The U.S. has less than 100 days left to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate policy, before the world meets in Copenhagen to discuss a new global climate treaty.
If you haven’t already, call 1-877-9-REPOWER and leave a message of support for your Senator today.
Monday, August 31, 2009
The U.S. has less than 100 days left to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate policy, before the world meets in Copenhagen to discuss a new global climate treaty.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
After reading about this last night referenced on the Saatchi website about this artist, I woke up this morning knowing that I had to post this thought again, for all of us! Some among us, keep an eye on deep, deep space! If this doesn't put life into perspective... you're sleep-walkin'!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Panoramic view of the entire near-infrared sky — location of the Great Attractor is shown following the long blue arrow at bottom-right.
The Great Attractor is a gravity anomaly in intergalactic space within the range of the Centaurus Supercluster that reveals the existence of a localised concentration of mass equivalent to tens of thousands of Milky Ways, observable by its effect on the motion of galaxies and their associated clusters over a region hundreds of millions of light years across.
These galaxies are all redshifted, in accordance with the Hubble Flow, indicating that they are receding relative to us and to each other, but the variations in their redshift are sufficient to reveal the existence of the anomaly. The variations in their redshifts are known as peculiar velocities, and cover a range from about +700 km/s to -700 km/s, depending on the angular deviation from the direction to the Great Attractor.
The first indications of a deviation from uniform expansion of the universe were reported in 1973 and again in 1978. The location of the Great Attractor was finally determined in 1986, and is situated at a distance of somewhere between 150 and 250 Mly (47-79Mpc) (the latter being the most recent estimate) from the Milky Way, in the direction of the Hydra and Centaurus constellations. While objects in that direction lie in the zone of avoidance (the part of the night sky obscured by the Milky Way galaxy) and are thus difficult to study with visible wavelengths, X-ray observations have revealed that the region of space is dominated by the Norma cluster (ACO 3627), a massive cluster of galaxies, containing a preponderance of large, old galaxies, many of which are colliding with their neighbours, and/or radiating large amounts of radio waves.
Debate over apparent mass
In 2005, astronomers conducting an X-Ray survey of the sky known as the Clusters in the Zone of Avoidance (CIZA) project reported that the Great Attractor was actually only one tenth the mass that scientists had originally estimated. The survey also confirmed earlier theories that the Milky Way galaxy was in fact being pulled towards a much more massive cluster of galaxies near the Shapley Supercluster which lies beyond the Great Attractor.
Lifestyle and relationship expert
Posted: August 25, 2009 12:07 PM
Taking Care of Our Health and Our Healthcare
Read More: Companies, Health, Health Care, Health Care Reform, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Insurance, Obama, Politics, Preventative Medicine, Living News
The headline in today's Los Angeles Times caught my eye: "Healthcare insurers get upper hand." The article is written by Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger. You don't have to read the paper every day to know that the healthcare system in the United States is a mess. We're all living it every time we go to see a doctor or fill a prescription. We can't keep going the way we've been going, there has to be some sort of a change. Unfortunately, the kinds of changes that the insurance companies are proposing just might make things worse instead of better. Linda Blumberg, a health policy analyst at the nonpartisan Urban Institute says that the insurance companies are going to have a very stable pool of customers, "...people getting subsidies to help them buy coverage and... they [insurance companies] will be paid the full costs of the benefits that they provide - plus their administrative costs."
Einstein famously said that a problem can't be solved at the same level at which it was created. What created this healthcare crisis was greed. The greed of both the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.
How much of our insurance dollar actually goes towards insurance? That's got to be a well-kept secret. I haven't heard anyone talk about this yet. About 10% of every monthly premium goes to the agent who sold you the policy. And then another chunk, probably 20%, goes to the "general agent" or broker who the first agent has to go through to get to the insurance company. Before we even get to the entity that is providing the coverage we have to go through two middle-men. And these agents are doing quite well, indeed. Then the insurance company itself has tons of costs it has to build into our premiums, including all the paperwork and brochures they send us, and all the advertising they do to convince us that they are a reputable company. And of course, there's the $35 million dollars that the health service and HMO sector spent in the first half of 2009 lobbying Congress, the White House, and federal healthcare offices. This figure came from the Center for Responsive Politics; I didn't make it up!
Before my divorce, I had health insurance through my ex-husband's company. I was able to keep the same policy for a little while through a plan they have called COBRA. But then I had to get my own policy, and I contacted an agent. My husband and I met with him one time, for about 20 minutes, to basically sign some papers and write a check. We kept the same policy for many years, even though the premiums went up every year. Every single month this agent of ours was making money off of us. For years we never saw him, or heard from him. Then when our premium went up another huge percentage, I called him to ask what our options were. He told me to look online, and gave me the insurance company's website.
Now the insurance companies have all of their policies posted online so anyone can shop and compare for themselves. I figured out just how we could switch to a different plan and save some money, and called the insurance company direct. They told me I just had to write them a letter and they would take care of it. I didn't need the agent to be involved. Then I pointed out that we had clearly eliminated the need for an agent, and hence, the need to continue to pay his monthly commission. I asked if I could have that commission discounted from my monthly premiums, they told me no, it doesn't work that way. Isn't this crazy? Even when the two middle-men do no work at all, they still make money every month! It doesn't work that way for car insurance, or home-owner's insurance, so why should this be the case for health insurance?
As intelligent people, we know that we are responsible for our own health. We strive to take care of ourselves, eating right, working out, keeping fit. But it seems that the health insurance companies are working against us. Most preventative care, like chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage, are not covered. Many times mental health care is not covered, or covered only up to a certain amount. Doesn't it make more sense to do what we can to stay healthy, rather than spending tons of money trying to get our health back when we get stressed out and sick? And think of the money lost when we have to take sick days and miss work.
But then, people being sick benefits the pharmaceutical companies. They have all kinds of medications for all kinds of illnesses that are covered by the insurance companies. And just when we think we're doing well, along comes a vaccine they promote that they insist we need to keep us from getting something else.
Doctors have sky high rates because they are forced to make deals with the insurance companies where they are paid a percentage of their fees. When you look at your "explanation of benefit" statement that comes in the mail from the insurance company, you'll see what part of the charges are "allowed" and "not allowed" and what part goes toward your deductible. I don't know how doctors can make much money when all is said and done. Many doctors now have set up "concierge" service, which means that you pay a monthly fee to be their patient. It's a kind of secondary insurance. But do we really need that extra expense? Not me!
Obama has an uphill climb when it comes to healthcare reform. He's the David and the insurance companies are the Goliath in this scenario. Gerald Shea of the AFL-CIO is hoping for a change, but knows that the insurance companies will fight every step of the way, with all of their power and all of their money. "They have us beaten six ways to Sunday. Any time we want to make a small change to provide cost relief, they find a way to make it more profitable."
Check this out, from the NY Times - a former insurance executive speaks out
Comments to Lissa's article on HP:
I actually wrote this comment to an email correspondent, but it fits here, as well...
We need real numbers; and we need them RIGHT NOW.
The costs of all health care needs to be compiled right now. All of the pundit arguments are opinionated and manipulated beliefs, not analysis of the real problem. (We need healthy people and a doctor once in a while, not health insurance and cars to drive to work at insurance companies.)
There is no readily available source to tell us the total amount of money being spent by Americans for this mess, let alone any pragmatic and useful predictions of what socialized medicine would actually cost, based on actual technologies and actual needs and actual payments. The whole argument, like the Iraq war or any other recent major event, is obfuscated beyond retrieval of the real story.
What's the point of an economy that only serves unknown entities?
Since all efforts are currently going to justify systems of monetary equations, rather than needs of people, then the needs of people have been tossed aside and the people will begin to disappear one way or another. No entrenched system changes to be more concerned with its people than it is with its centralized money. Such systems only fail and are replaced with something else.
The giant predator that eats all of its prey doesn't become a smaller predator: it dies and something smaller takes over, usually something that eats only bits of the carcass.
Posted 05:49 PM on 08/27/2009
Good article. Those worried about rationing under health reform should realize that we already have rationing under the insurance companies' ability to allow or disallow coverage or treatment. The recent remote area access hospital at the Forum shows how badly a public, universal plan is needed.
Posted 06:58 PM on 08/25/2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Two articles just crossed my cyber-path; this is in-part, the habit of turning on the computer to cope with/avoid the overwhelming in life!
I can't say much more about that right now because I will sound whiny_ but the truth is, the universe is actively seeking me out now and I DO want to be found!
If you are anybody really, searching for work, transitioning from what was in your own life to the possibilities of success that both excite and terrorize, then click the link in this article to see if there is a resonance here you can find, maybe just holding a mirror up for you!
I can't even avoid the synchronicities anymore, not that I was really trying that hard to avoid. Still, this truth of recognizing the evolutionary impulse rising up to meet me, is also bubbling up deep within as a subtle, private smile!
May you be connecting in surprising and inspiring ways that continue to draw you to your own successes! First deep inside, in ways that eventually lead you out into the world where, like-minded other folks are ready to meet you!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
New Earth Charter Channel in YouTube
The Earth Charter International (ECI) Secretariat has recently launched a video channel page on YouTube. The channel currently features 37 videos about the Earth Charter in a variety of languages.
New project to develop indicators for values-based educational experiences
The ECI Secretariat joined a consortium of organizations and research institutions in a two-year research project to develop indicators to measure values components of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) projects. The research work and coordination of the project is carried out by the University of Brighton (UK) and Charles University (Czech Republic). They will work in collaboration with several CSOs (civil society organizations) to learn about their projects and experiences and will guide the process to develop the indicators and assessment tools. These will help participating CSOs to measure their impact and effectiveness in achieving their project’s goals.
e-GLO 2: Call for applications!
ECI is pleased to announce that the e-GLO 2 application process is open now!
e-GLO (Earth Charter Global Learning Opportunity) is a semester-long, online course that provides a great way to learn how the Earth Charter can guide youth leaders towards sustainability action. This sustainability leadership course will be offered in English to 20-30 youth aged 15-33, starting September 19th 2009. Click here for more.
UMAPAZ spearheading EC Teacher Training Programme in schools of Sao Paulo
Since 2007, UMAPAZ (the Open University of Environment and a Culture of Peace) has operated an awareness raising and educational programme in schools of Sao Paulo, Brazil and will offer an Earth Charter Action course starting this August 2009. The purpose of the programme is to promote the values and principles of the Earth Charter within the municipal education network - contributing with the understanding of the sustainability vision and of social-environmental issues. UMAPAZ functions under the Environment Secretary of the city government of Sao Paulo and this teacher training programme is part of the implementation of an agreement between this Secretary and the Secretary of Education (Secretaria Municipal de Educação [SME]) of the city of Sao Paulo. For more information click here.
New book utilizes the Earth Charter as a resource for English teachers
Professor Barbara M. Birch from the University of California, Fresno has used the Earth Charter in a book entitled The English Language Teacher in Global Civil Society (published by Routledge in 2009). This book explains how English language teachers can help spread and promote sustainable peace and encourage global citizenship in our increasingly interconnected global society. The book recognizes the importance of English language teachers and students in global civil society, and it portrays a compelling view of how teachers can be activists for social change. Click here for more information.
New Earth Charter Action Groups!
Following the decentralization for scaling up policy, the Earth Charter International started a process to invite individuals interested in promoting the Earth Charter to create voluntary action groups in their field of interest. These action groups would work to spread the word about the Earth Charter in their field of activity and promote its use. Thirty-four new Earth Charter Action Groups have been formed since May 2009, when Earth Charter International launched this effort. Click here for more information on this.
Recent Endorsements to the Earth Charter
ECI continuously receives letters indicating that organizations and individuals have endorsed the Earth Charter and are starting to use it as an educational instrument, as a reference, as an ethical framework and a guide for their decisions and evaluation processes. We encourage organizations to endorse the EC and to incorporate it as part of their activities, projects, and overall work. Here are some of the organizations that have recently endorsed the Earth Charter: Washington Ethical Society, Global Ecovillage Network - Europe, Damanhur - Italy, Empowerment Works and the Department of Women and Gender Studies of University of Toledo. Click here for more information on this.
Earth Charter International
San Jose, Costa Rica
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I am writing to engage the US public-at-large, whether you are a citizen abroad or living here, to PROTEST the closure of USPS stations and offices across the country, as well as, to protest against the layoffs that are surely following the long-standing fiscal ineptitude of the admin of the USPS!
I say, DO NOT cooperate with the USPS asking people to pick-up regular mail delivery, other than at your usual delivery address.
Know the facts: the USPS is the THIRD LARGEST EMPLOYER IN THE ENTIRE USA. Is anyone certain they want that many unemployed people joining the unemployed ranks right now?!
As a very recently laid-off worker, I do not.
EVERYONE needs to take democratic responsibility in this offense by making an effective consumer complaint, first! There are several steps to take, and taking those steps is empowering! Adding numbers of other consumer complaint participants to the action, is effective! These are the steps outlined to me by one USPS employee and I have followed through on each of them. Now I am asking you to join with me in protest, by taking these also!
Follow these steps, first:
First: Call 1-800-ASK-USPS/ which is: 1-800-275-8777
*Keep your confirmation # because it will get asked for when you file the Consumer Affairs complaint. If they don't ask, tell them you have one!
Second: Contact your regional Consumer Affairs Office, the USPS customer service agent can give you this info when you follow step number one. They are very courteous as *they aren't too busy with flooding complaints yet!
Third: GET LOUD about it! Also, write your congress-person!
***Just remember, the butt-end of the postal jokes only targets everyday folks like you and me. The real @#%%$'s at the top, already know how to cover themselves using "us" for shields!
Protest for real-world fiscal responsibility within the USPS, America, and call them to file a Consumer Complaint! Otherwise, your grandmother and great aunts will be going out of their way inconveniently just to get their daily mail and monthly pension checks, medicare, prescription meds, etc., etc!
Stand in solidarity with the employees of the US Postal System and put your actions of Consumer Complaint into the big picture!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Stuck in the middle
President Obama carries the torch for the millions of Americans who aren't really Boomers, but aren't really Xers either. Meet the generation in which idealism trumps ideology, in which pragmatism is the guiding light.
By Jonathan Pontell
For 16 years, Baby Boomers occupied the Oval Office. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush came of age during the 1960s — the decade that spawned the culture wars that would define national affairs for the next 40 years. Conventional wisdom holds that post-Boomer Barack Obama's inauguration once and for all ended that tumultuous era's long grip on American politics. But are the '60s really dead? Hardly.
While the Boomer moment may be over, most observers have misread the generational significance of Obama's inaugural. It really marks the 1960s' second act. The difference is that the torch has passed from that decade's "flower children" to its actual children.
Obama was born in 1961 — 15 years after Clinton and 19 years before Chelsea. He is neither Boomer nor GenXer. Instead, he belongs to a distinct generation in between, one long under the radar and only now making its full impact felt.
I coined the term "Generation Jones" for this large cohort born between 1954 and 1965. It's a generation that includes the new president, me and 53 million other Americans. Jonesers have long been lumped with Boomers simply because we arrived during the same long post-World War II spike in births. But generations arise from shared formative experiences, not head counts, and the two groups evolved with dramatic differences. Our background is just as distant from Generation Xers'. We fill the space between Woodstock and Lollapalooza, between "Turn on, tune in, drop out" and "Just Say No," and between Dylan going electric and Nirvana going unplugged. Jonesers have a unique identity separate from Boomers and GenXers. An avalanche of attitudinal and behavioral data corroborates this distinction. Generational self-identification is particularly compelling. When polled, those in this age group identify not with Boomers or GenXers, but overwhelmingly with this generation in between.
So who are we? We are practical idealists, forged in the fires of social upheaval while too young to play a part. The name "Generation Jones" derives from a number of sources, including our historical anonymity, the "keeping up with the Joneses" competition of our populous birth years, and sensibilities coupling the mainstream with ironic cool. But above all, the name borrows from the slang term "jonesin' " that we as teens popularized to broadly convey any intense craving.
The Jones runs deep in us. It arose from our 1960s childhoods. While the Boomers were out changing the world, Jonesers were still in elementary school — wide-eyed, not tie-dyed. That intense love-peace-change-the-world zeitgeist stirred our impressionable hearts. We yearned to express our own voice. By the time we came of age and could take the stage, though, a decade of convulsions had left the nation fatigued. During the game we'd been forced to watch from the sidelines, and passage into college and careers came only after the final gun had long since sounded.
The Boomers had their opportunity, and the GenXers weren't around soon enough to bear witness. Neither was left jonesin'. But the actual children of the 1960s yearned for something more. Our unrequited idealism has bubbled beneath the surface ever since.
Obama has The Jones. It permeates his biography and his philosophy. It's a crucial piece of his identity. His message and approach reverberate with GenJones themes.
Recognizing this generational mindset provides insight not only into an Obama presidency, but into America itself in 2009. Generation Jones is poised to grab the mantle of leadership. More than a quarter of all U.S. adults are Jonesers. We've ascended to unprecedented positions of leadership in business and government. Not only Obama, but also many of his key appointees, are members of GenJones. Our size, age and influence across the board make us an irresistible force.
But there is something beyond our mere demographic might. What makes us Jonesers also makes us uniquely positioned to bring about a new era in American politics. Our practical idealism was created by witnessing the often-unrealistic idealism of the 1960s. And we weren't engaged in that era's ideological battles; we were children playing with toys while Boomers argued about Vietnam. Our non-ideological pragmatism allows us to resolve intra-Boomer skirmishes and to bridge that volatile Boomer-GenXer divide. We can lead.
Last century, Thomas Wolfe wrote that another generation wasn't lost so much as undiscovered. "And the whole secret, power and knowledge of their own discovery," he declared, "is locked within them — they know it, feel it, have the whole thing in them — and they cannot utter it." Generation Jones is clearing its throat. Its voice will be heard. What had been a steady stream of unsolicited e-mails to me from supportive Jonesers before the election is now a flood. A generation aching to act has awoken. We are finally scratching the itch of The Jones.
For Boomers, the legacy of the '60s is ideology, but for Jonesers it is idealism. That spirit of the '60s is far from dead; its seeds were planted in us then, and are flowering now. We're not late Boomers; we're late bloomers.
Jonathan Pontell is a social commentator who focuses on the intersection of politics and culture (JonathanPontell.com).
AND there is this:
PLUS all the stuff on Google about Generation Jonesers! Check it out.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Miracle Man by Cocosuma
Uploaded by ThirdSideRecords. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.
Social Network Media, speaking to evolutionary consciousness!!
Posted by la fin du siècle at 8:30 AM
Friday, August 14, 2009
Make YES! Online a daily resource
You're always telling us, "Everyone should know about YES! solutions." With that in mind, we're launching a new program this fall to draw millions to our website for the YES! take on the day's headline news.
Your tax-deductible donation will help us to highlight daily the opportunities for change that lie in every crisis.
Your support will make this program possible. For a contribution of $50 or more, we’ll send you a signed copy of David Korten’s book, Agenda for a New Economy.
Thanks for taking part in this important work,
Publisher, YES! Magazine
P.S. If you're ready to subscribe to YES! Magazine and want to support our work, sign up to be a Dedicated Friend. Your donation of $10 a month or more includes your subscription. Sign up now and get both David Korten's book and a DVD of the award-winning film, Dalai Lama Renaissance.
YES! Magazine is published by the Positive Futures Network
284 Madrona Way NE, Ste 116, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-2870
Phone: 800-937-4451 :: 206-842-0216 : www.yesmagazine.org
Posted by la fin du siècle at 6:18 PM