Friday, May 23, 2014

Time to Get Off the Sofa

Mary asks us to discuss solutions, then DO something. Because, yes, the situation is critical.


Yes, climate change is real and it is primarily human caused.  Soon it will be out of control
Yes, inequality is real and the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer at an increasing rate.
Yes, most of us are worse off than our parents were and have little hope of economic growth.
Yes, unemployment, underemployment, low wages, poorer working conditions are increasing.
Yes, money rules elections - the political system is irrelevant.
Yes, multinationals are unregulated and uncontrollable.
Yes, US infrastructure is in deplorable condition, approaching that of third world countries.
Yes, college is un-affordable for all but the rich and college loans are oppressive.
Yes, huge agricultural conglomerates dominate our food supply and negatively affect our health.
Yes, capitalism depends on continual consumerism, with little or no social benefits.
Yes, capitalism depends on unemployment and low wages.
Yes, democracy is dead.
Yes, human rights are at risk in the US.  Violations of human rights starts with US government.
Yes, our educational system is very confused, and federal government controls too much.
Yes, our economy is destroying our environment.
Yes, China will out-grow, out-consume, and out-produce the US.
Yes, the industrial age is over and we are in the communication age, with less economic output. 
Yes, we are at the limit of available fossil fuels, and other resources.

So now what?
So now what do we do?

•        Accept the consequences with a huge collective sigh - ‘oh, well.... there is always change!’?
•        Protest, march, occupy, petition, rally, write letters to the editor or politicians, speak up at community meetings, organize community groups, use alternative currency?
•        Practice individual life-style behavior - recycle, re-use, slow food, low consumerism, organic gardening, buy local, weatherize home, install home solar or wind energy systems, down-size, purchase hybrid/electric car, use public transportation or bicycle, lower thermostat, use smart-house technology, car-pool?
•        Withdraw - commune living, home-schooling, off-the grid, back to nature, don’t vote, smoke/ use drugs, hoard, join a survival group? 
•        Don’t worry, there are great new technological solutions coming soon: smart cities, giant off-shore tidal wave power generation, giant wind or solar farms? 
•        Act charitably, share, give, raise funds for good causes, reach out to neighbors? 
•        Revolt, rebel, overthrow the government, secede from the US, blow up Fort Knox?

Mary Brenner

Recent Events from NEK99% and at The 99 Gallery and Center

The gallery is currently showing some paintings from the large collection of Seattle artist Donald Peel's "Dream Series".  The show will be up until June 30. Stop in any time to view the art, have a cup of coffee, borrow a book from our library or use the wifi. We are open most afternoons from noon or 2 PM depending on the day of the week. The gallery has a new number 802-323-7759.

   "Painting Tuesdays with Mary" continues Tuesday afternoons from 2 to 4 PM. Call first to confirm 802-323-7759. This is a chance to visit with other artists and share your work. Mary will provide watercolor instruction for those interested in getting started in this medium.

   NEK99% will be back out at the Fish (the statue of the fish in front of the Hebard Building on Main Street) in Newport at noon on Fridays with signs, info or just to talk with people about any issue people are concerned about. (Someone will be there even if weather suggests cancellation would be a good idea.) We will be videotaping people's concerns for You tube, the NEK99% Facebook page and NETV. All are welcome to come.

   Last but not least, NEK99%'s internet engineer Marina Brown has developed a vtwiki site using software provided by Wikimedia. The wiki is user-driven information--radical in a subtle way, because information is people owned and controlled and all have equal access (but see the submission guidelines, there are a few rules.). Check out and become and editor!