I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Revisiting Indentured Servitude

This is a disgrace to human intelligence. Could our country really just not survive without slavery? It's hardly been 40 years, do we want to return to soon?

Companies and begun realizing that they can sell themselves even shorter than they previously were, by literally selling themselves for whatever their contractor wishes them to do. If this were sex, wouldn't it be prostitution? Why is it becoming America's new fad?

  • Humansellouts.com. Doesn't the name sound so promising?

  • This asshole sold temporary tattoo-space on his forehead. Even worse, he was interviewed and encouraged for his whoredom by almost all of America.

  • Humanadspace.com. Pretty much the same here. If he truly were a whore, this guy would be fornicating with his, eyebrows?

  • Think for one minute please... Do you want to contribute to and support a country that condones this kind of behavior, yet outlaws marajuana? Do you think it's right and justified that so much money be wasted on such trivial human folly and profligacy while we have insufficient health care, social security, education, human welfare...do I need to continue?

    But I don't want to focus only on the negatives, so let's take a look at humane alternatives:

    The first two here are Plum Village and the Green Mountain Dharma Center. Both were founded by by Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. He has devoted his life to trying to save the human race from its misery, something I cannot be so bold or brave to attempt. Unlike Western monotheistic religions, however, dharma does not insist or expect a bunch of crazy stories. It offers anyone, regardless of their path, relief from suffering, and encourages them to follow a self-directed life that respects and considers all other beings around them. I think this is a pretty good start, to say the least. I have read some of Thich Nhat Hanh's works before, too long ago, and now Katie and I are reading "Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames." Please browse these sites and share anything you feel taken by.

  • This is Plum Village in France. Thankfully, consumerism is not the only things that has been prospering this past century.

  • Green Mountain Dharma Center. This is fairly new to America from what I've been reading.

  • This space is reserved for more positive ways to change ourselves and/or the world.

    1) This is a website I went to after it was brought to my attention that my flights to Japan created an insane amount of CO2 pollution. I calculated how much damage my flights caused (about 2.2 tons of CO2 production), and was able to invest in programs that could offset my true travel expenses. Most of its efforts are devoted to the U.K.
  • Carbon Neutral Company

  • 2) American Forests perfoms a similar service, but it focuses specifically on trees and their well-being. You can joke about "saving the trees", but I would like to point out that they keep us alive, so maybe we could return the favor.
  • American Forests

  • I'm still updating this post with hope for the future so please don't forget to return here again, and again...you get the point.

    3) Biodiesel! This article covers all of the benefits, and the very few setbacks, to biodiesel in America. There was much more here than I was expecting, including comparisons of biodiesel to oil, what cars work most efficiently with biodiesel, links to sites where you can buy biodiesel, converting restaurant fryer waste into fuel, etc. Please, if you can afford a car that runs on biodiesel, switch now! We don't have time to play the oil game anymore.
  • Co-op America's article on Biodiesel.

  • 4) Trees for the Future! More about forests, but this is a bit different. This group has been going in and restoring deforested regions throughout several dozen countries, and establishing ways for people living in the affected communities to restore their independence and productivity through maintaining their ecosystems. By working for their land, citizens of so many countries, from those industrialized to those far from it, are learning how to better provide for themselves. I believe the parable that best relates to this phenomenon is "Teaching a man to fish," a practice that I strongly support and wish more people practiced. I encourage everyone to take a look at the 8-minute video this organization produced. It was powerful enough for me to want to immediately quit my post and sign up to become a full-time volunteer for Trees for the Future.
    Here is the link, please take a look:
  • Trees for the Future

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