Sunday, October 16, 2011

Long Ties to Koch Brothers Key to Cain's Campaign

It continues to be true that, in choosing to inform ourselves, there is an imperative to follow the money:


Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity. ~ Ryan J. Foley

Don't Think of a Pig: Why "Corporate Greed" Is the Wrong Frame

By Frances Moore Lappé and Anthony Lappé

As the Occupy Wall Street enters its fourth week, the meta-narrative around the rapidly spreading movement is beginning to take shape. From CNN to Fox News to many protestors themselves, one central slogan is sticking: corporate greed.

During an inspiring visit to Zoccutti Park, we saw abundant posters with slogans like "Another Mother Against Corporate Greed" to "Corporate Greed is the Vampire."

OWS has historic potential. It's already succeeding in raising questions typically buried by the mainstream media. We want it to gain power fast, but much will depend on how its core message gets framed. As linguist George Lakoff argued in his seminal book Don't Think of an Elephant, "frames" have enormous power.

Unfortunately, smashing "corporate greed" is not only limiting, but we fear it's bound to fail. The "we are virtuous, you are evil" message is admittedly, a great way to get people fired up. But does it get us where we need to go?

Recall, by contrast, the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King didn't rail against the racists; he demanded the end to laws that allowed racists to damage people. Going to great lengths not to demonize foes, he called on Americans to live up to our own ideals.


So let's call the crisis what it is: the rise of privately held government.
It's happened in part because for decades Americans have been told, and too many got swept up in the fairy tale, that we have to turn over our fate to a force that works on its own without us: the market. It's "magic," Ronald Reagan assured us, is all we need.
Once we buy that notion, we're done for, for wealth accrues to wealth to wealth until we end up with a society that a 2005 Citigroup report famously dubbed a "Plutonomy," in which the top 1 percent control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. And an America where inequality is now greater than in Pakistan or Egypt, according to the World Bank. ~ Frances Moore Lappé

10 Myths That Keep Us From Creating The World We Want

by Frances Moore Lappe

From "Diet for a Small Planet" exactly 40 years ago, it dawned on me that humans are actively creating the scarcity we say we are trying to escape. Whoa! Why would our bright species do such a thing? Researching my new book, "EcoMind, Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want" (Nation Books), I discovered that it is the power of ideas. I learned that neuroscientists are increasingly finding that while most of us think that "seeing is believing," that, no, for human beings "believing is seeing." Our core ideas about how the world works determine, literally, what we can see and what we can't. From this groundbreaking science, I argue that some of our most common assumptions are perversely aligned with nature, including human nature. They block us from seeing possibilities emerging all around us--the solutions in front of our noses. Here are 10 of those ideas and ways that an eco-mind--one that thinks in connectedness and continuous change--might rethink them. I welcome your response.


Myth #1: Renewable energy would take too long. Our economy is hurting now and we can't afford to wait.

Truth: ...Today, 95% of Costa Rica's electricity comes from renewable sources, and Germany is set to reach nearly 40% of its electricity from renewable in a decade. Then visualize what's still untapped: The sun's energy reaching earth over just five days is greater than all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Open Letter to that 53% Guy

by Max Udargo


I briefly visited the “We are the 53%” website, but I first saw your face on a liberal blog. Your picture is quite popular on liberal blogs. I think it’s because of the expression on your face. I don’t know if you meant to look pugnacious or if we’re just projecting that on you, but I think that’s what gets our attention.

In the picture, you’re holding up a sheet of paper that says:

I am a former Marine.

I work two jobs.

I don’t have health insurance.

I worked 60-70 hours a week for 8 years to pay my way through college.

I haven’t had 4 consecutive days off in over 4 years.

But I don’t blame Wall Street.

Suck it up you whiners.

I am the 53%.

God bless the USA!

I wanted to respond to you as a liberal. Because, although I think you’ve made yourself clear and I think I understand you, you don’t seem to understand me at all. I hope you will read this and understand me better, and maybe understand the Occupy Wall Street movement better.


"The commitment we’ve made to the working class since the 1940s is something that we should both support and be willing to fight for, whether we are liberal or conservative. We should both be willing to fight for the American Dream. And we should agree that anybody trying to steal that dream from us is to be resisted, not defended." ~ Max Udargo

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Some thoughts on joy and sorrow...

When I had not begun to open to the grief in my own heart, when emotions - especially strong ones - scared me to death, I was incapable of sitting with yours. I have a lot of empathy today for what it is to live without having made friends with and embraced my own broken heart. As we grow older, it is my experience and belief that the cost of not being on a heart path only increases, showing up in illness, addictions, depression, broken relationships, etc. because our relationship with ourselves is broken. Many of us grew up in families who did not teach and support us in striving to be wholly who we are. And we certainly live in a grief phobic culture, one which tells us that something is wrong if we are in grief and we need to just have a drink, go shopping, turn on the TV, have sex, caretake someone else, get religion, exercise, work, or any host of other activities - some of which can be healthy - but which can also often take us outside of ourselves in the form of distracting us from that which most needs attending. I'm just so grateful to have been on a path for many years now of making friends with my own grief. And no longer being afraid of yours. Joy and sorrow are intertwined and both equally as necessary to being Alive...

Kahlil Gibran says it beautifully here: