Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Where is the Common Ground?

It seems to me that one can best understand the soul of a nation by looking at how public resources are allocated, and especially how and why a nation decides to reallocate resources. Our national budget is an indicator of our values as a people.

With that in mind, we can take a look at the budget submitted by this administration. At the highest level we see this: tax cuts for the weathiest americans are made permanent, while programs for the weak and vulnerable, programs protecting the commons (our land, water and air) and our cultural heritage, including our national parks, are cut dramatically. This budget promises deficit spending for years to come and continued military action.

Regardless of how one feels about this war, I think we can all agree that it has been a costly one both financially and in our standing in the eyes of the world. Most of us do not want to acknowledge that day in and day out, violence and torture continues in our name. We do not like it, and many of us suspect it is counterproductive. Can most Americans agree that we would rather fund positive expressions of our values?

Can most Americans also agree that protecting our natural world matters to us? That deficit spending and destroying our air, water and common spaces and cultural heritage are ways of mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future? Can we agree that how we spend our public money is a reflection of our common values? Is cutting taxes to the rich so that we can deficit-spend on war while cutting culture, environmental protection and programs for the vulnerable the legacy we wish to leave to future generations?

We must demand that our government act on our behalf. As a democracy, our government represents US. Please urge congress to reject this budget, and further, to reject this administration's efforts to dismantle social security and environmental law.

We can do better.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ecological design framework inspired by living systems. The ethics, root practices and principles in permaculture can be applied to the garden, the farm, and indeed any living system including human structures.