Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Holiday Newsletter

Dear Friends

The new year will be a truly momentous one. Economic crises. New US president. Radically changing world. You are an essential agent of change.

Let's keep in mind the following:

For the first time in history

- every sentient being is experiencing the same crises of global warming, economic trauma, diminishing resources, vanishing species, violence due to desperation.

- we are all communicating with each other through the internet and cell phones - less than 5% of the world's population lives in the US and consumes more than 25% of the planet's resources

- geopolitics is controlled by those who run the biggest corporations (the corporatocracy); governments serve as their vehicles, not the other way around- corporations are totally dependent on us to buy their goods and services

- we the people, the consumers, hold the power to determine which corporations will succeed and which will fail; the marketplace is democratic if we choose to see it as such.

After Obama's election, I received emails from around the world congratulating the US for having the ability to change so rapidly: from a conservative White Republican 4 years ago to a liberal Black Democrat. Many reminded me that Obama keeps emphasizing that there are great challenges ahead and we all must work for change.

We All Must Work for Change!

As you do your holiday shopping realize that every time you buy something (or decide not to) you are casting a vote. It you do not purchase goods made in sweat shops, there will be no more sweat shops (or the current ones will be turned into legitimate factories where workers receive fair wages, health care, and retirement pensions). When you refuse to buy from companies like Nike because they use sweat shops, send them an email telling them so. Check out www.sweatfree.org/shoppingguide and let those companies know why you patronize them. Little steps like that will change the world. Seem simple? It is – in principle. But you MUST participate.

Every indigenous culture tells us that we are entering a period with the potential for changing human consciousness, for creating a sustainable, just, and peaceful world. But it will not be automatic. We must make it happen.

You must commit yourself to change!

Season's Greetings. Happy New Year!

With love,

John

Friday, August 1, 2008

August Newsletter

Dear Friends
I often urge you to vote every time you shop, to purchase only from companies dedicated to creating a sustainable, just, and peaceful world.
I want now to remind you of the importance of your vote in the upcoming presidential elections. We in the U.S. have a recent history of apathy. Only about half of eligible voters exercise this precious right – even during presidential election years. The 2000 election was determined by a mere 500 contested votes in Florida!
This election is extremely important. In fact, it is the most important one in my life-time. Our country is weighed down by crises that appear to threaten our very existence. Our economy is failing. We are embroiled in a senseless war. The atmosphere, water, and land suffer from terrible pollution. Global poverty is rampant. Desperation and its shadow, terrorism, have reached epidemic proportions around the world.
We must change.
We and our progeny deserve better. It is up to us to go to the polls and vote for change. We must demand leaders who will help us soar to new heights of understanding, reason, and compassion, leaders who recognize that our children and grandchildren can not inherit a sustainable, peaceful, and just world unless every child born in Watts, Calcutta, Nairobi, and La Paz also inherits such a world.
So, I ask you to take this election seriously. I ask you to vote and also to do more than that. I urge you to make a commitment to spreading the word, to making sure that at least 5 people you know who might not vote do so.
More urgent - get in touch and encourage 5 people in the Swing States to vote for the Values we believe so important - in New Hampshire, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Indiana.
Feel the wave of hope that is swelling up across this nation and ride that wave. Send emails to everyone in your address book. Insist that they take responsibility for the world they live in; urge them to vote. Offer to drive people to the polls, buy them lunch – do whatever it takes to get them to vote.
No apathy this year.
No excuses. No complaints. This is not a time to whine about the way your candidate voted on some issue last year or the year before.
This is such an important election. And you are faced essentially with voting for one of two choices. Each one is a human being.
Human beings are not perfect; you will find flaws in your candidate and in the system. But it is up to you to vote for the candidate you believe will devote himself to changing the system.
It is up to you to get excited.
Choose the candidate who most inspires you and make sure he will be the president who has the opportunity to inspire a nation and a world.
And one more thing. Once the election is over and your candidate has won, continue to work. Keep supporting him. And pushing him to do the right thing.
Yes. Vote every time you shop. Refuse to buy from companies that use sweat shops or degrade the environment – and let them know why. Buy from companies that are committed to producing and distributing in socially and environmentally responsible ways – and let them know why.
And go to the polls on November 4, 2008!
Vote for real change.
Your life may depend on it.
My best wishes,
John

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

June 2, 2008

Dear Friends,
I'm in the middle of a cross-country speaking tour. I always talk about my grandson, Grant, and the need to create a sustainable, just, and peaceful world for him -- which means doing that for EVERY child on this planet!
Imagine the pride I felt to see him and my daughter, Jessica, and son-in-law Dan featured on the front page of the Palm Beach Post.
I'd like to share that moment with you:
Palm Beach Post Article
And the full article (including a great quote from Dan, a professional gourmet chef, about preparing baby food)
Palm Beach Post - local news 
Best wishes,
John

July 7, 2008

What's Up with Free Trade in Colombia?
On radio interviews I am frequently asked about the "free trade agreement" the Bush administration is trying to hammer out with Colombia and about John McCain's recent trip to Colombia. Here's my answer in a nutshell:
Nine countries in Latin America have recently voted in presidents who are saying "no" to staying the course with international policies that allow foreign corporations to exploit human and/or natural resources. These democratically elected presidents have gone on the record of not seeking US aid but instead asking for reversals in policies, including "free trade agreements," that have been very destructive to their economies -- and resulted in a huge influx of immigrants to the US.
Colombia is a major exception. Washington's push for a new trade agreement with Colombia is an attempt to bolster the Uribe administration -- a president who is held in very low esteem throughout most of Latin America and is seen (along with Mexico's Calderón) as one of the last of the old "Washington puppets."
Uribe infuriated many Latin Americans when he illegally sent troops into Ecuador to assassinate FARC representatives who reportedly were there to try to negotiate hostage exchanges and a peace deal. I was traveling in Central America at the time and heard first-had the anger directed at the Colombian president for the way he ignored Ecuador's sovereign rights and escalated hostilities.
This "free trade agreement" is Washington's desperate attempt to shore up one of its few remaining Latin puppets and at the same time tilt the playing field even further in favor of the big corporations.
What you can do: Speak out against "free trade agreements" that are written to help multinational corporations exploit other countries. Email your representatives and the corporations whose goods and services you buy. Tell them you know that what is best for the US are strong Latin American economies where local resources are channeled to the poor through health, education and other social services.
John

July 22, 2008

Hi Friends,
I'd like to urge you to sign the petition below. It will take about 10 seconds.
A huge wave is sweeping the country -- following Al Gore's courageous call for a totally revitalized energy sector.
Please join this wave. Now is the time to serve ourselves, future generations, and Pachamama.
Thanks,
John
_______________________________________________________________________
Click below to ask Obama, McCain, and Congress to accept Al Gore's challenge: "America must commit to producing 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, within 10 years."
Sign the petition
Dear MoveOn member, Al Gore took a big risk when he called on us to get 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean sources within 10 years.
It's an achievable goal, but it's already under attack from the oil and coal companies. They're calling his plan unrealistic, impossible, and crazy.1
We're in a crisis. If this is the fate of any new idea to get us out of this crisis alive, we're toast. Gore's challenge will live or die on the reaction of people like us.
We can turn back Big Oil's attack if hundreds of thousands of us personally endorse Gore's challenge to power our country with 100% cheap, clean energy within 10 years—and then we urge Obama, McCain, and Congress to get on board.
Clicking here will add your support to Gore's challenge:
MoveOn.Org
The petition says: "America must commit to producing 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, within 10 years."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says "it is absolutely possible" that Congress will accept Gore's challenge. 2 But to make it happen, we'll need to show Congress just how many people want bold action.
Al Gore laid out a far-reaching yet simple plan to deal with the most pressing issues of the day. Switching to clean energy will help us survive the climate crisis. And save our souring economy. And help end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and possibly Iran. And offer relief from high gas prices.
In Gore's words:
          "We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change."
          "But if we grab hold of that common thread and pull it hard, all of these complex problems begin to unravel and we will find that we're holding the answer to all of them right in our hand."3
That answer is a massive program to switch America to clean energy.
Crisis brings opportunity.
Solar, wind, and other clean energy sources are ready to replace oil and coal. And these abundant energy sources promise lower costs at a time when getting to work is getting too expensive for too many.
Such a simple, elegant solution. Can you make sure our country embraces change—100% renewable power in 10 years? Sign the petition to Obama, McCain, and Congress by clicking here:
MoveOn.Org
Thanks for all you do.
–Noah, Joan, Eli, Patrick S. and the rest of the team
Sources:
1. "Statement Regarding Former Vice President Al Gore's Speech on Climate Change," American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, July 17, 2008 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3951&id=13304-6830408-uF7aWBx&t=5
"Voinovich Finds Gore's Energy Speech 'Ridiculous,'" The Hill, July 17, 2008 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3952&id=13304-6830408-uF7aWBx&t=6
"Thinking green," Baltimore Sun, July 21, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3953&id=13304-6830408-uF7aWBx&t=7
2. "Appealing to Bloggers' Influence, Gore Asks for Help in Promoting Energy Challenge," New York Times, July 20, 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/us/politics/20netroot.html
3. "Al Gore's Challenge to Repower America," July 17, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3945&id=13304-6830408-uF7aWBx&t=8
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 3.2 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way.
Chip in here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.