‘Tis the season for top 10 lists! It’s my first year blogging, and I am honored to be the only three-legged blogging rescue dog that you know. THANK YOU for ~20,000 hits from all my two- and four-legged friends during the last nine months. Let’s look forward to the birth of a new year together:
#10. kinds of “power”
This post is an introduction to the thinking of writer Michel Foucault, a French man who had no clue how to use a semicolon or a comma. Avid fans of Foucault will see his influence all throughout my blog, and even non-fans seem to appreciate the posts that I write specifically about Foucault’s thoughts. If you think “power” is either something you have or you don’t have, then Foucault will challenge you. You won’t ever use the word “powerless” again after you realize that power isn’t something you have or lose. This is deep stuff– trust me.
#9. Pedagogy of the Oppressed: All bark, no bite
This post is an introduction to a book that inspires me a lot. Most dogs like philosophy, and I’m no exception! Here’s a snippet from the post: “…Pedagogy of the Oppressed was written by a Brazilian man named Paulo Freire. I really think he understood that barking is way more important than biting. It’s the oppressors that bite. Who’d want to be like an oppressor? That’s one of the main questions Freire poses.” You know what I like best about Freire? His ideas are congruent with Foucault’s!
#8. 3 Reasons to Keep Following Sandusky & PSU
It’s very simple: Nobody will be held accountable if the public loses interest. That’s a general statement that goes for any watchdogging. The main reason why everyone needs to keep on this case? Because Tom Corbett has got to go! He’s known longer than any official in any capacity– since the 90’s–about serious sex crimes involving children. He was rewarded for this by his being appointed to the PSU Board of Trustees in 2011, a product of his role as governor– follow the links in the post, folks…
#7. #OccupyYourSelf: The Pedagogy of Freedom
This is one of my favorite posts evar, even though it only made #7. It’s my take on the whole “occupy” movement. Here’s a quote: “To #OccupyYourSelf is to reflect on how life is about redemption, not perfection. When a human is liberated from the burden of perfection, the Self is given grace to make mistakes and be wrong without damnation. Humans can radically accept past, present, and future– and this in defiance of the fear of the unknown. Redemption is the freedom to learn from mistakes, the mercy to forgive transgressions rather than allow them to create a permanent whirlpool of despair.”
#6. if you suspect contamination…
This post is meant to inform the reader what to do if they suspect that their water might be contaminated. Today, there are more and more incidents of suspected contamination due to more humans being educated about the inherent risks of extreme energy projects. This post also describes some preventative measures that you should be taking right now in order to protect your interests in your property, your health, and your safety. This post should be read by every human living in the 30+ states and dozens of nations now involved in unconventional shale gas development (aka “fracking”).
#5. the (psycopathic) corporation
This post is my movie review of a documentary called The Corporation. The basic premise of the documentary is that (a) corporations are said to legally be persons, so (b) let’s look at their personality profiles and find that (c) lo and behold, many are psycopaths. Very interesting stuff. Check it out!
#4. Marcellus Shale Wordplay: Drastic Cut OR Sharp Increase?
The connection between OTHERS’ word choices and what YOU believe to be true is EXTREMELY important. Humans have phrases like “Don’t believe everything you read” — but they somehow misapply this phrase to mean “but do believe 99.9% of everything you read.” (I thought the phrase meant to take everything you read with a grain of salt.) This post was no doubt quite popular because it addressed the distinct contradiction in word choice when talking about “how much Marcellus is there.”
#3. DRBC Fracks Its Own Governing Compact
Ever hear of the Delaware River? You know, the one the original GW crossed back when patriots were patriots? Well, Tom Corbett would like to see it fracked. Tom’s role on the Delaware River Basin Commission is simply to push as strongly as possible for opening the DRB to hydraulic fracturing. Thankfully, others are less “barge right in” types than Tom. Fractivists need to be aware that this is only a temporary delay. Thousands of you will no doubt need to show up again (and again) until the governors of NY, NJ and DE publically state “We are not Tom Corbett’s lapdogs.”
#2. NPR on Penn $tate, Shale & Shame
Perhaps one of the most disturbing media events of the summer was when PSU professor Terry Engelder single-handedly sold-out the academic integrity of Penn State during a live broadcast on NPR. The context: Engelder was appointed by PA Gov. Corbett to represent academia on the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The result? And I quote: “I suspect that if the commission were to word their recommendations for pooling in a clever enough way, this would provide political cover for the governor himself. Now, the reason this is i-i-important, uh, that it come from me for example is, is that is has no credibility if it someone from industry proposes this, in fact–as the commission has been criticized a great deal anyway for being top-heavy with, with industry types” (at 19:10 on this clip of the radio interview). This is only a tiny bit of Engelder’s blatant admission that he is abusing the role of academia to provide “political cover” for violating every single Pennsylvanian’s property rights through a rule that would force them to lease their properties to the oil and gas industry for industry profit– period.
AND THE #1 POST IS…
SOLIDARITY: Appalachian Coal + Shale Gas + Tar Sands
This post captures the connection between extreme energy projects and how humans treat each other. Why was it the most popular post of the year? My guess: the content. It’s a short, action-focused piece that summarizes the common thoughts behind the summer’s main environmental protests. Quote:…justice-seeeking causes are not about “loving the environment” vs.”loving your brother.” They are about more than both. My observation is that most humans who are kind to each other are also kind to the environment. Deep down, there’s a solid connection between how humans treat the environment and how they treat what is in it. Those who love, love every.
Much thanks to a man who was arrested with my master at the Tar Sands Protest in DC for giving my master that phrase “love every.” I deeply appreciate all of the humans who’ve commented on my blog this year as well, and I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. I leave you with this traditional South African blessing:
Walk tall, walk well, walk safe, walk free
And may harm never come to thee.
Walk wise, walk good, walk proud, walk true
And may the sun always smile on you.
Walk prayer, walk hope, walk faith, walk light
And may peace always guide you right.
Walk joy, walk brave, walk love, walk strong
And may life always give you song.