Pseudo Yoda Quotes: The Environmental Yoda

Given the interest in Star Wars, below are my Yoda-like quotes used on my website (http://paulradomski.com) from March 2014 to January 2015. I crafted these in the dark hours of time with the help of the Force:

Nature related:

Decay is a natural part of systems. Rejoice for that which transforms back to nature. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not.

To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not. In war, a danger there is, of losing who we are. War with new arriving species, win you will not. A different game you should play.

In a dark place we find ourselves with regard to sharing the world with predators, and a little more knowledge lights our way.

Always in motion is the yard. Blind we are, if beauty of the common animals we do not see.

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Money is Speech

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constituted the Bill of Rights: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Amendment as actually implemented on April 2, 2014, to promote the intolerant, righteous rich and their interests, and to advance greed and self-interest over civic responsibility and the public interest:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion other than Christianity; or prohibiting the intolerance of the righteous; or abridging the freedom of distribution of money to encourage the corruption of elected and appointed government officials.

In America today, corporations are people and money is speech. Perhaps the five supremes are influenced more by ideology or theory than pragmatism or realism. Could the supremes be right? May be eroding these parts of the system will be inconsequential, that is, money will not decide who wins or looses, and large sums from a small proportion of the population will not corrupt officials or influence policy. Right, sure. Today’s inequality is a symptom of a failure of the governing system to address the ‘success to the successful’ feedback loop (also know as the ‘rich get richer’). Who is getting what? The very rich are getting richer as our government has reduced the feedback loop. The rich believe in a trickle down theory because it promotes their short-term interests, and it was just a coincidence that our government passed laws to enact policies that favored the greedy.  

Tomorrow in America, corporations will vote and only the excessively greedy will be allowed to influence the Government for additional preferential, unjust, and unequal treatment. God bless America?

Internet Bill of Rights

It may be appropriate to consider another amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The proposal: 

AMENDMENT XXVIII

The right of the people to be free from tracking, monitoring, and eavesdropping of personal communication while conducting peaceful matters on the internet shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the data to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Simple is better. 

The Planet's Bill of Rights

Congress of the Earth

begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, two thousand and twenty.

THE Conventions of a number of the Ecosystems, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United Ecosystems of Earth, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several Ecosystems, as amendments to the Constitution of the United Ecosystems, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United Ecosystems of Earth, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several Ecosystems, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of human culture, or prohibiting the destruction thereof; or abridging the freedom of communication; or the right of the organisms to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II - A well distributed Food Web, being necessary to the security of a resilient Ecosystem, the right of the organisms to defend and attack, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III - No Human shall, in time of peace be quartered in any habitat, without the consent of the Community, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV - The right of the organisms to be secure in their being, habitat, niche, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the beings or things to be seized.

Amendment V - No organism shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury; nor shall any organism be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against itself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or habitat, without due process of law; nor shall habitat be taken for human use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the Ecosystem and ecoregion wherein the crime shall have been committed, which ecoregion shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against it; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in its favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for its defense.

Amendment VII - In Suits related to the laws of physics, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty gigajoules, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United Ecosystems, than according to these laws.

Amendment VIII - Excessive energy shall not be required, nor excessive exploitation imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the organisms.

Amendment X - The powers not delegated to the United Ecosystems by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the Ecosystems, are reserved to the Ecosystems respectively, or to the organisms.

AMENDMENT XI - Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United Ecosystems, or any place.

AMENDMENT XII - All organisms born or naturalized in the United Ecosystems, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United Ecosystems and of the ecosystem wherein they reside. No Ecosystem shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United Ecosystems; nor shall any Ecosystem deprive any being of life, liberty, or habitat, without due process of law; nor deny to any being within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

AMENDMENT XIII - The right of organisms of the United Ecosystems to choose various actions shall not be denied or abridged by the United Ecosystems or by any Ecosystem on account of DNA, RNA, previous condition of servitude, or any condition or classification.

 

Political Instability

[300 word Letter to the Net]

We are experiencing political instability. This at a time with social inequality that is worse than some third-world countries; poor economic resiliency due to large private and public debt; bank executives taking risks at public expense; and diminishing natural resources. Today’s politicians won’t work together to solve these problems. Sometimes people in power have no clear plan on how to govern. The clue is when they rely mostly on ideology and simple, but often wrong, dogma. Ideologue politicians are ever present; however, political instability is rare. Numerous intelligent people have forwarded reasons for this instability.

First, the baby boom generations through their selfishness, irresponsibility, and sheer size are straining the country. From the time they entered school, they’ve pushed systems for their benefit and ambitions often with little regard for others. They can’t be fully blamed, as many have diminished cognitive abilities due to leaded gasoline poisoning and high drug use.

Second, journalism has diminished. For example, he who watches Fox News is less informed than he who watches nothing. Third, our primary election system promotes partisans over leaders that would govern for the common good. Primary election voters are generally more politically active and radical than the general population; therefore, partisans generally win in this system.

Any solutions? The baby boomer generations will fade with time. Albert Camus, a journalist and philosopher, said, “A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad.” Thus the solution on degraded journalism falls to us. We need to recognize that “news” is something that those in power want suppressed – the rest might be propaganda. Finally, establish an open primary system where the top two candidates, regardless of party, go to the general election. This approach appears to have reduced partisanship elsewhere.

Kakistocracy or Plutocracy

[300 word Letter to the Net]

Society is actively debating the size of government. People on both sides of this debate often fail to mention the role of government. Our constitution limits the role of government on personal and economic matters, with the presumption of liberty. However, a small government doesn’t translate into a limited government.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves, in their separate, and individual capacities.” Lincoln also said, “The best framed and best administered governments are necessarily expensive; while by errors in frame and maladministration most of them are more onerous than they need be, and some of them very oppressive.” Lincoln was right, it’s not the cost or size of government that is most important, it’s the scope of government that is paramount. A competent and effective government can be more expensive than an inept government, but an inept government has a higher cost. An inept government allows our personal liberties to be trampled by the rich and powerful.

Reagan may have been a good president. It’s troubling that some have misused his rhetoric to disparage government. Reagan said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” It is certainly true that an inept government is the problem, and government is necessary. Who among us wishes to live without government services? Anti-government fakes and pompous fools are first to claim such a life.

I prefer to live in a community with limited and effective government. I’m looking for political leaders that understand the value and role of government consistent with our constitution and needs (not political hacks on a ‘no-tax increase’ holy war or zealous ‘do-gooders’). 

Equality and Justice

[300 word Letter to the Net]

Our society has become more unequal. As citizens, we need to address fairness and justice. This requires addressing the ‘success to the successful’ feedback loop (also know as the ‘rich get richer’). Instead of politicians leveling the playing field, many have increased the advantage of the strongest. Friends say that action to mitigate the ‘success to the successful’ loop can degenerate into socialism, and this is true. It is also true that the failure to address inequality produces corruption and traps some citizens in less productive pursuits. Inequality in life should be expected and we should not whine about it; however, excessive inequality is destructive to a society.

A hardworking person should receive a livable wage. People should expect and receive equal treatment from their government. Contributing to a politician’s campaign should help the candidate, not the donor. Lobbying should result in better laws, rather than laws that favor the well to do. Today these things are not always true. I’m looking for political leaders that understand these issues and that can work to recreate reasonable, balanced adjustments in our policies.

What of justice? Our country’s ideals includes treating all people the same. Robert Pirsig, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, said, “When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt”. Interesting that Pirsig observed that fanaticism was the result of reservations of the zealot. Today’s examples may include political extremism that has repackaged the flawed trickle-down economic theory and the zealous protection of those that need no help. One wonders about government inaction on fraudulent Wall Street activities. And on the recognition of same-sex marriage, one wonders what the zealous opponents are insecure about.

 

Declaration of Dependence

The Unanimous Declaration of Earth Inhabitants (Minus One).

Yale_Dunlap_Broadside_Declaration_of_Independence.jpg

When, in the course of ecological events, it becomes necessary for life forms to dissolve the bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all organisms evolved equally, that they are endowed through evolution with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, relationships are instituted among organisms, deriving their just powers form the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of relationship becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of all life forms to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new relationships, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that relationships long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that we are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right ourselves by abolishing the forms to which we are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such relationships, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of all creatures on Earth; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of relationship. The recent history of Humanity is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these organisms. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to nature’s laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of wilderness, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the other Earth inhabitants.

He has endeavored to overpopulate; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization and evolution, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to natural laws for establishing justice.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass organisms, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of other species.

He has tried to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws.

For quartering large bodies of armed and ignorant troops among us.

For cutting off energy transfer with all parts of the world.

For imposing over exploitation on us: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of clean air and water.

For transporting us beyond seas to be exploited for pretended offenses.

For taking away our fellow organisms forever (extinction), ignoring our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our relationships.

For suspending our earlier natural order, and declaring themselves invested with power to regulate us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated relationships here, by declaring some of us useless and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our forests, and destroyed the lives of countless species on the scale of a large asteroid impact.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign (genetically engineered) mercenaries and chemical agents to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a intelligent organism.

He has constrained fellow Earth organisms taken captive on the high seas and distant lands to bear arms against other ecosystems, to become the executioners of organisms that have not coevolved.

He has produced domesticates to weaken us.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free Earth.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our Earth brethren. We have warned Humanity from time to time of attempts by their leaders to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our evolution and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the planet Earth, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good life forms of these ecosystems, solemnly publish and declare, that these ecosystems are, and of right ought to be free and dependent environments; that they are absolved from all allegiance to Humanity, and that all connection between them and this Solar System, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and dependent organisms, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish energy transfer, and to do all other acts and things which dependent ecosystems may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Signed Bacteria to Blue Whale

 

Let's Go and Take the Fish Too

Let's Go and Take the Fish Too

On a sunny day, sitting in a tree overlooking the Nokasippi and Hay Creek valleys, I am struck by the beauty of the world. The late fall colors and the smell of decaying leaves erodes my desire for nomadism. The view, deer present or not, comforts me. But the tree-top view and poor vision hide our distant, disturbing future.

My simple mind can not grasp the significance of life’s predicament--is it a dilemma, an...

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