La Biblioteca

Lecture

Center for Global Justice presents:
Debt, Oil, and US Military
Wed, Feb 25, 11am
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
60 pesos
Oil, Debt, and US Military
By Betsy Bowman
US elites — both “elected” representatives and CEOs of major corporations — cannot and will not stop climate change. The large US trade deficit, i.e., all the US dollars spent on all the things that people in the US buy from foreign countries, are held in Central Banks of foreign countries. Foreign governments buy US Treasury bills and bonds with these dollars. So the money that average people in the US spend at Walmart returns to the US Treasury as debt. The US Treasury has amassed a huge debt of about US$17 trillion dollars. But the US Treasury doesn’t buy other countries’ bonds with this inflow; it buys armaments from defense contractors and pays for the US military. About half of every year’s US budget goes to the military in some form — directly on armaments, on contracted services such as those from Blackwater, salaries, medical, cars, and the interest on the past debt taken out for military purposes. It’s a brilliant vicious cycle — dollars go out of the country and come right back in as loans for US government spending on the military, interest on the debt, and tax cuts for large corporations and wealthy people.
Many countries realize that their sales to the US enables the US to surround their country with military bases and plausibly threaten them if they choose to deviate from the US dollar, as Saddam Hussein did in 1990. But it’s also a vicious cycle for the US as well. It has to maintain its huge military in order to be able to plausibly threaten other countries who are reluctant to give up their natural resource and all the profit that goes with extracting it, producing it, and selling it on the world market. And, of course, the US military runs on petroleum too. Oil is traded in US dollars. All the dollars that the US spends on buying oil comes right back to the US Treasury as US debt. So the debt keeps growing. The oil keeps flowing. And the US military keeps growing.
And so the merry-go-round goes on and on. Trade and use of petroleum is essential to inflow of US dollars to the US Treasury, and the US military is essential to the enforcement of the US dollar as the international reserve currency. Foreign countries must yield up their natural resources.  Those demanding that climate change be mitigated are demanding that the US shut down its military and start paying its debts. The global elites won’t easily acquiesce to that. We need to be fully cognizant of what is at stake.

Discussion group
Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate
Fri, Feb 27, 11am
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
Free
Climate Change
By Cliff DuRand
The big community read this winter is Naomi Klein’s best selling book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. A noted Canadian journalist, Klein tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever had to face: the war our economic model is waging against life on Earth. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not just about carbon — it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth, Klein says, is that we can seize this existential threat to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.
It is clear we need to get off fossil fuels. To do that requires breaking every rule in the “free market” playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies, and reclaiming our democracies. A tall order, to be sure. But around the world, many people are taking up the challenge in inspiring ways.
Each Friday this month, there will be an open group discussion for those who are reading the book. Come and bring your ideas and questions. The community read is sponsored by the Center for Global Justice, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Audubon Society, and Amigos de la Presa Allende.

Lecture
History of the Dining Table Lecture Series
History of Bread, Wine and Salt on our Table
Mon, Feb 23, 3pm
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
Donations 60 pesos
Bread, Wine and Salt on our Table
By Eva Eliscu
Salt was once the most sought-after commodity in human history. It was also the first traded commodity. Governments have commonly improved their finances by putting a tax on salt. So vital to life was salt that it denoted rank and defined seating arrangement at the table. People of power and importance sat at the high table “above the salt” while those of lesser rank sat at tables “below the salt.”
From the beginning of time we have shared our bread at the table with family, friends, and strangers. Paintings and written documents have allowed us to view and understand how important bread has been to our survival. Wine became part of the cradle of the Western thought process when Greek thinkers laid the foundation for our modern Western politics, philosophy, science, and law. The Romans made wine a social symbol, a mark of wealth and status of the drinker. The best wine ended up in the wealthy man’s goblet.

Workshop
Leaving My Father’s House
Wed, Feb 25, 5:30pm
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
By Donation
Leaving My Father’s House
By Dennis Mead-Shikaly

I grew up on a dead-end street, working class neighborhood, New York. I was “initiated’ into a street gang called the Halos … summer 1956, I was nine years old. Every one of the dozen kids got to hit me, hard. My task was to shed no tears. I got home, told my dad, and the tears burst out unbidden. Adding insult to injury, he slapped me and walked away. I was 24 before I shed another tear.
In 1988, I was “initiated’ again, into an order of men whose mission is to reclaim the Sacred Masculine for our time—through initiation, training, and action in the world. We train men to be in their bodies, to heal themselves and each other, to feel and be emotionally literate, so that we may shed the armor and open our hearts. Ultimately, to stand in the Fierce and Tender Sacred Masculine and meet the New Feminine with grace and equanimity.
Women on the other hand, especially in the workplace, have their own integration path. The seduction of masculine power is compelling, the pressure to retain the status quo is enormous, the resistance from men infuriating. The very qualities that women despise in men are often those same qualities that establish a woman’s power and success in the world. Women are now stepping into economic independence, leadership, influence— leaving dysfunctional marriages, writing books, starting businesses. But truly, the patriarchy takes no prisoners. Both men and women carry the unconscious masculine imprinting, and we both have to travel our respective healing paths. Like a man’s relationship to women is shaped by his mother, a woman’s relationship to men is shaped by her father. Unearthing that patriarchal father voice that lives in a woman’s body liberates her to create from her true feminine power—her heart. And from this place of the Sacred Feminine, she meets the Sacred Masculine … both within her and in men. Together, we confront the patriarchal voice in all its forms, and transform ourselves and the planet.

Lecture
History of the Dining Table Lecture Series
History of Bread, Wine and Salt on our Table
Mon, Feb 23, 3pm
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
Donations 60 pesos
Bread, Wine and Salt on our Table
By Eva Eliscu
Salt was once the most sought-after commodity in human history. It was also the first traded commodity. Governments have commonly improved their finances by putting a tax on salt. So vital to life was salt that it denoted rank and defined seating arrangement at the table. People of power and importance sat at the high table “above the salt” while those of lesser rank sat at tables “below the salt.”
From the beginning of time we have shared our bread at the table with family, friends, and strangers. Paintings and written documents have allowed us to view and understand how important bread has been to our survival. Wine became part of the cradle of the Western thought process when Greek thinkers laid the foundation for our modern Western politics, philosophy, science, and law. The Romans made wine a social symbol, a mark of wealth and status of the drinker. The best wine ended up in the wealthy man’s goblet.

 

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