All right, you fellow modernists. It’s time to put your money (and action) where your mouth is. There is an emblematic moment in the fight-back against romantic cynicism, and it is coming even before the election!
I’m talking about your chance to help boost Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century onto the Amazon bestseller lists.
Yes, it’s another massive volume that I’ve contributed-to. My section in this one is small (and unpaid) but I’m proud to be part of a volume that’s so much in the spirit of the epochal Whole Earth Catalogs that Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelly and that band of merry-modernist pranksters put out, back in the sixties. (Volumes that are rightly called “the earliest harbingers of the spirit of the Internet.”)
You’ve heard me tout Worldchanging before. A central locus of the rebellion against tyrannical cynics (of BOTH right and left) who have been bullying us can-do girls and boys for a generation, telling us that active problem solving (with some technological ambition) is a futile undertaking. Fie on them!
Here is what one Amazon purchaser wrote about this book after reading it: “If Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" moved you, then Steffen's "Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century" will move you to action. This is a beautifully crafted book that should be cherished - so full of resourceful ideas from around the world on how to live a more eco-friendly, sustainable life - without having to turn your back on the comforts of the 21st century. It's the ultimate feel-good book that lets you know there's hope for the planet if you're willing to make changes here and there in your daily life that really aren't all that inconvenient. Don't worry - the book doesn't lecture. It just INSPIRES.”
Get this gorgeous, slipcased volume that’s chock fulla eagerness to set things right. Share it. Buy copies as holiday presents! And...
...the folks at Worldchanging are also asking... if possible... could you do this on Wednesday November 1st? (Sweeps on Amazon.) In fact, they want us all to do it at 11:11 am Pacific time.
Well... this kinda gamesmanship has its place I guess. But I am more interested in making this a best seller the old fashioned way. By spreading the word and making this a milestone in our march to take back the Enlightenment!
Nu? Did anyone like the Nova show?
(I guess I make good comic relief, sigh.)
Time is short... hence I will follow that apolitical (though socially militant) appear with a brief re-lighting of the political lamp...
First: this from: November Surprise? ( The Nation) By Tom Engelhardt: -- “The US-backed special tribunal in Baghdad signalled Monday that it will likely delay a verdict in the first trial of Saddam Hussein to November 5. Why hasn't the mainstream media connected the dots between the Saddam's judgment day and the midterm elections?...A possible death-sentence for Saddam and his top lieutenants on November 5? ... "When you look at polling figures," Horton said," there have been three significant spike points. One was the date on which Saddam was captured. The second was the purple fingers election. The third was Zarqawi being killed. Based on those three, it's easy to project that they will get a mild bump out of this.”
In any event it is clear what the Iraqi's want us to do. A recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes the University of Maryland found that 78 percent of Iraqis believe that the American military presence causes more conflict than it prevents and 71% thought American troops should be withdrawn within a year. (The poll also found that 61% approved of attacks on American troops.)
One more of those rare “must” see articles from Truthout: William Fisher says that, "... this president has presided over arguably the most secretive government in US history," and finds it interesting that just before the mid-term elections, Bush praised open government at a signing ceremony for the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which will establish a searchable online database of federal grants and contracts.
...which, if enforced earlier, would have put most of his friends in jail (my own rant) though of course with his pardon in late 2008, as a get out free card. Oh, but the signing statement nullifies legislation, anyway.
Fareed Zakaria is one of the few bright lights at Newsweek. No dove, he was an early supporter of the war. Now see the Oct. 16, 2006 issue Iraq's Dark Day of Reckoning
-”When Iraq's current government was formed last April, after four months of bitter disputes, wrangling and paralysis, many voices in America and in Iraq said the next six months would be the crucial testing period. That was a fair expectation. It has now been almost six months, and what we have seen are bitter disputes, wrangling and paralysis. Meanwhile, the violence has gotten worse, sectarian tensions have risen steeply and ethnic cleansing is now in full swing. There is really no functioning government south of Kurdistan, only power vacuums that have been filled by factions, militias and strongmen. It is time to call an end to the tests, the six-month trials, the waiting and watching, and to recognize that the Iraqi government has failed. It is also time to face the terrible reality that America's mission in Iraq has substantially failed.
“More waiting is unlikely to turn things around, nor will more troops. I understand the impulse of those who want to send in more forces to secure the country. I urged just such a policy from the first week of the occupation. But today we are where we are. Over the past three years the violence has spread and is now franchised down to neighborhoods with local gangs in control. In many areas, local militias are not even controlled by their supposed political masters in Baghdad. In this kind of decentralized street fighting, 10,000 or 20,000 more troops in Baghdad will not have more than a temporary effect. Nor will new American policies help.”
Again. If you can. Ponder becoming a poll watcher.
Or find a competitive state assembly race nearby (where your efforts (or some cash) could really make a % difference) and volunteer.
Or put up a sign.
Or tell those sincere conservatives to wake up and save their own #%$#$! movement*... or to at least stay home.
At least vote and get your lazy pals to vote. Against monsters.
See: America's Declining State of Readiness