Archive | May 2015

John Mellencamp’s Song “Peaceful World”

Peace and Environment logo(sizedlighter) copy

I was reminded of this song when I saw from this week’s issue of “Isthmus” (Madison Wisconsin’s weekly free newspaper), that John Mellencamp plans to perform here on Tuesday night (June 2, starting 7:30 pm) at Overture Hall in downtown Madison.

Mellencamp wrote the song “Peaceful World” and it was released in 2001 but I had not heard it until I attended one of my son’s public middle school sings later that year. I liked it right away and it was fun seeing and hearing the entire Cherokee school perform the song with all its parts.

“Peaceful World”

Come on baby take a ride with me
I’m up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

People know this world is a wreck
We’re sick and tired of being politically correct
If I see through it now but I didn’t at first
The hypocrites made it worse and worse
Lookin’ down their noses at what people say
These are just words and words are okay
It’s what you do and not what you say
If you’re not part of the future then get out of the way

Come on baby take a ride with me
I’m up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Racism lives in the U.S. today
Better get hip to what Martin Luther King had to say
I don’t want my kids being brought up this way
Hatred to each other is not okay
Well I’m not a preacher just a singer son
But I can see more work to be done
It’s what you do and not what you say
If you’re not part of the future then get out of the way

Come on baby take a ride with me
I’m up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Lay back the top and ride with me
I’m up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

The money’s good and the work is okay
Looks like everything is rollin our way
‘Til you gotta look the devil in the eye
You know that bastard’s one big lie
So be careful with your heart and what you love
Make sure that it was sent from above
It’s what you do and not what you say
If you’re not part of the future then get out of the way

Come on baby take a ride with me
I’m up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Lay back the top and ride with me
I’m up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah

Madison’s weekly newspaper ISTHMUS chose the show as an Isthmus Pick for Tuesday, June 2, and also reports each person in will receive a free download of Mellencamp’s 20th album: “Plain Spoken”.

The song appears on John Mellencamp’s “Cuttin Heads” album.

Read Concert Review, Unfortunately. Peaceful World was not on June 2nd’s setlist.

Read more about John Melloncamp.

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A Memorial Day Salute and Promise for the Future

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Today is the day to pause and show our respect to those who, regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin or sexual orientation, served, fought and died to protect our country and all Americans, those living now or in the future from enemy harm. Those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country and its people deserve the highest honor possible, to be sure. And I believe those who have been maimed by war, physically or mentally, should be equally honored. One such victim I’m proud to have as friend and former high school classmate. His name is Jim Walktendonk, and he and family suffered greatly from the ill effects of U.S. war planes spraying what was called “agent orange” to defoliate the greenery the enemy hid in and expose them to U.S. fire power. Unfortunately, the chemicals in the agent orange also had adverse impact on our troops as well. I’ll let Jim Walktendonk tell the complete story.

One way we can give honor and respect to those who died to protect our freedom is by working, individually or in groups, to build a healthier and more peaceful world. Unfortunately, the world we share is not getting any any healthier nor any more peaceful, but just the opposite.

With a population of over 7 billion people we must find ways to live more peacefully with one another and be more protective of our finite earth. We elect our political leaders to keep us out of wars and our economy strong but they are seldom successful at doing either

We now face the biggest threat to humanity of all time in rapid global warming, due primarily to: our excessive fossil fuel burning in cars, homes, businesses and airplanes; in production of an excessive amount of consumer goods for many individuals and a dearth of such goods for others, and in shipment of those goods; in military exercises around the world; in the type of foods we eat and the methods of its production; in our use of water and by a myriad of other sources and by deforestation, especially in the tropical area of the world considered by many to be the lunges of the planet. Along with warming temperatures caused by a thickening greenhouse atmosphere around our planet comes more extreme weather, warming and rising seas, a changing climate and how that changes the supporting biodiversity. Although too difficult to separate out from other weather extreme events, global warming has now without a doubt become the greatest killer of American and other peoples ever, of the earth’s animal populations, and the number of deaths linked to it each year will likely grow significantly, without major and swift action taken by our governments, commerce and you and I.

Public officials, state and federal lawmakers, and many members of the media who continue to cite uncertainty and spurious research as reason not for people not to take serious action now to reduce all sources of greenhouse gas emission should be judged harshly; their actions (or inaction) are crimes against humanity of the highest order. The people we honor today would likely agree, wholeheartedly.

We do not need a war to rise to the occasion and join the fight against global warming. To do that, we must all hop on the peace train, put down our gun, and fight the fight of our life for the living planet, OUR EARTH.

U.S. Congress and President Obama Derelict for Not Considering Global Warming Effect of Proposed TPP Agreement

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive new international trade pact being pushed by the U.S. government at the behest of transnational corporations. The TPP is already being negotiated between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and most recently, Japan — which together cover approximately 40% of the global economy. But it is also specifically intended as a “docking agreement” that other Pacific Rim countries would join over time, with the Philippines, Thailand, Colombia and others already expressing interest. It is poised to become the largest Free Trade Agreement in the world.

Governments intending to sign on to TTP must take into consideration that international trade generates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, not just from the production of traded goods, but perhaps more importantly from the fossil fuel burning required transport required between trading partners and their goods. Studies show that the greenhouse gas emissions generated by international transportation are substantial yet widely overlooked, both in regulations and in data collection efforts.

Those presently pushing for governmental support of the trading of products between the 27 countries listed in the TPP are derelict in not considering the added quantities of greenhouse gases that would be added to the global stockpile of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of implementing the TTP.

Who’s to Blame For the Unintended Consequences and Costs of Burning Fossil Fuel?

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In addition to the monumental environmental and economic injustices of global warming on our current and future civilization, caused by the emissions of greenhouse gases from autos, power plants, military and recreational vehicles, etc., in addition to the deforestation of the tropics which has occurred over the past 100+ years, there have been additional spillover cost and environmental damage, for example the 105,000 gallons of oil that leaked from an onshore pipeline along California’s coastline near Santa Barbara this week; the damage caused by trains carrying combustible oil exploding in various parts of the U.S. and Canada; the damage from earthquakes caused by fracking for oil and gas in the state of Oklahoma and Texas and the release of methane gas at the well site; the damage caused by frac sand mining, the damage, injury and death from motor vehicle operation crashes and the emissions of greenhouse gases and small harmful-to-human-health particles from the the operation of motor vehicles; the laying of more unneeded highway pavement in the country, the impacts of mining for metals and energy impacts required to build more automobiles, and the greenhouse gas releases from what the New York Times suggests is American’s biggest carbon sin – jet flying, to say nothing about the habitat destruction for airports and runways/taxiways, the strip mining and transport of coal and waste product at power plants, the stringing of transmission lines across the landscape, and the soot, sulfur dioxide and mercury released to the air by power plants that end up in our lakes, contaminating the fish.

U.S. consumers must share  a large portion of the blame, since without the consumer’s “need” to fly, drive and electrify and heat their homes, factories and places of recreation by burning fossil fuels, Earth’s coal, oil and gas would remain safely in the ground.

The number of environmental “bads” from our use of fossil fuels is nearly endless.

What Happened to the Passenger Pigeon?

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Throughout the 19th century, passenger pigeons were the most abundant bird in North America. Named after the French word passager for “passing by”, the species numbered an estimated 3 to 5 billion birds when Europeans arrived on the continent. The species lived primarily east of the Rocky Mountains, and bred almost exclusively in the eastern deciduous forest. In Wisconsin alone, in 1871, there were an estimated 136 million breeding passenger pigeon adults in the state.

Historical accounts of their huge flocks are numerous. It is reported that they darkened the sky for hours or even days at a time as they took to the air. But because the birds lived in a limited number of extremely large flocks, this gave the impression that there was an unlimited abundance of the birds and the birds could be harvested at will.

The bird’s population began to decline in increasing numbers as a result of European settlement in America, due at first to deforestation and habitat loss later as a result of unregulated hunting. Pigeon meat was subsequently commercialized as “cheap meat” for slaves and the poor in the 19th century. As a result the species went from being one of the most abundant species in the world during the 19th century to extinction in the early 20th century.

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the passenger pigeon’s extinction.

The Way We Should All Live, by Graham Nash and David Crosby

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Song Lyrics by Graham Nash from “Winds on the Water”, album by David Crosby and Graham Nash, Produced by David Crosby and Graham Nash

Lyrics: “The Way I Live
Determines the Way
My People Survive.”

Chorus line in “Cowboy of Dreams

To The Last Whale …
A. “Critical Mass”, music by David Crosby; vocals David Crosby and Graham Nash

B. “Wind on the Water”, words and music by Graham Nash, third stanza:

“Maybe we”ll disappear
Its not that we don’t know
Its just that we don’t want to care
Under the bridges
Over the foam
Wind on the water
Carry me home”