Good News

Winona LaDuke Calls For Indigenous-Led “Green New Deal” As She Fights Minnesota Pipeline Expansion

  [Editor’s Note: Wow, Ojibwe leader Winona LaDuke is amazing! Unlike so many on the left, LaDuke is bold, declarative and able to make an argument in a compelling manner. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (12/7/18) While world leaders converge in Poland for the U.N. climate change summit, we look at the indigenous-led fight against destructive oil pipelines and the revolutionary potential of the Green New Deal with Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe environmental leader and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. Link to Story, Transcript and…

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‘We Have Not Come Here To Beg World Leaders To Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

Time to hand over the baton. By Jon Queally Common Dreams (12/4/18) Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not. Thunberg said that she was not asking anything of…


Anand Giridharadas: A Tale Of Two Americas And The Mini-mart Where They Collided

TED Talks (3/24/18) Ten days after 9/11, a shocking attack at a Texas mini-mart shattered the lives of two men: the victim and the attacker. In this stunning talk, Anand Giridharadas, author of “The True American: Murder and Mercy In Texas,” tells the story of what happened next. It’s a parable about the two paths an American life can take, and a powerful call for reconciliation. Link to 19-Minute Video


In A Time Of National Greed & Brutality A Beautiful Story — A ‘Cosmic Connection’ Between 2 Violinists

  By Ned Wharton Morning Edition Saturday / NPR (10/27/18) Since the late 1960s, NPR’s Ned Wharton‘s brother Geoffry Wharton has worked as a professional violinist in Europe. Wharton often played jazzy pieces by a rather obscure composer named Audrey Call as encores. Maybe to Europeans it was the exotic sound of jazz being played at classical concerts that won their hearts, but Call’s “Witch of Harlem” became a hit within Wharton’s performances. Wharton’s discovery of Call’s musical gems dates back almost 50 years, to when he was a student at Sacramento State in 1969. One day, as he was rehearsing…


Holding Up A Mirror To The Ways & Patterns Of Life

  (Editor’s Note: This BBC feature is a beautifully haunting portrayal of lived life that is a wonderful reminder of what is — and isn’t — important in life. True magic. Enjoy. — Mark L. Taylor) BBC (4/27/18) From childhood to old age, a journey through life reflected in the mirror – via a series of interviews recorded with people as they confront their reflection in the mirror. What do they see? How has their face changed? What stories lie behind the wrinkles and scars? We hear the initial wonder of the small child give way to the embarrassment of the…


Recognizing The Corruption Running The Joint, More Than 75% Of Americans Back Campaign Finance Reform

By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (4/27/18) Amidst a widely-shared recognition that the country is effectively being run by powerful special interests, a new poll out Friday shows that more than 3 out of 4 Americans now support serious campaign finance reform as a way to mitigate the corrupting influence of money in the nation’s democracy. The results of the extensive Pew Research Center survey, released Thursday, reveal Americans “see the country falling well short in living up to” democratic ideals and values, and believe core changes are needed in the political system. Seventy-six percent say the government is run by a few…


Success Of Public-Owned Broadband Shows It’s Time To Nationalize The Internet

  By Julianne Tveten In These Times (12/20/17) Defying widespread popular objection, on December 14 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality. The principle regulates broadband as a utility, thus forbidding cable companies and Internet service providers (ISPs) from throttling, blocking or otherwise discriminating against online traffic. While net neutrality was only enacted in early 2015, it swiftly proved a key component of an open Internet. While the assault on net neutrality is formidable, it’s not without formal opposition. The Republican-helmed FCC’s two Democrat Commissioners, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, have censured the decision and urged dissent. A number of state attorneys…


Kenya’s Basic Income Experiment

  BBC (3/31/18) What happens if you give every adult in a village $22 a month, no strings attached, for 12 years? In rural Kenya, researchers are trying to find out. They’re conducting the world’s largest study of ‘universal basic income’ – giving ‘free money’ to nearly 200 villages, to see whether this could kick-start development and bring people out of poverty. The BBC’s Africa correspondent Anne Soy visits western Kenya to meet some of the people involved in this giant economic experiment, and to find out what they make of this unexpected windfall in their lives. How will people spend…


After Last Week’s Insanity We Need The Dalai Lama’s Guide To Happiness

  amillionsmilesmovie (10/8/13) This video looks at ‘Buddhism and Happiness’, as we ask are they a match made in heaven or something else? This eight minute epic reveals some incredible insights into human behaviour and values that impact our happiness, particularly in this materialistic Western life so many are living, or reaching for. The Dalai Lama’s talk is from his ‘the quest for happiness’ public talk in Adelaide during his ‘Beyond Religion’ tour in Australia. While we would have ideally used footage of Tibetan monks in this video, we were unable to and instead used footage from our recent trip…


Farm To Neighbors: When Denouncing White Supremacy Is Deemed Brave, The Bar Is Too Low

  By Abby Zimet Common Grounds (2/12/18) Talk about a sorry sign of the times. A family farm in Centreville, Virginia has caused an incongruous uproar after proclaiming on their roadside sign not the arrival of sweet corn, baby goats, hanging baskets or their renowned Fall Festival but the evidently inflammatory sentiment, “Resist White Supremacy.” The community-minded denizens of Cox Farms have been here before: They have flown rainbow flags, declared Black Lives Matter, and posted “We love our Muslim neighbors,” “You belong. Stay strong” and  “Fight ignorance not immigrants” on their signs. Reportedly facing some confusion in response to their most recent, “Rise and…


Here’s How To Battle Climate Change Without Washington DC.

Frack oil train running alongside the vulnerable Mississippi River.    By Bill McKibben The Guardian (2/1/18) he most telling item in Donald Trump’s State of the Union address may have been what wasn’t there: any mention of climate change, the greatest problem the world faces. And just as telling was the fact that official Washington seemed barely to notice. Understandably preoccupied with his vile attacks on immigrants (or cheering his ability to actually stay with one task for one hour), press, pundits, and other politicians treated the omission as not even worthy of note. The Democratic response from Representative Joe Kennedy didn’t touch on…


When I Despair…

M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it — always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


Compassion & Courage: Volunteers In NYC Show Support For Immigrants At Court Appearances, Appointments

  By Beth Fertig NPR (12/25/17) A new type of volunteer opportunity has taken off in New York City. Hundreds of people are going with immigrants to court appearances and appointments with immigration officials. With President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, they want to show solidarity, and be a friendly support system. Link to Story and 4-Minute Audio


Some Hope: New Study Showing Ozone Recovery Hailed As Model For Tackling Climate Crisis

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (1/5/18) Hailed as an example of how concerted global action can help solve a planetary crisis, a new study conducted by NASA scientists documented the first direct evidence that an international effort to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has led to the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letterson Thursday, the study uses satellite observations to demonstrate that the decline in atmospheric chlorine that resulted from the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, enacted in 1989,has led to “about 20 percent less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter than there was in 2005—the first year that measurements of chlorine and…


50 Ways 100% Clean Energy Won In 2017

  By Jodie Van Horn Sierra Club (12/30/17) We’d never argue that 2017 was a great year, but some really great things did happen. Here are 50 ways (yes, 50!) that clean energy kept winning in 2017 despite Trump’s attempts to roll back the country’s progress. 1. The Republican Mayor Championing 100% Renewable Energy in Louisiana Republican Mayor Greg Lemons made his small town of Abita Springs the first municipality in Louisiana to commit to 100% clean energy. Mayor Lemons said his 100% renewable energy vision for Abita Springs, which has a population of 2,900, aligns with the conservative values of his community—and it…


Be Joyful, Though You Have Considered All The Facts

  (Editor’s Note: Be sure to watch the video posted in this story. – Mark L. Taylor) By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (2/2/17) Okay. So we got pretty fired up about it being a new year, but then it turned out the jackass-in-chief is still here. With a vengeance: Within hours of getting back to “work,” the demented offenses and idiocies mounted. He insulted Iran, provoked Pakistan, boasted in response to a bellicose North Korea that his nuclear button was “bigger” – best response: “What is actually wrong with you?” – bragged Dreamers will soon “fall in love” with him while evidently forgetting he’s the one who killed…



White Supremicist Hate As A Family Affair: Stonewall Jackson’s Great-Great-Grandsons Call For Removal Of Confederate Monuments

  Democracy Now! (8/17/17) As President Trump faces growing outrage over his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we bring you an exclusive: an interview with the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. At least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy can be found in public spaces across the country. But now a number of the monuments are coming down. Calls for the removal of the statues are even coming from the descendants of the leaders of the Confederacy. We speak with two of the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Jack and Warren Christian have just…


Melting KKK Hate Through Personal Connection, Kindness & Compassion

It’s pretty tough to see beyond the vitriol and visceral nastiness of KKK racism and hate. This episode of the WNYC public radio Snap Judgment podcast three very personal journeys from hate to acceptance and understanding are profiled. Change is made by individuals taking the risk and the extra step to reach out to hate with genuine curiosity, compassion and acceptance of the wounded individual wrapped beneath all the blind darkness. These stories are reason for hope on at least an individual basis. Hosted by Glynn Washington, Snap Judgment is the smoking-hot show electrifying audiences nationwide. Snap’s “Storytelling, with a…


How Refugee Neighbors Changed A Man’s Mind About Muslims: ‘They Took The Hatred Out Of Me’

Learning neighborly kindness.   By Christopher Mathias Huffington Post (2/9/17) “I hated Muslims.” That’s what John Dutcher, a 61-year-old house cleaner in Omaha, Nebraska, recently admitted in interviews with both The Washington Post and KETV. He told the Post that he had been “one of those guys who would want to put a pig’s head on a mosque.” (Pork-based hate crimes targeting Muslims are common in the U.S., including in Omaha.) And he’d “sneer at” women wearing headscarfs of hijabs, he said to KETV ― even though he had never actually met a Muslim person before. Then six families of…


It May Only Take 3.5% Of The Population To Topple A Dictator – With Peaceful Civil Resistance

The United States has a rich history with effective uses of nonviolent resistance. Now’s the  time to become familiar with it.   By Erica Chenoweth The Guardian (2/1/17) Many people across the United States are despondent about the new president – and the threat to democracy his rise could represent. But they shouldn’t be. At no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance. Today, those seeking knowledge about the theory and practice of civil resistance can find a wealth of information at their fingertips. In virtually any language, one can find…


In Spite Of Walker, Solar Jobs Surge In State

Walker has received nearly $6 million from the Koch brothers, the nation’s leading advocates for fossil fuels.   By Dave Zweifel Cap Times (2/10/17) There are now more than 260,000 Americans working in the solar energy industry, according to end-of-2016 figures released this week by the Solar Foundation. That’s actually twice the number of Americans now employed by the coal industry and roughly the same number working in the national gas industry, the foundation said. That means that roughly one of 50 new jobs in 2016 was in the solar industry. But here’s what’s even more significant: The national median…


A Simple Way To Save Millions Of Birds Yearly

There are still tens of thousands of towers though that aren’t bird-friendly.   (Editor’s Note: If your local radio station or cell phone provider hasn’t made this simple change to their boradcasting towers why not organize some local citizens to pressure them to make the change. In this case, it appears, the solution to a big problem truly is not rocket science. – Mark L. Taylor) By Ben Thorp NPR (1/24/17) It’s likely the only time you really notice one of your neighborhood broadcast and cell towers is at night when they’re lit up with conspicuous bright red lights. Those…


A One Minute Guide To Trump-Proofing Your Life

The Commoner Call (1/23/17) The Guardian published a gift on Inauguration Day – a one-minute video of seven ways to build some protection into your life during the Trump reign. Suggestions range from supporting opposition groups and independent media to women getting an IUD now while it is still legal and abortion may soon become illegal, to obtaining a passport. The final suggestion is most important: Don’t Panic. Panicking people don’t think and plan clearly; their emotions get clouded and send them running into walls. Take a breath. Take another breath and then connect with neighbors, coworkers and other activists…


Reminder Of What Is Important: A Soothing Collage Film Of Mother Earth For Troubled Times

By Carolyne Weldon NFB Blog (1/20/17) Regardless of what is happening out there in the world, it sometimes helps to remember that we always retain control of one thing: our minds. Whatever change might be hurtling our way, whatever uncertainties we may be forced to face, there remains this thing no one can take away from us or taint in any way: the tone and content of our inner thoughts. Instead of asking, how bad will this get? How will I be hurt by this? We can practice asking: what would I want this to look like? What small step can…