I appreciated very much Tom Gogola's article about the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates releasing the names of the Catholic clergymen with sexual-abuse histories ("Roster of Abuse," Oct. 31). Usually, the names are not mentioned unless an archbishop or cardinal is involved. The sickening switching around of abusers from school to school and parish to parish has kept the names out of the news. Kudos to the law firm and to the Bohemian.
What the author fails to mention in his article concerning chickens at McCoy Poultry Services ("Cage Match," Oct. 24) is the condition of the 10 chickens rescued from the facility. Their injuries were so severe that they had to be euthanized. Instead of holding a conference on how to "prepare and manage activists," why doesn't the Sonoma County Farm Bureau do the right thing and tell farmers they have to treat their chickens humanely?
We live in a country in which the elites are not only out of touch with the lives the rest of us live, but also without any sense that they, too, will be victims of the world they are destroying. For quite a while, some of us have been talking about ways to impede this destruction, through pulling out of the dominant systems and creating new ones, along with activism which educates around the current and impending problems.
Conversations Around the Fires is a loosely affiliated group of people who have been holding public discussions of alternative ways of approaching problems, ways that are different from the ones you will hear from corporate media. Our next gathering, "Facing Down the Giants: A Call for Mutual Aid" on Tuesday, Nov. 13, will feature a look at one of the causes and some of the remedies to the sense of impending doom so many of us feel.
Sonoma State professor Peter Phillips will discuss his new book, Giants: The Global Power Elite, in which he exposes the most powerful players in global capitalism. As disempowering as it might seem to be faced with so much detail about those who have so much control over the systems which run our lives, Phillips and Conversations Around the Fires hope you will take this knowledge out into the world to help you focus your energy to create something different.
After Phillips' talk, we will hold conversation circles with local groups working to create a better world: Daily Acts, TransitionTown, Rapid Response Network, Public Banking and others. Please join us on Nov. 13 at 6:30pm at Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Ave. in Santa Rosa to find ways to plug in and create an activism that could provide hope for the future.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.