Saturday, November 25, 2006

Who's Who?

Over the course of the last 2 years, I've written several times about a strange enterprise -- Linda Christas. It's supposedly an educational institution, but, from my own personal research, it seems to be nothing more than a well put together scam.

The only reason why I return again and again to this topic is because the people from this organization keep returning to my blog and many first-time readers find this blog as a result of a Google search.

So, today, I decided to visit their website again. If you go to their Board page, you'll see a few names that ring a bell like Pat Boone, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. or Sue Grafton. Beyond those names, however, are people who have little, if any claim to fame.

Here's the interesting part. Several of these people are described using words like "pioneering surgeon", "publisher" or "respected education consultant". Yet, if you do a search on (ZoomInfo, the premier summarization search engine, delivers fresh, comprehensive information on over 33 million business professionals and 2 million companies across virtually every industry), the ONLY reference you will find on any of these individuals is...Linda Christas.

What are the chances of that happening? You'd think that at least 1 or 2 of them would pop up with references to professional boards in their field or a published article or something of this nature.

Even more interesting is the fact that, when you type the name of the 3 prominent board members into Google and you add "Linda Christas", the only hits you find refer back to Linda Christas itself or they come from remarks made by others. In other words, these three famous people don't mention their supposed association with Linda Christas on their own websites nor is it reported in any way by the media.

That simply seems really strange to me. If this is such an upstanding organization, why is it so difficult to find any information on their so-called board members?

To review my previous postings about Linda Christas use the following links:
Looking for a Few Good Saps
Getting Out the Heavy Lumber
The Continuing Linda Christas Saga
My "Friends" at Linda Christas

It's a Bioregional Thing

I thought that, once the election season had come and gone, I would have more time to devote to blogging. It seems that I forgot about what would be utilizing most of my time AFTER Election Day -- serving as Coordinator for a bioregional conference and retreat. Maybe I can finally get back to blogging regularly after December 3.

Here's what we have posted on the Green Party of Washington State website:

The Power of Green: Peace & the Post-Oil Economy

In conjunction with our fellow Greens in
British Columbia, Idaho, Northern California & Oregon,
GPoWS will host the
1st Annual Cascadia Greens Conference & Retreat.
This event will establish the foundation for greater
communication and networking among the Green Parties in our bioregion.

When: December 1 - 3
Where: Cornet Bay Retreat Center at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island

A committee made up of representatives of the participating Green Parties is hard at work developing the framework for a weekend of workshops, presentations, and social time aimed at engendering green solidarity across boundaries of all types.

Some of the programs we've lined up thus far include:

  • "Nonviolent Direct Action in a Nuclear World: Responsibility and Consequences" presented by Sister Jackie Hudson of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action;
  • Canadian-Style Health Care presented by Fergus Gibson of the Green Party of British Columbia;
  • A yet untitled workshop presented by the Puget Sound Network for Compassionate Communication;
  • A yet untitled presentation on Energy Issues presented by GPoWS member and energy consultant Steve Garrison
  • Internalized Racism, a workshop presented by E. Mandisa Subira of the Conscious Thought Network
  • What Greens Can Learn from the Black Panther Party, a presentation by members of the Aaron Dixon 4 US Senate Campaign Team

In addition to featuring issue-based programs, we are also going to have several Green Party Nuts 'N Bolts sessions which will provide members with important tools to take back to their communities to increase their effectiveness of their local parties and/or chapters. Here are the Nuts 'N Bolts sessions we have lined up thus far:

  • Media - Publicizing What We Do (Make Gills, GPoWS & Joanne Cvar, PGP)
  • Fundraising in a Corporate-Based World (Trey Smith, GPoWS Treasurer & PGP Fundraising Coordinator)
  • Strategic Planning (Suzanne Nott, Facilitator of the South Puget Sound Green Party)
  • Creating a Bioregional Internet Cafe (Erik Douglas of Cascadia)
  • Bioregional Governance (Janet Jordan, GPoWS Secretary)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fire & Rain...And Oil

As a species, human beings are quite odd. We spend our lives trying to control everything around us and yet, the few things we're are able to genuinely control are quite insignificant. All the big stuff is truly beyond us.

In Southern California, there have been several major fires as of late. What the folks down there would do for just a scant amount of rain!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are being inundated with a deluge of precipitation. For example, in the Aberdeen area, 12.5" of rain is the average for the month of November. We exceeded our average on November 11 (13.07"). We now find ourselves less than 4" away from the [recorded] record for the month.

Now, if we humans could control things as we like to think, we would dispatch some of our rain down south to quell the raging fires. Of course, we don't have that power, so southern Cal will continue to burn, while we paddle through the streets to work.

Since we really have no control over the things that truly matter, we seek to control lesser the price of oil.

Has anyone else noticed that, since Election Day has come and gone, the price of gas has magically started to climb? In the past week, the price has risen 11 cents which reverses the pattern for the previous 6 months.

Before the election, many wondered if the appreciable decline in gas prices was the Republican's way of trying to dupe voters into believing our economy was turning around. When many suggested such a gambit, conservatives got all in a huff and denied the connection. The connection seems really clear now!

Friday, November 3, 2006

The Fickle American Consumer

American consumers are fickle, probably more so than any other nationality. For years -- while scientists warned of impending oil shortages and ever-increasing prices -- far too many American consumers thumbed their noses at this reality and purchased, in record-numbers, gas guzzling SUVs, over-sized trucks and spacious luxury cars.

Over the past few years (as had been predicted), gas prices started to climb. These same people started dumping their gas guzzlers and demanded to be first in line for gas-efficient hybrids.

Now that gas prices are falling again -- it's quite interesting that said prices are falling precisely as a lead up to the mid-term elections -- these same people are trading in their fuel-efficient vehicles for a variety of spiffy gas guzzlers. GM and Ford are reporting increased sales as result of the consumers return to the higher priced models.

Of course, this revolving door is bound to repeat itself again as prices will -- at some point -- start their climb upward.

Regardless of the price of gas, fuel-efficient vehicles make sense for the consumer, our society and planet. But try explain this fact to the fickle!