1. It is heartening that people are doing this kind of work to lay the foundation for a new economy, a local economy, as opposed to a global economy. This is building a community that is the heart of an economy. I liked one fellow saying, “we are learning to be communitarians.” It seems that business incubators can be used in every area of life, including education, fine arts, transportation, medicine and much more. I also liked when another person said, “we all have a piece of the vision and when we get together we can share knowledge and build something greater,” or words to that effect. It reminded me of the words of Oren Lyons, chief of the Onondaga, Firekeepers of the Six Nations, when he describes the Six Nations’ law-making process. Community and economy go together like bread and butter and these local economies will be beehives of productive activity! This is a beautiful vision and pragmatic blueprint of what can be accomplished.

  2. I’m elated to see people come together as one for the good of all. Leave politics out of this
    project and I see a bright future of growth,expansion,health,happiness for everyone.This project embodies what every community should be engaged in. Forget Wall street,concentrate on family values.
    Things that really matter,Love,happiness,friends,health,family.I wish the best to all and GOD speed.

  3. Here is a favorite question of mine. And there may be some older Star Trek fans that know the origin where I have not found it.

    The question goes: In the Star Trek universe, if the Federation of the Future has conquered poverty and disease, who cleans the toilets on the Enterprise?

    That’s a rough approximation from how it was told to me.

    Three years ago I got involved in a local sustainability organization. At an early meeting I posed the same question this time framing it as “Who cleans the toilets in the Eco Municipality?” You can see that where I’m going with this is “Who cleans the toilets in fill-in-the-blank city of the future?”

    The answer from the Utopian theorist is: We don’t have jobs, we have turns. Put another way the class structure of managers imported from the university and business is replaced with a more equitable system.

    I have additional anecdotes about my association with the sustainability movement. But the punchline to my stories is always the same: There is no interest in giving up any sort of privilege amongst the theorists of these schemes. You can go to any of them: Paul Hawken, Torvald Lahti, Bill McKibben and never hear this particular question asked.

    Lahti is the only one who hints at it in his “The Natural Step” (TNS) process– a process which has some level of adoption in Wisconsin down in the Capitol City of Madison.

    My efforts in my own town have shown that a long road will have to be traveled before the level of community sought by the theorists will become reality.

    Lon Ponschock
    Appleton, Wisconsin

  4. Touche!

    One of my friends has an amazing cleaning company. She used to send new employees to just cleaning toilets for a week to see if that had the spiritual commitment she required.

    She and I always wanted to create a training program. I would send investment banker wanna be to her toilet cleaning program for a week to see if they had what it took.



  5. Catherine,

    I’m glad you accept the comment in the spirit it is given. I have been in contact with Sustain Fox Valley (which is a local group) about the Transition Towns which I learned about from you on Flashpoints and here. I support these efforts but there is another anecdote about the people involved in these Green (for lack of a better term) groups.

    Maybe during the same meeting that I gave the Star Trek question I also asked who would join me in taking the local bus transit _one time_ during the course of a year. There were no takers. If indeed these groups wish to support mass transit, who exactly do they think will be riding with them and in what configuration? The days of the Pullman cars are long past. But I think it involves the romantic notion of mass transit being some sort of Orient Express Agatha Christie adventure.

    All of these stories don’t apply to all size communities. But I’m sure that in Tennessee there is the same sort of rah rah support for theory that with any hint of personal life style change would be rejected out of hand as was my suggestion of a bus ride. Maybe I should clarify that they didn’t have to take the bus with me but just any time and to any destination.

    As I got used to getting on a bus again myself, I found that the mass transit service and the buses (though maybe too metro-sized for the town) did accommodate those that don’t or cannot drive for various reasons and that hearing other passing conversations was amusing. I’m not a trail blazing activist during the winter though. This is Wisconsin.

    Christian Lander has given the foibles of bourgeois activism and lifestyle a real skewering in his blog (and book) “Stuff White People Like.” Highly recommended. Among the over 150 entries is “Anything But A Bus”.

  6. The group in Tennessee is quite unusual. The leadership is highly diverse and very capable. Some come from or through the Farm whose members have been grounded by years of doing, including clean toilets. Another is the leadership in the local chamber, also very ground by years of doing and deeply Christian. So this is a highly diverse, grounded, hard working group of people. They share all your reservations.

  7. Nice video: Nice idea for the local community

    Here’s ONE more idea for people:

    Have everyone be their own bank: Computer users and non-users
    What you do is take your age substract it from your acturarial death date:
    then multiply that by the hourly wage you want, the number of hours you want to work, the number of days, time the number of weeks you want to work.
    Say that figure is $2, 256, 000.
    Write yourself a check…deposit it in your Bank:
    The Bank Of Greater United States and wtite your checks
    It’s based on your promise to provide those hours and your faith anc credit.

    The idea is to ABANDON the use of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve Note.

    See how this Could WORK?

    david snieckus
    p.s you are either laughing or crying…let me know

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