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Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
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December 3, 2013     Lassen County Times
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December 3, 2013
 

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l Lassen CountY Times, Westwood PinePress Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 / Nuclear weapons and the unfolding universe WHERE I STAND retellings of this story in his ..................................................... :: ........... prize-winning one-hour DVD, WINSLOW MYERS "Journey of the Universe" WRITER, PEAC EVOIC E Through the work of the eco-philosopher Thomas Berry and his prot6g6s, a new way of looking at the universe and our human place in it has been established. While still not mainstream, this new story has given hope not only to hundreds of thousands of environmental activists around the world, but as well to thoughtful people in many fields, including economics, theology, education, politics and science. The new story of the universe goes something like this: we moderns, using tools like the Hubble Telescope, are the first generation that possesses the resource of the continuous 14 billion-year story of the unfurling from the original flaring forth, through the establishment of the galaxies, stars and planets, to the development of cellular life, to the expanding diversity of life here on earth, to the rise of a particular kind of serf- reflective consciousness, which is the hallmark of human beings. The cosmologist Brian Swimme offers one of the most concise and beautiful (journeyoftheuniverse.org/). This life-changing account of our origins and creative potential ought to be seen by every student, congressman, pastor, rabbi, mullah, businessman, in short, everyone. What are the implications? First, this scientific story of the universe is the basis for all stories, all religions, all the mythic systems humans have devised to give meaning to our presence here -- and further, this story is the basis not only for our religious myths and symbols, but for our educational systems, economics and political arrangements. We humans belong in this universe. We emerged from it. The elements in our bodies, carbon and oxygen and calcium, were forged in the furnace of the stars. A second obvious implication is our economic systems must be based in the reality of the economics of the earth itself. As Berry said again and again, you cannot have healthy humans on a sick planet. We cannot extract more resources than the planet can naturally replace, or pollute its systems to the point where it is unable to heal itself. At present our world economic system is based on doing exactly that. A third clear implication is all humans are intimately related and connected in their collective story and their collective fate, and connected to all the living systems of the earth without which our lives would be impossible. All our divisions, in the context of the universe story are artificial abstractions based upon fears, labels and projections: Arab and Jew, Shia and Sunni, Islam and "the West," capitalist and socialist, Republican and Democrat. The degree of this interdependence has taken on a fresh intensity of meaning in the light of our ecological awareness of global interdependence. We cannot save the earth in parts. If Brazil fails to preserve the rain forest, the very lungs of the earth, none of us will breathe oxygenated air. Among thoughtful citizens worldwide, such ideas are already well-worn clich6s. But the clich6 falls far behind the actions we need to undertake to actually address the problems. It is astonishing to realize as a part of this awesome unfolding story, our reflective serf-consciousness has also managed to unlock the enormous destructive power at the heart of the atom -- threatening everything on our small planet. In the same way our minds and hearts have not caught up with the need for radical concerted action to address our ecological challenges, we also experience a distance between the reality humans cannot afford to use nuclear weapons, and concrete political efforts to abolish them, efforts which are still considered pie-in-the-sky by our leaders. Nuclear weapons are a symptom of our security fears, but these very fears can become a motive for action toward disarmament if the shared system of mutual fears is made the basis of diplomacy, The fatal combination of our us and them thinking and weapons themselves, no matter who has them, is the threat. It is an illusion to think just because we are American or French or Pakistani or Chinese, we are infallible and wouldn't misuse them. There is no going back. They can't be nn-invented. They cannot provide security, because if they were detonated above a certain not-so-large number (some scientists speculate about 5 percent of existing weapons), a planet-ending nuclear winter would ensue. Most of the media seems utterly wed to the apparently unchangeable truth of this fear system. But the normative political ges{ure of people who understand they all emerged from one universe begins with reaching out beyond an automatic assumption of competitiveness toward the familiarity that establishes safe spaces for dialogue, friendship and gradually built trust, in the context of challenges shared by all. Were I a diplomat, I would base my confidence-building overtures with perceived adversaries on this new way of thinking -- nations may be enemies on one level, but on a planetary level welall face this threat together. I would pledge no-first-ue. I would push hard for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, especially difficult as that might be. In the larger context of the universe story, may there 11B soon come a time when the nations of the world, accepting the uselessness of nuclear weapons in war, might cooperate to create a reliable system of rockets and warheads for diverting asteroids on a collision path with our earth. People tend to cooperate more effectively if they can join forces toward a common goal. Then these destructive weapons will take their place in the creative context we already know to be true: we're all in this 14- billion-year-old adventure together. Myers is the author of "Living Beyond War." A Citizen's Guide, "serves on the advisory board of the War Prevention Initiative and writes for Peace Voice. VETERANS, from page 7B The answer is to close down most of theVA hospitals. We need to keep the skilled care facilities that treat our war wounded and train people to walk and function again. The government budget for funding Veterans Affairs in 2014 is $152.7 billion. Let's eliminate half of thebudget by shutting down tworthirds of these soldier-killing hospitals. Next, give veterans a medical card that allows them tog o anywhere in the United States ibinedical care. These men and women have served our country and should not be treated to lesser medical care than fellow Americans. Mollette is an American columnist read in all 50 states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com or find him on Facebook. He is the author of "American Issues" and numerous other books. CHRISTENSEN INSURANCE Expert assistance with Group Insurance. "A Friend you can depend 'on for Life" Susan Christensen Edwards 530.257.2263 or 888.257.2263 CA Lie #0762221 www.christensenins.com 40 S. Roop St. Susanville I 13 = Annual Fdends in Art Show i I December 13 th and 14 th, 2013 i 'Please join us for aJ Give the gift of ' 'opening reception Art this year! on Friday night, December 13 th at Artisan Coffee in Janesville (253-300( There will be refreshments served from 5"30 until 8:00 pm Susan Dunklau ~ water colors, and the artists will be scarves there to meet and show their work on Friday evening and Saturday. i Door prizes will be i drawn on Saturday, December 14th. Art will remain on sale for the entire month of December. Participating artists: Schwirian ~ fine jewelry Jacquie Cordova ~ raku pottery and watercolors Robert Tripplet ~ woodworking Norma DeBaker ~ fused glass jewelry Patricia Neely ~ wildlife photography Lynda Alberico - pine needle baskets ' ' Shirley Robinson ~ water color paintings Ron McBride ~ paintings and sculptures Debbie Cleaveland -- Peruvian wool felted hats Lassen Co. Humane Society ~ Christmas wreaths , 0000REALTY LASSEN LAND & HOMES Independently Owned and Operated Susanville 257-7727 The Lassen County Tax Collector, Richard Egan wants to remind you that the 1 st installment of the 2013-2014 secured property tax bill was due November 1, 2013. Payments will be delinquent if not received or postmarked by December 10, 2013. After that a 10% penalty will be added. The Tax Collector's office hours from December 2, 2013, thru December 10, 2013 will be from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you have not received a tax bill please call the office at 251-8221. Additionally, the deadline for filing for a homeowner's exemption is also December 10, 2013. Call the Assessor's Office at 251-8241 with any questions on this filing. II Ill l California Correctional Center & Lassen Family Services 24th Annual Victims of Crime Hobby Craft Fair & Auction Hobby Craft Fair will be held at Lassen County Fairgrounds Friday December 6 th - 4:00pm to 8:00pm Saturday December 7 th- 10:00am to 3:00pm Auction begins at 1:00pm Great Holiday Gifts! Handcrafted Wooden Items! Made by the California Correctional Center Fire Camps All donations benefit victims of crime in Lassen County Enter Our Drawing to WIN a Handmade Wooden Play House Tickets are a $20 Donation for 1, $50 Donation for 3, '100 Donation for 6 Drawing to be held on December 19, 2013 For tickets or information call Ashley 257-5459 x1252 i