Archive for June, 2010

fu bp

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

BP messed up, bad. And they’ve kept on messing up, too.

Why haven’t they stopped the oil? Seriously, its been what, 2 months now??? It seems as if their priority is not to plug the hole, but rather to keep it flowing and try to catch it – which is a big FU to the environment.

deepwater oil spill

(deepwater horizon oil spill as seen from space)

Considering BP’s disregard for the environment, their utter lack of a back-up plan, and overall gross incompetence, protesters in Atlanta have concisely summed up the voice of the people:

fu bp

(this message was sprayed on a bridge. time-lapse video below of it being made)

Given enough time, the ecosystem will recover. It just sucks for now.

One thing we aren’t hearing enough of is how dirty fossil fuels are. Bad for the environment, it seems. And on that same note, it bears mention of our shared responsibility for this catastrophe – our dependence on oil and reluctance to shift to greener solutions.

It also bears mention of how corporations are pushed to profit and cut corners wherever they can. Corporations will try to get away with as much as they can. It is up to us – average consumers -  to hold them accountable for their actions. When corporations grow too large and too powerful, both people and planet can suffer.

Examples of corporations run amok can be seen with the big oil companies in Africa, where what has happened in the gulf apparently happens there all the time. In fact, further highlighting the importance of fettering corporations, companies like Shell have THEIR OWN FREAKIN ARMIES. Hired goons to enforce the company’s bottom line… glorified security teams complicit in human rights violation. Privately funded, unaccountable forces are just one of the scary prospects that can happen when corporations have too much influence.

So the lessons that the 2010 Gulf Oil spill can teach us are:

  • It is time to do a major shift towards renewable energy. Let our burning of oil be to propel us forward into a new age of greater technology.
  • Keep corporations on a short leash! Corporations need to fear the will of the people, not bend the will of the people.
  • Maybe have a backup plan when you are doing something potentially catastrophic

Transparency for Peace

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Empowering individuals and communities – shifting the power to the people – will continue to be one of the most important steps for ushering in a world of peace. When the world’s system is more in tune with the demands of the vast majority, we will have peace and prosperity for all people.

A great step we can take towards empowering ourselves is to demand more transparency throughout all levels of government and the political system. The more we can see the inner-workings of the system, the more we open up our leaders to public scrutiny, the less corruption and mismanagement we will have.

If we were to demand it, we could have a system that lets us know specific numbers, broken down by region, by city, by department, to know exactly where OUR money is being spent. It could be made widely accessible and easily searched so that all dollars coming in and going out could be tracked.

We could do the same for the electoral process. Knowing were campaign contributions were coming from, and being spent, would give great insight into knowing a politician’s agenda. For example, if Politician X was mostly funded by oil lobbyists and the NRA, we would expect Politician X to vote for pro-oil and pro-gun policies. Of course, if it were right out in the open, this kind of corruption would be hard to hide from the public, which is exactly the idea behind transparency.

Demanding such high-levels of transparency may seem extreme, and certainly frightening to the pork-barrel politicians whose pockets are lined by corporations and special interests, but steps in this direction would help us hold government officials accountable to the people they represent – you and me. The government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around.

Fortunately for us, and for the prospects of world peace, transparency has been consistently increasing throughout the world. The US has been pushing an Open Government Initiative. Citizens and bloggers armed with cell-phones cameras can break damning stories as they happen. Whistle-blower havens like Wikileaks expose corruption in corporations and governments alike.

Our world is becoming more open and increasingly tighter-knit, helping us to hold accountable the actions of those who hold power over us. The more transparency we have in our world’s system, the more power will reside in the hands of the people. The more power we have, the more we can make our world one of peace, equality and prosperity for everyone.

A Trillion Dollars… Gone Forever

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The U.S. led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have now crossed the One Trillion Dollar mark – that’s $1,000,000,000,000, gone forever.

This is an obscene amount of U.S. Taxpayer money. Money that could have helped solved the health care issues… money that could have put the U.S. back near the top regarding education levels… money that could have taken a big chunk out of the U.S. foreign debt. This trillion dollars could have been used for pretty much anything other than occupying foreign countries who really have no desire to be occupied.

The U.S. is no safer now. Their economy is teetering on the brink of collapse, their infrastructure is crumbling, and the world holds as much contempt for America as ever.

Of course, if you ask the people involved in the war industry, they will likely say how the cost is justified and how the war efforts have been working and will continue to work: the U.S. is safer, America’s enemies have been crushed, Iraq and Afghanistan are now better off.

But their opinions need to be taken with a huge grain of salt… their livelihood depends on the war-industry. It is their job! It’s how they feed their families. The idea of ending war means they would need to find new employment, and that is a scary prospect to most anyone.

Asking people entrenched in the war industry if the war is working would be the same as asking a drug enforcement agent if the war on drugs is working. The vast majority of them would like to believe their efforts are working.

With billion dollar profits involved and millions of people with an invested stake in perpetuating conflict, war will not stop on its own. It will take a force of equal or greater power to slow down and stop the war-machine.

This force will come from the millions and millions of people around the world who are sick of war – the world’s peace warriors. The more we come together, the more we coordinate our efforts and mobilize to action, the more power we will gain to systematically dismantle the war machine.

The world’s peace movement will continue to grow in strength. We will prevail.

World Peace is Coming!