Saturday, August 18, 2012

This I Know to Be Ecological Truth



EARTH MEANDERS: This I Know to Be Ecological Truth

Abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse, caused by human industrial growth at expense of ecology, are poised to utterly destroy our one shared biosphere, and thus virtually all life including humanity.
"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole." – Malcolm X

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk

Ecology is the meaning of lifeEarth is an ancient organism, alive for 3.5 billion years. Only a few hundred years ago the disease of industrial capitalist growth arose, and is killing her by destroying her ecosystems. The current dominant economic paradigm mistakes ecosystem habitats – which are necessary for life – for disposable resources to be logged, mined, and burnt. Ancient, naturally evolved ecosystems are being stripped of life, largely for growth in throw-away consumer junk. As a result, water, soil, climate, and food systems are failing.

Human history can be summarized as the rich screwing the poor, stealing their work's surplus, while trashing ecosystems, at the point of a gun. For millennium, as human civilization developed, destroying ecosystems has been embraced as normal and desirable, particularly for agriculture. Over-population – going from 1.5 to 7 billion inequitable super-consumers in 125 years – has surpassed planetary ecological boundaries.

It has been routinely claimed that growth and liquidating natural habitat is progress and advancement, when in fact ecosystem loss is ecocide, and is killing us all. Ecosystem collapse is already here for one billion people globally without enough food, another billion lacking water, two billion living on less than $2 per day, and those subsisting on industrially over-developed and climate changed lands. Austerity in over-developed countries is in fact largely caused by ecosystem collapse, as jobs and easy growth from once-off harvesting of ecosystems ends. Without intact, healthy ecosystems, this is all our futures.

Continue reading "EARTH MEANDERS: This I Know to Be Ecological Truth" »

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan Spoke of Child Sex Tourism in Costa Rica

Congressman Pocan (left) boasted of traveling to Costa Rica for
Child Sex Tourism
The two independent accusations that Wisconsin 2nd District candidate Mark Pocan abuses children sexually keep on being removed from the web. Here is my original essay written in 2012, and the anonymous confirmation dated two weeks later, which confirmed that Mr. Pocan boasted to a large number of people regarding child sex tourism. After being reported to the FBI and Madison police, the response has been more scurrilous lies and a cover-up. Should Mr. Pocan be Madison's Congressman?



###

Wisconsin 2nd District: My Congressional Candidate Told Me He Is a Child Sex Tourist

I was present as State Representative Mark Pocan publicly regaled close associates at length with stories of traveling to Costa Rica for sex with young boys

Personal Essay by Dr. Glen Barry

July 26, 2012

For much of the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Being the state capitol, as I reconnected with Andy Janssen, an old high school friend that works there, occasionally I socialized with state political big-wigs. One was my state assemblyman Mr. Mark Pocan – now running for Congress from Wisconsin’s second district. Over the course of several years I hung-out and drank in local bars with Mr. Pocan a few dozen times, and became a good acquaintance and fledgling – albeit infrequent – member at that time of his inner circle. I like the charismatic, progressive man immensely. Sadly, however, he revealed to others and me that he had traveled to Costa Rica to have sex with children.

In 2002 or thereabouts, Mr. Pocan publicly regaled half a dozen of his close associates and me with a story of having recently traveled to Costa Rica for the explicit purpose of seeking out sex with underage boys. We were at the local Democratic Party watering hole – drinking on a weekend like we had done many times before. Mr. Pocan told the story of traveling to Costa Rica for sex tourism with boys with great gusto. He included numerous and graphic details regarding how the Gulf coast of Costa Rica was full of children from poor fishing villages – described at length as being firm, young, and willing – that would congregate at local hotels, and for a few dollars go with you to your room for a night of sex.

It was a larger group than normal, and there were numerous other people there, close associates of Mr. Pocan, any one of whom should be able to confirm my account, if they can be appealed upon to speak truthfully. None appeared shocked, or even disturbed, at this raucous story of sexual misconduct. It seemed routine, the norm. There was much laughing and banter as apparently this sort of torrid story was not an unusual topic of conversation amongst the group. Again, Mr. Pocan said clearly he had explicitly traveled to Costa Rica for sexual tourism, and had in fact paid for sex with young boys, making him a child sex tourist.

The next time I drank with Mr. Pocan and his entourage, I made a fleeting comment regarding the story to Mr. Pocan in front of his then partner. Mr. Pocan later pulled me aside and told me bluntly that if I spoke of the matter again I was not welcome in his company. I chose to never socialize with Mr. Pocan and his entourage again. Soon I graduated with a PhD, and moved away from Madison for several years to protect the world’s rainforests. We have a close mutual friend, remained in loose contact as facebook friends on his initiative, and last year as I prepared to return to the area, Mr. Pocan provided a reference for one job application. I have recently moved back to Madison, and have had random, friendly, yet distant contact with Mr. Pocan on a couple occasions.
So what has changed? Why come forward now? I don’t feel like I have any choice but to do so. I like Mark. But he told me he had traveled overseas to a poor, struggling country, to sexually abuse children, and I can’t let that go unreported.  Mr. Pocan is running for Congress, and his campaign heralds his work protecting victims of rape. I can’t sit by as I know the person who is most likely to be my next Congressman is – by his own admission to me – a child rapist, as kids can never consent to sex with adults.

Coming after my recent diatribe against Governor Scott Walker’s poor character displayed in college, it appears that I am – at least with these two individuals – a sort of Forrest Gump of Wisconsin politics. In both instances I have not sought out publicity or any advantage, but have felt a strong sense that knowing what I know – based upon first-hand information – that I had the responsibility to do the right thing, and communicate the best I could what I personally knew to be true.

I am not a Democrat or a Republican, have little interest in state politics, and know virtually nothing about his opponents. I have absolutely no reason to lie, or to want to needlessly bring this upon others or myself. My only reasons are a commitment to keeping children safe from sexual predators, and being unable to live with a bad conscience.

I have tried hard to live a moral, ethical life committed to high standards of personal conduct, and to issues of global concern larger than myself. This has meant tremendous sacrifice to the cause of global ecological sustainability and the welfare of the human family. Nonetheless, like most everyone, I have had personal failures and have had to deal with anger, dependency and abuse issues. I have acted sexually irresponsible in my past, but never illegally or doing harm to a child, and would never do so.
As I have reached middle-age, I have successfully dealt with my personal issues – particularly having been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, and its decades long cover-up – which have been epidemic in my family. I was successfully groomed to keep childhood sexual abuse secret, which I have only just overcome.

This is a painful essay to write at many levels. I have agonized and sought out the counsel of several regarding this ethical dilemma. Many told me not to write this essay. Yet, as I pondered, I would recall how no one was my champion as I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse by powerful adults. I failed by not reporting Mr. Pocan’s disclosure immediately after it occurred, or any time over the years subsequently. I hate to come forward with these truthful claims now, but I have no choice. It is the ethical thing to do, and I am no Sandusky protector. This is no last minute revelation, as I have come forward with a full three and a half months before the general election.

If anything I am guilty of being enamored by power, of wanting to ingratiate myself with powerful people because of my own insecurities. Now I simply can’t stand by and knowingly watch as a child sex tourist becomes the next Congressperson – which oftentimes ends up being for life – representing the great city of Madison and surrounding areas. I am sure I will be pilloried by the politically correct – yet at times ethically challenged – progressive Madison scene for coming out against their favorite son. And I am fine with that, as my progressivism and commitment to truth go beyond posturing, to doing the right thing, even when difficult and personally challenging.

Truth matters. I have to be consistent – if I call out Governor Walker on personal knowledge of corruption and acting as a fascist while in college, I must call out State Representative Pocan on child sexual exploitation. I agree with Pocan nearly across the board on political issues. He is a solid and committed Progressive. But you can’t be having sex with kids. Not even if you travel out of America to find poor ones, who have no voice.

I apologize for not coming forward earlier. I have only just recently dealt fully with having myself been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, and am recovering from a serious medical condition related to my parathyroid that has clouded my affective judgment. Mark’s public admission has been reported to the Madison police and other appropriate authorities. I have absolutely nothing to gain by going public with this matter, yet quite a lot to lose as I am sure Representative Pocan’s campaign will lash out, and make all sorts of vile false claims to protect his candidacy.

My only satisfaction is that even when frightened, I have done the right thing and reported childhood sexual abuse; belatedly – and with shaking hands as I write – but nonetheless.

Inside I am a hurt little boy that was sexually abused, grew up in an environment where this went on repeatedly to others, and was abandoned by family and friends as I sought to recover. As I have healed, the issue of keeping childhood innocence safe from sexual predators has become profoundly important to me. I have zero tolerance for childhood sexual abuse, and want it to stop. That will only happen if people speak of the matter and come forward when they know of abuses.

Mr. Pocan is an admitted – amongst friends even a boastful – sexual abuser of children, and is not fit to be a U.S. Congressperson. This isn’t a gay, straight thing. It is a not getting away with raping poor foreign kids as a tourist – because you are an entitled powerful politician – thing. Again, I am sorry for not having come forward earlier.

###

Dr. Glen Barry is an internationally recognized environmental advocate, scientist, writer and technology expert. He is well-known within the environmental community as a leading global ecological visionary, public intellectual, and environmental policy critic. Dr. Barry's work as the President and Founder of Ecological Internet - the Earth's largest biocentric ecological advocacy web portals - was recently recognized as one of " 25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" by the Utne Reader. More: http://forests.org/staff/glen.asp

###

Here is the independent confirmation, a second person who came forward to support Dr. Barry's assertions:

Demonic Mark Pocan, Candidate for the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin Sex Tourist, Coward and Moral Degenerate

October 12, 2012

Recently there have been a number of accusations made against  Mark Pocan, well known Madison progressive and congressional hopeful. When I learned about these allegations and the source behind them, I realized that a proverbial Pandora’s Box had been opened and that it was time to break a cycle of fear, shame, embarrassment and silence that I (and many others) have been living in for quite  some time now.  Be it for reasons of concerns for our safety, fear of alienation or  simply hoping  that someone else would say something, those of us who know of these shameful acts have remained silent over the years; and it is time for us to step forward and hold ourselves and Mr. Pocan accountable for the roles each of us has played in this truly disgraceful story.

I will begin by saying that I am a gay man. As a gay man, I have felt the hurt that comes along with the perception that all gay men are sexual predators. I know that by coming forward with this story and showing that another gay man, especially a high-profile gay man, has committed these acts that it will only strengthen that perception. That both saddens and angers me. I am saddened that the vast, vast majority of gay men who would never even consider harming a child will still be cast in the same light as the small and repulsive percentage that does. I am angered that any person, gay or straight would ever victimize a child. I am angered that someone of that character holds office and that those of us who knew of his atrocities protected him out of some warped sense of self preservation. It is time for those of us with knowledge of these acts come forward and prevent them from happening again.

For most of 2001 - 2008 I was in a relationship with one of the people that Dr. Barry describes in his article as a member of Mr. Pocan’s “inner circle” and was thus, by proxy, also a member of that circle. The story relayed in Dr. Barry’s essay is not only factual and accurate, but it is not an isolated incident. The open relationship enjoyed by Mr. Pocan and his partner is no great secret in the local gay community; and Mark’s preference to younger men is no secret either. During my acquaintance with him he was a regular at the UW’s LGBT Campus Center “Ten Percent Society” dances, a place no respectable gentleman of a certain age ought to be scoping out college freshmen. His aggressive behavior towards these men was obvious and even to those of us not in the “inner circle”, ought to have been a warning sign that there was an issue.

But, as we often do with “celebrities” we were all willing to turn a blind eye to save the community as a whole the embarrassment. Frankly, it was unconscionable of us to do so and this is the time to make it right.

Those of us who were in that inner circle, who have been told the lurid and heartbreaking details of Mark Pocan’s sexual encounter’s with underage boys have a moral obligation to speak out. We stayed silent for our own reasons but ultimately we must face the fact that in our silence and complicity, we too have become guilty. Each person abused since then is as much our victim as they are his. And now that the secret is out and Pandora’s Box is open, we are personally responsible for any person he hurts from this point forward.

Mr. Pocan has done a great deal of crowing about his “Compassionate Care for Rape Victims” billl, something which is very politically advantageous of him to do as the idea of compassion for victims of rape is universally accepted as a good thing. Victims of any sort of abuse need to be sheltered and protected under the law whenever possible.

It is odd, however, that he has declined to talk about another big topic he took on with equal vigor: the weakening of Jessica’s Law. As quoted by in The Isthmus:

“Pocan, who has voted against several pieces of sex-predator legislation, including the recent lifetime GPS tracking, believes the state should revisit the more sweeping legislation it's enacted over the last 15 years.

"If someone is not really a threat to society, and we know they're really not a threat to society, we're taking their life and screwing it up," says Pocan. "There's the politics of it and then there's the science of it, and the politics of it is off the chart right now. If you want to be tough on crime, you're tough on sex predators. You use sex predators to mean everybody, because you don't differentiate, because there is no intellectual thought put into what you're saying."   -Nathan J. Comp. (2007/November/09). The Sex Offenders Among Us. The Isthmus

That sort of thing might not be so politically advantageous for him to talk about, obviously. So why take it on in the first place?

Simple - it is personally advantageous for him to do so. We have allowed a child rapist to write the laws that penalize those arrested for sex offenses.

That is wrong, it is immoral and it needs to be corrected.

In an even more egregious display of irony, Mr. Pocan is endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign. It is reprehensible that an organization that claims to protect “human rights” is endorsing, funding and aiding a man who has robbed those less fortunate of the basic human right of dignity.

The rest of the “inner circle” that Dr. Barry alluded to - we all know who we are and we know who each other are. It is our moral and civic duty to come forward, to speak plainly and to expose this miscarriage of justice. We must look to ourselves and as if we are willing to stand for what is right, whether or not it is dangerous, and whether or not it is the popular thing to do.

Many people unfamiliar with how that gay community works will probably scoff at the idea of  this being dangerous. It is not a laughing matter. The community is one that demands unwavering allegiance or you face alienation, threats, and occasionally violence. For that reason, I am writing this anonymously. Some may call it cowardice, and thats fair. Much of what I have done in this matter up until now has come from cowardice.

I admit to my personal failings as a man and as a citizen that held me hostage in a cycle of silence. I carry the burden of those that I have hurt by my silence and no apology can atone for that. All I can do is move forward in a moral and upright manner, and this is that first step.

To Dr. Glen Barry - I thank you for making me realize my moral obligation to come forward. I admire your courage and commitment to the truth and I regret the backlash that you have suffered for it. I have reached out to you via a gentleman who wrote you a letter and left a card at your home. I urge you, please, to contact him so that you and I can stand together in this. 2 people alone can be ignored and swept away. 2 people together constitutes probable cause.

Monday, July 9, 2012

U.S. Abrupt Climate Change 2012: Where Will You Be the Day Earth’s Death Became Unavoidable?



EARTH MEANDERS: U.S. Abrupt Climate Change 2012: Where Will You Be the Day Earth’s Death Became Unavoidable?

The world’s and especially America’s environment has gone mad during the summer of 2012. Abrupt climate change is clearly upon us, and life-giving ecosystems are visibly failing, portending doom for our shared biosphere, all life, and humanity. Given overshoot of ecological boundaries, and failure to pursue concerted national and global sustainable development and ecological sustainability policy, 2012 may well be the year Earth’s death through collapse of its one shared biosphere becomes inevitable.

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk

Where Will You Be the Day Earth’s Death Became Unavoidable?Abrupt Climate Change Is Now

Fundamentally the meaning of life is ecosystems [search]. Without a healthy, intact, diverse and operational environment - humanity and all life simply cannot exist. As a result of the human ecocidal system of industrial growth, local ecosystems are being destroyed globally for insatiable human consumption. Life of every sort – including Gaia, the Earth system herself – is dying.

Earth's biosphere - the thin mantle of life from underground to the top of the atmosphere, which self-regulates the Earth System to keep it habitable - is collapsing. Ecological science knows this with certainty – in disciplines including planetary boundaries, limits to growth, global change and ecology. If nothing is done, massive social and ecological collapse is imminent, and the end of biological being is possible. Earth is burning and the human family is essentially doing nothing.

Continue reading "EARTH MEANDERS: U.S. Abrupt Climate Change 2012: Where Will You Be the Day Earth’s Death Became Unavoidable?" »

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wisconsin Embraces Fascism



Aspiring, Sticky-Sweet Authoritarian Dictator Remains Firmly in Power

June 6, 2012
Personal essay by Dr. Glen Barry

Wisconsin is a less free and decent place this morning. The human right to freely and openly associate and organize with colleagues to negotiate the best price for your labor just barely exists, and people that form unions to do so are villainous thugs. Women are less equal. Gays and blacks are sub-human. Teachers, intellectuals, progressives, atheists, and other knowledgeable, free thinking peoples have less rights and prestige. A sticky-sweet taint lingers in the air.

Largely uneducated yet belligerent rural rednecks, out-of-state billionaires, and white suburban Milwaukee ghetto usurers are firmly in control. They are taking names, coming for what you have, and preparing to force their worldview upon anyone who has not yet drunk the corporatist kool-aid. The air, water, soil and vegetation Wisconsin’s citizens depend upon for life now lie virtually unprotected. Corporations – which we are told are people – are firmly in control. God is in the government and regulates our bodies and bedrooms.

Right-wing, teabagger, nutjob politicians no longer have to campaign on the issues upon which they will actually govern, or even mention the policies they will pursue once in office. Money is speech and anything can be said, or even made up, and stated over and over again, until glassy eyed we fall into line behind the great leader. Our Governor’s boorish past conduct and patterns of election fraud since youth have never mattered, never will, and will be erased along with fascist and illegal union busting tactics from our history.

Neighbors begrudge neighbors their modest health insurance, education and pension – rather than organizing and educating themselves to have them too.  People of all sorts that better themselves by banding together into unions and/or becoming educated are unworthy of deferred compensation they freely negotiated, earned and are owed. Teachers, firefighters, cops, government workers, and their unions caused 911 and the ongoing financial collapse; and they will be punished now and long into the future, until they repent of their socialist ways.

Being smart¸ and training your mind through a process called education, is dumb and no longer valued in Wisconsin. Funds for our formerly world-class schools and Universities have been returned to our state’s elite absentee billionaire slumlords, where because of their great benevolent virtue, they rightly belong. Those who are educated are less than fully American, and their views, especially if fact, data, knowledge, or wisdom based; are not to be trusted. There are no experts on anything, just opinion. Truth comes from a tightened fist.

There will be no salvation from homegrown Wisconsin fascism. The national tea party is bent upon dumbing us down and enslaving us for god and greed. The great black hope and assassin in chief busies himself with nominating alleged terrorists - including American citizens - for the drone kill list in sovereign nations. Our economy was plundered by the elites, who are now the power behind the throne in Wisconsin, and also our commander-in-chief’s top advisors and funders. No one has gone to jail.

Both Wisconsin’s state and national leaders routinely permanently rollback civil liberties and ignore ecological collapse at great peril. Wisconsin’s progressive leadership is overly focused upon preening, posing, celebrity journalist activists – who lead the protests, report upon them, and are followed by their own video crews. Whenever the party of Roosevelt rules it meekly fails to stand for much of anything but re-election. The party of Reagan – led now by a bullying uber-corporatist – overreaches and continually cheapens America’s great democratic traditions.

Rarely are political, universal truths of justice, liberty, fairness, peace, equity, ecology, and human rights spoken courageously any longer – much less enacted. Sensibly caring for the well-being of others, sharing when you have enough, nurturing children and the land are thought to be quaint relicts of an over-taxed era. Others would consider this the price of democracy and civilization, such as it is.

Wisconsinites – like the rest of the nation – are left in the coming Presidential election with picking the lesser of two fascists. Freedom from fascist and corporatist rule – and the scapegoating, sexism, nationalism, militarism, propaganda lies; and gutting of unions, education, environmental protection and civil liberties this implies – is a precondition to living justly, fairly and well; and to sustaining global ecology and social well-being long-term.

The American dream of hyper-consumption for some is over because it couldn’t be sustained ecologically or socially. America can’t expect to reap the ill-gotten benefits – all too often seized at the point of a gun – of 4% of Earth’s people consuming 25% of key global resources any longer. The 2.5 billion people globally living on $2 a day understandably want their fair share too. The natural and painful consequences of downsizing America’s extreme lifestyles and unwinding horrific disparities is sadly leading to demagoguery, a decline in truth telling, and yes, the rise of fascism in the American heartland.

America has lost its way. Our ecosystems and economic system are collapsing, fascism rising, and conflict growing – do we want societal and ecological collapse to come as we are at each other’s throats? Things are heading that way. We are becoming the terrorists we abhor. And all the reasons are evident in microcosm in Wisconsin. Decent, thoughtful folks in Wisconsin tried valiantly but ultimately failed for now to combat the John Birch, KKK, Tea Party inspired rise of hateful and destructive fascism.  But the battle to retake our great state and country from the fascists has just begun.

I hate fascism, and urge you to join together with others and myself to resist a corporate takeover and enslavement of America. Going forward, all thinking reasonable lovers of truth-based liberty, freedom, and the decent essence of America, must come together to form an Anti-Fascist League. Failure means an overtly fascist America, of the sort now destroying Wisconsin.