Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Bad News About Mountaintop Removal Mining

If it would help save a forest, would you be willing to use fewer light bulbs this evening, in your home? 



If it would help keep a stream clear instead of polluted with sludge and silt, would you be willing to hang out a load of clothes to dry today, instead of using an electric clothes dryer?  


The power to heal, or the power to destroy.
Collectively, this is the power you have.  

The issue at hand is 


If you use electricity in your home, in the USA, you are contributing to this.

I've blogged about Mountaintop Removal Mining (MRM) before, HERE

However, a recent article in the Washington Post brings the issue of MRM back to mind.

There is increasing, hard evidence of the terrible effects MRM has on both humans and on the environment. *   So much so that the EPA decided to clamp down on permitting.  

How did the politicians respond to this effort by the EPA to protect the health of citizens, the economies of small Appalachian towns, and the forests and streams that life depends upon?

Did they applaud efforts by the EPA to protect human health and the environment?

NO!

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation 
to try and cut the ability of the EPA to regulate MRM!  

IT'S TIME TO SPEAK THE TRUTH TO POWER.

Ordinary people who seek to protect the health and welfare of individuals and communities are attacked by paid industrialists as "liberals" interested in nothing but "redistribution of wealth."  

STOP LISTENING TO LIES!  LOOK AT THE FACTS!  

Wealth is being redistributed, but not from the rich to the poor!  It's being redistributed from the common people to corporations that feed on the destruction of these mountains.  But MRM is not a resuable, sustainable environmental practice.  Once they've been blown up, flattened, with topsoil washed downstream to clog up fragile water systems, the mountains and their landscape are altered forever. The land, the ecosystem, and the local economy supporting local people --  it's all destroyed and cannot be replaced

Yes, industry with its big bucks is financing lots of campaigns with lovely pictures of families claiming to touting Mom and Apple Pie and "clean energy."  The corporations are spending lots of bucks to slander environmentalists, labeling them as outsiders and "liberals." The strategy is this:  if the facts are against you, pit people against other people and conquer by dividing the people against one another.  Yet, the facts are very different from the paid corporate advertising.  

For starters,  here's the Washington Post Article.  Read it! 



And, here's a slideshow.  

THIS ISSUE IS ABOUT REAL PEOPLE, REAL LIVES.  

HELP APPALACHIAN PEOPLE SAVE THEIR COMMUNITIES AND THEIR WAY OF LIFE. 




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cheap Meat Comes at a Cost: Cheap Lives

If you eat meat from a standard grocery case, you need to know that what you see in this film is what you are supporting with your dollars. 

Can't bear to watch it?  Well, then, you shouldn't be eating the meat.

 WHY DO YOU THINK BIG CORPORATIONS WANT TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO FILM ON THEIR PROPERTY?? 

 (An equally important question is, why would a legislature enact laws making it illegal to film there? Why would they want to assist suppression of the truth?) The only way to stop inhumane practices is to take away the market for them. 

 SUPPORT SMALL FAMILY FARMERS AND SUSTAINABLE LOCAL FARMING!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

If We Cared About the Environment Like We Care About Sports ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How Should I Live?

"So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. "

William Cullen Bryant


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DISAGREEMENTS WITHIN THE CHURCH

In light of all the firestorms affecting the church over this and that issue, with disagreements and damaged relationships between people which result, this verse has been on my mind for the last few days.  

Perhaps it's time for some LECTIO DIVINA related to this passage (Romans Chapter 14, verses 1 - 12):  


14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nouwen on Friendship

What is the essence of friendship? 
  
How can I be a better friend?

Consider the following quotes from Henri J. Nouwen:

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

“A friend is more than a therapist or confessor, even though a friend can sometimes heal us and offer us God’s forgiveness. A friend is that other person with whom we can share our solitude, our silence, and our prayer. A friend is that other person with whom we can look at a tree and say, “Isn’t that beautiful,” or sit on the beach and silently watch the sun disappear under the horizon. With a friend we don’t have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.” 


Photo by Frank Hamilton, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RIP Pete Seeger

Today marks the passing of the great American balladeer, Pete Seeger.

Who was he?  Besides being a singer, he was an activist for peace and sustainability, at times challenging the "establishment" which would have clamored for war and curtailed freedoms of ordinary citizens.   Quoting from the annotations to the video below:

"On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt, as they failed to cooperate with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their attempts to investigate alleged subversives and communists. Pete Seeger testified before the HUAC in 1955.

In one of Pete's darkest moments, when his personal freedom, his career, and his safety were in jeopardy, a flash of inspiration ignited this song. The song was stirred by a passage from Mikhail Sholokhov's novel "And Quie Flows the Don". Around the world the song traveled and in 1962 at a UNICEF concert in Germany, Marlene Dietrich, Academy Award-nominated German-born American actress, first performed the song in French, as "Qui peut dire ou vont les fleurs?" Shortly after she sang it in German. The song's impact in Germany just after WWII was shattering. It's universal message, "let there be peace in the world" did not get lost in its translation. To the contrary, the combination of the language, the setting, and the great lyrics has had a profound effect on people all around the world. May it have the same effect today and bring renewed awareness to all that hear it."







Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reshaping Our Dreams

Sometimes life takes a different turn than we expected. Our dreams, as if they were bread dough, get folded and kneaded back over on themselves, and sometimes even pounded, pulled, and stretched into a different shape than the one we had envisioned or planned for ourselves. But our re-shaped and re-made dreams can still be beautiful. To illustrate in a personal way how this can apply in an every day, ordinary life, I am linking at the bottom of this post to a blog post by Kelle Hampton. This moving story of a mother's love is a testament to the truth that beauty can come from events which totally disrupt our life narrative and turn it upside down on its head.  When Kelle learned her baby had been born with Down's Syndrome, she had to say goodbye to the baby she had expected and dreamt of, and hello to the baby she received.  In the process of doing so, she herself was transformed.


On this Fourth Sunday in Advent of 2013, it is also natural to think of the Christ Child. This little Jewish boy, born to young parents of obscure origins, seems the most unlikely of candidates for God to have chosen.   He was not what the Jews envisioned as their Messiah, at all.  Indeed!  He turned our every narrative and expectation on top of its head.  When he returned to his home town as a prophet, the people were so shocked they couldn't believe it.  After all, he was just an ordinary boy!  In Matthew 13:55 they are reported as saying, "Is this not the carpenter's son?  Is not his mother called Mary?  And his brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?"  Their narrative, their view of the world, was being bent and shaped and folded in a new way.  Could they accept it?  Could they release their own preconceived expectations about who Jesus was and what he "ought" to say, in order to hear what he really had to say?

Has so much changed?  Even today, there are many people who would rather not hear what Jesus really has to say. We would so much rather remake God into our own image of what we would like to imagine, or to hear our own wishes expressed in what we hear.  It's much easier to push Jesus into our preconceived box of what we want to hear, rather than to hear his real message, isn't it?

Thus, at Christmas, I remind myself and each one of us:





Click HERE to read about a Mom's spiritual journey after learning her daughter had Down's Syndrome.
  http://www.kellehampton.com/2010/01/nella-cordelia-birth-story.html  )

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sandy Hook One Year Out: Business (Still) As Usual

Photo by Additing Infor
It has been one year since the massacre at Sandy Hook.  A year ago, I wrote a blog entry in which I asked,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Feeling Blue?

Depression affects everyone from time to time.  
Whether you're feeling just a bit blue or struggle with a dark cloud, 
this film clip might help. 

Need help immediately? 
In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255