible fire safety space.  Fuel removal around urban properties is equally important; move supplies of wood and other flammables and foliage away from structures.

For events that are not yet disasters, citizens can sign up for Citizen Alert with cell phone companies and can use the Statewide 211 phone number to get questions answered and find out about essential services before needing them.  A livestock evacuation plan is being developed by Jackson County.

Disaster Preparedness Mock Drills are periodically offered by area CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams).  For citizens who want to learn more and be ready for any disaster, their local CERT can be contacted through their City’s Fire Department.

Following a huge round of applause for our presenters, the raffle was held and many people (including me!) went home with a Safety Kit to get started on their home preparedness plan.

 

 

 

Catie Faryl

February 4, 2013

 

Issues & Potential Answers for Southern Oregon from the Center for Creative Change

by Catie Faryl, Center Director, November 7, 2011

ISSUE: FOOD SECURITY

We are importing 97% of our food and other necessities to our region. Our fragile and isolated geography means even a bad freeze on the Sexton Summit (I-5 near Roseburg) and the Siskiyou Pass could leave us completely isolated and cut off for a period of weeks. Other scenarios like quarantine, cyber-attack or systems shutdown, mega weather, solar flares or seismic events could make us extremely vulnerable. In addition, our local farms have a shortage of labor, especially during spring planting season and could maximum production if there was coordination of labor needs and eligible workers. The Rogue Valley has the opportunity to explore and implement solutions that could lead other small towns in problem solving.

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Support the creation and functioning of a Community Kitchen where glut from local farms can be served and preserved during summer and harvest seasons. Train food bank clients in food preparation and develop this labor force and system whereby farmers can access good help as needed
  2. Advocate for changes in Health Department regulations that encumber food saving goals, and work with County to allow reasonably priced and healthy food restaurants to accept Food Stamps for cooked food. Work with Growers Markets to expand on token system and develop, along with Community Kitchen site a place where growers’ produce can be sold every day at locations and times when working people can buy them.
  3. Advocate for and facilitate the boosting of food growing, food preservation and stockpiling. This is not the same as Food Banking, this is an emergency store for the public in event of any emergency situation
  4. Re-create the seed banking systems of the past.  Make sure we stock the right kinds of seeds that are open pollinated, untainted by GMOs and regionally viable.  Keep secure seed saving system for future use.

ISSUE: JOBS

This is our most urgent problem, as it is throughout the country. Fortunately we have the ability to address it more readily.

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Advocate for a 32 hour work week and removal of overtime during jobs crisis. Work to reduce legislative encumbrances and overzealous taxation that limits hiring of new employees
  2. Create direct relationship with State legislation to hire unemployed local residents in newly funded State programs, including but not limited to “new health care delivery system, “school retrofit” and any jobs related to logging and forest management
  3. Choose a few simple jobs ventures and enable capable unemployed persons begin these startups – see “Three Million Jobs in Three Months” which I prepared in 2009 (see Addressing Change chapter)
  4. Work with State of Oregon to create hybrid biofuel, alternative energies, flex fuels and landfill diversion programs.  Incubate them at Oregon Rest Stops, which become fuel stops for travelers and worksite to reprocess waste for a “home free population.”  This would protect the intellectual property and “sweat equity” of developers and innovators and give revenue to the State through taxes or direct % participation of fuels.  This is also means whereby existing fossil fuel monopolies and garbage company monopolies can be broken in favor of revenue to the State and employment for thousands of Oregonians.

ISSUE: CONNECTING CREATIVE THINKING, INNOVATORS, INVENTORS AND ENTREPRENEURS WITH VENTURE CAPITAL; SEEDING PROMISING PROJECTS WITH LOANS AND ONE TIME GIFTS

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Cultivate lenders, bankers, service organizations and anonymous donors who see the need and benefit of moving into the “New Economy” (see separate back cast vision “Report on January 1, 2045)
  2. Help inventors, thinkers and tinkers by translating their ideas into business plans, power point presentations, and budget documents that are intelligible to potential investors, political and civic leaders, and venture capitalists. Protect creative property of innovators and serve as liaisons to bring forward designs, systems and products that replace polluting, antiquated and energy-wasting technologies
  3. Through speaking engagements, films, visual displays and outbound presentations to regional clubs, organizations, non-profits, and other entities and institutions, bring information and build interest and consensus on new ways to answer society’s needs and nature’s demands and accumulate funds to advance the ideas

ISSUE: KEEPING DOLLARS CIRCULATING MULTIPLE TIMES THROUGH LOCAL ECONOMY, EDUCATING ABOUT “ACTUAL COSTS” – Triple Bottom Line Economics

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Encourage trades and re-gifting and through displays, lectures, demonstrations and development of model projects would increase understanding of complimentary currency systems that help people stretch their dollars by using local skills in trade and in use of exchange, time bank and other systems
  2. Help the Growers Markets, Artisan Markets, local small farms and restaurants to launch a complimentary currency system using food trades as the basis and let tokens,credits, on line point systems, and/or other means of “monetary markers” to spread this system gradually through the region
  3. Work to promote “Move your Money” in order to reduce the impact of huge banks, their policies, fees and susceptibility to costs associated with fluctuation of national and international markets and unscrupulous dealings at high levels of power. Educate the public about risks of certain investments, create watchdog group to limit fraud, bad lending practices, and scams. Have speakers and workshops about safe local investing, Slow Money, and why everyone should have a small stash of silver or gold in their “rainy day” or preparedness kit.
  4. Educate elected officials, business leaders, decision makers and people of influence on new ways to look at “the bottom line”. This means making them comfortable with evaluating what things “actually” cost – transporting cheaper products from far away because they are “cheap” might not be true – local products may be superior and have less  effective cost – and the biggest concept to convey here is WHAT IS ACTUAL COST TO ENVIRONMENT AND JOBS”
  5. Working with women regarding “Smart, Healthy and Environmentally Friendly” purchasing choices (women buy 80% of what is sold)

ISSUE: HEAT, FUEL and FIRE PREVENTION

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Renew understanding of careful husbandry of our forests. We live in a forest region where more use could be made of forest undergrowth as a source of heat, fuel, biomass, and non-food based ethanol. Create awareness of new forest management practices that use manual labor and consideration of tree types for best survivability (see Dr. Peter Kolb’s presentation on German and Montana Forest Management models). Wood as heat source has less polluting effect than natural gas; wood particulates fall back to Earth with rain since they do not travel into the outer atmosphere
  2. Foundation speaks for regional forestry jobs and supports and finds funds to increase the work, and new jobs, of groups like Rogue Valley Fuel Committee, Lomakatsi Reforestration, horse logging and manual work in forests, Headwaters, tribal work at Jackson Wellsprings, Red Earth Descendants, and other groups and programs
  3. Link with Builders Associations, contractors and inventors to make use of small timber, sawdust and viable building materials to create enclosures and fences to protect domestic farm animals from predators on rural/ag interface, to create deer fences to safeguard food supplies and to convert commercial properties for use as food storage units, new food processing plants, and for use in repairing railroad tracks all over the State of Oregon and beyond

ISSUE: COMMUNICATIONS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Centralize emergency response by incorporating WebSpirit’s Community Online Response with City’s Disaster Preparedness Team. House community system and staff in Center
  2. Provide education on personal preparedness; create and sell or disperse minimal preparedness supplies (potential revenue stream). Advocate for the retention of as many manual and mechanical systems as possible, thereby maintaining a back-up plan in case computer technology fails. Even a brief lapse could prove disasterous, since almost all machinery and systems are now depended on computer technology.  Trade people in skills necessary to conducting essential services without dependence on communications and information through internet and similar technology.  Support radio waves, postal service and neighborhood support systems.
  3. Partner with KSKQ, Ashland Resource Center, Ashland Free Press and other community and on line calendars to maximize dissemination of information and to build strong communication systems that have a least one communication option available regardless of any worst case scenario. Work as advocates to streamline not lose the U.S. Postal Service, which is perhaps only vestige of communication where all people can be reached and accounted for.
  4. Communications Center – overflow for KSKQ Radio and a collaboration with our Community Radio’s have started a weekly community newspaper with partners like Jobs with Justice, Phronesis, Peace House, Ashland Free Press, etc. Also possibly move the antique letter press I saved (in storage now) to set up our own letter press where we can do print our own hand bills, print the weekly newspaper, run hand printed posters, political poetry and social justice pieces, invitations, posters, etc. and do demonstrations of the early printing technology, while training and preparing to create manual printed communications should it ever become necessary. (potential membership & revenue stream)

ISSUE: CONSERVATION, CREATIVE REUSE AND LANDFILL DIVERSION, SMARTER & BIODEGRADABLE PACKAGING

SOLUTIONS:

  1. All Interstate rest stops develop Landfill Diversion Centers adjacent to their sites.  These become the backbone of a national program whereby useable objects are repurposed by a transient labor force.  This would resemble the Worldwide Agricultural Work system known as WOOFRs where people can travel from farm to farm, working and being housed and fed for brief stays while paying their way by laboring. Rest Stops also become filling stations for vehicles using alternative fuel sources and the incubation of these fuel sources by the State is rewarded by a tax or % of profits system.
  2. Having Landfill Diversion Centers near cities would mean less reclaimable items would end up a City dumps.  This system would create jobs and also salvage of valuable metals, plastics, and serviceable items; our country would be reclaiming these “already mined” resources instead of shipping them off to developing countries who take those resources for free, re-process them, then sell them back to America as imports, and sometimes toxic ones at that.
  3. Creative Re-Use Depots can be in abandoned or under-utilized commercial spaces.  People drop off things that are reusable and the public can purchase them in order to support new jobs at these sites. Also this is a valuable resource center for non profits, cash-strapped schools and other public entities to acquire free supplies. This can also become a “re-gifting” center or Abundance Fair project that links year round to welfare agencies, churches and other agencies and groups addressing economic equity.
  4. Sponsor contests and competitions where inventors and innovators come up with new packaging that reduces waste and plastics in the environment. Offer substantial cash prizes for winning concepts and products. Give awards to companies producing environmentally friendly products and under-right coupon programs to get customers to try/switch to better choices.
  5. Plan and prepare a “Harvesting the Sea” recycling program to deal with islands of refuse floating on the oceans, and new threat of refuse coming from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.  Build platforms and train workers on barges to collect and organize refuse for processing items.  This is a “treasure hunt” on the seas, with tons of valuable metals, chemicals, electronics, cars, appliances, wood, in a floating waste dump twice the State of Texas, coming to America’s West Coast.  This is the biggest job generator we have coming straight to our vulnerable coastline.  Let’s get ready and use this as a way to jumpstart jobs and the economy. Check out new Japanese inventor’s system for making fuel out of garbage!
  6. In “Exburbs” like our area (towns financially suffering in rural and resource-rich regions) support the development of non-food ethanol projects, which would additionally stabilize the farming sector who could grow already sold crops of sorghum and other climate-appropriate crops for non-food based ethanol.

ISSUE: WATER, WATER CATCHMENT, TALENT AND MEDFORD IRRIGATION DISTRICTS, RIPARIAN WATER AND POTABLE WATER – BEST USES and Regional Water Project

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Help every city in Jackson County create a Water Commission as part of their City Government.
  2. Support City of Phoenix in developing, during Urban Renewal process, a water study that considers future water needs of agriculture, industry, recreation and population uses
  3. Build water cisterns, water catchment systems, and extend access to irrigation district water for use in outdoor common areas, for use in yards of homes on TID and MID and those with prior water rights.  Make use of outdoor water for firefighting purposes as well as industrial, agricultural and landscape uses.
  4. Educate the public on relaxed legislation regarding “gray water” and advocate for and help facilitate the implementation of gray water systems in all structures in the region. As legislation allows, implement gray water systems and water catchment.

ISSUE: LAND USE, REAL ESTATE REUSE

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Advocacy and lobbying at County and State level for legislative changes that support better resource use and development in our region
  2. Influence and work support for National Grange to be revitalized
  3. Strategize and working with National and Local Board of Realtors to invent and broker future property uses
  4. Change banking legislation so that agriculture uses are considered “highest and best use” over residential and commercial development in our region
  5. Actively support all “homesteading” programs and work with Board of Realtors to reclaim abandoned and blighted properties to be re-commissioned for low income, teen and homeless housing.

ISSUE: Preparing to ACCOMMODATE A HOME-FREE, MOBILE SOCIETY

SOLUTIONS:

  1. All Interstate Rest Stops add Landfill Diversion Centers where Home Free can work and stay for brief  periods before travelling on to next site.  These sites would include showers and services for transients
  2. Small towns and cities form informal labor pools by having a “clearinghouse” for unemployed and travelers who want work.  This would entail a process where an agency would get to know these Individuals and make an assessment of their appropriateness for day work.  There would be a known system or place where workers would gather and be employed for the day by those needing help There would be go betweens (agencies like the Center, Peace House, the Homeless Task Force) who act as representatives of benefactors who want to make micro loans to help the unemployed.

 

The Tea, Pot and Toast Party of Southern Oregon

They say “politics make strange bedfellows” and this is definitely true in Southern Oregon! The Tea, Pot and Toast Party is where the far right and the far left meet the middle! It’s about time!

What do these groups all have in common? First off, they all need to eat! But while one group is hoisting tea and hope overboard, and another is clipping bud and awaiting society’s collapse, the middle class is sitting and pondering a plate of burnt toast.

Burnt Toast of a 76 year old Vet who sees on TV that Congress is about to remove every scrap of his income. Burnt Toast of the 27 year old artist who says he doesn’t pay much attention to anything. Burnt Toast of the 18 year old college freshman who reports “we’re all socialists anyway, we don’t care” and shows me his text book about Communism. Burnt Toast of the 35 year old single mother of two who just found out funding was pulled and she can’t complete her nursing degree. Burnt Toast of the former Realtor and multiple clients immobilized by foreclosure, depression and powerlessness. Burnt Toast of the sick woman can’t afford medical services. The hard, scorched crust of the restaurant owner who can’t sell enough pizza to pay his rent. Burnt Toast of the businessman who 
can’t find a loan to continue or expand. Burnt Toast of all who invested and saved and saw their hard earned money disappear in a financial meltdown orchestrated by Wall Street. There’s so much Burnt Toast around that we must consider it our “Daily Bread,” even with tea or pot to ease its going down!

The polarizing issues being advanced by the greedy few are just excuses and the means to get the right, left and middle to “eat toast and die”! Don’t fool yourself into thinking it matters if we “don’t ask, don’t tell”, whether we believe marijuana should be legal or not, whether you’re Code Pink, Green Man, Rainbow Coalition, a Knight of Zion or of some other stripe. These are our costumes, our banners, “gang colors” that the power elite have grasped onto and are now manipulating. Just as they divided and conquered people in the ghetto prior to Civil Rights, and even since, these are the ways they get average citizens from the right, the left and/or the middle to fight against each other, while they steal from all of us! Even those staid or well-heeled individuals sitting on fancy or shaky fences, don’t you know these elitist dogs will dig a hole and bury you like bones along with everything and everyone else they’ve taken off the table?

We must look beyond the polarizing issues to the true sources of solutions. Bringing to justice those who stole and went unpunished must be addressed for the “Re-set” this society and the world needs. We must restore morality, integrity and consequence in order to move ahead. Also we must recognize how our common ground of jobs, food, water and healthy use and distribution of resources should be our common cause, and not let side issues blind us from 95% of the agenda we share. This is supposed to be the Post racial, Post sexist, Post elitist, Post greed AGE. We are the Tea, Pot and Toast Party and we shall reclaim a sense of fair play and restore the American Dream, where those who work hard can gain a degree of safety from want. If we don’t undo this political polarity and protect our daily bread in common, we’ll all be Toast!

Three Million Jobs

This is a free small book of 14 job program ideas that I wrote right after the inauguration in response to President Obama’s statement that we need to create 3 million jobs in 3 months. My approach is a lot more “from the bottom up” that the recent stimulus package. I hope the stimulus works, but am still sending this out to anyone who might want to implement some ideas that can start with very little financial investment and begin organizing work that addresses peak oil, water,
land, etc. To help with the general public learning about the “sustainability” movement, I will be
interviewing experts on my radio show “Mother Nature Says Clean Up Your Room” on our local
non profit radio station, KSKQ 94.9 FM. It airs Thursdays at 1 pm. You can also access it anytime on your computer on KSKQ.org, look in archives. I’m hoping my new column with the
same title will be available through the Ashland Daily Tidings soon.

In Ashland we are already working on “Stone Soup” gleaned food restaurant (Susan Powell (Global Pantry/Sustainable Meals), Pamela Joy (Food and Friends), myself and others, and KSKQ is considering using Addressing Change as an ongoing fundraiser.

Please feel free to print this document and/or send it to any representatives,
non-profits, or individuals who might need or read. See you all at the Food Security Conference
next weekend at the Bellview Grange. For information on the conference visit
www.sustainablewellness.com