Sunday, December 16, 2007

Green Drinks - La Crosse

[from Chris via Vicki via Hank]:
Chris Schneider, hybrid guru and founder of La Crosse Green Drinks, has arranged for Dr. John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the U. of Missouri, to come to La Crosse for the December Green Drinks meeting at Hackberry's on Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Ikerd was the main speaker at Ashland's Alliance for Sustainability "Pie & Politics" community-wide event held this past June at Big Top Chautauqua!

Dr. John Ikerd spent the first half of his thirty-year academic career as a traditional free-market, neoclassical economist. Growing concerns for the lack of ecological, social, and economic sustainability of American agriculture during the 1980s led to broader concerns for the lack of sustainability for American society in general. As an economist, Dr. Ikerd eventually came to understand that growing threats to ecological and social sustainability are rooted in the neoclassical paradigm of economic development, which is inherently extractive and exploitative, and thus, is not sustainable. Dr. Ikerd has spent the last half of his academic career and much of his time since retirement developing and testing the concepts and principles of an alternative development paradigm, the economics of sustainability. He is the author of the book, Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense.

For those unfamiliar with "Green Drinks" meetings, there is no charge to attend - it's an informal way to get together to share "green" issues and ideas.

p.s. Bring THREE friends!
Why this matters? Read this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Here's your democracy for you

Poll after poll has shown that the American people do not want more money spent on the conquest of Iraq. Constituents around the country have written, phoned, emailed and gone in person to visit their representatives. Demonstrations and sit ins have accented the point - no more for war.

So, what happens?
House Passes $696B Defense Policy Bill
By ANNE FLAHERTY (Forbes) 12.12.07, 6:02 PM ET

The House passed a defense policy bill on Wednesday that would authorize $696 billion in military programs, including $189 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ok, it's the "defense policy bill that doesn't send money to the Pentagon, BUT it does signal their intent to continue funding the unpopular war in Iraq. The Dems' "no money until next year" pledges was one of those funny calendar tricks your daffy uncle used to amuse the children at the family Christmas gathering. "See you NEXT YEAR!" he'd wink (but you knew next year was just a few days away).

What about that Iraq funding? Democrats bow to Bush's demands in House spending bill
The final legislation, still under negotiation, will be shorn of funding for the war in Iraq when it reaches the House floor, possibly on Friday. But Democratic leadership aides concede that the Senate will probably add those funds.
The agreement signaled that congressional Democrats are ready to give in to many of the White House's demands as they try to finish the session before they break for Christmas -- a political victory for the president, who has refused to compromise on the spending measures.

So, there you have it. Democracy at work.

For more details on just exactly what the Democrats are giving up, check this diary at DailyKos.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What Would Jesus Buy?

While this is the name of a great new movie (which we'll never get to see in La Crosse), it's also a question many of us ask ourselves as we see this season of giving and appreciating turned into a lustfest for more and more and more stuff.

So, if you don't want to buy the latest asbestos-laden toys or the world's largest plasma TV, here are some suggestions for honoring your family and friends and helping others, too.

Brad Pitt's Make it Right Project lets you help reconstruct homes for the people of New Orleans. You can buy a bathroom faucet ($40) or low VOC paint ($25) or sponsor a whole house.

The Heifer Project lets you buy a cow or some chickens or rabbits for a poor family somewhere in the world. The animal or farming gift allows the family to sell products and improve their living conditions. The family also agrees to pass along animal offspring to others in their communities.

Mercy Corps is an international humanitarian aid and development charitable organization that focuses on emergency relief services, economic development and civil society.

Of course there are tons of worthy organizations that could use a donation, from The Arbor Day Foundation to your favorite candidate.

Local organizations, including Place of Grace and Options in Reproductive Care would welcome a year end donation as well.

Until the shopocalypse comes, find a way to step out of the whirlpool and consider donations in a loved one's name, homemade gifts, or services you can perform.