Rob completed his PhD in Chemistry in 1993 and after a stint in Durham Waterstones, he left to begin a career in an IT software company. He went on to become a freelance IT consultant, and eventually established his own small internet company in London. At the same time he began a MA in Psychotherapy, aware that he wanted to move into a different career area.
...) An interest in ecological living and low impact dwellings combined with the intention to run a retreat led Rob to think about the type of accommodation that he would like to offer his visitors. He began to research the yurt, a traditional, mobile dwelling from countries such as Mongolia. He discovered a master yurt maker who made yurts in the UK. He bought the first yurt, and then learned to make them himself from this expert yurt maker, who remains an advisor in yurt matters technical today. Rob started a business making bespoke yurts and selling them through his website, and is now converting his farm so that he can realise his original dream of providing yurt holidays in Spain.
...)The accommodation is simple and peaceful, according to the website: “Getting back to nature, living close to the Earth is a great way to escape and revitalise oneself”. But it is not only the yurts that are low impact; the showers are solar powered, and the toilets provide compost. The family are about to begin taking bookings for the spring. [ more ]
While Dennis was sure of his attraction at their initial meeting, he didn't know how Elizabeth felt. Several nights later, in his Washington office, he sat at his desk and thought about her. "Basically, I asked for a sign," he says. Seconds later, ping! went his computer, alerting him to an e-mail.
It was from Elizabeth. The first line read, "This has no connection to work." Dennis was ecstatic.
She was forwarding an e-mail from one of her friends that related to the peace legislation he had proposed as a presidential candidate. He noticed her signature quote at the end: "Knowing love I shall allow all things to come and go, to be as supple as the wind and take everything that comes with great courage. My heart is as open as the sky."
This gave Dennis hope.
The two e-mailed each other regularly. While the e-mails were businesslike, each of them had a deeper agenda: They were attracted to one another. A couple of weeks after their first meeting, while she was in Arizona with her boss for more meetings, she wrote Dennis an e-mail telling him where she was.
"Really? I'm going to be in New Mexico tomorrow," Dennis wrote back.
Elizabeth responded, "So will we!"
Several hours later, Elizabeth went shopping before leaving for New Mexico. She bought an opal ring - her birthstone. For reasons she can't explain, she decided to call it her "Dennis ring."
Elizabeth and her boss met Dennis in Albuquerque, where the congressman invited them to lunch the next day at his friend Shirley MacLaine's house in Santa Fe.
...) "Dennis and I stayed up, sitting by the fire, talking until half past 6 in the morning," Elizabeth recalls. They professed their love for each other; within a few days they decided to marry.
"We realized our life vision was the same, our outlook was the same," Elizabeth says. "It was a leap of faith, but based on a deep knowing." [ more ]
The Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) was flown by NASA over Chaco Canyon for the first time in spring of 1982. TIMS measures temperature differences near the ground, it has five meter resolution. Prehistoric roads from 900 or 1000 AD were detected. The roads could not be discerned by the naked eye from ground level. They also could not be seen in either aerial photography or color infrared photographs. Three more flights over Chaco detected over 200 miles of a prehistoric roadway system, as well as prehistoric walls, buildings, and agricultural fields. It may be that Chaco Canyon was a social and religious center. People were coming exchanging ideas, practicing ritualistic activities, such as breaking pottery, and then returning to whence they came.
Why were the Chaco roads designed with exacting linearity, which surmounted any topographic obstruction, built to a width of 20 feet or more, and constructed by people who did not even employ beast of burden in their lives?
E. Royster Harper, University vice president for student affairs, gave a brief history of the University’s role in the organization’s history.An older Daily article has a little more background:
“It is certain that U of M students played a key and viable part in its formation,” Harper said.
Kennedy delivered his historic speech on the Union steps at 2 a.m. without any prepared text, Harper said.
Kennedy arrived on the morning of Oct. 14, 1960, from New York — where he had just completed his third debate with Richard Nixon — to find 10,000 University students who had stayed up waiting for him.
Bolstered by the students’ enthusiasm, he challenged them to contribute to their country by serving overseas, using their professional skills — like medicine and engineering — to help people in countries like Ghana. He emphasized the need for personal contribution and the value of sacrifice. The students responded with a roar of cheers.
By early November, 1,000 students had signed a petition, organized by the University student group Americans Committed to World Responsibility, that demanded the implementation of the Peace Corps.
Kennedy formally announced plans to form the Peace Corps Nov. 2 in San Francisco, but that day on the Union’s steps was his first public mention of the idea.
"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come and that can engage the passion of students," said Regent Philip Power (D- Ann Arbor), who spoke at the announcement.Unfortunately, there isn't a lot on the Internet about Americans Committed to World Responsibility, perhaps because there aren't many left. Even so, this is a nice little story that shows what a little activism can do...especially in the presence of a responsive government. Which we do not seem to have, at the moment.
Power, a University alumnus, recalled the role University students played in a nationwide movement that eventually established the Peace Corps.
"Many students (across the country) were unfairly found to be unconcerned and passive," Power said. Power was part of a small student group at the time called Americans Committed to World Responsibility, he said. The group wrote a manifesto calling for a national program allowing college students to volunteer abroad and published the manifesto on the editorial page of The Michigan Daily, Power said.
"What was needed was a vehicle for (the students') interest" in service, Power said. He said other newspapers printed the manifesto, and it eventually was sent to Theodore Sorenson, the speech writer for Senator John F. Kennedy, who at that time was a candidate for President.
In 1970, Gerald Ford defined an impeachable offense in unarguably practical terms, as: “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
"I believe that any candidate who supports the war should not receive our support," Ms. Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview. "It doesn't matter if they're Senator Clinton or whoever."
The American government financed, lauded and backed a notoriously vicious and capable guerilla fighter. That fighter later had a political falling out with his former backers and turned his charm and finances into raising an army that later led a terrorist assault on American soil
...the notes, now in Mr. Fitzgerald’s possession, also indicate that Mr. Libby first heard about Ms. Wilson — who is also known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame — from Mr. Cheney. That apparent discrepancy in his testimony suggests why prosecutors are weighing false statement charges against him in what they interpret as an effort by Mr. Libby to protect Mr. Cheney from scrutiny
hey you. come here. get up.
ah, this is the era where everybody creates.
The lines above are from the song, So You Wanna Be (A Rock 'N' Roll Star), by James McGuinn and Christopher Hillman. Ah, this is the era where everybody creates.
Indeed, if you shop carefully, you can get all the stuff you need to make your own movies and distribute them on DVD's, for about a thousand bucks. If you go to a thrift store, you can get an Internet-capable computer for a hundred bucks, and publish your own blog. If you've got a pencil and a piece of paper, you can write your own poetry:
Squeeze my hand, as we lay by the river
Moonlight caresses the canyon
I ask your permission, after I kiss you
Body heat builds between us
We giggle together, then kiss again
Cool rain patters the piñon
Suddenly serious, a moment of stillness
River sounds ramble above us
Inquiring yet knowing, we touch forever
Yet, in the ying/yang sturm/drang twenty-first century, the dawn of the third millennium, we are not seeing an explosion of creative expression. We have a government that wants to discourage community-wide wifi access. We have a government that puts secret codes on output from color printers. We have a home-grown movement that wants to hijack the government, in part to establish dominion over creative expression. We have restrictive policies that have scientists going to other countries, to pursue their research with less moralistic interference.
It is difficult for us normal people to know what to make of this, but there are serious people who are worried about this. From Theocracy Watch:
The theocratic right seeks to establish dominion, or control over society in the name of God. D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, calls on his followers to exercise "godly dominion ... over every aspect ... of human society." At a "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference in February, 2005, Kennedy said:
Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.
Twenty-five years ago dominionists targeted the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could advance their agenda. At the same time, a small group of Republican strategists targeted fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches to expand the base of the Republican Party.
Like I said, it is hard to know how serious of a problem this is. For ordinary citizens, it is sort of like the threat of avian influenza: There definitely is a threat out there, but we do not and cannot know when or if it will turn into a pandemic. We do know, however, that we must be on guard.
Be a part of National Geographic's Genographic Project. For a measley $99, you can find out where some of your oldest same-sex ancestors called home.
And this will inevitably be perceived, through that race/class/culture filter, as an effort to whiten up the NBA, to dilute its hip-hop aspect, to appeal to a white audience that might otherwise be scared off by the image of young, black men in street fashions.
The fact that the league last spring hired Matthew Dowd, a Republican campaign strategist who worked alongside Karl Rove, to collect data on the NBA's image problem in "red states," is pretty compelling evidence on that point. Not hard to imagine what kind of conclusions he might have drawn.
And maybe Allen Iverson's wardrobe, and his tattoos (no rules against those -- yet), carry with them a kind of thug symbolism that makes some people uncomfortable. But it's no more laden with implicit messages than the good old suit-and-tie, and given that this is a golden age for corporate criminals, who says a half Windsor is any more comforting than a great big fat gold chain?
Kucinich Uses Resolution Of Inquiry To Demand Documents From White House Group That Developed Strategy To “Sell” War To The Public And Press
Washington, Oct 20 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).
“This group, comprised of the President and Vice President’s top aides, was critical in selling the Administration’s case for war,” stated Kucinich. “We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to ‘sell’ the war. After over 1,900 American troops have been killed in Iraq, it is long past time for this Congress to ask serious questions about WHIG and its role in the lead up to the war.”
A Resolution of Inquiry is a rare House procedure used to obtain documents from the Executive Branch. Under House rules, Kucinich’s resolution is referred to committee, and action must be taken in committee within 14 legislative days.
“For two-and-a-half years Congress has sat on the sidelines neglecting its oversight responsibility when it has come to Iraq,” continued Kucinich. “We owe it to the American people to hold this Administration accountable and to find out the truth.”
In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.
“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”
Hope is not history's Barcalounger, as is often thought: it requires you get back out there and protect that habitat or stop that war. It is not the same as optimism, the belief that everything will probably turn out all right despite your inactivity, the same kind of inactivity that despair begets. Hope involves a sense of possibility, but with it comes responsibility.
When the possibility of far-reaching war crimes and crimes against humanity exists, people of conscience have a solemn responsibility to inquire into the nature and scope of these acts and to determine if they do in fact rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. That is the mission of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity. The first session will be held October 21-22 in New York City. This tribunal will, with care and rigor, present evidence and assess whether George W. Bush and his administration have committed crimes against humanity. Well-established international law will be referenced where applicable, but the tribunal will not be limited by the scope of existing international law.
AMTRAK BOARD VOTES TO SPIN OFF NORTHEAST CORRIDOR
In a startling new development Amtrak’s Board, all Bush appointees, has voted to begin the process of breaking up the national passenger railroad. The decision, held in closed quarters and kept secret until now, was made on September 22nd. A report of the vote became public when a Florida group released the information in its newsletter. How it got this secret information is highly suspect.
The plan by Amtrak’s board would create a totally new subsidiary which would both own and operate the entire northeast corridor, thus separating that segment of the rail network from the rest of the national system.
According to a report in today’s New York Times, “the plan, which would require action by Congress, is to transfer the corridor to a consortium including the federal government and the governments of the states in the region that would share the costs to maintain it.”
Be aware that this is part of the broader effort by the Bush administration to dissolve Amtrak and dismantle the national passenger rail system, the first step down the road to privatization and the elimination of long distance routes. In addition, by separating the Northeast Corridor from the rest of the system, this would effectively divide the national pro-rail coalition, thus weakening Amtrak’s support in Congress.
I call upon all Friends of Amtrak supporters to categorically reject this move. This is serious, folks! Let your representatives in the House and Senate know that this plan by Amtrak’s board must be rejected.
CALL CONGRESS - TELL THEM TO REJECT THE AMTRAK BOARD’S PLAN TO DIVIDE AMTRAK. To reach the Congressional switchboard call 1-202-224-3121.
For more contact information go to:
Friends of Amtrak
"I have a huge disappointment about what this country might have been instead of what it's become," he says. "You forget there was something great about the Great Depression. The president was Franklin Roosevelt, who cared generally about all of us. And things were getting better -- talk about audacity, giving women the power to vote, in 1919. It took a while for even women to adjust to it. Only now are they really getting the feeling of it. And then after the war when the civil-rights movement came in, that was exciting! So there were these huge improvements, where we were becoming what we always imagined ourselves to be. No shit, becoming that!"
... "I'm just the asshole who broke the bank at Monte Carlo," he replies, leaning back on his stock phrase.
And he'd just as soon have it all end. "I felt as I did when the Second World War ended: 'Please, I've done everything I'm supposed to do, can't I go home now?' " he says.
A truck out on the street honks its horn and Vonnegut looks toward the restaurant's entrance. His eyes seem to water a little and his voice lowers almost to a whisper. "Where is home? I've wondered where home is, and I realized, it's not Mars or someplace like that, it's Indianapolis when I was nine years old. I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog, and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts. And there's no way I can get there again."
...privilege doesn’t guarantee intelligence, empathy, wisdom, diligence, or humanity. Privilege allows people without those qualities to skate through life, protected from the consequences of being dull-witted, lazy, arrogant, and inhumane. The system of privilege allows failed people to pretend to be something more.
And, unfortunately, that system often puts those failed people in positions of power and forces everyone else to endure their shortcomings.
. Our government and corporate elites have turned against America’s environmental visionaries—from Teddy Roosevelt to John Muir, from Rachel Carson to David Brower, from Gaylord Nelson to Laurence Rockefeller. They have set out to eviscerate just about every significant gain of the past generation, and while they are at it they have managed to blame the environmental movement itself for the failure of the Green Revolution. If environmentalism isn’t dead, they say, it should be. And they will gladly lead the cortege to the grave.
...) If the Green Revolution is a bloody pulp today, it is not just because the environmental movement mugged itself. It is because the corporate, political and religious right ganged up on it in the back alleys of power. Big companies fund a relentless assault on green values and policies. Political ideologues launch countless campaigns to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich benefactors. And homegrown ayatollahs are more set on savaging gay people than saving the green earth.
...) President Bush has turned the agencies charged with environmental protection over to people who don’t believe in it. To run the Interior Department he chose a long-time defender of polluters who has opposed laws to safeguard wildlife, habitat, and public lands. To run the Forest Service he chose a timber industry lobbyist. To oversee our public lands he named a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. To run the Superfund he chose a woman who made a living advising corporate polluters how to evade the Superfund. And in the White House office of environmental policy, the president placed a lobbyist from the American Petroleum Institute whose mission was to make sure the government’s scientific reports on global warming didn’t contradict the party line and the interest of oil companies. Everywhere you look, the foxes own the chicken coop.
...) They say denial is not a river in Egypt. It is, however, the governing philosophy in Washington. The president’s contempt for science—for evidence that mounts every day—is mind-boggling. Here is a man who was quick to launch a "preventative war" against Iraq on faulty intelligence and premature judgment but who refuses to take preventive action against a truly global menace about which the scientific evidence is overwhelming.
...) Here’s an important statistic to ponder: 45 percent of Americans hold a creational view of the world, discounting Darwin’s theory of evolution. I don’t think it is a coincidence then that in a nation where nearly half our people believe in creationism, much of the populace also doubts the certainty of climate change science. Contrast that to other industrial nations where climate change science is overwhelmingly accepted as truth;
..) So if I were a freelance journalist looking to offer a major piece on global warming to these people, how would I go about it? ... how to reach fundamentalist Christians who doubt evolution? How would I get them to hear me? [ read it all ]
"At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation. This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its director general."
...) "At a time when disarmament efforts appear deadlocked, when there is a danger that nuclear arms will spread both to states and to terrorist groups, and when nuclear power again appears to be playing an increasingly significant role, IAEA's work is of incalculable importance," the committee said.
...) "Mohammad El Baradei is an outstanding leader with great integrity. He has always sought to achieve results by negotiations. We saw this clearly during the period before the Iraq war, when he, all the way to the end, requested that the international weapons inspectors continue their work."
The 2001 Roadless Rule was a widely supported regulation that protected over 58 million acres of public land on National Forests from road construction, commercial logging, and development. The Bush administration’s repeal of the Roadless Rule swept away those protections without consideration for science, economics, biology, cost to communities, or common sense. Hunters, fishermen, hikers, and millions of regular Americans considered it one of the greatest forest conservation measures in U.S. history.
Area health officials were not notified for five days that sensors on the Mall had detected a potentially dangerous bacterium there last month because subsequent tests were not conclusively positive, a federal official said yesterday.
The Department of Homeland Security delayed in alerting the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the same reason, said Richard Besser, who directs the CDC's coordinating office for terrorism preparedness and emergency response. More than half a dozen sensors showed the presence of tularemia bacteria the morning after thousands of people gathered on the Mall for a book festival and antiwar rally, yet the CDC was not contacted for at least 72 hours.
Fortunately, tularemia is relatively rare in nature. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health there are generally five or fewer cases that occur each year naturally. The Kansas City Missouri Health Department tells us that most cases that occur naturally are found in “south, central and western states,” not Washington D.C.
Unfortunately, tularemia has been long used as a military biological weapon. We should consider the presence of tularemia a shot across the bow to the peace movement from an administration willing to cheat, steal, torture, lie and kill to further its political agenda. Karl Rove, the president’s brain, brags of his worship of Machiavelli and will do anything to keep his Texas prince in power.
If you want to start a community it is easy – just put out a call and say there is free land. You will have all the people you want. More than you want. And it won’t work. I wasn’t interested in starting a community that was going to fail. Most successful communities are based on a charismatic leader, which doesn’t interest me, or an authoritarian system, or a religious creed, which also doesn’t interest me. I thought that maybe you could have a community that had a common thread, a common purpose revolving around the search for better ways to live. As a community we would search the libraries, search the world for information and then experiment with it and publish it. But it didn’t happen. I didn’t find the right people. And so I keep gathering my collection of information and publishing it.
... If we are going to live within our income on this planet, we have to live more simply. Learning to live simply and go lightly is such a beautiful thing. It has an aesthetic aspect to it. It is a delight. It is fun. For example, I have no desire anymore to make chairs that I can make and you can’t. That is not going to solve our problems. This chair I am sitting on here has three pieces to it — a democratic chair. I can teach you how to make this chair in a few hours. That is simplicity. That Windsor chair is no longer exciting to me at all. At one time it was. At one time I loved making those. I am glad I learned the skill, because I can use the skill in other ways. But instead of designing a chair that puts you down because you can’t make it, I can look at this chair and say ‘I can design this’ and maybe you can’t. But you can make it. And I will help you make it. That, to me, is exciting.
I'm not really clear how much a billion dollars is but the United States — our United States — is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.
We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today.
Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?
Now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China.
Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students. Do these sound like the things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?
I'll tell you where we ought to start saving: on our bloated military establishment.
We're paying for weapons we'll never use.
No other Country spends the kind of money we spend on our military. Last year Japan spent $42 billion. Italy spent $28 billion, Russia spent only $19 billion. The United States spent $455 billion.
We have 8,000 tanks for example. One Abrams tank costs 150 times as much as a Ford station wagon.
We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons — enough to destroy all of mankind.
We're spending $200 million a year on bullets alone. That's a lot of target practice. We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldier what to do. We have 40,000 colonels alone and 870 generals.
We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President and on leaving the White House in 1961, he said this: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. …"
Well, Ike was right. That's just what’s happened.
Memo to the Democratic leadership, in the words of departed comic Bill Hicks: "Step on the gas, man."
" The leadership caste of the Democratic party - those worthies and also-rans in the Senate and the DNC - should take a walk down to the Rayburn House office building and find Representatives Conyers, Lee, Woolsey, Abercrombie, Sanders, McDermott, Waters and Waxman. This crew has been keeping good company, has been burning the midnight oil, and has been speaking the truth of this administration all day and every day. The leadership caste of the Democratic party would do well to drink deep a draught of the courage and integrity that can be found there." [read more]
The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in the pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a sub-system. This larger Mind is comparable to God and is perhaps what some people mean by 'God', but it is still immanent in the total interconnected social system and planetary ecology...
If you put God outside and set him vis--vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your folks or conspecifics against the environment of other social units, other races and the brutes and the vegetables.
If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your chances of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate, or simply, of over population and overgrazing. The raw materials of the world are finite.
If I am right, the whole of our thinking about what we are and what other people are has got to be restructured. This is not funny, and I do not know how long we have to do it in. If we continue to operate on the premises that were fashionable during the Pre-Cybernetic era, and which were especially underlined during the Industrial Revolution, which seemed to validate the Darwinian unit of survival, we may have twenty or thirty years before the logical reductio ad absurdum of our old positions destroys us. Nobody knows how long we have, under the present system, before some disaster strikes us, more serious than the destruction of any group of nations. The most important task today is, perhaps, to learn to think in the new way.