01 July 2006


Washington State gathering, 1981

You should take this pretty seriously. The Forest Circus, that buddy to logging corporations everywhere, is going after your right to peaceably assemble, & to perform the ritual practices of the religion of your choice. Pretty essential stuff if you don't want to live in a police state.

Mexico, land of La Fundacion McLaren and of the Zapatistas... election tomorrow...

30 June 2006


a photo from Sudbury Valley's webpage

See the article here -- the Sudbury Valley schools talk a lot about "freedom," at least in their promotional rhetoric, but freedom is a slippery concept, especially in philosophy. It's difficult to say that people, especially children, are "free," while at the same time observing how they are conditioned. So, avoiding the "freedom" concept, I see these schools as being about trusting children with a degree of intelligence, trusting that they will figure out the system for themselves and make the right decisions as they see them.

Paulo Freire's critique of the "banking model" of education pivots on an analogy of teachers, disciplinary teachers, with bankers. In repressive schooling, the teacher-bankers make "deposits" of knowledge in the heads of students. Teaching according to the "banking model" is like giving knowledge to students and then treating them like idiots.

Sudbury Valley schools, on the other hand, seem to be treating their students like intelligent human beings from the get-go. I imagine the "free range" educational form to be problematic just like disciplinary schooling, but much more humane.

It also "greases the wheels" that, with the Sudbury Valley model, the students are likely to come from well-off backgrounds, since well-off parents are parents that can afford the tuition. The students, then, are likely to come from families where knowledge is respected, since knowledge is one of the things that determines "well-off" class position.

29 June 2006


this article says a lot about one of the most screwed up things about capitalism -- its accelerated time frame... things in the business world need to move move move, so we live in airconditioned environments instead of outdoors, and hyperventilate instead of takin' it slow. Let's abolish business, and take siestas. How about a general strike, every business day, from 1 to 3 pm, accompanied by a mass naptime?

It will be a vicious circle -- the more air conditioning is consumed, the more fossil fuels are burned, thus the hotter the weather will get, increasing the demand for air conditioning... by the way, this blog is being typed from a non-air-conditioned room, and it's quite hot in here even though it's almost 11pm...

28 June 2006


Check out this hilarious parody of mainstream environmentalism... it captures the spirit of how rich folks want to "preserve the environment..."

On a more serious note, I've been copying and pasting this short quote from Patrick Hossay's "Unsustainable", pages 35 and 36:
...population growth itself is not the problem; it is only a manifestation of a much greter problem -- the fundamental inequity of the world order. Rapid population growth is taking place in poor regions of the world, where an additional child provides extra income to help support the family and increases the chance that enough children will survive to take care of the parents as they grow old. In fact, the best means of reducing population is increased economic and educational opportunities, particularly for women. So, population growth can be seen as a result of the gross inequities of the world.

Yet the trouble is not really population in itself. The issue is not really about how many people are on the planet; it's about how much pressure these people put on the earth's resources. That is where things get complicated. The average American, over her or his lifetime, will account for 13 times the environmental damage of the average Brazilian and 280 times more than the average Haitian. The amount of space needed to produce the food, material, and energy consumed by the average American is twelve times as great as that for the average person living in the world's poorest countries. Overall, a child born in the United States will add more pollution and waste to the earth over her or his lifetime than forty to seventy children born in the impoverished world. And yet it is the poor who will feel the most devastating consequences of this pollution. This is not simply a 'cruel twist of fate,' a necessary evil, or even an unfortunate side effect of a fundamentally fair system; it is built into the game -- an integral component of the global system. The wealth and massive consumption of a small minority of the world's people is dependent on the poverty, marginalization, and environmenal injury of a majority of the earth's population, and the system is designed to ensure that this inequity continues.
The world needs to be educated about how meaningfully environmental degradation is a problem of the division of humanity into social classes...

27 June 2006


Here is the news...this ought to be good press for the University of Colorado: "Welcome to UC, where exercising your free speech rights will subject you to the sort of academic review that would get anyone booted out of the University."

Take a look at the blogosphere's comments on this if you want a true understanding of the extent to which America respects the decisions of kangaroo courts. For a refreshing alternative, try Talapus Pete's blog...

26 June 2006


UC Santa Cruz, Porter College

I remember UC Santa Cruz... this idyllic campus with a forest in back... I still have utopian dreams about living there, as I did live there for a strong portion of four years... great place to get a degree, very little pressure to conform to what Joel Spring called the "Educational Security State." For the last ten years, though, I've heard all kinds of bad stories about the place, about two new campuses carved out of pristine woods, about the cops flying helicopters around the county looking for hippies to persecute, about the imposition of required grading upon students, about genetic engineering on campus. And now this story about the Chancellor committing suicide.

I guess some of this stress that was on the Chancellor prior to her plunge has to do with an expensive renovation on her campus home. Why does anyone need a home at all at UC Santa Cruz, much less one with $600,000 in improvements? I hope this shows up on campus as a sign that UCSC has chosen the wrong path, and I hope that the people of Santa Cruz listen to the forest once again and heed its message.

25 June 2006


See here -- are they ready for ecosocialism yet?