Evolve Already!

In a sad comment on these times, I feel obliged to begin by declaring the “theory” of evolution in its most basic sense entirely correct, despite the fundamentalist religious zealotry preventing many of our fellow humans from learning or understanding it.

Valid debates remain over important but relatively subtle points of evolutionary theory, such as the degree to which organisms inherit behavioural as well as physical traits, the maximum speed with which evolutionary changes can occur, and the impact of individuals versus groups in the evolutionary process.

One measure of adaptivity to our environment here on this planet involves the transition from nomadic gatherer-hunter clans to city-states requiring agriculture to remain stationary and support specialized societal roles. Gatherer-hunter is more appropriate terminology than hunterer-gatherer due to the relative frquency and importance of the two activities for clan survival. Aggregation of city-states through cooperation or conquest produces nations and empires until experiments with genocidal destruction prompt species-level thought and action. Finally, potential catastrophic worldwide resource depletion lays the foundation for planetary ecosphere consciousness.

Today, humans on this planet have made it virtually impossible for any remaining gatherer-hunter societies to continue. Agricultural production is at risk from corporate monoculture methods, threatening the food supply of humans. Nations regularly wage wars at an unimaginable cost in human suffering and empires explore every avenue for exploiting natural and human resources through corporate dominance over representational governments with no regard for “externalities”.

As a species, only a minority have attained species-level thought and action and even fewer are operating with planetary ecosphere consciousness. Imperatives toward clan, nation, empire, and species loyalty will have to evolve rapidly to awareness of our perilous self-manipulated environment if we are to adapt to 21st century realities on planet earth.

The only way to avoid species suicide, dragging many other species along with us, is by learning as much as possible about the ecosphere and our effects on it. Can we navigate a trajectory that provides a basic quality of life for all of us? Is it possible to retain notions of basic human rights and justice? I believe the answer will come through increased education and communication, acts of compassion for our fellow humans and those of all species, and decisionmaking structures that push representation to individuals to the degree each decision impacts each of us.

Republicans Take Over California Governor Seat

With the victory of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republicans will soon take over the California Governor seat. Although California’s legislature still has a Democratic majority, there will be a fight to maintain even that at the next elections.

Here in San Francisco, we voted 80% against the recall and would have elected Bustamante by a large margin. Time to secede! See http://www.freestateofsf.org/

Thank the goddess that Proposition 54 went down in flames, the only good news of the election.

Harry Potter

I finished reading the fifth Harry Potter book a couple of days ago called “Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.” It was every bit as compelling as the others. I did notice that the boys and girls are starting to pay romantic attention to one another, yet same-sex attractions do not seem to arise. I wonder if J K Rowling has any intention of providing a representative spectrum of characters in the Harry Potter series. It would be wonderful if she does.

Will’s Speech to San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Here’s the speech I tried to give in person to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today. Perhaps Kevin succeeded in giving it as my proxy after I had to leave to the volunteer meeting at work.
Will’s Speech to San Francisco Board of Supervisors

I’ve been out on the streets of San Francisco protesting against the aggressive and illegal war of the U.S. against Iraq over the last two weeks. Last Thursday, I spent the night in the Bryant Street jail after my arrest for nonviolent civil disobedience in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I joined other nonviolent protesters in what as far as I can tell, with 2300 arrests and counting, is collectively the largest civil disobedience action ever to have taken place in the history of San Francisco. In addition, it may be the largest number of people arrested in opposition to the war in any city around the globe.

On the streets and in the jails, I witnessed abusive behavior both by protesters and by police. Massive police presence led to unnecessary confrontations between police and protesters as citizens watched the clear abridgment of our constitutional right to peaceful assembly.

I urge the Board of Supervisors to take measures to rein in dangerous police abuse, such as illegal and intimidating street sweeps, sidewalk blocking, closures of public parks and squares, and the beatings, pain holds, and detention of nonviolent protestors without due cause.

However, the root cause of this problem is not so much in the San Francisco community but from the federal government of the U.S. Indeed, last October this Board passed by a vast majority a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to refrain from any injust war in Iraq which I believe accurately reflects the views of the vast majority of people here in San Francisco, including many of the police. I believe the Board should seek federal funding, whether by appeal to the administration or through the judicial system, to compensate the City and County for the costs of maintaining the peace in San Francisco due to the U.S. government’s aggressive foreign policy.

In addition, and perhaps more controversially, the Board of Supervisors should adopt a resolution freeing the City and County of San Francisco from the State of California and the United States of America, so that we the citizens of San Francisco can organize ourselves into a truly democratic, participatory free state that will more properly implement the will of the people of this fine city with its long tradition of diversity and respect for human rights for all.

Pagan Peace Surprise

Update: About 60 pagans and friends gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square today to wage peace and amplify love. Participants cast a circle, invoked the directions, and spoke from the heart about why the war in Iraq cannot be alllowed to happen. They handed out flyers and leaflets to passersby, some of whom joined the circle, and chalked a large circle and peace, spiral, and yin-yang symbols on the pavement, then filled them in with colored sand. Some local students who had walked out from their high school joined the circle. After channeling energy to wage peace and prevent war, they opened the circle and sang while sweeping up the sand to bring it to the ocean. “Ish ka la ma bood le la. La la e la. The ocean refuses no river, no river. The ocean refuses no river, no river.”

See pics on Indymedia at:
Today we’re doing a Pagan Peace Surprise as part of the March 5 Moratorium activities to wage page against a war in Iraq.

Monday evening I went to Black Cat house for the first time to help organize the Pagan Peace Surprise. It was about seven women, a faerie named Cougar who came because of a notice I forwarded to the local faerie email list, and myself.
We decided the action will include casting a circle and perhaps a spiral dance and that we will mark the directions using chalk symbols that we will fill in with colored sand.

One of the women organizers was Starhawk, who lives in that house. I admire Starhawk immensely for her politics and her writing integrating politics and spirituality, so it felt really good to have time to get to know her better.

I told her about the ballot propositions for participatory budget and for secession of San Francisco and she seemed interested, providing a suggestion about how to locate an attorney who might be familiar with the ballot process in San Francisco.

Everyone is marvelling about the fact that 11 million people protested against the war on Feb 15-16. It may be the largest protest ever from the human race. And yet the senseless bombing of Iraqi civilians may happen nonetheless. Let’s hope not. Perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg with a major shift in global politics and economy about to take place. Let’s hope so. May that shift be toward empowerment of those who are disempowered and about dimishing inequalities of wealth and poverty while respecting the dignity and human rights of everyone. Peace now!