Israel and Palestine, an Animated Introduction

Good, historically accurate introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict, in the form of a short (6+ minute) video, from Jewish Voice for Peace.


More Resources:

Additional Primers:

Click here to read JVP Advisory Board member Aurora Levins Morales’ article “Latinos, Israel and Palestine: Understanding Anti-Semitism.”

Click here to download ICAHD”s primer, “Counter-Rhetoric: Challenging conventional wisdom & reframing the conflict” by Jeff Halper, Jimmy Johnson, and Emily Schaeffer.

Click here to download MERIP’s primer, “Palestine, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar.

Click here to read Phyllis Bennis’s primer, “Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.”

Click here to download Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc’s) “Truth Against Truth.”


Incredible Time-Lapse Video of Severe Thunderstorms

“Feb. 19, 2014—The menacing, magnificent storm clouds of Wyoming come to swirling life in this time-lapse, ‘Stormscapes,’ by photographer Nicolaus Wegner. He braved lightning and the erratic fury of supercell storms to capture these images in the summer of 2013.” (National Geographic).

Gasland Update: “Video of the Week”

Here’s Josh Fox’s latest update on Gasland. He lays out some more evidence for — among other things — the connection between fracking and the pollution of wells.

The Shadow Universe (Short Video)

You can skip the ad after a few seconds …

The Time for the Wolf Creek Parkway is Now

By Don Pelton

Bruce Herring  is the Parkway Steward for the Wolf Creek Community Alliance [Full disclosure: I'm a board member of the WCCA]. Here’s how we described his work in our most recent newsletter:

Just months after his retirement as Principal of Bitney Springs Preparatory Bruce_HerringHigh School, Bruce Herring stepped forward to lead the effort toward realizing the Wolf Creek Parkway. This non-motorized, multi-use trail along parts of Wolf Creek as it flows through Grass Valley is a project that is near and dear to our hearts. Once implemented, it would be both an aesthetic and an economic benefit for Grass Valley. [Bold my emphasis]

Recognizing that the Parkway will require the efforts of many and a major financial investment, Bruce has begun the process of organizing a steering committee of stakeholders and building community support for the work ahead.

Thanks to Bruce’s energy and passion, you will soon be hearing more about the Wolf Creek Parkway.

Just as Wolf Creek is hidden beneath the town (it flows under the Holiday Inn parking lot and emerges a couple of blocks later behind Safeway), the economic benefits of the Parkway are too often hidden from the consciousness of town leaders. Bruce is determined to change that.

Here are the two sides of a rack card Bruce created, describing the proposed Wolf Creek Parkway, the conceptual plan for which was approved by the Grass Valley City Council in 2006. The card is currently on display at the Wolf Creek Table in the lobby of the Center for the Arts during the entire month of June.




In Case You’ve Forgotten What A Miracle You Are

The following short (7+ minute) video illustrates why I have no hesitation in using the word, “miracle” to describe a process so thoroughly explained by science … which always leaves yet more to be explained.

That its purposefulness evolved over eons from random processes is the most miraculous of all.

Quite beautiful.

It’s possible — important even — both to love science and to love mystery, the realm of everything not yet explained or not explainable.


The Worst of Nevada County in National News, Again

Why is that only the worst of Nevada County — in this case another right-wing gun nut — makes the national news?

Esteemed journalist and historian Rick Perlstein, writing in Salon, found occasion to notice this Nevada County event (while gently chiding the New York Times for failing to cover it):

Here is a truth so fundamental that it should be self-evident: When legitimately constituted state authority stands down in the face of armed threats, the very foundation of the republic is in danger. And yet that is exactly what happened at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch this spring: An alleged criminal defeated the cops, because the forces of lawlessness came at them with guns — then Bureau of Land Management officials further surrendered by removing the government markings from their vehicles to prevent violence against them.

What should be judged a watershed in American history instead became a story about one man’s racist rants. Even as two more Nevada lunatics, inspired by their stint at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, allegedly ambushed and mowed down two police officers and killed a bystander after crying, “This is the start of a revolution.” And now, an antigovernment conspiracy theorist named Douglas Cole recently shot at two police officers in Nevada County, California (though you may not have heard about that, because the New York Times hasn’t found the news yet fit to print).

From “Gun Nuts Are Terrorizing America: The Watershed Moment Everyone Missed

Ah, but here’s some Nevada County news that the New York Times did find “fit to print.” But wait, it’s also bad news!

Nevada County

Nevada County ranks 58th of 58 in diversity in California.

Students, in 2006 15,446
White 13,496 87%
Black 142 1%
Hispanic 1,336 9%
Asian 240 2%
Native American 232 2%

Some might consider Nevada County’s connection to the founding of the Tea Party Patriots good news. But there’s hardly a consensus about that.

I look  forward to the day when we get into the national news for integrating our local economic and environmental interests, for our understanding of the economic importance of restoring local watersheds, for our leadership in bridging the urban/rural divide. and for our creative reconciliation of liberal and conservative values.

The fact that this all sounds very idealistic and touchy-feely is an indication of how far we have to go in making it a reality.

But why else should we be here, if not to work for that?

” … a Hannity-shaped hole in the studio wall at Fox News.”

I’ve read William Rivers Pitt’s writing before, but never anything as remotely entertaining as this inspired article. Excerpt:

“Every right-wing media personality and politician who had rushed to publicly embrace Cliven Bundy immediately fled his presence as if he was covered in Goliath tarantulas. I think there still may be a Hannity-shaped hole in the studio wall at Fox News.”

More fun — and good sense — here:

               William Rivers Pitt | Cliven Bundy: Clown Car or Trojan Horse?

A Creek Runs Under It — Part 2

A large group of students, teachers and parents from Grass Valley Charter School arrived this afternoon with tons of colored chalk and drew (above ground) the path (under ground) that Wolf Creek follows beneath the parking lot at Holiday Inn Express in downtown Grass Valley, before it emerges again into daylight beyond Safeway a couple of blocks away.

Spirits were high among the Charter School artists, and among the onlookers, who included Parkway Steward Bruce Herring, WCCA president Jonathan Keehn, District 3 Supervisor Terry Lamphier, Sierra Fund’s Izzie Martin and many others, including officials from the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, who were also there for a ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming the Wolf Creek Community Alliance as a new member of the Chamber.

It would be wonderful if all those young chalk artists could now become Wolf Creek ambassadors to the rest of the community, carrying the message that the Creek is an important – though neglected — part of the environment, and could be — if the Wolf Creek Parkway were completed — an important part of the economic life of Nevada County.

Below is a photo of the design schematic used by the artists, and a photo of the chalk work in progress.




IMG_0004 IMG_0009 IMG_0012 IMG_0016 IMG_0024 IMG_0031

A Creek Runs Under It

Wolf Creek goes underground at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Grass Valley and emerges again into daylight several blocks later next to Safeway.

On Thursday May 1st at 11 AM, students, parents, and teachers from Grass Valley Charter School will gather at the Holiday Inn parking lot and use chalk art on the asphalt to mark out the path that Wolf Creek follows underground.

This ritual act is emblematic of the work of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance and its many volunteers to monitor and care for the Creek and its watershed, and to raise awareness of its existence and importance to the community.

Come join us on Thursday for this celebration of the Creek and the work of the Alliance, and for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking WCCA’s new membership in the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.


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