| Home | Press Release | Declaration | Progressive Agenda |

                                                     PRESS RELEASE

Revolutionary Earth Manifesto Mysteriously Materializes – A Potential Game Changer

HANNIBAL, MO. --- October 3, 2018

A providential foresight-honoring Earth Manifesto has been launched into the public arena that contains wide-ranging understandings designed to spark positive change in the world.  All of the essays in this manifesto can be found online, as well as in one of twelve handsome books available at generously discounted prices from the print-on-demand publisher Lulu.  This compendium of ideas and insights has been set forth by Dr. Tiffany B. Twain, who is a great admirer of Mark Twain and fancies herself to be his philosophic soul mate in many matters. 

The most important of these progressive perspectives are included in See Clearly – Sanity in Insane Times.  This compendium of understandings spells out how an epic scam has been foisted on the American people, and the bizarre details of this con job are described in deliberative detail, and involves such things as “the biggest financial fraud in world history” and The Con Goes On: A Triumphant Coup by Crooked Conniving Crony Capitalists.  These swindles seriously undermine democratic fairness and rashly betray the well-being of people in future generations.  This set of schemes has involved borrowing more than $20 trillion since 1981 to finance regressive tax cuts that disproportionately benefit wealthy people, and create broadly detrimental and riskily extreme inequalities in the USA.  Compounding these scams are many schemes that allow big corporations -- the organizational tools that help concentrate wealth in the hands of the few -- to socialize many costs by externalizing them onto taxpayers and millions of individuals who suffer harms as a result.

See Clearly also contains a powerful perspective in “My Country, Right or Wrong”?, which concerns true patriotism and both Mark Twain’s and my own incisive understandings about loyalty, patriotism and honorable ways of honestly seeing.

Another of the most important collections of ideas in this manifesto is contained in Common Sense Revival - Book One of the Earth Manifesto.  These perspectives are a distillation of forceful ideas that emulate the plain truths expressed by Thomas Paine in his influential 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, and they represent comprehensive and overarching worldviews that include an entire constellation of salubrious recommendations and supporting ideas for more salubrious policies and priorities that would help ensure a healthier and more sustainable future.  

These understandings have been evolving for many years, but have assumed greater urgency in light of the intense political turmoil that has resulted from the elections held on November 8, 2016.  It is crucial to recognize how seriously the political establishment in the U.S. has betrayed the American people in the past few decades by allowing institutional bribery and Dark Money to facilitate a long train of despotic abuses in national policies related to taxation, skewed political representation, personal liberties and fairness in governance.  These were the main issues our Founders regarded as being most important when they declared independence from Great Britain over 242 years ago, when they boldly launched our great American experiment in democratic government.

This manifesto contains a farsighted blueprint on how to make the world a better place for all by taking our country back from today’s opportunistic, profit prepossessed and power-abusing establishment and the political right wing.  It is appropriate for the vast majority of Americans to feel righteous indignation at the current state of the status quo, and it is our right, indeed our duty, as our Founders asserted in the Declaration of Independence, to throw off such despotic rule and take courageous steps to provide new guarantees for the general welfare of the people, and to safeguard our future security.  This is how we will be able to create truer liberty, fairness and justice for all.

Tiffany Twain passionately articulates an extraordinary worldview in these writings, and she believes that these ideas could dramatically help transform our societies into happier, saner and more peaceable ones.  A central idea in this manifesto is that it would be a providential good plan for humanity to begin to demonstrate much greater respect for Mother Earth by making courageous commitments to effective means of protecting the health of Earth’s providential ecosystems and the diversity of life on the planet.  To this end, a detailed Bill of Rights for Future Generations has been created to help guide our activities and make sure that they are sustainable for a longer period of time, and that our actions today do not rashly ignore the anticipated needs of people in the future.  Intelligent Precautionary Principles have also been enunciated to help focus our national priorities and give us clearer guidance to a more propitious future than current trends portend.

A revolving focus has created many entertaining and enlightening essays in these writings, and one of the best is Huckleberry Finn, the Forty-Niners Gold Rush, and Sensational Related Reflections.  Check it out right now, and contemplate the riff on hydraulic mining and legal precedent in the United States.  Mark Twain loved to spin greatly exaggerated yarns, and Tiffany Twain uses her own rich imagination to tell some tall tales of her own.  Some years ago she took particular pride in Tall Tales, Provocative Parables, Luminous Clarity, and Evocative Truths: A Modern Log from the Sea of Cortez.  Author John Steinbeck would have approved!  There are also cogent perspectives in the essay, Tyrants and Damsels and Associated Incisive Insights.  And crucial foreign policy understandings are contained in Reflections on War -- and Peace!

There is a wonky side to Tiffany Twain's introspections into existence, as epitomized by her creation of a 45-parameter Sustainability Index, which was developed to provide a clear snapshot evaluation of the status of the sustainability of human activities.  This Sustainability Index measures progress or regress with regard to hopes for humanity to live in sustainable ways on our home planet.  This Index began flashing an ominously cautionary red warning signal in May 2013 when measurements of the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere high atop remote Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii exceeded 400 ppm for the first time in human history, tipping the Status Evaluation rating of the Index to a more dangerous level.  Check out the Sustainability Index on the Earth Manifesto online.

The many essays in this manifesto contain philosophic explorations, incisive insights, penetrating political and economic analyses, creative proposals, feminine perspectives, poetic appreciations, and a fair share of deep introspections and ruminations.  Most of these ideas are at least tangentially oriented toward a good marriage of humanism and awareness of human responsibility, and of smart long-term understandings with a clear focus on the ecological importance for us to act as better stewards of Earth’s wildlife, habitats and ecosystems.

Perilous times require Big Ideas, higher purposes, broader perspectives, more honest leadership and more responsible actions.  The essays in this manifesto grapple with the most important issues that face our nation and the world today.  The visionary understandings they convey creatively combine economics and politics with common sense, progressive thinking, creativity, philosophy, psychology and spiritual illumination to propose auspicious ways forward.  This manifesto contains many specific plans for improving our country and the world by making our communities healthier, our economy more stable and sound, and our societies saner.  Excellent ways are also proposed for us to begin to more sensibly safeguard the environmental commons and ensure the longer-term sustainability of vitally valuable services provided by healthy natural ecosystems.  Good ideas are provided for how to better conserve resources crucial to humanity’s current and future flourishing and survival.

In light of the economic, social, political, financial and ecological challenges that confront us today, many Earth Manifesto essays explore Big Picture perspectives of these dilemmas.  One of these pieces is a clarion call for smarter planning in Climate Change Considerations, Carrying Capacity, and Ecological Overshoot.  Provocatively creative explorations of big issues and entertaining ideas are also made in Transcendental Musings: A Bugle Horn Sounds for Solidarity of Purpose, and in Revelations of a Modern Prophet.

Ultimate mysteries permeate existence, so it may be appropriate that this manifesto has mysteriously materialized in our midst, springing forth as if fully formed like Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, from the forehead of Zeus.  In actuality, these writings have been evolving continuously since before September 11, 2001, and they have incorporated unfolding events and new perspectives and developments as they transpire. 

The eminently respect worthy Dalai Lama said at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, “The world will be saved by the western woman.”  Many well-qualified women have answered this call to action in American politics, but too many of them were crushed by the diabolically cunning and well-financed Republican machine in the 2016 elections.  Let’s give them a much better chance in all future election contests!  We should give women fairer opportunities in our political system and choose leaders that understand issues in more forward-looking, sensible and fair-minded ways.  It is not acceptable that only about 20% of our representatives in Congress are women.  A strong correlation exists between these statistics and gender discrimination that is built into our political system and corporate-dominated economic system, and in media coverage and cultural biases.

We are at a crucial crossroads in global politics, and the American people would be wise to avoid a break with the international community that is being actuated by the agenda being pushed by Donald Trump and his rogue administration.  Some of the numerous reasons for this stance, which will help us resist the retrogressive plans of conservatives in Congress, are discussed below.

The insightful billionaire entrepreneur Nick Hanauer makes it crystal clear that "middle-out economics" would be a much more secure and positive course of action, as expressed in his provocative TED talk and article, The Pitchforks Are Coming … For Us Plutocrats.  He states:  "You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state.  Or an uprising.  There are no counterexamples.  None.  It’s not if, it’s when."

Donald Trump has given powerful voice to millions of Americans who feel well-justified anger and frustration at lost jobs and the outrageous extent to which our economic and political systems are rigged against them, in favor of the overly privileged few.  The American people should thank Senator Bernie Sanders for his much more honorable voicing of support for farsightedness and democratic fairness of representation, and for the passionate concern he expresses for the well-being of working people and those in the middle class.  Bernie Sanders is also to be commended for his championing of greater fairness toward the disenfranchised and the downtrodden, and for his proposals to take action to reduce rash extremes in inequality that are being foisted on people on account of wrongheaded national priorities.  Trump is much narrower and more selfish than Bernie Sanders, and he gained power by dishonorably appealing primarily to beleaguered white workers and rich conservatives.  He has acted like one of the worst demagogues in history by stoking people's fears, exploiting racial prejudices, scapegoating immigrants, and taking rude and demeaning advantage of sexist attitudes -- and doing all of this in order to greedily gain greater celebrity and domineering power and personal profit.

Wake up, my fellow Americans!  A serious mistake has been made in allowing Trump Republicans to seize power by demagogic means, scaring people and exploiting their feelings of frustration and resentment, for Trump is acting like a despot and threatening to cause severe economic disruptions by promoting import tariffs and aggressive protectionism in international trade and other potentially calamitous conflicts.  One big problem with this is quite basic: “reciprocity”.  Trade tariffs are an economic ruse that stifles competition to favor crony supporters, at big costs to consumers and contrary to fairly shared prosperity.  Trade wars and less competition turn out to be bad for all countries, considered in whole.  This will NOT make America great again. 

Republicans are crowing about the beneficial economic effects of their tax cut scam, despite the folly of it being financed by borrowing almost $2 trillion that taxpayers will be obligated to help pay for, in every future year.  These recklessly regressive debt-financed tax cuts are mainly benefitting rich people and big corporate entities, and causing worsening inequality in our society, even though increases in inequality and associated heightening injustices are among the biggest risks to most people’s current and future well-being in the USA and around the world.  The Twitterer-in-Chief even has the temerity to tout stock market highs, setting up a classic comeuppance when his disastrously irresponsible fiscal policies and unconstitutional executive orders and anti-regulation fervor and geopolitical follies result in another bubble-bursting or violent global calamity.

The national elections held in November 2016 were a watershed moment in our country’s history, for the competing ideologies of Republican politicians and Democratic politicians have probably never offered a more extreme contrast.  The prescriptions proposed by progressives and conservatives are radically different, as revealed in the official 2016 Democratic Party platform, which Bernie Sanders succeeded in making the most progressive ever, and in the 2016 Republican Party platform, which may never have been more reactionary.  On top of this, extreme intransigence by Republicans in the U.S. Senate in refusing to consider President Obama’s well-qualified nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia after he suddenly died in February 2016 has led to the radical inequity of a replacement justice being forced on the American people in April 2017 who is further right than almost every conservative ever on the high court.  This includes current Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito and the recently retired Anthony Kennedy.  This Trump appointee, Neil Gorsuch, is about as far right as Clarence Thomas, and even further right than Antonin Scalia was himself.  The appointment of Gorsuch is already proving to be a negative development for the American people.

The 5 to 4 majority of conservatives on the Supreme Court before Antonin Scalia died were responsible for the Citizens United ruling that overturned decades of precedent and a century of practice involving limits on the influence of big money in politics.  That Supreme Court also eviscerated the commendably fair Voting Rights Act of 1965.  These actions and others were targeted to undermine the prospects of legislation aimed at protecting the rights of workers, consumers and citizens, as well as the health of the environment, in favor of corporate prerogatives and profits.  The “conservatives” on the Supreme Court have generally favored employers over employees, polluters over people, creditors over debtors, property owners over less affluent citizens, and big corporations over individuals.  I strongly believe that We the People need to prevail in this struggle over whether government will be able to serve as a countervailing force to concentrated economic power, and we need a more independent judiciary to accomplish this.

Supreme Court Justices should honestly honor the oath of office they have sworn to, “that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.”  Soon after being sworn in, Neil Gorsuch jumped into the job to apply his creativity to rationalizing strict constructionist interpretations of the Constitution in ways inimical to proper guidance of a reasonably sane and progressive society.  I urge all Americans to speak out against having Brett Kavanaugh become another conservative on the court.

History will judge far right ideologies harshly, just as it has judged Nazi fascism in the light of infamy.  The lens of consequential ethics makes it clear that championing policies that exacerbate inequalities and social injustices is wrongheaded, and that antagonism to rights and well-being of women, people in racial minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers is morally misguided.  History will prove conclusively that excessive exploitation of natural resources is dangerously myopic, and that staunch opposition to precautionary action on climate change is deeply damaging to hopes for future prosperity and well-being.  History will also prove that policies that ignore intelligently farsighted adaptive measures that would mitigate the ecologically destabilizing impacts of unregulated greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are foolish because they will subject countless numbers of people in the future to calamitous hardships and increasing numbers of harsh natural disasters.

The Department of Defense has repeatedly called climate change a “threat multiplier” that will require far-reaching humanitarian or military intervention because it will lead to more severe storms that threaten cities and military bases, and cause rising sea levels that will imperil coastal habitation and infrastructure.  Early in 2016, the Pentagon ordered its officials to start incorporating probable climate change impacts into every major consideration.  In a hard-to-believe contrast, Republican leaders in Florida have tried to prevent even the mention of climate change in order to promote narrow ideologies, and Trump is telling staff in the Environmental Protection Agency similar stupid things.  This refusal to discuss the risks of anthropogenic alterations of the global climate and natural ecosystems is one of the most preposterous head-in-the-sand denials ever, despite the certainty that precautionary action is well advised to mitigate climate disruptions.  This is especially ironic in Florida, because honestly responsible actions are needed in this low-lying state, one of the most vulnerable places to catastrophic impacts of rising sea levels and more powerful hurricanes.

Trump manipulatively milked an insidious strain of ideology and emotional fervor to grab power.  He combined absurd promises to build a “beautiful wall” along the entire U.S./Mexico border with stoked hostility against immigrants and Muslims, and added in disingenuous ruses that exploit unbridled ethnic nationalism, climate crisis denials and stubborn support for increased domestic production of fossil fuels.  Politics in France, Germany and other European nations are also embattled by similar right-wing anti-immigrant political parties that are intensely antagonistic to many agreements designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.  It is irresponsible to deny and ignore the gathering risks of climate change and rising sea levels, and to thus act as poor stewards of Creation.  It is wrong to sacrifice future well-being on the altar of privatized profits, socialized costs, irresponsible debt financing, deplorable political expediencies, right-wing social engineering and extremely short-term-oriented materialistic priorities.

Trump’s anti-regulation executive actions and staunch support for fossil fuel industries and advocacy of huge new tax breaks for rich people undermine protections of the environmental commons that is a foundation of future well-being.  Trump is proving to be one of the most disrespected leaders in the world for his refusal to agree with leaders every other country on Earth to make efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and mitigate the incalculably costly impacts of resulting changes in the global climate.

Trump evoked a dark and dystopian vision of the supposedly pathetic state of the U.S. military during his campaign, and declared that the plight of African Americans was the “worst ever ever ever”.  Worse than decades of slavery?  He pretends that international trade agreements have been an unmitigated disaster, even though reasonably fair international trade throughout history has had broadly beneficial effects overall.  He hypes up the dangers of threats posed by “radical Islamic terrorists”, and he uses this sophistry and his “Make America Great Again” sloganeering to set up an unreal “social trap” in which he claims to be the best and only possible savior, even though his proposals, plans and self-serving agenda are proving to be social, economic, geostrategic and environmental disasters.

Barack Obama once stated that the American people need to be told the truth, and I sure do agree.  Bigger and more comprehensive versions of the truth need to be told.  In bizarre contrast to this vital exigency, con man Trump "tells it like it isn't", and does so with an air of certitude so brazen that millions of gullible people seem to think he actually is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  In reality, his proclamations weave simplistic half-truths, misinformation, deeply deceptive lies and emotionally manipulative insinuations that motivated many people during his campaign to think he might just be a good leader -- despite his long history of unethical business dealings, tax fraud and his stoking of people's prejudices and anger, his scheming economic elitism and his dangerously demagogic, narcissistic and reactive character.  These nefarious qualities and his antagonism to immigrants and refugees have made the majority of people in nations around the world fear the ascendance of this egomaniacally crazed dictator-wannabe to the most powerful position on the planet. 

Trump has taken this pathetic course of gaining attention, notoriety and power by despicably fanning the flames of white nationalism, racial bigotry, xenophobia, white male chauvinism and religious discrimination to satisfy his big ambitions for power.  His blatantly unhinged and unethical tactics make it clear that his abuses of power in the presidency will infringe on the Constitution, violate rules of law, reduce democratic fairness, threaten peaceful coexistence, torpedo environmental sanity, tear apart social cohesion and abrogate the moral good.

My philosophic great-grandfather on my mother's side was the estimable writer and humorist Mark Twain, who played an active role in opposing American aggression abroad as Vice President of the Anti-Imperialist League.  He had become disillusioned about the real motives of the U.S. in the Philippine-American War from 1899 - 1902, so he bemoaned war as "a wanton waste of projectiles", according to the insightful correspondent John Nichols.  But, notably, Mark Twain's "deepest disgust was reserved for politicians who played on fear and uncertainty to promote the interests of what would come to be called the military-industrial complex."

Today, Trump has exploited people's insecurities and anger at the establishment to gain power, and he has done this in more egregiously selfish ways than almost any demagogue in history -- right up there with red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy.  Mark Twain would be horrified, if he were still alive, to see how wantonly humankind is wasting the resources of the world on weapons and standing armies and violent conflicts and the global “war on terror” -- and on perks fraudulently given to the wealthy.  Today, more than a century after Mark Twain died, and long after a frenzy of fascism caused the most horrific spasm of war in human history, reactionary right wing movements with staunch anti-immigrant agendas are roiling politics in nations around the globe. 

Trump is a demagogic power-abuser whose stances, character and reactive temperament are simply too risky for the American people to allow him to remain in office.  His efforts to deport millions of hard-working immigrants, and to slash legal immigration, make him doubly dangerous, because immigrants actually contribute greatly to many American industries, including agriculture, restaurant services, construction and numerous categories of generally low-paid jobs.  Another red flag should be seen in his fascist-plot-like efforts of significantly increasing the military and police and deportation forces, and of demonstrating a vindictive readiness to crush opposition by using intimidating lawsuits to suppress criticism, intimidate dissidents and silence those who engage in the freedom of expression in opposition to his divisive, sexist and retrogressive actions.  He has despicably engaged in racial profiling and discrimination, and is zealously trying to slash funding for State Department diplomacy.  Additionally, he is unacceptably dishonest, and he represents irresponsible positions on issues like his opposition to reforms that would limit the system-rigging influence of Big Money in politics.  He generally takes a sycophantish stance to satisfy the NRA in opposing any sensible regulations on sales of guns and assault weapons.  The grounds for removing this illegitimate president and his Vice President from office are coming into focus as their widespread conflicts of interest, egregious actions, illicit activities and numerous scandals unfold, and the noose tightens on multiple investigations into their dishonesty and many shenanigans.

The top priority of Republican politicians is to cut taxes on the wealthy.  This is a value that is preposterously misguided in light of crucially more important priorities like making our communities healthier and our societies safer, fairer and more sustainable -- and of ensuring a more providential legacy to all people in the future.  This distorted value can only remain entrenched because of the institutional corruption that our political system and the Supreme Court have given to moneyed interests.  If we want to "take back our country", the place to start is to guarantee much fairer representation to the people, and prevent ideological crusaders for low taxes on the rich from having deciding influence on our national decision-making and budget setting and law-making.  One consequence of Republican propaganda and priorities is that the very rich are getting richer in the USA while American children have the highest level of poverty of almost any major country on Earth, and young people have excessively opprobrious levels of student debt, and revolutionary unrest is simmering across the land.

Ideas like these are contained in this manifesto, along with an astonishingly comprehensive array of philosophic perspectives, penetrating psychological insights, farsighted points of view, enlightened recommendations, spiritual revelations, humorous asides and entertaining tall tales -- and even many outstanding recipes for healthy and tasty meals.  Check all this out at www.EarthManifesto.com!

General Observations

It has been 242 years since the Second Continental Congress adopted the great Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  In many key aspects, the years from 2001 to 2018 have been an economic and political fiasco for the United States.  It is now a good time for us to consider how to ensure that our nation really helps foster and preserve individual freedoms, civil liberties, human rights, national security and social well-being.  And at the same time, it is crucially important that we make committed efforts to achieve a greater modicum of more fairly shared prosperity, social justice, community well-being, good governance, intelligent planning priorities, fiscal responsibility and ecological sanity.

The well-being of most species of life on Earth is being threatened by conservative ideologies, wasteful consumerism, excessive greed, unbridled corporatism, economic desperation, and the overharvesting of natural resources.  The Living Planet Report 2016 reveals that the average population sizes of some 10,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by almost 60% in the 42 years from 1970 to 2012.  This stunning news should shake us all into alert awareness, and provoke us into supporting farsighted action.

It would be eminently wise for us to respect the healthy condition of Earth’s ecosystems and adopt an every-day-is-Earth-Day attitude.  Policies and behaviors are needed that are more considerate of the general good and broadly-shared prosperity in the long run.  Unfortunately, “Change you can believe in” is being torpedoed by the powerful influence of entrenched interest groups and the overriding impulse of domineering conservatives.  It is becoming increasingly clear that our economic institutions and trade agreements should be restructured to eliminate misguided policies and perverse incentives that our representatives have put in place to give an immorally large proportion of the benefits of the economy to the few to the detriment of the many.  Our system of democratic governance itself should be re-invigorated to purge it of the dysfunctional aspects that give overweening power to big corporations, lobbyists and influential wealthy conservatives. 

Regulations that are merely bureaucratic should be reduced, and fair-minded rules and regulations that protect people from pollution and health hazards should be safeguarded.  Intelligent new incentives and disincentives should be put in place to foster the greatest good for the greatest number of people over the longest period of time.  The basic criteria for determining what contributes to the public interest and the common good should be an honest assessment of what is consequentially most fair, wholesome and likely to be sustainable.

One particularly compelling line of thought that underlies the ideas in many of these writings is that the human race is ill advisedly “fleecing the future” with our short-term oriented and unsustainable activities.  Powerful interest groups are converting natural resources to cash as quickly as they are able, despite the fact that common sense tells us we should be honestly treating our home planet like a thriving and lasting concern, rather than like a business in liquidation.  We are collectively acting as if we are unaware, or in denial, or lacking in the most basic tenets of conscience and morality.  Must we not tread on the Planet more gently?  Must we not treat other people more fairly?  Wouldn’t it be wisest for us to strive with more sustained commitment to finding ways to protect our civil liberties?  Shouldn’t we be demanding that our business and governmental institutions give fairer consideration to the common good and the well-being of people today AND in future generations? 

The Earth Manifesto commemorates the wonders and beauty of our home planet.  It strives to advance a bold revolution against the subtle madness that characterizes the world in its compulsive busyness, laissez-faire exploitive capitalism, wasteful consumerism, cost externalizing, excessive risk-taking, bubble economic policies, harsh inequities, reactionary religious fundamentalism, wrongheaded goals, stoked fears, excessive population growth, and policies that provoke terrorism and encourage aggressive militarism and repression in reaction.

General Douglas MacArthur once expressed the conviction, “I believe that the entire effort of modern society should be concentrated on the endeavor to outlaw war as a method of the solution of problems between nations”.  Shouldn’t we give greater weight to these words, and reflect this consideration in our public decision-making and foreign policies?  Shouldn’t we strive to be more effective in marginalizing extremism, and dedicate ourselves to creating societies that are more mutually secure by making the world more just?

We need to look beyond the ‘good old boys’, and beyond the conflict between the ideologies of conservatives and liberals.  We must look deeper than the cultural conflicts between stereotypically strong, discipline-oriented, authoritarian, domineering and paternalistic father-figure paradigms, on the one hand, and more cooperative parental instincts that are oriented around fairness, sensible protections, and empathetic understanding, on the other.  Where should we look? -- Directly to the important principles set forth by our Founders.  Our true American values are those that have been cherished since the original 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776.  Colonial imperialism by the British had given our forbearers a powerful motive to establish a democracy that fairly represented all citizens.  A new nation was brought forth upon this continent that was to be governed by a Constitution, a Bill of Rights and rules of law that maintain idealistic and humanistic principles of Liberty, Justice and the promotion of the General Welfare.  These great founding documents included powerful protections of free speech for all people, and freedom of worship and other guaranteed rights.  They also reflected a valid distrust of despots who abuse power, so they included a robust system of checks and balances within the federal government, and between it and the States.

Many years have passed since the Constitution was ratified.  In this interregnum, a commendable number of progressive advances have been made to protect citizens from the worst characteristics of ruthless capitalism.  Laws and regulations have been established, agencies created and reforms made to ensure vitally important protections of privacy, public health, safety of the food supply and pharmaceutical drugs, workers’ rights, investor protections, civil rights, and the health of our enveloping environment.  These progressive advances stand above the opposing influence of entrenched interests that are vested in the status quo.  The purposes of these advances have been to remedy social ills associated with modern urbanized industrial civilization, and to mitigate the corrupting effect of Big Money in our economic and political systems.  Many forces are working against these progressive advances, including unethical dirty tricks in elections, misleading information, deceptive propaganda, shrewdly manipulative micro-targeted advertising on social media, legalized institutional bribery, the drumbeat of ideological propaganda and the emotional hijacking of millions of people who cling to inflexible conventional beliefs.  In particular, the insecurities and fears of the American people have been manipulated by “movement conservatives” and the subsequent rise of Donald Trump, who has exploited the anger, fears, frustrations, biases, nationalistic impulses, and sheepish gullibility of many people in order to advance a retrogressive and risky agenda in both domestic and foreign policies.

We need fairer national policies that wholeheartedly champion honest openness, truer justice, genuine freedom, sensible moderation, democratic governance, fair-minded representation, peaceful coexistence, and ecological sanity.  Faith in reason must prevail, and we should make a passionate commitment to greater good goals.  This faith must be informed by smart priorities, Solon-wise compromises, empathetic understandings, good neighborliness, and proportional responses to threats.

This manifesto is foremost about the Earth and our inextricable ecological interconnectedness with her biological communities and her miraculously providential ecosystems.  These words convey a true understanding of the inter-dependencies of our species with healthy natural habitats and the undiminished biological diversity of life on Earth.  We are slowly coming to the realization that we simply must give our beautiful home planet much more respect, so as to help assure our own flourishing and survival. 

There is an enormous amount of money to be made by ignoring these overarching understandings.  A really huge amount.  But this fact does not alter -- even one iota -- the transcendent truth that we must give more far-reaching protections to planet Earth’s providential terrestrial and aquatic commons, and to the health of the ecosystems upon which our human prosperity and survival depend.

Life on Earth is amazingly resilient, but also vulnerable to rapid changes.  The lessons of history tell us that the remarkable diversity of life on Earth should be conserved and protected for our own sake, and for the sake of our descendants.  We cannot indefinitely sustain wasteful, damaging and depletionary activities the way we have been doing so egregiously, and at a rapidly accelerating rate, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Such observations -- and many, many more far-ranging ideas -- are explored in this lengthy manifesto.   Readers are urged to think for themselves about the ideas it contains, and to do their own part to contribute in some way to the improvement of conditions in the world.  We can, indeed must, do better!!  As Dr. Seuss’ Lorax said, ‘UNLESS someone like us cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not!’                     

For more information, contact Dr. Tiffany B. Twain at SaveTruffulaTrees@hotmail.com.  Feedback is welcomed!

                                                     ------------- The End ------------