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Friday, June 15, 2007
Music community finds fresh ways to go green
by Joel Stonington of The Aspen Times
During a recent interview, the Ditty Bops' Amanda Barrett begged for a mention of their petition to start a tax on plastic bags. "If you wanted to give out our website, I would not say 'no,'" Barrett said. "Because we're wearing plastic until we get 4,000 more signatures. We're excited to wear it for the cause, but we'll be excited to be wearing natural fibers too."Barrett and the other half of the Ditty Bops, Abby DeWald, are clear leaders in the environmentally conscious music world. Last year's nationwide tour was entirely on bicycle (with a support vehicle), and this year's tour focuses on local, sustainable agriculture.They'll bring their unique, playful sound to the Snowmass Summer Free Concert Series on Aug. 16. Expect them to talk up organic and the plastics campaign at least little. They might even have copies of their absurdly cute 2007 Vegetable Bikini Calendar.The Ditty Bops are activist standouts, but even the Ditty Bops need to pay bills. Increasingly, the push toward green is pulled by groups like the Ditty Bops and pushed by business. The commercial sector, with green businesses leading the way, are pushing bands and festivals to be more green.It's no longer a surprise to hear of environmental initiatives and wind credits. Going green is about as new as going anywhere else. Part of the reason why change is snowballing is because the push is coming from a new direction. "Carbon neutral was the 2006 word of the year" said Steve Szymanski, co-owner of Planet Bluegrass, which runs the Telluride Bluegrass and Rocky Grass music festivals. "It does seem there's awareness in the mainstream about global warming now. Almost every morning on NPR there's a story about global warming now."This year, Telluride Bluegrass announced it would offset all of the carbon emissions of the festival and the travel to and from the festival of musicians, crew and festival-goers. Five years ago, the festival started a relationship with New Belgium Brewing, and the company pushed a green agenda that the festival was more than willing to embrace. "We're being so bold as to say we're carbon-neutral," said Szymanski. "To everyone throwing an event, they should know that the majority of the carbon being generated is from people driving to and from the event. Ninety percent of the carbon is being generated by driving to and from Telluride."Szymanski readily admits that New Belgium is largely responsible for the greening of Telluride this year. Though one might assume the green push came from musicians, he said many of the musicians are actually being educated by Telluride and the business sponsors working with Telluride. "In some ways, [musicians] are insulated from it," Szymanski said. "They're driven in, do their thing and drive away. Last year Bonnie Raitt and the Barenaked Ladies were very gracious about mentioning what we were doing onstage, but they were some of the first to mention it directly from the stage. They both ran biodiesel buses and were working on sustainable practices."The Ditty Bops' Barrett said the commercial sector is invaluable even to artists who are driving the environmental push. For the bike tour, the Ditty Bops had sponsors, many of which are the same sponsors for Telluride. Clif Bar and New Belgium Brewing are two of the companies leading the push. "We think they're for real," Barrett said of a visit to the New Belgium plant on the cross-country bike ride. No small praise from a woman wearing plastic until her petition gets the necessary signatures. In 2005, Clif Bar started supporting musicians and festivals (such as Telluride and Bonnaroo), and in 2006 they named the partnership Clif Green Notes. They've hooked up with bands like Gomez and Hot Buttered Rum and helped get Martin Sexton into a biodiesel bus. When Sexton spoke about the new bus back in February, he talked it down to a certain extent and said he wasn't really the impetus behind it. He had hoped to do something after watching Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," and ended up in touch with Clif Bar. As part of the program, all of the T-shirts for this summer's tour will be made with organic cotton, and his tour bus will run on bio diesel. Szymanski thinks the green revolution has gone so far into the mainstream that they might even be behind the curve. And of course, he's hoping Telluride will continue taking forward steps as the festival moves on. "There is a whole activist group of musicians out there and they're out there, they're on it," Szymanski said. "Franti, he's all over this kind of stuff. They've played Telluride."Those are the folks who got the ball rolling, but by many accounts, it's rolling. Now the music world has to see if that will rock the boat. "Everyone wants to look green," Barrett said. "It has potential to be incredible."
A MUST READ: Lesson in History & Current Events
Written by Raymond S . Kraft
Submitted by Marla McGeorge
SOME OF YOU ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT NEARLY EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA WAS GROSSLY AFFECTED BY WW II . MOST OF YOU DON'T REMEMBER THE RATIONING OF MEAT, SHOES, GASOLINE, AND SUGAR. NO TIRES FOR OUR AUTOMOBILES, AND A SPEED LIMIT OF 35 MILES AN HOUR ON THE ROAD, NOT TO MENTION, NO NEW AUTOMOBILES. READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE WOULD REACT TO BEING TAKEN OVER BY FOREIGNERS IN 2007
Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat. The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America taking food and war materials
At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war .
Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 , and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan , and the following day on Germany , who had not yet attacked us . It was a dicey thing . We had few allies .
France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers . Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.
Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico , as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe.
America 's only allies then were England , Ireland , Scotland , Canada , Australia, and Russia . That was about it All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East) was already under the Nazi heel .
The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WW I because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW II, Army units were training with broomsticks because they didn't have guns, and cars with "tank" painted on the doors because they didn't have real tanks A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.
Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually the property of Belgium ) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact).
Actually, Belgium surrendered on one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could .
Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later. Hitler, first turned his attention to Russia, in the late summer of 1940 at a time when England was on the verge of collapse.
Ironically, Russia saved America 's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany .
Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone . . . 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers
Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war .
All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. Now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.
There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants, and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world .
The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs --they believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. To them, all who do not bow to their will of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated . They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel , and purge the world of Jews . This is their mantra . (goal)
There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East -- for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not yet known which side will win -- the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists.
If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US , European, and Asian economies.
The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC -- not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis. Do you want gas in your car? Do you want heating oil next winter? Do you want the dollar to be worth anything? You had better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.
If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away. A moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.
We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We can't do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing . . . . . . . . in Iraq . Not in New York , not in London , or Paris or Berlin , but in Iraq, where we are doing two important things.
(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades Saddam is a terrorist! Saddam is, or was, a weapon of mass destruction, responsible for the deaths of probably more than a 1,000,000 Iraqis and 2,000,000 Iranians .
Added Reader Comment: If Saddam didn't have Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD], why did Iraq send a 35,000 page document to the UN explaining how they had supposedly disposed of all their known WMD -- and why doesn't the news media comment about the fact that such an accounting was made to the UN?
(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there we won't have to get here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed
WW II, the war with the Japanese and German Nazis, really began with a "whimper" in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before the US joined it. It officially ended in 1945 -- a 17 year war -- and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own a gain . . a 27 year war.
WW II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP -- adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. WW II cost America more than 400,000 soldiers killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.
The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $160,000,000,000, which is roughly what the 9/11 terrorist attack cost New York. It has also cost about 3,000 American lives, which is roughly equivalent to lives that the Jihad killed (within the United States) in the 9/11 terrorist attack .
The cost of not fighting and winning WW II would have been unimaginably greater -- a world dominated by Japanese Imperialism and German Nazism .
This is not a 60-Minutes TV show, or a 2-hour movie in which everything comes out okay . The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be .
The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it
If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an ally, like England , in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates to conquer the world.
The Iraq War is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. Now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless some body prevents them from getting them.
We have four options:
1 . We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.
2 . We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran 's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).
3 . We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now; in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.
4 . We can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and possibly most of the rest of Europe. It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier.
If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.
The history of the world is the history of civilization clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.
Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win . The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them .
Remember, perspective is every thing, and America 's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.
The Cold War lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989; forty-two years!
Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany !
World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan . World War II resulted in the death of more than 50,000,000 people, maybe more than 100,000,000 people, depending on which estimates you accept.
The US has taken more than 3,000 killed in action in Iraq.. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944 , the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism.
In WW II the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week -- for four years. Most of the individual battles of WW II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far
The stakes are at least as high . . A world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law)
It's difficult to understand why the average American does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis.
"Peace Activists" always seem to demonstrate here in America , where it's safe.
Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran , Syria , Iraq , Sudan , North Korea , in the places that really need peace activism the most? I'll tell you why! They would be killed!
The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc . , but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc. Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy!
Celebrity Golf Tournament
by Shannon Walls
Some of you already know that I was asked to tell "our" story at a Make-a-Wish meeting in Mitchell a little over a month ago. The main purpose of the get-together was to inspire and motivate volunteers that are already a part of phenomenal work the foundation does. There really isn't much I wouldn't do for the group after the fantastic trip they gave our family because of Hunter's illness. During my little speech I noticed a few women crying, some were making notes very seriously, and some were watching and listening to me like I was the President of the United States. It was very humbling to say the least.By the time I was finished just about everyone was wiping away their tears and the woman in charge said they would be contacting me in the future. Her name is Janice and she hugged me so hard when she saw me. She hugged me again before my mom and I left. I barely made it out to my vehicle without breaking down and crying myself. It was an amazing experience for me.A little over a week or so ago Mary Olinger, the CEO of the SD branch, called and left me a message to call her as soon as I could. When I did she thanked me for telling our story and asked me if I would do it again. I immediately said yes. That's when she told me it was for the Celebrity Golf Tournament in Sioux Falls. There is going to be a luncheon on the 30th of this month at the Country Club in Sioux Falls and I'll be telling our story again. Here is where I come to the purpose of my email. After everything you have all heard or remember from that time, including Hunter throwing out the first pitch at the DWU baseball game, I'd like to hear any inspiring stories. Anything that might help me tell our story. I not only want to thank them for the amazing vacation they gave us, I want them to understand the value of it all. My main point of Hunter's story is going to be how, when he made a timeline for school this year, he skipped over having cancer and made the Disney Cruise one of the most important things that happened to him when he was 7 and 8.So if any of you can remember anything at all please let me know. I'd like to include it that Saturday if possible.Thank you,
The opinions expressed here are not neccessarily those of Prarie Deacon Media, All of us here at the Holabird Advocate, or our Publisher. Opinions that are in agreement or to the contrary will be entertained.
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