Spring 2017 Volume 24 Number 1 About This Issue This issue of the newsletter comes at a time of uncertainty here in our country and the world. Tak

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Spring 2017

Volume 24

Number 1

About This Issue

This issue of the newsletter comes at a time of uncertainty here in our country and the world. Taking that into consideration, the four articles contained in this issue deal with that ambiguity and effectively divide this issue into two parts. The first two articles lay out the problems/opportunities that face us, and the remaining articles show what Margaret Meade said; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Bill Ayres returns to our pages and forces us to consider what is happening in our country due to the result of the recent Presidential Election. Ayers asks us is Trump’s first budget a blueprint to make America great again or is more like a blueprint to make America poor again. He asks who is right and what are the real facts? Most importantly he insists that the Federal Budget is a moral document.

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The Federal Budget Is A Moral Document: America, We Are In Hot Water...By Bill Ayres

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Bill Ayres

President Trump calls his first federal budget “America First: A Blueprint to Make America Great Again." It is more like “A Blueprint to Make America Poor Again”. Who is right? What are the REAL FACTS?

The choices that our elected officials make in the budget will determine so much of what our country invests in and how we prosper in the coming years. But it goes beyond the dollars and cents to determine what America stands for and which way our moral compass is pointing. Are we a nation that stands for “Justice for All”, and especially for the tens of millions of poor people, including millions of innocent children, working families, immigrants who harvest our food, seniors who’ve worked all their lives and disabled people? So far, 69 percent of all the Trump budget cuts are from programs that benefit low or moderate income Americans. Is this budget a MORAL DOCUMENT?

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Apathy is no Longer an Option...By Kristof and Stacia Nordin

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Kristof and Stacia Nordin

Planet earth, along with all of its living organisms, are currently experiencing an immense period of change. Due to the relatively short span of human life, we tend to forget that humans have managed to sustain life on this planet for millions of years. Many of our current systems have become based upon the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas. These sources of energy are sometimes referred to as ‘ancient sunlight’. Fossil fuels come from plants and animals which died millions of years ago and got were buried, generally in seas and oceans, where they end up getting covered by layers of mud. This mud eventually hardens into rock which creates great pressure. Over long periods of time, this pressure, combined with the earth’s heat, converts these fossils into fuel.

In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, the world entered into an era which came to be known as the ‘Industrial Revolution’. During this period, many of the manufacturing processes shifted from ‘hand production’ methods to those of machines. Initially, many of these machines operated on water or steam power, but with the discovery of fossil fuels, a new course of human history was set in motion. We have now reached the point where very few people can imagine a life without automobiles, airplanes, tractors, electricity, computers, cell phones, etc.; many—if not all—of these things currently being dependent upon the use of fossil fuels. It is important to keep in mind that the first successfully commercial oil well, known as the Drake Well, was drilled in the American state of Pennsylvania in 1859. This means that in just a little over 150 years, we have radically altered the way that people have lived on the planet for thousands of generations.

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A Good Night's Rest in Zambia...By Jason Woods

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Jason Woods

A day’s work is all the harder after shivering through a cold night without a cozy bed or warm blankets. Heifer project participants in Zambia’s Copperbelt province are sleeping much more soundly now that they’re able to turn their dairy cows and hard work into the necessities of a more comfortable life.

“We used to get grass... then we would put it in a sack for us just to make a mattress,” Tabulo said. “No pillow, you use your arm for a pillow.” If you wanted your mattress to look like a proper bed, Musha added, you would use tree branches as bedposts.

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How The Indigenous Zapotec Community is "El Buen Vivir" - Living Well...By Debbie Grunbaum, WhyHunger

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Debbie Grunbaum

“We eat what we plant. What we eat comes from our own labor. It’s healthy,” explained Don Carlos, a Zapotec campesino living in the village of Santa Gertrudis deep in the Sierra Juarez mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. “Before we ate processed food and we didn’t know what was in it. We are also really blessed to have clean, fresh water.”

Sitting just 40 feet from the fresh flowing mountain water eliciting Don Carlos’ gratitude and eating a nutritious bowl of organic farm-raised Tilapia soup and fresh tortillas, the full impact of the transition back to indigenous food ways he was describing was palpable.

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