“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.”
– Ursula Le Guin
I often contemplate, particularly now, where our country would be without the influences of Rupert Murdoch and the state media he has created in the U.S. He began his residency in 1974 and became a U.S. citizen in 1985 after relinquishing his Australian citizenship, the legal requirement for US television network ownership. He established the FOX News Channel in 1996, the same year former president Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, overhauling 60 years of regulation. Murdoch thrived. And he is destroying us.
Astute and true:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country doesn’t have to deal with the “rage of older white men” because “we’ve never allowed Rupert Murdoch to set up a media outlet here.”
The veracity of the quote is being questioned. Regardless, he shouldn’t have been able to start his media empire here, and Clinton shouldn’t have sold us out. Cue Roger Ailes and Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. And here we are.
Our existential soup. Could we please hold off on adding any more ingredients? Maybe let this batch simmer for awhile.
Gen. Mark A. Milley on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “We are witness to the greatest threat to peace and security in Europe – and perhaps the world – in my 42 years of service in uniform.”
Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos-A Quest for the Soul:
“Evil has its origin in this deeply unconscious predator-prey pattern of behavior. I think that, in relation to the harm we are capable of inflicting on the human beings, evil may be defined as the act of inflicting terror, suffering, humiliation, torture or yeah on an individual or group of individuals ranging in kind from the murder of a child to the atrocities currently taking place in Syria (2012) to the viciously cruel attacks on others on Facebook and Twitter. One of the most difficult things to recognize is that each one of us in capable of acting in a hateful cruel or evil way, or of being complicit in these ways of behaving, whether as an individual or as the member of a government, institution, corporate body or nation. […] The fact that an International Court of Justice now exists to try those who commit such crimes against human unity is evidence of collective progress in moral awareness. But this progress requires perpetual vigilance lest we slip back into old unconscious habits. 
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the United Nations Security Council today. Here is the link to watch his speech and listen to the statements by various countries after he spoke. There were technical issues with the video he wanted to share with the council, at about 1:15:00 into their remarks, the video was shown. We want to look away, we can not. Ever.
From The Hill:
‘If Russia is not removed from the council, Zelenskyy said the body should just be dissolved.
“If there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be dissolve yourself altogether,” he said.
The Ukrainian president proposed a global conference to convene in Kyiv to discuss reforms to the United Nations.
“It is now clear that the goals set in San Francisco in 1945 for the creation of a global security international organization have not been achieved, and it is impossible to achieve them without reforms,” he said.’
“I don’t know where we fall in the legacy of life.”
We crave leadership, and authenticity.
Matthew Fox, a spiritual theologian.
“Rabbi Heschel teaches that a prophet’s primary task is to interfere. Julian of Norwich, by calling us to interfere with patriarchy and heal the wounds that it has wracked upon human history and the human soul and the earth, beckons u from folly to wisdom. Are we listening?”
Fr Richard Rohr:
“Stage One people: At this level tend to be preoccupied with the pleasure, security, safety, and defense of their material state. And that extends to their morality: If it makes me feel secure, it is moral. Life is largely about protecting myself. This is seen in the endless need for war and guns, but little need for education culture, the arts, and spirituality. Stage One people are mostly dualistic, either/or thinkers, and frankly represent a rather sizable minority of humans. Their morality largely has to do with maintaining their group, and regarding their group as superior.”
‘You can cut all the flowers,
but you cannot keep spring from coming.’
Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.
They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
They will walk behind the plough-share,
They will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes…
“We are here.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukraine citizens in the Donetsk wave their flag and sing the national anthem before the Russia war
The whole world is watching. It’s unraveling quickly for Putin’s war. Former Ambassador to Russia under Obama Dr. Michael McFaul:
“I’ve watched and listened to Putin for over thirty years. He has changed. He sounds completely disconnected from reality. He sounds unhinged.”
From former German Chancellor Angela Merkel,
“who has had more experience with Putin than any other Western leader during 16 years win power & could also converse with/him directly in Russian: Russia’s war of aggression marks a profound turning point in European history after the end of the Cold War” [AFP].
Hear my dreams
Let us make a world
In which I believe
Hear my words
Hear my cries
Let me see a change
Through these eyes
-Celeste, Hear My Voice
From author and yogi Sean Corn:
‘This February full moon, the Snow Moon, rising at the peak of our North American winter, symbolizes the challenges we all face when the world seems cold, dark, and stark.
Basking in the chilly illumination of this deep and reflective moon can allow us to confront our internal challenges, eliminate unhealthy physical and emotional habits, and release the resentments, resistance, and limiting beliefs that often keep us stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage. The full Snow moon brings a sense of renewed focus.’
Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch, writes: “You may ask a question, then put this book down. But watch. Listen. The words to the next song you hear. The information in the next article you read. The storyline of the next movie you watch. The chance utterance of the next person you meet. Or the whisper of the next river, the next ocean, the next breeze that caresses your ear—all these devices are Mine; all these avenues are open to Me. I will speak to you if you will listen.”Prayer and meditation are like the two wings of a bird. Both are needed to fly.Prayer is a natural additive to a meditator’s life. If you don’ use prayer, you can try adding it after your meditation period. You don’t need to be particularly religious to pray. Don Miguel Ruiz, you’ve likely heard about it, the Four Agreements.As you read the prayer, you can use “I” in the place of “We” if that feels more intimate for you.***“Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that you come to us and share with us a strong communion of love. We know that your real name is Love, that to have a communion with you means to share the same vibration, the same frequency that you are because you are the only thing that exists in the universe.Help us to love everything you create unconditionally, especially other human beings, especially those who live around us – all our relatives and people whom we try so hard to love. Because when we reject them, we reject ourselves, and when we reject ourselves, we reject you.Help us to love others just the way they are with no conditions. Help us to accept them the way they are, without judgment, because if we judge them, we find them guilty, we blame them, and we have the need to punish them.Today, clear our hearts of any emotional poison that we have, free our minds from any judgment so that we can lie in complete peace and complete love.Today is a very special day. Today we open our hearts to love again so that we can tell each other “I love you,” without fear, and really mean it. Today, we offer ourselves to you. Come to us, use our voices, use our eyes, use our hands, and use our hearts to share ourselves in the communion of love with everyone. Today, Creator, help us to be just like you are. Thank you for everything that we receive this day, especially for the freedom to be who we are. Amen.”
“One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”
First published in 1914. It presents a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.
“Für Elise” — Beethoven’s melody that plays in the streets of Taiwan to let residents know it’s trash collection time. Better than ‘clean up, clean up, everybody do you share.’
The “New Frontier” spot is part of Salesforce’s “Team Earth” campaign, which calls on businesses and individuals to rally around a fair and more sustainable future.
Olympic and Super Bowl ad.
“The times have found us.” Thomas Paine
A tender, thoughtful and deeply quick dive into faith, fear, laughter, and “Belfast” with Due Lipa and Stephen Colbert from Thursday, February 3rd. -dayle
[Question begins at 3:17.]
“To control information is to control the world. This innovative history reveals how, across two devastating wars, Germany attempted to build a powerful communication empire―and how the Nazis manipulated the news to rise to dominance in Europe and further their global agenda.”
“Information warfare may seem like a new feature of our contemporary digital world. [And FOX media/Rupert Murdoch.] But it was just as crucial a century ago, when the great powers competed to control and expand their empires. In News from Germany, Heidi Tworek uncovers how Germans fought to regulate information at home and used the innovation of wireless technology to magnify their power abroad.”
“In 1926, 90% of all newspapers had no correspondents abroad or in Berlin. They received all their national and international news through news agencies or syndicate services. Today, we worry about whether Facebook or Google hold monopolies over information provision. New agencies exerted an arguable even greater grasp over national and international news in the first half the 20th Century.
(Always follow the money…corporate owned media. -dayle)
“In the second half of the 20th century, newspaper ownership seemed like license to print money. Newspapers averaged annual returns of in the United States. Some newspapers generated profits of 30%. In comparison, grocery store profits were in the 2% range and department stores around 4%. In non-exceptional periods, when profits are hard to come by, companies become more reliant on the state or more susceptible to outside control The problem of profits has long made news firms likelier to participate in business arrangements like cartels and monopolies as well as more open to outside influences..
“When elites no longer believe in upholding democratic institutions, a free press alone could not stop a democracy’s disintegration. Democracy can die in full daylight, and has done before.”
[The book, 2019, has received the Fraenkel Prize from the Wiener Holocaust Library and the Ralph Gomory Prize from the Business History Conference and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.]
Sage Publication Journals
Economic Crisis and Political Extremism in Europe: From the 1930s to the Present
by, Antonis Klapas
Historical experience shows that when economic conditions remain bad for a significant period of time people tend to become more radical as far as their electoral behaviour is concerned. However, no matter how strong the linkage between economic crisis and the rise of political extremism might be, economic crisis is not the only factor to be taken into account when analysing the phenomenon of political extremism, as other parameters (historical, social and so on) are also important.
The economic crisis of the 1930s had a profound effect on European politics. The vicious circle of underdevelopment, unemployment and poverty that started in 1929 created massive social problems and thus favoured the strengthening of extremist parties, especially far-right ones (Table 1). The case of Germany was probably the most characteristic and definitely the most important one as far as its long-term consequences were concerned. Before 1929 Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist party was nothing more than a marginal political force. In the German federal elections of May 1928 they won only 2.63 % of the vote. Just two and a half years later, in September 1930 they secured 18.25 %. In the elections of July 1932 they came first with 37.27 %, a place that they managed to hold in November of the same year despite the fact that their share of the vote was reduced to 33.09 % (Gonschior 2005). On 30 January 1933 Hitler became chancellor of Germany and gradually began to impose his dictatorial and racist regime. The Weimar Republic was dead. Europe was, little by little, sliding towards the abyss of the Second World War.
The establishment of Benito Mussolini’s FASCIST regime in Italy in 1922 had already paved the way towards the dominance of political extremism. However, it was only in the 1930s that anti-democratic parties across Europe became more successful.
As in the 1930s, today most far-right extremists promise to overthrow the established political system. In general, they describe politicians (excluding themselves, of course) as corrupt and decadent. They take advantage of the mass media (with special emphasis on social media which give them the opportunity to attract the attention of younger audiences) in order to get their messages across. They make extensive use of stereotypes to address the public and they use black-and-white arguments which, despite their poor reasoning, sound reasonable to the average voter. They are conservative on societal issues and sometimes openly homophobic. They reject liberal ideas and they have racist tendencies. They underline the threat of the expansion of Islam in Europe, while at the same time some of them are anti-Semitic. They point to immigrants as one of the main causes (if not the main cause) of all sorts of problems, from unemployment to high criminality. In some cases, they do not disapprove of and talk with respect or even admiration about FASCIST and Nazi leaders of the past. There are also those who do not hesitate to resort to violence in order to intimidate others.
- Why it matters: People don’t think government, business or the media are telling them the truth. This suspicion of societal institutions is pushing people into smaller, more insular circles of trust.
Government leaders and journalists are the least-trusted societal leaders, according to Edelman’s 2022 global “Trust Barometer,” a survey of 35,000 respondents in 28 countries.
- A majority of people globally believe journalists (67%), government leaders (66%) and business executives (63%) are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”
- Around the world, people fear the media is becoming more sensational for commercial gain and that government leaders continue to exploit divisions for political gain.
[Trust in neighbors and co-workers has apparently ⬆️.]
ON THE MEDIA
Since the insurrection on January 6, warnings of a second American Civil War have been sounded. This week, On the Media explores whether the civil war talk is an alarmist cry, or actually a sober assessment. Plus, hear how the myth of “the Dark Ages” paints an unfair portrait of medieval times.
1. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and host of the New Yorker Radio Hour, on the risk of second civil war. Listen.
“In the current context, is ‘Civil War’ a metaphor, a proposed diagnosis for what ails our country? Or is it meant to be taken literally? In a recent essay in The New Yorker, editor David Remnick suggests both. He writes that ‘for the first time in two hundred years, we are suspended between democracy and autocracy. And that sense of uncertainty radically heightens the likelihood of episodic bloodletting in America, and even the risk of civil war.’ Remnick tells Brooke about the value of ‘a journalism of warning,’ and why cautions of civil war should be heeded. -OTM
“To a subset of the White population here this is deeply, deeply threatening… They see the United States as a White Christian country. And they feel like they’re justified to fight to maintain it.”
“Sadly, if we remain ignorant about how power operates in American politics, then people with nefarious purposes will step in and take it away from us. It’s why a civics curriculum in schools would create a stronger electorate and lead to greater faith & trust in the system.”
‘Everybody thought their civil war was unique,’Barbara F. Walter writes in her new book, How Civil Wars Start: And How To Stop Them. ‘So no one saw the risk factors that emerged again and again no matter where war broke out.” According to Walter, who has studied civil wars around the world for the past three decades — from Syria to Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka — the same warning signs appear each time. And now Walter says she sees those same signs here, in the United States. This week, she discusses them with Brooke.” -OTM
Anocracy or semi-democracy: a form of government that is loosely defined as part democracy and part dictatorship, or as a “regime that mixes democratic with autocratic features.” … Such regimes are particularly susceptible to outbreaks of armed conflict and unexpected or adverse changes in leadership. [wikipedia]
According to Professor Walter, a new Civil War would not look like the old one…
U.S. democracy downgraded in 2016 and 2019. “U.S. no longer deemed longest consistent democracy.” It is now Switzerland.
“Since the anniversary of January 6th, the pundit industrial complex has been churning out new ‘takes’ on a possible civil war every day. Could it be “like the summer of 2020, but 10 times bigger”, or ‘a Seinfeld civil war’— a war about nothing? Amid the noise, it has only become more difficult to determine the proper level of alarm. Journalist Charlie Warzel tried to help everyone calibrate in the latest installment of his newsletter for The Atlantic, Galaxy Brain. This week, Brooke and Charlie discuss the role of alarmism in the face of seemingly existential problems, and who the real ‘doomsayers’ actually are.
Today, when we encounter the medieval world it’s mostly a dark time. Un-enlightened by reason, but also literally gloomy – all bare stone and grey skies. We know it as a brutal time, dominated by white men with steeds and swords, or drenched in blood by marauding Vikings. But in their new book, The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, historians Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry trace the harm of the myths of the “Dark Ages,” and illuminate the medieval stories that have mostly escaped our modern gaze. -OTM
Boise State Public Radio
Excellent reporting from journalist Heath Druzin and the team at KBSX, Boise State Public Radio.
‘This podcast takes you inside the world of ascendant Patriot Movement, the militia members & far-right activists who are simultaneously preparing to fight the government & become part of it.’
Voices of Freedom, edited/produced by me; see if you can the identify the speakers. -dayle
‘Congressman Jamie Raskin has proudly represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017. Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland and the Senate Majority Whip. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years.’
[His book is #1 this week on the NYTimes hardcover non-fiction Best Seller’s List.]
“I have learned that trauma can steal everything from you that is most precious and rip joy right out of your life,” Raskin writes. “But, paradoxically, it can also make you stronger and wiser, and connect you more deeply to other people than you ever imagined by enabling you to touch their misfortunes and integrate their losses and pain with your own.”
“If a person can grow through unthinkable trauma and loss,” Raskin continues, “perhaps a nation may, too.” [NPR]
“When everything looks hopeless, you are the hope.”
U P D A T E
Like Germany, pre-WWII. This from Gallup, February 2022. Posted by political scientist Ian Bremmer on Twitter.
Overall quality of life:
2020: 84% 2022: 69%
System of government:
2020: 43% 2022: 30%
2020: 68% 2022: 33%
Role in world:
2020: 43% 2022: 37%
by Judith Mahoney Pasternak, 2000
“Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no democracy, and it becomes impossible to deal with our world’s existential problems: climate, coronavirus, the battle for truth.”
[Impossible to isolate text; must be read in its entirety. Absolutely brilliant.]
Nobel Lecture given by Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2021 Maria Ressa, Oslo, 10 December 2021.
“Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests
I stand before you, a representative of every journalist around the world who is forced to sacrifice so much to hold the line, to stay true to our values and mission: to bring you the truth and hold power to account. I remember the brutal dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, Luz Mely Reyes in Venezuela, Roman Protasevich in Belarus (whose plane was literally hijacked so he could be arrested), Jimmy Lai languishing in a Hong Kong prison, Sonny Swe, who after getting out of more than 7 years in jail started another news group … now forced to flee Myanmar. And in my own country, 23 year old Frenchie Mae Cumpio, still in prison after nearly 2 years, and just 36 hours ago the news that my former colleague, Jess Malabanan, was shot dead.
There are so many to thank for helping keep us safer and working. The #HoldTheLine Coalition of more than 80 global groups defending press freedom, and the human rights groups that help us shine the light. There are costs for you as well: in the Philippines, more lawyers have been killed – at least 63 compared to the 22 journalists murdered after President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016. Since then, Karapatan, a member of our #CourageON human rights coalition, has had 16 people killed, and Sen. Leila de Lima – because she demanded accountability, is serving her 5th year in jail. Or ABS-CBN, our largest broadcaster, a news room I once led, which, last year, lost its franchise to operate.
I helped create a startup, Rappler, turning 10 years old in January – our attempt to put together two sides of a coin that shows everything wrong with our world today: an absence of law and democratic vision for the 21st century. That coin represents our information ecosystem, which determines everything else about our world. Journalists, the old gatekeepers, are one side of the coin. The other is technology, with its god-like power that has allowed a virus of lies to infect each of us, pitting us against each other, bringing out our fears, anger and hate, and setting the stage for the rise of authoritarians and dictators around the world.
Our greatest need today is to transform that hate and violence, the toxic sludge that’s coursing through our information ecosystem, prioritized by American internet companies that make more money by spreading that hate and triggering the worst in us… well, that just means we have to work much harder. (hold up t-shirt) In order to be the good, we have to BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.
I have been a journalist for more than 35 years: I’ve worked in conflict zones and warzones in Asia, reported on hundreds of disasters – and while I have seen so much bad, I have also documented so much good, when people who have nothing offer you what they have. Part of how we at Rappler survived the last 5 years of government attacks is because of the kindness of strangers, and the reason they help – despite the danger – is because they want to, with little expectation of anything in return. This is the best of who we are, the part of our humanity that makes miracles happen. This is what we lose when we live in a world of fear and violence.
The last time a working journalist was given this award was in 1936, and Carl von Ossietzky never made it to Oslo because he languished in a Nazi concentration camp. So we’re hopefully a step ahead because we’re actually here!
By giving this to journalists today, the Nobel committee is signalling a similar historical moment, another existential point for democracy. Dmitry and I are lucky because we can speak to you now, but there are so many more journalists persecuted in the shadows with neither exposure nor support, and governments are doubling down with impunity. The accelerant is technology, at a time when creative destruction takes new meaning.
We are standing on the rubble of the world that was, and we must have the foresight and courage to imagine what might happen if we don’t act now, and instead, create the world as it should be – more compassionate, more equal, more sustainable.
To do that, please ask yourself the same question my team and I had to confront 5 years ago: what are you willing to sacrifice for the Truth?
I’ll tell you how I lived my way into the answer in three points: first, my context and how these attacks shaped me; second, by the problem we all face; and finally, finding the solution – because we must!
In less than 2 years, the Philippine government filed 10 arrest warrants against me. I’ve had to post bail 10 times just to do my job. Last year, I and a former colleague were convicted of cyber libel for a story we published 8 years earlier at a time the law we allegedly violated didn’t even exist. All told, the charges I face could send me to jail for about 100 years.
But, the more I was attacked for my journalism, the more resolute I became. I had first-hand evidence of abuse of power. What was meant to intimidate me and Rappler only strengthened us.
At the core of journalism is a code of honor. And mine is layered on different worlds – from how I grew up, when I learned what was right and wrong; from college, and the honor code I learned there; and my time as a reporter, and the code of standards & ethics I learned and helped write. Add to that the Filipino idea of utang na loob – or the debt from within – at its best, a system of paying it forward.
Truth and ethical honor intersected like an arrow into this moment where hate, lies, and divisiveness thrive. As only the 18th woman to receive this prize, I need to tell you how gendered disinformation is a new threat and is taking a significant toll on the mental health and physical safety of women, girls, trans, and LGBTQ+ people all over the world. Women journalists are at the epicenter of risk. This pandemic of misogyny and hatred needs to be tackled, now. Even there, we can find strength. After all, you don’t really know who you really are until you’re forced to fight for it.
Now let me pull out so we’re clear about the problem we all face and how we got here.
The attacks against us in Rappler began 5 years ago when we demanded an end to impunity on two fronts: Duterte’s drug war and Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. Today, it has only gotten worse – and Silicon Valley’s sins came home to roost in the United States on January 6 with mob violence on Capitol Hill.
What happens on social media doesn’t stay on social media.
Online violence is real world violence.
Social media is a deadly game for power and money, what Shoshana Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism, extracting our private lives for outsized corporate gain. Our personal experiences are sucked into a database, organized by AI, then sold to the highest bidder. Highly profitable micro-targeting operations are engineered to structurally undermine human will – a behavior modification system in which we are Pavlov’s dogs, experimented on in real time with disastrous consequences in countries like mine, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and so many more. These destructive corporations have siphoned money away from news groups and now pose a foundational threat to markets and elections.
Facebook is the world’s largest distributor of news, and yet studies have shown that lies laced with anger and hate spread faster and further than facts on social media.
These American companies controlling our global information ecosystem are biased against facts, biased against journalists. They are – by design – dividing us and radicalizing us.
Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no democracy, and it becomes impossible to deal with our world’s existential problems: climate, coronavirus, the battle for truth.
When I was first arrested in 2019, the officer said, “Ma’am, trabaho lang po,” (Ma’am, I’m only doing my job). Then he lowered his voice to almost a whisper as he read my Miranda rights. He was clearly uncomfortable, and I almost felt sorry for him. Except he was arresting me because I’m a journalist!
This officer was a tool of power – and an example of how a good man can turn evil – and how great atrocities happen. Hannah Arendt wrote about the banality of evil when describing men who carried out the orders of Hitler, how career-oriented bureaucrats can act without conscience because they justify that they’re only following orders.
This is how a nation – and a world – loses its soul.
You have to know what values you are fighting for, and you have to draw the lines early – but if you haven’t done so, do it now: where this side you’re good, and this side, you’re evil. Some governments may be lost causes, and if you’re working in tech, I’m talking to you.
How can you have election integrity if you don’t have integrity of facts?
That’s the problem facing countries with elections next year: among them, Brazil, Hungary, France, the United States, and my Philippines – where we are at a do or die moment with presidential elections on May 9. 35 years after the People Power revolt ousted Ferdinand Marcos and forced his family into exile, his son, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is the front runner – and he has built an extensive disinformation network on social media, which Rappler exposed in 2019. That is changing history in front of our eyes.
To show how disinformation is both a local and global problem, take the Chinese information operations taken down by Facebook in Sept 2020: it was creating fake accounts using AI generated photos for the US elections, polishing the image of the Marcoses, campaigning for Duterte’s daughter, and attacking me and Rappler.
So what are we going to do?
An invisible atom bomb exploded in our information ecosystem, and the world must act as it did after Hiroshima. Like that time, we need to create new institutions, like the United Nations, and new codes stating our values, like the universal declaration of human rights, to prevent humanity from doing its worse. It’s an arms race in the information ecosystem. To stop that requires a multilateral approach that all of us must be part of. It begins by restoring facts.
We need information ecosystems that live and die by facts. We do this by shifting social priorities to rebuild journalism for the 21st century while regulating and outlawing the surveillance economics that profit from hate and lies.
We need to help independent journalism survive, first by giving greater protection to journalists and standing up against States which target journalists. Then we need to address the collapse of the advertising model for journalism. This is part of the reason that I agreed to co-chair the International Fund for Public Interest Media, which is trying to raise new money from overseas development assistance funds. Right now, while journalism is under attack on all fronts, only 0.3% of ODA is spent on journalism. If we nudge that to 1%, we can raise $1bn a year for news organizations. That will be crucial for the global south.
Journalists must embrace technology. That’s why, with the help of the Google News Initiative, Rappler rolled out a new platform two weeks ago designed to build communities of action. Technology in the hands of journalists won’t be viral, but like your vegetables, they’ll be better for us because the north star is not profit alone, but facts, truth, and trust.
Now for legislation. Thanks to the EU for taking leadership with its Democracy Action Plan. For the US, reform or revoke section 230, the law that treats social media platforms like utilities. It’s not a comprehensive solution, but it gets the ball rolling. Because these platforms put their thumbs on the scale of distribution. So while the public debate is focused downstream on content moderation, the real sleight of hand, happens further upstream, where algorithms of distribution have been programmed by humans with their coded bias. Their editorial agenda is profit driven, carried out by machines at scale. The impact is global, with cheap armies on social media tearing down democracy in at least 81 countries around the world. That impunity must stop.
Democracy has become a woman-to-woman, man-to-man defense of our values. We’re at a sliding door moment, where we can continue down the path we’re on and descend further into fascism, or we can each choose to fight for a better world.
To do that, you have to ask yourself: what are YOU willing to sacrifice for the truth?
I didn’t know if I was going to be here today. Every day, I live with the real threat of spending the rest of my life in jail just because I’m a journalist. When I go home, I have no idea what the future holds, but it’s worth the risk.
The destruction has happened. Now it’s time to build – to create the world we want.
Now, please, with me, close your eyes. And imagine the world as it should be. A world of peace, trust and empathy, bringing out the best that we can be.
Now let’s go and make it happen. Let’s hold the line. Together.”
We feel pressured from the inside and pressured from the outside. The themes of Release and Reinvent are not finished with us and now we have the added pressure to show up, make those hard choices and follow through with our commitments. We could also say this month is full of tension. Under pressure, the container either expands or the pressure deflates.
This month, show what we stand for and what we are made of, and aligning with right timing. The pressure will increase if you personally are not aligned with where you are, what you are doing, and whom with. And if you have not yet released an old emotional attachment, the pressure will build to do so to the point where you won’t have a choice. If that should happen, acknowledge, release and move on. You don’t want to be wallowing in emotional debris and getting stuck in a cycle of martyrdom or you will miss the opportunity to use this very potent energy to move yourself forward.
A little tension is helpful. Think of a deadline. Some people work best under deadlines as deadlines give a structure to the task or project. We are, in a way, under an energetic deadline to change the way we think, view reality, and understand how to create the next step. This is both an individual task as well as a collective one. Amid the chaos and confusion of where and how to go next, our focus needs to be one of paying attention to the balance of pressure. Are we on the right track? Are we being supported in our progress and new vision?
There is need for a strong discipline this month to keep out of denial, lethargy, depression, and a negative attitude of blame and resentment. Use your will and daily practice to stay in gratitude and appreciation for what you have at the moment while at the same time not losing sight of your future vision. Having a vision for your personal future is extremely important as it will give meaning and purpose to any challenge or struggle you are experiencing as you move forward under pressure.
Tension is an energy that causes things to happen. Under tension, the fabric of your container can break, snap, fracture, rip or disintegrate. This month could be challenging for the physical structures you live with. Anything fixed or hard is subject to pressure. Bones, teeth, plumbing, vehicles, and anything breakable is vulnerable. Pay attention and be as present as possible in monitoring your own inner and outer pressure.
Deflating the pressure you feel within to a more comfortable place of balance requires finding the root of it. Often it is impatience around something you have decided to move forward with that is not happening in the timing you anticipated. Another source may be a choice or action you have procrastinated or the frustration of not being able to see clearly what is ahead of you. Internal pressure can also be related to the battle between the choices others are pressuring you to make as opposed to the choices you wish to make that are more aligned with your heart. Once you have identified the pressure, use your will to recommit to the choice that is right and then give yourself the gift of trusting in right timing and receiving the support you need to make it happen.
Working with pressure from the outside also requires the discipline of your will and attention. Identify what the pressure is. Is it personal to you or is it collective? Certainly we are experiencing a great deal of pressure around collective issues such as global warming, human rights, violence, justice, inequality, conservation and a variety of other polarized issues. The trigger often leads us to a more personal pressure within our relationships, community, work or personal environment.
There are two ways to balance external pressure. Setting boundaries around the influence of others especially if you are being pressured to consider something that is not aligned with you is a way to stay in your own lane and keep others in theirs. Allowing your container to stretch to accommodate a pressure that is actually leading you in the right direction will relieve the pressure and support you in moving forward. An example would be losing the lease on your office space pressuring you to find another one in a time period that causes discomfort and stress. This pressure forces you to expand your vision of what is possible and to create and manifest an office space that is nicer, bigger and better suited to your vision. This example could also be a pressure from within to make this change. Whether from within or from outside, the pressure creates an opportunity for positive change.
If the pressures of the month are causing you to become negative, irritable, impatient and hard to live with, a sure path to feeling better is to move into gratitude and appreciation for what you have. We are so imprinted to focus our attention on what is lacking, what is next, what is more, what is better, whcat is the next step, and how we can improve, that we are not in the present and appreciating what we have right now in the moment. Think of something that gives you joy and that you love. Appreciate the little things that give you daily comfort. Acknowledge what is working. Be in gratitude for your support. And have gratitude for yourself as a creative, adaptable multi-dimensional being that is capable of so much more than your mind can possibly understand or define.
We are learning about creativity and manifesting in a crash course about how to use energy in a practical way. This will be an ongoing theme as we adjust and adapt to a new relationship with time, space, the void, and the quantum field. Meanwhile, stretch your imagination, balance the pressure, and seize any opportunity tension provides for change. Evolution only goes in one direction even if it sometimes feels like we are sliding back. Stay positive, on the right track, and trust your support.
Boise State Public Radio
‘It’s about themes of forgiveness, themes about reconciliation, about healing, and physical harm, about connection. Beautiful and shattering film. “The Chicago Reader compared the script to Tennessee Williams, adding it is “riveting, unforgettable.”
‘…the choice of the Wood River Valley as a backdrop for his (Fran Kranz) movie: “Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hailey is a beautiful red brick church. It’s gorgeous. But it also has this modesty. It has a humility about it. It has an authenticity.”’
‘Just prior to his film opening in Idaho, Fran Kranz visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about the powerful themes of his film, and his choice of the Wood River Valley as a backdrop for his movie.’
I had my daughter, my first child was born and my only child was born September twenty sixteen. And so she was about a little over a year old when the Parkland shooting happened and I was devastated. And this completely new and surprising way. I remember listening to a parent that day and having to pull over while I was driving. I was listening to this on the radio and I was so overwhelmed and I thought it was strange. I honestly just thought, what’s going on? I’ve never reacted this way, and the obvious answer was that I was a father now and it changed my perspective. And then what? What happened after was essentially just I. I became obsessive and went down a rabbit hole of research reading about mass shootings, school shootings, anything I could find on the subject.
I looked at churches as you know, there’s beautiful churches in Idaho, but I. And look, Emanuel Episcopal in Hailey is a beautiful brick red brick church. It’s gorgeous, but it also has this modesty. It has a humility about it. It has an authenticity about it where it’s not a grand design, you know, and nothing against. The church is in Ketchum, but they’re they’re esthetically sort of magnificent, right, and I thought, No, no, no, no, that’s that’s not what this is.
There was a sort of a mantra to the movie of embracing discomfort. So we’re in we’re in just a plain white room, you know, we’re in a church that we cannot use photography or production design to help us tell this story. That’s not what the story is about the stories about these people in the in the courageous thing that they’re doing by coming together to deal with their pain.
Hailey Emanuel Episcopal and Hailey was the last church I saw actually on that trip, and it was really, really came down to Leah Koval, Reverend Leah Koval, who (ran) that church. I spoke with her that day and it sort of turned into a therapy session, which made me really uncomfortable. She said to me, listening to my story and the story I wanted to tell, she said, I I hope you can start to enjoy being a father. And I thought I was just, it makes me so emotional, just even saying that today it just it just penetrated. It just hit me when I wanted to get out of there. But I also knew this is it. This is the church. So we, we we got gearing up for an Idaho production.
‘At the deepest level of our being, of course, all of us need love. But often our love is like a frightened child, crouching in the chamber of our heart and afraid to come out. Capable of singing with the voice of an angel, it whispers instead, in fear of being laughed at. Meant to extend its blessing to all the world, it cowers in fear of being punished for having tried.
Fear, however, has no such compunction. It seeks to nullify love. It yells, it struts, it wars, it destroys without regret, it laughs at human suffering. It kills.
Right now, greed is put into action, fear is put into action, military madness is put into action, corruption is put into action, voter suppression is put into action, racial injustice is put into action, authoritarianism is put into action…and the list goes on.
Surely it’s our job now to put love into action.
But we’re living at a time when love must expand its influence beyond just personal to collective expression.
Such considerations are at odds with a dominant economic paradigm that puts short term profit before all else.
“I didn’t do it! It was my government!” will only take us so far at this point. Ignorance is not an excuse before the law, either worldly or spiritual. Spiritually we’re not even ignorant of the Law, so much as we’re just choose to ignore it.’
That needs to change.
All of us need to play our part. When hate speaks loudly, it’s not enough for love to whisper….
Early adopters change the world.
While one person choosing not to eat meat will have a small impact on our climate, it will have a much bigger impact on the restaurants, groceries and food suppliers who notice what you’re doing.
They’ll change what they offer, and that will lead to a multiplier effect of other people changing their habits.
Buying an electric car or installing solar before they’re the obvious economic choice has the same impact. Because once marketers and investors discover that there’s a significant group that likes to go first, they’re far more likely to invest the time and energy to improve what’s already there.
The same goes for philanthropy. When some people eagerly fund a non-profit with a solution that’s still in beta, it makes it easier (and more likely) that someone else will start one as well.
It also happens in the other direction. If we buy from a spamming telemarketer, abandon a trusted brand to save a buck or succumb to the hustle, the market notices.
Very few people have the leverage to change the world. But all of us have the chance to change the people around us, and those actions change what gets built, funded and launched.
Predatory capitalism refers to cultural acceptance of domination and exploitation as normal economic practice. … Less well scrutinized is how predatory capitalism has disrupted non-economic institutions, particularly cultural, social and democratic institutions.
~Austrialian National University
Northern California wildfires may have killed hundreds of giant sequoias as they swept through groves of the majestic monarchs in the Sierra Nevada, an official says.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Christy Brigham, head of resource management and science for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.
The lightning-caused KNP Complex that erupted on Sept. 9 in the park, Brigham said.
More than 2,000 firefighters were battling the blaze in sometimes treacherous terrain. On Wednesday afternoon, four people working on the fire were injured when a tree fell on them, the National Park Service reported.
The four were airlifted to hospitals and “while the injuries are serious, they are in stable condition,” the report said. It didn’t provide other details.
The KNP Complex was only 11% contained after burning 134 square miles of forest. Cooler weather has helped slow the flames and the area could see some slight rain on Friday, forecasters said.
The fire’s impact on giant sequoia groves was mixed. Most saw low- to medium-intensity fire behavior that the sequoias have evolved to survive, Brigham said.
However, it appeared that two groves – including one with 5,000 trees – were seared by high-intensity fire that can send up 100-foot flames capable of burning the canopies of the towering trees.
That leaves the monarchs at risk of going up “like a horrible Roman candle,” Brigham said.
Two burned trees fell in Giant Forest, which is home to about 2,000 sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree, which is considered the world’s largest by volume. However, the most notable trees survived and Brigham said the grove appeared to be mostly intact.
In one grove, Dickman counted 29 sequoias that were “just incinerated,” he told CNN.
“There were four of those that had burned so hot that they’d fallen over,” he said.
The 152-acre fire was 75% contained.
Imagine if Zuckerberg and the media spent as much energy and time covering the climate emergency, our planet, our dear Gaia, as they do the former president and hateful, divisive rhetoric. Imagine. Two senators, two, tied to fossil fuel and special interests, dark money, may proclude our ability to change this awful climate trajectory. Zero compassion for Earth and humanity’s future. They. Do. Not. Care. Only power, greed, self-interest. I live in Idaho. Our elected leaders do not represent their constituents, only the GOP and their lobbyists. They will do nothing. -dayle
“Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord.
1 Chronicles 16:33
“I never asked to get cancer, but what I have asked is that through my life experience, if I can help just one person, then I have succeeded in my mission.”
Beth de Kruyff
Beth Ann, left, and Robin Eggert Elm, right.
For my dear friend, Robin Eggert Elm, and her cousin Beth Ann. After 10 years being cancer-free, Beth Ann was recently diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Robin writes:
On October 4th, she didn’t lose her life to cancer. She fought with all she had. She spoke, advocated, fundraised, walked, and when she couldn’t walk, sat in a wheelchair, and cheered on those who could. I continue the fight for Beth Ann and all the way too many pink angels and warriors I, and all of you, love. Unfortunately, my list continues to grow.
Please donate to Robin’s 3-Day, and for when we soon obliterate cancer. -dayle
The day when pink is once again only a color.
[Photo: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images]
8,320 acres — larger than the size of Santa Monica.
“Every environmental nightmare like this is a nightmare repeated over and over until we start to become numb to it. Yet that’s what we must not allow to happen.”
“The spill in Huntington Beach is from Elly oil rig, by Beta Offshore, a California subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy Corporation an independent oil & natural gas company. They, and others, will continue to do what they do until We the People stop them.”
“Our disaster fatigue is one of the biggest challenges we face now.”
Thus far, no further.
October Forecast 2021
By Lena Stevens
OCTOBER FORECAST 2021
Written by Lena Stevens www.thepowerpath.com
Note: if you are reprinting or sharing any part of this forecast please include author and web information/link to comply with copyright law.
The main theme for October is “Release-Reinvent”.
The new story is challenged this month and we get to see what we are made of, where our commitments are, who and what supports us, and whether we are on the right track or not. We get to go through the excruciating process of letting go of old beliefs, wounds, possessions, comfort, illusions, identities, dreams and attachments. We are releasing on a deep level whether we like it or not. This is the month where the new story has to go from an idea to actuality and we get to experience what it will take to manifest it.
This is the birth canal of our new story. It’s dark, uncomfortable, pressurized and scary, but there is no going back. The new story is in the unfamiliar landscape we are birthing ourselves into, highly creative and full of raw potential. If you can get out of the fear and negativity, judgment, blame and disappointment, you will feel highly energized, inspired and excited about what you can reinvent for yourself.
In some ways this is a pivotal month with such a powerful focus on transformation that it is impossible to avoid it. You can ease the discomfort by being proactive and disciplined about how you manage your release and reinvention. Divest yourself of excess, make room and space for something new, change a major habit or attitude that does not serve you, and look at your life creatively to see how much change you can embrace. Not everyone will undergo a physical location, job or relationship change. Some will reinvent themselves internally, allowing for more of their essence to come through, changing their whole outlook and experience of life.
We individually and collectively create crisis to push the edge to stimulate change. This can be very stressful and cause worry and anxiety about the future. Always look at a crisis situation as an opportunity for improvement. The friction in a crisis produces energy and power that can then be channeled into re-inventing and improving life. On the other side of a crisis and breakthrough is always relief, inspiration and sometimes even euphoria.
Once a decision is made about something and followed through with commitment and action, there is energy flowing again. The stagnation and constipation of the holding patterns we have all been in (one way or another), need a bit of a push to free them up. The strongest discomfort you will feel is before the decision, before the commitment and right before the release. This is where you either clear the path for the “new story” to emerge and gain some power, or you put it on a shelf to collect dust.
It takes courage to navigate this month with our eyes open and facing our truth and our tasks head on. Especially those who tend to shy away from discord and disharmony, will have to step up and stand up for themselves when their integrity is being challenged. There will definitely be people who will behave badly, acting out, projecting their fears onto others and posturing around beliefs they are so afraid to let go of. A great deal of compassion is required towards those that are acting out of that much fear. Never take a projection personally and make sure to stay in your own lane and deal with your own release and re-invention without comparing yourself to others or projecting your own discomfort on to others.
There is an opportunity this month to heal the deep discord between the masculine and the feminine but not before the discord escalates in outrage, feelings of injustice and greatly triggered emotional reactions. Remember that this is all leading to a revolution that will eventually end well. Much of the reactions are fear-based and could use some neutral compassion for the collectively created experience we all find ourselves in. The best way to navigate this is to be aware of what needs to change in the collective and then to look inward and see how you can work with your own masculine and feminine balance, making the necessary changes to your story in support of the healing process.
We are all this together. The tension and opposition energy during the first part of the month should be well used to initiate improvement through release, repair, and change. If you remember to come from your heart, stay grounded to the earth, and practice kindness no matter what, you will navigate the challenges in the most positive and productive way.
More from Power Path.
New Moon in Libra is Wednesday, October 6 at 5:05 AM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).
Be kind no matter what today and be proactive with decisions, direction and your own personal intentions around improvement, self-care and progress. This is a good day for a reset and realignment. Reflect on what has been out of step, out of integrity and out of alignment. Take some action (rather than be in reaction) to readjust. The decisions may have to do with something that needs to be released. If another person is involved, do it kindly and with compassion and don’t take their reactions personally.
Spend a little time in the creative process of reinventing – even if it is only sharing ideas and inspiration with others. Avoid confusion by striving for balance and keeping your eye on your goals. Put energy into what is clear rather than into what is not and practice loads of patience with others that are being challenged. This new moon provides a great opportunity to move forward even if it does not feel like it at the time. Find some humor and do something to de-stress.
When you donate to Trees for Jane or plant your own tree, you will receive a digital certificate in recognition of your simple but essential contribution to helping our planet become green again!
Each certificate will include your name, donation or tree registration date, and a personal serial number used to track global participation. Each certificate will also be electronically signed by Jane.
“Our global mission is to help everyone to support broad-scale community-based forest protection and restoration efforts. We also want to inspire individuals of all walks of life, everywhere, to plant and care for their own trees.
Our mission is aligned with the United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration initiative and the Trillion Tree Campaign with 1t.org—a global call to action to protect and restore one trillion trees by 2030.”
“Planting one tree might seem like a small thing to do as we face such an enormous crisis. But Trees for Jane believes that everyone can make a difference. You plant one tree, but then thousands, maybe millions more like you around the world do the same—it all adds up to a more healthy and sustainable planet.
Beyond helping to save the climate and the environment, planting trees can be good for personal health, especially in urban areas where trees provide shade, beauty, joy, and many other benefits. Planting and caring for a tree can also be a great way to connect to nature.
Trees, like all living creatures, require ongoing care. And on a social level, tree planting can bring people together, serve to commemorate a special occasion, or be an excellent gift for someone special.”
Tree Planting Guide
These organizations are planting trees to combat the “urban heat island effect” in Richmond
America’s urban areas are often known as concrete jungles due to their abundance of asphalt and lack of parks and natural grassy areas. These neighborhoods are often populated by low-income, communities of color because of discriminatory lending practices known as redlining. These policies, which date back to the 1930s, were put in place to reinforce racial segregation and reallocate city funds to white neighborhoods.
Redlining policies perpetuated inequality that was not only economic but environmental as well.
The buildings, roads, and unnatural infrastructure that make up urban areas absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes. This turns urbanized areas into “heat islands” that experience warmer temperatures than greener, less populated neighborhoods.
Richmond, Virginia’s urban heat islands can reach temperatures as much as 20 degrees warmer than the greener areas of the city. Heat islands look to become an even greater problem in the coming years as extreme temperature shifts caused by climate change become more common.
To help create green space in heat-island communities, Capital One is supporting the Arbor Day Foundation and Groundwork RVA with $75,000 in grant funding to plant and distribute roughly 300 trees in affected neighborhoods across Richmond.
“Greenspace and access to fresh food [are] vital to the communities we serve. We are proud to work with Groundwork RVA and the Arbor Day Foundation to help address those needs here in Richmond,” said Andrew Green, Director of Capital One’s Office of Environmental Sustainability.
Together, the three organizations will strive to improve green infrastructure in three areas that have been identified as some of the hottest, least-resourced in Richmond.
This is just one isolated reason as to why we need to…must…plant trees. -dayle
Sandy Brook in the Bobryk forest, which sits between Sandisfield and New Marlborough, Mass. in the Berkshires. (Courtesy Markelle Smith/The Nature Conservancy)
“In the big scheme of things, the Bobryk forest is pretty small potatoes. It’s about 300 acres of birch, hemlock and other hardwood trees, sandwiched between two larger state forests in western Massachusetts.
“It feels weird to say this forest isn’t special because that’s not what I mean,” says Laura Marx, a forest ecologist at The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. Rather, says Marx, Bobryk forest is “a really cool example” of things gone right, and an illustration of exactly how preserving forests might help slow climate change.
When the privately owned forest went on the market in 2020, The Nature Conservancy, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the state of Massachusetts put Bobryk forest into conservation to protect it from development.
That means that about 136,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide already stored in the trunks and roots of Bobryk trees stayed there, says Marx. And each year going forward, the trees should remove and store another 190 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s roughly equal to the emissions of 58 cars and trucks.
Sandy Brook in the Bobryk forest, which sits between Sandisfield and New Marlborough, Mass. in the Berkshires. (Courtesy Markelle Smith/The Nature Conservancy)
Marx drew these numbers from a report released Tuesday that attempts to quantify exactly how much carbon dioxide could be kept out of the sky by preserving forests in the region.
The report by researchers at Clark University, called “Avoided Deforestation: A Climate Mitigation Opportunity in New England and New York,” provides hard numbers for officials trying to hit their climate goals — for instance, Massachusetts’ ambitious plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Massachusetts is losing about 5,000 acres of forest each year, according to Mass Audubon. That’s an area about half the size of Provincetown cut down, mostly for housing developments, commercial sites and solar farms. By doing this, the state adds the equivalent of about 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
“In the state of Massachusetts, that’s equal to 2% of the state’s fossil fuel emissions across all sectors in the year 2018,” says study author Christopher Williams, a professor in Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography. “Even though it’s only 5,000 acres per year, it still adds up.”
Map of “carbon consequences.” If any given point on the map is deforested, the map shows the net carbon dioxide emission equivalents over the next 40 years. (Courtesy The Nature Conservancy)