How to Make an Impact Calling Congress on the Phone

Sometimes the best way to turn your anger into action is to pick up the phone. Follow these tips to minimize your anxiety and maximize your impact.

Let’s say you’ve got a problem that’s, well, big-league. As in an all-out assault on the very air you breathe, the water you drink, and the ground you stand on. Your representatives in Congress can help—especially after their phone lines get lit up by citizen activists. Need proof? Just look at the GOP’s reversal of its decision to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics and the withdrawal of a bill to sell off public lands—both of which were influenced by public outcry and lots and lots of phone calls. Here’s how to join the resistance and make your voice heard.

This is a summary list of the topics covered in the article by Jenny Shalant in Our Stories / Personal Action on the website of the Natural Resources Defense Council (           … Continue reading “How to Make an Impact Calling Congress on the Phone”

Nature’s Troubled Rights

Yay New Zealand, Ecuador (first country to grant constitutional rights to nature), Bolivia and India.  Continue reading below the video for another look at the matter.



Thank you, Lisa Brunetti of Zeebra Designs and Destinations, whose “artist’s eyes never rest,” not only for art’s sake, but for goodness, truth and beauty in everything and everyone, amplified by her various art media, including her writing and photography.  Thank you for sharing these links, giving us a broader perspective on the environmental situation in Ecuador …

Continue reading “Nature’s Troubled Rights”

Phone-rude Contagion; Epidemic Incurable

I reserve the right to grieve and mourn, but I just have to accept the inescapable fact of it.  Phone calling etiquette is dead.  Never again will I hear the sweet sound of a caller introducing themselves politely before they start asking me questions.


I have this strange notion that a phone is a point of entry to my home, like a door.  I owe no caller the obligation to open the door, or answer the phone, or even to turn on the ringer/bell/beep/ringtone, especially since 95% of all my callers are people I don’t need to talk to, don’t want to talk to, and wish they’d take me off their calling list (which I tell them … politely, for fear they’ll just add me to another one).

Continue reading “Phone-rude Contagion; Epidemic Incurable”

Organized Lovelessness

Huxley: too much on his mind

In his 1945 book, The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley wrote, “Our present economic, social and international arrangements are based, in large measure, upon organized lovelessness.”

Some things just never change.  And some get worse.

The good news?  Some kinds of organized lovelessness have dwindled since 1945, albeit too slowly, such as institutional racism and sexism.  (Sectarianism overall yet thrives.)

In the end, money is, always has been, and hopefully won’t always be the most organized way to conduct lovelessness.  I even use it to be loveless toward myself.  It is such an efficient means.

Just contemplating things from a little light reading in some old notes taken several years ago during the study of an old book.

Related reading (I think so):


Tim Carleton’s Opus No.1 should inspire mass protest by phone users

My thanks to Gary Conkling for Rock Star of Hold Music, where I learned about Opus No. 1, Cisco’s phone hold music by Tim Carleton and Darrick Deel.  Carleton and Deel created the piece in 1989 in their garage as teenagers.  Cisco’s blog says it is the default hold music for 65 million Cisco IP phones.

How can we launch a global protest against companies who inflict annoying noise on callers instead of something like Opus No. 1?  How about putting them on hold with a 10-second endless loop of something nauseating and dressed in static, annoying enough to drain their serotonin?  Then tell them why you did it, so they can tell their boss.

I’d like Opus No. 1 more if they softened the beat.  Otherwise it beats everything I’ve heard on hold for a long time, except the one where a human voice interrupts silence once per minute saying, “Thank you for holding.”  Silence is good.