Will Parrish: Impending Fish Disaster in the Klamath-Trinity


Wild salmon have splashed their way up the Klamath River and its tributaries — including the largest of those tributaries, the Trinity River — for at least 12,000 years. Owing to a geological peculiarity, the Klamath Basin was a refuge for countless forms of wildlife at the time. Located just south of the glacial formations that covered much of the western hemisphere’s lands, but just west of the volcanoes that rendered much of Northern California uninhabitable, the Klamath hosted an enormous diversity of wildlife that eventually spread across much of the American West.

Nowadays, the Klamath-Trinity have an altogether bleaker distinction: They are California’s greatest remain refuge for wild salmon. During the Arcadian time that endured prior to Euro-American arrival, the salmon lashed rivers into whiteness throughout Northern and Central California. People could walk across rivers on the back of the migrating fish. Now, the Klamath-Trinity — which courses through the wildest corners of California and Southern Oregon — stands as the only river system in the Golden State where runs of non-hatchery salmon still return most years by the tens of thousands.

Todd Walton: Stockholm Syndrome

t2Merlin pen and ink by Todd

Under The Table Books

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” James Madison

In the days following the latest American election, I found myself musing about why so many people voted for so many cruel, stupid, shortsighted representatives and approved propositions designed to destroy our environment and our healthcare system? Why would millions of people elect the kinds of representatives who have done nothing but wreck our society for the past fifty years? Can we chock this up to mass stupidity? I used to think we could, but this election caused me to seek a slightly more sophisticated explanation, and though I may be wrong, here is what I came up with. America suffers from a severe case of the Oslo Syndrome.

What is the Oslo syndrome? The Oslo syndrome is a corollary of the Stockholm syndrome. Also known as capture-bonding, the Stockholm syndrome is the psychological phenomenon of a hostage or battered wife or terrified military recruit or a victim of fraternity hazing, empathizing and sympathizing with his or her captors in order to enhance his or her chances of survival, even going so far as defending those captors and ultimately identifying with them. The Oslo Syndrome occurs when an entire people is afflicted with the Stockholm syndrome.

A two-century fight for the small, the local and the beautiful…

wbWendell Berry

From Transition Voice

Twentieth-century America witnessed the blossoming of Agrarianism as an intellectual and cultural movement. Its roots lay within the mythos of the early American Republic, which cast the self-sufficient yeoman farm family as the foundation of ordered liberty. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1785:

Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty by the most lasting bonds.

Similar early celebrations of Agrarianism came from Jean Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (Letters from an American Farmer, 1782) and John Taylor of Caroline (Arator, 1813). Such paeans to the largely self-sufficient family farm reflected certain realities of that era. In the fateful year of 1776, about 90 percent of all Americans resided on farms and plantations. Despite the rapid growth of factories and cities in the next century, the number of farms and persons on farms continued to grow, reaching peaks – respectively – of 6 million and 31 million in 1917.

Fukushima: Twice as much Fukushima radiation near California coast than originally reported — Gundersen: Multiple plumes now along west coast…



Twice as much Fukushima radiation near California coast than originally reported; Highest levels found anywhere in Eastern Pacific — Scientist: Very little we can do… It’s unprecedented… God forbid anything else happens — Gundersen: Multiple plumes now along west coast… Will be coming “for century or more” (AUDIO)

Seattle Post Intelligencer, Nov 11, 2014 (emphasis added): Mike Priddy, supervisor of Washington’s Environmental Sciences Section [wrote] in an email exchange today: “… if the water has radioactive material in it at any level, coming into contact with it will cause the contamination to transfer. That said, the levels… pose no real health affects… whether you come in contact with the water or somehow casually ingest itThe levels I have seen in seawater are interesting from a scientific point of view, but well below health concerns.”

KHUM, Nov. 12, 2014 — Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (10:00 in): In winter time… offshore waters might move inshore… I’m hoping to get samples… as this plume moves its way maybe on to shore.

Take Two Show, Nov. 14, 2014 — Host: The thing that I read that did do a good job of reassuring me was a comparison to a dental x-ray. Maybe tell us that one? Buesseler: We’re comparing to a dental x-ray because that’s something people experience and choose to do… The risk is never zero, any additional radioactivity can cause additional cancers… There’s really very little we can do once its in the ocean. Fukushima was an unprecedented event… God forbid something happens today, it’s pretty unstable off Japan.

Meeting Tonight 11/20/14 Regarding MendoVito proposal to build 3,000 to 4,000 houses in McDowell Valley, off State Route 175…


Meeting Reminder: 7 pm at Shipley Hall, Hopland Research Station

A complete presentation of the project will be made Thursday at the Rod Shippey Hall, at the UC Extension Center, 4070 University Road in Hopland.

More Info: mendovito.com

Pre-Registering Required: Call Amber at the extension center, at 744-1424 ext. 101 anshrum@ucanr.edu or visiting HERE  to ensure space is available. Lewenz and four other staff members involved in the project will be in attendance.





Recipe: Twice Baked Irish Potatoes with Stout Beer and Fresh Kale…

From Cooking Up A Story

Ivy Manning—In the Kitchen

First, Ivy Manning visited with Shari Sirkin, of Dancing Roots Farm, and learned more about kale. Now it’s time to take that kale into the kitchen and create something delicious and easy to make, with ingredients that are commonly found in most kitchens! Full Disclosure: I made this Irish Potatoes dish for my family—it’s wonderful!

“What’s your favorite potato story?” Gene Theil, the spunky potato farmer nicknamed “ Gene the Potato Machine,” asked me one crisp November morning as I chose from his table of russets. I drew a blank. “Everyone has a potato story,” he assured me. It finally dawned on me: colcannon. My grandmother used to make the satisfying mash of kale or cabbage and potatoes for me when I was a kid. She said its origins came from necessity when times were tough in Ireland. Women would add kale, cabbage, or even seaweed to their mashed potatoes to stretch the meager harvest;– the greener the colcannon, the tougher the times. Gene was happy to hear that he was right again, we all have a potato story. My love of simple but comforting colcannon inspired this satisfying variation of double- stuffed potatoes; it’s a sort of Irish soul food, if you will.

How Much Does Soil Influence Taste?

The Contrary Farmer

I had no more finished the post two weeks ago about improving vegetable taste, when I read an interesting interview with Eliot Coleman, a name you all recognize, in the November issue of Acres U.S.A. Eliot has been a leader in perfecting year-round, organic farming— in Maine of all places. One of his most popular crops is “candy carrots” and how he grows them is pertinent to our discussion.  He plants carrots, around the first of August, and when winter cold arrives, he slides a movable greenhouse over the carrots so that the ground doesn’t freeze. He has learned that with a double cover, or a cold frame under a fabric greenhouse cover, the ground, though plenty cold, doesn’t freeze.  In the interview, he says: “When you leave carrots in the ground like this, they protect themselves against the cold by changing some of their starch to sugar, sort of like antifreeze. These are known locally as candy carrots.  We’ve been told by parents that our carrots are the trading item of choice in local grade school lunch boxes.”  

That’s the kind of detail about growing food for better taste that is so intriguing to contemplate. Do we know very much about soil in terms of health and food taste even with all the scientific effort that has been put to it? Does better taste mean better nutrition in the first place? I recently read about Lakeview Organic Grain Farm in upstate New York, known for its flour made from emmer, an old form of wheat.

This Video Featuring the Children of Saudi Blogger Punished for “Insulting Islam” Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes…


From Friendly Atheist

30-year-old Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was punished last year for starting a progressive website that called for, among other things, religious tolerance and women’s rights. That was insulting to Islam, said his critics, and he now faces 10 Years in jail along with 1,000 lashes.

In a video created by Amnesty International Canada, his children narrate a letter they’ve written to their father… and… um… I’d tell you more but there’s something liquid-y streaming down my face.

The part at 2:21, especially, is just heartbreaking…

I don’t know if it’ll help, but you can easily write a letter to the King of Saudi Arabia right here urging him to drop all charges against Badawi.

Jan Hoyman interview just posted at Mendocino Talking…


(Jan Hoyman owns the Jan Hoyman Pottery Studio (janhoymanpottery.com) at 323 North Main Street in Ukiah. She was born in Oshkosh Wisconsin, then moved to Goshen Indiana, the heart of Mennonite Amish country. First daughter, second child of five. Attended Indiana University, took some art classes in college, became “enamored with clay” but decided she had to go to California in 1976 because “the Beach Boys were singing about it all the time.” That’s as good a reason as any. Jan continues…) 

Full interview here

The Instability Express…


From James Kunstler

The mentally-challenged kibitzers “out there” — in the hills and hollows of the commentary universe, cable news, the blogosphere, and the pathetic vestige of newspaperdom — are all jumping up and down in a rapture over cheap gasoline prices. Overlay on this picture the fairy tale of coming US energy independence, stir in the approach of winter in the North Dakota shale oil fields, put an early November polar vortexcherry on top, and you have quite a recipe for smashed expectations.

Wake up and oppose theocracy: Bill Maher, Rula Jebreal and the urgent Islam debate…

From Salon

Wake up and oppose theocracy: Bill Maher, Rula Jebreal and the urgent Islam debate

Since he delivered his “Real Time” monologue against liberals who treat Islam with excessive deference a month ago, the comedian Bill Maher has suffered all sorts of ill-informed censure aiming to set him on the Straight and Narrow about the faith of 1.6 billion Muslims the world over. Reza Aslan, a frequent guest on “Real Time,” chided him for coming from “a place of complete amateurness on religion” and using “facile” arguments against it. In an emotional confrontation on the show, Ben Affleck pronounced Maher’s (factual, poll-based) statements about Islam “gross” and “racist.” Yet another “Real Time” invitee, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, declared in print that those (including Maher) who “generalize” about Islam are tantamount to bigots and racial profilers.

William Edelen: Apology for Christianity…

The Contrary Minister (2002)

“For the understanding of religions… a complete understanding of myth is mandatory.” -Mircia Eliade.

[...] When Alfred North Whitehead was the chair of philosophy at Harvard University, he made this observation: “Christian theology has been the greatest disaster in the history of the human race.”

Was he correct? A brief review:

391 C.E. (A.D.): Christians burn down one of the greatest libraries in the world in Alexandria. Over 700,000 scrolls were destroyed.

500 to 1000: The church takes over and brings with it the cancer of the Dark Ages, destroying almost everything that defined civilization. The Christian church all but wiped out education, technology, science, medicine, history, art and commerce. During this period the church amassed enormous wealth.

1099: Christian crusaders take Jerusalem and massacre Jews and Muslims. In the streets were piles of heads, hands and feet. Millions were killed as a result of the Crusades.

Todd Walton: Geese

hHawk pen and ink by Todd

Under The Table Books

“Bird flying high, you know how I feel.” Anthony Newley

Every day this week, walking to town, working in the garden, sitting on a bench overlooking Big River Bay, the honking of zealous geese caused me to look up and search the sky until I found the lines of honkers, visible to my naked eyes only because there were dozens of the mighty birds in large formations winging southward.

Yesterday I counted one V composed of seventy birds, though there may have been a few more or less—a distant consortium moving swiftly in the sun-drenched sky. Among the largest birds we’ll ever see in California, these geese were flying so high they appeared to be the size of tiny gnats, and their great altitude suggested they intended to travel many miles beyond Mendocino before coming down to earth.

Why It’s Harder Than Ever for Religions to Con Their Followers…


From AlterNet

It’s more difficult for religions to control their believers’ access to information…

While the burgeoning atheist movement loves throwing conferences and selling books, a huge chunk–possibly most–of its resources go toward the Internet. This isn’t borne out of laziness or a hostility to wearing pants so much as a belief that the Internet is uniquely positioned as the perfect tool for sharing arguments against religion with believers who are experiencing doubts. It’s searchable, it allows back-and-forth debate, and it makes proving your arguments through links much easier. Above all else, it’s private. An online search on atheism is much easier to hide than, say, a copy of The God Delusion on your nightstand.

In recent months, this sense that the Internet is the key for atheist outreach has started to move from “hunch” to actual, evidence-based theory. Earlier this year, Allen Downey of the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts examined the spike in people declaring they had no religion that started in the ’90s and found that while there are many factors contributing to it–dropping familial pressure, increased levels of college education–increased Internet usage was likely a huge part of it, accounting for up to 25 percent of the decline in religious belief. While cautioning that correlation does not mean causation, Downey did go on to point out that since so many other factors were controlled for, it’s a safe bet to conclude that the access to varied thought and debate the Internet provides is persuading people to drop their religions.

KZYX needs a major attitude adjustment…


From Dennis O’Brien
Ukiah, California

Legal/Policy Analysis of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (KZYX&Z)


In March 2006, the Board of Directors of MCPB/KZYX transferred all hiring/firing authority to the General Manager. In 2009, the current GM used that authority to eliminate the News Director position, along with the five most popular NPR shows, without public discussion. The current Board now forbids any Director from overseeing any work of the GM or Staff, even though such oversight is each Director’s responsibility.

The Program Director and Staff are thus one more step removed from the Members and the Community. The Board no longer responds to questions, and has declared it will not intervene in Management/Staff decisions. Written requests for information have also been ignored.

The world is not your jurisdiction…


From International Humanist

Wole Soyinka’s International Humanist Award acceptance speech…

From Chibok with Love

Perhaps Humanists should pause from time to time and ask themselves a simple, straightforward, even neighbourly question: what do religionists really want?  Not what they worship  –  that is beyond rational comprehension for many but – what do they really seek?   After all, society is built on the practical, unavoidable principle of co-existence. If this proposed exercise appears strange, it is perhaps because society is very much in denial, afraid to confront such a focused question lest it receive an answer that imposes unwanted responsibilities on the rest of its members. We prefer to take refuge in the narratives of ancient wrongs and even, sometimes legitimately, wallow in present contradictions. However, if society appears to be foundering, and along lines that clearly indicate religious factors –  the world being in no shortage of current exemplars – then it becomes a duty, even for self-preservation, to understand what the various constituent parts seek for their self-fulfilment.

And so, to the question once again, what do religionists really want?  For most, the answer is simple:  “to serve God”,  by whatever name.  That, for the larger humanity should remain unexceptionable – the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. Unfortunately, not all religionists are content with that aspiration or else – even more critically! – raise issues of how they propose to fulfill such a supposedly harmless mission. We are speaking here of a resolute, but proliferating minority who declare their objective as the right to intervene dictatorially in the rights, mores and undertakings of others – all in the name of their presiding deity. This claim to the privileged exercise of Control is what plagues the world in ever expanding arenas of conflict, a belief that absolute authority is invested in them by a supreme, though invisible entity, to meddle in the lives of others, not even in an advisory role, not even as provider of optional guidelines, but with an absolutism that brooks no dissent. The ambition of such religionists is nothing less than to place all of humanity under their jurisdiction. That declaration is stark, undisguised. Its brutal efforts at actualization presently infest global existence, some parts more lethally than others but,  with increasing assertiveness, including the insertion of ‘sleeper’ warriors in seemingly insulated societies.

Gene Logsdon: Keeping Prejudice Alive


The Contrary Farmer

Some of the latest thinking on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (just getting those letters all out in correct order is enough to give me ADHD) argues that the condition is not really a bodily or mental affliction but a natural state for some people, especially children. Being fidgety, having a short attention span, not being able to concentrate for long on anything in particular— these traits are more or less brought on by the over-regulated, prescriptive world we live in. That sounds plausible to me. But then the learned scientists who are arguing this way go into examples (“A Natural Fix For A.D.H.D.” by Richard A. Friedman in the New York Times, Nov. 2, 2014). They suggest that  ADHD people would be right at home in a hunting and gathering society, like in Paleolithic times, when daily life shifted rapidly from one exciting, dangerous situation to another. It was not until humans settled into the boring routine of sedentary agriculture that such people became estranged and out of touch with the rest of society and started suffering from what would later be diagnosed as ADHD.

Once more farming is depicted as boring. After a lifetime of being subjected to this kind of stereotypical thinking,  I know I should just ignore it.  Anybody who has had the least bit of experience in agriculture knows it is one of the most  exciting ways in the world to lose your money or your life. But when the stereotypical thinking comes from places like the Weill Cornell Medical College, I must protest.

I broke up with Jesus because he wouldn’t return my calls…

From Godless In Dixie

About five years ago, I broke up with Jesus. Recently someone asked me why. There were plenty of reasons but one of the main ones was that he wouldn’t return my calls.

Since I couldn’t get in touch with him, I asked some of his friends to explain to me why he wouldn’t get back to me, but their answers were never helpful.  Each one had a different explanation and none of them really made me feel any better:

  • Some said he heard my messages but didn’t answer because what I wanted wasn’t the same as what he wanted, and he only answers calls he already agrees with.  Huh.  Okay.
  • Some told me he might not have liked my tone of voice.  Maybe I wasn’t asking for him to call me in the right way?  I dunno.
  • One guy said that Jesus would only answer me as long as I had no doubts that he would answer; but if I doubted, then he wouldn’t.  That sounded kind of sketchy.
  • Some said it was because he wasn’t ready to answer me—the timing wasn’t right somehow.  I wonder how many years you’re supposed to wait before you can conclude the other person has moved on?
  • Others said sometimes he doesn’t answer just because he wants to see how long people will go without an answer before they give up.  That sounds kind of…schmucky…if you ask me.
  • Finally, one guy informed me I shouldn’t expect an answer at all.  Like, maybe it was wrong for me to want for him to actually communicate with me.  Or if he did communicate with me, it would be telepathically through other people who wouldn’t necessarily even know they were communicating on his behalf.  I just don’t even know what to say to that.

I told them that the more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t sure Jesus had ever taken my calls and do you know what they said to that?  They told me in reality he always took my calls but made sure to do it in such a way that there would be no way to tell he took them.  He answered, they said, but in a way that looked exactly like not answering.  That’s…huh.  Okay.  That’s just weird.  Sounds a bit bootleg, really.


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