Sunday, December 21, 2008

Environmental plundering exacerbates economic woes

January 2009 Four Corners Free Press

Environmental plundering exacerbates economic woes

Listening to the current parade of "experts" discussing our economic crisis I’m struck with how consistently they admit to being surprised: “we didn’t see this coming” is a favorite refrain. Then they go on to assure us that a rebound is only a couple seasons away.

Why didn’t or couldn’t they see this coming? Why is a rebound inevitable? More importantly, rebound to what? The same standard of living and dreams that have carried this nation since World War II?

The talking heads consistently focus on the “financial crisis,” as though finances were all there are to our economy and its functioning. Why don’t they discuss the state of our Earth’s ill health, or question some of the basic assumptions that have driven Wall Street, our economy, and our politics these past decades?

One item worth re-examining is the businessman’s canon of “fiduciary responsibility” run amok. Fiduciary responsibility roughly means that in handling someone else’s money or business: “the utmost degree of good faith, honesty, integrity, loyalty and undivided service of the beneficiaries interest" is demanded.

On the face of it a good thing. But in the hands of single minded corporate giants it takes on an ugly twist. Corporate fiduciary responsibility mandates the maximum profit, no matter what the real world fallout. All responsibilities and liabilities to the outside world are rejected whenever possible. "Profits Über Alles" succeeds for the individual corporation but, it’s to the detriment of all others. There’s no future in it, as the current financial upheaval is showing us.

Then, there’s the impression that it’s OK for business, and the rest of us, to continue ignoring what we’re doing to our Earth. Don't forget, the Great Depression was triggered by a combination of financial and manmade environmental breakdowns. But back then, our population was still small and our footprint upon the land wasn’t as extensive. The same was true of the world at large. This meant that vast areas of unblemished resources both above and below ground existed, just waiting to be plucked.

Look at our planet today - humanity has encircled it and closed in on itself. Resources are consumed with reckless ravenous intensity. There is no more new frontier on this planet, and vast swaths of land and water have been severely plundered and damaged. Yet, the business/media world still acts as though Earth remains the cornucopia it once was.

Obviously the lesson of the sun is lost on our movers & shapers: The larger the sun, the faster it burns itself up. We exist on this planet because our sun is of modest size, therefore consuming its fuel at a moderate rate. Our economic, political brain trust never thinks beyond burning the flame as hot as possible.

A century of corporate contempt toward our environment has left us a battered and prematurely aged Earth. The environment that so many continue to dismiss is actually the life support system that all of humanity depends upon, our biosphere. Why doesn’t the media report on that in realistic detail?

Society is at a crossroads. Insatiable consumption - “having the most toys,” “bigger is better” - have held paramount sway in our collective imaginations. If we cling to that conviction the days ahead will be harsh indeed, because Earth simply cannot support it any longer. Any sort of semi healthy future for our kids and their kids depends on our ability to understand and adopt a sustainability mindset.

The first step should be getting to know the magnificent Earth you’re part of. It would also help to realize it is not us with our God. It’s God with its Earth and all its creatures. Earth is the only planet we know off that has nurtured life into this fantastic interdependent panorama and humanity is but one self-centered speck in God’s reality. The entire thing ~ some call it Gaia ~ is God’s child. When will we start nurturing it with intelligence, respect, perhaps even affection?

BBC, recently produced an excellent five part series titled “THE EARTH: A BIOGRAPHY... the story of our world.” It is a non-political examination of our planet, it’s development and its many interwoven interdependencies. Check it out, you will be impressed.

Only by removing our focus from outdated dogmas and refocusing on the here & now, our Earth and how to nurture it, rather than plundering it, can we hope for brighter days in the future.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Please No Village at Wolf Creek

The following is a letter to the Durango Telegraph, hoping to stir up some people to do a little letter writing.

It's regarding turning Red McCombs development threat into a watershed preserve. printed

For detailed information visit, they are the real hero's who have done epic battle to stave off development of that wonderful resource.
For the record: I am unaffiliated with friendsofwolfcreek, or any other resource I may link to in this blog ;-).


Dear Editor,
Let me share a few reasons why Red McCombs should abandon his dream of a Village at Wolf Creek and return his ill-gotten parcel of Alberta Park to the Rio Grande National Forest. Thereby leaving a legacy proclaiming: here was a man who learned to appreciate the deeper value of his land, a man who had the insight to see its down to earth necessity for future generations ~ along with the generosity to secure that biological treasure that is Alberta Park for those future generations.

> Alberta Park is at 10,000 elevation, it receives some of this country’s biggest snowfalls, it is 200 miles from the nearest large population centers, and thousands from the shrinking money capable of buying into such speculative ventures.

> Economic winds have shifted. Current events are proving that the Reaganomics Faith, upon which the Village at Wolf Creek was conceived, is actually an illusion that hides cruel balloon payment liabilities. The Village, in any form, is simply not viable in the coming economic upheaval.

> Climatic winds are shifting. Water storage and supply issues are going to take on greater urgency in a drier Southwest.

> Alberta Park currently functions as a key component in a vast nearly pristine watershed. A component that serves vital biological, life sustaining functions. Such as holding and filtering water used in countless ways by millions of down stream Rio Grande River stakeholders. It is also a linchpin to wildlife migration. Given the habitat loss this past half century, any remaining parcels we can spare need to be protected - we can’t rebuild them.

> Alberta Park: its hydrologic, biologic and wildlife resource’s are worthy of being seen as National Security Items. (For more background on the value of wetlands visit: )

Today, Red McCombs is back to the starting gate with his VWC development plans. Currently, they remain silent about future strategies - it can be assumed there are discussions about how realistic going ahead is. That means the table is open to suggestions.

Regarding Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, consider this. These people, rather brochures, assure us they can build a viable village, at ten thousand feet, under some of the nations greatest snowfall, along with all the tremendous infrastructure a running town needs. Yet, try finding them in the Yellow Pages, Texas, Colorado, nothing. Look up the Better Business Bureau, nothing. They can be found on the web, but their website is way out of date {with no contact address!}. LMJV seems to be a virtual company. Nothing wrong in that. But, do you want to trust a virtual company to build and maintain your town?

If you agree the VWC makes no sense, and if it matters to you. Now is one of those rare moments when some grassroots action could actually make a big difference. Quick, before new commitments are made! Write the man himself. A polite, reasoned, plea, or argument explaining why he should create the Billy Red McCombs Watershed Preserve. ) Since LMJV is elusive here are some addresses that trace to Mr. McCombs himself:

McCombs Enterprises
755 E Mulberry Ave #100
San Antonio, TX 78212

Red McCombs Media
6207 Sheridan Avenue, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78723

Clear Channel
200 East Basse Road
San Antonio, TX 78209

Imagine if Mr. McCombs received lots of letters lobbying him to establish a wetland - biological preserve - bet it would have an impact. Send a copy to each address. A stitch in time may save nine ;-)

letter to "Red" McCombs Enterprises regarding VWC

The following is a letter I've sent to the various Red McCombs addresses I was able to ferret out.
(For more on the Village at Wolf Creek scheme see early October in this blog.)


I'm trying to get a letter through to Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture which seems impossible. Now I'm hoping to reach Mr. Billy Red McCombs through you.

Please pass this letter on to him.

Dear Mr. McCombs,
Please consider the following reasons for abandoning the Village at Wolf Creek, these are but a few:

> Alberta Park is at 10,000 elevation, receives some of this country’s biggest snowfalls, is 200 miles from the nearest large population centers, and thousands from the shrinking money capable of buying into such speculative ventures.

> Economic winds have shifted. Current events are proving that the Reaganomics Faith, upon which the Village at Wolf Creek was conceived, is actually an illusion that hides cruel balloon payment liabilities. The Village, in any form, is simply not viable in the coming economic upheaval.

> Climatic winds are shifting. Water storage and supply issues are going to take on greater urgency in a drier Southwest.

> Alberta Park currently functions as a key component in a vast nearly pristine watershed. A component that serves vital biological, life sustaining functions. Such as holding and filtering water used in countless ways by millions of down stream Rio Grande River stakeholders. It is also a linchpin to wildlife migration. Given the habitat loss this past half century, any remaining parcels we can spare need to be protected, we can’t rebuild them.

> That land and it’s hydrologic resource is worthy of being seen as a National Security Item. ( For more background on the importance of clean watersheds & rivers visit: )

> Deeding that parcel back to the Rio Grande National Forest as the Billy Red McCombs Watershed Preserve would proclaim your legacy as a man who had the insight to appreciate the true value of his land and the patriotism to care for the down to earth needs of future generations. It would make you a hero in these parts.

Your thoughtful consideration would be appreciated.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Then, there's Rush & Neocon friends

The following article was printed in the Four Corner's Free Press December 2008 issue:

The day after the Election, I was at work and found myself subjected to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I heard Rush referring to the previous evening’s joyful masses at Chicago’s Grant Park as “ten thousand Bolsheviks.”

It floored me. The claim is (idiotic and) nothing but pure age-old, boiler-plate, hate mongering! As unjustifiable as using WWII to rationalize invading a country that was no strategic threat to the United States. Yet, he, and too many others, get away with spreading such incredibly twisted lies and re-fabricated versions of reality. Rush & friends have perfected an art form of grasping a 10 degree snippet of fact and transmuting that snippet into a sellable version of their desired whole truth and nothing but -- but, it totally ignores the other 350 degrees of vexing issues and facts.

It’s terrible and people need to stop letting them get away with dumbing down the national dialogue. I wonder how they can manage to continue projecting that sense of certainty given the collective neo-conservative record of disastrous world & future damaging actions?

Consider the 9/11 debacle when “God given certainty” coupled with far right-wing passions, fueled by powerful corporate interests, overruled cooler minds and the moments true imperative - to chase after a hellishly destructive and futile Iraqi lost grail misadventure.

A less ideologically blinded approach would have remained focused on the real issue. Namely, getting that group of thugs who perpetrated the heinous acts of 9/11. Instead, Bush’s approach turned that scum into a world hero for Islamic down trodden, even elevating Bin Laden’s wildest rantings about western intentions into fulfilled prophecies. All the while sowing seeds of hatred, squandering our precious resources and tearing USA’s world image into that of a bully.

May we ask: where does America profit in any of this Iraq mess? Sure some corporations are doing great, but what about America and Americans? What has this profited us? Why be so angry at Democrats for wanting to try another path? Perhaps one with less destruction? Why the anger and lies demonizing those dreams? Or has endless war become the goal?

Than, there is the great distraction: the Abortion Issue. Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America says: "We face a president and Congress more hostile to unborn children, to marriage, to religious freedom, to free speech, to protecting our country than has ever existed in our history." All because Obama believes women do have a right to a certain autonomy over their bodies, offspring and health. Wendy is absolute, certain and just rarin' for a fight, yet oblivious to so much more. In the long ago words of Rachel Richardson Smith: “I wonder how abortion got to be the greatest of all sins? What about poverty, ignorance, hunger, weaponry?” Thirty years later we need to add: What about our steady escalation of world violence along with its grief and starvation, or the great crisis of health our planet Earth’s Biosphere is suffering?

On another front, is the right-wing’s shrill trumpeting of the sanctity of the Free Market. Where the heck is this “Free-Market” in today’s mega-corporate dictated economy? Free Market is a whole bunch of businesses competing with each other ~ who’s kidding who: “Free-Market” doesn’t exist in this teetering global economy of corporation giants.

President Bush says: "Whenever reforms are recommended we need to be guided by this simple fact: the best way to solve our problems, solve the people’s problems is for there to be economic growth. And, the surest path to that growth is free market capitalism."

The “best way to solve our problems” is to increase consumption? Think about it, that’s the recipe for cancer. Yes, unfettered free market capitalism does a wonderful job of exploiting and consuming resources at ever increasing rates, like there’s no tomorrow. But, there is a tomorrow. And, like it or not, we’re the ones waking up to it. And all the self deception in the world will not change the reality that Earth cannot sustain another century like the last.

Ignoring the world our children will inherit and misdirecting anger won’t help. Damn the Rush L. & friends approach of willful ignorance and contrived rage. Learn about what Earth monitoring data tell us. Get to know about the condition of our Biosphere, that biological web of life, land, water and air that is our life-support system. God gave us this Earth to live in, we have become its custodians. Wouldn’t it be good to start paying attention to this Earth? Why not try to learn from each other, rather than framing everyone else as an enemy? We can choose to stand United, or divided we’ll fail. It is that simple.


Recently, I was introduced to the BBC Video "EARTH: THE BIOGRAPHY"

One of our society's greatest (and most dangerous) short coming is its general oblivion to our Earth, its biosphere (and how our life depends on them.). This series is a good introduction into our incredible earth and its life sustaining processes - upon which our eonomy is dependent.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Regarding the Run on Guns

This letter is in response to an article written by a high school intern. The text can be found at

Dear Cortez Journal Editors,
{To begin with, hats off to your intern Emily Ketterer. Cortez High School has a student to be proud of.}

Regarding her excellent article "Election Triggers Gun Sales", it sounds like a hideous Y2K spoof, with a rage filled spin. It’s sad, this 2nd Amendment hysteria is nothing more than a few self-serving, for-profit hate-mongers who have learned how to manipulate the internet and media. Wait you’ll see.

America, relax. We elected a professor. A scholarly nerd, who’s a political genius and a tough guy too. A guy who came up by his bootstraps as much as anyone else in recent memory. Why all the self-righteous rage at his all-American success story? Doesn’t America deserve a smart “self-made” guy representing our country for a change?

Barack Obama is one of those historic individuals, whom providence and a vacuum (National need) created. America tried the down home self-certain good old Bush approach and it has been nothing but loss & heartache for America, and the world. Why not change?

Please, all you gun slinging, angry, if not hateful people - what if you hang on to your guns and give the guy a chance? Hang at ease, watch him for a while, you might be surprised.

Have you been watching how this man has gone about the early stages of his transition phase? OK, so he’s not hiring a lot of Republicans. He is a Democrat. But, besides that, Mr. Obama is giving off indications that he has the potential of becoming a President that most all of us could respect.

That’s if we give him a chance. And why shouldn’t we? Especially, if our true concern is remaining: The United States of America, home of liberty and justice for all.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

“Will Obama really mean the end of America”

As printed November 6, 2008
in the
Four Corners Free Press
Cortez, Colorado
(900 words)

It’s starting to look as though Barack Obama just might have won the election by the time this article gets to print. That would be a great triumph for progressive thinking people. Unfortunately, listening to my Republican friends, it would mean the end of America, if not the world for them.

They are convinced Obama: will take away their guns; turn our US government over to the United Nations; shut down our military & roll over for the enemy; open our national borders to all aliens; take all the money from the rich and give it to the lazy and the uninvited aliens; bring terrorist into the government; and worst of all turn America’s White House into the Colored House.

Why do these emotion ~ rather than fact ~ driven beliefs have such a deep hold? Subsurface racism probably has more to do with it than most care to admit. It’s only human. Our core tribal instincts remain in place no matter how small the world becomes. These tribal roots to our feeling/thinking aren’t such a bad thing ~ if we manage to retain some humility and humor about it. The poison comes in when our inner tribal instinct gets intoxicated with supremacist fervor.

Unfortunately, our country has been under the corrosive spell of that sort of fervor. Masterminded by Carl Rove and his Neocon compatriots the new Republican politics - which actually has nothing to do with true honorable conservatism - has sold too many Americans a false myth based on a self-centered presumption that God supports their own materialistic dreams above and beyond the shared dreams of all humanity.

They have attacked civil public discourse with such passion and success, that today millions of totally decent Americans believe that the only good progressive (or god-forbid liberal), is a dead one. And, they take themselves seriously! We hear Senator McCain screaming: “We will never give up against Obama: fight, fight, fight, fight!” If I had one question to ask McCain, it would have been: “Are your presidential dreams worth tearing our country apart?”

Look into history - it’s plain that though our Founding Fathers were all men of diverse passionately held and defensible beliefs. Each one knew they needed the knowledge and experiences of their ideological opponents. They allowed themselves the luxury of respecting their opponents and they appreciated that there was something to be learned from most everyone. They had the humility to understand that no one of them held absolute judgment. And, possessed the integrity to be able to alter perspectives when new information justified it.

To these American heros Free Speech wasn’t about talking. Free Speech was about dialoging. This form of speech requires an attuned receiver(s). The listener(s) suspend judgment long enough to absorb what is actually being said before returning to evaluation mode & judgment calls. The benefit is that it allows us to better understand why we should disagree - or, it might open up unexpected knowledge & potentials.

In dialogue once a speaker finishes, he/she reverts back to listening and thinking mode. It's an expression of respect... acknowledging our mutual humanity. Anything wrong with that? Why has that approach been demolished by the corporate media?

How can progressives (and god-forbid liberals), reach across to our right wing brothers & sisters, coworkers & acquaintances? How are we going to diffuse the right-wing rage that threatens to drag our country down an ugly slope of homegrown violence? Wouldn’t talking With each other, rather than At each other, be a good start?

What if the folks who think and worry about our world through the perspective of science and rationalism, actually tried to engage our right-wing brethren. A grass roots dialogue. To explain and listen. After all, it isn’t as though all sides don’t have many mistakes to account for ~ and much learning to do with an eye to the rapidly changing global reality our kids will be inheriting.

Our future isn’t all doom and gloom. Though, you can bet it will be extremely challenging ~ but challenges that can be met ~ if people commit to focusing on the actual problems. What spooks me is how many remain fully obsessed on their tribalism, while the truly important issues are ignored and festering. Why the willful ignorance?

Why the total commitment to a blind adherence to dogma considered “God given” - when in fact an examination of the history of religions clearly show that they are people made documents. Inspired by God, no doubt - but just as surely tainted by human power politics. As for morality and decency - it’s not owned by religions - it’s a humanity wide thing, when allowed to flourish.

If reading this Barack Obama is President-elect, it’ll be thanks to the efforts of a million citizen volunteers. I hope they realize this is just the first step - now the real struggle begins. That struggle being a quiet revolution of persuasion, one grass root at a time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1:30 AM the morning after (11-5-8)

what a night.

I went downtown to share election night returns with the Obama crowd.

Watching the evening unfold was a great show -
by the time of Obama's well worded acceptance speech.
Hope suddenly seemed like it was worth believing again.

I even found myself waving a US flag
like I haven't imagined doing since pre 9-11.
It felt really good to do.

Tough days will surely follow ~
and only time will tell if the promise of a thoughtful approach to world problems will prevail.

But, at least it seems within the realm of possibility ~
in a way that was impossible with the corporate driven cheney/bush crew

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve 2008

Election Eve November 3, 2008

This one feels bigger because McCain and his campaign
have gone to such incredible lengths to malign Obama, and paint him as a down right threat.

It’s as though McCain (and company)
are purposefully trying to wrench this country apart.

It has been a frightening thing to watch.

How will we deal with the outcome?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thank you Tony Hillerman

Sunday October 26th
Tony Hillerman passes on at the age of 83

Oklahoma farm boy,
WWII GI, in the thick of it,
Friend and keen observer of all the varied tribes around him
(white ones too!),
Family man,
Wonderful storyteller and writer,
Friend to millions (like myself) who had never met him,
Future friend to many more!


NPR's FreshAir
remembered Tony Hillerman Thursday October 30 -

I feel like sharing the email their recollection inspired----------

Fresh Air Thank you for remembering Tony Hillerman.

I've been a resident of the Colorado corner of the greater Four-Corners region since 1979, and discovered Hillerman in the mid eightees. He has stood my test of time in a way no Zane Gray or Louis L'Amour (fun as they are) ever could.

He managed to bring to life a certain essence of America's southwest desert in a human way, others haven’t touch.

I think it was his extraordinary cross between the gritty newspaper man and an extremely insightful and sensitive down home human.

He will be missed, but joyfully remembered.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why start this blog?

This post is lost at the bottom of the stack,

but I think it's a good time to bring back to the top of the stack for reference sake.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why start this blog?


Because I'm disappointed
both in our establishment and in the public's docile acquiescence
to the steady flow of officialdom's
misinformation, destructive actions and unnecessary failures.

I'm heartbroken by
our governmental and corporate leaders
steadfast refusal to honestly examine
the undeniable challenges our society is facing.
Simply because fulfilling greed comes first.

The media is especially maddening
because they seem dedicated to broadcasting
delusion & misleading sensationalism
intent on distraction
rather than supporting
a substantive learning process.


I'm also a believer in our Founding Father's brand of Free Speech.
A Free Speech that wasn't about talking, so much as dialoging.

This form of speech requires an attuned receiver.
The listeners suspend judgment
long enough
to absorb what is actually being said
before returning to evaluation mode & judgment calls.

The benefit is that it allows us to better understand
why we should disagree -
or, it might open up
unexpected knowledge & potentials.

In dialogue once a speaker finishes, he, she reverts back to listening
and thinking.
It's an expression of
respect & acknowledging our mutual humanity...
a good thing to do.


I know I don't have any answers
but I also know I have something worthwhile
to inject into the greater dialogue

please read on.......

McCain's visit and the Memes Courier's open letter to him

Today has been an interesting hectic day. Senator McCain came to Durango, Colorado to give heart to his supporters.

This gave me the opportunity to present an open letter to McCain supporters by way of a news pamphlet I've been working on and self publishing for various political occasions.

Some day I'll get it together with a website that can present the Memes Courier as I've formatted it on paper rather than this rigid blog format.

In any event, it's the ideas that are more important than the look.
I've taken each item in my Open Letter to McCain and posted them individually.

I share this because it is looking as though Senator Obama may well become our next President. That happening would be a great victory for many progressives.

However, that will only be the beginning of the struggle.

I believe the great challenge will be to eloquently convince the Republicans (and yes Democrats have a bunch to learn too.) of the weak underbelly of so many of their convictions. To crack their shell of fear and anger.

We need to get back to realizing we are all Americans and in order to success with the extreme challenges plowing at us, we are going to need to work together for a goal greater than our individual petty bickering and contrived fears.

Sincerely, Pete the Carpenter

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Memes Courier

✯ EXTRA ✯ The Memes Courier ✯ EXTRA ✯
Friday, October 24, 2008

Dear Senator McCain,
welcome to Durango, Colorado, I hope you don't mind my asking some questions.
that are outlined in the following posts,
to start off I keep wondering:

Why can’t we have a respectful, civil dialogue?

Senator McCain,

in your campaigning you make it sound like you believe
it is possible to return America back to a more prosperous time
reminiscent of the fifties, or eighties.

How is that possible?

Are you paying attention to the world news beyond the financial pages?

Iraq War...

How is encouraging and inflicting hideous destruction,
along with sowing the seeds of hatred
helping anyone’s future world?

Abandoning Biological Preserves to oil drilling

Senator McCain how can you so completely ignore the generations yet to come?

Shouldn’t we stop being so glib about ringing every last drop of oil out of the earth ASAP -
why not leave some of it for our kids?

While the world’s need, greed & consumption of oil continues growing ~ the resource base has not and will not.

Do you have any ideas besides Drill Baby Drill?

Global Warming, Climate Change..

why does the right-wing continue to strive to muddle the issue solely focused on saving the status quo business plan?

The climate is a real important, fascinating, and these days,
troubled thing and for you to continue treating it as some abstract intellectual construct,
rather than the foundation of Earth’s Life Support System ~ that it is,

is a grievous sin against future generations.

*For a historical review of the climate controversy read “Storm World,” by Chris Mooney.

Consumption of Resources...

Senator McCain why can’t you address the conundrum of a society dependent on ever increasing resource consumption against a planet that has its irrefutable limits?

I understand the fear of economic hardships.

Still, we can’t afford to forget that Earth’s dynamic systems trump all else
and they don’t care one fig for our world economy
or the thinking of its elite,

therefore we should stop pretending that difficult revelations and knowledge can be ignored.

*For a thought provoking read try:
“The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman.


I’m continually amazed by the bizarre right-wing ability to proclaim their conviction in:

“The Right to Life” and “The Sanctity of Life”...

for an unborn being, then in the same breath support a war that has inflicted untold “9-11’s” upon another distant, yet innocent, citizenry.

Right-wingers will exclaim: but that’s self-defense!

Why not ask:
What about the troubled mother who must make an agonized decision based on self-defense for herself and her existing family?

How can you be so oblivious of the all around tragic ordeal abortion is for those involved –

When will you grant women their own right to
self-defense ~ dignity ~ empathy ?

*possibly the most thoughtful piece written on the topic - Rachel Richardson Smith’s essay: “Abortion, Right and Wrong”

Our National Interest...

Senator McCain for all your sarcasm and insults,

I still don’t know how you perceive our National Interests,
other than "drill & blast!"

The world’s future is much more complicated than that! Isn’t it?

Just what is your vision of America’s National Interest
for the challenging & revolutionary future heading our way?

for some interesting reading try:
“The Limits Of Power,” by A. J. Bacevich
“U.S. Versus Them: The Costs Of Hawkishness”
Peter Scoblic

Food as a National Security Item. .

Senator McCain have you read the October 9, 2008
New York Times Magazine article by Professor Michael Pollan.
An open letter to the next President ~ it starts:

“It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food.

Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda.

But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close.

What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security.

Food is about to demand your attention.

WTO’s vs. Society’s rights...

what about people’s rights vs. the rights of mega-corporations?

Corporations who spout pretty commercials and slogans,
yet, in practice act more like voracious sociopathic malcontents
than responsible, intelligent forward looking neighbors?

Don’t the well-to-do owe the masses
~ upon whose toil our economy runs ~

*Suggested reading “The Silent Takeover,” by Noreena Hertz.
*Suggested viewing “The Corporation,” by M.Achbar, J.Abbot & J.Bakan.

Senator McCain, what about our Biosphere...

that web of biology, air, water & earth.

You know, that over reaching organism that makes life possible on this planet.
In fact, what we humans are a part of.

Does its health matter to you?

Show us: explain how you see Earth’s current condition,
and how you envision future challenges regarding our Biosphere.


and extremist’s demand to cling to supposedly literalist Biblical interpretations.

When will we question the practice of proclaiming subjective interpretations of ancient texts as everyone’s ultimate Word of God... reality?

For more detail take a look at August 10th posts:
There they go again...
What is Science’s Sin?
God Flowing into the Word.

McCain: Don't spread the wealth?

Senator McCain Says:
“No! You should not ‘Spread your Wealth around!’ ”

Mr. McCain, are you telling Americans that hoarding is where it’s at ? . . . Is that it?
Because that’s what it sounds like.
You make it easy to believe Republicans are only interested in creating more mega-millionaires and billionaires.

How does that sort of hoarding help our community?
Isn’t our economy and community about cycling wealth through all the layers of society?

Senator McCain, you highlight one of the mistaken beliefs that go to the heart of recent Republican failures: “What’s mine is mine and *!@$ you and yours!”

Rooted in Reaganomics this faith imagines an Earth that’s a true cornucopia. A fount of limitless resources, just waiting for our plunder. Maximizing profits (at any cost) is the battle cry.

The notion of natural limits was/is treated with dismissive ridicule, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

To this day, in the midst of a growing global crisis - not one big-shot, be he/she media, politician or business titan acknowledges that when you get down to it -
It’s the Resource Base silly!
No one’s discussing that resource base. Why?

Well, perhaps it’s fear of having to acknowledge that Reaganomics has been viscously abusive & destructive of our resource base and the Biosphere* that sustains it all. *You know, that magnificent biological web that is our life support system.

Do Republicans willfully ignore these facts because they are more important than profits? . . . and Republicans are still unable to consider anything more important than profits?......................
Is that it?

a problem with politics


Rove style (Neocon) Republican politics
- which actually has nothing to do with true honorable conservatism -
has sold too many Americans a false myth based on a self-centered faith
that God supports their own materialistic dreams above and beyond
the shared dreams of all humanity.

How can Americans thwart Rove’s willful attack
on civil public discourse?


Then there is the climate issue...

Then there’s the climate...

Another issue that has been saturated with misleading claims intent on diverting attention from real world challenges... when what we need is honest information and
an interested public.
Neither side has it figured out for sure.
What’s for sure is that we all need to work on this together,
realizing the goal is something greater than our individual group’s agendas. ~

Instead of relying on media sound bites, learn about the real story behind our changing climate. And, what that means for us ?

~ ~ ~ CHECK IT OUT ~ ~ ~
US Global Change Research Program

For access to a wealth of information and many authoritative links go to:

Global Climate Change research explorer site.

For a detailed head to head with naysayer arguments visit the website:

The UK’s government site examining various over used climate naysayer myths:

UN Framework Convention Climate Change:
& http://climatechangeeducation. org/science/

EPA Climate Change Kids Page
For up to date science reporting:

PBS Frontline presented an excellent update to the
multifaceted Global Energy / Climate story, called “HEAT”
on October 21st.
See it on the web, go to:

A vacation Village at Wolf Creek, at 10,000 feet above sea level?

A Village at Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado?

When it comes down to doesn’t matter if developer LMJV wants 2,100, 1,000, 500 or 5 units bulldozed into Alberta Park, at 10,000 feet elevation.
The proposed Village at Wolf Creek will do irreversible damage to an exquisite pristine Colorado biological resource of National importance.
No way around it.
You know it. They know it. We know it.

The question to ask is: Does the Republican boast of total commitment to our National Security concerns, go beyond the military & Wall Street profit margins?

-> How important is a vast quantity of pure Rocky Mountain water ?
-> How important are the source waters of the Rio Grande River ?

National Security is about more than our ability
to drop bombs on other people.

When push comes to shove isn’t water more important than oil?
Or, would Republicans disagree?

{In the 1980’s Washington bureaucrats (Reagan Cronies) overruled the Rio Grande National Forest Service’s REJECTION of McCombs outrageous land-trade offer of sage brush land for a parcel out of the heart of one of America’s grandest watersheds ~ below Wolf Creek Pass. McCombs grand property-rights claim is ethically illegitimate !}

McCombs (& LMJV), please deed that land back to USA’s land trust.
The Red McCombs’ Biological Preserve It has a nice ring to it.

Please help convince
“Red” McCombs (& LMJV) and
the Mineral County Commissioners
to reconsider their plans for VWC -> before the damage begins.

The true test of the patriot is the ability to sacrifice for the National Good,
along with the foresight & wisdom to understand.

Get involved, get informed, click:

Most importantly, please help try to convince the Mineral County Commissioners to take a fresh look at their questionable assumptions regarding that project and it’s regional impact.

1201 N. Main St. ~ Creede, CO 81130
(719) 658-2331 or email:

& Wolf Creek Access EIS (NFS),
c/o Content Analysis Group,
1584 S. 500 West, Suite202,
Woods Cross, UT, 84010,
or e-mail: wolfcreek@

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Abortion: Right and Wrong ............ and Colorado's Proposition 48

Regarding Colorado's Proposition 48:
It tries to mandate that a freshly fertilized egg has the same legal rights as a full fledged human.
Why are Republican "pro-lifers" trying to pump so much raw anger into their arguments?
The abortion issue is not a cartoon that can be summed up in superficial soundbites.
Why do right wingers constantly try to ignore the complexities in life?

In any event, Rachel Richardson Smith, wrote an essay that stands to this day as one of the most intelligent, thoughtful articles written on the issue of Abortion.
Originally published in Newsweek, March 25, 1985.

Here is the full text:

Abortion, Right and Wrong
By Rachel Richardson Smith

I cannot bring myself to say I am in favor of abortion. I don’t want anyone to have one. I want people to use contraceptives and for those contraceptives to be foolproof. I want people to be responsible for their actions, mature in their decisions. I want children to be loved, wanted, well cared for.

I cannot bring myself to say I am against choice. I want women who are young, poor, single or all three to be able to direct the course of their lives. I want women who have had all the children they want or can afford or their in bad marriages or destructive relationships to avoid being trapped by pregnancy.

So these days when thousands rally in opposition to legalized abortion, when facilities providing abortions are bombed, when the president speaks glowingly of the growing momentum behind the anti-abortion movement, I find myself increasingly alienated from those pro-life groups.

At the same time, I am overwhelmed with mail from pro-choice groups. They, too, are mobilizing their forces, growing articulate in support of their cause, and they want my support. I am not sure I can give it.

I find myself in the awkward position of being both anti-abortion and pro-choice. Neither group seems to be completely right—or wrong. It is not that I think abortion is wrong for me but acceptable for someone else. The question is far more complex than that.

Part of my problem is that what I think and how I feel about this issue are two entirely different matters. I know that unwanted children are often neglected, even abandoned. I know that making abortion illegal will not stop all women from having them.
I also know from experience the crisis an unplanned pregnancy can cause. Yet I have felt the joy of giving birth, the delight that comes from feeling a baby’s skin against my own. I know how hard it is to parent a child and how deeply dissatisfying it can be. My children sometimes provoke me and cause me endless frustration, but I can still look at them with tenderness and wonder at the miracle of it all. The lessons of my own experience produce conflicting emotions. Theory collides with reality.

It concerns me that both groups present themselves in absolutes. They are committed and they want me to commit. They do not recognize that gray area where I seem to be languishing. Each group has the right answer—the only answer.

Yet I am uncomfortable in either camp. I have nothing in common with the pro-lifers. I am horrified by their scare tactics, their pictures of well-formed fetuses tossed in a metal pan, their cruel slogans. I cannot condone their flagrant misuse of Scripture and unforgiving spirit. There is meanness about their position that causes them to pass judgment on the lives of women in a way I could never do.

The pro-life groups, with their fundamentalist religious attitudes, have a fear and an abhorrence of sex, especially premarital sex. In their view abortion only compounds the sexual sin. What I find incomprehensible is that even as they are opposed to abortion they are also opposed to alternative solutions. They are squeamish about sex education in the schools. They don’t want teens to have contraceptives without parental consent. They offer little aid or sympathy to unwed mothers. They are the vigilant guardians of a narrow morality.

I wonder how abortion got to be the greatest of all sins? What about poverty, ignorance, hunger, weaponry?

The only thing the anti-abortion groups seem to have right is that abortion is indeed the taking of human life. I simply cannot escape this one glaring fact. Call it what you will—fertilized egg, embryo, fetus. What we have here is human life. If it were just a mass of tissue there would be no debate. So I agree that abortion ends a life. But the anti-abortionists are wrong to call it murder.

The sad truth is that homicide is not always against the law. Our society does not categorically recognize the sanctity of human life. There are a number of legal and apparently socially acceptable ways to take human life. There are a number of legal and apparently socially acceptable ways to take human life. “Justifiable” homicide includes the death penalty, war, killing in self-defense. It seems to me that as a society we need to come to grips with our own ambiguity concerning the value of human life. If we are to value and protect unborn life so stringently, why do we not also value and protect life already born?

Why can’t we see abortion for the human tragedy it is? No woman plans for her life to turn out that way. Even the most effective contraceptives are no guarantee against pregnancy. Loneliness, ignorance, immaturity can lead to decisions (or lack of decisions) that may result in untimely pregnancy. People make mistakes.

What many people seem to misunderstand is that no woman wants to have an abortion. Circumstances demand it; women do it. No woman reacts to abortion with joy. Relief, yes. But also ambivalence, grief, despair, guilt.

The pro-choice groups do not seem to acknowledge that abortion is not a perfect answer. What goes unsaid is that when a woman has an abortion she loses more than an unwanted pregnancy. Often she loses her self-respect. No woman can forget a pregnancy no matter how it ends.

Why can we not view abortion as one of those anguished decisions in which human beings struggle to do the best they can in trying circumstances? Why is abortion viewed so coldly and factually on the one hand and so judgmentally on the other? Why is it not akin to the same painful experience families must sometimes make to allow a loved one to die?

I wonder how we can begin to change the context in which we think about abortion. How can we begin to think about it preemptively? What is it in the trauma of loss of life—be it loved, born or unborn—from which we can learn? There is much I have yet to resolve. Even as I refuse to pass judgments on other women’s lives, I weep for the children who might have been. I suspect I am not alone.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, October 10, 2008

A vacation Village at Wolf Creek, at 10,000 feet above sea level???

~ ~ ~ A Village at Wolf Creek ? ~ ~ ~

When it comes down to it...
it doesn’t matter if LMJV wants 2,100, 1,000 or 500 units bulldozed into Alberta Park.
Should LMJV’s dream be realized, it will do irreversible damage to an exquisite
Colorado biological resource.

No way around it. You know it. They know it. We know it.

Republican’s boast about their total commitment to our National Security concerns.
How important is a vast quantity of pure Rocky Mountain water ?
How important are the source waters of the Rio Grande River ?
Has LMJV been paying attention to the world news? Not just the world economy, which should tell us volumes.
But also, the state of our biosphere, and the climate changes our globe is truly experiencing?

Are developer’s aware of the various Earth monitoring data that NASA publish on the web ?
{ One would hope that our National Forest Service guardians and decision makers are. }
{ Let’s hope, and pray, they care enough not to ignore the long term future. }
Check it out, the picture is grim for the future of our life style as we love it... fortunately, there are alternatives.

Nation Security is about more than our ability to drop bombs on other people.
When push comes to shove
water is much more important than oil !

Or, would Republicans disagree?
Mr. McCombs the true test of the patriot is the ability to sacrifice for the National Good,
along with the foresight & wisdom to understand.

Dear Mr. McCombs... an open letter,

Dear Mr. McCombs,
Excuse my forwardness but you are at the point in your career where considerations of your legacy carry ever greater weight. You are also in a unique situation to radically enhance or damage that legacy through your future actions at Alberta Park.

Going ahead with your proposed project would be a grievous mistake with far reaching damage not only to that particular spectacular and precious parcel of watershed land, but also the stability & health of the local communities and even down stream communities.

The Village at Wolf Creek has all the making of a monster white elephant that others will be straddled with. Bulldozing ahead with the VWC project in the face of massive and weighty reasons for its timely abandonment would villainize your legacy. Please stop.

These strong objections don’t come from any animosity toward you - they are rooted in a sober appraisal of the most likely economic scenario of the next decades, combined with a recognition that current indisputable weather & water trends also need to be factored into future decisions.

Please step back from a selfish determination to force a developers dream ~ a dream conceived in the 1980’s when it was believed natural limits could be ignored ~ upon a population that simply doesn’t need the problems your project would inevitably force on them.

The proposed Village at Wolf Creek project is past its viability ! Please find a way to allow your 300 acres of Alberta Park to be returned to the United States Public Land Trust where it rightfully belongs, safe for future generations to enjoy its many economic and esthetic benefits.

Think of it ~ ~ ~

trade profits for respect

Sincerely, Peter Miesler

Wolf Creek Access EIS

{In many ways the NFS is stuck in the middle. It should be remembered that back in 1986 the RioGrandeNationalForest denied Red McCombs landswap proposition. Foresters who know that parcel of land, know that bulldozing a vacation community into the middle that mountainside and watershed is a lousy idea from A to Z. But, the matter has been deftly taken out of their hands.}

The people that really need to be convinced are the Mineral County Commissioners. In any event, here's what I had written as of 10-9-8.


Wolf Creek Access EIS ‘Content Analysis Group’: please consider the serious scientific & economic evidence that speaks against this project.
It’s about more than a road !
Why has the real world value of keeping the fens & wetlands of the greater Alberta Park area cohesive & pristine been ignored?

The fens is a delicate product that took centuries to get to its current condition.
It has a complex structure and population that simply can not be reconstituted.

The foundations for roads and parking lots and buildings will dig deep into the fens intricate structure, destroying its integrity.

During the construction phase and later occupation, despite assurances from the developers, contaminates will find there way into the ground water flow.

What about the major wildlife corridors that travel directly through that land and have done so for ages. Plopping a village in the middle of their domain is going to further harm their continued viability.

Consider the ever spreading wilderness-urban interface. Free open corridors for wildlife are becoming ever rarer.
Are a bunch of luxury homes another notch deeper into their habitat justifiable by any but the greediest of standards?

Snowfall storage and future water needs. Considering that Wolf Creek Pass gets some of the greatest snow falls in the nation, and is part of the Rio Grande River watershed ---> shouldn’t we factor in those economic benefits? Decision makers please do not ignore these facts!

Economics, the world economy is undergoing a major upheaval, one that should leave no doubt that the future is going to be a leaner place. The time has arrived for reevaluating priorities and rethinking the importance of protecting biological resources.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wolf Creek Development Tangled with Political Ties

Mike Soraghan wrote a
Denver Post story (2-5-6) entitled: “Wolf Creek Development Tangled with Political Ties”

The article outlines some of the political juice that has pushed this project. It is a long story, but here are some key quotes:

"Washington - Texas billionaire B.J. "Red" McCombs... lobbied to get the official who oversees the agency appointed, and ... has since met repeatedly with the official to discuss the controversial project, records and interviews show.
"McCombs pushed to have Mark Rey, a longtime timber-industry lobbyist, appointed undersecretary of agriculture, overseeing the Forest Service...

"McCombs is a longtime donor to Republicans and a friend of the family of President Bush (Sr). He's given more than $475,000 to congressional and presidential campaigns since 1989, 91 percent of it to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...

"McCombs tapped former U.S. Rep. Tom Loeffler, now a Texas lobbyist and a top fundraiser for Bush.
"It's not clear whom McCombs and Loeffler approached on Rey's behalf. But after Rey was selected, Honts wrote a letter to McCombs regarding Rey's appointment.
"It is my understanding that your effort and former Congressman Loeffler's efforts had an impact at exactly the right time in the process," said Honts' ...

"After Rey's appointment, Honts got access to him at key steps in the process of reviewing the Village at Wolf Creek proposal, according to Rey's calendars, obtained by The Post...

"The first of three meetings was Nov. 28, 2001, about two months after Rey was sworn in. Rey's calendars show he's had several more meetings with McCombs' representatives...

"In February 2003, Rey again met with Honts to discuss access to the site of the McCombs project. It was about two weeks after McCombs had given $25,000 to the national Republican Party...

"Also at the meeting was Honts' lobbyist, Steve Quarles, chief litigation counsel to the American Forest and Paper Association, where Rey was an executive in the early 1990s...

"McCombs has paid Quarles at least $40,000 a year, documents indicate that Quarles supplied the language for a important Forest Service letter that defined McCombs' access to his property...

"In June, Rey met once again on Wolf Creek, this time with McCombs himself. They had an hour-and-a-half "working lunch" in the secretary of agriculture's dining room...

"Randy Karstaedt, an official at the Forest Service's Lakewood regional headquarters, said that Tenny (McCombs deputy) monitored the Wolf Creek situation closely...

"In August 2004, Karstaedt e-mailed a regional planner with concerns about Honts' and Quarles' demands to see early drafts of an environmental impact statement on their project before agency officials had the chance to review them...

"When a farm subsidy bill passed without a pro-McCombs (VWC) amendment in May 2002, McCombs wrote to DeLay to thank him for trying and asked a DeLay aide to try again. Five days later, McCombs contributed $25,000 to the Republican National State Elections Committee..."

{For the complete text visit
The Denver Post Archives or email:}


Documentation can be found at:

Resident responds to Wolf Creek developer Red McCombs

The Summit Daily ~ July 25, 2006
"Resident responds to Wolf Creek developer Red McCombs"

This is an interesting article regarding a rhetorical question from
Mr. McCombs, it starts out:

“All my life, I have always wondered why there is antagonism toward developers,” said billionaire developer B.J. “Red” McCombs recently during a (one sided ) forum on his proposed resort atop remote Wolf Creek Pass, in southwestern Colorado.

I can answer Mr. McCombs...”

Ken Wright then goes on to give five reasons for the antagonism.
The article makes for an excellent "main street" reality check. Find it at:

Dear Hal Jones, ( of Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture)

Hal Jones, front man for Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, developer behind the proposed Village at Wolf Creek states:

“We’re excited about this project. Our goal is to make things more harmonious with what’s up there at the site. We’re taking a completely new approach”

Given that bold statement
can we ask Mr. Jones of Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture :

>> What IS up at the “site” - that is Alberta Park near Wolf Creek Pass?

>> How would you describe that parcel as it currently stands?

>> Does it have a value beyond its development potential?

>> Can you comment on the value of retaining wildlife corridors?

>> Can you comment on the value of pristine water resources?

>> Can you comment on the current financial upheaval that seems to highlight the folly behind the 1980’s, (and still revered) Reaganomics ~ that is: faith in ignoring natural limits, and ‘deifying’ the “greed is good” boast)?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Proposed Village at Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

Red McCombs has reengaged his drive to build a resort/housing complex at the top of Wolf Creek Pass. In the middle of an incredible expanse of undisturbed Fens (biological resource areas that are build, that is grown up of organic material only - no soil). They are integral to this watershed area because of their vast water holding, and purifying abilities. They are home to a host of small but important creatures - the health of these creatures is of importance and should not be ignored.

All downstream stakeholder and even the Rio Grande River would be adversely affected, should McCombs project be allowed to plow up and concrete up that pristine resource.

Today decision makers must look beyond the myopic dreams of self-interested developers and take the growing body of scientific information, and our greater future welfare into consideration.

All indications seem to be warning that the Southwest will become drier in the next decades, possibly much drier. Can we really continue plowing up unparalleled upland watersheds for vacation homes? Where will the water come to feed that proposed town when current allocations are already fully contested?

Economically, all indications are that the future will become much leaner. The politico/media chorus that current economic trends can somehow return to better normal days is pure delusion.

Extravagances like a 10,000 resident vacation town being plopped in the middle of the Rockies highlands, in an area that receives some of the highest snow fall in the nation - are no longer tenable. To allow McCombs to start a doomed project would be unforgivable. That wetlands resource can not be plowed up and back filled, then all’s well again. Any damage inflicted is long term, we can no longer afford such self conceited folly.

Another point, that land was ill gotten to begin with. Unfortunately the statute of limitations stands between McCombs and a full accounting of those acquisition proceedings. McComb’s has no moral justification for his conceit that he’s got the right to do whatever he wants with that property.

I for one believe the land should be returned unmolested to the National Trust. Please, do all you can to opposed construction of The Village at Wolf Creek in its entirety.

Express your concerns about the “Village.” Comments are due to the Forest Service by October 31, 2008. Send your letter to:
Wolf Creek Access EIS, C/O Content Analysis Group, 1584 South 500 West, Suite 202, Woods Cross, UT, 84010, or,
or Fax: 801-397-5628.

The Forest Service Plans “Open House” Meetings rather than Public Hearings about the proposed Village Access EIS.
* October 7, Creede Mining Museum, 503 Forest Service Road 9, Creede, CO.
* October 8, Rio Grande Annex, 965 6th Street, Del Norte, CO.
* October 9, Pagosa Springs Community Building, 451 Hot Springs Blvd., Pagosa Springs, CO.
For more information check out:

Colorado's prop. 48: Who's a person?

Proposition 48 wants to define the term “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as “person” relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of Law.

What are we coming to? Can we please consider a fertilized egg for a moment? It is a seed, home to unknowable potentialities. Do proponents understand that depending upon which data you believe, fifty to sixty-five percent of all pregnancies spontaneously (god initiated?) abort?

Yes, those fertilized eggs are bundles of sacred life and a world of potentialities. They deserve to be treated as sacred entities. But, death, passing on is a part of life, especially during those months of gestation. The fertilized egg must achieve genuine viability before it deserves the mantle of “personhood.” It seems most unreasonable to demand that a “Potentiality” deserves the same legal standing as an existing human.

From a political agenda perspective - I’m constantly amazed by the bizarre right-wing ability to proclaim their conviction in: “The Right to Life” and “The Sanctity of Life”... for an unborn being, then in the same breath support inflicting a thousand “9/11’s” upon another distant, yet innocent, citizenry. Right-wingers will exclaim: but that’s self-defense! Why not ask: What about the troubled mother who must make an agonized decision based upon self-defense for herself and her existing family? How can the right-wing be so cruel to disregard the all around tragic ordeal abortion is for those involved? When will our right-wing brothers and sisters grant women their own right to self-defense, dignity, empathy?

For a most thoughtful consideration of the dilemma look up Rachel Richardson Smith’s essay: “Abortion, Right and Wrong”

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dear Mr McCain... an open letter

Dear Senator McCain,
I have some observations and questions to share.  You speak much of experience and present yourself as a certain statesman.  Yet, you resort to sneering contempt and petty emotional sarcasm - it would be better to hear you seriously discuss challenges facing the USA.

For instance: Gas Prices go up.  Your experienced answer: "Drill for more!"  Never mind the financial manipulation behind the price spike.  Never mind that Peak Oil is a real world phenomena.  Production and reserves are leveling off, while consumption pressures continue to rise.  The fallout from this clash will increasingly disrupt our way of life.  Yet, your, and the Republican's response is one of willful ignorance toward the fact that humanity is going to have to learn to survive on less and less and less oil.  How will you wrestle with that challenge when you steadfastly ignore its validity?

When crisis strikes, will you repeat President Bush's immortal line: "No one could have imagined such a thing happening!" Remember that?  It was Bush referring to the Reagan legacy levees that failed after Hurricane Katrina passed through New Orleans.  The same dubious levees trained engineers had been warning about for decades - it's documented.  Incidentally, Roosevelt's New Deal era  levees held fast - it can be done.

Your website boosts: "Learn about John McCain's consistent position on succeeding in Iraq."  There it is: month, after month, after endless month, you have been pleading for nothing but more weapons and troops.

Haven't you ever wondered about underlying causes? Or, do you believe America is above international considerations?  Or, do you actually believe it's us or them?  Is it a question of we're right and they're wrong... and, if we need to blow up the whole world proving it, so be it?  An eye for an eye until the whole world is blind.  Is that it?

For example, look at Russia's aggression into Georgia.  You know, they also proclaim it's in self defense.  Russia's wanton aggression in the face of world wide denunciation couldn't have happened had not the Bush Administration eviscerated the developing notion of a world wide standard of behavior.  Russia is only emulating the Bush/Cheney doctrine that "My interests are the only ones that matter."  Senator McCain, will we ever hear you speak to that open wound?

Senator McCain, remember when USA was the world's beacon of hope?  Why was the Republican's New American Century (neocons) sect allowed to transform what should have been a considered and decisive police action against a group of terrorists into an endless hate breeding, resource squandering, bloody embarrassment of a byzantine war?  I wonder: are the corporate profits really worth it?  Senator McCain, do you appreciate how our standing has been reduced to the world's bully - everyone knows they must deal with us, but no one trust us.  How will you restore the wreckage of America's once proud worldwide Moral Authority?  By sending in more weapons and troops?

Senator McCain what about our Biosphere: that web of biology, air, water & earth.  You know, that over reaching organism that makes life possible on this planet.  In fact, what we humans are a part of.  Does its health matter to you?  Show us: explain how you see earth's current condition, and how you envision future challenges?  Are you capable of looking beyond the Wall Street ledger-sheet mentality?

Senator McCain, what kind of leadership can you offer the next time our nation is struck with a mega natural disaster.  How rapidly will you be able to assimilate unprecedented suffering, data, develop, communicate, and execute a response?  After that work is underway, go out and address the American people... and the world, in a way that reassures, educates and prepares our citizens for the challenges at hand.  Then, get up after a couple hours of fitful sleep and do it all over again.

Senator McCain, I mean no disrespect, I'm old enough to remember your VietNam heroism and some of the praise worthy highlights along your distinguished political career.  You are an American of the highest caliber.  Sorry, that's not enough for the next President.  The coming years will demand someone with an up to date intelligent agile mind.  You must admit, Senator Obama, with his young family, has more at stake in the future than we over the hill codgers.  Don't underestimate Obama's learning abilities, competence, or patriotism - nor his stamina and heart to handle challenges we haven't even guessed at today.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

There They Go Again........

...I thought as their mantra swept over me:  "Don't you know, no one has ever found an Evolutionary missing link, nothing is proven!  Evolution is a joke!  I'm telling you my God put the whole Universe here in six days, six thousand years ago, period!"  Then came the all too predictable clincher: "How can you think differently, were you there?"

I started my response, but fell silent, too depressed to go on.  Why try to discuss the beauty, poetry and reality of god's "intelligent design" - that is, the past many billions of years of ongoing creation - with friends who slam their ears and minds shut at any mention of evolution being Godly, beautiful and it's about time we begin trying to appreciate it?

I'll admit - I'm bewildered by the refusal of so many to wake up to God's fantastic infinity.

Where to start in trying to crack that shell of reinforced fear?  Would it help to point out that though some scientist pontificate on absolute randomness, such talk should be taken with a grain of salt?  Individual scientists, just like religious folk are filled with conceits and foibles.  Why not admit we all strive for understanding, but are shackled by our own human tunnel-vision?  Side opinions shouldn't detract from the essence of the scientific data that continues to be collected and digested, any more than religious fundamentalist, with all their deceptions, anger, and pick-pocketing, shouldn't be allowed to cloud religion's universal truths.

Or, would it help to confront the actual comment: "There are no Evolutionary missing links."  Dear friend, what are you talking about?  There are countless examples of transitional and "missing links" that aren't missing at all.  Take the "Tunicates" for example; they are classified as "non-vertebrate chordate," because they are a telling link between non-backboned animals and those with back bones.  There are volumes of catalogued examples clearly showing the steadfast development of life on God's good earth.  But, one must look at it.

Too many condemn Evolution without ever knowing what it's about.  This wouldn't be a big deal, if these same uninformed doubters weren't also demanding that our education system subscribe to their tunnel vision.  Before condemning evolution, learn about its beauty and depth.  

In this quest there's an excellent teacher in David Attenborough.  His documentaries such as "Life on Earth" and "The Living Planet" series do a superb job of describing organisms and how they have evolved and built upon preceding generations.  The story is awesome and the creatures are spectacular.  Using real world examples he conveys Evolution's magnificant pageant of cumulative poetry in motion, revealing some of the countless fould within folds of harmonic complexity that resonate throughout creation.

Accept the challenge by viewing some of his many documentaries.  Or, if the Internet is where you're at, look up "The Great Story."  In contrast to Attenborough who's a naturalist through and through, these folks glory in religion, while conveying a sense of God's eon of Creation and its compatibility with Faith.

Finally, there's that: "Where you there?" slap.  What is it asking?  Was anyone of us there when a few people tussled over how to word Genesis, or the later New Testament?  Was anyone of us there during the backroom discussions regarding how best to exploit Jesus' fantastic new message of love and redemption for empire and profit?  Were you there... indeed.  I don't know about then and there, but I do about here and now, and when walking about with my sense and heart receptive, the examples of an ongoing evolution are everywhere to be seen!  God's creation, that is evolution, really is a beautiful, mysterious, overwhelming thing that must be recognized before one can ever hope to know Faith of love God.

What is Sciences Sin?

What is Sciences Sin?

Recently, I discussed Creationism with a bright young student.  She challenged me with remarks about the Earth's "true" short age; Grand Canyon being evidence of Noah's Flood; even claimed evidence that coal can be produced in a matter of months.  She went on to explain God's plan included an imminent Armageddon - that is, destroying his own Creation.  When I countered with facts debunking these notions she became defensive, saying that attacking someone's faith was a horrible thing to do.

It made me wonder:  Why do so many feel compelled to embrace willful ignorance? By this I mean a willful ignoring of masses of real, verifiable and available evidence simply because it conflicts with one's own preconceptions and challenges one's fears.  How does it do the God time and creation any credit to believe the "truth" can only be found within a single book? 

What is science?  Scientists - especially the great ones - started out as kids totally amazed at the world they saw and discovered around themselves.  What's out there?  How it works?  Why it works the way it does?  What it all means?  At its core, science is this natural awe and curiosity at our surrounding creation us all grown up.

What is science's sin?  Establishing straight-forward rules and guidelines in order to organize our inborn desire to pursue an understanding of the fantastic world we witness around us?  These rules won't be bent for those who have convinced themselves they are gifted with superior insights.  If those "superior insights" can't pass the established scientific hurdles they are not allowed within the arena of science.  There are other realms these beliefs belong to, such as religion, philosophy, politics, art and music.

The best thing about science's rules, isn't what they reject, rather it's all they are open to.  Science's guidelines are organized in a way that any member of humanity, from any point on our globe, has the opportunity to participate, even to revolutionize long held beliefs.  As long as they are thoughtful enough to adhere to the rules while presenting verifiable arguments and convincing evidence and.

Remember the Biblical admonition:  God surpasses all human understanding!  Not one of us has the justification, nor the authority, to tag God with certitude.  We should be clear and appreciative that science is one of humanity's paths toward an inkling of understanding, or truth if you prefer.   Always remembering that other paths such as those provided by the religions that abound are also relevant - like the solid and void of a picture frame, both are needed to display the painting.

(edited 1/4/2016)

God flowing into the Word

I've been told I don't understand the reality of the Bible.  It's been explained God acted infallibly through his human agents.  At every stage along the Bible's evolution God was there flowing into the pages to make it perfect.

The last time I listened to this opinion an image came to mind:  There was a patient in an operating room, undergoing brain surgery.  The world's foremost surgeon was there, a doctor of vast knowledge and skill.  But, instead of performing the operation, the expert stands over a child giving step by step concise and complete directions, while the child performed the actual task.  What are the chances of the child getting it right?  Can it be any different when God communicates with myopic self-centered children?

Claiming the Bible is direct and undiminished from God's bosom is to imply people can be infallible.  Isn't such a thing called hubris?  Like adolescents who know it all, blind to every complexity, question or doubt.  Or put another way, claiming the Bible is perfect, complete and infallible is like claiming a photo album can convey the truth of someone's life to a stranger.

Interestingly, when defending Biblical inerrancy scholars and preachers will quote the Bible, then follow with long winded personal interpretations.  But, you know, if God where actually shepherding the Bible, those words would leap directly into the hearts of the reader/listener; without those endless and mostly dubious re-interpretations.

God is big, huge, beyond anything anyone of us can imagine.  Won't we recognize that when reading, absorbing, witnessing the Bible (or any Holy Book) we interpret it through our individual eyes while weaving our own spirit into our understanding and further telling?  This isn't denying the truths within sacred texts: it is admitting that God's mysteries and plan are beyond our human ability to grasp.

Most importantly, continuing to demand that there is: My Way Only! is nothing less than suicide for humanity future.  Does your inner heart actually believe that destruction is God's plan for God's own miraculous Creation?  Even if it does, does that give you the right to act without regard for the future?  Who are you to give up on God's Creation, when you could be mistaken?  Doesn't God abhor suicide?  How can we hope to leave our children a healthy future without absorbing some additional basic truths and lessons, then moving on to face the coming challenges.


PS.  For two thousand years every generation has its Christians convinced that God's cosmic rapture would happen in their life time.  Everyone was mistaken, can't we take the hint?  

God's not going to make it easy on us by intervening, no, no.  God's keeping us in this for keeps - we must find our own passage through the coming challenges. 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Previous letters to the Durango Telegraph

I just came across this index.

It lists a couple dozen Letters to the Durango Telegraph Editor dating back to 2003. Glancing through them I found it sad how little had changed these past few years and now it's beginning to look like America just might want to continue this regime..... how disappointing.

Are Democrats and people of conscience and compassion... and enlightened self interest going to get up the gumption to challenge the right wing's folly, including the creationism thing (much more on that later)?  

I say this because the willfully closed mind set of the right winger, is right there next to you, of the more liberal humanitarian persuasion: they are our friends and co-workers and family - and we've stood by too silent for too long.  Time to call them on their destructive misconceptions.  >> Gently, but solidly confront their assumptions.

We are in this together, it shouldn't be about bashing the other guy.....  that road can only lead to utter destruction, it has happened before.... but humanity has never before so saturated our planet. Must we repeat that old tragedy?

If you believe in the family values of raising your kids and helping your parents through their lives and being a constructive part of a community... including people of divergent backgrounds and all, but still people who are the same, on the inside, in their souls...... then you better get pro active otherwise the corporate money monster is going to run over us once again.  


“I’m pro-life and I’m pro-military"... say what?

Dear Editor,
I over heard a reporter's interview with a voter - with emphasis he proclaimed: "I'm pro-life and I'm pro-military.... I don't trust Obama and I believe McCain's the only answer for this country's survival!"

I'm pro-life and I'm pro-military... " Pro-Life? How do you mean that? Pro-Life? Are you claiming you believe every human has a right to their life? If you are, I wonder if that feeling for the sanctity of life extends beyond birth? Maybe into childhood, into adolescence, through maturation and adulthood? Does that "Sanctity of Life" extend to the lives of far off people -people who have their own self sustaining belief systems? You with the "God Hates Abortionist!" signs, what do you mean "Life is Sacred?" Who's life is sacred?

In the same breath you pound your chest and proclaim " and I'm Pro-Military!" What do you mean: Pro-Military? Are you pro the way this Cheney/Bush Administration has fundamentally altered our military? How you ask?... through privatizing segments of governmental responsibility, creating huge financial windfalls for select corporate leaders. While - under our watch - a monstrously armed and militarized private corporate sector has been created. These are people and entities beholden to no one, excepting their own personal interests. (For information start by looking up Blackwater on the Web.)

Is Pro-Military allowing mercenaries to infest our USA governmental entities in order to siphon off yet more of our tax money?

Speaking about definitions: why must so many "Right to Lifers" focus only on the tenuous unborn life within a woman? A woman facing an agonized decision for herself and her already existing family... in deep respects a decision based upon self-defense? Why won't you offer any compassion or understanding to that struggling woman?

This brings to mind a cartoon, harsh in its way but very insightful: "Bush doesn't need to think about anything - he just believes things - so he's never conflicted by reality.

I believe it's time all of start thinking about reality again, at least if you want to believe in a healthy earth and society.

A historic snafu in need of revisiting

Back in 2004, during the Vice Presidencial debates, the question of the moment was: America's Right to "Go It Alone." Cheney proclaimed: "America will not allow anyone veto power!" Senator Edwards (and by extension the Democratic Party) could respond no better than to mumble meaningless platitudes.

Why couldn't Senator Edwards invoke the words of our United States Declaration of Independence? The last line of the first paragraph reads: "... a decent Respect to the Opinion of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to Separation."

Our Declaration of Independence and its signers granted no one veto power, however they did recognize a higher arbiter of correctness and a requirement that they be able to justify their actions in the eyes of the world!

Why couldn't the Democrat articulate that?
Why have we so easily misplaced our respect for the rest of mankind?


~ A historic inspiration worth recalling ~

Our Founding Fathers were all men of passionate, deeply held and defensible beliefs.

Yet, each one knew they needed the knowledge and experiences of their ideological opponents.

They allowed themselves the luxury of respecting their opponents and they appreciated that there was something to be learned from most everyone.

They had the humility to understand that no one of them held absolute insight.

And they had the integrity to be able to alter perspectives when new information justified it.

Shouldn't all of us reacquaint ourselves with this principle?