Friday, June 29, 2007

7 Days to 7-7-7 -- Three Ways to Turn This Long Hot Summer into A Summer of Love: Sign-On for Live Earth, See Sicko & Drink A Draught of Harry Potter

Image: Earth at Night, NASA

”But I haven’t got uncommon skill and power,” said Harry, before he could stop himself.
“Yes, you have,” said Dumbledore firmly. “You have a power that Voldemort has never had. You can…”
“I know!” said Harry impatiently. “I can love!” It was only with difficulty that he stopped himself adding, “Big deal!”
“Yes, Harry, you can love,” said Dumbledore, who looked as though he knew perfectly well what Harry had just refrained from saying. “Which, given everything that has happened to you, is a great amd remarkable thing. You are still too young to understand how unusual you are.”
“So, when the prophecy says that I’ll have ‘power the Dark Lord knows not,’ it just means – love?” asked Harry, feeling a little let down.
“Yes – just love,” said Dumbledore ...
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

7 Days to 7-7-7 -- Three Ways to Turn This Long Hot Summer into A Summer of Love: Sign-On for Live Earth, See Sicko & Drink A Draught of Harry Potter Potion

By Richard Power

Those of us who wrestle, on a daily basis, with treason, disguised as national security policy, and mental illness, masquerading as a domestic agenda, must tend to our optimism and our elan vital.

In May and June 2007, Al Gore's book tour for Assault on Reason provided an energy boost in the struggle to save the USA from slipping into delusion, depravity and defeat.

"Mr. Gore takes a blowtorch to the Bush administration in his book. He argues that the free and open democratic processes that have made the United States such a special place have been undermined by the administration’s cynicism and excessive secrecy, and by its shameless and relentless exploitation of the public’s fear of terror. The Bush crowd, he said, has jettisoned logic, reason and reflective thought in favor of wishful thinking in the service of an extreme political ideology. It has turned its back on reality, with tragic results." Bob Herbert, NYT, 6-4-07

In June 2007, Michael Moore gave a second enery boost to this struggle, with high-profile media appearances, marches, rallies and teach-ins leading up to the debut of Sicko (even though Larry King bumped him for Paris Hilton).

Filmmaker Michael Moore, whose movie "Sicko" opens Friday, told CNBC that he's urging investors to dump shares of health insurers and health maintenance organizations because "people don't need a middleman between the doctor and the patient." ... Moore appeared at Federal Hall in lower Manhattan, which is next to the NYSE, along with representatives of nurses' unions from California, Massachusetts and New York, to publicly call on "individuals, pension funds, the government and other investors" to yank their holdings from publicly traded health insurers. Michael Moore, 6-29-07

(Healthcare is a basic human right, as in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.")

In July 2007, three more cultural events offer inspiration, solace and revelry: the film version of J.K. Rowlings' fifth novel in the Harry Potter series, Order of the Phoenix, will premiere on 7-3-07; Al Gore's global, eight city Live Earth concert will occur on 7-7-07 and the release of Rowling's seventh (and final) Harry Potter novel, Deathly Hallows, on 7-21-07.

What do Al Gore's twin-barrel assault on unreason, J.K. Rowlings' mythical world of wizards, and Michael Moore's scathing expose on the USA's insane healthcare system have in common? Each offers hope, each empowers, each defies -- directly or indirectly -- those who in their own spiritual illness seek to drag humanity into an Orwellian nightmare while devastating the planetary climate that sustains all life. Each is predicated on the simple, ancient truth that all life is one, and that everything is inter-dependent and inter-connected.

The greatest magic, in Rowlings' writings, is the power of love. It is the shield of love that protects young Harry Potter from Voldemort's attacks, and it is with sword of love that Harry prevails over Voldemort (at least in the first six books).

Rowlings' books embrace the multi-dimensionality of life and the boundless depths of the creative imagination. Her work liberates the psyche and mocks those who would stifle and constrict the joy and power of the human spirit.

Her books have sold 320 million copies. I travel the world, and I have seen them read almost everywhere in almost every language.

It is going to be a long, hot summer, and it may be followed by a fierce autumn and a grim winter.

I encourage you to sign up for Live Earth, take the Live Earth Pledge, and sing and dance for the future.

Live Earth will use the global reach of music to engage people on a mass scale to combat our climate crisis. Concerts will be held in great urban centers on every continent: New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio de Janiero, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Hamiburg. It will be 24x7.

If you can go to a concert, go. If you can't, you can still participate -- Live Earth will be broadcast worldwide through multiple media channels - TV, radio, Internet and wireless channels. It will be streamed live by MSN at For updates on broadcast information, click here.

To sign the Live Earth Pledge, click here. (I have included the full text at the end of this post.)

To show your support, thrown your own local Live Earth party, and register the event by clicking here.

I also encourage you to

-- read Assault on Reason, inculcate Gore's brilliant framing into your own discourse with friends, families and colleagues, and then buy another copy for an open-minded friend, colleague or loved one.

-- see Sicko, bring someone along with you, and then, the next morning, call your elected representatives, in Beltwayistan, and demand that they stick their fingers down their throat, vomit out that K Street money and do what must be done, i.e., work for the passage of legislation decreeing universal, single-payer health care.

-- affirm the wildness and wonder of life by going to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and by reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

However long we live, life is short. Embrace it. Celebrate to change the world.

The 7.7.07 Live Earth Pledge:


1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

2. To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"

3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;

4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

5. To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

6. To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,

7. To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

To sign the Live Earth Pledge, click here.

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