Saturday, October 19, 2013

Who Invented Blogging? Dr. Glen Barry First Blogger Since 1993

The homepage of Forests.org's Forest Protection Blog as it appeared in 1996 courtesy of the Wayback Machine

Who Invented Blogging

The Forest Protection Blog at http://forests.org/ had until recently been continuously on the web since January 1995, and was the first blog ever. It is now being updated and transferred to http://EcoInternet.org/ to use the latest blogging tools. Dr. Glen Barry developed the tool to protect old-growth forests, and his ongoing efforts since 1989 to harness the Internet for environmental conservation have been described as visionary, resulting in massive old-growth forest protection victories and other ecological sustainability outcomes. A blog is defined as commentary upon other linked Internet sources, with entries listed reverse chronologically.

Dr. Glen Barry, the inventor of blogging, explains "the real innovation in blogging is citizen commentary upon other web content as a recognized form of self-expression. The blog format of expressing yourself, as you link to other expression, exponentially enables free speech and thought. A free Internet is central to a just, equitable, and sustainable human future." While many others began to harness the Internet similarly in the late 1990s, often as personal diaries, the Forest Conservation Blog predates them by a few years, and was thus also the first political blog.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hyperparathyroidism



How I survived (and at times thrived) during a decade of suffering from PMS

By Dr. Glen Barry

It has been just over a year since I was successfully treated for a parathyroid condition called hyperparathyroidism. The malfunctioning parathyroid resulted in a condition similar (yet even more intense) to the hormonal changes in women as they have their periods – making me irritable, argumentative, unable to concentrate, highly emotional, and suffering a host of aches and pains. I had a severe case of the disease – off the charts in terms of hormone levels – which results in dangerous calcium deposits which wreak havoc upon your body and mind. This is not to suggest this is the experience of every woman, but I do have a new found appreciation for their special challenges.

Some family and friends had been communicating to me for several years that they thought my behavior to be more than a bit off. But I was too proud to listen. Though I have long suffered relatively minor depression, and have been egotistical and full of hubris at times (largely because of lack of self-confidence), generally I have been stable, goal orientated, and lived a life committed to truth, community service, ideas bigger than myself, and global ecology.

The dreadful disease doesn’t so much change your cognition, attitudes or beliefs – rather it amplifies your emotions and changes your affective behavior. Thus my long-term distress over environmental destruction – which in my academic opinion portends ecosystem and social collapse – became even more intensified as I viscerally felt and obsessed upon human and ecology’s demise. I at times became too extreme – however well intentioned - in my prescriptions for how to avoid global ecological collapse. My efforts to recover from pervasive childhood sexual abuse suffered by myself and others in my family were dealt a blow, as I compulsively sought out answers to what had happened, when perhaps it was time to let things go.

What was perhaps the saddest element of the disease to me was that many of my family and personal relationships proved facile and shallow, as few took the time to patiently and lovingly discuss my changed behavior. Instead many of my loved ones and long-time support network ostracized me and called me crazy, not deeming me worthy of taking the time to avoid estrangement. That hurt when I was sick, and still does now.

Ultimately, however, it is my fault, as I resisted seeing a doctor as my emotional health continued to deteriorate. In the last couple years of the untreated disease in particular, I sought to hide the pain through self-medication, leading to a drunk driving ticket which is the best thing that ever happened to me, and may have saved my life. Entering the resulting prescribed counseling a couple years back, I was finally able to get help for the sexual abuse I suffered as a child, and my hyperparathyroidism was diagnosed. 

Last July I had the malfunctioning parathyroid removed with surgery by the expert in the field at the Mayo clinic, and within hours a whole range of maladies began to subside. The drop in calcium immediately made my joint pains ease, I could concentrate better, the constant obsessing upon what others thought of me subsided, a sense of calm and well-being returned, and simply I was back to being myself. And however imperfect I may remain, I have been able to work on personal growth and trying to heal the harm my denial and hubris of failing to get medical treatment caused.

Immediately I sought to right two wrongs for which my conscience would never forgive myself if I didn’t try. Firstly, I went public letting others know of my childhood sexual abuse. Speaking freely of my personal story – and refusing to protect with silence family secrets of sexual misconduct - had been identified in counseling as key to getting my life back. I reported repeated threats against me by my brother-in-law Michael Chamberlain to the police, that I not speak of my family history or else, and revealed his sexual misconduct that broke up the family to his adult children.

Without any expectation of a positive outcome, and at risk to my reputation, I came forward to reveal my Congressman Mark Pocan's disclosure of raping children to others and myself. Given my childhood friend Andy Janssen's boasting of taking sex tourism trips with the to-be-Congressman for anonymous sex, I felt I had no choice but to do the right thing, and reported the matter to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Madison DA and police, and FBI. Now healed, the fact that the Madison police and community wrote it off is beyond the point, I did what was right. And when he is caught abusing again – as he will be as sexual predators rarely stop – or anyone of the dozens of others that know come forth, Madison will no longer be represented in Congress by a pedophile.

To be fair, during this time there were many accomplishments based upon a life of education, deep thought, and hard work. I raised a talented and beautiful daughter through teenage angst to successful launch into college independence. We went on an around the world trip together, and spent time living in her Papua New Guinean culture. My work as a political ecologist was independently hailed as visionary by others and resulted in massive rainforest and other ecological victories. I bravely confronted those greenwashing old-growth forest logging, and continue to do so, despite again being called unstable for doing so. At some personal expense, I recounted the authoritarian, self-aggrandizing political behavior since youth of Wisconsin’s governor, which I witnessed and know first-hand. I remarried the love of my life, completed a PhD, and successfully started a new career in finance IT.

I concur with the observation that an unexamined life is not worth living. Key to turning around any malignancy – be it personal disease of our societal headlong rush into global ecocide – is acknowledging you have a problem, and getting the help you need. Brutal personal and societal honesty is the only path to long-term sustainability. As is weathering the hyperbole filled and nonsensical character assassination attempts that result when speaking truthfully on matters of importance.

I have come to realize it is not necessary to be perfect to contribute to my community, to love and be loved, and to live a good life. It’s OK to be vulnerable at times, if one is being honest, and trying every day to be strong. For a lifetime of personal growth it is just required that you commit to the truth, learn from your mistakes and make amends, and constantly strive for self-improvement. And when you are feeling a bit off, see the doctor.

I apologize to those I hurt during this sickness, forgive those who abandoned rather than supported me (though I would appreciate apologies and you reaching out), and rejoice at the miracle of healing. I hope that after a year of being healthy people will see the real me – a committed family man, ecologist, community servant, and free-thinking and thought filled human being. I’m back and looking forward to the next chapter of my life after having successfully weathered this tragic illness.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ecocide Is Not Development; Love and Ecology Are the Answer

Earth's ecosystems are collapsing, human and all species' habitats are being lost, and our one shared biosphere is failing and dying. Love of other peoples and species and of nature, truth, justice, and equity are the only lasting basis for global ecological sustainability.

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Krishnamurti

“Truth matters. Freedom matters. Justice matters. Ecology matters. Peace matters. Compassion matters. Knowledge matters. Love matters. We should all try to matter by serving such ideals.” – Dr. Glen Barry

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

Ecology is the meaning of lifeEarth is alive – just like the biological patterns found in cells, species, individual organisms, and ecosystems; only at a different scale – and thus can die if boundary conditions for health are exceeded. The biosphere [search] – Earth's thin mantle of life – is collapsing and dying, as ecosystems and climate are being murdered by human industrial growth. Such ecocidal madness, called "development," is hailed as the goal for society when in fact it is ecocide, and can only end in utter social, economic, and ecological collapse. Industrial human development destroys natural ecosystems necessary to maintain a habitable Earth.

Burning fossil fuels and clearing natural ecosystems are industrial ecocide, the furthest thing possible from "development" or any meaningful and lasting human advancement. The global ecological system is being overrun by human industrial growth, which is ravaging ecosystems upon which all life depends. Runaway human exponential growth systematically strips our habitat of life-giving species and ecosystems, and then it fouls and poisons whatever remains.

The problem with climate change and ecosystem loss is that we think we have time, when in fact the biosphere is already well into collapse. The evidence is pouring in that climate change, biodiversity extinction, and terrestrial ecosystem loss already exceed thresholds whereby the biosphere is collapsing. Humanity is already in mid-death swoon, pulling down the biosphere as it annihilates itself, kindred species, and shared habitat. Humanity is like a disease on the planet, consuming life-giving habitats and treating nature as resources to liquidate and consume, after which there can only be collapse and mass death.

Humanity’s wild careening towards apocalyptic global ecosystem collapse is caused by, and is causing, the rise of new fascist and violent governments. The global environment and freedom are collapsing and dying in tandem as the industrial growth machine liquidates ecosystems in the doomed attempt to keep up with the material demands of burgeoning population and the ruling elites’ overconsumption. To maintain the mirage of advancement from ecosystem liquidation, governments strip away liberties and impose fascism, obstructing the necessary social change to sustain ecology.

True peace is not the absence of conflict as enslaved and needlessly dying at your own hand. Peace is rights, equity, justice, jobs, ecological sustainability for which people sometimes must fight. Only a prudent, well-considered revolutionary change of governance that is minimally violent or nonviolent can stop the cycle of big nanny, corporatist government razing the Earth for a few decades of further irrational ecocide.

Continue reading "EARTH MEANDERS: Ecocide Is Not Development; Love and Ecology Are the Answer" »

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Fascist State of America

#IStandWithEdwardSnowden because free nations don't spy on and murder their citizens. Democracies don't terrorize sovereign nations and their peoples with torture, false imprisonment, and drone-based perma-war. It is time to stand up against the oil oligarchy’s police state that is stifling social change required to achieve universal human rights, justice, equity, and global ecological sustainability.

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

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

“If living unfreely but comfortably is something you are willing to accept… it is going to get worse with the next generation… The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The greatest fear I have for the outcome of these disclosures is that nothing will change… [that people] won’t be willing to stand up and take the risks to fight. I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made.” – Edward Snowden

The Bush administration "puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide." – Candidate Barack Obama 2007

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." – George Orwell

“With American spying and drone perma-war we are witnessing the end of democracy, the failure of a fragile experiment that governments are derived from the people.” – Dr. Glen Barry

** The latest Earth Meanders essay looking at issues of green liberty, including:
- Freedom Isn’t Free, Terrorism Is Pervasive
- The Green Liberty Party



The Fascist State of America“We the People" are not enemies of the state and deserve and need to know what our government is doing. The truth matters – particularly when human freedom is at stake, and our shared environment is collapsing, with both at risk of being lost forever. America’s civil liberties have been trampled on, and sadly, most don’t seem to care, failing to understand the full implications of big brother’s ascendancy. Defending freedom from government tyranny is not a left-or-right, conservative-or-liberal matter; it is the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies, liberty and enslavement, life and death.

Edward Snowden has revealed the extent to which America has become a total surveillance police state – with wholesale spying upon its own citizens – adding to revelations since 9/11 of the murder of U.S. citizens as well as torture, indefinite detention, and pursuit of drone perma-war, terrorizing entire nations. All of these acts are occurring upon the basis of suspicion alone – without due legal process, violating international law and the U.S. Constitution – in an unprecedented expansion of government powers in the name of a war on terror, when in fact they are being used to control dissent and access oil.

President Barack Obama is a profound epic failure, in many ways worse than Über-fascist Bush, just a new black face on the American oil oligarchy’s long history of tyranny and warmongering. What a feeble, sellout, murdering, cynical disappointment Barack Obama has turned out to be. After killing a million Arabs and Muslims, Bush policies continued with vigor under Obama, has the U.S. avenged 9/11 yet? Or does America need to spy, torture, falsely imprison, and wage perma-war for years longer? Perhaps forever?

America is poised upon the precipice of becoming a totalitarian police state overseeing final global environmental collapse. As America is at risk of becoming a third-rate police state, all lovers of liberty – from the Tea Party to progressives – must come together to resist oppression, remain free, embrace justice and equity for all, and sustain our shared global environment. One can feel a libertarian–progressive alliance building to stop big nanny government from enslaving us while destroying our environment. A commitment to Green Liberty is the human family’s only path to sustained well-being.

Continue reading "ESSAY: The Fascist State of America" »