Tags >> politics
Jan 08
2010

After Copenhagen

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , waste , technology , Sonoma County , resources , research , protest , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , media , international , Ideas , Green , government , go green , events , environment , employment , education , climate change , carbon , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

A Santa Rosa social activist has returned from the climate summit in Copenhagen eager to implement some new ideas, and with a deeper appreciation for Sonoma County’s actions on the issue.

In addition to the most visible benefits of her trip, Evelina Molina says it also served to reinforce an important message for the youth she works with at the North Bay Institute of Green Technology, which she recently co-founded in Santa Rosa.

Seeing what other nations and local communities around the world are doing to address climate change was inspiring, says Molina. But it also changed her perspective on what is being done here at home.

Evelina Molina, Kevin Danaher,  and Sean Holt will be part of a panel, moderated by Norman Solomon, that will report back to the local community on the experience and outcomes of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. The free public session will be at the Finley Community Center (2060 West College at Stony Point) in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Jan 9, 2-4:30 pm.

Jan 07
2010

"The Harvard Psychedelic Club"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , speaker , research , religion , protest , politics , peace , medicine , media , law enforcement , journalism , jail , history , events , education , drugs , chemicals , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Much of the social upheaval of the 1960s can be traced back to four men at Harvard University at the beginning of the decade, contends journalist Don Lattin. His new book, The Harvard Psychedelic Club, does exactly that.

Don LattinDon Lattin, the longtime former religion reporter for the San Francisco chronicle, attributes his choice career path to his own informal psychedelic experimentation as a college student in the early 1970s. He says that experience, which was shared by thousands of his contemporaries, also inspired him to research and write The Harvard Psychedelic Club.

Timothy Leary in San Francisco in 1995, a year before his death.In his book, Lattin gives each of the four main figures an iconic title. Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) is “Seeker,” Houston Smith is “Teacher,” and Andrew Weil, “Healer.” And after some extended deliberation, he settled on calling Leary “Trickster.”

Albert Hoffman, inventor of LSDSwiss chemist Albert Hoffman (right) inadvertently synthesized LSD in 1938, and accidentally became the first person to ingest it in 1944. In the United States, clinical research into the properties and effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) did not begin with Leary and Alpert’s Harvard experiments in 1960, Lattn reports, but can be traced back to studies in the previous decade, a project secretly funded by the CIA.

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Dec 30
2009

"When the Rivers Ran Red"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wine , Sonoma , politics , Napa , law enforcement , history , government , farms , families , economy , author , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

It's well known that many of the oldest wineries in Sonoma and Napa Counties predate Prohibition, but the story of how they got through the 14 dry years when the 18th amendment was in effect is only now being fully told.

 

 

 

Dry laws were never supported in northern California. Several statewide ballot initiatives were unsuccessful, due in part of strong opposition in San Francisco and the surrounding counties. So when Prohibition was enacted in far-off Washington, D.C., author Vivienne Sosnowski says that folks in the north bay almost unanimously took to bootlegging.

Our poularized cultural history paints Chicago as the epicenter of the battles between federal prohibition enforcement agents and rumrunner, bootleggers and others who flouted the law. But similar episodes played out in many areas. Sosnowski recounts one she was told of, which happened near Geyserville.

Sosnowski (left) was able to talk with a number of elderly members of Sonoma and Napa county wine-making families, collecting their oral histories of the Prohibition years. She says she came away from the project with a great admiration for what they all went through.

 

 

 


 

 

Dec 18
2009

The Messenger

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , volunteer , veterans , politics , policy , media , international , government , families , author , arts

Bruce Robinson

The Messenger is a film about war that doesn’t take sides, according to director Oren Moverman, but seeks instead to personalize the losses experienced by the families of the servicemen and women who don’t return.

Oren Moverman (right), writer-director of The Messenger, says there is no political agenda behind it, other than a desire to raise awareness about the human costs and consequences of modern warfare.

The Messenger has drawn generally good reviews, but Moverman is even more pleased that coverage of it has also included his central themes about the people it portrays.

In his private life, actor Woody Harrelson (below right)  is well know for his progressive politics. But in the film, Moverman says Harrelson was entirely in sync with the director’s apolitical stance.

View the trailer for The Messenger below, or go here for a sampling of reviews of the film.

[video:http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2740519449/ 300x300]

 

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