What about the nuclear waste? NRC’s response: “I have the same question”

17 Idyllwild Conversationalists trekked down to Dana Point for the NRC’s October 9th hearing on SONGS. Towards the end of the night, the three Idyllwild girls managed to ask a key question to NRC Region 4 Administrator Elmo Collins: “Do you know what to do with nuclear waste, and if not, why do you keep making more of it?” Check out this video to hear the entire exchange.

mind mapping our way to food security

Check out our wild mind map! At our last meeting, we brainstormed on some of the ways we might disentangle our community from the industrial food chain and create a more sustainable, healthy standard of living for all interested Hill residents. I organized the ideas from that Conversation and the one prior, and I created a mind map using a free online collaboration tool. Continue reading “mind mapping our way to food security”

wendell berry: in distrust of movements

“I HAVE HAD WITH MY friend Wes Jackson a number of useful conversations about the necessity of getting out of movements — even movements that have seemed necessary and dear to us — when they have lapsed into self-righteousness and self-betrayal, as movements seem almost invariably to do. People in movements too readily learn to deny to others the rights and privileges they demand for themselves. They too easily become unable to mean their own language, as when a “peace movement” becomes violent… Continue reading “wendell berry: in distrust of movements”

Shouts Out to Idyllwild

A quickie video for our homies. Several participants missed this at last week’s meeting, so I’m posting it here. In the midst of a gigantic crowd of demonstrators at New York City’s City Hall, we met a fellow who used to attend the Strawberry Creek Music Festivals. He gave a shout-out to Idyllwild residents, as did Rob and Justine whom you might recall from an earlier video. We also met with former Idyllwild resident Steven Morrison who expressed feelings of longing for his old home here on the hill.

conversation #5—inquiry into capitalism

At last week’s meeting all participants arrived at a consensus that we should further explore the subject of capitalism at our next meeting on Wed. Nov 2. The following questions arose:

Bill Moyers on ‘Democratic Decency Defined Downward’

This post from George Zornick at The Nation is so good that I’m posting the whole thing:

Bill Moyers delivered a stirring keynote on the capture of our political system by the ultra-rich last night in Washington, at a gala honoring the fortieth anniversary of Ralph Nader’s advocacy group Public Citizen. Moyers urged people to have clarity about what has happened to American politics, and to engage in dedicated citizen action to combat it. His remarks are worth quoting at length: Continue reading “Bill Moyers on ‘Democratic Decency Defined Downward’”

from times square to madrid and beyond

As Zora and I were rolling home across the Great Plains states on Saturday, the Occupy Wall Street movement exploded in 1500 cities in more than 80 countries around the planet in a global “Day of Rage.” Check out this photo essay in The Atlantic to get a sense of the growth of this movement. Continue reading “from times square to madrid and beyond”

“the stakes are too high for us not to make the absolute most of this moment.”

We ran into Naomi Klein at Liberty Square and asked if we could interview her. “After the march!” she called out. But after finding ourselves part of a slow-moving mass of 42,000 humans, we barely found time to get to Penn Station for our scheduled train trip to Washington, DC. Fortunately, this brief interview with Ms. Klein offers some nice insights into what makes this movement so compelling. And she offers some advice regarding the importance of making the most of this critical moment.

keith olbermann reads the first collective statement of occupy wall street

What are the occupation’s demands? Many folks we spoke with explained that making demands is ultimately disempowering because it gives the other side the power to address or ignore them as they see fit. In lieu of demands, the Occupy Wall Street folks put forth this first collective statement. Keep in mind that different occupations will most likely produce different declarations as each of the local movements is place-based, addressing needs specific to that region. Consensus will unfold organically over time.

conversation #3—preparation— “how information can be controlled and suppressed in the corridors of power”

(seen above, Lawrence Summers takes a public nap after joining Team Obama)

A message from Conor:

Greetings my fellow concerned citizens,

Wednesday night after our meeting I came home and began reading The HuffingtonPost, I came across a story about a battle brewing between Ron Suskind and the Obama White House. Ron Suskind has written an unflattering book about the inner workings of the Obama administration. Continue reading “conversation #3—preparation— “how information can be controlled and suppressed in the corridors of power””

conversation #2—gleanings

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
—Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

 

I’m going to write down some thoughts regarding the last meeting, and I encourage all of you who attended to do the same in the comments section below. You may also comment on comments. As always, please remain civil—people often let loose in an online forum. This is not that kind of forum. Continue reading “conversation #2—gleanings”

the conversation begins—thomas jefferson & us

Thomas Jefferson portrait

“Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for. For none of us, no, not one is perfect. And were we to love none who had imperfections, this world would be a desert for our love.” —Thomas Jefferson

Like many good things it started with a casual chat in a cafe. Conor and I both felt troubled by the state of the world, how it will affect the futures of our children and, for that matter, all children, and the ways in which so much of the public dialogue feels dumbed-down and irrelevant to the deeper issues at play. If democracy depends upon an informed and engaged citizenry, then we must relearn how to inform one another through open dialogue and debate. And so we decided to host a political conversation amongst people from a wide range of political leanings. And then we invited the entire town! Continue reading “the conversation begins—thomas jefferson & us”

who killed economic growth?

Yes, crimes were committed, and the Wall Street criminals escaped (for now)—not only unscathed but rewarded with infuriating bonuses. But Richard Heinberg’s new book The End of Growth makes a compelling case that the real source of the economic downturn is more systemic than villainous. Our economy is based on a fantasy of infinite growth, and it clashes with the real world of finite resources. This brief 6:30 short nicely summarizes his argument. If it sparks your curiosity you’ll want to check out some excerpts from his book.