A Spiritual Life, the Co-operative Business Model, Green Business, NGOs, the World Social Forum, Solidarity Economics, and Scandanavian pro-Labor Social Democracy are among existing practices which offer an alternative to the prevailing destructive corporate and campaign finance models. Here, I invite people to explore Grassroots Sustainability and Social Responsibility through Social and Ecological Political Economics.
The spiritual basis of this discussion is essential.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
YES Mag and more
Can we create the machines of modern life sustainably, cheaply, and
close to home?
A baker’s oven, a backhoe, a well drilling rig. According to social
entrepreneur Marcin Jakubowski, these are a few of the 50 machines essential
for any society to sustain a modern, comfortable lifestyle.
But these machines are not only essential, explains Leifur Thor, they’re
also expensive, hard to repair and designed to be obsolete in a few years. Thor
volunteers with Open Source Ecology, a non-profit Jakubowski
founded to develop the Global Village Construction Set. The set will comprise durable, modular machines that people can build
and maintain themselves with sustainable, locally available materials—often
scrap metal. OSE will give the plans away to anyone who wants them. The money a
farmer would have sent to a large corporation to buy a hay cutter will stay in
the community. The environmental impact of shipping heavy equipment long
distances will disappear. These machines are designed to cost roughly a fifth
of what factory-produced models do.
I just returned from the
White House, where President Obama signed the STOCK Act, a new law requiring
the government to post public officials' financial transactions online so that
the public can see if the officials are personally benefiting from inside
information they may obtain due to the positions they hold. This is an
important step forward for open government and for lifting ethical standards.
The Stop Trading on
Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, requires proactive online disclosure
of public officials’ financial dealings. This is the first time that much of
this information will be available online, and it should help prevent
questionable ethical activities by public officials and the staff that serve
them and the public.
A commitment to putting the
public’s interest above personal gain should be a core value of any public
servant, and the belief that public officials do so is what builds trust in
government. We’re pleased that our elected officials made it a priority to pass
this historic legislation. Now, to ensure real accountability, they need to get
the information posted.
For years, the right wing
has been trying to stop people of color, young people, and seniors from voting
in order to help Republicans get elected — and now some of America's biggest
companies are helping them do it.1
These companies have
helped pass discriminatory voter ID legislation by funding a rightwing policy
group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Voter ID bills
linked to ALEC have already passed in seven states, and similar voter ID bills
have been introduced in 27 other states.
That's why we're
joining our friends at Color of Change and calling on "ALEC
corporations" to remove their support of this rightwing organization.
discriminatory voter ID laws claim they want to reduce voter fraud (individuals
voting illegally, or voting twice). But such fraud almost never actually
occurs, and never in amounts large enough to affect the result of elections.
What is clear is that voter ID laws prevent large numbers of eligible voters
from casting a ballot, and could disenfranchise up to 5 million people.
ALEC's voter ID laws are
undemocratic, unjust and part of a longstanding right wing agenda to weaken the
voting blocs that historically oppose Republican candidates. We have to expose
the major companies who are helping ALEC suppress the votes of millions of
Americans before it's too late.
Thank you for standing up against voter
When I started writing my new book, "Rebuild the Dream,"I was thinking about you and the millions of Americans
like you who voted for hope and change in 2008. We found out that change was a
lot harder than we thought.
As a grassroots outsider
who became a White House insider, I have a special perspective on the
challenges, which I want to share with
In the book I write about a
lot of things:
·For the first time, I share my experiences working in the Obama White
House—and reveal the seven biggest mistakes that grassroots progressives and
the president made before the 2010 midterm elections.
·I give my perspective on the tea party—and detail the many things it
·I explain how we can create jobs for millions of Americans—including
veterans coming home, debt-burdened students, and our public employees (such as
teachers, cops, and firefighters) who are being thrown under the bus.
·Most importantly, I talk about what we must do during Obama's second
term to have many, many more victory parties.
The book officially launches tomorrow, but it's available for pre-sale
today. You can order the book for yourself, your friends, and your family by
Ultimately, this book is just the prologue to what
comes next, and that is why I wrote it for you. America is not broke. We are a
rich nation, and we can do much better than we are doing.
We need a
game plan for victories now and in the years to come. To win,
we need to build a grassroots movement as big as anything we've ever seen—on
scale with the historic civil rights movement. This book offers my best
thinking about how we can get there.
the first day the book is for sale. I hope
you will order the book for yourself, your
friends, and your family. Our movement for hope and change is just getting
started, and I look forward to building it with you.