Bare Bones Biology 079-The Vision

Photo © Photos by Lynn From the upcoming book Ouside the Circle.

Many people agree that our human cultures have gone off track in a number of ways, and that we need a new vision of the future if we are to grow a better future for our grandchildren. And beyond. Many people disagree about the new vision. No need to argue, I’ve been studying this for about a decade and I’ll tell you. Then, if your ideas are better, please get in touch and we can try together to make a vision. For now, as we step out in our new direction, this is my belief.

The minimum requirement for a viable human social structure is that its citizens must be educated in the skills of practical compassion applied to problem solving, the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem, and a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human rights at the individual level and the level of the whole. That’s a big order, and the next question is how? How can we do this? But first let’s talk about why we should make the effort. Listen to a statement made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in he film Dalai Lama Rennaisance:

“As a result, nobody is taking care of the long term, I think for strategy or interest, and in the meantime many problems we are facing today are not just from superficial causes, but there are deeper causes. I think the crisis in the late 20th century, that we are facing, is due to negligence of the previous century. Of our previous generations.”

So our crisis is not due to superficial causes that we are addressing as symptoms, but is primarily due to negligence of the previous generations. I agree completely, and we were both here to see it happening. Well, we were both here for part of that, on opposite sides of the globe, and we both agree that doing more of what caused our problems in the first place will not cure our problems. So let’s forget about going backward, trying to grow a better culture, because what we did, it didn’t work. In fact, it caused our current challenges, and it’s easy to predict that if we continue as we are in this moment, the results will be even worse for our grandchildren than they have been for us. And for the fifth generation. Or the seventh generation.

“We are now. We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago those people were looking out for me. Seven generations from now someone will be here, I know, and so each generation makes sure that seventh generation is coming all the time. And that’s accountability. We’re accountable, and they’re going to call us. They’re going to say Why did you do this? Or Why did you not do this?”

That was Oren Lyons, Chief of the Native American Onondaga and Seneca Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, talking with Bill Moyers But you don’t need to be on the other side of the world. And you don’t need to sit in the council of a tribal chief. Just look at your own children, and their children, and you know we have an obligation to the future.

So then, the next question is How? How do we accomplish this enormous task. The answer must be for each of us to carry our own load of responsibility, regardless of whatever other people are doing. We can’t wait till we win something or convince someone. We have one moment in time to grow a better future, and that moment is now. We can’t change anything that happened yesterday, and we can’t do anything tomorrow because by the time we get to tomorrow it will be now, and we will have lost a whole day when we could have been living our ideals. And that’s our responsibility, to live what we believe, beginning with the Golden Rule, and I’ll talk more about that next time.

Bare Bones Biology 079 – The Vision
KEOS Radio 89.1 FM
Audio download available later this week at

Bare Bones Biology 078 – New Direction

Hatred is never healed by hatred. That is a universal law. I just quoted an important Buddhist maxim. Many or most of the major religions will tell you the same. That’s why non-violence works—well of course nothing is perfect. If you’re the guy at the very top who doesn’t have to do any of the fighting, I guess violence is useful to you. But in terms of growing a sustainable, reasonably comfortable social structure for the future, violence will not get us there, and I think it’s our job to get us there. So, I think it’s time for a change.

“Just as it was once possible and important for people to imagine a world without slavery, a world beyond slavery; just as it was important for me personally to learn how, as a child, to imagine a world without racial segregation, and then later to imagine a world in which women were not assumed to be inferior to men; . . . it’s really important to work with your imagination. To use your imagination. To think beyond the moment. But, it’s not enough simply to imagine a different future. We can walk around with these ideal words in our heads, while everything crumbles around us.”

These words of Angela Davis (link) were edited from a speech she gave at the University of California, and are similar to comments she made when she was here at Texas A&M University. I’m sure you can find it on YouTube. She’s probably right. It’s probably impossible for people to do what they can’t imagine.

So, here’s the new plan. And believe me it won’t be easy – five minutes a week – to imagine a viable, sustainable, reasonably comfortable society for our country and our world. But let’s stick with our country and give it a try. You can help with your ideas. I made my statement in Bare Bones Biology 044, entitled Proposal, that you can find on my blog (link). And if you look around the web, and the bookshelves, quite a number of people are trying to do the same.

Perhaps we can evaluate all these visions against a base of what I believe to be the minimum requirements for a healthy, sustainable human social structure. That is, its citizens must be educated in the skills of practical compassion applied to problem solving; of the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem; and a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human rights at the level of the individual and at the level of the whole. Certainly we do not want to perpetuate the kind of educational system that is described by New York State Teacher of the Year, John Gatto (read by Jack Kornfield).

“Think of the things that are killing us as a nation: drugs, brainless competition, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and the worst pornography of all, lives devoted to buying and getting things, accumulation, as if it would give meaning to life. All are simply addictions of dependent or fearful personalities, and that is what our brand of schooling is now inevitably producing. The children I teach become indifferent to the adult world . . . The children I teach have lost most of their curiosity and cannot concentrate long. They have a poor sense of the future. The children I teach are dependent, passive, 18000 hours of watching television. The children I teach are materialistic, following the lead of the schoolteachers who materialistically grade everything, and the advertisements that offer everything in the world for sale. The children I teach are uneasy with intimacy or candor. They lack compassion for misfortune. They laugh at weakness. What are we to do?”

Bare Bones Biology 078 – New Direction
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM
Audio will be downloadable later this week at or

Texas, the Land of Law and Order

This was in The Bryan/College Station Eagle today on the Editorial page.. Great piece.

In 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up shortly after launch. Lady Gaga was born and the forensic use of DNA technology in criminal courtrooms began. 1986 is also the year Christine Morton was murdered. Christine’s husband, Michael Morton, was convicted of that murder and sent to prison for life. Twenty-five years have passed.

This year brought us the final Space Shuttle mission and Lady Gaga at the top of the charts. Since 1986, the science and accuracy of DNA testing has progressed to incredible levels, and this month DNA testing exonerated Michael Morton.

The prosecutors claimed Michael Morton was a sex-crazed lunatic who beat his wife to death one morning before work. Michael maintained his innocence, insisting his wife was alive when he left that morning.

The jury that convicted Michael was never shown a blood-stained bandana found behind the Morton home. The jury never learned that Morton’s 3-year-old son witnessed the assault on his mom, had described the murderer and said that his father was not home at the time. The jury also was not told that Christine Morton’s purse had been stolen from the house, or that her credit card and a check were later used by someone other than Michael. Instead, prosecutors misled the jury, arguing that since nothing was stolen there was no evidence to support Michael’s claim of a burglar. The prosecutors also withheld this evidence from Michael’s lawyers, even though required by law to turn it over. Link

His Holiness and Ecology

I am forwarding this to our whole group of nearly 200 people and posting it on my blog, at the last minute, because I sincerely believe we will require the blending of the practical compassion and practical ecology if we humans are to make it through this biological bottleneck. As the Mind & Life announcement states (see the announcement below, a sincere effort at synergy is needed. Not only lip service and not a vague, fuzzy-bunny understanding of what is a hard-edged biological reality. Neither free-floating, unfocused compassion, nor prayer can save us from ourselves if we fail to also fulfill our obligations — both as individuals and as organizations — to our human future and to the earth.

Mind and Life Institute works with His Holiness The Dalai Lama to coordinate scientific research with issues of importance to the compassionate community. In the past, in my opinion, the Mind and Life science initiatives have expended far too much of their unique potential in the study of human physiology that won’t even exist if we don’t get our act together. I hope the work they describe here is fruitful. I know it is of the highest possible priority, and many of you will be interested in the outcome. The webcast begins in our time zone at 9:30PM today (Sunday) streaming live on line. I will download the podcasts and share them.

I hope they include at least one qualified ecological scientist in this workshop. So many people believe that they understand ecology simply because they do understand interconnectedness. Because we are interconnected doesn’t mean we can do anything we want to do with the ecosystem. If we want it to stay alive and healthy, we need to know specifically HOW the ecosystem is interconnected – how it functions — so we can avoid breaking the critical connections. If we haven’t already.

Let’s see how well the meeting is able to accomplish this effort and let’s support them fully if they are effectively addressing our real survival problem. We do need to unite behind an effort that has a chance to succeed. I don’t think the Peach Clubhouse can do it alone.

The regular Peach Clubhouse newsletter will follow later this month

The minimum requirement to grow a viable human social structure is that the citizens must be educated in the skills of: practical compassion applied to problem solving; the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem; a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human values at the individual level and the level of the whole.
___________________________________Here below is he announcement
Mind and Life XXIII
Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence
with His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Dharamsala, India • October 17 – 21, 2011

Live webcast
Live broadcasting by Ustream
Unfortunately, as this will be a small, private meeting, it will be impossible to invite additional participants to attend Mind and Life XXIII. However, the proceedings of the conference will be webcast live, beginning October 17th. Please note that the sessions begin at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm Indian time. If you experience problems viewing this video, you can also see it at The sessions will be available for streaming and download after the event at

Conference Overview
The slow meltdown of Earth’s capacity to sustain much of life, as we know it, poses an urgent challenge for both spiritual traditions and science. These two ways of knowing have developed distinctive responses, which are potentially synergistic. The goal of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to articulate an engaged environmental ethics. This would include the understanding of interdependence through an examination of the most recent data on the scientific case for effective ecological action. Furthermore, it will be a unique opportunity to meet with other faith traditions that have arrived at a religious basis for motivating environmental activism. A dialogue between contemplative scholars, activists and ecological scientists could enrich the response to our planetary crisis. Insights from the new thrust in ecological science evoke the deep interconnections between individual choice and planetary consequence as well as through cross-fertilization of ideas and meaningful action among activists working within their own spiritual framework. We will explore many dimensions, from the human-caused deterioration in the global systems that sustain life, and the role each of us plays as seen through the lens of industrial ecology, to a view from Buddhist philosophy and other faith traditions, to the on-the-ground realities faced by ecological activists. Our hope is that this conference will be a significant catalyst for the formulation of new research ideas in these fields and solutions to our planetary crisis.

Ethics and Manipulations

What i am recommending that we do is the same method used (very successfully) by the corposystem to do dishonorable and sometimes illegal things. Only we will be hones and honorable. They keep saying the same lie. You might hear that same lie using the same words maybe 10 times a day or however many depending if you listen to the TV — for months, even years, and polls show that the general population believes the lies they are told if they are told often enough.

We are trying to talk about truths, so we assume everyone, or at least everyone on our mailing list, knows the truths. All I am trying to say is that we need to repeat and repeat and repeat the truths more than they repeat the lies — we need to have our own good goal sentence or truth sentence — even when writing to our own people or especially to our own people, so we can remain focused. Otherwise people tend to wander off or misunderstand or forget there is a more important reason for standing on the corner than just the one thing we are pinpointing on this one day. (from facebook)

Hello 350 friends,

Today Australia took a huge step – a committed effort to work to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, to invest in clean energy and to find innovative ways to tackle climate change. It’s a massive success for all of us who have worked hard, spoken up at community meetings about the issue and organised events to call for action – that’s you!

At 9:29 am, The House of Representatives passed the Government’s package of 19 bills setting up a carbon pricing scheme from July 1, 2012 by a vote of 74 to 72.

As ACF’s CEO Don Henry said, “Today’s vote is historic for the millions of Australians who, in the face of well-funded scare campaigns, have tirelessly urged successive Australian governments to take action on climate change.”

Take a moment today, tonight or this weekend to celebrate what you helped do because it’s so important. Your children, your grandchildren and people all over the world – from Tuvalu, now facing a fresh water crisis and Bangladesh facing a future of extreme weather events to the African countries facing devastating drought – so many will benefit from the action we took in Australia today.

Smile, pat yourself on the back and be proud of what we achieved today! It’s just the beginning of getting us back to 350 parts per million but it’s a great beginning! Now onto the Senate vote and a clean energy future!

Many thanks for all of your efforts!

Blair Palese and the Australian team ( )

Bare Bones Biology 077 – Demonstration

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.
The rich get richer and the poor are always with us. If it has always been this way, it always will be this way.

In fact, it has not always been this way. For example, humanity 6000 years ago was a whole different story, before we began trying to prove that human power is stronger than the laws of God and nature. Now, if we want our grandchildren to live in this beautiful Garden of Eden in reasonable comfort, we must build another new story that considers the needs of Eden. Because the earth ecosystem is also a living thing; it also needs to survive; it is our only source of food and water; we humans will not survive without it; and if we always do what we have been doing, we will make our survival on this earth impossible.

So I say it’s time for a change, but if we try to make changes using the same methods that caused our problems in the first place – we will mostly get more of the same problems.

So how to change? We can’t grow change by going backward to the time when there were more resources than we could use.

Also we can’t grow a change using the corposystem system that has co-opted our “American Dream,” unless we take control over the corposystem and define its uses and their limits.

If we are to make positive change we must know what we want and how to get it without making things worse. Two of the most basic requirements for success are: 1) we must honor the needs of the ecosystem, because all of our food energy is grown by the ecosystem and no alternative sources are available; 2) we must prevent the corposystem from controlling our human values and directing our behaviors so that we cause long-term harm to ourselves and to others.

The first time I heard from and, that’s what I thought they wanted – to make a positive, sustainable change. Later I dropped them off my computer because the vocabulary of and consists mostly of “fight.” Which is not anti-war nor anti-corporation nor a change. I do not believe war is a solution to anything except overpopulation, and there are better, quicker and cheaper ways to deal with overpopulation. When this national sit-in began, I again tried to believe in MoveOn, and I went to hear their speeches. In every sentence they screamed “fight” two or more times. Otherwise, I would probably be sitting in with them.

Finally, now, someone is telling us what the demonstrations are about, at least the Wall Street sit-in. It turns out they have a General Assembly and their General Assembly has now formulated a list of causes. So I checked these causes to see if they conflict with the requirements for our sustainable future in this garden of Eden. The bottom lines is that they do not seem conflict, but primarily to control excess, and I agree they are important issues that we must address if we are to grow a sustainable human presence on this earth. So long as the demonstrations remain non-violent, I will support them in principle.

I am waiting to see how they plan to cure the problems they define, both at the level of human rule of law and at the level of ecosystem survival. Because as far as I can tell, these groups, and the new rally for jobs by, have not proposed any solutions. It will not be easy to cure problems that were caused by previous generations using more than their share of limited resources. A solution is possible, but one thing is certain. We cannot cure that problem by using up more than our share of the limited resources. I still don’t see anyone addressing that reality.

Bare Bones Biology 077-Demonstration
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM
Audio can be uploaded later this week here
or at Http//

Below is the “Occupy Wall Street” first declaration:

‘Occupy Wall Street’ Issues First Official Declaration
by Beth Buczynski
October 3, 2011
11:32 am

Since the occupation of Wall Street first began on September 17th, the mainstream media has criticized the general assembly for its lack of a cohesive list of complaints or demands.
Not to be rushed by expectations of corporations and the elite they serve, the Occupy Wall Street action took its time fulfilling this demand.
On Thursday night, Occupy Wall Street participants voted on and approved the first official “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.” It is reprinted in its entirety below.
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive

Read more:

The Land Institute

Bare Bones Biology 076 – You Have No Right

This short series of recent programs has been on the theme of what can we do to build a better future. I will conclude this series with an excerpt from Alternative Radio that plays on KEOS on Monday evenings. This is a speech given by Dr. Helen Caldicott. I recommend you check out her biography in Wikipedia. Dr. Caldicott was an Australian physician, but she quit her career as a physician to spend full time as an anti-nuclear advocate. She has met and interacted with many of the high-ranking politicians of the nuclear age, and I tend to agree with her strong opinions. You can download the entire podcast for a small fee at Alternative Radio, the title is CALH009-Hiroshima.

“Accidents occur not infrequently. The weapons are all computerized in each missile silo. In the Dakotas you look down when you fly over them, and in Colorado you can see them. Aged 18 to 21, yes-sir, press the button sir, each armed with a pistol, one to shoot the other if one shows signs of deviant behavior. What if he deviant one shoots the other one? The locks to turn the keys are 12 feet apart, but as they worked out, if you tie a string to one key one man can turn both locks and start the anhiliation.

“I’ve talked to some of their girlfriends. Some of them take drugs before they go on duty. We are fallable. What if President Obama develops a cerebral tumor and does some crazy things before the diagnosis is made? I’ve had patients, normal businessmen who overnight have developed acute psychoses. I won’t go into it, but it’s very scary.

“The Chinese are hacking as I speak, sometimes into the early warning system of the Pentagon. They can hack into anything these young kids. They’re very smart. And it’s all computerized. I don’t know how long we’re going to go on.

“So, is it a whimper or a bang? Do we have epidemic leukemia, cancer and genetic disease for the rest of time from radioactive waste infiltrating into the water and the food? Or we do it with a bang? And that’s these bloody labs up there, and am I angry. It’s appropriate to be angry with people who are going to kill us all. They’re killers.

“From 1973 I’ve devoted myself to this, and we nearly got rid of nuclear weapons, and then we got Clinton. How dare he? And I’m going to die knowing I didn’t succeed, and I think in medicine our stuff is we like to cure our patients, and we’ve got these stupid politicians in congress, they know nothing. They know no science. They’re scientifically illiterate. They’re retards. Some of them are sociopaths, with no conscience, you know? Like Dominici. And Obama, I’m sorry, I’ve totally lost respect for him. I was hoping and hoping and hoping, he’s so intelligent. Now going ahead with nuclear power.

“OK, so what are we going to do? Do you know what a revolution is? Do you know what Egypt just did? Do you know what putting your bodies on the line means? Martin Luther King said: ‘If you haven’t got something worth dying for, you’re not really living.’ What did Jesus do? Did he die for the principles he espoused and did those principles live on 2000 years? I’ve had eight death threats. I’ve run off the stage when people threatened. I’ve had eight death threats. What’s my life, compared to evolution?
I once said to Carl Sagan, are we the only life in the universe? And he said yeah I think we are. What a responsibility we’ve got!

Bare Bones Biology 076 – You Have No Right
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM
Audio can be downloaded later this week at

Bitsy and I Love to Travel

Especially Bitsy. I got lost again, in Bowie, Texas. Tomorrow I will be looking for Fort Worth. The thing that complicates it most is that it only rains hard when I am trying to negotiate big city traffic, so we decided to stop, and now the rain has gotten ahead of us again. Maybe we can chase it all the way to BCS, but I doubt it.

Bowie is a nice little place and the food is good at the Sweet Boy’s Diner. Odd name, not a Diner, a fairly classic Texas style eatery.