Democracy is not the Same as Money

Wen big money controls every aspect of our Federal Government, even the Supreme Court, it is amazing when once in wa while humanity wins decisions.  No, we didn’t win with Citizens United, but the declaration of the legality of gay marriage was a breakthrough, especially when coupled with discrimination laws being interpreted as applicable to landlords who even unknowingly favor one group (say caucasians) of another (African American, Latino, etc.)

OK I would have rather heard that the Supreme Court had banned the Death Penalty rather than rubber stamping lethal injections.

Still, money buys our laws, influences decisions, like the wars we’re still fighting, the debts we can’t ever pay back by now (USA as Greece II?) and the continuation of the ever widening gap between rich and poor.  Let there be no doubt about it, racial problems are not just exacerbated by lack of opportunity but continue the God-awful legacy that preserves the best jobs for us white folks, while putting nearly every one else except well-educated Asians into a permanent box labeled underclass.

It’s bad enough that the dominant countries run around the world stealing natural resources and abusing human resources, but the idea that big big huge huge money should push people around when,(duh) the rich already have obscenely indulgent lives has ruined democracy, and made turning it around to create communities based on love, caring and trust harder and harder to achieve.

We’ve been led down the path of robbing from the poor and middle class in order to feed the rich, and we’ve gone across the globe killing people in order to keep that form of democracy alive and well.  We won’t be judged well at all by history as we kick back, enjoy the 4th of July and cause such insane misery by our own uncontrollable “needs.”

Status Quo

Untitled                We are all humans . 

There is no doubt, even though this poem is 16 years old, the this type of problem

is now a lot worse than back then.

                     

 

Status Quo

                                            

For now the streets are cluttered:

The poor kill off the poor,

But this won’t last forever

If the “Quo” keeps getting worse.

Guns for sale in neighborhoods

Where crime is the only living

Quarts and vials and bullets

Take without ever giving.

“Innocent” bystanders

Are the ones to blame.

Standing by in times like these

Leaves everything the same.

The quo goes “living standards

Will be on the decline.”

While multi-national barons

Continue their money climb.

No chums around a fireplace

When you can’t pay the bills.

While money-man is traveling

In search of bigger thrills.

Sooner rather than later

The poor will raise their arms.

Replacing all the suited men

Regardless of the harm.

The system as we know it’

Is fading thanks to this:

The greedy haven’t realized

Their life ain’t worth a piss.

The ticking clock inside the bomb

Has passed the witching hour.

There is little hope for most,

So when will freedom flower?

It will when people with the time

Turn to lend a hand,

It will when greedy governors

Give back a hunk of land

The quo has made it possible

For us to live like rats.

Your life to them means nothing

You could end up a stat.

As the status quo gets worse

Violence rules the day.

We better help each other now.

Let us pray.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1999. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Prophecy, Friday February 28, 2007

Prophecy, Friday February 28, 2007

 

The wide-winged hawks that glide the wind
are cheered by little boys
whose parents huddle by the fire
as if they had a choice.

But times are tough, the drought moves in
as cattle eat hills bare.
Pandemic flu slows elders down
but they still have time to care.

On sunny days we turn the soil
with ashes, leaves and rinds.
February adds a day this year:
a chance to clear our minds

so overwrought with changing times
we’re scared before seeds grow
we’ll have to move the family
if the mortgage lays us low.

Pa said he was a little tike
the last time money soured.
I know I’m spoiled, and caught unmasked
with no wheat to flour.

We send out signals to our friends
and even to our foes.
We’re here to help, if you can work
then join us in our woes.

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

KFC, Falls of Neuse Rd., 22 January 2007

KFC, Falls of Neuse Rd., 22 January 2007

When a sub-culture dies, the world gets dragged,
Toes pointed up, and appropriately tagged.
You battle to work your way up the scale
But now it’s three bucks for a pint of ale.
Blue collar means work at the new KFC,
Good jobs, and vacation days moved overseas.
You can play gangster but you know it’s no game,
Or you can throw down to attain fleeting fame.
You can educate your way out of this mess,
But cubicle jobs only go to the blessed.
Blessed to be white in a world full of color,
Blessed not to know what it’s like to live under
The rules meted out and enforced by the law:
So do you tell them what you just saw?
Or are you inclined to let it slide,
While children cower, their Dad’s full of pride,
But most likely part of those already jailed,
The cross is salvation, but who’s next to be nailed?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2007. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

James of Manning, South Carolina

James of Manning, South Carolina

I’ll bet you think the caste system
Is reserved for India or the far east,
But what of the American man
Who volunteers to sweep

The butts and trash you throw away
From the sidewalks and lots:
Then he comes inside to ask if
You can spare a fiver from the slot.

Of course you can’t but you
Give him a hot cup and he goes away.
Which he does because there are
Other lots to sweep today.

I’ll bet you think your job is safe
Handing out donuts, coffee and tea.
It’s not if the boss across the street
Picks a foreign locality.

And what of the man who sweeps so well
And his kids who he never sees?
Do you ever stop to think or tell
Of his life of misery?

World Human Rights Cities Forum, Environmental Justice by Hemanatha Withanage

This is important stuff, and shows the massive difference the effects of global warming have.  Rich countries cause it, poor coutries suffer form it.  — Doug

In Gwangju, South Korea, (ROK) the World Cities Human Rights Forum kicked off a week of human rights workshops, and the marking of the 34th Anniversary of the May 18th, 1980 Uprising that say many killed in what would become the most significant catalyst for direct democratic voting, which began in 1987 in the ROK.

The best of what I attended was a speech by Hemanatha Withanage, the Executive Director of Sri Lanka’s Center for Environmental Justice/ Friends of the Earth Foundation.

He minced no words about how electricity used and generated by wealthy countries effected both the environment of the whole planet, and the exemplifies the gap between the rich and the poor in India, or Africa or Sri Lanka, versus Europe, the United States and the wealthier segments of Asia and the rest of the world.

Here’s the first half of what he said:

 

Energy Justice and Human Rights in Asia
By HEMANTHA WithanageExecutive Director, Center for Environmental Justice/Friends of the Earth, Sri Lanka
Over 300 million Indian citizens have no access to frequent electricity. Of those who did have access to electricity in India, the supply was intermittent and unreliable. However, the electricity sector in India had an installed capacity of 243.02 GW as of March 2014. Meantime the Narmada Valley Development Project the single largest river development scheme in India will displace approximately 1.5 million people from their land.Access to affordable energy is a right of all. It is well known factor that people in developed countries consume more energy than those who live in developing countries. Although I don’t believe that increased energy consumption is necessary for sustainable development, everyone needs to have access to the basic energy needs.

Energy consumption in developed countries is far higher compare to developing countries. For example per capita energy consumption in United States 300.91 GJ, United Arab Emirates 347.40 GJ, South Korea 212.52 GJ, Japan 163.73 GJ. However Sri Lanka is only 20.07 GJ and Bangladesh is only 8.77 GJ. This energy mostly comes from the fossil fuel burning and the contribution of the renewable sources is very little.

Meantime, the said economies mostly have acquired the space with the green house gas emissions from the fossil fuel burning. In such a situation even if the Bangladesh wants to consume the same energy, there is no space since the climate change is already adversely impacting the world.

On the other hand Bangladesh is one of the country facing serious climate impacts. Similarly many small island nations, the poorer nations face more severe climate impacts due to the poor housing, unsuitable locations, etc.

Energy Justice recognizes the inequality that exists in accessing energy resources, associated health

 

and environmental implications associated with the resource used. This theory is based on the premise that access to energy is more equitably available ensuring that health risks are phased out and replaced with sources that are reliable and sustainable.Energy justice issues may be varying from place to place. For example rural communities in some developed countries are off grid is an energy justice issue. Placement of hazardous equipment, coal or nuclear facilities around local communities is also an issue of energy justice. Time spent collecting biomass materials detracts from other pursuits such as education and livelihood pursuits in developing countries is an energy justice issue too.

Meanwhile, health and environmental issues in both developed and developing countries or impacts on agricultural land are also energy justice issues. Indoor pollution is responsible for 1.6 million deaths per year, which is one life lost every 20 seconds is an energy justice issue too.

Around the world, working class and low-income communities, communities of color and minority races, Indigenous Peoples and workers are the first and most impacted by polluting and exploitative energy industries, including biomass incineration. Non renewable energy production harm the communities, health, economies and the ecosystems we rely upon with a range of destructive and exploitative practices from industrial extraction, production, trade, waste and pollution, including climate-altering pollution and toxic emissions.

Despite the fact that burning coal is the main reason for climate change, world is still building more and more coal power plants. There are over 2300 coal-fired power stations (7000 individual units) worldwide. World coal production in 2011 is approximately 7678 million tons.

Sri Lanka is going to build 4700 MW coal capacity by 2032 when the required capacity is only less than 2000 MW. India is building 4000 MW coal power plant (Tata Mundra) and many other similar facilities. In India alone 551 proposed coal power plants will generate 616,879 MW and releases 3,648,034,879 Metric Tons of 002. In many such places people’s objections on the ground has already subjected to human rights violations.

According to Benjamin K. Sovacool 279 major energy accidents occurred from 1907 to 2007 and they caused 182,156 deaths with $41 billion in property damages. Coal mining accidents resulted in 5,938 immediate deaths in 2005, and 4746 immediate deaths in 2006 in China alone according to the World Wildlife Fund.

-18-

 

Coal mining is the most dangerous occupation in China, the death rate for every 100 tons of coal mined is 100 times that of the death rate in the US and 30 times that achieved in South Africa. Moreover 600,000 Chinese coal miners, as of 2004, were suffering from ‘black lungVCoal worker’s pneumoconiosis, a disease of the lungs caused by long-continued inhalation of coal dust. And the figure increases by 70,000 miners every year in China.1Mae Moh Coal power plant built on Thailand in the 80’s with the support of the Asian Development Bank has resulted more than 600 deaths due to respiratory problems and many more are suffering from lung problems. This is the story around many of the coal power plants in the world.

There is no correct figure about the deaths due to the nuclear power plants. A Greenpeace report puts this figure at 200,000 or more. A Russian publication, Chernobyl, concludes that 985,000 premature cancer deaths occurred worldwide between 1986 and 2004 as a result of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl alone.2

Displacements are also common when setting power plants. Seven people died and many others got wounded when Bangladesh police attached the demonstrators who were opposing to the proposed Asia Energy coal-mine and power plant in Phulbari area. Proposed coal power plant in Sri Lanka in the Sampur area will displace 3500 families.

The contributions of dams to human development cannot be ignored. The more than 45,000 dams around the world helped many communities and countries’ economies in utilizing and harnessing water resources from half of the world’s dammed rivers primarily for food production, energy generation, flood control and other domestic use.

But dams deprived and displaced people. The inundation of land for the reservoir submerged communities (some of these are communities of indigenous people) and altered the riverine ecosystems (upstream and downstream) thus affecting the resources available for land-and-riverine- based productive and economic activities where affected people depend their traditional livelihoods (from agricultural production, fishing, livestock grazing, fuelwood gathering and collection of forest products).

There are about 40-80 million people who have been forcibly evicted or displaced from their homes to

1http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-ll/13/content_391242.htm
2Alexey V. Yablokov; Vassily B. Nesterenko; Alexey V. Nesterenko (2009). Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment
-19-

 

make way for dams. The impacts of dam-building have been particularly devastating in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Large dams in India and China alone (both in Asian region), could have displaced between 26-58 million people between 1950 and 1990. With the construction of the world’s largest dam, the Three Gorges in China, the level of displacement has increased substantially.3

Energy justice is one of the most important, but least developed concepts in the world. Less attention has been given at the social and equity implications of these dynamic relations between energy and low carbon objectives—the complexity of injustice associated with whole energy systems (from extractive industries, through to consumption and waste) that transcend national boundaries and the social, political-economic and material processes driving the experience of energy injustice and vulnerability.

Most electricity produce by violating the human rights, polluting the environment and basic needs such as water, air and soil finally reach the city population as a clean energy source. Frontline communities and workers—who benefit the least from, contribute the least to, and pay the largest price for the destructive practices of industrialized society—are among those leading the resistance to stop these industrial polluters and are cultivating sustainable community solutions for clean, just and localized economies that will benefit us all. It is believed that frontline communities and workers should play a leadership role in prioritizing and determining transitional strategies toward a community-led clean energy economy.

However, the urban population needs to play a better role for ensuring energy justice. The most important energy choice to make as a nation is how people can reduce own energy consumption to a sustainable level in a just and equitable manner, not which new dirty energy sources should be developed. It is therefore necessary to advocate focusing on energy conservation and efficiency measures, including community and worker-led initiatives that increase public transportation; food localization; zero-waste; and zero-emission, community-controlled energy especially in the cities and for urban population.

City population who believes that there should be no human rights violations when producing energy need to advocate that the energy should be met without harmful and combustion technologies and polluting sources. All energy needs should be approached with conservation and efficiency, with the goal of cutting energy demand as early as possible.

 

Once prioritize demand reduction, electricity needs should be met only with non-combustion and non­nuclear technologies, with a focus on appropriate use of wind, solar and ocean power which is freely available in the world. Energy production should be decentralized as much as possible to reduce the need for large-scale transmission, which always creates human rights violation at the construction stage.

Transportation energy needs should be met by transitioning from combustion engines to electric vehicles, after cutting demand and improving conservation & efficiency and adding better use of public transport system.

Promoting peoples’ right to energy for their basic needs, transformation of energy systems (local, national and global) away from dirty and harmful energy, excessive energy consumption and fossil fuel dependence, and making the shift to renewable, clean energy systems under democratic control and management people and communities as quickly as possible is vital for energy justice. In the process and fighting for ambitious, adequate, equitable and fair sharing of global efforts to prevent catastrophic climate change are also important for ensuring no human rights violations in energy sector.

Better energy finance will also be another element for energy justice. Integrating human rights into energy projects shifts the traditional technology focus. This leads to a more flexible approach, with projects responding to different local needs, priorities and contexts. Human rights principles such as participation, non-discrimination and equality, and accountability, provide the basis for energy justice.

– 21-

 

Arable Spring and Two Haiku

Arable Spring

The gap grows wider at the top
And at the bottom too.
The middle also takes a flop
Because the jobs have moved.

Forget-thee-not inflation
Especially food and fuel
Which at present escalation
Leave the masses eating gruel.

Will sharing return to unite
The wage-slaves in such massive debt?
Capitalism already ignites
“austerity” protests that get

Larger, and longer with tear gas
And back-up police at the ready.
But fighting the system won’t last
Yet growing our food is rock steady.

It just takes imagination
And the ability to grow a team.
Voila, no more job stagnation,
Just hard work and following dreams.

The idiots who own the world
Have sunk us all due to their greed.
Protest will never unfurl
In time for us to be freed.

Energy wasted on change
Should be put into working the land.
Only neighbors can rearrange
To align the Creator’s plan.

Villagers already have fun
While the industrialized work.
Once money has ended its run,
Nature will make its own perks.

><><><><><><><><

 

Rumble on you jets
of money, set the world on
fire.  Death equals life.


><><><><><><

Ggachi squawks, builds a
nest, pecks at sand, warns its friends
of dangerous men.

Copyright 2014, Doug Stuber. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.